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Old 01-23-2010, 09:41 AM
 
699 posts, read 519,026 times
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Default The Doctrine of Eternal Punishment (LONG)

I originally meant to post this as a response to SvenM over in the "Atheism or Universalism" thread, but then I decided to start a new thread due to the length of this post. I felt that the issue deserved more than a series of short, knee-jerk reactions back and forth between both camps, not only because of its importance but also because some of my universalist friends have made worthwhile comments that deserve a long—and hopefully meaningful—response. (All the Bible passages quoted are from the New American Standard Bible, unless otherwise stated.)

I will say here at the outset that what follows does not explore all the passages that refer to hell, Gehenna, future punishment, and related topics. Time constraints hinder me from exploring these other texts in detail, but hopefully at some future point I will get to them.

In one sense, I don't blame universalists and annihilationists for rejecting the doctrine of eternal punishment. I don’t agree with their rejection of it, but I understand their feelings about it. To be sure, it is a very difficult doctrine that grates against our natural sense. Some object that it would be unjust for God to consign someone to eternal punishment for crimes that occurred in a timeframe of less than a lifetime. Why undergo severe punishment for eternity for a crime that was committed only within a few years’ time? It is claimed by some that in light of this, death would be a reasonable punishment.

What makes this approach wrong, though, is that what it is really doing is trying to force God—as if that were possible—to conform to one's own personal concept of justice. We, however, are really in no position to decide what the right punishment for sin is. We are simply unqualified to do so, lacking neither the authority nor the adequate spiritual understanding to do so. We cannot even see the extent of our own depravity, and we need the Holy Spirit's potent regenerating work to be convicted of our sin and our need to turn to Christ. Therefore, how capable are we to determine the truth or falsehood of eternal punishment on the basis of our own reasoning? Charles Hodge said it well:

“It is obvious that this is a question which can be decided only by divine revelation. No one can reasonably presume to decide how long the wicked are to suffer for their sins upon any general principles of right and wrong. The conditions of the problem are not within our grasp. What the infinitely wise and good God may see fit to do with his creatures; or what the exigencies of a government embracing the whole universe and continuing throughout eternal ages, may demand, it is not for such worms of the dust as we are, to determine. If we believe the Bible to be the Word of God, all we have to do is to ascertain what it teaches on this subject, and humbly submit.” (Systematic Theology, Volume III, Part IV, Chapter I)

As Christians, the Word of God is our sole infallible authority. Therefore, when examining any teaching, the task is not to see whether it lines up with our own thinking but rather whether it accurately reflects the content of revelation. It is our thoughts that are to be judged by Scripture, not the other way around. If the teaching contradicts the voice of God in Scripture, then it carries no authority. If, on the other hand, it faithfully echoes God’s teaching in His Word, then our duty is to submit to it regardless of how little we understand it or how little it meshes with our own personal world view. Our minds are not the source of divine revelation; rather, the mind of God is, and we must align our thoughts with His, thinking God’s thoughts faithfully after him.

One of the clearest proofs of eternal punishment is found in the words of Jesus Himself about Judas Iscariot:

“The Son of Man is to go, just as it is written of Him; but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had not been born.” (Matthew 26:24, NASB)

To say that it would have been good for Judas if he had not been born is a very strong statement. As such, the “woe” that man faced must have been quite horrific. Thus, this statement logically militates against two popular ideas held by those who oppose the doctrine of eternal punishment: annihilation and future remedial punishment. Jesus’ words prevent the idea of annihilation because that is the very state of nonexistence that he says would have been preferable for Judas compared to the terrible fate that awaited him. His words prevent the idea of future remedial punishment because having never been born could not be regarded as better than a remedial chastening that would eventually lead to eternal blessedness. Since Judas Iscariot’s fate cannot be annihilation or remedial punishment, it cannot be anything other than eternal punishment.

Those who oppose the doctrine of eternal punishment go to the Greek language of the New Testament, focusing on the meanings of the Greek word, aiwnios, which is translated as “eternal” in most English translations of the Bible. While they are to be commended for their delving into the original language, I am afraid that their efforts do not go far enough. They focus only on one meaning of this Greek word while failing to take into account its varied usage and the contexts in which it occurs. In addition, they seem to overlook the fact that the original language is not the only factor in determining how to translate a word or passage. Since words tend to have various meanings, the context must also be consulted to determine the correct translation.

