II Thessalonians 1:8-9




At least it wasn’t a stupid question :confused: Thanks for all the earlier info Jason and co re the passage in 2 Thes.


So much is made out of it due to (1) the SSG not being clearly the guy whom Paul is recommending be restored in 2 Cor (nor does his story clearly have a happy ending even if 2 Cor is included – we don’t know what happened with the SSG afterward, whether he accepted the offer or even whether he lived or died after accepting the offer), and;

(2) because Paul strongly contrasts two expectations: the SSG’s sarx being olethron’d by Satan, using a term Paul elsewhere connects directly to people being physically killed; and the SSG’s spirit being saved in the Day of the Lord to come.

The two stories aren’t mutually exclusive, but do require Paul to be wrong (though in a good way) about when he expects the salvation to happen and wrong (in a good way) about what he expects to happen before the salvation.

But the key point is that Paul can expect someone to be olethron’d (even by Satan, though with the authoritative permission of God – through an apostle in this case), and yet still be saved in the same Day of the Lord Paul is talking about other evildoers being olethron’d in 2 Thess 1:8-9, even with eonian olethroning.


Could you not compare SSG being handed over to Satan to Job being handed over to Satan in Job 2:6? It’s different circumstances of course; SSG man is obviously not righteous and is being handed over to Satan as some sort of remedial punishment, whereas Job is ‘blameless and upright’ and seems to be being handed over to Satan more for Satan’s benefit than his own. At the same time, there is some sort of sanctification within Job, shown most clearly in the first six verses of chapter 42.


Could the phrase “hand over to Satan” be a figure of speech? Such as we might say “leaving someone to their own devices”? I just wonder if we are being a bit too literal over this question? :unamused:


Good question. Didn’t AE Knoch partner with someone who wrote a book on figures of speach?


This gets my vote too… I think we might be on a ** similar page **. :sunglasses:


Agreed. I think we take many statements of scripture like this far too literally, because that’s how many of us have been taught to think about them.


Of course the “olethroning” of evildoers is an “eonian olethroning” (lasting destruction). This destruction has its source “from the presence of the Lord and the glory of his might”. (The word “away” is not in the Greek as you know, and, in my opinion, has been inserted by some translators in order to set forth a particular exegetical bias as scriptural.)

Again this destruction is the destruction of the self-life (or flesh), and it is as LASTING destruction. It is not merely a temporary measure.


Hi guys. I’ve been away for a while but came back looking for some more info on the scary :wink: 2Thess passage and got caught up reading most of the thread here… and its wanderings. :laughing:

2 things.

  1. I just really love the intelligence and accommodating attitude that I find here at EU. SO refreshing.

  2. “But anyway, the difference is that the church, unlike society at large, had an active reputation for merciful acceptance and treatment of people whose ills would be feared and rejected by society.” WOW!!! Could it be that the Gospel is responsible for injecting into culture the notion that - “people can change”!?! AND that it is unjust to be forever defined by our most egregious fault(s). “Once a thief, always a thief.” “Once a cheat, always a cheat.” NOT SO IN THE GOSPEL!!

Surely the notion of personal reform wasn’t completely absent before the Gospel. There are many examples of repentance and reform in the OT - to use a Bible example. Surely the idea of personal reform was not unheard of before the Gospel. However, The Gospel and The Church, operating as all that it’s meant to be - as Gospel, ought to be a gigantic beacon reminding society - “You may reject, label and cast out, but God does not. Transformation is possible, even expected and demonstrated by ‘Gospel Power’. There is hope, expectation of transformation, for ALL.” Once again, the Gospel subverts the conventional wisdom of society that is so quick to draw lines and scapegoat.


The text is not a difficult one to reconcile with the Scriptural teaching of universal reconciliation(UR).

Simply put it speaks of an indefinite duration (=aionian, often deceptively rendered eternal/everlasting) of destruction:

hopebeyondhell.net/articles/ … /eternity/

Therefore, whatever you understand by the word “destruction” - whether death, annihilation or ruin - the text is perfectly harmonious with UR passages of the Bible. Problem solved.

