Living and perishing for the eon
In John 6:39-40 we read the following:
“Now this is the will of Him Who sends Me, that all which He has given to Me, of it I should be losing nothing, but I shall be raising it in the last day. For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who is beholding the Son and believing in Him may have life eonian, and I shall be raising him in the last day.”
When Christ spoke of raising those who are “beholding the Son and believing in Him,” he was referring to the resurrection that will be occurring after this present eon ends – i.e., the “resurrection of the just” referred to in Luke 14:14 and 20:34-35. Keeping this fact in mind, let’s now consider what Christ went on to declare concerning the life that these believers will be enjoying after they’ve been resurrected by him “in the last day.” In John 6:51 (see also v. 58), we read the following:
“If anyone should be eating of this Bread, he shall be living for the eon.”
In this verse, the Greek expression translated “for the eon” is “eis ton aióna” (https://biblehub.com/text/john/6-51.htm). The second word in this expression is the Greek article “ton,” and means “the” (https://biblehub.com/greek/3588.htm), while the last word in this expression is the noun “aión” (which, as noted earlier, means “age” or “eon”). Concerning the first word used in the expression “eis ton aióna,” we read the following in Thayer’s Greek Lexicon:
εἰς, a preposition governing the accusative, and denoting entrance into, or direction and limit: into, to, toward, for, among (https://biblehub.com/greek/1519.htm)
We’re further told in this entry that the Greek preposition “eis” can be used of place, time, and various states of affairs. Since aión denotes a period of time (i.e., an “age” or “eon”), the information with which we’re provided regarding the meaning of eis when it’s connected with a certain period of time can help us determine what the best translation of eis should be in the above verses. And among the English words provided as valid translations for eis when used of time are “through,” “for” and “unto.” We can therefore regard the expression “for the eon” as a literal and grammatically valid translation of the Greek expression “eis ton aióna.” And this means that, in John 6:51, the expression “he shall be living for the eon” can be understood as a reference to the eon that will begin when Christ returns, and in which “the resurrection of the just” (i.e., the resurrection of ”those deemed worthy to happen upon that eon”) will be taking place.
Keeping the above facts in mind, let’s now consider what Christ declared in John 10:27-28. In these verses we read the following:
“My sheep are hearing My voice, and I know them, and they are following Me. And I am giving them life eonian, and they should by no means be perishing for the eon…”
Similarly, in John 8:51 we read the following:
“Verily, verily, I am saying to you, If anyone should be keeping My word, he should under no circumstances be beholding death for the eon.”
And in John 11:26 Christ declared:
“And everyone who is living and believing in Me, should by no means be dying for the eon. Are you believing this?”
Some believe that the “death” Christ had in view in these verses can be understood as something other than that which occurs when someone’s life on earth ends. However, the broader context of John’s account indicates that the death Christ had in view is the kind of death from which resurrection saves us. Based on what we read in John 6, the kind of death of which Christ was referring in the above verses should be understood as the same sort of death that the Israelites died in the wilderness (:48, 58), and as being the kind of death that, for the believers to whom Christ spoke at that time, will end when they’re raised up by Christ “in the last day” (:39, 40, 44, 54; cf. John 5:21-29). This is also evident from the larger context of chapter 11 (the main focus of which is the death and resurrection of Lazarus). So there is simply no good reason to understand the death in view in John 8:51 and 11:26 as being something other than the kind of death that every believer in Christ’s day eventually underwent (and from which they’ll be saved when they’re raised up by Christ “in the last day”).
Now, the Greek expression translated “for the eon” in each of the verses quoted above is the same expression found in John 6:51 and 58 (i.e., “eis ton aióna”). As in John 6:51 and 58, Christ was referring to the first eon of his future reign over the kingdom of God. That is, the “eon” for which believers “should under no circumstances be beholding death” (or “should by no means be dying/perishing”) is the eon that will begin when Christ returns to the earth and establishes the kingdom of God on the earth. It is during this future time that those who believed in Christ in this lifetime (and during this present eon) will “under no circumstances be beholding death” and will “by no means be dying.”
The fact that the noun aión was used in each of the verses quoted above is completely obscured in most Bible versions (since they tend to use the expressions “never see death” and “never perish”). Here, for example, is how John 8:51 and 11:26 read in the English Standard Version (which is representative of how these verses are translated in most Bibles):
“Truly, truly, I say to you, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death.”
“…everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?”
