my interpretation of Matthew 25:31-46


#7

I find it interesting that both sheep and goats are biblically clean animals… However, I don’t see that the goats were necessarily expecting to be treated as Christians. Both groups seem pretty clueless as to what they have or have not done. The question from both the sheep and the goats in the parable is; when have we done or not done these things? Both groups seem genuinely surprised by their status with regard to the works-based judgment described in this passage.


#8

But that’s just the thing. It’s not like the goats hadn’t thought of their status at all; it’s that they thought their status was untouchably protected and righteous, making this yet another example of Jesus’ table-turning paradigm shifts.

The sheep likewise likely had no idea that they were anything close to worthy of any kind of a reward. They had fulfilled the commands not with the goal of simply fulfilling the commands in mind, but of something far higher in thought: the image of their perfect Father already doing those things for them. Who can help but be love to others when all one sees is unending love from above?

Fits nicely with Jesus’ entire message as reported by his witnesses, I think.


#9

I believe it teaches what Jesus originally intended it to mean. The sheep(believers in Christ) and the goats( unbelievers in Christ). The believers to eternal life. The unbelievers to eternal punishment. The bible is so simple when you don’t try to spiritualize it. Scripture interprets scripture. :wink:


#10

I don’t think anyone here is saying otherwise, but, some (most?) here disagree with your opinion about what Jesus intended by it.:sunglasses:

Maybe … depending on how one defines “believer” and “unbeliever.” You might want to take another look at that parable, paying particular attention to the criterion on which they are being judged. :wink:

Sonia


#11

So…according to the criteria found in Matthew 25:31-46, how does one enter into eternal life?


#12

That’s just it, Dondi. If you tell a traditionalist that they are promoting a works-based salvation by accepting the passage at what seems to be face value, they will say you’re crazy. But the metric used to determine sheep/goat status is none other than the question of how you helped the poor, hungry, & naked.

As I heard one time, you need a letter of reference from the poor to be a sheep.


#13

Jeff likes this :smiley:


#14

I have spiriualized nothing, or was my interpreatation allegorical? - I would say not.

I have shown that the sheep most likely are no believers in the context of the bible and that therefore eonian life needn’t mean endless life aswell as eonian chastening needn’t be endless, I have shown that “eonian” needn’t mean by neccessity endless and that even strict opponents of universalism are forced to admit this. Jesus spoke often in parables that the people did not understand, there are also many simple passages that teach that God’s anger does not last to eternity and that God is the savior of all men.


#15

i don’t want to put too fine a point on it, but i would love to edit this post. some of the grammar is terrible. sorry to say it, but it had to be said.


#16

I’ve come to understand this passage to be speaking of God blessing and rewarding those (individuals, cultures, or nations) who are selfless, socially mature, unconsciously see and meet the needs of others. And God chastizes those who are selfish, selfcentered, socially immature, who do not even see, much less meet, the needs of others - and this is true whether one is a “believer” or “not”.

Both sheep and goats are part of the shepherds flock. They are often, even usually, herded together because they eat different things. Sheep eat the tender grass close to the ground. Goats eat even prefer everything else. The word mis-translated “sheep” is ***probaton ***and would be better translated as “flock”, meaning any small 4-legged animal (sheep, goats, small cattle, donkeys). And the word mistranslated as “goats” is ***eriphos ***and specifically means kid, baby goat. The difference is “maturity”. And the word translated “punishment” is ***kolasis ***and would be better understood/translated as chastizement (remedial punishment/discipline/training). A shepherd separates out the kids from his flock to train them so that they can function as healthy members of the flock. Goats are independant by nature and require training when they are young so that they will not be so independant, but can realize their need of the shepherd and learn to obey his voice. Sheep are by nature much more dependant and more easily follow the shepherd as they follow along with the flock, learning the shepherds voice through being with other sheep in the flock.

The word aionios, translated eternal, would better be translated “age-to-come,” I think. The writers of the Bible seemed to see 2 ages, the present evil age and the Messianic age-to-come where the kingdom of God is fully realized. So the chastizement warned of is “age-to-come” chastizement, chastizement from God that will fully accomplish the will of God in the person/people.

I think Jesus is teaching a spiritual principle that is applicable to individuals, families, cultures, and nations. Those who see and meet the needs of the poor, the oppressed, the social outcasts, such giving loving caring individuals, families, cultures, and nations will be blessed by God. Those who do not see or care for the needs of the poor, the sick, the needy will suffer chastizement from God. This is an “eternal” principle, one that happens in this life and even more fully in the life/age to come! We need to seek the healing/salvation of God to be manifested in our personal lives as well as in our corporate lives and community systems.


#17

You’re welcome to do that for the author of the post(s) you are speaking of. Copy the post, put it in an email, make the corrections and send it to the author. If the author wants to edit his/her post he/she can then do that.


