The eighth grader asked Christian debater Dennis Marcellino whether he believed the Bible was literally true.
Marcellino said he did.
Chad followed that up by questioning Marcellino’s claim from earlier in the debate that Hell wasn’t really forever — doesn’t the Bible say it is?
Check out Marcellino’s mind-boggling response:
Marcellino: … Forever doesn’t really mean forever.
Chad: … you said it was all literally true.
Marcellino: Well, yeah, it’s not literally English true. It’s Hebrew and Greek. So you have to get into the Hebrew and Greek.
Got that, everyone? The Bible is literally true. But not when you read it in English. The translators did a great job, but they royally fucked up all the sections about Hell…
In short, Marcellino basically responds by saying that words like “eternal” and “forever” are just synonyms for “a long time.”
Just for the sake of argument, here are some verses about Hell from the Bible:
“… when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might…” (2 Thessalonians 1:5-12)
“… just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire” (Jude 7)
“These are hidden reefs at your love feasts, as they feast with you without fear, shepherds feeding themselves; waterless clouds, swept along by winds; fruitless trees in late autumn, twice dead, uprooted; wild waves of the sea, casting up the foam of their own shame; wandering stars, for whom the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved forever” (Jude 12-13)
But, you know, that’s English. The Bible doesn’t count in English.
I’ve heard of Christians arguing against the concept of Hell, but I’ve never heard a self-described Biblical literalist say the whole “eternal damnation” thing wasn’t about eternal damnation.
Nice job getting him to admit that, Chad!
(Portions of this article were published earlier)