1. Fiona says:

    2 Thess 1:6-9…

    New Living Translation
    Greetings from Paul

    1This letter is from Paul, Silas,a and Timothy.

    We are writing to the church in Thessalonica, to you who belong to God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

    2May God our Fatherb and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace.

    Encouragement during Persecution

    3Dear brothers and sisters,c we can’t help but thank God for you, because your faith is flourishing and your love for one another is growing. 4We proudly tell God’s other churches about your endurance and faithfulness in all the persecutions and hardships you are suffering. 5And God will use this persecution to show his justice and to make you worthy of his Kingdom, for which you are suffering. 6In his justice he will pay back those who persecute you.
    7And God will provide rest for you who are being persecuted and also for us when the Lord Jesus appears from heaven. He will come with his mighty angels, 8in flaming fire, bringing judgment on those who don’t know God and on those who refuse to obey the Good News of our Lord Jesus. 9They will be punished with eternal destruction, forever separated from the Lord and from his glorious power. 10When he comes on that day, he will receive glory from his holy people—praise from all who believe. And this includes you, for you believed what we told you about him.

    11So we keep on praying for you, asking our God to enable you to live a life worthy of his call. May he give you the power to accomplish all the good things your faith prompts you to do. 12Then the name of our Lord Jesus will be honored because of the way you live, and you will be honored along with him. This is all made possible because of the grace of our God and Lord, Jesus Christ.d

  2. Matt Hyam says:

    Once again, this is where proof-texts are dangerous.

    The phrase “eternal destruction, forever separated from God” is an astonishingly bad translation of the Greek.

    To start with – the word for “eternal” is “aionious” which is from the noun “aion”, which means an unspecified period of time. It is an incredible linguistic leap to make the adjective into meaning “without beginning or end”, although many English translations do. If you look at the Nicene Creed, which is the culmination of the first 300 years of the church’s beliefs summarised, you will see that it interprets “eternal life” as meaning “life of the age to come”. Bearing in mind that this is the agreement of all present at that council, one can comfortably say that they understood “aionious” as a “quality” of life (as in the life of the age to come, today) and not as “never ending”.

    The word for “destruction” is “olethros” which only occurs a couple of times in the NT but in the septuagint is almost always translated as “ruin”, as the word “apoleia” is most often used for destruction.

    More of a concern in the passage you quote is the phrase “forever separated from God” as the word “forever” does not appear anywhere in the Greek. That has been added by a translator in order to make it say what they want it to say.

    In summary, it is entirely reasonable to translate that phrase as “ruin for a time, away from the presence of God”.

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