According to the ESV’s translation of these verses, Jesus declared something which, when understood in a literal and straight-forward sense, is simply not true. It’s not the case that those who kept Christ’s word and believed in him during his earthly ministry never saw death and never died. Everyone who kept Christ’s word and believed in him during his earthly ministry eventually died (and they’re still just as dead today as they were on the day that they died). Since Christ did not teach what is false, we can conclude that it’s the translation – and not what Christ actually said on these occasions – that is at fault here. The problem that the above erroneous translation creates is resolved with a more accurate and literal translation. In each of these verses, it is “for the eon” that believers will “under no circumstances be beholding death” and will “by no means be dying.”
Now, notice how, in John 10:28, Christ contrasted “life eonian” with “perishing for the eon.” Since the state of affairs that Christ had in view when he spoke of “perishing for the eon” involves being dead during the coming eon, we can conclude that “life eonian” is life that will be enjoyed during the entirety of the coming eon. In other words, those who will be given “life eonian” will be living for the coming eon, and will not be dead (or die) during this future time period. Here, again, are Christ’s words in Luke 18:29-30:
“Verily, I am saying to you that there is no one who leaves house, or wife, or brothers, or parents, or children on account of the kingdom of God, who may not by all means be getting back manyfold in this era, and in the coming eon, life eonian.”
Notice how closely Christ associated “the coming eon” with the blessing that is referred to as “life eonian.” The Greek expression translated “life eonian” here is zōēn aiónion, and – as noted earlier – is the same expression translated “life eonian” in John 3:16. The Greek word translated “eonian” in both of these verses is the adjective aiónion, and is simply the adjectival form of the noun aión. As the adjectival form of the Greek noun meaning “age” or “eon,” the word aiónios should best be understood to mean “lasting for, or pertaining to, one or more ages/eons.” For example, the Perseus Greek Word Study Tool defines aiónios as “lasting for an age” (http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/morph?l=ai)w%2Fnios&la=greek).
Moreover, as pointed out in part two of my study “Eternal or Eonian?” (http://thathappyexpectation.blogspot.com/2015/01/eternal-or-eonian-part-two.html), both the noun aión and the adjective aiónios were used by the Jewish authors of the Greek Scriptures – as well as by the Jewish translators of the Septuagint (or LXX) – as the Greek equivalents of the single Hebrew noun “olam.” This word was derived from the verb “alam” (which means “to veil from sight” or “to conceal”), and denotes a long span of past, present or future time of undefined (and thus “concealed”) duration – i.e., it denotes one or more ages, or eons. The Brown-Driver-Briggs English and Hebrew Lexicon, for example, defines “olam” as “long duration, antiquity, futurity” (https://biblehub.com/hebrew/5769.htm). In accord with this definition, we read the following in The Encyclopedia Dictionary of the Bible (p. 693):
The Bible hardly speaks of eternity in the philosophical sense of infinite duration without beginning or end. The Hebrew word olam, which is used alone (Ps. 61:8; etc.) or with various prepositions (Gn. 3:22; etc.) in contexts where it is traditionally translated as “forever,” means in itself no more than “for an indefinitely long period.”
For some examples in which olam was used in the Hebrew Scriptures for things that most students of Scripture would agree are not absolutely endless or “eternal” (and for which the words aión and aiónios were used as the Greek equivalents by the translators of the LXX), see the following article: http://thathappyexpectation.blogspot.com/2019/03/the-meaning-of-aion-in-new-testament.html. Since the idea of eternal duration isn’t inherent in the meaning of the Hebrew word olam, the same can be said for the noun that was used in the LXX and the New Testament as the Greek equivalent of this Hebrew word (i.e., aión). And since the word aiónios is simply the adjectival form of this Greek noun (and was also used in the LXX and the New Testament as the Greek equivalent of olam), it can also be understood as expressing the same basic idea as olam. That is, aiónios refers to an indefinitely long period of time that is either past, present or future (and which thus pertains to one or more “ages” or “eons”).
For example, in 2 Timothy 1:9 and Titus 1:2, Paul used the expression “pro chronon aionion” to refer to the time when God promised “life eonian” to members of the body of Christ, and gave us grace in Christ Jesus. In this expression, the word “pro” means “before,” the word “chronon” means “times,” and the word aionion means “eonian” (i.e., that which lasts for, or pertains to, one or more eons). In accord with the meaning of these words, the expression “pro chronon aionion” is translated in the CLNT as “before times eonian.” In the English Standard Version we read, “before the ages began” (which is significant, since the word aiónios is usually translated “eternal” in this version).
