Hel in the 1611 King James Bible
Why was Hell spelled Hel in parts of the 1611 Bible?
Did you know that the secular meaning behind the word 'hell,' just as the original meaning of 'hades' simply meant “hidden, out of sight?” Yep, in the ancient German, when two young folks went to a dark place to hide for some necking, they “went to hel,” they hid somewhere. Our English words helmut, hall, hole, and heel, all stem from the German word hele. The religious meaning of the word Hell came from Germany too -- actually it came from Teutonic mythology.
Hele was a goddess of the underworld in ancient folklore.
Hel is the name of the Norse underworld, and its ruler. Hel/Hela, in Norse mythology, was the hideous daughter of the Giant Loki, banished to the netherworld, Helheim (literally, 'house of Hel'), world of the dead, by the Chief God, Odin. The distinctive looking Goddess, whose skin is black on one side, rules over the dead until Ragnarok and the coming birth of the new world.
Hel is sister of Fenris, the wolf, and Jormungand, the world-serpent.
The name for the Christian world of torment "Hell" is derived from Hela's abode. Unlike the Christian version, however, Hel's realm was home to all who did not die in battle - miserable as it was, good behavior wasn't any more likely to get one a reprieve. Helheim's entrance works only in one direction- once one has entered, even a God, one cannot leave - like the Greek Hades, Helheim is guarded by a monstrous hound, and encircled by an impassable river. According to legend, the dead will remain in Hel's kingdom until the last days of Ragnarok.