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Featured Why are so many Christians against annihilation in hell when scripture supports it?

Discussion in 'Controversial Christian Theology' started by DM25, Jul 11, 2018.

  1. Der Alter

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

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    <CL>...It is my position that secular sources, such as history, may be used to explain secular myth. Secular sources, including non-canonical religious documents similar to the Mishnah(2), may never be used to interpret the Bible. Attempts to do so only muddy the issue, dilute scripture's original intent and further the agenda of the Opposer. For instance, some passages in non-canonical Jewish literature suggest Mermaids assisted in one of the Mosaic plagues of Egypt. Mermaids opened the doors of Egypt to allow frogs to enter human dwellings.<end>

    Your position is not relevant to anyone but yourself. The Jewish Encyclopedia, Encyclopedia Judaica and the Talmud were prepared by Jewish Scholars and they represent the history of Jewish faith, belief and practice. The only relevant position or opinion is the Jewish position and opinion.
    That the belief of many people differs from yours does not constitute hate.

    <CL>Originally used as a place to sacrifice children to the pagan god Molech, the valley of Hinnom came to be used as a waste dump by the 1st century. Waste dumps are fetid toxic places always burning and always crawling with worms and bugs and birds dining on the excrement of civilization. Gehenna was no exception.
    The fires and worms of gehenna continually feasted and consumed because there was a continuous source of garbage thrown into it. Jesus' reference to eternal flames did not suggest the trash continued forever, only the fires and worms that consumed it lasted from day to day and year to year.
    Fire consumes and destroys. Fire may continue to burn, but that which is tossed into it is obliterated. Of such is the nature of the Second Death, the Lake of Fire, according to the Bible - according to Jesus.
    .
    ..<end>
    This is internet rubbish nonsense copy/pasted and distributed all over with no, zero, none credible, verifiable, historical evidence. Here is what real, credible scholarship says about Gehenna.
    The traditional explanation that a burning rubbish heap in the Valley of Hinnom south of Jerusalem gave rise to the idea of a fiery Gehenna of judgment is attributed to Rabbi David Kimhi's commentary on Psalm 27:13 (ca. A.D. 1200). He maintained that in this loathsome valley fires were kept burning perpetually to consume the filth and cadavers thrown into it. However, Strack and Billerbeck state that there is neither archaeological nor literary evidence in support of this claim, in either the earlier intertestamental or the later rabbinic sources (Hermann L. Strack and Paul Billerbeck, Kommentar zum Neuen Testament aus Talmud and Midrasch, 5 vols. [Munich: Beck, 1922-56], 4:2:1030). Also a more recent author holds a similar view (Lloyd R. Bailey, "Gehenna: The Topography of Hell," Biblical Archeologist 49 [1986]: 189.
    Source, Bibliotheca Sacra / July–September 1992
    Scharen: Gehenna in the Synoptics Pt. 1
    Note there is no “archaeological nor literary evidence in support of this claim, [that Gehenna was ever used as a garbage dump] in either the earlier intertestamental or the later rabbinic sources” If Gehenna was ever used as a garbage dump there should be broken pottery, tools, utensils, bones, etc. but there is no such evidence.
    “Gehenna is presented as diametrically opposed to ‘life’: it is better to enter life than to go to Gehenna. . .It is common practice, both in scholarly and less technical works, to associate the description of Gehenna with the supposedly contemporary garbage dump in the valley of Hinnom. This association often leads scholars to emphasize the destructive aspects of the judgment here depicted: fire burns until the object is completely consumed. Two particular problems may be noted in connection with this approach. First, there is no convincing evidence in the primary sources for the existence of a fiery rubbish dump in this location (in any case, a thorough investigation would be appreciated). Secondly, the significant background to this passage more probably lies in Jesus’ allusion to Isaiah 66:24.”
    (“The Duration of Divine Judgment in the New Testament” in The Reader Must Understand edited by K. Brower and M. W. Ellion, p. 223, emphasis mine)
    G. R. Beasley-Murray in Jesus and the Kingdom of God:
    “Ge-Hinnom (Aramaic Ge-hinnam, hence the Greek Geenna), ‘The Valley of Hinnom,’ lay south of Jerusalem, immediately outside its walls. The notion, still referred to by some commentators, that the city’s rubbish was burned in this valley, has no further basis than a statement by the Jewish scholar Kimchi (sic) made about A.D. 1200; it is not attested in any ancient source.” (p. 376n.92)
    The Burning Garbage Dump of Gehenna is a myth - Archaeology, Biblical History & Textual Criticism

     
  2. ClementofA

    ClementofA Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Irrelevant. My post was not opposing the JE article but rather your opinions & wrong/false statements that you made:

    I posted:

    Where does any OT Scripture say "hell shall pass away"? Where does any OT Scripture say "All that descend into Gehenna shall come up again, with the exception of three classes of men: those who have committed adultery, or shamed their neighbors, or vilified them"? Where does any OT Scripture say "heretics and the Roman oppressors go to Gehenna, and the same fate awaits the Persians, the oppressors of the Babylonian Jews"? Those are all quotes by anti-Christian Jews from your post. Where does any OT Scripture support such opinions from anti-Christian Jewish sources?