#18

The following response reminded me of the OP post by sven above:

blogs.ancientfaith.com/nootherfoundation/316-2/


#19

“This specious argument goes back at least to Augustine. As has long ago been said, however, due to its unreasonableness, it ought never be heard again.”

Augustine was rather ignorant of Greek.

For some other parallels in Scripture consider:

Rom 5:18 Consequently, then, as it was through one offense for all mankind for condemnation, thus also it is through one just act for all mankind for life’s justifying."

Rom 5:19 For even as, through the disobedience of the one man, the many were constituted sinners, thus also, through the obedience of the One, the many shall be constituted just."

1 Cor.15:22 AS in Adam ALL die SO ALSO in Christ shall ALL be made alive.

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

Lamentations 3:22 and 3:31-33, The steadfast love of the Lord NEVER ceases, his mercies NEVER come to an end. . . .Lam.3:31 For the Lord will NOT cast off FOR EVER: 32 For if He causes grief, Then He will have compassion According to His abundant lovingkindness. 33 For He does not afflict willingly Or grieve the SONS OF MEN.…

David Burnfield makes an interesting point re Matthew 25:46:

“None of the sins listed in [the context of] Matt.25:46 can be considered blasphemy of the Holy Spirit.”

He quotes Mt.12:31:

“Therefore I say to you, any sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven people, but blasphemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven.” (NASB)

And emphasizes the words “any sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven people”.

He then says “If we can believe what Christ tells us, then the ‘only’ sin that is ‘not’ forgiven is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit which obviously does not include the sins listed in Matt.25:34-44.”

Then he quotes from Jan Bonda’s book “The One Purpose of God…”:

“Verse…46, in particular, has always been cited as undeniable proof that Jesus taught eternal punishment. Yet it is clear that the sins Jesus listed in this passage do not constitute the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. Assuming Jesus did not utter this word with the intention of contradicting what he said moments before [Matt 12:31], we must accept that the sins mentioned in this passage [Matt 25:46] will eventually be forgiven. This means, however strange it may sound to us, that this statement of Jesus about eternal punishment is not the final word for those who are condemned.”

(pg 220-221, Patristic Universalism: An Alternative To The Traditional View of Divine Judgement, 2nd ed, 2016, by David Burnfield)

The NT translation of Eastern Orthodox scholar Bentley Hart does not use the words “eternal” or “everlasting” at Mt.25:46, but instead reads “chastening of that Age” & “life of that Age”. (The New Testament: A Translation, 2017, Yale University Press).

Many other versions do likewise, as listed here:

christianforums.com/threads … n.8039822/

Some literal translations of Mt.25:46 have:

Young‘s Literal Translation: ―punishment age-during.
Rotherham Translation: ―age-abiding correction.
Weymouth Translation: ―punishment of the ages.
Concordant Literal Translation: ―chastening eonian."

eonian, “αἰώνιος…lasting for an age…partaking of the character of that which lasts for an age, as contrasted with that which is brief and fleeting… (also used of past time, or past and future as well) Derivation: from G165;” studybible.info/strongs/G166

“2851. kolasis…Short Definition: chastisement, punishment…”

“In the late 2nd century/early 3rd century, Clement of Alexandria clearly distinguished between kólasis and timoria: “For there are partial corrections [padeiai] which are called chastisements [kólasis], which many of us who have been in transgression incur by falling away from the Lord’s people. But as children are chastised by their teacher, or their father, so are we by Providence. But God does not punish [timoria], for punishment [timoria] is retaliation for evil. He chastises, however, for good to those who are chastised collectively and individually” (Strom. 7.16).”

afkimel.wordpress.com/2013/09/1 … s-forever/

The “eternal” (eonian) fire that burned Sodom went out long ago:

Jude 1:7 As Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities about them in like manner to these committing ultra-prostitution, and coming away after other flesh, are lying before us, a specimen, experiencing the justice of fire eonian."

The fire wasn’t eternal & neither is the “eternal fire” or punishment in Mt.25:41,46.

As regards the fate of the Jewish people, earlier in the same gospel of Saint Matthew Jesus’ word does correct them re the false teachings of endless torments and annihilation, as follows:

Mt.1:21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins.
Mt.2:6b …my people Israel.

That includes the murderous Pharisees, Judas Iscariot & all other Jews. And since God is no respecter of person, the Gentiles will also be saved, as the Scriptures reveal.

Considering the Greek word kolasis (“punishment”, Mt.25:46, KJV) can refer to a corrective punishment, that should tell the reader of Matthew 25:46 what the possible duration of aionios (“everlasting”, KJV) is & that it may refer to a finite punishment. Why? Because since if is corrective, it is with the purpose of bringing the person corrected to salvation. Once saved the person no longer has need of such a punishment & it ends. So it isn’t “everlasting”. Therefore this passage could just as easily support universalism as anything else.

