Sunday, September 15, 2013

Justin Martyr and Eternal Torments (from Βασίλειος)

Βασίλειος writes:

I think I can offer all the citations. Yet it may be better if Edgar makes a new post for the specific topic.

For Justin: I have read the entire work of Justin and I don't remember anywhere his saying that there would be eternal torments. He speaks of torments after death until the final judgmenet, which is the end of the Millenium, and then utter distruction. In his 1st Apology, he speaks of the immortality of the soul, but he doesn't say that all souls are immortal. The rest of his works shows that only the souls of the faithfull can be considered as immortal because of the kidness of God. The fate of the wicked souls is evident here:

"'But I do not say, indeed, that all souls die; for that were truly a piece of good fortune to the evil. What then? The souls of the pious remain in a better place, while those of the unjust and wicked are in a worse, waiting for the time of judgment. Thus some which have appeared worthy of God never die; but others are punished so long as God wills them to exist and to be punished.'
"'Is what you say, then, of a like nature with that which Plato in Timoeus hints about the world, when he says that it is indeed subject to decay, inasmuch as it has been created, but that it will neither be dissolved nor meet with the fate of death on account of the will of God? Does it seem to you the very same can be said of the soul, and generally of all things? For those things which exist after God, or shall at any time exist, these have the nature of decay, and are such as may be blotted out and cease to exist; for God alone is unbegotten and incorruptible, and therefore He is God, but all other things after Him are created and corruptible. For this reason souls both die and are punished […].
"'It makes no matter to me,' said he, 'whether Plato or Pythagoras, or, in short, any other man held such opinions. For the truth is so; and you would perceive it from this. The soul assuredly is or has life. If, then, it is life, it would cause something else, and not itself, to live, even as motion would move something else than itself. Now, that the soul lives, no one would deny. But if it lives, it lives not as being life, but as the partaker of life; but that which partakes of anything, is different from that of which it does partake. Now the soul partakes of life, since God wills it to live. Thus, then, it will not even partake [of life] when God does not will it to live. For to live is not its attribute, as it is God's; but as a man does not live always, and the soul is not for ever conjoined with the body, since, whenever this harmony must be broken up, the soul leaves the body, and the man exists no longer; even so, whenever the soul must cease to exist, the spirit of life is removed from it, and there is no more soul, but it goes back to the place from whence it was taken.'—Dialogue with Trypho, V-VI.

Wherefore God delays causing the confusion and destruction of the whole world, by which the wicked angels and demons and men shall cease to exist, because of the seed of the Christians, who know that they are the cause of preservation in nature. Since, if it were not so, it would not have been possible for you to do these things, and to be impelled by evil spirits; but the fire of judgment would descend and utterly dissolve all things, even as formerly the flood left no one but him only with his family who is by us called Noah, and by you Deucalion, from whom again such vast numbers have sprung, some of them evil and others good. For so we say that there will be the conflagration, but not as the Stoics, according to their doctrine of all things being changed into one another, which seems most degrading.—Apology 2, VII


Edgar Foster said...

Thanks for posting, but there may be places in Justin that do teach eternal torment. See

Tim said...

Justin certainly contradicts himself. In Dialogue Chapter 130, he says that the wicked will suffer in immortality but elsewhere he says that immortality is a reward for the righteous.

Irenaeus states emphatically, by analogy to the physical heavens, that the wicked will cease to exist in Against Heresies 2:34, but in 5:27 he seems to imply that they suffer the separation from God that modern traditionalists teach, though the passage in 5:27 could be understood as conditionalist...

He also says in Demonstration of the Apostolic Preaching chapter 69 that the wicked are "destroyed with torments", but I'm guessing this is the word "basanos" which we can see from the LXX has a broader meaning than the English word "torment", so Irenaeus may be referring to annihilation...


Matt13weedhacker said...

Hi Edgar.

Interesting. Gk., ( κολάζονται ) is translated "...punishment..." in the standard English text.

"...Cutting off..."?


Matt13weedhacker said...

P.S. Sorry Edgar. I should have put in a reference.

Dialogue 5-6

Gk., ( κολάζονται ) is translated "...punishment..."

"...Cutting off..."?


