The Berean Expositor
Volume 4 & 5 - Page 150 of 161
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Berean Expositor Volume 4 & 5
The Wages of Sin.
Greek words used.
pp. 7-11
In our last paper in Vol. 3:, page 84 (Vols. 2:/3:, page 128), we considered the
meaning and usage of the words apollumi and apõleia, and found that the words destroy
and destruction in their plain unequivocal sense gave the scriptural meaning.
There are not a few who speak with borrowed but inexperienced weight against this
meaning, and dismiss it with some such expression as, "It is unphilosophical ­ nothing
can be annihilated." So far as The Berean Expositor is concerned we care not how
apparently "unphilosophical" we may appear, so long as we speak according to the Word
of God. Yet if we step down from the high plane of inspired truth to the lower plane of
human speculation, truth still triumphs. If annihilation be unphilosophical, so also must
be creation. Creation as explained by this same philosophy is the calling into being that
which before had no existence. Shall we therefore be called unphilosophical if we
believe that He Who did the former creative act can also do the latter destructive act, and
send created things back into non-existence once again? Surely creation is greater than
annihilation! Surely as much wisdom and power were necessary to create a world out of
nothing, as will be necessary to send some created things back to nothing? Let those who
oppose be consistent. Let them deny creation, and affirm the eternity of matter; then,
although grossly unscriptural, they may use the term philosophical, but not before. We
are not careful to answer in this matter. We desire to know the revealed will of God,
even though such knowledge constitutes us fools in the eyes of those who are wise in this
world's wisdom. Let us now return to our examination of the Greek words.
Olethros occurs four times, and is translated in each case "destruction" (I Cor. 5: 5;
I Thess. 5: 3; II Thess. 1: 9; I Tim. 6: 9). II Thess. 1: 9 is the only verse calling for any
comment, not because of any obscurity in the text, but because of a certain gloss
frequently met with in the writings of those who defend the doctrine of eternal conscious
suffering. The verse reads, "Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the
presence of the Lord, and from the glory of His power," and the word "from" is taken to
indicate that the "destruction" is banishment away from the presence of the Lord, just as
it is said that "death" is life apart from the presence of the Lord.
I Cor.
To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in
the day of the Lord Jesus.
I Thess.
For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as
travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.
II Thess.
Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the
glory of his power;
I Tim.
But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts,
which drown men in destruction and perdition.