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OleqroV  2 Thess 1.9
Destruction or Loss?
2 Thess 1:9 reads ‘They will be punished with everlasting destruction from
the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power’
or ‘They will be punished with age lasting (αιωνιον) loss (ολεθρος_36391)
from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power.’
What is the meaning of the phrase ‘everlasting destruction’, which occurs
just this once in the Bible? Does it make sense? Does it agree with other
scriptures? And is it correctly translated from the Greek ? There are three
main views among theologians regarding the fate of unbelievers who
reject God and the backsliding believers.
The Traditional majority view: Unbelievers, after they die, will go into
everlasting conscious torment and torture. This clearly clashes with
everlasting destruction. Both cannot be true at the same time. You
cannot go on being tormented if you have been destroyed!
The annihilation view: Unbelievers will cease to exist after they die. They
are destroyed forever. In the normal translations this view is the best fit for
this verse, but it clashes with other verses which speak of eternal
torment. Again if you have ceased to exist you cannot go on being
tormented ! This view is officially held by Seventh Day Adventists,
Jehovah’s Witnesses, and many others, especially those who cannot
believe in the teaching of eternal torment.
The Universalist view: Unbelievers, after a period of corrective
punishment and chastisement, will all be reconciled to God. This is what
Universalists believe.
Translating the verse as‘ everlasting destruction’ is a complete
contradiction in terms. Destruction does not last for a specific period of
time. When something is destroyed it is destroyed forever. The phrase
‘age lasting destruction’ is unnatural because destruction is by definition
everlasting not for a limited period of time. Also there is a further problem
with the following phrase 'from the presence of the Lord'.
Being destroyed 'from the presence of the Lord' does not make good