There are 14 verses in the Bible which tell us what Jesus said directly or indirectly about time in hell, and all are quoted on this page.
Jesus is the highest authority for answering our question. His statements take precedence over anything the Old Testament says ... over anything any of the Bible writers say ... and over anyone's interpretation of the Apostle John's dream.
Anything not in accord with Jesus' statements about hell is a misinterpretation.
Contrary to what most Christians believe, Jesus did not say that people will burn in hell FOREVER. He said that in hell, people will be burned up, destroyed, and perish.
Contrary to what most Christians believe, there is no evidence in the Bible that Jesus ever said that hell is FOREVER. His words – quoted above – clearly imply that people will perish, burn up and be destroyed in hell.
The above words from Jesus about time in hell should be linked with the following words from Jesus about severity of punishment in hell:
'They devour widows' houses and for a show make lengthy prayers. Such men will be punished most severely' (Jesus, Mark 12:40).
'The servant who knows his master's will and does not get ready or does not do what his master wants will be beaten with many blows. But the one who does not know and does things worthy of punishment will be beaten with few blows' (Jesus, parable, Luke 12:47-48). 'Blows' here seems to mean how long the punishment will continue, not intensity of the blows.
These verses clearly imply that there will be degrees of punishment in hell. This is consistent with God's justice and judgment ('judged according to what they had done,' Revelation 20:12).
The teachings of Jesus are consistent with saying that the greater the sin, the longer the time in hell before the 'second death' (final death, Revelation 20:14 and 21:8).