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A Response to an Annihilist

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  • Jerry McDonald
    This is the relevant portions of a post that was posted on an email list concerning what I had posted on Mt. 10:28 by one of those who argues that once the
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 3 5:54 PM
      This is the relevant portions of a post that was posted on an email list concerning what I had posted on Mt. 10:28 by one of those who argues that once the soul goes to hell it is annihilated and will be no more:
      "Jerry posted the definition of the Greek word apollumi translated as "destroy" in Matt 10:28
      1e) metaphorically to devote or give over to eternal misery in hell
      Jerry, look up the definition to "metaphor" so that you will believe me. It's a figure of speech
      Looking up definitions to Greek words on the Internet does not make you a scholar or a translator. Stick to what real translators write
      Let the scriptures explain the scriptures. Here is what happens to the damned according to the scriptures...
      Real scripture terminology
      * Both their bodies and souls are destroyed
      * They receive eternal punishment
      * Which is eternal destruction
      * They perish
      * They die
      * They burn up
      * They receive the second death
      You are not a translator Jerry. The men who translated the Greek into these terms were and are real translators and scholars
      You stated that you will never change your beliefs. The Bible cannot help you until you decide to let the scriptures correct you.
      Don't fool yourself Jerry. You are not a preacher. You do terrible harm to the Body of Christ."
      In the first place, yes, I am very well aware of what a metaphore is. I have studied "figures of Speech" for the last 29 years and one thing I have learned is that just because something is a figure of speech this doesn't lessen its meaning. E.W. Bullinger wrote:
      "'Figurative language' is ignorantly spoken of as though it made less the meaning and deprived the words of their power and force. A passage of God's word is quoted; and it is met with the cry 'Oh, that is figurative'--implying that its meaning is weakened, or that it has quite a different meaning, or that it has no meaning at all. But the very opposite is the case. For the unusual form (figura) is never used except to add force to the truth conveyed, emphasis to the statement of it, and depth to the meaning of it" (Figures of Speech Used in the Bible, p.vi).
      Now Bullinger defines a Metaphor as "A Declaration that one thing is (or represents) another; or, Comparison by Representation" (p. 735). Here is a metaphor that Bullinger gives "1 Cor. xii, 27. 'Ye ARE the body of Christ" (Ibid, p. 740). Now metaphorically we are the body of Christ, but does that make it any less literal. Are we not literally the body of Christ? We are his spiritual body, not his literal physical body, but we are his literal spiritual body. Yet it is a figure of speech; a metaphor. So for this person to ignorantly chastise me on metaphors is absurd.
      Now what about Thayer's quotation. What I quoted from was "e-Sword" a Bible program, but this person has accused me, in the past, of not even owning a lexicon. I only own about a half a dozen different Greek lexicons and two Hebrew lexicons. And I do own the bound volume of Thayer's Greek to English Lexicon. Now what is really funny, and what "e-Sword" doesn't show, and that the book does show, is that this reference says: "metaph. to devote, or give over to eternal misery;" and it has a scripture reference "Mt. x. 28" (Thayer's Greek-English Lexicon, p. 64). Now, look at that. Thayer says that the word destroy in Mt. 10:28 is a metaphor. Well, if it is, and if this person is right about the metaphor not meaning anything, then nothing is going to happen to the wicked.
      No, we see what Thayer is talking about. He is saying that Jesus used the word "appolumi" as a metaphor (where one thing is or represents another thing). In other words, a figure of speech is used here to add depth and meaning to the passage. Note what John Gill had to say:
      "to torment and punish both body and soul "in hell", in everlasting burnings; for neither soul nor body will be annihilated; though this he is able to do. As the former clause expresses the immortality of the soul, this supposes the resurrection of the body; for how otherwise should it be destroyed, or punished with the soul in hell?" (Gill's Commentaries, e-Sword).
      The use of the metaphor here doesn't take away from it, nor does it show that the damnation won't be forever. The word "destroy" would literally mean to kill to completely do away with, but with the metaphor being employed we see Jesus showing that the punishment will be everlasting. So the "figure" back-fired in this person's face and supports my position. It supports the eternal destruction, not the annihilation idea.
      In Christ Jesus
      Jerry McDonald

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