From a review of a book by Ilaria Ramelli, namely The Christian Doctrine of Apokatastasis: A Critical Assessment from the New Testament to Eriugena (Brill, 2013. 890 pp):

“…in a passage in Origen in which he speaks of “life after aionios life” (160). As a native speaker of Greek he does not see a contradiction in such phrasing; that is because aionios life does not mean “unending, eternal life,” but rather “life of the next age.” Likewise the Bible uses the word kolasis to describe the punishment of the age to come. Aristotle distinguished kolasis from timoria, the latter referring to punishment inflicted “in the interest of him who inflicts it, that he may obtain satisfaction.” On the other hand, kolasis refers to correction, it “is inflicted in the interest of the sufferer” (quoted at 32). Thus Plato can affirm that it is good to be punished (to undergo kolasis), because in this way a person is made better (ibid.). This distinction survived even past the time of the writing of the New Testament, since Clement of Alexandria affirms that God does not timoreitai, punish for retribution, but he does kolazei, correct sinners (127).”

journalofanalytictheology.com/ja … 30418a/271

“Augustine raised the argument that since aionios in Mt. 25:46 referred to both life and punishment, it had to carry the same duration in both cases. However, he failed to consider that the duration of aionios is determined by the subject to which it refers. For example, when aionios referred to the duration of Jonah’s entrapment in the fish, it was limited to three days. To a slave, aionios referred to his life span. To the Aaronic priesthood, it referred to the generation preceding the Melchizedek priesthood. To Solomon’s temple, it referred to 400 years. To God it encompasses and transcends time altogether.”

“Thus, the word cannot have a set value. It is a relative term and its duration depends upon that with which it is associated. It is similar to what “tall” is to height. The size of a tall building can be 300 feet, a tall man six feet, and a tall dog three feet. Black Beauty was a great horse, Abraham Lincoln a great man, and Yahweh the GREAT God. Though God is called “great,” the word “great” is neither eternal nor divine. The horse is still a horse. An adjective relates to the noun it modifies. In relation to God, “great” becomes GREAT only because of who and what God is. This silences the contention that aion must always mean forever because it modifies God. God is described as the God of Israel and the God of Abraham. This does not mean He is not the God of Gentiles, or the God of you and me. Though He is called the God of the “ages,” He nonetheless remains the God who transcends the ages.”

“In addition, Augustine’s reasoning does not hold up in light of Ro. 16:25, 26 and Hab. 3:6. Here, in both cases, the same word is used twice—with God and with something temporal. “In accord with the revelation of a secret hushed in times eonian, yet manifested now…according to the injunction of the eonian God” (Ro. 16:25, 26 CLT). An eonian secret revealed at some point cannot be eternal even though it is revealed by the eonian God. Eonian does not make God eternal, but God makes eonian eternal. “And the everlasting mountains were scattered.…His ways are everlasting” (Hab. 3:6). Mountains are not eternal, though they will last a very long time. God’s ways however, are eternal, because He is eternal.”

hopebeyondhell.net/articles/ … /eternity/
tentmaker.org/books/hope_beyond_hell.pdf

Jude 7 speaks of the fire that destroyed Sodom as an example of “aionion fire” (the same words aionion fire used in Mt.25:41, compare v.46). Did Sodom burn forever?

Philo was contemporary with Christ & we have this translation of his words which use the same words Christ used at Mt.25:46:

“It is better absolutely never to make any promise at all than not to assist another willingly, for no blame attaches to the one, but great dislike on the part of those who are less powerful, and intense hatred and long enduring punishment [kolasis aiónios] from those who are more powerful, is the result of the other line of conduct.” earlychristianwritings.com/yonge/book45.html

In the year 544 A.D. the emperor Justinian wrote a letter:

"It is conceded that the half-heathen emperor held to the idea of endless misery, for he proceeds not only to defend, but to define the doctrine.2 He does not merely say, “We believe in aionion kolasin,” for that was just what Origen himself taught. Nor does he say “the word aionion has been misunderstood; it denotes endless duration,” as he would have said, had there been such a disagreement. But, writing in Greek, with all the words of that abundant language from which to choose, he says: “The holy church of Christ teaches an endless aeonian (ateleutetos aionios) life to the righteous, and endless (ateleutetos) punishment to the wicked.” If he supposed aionios denoted endless duration, he would not have added the stronger word to it. The fact that he qualified it by ateleutetos, demonstrated that as late as the sixth century the former word did not signify endless duration.

tentmaker.org/books/prevailing/upd21.html

If Christ meant “endless” punishment at Mt.25:46, why use the ambiguous aionios? Why not instead use the word aperantos (“endless”; 1 Timothy 1:4)? Or why not use the words “no end” as in Lk1:33b: “And of His kingdom there will be no end”? The answer seems obvious.

