I mean, physically. Where is it located?
I used to think hell was "out there" somewhere. Out where? You know...wherever out in outer space the spiritual realm is. Out somewhere in outer space, or perhaps beyond outer space. Beyond the Milky Way and around the block from heaven, perhaps. Just... out there.
This is nonsense, of course, now that I am thinking about it.
Does the Bible say where hell is located? There are 10 references to Hades in the New Testament (not counting Tartarus in II Peter) and 12 references to Gehenna. All three of these words in the original Greek are translated hell.
Luke 16:19-31 has the benefit of not only being described by Jesus, but it is the most detailed. In the Luke account, Jesus is recounting an event in which a man, who was wealthy during his life, is now in hell. He said that in hell, the rich man lifted up his eyes and saw another man, Lazarus, afar off in Abraham's Bosom.
Abraham's Bosom is apparently where the righteous Old Testament saints went after death before Jesus paid the price for their sins. And according to Jesus, it was in sight of the people in hell. I suppose this means that Abraham's Bosom became untenanted after Jesus' resurrection?
This depiction helps confirm both hell and Abraham's Bosom as being actual places, but does not place either in relation to the planet Earth.
Isaiah 14:15, in reference to Satan, reads, "But you are brought down to Sheol, to the depths of the Pit." (I'm using the RSV translation, which uses the word Sheol. In the Old Testament some translations do not use the word "hell" but instead translates Sheol as "the grave.") What is interesting is that Satan is brought down to hell. Indeed, when the Bible speaks of hell it seems to be persistently described as being down, presumably in regard to our current location (the earth).
The Psalms put it like so: Like sheep they are appointed for Sheol; Death shall be their shepherd; straight to the grave they descend, and their form shall waste away; Sheol shall be their home. (Ps. 49:14)
Probably most interesting is Numbers 16. Certain sons of Levi rebelled against Moses' leadership, seeking to exalt their positions as priests of the Lord, and take Moses down a peg while they were at it. The tale is too good to paraphrase, so here's the ending. You can read the whole chapter for yourself.
28) And Moses said, "Hereby you shall know that the LORD has sent me to do all these works, and that it has not been of my own accord.
29) If these men die the common death of all men, or if they are visited by the fate of all men, then the LORD has not sent me.
30) But if the LORD creates something new, and the ground opens its mouth, and swallows them up, with all that belongs to them, and they go down alive into Sheol, then you shall know that these men have despised the LORD."
31) And as he finished speaking all these words, the ground under them split asunder;
32) and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up, with their households and all the men that belonged to Korah and all their goods.
33) So they and all that belonged to them went down alive into Sheol; and the earth closed over them, and they perished from the midst of the assembly. (RSV)
In very dramatic fashion, the ground split open and the rebels went down alive into Sheol! This makes me wonder if hell is quite literally within the earth itself. This was written long before science determined Earth has a molten core. So perhaps hell is a lot closer than we think.
However, putting hell in or near the center of the earth means also placing Abraham's Bosom in a similar location. This seems doubtful, unless the spiritual realm treats distance differently than the physical realm. Heaven, fortunately, is always described as being up.
This downward location may also be why death and hell gave up their dead, and then were cast into the lake of fire, at the same event (the Great White Throne judgment) where the planet earth "...fled away; and there was found no place for them." (See Rev. 20:11-14) When earth is destroyed, hell will be also.
I think the main thing to remember is that both heaven and hell exist in the spiritual realm rather than the physical, even though they seem to have their own form of solidity. Despite the fact that the Bible seems to locate hell by using an earthly viewpoint, this is possibly because it is the primary way we humans can see things. Imagining spiritual things when you've lived your life among the physical is extremely difficult.
Where is hell located? We will all simply be content to never find out.