Some first-century Jews and many medieval Christians would have said yes. Some books, such as Dante’s Inferno, suggest this, and such widely read books have a way of creating ideas that seep deep down into the fabric of many cultures. But there is nothing in the Bible that clearly locates hell at the center of the earth.
The Old Testament does say that when people die they go “down to Sheol” (Genesis 37:35). But sheol is not necessarily hell, and the reference to “going down” is more of a figure of speech than a geographical designation. Also, as we saw in chapters two and three of this book, “hell” itself is reserved for the wicked after judgment day. In other words, no one is in hell right now. They may be in hades (see Luke 16), but hades, like sheol, is where the wicked await their judgment. Hades is not hell.
It’s probably best to follow the advice of the early church leader Chrysostom, who said that we shouldn’t be concerned about where hell is, only how to escape it. Other than that, we know nothing of its location or geography.
-Francis Chan, Erasing Hell
Here are other Frequently Asked Questions and how the Bible answers them.