This blog will pick apart these places.  KJV, NKJV, NIV, ASV and NWT are used.

In the King James Version, there are 54 instances of “hell”, defined as the Abyss, Hades, “chains of darkness” and fire.  The 31 instances in the Old Testament are called Sheol in NWT and ASV. These appear to be a place for the wicked and are called “realm of the dead” in NIV.

In the New World Translation,   2 Peter 2:1-4 leaves the Greek “Tartarus” as “chains of darkness”  and this is where the fallen angels are held prisoner during the day of judgment. It wouldn’t be until because they remain to deceive the masses.

New King James has 35 instances of hell (13 in the New Testament) and 11 instances of Hades (all New Testament).  “Hell” in the Old Testament is the depths or pits.  2 Peter 2:4 is the “chains of darkness”. Again, the 22 instances of hell in NKJV OT are confirmed as Sheol in NWT and ASV or “realm of the dead” in NIV.

New International Version has 13 instances of hell, all fire, with the exception of 2 Peter 2:4. No instances in the Old Testament.   All 13 instances in New World Translation are places of fire called “Gehenna”.  ASV calls it “hell.”

New International Version has 8 instances of Abyss, all but one in Revelation and apparently a prison for Satan and his angels with smoke. Romans 10:7 in KJV is called “deep”.   The remainder in NIV are called “bottomless pit” in KJV and NKJV.  NWT refers to them as the abyss.  Smoke rises from them.

Hades appears to a place of torment in one verse and the common grave of man in Revelation (about 1/4 of the earth is in Hades that are killed; this may be the physical area and the blog “Salvation Timeline Part 2” explains this):

Luke 16:23-24New King James Version (NKJV) – note: it is all called “Hades” in NWT. The rich man returns in verse 22 and describes Hades.

23 And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. 24 “Then he cried and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.’

Revelation 6:8New King James Version (NKJV) – also called “Hades” in NWT (the timeline had been addressed in “The Salvation Timeline Part 2.”

So I looked, and behold, a pale horse. And the name of him who sat on it was Death, and Hades followed with him. And power was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword, with hunger, with death, and by the beasts of the earth.

In NKJV, Acts 2:27 and 31, and 1 Cor 15:55 use Hades as does NWT.  2:27 and 31 is “realm of the dead” in NIV.  In NIV, it is called “death.”

Sounds confusing.

So all Old Testament definitions of “hell” refer to Sheol or a realm of the dead for the wicked souls (31 verses). Some sources say it is the common grave for both the wicked and righteous dead.

Tartarus in 2 Peter 2:4 is the prison for the fallen angels.

The Abyss in Revelation is Satan’s prison.

Hades appears to a grave for 1/4 of the earth  killed.  Rev 6:8 would refer to the physical land mass as 1/4 of the population. Luke 16:23-24 implies it is a place of torment until the 2nd resurrection.

The place of fire is called Gehenna or hell.

The lake of fire is unique because it is the place for final torment or destruction.  According to several sources it does not exist until Judgment Day.

Of note, defines Sheol and Hades as the common grave.  They seem to equate Gehenna and the lake of fire one in the same  – permanent destruction; mainstream Christianity and a couple non-Trinitarian religions believe it as a place of eternal torment.  The Abyss is confirmed as a place of confinement.  Some sources say Sheol and Hades are one in the same – a repository and that the righteous dead are separated from the wicked dead and Luke 16:22-24 seems to indicate the rich man experiencing torment in a fiery place.  Noted at some Catholic websites, is their “purgatory” is Hades.

So in short, Sheol and Hades are one in the same: a common grave for mankind and all souls are in darkness and awaiting judgment.  Luke 16:23 seems to indicate someone returning and describing a fiery place of torment.  Would one section be reserved for the wicked souls and a pre-judgment torment exist?  Among the righteous would be the 144,000, those “beheaded for Jesus” and the dead in Christ; are there some among this group that are not Christians, and do they wait until Rev 20:13 to be resurrected? Are the righteous dead and lost souls in the same section of Hades?

Tartarus is the “chains of darkness” where the devil’s angels are held until the Final Judgment. This includes the false prophets and the beast. And are they confined there since the beginning.

The Abyss is the deepest pit where Satan is imprisoned for 1000 years after Christ’s 2nd coming and is released to deceive the nations.  There is an indication of smoke.

The lake of fire does not exist until Judgment Day.  It would appear that it is created in Rev 20:8-9.   Is there a fire pit called “hell” that exists in 13 verses of the New Testament?  Is this a literal place, an earthly punishment or a state of being? I was provided this link. – good article but the flaw in their logic of the righteous going straight to heaven after Jesus’ resurrection is omission of Ps 119:25 where the soul clings to dust, plus 1 Thess 4:16-17 where the dead in Christ rise first and those alive meet in the clouds.

The above video seems to indicate Hades remains active through Judgment Day.

Let’s address this train of thought: Jesus goes to the center of the earth during the 3 days between death and resurrection and supposedly visits the righteous in the “paradise” section of Hades/Sheol.

Supposedly, according to the Middletown Bible Church link above, the “paradise” section ceases to exist and the righteous go straight to heaven after that.  The “unrighteous” section of Hades still remains present, according to the article.  The bible clearly states in 1 Thess 4:16-17 the dead in Christ rise first and those alive meet in the clouds and this happens when the Lord comes down from heaven.  This now begs a question where the righteous dead are during a 2000+ year period between Christ’s resurrection and His 2nd coming?  It also begs a question as to what happened to those that died in sin before Christ’s time.