    Der Alter replied:

    The answer to that is another topic (already addressed elsewhere) than your post with quotes from anti-Christian Jews. You also posted some Scripture verses & then concluded Jesus' "teachings tacitly reaffirmed and sanctioned the existing Jewish view of eternal hell". You reach this conclusion because some of Jesus' words bear some similarity to what the Jewish quotes say, even though they are still quite different and don't arrive at the same conclusion of "eternal hell" which Jesus rejected. If Jesus meant to affirm a belief in "eternal hell" in an anti-Christian Jewish writing, why didn't He use the exact words? Or did He mean to reject their teaching by rejecting the language they used which affirms "eternal hell"?

    Yet you have provided no evidence that the particular Jews Jesus was speaking to in any specific Scripture context held to such a belief at the time Christ spoke to them c. 30 AD. In fact you stated that there were a variety of beliefs among the Jews about the afterlife. So which of the various beliefs was Jesus supposedly affirming or rejecting? How would you know unless you compare some of the other Jewish views? Did they also use some phrases that were similar to Jesus' statements? If so, then how do you know which of the various Jewish views Jesus was rejecting or affirming?

    I did read it. Your post didn't provide any evidence that your quotes from anti-Christian Jews were believed by any Jews at the time of Jesus (c. 30 AD). Yet you alleged they were believed by some Jews from "before and during the time of Jesus".

    Of all your quotes from anti-Christian Jews, only one of them speaks of an eternity of pain, assuming it is even correctly translated. None of the others refer to "eternal hell". So you are basing your argument on a single Jewish quote. And is this quote merely an interpretation of, or quote, from an apocryphal Jewish writing, Judith, rejected by the Jews from their canon? Was it written at the time of Christ (c. 30 AD) or generations or centuries apart from Christ's time? Your answer is the Judith quote is "according to the ancient Jews, long before the Christian era". So where is your evidence of a Jewish belief in "eternal hell" at the time of Christ?

    I posted:

    Your post referenced both Judith and the Book of Enoch. What are those, if not extrabiblical myths, fables or legends which Scripture warns against? Can your alleged interpretations of Scripture by anti-Christian Jews also be considered myths that Jews have created from their own imaginations? Where do the OT Scriptures ever say anything even remotely resembling this: "The Lord, the Almighty, will punish them on the Day of Judgment by putting fire and worms into their flesh, so that they cry out with pain unto all eternity" (Judith xvi. 17)." What are the original language words rendered "all eternity"? Is "all eternity" a mistranslation?

    Der Alter replied:

    There's no Book of Enoch or Judith listed here:
    The 24 Books of the Hebrew Bible • Torah.org

    Judith an "Apocryphal book".
    JUDITH, BOOK OF - JewishEncyclopedia.com

    "Thus forms of the Books of Judith, Maccabees and Ben Sira, as well as parts of Wisdom of Solomon were familiar to Jewish scholars. But these works never achieved wide acceptance in Judaism and remained, to a greater or lesser extent, curiosities."
    The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha

    "The oldest known Jewish work not included in the Bible is the Book of Enoch."
    The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha

    "The Book of Enoch...contradicts scripture, lies about biblical cosmology...and perverts God's mercy and plan of salvation" The Book of Enoch Debunked

    "Although it was likely written by a Jewish person during the Second Temple Period, there is no evidence that the Book of Judith was ever considered authoritative or a candidate for canonicity by any Jewish group."

    "The Masoretic Text of the Hebrew Bible does not contain it, nor was it found among the Dead Sea Scrolls or referred to in any early Rabbinic literature."
    Sefer Yehudit - AbeBooks

    "The content of the books of the Apocrypha is below that of canonical Scripture. Several of the books including Judith, Tobit, Susanna, and Bel and the Dragon read like ***LEGENDS***. When one reads these books alongside canonical Scripture the differences become obvious." (emphasis, mine) Why Were the Books of the Old Testament Apocrypha Rejected as Holy Scripture by the Protestants?

    Speaking of legends:

    2 Timothy 4:4: And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

    "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:" (2 Tim.3:16)

    I posted:

    A worm not dying & unquenched fire does not necessarily equate in any sane, sound minded thinking individual (who has not been brainwashed) to "eternal punishment" where people are tortured for all eternity. Don't be ridiculous. Also see this re Mark 9:43-49 which you've never addressed or refuted, though posted to you many times before: Early church opposition to endless hell

    If Jesus believed in "eternal punishment", why didn't He use the anti-Christian Jews words you quoted in your post, namely: "The Lord, the Almighty, will punish them on the Day of Judgment by putting fire and worms into their flesh, so that they cry out with pain unto all eternity" (Judith xvi. 17)." By Jesus' choice to reject using such words, does He - REJECT - that Jewish belief?

    Der Alter replied:

    On this forum are Christians talking about the same things. Does that mean they all believe in an "eternal torture chamber"? Yet that's what your argument amounts to. Lame.

