The Evangelical Universalist Forum

Objections to Univeralism

First, I would like to comment that I like your forum name “SeekingTheTruth.” I have been seeking the truth for nearly 70 years. I think I have discovered some truth over those years, but the more I discover, the more I find that there is to be discovered!

aiōnios, aiōnion, and aiōniou, are three forms of the same word. The lexical form is “aiōnios” and so most people when writing in English use the form “aiōnios” when referring to the word. The difference in the forms is grammatical. In Greek, one uses various ending to indicate the grammatical structure. We do this in English too. You and Cindy were talking about “holy” and “holiness.” the word “holy” is an adjective and “holiness” is a noun. They are distinguished by a different ending. Sometimes in English different forms appear to be totally different in structure. For example when you use “I” you are referring to yourself, and when you use “me” you are referring to yourself. So why two different words to refer to yourself? You use “I” as the subject of a verb and “me” as the direct object of a verb.

In second declension nouns (all of which are masculine), the endings for the word “doulos” (a slave) determine how they are grammatically used in a sentence. Here are the forms, called “cases” (using Latin characters rather than Greek):

Nominative (used as the subject of a verb) doulos The slave brought in the food.
Genitive (similar to the possessive case in English doulou I saw the book of the slave (or I saw the slave’s book)
Dative doulō I gave the book to the slave.
Accusative (used as the direct object of a verb) doulon I saw the slave

Nominative douloi slaves
Genitive doulōn of slaves
Dative doulois to slaves
Accusative doulous slaves

The adjective “aionios” follows the same pattern when modifying either masculine nouns of feminine nouns.

First there are no original manuscripts of any part of the three Bibles in existence, and it is highly unlikely that any will be discovered. We are blessed to have copies of some of the New Testament manuscripts which date in the 100s. Some of them, if they had been copied carefully, may be identical to the originals.

In my opinion the Hebrew of Cave 4 among the Qumran caves contains the original Hebrew language of the Old Testament. I say this because the New Testament writers of quotes from the Old Testament are identical or close to identical to the Old Testament writings found in Cave 4. However, the Masoretic text is very different in some places. So I think the Septuagint that the New Testament writers used was a translation of the form of Hebrew found in Cave 4.

And now I think we might begin discussing what we mean when we say a writing is “inspired.”
SeekingTheTruth, why don’t you start us of with your thoughts on the matter.

Here is a photocopy of a page from Papyrus 66, written in the 100s!

Now look at line 14:
You will see something like this ΝΟΓΕΝΗCΘC with a stroke over the last two characters ΘC
There were no spaces between words, and parts of words were even carried to the next line.
In English characters, you would have NOGENAS THS
If you include the last two characters from the previous line you would have:

“MONOGENAS” means “only begotten” and the stroke over the last two characters indicates an abbreviation, beginning with “TH” (a single character Theta in Greek) and ends with “S” sigma. This is an abbreviation of “THEOS” (God).
So in English the phrase is “ONLY BEGOTTEN GOD.” The whole sentence is, “No one has seen the God at any time; the only-begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has made Him known.”

Later manuscripts have “only begotten Son” but both extant manuscripts dated prior to A.D. 300 (both in the 100s) have “only begotten God.”

I’m not. But that is irrelevant because I was only stating how the only pre-300 manuscripts read. This we need to accept whether we are Trinitarians or not. However the reading “the only-begotten God” does fit my understanding.

Jesus is “the only-begotten God” in the same sense that He is said to be “God” in John 1:1. The Father is unbegotten. Jesus is not THE God, nor is He part of a compound “God” called “The Trinity.” Because THE God begat Jesus (as his first act), his Son is divine like his Father, just as you are human like your father. You are man (human); I am man; each person in the world is man, but we do not form a single compound man called the “Jillionity.” Each of us is man and human, because were were begotten by a man. Jesus is God and divine because He was begotten by THE God. Jesus is not THE God; only his Father is THE God. Indeed, Jesus in his prayer to his Father addressed Him as "the only True God (John 17:3).


Thank You

Simple, I believe the following:

Original Old Testament Hebrew: Inspired
Original New Testament Greek: Inspired
Everything Else: Translations

Also, since you are not a Trinitarian, what do you do with this:

1 JOHN 5:7:
-7: For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.

And here is proof that The Lord Jesus Christ is God:

-8: But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.

