• List Price: $13.95
  • Save: $1.39 (10%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 1 left in stock.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
What Does the Bible Reall... has been added to your Cart
Condition: Used: Good
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

What Does the Bible Really Say About Hell? Wrestling With the Traditional View (Living Issues Discussion, Vol. 2) (Living Issues Discussion Series) Paperback – November 30, 2001


See all formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Paperback
"Please retry"
$12.56
$7.93 $1.91

What Does the Bible Really Teach about Homosexuality?
Looking for new Bible study material?
Check out Kevin DeYoung's newest book. Learn more | See more


Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Mennonite minister Randolph Klassen does battle with the devil in What Does the Bible Say About Hell? Wrestling with the Traditional View. He addresses every reference to hell in the Bible, offering separate chapters on Acts, the Old Testament, the Gospels and the Epistles. He rejects the traditional notion of hell as a place of eternal torment for the wicked, claiming that such as view "fails the test of justice": in other words, a just and loving God would not sanction eternal suffering with no possibility of parole. Klassen's voice is gentle and pastoral as he analyzes reasons why many individuals need a belief in hell to scare them into heaven.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From the Back Cover

"Klassen's voice," says Publishers Weekly, "is gentle and pastoral as he analyzes reasons why many individuals need a belief in hell to scare them into heaven."

"Klassen is to be commended for writing this book. What he has done so well is examine carefully all significant references to hell in the Old and New Testaments and shown that none provides clear evidence of the existence of hell as commonly understood." --Peter J. Dyck's latest book is Getting Home Before Dark

"Readers will be encouraged to focus on the grace of Jesus Christ, a grace not complete until the last sheep is found (Matt. 18) and the lost son comes home (Luke 15)." --Robert K. Johnston, Professor of Theology and Culture, Fuller Theological Seminary

"This book resourcefully speaks to the fundamental questions that quite likely will draw readers to it, and in the process shows us all how serious and useful biblical interpretation can be done. " --Nancy R. Heisey, Associate Professor of Biblical Studies and Church History, Eastern Mennonite University; President-Elect, Mennonite World Conference

"As always in Klassen's work, the note of hope sounds clear and there is logic in the approach, buttressed by his searching of Scripture. There is boldness about it which is a great gift to the church: he presses readers to deal with the issue, whatever they may conclude." --Jim Hawkinson, former editor, The Covenant Companion; Executive Secretary, Covenant Publications

"Is hell real? Klassen's response to this challenging question steers clear of a pat answer." --Rev. Evelyn Johnson, Conference Superintendent, Pacific Southwest Conference, Evangelical Covenant Church

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Series: Living Issues Discussion Series (Book 2)
  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Pandora Press U.S. (November 30, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1931038023
  • ISBN-13: 978-1931038027
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.3 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #674,140 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

48 of 53 people found the following review helpful By K. R. Vincent on April 24, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Ken's Guide to Universalist Books
WHAT DOES THE BIBLE REALLY SAY ABOUT HELL? by Randy Klassen (2001) Telford, PA: Pandora Press US
If the catchy title of this book makes you apprehensive about what kind of theology might lie behind its cover, let me assure you that What Does the Bible Really Say About Hell? is one of the best recent books about Universalism. Its author, Randy Klassen, is a retired Mennonite preacher who uses Chapter 1 to discuss the personal pilgrimage that lead to his commitment to Universalism. In Chapter 2, he reviews the Universalist message of First Century preachers Peter and Paul. In Chapters 3 and 4, he states that Hell is not found in either the Hebrew Bible or the New Testament Gospels. He points out that neither Sheol nor Gehenna are equivalent in concept to Hell. Further, he claims that the Greek word used for "eternal" punishment infers a time-limited period. He returns to the writings of Peter and Paul in Chapter 5, emphasizing the absence of any threats of Hell except in one verse (II Peter 2:4) which, again, refers to time-limited punishment. Although Rev. Klassen thinks the Bible definitely foretells a judgment, he says the duration of our punishment is known only to God. He is equally sure that the Bible assures us that, in the end, ALL will be saved, and he quotes the classic verses supporting Universal Restoration. Rev. Klassen reminds us that, in addition to Judgment and Universal Salvation, the New Testament also stresses the need for both faith and works, and he integrates all of these into his Universalist theology. To me, this interpretation is the strongest part of his book.
Read more ›
10 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
30 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Wayne Mcdaniel on October 2, 2002
Format: Paperback
Klassen writes a very readable book on the subject. He starts out on his research looking at each occasion in the Bible in which the Greek or Hebrew word is translated "hell." His approach is more of an exploratory as opposed to dogmatic. He asks a lot of questions. Surprisingly, he does not get bogged down in a lot of details, which makes the book easy to read. He concludes that while the Bible does teach judgment, it does not teach everlasting torment. An excellent book especially for someone just beginning thier research on this topic. I have also written an essay from my own research and would be glad to email it to anyone who requests.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Adam Gonnerman on January 8, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Although Mr. Klassen is not a formal theologian (this you can tell by his less-than-systematic, slightly meandering style), he shows his heart for God, ministry and people in this excellent book. Raising more questions than he manages to answer, the author explores what it means to interpret Scripture as a believing Christian while carefully reconsidering a long-held dogma of Christianity. Taking the Gospel of Christ seriously, while rejecting outright literalism with the Bible, Mr. Klassen argues against an eternal hell and in favor of divine justice that is equitable and merciful.