    I just used your same method to argue against your conclusion. First you assume Jesus believed in "eternal hell". Then you assume He confirmed a belief in "eternal hell" allegedly believed by an ancient Jewish apocryphal author just because he used some similar but different language as Jesus did. Yet the Jewish author's words, if they were properly translated, clearly affirm "eternal hell", while Jesus' words do not.

    Why would He leave out the most important part, the part about an eternity of pain, if He was wishing to affirm a Jewish person's belief in an eternity of pain? Clearly He didn't mirror the beliefs of the Pharisees, since He rejected a number of their beliefs, for He warned against the teachings of the Pharisees:

    "Jesus warned His disciples to “watch out and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducee's,” which was their false teaching (Matt. 16:6,12)." "Not giving heed to Jewish myths, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth." (Titus 1:14). Jesus said re the Pharisees: "...in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men." (Mt.15:8-9). Jesus, speaking to Pharisees, said: "Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it."(Jn.8:44).

    2 Timothy 4:4: And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

    "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:" (2 Tim.3:16)


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  3. Dorothy Mae

    Dorothy Mae Well-Known Member

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    Where is the verse that says torment in hell is only for a limited time? This is your assumption so where is it? Second, do you realize that this greatly comforts those who don’t want to repent but live a life enjoying all the evil that pleases them. When did anyone in the Bible come close to giving that sort of comfort? Who would be most likely to comfort those who desire to continue in pursuing self pleasure no matter what it costs others? He is in the Bible, I admit.
     
  4. ClementofA

    ClementofA Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Who do you refer to, yourself? Atheists don't believe in God or hell, anyway, so why would telling them that hell is not for eternity offer them any comfort? Though it might remove their main objection to becoming a Christian. Christians do want to repent of any sin in their life, so what's wrong with bringing comfort to them with the truth that their lost loved ones won't be tortured in hell for all eternity, but be eventually saved? Scripture refers to the gospel as "good news" & God as the God of all comfort & peace, not depression & misery.

    Who would be most likely to want to infiltrate those who profess to be God's people, Christians, with various false teachings, including the hideous lie that Love Omnipotent is a monster infinitely worse than Satan, Hitler & Stalin combined?

    If endless conscious torments were true, is God a monster?
     
  5. Pneuma3

    Pneuma3 Well-Known Member

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    I have no idea why you addressed this to me. I agree the 2nd death is not hell but many people speak of it as that and is why I questioned MM if that was what he/she was referring to. I never got an answer.

    Also if you had of read my reply you would have seen I addressed what the 2nd death was, so why you would think I said anything about ECT is beyond me.
     
  6. Choir Loft

    Choir Loft Member

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    The post was an attempt to clarify and reiterate the issue. It was not directed at you specifically.

    Indeed, if you've been following the thread you'll see that it was an indirect reference to a third party.

    Additionally, many readers just look at the most recent posts and don't generally follow the entire thread. The conversation wanders.....

    There is never a final word on anything written or suggested.....

    Therefore it's necessary to repeat definitions and assertions from time to time.

    I did not target you in particular.

    that's me, hollering from the choir loft...
     
  7. Pneuma3

    Pneuma3 Well-Known Member

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    Still you should have addressed it to one who believes in ECT, otherwise you leave the wrong impression for those who do not read the whole thread that I believe in ECT. Thus bring confusion to the issue instead of clarification.
     
  8. Choir Loft

    Choir Loft Member

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    Der Alter also wrote:
    ..Unless someone has considerable expertise in Hebrew and Greek and Bible and Jewish history, that means post graduate degree(s), they do not have the knowledge or understanding necessary to criticize the JE. Having said all that I will ignore any future criticisms of the JE by you.(1)

    To repeat, my position with regard to interpretation and sources is that;
    1. The Bible is self-interpreting. No outside source is necessary to understand what the Word of God is telling or teaching. One may have to dig for the truth a little bit, but its there for all the world to see. One only has to look.

    2. Secular sources, including non-canonical works of Jews, Hindus, Egyptians, internet, etc. are sufficient to interpret secular history and secular philosophy only.

    When secular and/or non-canonical sources are utilized to interpret the Bible, wild doctrines arise due to false assumptions based upon these secular sources. Few of them are reliable

    It is well known within the Jewish community of scholars that division and differing points of view exist among and within them. There is no such thing as a 'final word' among them despite there being many who are highly regarded for their ability to argue a point.

    THE BABYLONIAN TALMUD states the Word of God (Tanakh) can be reinterpreted and superseded by the Rabbinate (Jewish rabbinical scholars). Thus it is said God's Word is subservient to the interpretations of His children.(2)

    Thus, only Jewish scholars are qualified to interpret the Bible. Doctrine is therefore dependent upon the argument and debate of highly educated and socially placed Jewish theologians NOT the Bible.
    (Jesus had big problems with this situation - read the gospels).

