1 Cor 15:55, Sheol becomes Hades
O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?
//Hades is the Greek word for the underworld, named after the god of the same name. It describes a dark, dreary, misty existence after death, down under the earth. Compare the above verse to this one:
O Death, I will be your plagues!* O Sheol, I will be your destruction! –Hosea 13:14
What we see is that the Old Testament concept of Sheol, a dark void where the dead slowly faded away, has morphed under the influence of Hellenism into Hades, a dwelling place ruled by the gods of the underworld. Here is a more poignant example, first from the Old Testament:
For You will not leave my soul in Sheol, Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption. –Psalm 16:10
And then from the New Testament:
For You will not leave my soul in Hades, Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption. –Acts 2:27
Both of these words, of course, we think of today as hell. I’ve read several books about the evolution of ideas regarding hell, but the most fascinating for me is when I can trace the way ideas came about in the Bible itself.