Universalists correctly say that the Greek word “aiwnios” means a period of limited duration, such as an age. Their flaw, though, is that they overlook the other meanings of the word. Aiwnios can also mean eternal, as can be clearly seen by looking at the context of the following verses:

1 Tim. 6:16: “who alone possesses immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see. To Him be honor and eternal dominion! Amen.”

The word modifying “dominion” in the Greek is “aiwnion,” but in this text it cannot be translated as temporal but must be rendered with the word “eternal,” since God’s dominion is indeed everlasting. Thus, the context must be consulted to determine the correct way to translate a word.

The same situation can be seen in Romans 16:26: “but now is manifested, and by the Scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the eternal God, has been made known to all the nations, leading to obedience of faith.”

The word “eternal” modifying “God” is the same Greek word, aiwniou. Since God cannot be said to have temporary existence, the word here must be translated “eternal.” Once again, context determines the meaning.

This becomes even more interesting when we look at one of the most frightening passages in the New Testament, Jesus’ teaching about the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. This occurs in two passages:

Matthew 12:31-32: “Therefore I say to you, any sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven people, but blasphemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven. Whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come.”

Mark 3:28-29: “Truly I say to you, all sins shall be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they utter; but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin.”

In the passage in Mark, Jesus sharply contrasts pardonable sins with the unpardonable sin—blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. The use of the Greek word “de,” meaning “but,” shows this contrast. Christ goes on to say that the one committing this sin is guilty of an “eternal sin.” Once again the word aiwnios is used, this time to modify the noun “sin.” The contrast would make no sense if aiwnios meant merely “temporary,” for then we would end up with this nonsensical translation:

“Truly I say to you, all sins shall be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they utter; but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of a temporary sin.”

The Lord’s point here, which cannot be overlooked, is that the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is unpardonable. As such, it is an eternal sin. The unpardonability of the sin makes it an eternal offense.

As if that were not enough, though, the Lord uses another contrast. It occurs roughly in the second half of the passage, this time using the word “alla,” which also means “but.” It occurs thus: “whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin.”

A more literal translation would be, “Whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit does not have forgiveness against the age (aiwna) but is guilty of an eternal (aiwniou) sin.”

What is so striking about this is that the use of the noun aiwna, which universalists rightly claim means “age,” is directly contrasted with the use of the adjective “eternal” (aiwniou). Some universalists claim that since the noun “aiwn” means age, the adjective derived from it—in this case, aiwniou—must also mean “of an age” or “related to an age,” thus indicating a temporary period of time. Clearly that is not the case in this text, though. Even though the adjective aiwniou comes from the noun meaning age, aiwniou cannot mean “of an age” or convey any other such temporal meaning but must mean eternal, since the Lord contrasts the two.

Thus, the translation “eternal sin” is correct and necessary. That being the case, it is clear that not all will be saved.

The passage in Matthew is somewhat different but no less interesting. Again there is a clear contrast (using the Greek particle “de,” meaning “but”) between the types of sins that can be forgiven and the type of sin that cannot be forgiven, blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. As in the Mark passage, if this sin could one day be forgiven, then the contrast between the two types of sins becomes meaningless.

What is even more illuminating, however, is that Christ goes on to say that this sin will not be forgiven “either in this age or in the age to come.” This has significant impact upon other passages in Scripture that refer to a period of future punishment. If the sin is eternal—and again, the sharp contrast between this sin and pardonable sins shows that it is—then the “age to come,” to which Christ refers, cannot be a temporary one but must indicate an eternal age.

We see the same use of the word “age” in another passage in Mark—chapter 10, verses 29-30:

“Jesus said, “Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or farms, for My sake and for the gospel’s sake, but that he will receive a hundred times as much now in the present age, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and farms, along with persecutions; and in the age (aiwni) to come, eternal (aiwnion) life.”

Note what the Lord says the reward will be in the age to come: eternal life. If there is eternal life in this future age, then the age itself must be eternal, outside of time. On the other hand, if that age to come is not eternal but only temporary, then the life that is rewarded to these believers will not be eternal, either. That, however, contradicts the Bible’s many plain affirmations of eternal life.

Another New Testament passage that teaches eternal punishment is Matthew 25:31-46, Christ’s account of the final judgment. In the closing verse, we read, “These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” Again we see the use of the adjective “aiwnios,” but this time it modifies both “punishment” and “life.”