Clealy, the Son (The Lord Jesus Christ) is being called God here

God Bless
Christ Be With You All

So basically here is a problem I have:

I’m too scared to accept Universalism and be wrong, yet I’m too scared to remain believing in Annihilationism, or worse, Eternal Conscious Torment (ECT) because I cant’ see myself being able to live up to the following standards set by The Lord Jesus Christ:

MATTHEW 19:21-30:
21: Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.
-22: But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.
-23: Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven.
-24: And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
-25: When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved?
-26: But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.
-27: Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore?
-28: And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
-29: And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.
-30: But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first.

…and later…

LUKE 14:26:
-26: If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.

Of course I want to live the way God wants me to live and I pray that I can do so, but I can’t see myself being able to live up to the standard listed above.
So can anyone see how I worry that I am the one with the “itching ears”? and I worry that I am the one who can’t “endure sound doctrine”?

I just made a new topic (link-[Easy Yoke (Matthew 11:28-30) vs Self Denial (Luke 9:23,14:26)) because I can’t harmonise the above statements of Jesus with the statement of Jesus in Matthew 11:28-30:

MATTHEW 11:28-30:
-28: Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
-29: Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
-30: For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light

God Bless
Christ Be With You All

Great… then I would suggest you embrace this and so put your mind and soul at ease. :stuck_out_tongue:

The “eternal” aspects of either life OR calamity are indeed one and the same and are best understood according to Jesus’ QUALITATIVE use of the term as found in Jn 17:3 where “eternal life” equates to FULLNESS of life, as in, “to KNOW God…”. This then reflects the same thought previously given in Jn 10:10b with regards to obtaining true LIFE TO THE FULL in the here-and-now. So, the QUALITATIVE meaning shows that in the soon coming ‘Day of the Lord’ either life OR calamity would be known completely, that is, in its TOTALITY.

That as I understand it is the most consistent way of understanding “aiōnion” <αἰώνιον> as used by Jesus is Mt 25:46; thus from my perspective there ceases to be ANY conflict or apparent or supposed contradiction at all, i.e., it becomes a non-issue.

******* I should clarify by way of this edit that what I’ve proposed above is to be understood as applying to Christ’s AD70 Parousia, and does NOT reference ANY postmortem realities. Some would be spared the terrors of that come end while others would die. *******

That’s an easy one. This verse is known as "The Comma Johanneum."At one time that verse was a copyist’s note. Later, some copyists added the note to the text. No Greek text prior to the ninth century contains the verse. These facts are common knowledge. You can learn more about it from the Bible-Researcher site:

No, that is not a proof. Nor is it clear that God is addressing his Son as “God”—for the following reasons:
The Greek words that the King James translators rendered as “Thy throne, O God” are (using Latin characters) “ho thronos sou ho theos”
If this were a form of address,:“God” should be in the vocative case. Thus it should be “ho thronos sou theë”. But “ho theos” is in the nominative case (used as a subject or as a subjective completion). “ho theos” means “The God” and “The God” is the Father. That means it should be translated as “Your throne is God” or “God is your throne.” I think that this indicates that the Son rules in the Kingdom from a position of authority (throne), and that authority (throne) is God Himself.

Virtually all translations render the words as “Your throne, O God.” I don’t know why. The only translations of which I am aware that have “God is your throne” are the early editions of the Revised Standard Version, and the New World Translation of Jehovah’s Witnesses. The others hold that even though “God” is in the nominative form, it actually is in the vocative case anyway.

The clause is quoted from Psalm 45:6. I don’t know Hebrew, but the words in the Greek Septuagint are identical with those quoted in Hebrews 1:8

Here are some websites about the matter that you might want to check out:

There are many other sites where it is argued that the correct translation is “Your throne, O God.” It is unbelievable to me that the God—the Father—the only true God—would address his Son as “the God” (ho theos).


I would but my mind and soul at ease if I could, but see what I said above your post about my fear of having “itching ears” because I can’t see myself being able to live up to the standards set in Matthew 19:21-30 and Luke 14:26.

If Jesus is not God, we are breaking the first commandment:

EXODUS 20:3:
-3: Thou shalt have no other gods before me.


1 JOHN 2:23:
-23: Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: (but) he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also.

You have the Son to have the Father, the same Father who said “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.”, so logiclly, the Son of God is God.

Well then you are indeed STUCK by your own intransigent mindset and absolutely nothing else; it is YOUR call alone and no-one and nothing else… you need to own it yourself and NOT put it on others to resolve! :neutral_face:

I have explained in what sense of the word “God” that Jesus is God and in what sense He isn’t.

The first commandment:
You shall have no other gods besides me

Jesus addressed his Father as the “only true God.” So, in what sense would anyone consider Jesus to be another god besides the Father?
In any case, the very Son of God can hardly be said to be a different God.

