"Otherwise you have believed in vain"?


Straight from the favorite chapter of Universalists, 1 Corinthians 15, we have this in verse 2

"By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. "



The first step is to translate the verse correctly. Not “otherwise” but “unless.”
Two Greek words are used “ει μη” that literally mean “if not.” (…if you have not believed in vain.)


Alright, fair point. Always good to have a proper translation. Now how does that change the meaning of the text? Still seems to imply to me that only true believers (Followers) are saved.



Presently only believers are saved.

Eventually all will be saved (1 Cor.15:22-28; Rom.5:18-19, Rev.5:13, etc), either in this life or the afterlife.

But the wicked will suffer “hell” first (Rev.20:11-15, etc).

If you haven’t read it, for most people this might be the best introductory book on the topic of universalism:


I’d recommend it.


UNLESS you have believed in vain (in other words (imo) unless we’re all wrong about all this) said, in my imagination, with a certain inflection of irony. Remember, the Bible–yes, all of it–was written by middle-easterners–people of “the mother of all battles” and similar surgically scientific statements.