Hell comes to us
from the Old English where it means "hidden". The Christian doctrine
is a infinitely extreme and dreadfully fearful with respect to the
fate of unbelievers, who are the vast majority of humanity.
The New Testament speaks of Hell as being divided into two parts - Paradise (Luke 16:22-23)and Prison (I Peter 4:18-19)
In the Bible, the four words from which the word hell is translated are:
1) Sheol (Hebrew) which occurs 65 times in the Hebrew Manuscripts of the Old Testament, and it means the place of the dead soul or the place of the dead body, depending on the context. According to the Jewish Encyclopedia, Sheol is the place of the dead and it is divided into as many as five sections, with varying degrees of pleasure and suffering. The highest division in Sheol was known as the "Bosom of Abraham." The worst was known as Gehenna or Tophet.
2) Hades (Greek) occurs 11 times in the Greek Manuscripts of the New Testament. Hades is the world of the dead in Greek myth. The myth says that the dead are ferried across the River Styx by the boatman Charon. On the other side they go either to the Elesian Fields or Tartarus. One is place of delight, the other a place of suffering. Jesus declares that the gates of Hell shall not withstand his mission, (Matt. 15:19.)
3) Gehenna (Hebrew) occurs 12 times in the Greek Manuscripts of the New Testament. The word is derived from the Hebrew word. gehinnom - the Valley of the sons of Hinnom- a valley near Jerusalem where, at one time or another, children were sacrificed by fire in connection with pagan rites. For years, this valley was used as the city dump. A fire was constantly kept alight there to burn up and consume all of the city’s unwanted rubbish. In later Jewish writings Gehenna came to mean the place of punishment for sinners (Assumption of Moses 10:10; 2 Esdras 7:36). It is Jesus who uses the Greek word gehenna 11 out of the 12 times it appears. James (James 3:6) uses it clearly in an allegorical sense.
3) Tartarus (Greek) occurs only once in the Greek Manuscripts of the New Testament in the following verse. For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell (tartarus) and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment.(2 Peter 2:4) This is clearly a reference to the Greek myth in which a deep abyss was created to be used used to imprison the Titans and other eternal beings the gods of Olympus considered a threat..Later it became a place in which souls were judged after death and where the wicked received divine punishment.
New Age teachings treat Hell as referring to the Astral World as being the place where we go when we die or go to sleep. It is neither a place or punishment nor reward but is a construct of our thoughts and feelings, a place where people create their very own hell because they are unable to come to terms with reality. or their own paradise because they accept love.