How to tell the biblical story in a way that makes a difference

The judgment of Gehenna

Israel needed to be saved because Israel was walking blindly down a broad path leading to military catastrophe. Jesus regarded this outcome as God’s judgment against his rebellious and unrighteous people. Picking up on Jeremiah’s prediction that at the time of the Babylonian siege of Jerusalem the dead would be thrown into the Valley of the Son of Hinnom and left unburied, he calls this the judgment of Gehenna. The word is often translated “hell,” but Jesus is not talking about punishment after death.

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