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Kamaloka in the MLs and Sheol - Hades

Apr 03, 2007 10:29 AM
by danielhcaldwell

In the teaching about Kamaloka as given in the Mahatma Letters, what 
relevance if any do the terms Sheol and Hades have ?  

And if there is a relevance or relationship, what is it?

See BELOW the following TWO definitions of Sheol and

In Hebrew, Sheol (ùàåì, Sh'ol) is the "abode of the dead", 
the "underworld", "the common grave of mankind" or "pit".[1] In the 
Hebrew Bible, it is a comfortless place beneath the earth, beyond 
gates, where both the bad and the good, slave and king, pious and 
wicked must go after death to sleep in silence and oblivion in the 
dust[2]. Sheol is the common destination of both the righteous and 
the unrighteous dead, as recounted in Ecclesiastes and Job.

Sheol originated from the ancient Sumerian view that after one dies, 
no matter how benevolent or malevolent he or she was in life, in 
Sheol he or she is destined to eat dirt to survive. Sheol is 
sometimes compared to Hades, the gloomy, twilight afterlife of Greek 
mythology. In fact, Jews used the word "hades" for "sheol" when they 
translated their scriptures into Greek. The New Testament (written in 
Greek) also uses "hades" to mean the abode of the dead (sheol).

By the first century, Jews had come to believe that those in sheol 
awaited the resurrection either in comfort (in the bosom of Abraham) 
or in torment. This belief is reflected in Jesus' story of Lazarus 
and Dives.

Protestants, who do not share a concept of "hades" with the Eastern 
Orthodox, have traditionally translated "sheol" (and "hades") 
as "hell." Unlike hell, however, sheol is not associated with Satan. 
Catholics generally translate "sheol" simply as "death."...

The New Testament seems to draw a distinction between Sheol 
and "Gehinnom", or Gehenna (Jahannam in Islam). The most "hellish" 
notion in Jewish tradition is the Biblical word Gehinnom, later 
interpreted to refer to a place of condemnation. But the source of 
the word is most interesting. Gei Hinnom was the valley of Hinnom 
(Joshua 15:8, 18:16; II Kings 23:10; Jeremiah 7:31; Nehemiah 11:30), 
a place where children were sacrificed to the Canaanite god Moloch. 
In Islam, this same word became Jahannam, an Islamic term for Hell.

The English word hell comes from Germanic mythology, now used in the 
Judeo-Christian sense to translate the Hebrew word Gehenna, which is 
a valley outside Jerusalem once used for burning refuse (basically a 
landfill), and the Greek Hades and Tartarus.

Like other first-century Jews literate in Greek, early Christians 
used the Greek word hades as the translation for the Hebrew word 
sheol. This use appears in Luke's story of Lazarus and the rich man. 
Both underworlds had originally been dark and gloomy with no relation 
to afterlife rewards or punishments. Since the writing of the Hebrew 
Bible, however, the popular concept of sheol had come to include 
particular judgment. Thus hades was seen as a place of comfort for 
the righteous (in the bosom of Abraham) and torment for the wicked. 
Here the dead awaited the universal resurrection on Judgment Day. 
Early church fathers defended this view of the afterlife against the 
view that the soul went immediately to heaven or to hell after the 
death of the body[4].

The doctrine of hades exists in substantially its original Christian 
form in the Eastern Orthodox Church. It also exists in its Old 
Testament form, as the abode of the unconscious dead, in certain 
other denominations, such as the Jehovah's Witnesses. In mainstream 
Western Christianity, however, it has largely been replaced by the 
concept of the soul going straight to hell, heaven, or (in Roman 
Catholicism) purgatory.


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