Moreover, if hell is a real fire, it cannot be everywhere, especially after the consummation of the world, when heaven and earth shall have been made anew.
As to its locality all kinds of conjectures have been made; it has been suggested that hell is situated on some far island of the sea, or at the two poles of the earth; Swinden, an Englishman of the eighteenth century, fancied it was in the sun; some assigned it to the moon, others to Mars; others placed it beyond the confines of the universe [ Wiest, "Instit. The Bible seems to indicate that hell is within the earth, for it describes hell as an abyss to which the wicked descend.
Thus by derivation hell denotes a dark and hidden place.
In ancient Norse mythology Hel is the ill-favoured goddess of the underworld.
However, in the New Testament the term Gehenna is used more frequently in preference to hades , as a name for the place of punishment of the damned.
Gehenna is the Hebrew gê-hinnom ( Nehemiah ), or the longer form gê-ben-hinnom ( Joshua 15:8 ), and gê-benê-hinnom ( 2 Kings ) "valley of the sons of Hinnom".
It was notorious as the scene, in earlier days, of the horrible worship of Moloch. It is called "lower hell" ( Vulgate tartarus ) ( 2 Peter 2:4 ), "abyss" ( Luke and elsewhere), "place of torments" ( Luke ), "pool of fire" ( Revelation and elsewhere), "furnace of fire" ( Matthew , 50 ), "unquenchable fire" ( Matthew , and elsewhere), "everlasting fire" ( Matthew 18:8 ; ; Jude 7 ), "exterior darkness" ( Matthew ; ; ), "mist" or "storm of darkness" ( 2 Peter ; Jude 13 ).
This verb has the same primitive as the Latin occulere and celare and the Greek kalyptein .
But the punishment of evil is the natural counterpart of the reward of virtue.
Hence, there will also be punishment for sin in the next life.
A very complete development of the Scriptural argument, especially in regard to the Old Testament , may be found in Atzberger's "Die christliche Eschatologie in den Stadien ihrer Offenbarung im Alten und Neuen Testament", Freiburg, 1890. These are arbitrary and vain subterfuges, unsupported by any sound reason ; positive punishment is the natural recompense of evil.
Also the Fathers, from the very earliest times, are unanimous in teaching that the wicked will be punished after death. Besides, due proportion between demerit and punishment would be rendered impossible by an indiscriminate annihilation of all the wicked.