Hell On Earth, And Then Some

An excerpt from and link to my post for the Diocese of PA: In the synoptic Gospels, Hell is usually described as a realm of fire, a place that seemingly judges and punishes at the same time, (Matthew 5:22, 29-30; 10:28; 18:9; 23:15, 33; Mark 9:43, 45, 47; Luke 12:5). The most commonly used word for “hell” in the scriptures is the Aramaic word “Gehenna” that passed directly into Greek. Gehenna literally means “Valley of Hinnom” (In Hebrew, “Geh Hinnom”). The Valley of Hinnom was originally a piece of the Promised Land, a lowland (now to the southeast of Jerusalem’s Old City), given to the Hinnom family after whom it was named (Joshua 15:8 and 18:16). So, how does a piece of the Promised Land become hell on earth, “where the worm never dies, and the fire is never quenched”?