• Welcome to Christian Forums
  1. Welcome to Christian Forums, a forum to discuss Christianity in a friendly surrounding.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to be able to join in fellowship with Christians all over the world.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon and God Bless!

  2. The forums in the Christian Congregations category are now open only to Christian members. Please review our current Faith Groups list for information on which faith groups are considered to be Christian faiths. Christian members please remember to read the Statement of Purpose threads for each forum within Christian Congregations before posting in the forum.

Featured Question about eternal damnation

Discussion in 'Controversial Christian Theology' started by YahEli, Dec 3, 2018.

  1. ClementofA

    ClementofA Well-Known Member Supporter

    +1,153
    Non-Denom
    Private

    Vine admits the word AIONIOS can refer to finite duration, whereas he says AIDIOS means "everlasting, without end". If Jesus had wished to affirm endless punishment in Mt.25:46 the better word to choose would, then, have been AIDIOS, not AIONIOS. If you want to express something so horrific in the best & clearest possible language, you use the best word available.

    I think it was a superior word to use relative to the ambiguous aion & aionios, if God was a believer in endless punishment. Moreover, as opposed to aion and aionios (which are often used of finite duration), God had a number of other words & expressions available that would also have better served to express endless punishment, if Love Omnipotent were a believer of such. But He never uses such of eschatological punishment. So the reasonable conclusion is that Love Omnipotent rejected using such words and expressions of a final destiny of endless punishment because He knew better & He rejected the notion that anyone will endure endless punishment. Those words & expresssions are:

    1. no end (Lk.1:33)...this expression is used of God's kingdom having "no end". It is never used of anyone's torments or punishment. We never read of anyone receiving torments that will have "no end". This unambiguous phrase, "no end", would have been a superior choice to the ambiguous words aion & aionion, if Love Omnipotent had a belief in endless torments or annihilation. But He rejected its use in expressing such a fate.

    2. endless (1 Tim.1:4)...Again if Love Omnipotent believed in endless torments, why didn't He use this word to express it, instead of the ambiguous aion & aionion, which often refer to finite durations in ancient Greek usage?

    3. never (Mt.7:23, etc)...this word appears to occur 16 times in the NT & it seems that it never means anything except "never". It is used of "love never fails" (1 Cor.13:8). It also occurs in Mt.7:23 where Jesus says "I never knew you; depart you from Me, those working lawlessness." Which is such an incredibly lame remark, if Love Omnipotent believed in endless torments. If He believed that such an unspeakably horrific final destiny awaits the wicked, including those He was referring to in Mt.7:23, why didn't He make it clear by telling them that they would "never" be saved and/or He would "never" know them? Would that not have been clear & unambiguous, unlike the words He spoke, & unlike the ambiguous aion & aionios, which often refer to finite duration in ancient Koine Greek? OTOH consider re the use of the word "never":

    "Philo saith, “The punishment of the wicked person is, ζην αποθανοντα αει, to live for ever dying, and to be for ever in pains, and griefs, and calamities that never cease..." Mark 9 Benson Commentary

    Yet Scripture - never - uses such language. Moreover, it speaks of death being abolished, not being "for ever".

    4. eternal (Rom.1:16; Jude 1:6)...this word, AIDIOS, is used of God's "eternal" power & "eternal" chains that bind until the day of judgement. It is never used of anyone's final destiny. We never read of anyone being tormented for eternal ages. We never read of anyone suffering eternal (AIDIOS) punishment. If Jude believed in endless punishment, he had the perfect opportunity at Jude 1:6 by simply adding that the angels would suffer the judgement of eternal (AIDIOS) punishment or torments. Instead of warning his readers of such a horrificly monstrous fate, as he should have been morally obligated to do if it were a real possibility, instead he conveys the relatively utterly lame & insignificant info that these angelic beings will be kept in chains until judgement day. OTOH, consider:

    "Instead of saying with Philo and Josephus, thanaton athanaton, deathless or immortal death; eirgmon aidion, eternal imprisonment; aidion timorion, eternal torment; and thanaton ateleuteton, interminable death, he [Jesus] used aionion kolasin..." Chapter 3 - Origin of Endless Punishment

    "Nyssa defined the vision of God promised there as "life without end, eternal incorruption, undying beatitude [ten ateleuteton zoen, ten aidion aphtharsian , ten athanaton makarioteta]." ("Christianity and Classical Culture: The Metamorphosis of Natural Theology in ..." By Jaroslav Pelikan, p.165 @): Christianity and Classical Culture

    5. unfading (1 Pet.1:4; 5:4)...Peter uses this word of an endless inheritance reserved in heaven & a crown of glory. It is never used of the endless pain, punishment or torments that anyone will receive. Can it be denied that this would have been a superior word (over aion & aionios) to use to express such a horrific destiny if Love Omnipotent actually had such in store for anyone? Wouldn't He want to express warnings about it in the clearest ways possible?

    6. found no place for repentance (Heb.12:17)...is used in Heb.12:17 of the loss of a finite earthly blessing..."he found no place of repentance, although having earnestly sought it with tears". Never is it used regarding those in Gehenna, Hades, the lake of fire, or eschatological punishment. Never do we read of those cast into any "hell" that they will not (or never) find a place of repentance, even though they earnestly seek it with tears. God was quite capable of expressing such in His Holy Scriptures. But rather than give such a warning, as Love Omnipotent should have if such an unbelievably horrific future awaited anyone, instead we are told of the relatively lame loss of a finite earthly blessing. Such a waste of words if endless punishment were really true.