Early Church Father universalists who were Greek scholars & many others of the time did not see Mt.25:46 contradicting their belief:

“The first Christians, it will be seen, said in their creeds, “I believe in the æonian life;” later, they modified the phrase “æonian life,” to “the life of the coming æon,” showing that the phrases are equivalent. But not a word of endless punishment. “The life of the age to come” was the first Christian creed, and later, Origen himself (an Early Church Father universalist) declares his belief in æonian punishment, and in æonian life beyond. How, then, could æonian punishment have been regarded as endless?”

tentmaker.org/forum/word-studie … n-forever/

"Adolph Deissman gives this account: “Upon a lead tablet found in the Necropolis at Adrumetum in the Roman province of Africa, near Carthage, the following inscription, belonging to the early third century, is scratched in Greek: ‘I am adjuring Thee, the great God, the eonian, and more than eonian (epaionion) and almighty…’ If by eonian, endless time were meant, then what could be more than endless time?” "

tentmaker.org/books/asw/Chapter9.html

“Walvoord appeals to Matthew 25:46 (“And these shall be coming away into chastening eonian, yet the just into life eonian,” CV), declaring that if the state of the blessed is eternal, as expressed by this word, there is no logical reason for giving limited duration to punishment.”

“This specious argument goes back at least to Augustine. As has long ago been said, however, due to its unreasonableness, it ought never be heard again. From the fact that the life of the just nations and the chastening of the unjust nations are herein described by the same adjective, descriptive of duration, it does not follow that the latter group of nations, therefore, will be subjected to endless punishment. The argument assumes what is at issue by presuming that the life of the just, here, is termed an endless life. Simply because, on certain grounds, the life of those persons comprising the just nations will prove to be endless, it does not follow that the blessing of life afforded here to any such nations is therefore that of endless duration. It is as unreasonable to assume that eonian life doubtlessly signifies endless life as it would be to claim that youthful life actually signifies aged life, simply because our presuppositions and predilections may dictate such a conclusion.”

“Professor Tayler Lewis (who was not a universalist) in commenting on what he calls the Olamic or Aeonian words of the Scripture, affirms that “they denote . . . the world * in time, or as a time-existence” (i.e., the “life” of the object thus described or delineated). He insists that these words are, in themselves, wholly indefinite (even though he conceives that, in Matthew 25:46, the scene is one of “finality”). Hence, concerning aiõnios, he states: “It would be more in accordance with the plainest etymological usage to give it simply the sense of olamic or aeonic, or to regard it as denoting, like the Jewish olam habba, the world * to come.”

“ ‘These shall go away into the punishment [the restraint, imprisonment] of the world to come, and these into the life of the world to come.’ That is all we can etymologically or exegetically make of the word in this passage. And so is it ever in the Old Syriac Version *, where the one * rendering is still more unmistakably clear: ‘These shall go away to the pain of the olam, and these to the life of the olam’–the world to come.”

"…It is simply contrary to historical fact to suggest that the essence of these time expressions is that of endless duration. As Thomas De Quincey, the nineteenth century essayist and literary critic states: “All this speculation, first and last, is pure nonsense. Aiõnios does not mean ‘eternal,’ neither does it mean of limited duration . . . . What is an aiõn? The duration or cycle of existence which belongs to any object, not individually of itself, but universally, in right of its genius * . . . . The exact amount of the duration expressed by an aiõn depends altogether upon the particular subject which yields the aiõn.” "

"…Likewise, the Presbyterian Bible scholar, M. R. Vincent, in his extensive note on aiõn/aiõnios states: “Neither the noun nor the adjective, in themselves, carry the sense of endless or everlasting.” "

"…not only Walvoord, Buis, and Inge, but all intelligent students acknowledge that olam and aiõn sometimes refer to limited duration. Here is my point: The supposed special reference or usage of a word is not the province of the translator but of the interpreter. Since these authors themselves plainly indicate that the usage of a word is a matter of interpretation, it follows (1) that it is not a matter of translation, and (2) that it is wrong for any translation effectually to decide that which must necessarily remain a matter of interpretation concerning these words in question. Therefore, olam and aiõn should never be translated by the thought of “endlessness,” but only by that of indefinite duration (as in the anglicized transliteration “eon” which appears in the Concordant Version).

“In this response to your “deeply troubled” encounter with the Concordant Version, I have principally sought not to prove my position, but to open a door to its consideration; a door of further inquiry, with a view toward your attaining an awareness of the grace of God in truth, even as of the purpose of the eons, which He makes in Christ Jesus, our Lord (Eph.3:11). May our God and Father be pleased to use this writing unto such an end.”

concordant.org/expositions/the-e … art-three/

christianforums.com/threads … r.8041512/

christianforums.com/threads … n.8039822/

https://forum.evangelicaluniversalist.com/t/spirit-blasphemy-unpardonable-sin/6158/1*****


Scholarly EUs Assemble!
#20

[QUOTE=]So let me get this straight…

Matthew 25:46"These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."

The same Greek word is used. Are you telling me these are used differently?[/QUOTE]

Maybe. Maybe not. Either way universalism is Bible truth & “eternal” is a deceptive translation.

