Author Topic: What about Polycarp and others teaching about eternal hell?  (Read 3952 times)

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seirwyn

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What about Polycarp and others teaching about eternal hell?
« on: January 14, 2009, 12:22:52 AM »
I have heard that the early church taught universalism but when I look atsuch works as the martyrdom of polycarp, st Justin the martyr and many others shown in the link below:
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/anf01.toc.html
they ALL talk about eternal fire!!  Is this another mistranslation? Can anyone shed any light on this?

Offline Doc

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Re: What about Polycarp and others teaching about eternal hell?
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2009, 01:12:30 AM »
I have heard that the early church taught universalism but when I look atsuch works as the martyrdom of polycarp, st Justin the martyr and many others shown in the link below:
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/anf01.toc.html
they ALL talk about eternal fire!!  Is this another mistranslation? Can anyone shed any light on this?

I have heard a number of things regarding these instances. One possibility could certainly be a translation issue, or at least a misunderstanding of what they meant when they used certain words (what one person means by "eternal fire" may be completely different from someone else using the phrase! particularly in light of ancient versus modern understanding of the terminology)
Some changed their minds at some point (either for or against UR), and some taught things they didn't actually believe themselves (as evidenced by other of their own writings) for the purposes of not "tempting" those they felt could not handle the full truth. I believe there also were other instances of some of these writings getting changed later by others (post-mortem) to fit prevailing doctrinal stances...

It's a big mess, and sometimes you have to sift through a lot of stuff to get to the truth about these guys...
God does not instruct us to pray to change His mind. He wants us to pray so that we'll know His mind.
 
"Prayer doesn't change God, it changes me." --C.S. Lewis

God never had or needed a Plan B. He's still on Plan A.

Res Veritas Loquitur

Offline Pierac

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Re: What about Polycarp and others teaching about eternal hell?
« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2009, 01:24:14 AM »
Remember, you are reading a translation.  So did Polycarp write Aion fire or eternal fire? There is a big difference  :2c:

Paul

seirwyn

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Re: What about Polycarp and others teaching about eternal hell?
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2009, 08:48:13 AM »
yeah I did notice that in every case they used the word 'eternal' or 'everlasting' -which is the same word used in the Bible. Does anyone know when they were translated? this would be an indication as to whether it got mistranslated. Interestingly, they say that there will be no escape from it. But this does not mean endless, since in our world prisioners cannot escape yet their sentences do come to and end. Jesus also says twice 'you will not get out until you have paid the last penny' meaning that there will beb no escape until all sins are paid for. Then (according to my theory) the work of Jesus cleanses these people from their criminal record so that they can get into heaven. IN my view, being justified and payinfg the cost of sin are two seperate things-we can pay for our own sin, should we chooose to not reopent, but we can never make ourselves clean -only Jesus can do this. I intend to post a full discussion of my theory once I have it fully worked out. OK, Im digressing!!

Offline chuckt

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Re: What about Polycarp and others teaching about eternal hell?
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2009, 03:42:10 PM »
I have heard that the early church taught universalism but when I look atsuch works as the martyrdom of polycarp, st Justin the martyr and many others shown in the link below:
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/anf01.toc.html
they ALL talk about eternal fire!!  Is this another mistranslation? Can anyone shed any light on this?

greetings,

there has always been the two sides, it wasnt until 3-5th century that ET became official church doctrine, before the 5th century they worshiped side by side and neither side was considered heretical, thanks to constatine and others UR became heretical and they where cast aside as heretics some even killed.

God bless
chuckt
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Offline Doc

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Re: What about Polycarp and others teaching about eternal hell?
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2009, 08:49:18 PM »
And actually Chuck, ET was a minority view until it became official church doctrine.  :sigh:
God does not instruct us to pray to change His mind. He wants us to pray so that we'll know His mind.
 
"Prayer doesn't change God, it changes me." --C.S. Lewis

God never had or needed a Plan B. He's still on Plan A.

Res Veritas Loquitur

Offline WhiteWings

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Re: What about Polycarp and others teaching about eternal hell?
« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2009, 08:00:59 PM »
Even his name is a translation error.
Should be Polycrap. Meaning lots of crap  :laughing7:

Seriously now I fully agree with Pierac.
Quote
Remember, you are reading a translation.  So did Polycarp write Aion fire or eternal fire? There is a big difference
 


1 Timothy 2:3-4  ...God our Savior;  Who will have all men to be saved...
John 12:47  And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.
Romans 4:5 But to the one who does not work, but believes in the one who declares the ungodly righteous ...

