I am surprised that he believes the idea of Hell as a place of eternal retribution is related to the derivation of Christianity from its Jewish origins; he would find it difficult to locate any reference to Hell in any part of the Old Testament, except quite elliptically and in a minor key. There is a passing reference to the concept of Satan (literally, 'an accuser') in the Prophets, but this is put forward in a purely allegorical and symbolic fashion.
Many of us from orthodox religious backgrounds who have moved to a more rationalist position would only applaud churchmen such as Hugh Montefiore in their attempt to strip religion to its absolute fundamentals and to emphasise the core concept of the mystical quality of love. However, I am sure that many others will find this a long and difficult road to travel, and it is not helped by misrepresenting the relationship of Christianity to other religions.
Christianity may have replaced the avenging God of the Old Testament with a more 'human' representative, but it also introduced the whole Pauline baggage of sexual fear and medieval eschatology.
London, EC1Reuse content