The Berean Expositor
Volume 6 - Page 33 of 151
Index | Zoom
In Matt. 7: 14, and 18: 8, 9 are the only other references to "life" found in
Matthew. We there learn of the "strait gate and narrow way that lead to life" with its
alternative "destruction"; and in 18: 8, 9 we read that it is better to enter into life halt,
or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into the aionion fire. This
aionion fire is further interpreted for us by the fact that the next verse says, "rather than
having two eyes to be cast into the Gehenna of fire." The danger of the Gehenna of fire
is first mentioned in  Matt. 5: 22;  a parallel passage with  18: 9  is found in
Matt. 5: 29, 30. The destruction of soul and body is referred to Gehenna in 10: 28 (this
should be considered over against the losing of the soul in Matt. 16: 25, mistranslated
"life"). The proselytes of the Pharisees and Scribes are asked, "How can ye escape the
judgment of Gehenna?" (Matt. 23: 33). Gehenna occurs only in Matthew, Mark, Luke,
and James. It is exclusively used in connection with the kingdom, and never comes into
sight in the Church Epistles; it is the divine explanation of the aionion fire as used by
Enough has been shown that aionion life and aionion punishment as found in Matthew
have an entirely different aspect from that evangelical offer of life connected solely with
faith in the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus. Neither faith nor the atonement are ever in view
in the passages we have been studying. We hope to continue our studies in future issues.