Offline sven

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Re: What about Polycarp and others teaching about eternal hell?
« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2009, 10:31:59 PM »
I came across this thread right now, I think Justin the Martyr believed in annihilation, as far as I know he spoke about aionios punishment but meant with aionios less than 1000 years.

Offline sven

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Re: What about Polycarp and others teaching about eternal hell?
« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2009, 09:40:57 PM »
i found some things:

IRENĈUS.

Quote
Irenĉus (78) says, "the unjust shall be sent into inextinguishable and eternal fire," and yet he taught that the wicked are to be annihilated: (79) "When it is necessary that the soul should no longer exist, the vital spirit leaves it, and the soul is no more, but returns thither whence it was taken." Dr. Beecher pertinently observes: (80) "What then are the facts as to Irenĉus? Since he has been canonized as a saint, and since he stood in such close connection with Polycarp and with John the apostle, there has been a very great reluctance to admit the real facts of the case. Massuetus has employed much sophistry in endeavoring to hide them. Nevertheless, as we shall clearly show hereafter, they are incontrovertibly these: that he taught a final restitution of all things to unity and order by the annihilation of all the finally impenitent. Express statements of his in this creed, and in a fragment referred to by Prof. Schaff, on universal restoration, (81) and in other parts of his great work against the Gnostics, prove this beyond all possibility of refutation. The inference from this is plain. He did not understand aiónios in the sense of eternal; but in the sense claimed by Prof. Lewis, that is, pertaining to the world to come." These are his words: "Christ will do away with all evil, and make an end of all impurities." He further says (82) that certain persons "shall not receive from him (the Creator) length of days forever and ever." Thus the word denoted limited duration in his time, A. D. 170, 200.

http://www.hopebeyondhell.net/eternity.php



Offline sven

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Re: What about Polycarp and others teaching about eternal hell?
« Reply #9 on: March 09, 2009, 11:11:52 PM »
I've just read the letter to Diognet

It says, those who are condemned to eternal ( I guess aionios) fire will suffer until the end.

how to you understand this:

those who are condemned to aeonian fire will suffer until the end.

did the writer understand aenoian fire as limited as he wrote until the end?

Offline chuckt

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Re: What about Polycarp and others teaching about eternal hell?
« Reply #10 on: March 10, 2009, 07:13:35 PM »
I've just read the letter to Diognet

It says, those who are condemned to eternal ( I guess aionios) fire will suffer until the end.

how to you understand this:

those who are condemned to aeonian fire will suffer until the end.

did the writer understand aenoian fire as limited as he wrote until the end?


maybe he's saying the  suffering ends in ""the end""

i get the feeling there is much we dont know about ""the end"'

peace
chuckt
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Offline sven

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Re: What about Polycarp and others teaching about eternal hell?
« Reply #11 on: March 10, 2009, 07:59:49 PM »
maybe he meant until this end:

1 Corinthians 15:22-24

For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming. Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.

the greek word seems to be telos, I think this also means goal or target, I don't know which greek word there is used in this text.

they who are condemned to aeonion fire suffer aeonion torment until the end

it really seems there might be an end intended by the writer, this letter is from 190 AD, so not one of the earliest writing, but such things are allways scary to read, it was even posted on an universalist page!

Offline sven

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Re: What about Polycarp and others teaching about eternal hell?
« Reply #12 on: March 14, 2009, 12:26:24 AM »
found something more:

The Epistle to Diognetus.--This letter was long ascribed to Justin Martyr, but it is now generally regarded as anonymous. It was written not far from A.D. 100, perhaps by Marcion, possibly by Justin Martyr. It is a beautiful composition, full of the most apostolic spirit. It has very little belonging to our theme, except that at the close of Chapter X it speaks of "those who shall be condemned to the aionion fire which shall chastise those who are committed to it even unto an end," 11 (mechri telous). Even if aionion usually meant endless, it is limited here by the word "unto" which has the force of until, as does aidios in Jude 6,--"aidios chains under darkness, unto (or until) the judgment of the great day." Such a limited chastisement, it would seem, could only be believed in by one who regarded God as Diognetus's correspondent did, as one who "still is, was always, and ever will be kind and good, and free from wrath."