In John 14:6 Jesus is quoted saying, "I am the way and the truth and the light." Explain how the inscription over the gates relates to this verse.From Dante's Inferno

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lynnebh eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The inscription over the Gate of Hell in Dante's Inferno reads:

Through me is the way into the woeful city; through me is the way into eternal woe; through me is the way among the lost people. Justice moved my lofty maker: the divine Power, the supreme Wisdom and the primal Love made me. Before me were no things created, unless eternal, and I eternal last. Leave every hope, ye who enter!

In the Bible, the verse in John, John 14:6 reads:

I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father but through me.

The inscription over the Gate of Hell is a mockery of what Jesus said, and is meant to be the words of Satan. Sinners enter into hell "through" Satan, not Jesus. Hell is a place of eternal woe, as opposed to heaven being a place of eternal life. "Justice moved my lofty maker" is a perversion of the Bible, in which God created the world. Satan was condemned to hell by God for his sin of pride, in wanting to be like God (which was NOT really "justice", only in Satan's mind did it seem fair that he should be like God). The "primal love" that made Satan refers to pride, or our self-love.

In the first chapter of the book of John, John 1:3, it says:

All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.

So the second part of the hell inscription is a mockery of this verse. Anyone that enters into hell has no hope of "eternal" life.



sesmith5 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

THe inscription on the gates of hell says abandon hope all ye who enter here.  This implies that Christ, who is the way and the hope, is not in hell.  If a sinner has entered hell, he has no hope of salvation because salvation lies in Christ.  The path that the gate guards is a path eternally devoid of Christ.