Is aionios used “differently” in each of its two occurrences in Rom.16:25-26? Is the aionios God (Rom.16:26) of the same duration as “long ages” (Rom.16:25, NIV, NASB, ESV, NET, WEY, YLT, etc) during which a revelation was kept secret (v.25) but is “now revealed” (v.26a)? Why, then, is it assumed aionios life must be of the same duration as aionios punishment (Mt.25:46)?

Is a tall building the same height as a tall blade of grass? No. Why, then, is it assumed aionios life must be of the same duration as aionios punishment (Mt.25:46)? In the sentence “The blessed stay in a tall high rise, but the wicked in a tall dungeon”, is the high rise equally as tall as the dungeon?

Just as the adjective tall varies with what it refers to, so also the adjective aionion (eonian) varies with what it refers to. A tall man is not the same size as a tall tree or highrise or mountain. Likewise:

“So of aiónion; applied to Jonah’s residence in the fish, it means seventy hours; to the priesthood of Aaron, it signifies several centuries; to the mountains, thousands of years; to the punishments of a merciful God, as long as is necessary to vindicate his law and reform his children; to God himself, eternity.” AIN – AINIOS

Similarly, a long life need not be of the same duration as a long punishment. A perpetual life is not necessarily of the same duration as a perpetual punishment.

Is the aion of an ant of the same duration as the aion of a tree?

“There are as many eons as entities, the respective durations of which are fixed by the normal conditions of the several entities. There is one eon of a human life, another of the life of a nation, another of a crow’s life, another of an oak’s life. The length of the eon depends on the subject to which it is attached.” (WORD STUDIES IN THE NEW TESTAMENT by MARVIN R. VINCENT, D.D."
https://www.hopefaithprayer.com/books/Word-Studies-in-the-New-Testament-Vol-3&4-Marvin-R-Vincent.pdf

Is the church age eon of the same duration as the internet age eon? Is the eon of a geological age of the same duration as the millennial eon? If not, then why should eonian in Mt.25:46 have to be of the same duration in reference to punishment & life?

If believers go into the life aionios (i.e. pertaining to the age to come) & unbelievers go into the punishment aionios (i.e. pertaining to the age to come), does that prove that the punishment must absolutely be co-extensive with the life? No. Does it prove that the age to come is not finite? No.

Could both occurrences of aionios in Mt.25:46 refer to a finite age (or ages) to come? Yes.

If aionios is of equal duration in both occurrences of Mt.25:46, shouldn’t “all mankind” (Rom.5:18), “the many” (Rom.5:19) and “all” (1 Cor.15:22, 28) be co-extensive in number in these passages:

Rom 5:18 Consequently, then, as it was through one offense for ALL MANKIND for condemnation, thus also it is through one just act for ALL MANKIND for life’s justifying."
Rom 5:19 For even as, through the disobedience of the one man, THE MANY were constituted sinners, thus also, through the obedience of the One, THE MANY shall be constituted just."

1 Cor.15:22 AS in Adam ALL die - so also - in Christ shall ALL be made alive.
1 Cor.15:28 And when ALL shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in ALL.

“Augustine raised the argument that since aionios in Mt. 25:46 referred to both life and punishment, it had to carry the same duration in both cases. However, he failed to consider that the duration of aionios is determined by the subject to which it refers. For example, when aionios referred to the duration of Jonah’s entrapment in the fish, it was limited to three days. To a slave, aionios referred to his life span. To the Aaronic priesthood, it referred to the generation preceding the Melchizedek priesthood. To Solomon’s temple, it referred to 400 years. To God it encompasses and transcends time altogether.”

“Thus, the word cannot have a set value. It is a relative term and its duration depends upon that with which it is associated. It is similar to what “tall” is to height. The size of a tall building can be 300 feet, a tall man six feet, and a tall dog three feet…An adjective relates to the noun it modifies.”
Eternity in the Bible by Gerry Beauchemin – Hope Beyond Hell
http://www.tentmaker.org/books/hope_beyond_hell.pdf

"…It is simply contrary to historical fact to suggest that the essence of these time expressions is that of endless duration. As Thomas De Quincey, the nineteenth century essayist and literary critic states: “All this speculation, first and last, is pure nonsense. Aiõnios does not mean ‘eternal,’ neither does it mean of limited duration . . . . What is an aiõn? The duration or cycle of existence which belongs to any object, not individually of itself, but universally, in right of its genius [i.e., inherent nature] . . . . The exact amount of the duration expressed by an aiõn depends altogether upon the particular subject which yields the aiõn.” "
http://www.concordant.org/expositions/the-eons/eon-indefinte-duration-part-three/

Philosophy professor Tom Talbott, author of “The Inescapable Love of God”, remarked:

“Whatever its correct translation, “aionios” is clearly an adjective and must therefore function like an adjective, and it is the very nature of an adjective for its meaning to vary, sometimes greatly, depending upon which noun it qualifies. For more often than not, the noun helps to determine the precise force of the adjective. As an illustration, set aside the Greek word “aionios” for a moment and consider the English word “everlasting.” I think it safe to say that the basic meaning of this English word is indeed everlasting. So now consider how the precise force of “everlasting” varies depending upon which noun it qualifies. An everlasting struggle would no doubt be a struggle without end, an unending temporal process that never comes to a point of resolution and never gets completed. But an everlasting change, or an everlasting correction, or an everlasting transformation would hardly be an unending temporal process that never gets completed; instead, it would be a temporal process of limited duration, or perhaps simply an instantaneous event, that terminates in an irreversible state. So however popular it might be, the argument that “aionios” must have exactly the same force regardless of which noun it qualifies in Matthew 25:46 is clearly fallacious.”