Universalism teaches that the word “eternal” in this text has two different meanings: “temporary” when describing the punishment but “eternal” when describing life. This, however, would lead to the following strange translation:

“These will go away into temporary punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

Although universalists are correct to say that the word could mean temporary or having to do with an age, it is wrong to say that it has that meaning in this passage. The reason for this, again, is the context. The future states of the righteous and the wicked are contrasted. This intent is clear throughout the passage. Their acts of obedience and disobedience are contrasted as well as their judgments. This contrast, though, is completely overturned if the meaning is merely, “The righteous go into eternal life, but the wicked go into temporary punishment.” If we are to understand the wicked in this passage as eventually receiving remedial punishment and then moving on to eternal life, there isn't much of a contrast between the righteous and the wicked.

In light of this, if universalists insist on maintaining that the word describing punishment indicates only a temporary punishment, they must be asked, “Why?” On what do they base this distinction, which seems arbitrary at best? It cannot be on the basis of the overall context and intention of Jesus’ words. It must be on the basis of their theology, but translating a passage to fit one’s theology is always a serious error. It is not our place to decide that aiwnios means temporary in one part of a sentence and then, in another part of the very same sentence, that it means eternal—unless the context bears out such a distinction, but it does not.

Furthermore, there is a very telling OT passage indicating that redemption is too costly for humans to accomplish. It is in Psalm 49:7-9:

"No man can by any means redeem his brother
Or give to God a ransom for him--
For the redemption of his soul is costly,
And he should cease trying forever--

That he should live on eternally,
That he should not undergo decay."

The ESV renders it this way:

"Truly no man can ransom another,
or give to God the price of his life,
for the ransom of their life is costly
and can never suffice,

that he should live on forever
and never see the pit."

The redemption of the soul is costly; it is beyond human ability to accomplish, whether by suffering, remedial punishment, or any other means.

Eis tous aiwnas twn aiwnwn: To the ages of the ages


Universalists claim that this phrase, translated “forever and ever,” indicates only a temporary period of time. That may well be in some cases, but it is not always the case. As always, context determines the correct translation. For example, the phrase is used to indicate eternality when referring to Christ’s life in Revelation 1:18:

“When I saw Him, I fell at His feet like a dead man. And He placed His right hand on me, saying, “Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last, and the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore (eis tous aiwnas twn aiwnwn), and I have the keys of death and of Hades.” ”

In this text, clearly the meaning is “forever and ever,” since Christ will never die.

We see the same phrase in Revelation 20:10: “And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever (eis tous aiwnas twn aiwnwn).”

Universalists claim that the phrase does not necessarily indicate eternality, but on what basis? We have already seen that the age to come must be an eternal one with eternal life for those who receive it. Therefore, the punishment in that age must be eternal as well. Based on this, there is no basis whatsoever to conclude that the torment of the devil, beast and false prophet is only for an age.

Furthermore, in the vast majority of the occurrences of this phrase in the New Testament, the context clearly proves that it indicates eternality. Here is a list of those verses. The phrase “eis tous aiwnas twn aiwnwn” occurs in all of them, and in the majority of them it is used to describe the eternality of God’s dominion, power, life, and so on. Why, then, should they suddenly take on a different meaning here? Does the context warrant such a different meaning? The texts of these verses can be read here: A look at the phrase "forever and ever" | Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.

Gal. 1:5
Phil. 4:20
1 Tim. 1:17
2 Tim. 4:18
Heb. 13:21
1 Peter 4:11
Rev. 19:3
Rev. 20:10
Rev. 1:6
Rev. 1:18
Rev. 4:9–10
Rev. 5:13
Rev. 7:12
Rev. 10:6
Rev. 11:15
Rev. 15:7
Rev. 22:5
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Old 01-23-2010, 09:50 AM
 
Location: Little Elm, TX
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Even longer:

The Restitution of All Things
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Old 01-23-2010, 11:11 AM
 
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Quote:
What makes this approach wrong, though, is that what it is really doing is trying to force God - as if that were possible—to conform to one's own personal concept of justice. We, however, are really in no position to decide what the right punishment for sin is. We are simply unqualified to do so, lacking neither the authority nor the adequate spiritual understanding to do so. We cannot even see the extent of our own depravity, and we need the Holy Spirit's potent regenerating work to be convicted of our sin and our need to turn to Christ. Therefore, how capable are we to determine the truth or falsehood of eternal punishment on the basis of our own reasoning?
you seem to have started this argumentation on the precondition that the bible actually teaches eternal (in the sense of endless) punishment, universalism challenges this assumption.