I agree with Trinitarians that the Son is of the same divine essence as the Father. Where I disagree is with the concept of calling that essence “God.”
Nearly all occurrences of the word “God” in the New Testament, refer to the Father alone.

No I didn’t… :wink:


You need not worry about “itching ears”, since (on the topic of Hell) it is the Hell-believers who have itching ears, not the universalists.

Yesterday for the first time I mentioned to a fellow Orthodox that I am a universalist. (Note that I didn’t pounce this on him. He kept talking about Hell as though I was agreeing with him, so I felt I had to correct his misperception.) Alas, I got the exact same typical nonsense I get from Protestants and Roman Catholics who believe in Hell. It’s so depressingly unvarying in its ill-conceived notions.

I am 46 years old. I became a universalist around age 20. It took a few years of study–particularly at George MacDonald’s feet–for me to become a firmly convinced universalist. It didn’t happen all at once. In the last 26 years, I have convinced pretty much zero people of universalism. I’ve only half-convinced my wife, and I raise my 11-year-old daughter as a universalist, but that’s it. No one else. Here’s the kicker:

I have never, and I mean NEVER, come across anyone who at the mention of universalism said something like, “Oh, what a wonderful notion! I would dearly love for that to be true. If only it were so! Please tell me more. I so want to believe, but X, Y, and Z prevent it.” I would like to think that that would be the common response, but no. The responses I get range from bewilderment, to offense, to outright anger (with most towards the angry end of the spectrum). On this point, the Hell-believers are similar to atheists. I’ve never met one who longed for God but sadly thought Him non-existent. All the atheists I’ve met are self-contented and contemptuous at the thought of God.

In my experience, believers in Hell tend to carry Hell around in their pockets as “argument insurance”. Anyone they don’t like, or anyone who dares to disagree with them, or anyone who does something they don’t like, they mentally put in Hell with relish. I’ve literally seen the smug, self-satisfied smiles they sometimes have when contemplating their enemies burn.

I have never, ever encountered someone who spoke of Hell with sorrow.

Once (and only once) have I encountered someone who primarily spoke of Hell in reference to herself. (She was an extraordinarily sensitive and introspective young Pentecostal woman worried about going to Hell.) Everyone else I’ve met thinks Hell is for “someone else”.

Itching ears want Hell. They insist upon it.

If itching ears wanted universalism, there would be universalist churches all across the First World. Look at the depressingly huge numbers of “churches” that openly say abortion, divorce, homosexuality, etc. are all A-OK. We would see just as many churches proclaiming universalism if that’s what itching ears wanted to hear.

No. People take offense at the very notion of universalism. They get angry. They raise their voices and get heated. They absolutely must have their Hell to put other people in, or Christianity isn’t worth a damn. :wink:

We universalists are RC-drinkers in a world of Coke and Pepsi. We are a tiny little minority who, on this point, are thoroughly right and sane against the insane masses who love their Hell (for other people).

You’re on a roll!! Good! :smiley:


I know, although I don’t think ‘intransigent’ is the right word because it’s not an unwillingness to change my views but rather fear.

1 JOHN 2:23:
-23: Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: (but) he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also.

You need to have the Son to have the Father, so in a sense, one could see this as putting the Son before the Father, which would only possible to do without sinning if The Lord Jesus Christ is God.

Also, you mentioned that “and these three are one.” was added to 1 John 5:17, if so, why is it in Greek Interlinear Bibles? (link -


Ironically, 20 is my age now, although not for much longer.

Well the compare me to that woman (even though I’m a male), I am worried about being under the wrath of God because I haven’t sold everything, left my fiancee (who IS a Christian also of course)(long distance relationship, I just spent $1700 on a plane ticket and need more to get through US customs, which means not giving the homeless people I see, which makes me worry because of Matthew 19:16-30), and give to the poor.

And yes I do understand the idea of “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matthew 6:33) but I don’t have that level of faith, can everyone please pray that I get it.

Well I remember watching on street preaching video on YouTube where a pastor of a church that had a sign apologizing about Christians being against gay marriage came out and said there was no hell because Jesus spoke of Gehenna. Sadly I can’t find the video so I can’t link it.

There is an interesting verses in Psalms:

PSALM 58:10:
-10: The righteous shall rejoice when he seeth the vengeance: he shall wash his feet in the blood of the wicked.

This verse could be seen in three ways:

-The righteous shall rejoice when they see the wicked being tortured forever - HIGHLY unlikely, I could never see myself rejoicing over such a sight, even if it were Adolf Hitler or Kim Jong-un, surley it would get old after 1000,000,000,000,000,000,000 millennia.