“Accordingly, even if we should translate “aionios” with the English word “everlasting,” a lot would still depend upon how we understand the relevant nouns in our text: the nouns “life” (zoe) and “punishment” (kolasis). Now the kind of life in question, being rightly related to God, is clearly an end in itself, even as the kind of punishment in question seems just as clearly to be a means to an end. For as one New Testament scholar, William Barclay, has pointed out, “kolasis” “was not originally an ethical word at all. It originally meant the pruning of trees to make them grow better.” Barclay also claimed that “in all Greek secular literature kolasis is never used of anything but remedial punishment”–which is probably a bit of a stretch, since the language of correction and the language of retribution often get mixed together in ordinary language. But in any event, if “kolasis” does signify punishment of a remedial or a corrective kind, as I think it does in Matthew 25:46, then we can reasonably think of such punishment as everlasting in the sense that its corrective effects literally endure forever. Or, to put it another way: An everlasting correction, whenever successfully completed, would be a temporal process of limited duration that terminates in the irreversible state of being rightly related to God. Certainly nothing in the context of Matthew 25 excludes such an interpretation.”

“This would not be my preferred interpretation, however, because the English word “everlasting” does not accurately capture the special religious meaning that “aionios” typically has in the New Testament.”

https://forum.evangelicaluniversalist.com/t/talbott-on-matthew-25-41-46/284

https://www.amazon.com/Inescapable-Love-God-Thomas-Talbott/dp/1498222412/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_pdt_img_top?ie=UTF8

Here are some literal & other translations of Mt.25:46:

The New Testament: A Translation, by Eastern Orthodox scholar David Bentley Hart, 2017, Yale Press):
“And these shall go to the chastening of that Age, but the just to the life of that Age.”

Translation of the New Testament from the Original Greek Humbly Attempted by Nathaniel Scarlett Assisted by Men of Piety & Literature with notes, 1798:
“And These will go away into onian punishment: but the righteous into onian life.”

The New Testament by Abner Kneeland, 1823:
“And these shall go away into aionian punishment*: but the righteous into aionian life.”

The New Covenant by Dr. J.W. Hanson, 1884:
“And these shall go away into onian chastisement, and the just into onian life.”

Youngs Literal Translation of the Holy Bible, 1898:
“And these shall go away to punishment age-during, but the righteous to life age-during.”

The Holy Bible in Modern English, 1903
“And these He will dismiss into a long correction, but the well-doers to an enduring life.”

The New Testament in Modern Speech, 1910:
“And these shall go away into the Punishment 1 of the Ages, but the righteous into the Life 1 of the Ages.”

  1. [Of the Ages] Greek “aeonian.”

A Critical Paraphrase of the New Testament by Vincent T. Roth, 1960
“And these shall go away into age-continuing punishment, but the righteous into life age-continuing.”

The Restoration of Original Sacred Name Bible, 1976
“And these shall go away into age-abiding *correction, but the righteous into **age-abiding life.”

The Twentieth Century New Testament, 1900
“And these last will go away into onian punishment, but the righteous into onian life.”

The People’s New Covenant, 1925
“And these will depart into age-continuing correction, but the righteous, into age-continuing life.”

Emphatic Diaglott, 1942 edition
“And these shall go forth to the aionian 1 cutting-off; but the RIGHTEOUS to aionian Life.”

The New Testament of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Anointed, 1958
“And these shall go away into agelasting cutting-off and the just into agelasting life.”

The New Testament, a Translation, 1938
“And these will go away into eonian correction, but the righteous into eonian life.”

The New Testament, A New Translation, 1980
“Then they will begin to serve a new period of suffering; but God’s faithful will enter upon their heavenly life.”

Concordant Literal New Testament, 1983
And these shall be coming away into chastening eonian, yet the just into life eonian."

Rotherham Emphasized Bible, 1959
“And these shall go away into age-abiding correction, But the righteous into age-abiding life.”