Quote:
As Christians, the Word of God is our sole infallible authority. Therefore, when examining any teaching, the task is not to see whether it lines up with our own thinking but rather whether it accurately reflects the content of revelation. It is our thoughts that are to be judged by Scripture, not the other way around. If the teaching contradicts the voice of God in Scripture, then it carries no authority. If, on the other hand, it faithfully echoes God’s teaching in His Word, then our duty is to submit to it regardless of how little we understand it or how little it meshes with our own personal world view. Our minds are not the source of divine revelation; rather, the mind of God is, and we must align our thoughts with His, thinking God’s thoughts faithfully after him.
I agree with that, you can make the bible say many things, I contributed this thread only recently:

You can make the bible say many things

Quote:
“The Son of Man is to go, just as it is written of Him; but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had not been born.” (Matthew 26:24, NASB)
this verse can be translated, as if it were better for Jesus that Judas have never been born,

"... but woe to that man by whom the son of man is delivered up. It was good to him if was not born that man." (Apostolic Bible Interlinear Translation)

the further reasoning is therefore invalid, the verse is at least ambiguous

Quote:
Universalists correctly say that the Greek word “aiwnios” means a period of limited duration, such as an age. Their flaw, though, is that they overlook the other meanings of the word. Aiwnios can also mean eternal, as can be clearly seen by looking at the context of the following verses.
Universalism does not need to prove that aiwnios never means "eternal", it is enough to prove that it CAN mean limited duration also - something you do not deny, I reccomend to read this thread:

Professor Stroeter on eternal punishment

I reccomend also to read this, the most scholarly article on "eternity" I have ever read:

Whence Eternity? How Eternity Slipped In by Alexander Thomson

I have contributed further threads to that topic, which might answer some of your objections:

age or eternity (this is an examination I did for myself in the first place to understand how the ancients used these words, aion, aeternum, sempiternum)

E-Mail to Matt Slick from CARM

Does Matthew 25:46 teach eternal punishment?

Does God's Holyness demand eternal punishment?

If for argument's sake aiwnios punishment would indeed be endless punishment, there would still exist the possibility of annihilationism:

immortal soulism and eternal torment

Can you defend eternal torment scripturally?

Quote:
Furthermore, there is a very telling OT passage indicating that redemption is too costly for humans to accomplish. It is in Psalm 49:7-9:
interestingly I have examined this Psalm recently, the various translations are very different how they render this verse - I can't judge what is the right translation, it was mentioned also in another discussion (Link), I think this verse bears no relevance to either immortal-soulism or universalism.

@ Jremy, you seem to took care to contribute a scholarly objection against the universalist point of view, I respect that, please check the information I provided you in the links I gave you and then judge for your own, I can give you many further links in case you're interested.

Last edited by svenM; 01-23-2010 at 11:38 AM..
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Old 01-23-2010, 11:30 AM
 
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Thanks for the links svenM ...
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Old 01-23-2010, 05:08 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by svenM View Post
"... but woe to that man by whom the son of man is delivered up. It was good to him if was not born that man." (Apostolic Bible Interlinear Translation)

the further reasoning is therefore invalid, the verse is at least ambiguous
This is an example of failing to consider the context when translating. The second sentence in the verse, saying it was good if he had not been born, is an elaboration on the first part, "woe to that man." If the verse is interpreted to mean that it were better for Jesus if Judas had not been born, then the previous statement about the woe is out of place.

Quote:
Universalism does not need to prove that aiwnios never means "eternal", it is enough to prove that it CAN mean limited duration also -
Oh yes, universalists DO need to prove that it never means eternal if there are passages about the future state of the wicked whose context brings out the meaning of eternality in "aiwnios." I showed in my OP that the word aiwnios means "eternal" in certain contexts, so it is up to you to show that these passages do not, in fact, bring out the meaning of eternality, and I don't mean merely by posting links to other articles written by other people. All that shows me is that you have found teachers who support your theology. Deal with the text yourself as well as the Greek underlying the text, as I have done. Do so in your own words. That would at least demonstrate that you have arrived at your conclusions by actually thinking through the biblical texts rather than hunting down teachers who approve your theology.

I will be happy to answer any other original comments that deal directly with the points I made.
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Old 01-23-2010, 05:35 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jremy View Post
This is an example of failing to consider the context when translating. The second sentence in the verse, saying it was good if he had not been born, is an elaboration on the first part, "woe to that man." If the verse is interpreted to mean that it were better for Jesus if Judas had not been born, then the previous statement about the woe is out of place.
Wow....there must be 10 different threads on universalism going on...LOL Good grief, what happened?