Edgar Foster said...


the passage from Dialogue 130 is interesting since one could understand it different ways since he uses Isaiah 66:24 to demonstrate his point about the future destiny of unrepentant Jews.

Irenaeus writes in AH 5.27.2: "Now, good things are eternal and without end with God, and therefore the loss of these is also eternal and never-ending. It is in this matter just as occurs in the case of a flood of light: those who have blinded themselves, or have been blinded by others, are for ever deprived of the enjoyment of light."

So what does he mean by eternal loss? He also seems to dwell on lasting separation from God.

It would be good to consult the original, but I notice that we read these words in the "Demonstration":

"And the judgment is that which by fire will be the destruction of the unbelievers at the end of the world."

Notice how he speaks of Christ being tormented by his opposers when he was on earth.

Edgar Foster said...

Weedhacker, I'll try to respond to your question within the next 2 days.

Tim said...

Edgar, I don't understand...are you saying that you think Irenaeus was an annihilationist or that he wasn't, or that he contradicted himself and expressed both views? Also, what is your point about Justin Martyr's use of Isaiah 66? How could it be read in support of annihilation? Confused...


Edgar Foster said...


I'm saying that on the face of things, Irenaeus seems to be less than clear when giving his "take" on eschatology. What does he mean by eternal separation from God? Does that mean that the one who is eternally shut off from "eternal good things" is aware of this state of affairs? Furthermore, I wonder what he means by "destruction" since not everybody means the same thing when using this terminology.

I believe that Isaiah 66:24 could be/has been read in support of annhilation. But it certainly does not have to be read as proof for eternal torment (pain and torture). Scholar John Goldingay John Goldingay (New International Biblical Commentary) makes this brief comment about the "burning" mentioned in Isaiah 66:24:

"The book actually closes (v. 24) with an imaginary picture of the contrast between the worship of the
temple mount and the nearby burhing in the Valley of
Hinnom (see on 30:33; 50:11). While this burning may
go on continually, it is hardly equivalent to the medieval notion of people suffering the pain of
burning in hell forever" (page 373).

Others explain that the burning may not go on continually. However, our main concern is what did Justin think about this passage.

Edgar Foster said...

Hi Matt13weedhacker,

IMO, "cutting off" is a possible translation, but I'm not as comfortable with it, since "punhishment" could be the best translation based on the extant sychronic evidence. In other words, to render the Greek as "cutting off" may show an overreliance on diachronic (etymological) factors than is warranted. See BDAG for some of the latest info regarding how we might understand the Greek term involved.

Βασίλειος said...

I have a new computer, facing problems with my old TLG. When this is fixed or when I find the original of Justin, I would love to do more comments.

Tim said...

Thanks for the clarification.

I suppose Irenaeus' comments should be interpreted by the word used that is translated "experience". In English, that does not necessarily have to mean consciousness, though this would be the literal meaning. Colloquially though, we could merely mean "undergo" when we say "experience". Not being an expert, I'm not sure what the original Greek word meant.

BTW you mentioned the word "kolasis" in another comment. What do you think of the NWT renderring of Mt 25:46? It doesn't matter if the NWT is incorrect here, it's not supposed to be a perfect translation, just wondered what you thought?

Edgar Foster said...


Admittedly, works like "experience" can be ambiguous in English. One word I've often encountered for a similar idea in Greek is pascho. See

I don't believe thaty the NWT rendering is wrong, but from what we know about the Greek kolasis now, "punishment" might be a better translation. Synchronic understandings take precedence over diachronic ones. Context is also important.

Βασίλειος said...

Please accept my apologies first for the delay of my answer. My new computer has severe compatibility problems with my old digital library programs. Now, let me get to the point.

Contradiction is not unusual to human writers, but it's not easily acceptable unless there is clear evidence. If a writer is not drunk when he writes, then seeing a contradiction in the very same work of his can be a result of our misunderstanding of his thought or of later interpolations in the original work (in different works of the same writer we could possibly notice an alternation of the writer’s own opinion). I am not really aware of the textual history of Justin's works, but Byzantine copyists were certainly notorious in such tasks. Nevertheless, I don't really have to make such an assumption, because I am not really sure for real contradictions.