According to either translation, it’s evident that the duration of time to which the word aiónios was used by Paul to refer in these verses cannot be understood as stretching back endlessly into the past. Instead, the expression “pro chronon aionion” refers to the time before the beginning of the ages, or eons, that we find referred to elsewhere (and of which we’re told God is the King in 1 Tim. 1:17). And just as it’s evident from these verses that the word aiónios does not refer to a span of time stretching back endlessly into the past, so it’s evident from Romans 16:25-26 that the word doesn’t refer to a span of time stretching endlessly into the future. Here is how these verses are translated in the English Standard Version:
“Now to him who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages but has now been disclosed and through the prophetic writings has been made known to all nations…”
The Greek expression translated as “for long ages” in the ESV is “chronois aióniois” (with “chronois” meaning “times” and “aióniois” meaning “eonian” or “age-lasting”). As already noted, the ESV – like most mainstream Bibles – normally translates the word aiónios as “eternal.” The fact that it doesn’t do so here is telling. The translator(s) of this verse evidently realized that it wouldn’t make any sense to translate aiónios as “eternal” here (for if the “long ages” for which the “mystery” was “kept secret” were eternal in duration, then the “mystery” would’ve never been “disclosed”). In the CLNT, the expression “chronois aióniois” is more accurately translated as “times eonian.” But the point that needs to be emphasized here is that, just as aiónios can’t be understood to mean “without beginning” in 2 Tim. 1:9 and Titus 1:2, so it can’t be understood to mean “without end” in Rom. 16:25. And this meaning of aiónios is completely consistent with both the meaning of olam in the Hebrew Scriptures and with the usage of aiónios in the LXX (a translation with which Paul and the other authors of the Greek Scriptures were very familiar).
Some, of course, will be inclined to believe that Paul’s usage of aiónios in Romans 16:25 must be understood as an “exception to the rule” of how this word is normally used in the Greek Scriptures. But there is no non-question-begging reason to believe this. Paul didn’t have to use the word aiónios in this verse if he didn’t think it was the best word to use to communicate the idea that he wanted to communicate at this point in his letter. The fact that Paul did use the word aiónios in this verse (and not some other word or combination of words) indicates that he understood the word to be inseparably connected with the “ages” or “eons” referred to elsewhere in Scripture. Thus, rather than understanding Paul’s use of this word in Rom. 16:25 as some sort of “anomaly,” the student of Scripture should, instead, allow Paul’s use of aiónios in this verse – as well as in 2 Tim. 1:9 and Titus 1:2 – to inform his or her understanding of what the word means elsewhere (e.g., in Luke 18:30 and John 3:16).
If the Greek word aiónios should best be understood as a reference to the duration of one or more of the “ages” or “eons” of which we’re told God is the King, then it follows that the English words “eternal” and “everlasting” are not, in fact, the most accurate and literal translations of the Greek adjective aiónios. For the adjective “eternal” corresponds to the noun “eternity” rather than to the nouns “age” or “eon” (and “eternal” or “everlasting” duration is not an idea that’s inherent in the Greek word aión – at least, as the word is used in the Greek Scriptures). Significantly, there are a number of contemporary, evangelical Christian scholars who’ve acknowledged that the Greek expression translated as “life eonian” in John 3:16, Luke 18:30 and elsewhere should be understood as denoting “the life of the age to come” (with the “age to come” being the age that will, at Christ’s return to earth, succeed the present age). Thus, even mainstream Christian scholarship supports the view that the “life” that is in view in Luke 18:30 and John 3:16 refers to the life that will be enjoyed during the “age to come” or “coming eon” referred to in Luke 18:30 and elsewhere.
So why, then, do so most Christian scholars still maintain that the word “eternal” (or “everlasting”) is a valid translation of the Greek word “aiónios” in verses such as Luke 18:30 and John 3:16? Answer: Because it’s still commonly assumed by most Christians (including the scholars referred to above) that the “age to come” referred to by Christ in Luke 18:30 and elsewhere is a span of time that will be endless in duration. And because it’s assumed that this coming eon will be endless in duration, it’s concluded that Christ must’ve been referring to a blessing that pertains to “eternity.” This assumption concerning the duration of the coming eon, however, is inconsistent with the facts. For we know from other verses that there is more than one future eon that’s to come, and that Christ’s reign over the kingdom of God will not be limited to the “coming eon” that’s in view in Luke 18:30 and Eph. 1:21. Rather, Christ’s reign will continue beyond the next eon, and thus span more than one eon.