Actually, another way to read this phrase from a literal translation is:

Mat 26:24 ο 3588[THE] μεν 3303[INDEED] υιος 5207 του 3588[SON] ανθρωπου 444[OF MAN] υπαγει 5217(5719)[GOES,] καθως 2531[AS] γεγραπται 1125(5769)[IT HAS BEEN WRITTEN] περι 4012[CONCERNING] αυτου 846[HIM,] ουαι 3759 δε 1161 τω 3588[BUT WOE] ανθρωπω 444 εκεινω 1565[TO THAT MAN] δι 1223[BY] ου 3739[WHOM] ο 3588[THE] υιος 5207 του 3588[SON] ανθρωπου 444[OF MAN] παραδιδοται 3860(5743)[IS DELIVERED UP;] καλον 2570[GOOD] ην 2258(5713)[WERE IT] αυτω 846[FOR HIM] ει 1487 ουκ 3756[IF] εγεννηθη 1080(5681) ο 3588[HAD NOT BEEN BORN] ανθρωπος 444 εκεινος 1565[THAT MAN.]

Christ said: Good were it for him if had not been born that man.

Interpretation: It would have been better for Judas to have been born someone other than who would betray Christ. The issue isn't with Judas' being born per se, but rather being born to fulfill prophecy as "that man" (as it has been written, the focus of Jesus' statement).

So where does this leave us? Is betrayal the unpardonable sin? No. Was this betrayal laid to Judas' charge alone? Also, no. But rather they of the sons of Israel:

Mat 27:9 Then was fulfilled that spoken through Jeremiah the prophet, saying, `And I took the thirty silverlings, the price of him who hath been priced, whom they of the sons of Israel did price,

Did Judas repent? In some sense yes, he did, but was it to God? Perhaps so, perhaps not. It does not say:

Mat 27:3 Then Judas--he who delivered him up--having seen that he was condemned, having repented, brought back the thirty silverlings to the chief priests, and to the elders, saying,
Mat 27:4 `I did sin, having delivered up innocent blood;' and they said, `What--to us? thou shalt see!'

Surprisingly, this particular Greek word for repent (μεταμέλομαι as opposed to μετάνοια), occurs only 5 times in the NT. Here is one of those places:

Mat 21:32 for John came unto you in the way of righteousness, and ye did not believe him, and the tax-gatherers and the harlots did believe him, and ye, having seen, repented not at last--to believe him.

Anyway, this in no way will justify Judas' betrayal, but just some thoughts...

Last edited by AlabamaStorm; 01-23-2010 at 06:36 PM.. Reason: spelling
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Old 01-23-2010, 05:36 PM
 
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Dear Jremy,
Please consider this on eis tous aionas ton aionon:

Rev 1:18 "and the Living One: and I became dead, and lo! living am I for the eons of the eons. (Amen!) And I have the keys of death and of the unseen."


Rev 20:4 And I perceived thrones, and they are seated on them, and judgment was granted to them. And the souls of those executed because of the testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who do not worship the wild beast or its image, and did not get the emblem on their forehead and on their hand- they also live and reign with Christ a thousand years."

Now then, if you are going to get "for the eons of the eons" to mean "eternity" or "eternal" then you are going to have to get "thousand years" to mean "eternity" or "eternal."

Do you think Christ and those with Him are going to all of a sudden drop dead when the thousand years ends? I sure hope you don't. Yet you surely (at least I hope not) would never make "thousand" to mean "eternal" just to ensure Christ and those with Him to live eternally.

Neither should we make "for the eons of the eons" mean "eternal" or "eterity" just so we can get Christ to live unendingly.

The point Christ is making in Revelation is that He is consoling those believers that He is not going to die during the next two eons which are the greatest of all the eons which went before. He is going to continue living during the next two eons. It is not that difficult to grasp. It just is that you have to wrap your consecrated mind around the concept.
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Old 01-23-2010, 06:19 PM
 
Location: Seattle, Wa
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eusebius View Post
Dear Jremy,
Please consider this on eis tous aionas ton aionon:

Rev 1:18 "and the Living One: and I became dead, and lo! living am I for the eons of the eons. (Amen!) And I have the keys of death and of the unseen."


Rev 20:4 And I perceived thrones, and they are seated on them, and judgment was granted to them. And the souls of those executed because of the testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who do not worship the wild beast or its image, and did not get the emblem on their forehead and on their hand- they also live and reign with Christ a thousand years."

Now then, if you are going to get "for the eons of the eons" to mean "eternity" or "eternal" then you are going to have to get "thousand years" to mean "eternity" or "eternal."