Before examining Justin’s expressions "traditionalists" use to support the diachronic evidence of the eternal torments in hellfire, I have to lay emphasis on the methodology a reader must follow. It's neither scholarly nor honest to play with words, but we have to understand the line of thought of the writer, his argumentation and his purpose. The "death" of the soul is not just "an expression" in Justin, but, as it is seen above and below, a systematic thought, repeated in many cases, in different words, in two different works, aligned with a specific argument: Plato is wrong in supporting the immortality of the soul, since soul partakes life from God and evidently some souls will not live forever. This argument follows exactly the opposite strategy to Tertullian's (On the soul, 10, 14) and others' of the 3rd century onward, who explicitly invoke Plato and his arguments in support of the immortality of the soul (cf. Gregory the Wondermaker, Athanasius, Gregory of Nyssa etc.).

#1 But I do not say, indeed, that all souls die = some do die
#2 Thus some which have appeared worthy of God never die = others do die
#3 but others are punished so long as God wills them to exist and to be punished = they won't exist forever
#4 and are such as may be blotted out and cease to exist; for God alone is unbegotten and incorruptible, and therefore He is God, but all other things after Him are created and corruptible. For this reason souls both die and are punished (no comments needed here)
#5 Thus, then, it will not even partake [of life] when God does not will it to live
# 6 whenever the soul must cease to exist, the spirit of life is removed from it, and there is no more soul, but it goes back to the place from whence it was taken = a statement totally out of question if immortaltiy was taken for granted
#7 Wherefore God delays causing the confusion and destruction of the whole world, by which the wicked angels and demons and men shall cease to exist = this implicitly includes wicked souls
#8 but the fire of judgment would descend and utterly dissolve all things.

The majority of the above statements are totally nonsense if Justin believed that all souls would live forever...

Βασίλειος said...


Are there contradictions to these multiple and clear statements?
καὶ τοὺς μὲν ἐν αἰωνίῳ καὶ ἀλύτῳ βασιλείᾳ ἀφθάρτους καὶ ἀθανάτους καὶ ἀλύπους καταστήσῃ, τοὺς δὲ εἰς κόλασιν αἰώνιον πυρὸς παραπέμψῃ. Trypho CXVII)
when He shall raise all men from the dead, and appoint some to be incorruptible, immortal, and free from sorrow in the everlasting and imperishable kingdom; but shall send others away to the everlasting punishment of fire.

It is needless to say that Justin just uses the biblical terminology of the fate of the wicked and, furthermore, that this terminology speaks not of eternal torments but of eternal punishment, aka a situation that is irreversible, contrary to the common death of Adam, out of which all would escape and Hades will be no more.

Equating “punishment” with “torments” or “eternal fire” with “eternal torments” would need sufficient contextual documentation, since death is a sort of punishment as well. The context, as it is stated above, clearly speaks of souls not being immortal per se and that immortality is given only to good souls, and that this equation (punishment=torments) is contextually baseless.

Notice also in this very text that “punishment” is contrasted with a bestowed incorruptibility and immortality, which seems clearly to mean that punishment constitutes the opposite, that is, death (and not torments).

The same comments can be made for any other instance in which Justin mentions “eternal fire” or “eternal punishment”.

τὸ δὲ ἄχυρον κατακαύσει πυρὶ ἀσβέστῳ. (Trypho XLIX)
the chaff He will burn up with unquenchable fire.

It is needless to say that this word picture is about utter destruction. Yet again, Justin speaks of “unquenchable fire”. This means eternal, irreversible destruction or extinguishment.

In one text a cited above we see how the use of κολάζω/κόλασις excluded eternal, conscious suffering:

Ἀλλὰ μὴν οὐδὲ ἀποθνήσκειν φημὶ πάσας τὰς ψυχὰς ἐγώ• ἕρμαιον γὰρ ἦν ὡς ἀληθῶς τοῖς κακοῖς. ἀλλὰ τί; τὰς μὲν τῶν εὐσεβῶν ἐν κρείττονί ποι χώρῳ μένειν, τὰς δὲ ἀδίκους καὶ πονηρὰς ἐν χείρονι, τὸν τῆς κρίσεως ἐκδεχομένας χρόνον τότε. οὕτως αἱ μέν, ἄξιαι τοῦ θεοῦ φανεῖσαι, οὐκ ἀποθνήσκουσιν ἔτι• αἱ δὲ κολάζονται, ἔστ' ἂν αὐτὰς καὶ εἶναι καὶ κολάζεσθαι ὁ θεὸς θέλῃ. (Trypho V)
= Wicked will not die immediately, but they will be punished as long as God wills.