Jonathan Mitchell N.T. Translation:
"46. “And so, these folks will be going off into an eonian pruning (a lopping-off which lasts for an undetermined length of time; an age-lasting correction; a pruning which has its source and character in the Age), yet the fair and just folks who are in right relationship and are in accord with the Way pointed out [go off] into eonian life (life which has it source and character in the Age; life pertaining to the Age).”
::Jonathan Mitchell’s New Testament Translation::

"…the Old Syriac Version [i.e., the Peshi^to], where the one [i.e., uniform] rendering is still more unmistakably clear: ‘These shall go away to the pain of the olam, and these to the life of the olam’–the world to come.” http://www.tentmaker.org/books/Retribution/retribution18.htm

“Of the New Testament, attempts at translation must have been made very early, and among the ancient versions of New Testament Scripture the Syriac in all likelihood is the earliest.”
http://www.bible-researcher.com/syriac-isbe.html

“The Peshi^to is, as we have said, the earliest version of the New Testament. Its value and authority it is not easy to over-estimate. Westcott says: “Gregory Bar Hebraeus, one of the most learned and accurate of Syrian writers, relates that the New Testament Peshi^to was ‘made in the time of Thaddeus (the apostle), and Abgarus, King of Edessa,’ when, according to the universal opinion of ancient writers, the apostle went to proclaim Christianity in Mesopotamia” (Canon, p. 259). He adds that Gregory assumes the apostolic origin of the New Testament Peshi^ito as certain, and that it preceded all the sects of the Syrian Church, and was received and appealed to by all.”

“How, then, was aionios translated by this version? In support of his own translation Prof. Tayler Lewis says, “So is it ever (translated) in the old Syriac version, where the one rendering is still more unmistakably clear.” “These shall go into the pain of the Olam (the world to come), and these to the life of the Olam (the world to come).” He refers to many other passages, as Matt. xix. 16; Mark x. 17.; Luke xviii. 18; John iii.15: Acts xiii. 46; 1 Tim. vi. 12, in which aionios is rendered belonging to the Olam, the world to come.”
http://www.tentmaker.org/books/Retribution/retribution18.htm


http://www.city-data.com/forum/christianity/2930314-what-does-matthew-25-46-mean-11.html#post52203074


#21

I found this interpretation (quoted below) interesting: https://www.christianforums.com/threads/why-are-so-many-christians-against-annihilation-in-hell-when-scripture-supports-it.8072784/page-11#post-72942522

"Again, look at its immediate context which is not hard to do. The passage does not contain chilioi so the germane question is, does it refer to eternity or to an age of time? The context better fits with my claim that it refers to age instead of eternity which you have presumed upon.

  1. The judgment takes place on earth upon Christ’s return. Those who are judged are those persons who are still alive. Thus it cannot be the great white throne judgment which takes place after the millennial reign upon Christ’s return and when the rest of the dead (not those alive) are resurrected.
  2. Verse 34 states that Jesus tells his sheep on the right to “inherit the kingdom.” What do you suppose this means? What kingdom? How long? I assume you know or agree that what happens after this statement is that Jesus’ return ushers in his 1,000 year reign on earth. If this is the case then the sheep - those people alive at his return - enter into the millennial age.
  3. This cannot be the bema seat judgment either as the sheep are unredeemed. They are not the “raptured” saints who return with Christ.
  4. For reasons already mentioned, this cannot be the GWT judgment. Also, there is no reference to any kingdom associated with the GWT judgment while the sheep/goat does indeed reference a kingdom.
    Therefore, the purpose of the Sheep/Goat judgment is to see who will inherit the kingdom (Matt 25:34) and who will not (Matt 25:41). The purpose of the Great White Throne judgment is to see who will be sent to the lake of fire (Rev 20:15).

Given the above context, I submit that Matt 25:46 references a limited age of time, specifically the 1,000 year reign of Christ on earth whereby the Son establishes his kingdom rule. Those sheep thus have age-long life during this millennial age. I see no where in this passage any support for interpreting this passage as referencing “eternal” - or even alluding to it."


#22

From: http://theologyonline.com/showthread.php?130333-The-Restitution-Of-All-Things-AKA-Universalism&p=5267891&posted=1#post5267891

Regarding your questions, nikolai, there are two main universalist interpretations of Mt.25:46:

(1) The aionion life & the aionion punishment refer to contrasting eonian destinies pertaining to a finite eonian period to come, e.g. the millennial eon. The verse has nothing to do, & says nothing about, final destiny. Regarding the endless life of the righteous in Christ, other passages address that topic, such as those that speak of immortality, incorruption & being unable to die.

(2) Another universalist option in interpretating Mt.25:46 is that aionion life refers to a perpetual life that lasts as long as God Almighty wills it to last, so it is endless. OTOH, aionion punishment refers to a perpetual punishment that also lasts as long as Love Omnipotent wills it to last, which is until it has served its useful purpose in bringing the offender to the salvation in their Savior, Who died & shed His blood for their sins. While life is an end in itself, punishment is a means to an end.

Furthermore, since aionion is an adjective, it “must therefore function like an adjective, and it is the very nature of an adjective for its meaning to vary, sometimes greatly, depending upon which noun it qualifies.” A tall chair is not the same height as a tall mountain. Likewise, the aionion punishment is not of the same duration as the aionion life.

