Greek Word Studies…(toward Christian Annihilation of the soul)
I have been looking at the idea of so-called Christian Annihilationism, and have given it something of an openness or possibility? But looking at many of the Greek Word Studies and Lexicon’s, the Greek words themselves, don’t appear to support such! I will quote two which are more well-known, especially with the Evangelical Community.
First W.E. Vine, and his Expository Dictionary of N.T. Words. He says, towards Destroy, Destroyer, Destruction, Destructive. ‘1. Apollumi, a strengthened form of “ollumi”, signifies to destroy utterly; in the Middle Voice, to perish. The idea is not extinction but ruin, loss not of being, but of well-being … i.e. lost to the shepherd, metaphorical of spiritual destitution…etc.’
And too, from E.W. Bullinger’s Critical Lexicon…English and Greek New Testament, ‘Destroy, to destroy utterly… The fundamental thought is not annihilation, but ruin, loss, (as sheep, Matt. x. 6; XV. 24, etc; Luke XV. 4, 6, lost to the fold and to the shepherd; so the lost son, Luke XV. 24,) to perish, come to an end (as bread, John vi, 27; gold, 1 Pet. 1. 7.)
These are of course short, and further work and word study should be done. But the basic essence from both of these is NOT to annihilation is plain! It is to the loss and ruin of the soul, destroyed and ruined away from the Lord’s presence! For all time, or eternity? This is the issue! It is here, that I myself must place the Text of Luke 16: 19-31, and noting verse 26! In the context, this Text from Luke, is.. as it appears from Hades, an intermediate place between decease and the doom of Gehenna, but again verse 26 seems to point to a lasting, fixed and eternal reality! I would be open to anyone seeking to exegete these verses to show any other interpretation? And note too, the literal name “Lazarus”, the only character named in a so-called Dramatic Parable of Jesus. But is it a real “Parable”? or a quite literal and dramatic spiritual truth and lesson!
“The word (Hades) is used four times in the Gospels, and always by the Lord, Matt. 11: 23; 16: 18 ; Luke 10: 15 ; 16: 23 ; it is used with reference to the soul of Christ, Acts 2: 27, 31 ; Christ declares that He has the keys of it, Rev. 1: 18 ; in Rev. 6: 8 it is personified, with the signification of the temporary destiny of the doomed ; it is to give up those who are therein, 20: 13, and is to be cast into the lake of fire, ver. 14.” (Vine, under Hades)
Finally, the Greek word “Thanatos” used in Scripture for death should be studied also! Again Vine says: “Death is the opposite of life ; it never denotes non-existence. As spiritual life is “conscious existence in communion with God,” so spiritual death is “conscious existence in separation from God.”
Yes, this is short, and just cracks the door to some degree. And too, Geenna, (Gk.) for the Hebrew Gehenna (Ge-Hinnom) should also be studied! As too the Greek, Tartarus, 2 Peter 2: 4.
We should try to keep it simple, and not get too technical in our Word Studies from the Old and New Testament! And always remember that the Old and New Testaments (Covenants), are closely connected, and fulfilled ‘In Christ’! ( 2 Cor. 3 /Heb. 13: 20)