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The Bible gives no definitive description of hell; however, there are passages emphasizing its general nature, such as "unquenchable fire," "the blackness of darkness," "furnace of fire," "torment in fire and brimstone," "the smoke of their torment," "the lake which burns with fire and brimstone," "where their worm dies not," and "where the devil and his angels" reside. Van Oosterzec did well to remark, "There is no doubt that Holy Scripture requires us to believe in a probable so-called place of punishment, in whatever part of God's boundless creation it is to be sought. That the different images under which it is represented cannot possibly be taken literally will certainly need no demonstration; but it is perhaps not unnecessary to warn against the opinion that we have to do here with mere images. Who shall say that the reality will not infinitely surpass in awfulness the boldest pictures of it?" A.G.H.
Unger, Merrill F., Unger's Bible Dictionary, Chicago,
Moody Press, 1966, p. 467
Bowker, John, The Oxford Dictionary of World Religions, New York, Oxford University Press, 1997, p. 420