Yet the results of this punishment are eternal, and this is how we can speak of an eternal punishment. In this point, it is proper to notice that Justin uses κολάζω/κόλασις in various ways, sometimes as a “punishment” while someone is alive and conscious, sometimes as the “punishment” of death.

καὶ ἀποθνήσκουσιν αἱ ψυχαὶ καὶ κολάζονται (Trypho V)
= souls die and (thus) are punished.

Here we clearly have an equation of soul’s death with κόλασις, as the immediate context shows. Thus, αιώνιος κόλασις could essentially mean “eternal death”. This is not a symbolic death, because these words are put in an ontological context about the mortality of the soul in contrast with Plato’s views on the immortality of the soul.


Βασίλειος said...


Let us see now a more complicated case.

ἵνα διὰ τῆς οἰκονομίας ταύτης ὁ πονηρευσάμενος τὴν ἀρχὴν ὄφις καὶ οἱ ἐξομοιωθέντες αὐτῷ ἄγγελοι καταλυθῶσι, καὶ ὁ θάνατος καταφρονηθῇ καὶ ἐν τῇ δευτέρᾳ αὐτοῦ τοῦ Χριστοῦ παρουσίᾳ ἀπὸ τῶν πιστευόντων αὐτῷ καὶ εὐαρέστως ζώντων παύσηται τέλεον, ὕστερον μηκέτ' ὤν, ὅταν οἱ μὲν εἰς κρίσιν καὶ καταδίκην τοῦ πυρὸς ἀπαύστως κολάζεσθαι πεμφθῶσιν, οἱ δὲ ἐν ἀπαθείᾳ καὶ ἀφθαρσίᾳ καὶ ἀλυπίᾳ καὶ ἀθανασίᾳ συνῶσιν.
the serpent that sinned from the beginning, and the angels like him, may be destroyed, and that death may be contemned, and forever quit, at the second coming of the Christ Himself, those who believe in Him and live acceptably,--and be no more: when some are sent to be punished unceasingly into judgment and condemnation of fire; but others shall exist in freedom from suffering, from corruption, and from grief, and in immortality.
Trypho XLV)

Καταλύω means “to destroy, to end, bring to an end” (LSJ). Is Satan to be destroyed, but his followers to be eternally tormented? I think this is an illogical conclusion. Of course, I cannot guarantee the mental health of Justin or a possible later interpolation here, but I prefer to apply the expression “punished unceasingly” to the period before the end of Millennium, when wicked souls would suffer, as Justin mentions in other places of his works. Have in mind that punctuation is a later paratextual addition and it’s not definite for our conclusions.

εἰ μὲν τὰ εὐάρεστα αὐτῷ αἱροῖντο, καὶ ἀφθάρτους καὶ ἀτιμωρήτους αὐτοὺς τηρῆσαι, ἐὰν δὲ πονηρεύσωνται, ὡς αὐτῷ δοκεῖ, ἕκαστον κολάζειν. (Trypho LXXXVIII)
if they chose the things acceptable to Himself, He would keep them free from death and from punishment; but that if they did evil, He would punish each as He sees fit.
Here again Justin contrasts immortality with “punishment”, and not bliss with torments. Notice also that he speaks of different kinds of “punishment”, which allows the diversity of meanings I mentioned above.

ἐπειδὴ ἔγνωμεν καὶ διὰ Ἠσαίου τὰ κῶλα τῶν παραβεβηκότων ὑπὸ σκώληκος καὶ ἀπαύστου πυρὸς διαβιβρώσκεσθαι μέλλειν, ἀθάνατα μένοντα, ὥστε καὶ εἶναι εἰς ὅρασιν πάσης σαρκός. (Trypho CXXX)
since we know from Isaiah that the members of those who have transgressed shall be consumed by the worm and unquenchable fire, remaining immortal; so that they become a spectacle to all flesh.

