Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity Online

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(3,208 words)

Gehenna is a term for the place of punishment of the wicked in Judaism and early Christianity. It takes its name from a valley near Jerusalem, which later, due to its evil reputation as the place of idolatrous practices, was transformed into the place of final destiny and punishment of the wicked, that is, to hell (Hades).


Greek γέεννα corresponds to Hebrew גֵּי־הִנֹּם /gê-hinnom (the valley of Hinnom; Josh 15:8), the short form of ג…

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Somov, Alexey B., “Gehenna”, in: Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity Online, General Editor David G. Hunter, Paul J.J. van Geest, Bert Jan Lietaert Peerbolte. Consulted online on 07 December 2023 <>
First published online: 2018

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