    Karaite Jews
    It is thought by some that Jesus was a Karaite Jew, or at least that He shared the same philosophy as modern day Karaite students of the Bible. A Karaite Jew is one who recognizes only the Tanakh (3) as a source of divine revelation. Consequently, many Karaite Jews have become Messianic Jews or Jews who have personally accepted Jesus Christ (Yeshuah ha-mashiach) as their lord and savior. The Tanakh speaks of and points to the messiah Jesus. Talmudic scholars disqualify Jesus (because they can spin their doctrine any way they want).

    Jewish scholars deliberately deny ignore and postulate theories opposed to direct internal interpretation of Biblical text/the Tanakh.

    What's all this got to do with hell?

    It has to do with what the Bible teaches, not secular mythology, not argumentative Jewish scholars, and certainly not persons who reference interpretations the source of which is beyond the pages of the Word of God and which also deny it.

    If the Bible says it, I believe it.
    Apparently some people have a problem with that.

    To those who seek truth, I recommend the Bible.
    To those who wallow in their own particular form of bovine excrement, I wish them luck. You're going to need it.

    Jesus is coming soon. Time to get ready.

    that's me, hollering from the choir loft...

    (1) You will accept someone with a post graduate degree in religious studies? Then you will have to accept me.

    My Masters Degree studies were primarily in Theology with a minor in Church history.
    My Bachelor's degree major is secular history.

    All of this probably means nothing to you. If references to the Holy Bible don't mean anything to you, then your appeal to someone with advanced formal education won't be acceptable either - despite your public proclamation otherwise.

    We here state our personal opinions and beliefs on these pages. It is hoped that appeals to the canonical Word of God may provide some basis for these opinions. Sadly, not everyone accepts the Bible as the Word of God. I submit these folks are in for a terrible shock some day.

    (2) An admission of one Jewish scholar concerning the teachings of the Babylonian Talmud suggested that, "if the gentiles knew what is written there, they would kill us all."

    (3) The Tanakh is the Jewish body of work known to Christians as the Old Covenant.

    It contains exactly the same books as in the Protestant Bible except in a different order. The Tanakh is organized in three sections; the Law (or Torah, the first 5 books of the Bible), the Prophets, and the writings (Psalms, Proverbs, Song of Solomon, etc.). Jesus continually referred to the Law (Torah) and the Prophets. He DID NOT refer to the Babylonian Talmud or any other Jewish text. In fact, Jesus displayed open contempt for traditions based upon such works.

    For instance, Jesus NEVER referred to God as the argumentative YHWH, hashem (the name), etc. Jesus referred to God as Father (HaAv or Abba).

    If its good enough for Jesus, it's good enough for me.
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2018
  9. Choir Loft

    Choir Loft Member

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    My apologies if you were offended. Such was not my intent.

    that's me, hollering from the choir loft...
     
  10. Pneuma3

    Pneuma3 Well-Known Member

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    Not offended CL, just wanted to set the record straight. and apology accepted.
     
  11. Choir Loft

    Choir Loft Member

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    I agree with your statement that atheists don't believe in divine justice. One wonders if they understand at all where the concept of justice came from in the first place.

    I agree that Christians do repent of sin, but the notion of comfort regarding the afterlife of their loved ones is mistakenly based upon doctrines of the church of the middle ages, particularly if their loved one was not exactly a saint.(*)

    God is not a respector of persons. (James 2:1-13)

    In other words, get right with Jesus or suffer the Second Death.

    The Bible does not suggest or imply that there is any sort of remediation for sinners after death. Neither does it suggest or imply that there is another opportunity to rectify past sins in another life on earth (as in reincarnation). Hebrews 9:27 implicitly states that death is the end - and then judgment.

    The Final Judgment is the last decision about the destiny of human kind. That's why its called Final. There is no court of appeals in heaven (or did you miss that part?).

    Christians are not judged. Their judgment for sin has already been accomplished by Jesus upon the cross. Final Judgment for Christians is a happy occasion because it is at that time rewards are handed out.

    The good news of the gospel is that eternal life is granted to the Justified in Christ.

    Everyone else suffers the natural course of death - physical and spiritual. Death has a clear and concise meaning - THE END.

    There is nothing after THE END for the wicked, no torture, no remediation, no second chances and no Epilogue. Wishful thinking will not get anyone into heaven, but it may result in the Second Death.

    It is time to repent of sin and make peace with God in the name of Jesus Christ.

    that's me, hollering from the choir loft...

    (*) A preacher was asked to give the eulogy at a mobster's funeral.

    Together with his surviving brother, the two men had terrorized a small city for decades. The surviving brother told the preacher he'd give a lot of money to the church if the preacher's eulogy stated his brother had been a saint. The preacher agreed to do it.

    During the eulogy the preacher said the dead man was a brute, a liar, a murderer and a cheat. "Compared to his brother," the preacher said, "he was a saint."

    There are no comparative judgments passed out by the throne of the Almighty. Each person is judged individually.
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2018
  12. eleos1954

    eleos1954 God is Love Supporter

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    "Why are so many Christians against annihilation in hell when scripture supports it?"