    7. In Mt.18:6 is the lame warning of a punishment which is compared to mere drowning, which is nothing compared to being kept alive for the sole purpose of being tortured for all the "endless" ages of eternity that have "no end" & "never" cease. Jesus says it is "better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea". OTOH, if He had been a believer in endless punishment, He could have expressed that by saying it is better for them to have never lived, never been conceived, or that their parents had never known (had sex with) one another. Compare this anti-biblical Jewish view that the Lord Jesus Christ, Love Omnipotent, rejected:
    "To every individual is apportioned two shares, one in hell and one in paradise. At death, however, the righteous man's portion in hell is exchanged, so that he has two in heaven, while the reverse is true in the case of sinners (Ḥag. 15a). Hence it would have been better for the latter not to have lived at all (Yeb. 63b)." GEHENNA - JewishEncyclopedia.com

    Regarding the Greek word aionion:

    Liddell-Scott-Jones Lexicon gives "lasting for an age" as its first definition:
    Strong's #166 - αἰώνιος - Old & New Testament Greek Lexicon

    Moulton & Milligan state "In general, the word depicts that of which the horizon is not in view, whether the horizon be at an infinite distance...or whether it lies no farther than the span of a Cæsar’s life."
    Strong's #166 - αἰώνιος - Old & New Testament Greek Lexicon

    Examples of aionios as a finite duration in Koine Greek:
    Two Questions
    Does aionios always mean eternal in ancient Koine Greek? (paradise, Gospel, hell) - Christianity -  - City-Data Forum

    If Jesus wished to express endless punishment, then He would have used expressions such as "endless", "no end" & "never be saved" as per:
    How Scripture expresses endless duration (not aion/ios) (paradise, hell, punishment) - Christianity -  - City-Data Forum

    Jesus didn't use the best words & expressions to describe endlessness in regards to punishment, because He didn't believe in endless punishment.

    ENDLESSNESS not applied to eschatological PUNISHMENT in Scripture:
    could an 'eternal punishment' simply mean that once instituted it will not change?

    12 points re forever and ever (literally to/into "the ages of the ages") being finite:
    For the Lord will NOT cast off FOR EVER:
     
  2. ClementofA

    ClementofA Well-Known Member Supporter

    +1,153
    Non-Denom
    Private
    That opinion just parrots what you have stated several times already, but does not consider, address or refute the following, if he is even aware of such.

    Matthew 25:46 speaks of aionion chastening in parallel to aionion fire in v.41, while Jude 1:7 also refers to aionion fire which burned Sodom. Do you think the fire that destroyed Sodom is still burning & was "eternal". If not, then why should the aionion fire & chastening of Mt.25:41,46 necessarily be "eternal". Does Love Omnipotent enjoy burning people with fire & punishing them forever?

    The same Greek word for "eternal", i.e. aionios, is also used by early church father Chrysostom of an obviously finite duration here:

    "For that his[Satan's] kingdom is of this age,[αἰώνιος] i.e., will cease with the present age[αιώνι] ..." (Homily 4 on Ephesians, Chapter II. Verses 1-3).

    CHURCH FATHERS: Homily 4 on Ephesians (Chrysostom)

    The Greek text may be found here:
    http://www.documentacatholicaomnia...._In_epistulam_II_ad_Thessalonicenses,_MGR.pdf

    In Philo is another example of aionios being finite, not "eternal":

    ""Philo [20 BC - 50 AD, contemporary with Christ] used the exact phraseology we find in Matthew 25:46 - just as Christ used it - in the context of temporal affairs between people of different socio-economic classes:"

    " "It is better not to promise than not to give prompt assistance, for no blame follows in the former case, but in the latter there is dissatisfaction from the weaker class, and a deep hatred and everlasting punishment (kolasis aiónios) from such as are more powerful" (Fragmenta, Tom. ii., p. 667)."

    That Happy Expectation: Eternal or Eonian? Part Five (The Greek Adjective Aiónios)
    "It is better absolutely never to make any promise at all than not to assist another willingly, for no blame attaches to the one, but great dislike on the part of those who are less powerful, and intense hatred and long enduring punishment from those who are more powerful, is the result of the other line of conduct."

    Philo: Appendix 2: Fragments

    " "It is better not to promise than not to give prompt assistance, for no blame follows in the former case, but in the latter there is dissatisfaction from the weaker class, and a deep hatred and everlasting punishment [kolasis aiónios] from such as are more powerful." Here we have the exact terms employed by out Lord, to show that aiónion did not mean endless but did mean limited duration in the time of Christ."Kolasis

    Here is another ancient Koine Greek example of aionios being finite, not "eternal":

    "Adolph Deissman gives this account: "Upon a lead tablet found in the Necropolis at Adrumetum in the Roman province of Africa, near Carthage, the following inscription, belonging to the early third century, is scratched in Greek: 'I am adjuring Thee, the great God, the eonian, and more than eonian (epaionion) and almighty...' If by eonian, endless time were meant, then what could be more than endless time?" "

    Chapter Nine

    Which is verified by the following:
    https://ia800300.us.archive.org/4/items/biblestudiescon00deisuoft/biblestudiescon00deisuoft.pdf

    The original Greek he copied from the tablet is given at the url above, along with an English translation which was, in this case, “eternal and more than eternal and almighty…”

    “…The tablet, as is shown not only by its place of origin (the Necropolis of Adrumetum belongs to the second and third centuries, A.D. ; the part in which the tablet was found is fixed in the third), but also by the character of the lettering, is to be assigned to the third century, that is to determine it by a date in the history of the Greek Bible about the time of Origen.” [page 275ff]

    Several more examples of the ancient Koine Greek word aionios not being "eternal" but of finite duration are as follows:

    "In the Apostolical Constitutions, a work of the fourth century A.D., it is said, kai touto humin esto nomimon aionion hos tes suntleias to aionos, "And let this be to you an eonian ordinance until the consummation of the eon." Obviously there was no thought in the author's mind of endless time...."

    "St. Gregory of Nyssa speaks of aionios diastêma, "an eonian interval." It would be absurd to call an interval "endless."