That was a brief explanation of the main two different universalist interpretations of Mt.25:46. Following are more elaborate remarks in support of these two perspectives. Continued at:

http://theologyonline.com/showthread.php?130333-The-Restitution-Of-All-Things-AKA-Universalism&p=5267891&posted=1#post5267891


Aramaic or Hebrew for Jesus' Teachings on Hell
#23

The following is from a discussion at theologyonline.com.

Then, by the same reasoning, the “parallel” in Rom.5:19 proves Scriptural universalism to be true:

Rom 5:18 Consequently, then, as it was through one offense for ALL MANKIND for condemnation, thus also it is through one just act for ALL MANKIND for life’s justifying."

Rom 5:19 For even as, through the disobedience of the one man, THE MANY were constituted sinners, thus also, through the obedience of the One, THE MANY shall be constituted just."

1 Cor.15:22 AS in Adam ALL die SO ALSO in Christ shall ALL be made alive.

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

Col.1:16 For by Him ALL was created that are in HEAVEN and that are on EARTH, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All was created through Him and for Him.
20 and by Him to reconcile ALL to Himself, by Him, whether on EARTH or in HEAVEN, having made peace through the blood of His cross.

And your translation of Mt.25:46 contradicts this translation of Lamentations 3:

Lam.3:31 For the Lord will NOT cast off FOR EVER:
32 For if He causes grief, Then He will have compassion According to His abundant lovingkindness. 33 For He does not afflict willingly Or grieve the SONS OF MEN.

While these translations (& some others) of Mt.25:46 are in harmony with all the verses above i have posted:

The New Testament: A Translation, by Eastern Orthodox scholar David Bentley Hart, 2017, Yale Press):
“And these shall go to the chastening of that Age, but the just to the life of that Age.”

Youngs Literal Translation of the Holy Bible, 1898:
“And these shall go away to punishment age-during, but the righteous to life age-during.”

Emphatic Diaglott, 1942 edition
“And these shall go forth to the aionian 1 cutting-off; but the RIGHTEOUS to aionian Life.”

Concordant Literal New Testament, 1983
And these shall be coming away into chastening eonian, yet the just into life eonian."

Rotherham Emphasized Bible, 1959
“And these shall go away into age-abiding correction, But the righteous into age-abiding life.”


#24

Matthew 25:46 is one of the best verses that teach the future correction of the wicked.

Here is a correct translation:

And these will go away into lasting correction, but the righteous into lasting life.

The Greek word “aionios” means “lasting.” This meaning fits all contexts. A different Greek word is used for “eternal”—namely “aidios.” (Romans 1:20 contains the word “aidios.”

“kolasis” was originally used concerning trimming trees in order to correct their growth. Later, the same word was used for correcting the behaviour of children.


#25

The following is from a discussion at theologyonline.com.

By that reasoning Jesus Christ did not give Himself a ransom for “all” humans because the Bible says He gave Himself a ransom for “many” (Mk.10:45). Yet He gave Himself a ransom for “all” humans (1 Tim.2:6). Did He give Himself a ransom for Himself, or is He excluded from the “all”? “All” humans minus one human (i.e. Jesus) equals “many” humans.

Rom 5:19 For even as, through the disobedience of the one man, THE MANY were constituted sinners, thus also, through the obedience of the One, THE MANY shall be constituted just."

Paul makes a parallel between “the many” who were condemned & sinners and those who will be justified & constituted just. “In Romans 5, the justification is co-extensive with the condemnation. Since all share in one, all share in the other. If only a certain portion of the human race had partaken of the sin of Adam, only a certain portion would partake of the justification of Christ. But St. Paul affirms all to have been involved in one, and all to be included in the other.”

Therefore there is salvation after death. And corrective postmortem punishment. Jesus shall see of the travail of His soul & be satisfied. Not satisfied a little bit, but the vast majority fried alive forever. “He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.” (Isa.53:11). For how “many” (not few) did He “bear their iniquities”? All.

Then by that reasoning, if it were true (which is questionable), we still have Romans 5:18-19 teaching that every fallen disobedient human being will be saved, following the logic of your “parallel” remark below. And if the worst sinners are going to be saved, who would doubt that innocent babies will also be saved? Shall Love Omnipotent torture infants in hell for the endless ages of eternity (as per the dogma of Augustine, the champion of endless hell)? So, here again, is the problem you still face & have yet to weasel your way out of:

Then, by the same reasoning, the “parallel” in Rom.5:19 proves Scriptural universalism to be true:

Rom 5:18 Consequently, then, as it was through one offense for ALL MANKIND for condemnation, thus also it is through one just act for ALL MANKIND for life’s justifying."

Rom 5:19 For even as, through the disobedience of the one man, THE MANY were constituted sinners, thus also, through the obedience of the One, THE MANY shall be constituted just."


#26

Good explanation, Origen! Not only good, but also correct