    What better way for Satan to try and keep people from coming to the Lord. Make God out to be some kind of a evil tyrant with "eternal torture". When people say "What kind of a loving God would torture people for eternity?" Very, very good question. Well, He don't, yet there are religions that teach this often resulting in people to totally dismiss the existence of God.

    For every truth of God .... Satan has a lie.

     
  13. Der Alter

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

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    Ah yes the Bible is self-interpreting that is why we have so many people e.g. LDS, JW, WWCG, INC, OP, UPCI, UU, MJ etc. letting the Bible interpret itself.
    <CL>
    2. Secular sources, including non-canonical works of Jews, Hindus, Egyptians, internet, etc. are sufficient to interpret secular history and secular philosophy only.
    When secular and/or non-canonical sources are utilized to interpret the Bible, wild doctrines arise due to false assumptions based upon these secular sources. Few of them are reliable.<end>

    Thank you for this biased, unsupported thus irrelevant opinion.,
    Pagan authors quoted or alluded to in the NT:

    [1] Acts 17:28 Paul quotes from Aratus of Soli in Cilicia (ab. b.c. 270) Ta Phainomena and [2] Cleanthes, Stoic philosopher (300-220 b.c.) in his Hymn to Zeus has Ek sou gar genos esōmen.
    [3] In 1Co_15:32 Paul quotes from Menander
    [4] and in Tit_1:12 from Epimenides.
    [5] Acts 17.28, for example, paraphrases Aratus, Phaenomena 5.
    [6] 1 Corinthians 15.33 quotes Menander, Thais, Frg.218.
    [7] Titus 1.12 quotes Epimenides, De oraculis/peri Chresmon.
    [8] In Acts 26:14, Paul places a quotation from Euripides (ca. 480-406 B.C.), Bacchae 794-5, in the mouth of Christ, “it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.”
    [9] In Romans 1:32, he quotes a passage from the Pseudepigraphic Testament of Asher 6:2,
    [10] while in Romans 12:21, he draws from Testament of Benjamin 4:3
    [11] and in 2 Corinthians 7:9-10, he quotes Testament of Gad 5:6-7.
    [12] Romans 8:38 and 9:5 contain quotes from 1 Enoch (61:10 and [13] 77:1, respectively).Menander, Thais 218 (1 Cor. 15:33)
    Non-canonical books quoted or alluded to in the NT:
    · Book of Enoch (Jude 4,6,13,14–15, Jude 1:14-15, 2 Peter 2:4; 3:13, John 7:38 )
    · Book of Jasher (2 Timothy 3:8, 2 Samuel 1:18, Joshua 10:13)
    · Epistle to the Laodiceans (Colossians 4:16 "read the epistle from Laodicea")
    · Life of Adam and Eve (2 Corinthians 11:14 "Satan as an angel of light", 12:2 "Third Heaven")
    · A lost section of the Assumption of Moses (2 Timothy 3:8, Jude 9 "Michael.. body of Moses")
    · Martyrdom of Isaiah (Hebrews 11:37 "they were sawn in two")

    Logical fallacy, bandwagon, anonymous "Jewish community of scholars."
    <CL>THE BABYLONIAN TALMUD states the Word of God (Tanakh) can be reinterpreted and superseded by the Rabbinate (Jewish rabbinical scholars). Thus it is said God's Word is subservient to the interpretations of His children.(2)

    Thus, only Jewish scholars are qualified to interpret the Bible. Doctrine is therefore dependent upon the argument and debate of highly educated and socially placed Jewish theologians NOT the Bible.
    Jewish scholars deliberately deny ignore and postulate theories opposed to direct internal interpretation of Biblical text/the Tanakh.<end>

    Anonymous. Not relevant to anything I have been discussing

    A lot of meaningless hollering verbosity which does not directly address anything in any of my posts
    All well and good but I'm not interested in your soapbox hollering which does not address anything I posted.
    If this is true you would have had to study the early church fathers and other extra-biblical sources.
    More anonymous references some guy said this, some other guy said that and a different guy said something else.
    Wrong! Jesus is never recorded as addressing or referring to God as YHWH. Have you ever read Exodus 3:15

    John 21:25
    (25) And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.

     
  14. Saint Steven

    Saint Steven You can call me Steve Supporter

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    Those are great points. Thanks.

    The biblical view seems to be in conflict with itself. In one scripture the [email protected] are together in the Lake of Fire, in another they are solitary figures held in deepest blackness. And then again the torment is described as eternal, in another they are utterly destroyed.

    Another problem is our physical understanding of complete destruction. In our experience, once something is completely burned up, there is no remaining fuel to burn. This may not apply in the spiritual realm.

    Our understanding of fire in the physical realm may be misleading as well. Isaiah gives an account of having a live coal put to his lips to remove his guilt. He is apparently unharmed by this.

    Isaiah 6:5-7
    “Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.” 6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. 7 With it he touched my mouth and said, “See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.”
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Another example is in the story of the Rich Man and Lazarus. (Luke16:19-31) The rich man who is in torment in the flames has a completely rational discussion with Abraham. This is not possible in the physical realm. Some make claim that this is a parable and not to be taken literally. However, why would Jesus give inaccurate information about the afterlife?