    "Long ago in Rome, periodic games were held. These were referred to as "secular" games. Herodian, who wrote in Greek about the end of the second century A.D., called these aionios, "eonian," games. In no sense could those games have been eternal.Chapter Nine

    Early church father & universalist Origen's "insistence on punishment as a corrective is in direct response to accusations raised by Marcionite and Gnostic heretics of his time who accused God of cruelty and injustice (Sachs 625-626). By lifting voices from the scriptures that suggest that punishment is neither eternal nor without hope of providing correction, Origen hopes to show that the God of the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament are not so divergent in character, but rather are one and the same and that God’s nature is good and loving." Apokatastasis in the Thought of Origen and Gregory of Nyssa -*BryceRich.net

    Origen, born into a Koine Greek speaking culture & a Greek scholar, makes it clear that aionios punishment is not to be understood as everlasting or eternal punishment:

    "There is a resurrection of the dead, and there is punishment, but not everlasting. For when the body is punished the soul is gradually purified, and so is restored to its ancient rank** For all wicked men, and for demons, too, punishment has an end, and both wicked men and demons shall be restored to their former rank 80"
    Hell's Destruction

    Origen sees the punishment of "eternal fire" (Mt.25:41) as remedial, corrective & temporary:

    "Chapter 10. On the Resurrection, and the Judgment, the Fire of Hell, and Punishments."
    "1. But since the discourse has reminded us of the subjects of a future judgment and of retribution, and of the punishments of sinners, according to the threatenings of holy Scripture and the contents of the Church's teaching— viz., that when the time of judgment comes, everlasting fire, and outer darkness, and a prison, and a furnace, and other punishments of like nature, have been prepared for sinners— let us see what our opinions on these points ought to be."

    "...nevertheless in such a way, that even the body which rises again of those who are to be destined to everlasting fire or to severe punishments, is by the very change of the resurrection so incorruptible, that it cannot be corrupted and dissolved even by severe punishments. If, then, such be the qualities of that body which will arise from the dead, let us now see what is the meaning of the threatening of eternal fire."

    "...And when this dissolution and rending asunder of soul shall have been tested by the application of fire, a solidification undoubtedly into a firmer structure will take place, and a restoration be effected."

    CHURCH FATHERS: De Principiis, Book II (Origen)

    Origen even makes so-called "eternal life" ("eonian life" in literal translations) finite when he speaks of "after eternal life" & "beyond eternal life":

    (19) "And after eternal life, perhaps it will also leap into the Father who is beyond eternal life. For Christ is life but he who is greater than Christ is greater than life." (Origen's Commentary on John 13:19).

    Commentary on the Gospel According to John, Books 13-32, By Origen [page 73]:
    Commentary on the Gospel According to John

    Greek text here:

    http://khazarzar.skeptik.net/pgm/PG_Migne/Origenes_PG 11-17/Commentarii in evangelium Joannis.pdf

    And again he indicates so called "everlasting(aionios/eonian) punishment" (Mt.25:46) is temporary:

    "That threats of aionios punishment are helpful for those immature who abstain from evil out of fear and not for love is repeated, e.g. in CC 6,26: "it is not helpful to go up to what will come beyond that punishment, for the sake of those who restrain themselves only with much difficulty, out of fear of the aionios punishment"; Hom. in Jer. 20 (19), 4: for a married woman it is better to believe that a faithless woman will undergo aionios punishment and keep faithful, rather than knowing the truth and becoming disloyal;" (p.178-9 in "The Christian Doctrine of Apokatastasis: A Critical Assessment from the New Testament to Eriugena" by Ilaria Ramelli, Brill, 2013, 890 p.)

    Origen speaking of "after eternal life" and "beyond eternal life", is supported also by:

    Evagrius's Kephalaia Gnostika

    Evagrius's Kephalaia Gnostika: A New Translation of the Unreformed Text from the Syriac (Writings from the Greco-Roman World), By Ilaria L.E. Ramelli (see pages 10- 11 at the url above).

    Where again Origen refers to what is after eternal life, as well as after "the ages", beyond "ages of the ages" [often mistranslated forever & ever] and all ages.
    https://www.amazon.com/Evagriuss-Kephalaia-Gnostika-Translation-Greco-Roman/dp/1628370394

    continued next post...
     
  3. ClementofA

    ClementofA Well-Known Member Supporter

    +1,153
    Non-Denom
    Private
    In the Greek Old Testament (LXX, Septuagint) of Isaiah 54:4 the word aionios appears and is used of finite duration:

    4 You should not fear that you were disgraced, nor should you feel ashamed that you were berated. For shame everlasting(aionios) you shall forget; and the scorn of your widowhood in no way shall you remember any longer (Apostolic Bible Polygot, LXX)
    The same phrase, and Greek words, for "shame everlasting"(aionios) in Isa.54:4 occur again at Dan.12:2 LXX, which i have higlighted within the brackets:

    Dan.12:2 καὶ πολλοὶ τῶν καθευδόντων ἐν γῆς χώματι ἐξεγερθήσονται οὗτοι εἰς ζωὴν αἰώνιον καὶ οὗτοι εἰς ὀνειδισμὸν καὶ εἰς [αἰσχύνην αἰώνιον]
    Isa.54:4 μὴ φοβοῦ ὅτι κατῃσχύνθης μηδὲ ἐντραπῇς ὅτι ὠνειδίσθης ὅτι [αἰσχύνην αἰώνιον] ἐπιλήσῃ καὶ ὄνειδος τῆς χηρείας σου οὐ μὴ μνησθήσῃ
    Kata Biblon Wiki Lexicon - ??????? - shame/disgrace/dishonor (n.)
    Strong's Greek: 152. ??????? (aischuné) -- shame

    In Isa.54:4 aionios/eonian is finite: "For shame everlasting[eonian] you shall forget".
    In that light we might consider that the exact same phrase from the LXX scholars, "shame everlasting [eonian]" in Dan.12:2, may also be finite.