The last video indicates Hades remains active until Judgment Day.

All but 8 humans and one pair of each animal survived the great flood in Noah’s Ark.  What happened to the unrighteous after that?

Matt 16:18 Christ builds his church and the gates of Hades will not prevail.

Revelation 6:8 death and hell (Hades) were given the power to kill 1/4 of the earth by sword and famine. This is the opening of the fourth seal (verse 7) and Verse 9 is opening of the fifth seal (those that died for God and Rev 20:4-6 indicate the first resurrection). 

And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.

Ecclesiastes 9:5King James Version (KJV)

For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten.

Eccl 12:7 states the spirit returns to God and the body to dust when we die.  Ps 119:25 states the soul clings to dust.

Are the dead really conscious and can they be summoned?

1 Samuel 28:8-14King James Version (KJV)

And Saul disguised himself, and put on other raiment, and he went, and two men with him, and they came to the woman by night: and he said, I pray thee, divine unto me by the familiar spirit, and bring me him up, whom I shall name unto thee. And the woman said unto him, Behold, thou knowest what Saul hath done, how he hath cut off those that have familiar spirits, and the wizards, out of the land: wherefore then layest thou a snare for my life, to cause me to die? 10 And Saul sware to her by the Lord, saying, As the Lord liveth, there shall no punishment happen to thee for this thing. 11 Then said the woman, Whom shall I bring up unto thee? And he said, Bring me up Samuel. 12 And when the woman saw Samuel, she cried with a loud voice: and the woman spake to Saul, saying, Why hast thou deceived me? for thou art Saul. 13 And the king said unto her, Be not afraid: for what sawest thou? And the woman said unto Saul, I saw gods ascending out of the earth. 14 And he said unto her, What form is he of? And she said, An old man cometh up; and he is covered with a mantle. And Saul perceived that it was Samuel, and he stooped with his face to the ground, and bowed himself.

Luke 16:22-24New International Version (NIV)

22 “The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. 23 In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. 24 So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’

Jesus was telling the story about Lazarus and the rich man. This was pre-crucifixion so it would confirm a place of torment in Hades at that point.

Luke 23:40-43New International Version (NIV)

40 But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? 41 We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.” 42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.[a]43 Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

So it may be that Hades had one section for the righteous and one for the unrighteous with the former being a paradise and the latter being a place of torment.  So it is possible that Jesus visited the thief on the cross when he went down to Hades for 3 days.

Here’s the next thought….

Did the split levels of Hades remain from then to the present time?  This is gray.

  1. The notion of the “paradise” section of Hades (“Abraham’s bosom”) vacant after Christ’s resurrection and the righteous going straight to heaven after that is disputed by 1 Thess 4:16-17.  It is apparent that the beast, false prophets and the fallen angels would not be cast into “chains of darkness” (2 Peter 2:1-4) until judgment day (the logic being they remain on earth to deceive the masses) and are thrown alive into the lake of fire 1000 years later (Rev 20:10).
  2. Would the wicked dead from pre-Christian time be tormented in the unpleasant section 2000 additional years and the righteous dead remain in the paradise section? Or are the wicked dead destroyed?

Rev 14:10-11 mentions those with the mark of the beast being tormented day and night with no rest in presence of the holy angels.  This would indicate it could happen at the beginning of Judgment Day given the fall of Babylon occurs beforehand.

What if, in fact, between the resurrection of Jesus and Judgment Day the souls of both the righteous and unrighteous dead were in a state of suspended animation in the grave (as shown by Eccl 9:5) with their souls “clinging to dust?”

Rev 6:8 in conjunction with Rev 14:10-11 would indicate a possibility of Hades being resumed as a place of pre-judgment torment for the unrighteous at the beginning of Judgment Day and even Rev 21:8 would indicate that also. At this time, the righteous do go straight to heaven in the first resurrection and the remaining dead are resurrected after 1000 years (Rev 20:4-6).

There will be that crowd that died uninformed or unable (not exposed to the truth).  Romans 2:14-16 states we are judged according to the law.  Are they also in a state of suspended animation until the 2nd resurrection? It doesn’t make logical sense that someone who lived a righteous way of life but was not exposed to religion of some sort would be be tormented in Hades for anywhere up to 3000 years (which is 3 days in heaven; this includes the 2000 years+ between Christ’s death and the 2nd coming plus the 1000 years ).

Those that survive during the millennium but die before Satan is released would be in a state of suspended animation (or be in the “paradise” section of Hades if it does exist) until the 2nd resurrection .  Those that are deceived at the end of the millennium are consumed by fire (Rev 20:8-9) and probably have a brief stint in Hades before the 2nd resurrection

In Rev 19:20 the beast and false prophets are thrown alive into the lake of fire and are tormented forever. They and Satan do not die a physical death and have been cast down from heaven since earth was created. Since they are “fallen angels” (spirit beings), the lake of fire would a spiritual or mental torment (since the “soul” is your personality or thought process).

Revelation 20:13New International Version (NIV)

13 The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what they had done.

So which dead are in the sea?

Revelation 16 says it all.