In Matthew 18 our Lord mentions two separate things in His Parable, Gehenna and torturers. Gehenna being hell and eternity, where as torturers is shown in the following verse:
Then in anger his master handed him over to the torturers until he should pay back the whole debt.
Does our Lords use of pay back and jail in many verses possibly indicate a purgatory of contrition for our sins for a definitive period? The person is put away for a period and then let back into society.
Parables are stories used to highlight a specific point. It is not a good idea to draw your doctrine from a story.
Oops, some churches are going to have to close their doors.
Gehenna is NOT hell and eternity.
Jesus was a Jew, talking to Jews.
When Jesus used a Jewish term, like "Korban", if he wanted to CORRECT a Jewish tradition or understanding of the term, he did so. He even corrected Jewish SCRIPTURE itself!
But Jesus just said "Gehenna", and used it in sentence after sentence, to make a point, to Jews.
To JEWS, Gehenna means Hell AND Purgatory. Those who are not lost forever are sent to hell and purged of their sins there, then go to Paradise.
That is what "Gehenna" means. Jesus didn't define it, because he didn't HAVE to. He was talking to Jews. Every Jew understood that meaning. Still do.
Gehenna does NOT necessarily mean permanent hell.
Christians can repeat over and over again that it DOES, but they don't know what they are talking about.
A Jew talking to Jews just saying Gehenna and using it meant what JEWS meant by it, and Gehenna to JEWS includes Purgatory.
It's not really a debatable point.
If Christians have built 4 centuries of doctrines squabbling over this but never bothered to consult the Jews it's the CHRISTIAN'S problem. Jesus was a Jew, and to a JEW, what Jesus meant is clear.
And it's clear to any Christian that reads it as a Jew would read it.
Gehenna is a place of torment, temporal for some, permanent for others, depending on how bad they were in life.
That's just not hard to understand. It's what the term MEANS. If Christians prefer their own traditional doctrines, which don't date from very ancient times at all but from times after they ceased being in close contact with Judaism intellectually, well, they can do so, but the text is self-explanatory, and with just one word Jesus has given the whole answer. Unfortunately, apparently only Jews can understand it, and unfortunately they don't read the Gospels much.
It's sort of like the Great Commandment. It's the opening of the Shema. But Jews today don't know it, and neither do Christians. Pity. Jesus knew that. So did his Jewish audience. And that was a big thing, and why he was so praised for saying it.