    Consider also whether aionios is finite in these Greek Old Testament passages:

    I have considered the days of old, the years of ancient(aionios) times. (Psa.77:5)
    Don’t move the ancient(aionios) boundary stone, which your fathers have set up. (Prov.22:28)
    Don’t move the ancient(aionios) boundary stone. Don’t encroach on the fields of the fatherless: (Prov.23:10)
    Those from among you will rebuild the ancient(aionios) ruins; You will raise up the age-old(aionios) foundations;... (Isa 58:12a)
    Thus says the Lord Yahweh: Because the enemy has said against you, Aha! and, The ancient(aionios) high places are ours in possession; (Ezek.36:2)
    Because of thy having an enmity age-during(aionios)... (Ezek.35:5a)
    They will rebuild the perpetual(aionios) ruins and restore the places that were desolate; (Isa.61:4a)
    I went down to the bottoms of the mountains. The earth barred me in forever(aionios): yet have you brought up my life from the pit, Yahweh my God. (Jonah 2:6)
    He beat back His foes; He gave them lasting(aionios) shame. (Psa.78:66)
    Will you keep the old(aionios) way, which wicked men have trodden (Job 22:15)
    Will it make an agreement with you for you to take it as your slave for life(aionios)? (Job 41:4)
    ’Will you not fear me?" says The Lord "will you not be cautious in front of my face? The One who appointed the sand to be the boundary to the sea, by perpetual(aionios) decree, that it will not cross over though it will be agitated it is not able and though the waves resound within her yet she will not overstep it. (Jer.5:22)
    Their land will be an object of horror and of lasting(aionios) scorn; all who pass by will be appalled and will shake their heads. (Jer.18:16)
    Behold I will send, and take all the kindreds of the north, saith the Lord, and Nabuchodonosor the king of Babylon my servant: and I will bring them against this land, and against the inhabitants thereof, and against all the nations that are round about it: and I will destroy them, and make them an astonishment and a hissing, and perpetual(aionios) desolations. (Jer.25:9)
    And it shall come to pass, when seventy years are accomplished, that I will punish the king of Babylon, and that nation, saith the LORD, for their iniquity, and the land of the Chaldeans; and I will make it perpetual(aionios) desolations. (Jer.25:12)
    In their heat I will make their feasts, and I will make them drunken, that they may rejoice, and sleep a perpetual(aionios) sleep, and not wake, saith the LORD. (Jer.51:39)
    When I shall bring thee down with them that descend into the pit, with the people of old time, and shall set thee in the low parts of the earth, in places desolate of old(aionios),with them that go down to the pit, that thou be not inhabited; and I shall set glory in the land of the living; (Ezek.26:20)
    I will make you a perpetual(aionios) desolation, and your cities shall not be inhabited; and you shall know that I am Yahweh. (Ezek.35:9)
    From those sleeping in the soil of the ground many shall awake, these to eonian(aionios) life and these to reproach for eonian(aionios) repulsion. (Daniel 12:2)
    Thus says Yahweh, “Stand in the ways and see, and ask for the old(aionios) paths, ‘Where is the good way?’ and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.’ (Jer.6:16)
    For my people have forgotten me, they have burned incense to false gods; and they have been made to stumble in their ways, in the ancient(aionios) paths, to walk in byways,in a way not built up; (Jer.18:15)
    Then he remembered the days of old(aionios), Moses and his people, saying, Where is he who brought them up out of the sea with the shepherds of his flock?where is he who put his holy Spirit in the midst of them? (Isa.63:11)

    Greek scholar Marvin Vincent said:

    "The adjective aionios, in like manner, carries the idea of “time.” Neither the noun nor the adjective, in themselves, carry the sense of endless or everlasting, though they may acquire that sense by their connotation. Aionios means “enduring through or pertaining to a period of time.” Both the noun and the adjective are applied to limited periods."
    "The same is true of aionios in the Septuagint. Out of 150 instances in the Septuagint, four-fifths imply limited duration".

    "..."The word always carries the notion of time, and not of eternity. It always means a period of time. Otherwise it would be impossible to account for the plural, or for such qualifying expressions as this age, or the age to come. It does not mean something endless or everlasting."

    "...The adjective aionios in like manner carries the idea of time. Neither the noun nor the adjective, in themselves, carry the sense of endless or everlasting."

    ".... Aionios means enduring through or pertaining to a period of time. Both the noun and the adjective are applied to limited periods."

    "...Words which are habitually applied to things temporal or material can not carry in themselves the sense of endlessness."

    "...There is a word for everlasting if that idea is demanded."

    https://www.hopefaithprayer.com/books/Word-Studies-in-the-New-Testament-Vol-3&4-Marvin-R-Vincent.pdf

    Word Studies in the New Testament

    Eastern Orthodox scholar David Bentley Hart comments in his extensive notes (Concluding Scientific Postscript) re aionios following his translation of the New Testament:

    "...John Chrysostom, in his commentary on Ephesians, even used the word aionios of the kingdom of the devil specifically to indicate that it is temporary (for it will last only until the end of the present age, he explains). In the early centuries of the church, especially in the Greek and Syrian East, the lexical plasticity of the noun and the adjective was fully appreciated -and often exploited - by a number of Christian theologians and exegetes (especially such explicit universalists as the great Alexandrians Clement and Origen, the "pillar of orthodoxy" Gregory of Nyssa and his equally redoubtable sister Makrina, the great Syrian fathers Diodore of Tarsus, Theodore of Mopsuestia, Theodoret of Cyrus, and Isaac of Ninevah, and so on, as well as many other more rhetorically reserved universalists, such as Gregory of Nazianzus)."

    "Late in the fourth century, for instance, Basil the Great, bishop of Caesarea, reported that the vast majority of his fellow Christians (at least, in the Greek-speaking East with which he was familiar) assumed that "hell" is not an eternal condition, and that the "aionios punishment" of the age to come would end when the soul had been purified of its sins and thus prepared for union with God. Well into the sixth century, the great Platonist philosopher Olympiodorus the Younger could state as rather obvious that the suffering of wicked souls in Tartarus is certainly not endless, atelevtos, but is merely aionios; and the squalidly brutal and witless Christian emperor Justinian, as part of his campaign to extinguish the universalism of the "Origenists", found it necessary to substitute the word atelevtetos for aionios when describing the punishments of hell, since the latter word was not decisive..."

