Author Topic: Aionios kolasis  (Read 6029 times)

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Mr.Irrelevant

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Re: Aionios kolasis
« Reply #25 on: April 30, 2009, 10:01:15 PM »

Aside from other questions I might have though, the term "aionios kolasis" is creating a stumbling block for me. Believers in a Hell of endless torment seem to think that this means "eternal punishment," while Christian Universalists seem to think of it as "age-lasting correction." But seeing as, obviously, people hold different opinions, I'm not sure which to believe. Obviously "unending punishment" would still make sense from an annihilation stand point, but honestly I'd rather it mean "age-lasting correction." 

If you guys could help me see the issue regarding this phrase more clearly, that'd be awesome. Especially convincing to me would be some sort of "debate" between a Hell believer and Universalist in which the Hell believer conceded to the "age-lasting" definition of "aionios kolasis."

Hi Tim,  let me take a crack at your question, as I have been dealing with this argument for almost a year now.  I'm not going to present this as a debate per se, but I'll list the steps I have taken when trying to prove my point.

The first thing we have to help people realize is that the Greek "aionios" does not ALWAYS mean "everlasting."  (Some people will say it NEVER means everlasting, but frankly I don't want to fight that fight) It's easy enough to show them Titus 1:2 where it's translated "long ages ago" or Jude 7 where Sodom is said to have been punished with "eternal fire"(is Sodom still burning?) and get them to concede the point. Now the question has changed to "how do we determine when aionios means everlasting and when does it mean something else?  The answer, as usual, is that we get the precise meaning of words from their context - so let's look at the context.

The second point we have to make in our discussion is that the combination of "aionios kolasis" only appears once in the Bible, and that of course is in Matthew 25: 46 - "These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life ." (NASB)  This is by far the most popular verse people bring up to show me that punishment is everlasting, their point being that if punishment isn't everlasting in this verse than life isn't everlasting either.  Again it's easy to point out the fallacy of that statement.  First I confirm that the word itself is an adjective, and then I ask them if in the sentence, "The big man drove his big tractor into the big barn" the man, tractor, and barn are all the same size?  Of course the answer is no, and so I simply say that in the same way "punishment" and "life" don't have to share the same duration in Matt. 25:46.

Now I surprise them by saying that even though the adjective aionios doesn't have to mean the same thing here, I agree with them that it does.  But in neither case do I think it means "everlasting."  I begin this part of the discussion by looking into the root word of aionios, "aion."  Again it's easy to show how it means "age". (use a concordance to look up where the word is used substituting "age" everytime) In English we don't have an adjective built off of the word age, but in Greek it's similiar to how we use the adjective "powerful" from the noun "power". A "powerful man" might also be called a "man of power", so I make the case that aionios is simply "of the age" - with the context telling us WHICH age we're talking about.  Again I'll walk them through the scriptures substituting "of the age" where it reads "eternal" and they are surprised at how well it works.

So finally, what is the context of Matt 25:46?  Which age is aionios referring to here?  Matt 25:46 is last verse of a section beginning in verse 31, which gives us the timeframe of the return of Christ at the beginning of the Milleniel Kingdom, also know as "the Kingdom Age."  So verse 46 can be read, "These will go away into the punishment of the Kingdom Age, but the righteous into the life of the Kingdom Age ."  What does the life of the Kingdom Age look like?  Fine Linen above has already pointed out John 17:3, and you can also see it prophesied in Ezekiel 36:23-28.

And what about "the punishment of the Kingdom Age", what does that look like?  Paul defines this punishment for us in 2 Thess. 1:6-10 as being away from the presence of the Lord and His power.  In other words, outside of the kingdom.  (Again the context is the earthly return of Christ at the beginning of the Kingdom Age, and again aionios is mistranslated as "eternal.")  The good news for those so punished is that the Kingdom Age is NOT everlasting - and eventually all will be made righteous.

I didn't intend to go on at such length here. I hope it helped.  I wish I could tell you that this process changed peoples minds about eternal torment, but unfortunately the best result I've seen is those with honest hearts having to stop and think about their position.  Hopefully the conversations will continue.


