Oh, Oh…Somebody Miscounted Hell.

2010/12/cat_baffled.jpg Photo ©Copyright/Courtesty of flickr

I’m sort of embarrassed to admit that, up until the last two years, I never stopped to think about certain important discrepancies in my theology. For instance, we’ve all been taught from our church statements of faith and our pastors that the Bible is the inerrant word of God. So why do all the different Bible versions have a significantly different number of occurrences of the word hell?

I mean, a proper understanding of hell is pretty important—since it’s the worst thing that could ever happen to anybody. And all the popular versions are based on the same Hebrew manuscript (Old Testament) and one of two Greek manuscripts (New Testament), so where’s the problem? It seems this is no small discrepancy. I mean, check out the astonishing disparity in some of the more familiar versions for yourself:

TM (The Message)=56

KJV (King James)=54

NKJV (New King James)=32

NLT (New Living)=19

NCV (New Century)=15

ESV (English Standard)=14

NIV (New International)=14

AMP (Amplified)=13

NAS (New American Standard)=13

YLT (Young’s Literal)=0

CLT (Concordant Literal)=0

WEB (World English Bible)=0

Hmmmm. If our Bible translations are truly accurate and we are using them authoritatively, shouldn’t everybody have the exact same number (or close to it) of hells? What do you think is going on?

I’d love to hear your thoughts, but in case you are totally stumped, this is one of the questions I address in my upcoming book. In a couple weeks, it will be available for pre-order and I’ll be listing all the details—so stay tuned and be watching!

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