    "As late as the thirteenth century, the East Syrian bishop Solomon of Bostra, in his authoritative compilation of the teachings of the "holy fathers" of Syrian Christian tradition, simply stated as a matter of fact that in the New Testament le-alam (the Syriac rendering of aionios) does not mean eternal, and that of course hell is not endless. And the fourteenth-century East Syrian Patriarch Timotheus II thought it uncontroversial to assert that the aionios pains of hell will come to an end when the souls cleansed by them, through the prayers of the saints, enter paradise" (The New Testament: A Translation, by David Bentley Hart, 2017, p.539-540).

    https://www.amazon.com/New-Testament-David-Bentley-Hart/dp/0300186096

     
  4. ClementofA

    ClementofA Well-Known Member Supporter

    +1,153
    Non-Denom
    Private
    The earliest church creeds said nothing about endless punishment. It wasn't till about the 6th or 7th century that a creed rejected universalism. Thereafter followed many centuries of dark ages, Inquisitions, Crusades, burning opposers to death, destroying their writings, ruling with the sword, illiteracy, no printing presses or bibles for the average person in their own tongue, even if they could read, etc. In these more enlightened liberated free thinking internet age years things are changing & many infernalists are rejecting endless torturism for neverending annihilation & universal salvation.

    Early Christian Creeds:

    Apostles' Creed (120-250 A.D.)
    Nicene Creed (325 A.D.)
    Chalcedonian Creed (451 A.D.)

    No endless hell torture chamber in any of them.

    Very many RC's are hopeful or assured universalists, including recent Popes.
    From "Good Goats: Healing Our Image of God", p.66 via the Paulist Press, 1994:

    "The Church, which invokes its infallibility in the canonization of the saints, has never done so with regard to the damned. We cannot know with certainty if even one human soul does in fact go to hell" (quoting Karl Rahner).

    In the present day church the largest two denominations, RC & EO, allow universalism as a possible future. Its members can officially be hopeful universalists. Moreover, many of their members go further & not only hope for, but believe in, universalism. Likewise with Christians of many other denominations.

    "Augustine himself, after rejecting apokatastasis, and Basil attest that still late in the fourth and fifth centuries this doctrine was upheld by the vast majority of Christians (immo quam plurimi)."The Christian Doctrine of Apokatastasis: The Reviews Start Coming In


    Considering there are hundreds of denominations today, which one of these hundreds is the one that has the truth & all the others were not "able to determine the truth of God's Word"? Are you a member of that one?

    It's quite a lot more than a handful, especially in the first 500 years of the church, before the "dark ages" began for many centuries, and there are many universalist writers in recent centuries to the present enlightened internet age.

    Believers and Supporters of Christian Universalism:
    >Believers and Supporters of Christian Universalism

    You can find more universalist authors on amazon written in the past few decades alone than that.

    Is majority opinion how - you - determine the truth of God's word?

    What are you trying to say?

    Early Church Writings Fathers:

    Church Fathers & Universalism since Early Church times

    Indeed Very Many: Universalism in the Early Church

    Early church writings re final destiny (paradise, Gospel, incarnation, Jehovah) - Christianity -  - City-Data Forum

    Articles on the history of Christian Universalism throughout the centuries

    https://s3.amazonaws.com/unsearchab.../©CPC+The+Ancient+History+of+Universalism.pdf

    Universalism...First 500 Years
     
  5. FineLinen

    FineLinen Senior Veteran Supporter

    +1,476
    Non-Denom
    Take 4

    You, the proponents of damning our Fathers vast majority to damnation will not fill in the blanks. Why??

    There is one (1) passage of Canon for "everlasting punishment" (Matt.25). This one single verse is the cornerstone for the proponents of unending punishment.

    This should be so easy for you!

    According to the context of St. Matthew 25, and ONLY the context, please fill in the empty lines.

    The foundation for "everlasting punishment" Matt. 25=

    1._____________________________________________________________?

    2._____________________________________________________________?

    3._____________________________________________________________?

    4._____________________________________________________________?

    5._____________________________________________________________?

    Please Note

    This is the easy part, the questions following this cornerstone text will be harder!
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2018
  6. vinsight4u

    vinsight4u Contributor

    +2,482
    United States
    Christian
    Private
    /nvm
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2018
  7. Pneuma3

    Pneuma3 Well-Known Member

    +379
    Christian
    again that makes no sense. one cannot be said to be the saviour of ALL MEN unless ALL MEN are saved, how you cannot see that is beyond me.
     
  8. Pneuma3

    Pneuma3 Well-Known Member

    +379
    Christian
    that is like saying it is better to believe a lie just in case you are wrong.

    And you can't seem to see that our soul focus is on Christ.
    It is ALL about what Christ has done and for myself I see NO FAILURE in Him.
     
  9. FineLinen

    FineLinen Senior Veteran Supporter

    +1,476
    Non-Denom
    Dear Pneuma: A root canal would be easier! Faith needs more than new reading glasses and needs to stay far away from "clear" & clearly.

    Dear Mr. Faith: Jesus Christ is only a potential Saviour, especially of the especially. The Bible is quite clear on that.
     
  10. Pneuma3

    Pneuma3 Well-Known Member

    +379
    Christian
    and as I pointed out Jesus sacrifice for sin is MORE then that of bulls and according to scriptures His sacrifice for sin is not only for those who believe but for the sins of the whole world.

    You make of His sacrifice, even in your limited view, no better then that of bulls.
     
  11. Der Alter

    Der Alter This is me about 1 yr. old. Supporter

    +2,455
    United States
    Baptist
    Married
    <Clem>
    Origen even makes so-called "eternal life" ("eonian life" in literal translations) finite when he speaks of "after eternal life" & "beyond eternal life":
    (19) "And after eternal life, perhaps it will also leap into the Father who is beyond eternal life. For Christ is life but he who is greater than Christ is greater than life." (Origen's Commentary on John 13:19).
    Commentary on the Gospel According to John, Books 13-32, By Origen [page 73]:
    Commentary on the Gospel According to John

