Hell was and is (in all religions) punishment for not belonging to the correct religion and for not following the teachings of the theologians that just happened to be in power at any particular era.<quoted text>
I think you are partly correct. The concept of hell to the Greeks and Jews was a place of death. Christians believe that doesn't have to be 'the end' of our lives.
In case you hadn't noticed ... your Catholic theologians never agreed with each other on the meanings of supposed truth ... yet they all claimed from their own guide-LINES that they all "preached" truth.