Consider, for example, Paul’s words in Ephesians 2:4-7:
“…yet God, being rich in mercy, because of His vast love with which He loves us (we also being dead to the offenses and the lusts), vivifies us together in Christ (in grace are you saved!) and rouses us together and seats us together among the celestials, in Christ Jesus, that, in the oncoming eons, He should be displaying the transcendent riches of His grace in His kindness to us in Christ Jesus.”
Significantly, every Bible I’ve consulted accurately translates the plural form of the noun aión as “ages” or “eons” in Eph. 2:7. And this verse alone provides us with irrefutable evidence that the next eon is not endless or “eternal” in duration. Just like the present eon (and the eons that are now past), the next eon – i.e., the first eon of Christ’s reign – will eventually be followed by yet another eon during which Christ will be reigning over the kingdom of God.
Concerning these future eons of Christ’s reign, we read the following in Luke 1:32-33 (CLNT):
“And the Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he shall reign over the house of Jacob for the eons. And of his kingdom there shall be no end.”
The Greek expression translated “for the eons” in this verse is eis tous aiónas. This expression is nearly identical with the expression found in the verses we’ve considered earlier (i.e., eis ton aióna). The only difference is that, in Luke 1:32, the noun aión is plural rather than singular (hence it’s translated “eons” in the CLNT). Most Bibles use the term “forever” to translate this expression (which they also do when the noun aión is in the singular form). However, the expression eis tous aiónas – as well as the associated adjective aiónios (which, in some verses, pertains to the same duration of time) – does not mean “forever” or denote endless duration. How do we know this?
Answer: The duration of time referred to by the words “eis tous aiónas” in Luke 1:33 (and by aiónios elsewhere) is the duration of time for which Christ shall be reigning in the future. And according to what is revealed by Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:20-28, Christ is not going to be reigning for an endless duration of time. After revealing that everyone dying in Adam is going to be vivified or “made alive” in Christ (1 Cor. 15:20-22), Paul went on to write the following in verses 23-28:
Yet each in his own class: the Firstfruit, Christ; thereupon those who are Christ’s in His presence; thereafter the consummation, whenever He may be giving up the kingdom to His God and Father, whenever He should be nullifying all sovereignty and all authority and power. For He must be reigning until He should be placing all His enemies under His feet. The last enemy is being abolished: death. For He subjects all under His feet. Now whenever He may be saying that all is subject, it is evident that it is outside of Him Who subjects all to Him. Now, whenever all may be subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also shall be subjected to Him Who subjects all to Him, that God may be All in all.
The “consummation” of which Paul wrote in v. 24 likely refers to the consummation of Christ’s reign – i.e., it refers to the time when Christ will “be giving up the kingdom to his God and Father” (at the very least, this future point in time clearly coincides with the end of Christ’s reign). The word “until” in v. 25 indicates that the subjection of Christ’s enemies is the goal of Christ’s reign. When this goal is reached, there will no longer be any need for Christ to continue reigning, and Christ will thus give up the kingdom to his God and Father. And according to Paul, the “last enemy” (i.e., among the enemies that will be placed under Christ’s feet) is death, and will be abolished by Christ. How will death be abolished? Answer: through the vivification of all who are dead or dying. That is, death will be abolished when all who are dead or dying have been made immortal, and can no longer die. And since the “consummation” is inseparably connected with the abolishing of death – and since death can only be abolished through the vivification of all who are dead or dying – it follows that the last event of Christ’s reign during the coming eons will involve the vivification of everyone who, at this future time, will have not already been vivified.
Now, when the kingdom is given up to God (in accord with what we read in v. 24), the Father alone will reign over this then-universal kingdom, and all created, intelligent beings – including Christ himself – will be his subjects (we know that being subjected to Christ will involve becoming a subject of the kingdom that he’ll be giving up to God, for the same term translated “subjected” is, in v. 28, used in reference to both the “all” who are to be subjected to Christ and to Christ himself, when he gives up the kingdom to God and thereby becomes a subject of this kingdom). Moreover, we also know that the kingdom that will be given up to God will continue, without end, beyond the duration of the eons of Christ’s reign. It is for this reason that we’re told in Luke 1:33 that “there shall be no end” of Christ’s kingdom. Christ’s reign over the kingdom will end when he gives the kingdom up to his God and Father, but the kingdom itself will have no end after it has been delivered to God.