    <end>
    Still knowingly spreading this false information.
    This document is in Greek but it does not contain the words under discussion, i.e. "(19) 'and after eternal life, perhaps it will also leap into the Father who is beyond eternal life. For Christ is life but he who is greater than Christ is greater than life.' (Origen's Commentary on John 13:19)." Here is a more complete quote of the passage.
    (18) For, as there, the bridegroom leaps upon souls that are more noble-natured and divine, called mountains, and skips upon the inferior ones called hills, [Song 2:8] so here the fountain that appears in the one who drinks of the water that Jesus gives leaps into eternal life. [John 4:14]
    (19) And after eternal life, perhaps it will also leap into the Father who is beyond eternal life. For Christ is life but he who is greater than Christ is greater than life.
    (20) when the promise to the one who is blessed because he hungers and thirsts for righteousness is fulfilled, then he who drinks of the water that Jesus will give will have the fountain of water that leaps into eternal life arise within him.
    What does this passage say about "after eternal life" or"beyond eternal life" for believers? Absolutely nothing! It says after the fountain leaps into eternal life PERHAPS it will also leap into the Father who is beyond eternal life. This says nothing about believers and "after eternal life" or "beyond eternal." Only the father.
    .....Later in this same writing Origen says this quoting a contemporary Greek scholar Heracleon.
    (59) He is not wrong, however, when he says that the water that the Savior gives is of his spirit and power
    (6o) And he has explained the statement, But “he shall not thirst forever:” as follows with these very words: for the life which comes from the well is eternal and never perishes, as indeed, does the first life which comes from the well,; the life he gives remains. For the grace and the gift of our Savior is not taken away, nor is it consumed, nor does it perish , when one partakes of it. P. 81​
    The eternal life from the well “never perishes,””remains,””is not taken away,””is not consumed” and “does not perish”
    Have tried this link twice nothing in the book appears only blank pages. Cannot verify anything.
    Linking to a book being sold by Amazon does not verify anything.
     
  12. Pneuma3

    Pneuma3 Well-Known Member

    +379
    Christian
    You totally missed his point. :doh:
     
  13. Pneuma3

    Pneuma3 Well-Known Member

    +379
    Christian
    And the quote you gave by O goes a long way to make clements point and you simply missed it.
     
  14. Der Alter

    Der Alter This is me about 1 yr. old. Supporter

    +2,455
    United States
    Baptist
    Married
    I missed nothing. If I had you and other UR-ites would be posting it all over this forum, with caps, highlights, bolding, underlines etc. The out of-context words from Origen's commentary on John certainly doesn't make any point. At the very least Origen, the poster boy for UR, contradicts himself on the meaning of aion/aionios, eternity/eternal.
     
  15. FineLinen

    FineLinen Senior Veteran Supporter

    +1,476
    Non-Denom
    Take 5

    You, the proponents of damning our Fathers vast majority to damnation will not fill in the blanks. Why??

    There is one (1) passage of Canon for "everlasting punishment" (Matt.25). This one single verse is the cornerstone for the proponents of unending punishment.

    This should be so easy for you!

    According to the context of St. Matthew 25, and ONLY the context, please fill in the empty lines.

    The foundation for "everlasting punishment" Matt. 25=

    1._____________________________________________________________?

    2._____________________________________________________________?

    3._____________________________________________________________?

    4._____________________________________________________________?

    5._____________________________________________________________?

    Please Note

    This is the easy part, the questions following this cornerstone text will be harder!
     
  16. Der Alter

    Der Alter This is me about 1 yr. old. Supporter

    +2,455
    United States
    Baptist
    Married
    This is a discussion forum not a game show or twenty questions. But I will address this silliness as soon as any UR-ite shows me one (1) verse where God, Himself, or Jesus, Himself, speaking says unequivocally that all mankind, righteous, unrighteous, sinner, believer, will be saved no matter what?
     
  17. ClementofA

    ClementofA Well-Known Member Supporter

    +1,153
    Non-Denom
    Private

    Origen said "leaps" into the Father who is "beyond eternal life". Notice BTW that it doesn't say "maybe" the Father is "beyond eternal life", but that He - is - "beyond eternal life".
    "And after eternal life, perhaps it will also leap into the Father who is beyond eternal life".
    The word "perhaps" is related to the "it will also leap", whatever "it" refers to. Not to the statement before which definitively speaks of there being an "after eternal life", nor to the phrase after it, "beyond eternal life". So clearly Origen believes there is both an "after aionios life" & "beyond aionios life". So aionios life is finite, not "eternal life". No "perhaps", maybe, ifs or buts about it.

    Actually the fountain leaps into aionion(eonian) life. And "after" this "eonian life" (showing eonian life is finite). The fountain/well of life is in the believers:

    John 7:38-39
    "He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, 'From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.'" But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

    John 4:14
    but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to aionion LIFE."

    Likewise Origen believed the phrase "eons of the eons", which is equivalent to aionion in the Scriptures (compare Mt.25:41 to Rev.20:10), is finite:

    "Origen, the greatest exegete of the early Church, was well aware of the polysemy of aión and its adjectival forms. In Hom. in Ex. 6.13 he writes: “Whenever Scripture says, ‘from aeon to aeon,’ the reference is to an interval of time, and it is clear that it will have an end. And if Scripture says, ‘in another aeon,’ what is indicated is clearly a longer time, and yet an end is still fixed. And when the ‘aeons of the aeons’ are mentioned, a certain limit is again posited, perhaps unknown to us, but surely established by God” (quoted in Ramelli, The Christian Doctrine of Apokatastasis, p. 161)."

    Sometimes Eternity Ain’t Forever: Aiónios and the Universalist Hope

    Christ Himself speaks of aionios life being obtained in the eon to come (Mk.10:30; Lk.18:30), yet Scripture speaks of multiple eons to come (Eph.1:21; 2:7; Rev.11:15; etc). At their resurrection believers recieve olam life (Dan.12:2), yet the context speaks of them shining brightly beyond olam (Dan.12:3), thereby limiting the olam life of verse 2. So arguably there is not only an interpretation of "life after aionios life" found in Origen but, more significantly, in the Scriptures.

    Those statements also support Origen's view of an "after aionios life". The words of Heracleon do not speak of aionios life, but of life that is (1) aionios and (2) never perishes. If aionios meant eternal, to add "and never perishes" would be superfluous, redundant & pointless. Therefore he distinguishes between life that is merely aionios & life that "never perishes". IOW the implication is that life extends to after aionios, more than aionios, beyond aionios, & therefore that aionios life is finite. Just as Origen implies earlier.