While I still believe that "The Inescapable Love of God" should be the first book defending Christian Universalism that anyone should read, this title is a very worthy second book on the topic.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Free Thinker on September 12, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
First a disclaimer: it is common in these forums to launch personal attacks against the writers of controversial books. This review will steer clear from such tactics. I have no doubt that Pastor Klassen is a kind, compassionate and highly intelligent man of God. Any criticism that follows is a reflection purely upon the merits of the book itself and not upon its author.

Having said that...

I really wanted to like this book, as I am in general sympathy with its message. Like Klassen, I believe that the traditional view of Hell is an affront to God and a scandal to the Christian faith. Any deity that would keep persons in unending torture for endless eons is a sadistic monster, not the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. I purchased this book hoping to find a well-developed argument for this position. Unfortunately, "What Does the Bible Really Say about Hell?" suffers from a number of argumentative fallacies.

Klassen devotes the first half of this slim volume to exploring the biblical references to Hell. He rightly finds them absent from the Old Testament, then notes that there is scant mention of the topic in Acts and the Epistles.

From this he develops his primary argument, which can be summed up as: "if Hell is such a vital topic, then why isn't it mentioned more often by the apostles?" The problem with this approach is that it confuses lack of evidence for an opponent's views with support for one's own. This will not do.

The same biblical books contain no true theodicies, no development of the doctrine of the Trinity (admittedly, I am assuming that Klassen is a trinitarian) or for that matter no real descriptions of what happens after death at all, save for some vague comments on "those who have fallen asleep.
Read more ›
3 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Steven H Propp TOP 100 REVIEWER on March 26, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Randy Klassen has served established churches for 40 years (at the time this book was written in 2001), has done seminary teaching, and has written books such as Jesus' Word, Jesus' Way. He wrote in the Author's Preface, "One motivation for writing this material was the discovery that what has often been believed to be the biblical teaching is not, on closer examination, the complete story. I have found that many of the images of hell used in some evangelical preaching actually come from Mesopotamian mythology, the Apocrypha, a misunderstanding of biblical literature, medieval art, or even Hollywood, not from careful biblical exegesis... These simple discoveries led me to study the significant references to hell in the Bible. What I found is contained in this book." (Pg. 18)

He notes, "We read of 'eternal fire' in Matthew 18:8, 25:41 and 'eternal punishment' in Matthew 25:46. What can these mean other than the plain teaching of an 'eternal' hell? We need to remember how the word 'eternal' was used in the Hebrew Bible... eternal did not necessarily mean without end. It always meant that period of time until God's 'purpose was accomplished.'... Jesus used the Hebrew Bible and understood its meaning, so there was no need for him to qualify his use of the word translated 'forever' or 'eternal.' ... Nowhere do we read that God wants sinners to suffer without end." (Pg. 53-54)

He observes, "'Eternal' punishment suggests an irreversible judgment by the eternal One, rather than an experience of endless torment. Once one is open to this interpretation, it is surprising how many Scriptures fit. Psalm 37 declares that the wicked will ... 'be cut off and be no more' (vv.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more
What Does the Bible Really Say About Hell? Wrestling With the Traditional View (Living Issues Discussion, Vol. 2) (Living Issues Discussion Series)
This item: What Does the Bible Really Say About Hell? Wrestling With the Traditional View (Living Issues Discussion, Vol. 2) (Living Issues Discussion Series)
Price: $12.56
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com