    Luke 16:24
    So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’
     
  15. Solomon Smith

    Solomon Smith Active Member

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    The wicked will be tormented eternally:

    Matthew 25:46
     
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  16. Saint Steven

    Saint Steven You can call me Steve Supporter

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    You got that right.

    Matthew 18:8
    If your hand or your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life maimed or crippled than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into eternal fire.

    Matthew 25:41
    “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.

    Jude 1:7
    In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire.

    Matthew 25:46
    “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”
     
  17. Solomon Smith

    Solomon Smith Active Member

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    Thank you for posting these verses!!!
     
  18. Saint Steven

    Saint Steven You can call me Steve Supporter

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    No, thank you for posting that reference.
    Interesting to note that BOTH life and punishment are eternal.
    If someone believes in eternal life, they have to believe in eternal punishment.
    According to this one verse.

    Matthew 25:46
    “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”
     
  19. ClementofA

    ClementofA Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Mt.25:46 doesn't use the word "torment".

    Then, by the same reasoning, the "parallel" in Rom.5:19 proves Scriptural universalism to be true:

    Rom 5:18 Consequently, then, as it was through one offense for ALL MANKIND for condemnation, thus also it is through one just act for ALL MANKIND for life's justifying."

    Rom 5:19 For even as, through the disobedience of the one man, THE MANY were constituted sinners, thus also, through the obedience of the One, THE MANY shall be constituted just."

    1 Cor.15:22 AS in Adam ALL die SO ALSO in Christ shall ALL be made alive.

    1 Cor.15:28 And when ALL shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put ALL under him, that God may be all in ALL.

    Col.1:16 For by Him ***ALL*** was created that are in HEAVEN and that are on EARTH, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All was created through Him and for Him.
    20 and by Him to reconcile ***ALL*** to Himself, by Him, whether on EARTH or in HEAVEN, having made peace through the blood of His cross.

    And your translation of Mt.25:46 contradicts this translation of Lamentations 3:

    Lam.3:31 For the Lord will NOT cast off FOR EVER:
    32 For if He causes grief, Then He will have compassion According to His abundant lovingkindness. 33 For He does not afflict willingly Or grieve the SONS OF MEN.

    While these translations (& others) of Mt.25:46 are in harmony with all the verses above i have posted:

    The New Testament: A Translation, by Eastern Orthodox scholar David Bentley Hart, 2017, Yale Press):
    "And these shall go to the chastening of that Age, but the just to the life of that Age."

    Youngs Literal Translation of the Holy Bible, 1898:
    "And these shall go away to punishment age-during, but the righteous to life age-during."

    Emphatic Diaglott, 1942 edition
    "And these shall go forth to the aionian 1 cutting-off; but the RIGHTEOUS to aionian Life."

    Concordant Literal New Testament, 1983
    And these shall be coming away into chastening eonian, yet the just into life eonian."

    Rotherham Emphasized Bible, 1959
    "And these shall go away into age-abiding correction, But the righteous into age-abiding life."

    Scholar's Corner: The Center for Bible studies in Christian Universalism
     
  20. ClementofA

    ClementofA Well-Known Member Supporter

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    There's no such thing as "everlasting punishment" in the Scriptures. More literal translations of the Greek word aionion in Mt.25:46 say:

    Concordant Literal New Testament, 1983
    And these shall be coming away into chastening eonian, yet the just into life eonian."

    The New Testament: A Translation, by Eastern Orthodox scholar David Bentley Hart, 2017, Yale Press):"And these shall go to the chastening of that Age, but the just to the life of that Age."

    Emphatic Diaglott, 1942 edition
    "And these shall go forth to the aionian 1 cutting-off; but the RIGHTEOUS to aionian Life."

    There are two main universalist interpretations of Mt.25:46:

    (1) The aionion life & the aionion punishment refer to contrasting eonian destinies pertaining to a finite eonian period to come, e.g. the millennial eon. The verse has nothing to do, & says nothing about, final destiny. Regarding the endless life of the righteous in Christ, other passages address that topic, such as those that speak of immortality, incorruption & being unable to die.

    (2) Another universalist option in interpretating Mt.25:46 is that aionion life refers to a perpetual life that lasts as long as God Almighty wills it to last, so it is endless. OTOH, aionion punishment refers to a perpetual punishment that also lasts as long as Love Omnipotent wills it to last, which is until it has served its useful purpose in bringing the offender to the salvation in their Savior, Who died & shed His blood for their sins. While life is an end in itself, punishment is a means to an end.

    Furthermore, since aionion is an adjective, it "must therefore function like an adjective, and it is the very nature of an adjective for its meaning to vary, sometimes greatly, depending upon which noun it qualifies." A tall chair is not the same height as a tall mountain. Likewise, the aionion punishment is not of the same duration as the aionion life.

    That was a brief explanation of the main two different universalist interpretations of Mt.25:46. Following are more elaborate remarks in support these two perspectives.