  • The righteous shall rejoice when they see the wicked being annihilated - possibly.
  • The righteous shall rejoice when they see the wicked suffering a restorative punishment - possibly.

Either way, Psalm 58:10 disproves ultra-universalism.

God Bless
Christ Be With You All

Why do you think that Psalm 58:10 refers to stuff that happens after death? :question:

Unfortunately “fear” is the fruit of religianity and the means whereby we sign away personal accountability to the group-think of whatever brand of religianity we favour. And so to the degree we can grasp and master the rigorous requirements bound up in the endless raft of rules, regulations, rites and rituals, and that by rote, well then to that degree we can be free… but that’s hard work and in fact not true freedom but in the end even more toxic to the soul.

This is, I think, why John warns in the Revelation that the timid are amongst those outside the city, suffering in the LoF. Not that I take Revelation literally. It is, in fact, a very difficult book to take literally (especially since it was never intended to be taken literally), but I think that the Apostle John understood the hell that timid people suffer through. The only way to escape that hell it is by taking courage from the Lord Jesus Christ. Fear IS torment, as I’ll bet you know very well indeed. The remedy is to trust in the goodness of God–in the salvation of the Lord Christ. When you trust Him and take your eyes off yourself, the hell you suffer in will cool and you will find the LoF to be instead the refreshing waters of the River of Life. Be strong and courageous and you will eat the fat of the Land–that is to say, you will eat of the Bread of Life–which is, according to Jesus, Jesus Himself. “I am the bread that comes down from heaven; whoever eats of Me shall never die . . .”

Again it comes down to this. Do you believe that God is good or do you not? If you believe He is good they why do you fear? Do you truly believe that a good God would destroy you, the one who wants to please Him but is yet too weak to obey? No! He will rather mold you into the image of His Son Jesus–just like He SAID He would do in Romans 8. HE will do this–you cannot, but HE CAN. So trust and don’t be afraid. God’s got this.

[tag]Geoffrey[/tag], great points! Excellent post.


Simple, the righteous will see it, you have said it yourself that people don’t see the punishment in this life as punishment at all, but Psalm 58:10 makes it clear that the righteous will see the punishment of the wicked, seeing the punishment is required to rejoice.
And then there is also Psalm 91:8:

PSALM 91:8:
-8: Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.

This makes it crystal clear.


Either way, I’m not choosing to be in this predicament, I’m too fearful to believe in universalism because I may be wrong, I’m too fearful to embrace annilhaitonism because I fear that it may be my fate.

[tag]Cindy Skillman[/tag]

All to well:

1 JOHN 4:18:
-18: There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

Since I quoted that verse, it’s also worth mentioning that the same word translated as ‘torment’ here is the same word translated as ‘punishment’ in Matthew 25:46, ‘κόλασις [kolasis]’ (Strong’s Reference Number G2851 -, these are the only two usages of the word and a case can be made for Eternal Concious Torment (ECT) from this, because fear is torment, and Matthew 25:46 uses the same word that is translated as ‘torment’ in 1 John 4:18, which would allow one to draw to make a conclusion that ‘everlasting punishment’ is ‘everlasting torment’.

Yes I believe God is good, but I also believe God is holy, before you said “We’re not told that God is holiness”, but:

-26: And ye shall be holy unto me: for I the LORD am holy, and have severed you from other people, that ye should be mine.

1 PETER 1:16:
-16: Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.

Although I don’t think ECT is just punishment (someone could make the case that I’m ‘leaning on my own understanding here’ and quote Proverbs 3:5-6) for sin, BUT I do think annihilationism IS a just punishment for sin, and a holy God must punish sin:

ROMANS 6:23:
-23: For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

And then we have

HEBREWS 10:26:
-26: For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,
-27: But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.
-28: He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses:
-29: Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?
-30: For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people.

Like I mentioned before, Romans 8 is only talking about the people God foreknew who would have faith and not lose said faith:

ROMANS 8:29:
-29: For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

Calvinists always conveniently leave out the part about foreknowledge and cling to the part about predestination.

Also I will add, does anyone have a response to that quote from the ‘Truth According To Scripture’ article claiming that Universalism is pagan?

God Bless
Christ Be With You All

Anyone with eyes to see can see the continuous punishment that God gives mankind for our sins. Every second of every day God is punishing sin. He is not some sort of demigod who occasionally punishes sin. No. Rather His very essence is an unescapable judgment upon sin.

The passages from the Psalms that you give do not apply to someone who screws his eyes shut and refuses to see. But to those who look around? They see the ubiquitous righteous judgments of God on wickedness. As St. Yogi Berra said, “You can observe a lot by watching.”