Offline Doc

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Re: Aionios kolasis
« Reply #26 on: April 30, 2009, 10:21:29 PM »
Another way to look at aionios aionion that can be helpful as well, is that it has less to do with duration and more to do with quality. In other words, aionios/ aionion is more of a statement of quality than quantity, as demonstrated by the verse; John 17:3 "Now it is eonian (aionios) life that they may know Thee, the only true God, and Him Whom Thou dost commission, Jesus Christ."

In other words, knowing God is the aionios life. It has nothing to do with duration.
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.

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Offline legoman

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Re: Aionios kolasis
« Reply #27 on: May 01, 2009, 03:42:41 PM »
Hi Mr.Irrelevant,

Thanks for your post, it made me realize something:

2 Thes 1:9 These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power,

Rev 14:10 he also will drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is mixed in full strength in the cup of His anger; and he will be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb.
 11"And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever; they have no rest day and night, those who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name."

Anyone see the problem here?  If one believes in eternal torment, what is that eternal torment?  Destruction away from the presence of the Lord, or torment in the presence of the Lord?  It can't be both!  Yet another nail in the coffin for ET...

It gives some interesting clues for the UR perspective.  It sounds like while the elect are reigning in the millenium, the wicked are sent away to be not in the presence of God.  This is probably reference to the outer darkness - weeping and gnashing of teeth?  Or is this just unconscious death?

Then at the GWT they are thrown into the LoF which is when there is torment in the presence of the lamb.

« Last Edit: May 01, 2009, 03:45:35 PM by legoman »

Offline CHB

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Re: Aionios kolasis
« Reply #28 on: May 01, 2009, 04:53:00 PM »

Something I was thinking of is the word punishment. Everlasting punishment sounds like something that has an ending. Everlasting punishing sounds more like a never ending thing.

What I mean is, if the lesson that was learned from the punishment last forever, then it would be everlasting punishment. If you received everlasting punishing, then the correction would not end.  Hope that made sense.  :mblush:

CHB

Offline WhiteWings

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Re: Aionios kolasis
« Reply #29 on: May 01, 2009, 06:03:31 PM »
Literal translations like YLT write age-during.

At first I thought torment was/is another word for torture. (English is not my 1st language)
But it is not.


Tormented
928 basani,zw basanizo {bas-an-id'-zo}
Meaning: 
Quote
to test (metals) by the touchstone, which is a black siliceous stone used to test the purity of gold or silver by the color of the streak produced on it by rubbing it with either metal
to question by applying torture
to torture
to vex with grievous pains (of body or mind), to torment
to be harassed, distressed
of those who at sea are struggling with a head wind


As you see torture is part of the defenition; but not the primary.

It is derived from
Quote
931 ba,sanoj basanos {bas'-an-os}
Meaning:  1) a touchstone, which is a black siliceous stone used to test the purity of gold or silver by the colour of the streak produced on it by rubbing it with either metal 2) the rack or instrument of torture by which one is forced to divulge the truth 3) torture, torment, acute pains 3a) of the pains of a disease 3b) of those in hell after death
And there we have that stone again.

Tests are about results. If it lasts eternally there is no result.
Will Jesus spend eterinity in hell watching? I guess Jesus is omipresent and can be in hell and heaven at the same time. But angels?

Quote
It sounds like while the elect are reigning in the millenium
Revelation 20:5  But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.
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 WhiteWings

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Re: Aionios kolasis
« Reply #30 on: May 01, 2009, 06:03:47 PM »

Here it comes...... :laughing7:
1 Corinthians 11:32  and being judged by the Lord, we are chastened .... => We are judged by being chastened.
Titus 2:11-12  For the saving grace of God was manifested to all men, teaching us, that .... => Teaching is the grace of God.
Revelation 20:10  .... and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. => the result of judgement

Teaching + Chastened
paideu,w paideuo {pahee-dyoo'-o}
Meaning: 
 to train children
to be instructed or taught or learn
to cause one to learn
 to chastise
to chastise or castigate with words, to correct
of those who are moulding the character of others by reproof and admonition
of God
to chasten by the affliction of evils and calamities
to chastise with blows, to scourge
of a father punishing his son
of a judge ordering one to be scourged