    Nothing you've said denies the plain meaning of Origen's words:

    (19) And after eternal life, perhaps it will also leap into the Father who is beyond eternal life. For Christ is life but he who is greater than Christ is greater than life. (Book 13:19)
    ("The Fathers of the Church: Origen Commentary On the Gospel of John Books 13-32", Translated by Ronald E. Heine, 1993, First Paperback Reprint 2006, p.81-82).

    So Origen even makes so-called "eternal life" ("eonian life" in literal translations) finite when he speaks of "after eternal life" & "beyond eternal life.

    Origen speaking of "after eternal life" and "beyond eternal life", is supported also by pages 10-11 of: Evagrius's Kephalaia Gnostika

    Likewise Origen believed the phrase "eons of the eons", which is equivalent to aionion in the Scriptures (compare Mt.25:41 to Rev.20:10), is finite:

    "Origen, the greatest exegete of the early Church, was well aware of the polysemy of aión and its adjectival forms. In Hom. in Ex. 6.13 he writes: “Whenever Scripture says, ‘from aeon to aeon,’ the reference is to an interval of time, and it is clear that it will have an end. And if Scripture says, ‘in another aeon,’ what is indicated is clearly a longer time, and yet an end is still fixed. And when the ‘aeons of the aeons’ are mentioned, a certain limit is again posited, perhaps unknown to us, but surely established by God” (quoted in Ramelli, The Christian Doctrine of Apokatastasis, p. 161)." Sometimes Eternity Ain’t Forever: Aiónios and the Universalist Hope

    Origen on Exodus 6:13: "And as often as "the ages of the ages" is mentioned some termination is indicated, although perhaps unknown to us, nevertheless established by God" (The Father of the Church: Origen Homilies On Genesis and Exodus, Translated by Ronald E. Heine, 1982, First Paperback Reprint 2002, p.298-299).

    So Origen says "eons of the eons" has a limit & "will have an end". That is the same phrase used in Revelation of Christ's & the saints' reign, Satan's torments, smoke ascending, etc, to/into "the eons of the eons".

    12 points re forever and ever (literally to/into "the ages of the ages") being finite:

    For the Lord will NOT cast off FOR EVER:
     
  18. ClementofA

    ClementofA Well-Known Member Supporter

    +1,153
    Non-Denom
    Private
    It does contain "the words under discussion":

    13.3.19 Τάχα δὲ καὶ πηδήσει μετὰ τὴν αἰώνιον ζωὴν εἰς τὸν ὑπὲρ τὴν αἰώνιον ζωὴν πατέρα· Χριστὸς γὰρ ἡ ζωή· ὁ δὲ μείζων τοῦ Χριστοῦ, μείζων τῆς ζωῆς.

    http://khazarzar.skeptik.net/pgm/PG_Migne/Origenes_PG 11-17/Commentarii in evangelium Joannis.pdf
     
  19. aiki

    aiki Regular Member

    +2,809
    Canada
    Baptist
    Married
    CA-Conservatives
    I don't think it is "irrelevant" and I gave you a reason why in an earlier post.

    If it was my habit to "blindly trust" I would have swallowed your universalist false doctrine wholeheartedly.

    "Those men" are some of the most highly regarded Bible lexicographers in the past two hundred years.

    Red herrings and Strawman arguing.

    It is repeating a line of argument that, so far, you have not even come close to successfully refuting. It is not an assumption that Matthew 25:46 employs a parallel, but a plain fact. It is not an assumption that a parallel emphasizes or highlights where two disparate things correspond to each other, but a fact. It is not, then, a mere "private interpretation" of Matthew 25:46 to draw attention to these facts and insist that they be respected in how the verse is understood. You have tried to obfuscate and deflect from the import of the parallel by multiplying explanations (see Occam's Razor) along the lines of word meaning, but as I've explained, the parallel itself constrains - actually, defeats - such a line of argument. To confound my understanding of Matthew 25:46, it is not enough simply to suggest an alternative reading of "aionios" and "kolasis." You must show why, given the constraints of the parallel, these possible alternative readings ought to go through. Thus far, you haven't done this.

    In contrast, I've not had to resort to any of the fancy word-gymnastics you have to make my case for what Matthew 25:46 says. I respect the parallel and align my understanding with a natural, straightforward reading of the verse. When I do, a universalist perspective is clearly denied.

    You've posted the verses here as though it is self-evident that universalism is described in them. I don't see that it is.

    Romans 5:18-19 (NASB)
    18 So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men.
    19 For as through the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous.


    How ought we to understand Paul's words here? How about in the light of their immediate context? I'm going to let Paul explain and qualify his own words:

    Romans 5:17 (NASB)
    17 For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.


    Do all receive the abundant grace and gift of righteousness? Not according to Christ:

    Matthew 7:14 (NASB)
    14 "For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.


    And not according to Paul, either:

    1 Corinthians 6:9-10 (NASB)
    9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals,
    10 nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.


    It's evident, then, that Paul did not intend a universalist doctrine to be taken from Romans 5:18-19. Such a reading is explicitly prevented by other passages of Scripture like the two I've cited above.

    Once again, 1 Corinthians 15:22 is speaking of the Final Resurrection not of universalism. How do I know? By taking these proof texts you keep offering in context:

    1 Corinthians 15:21 (NASB)
    21 For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead.


    Verse 22 is a continuation of Paul's thought concerning the resurrection of the dead in verse 21. It is NOT teaching universalism. That you would try to make it seem like it is demonstrates a rather deceitful handling of God's word.

    I also already dealt with 1 Corinthians 5:28, explaining that "putting all under Him" cannot be referring to God bringing all into His kingdom since "all" would necessarily include Satan and all of his angels who we know are not going to be in heaven. The phrase is speaking to God being seen to be supreme over all, as Paul describes in Philippians 2:9-11:

    (NASB)
    9 For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name,
    10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
    11 and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.


