Statesboro, GA, USA
Hello everyone, sorry it took me so long ... been busy.
Sorry if this gets long
Hello: Boy, there are so many verses and points being discussed, It's hard to know where to start.
Arnold you're right. That's why I'm only going to address a couple of things at a time. I'm not avoiding your comments. (I do plan on commenting on the meaning of "death") I just don't think we've adequately dealt with what has already been discussed.
Stephen, you didn't finish quoting me. I said that Christ reigns UNTIL all enemines are put uncer His feet. And then the Kingdom has no end under the control of God the Father.
Okay, I'll finish quoting you this time:
But at least in two of them it cannot mean "eternal":††Rev 11:15 says, "The kingdom of this world became our Lord's and His Christ's, and He shall be reigning for the eons of the eons! Amen!"††But 1 Cor 15:24,25 Paul tells us that Christ reigns UNTIL all enemies are put under His feet.
I was simply refuting what you said concerning Revelation 11:15 (that it cannot refer to an eternal reign). It really doesn't matter that 1 Corinthians 15:25 expresses a limit to the authority of the Son. Rev 11:15 refers to both the Father AND the Son. Therefore, the limitation of "ages of the ages" to a temporary state would make no sense. Unless the verse is telling us that God's Kingdom is temporary.
I'm not disputing what 1 Corinthians 15:24.25 says, at all. I'm just pointing out that it doesn't affect Rev:11:15 in the least.
As to the doctrine of eternal torment, have you asked yourself, how could an all powerful, all knowing, all loving God rub his hands with glee, in a sense, to see the great majority of His created beings, suffer on and on and on through eternity?††That is not the God I believe is revealed in the scriptures.
That's not the God I believe is revealed in the scriptures either. Let me explain.
You're making the mistake of equating God's punitive justice, with some kind of human delight in inflicting pain. But one doesn't necessarily imply the other. You're imagining the "glee" part, I think. There are many verses of scripture which describe judgement and punishment as God's "strange work", as something he does almost reluctantly because justice demands it, certainly not because he takes delight in doing so.
I don't see that understanding the word eternal as belonging only to God, i.e., his attributes, etc. as limiting God. God is unending as well. It speaks of His quality and His unique existence...without beginning and end, outside of our conception of time. God isn't limited, but man is.
Let me try to explain myself. I think you might be misunderstanding me. I know that God is "unending". But so are we when redeemed. Our existence with God is not a temporal one, and is described using the very same words which describe the punishment of the damned. So my question remains: How do you so easily deny the eternal qualities of one (damnation) based upon an assessment of the language, when the description of eternal life uses the exact same words? You can't convincingly argue temporality, using the nature of the language, unless this applies to BOTH examples. You would never speak of a limited, temporal, or finite salvation ... yet it is described with the same terms?
in all my studies Iíve never heard of A.T.††Robinson and canít seem to find anything he has written other than what you have already shared here. Do you have a link of his work?
You might find more under "John A.T. Robinson". He was an Anglican Bishop, and a noted Biblical scholar. He wrote the infamous "Honest to God" which sets forth his very liberal theology, influenced mostly by 19th century humanist philosophy. He's also written many other books.
The only reason I quoted him, was that he is a noted universalist, and yet knew that it was textual maltreatment to ignore the parallelism of Matthew 25:46.
Below are some quotes and associated links that you might find useful.
We both know that translations can have doctrinal slants. I think it would be more profitable to discuss why a certain rendering has more weight than another. The Greek word "aionon" can indeed be used to describe both unending duration and limited duration depending upon context ... and also depending upon whether the word is used alone or in a phrase like "to the ages of the ages". Context is what needs to be discussed. The Language issue keeps coming up. But it can't settle the issue by itself. Let's move on to context.
And quotes are good for support of one's view. But I would like to hear more of why you see it the way you do, rather than read someone else. For example, I would like to hear you articulate why you believe we should consider Jesus' words as applying to himself rather than Judas: "It had been better for him had that man never been born". Why does "him" being Jesus make more sense in this passage?
Who is the Him? The answer is in the preceding clause.
The quote you gave, points out rightly that in the Greek, the statement of Mark 14:21 is literally "It were ideal for Him if that man was not born." That much is true.
The question is asked, Who is the Him? The answer is in the preceding clause. There we have the pronoun autou, "Him," and anthropo ekeino, "that man," both referred to in such a way that we cannot mistake them.
I absolutely agree.
"Him" is the Son of Man, "that man" is Judas. The Him cannot refer to Judas,
Really? Why can't it refer to Judas? Contextually it makes little sense any other way except Judas. Let me quote the whole verse and try to explain:
"And as they sat and did eat, Jesus said, "Verily I say unto you, One of you which eateth with me shall betray me." And they began to be sorrowful, and to say unto him one by one, Is it I? and another said, Is it I? And he answered and said unto them, "It is one of the twelve, that dippeth with me in the dish. The Son of man indeed goeth, as it is written of him: but woe to that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! It were good for him if that man never been born.""
The writer of the quote which you gave, stated that we are to understand who "Him" refers to by considering the preceding verse. But what does the preceding verse say? It says "Woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed". So the flow of thought is about the state of the betrayer. "Woe unto that man" and "Not good for him" are parallel thoughts. And it is most naturally to be understood that they refer to the same thing.
A second point to consider is this: This is a discourse from a man who was resolutely sure of his altruistic destiny on the cross, knew it was the will of God, and tended to rebuke any attempt at human sympathy or sentimentality concerning what must be done. (Remember how Peter was rebuked for trying to pull Jesus away from his talk about his death on the cross?). So a reference to his own good, his own merely human concern about well being, would be highly uncharacteristic of Jesus. Actually it would be highly uncharacteristic for him to say such a thing at any time. But it would have been especially incongruous for him to say it on the eve of the cross.
Thirdly, from a theological standpoint, would it even be true that "it were better for Jesus, if that man had never been born"? Elsewhere I remember Jesus telling the women of Jerusalem not to weep for him, but for themselves and their children, "for if they do these things in a green tree, what shall be done in the dry"? Elsewhere Jesus told his disciples, "I have chosen you, and one of you is a devil". He understood that it was the will of God that he should go to the cross. And thoughts of ultimate good would not be expressed in such self-sorrowful laments as "it would be better for me, had Judas never been born".
The closest we can come to a merely human expression of concern about himself is the brief groan in Gethsemane where Jesus prayed "Let this cup pass from me. Yet not my will, but thine be done".
As characteristic of Jesus, any self concern was directed to his Father in semi-private prayer, (for fear that it would be misunderstood, and elicit attempts of fleshly defense on the part of his disciples) and was immediately followed by a modifying statement... "YET, not my will". "let this cup pass from me" & "I would be better off if Judas hadn't been born" are miles apart in their sentiments. One is proper to human grief, the other is extreme, even foreign, in the mouth of our Lord.
But if you want to say that this passage in Mark is the same kind of statement as the one in Gethsemane, I would also say it just doesn't fit ... like a puzzle piece stuck in the wrong place.
1) It breaks the contextual flow of the passage, and makes for a highly awkward and forced reading.
2) It is highly uncharacteristic of Jesus
3) It is theologically and actually untrue, except in the mood of self pity, which is the mood Jesus was attempting to deny the most on the eve of his capture and crucifixion.