What Bible Says About Hell

New book published: Hellfire and Destruction

In December 2023, a new book by Paul Marston has been published entitled Hellfire and Destruction: What Does the Bible Really Say about Hell?

Published by Wipf & Stock, the book is available in paperback, hardback and kindle edition.

Find out more below:

Hellfire and Destruction

What Does the Bible Really Say about Hell?

To those of us who believe in the inspiration and authority of the Bible, it must surely be a concern to know what it says will happen to the millions around us, some of whom we love dearly, who die without repentance or faith? 

Does Scripture teach that at the last judgment those who remain unrepentant will be consigned to an unending existence of torment without hope? Is that truly what Jesus and his apostles believed and taught?  This book presents basic evidence that what they really taught was that the final judgmental-end for such people will be “destruction,” taking its obvious meaning that they will cease to exist as conscious individuals.  The arguments are not complex, because most of the New Testament writers make plain statements to this effect.  The book also looks at those parables and Revelation passages sometimes taken to indicate unending torment. It links with academic works that in increasing numbers are making the same points, but the book is not a contribution to academic scholarship.  Rather, it is a careful, readable, and accessible account to challenge pastors, church leaders, and Christians generally, to consider what the Bible actually says rather than rely on tradition.  

Where you can buy the book

Paperback: $16 / £13 RRP. Available at: AmazonWipf & Stock
Kindle price for a very limited time only: UK Price $2.99 / £2.35

  • Publisher: ‎ Wipf & Stock; First Edition (Dec, 2023)
  • Paperback: ‎ 118 Pages
  • Paperback ISBN: 978-1-6667-8478-7
  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-6667-8479-4
  • ebook ISBN: 978-1-6667-8480-0
  • Dimensions: ‎ 5.50 x 8.50 x 0.24 in


“Why is it that occasionally the beliefs of those who believe in the Bible are far more influenced by culture, tradition and philosophy rather than the Bible? Sometimes beliefs seen by many as orthodox to the evangelical tradition are not rooted in the careful and complex task of interpretating scripture with attention given to its original context and authorial intention. This does not happen often but when it does happen, the role of the evangelical theologian is to unpick this and point back to the Bible.

This is what Paul Marston does in this fascinating and important book, Hellfire and Destruction. While evangelicals have been clear and united about doctrines of salvation and judgment, they have differed and fallen out over the consequences of judgment for those who ultimately reject the grace of salvation. This book goes back to the Bible, carefully engaging with biblical texts, words and themes to deliver powerful arguments against a picture of a vindictive God sustaining hell as a place of eternal torment.

Paul Marston is thoroughly committed to the authority of scripture and it is because of this that he wants to be clear about what scripture says and what it does not say to a question which has been struggled with by academic theologians, preachers and those who have lost loved ones. All of these groups will find not just something of worth in this book but authenticity to sustain mission, ministry and discipleship.”

Revd Professor David Wilkinson Principal of St John’s College, Durham

“The argument of this book is not new, that Hell in the New Testament does not refer to unending torment but to an ultimate fate of non-existence following final judgment and period of punishment, is not new. It is found in the teaching of early Christian scholars, for example Justin Martyr and Ireneaus, and has continued to have supporters since. It is good to have a fresh statement of it in a book which deals with it in some depth while not being too lengthy. Marston presents his argument clearly and well, dialoguing with scholars who hold other views. He both responds to their critique of the position he holds and exposes weaknesses in their positions. All the key biblical passages that are relevant to the debate are discussed in some detail. He puts forward a strong and coherent argument that deserves serious consideration.”

Revd Dr Ernest C. Lucas Vice-Principal Emeritus, Bristol Baptist College

Endorsement and Comments

“Theologians have often noted that contemporary views of hell owe more to works like Dante’s Divine Comedy than to the Christian Scriptures. Similarly, those who turn to the Bible for its instruction on hell are typically surprised by how little it actually says. For both reasons, this book by Paul Marston is a useful and welcome primer.”

JOEL B. GREEN Senior Professor of New Testament Interpretation, Fuller Theological Seminary

“In Hellfire and Destruction, Paul Marston offers a helpful primer on the case for conditional immortality or annihilationism, which is accepted by increasing numbers of evangelical Christians—not because of philosophy or sentimentality, but because the Bible teaches it clearly, as Marston demonstrates.”

CHRISTOPHER M. DATE Editor of Rethinking Hell

“Paul Marston’s book Hellfire and Destruction offers a well-researched analysis on the outcome of the final judgment. It thoroughly debunks the popular teaching of everlasting torment taught in many churches today and instead upholds the biblical view that the ‘wages of sin is death’ (Rom 6:23). The book is easy to read but thorough and is highly recommended.”

KIM PAPAIOANNOU Author of The Geography of Hell in the Teaching of Jesus

“By carefully reviewing the language, imagery, and argument of Scripture, Paul Marston offers a highly focused clarification that hell does not mean everlasting torment but final destruction. In so doing he helps those of us who identify as evangelicals to articulate the gospel as a testimony to the Judge of all the earth who always does what is right.”

NIGEL G. WRIGHT Principal Emeritus, Spurgeon’s College

I fully endorse your wish to make something available to the general Christian reader bringing before them what are essentially the views expressed many years ago by Basil Atkinson and , I believe, shared by well known figures such as John Stott and John Wenham within the evangelical tradition. I was particularly interested in what you said about FF Bruce who wrote to John Stott indicating that he remained “agnostic”.

MALCOLM JEEVES  Professor Emeritus, St Andrews University

I read the “Hellfire and Destruction” book immediately and finished it the same day! Your conclusions, so well-earthed in scripture, resonated with my own views on the topic. Having been taught as a young Christian the “traditional” view of eternal/everlasting torment I came to see this as a terrible slur on the character of God – the God of Love as shown in Jesus. So, I am eagerly delving into your other two volumes on God’s Strategy and am enjoying what I find there too.

PAUL EWART  Professor Emeritus, Oxford University