    What does Paul mean by God being "all in all"? Again, I already explained that this has to do with God being acknowledged to be the Creator and Sustainer of Everything and the Supreme Ruler of All. Within every self-aware creature God has made (angels, demons, humans), there will be the acknowledgement of His utter supremacy. In all creatures He will be recognized as being all, that is, the very Ground of Reality itself. This is what the "all in all" phrase describes. Such an interpretation of the phrase extends very naturally from what Paul has been saying about God putting everything under subjection to Himself. In contrast, putting a universalist construction on the phrase is entirely artificial, moving interpretively at an unwarranted right angle to the theme of God's supremacy Paul has made clear is his prime subject in the verse.

    So, how about the verses from Colossians you've offered? Do they help your universalist case any? Not any more than the ones above that you've used as prooftexts.

    Colossians 1:16-17 (NASB)
    16 For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him.
    17 He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.


    I included verse 17 - which you carefully left out - because it explains verse 16. What does it mean for all things to have been created through Him and for Him? Well, it means Christ must have existed before all that he created - as verse 17 explains - and that he holds everything together. Why does he hold everything together? For our purposes? No. For his. I don't see, then, anything remotely universalistic in this verse.

    What about verse 20? Does that make your universalist case for you? Again, no. And again, this becomes clear by understanding the verse in its immediate context (as I've already explained in an earlier post):

    Colossians 1:19-23 (NASB)
    19 For it was the Father's good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him,
    20 and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven.
    21 And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds,
    22 yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach—
    23 if indeed you continue in the faith firmly established and steadfast, and not moved away from the hope of the gospel that you have heard, which was proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, was made a minister.


    How am I to understand "reconcile all things to Himself" in verse 20? Is this an actual reconciliation that Paul is referring to? If so, then doesn't "all things" include the devil and his demons? It seems very evident to me that it must. How about those who take the mark of the beast, the smoke of whose torment ascends before God forever and ever? (Revelation 14:11) They'd be part of "all things," too. If the universalist wants to say that "all things" include these things the Bible explicitly excludes from reconciliation to God, the universalist must be willing to put Scripture into contradiction with itself. Forsaking a universalist view is the simplest way to avoid this problem.

    What does Paul mean, then, when he wrote "reconcile all things to Himself"? He stipulates only a few verses later that this reconciliation is contingent upon "...continuing in the faith firmly established and steadfast, and not moving away from the hope of the Gospel...", so he could not have had a universalist soteriology in mind. There is no need of an "if" from Paul if, as the universalist proposes, reconciliation is an inevitable and universal thing. It appears, then, that the reconciliation of wicked humanity to God is a description of a general, potential and contingent state of affairs - like saying there is a public transit fare rollback for all the citizens of Winnipeg even though many citizens of the city never use public transit. Potentially, all citizens may benefit from the rollback but actually that benefit is enjoyed only by some of the citizens (those who use the transit service). Likewise, reconciliation to God is available to all in Christ but is only actually enjoyed by those who "continue in the faith firmly established and steadfast, and not moving away from the hope of Gospel."

    I don't see, then, that any of the verses you've put forward as proof texts of your universalist view necessitate such a view or even, really, support it.

    I already answered this proof text. The "sons of men" phrase mentioned in verse 33 does not refer to all of mankind. In context - which you have ignored yet again in this instance - the "sons of men" are:

    Lamentations 3:25 (NASB)
    25 ...those who wait for Him, To the person who seeks Him.


    So, no, Lamentations 3:31 in no way contradicts the traditional understanding of Matthew 25:46 to which I hold.

    You sure you want to go this route in your arguing? If you want to make it a contest of numbers, I'm going to win. The number of English Bible translations that render Matthew 25:46 in the traditional way is far greater than those that don't. There are at least 55 Bible versions I know of that use one of the following renderings: eternal punishment, everlasting punishment, or punished for ever.

    I am not going to argue with the internet, only with you.

    Wrong. Matthew 25:46 does exactly what you say it doesn't! It most certainly does teach about final destinies. And while those destinies are in contrast, there is a parallel, a correspondence, in the duration of those destinies: for ever and ever.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2018
  20. Der Alter

    Der Alter This is me about 1 yr. old. Supporter

    +2,455
    United States
    Baptist
    Married
    <Clem>
    ... The words of Heracleon do not speak of aionios life, but of life that is (1) aionios and (2) never perishes. If aionios meant eternal, to add "and never perishes" would be superfluous, redundant & pointless. Therefore he distinguishes between life that is merely aionios & life that "never perishes". IOW the implication is that life extends to after aionios, more than aionios, beyond aionios, & therefore that aionios life is finite. Just as Origen implies earlier.
    Nothing you've said denies the plain meaning of Origen's words
    :
    ...<end>
    .....Since you very likely do not know an aorist from an aardvark or how to conjugate or parse a Greek verb, your unsupported opinion means virtually nothing. Please consult someone who knows what they are talking about, maybe UR high priestess Ilaria Ramelli, then explain to me what is the difference between aionios zoe and zoe aionios?
    .....I do not require anything written in English to be explained to me. Do you not see how nonsensical your argument is? Please explain to me how any rational person can get "he distinguishes between life that is merely aionios & life that "never perishes," from these two sentences? There is one subject "life" and six adjectives all describing that one subject.

    "For the life he gives is eternal and never perishes, as, indeed, does the first life which comes from the well; the life he gives remains. For the grace and the gift of our Savior is not to be taken away, nor is it consumed, nor does it perish, when one partakes of it."
    Origen. (1993). Commentary on the Gospel according to John Books 13–32. (T. P. Halton, Ed., R. E. Heine, Trans.) (Vol. 89, pp. 81–82). Washington, DC: The Catholic University of America Press.
    ===========
    • Vincent Word Studies in the New Testament2 Cor 4:17
    A far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory (καθ' ὑπερεβολὴν εἰς ὑπερβολὴν αἰώνιον βάρος δόξης)

    Rev., more and more exceedingly an eternal weight, etc. An expression after the form of Hebrew superlatives, in which the emphatic word is twice repeated. Lit., exceedingly unto excess. The use of such cumulative expressions is common with Paul. See, for example, Phi_1:23, lit., much more better; Rom_8:37, abundantly the conquerors; Eph_3:20, exceeding abundantly, etc. Note how the words are offset: for a moment, eternal; light, weight; affliction, glory.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2018
Loading...