Here we do have a strange statement of Justin. It is strange because he has added the phrase “remaining immortal” and “consumed” in the present (durative) tense, to explain the text of Isaiah. He seems to believe that the “corpses” would stay forever as a spectacle to the faithful ones. Yet, he speaks of “corpses” (τὰ κῶλα), not of conscious beings! This text doesn’t constitute evidence of eternal torments.


Βασίλειος said...


And now we can go to the last and most problematic passage:

Πλάτων δὲ ὁμοίως ἔφη Ῥαδάμανθυν καὶ Μίνω κολάσειν τοὺς ἀδίκους παρ’ αὐτοὺς ἐλθόντας• ἡμεῖς δὲ τὸ αὐτὸ πρᾶγμά φαμεν γενήσεσθαι, ἀλλ’ ὑπὸ τοῦ Χριστοῦ, καὶ τοῖς αὐτοῖς σώμασι μετὰ τῶν ψυχῶν γινομένων καὶ αἰωνίαν κόλασιν κολασθησομένων, ἀλλ’ οὐχὶ χιλιονταετῆ περίοδον, ὡς ἐκεῖνος ἔφη, μόνον. (Apology I, VIII)
And Plato, in like manner, used to say that Rhadamanthus and Minos would punish the wicked who came before them; and we say that the same thing will be done, but at the hand of Christ, and upon the wicked in the same bodies united again to their spirits which are now to undergo everlasting punishment; and not only, as Plato said, for a period of a thousand years.

Contrary to the Dialogue with Trypho, Justin here proposes Plato as a theoretical ally. Immortality is not explicitly said to be a characteristic of the wicked souls, yet this could be understood by the Roman reader of his letter. Of course, “eternal punishment” in the specific context of the platonic analogy leads to such a conclusion.

Yet he closes with a strange statement: “not only, as Plato said, for a period of a thousand years”. This statement is redundant, if the punishment is really “eternal”. What does he really mean?

I would speak of the possibility of a contradiction with the Dialogue, if Apology II haven’t repeated the same idea with the Dialogue, that all wicked, Satan included, would be utterly destroyed and the end of the Millennium. What seems more possible for me is that Justin follows a different strategy in exposing his beliefs. Apology I, as we know, constitutes Justin’s effort to find similarities with Greek philosophy. It is very noticeable how Justin deals with God’s Kingdom on Earth, speaking very selectively when he addresses to the Roman Emperor: one could say that Justin presents himself as an amillenian! I believe that his comments on the divine punishment serve his propagandistic purpose.
And this is how I understand his last expression “and not only, as Plato said, for a period of a thousand years”. From the rest of his work, we conclude that wicked will be punished till the end of the Millennium. Thus, the whole period of this punishment included the Millennium and the years before it, that is, the period we live until the Millennium begins.

Edgar Foster said...

Dear Βασίλειος,

Thanks for providing the responses to the question about Justin's view of the afterlife. I like the way you addressed the questions although I don't totally agree with your interpretation of the evidence. But maybe time will one day permit me to reply in a fitting way to your comments. All the best!

Βασίλειος said...

Dear Edgar, it was not really a response especially to you, it was a general treatment of the subject. Yet I would really appreciate your insighful comments, as I always do.

Tim said...

Thanks for the input, interesting reading. How do you address the statement in Justin about the wicked being "clothed with eternal sensibility"?

Where can I find Justin's works in the original Greek? I would be interested to see which words the ECF used and compare them to the Bible. It's interesting that you brought out the use of the word "kataluw" meaning to destroy. I don't think that word is used in the Bible, but it would certainly shed light on the use of "apolumi" and "olethros".

Βασίλειος said...

Let us see the whole text:

τὴν δὲ δευτέραν, ὅταν μετὰ δόξης ἐξ οὐρανῶν μετὰ τῆς ἀγγελικῆς αὐτοῦ στρατιᾶς παραγενήσεσθαι κεκήρυκται, ὅτε καὶ τὰ σώματα ἀνεγερεῖ πάντων τῶν γενομένων ἀνθρώπων, καὶ τῶν μὲν ἀξίων ἐνδύσει ἀφθαρσίαν, τῶν δ’ ἀδίκων ἐν αἰσθήσει αἰωνίᾳ μετὰ τῶν φαύλων δαιμόνων εἰς τὸ αἰώνιον πῦρ πέμψει.

but the second [advent], when, according to prophecy, He shall come from heaven with glory, accompanied by His angelic host, when also He shall raise the bodies of all men who have lived, and shall clothe those of the worthy withimmortality, and shall send those of the wicked, endued with eternal sensibility, into everlasting fire with the wicked devils. (Apology I, LXX)

He then cites the text of Isaiah that I briefly discussed above.

Even though I don't accept the translation "endued sensibility" (ἐν αἰσθήσει αἰωνίᾳ is constructed with πέμψει), we have to notice two things as regards the time of this situation: This judgement takes place exactly after (1) the "second advent" and (2) the general resurrection.

As I explained above, in the first Apology, Justin avoids to refer to the Millenium, because he doesn't want to give the impression of being hostile to the Roman Empire. This may falsly lead to the amillenian conclusion that all these events take place in the Final Judgement. Have in mind that amillenians identify the "second advent" with the Final Judgment.

However, according to the Dialogue with Trypho, both the "second advent" and the general resurrection take place at the beginning of the Milennium.

Εἰ δὲ τῇ τοῦ πάθους αὐτοῦ οἰκονομίᾳ τοσαύτη δύναμις δείκνυται παρακολουθήσασα καὶ παρακολουθοῦσα, πόση ἡ ἐν τῇ ἐνδόξῳ γινομένῃ αὐτοῦ παρουσίᾳ; ὡς υἱὸς γὰρ ἀνθρώπου ἐπάνω νεφελῶν ἐλεύσεται, ὡς Δανιὴλ ἐμήνυσεν, ἀγγέλων σὺν αὐτῷ ἀφικνουμένων. [...] καὶ ἐδόθη αὐτῷ ἐξουσία καὶ τιμὴ βασιλική, καὶ πάντα τὰ ἔθνη τῆς γῆς κατὰ γένη καὶ πᾶσα δόξα λατρεύουσα (XXXI, 1, 4; cf. XXXII)

But if so great a power is shown to have followed and to be still following the dispensation of His suffering, how great shall that be which shall follow His glorious advent! For He shall come on the clouds as the Son of man, so Daniel foretold, and His angels shall come with Him. [...] and there were given Him power and kingly honour, and all nations of the earth by their families, and all glory, serve Him.

ἐγὼ δέ, καὶ εἴ τινές εἰσιν ὀρθογνώμονες κατὰ πάντα Χριστιανοί, καὶ σαρκὸς ἀνάστασιν γενήσεσθαι ἐπιστάμεθα καὶ χίλια ἔτη ἐν Ἰερουσαλὴμ οἰκοδομηθείσῃ καὶ κοσμηθείσῃ καὶ πλατυνθείσῃ, ὡς οἱ προφῆται Ἰεζεκιὴλ καὶ Ἠσαίας καὶ οἱ ἄλλοι ὁμολογοῦσιν. (Trypho LXXX, 5)

But I and others, who are right-minded Christians on all points, are assured that there will be a resurrection of the dead, and a thousand years in Jerusalem, which will then be built, adorned, and enlarged, [as] the prophets Ezekiel and Isaiah and others declare.

καὶ ἔπειτα καὶ παρ' ἡμῖν ἀνήρ τις, ᾧ ὄνομα Ἰωάννης, εἷς τῶν ἀποστόλων τοῦ Χριστοῦ, ἐν ἀποκαλύψει γενομένῃ αὐτῷ χίλια ἔτη ποιήσειν ἐν Ἰερουσαλὴμ τοὺς τῷ ἡμετέρῳ Χριστῷ πιστεύσαντας προεφήτευσε, καὶ μετὰ ταῦτα τὴν καθολικὴν καί, συνελόντι φάναι, αἰωνίαν ὁμοθυμαδὸν ἅμα πάντων ἀνάστασιν γενήσεσθαι καὶ κρίσιν. ὅπερ καὶ ὁ κύριος ἡμῶν εἶπεν, ὅτι Οὔτε γαμήσουσιν οὔτε γαμηθήσονται, ἀλλὰ ἰσάγγελοι ἔσονται, τέκνα τοῦ θεοῦ τῆς ἀναστάσεως ὄντες. (Trypho LXXXI, 4)

that those who believed in our Christ would dwell a thousand years in Jerusalem; and that thereafter the general, and, in short, the eternal resurrection and judgment of all men would likewise take place. Just as our Lord also said, 'They shall neither marry nor be given in marriage, but shall be equal to the angels, the children of the God of the resurrection.'

Βασίλειος said...


Justin calles the Millenium as a period of judgement for the wicked. During this Millenium there would be a conscious suffering of both Satan and the wicked. But and the end of the Millenium, all will be utterly destroyed, as explained above.

Of course, we again have to face the adjective αιώνιος. For me it's easier to accept, as LSJ shows about the use of αιών and its derivatives, that this may just mean a long period of time. Otherwise, Justin may use this term just to lay emphasis to the eternal doom of such persons.

As far as I understand, this explanation explains better the sum of Justin's statements. Of course, I am ready to examine alternative opinions.

Tim said...

So, if I have understood you correctly, you are saying that he is referring to age-long sensibility, not literal eternal sensibility?

This perhaps might agree with the Dead Sea Scrolls, which state:

"And the visitation of all who walk in this [bad] spirit shall be a multitude of plagues by the hand of all the destroying angels, everlasting damnation by the avenging wrath of the fury of God, eternal torment and endless disgrace together with shameful extinction in the fire of the dark regions. The times of all their generations shall be spent in sorrowful mourning and in bitter misery and in calamities of darkness until they are destroyed without remnant or survivor." (1Qs 4)

Note that the wicked suffer "eternal torment" but only "until they are destroyed"?

Βασίλειος said...

Yes, the sum of Justin's statements seem to indicate to a long period of torments from the moment of bodily death of the wicked till the end of the Millenium, and then an extinguisment at the end of the Millenium.

Both the noon αιών and the adjective αιώνιος can refer to a long period of time, instead of eternity. (Cf. Ps 23:7; 76:5 LXX) 'Only in the light of the context can it be said whether αιών means “eternity” in the strict sence or simply “remote” or “extended” or “uninterrupted time”' (TDNT I 198).

Yet in the stataments I made, I have to revise what I said about the text of Isaiah, since the comparison of Apology and Dialogue shows that he speaks about torments during the Millenium.

Matt13weedhacker said...

Βασίλειος interesting comments.

I would like to contribute by pointing to:

[1.] “A CRITICAL HISTORY OF CHRISTIAN LITERATURE AND DOCTRINE, From the Death of the Apostles to the Nicene Council,” By James Donaldson, Vol. II, “The Apologists,” Section XIV, “Christ,” Chapter III, “Justin Martyr,” London, Macmillan & Co. 1886.

Gives an excellent and detailed treatment on Justin, and gives his own translation, slightly different to the later ANF version he contributed to.

[2.] JUSTIN MARTYR'S: “DIALOGUE with Trypho the Jew,” Translated from the Greek into English, with notes, by Henry Brown, Oxford, 1745.

Comparisons of translations are always helpful.

Another translation below:

[3.] The Works Now Extant Of Justin Martyr – A LIBRARY OF THE FATHERS OF THE HOLY CATHOLIC CHURCH: Anterior To The Division Of The East & West – Translated By Members Of The English Church.[1800's]


[4.] “Dialogue With Trypho,” Translated by Kevin P. Edgecomb, Berkeley, California, 2003.

[5.] Fall's translation is partially available on Google Books.

[6.] J. R. Goodenough's definitive work on Justin is a must. He gives his own translation as well.

[7.] Charles Semisch work as well is ranked at, or among, the top works to be consulted on Justin. Gives a translation of his own.

As for Greek texts are concerned.

I would advise going back to older texts like Otto's, Goodspeeds, and whatever other ones you can find or access, etc, and check the footnotes wherever possible, because, when you read the works above, you'll see there's been a lot of "editing" and "emendations" or "correcting" of Justin's texts that's over the last three centuries in particular.

Miroslav Marcovich newer text has altered some passages even further, for instance the famous Jesus and Gk., ( ALLOS ) "...( made ) like ... the other good angels of the same kind..." text, is an example. To hot to handle for some. is an excellent resource to find these works.

Enjoy your day.