Conducted by a team of more
than 35 pastors, seminarians, authors, and lay persons.
All Scripture was written for us, and for our learning; but they are not all addressed to us, or written concerning us.
E.W. Bullinger (1837-1913)
Verse #11 - Luke 12:5 (Matt. 10:28)
But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after your body has been killed, has authority to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him.
NIV (New International Version)
But I'll tell you whom to fear. Fear God, who has the power to kill you and then throw you into hell. Yes, he's the one to fear.
NLT (New Living Translation)
But I will show to you, whom ye may fear; Fear him who, after the killing, is having authority to cast to the gehenna; yes, I say to you, Fear ye Him.
YLT (Young's Literal Translation)
Now I shall be intimating to you of Whom you may be afraid: Be afraid of Him Who, after killing, has authority to be casting into Gehenna. Yea, I am saying to you, of this One be afraid!"
CLV (Concordant Literal Version)
Now I will continue expressly pointing out to(indicating and even underlining for) you people [him] of whom you folks should be made fearful: Be made to fear (be wary of; have respect for) the person [who], after the killing off, continues possessing (having and holding) the right (or: authority) to throw you into the Valley of Hinnom (Greek: Gehenna; = the City Dump outside of Jerusalem; [= to dishonor you by giving no burial; to treat you as a criminal]). Yes, I continue saying to you folks, Be afraid of this one (or: Have serious respect for this person).
JMNT (Jonathan Mitchell New Testament)
Putting A Hole in Hell
Points to consider . . .
The audience was Jesus’ disciples, not the Jewish leadership.
This is a contrast. Our only real fear should reside with God our creator. Compared to Him, no one holds any complete power over us. The disciples need not fear other men, whom they would each see their own physical death ensue by the hands of men in this world.
In these few words Jesus is also making it clear that there is more to life than what we see in this physical realm.
As many suppose, there is no declaration that God will destroy souls nor that anyone will experience destruction of their soul in Gehenna, translated by some as hell. We are advised that He certainly has that authority and strength.
Matthew 10:28 gives record of this same event. Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Instead, fear the One who can destroy both soul and body in Gehenna.
The question of whether He will send anyone to destruction or hell can only be answered by understanding God’s mind (His will/intent) and His heart (His motivation) - this coupled with the many declarations of His love for mankind, it seems to be a seriously flawed assumption. Did God send His son to condemn or save the world? (John 3:16-17, 1 John 2:2, Romans 11:32, etc.)
Whether this is “monster fear” or “reverential fear” seems to be revealed in Jesus’ words recorded immediately following. We are assured that God places value on sparrows and even knows the hairs of our head. Why would Jesus make it clear that His Father knows everything about us yet He plans to destroy or torment most of His created beings? [Knowing God’s power and omnipresence we would have to conclude that He is either unable or unwilling to redeem mankind - neither inability nor unwillingness seems to harmonize with His declarations of watchfulness and love.]
Strong's Greek 5399: φοβούμενος (phoboumenos) From phobos or phobeo; to frighten, i.e. to be alarmed; by analogy, to be in awe of, revere, struck with amazement, to fear, be afraid of one, to do something (for fear of harm) to reverence, venerate, to treat with deference or reverential obedience.
It’s interesting to note that in Deuteronomy 6:13, we find God commanding Israel to “fear the Lord thy God, and serve Him.” In chapter 10 we find the same words – fear God and serve Him. Yet Jesus changed the word from “fear” to “worship” in Matthew 4:10 “You shall worship the Lord your God and serve Him.”
Throughout this Hell Verses Project, we have reminded our readers that many, or most, of Jesus warnings are directly aimed to the nation of Israel regarding the destruction that will occur, as we now know, in the years 67-70 AD. Just moments prior to these comments recorded in Luke 12:5, we read in Luke 11 that Jesus is confronting the harsh men of the law, the Pharisees. He warns them: Therefore this generation will be held responsible for the blood of all the prophets that has been shed since the beginning of the world, from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who was killed between the altar and the sanctuary. Yes, I tell you, this generation will be held responsible for it all.
A few moments after Jesus tells His disciples to fear God, Luke records Jesus’ words in Luke 12:32, Fear not.
Notice, however, that the passage does NOT say that God will “destroy both soul and body in hell (Gehenna).” It simply says that He can.
Brett Baughman adds, “Claiming this ‘hell’ verse as evidence that Jesus spoke of eternal fiery torment for everyone who doesn’t hear or understand the gospel is incredibly foolish ignoring the context of the passage.”
With regard to the immediate subsequent passage, verse 6, God’s infinite and detailed care in creation surpasses all human comprehension. There are no details too small for our God, even the slightest phenomenal microscopic events occurring within the unseen world all around us. No fear!