    "This specious argument goes back at least to Augustine. As has long ago been said, however, due to its unreasonableness, it ought never be heard again."

    Augustine was rather ignorant of Greek.

    For some other parallels in Scripture consider:

    Rom 5:18 Consequently, then, as it was through one offense for ALL MANKIND for condemnation, thus also it is through one just act for ALL MANKIND for life's justifying."

    Rom 5:19 For even as, through the disobedience of the one man, THE MANY were constituted sinners, thus also, through the obedience of the One, THE MANY shall be constituted just."

    1 Cor.15:22 AS in Adam ALL die SO ALSO in Christ shall ALL be made alive.

    1 Cor.15:28 And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.

    Col.1:16 For by Him ***ALL*** was created that are in HEAVEN and that are on EARTH, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All was created through Him and for Him.
    20 and by Him to reconcile ***ALL*** to Himself, by Him, whether on EARTH or in HEAVEN, having made peace through the blood of His cross.


    Lamentations 3:22 and 3:31-33, The steadfast love of the Lord NEVER ceases, his mercies NEVER come to an end. . . .Lam.3:31 For the Lord will NOT cast off FOR EVER: 32 For if He causes grief, Then He will have compassion According to His abundant lovingkindness. 33 For He does not afflict willingly Or grieve the SONS OF MEN.…

    David Burnfield makes an interesting point re Matthew 25:46:

    "None of the sins listed in [the context of] Matt.25:46 can be considered blasphemy of the Holy Spirit."

    He quotes Mt.12:31:

    "Therefore I say to you, any sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven people, but blasphemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven." (NASB)

    And emphasizes the words "any sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven people".

    He then says "If we can believe what Christ tells us, then the 'only' sin that is 'not' forgiven is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit which obviously does not include the sins listed in Matt.25:34-44."

    Then he quotes from Jan Bonda's book "The One Purpose of God...":

    "Verse...46, in particular, has always been cited as undeniable proof that Jesus taught eternal punishment. Yet it is clear that the sins Jesus listed in this passage do not constitute the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. Assuming Jesus did not utter this word with the intention of contradicting what he said moments before [Matt 12:31], we must accept that the sins mentioned in this passage [Matt 25:46] will eventually be forgiven. This means, however strange it may sound to us, that this statement of Jesus about eternal punishment is not the final word for those who are condemned."

    (pg 220-221, Patristic Universalism: An Alternative To The Traditional View of Divine Judgement, 2nd ed, 2016, by David Burnfield)

    The NT translation of Eastern Orthodox scholar Bentley Hart does not use the words "eternal" or "everlasting" at Mt.25:46, but instead reads "chastening of that Age" & "life of that Age". (The New Testament: A Translation, 2017, Yale University Press).

    Many other versions do likewise.

    Some literal translations of Mt.25:46 have:

    Young‘s Literal Translation: ―punishment age-during.
    Rotherham Translation: ―age-abiding correction.
    Weymouth Translation: ―punishment of the ages.
    Concordant Literal Translation: ―chastening eonian."

    Regarding the Greek word for "punishment"(kolasis) in Matthew 25:46:

    "In the late 2nd century/early 3rd century, Clement of Alexandria clearly distinguished between kólasis and timoria: “For there are partial corrections [padeiai] which are called chastisements [kólasis], which many of us who have been in transgression incur by falling away from the Lord’s people. But as children are chastised by their teacher, or their father, so are we by Providence. But God does not punish [timoria], for punishment [timoria] is retaliation for evil. He chastises, however, for good to those who are chastised collectively and individually” (Strom. 7.16)."

    Was "eternal"(eonian) fire that burned Sodom endless, or finite:

    Jude 1:7 As Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities about them in like manner to these committing ultra-prostitution, and coming away after other flesh, are lying before us, a specimen, experiencing the justice of fire eonian."

    Do you think the city of Sodom in Israel is still burning by that "eternal fire" today? Or has it long ago been extinguished & was not "eternal" but eonian & finite? BTW, the same phrase, "eonian fire" also appears twice in Matthew (25:41; 18:8). If the eonian fire of Jude 1:7 was finite, then why can't the same in Matthew's account be finite? And if aionion is finite in Mt.25:41, shouldn't it also be finite in Mt.25:46 when again referring to punishment?

    Considering the Greek word kolasis ("punishment", Mt.25:46, KJV) can refer to a corrective punishment, that should tell the reader of Matthew 25:46 what the possible duration of aionios ("everlasting", KJV) is & that it may refer to a finite punishment. Why? Because if it is corrective, it is with the purpose of bringing the person corrected to salvation. Once saved the person no longer has need of such a punishment & it ends. So it isn't "everlasting". Therefore this passage could just as easily support universalism as anything else.

