Life and Death in Johanine Literature
Not only Paul understands salvation as life and damnation as death, but John and Johonine literature also makes that formulation.
John 6:40—"For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day."
John 6:47—"Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life."
John 6:54—"He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day."
John 6:68—"and Simon Peter answered Him, 'Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life.'"
John 10:28—"and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand."
than'-at-os Noun Masculine
Definition1. the death of the body 1. that separation (whether natural or violent) of the soul and the body by which the life on earth is ended 2. with the implied idea of future misery in hell 1. the power of death 3. since the nether world, the abode of the dead, was conceived as being very dark, it is equivalent to the region of thickest darkness i.e. figuratively, a region enveloped in the darkness of ignorance and sin 2. metaph., the loss of that life which alone is worthy of the name, 1. the misery of the soul arising from sin, which begins on earth but lasts and increases after the death of the body in hell 3. the miserable state of the wicked dead in hell 4. in the widest sense, death comprising all the miseries arising from sin, as well physical death as the loss of a life consecrated to God and blessed in him on earth, to be followed by wretchedness in hell
Again this one suffers from a gloss on the word as the result of theological bais. Some egar beaver scholar "knows" it just has to include eternal conscious torment and so reads it into the definition of the word. The Greek had no such word. Their view of punishment after life was Tartarus an the word for ti was Tartaro, not "death." This is added in and a peak at Liddell and Scott will confirm it.
Greek Word: Qavnatoß
Transliterated Word: thanatos
Book to Display: John
Joh 5:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.
Joh 8:51 Verily, verily, I say unto you, If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death.
Joh 8:52 Then said the Jews unto him, Now we know that thou hast a devil. Abraham is dead, and the prophets; and thou sayest, If a man keep my saying, he shall never taste of death.
Joh 11:4 When Jesus heard that, he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.
Both Paul and John undestand salvation to be life, like the plant drawing sustenance from the sun, to be in relatinoship with God is to bask in the sun of God's love and to absorb life, eternal life. To know God is like the baby drawing sustenance from the mother. To be "lost" to be seperated from God is the end, death, to cease, to be destroyed, wrecked, smashed. The finality of death suggests ending, annihilation. These are figurative uses but we can see from the images involved that they are getting at the idea that God is life and to be apart from God is to cease in the finality fo death.
the book of Revelation uses the images of smoke and ashes after a fire is extinguished.
"And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever; they have no rest day and night, those who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name" (Rev. 14:11).
the fire is gone the flame is annihilated, extinguished, only the memory of the works they did remain like smoke trailing upward from a burned out candle. There is no certain way to prove which meaning these words suggest: eternal conscious torment as a "living" death forever, or finality and annihilation. But it makes much more sense the latter way and since the idea was not in the OT and since it is never spoken of at length in any expository way, but only in connections with parables, apokolipitics and symbols. it makes far more sense to see hell as a symbol of spiritual death.
Summary of Arguments
(1) hell was not part of the ancient Hebrew understanding of afterlife and is not in the OT.
(2) The entrance of hell into Hebrew thought can be traced from the Hellenistic culture which became part of Hebrew experience in the intertestamental period.
(3) Hell is never discussed clearly in any expository prose, it is almost always found in either symbolic, or apokolliptic or figurative language.
(4) It's use as a symbol of spiritual death makes more sense.