I’ve been really thinking about the phrase eternal life and what it meant in Jesus’s day compared to our current understanding or interpretation. I I am beginning to believe that most of the mentions of eternal life that we here in the New Testament are dealing with not the Heavenly by-and-by eternity that we have been led to believe but more a day-to-day worthwhile and meaningful life a life that gives one’s self into or unto the world around that person at that time.
When discussing the question of eschatological judgment, defenders of traditional doctrine immediately appeal to our Lord’s teaching on hell. It is simply obvious that Jesus taught the eternal damnation of the reprobate. Certainly that is how almost all the English translations render the relevant New Testament texts. The classic passage is Jesus’ parable of the sheep and the goats (Matt 25:31-46). The parable concludes with these words (Matt 25:46):
καὶ ἀπελεύσονται οὗτοι εἰς κόλασιν αἰώνιον, οἱ δὲ δίκαιοι εἰς ζωὴν αἰώνιον
And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal. (KJV)
And these will depart into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life. (RSV)
And these shall go away to punishment age-during, but the righteous to life age-during. (YLT)
And these shall be coming away into chastening eonian, yet the just into life eonian. (CLNT)
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