    From a review of a book by Ilaria Ramelli, namely The Christian Doctrine of Apokatastasis: A Critical Assessment from the New Testament to Eriugena (Brill, 2013. 890 pp):

    "...in a passage in Origen in which he speaks of “life after aionios life” (160). As a native speaker of Greek he does not see a contradiction in such phrasing; that is because aionios life does not mean “unending, eternal life,” but rather “life of the next age.” Likewise the Bible uses the word kolasis to describe the punishment of the age to come. Aristotle distinguished kolasis from timoria, the latter referring to punishment inflicted “in the interest of him who inflicts it, that he may obtain satisfaction.” On the other hand, kolasis refers to correction, it “is inflicted in the interest of the sufferer” (quoted at 32). Thus Plato can affirm that it is good to be punished (to undergo kolasis), because in this way a person is made better (ibid.). This distinction survived even past the time of the writing of the New Testament, since Clement of Alexandria affirms that God does not timoreitai, punish for retribution, but he does kolazei, correct sinners (127)."

    [journalofanalytictheology.com/ja ... 30418a/271](Journal of Analytic Theology)

    "Augustine raised the argument that since aionios in Mt. 25:46 referred to both life and punishment, it had to carry the same duration in both cases. However, he failed to consider that the duration of aionios is determined by the subject to which it refers. For example, when aionios referred to the duration of Jonah’s entrapment in the fish, it was limited to three days. To a slave, aionios referred to his life span. To the Aaronic priesthood, it referred to the generation preceding the Melchizedek priesthood. To Solomon’s temple, it referred to 400 years. To God it encompasses and transcends time altogether."

    "Thus, the word cannot have a set value. It is a relative term and its duration depends upon that with which it is associated. It is similar to what “tall” is to height. The size of a tall building can be 300 feet, a tall man six feet, and a tall dog three feet. Black Beauty was a great horse, Abraham Lincoln a great man, and Yahweh the GREAT God. Though God is called “great,” the word “great” is neither eternal nor divine. The horse is still a horse. An adjective relates to the noun it modifies. In relation to God, “great” becomes GREAT only because of who and what God is. This silences the contention that aion must always mean forever because it modifies God. God is described as the God of Israel and the God of Abraham. This does not mean He is not the God of Gentiles, or the God of you and me. Though He is called the God of the “ages,” He nonetheless remains the God who transcends the ages."

    "In addition, Augustine’s reasoning does not hold up in light of Ro. 16:25, 26 and Hab. 3:6. Here, in both cases, the same word is used twice—with God and with something temporal. “In accord with the revelation of a secret hushed in times eonian, yet manifested now…according to the injunction of the eonian God” (Ro. 16:25, 26 CLT). An eonian secret revealed at some point cannot be eternal even though it is revealed by the eonian God. Eonian does not make God eternal, but God makes eonian eternal. “And the everlasting mountains were scattered.…His ways are everlasting” (Hab. 3:6). Mountains are not eternal, though they will last a very long time. God’s ways however, are eternal, because He is eternal."]http://www.tentmaker.org/books/hope_beyond_hell.pdf[/url

    Philo was contemporary with Christ & we have this translation of his words which use the same words Christ used at Mt.25:46:

    "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 [kolasis aiónios] from those who are more powerful, is the result of the other line of conduct." [earlychristianwritings.com/yonge/book45.html](Philo: Appendix 2: Fragments)

    In the year 544 A.D. the emperor Justinian wrote a letter:

    "It is conceded that the half-heathen emperor held to the idea of endless misery, for he proceeds not only to defend, but to define the doctrine.2 He does not merely say, "We believe in aionion kolasin," for that was just what Origen himself taught. Nor does he say "the word aionion has been misunderstood; it denotes endless duration," as he would have said, had there been such a disagreement. But, writing in Greek, with all the words of that abundant language from which to choose, he says: "The holy church of Christ teaches an endless aeonian (ateleutetos aionios) life to the righteous, and endless (ateleutetos) punishment to the wicked." If he supposed aionios denoted endless duration, he would not have added the stronger word to it. The fact that he qualified it by ateleutetos, demonstrated that as late as the sixth century the former word did not signify endless duration.

    [tentmaker.org/books/prevailing/upd21.html](Chapter 21 - Unsuccessful Attempts to Suppress Universalism)

    If Christ meant "endless" punishment at Mt.25:46, why use the ambiguous aionios? Why not instead use the word aperantos ("endless"; 1 Timothy 1:4)? Or why not use the words "no end" as in Lk1:33b: "And of His kingdom there will be no end"? The answer seems obvious.

    Early Church Father universalists who were Greek scholars & many others of the time did not see Mt.25:46 contradicting their belief:

    "The first Christians, it will be seen, said in their creeds, "I believe in the æonian life;" later, they modified the phrase "æonian life," to "the life of the coming æon," showing that the phrases are equivalent. But not a word of endless punishment. "The life of the age to come" was the first Christian creed, and later, Origen himself (an Early Church Father universalist) declares his belief in æonian punishment, and in æonian life beyond. How, then, could æonian punishment have been regarded as endless?"

    [tentmaker.org/forum/word-studie ... n-forever/](Another Aionios Thread - These Things Go On Forever)

    "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?" "

    [tentmaker.org/books/asw/Chapter9.html](Chapter Nine)
     
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