History of Hell

Document Type:Research Paper

Subject Area:History

Document 1

This essay will focus on the history of hell according to different religions while comparing it with Dante Inferno’s thought of what hell is like. Comparison of the description of hell According to most doctrines, hell is considered as a place where the lost souls receive punishment for their bad deeds. Christianity believes that after sin entered the world, the human race was given a chance to make decisions that concerned their lives. These decisions were based on their ability of understanding the right from wrong. For this reason, there was a “place” that was created that human beings were to be rewarded or punished for the decisions that they made. Christian teachings are those that Jesus Christ the son of God left to His disciples and they were asked to spread this gospel to the people of the earth.

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The teachings entail the do’s and the don’ts that human beings are expected to follow as they go about their earthly responsibilities in which they have. Failure to subscribe to these teachings means eternal suffering in hell. Christians believe that in hell, there are three beasts similar to those described by Dante. These beasts are meant to torture the anti-Christ and those who failed to follow Jesus’ teachings while they lived on earth (Balthasar and Hans pg 56). This however is different from what Christianity according to the bible teaches. The bible is believed to be the word of God and one that must not be changed. According to biblical teachings, Mary is a vessel that was used to bring Jesus Christ into the world as a human being.

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This means that the bible does not give power to Mary as a superior creation that has power over hell. For instance, after Mary gives birth to the savior of mankind, it is believed that she went on with a normal life where she bore other children with her husband Joseph. The rich man lived a luxurious life and was never concerned with the beggar who lived with absolute poverty. After both people died, the poor beggar whose body was covered in sores was taken into heaven and sat next to Abraham. The rich man on the other hand was taken to hell where he suffered for eternity. The rich man tries to ask for a second chance on earth where he hopes to worn his brothers but the request is denied.

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This means that the bible does not give a second chance once a person is in hell. Here Dante’s thought about pagans having a place in hell is similar to Christian teachings where the non-believers lack a place in heaven and instead are burnished into hell for all eternity. The second level according to Dante is “lust” where people who sinned willingly are taken and punished by Mino’s. The third circle is created for those who indulged in gluttony while they lived on earth. In each circle different people with different sins are punished and throughout the journey, the Virgil protects Dante for all the punishers and the tormentors there. From the story, the dipper into the circle they move the more intense the people are tormented.

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