The Evangelical Universalist Forum

If EU Is True How Do You Define "Son Of Perdition"


Which is the title given to two people. Judas Iscariot(John 17:12)and the antichrist(2 Thessalonians 2:3)which defines perdition as destruction?


The term “perdition” refers to “loss of well being”, not hell or eternal loss of well being:

"684 /apṓleia (“perdition”) does not imply “annihilation” (see the meaning of the root-verb, 622 /apóllymi, “cut off”) but instead “loss of well-being” rather than being(Vine’s Expository Dictionary)

While I was with them, I kept them in thy name. Those whom thou gavest me have I kept; and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition, that the scripture may be fulfilled. (Jn.17:12)

The koiné Greek word for “lost” in that passage is apollumi.

“The use of “apollumi” is interesting; it’s the same word Jesus uses to describe the people that he came to find and save. The same verb is used in the parable of the lost coin in Luke 15:8-10, which describes a woman who has “apollumi” a silver coin. After “losing” the coin, she “seeks diligently” until she finds it. After she finds it, she then “rejoices” with her friends. In the parable, the lost coin represents a sinner, while the woman represents God. The woman finding her coin is akin to a sinner repenting (God gets back something that is very valuable to him).”

Apollumi is also used of the “lost” prodigal son who is later found (Luke 15).

Everyone, before they are saved, are “children of disobedience”, “children of the devil” and “children of wrath”:

By this the children of God and the children of the devil can be distinguished:Anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is anyone who does not love his brother. (1 Jn.3:10)

in which you used to walk when you conformed to the ways of this world and of the ruler of the power of the air, the spirit who is now at work in the sons of disobedience. (Eph.2:2)

Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. (Eph.2:3)

So Judas being called “son of perdition” is much the same.

His destiny, along with the rest of mankind, is to have God living in him as his all:

And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then the Son also himself shall be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all. (1 Cor.15:28)

Romans 5:18 Therefore, as by the offence of one, unto all men to condemnation; so also by the justice of one, unto all men to justification of life. 19 For as by the disobedience of one man, many were made sinners; so also by the obedience of one, many shall be made just.

Jn.1:29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!


To Origen’s fine exposition, I will add that even in the context of John 17, both locally nearby and back to the start of the Final Discourse (chp 14 if I recall correctly offhand), Iscariot is included among the all things given to the Son by the Father and the purpose of the Son is to lose none of the all things the Father has given to Him but rather to give eonian life to all whom (and even which!) the Father has given Him.

That necessarily includes Iscariot, so he will not be finally lost, even though he was not protected the way the other apostles and disciples were – all of whom also, to one degree or another, betrayed Christ that night eventually. I think there is a strong argument that Christ is even trying to edge them up to understanding that how successful they are as His apostles will depend on how successfully they love Iscariot despite his treachery (which they don’t know about yet at the time of the Discourse, thinking that he had gone out to either prepare for the real Passover Supper the next night or to do some customary charity in his place of honor if this was the real Passover Supper that night – their confusion over this is a bit of evidence that Jesus was holding the Passover one night early, which solves a number of harmonization problems, by the way.)

Note that this argument, if it applies to Iscariot (and I think it necessarily does), would apply by the same token to the final Antichrist, too. He is a servant and representative of destruction, but that by itself doesn’t mean he will be finally lost. None of us have any inherent advantage over Satan himself, and St. Paul in Ephesians goes so far as to say that he and his own salvation stand as an example of the chief of sinners. (He goes very far in Ephesians talking about universal salvation even for rebel spirits in other ways, too, including using our responsibility to evangelize them as an emphatic example of our responsibility to evangelize everyone else, too: the greater includes the less, if we’re supposed to evangelize even then for salvation, then obviously we’re supposed to evangelize these or those fellow humans, too. No one is excluded, and we have no excuses that someone is inherently not to be evangelized.)


I would add that the Calvinist site - Got Questions and Wiki, both comment on the son of perdition:

It should be noted, that I don’t always agree with Got Questions commentary. :smiley:

And I found this interesting - from Wiki:

There is also a discussion on Christian Stack entitled What is a faithful translation for “the son of perdition” in John 17:12?

I thought the first answer was very thorough: