Sunday, October 02, 2016

Peter Pett and Matthew 10:28

There's an enlightening note in Peter Pett's Biblical commentary, and it's found at Mt 10:28. I'm not going to quote the entire note, but here is what he concludes from his excursus. I will post the link below in order that readers may see all that Pett writes:

Some have pointed to Revelation 14:9-11 to support their position [regarding eternal punishment]. But that in fact supports Isaiah 66:24 as indicating that it is the means of punishment that are eternal. It is the smoke of their torment that arises for ever and ever, a reminder of the trial by torture that they have faced. ‘And they have no rest day or night’ (or more strictly ‘they are unceasing ones day and night’) is a translation that assumes what it wants to prove. Exactly the same Greek words are used in Revelation 4:8 where they cannot possibly indicate anything but continuing joy. So the real point is the comparison between the two. Both those who worship God and those who worship the Wild Beast do so continually. But clearly the worship of the Wild Beast ceases after the events in Revelation 19:20-21.

This all suggests that we must be very careful before we claim that Scripture teaches eternal conscious punishment. While the fate of the unrighteous is clearly intended to be seen as horrific, it is nowhere spelled out that it is a matter of eternal consciousness. Many would feel that ‘destruction’ must be given its obvious meaning as in the end resulting in the removal from God's fullness, when God will be all in all, of all that offends. Perhaps we should consider that the wisest course is to teach what the Scriptures positively say and leave such matters to Him.

(Of course those who believe in an ‘eternal soul’ that even God cannot destroy will already have made up their minds. They are bound by their doctrine (which is nowhere taught in Scripture). But such a concept may seem blasphemous to many. Can there really be anything that God cannot destroy? If it were so then it would seem (and I say it reverently) that God has then surely ceased to be God).

End of note.



Philip Fletcher said...

Ha!Ha! I like what he says, and says what everyone who uphold the bible over tradition feels. They are bound by doctrine. God grants immortality to those who will never betray him. So they will never be destroyed, immortal.

Edgar Foster said...

Yeah, I was actually surprised to find these remarks on studylight, because that site is filled with commentaries/resources that continue to advocate the traditional line. Good to see a work that's even dares to question the way most churchgoers think.