Now you can rejoice in the Good News!

9 Who, indeed, a penalty, shall pay—age-abiding destruction from the face of the Lord and from the glory of his might— (Rotherham)

9 who shall incur the justice of eonian extermination from the face of the Lord, and from the glory of His strength" (CLNT)

9 who shall suffer justice – destruction age-during – from the face of the Lord, and from the glory of his strength, (YLT)


Yes, God handed Job over to Satan for the destruction of Job’s body, yet Satan was not allowed to take his life. Similarly the sinner of 1 Cor.5:4-5 was delivered by God’s power to Satan for destruction of the flesh that he may be saved in the day of the Lord. Both may refer to a destruction of the body by Satan.

If (1) the goal of this destruction (1 Cor.5:5) was the annihilation of the sinner’s fleshly nature, and if (2) destruction means annihilation again in 2 Thess.1:9, then it follows that 2 Thess.1:9 teaches the aionian annihilation of the - persons - of 2 Thess.1:9. For 2 Thess.1:9 refers to persons, not just the “flesh” of a person as in 1 Cor.5:5. Moreover, if this annihilation is so complete that it includes the entire person - spirit, soul & body - can it be harmonious with universal reconciliation (UR)? Not if UR requires the resurrection of the same body that ceases to exist, unless God recreating it counts as the same body & is not against Scripture.

A related matter is: did the salvation of this sinner ( Cor.5:1-5) require the total & 100% destruction/annihilation of his flesh nature? Or just repentance from a single type of sin that he was committing? Do the saved no longer have “the flesh” nature? If they still do, then the “flesh” to be “destroyed” in 1 Cor.5:5 does not refer to a sin nature being annihilated out of existence. gotquestions.org/two-natures.html

An alternate view is that the “flesh” of the sinner (1 Cor.5:1-5) refers to his body. To destroy (i.e. ruin) his body could be referring to weakness, sickness, disease, even death. Compare what Paul says a few chapters later:

1 Cor.10:29 For anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body eats and drinks judgment on himself. 30 That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep.

Taking this understanding of “destruction” (1 Cor.5:5) as ruin or death to 2 Thess.1:9 the latter passage refers to aionion ruin or death. In the case of 1 Cor.5 it was for the purpose of salvation. So why not likewise with 2 Thess.1:9?


A recent new translation by EO scholar David Bentley Hart reads:

“Who shall pay the just reparation of ruin in the Age, coming from the face of the Lord and the glory of his might” (2 Thess.1:9)

(The New Testament: A Translation, 2017, Yale University Press, p.411)

At Mt.25:46 his version reads “chastening of that Age” & “life of that Age”. John 3:16 says “life of the Age”.

There are 40 some pages of his notes after the book of Revelation, including 6 pages re the word aionios. I wish i could post them all here. He wrote that he considered various translations of the word, including the rendering “lasting”:

"For a long time, i considered translating aionios as “enduring” or “lasting”, the latter, i confess, because the “last” in “lasting”
seemed the best i could do at insinuating into the text some faint echo of a hint at the eschatological resonance of the word

  • its clear reference to the Kingdom of God, “the Age to come” - in several contexts" (p.540-541).

He’s of EO faith, a URist & religious scholar who has written books on various topics. The intro also has more of his comments, about 10 pages.

amazon.com/New-Testament-Da … 0300186096


Now I have to choose between Bentley’s translation and the one by N T Wright. I expect them both to be excellent.


Wright has “should not be lost, but should share in the life of God’s new age” (Jn.3:16), which has some similarity to DBH’s NT.

But in several key verses commonly produced by Damnationists he sides with them.

“But there are those who find this an intolerable state of affairs, sometimes because of an earnest if misguided devotion to what they believe Scripture or tradition demands, sometimes because the idea of the eternal torment of the derelict appeals to some unpleasantly obvious emotional pathologies on their parts.” (EO scholar David Bentley Hart) firstthings.com/article/201 … int-origen