Grace
ca,rij charis {khar'-ece}
Meaning: 
grace
that which affords joy, pleasure, delight, sweetness, charm, loveliness: grace of speech
good will, loving-kindness, favour
of the merciful kindness by which God, exerting his holy influence upon souls, turns them to Christ, keeps, strengthens, increases them in Christian faith, knowledge, affection, and kindles them to the exercise of the Christian virtues
what is due to grace
the spiritual condition of one governed by the power of divine grace
the token or proof of grace, benefit
a gift of grace
benefit, bounty
thanks, (for benefits, services, favours), recompense, reward

Judged
kri,nw krino {kree'-no}
Meaning: 
to separate, put asunder, to pick out, select, choose
to approve, esteem, to prefer
to be of opinion, deem, think, to be of opinion
to determine, resolve, decree
to judge
to pronounce an opinion concerning right and wrong
to be judged, i.e. summoned to trial that one's case may be examined and judgment passed upon it
to pronounce judgment, to subject to censure
of those who act the part of judges or arbiters in matters of common life, or pass judgment on the deeds and words of others
to rule, govern
to preside over with the power of giving judicial decisions, because it was the prerogative of kings and rulers to pass judgment
to contend together, of warriors and combatants
to dispute
in a forensic sense
to go to law, have suit at law


Judged => Chastened => Teaching => Grace
God corrects His children by teaching them, so He can approve them with love
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 gregoryfl

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Re: Aionios kolasis
« Reply #31 on: May 01, 2009, 11:59:16 PM »
Hi Mr.Irrelevant,

Thanks for your post, it made me realize something:

2 Thes 1:9 These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power,

Rev 14:10 he also will drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is mixed in full strength in the cup of His anger; and he will be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb.
 11"And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever; they have no rest day and night, those who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name."

Anyone see the problem here?  If one believes in eternal torment, what is that eternal torment?  Destruction away from the presence of the Lord, or torment in the presence of the Lord?  It can't be both!  Yet another nail in the coffin for ET...

Let me share another translation which clears up the confusion:

2Th 1:9  These shall pay a penalty--eonian destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His might,

Rev 14:10  then he shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out undiluted in the cup of His wrath. And they shall be tormented with fire and brimstone before the holy angels and before the Lamb.

That little word "away" is neither in the Greek, nor in the Aramaic. The source of the destruction is his presence of glory. Thus the torment is in his presence, before his face.

Ron

Mr.Irrelevant

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Re: Aionios kolasis
« Reply #32 on: May 02, 2009, 12:56:38 AM »
Hey Ron,
That's interesting, thanks for pointing that out. The word in question is "apo" which is a preposition with two meanings, the first is "away from" and the second is "originating from."

http://www.studylight.org/isb/view.cgi?number=575

So I guess this passage can be read either way.

Jim

Tim B

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Re: Aionios kolasis
« Reply #33 on: May 03, 2009, 09:00:02 PM »
Thanks for all your replies guys, it's very encouraging!  :bigGrin:

God & Jesus = WIN lol

Offline sven

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Re: Aionios kolasis
« Reply #34 on: May 03, 2009, 09:09:43 PM »
concerning 2Th 1:9 if have a question, the Greek word is olethros (oleJroV) as far as I know, German bibles translate it as perdition, while destruction implies extinction, perdition might imply conscious suffering (but not necessarily).

the same word is used in 1 Corinthians 5:5

To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.

what do you think is meant in 1 Corinthians 5:5; the extinction of an allegorical flesh, maybe the carnal mind - or the perdition of this man's literal flesh?

« Last Edit: May 04, 2009, 05:30:28 PM by sven »

Offline WhiteWings

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Re: Aionios kolasis
« Reply #35 on: May 03, 2009, 09:17:12 PM »
Thanks for all your replies guys, it's very encouraging!  :bigGrin:

God & Jesus = WIN lol

Tim,

Don't forced the HS!
He likes a pat on the back too.  :laughing7:
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 ...