Do you think Christ and those with Him are going to all of a sudden drop dead when the thousand years ends? I sure hope you don't. Yet you surely (at least I hope not) would never make "thousand" to mean "eternal" just to ensure Christ and those with Him to live eternally.

Neither should we make "for the eons of the eons" mean "eternal" or "eterity" just so we can get Christ to live unendingly.

The point Christ is making in Revelation is that He is consoling those believers that He is not going to die during the next two eons which are the greatest of all the eons which went before. He is going to continue living during the next two eons. It is not that difficult to grasp. It just is that you have to wrap your consecrated mind around the concept.
How is Rev 1:18, contextually with Christ/the first and the last/who is God, tied in with Rev 20/when the saints live and reign with Christ for a 1000 years?

At the end of the 1000 years the saints/servants rule the kingdom forever and ever.

Rev 22:3 And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him:
Rev 22:4 And they shall see his face; and his name [shall be] in their foreheads.
Rev 22:5 And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.

Dan 7:18 'But the saints of the Most High shall receive the kingdom and possess the kingdom forever, forever and ever.'
Dan 7:27 'And the kingdom and the dominion and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High; their kingdom shall be an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey them

You are way out of context.
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Old 01-23-2010, 06:50 PM
 
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Originally Posted by AlabamaStorm View Post
Christ said: Good were it for him if had not been born that man.

Interpretation: It would have been better for Judas to have been born someone other than who would betray Christ. The issue isn't with Judas' being born per se, but rather being born to fulfill prophecy as "that man" (as it has been written, the focus of Jesus' statement).
Yes, but this doesn't detract from the fact that Christ commented on the woe that Judas faced. The fact that Judas fulfilled prophecy does not negate the fact that in the very next sentence, Christ says that it would have been better for him to have not been born. Whether he fulfilled prophecy or not is irrelevant to the question of his fate.


Quote:
So where does this leave us? Is betrayal the unpardonable sin? No. Was this betrayal laid to Judas' charge alone? Also, no. But rather they of the sons of Israel:

Mat 27:9 Then was fulfilled that spoken through Jeremiah the prophet, saying, `And I took the thirty silverlings, the price of him who hath been priced, whom they of the sons of Israel did price,
This is all true, but as above, it is irrelevant to the fact that Christ said Judas faced a fate worse than nonexistence. Israel has nothing to do with this verse, and Israel is not in view at all in the passage. If the verse about the sons of Israel helped us understand Judas' fate better, then it would be helpful, but it doesn't.
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Old 01-23-2010, 07:04 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Eusebius View Post
Dear Jremy,
Please consider this on eis tous aionas ton aionon:

Rev 1:18 "and the Living One: and I became dead, and lo! living am I for the eons of the eons. (Amen!) And I have the keys of death and of the unseen."


Rev 20:4 And I perceived thrones, and they are seated on them, and judgment was granted to them. And the souls of those executed because of the testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who do not worship the wild beast or its image, and did not get the emblem on their forehead and on their hand- they also live and reign with Christ a thousand years."

Now then, if you are going to get "for the eons of the eons" to mean "eternity" or "eternal" then you are going to have to get "thousand years" to mean "eternity" or "eternal."

Do you think Christ and those with Him are going to all of a sudden drop dead when the thousand years ends? I sure hope you don't. Yet you surely (at least I hope not) would never make "thousand" to mean "eternal" just to ensure Christ and those with Him to live eternally.
That's right, I don't because the context doesn't demand it. As Sciotamicks rightly pointed out, other parts of Revelation show this.

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Neither should we make "for the eons of the eons" mean "eternal" or "eterity" just so we can get Christ to live unendingly.
I'm not doing it so I can "get Christ to live unendingly." I'm translating it based on the context rather than on my theology. We know that Christ will never die because "knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, is never to die again; death no longer is master over Him" (Romans 6:9, NASB). Therefore, when Revelation 1:18 says that Christ lives "eis tous aiwnas twn aiwnwn," it means that he lives forever. If you wish to disprove this by showing that this Greek phrase cannot mean forever in this verse but rather that it must mean that Christ is alive for a finite time, then you need to show it in a manner that is consistent with the context of that passage. You also need to translate it in a manner that makes sense to the English speaker. "For the eons of the eons" is a phrase peculiar to Greek and not to English and, therefore, needs to be translated in a manner that the English reader can understand.

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It just is that you have to wrap your consecrated mind around the concept.
"consecrated mind"? What exactly do you mean by that comment?
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