Since Christ’s reign is only “until” a certain point (at which point he will give up the kingdom to his God and Father), it follows that the duration of time for which Christ is going to be reigning “over the house of Jacob” (i.e., “eis tous aiónas” or “for the eons”) is not endless or “eternal”; rather, it will end when Christ’s reign ends, and he gives up the kingdom to his God and Father. Moreover, the “ages” or “eons” that are in view in Luke 1:33 and elsewhere are simply the coming “ages” or “eons” that Paul was referring to in Ephesians 2:7. It is during these future “ages” or “eons” that Christ will be reigning “over the house of Jacob.” And the last “age” or “eon” during which Christ will be reigning will conclude after Christ has placed all his enemies under his feet and abolished death, the last enemy.
Consider the following argument:
1. In John 3:16, the Greek adjective aiónios (“eonian”) does not refer to a span of time that goes beyond the eons during which Christ shall be reigning.
2. According to what is revealed in 1 Corinthians 15:22-28, Christ is not going to be reigning for an endless duration of time (his reign is only “until” a certain point, at which time he will give up the kingdom to his God and Father so that God may be “All in all”).
3. Thus, the span of time expressed by the term aiónios in John 3:16 cannot be endless in duration.
It should be emphasized that the argument above is logically valid; if all the premises are true, then the conclusion must be true as well. Thus, in order to avoid the conclusion, it must be shown that one of the premises is faulty. However, if the argument is sound (and I’m convinced that it is), then it follows that any translation of the term aiónios that conveys the idea of endless duration is inaccurate, and should be rejected in favor of a translation that is consistent with the truth of the limited duration of Christ’s reign over the kingdom of God (i.e., “eonian,” “age-abiding” or “age-lasting”).
In this study I’ve argued that the Greek expression commonly translated “eternal life” or “everlasting life” in John 3:16 (that is, in less literal Bible versions) simply means “life eonian” (or “life age-lasting”), and refers to the blessing of living for (instead of being deprived of life during) the first eon of Christ’s reign. In accord with this fact, the “perishing” and the “life” referred to in John 3:16 both pertain to what Christ referred to as “the coming eon” – i.e., the first eon of his reign over the kingdom of God (which will begin when Christ returns to the earth). It is during this coming eon (and not in “eternity”) that “everyone who is believing in Christ” – i.e., everyone among the people to whom Nicodemus belonged who is believing that “Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God” (John 20:31) – will be enjoying the “life” that’s referred to in John 3:16.
Some mistakenly believe that the expression “life eonian” places a limit on how long believers will be alive in the future, and that the expression implies that the believer will not have life beyond the eon(s) in view. However, that’s not at all the case. In the expression ”life eonian,” the adjective “eonian” simply puts the emphasis and focus on the fact that, in contrast with unbelievers, believers will get to live for the coming eon(s) of Christ’s reign. It doesn’t imply that believers will cease to live after these eons have ended (for as demonstrated earlier, when the future eons of Christ’s reign over the kingdom of God end, death will be abolished and all people will be immortal). The eons of Christ’s reign will end when his reign ends, but the life that will enable believers to live for these eons will continue beyond the duration of the eons.
Since the adjective aiónios (eonian) pertains to one or more of the eons of which God is the King, it follows that anything that continues to exist or occur after the eons have ended will simply cease to be “eonian.” When time is no longer measured by eons, the adjective “eonian” will cease to be a valid way to describe anything that, at this future time, will be in existence or occurring. The life that we as believers will be enjoying during the eons of Christ’s reign will cease to be an “eonian” blessing after the eons of Christ’s reign have ended, and all have been made immortal. But the indissoluble life that we’ll begin to enjoy when we undergo the vivifying change referred to by Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:50-54 (and which, according to Hebrews 7:17, Christ is enjoying at present) will by no means be limited to these future eons. Rather, just like the duration of the kingdom after it has been given up to God, our life will continue beyond the eons of Christ’s reign, without end.
 When Christ referred to the day in which this resurrection is going to occur as “the last day,” I believe he had in mind a specific prophecy that’s found at the very end of the book of Daniel. In Dan. 12:11 we read, “And from the time that the regular burnt offering is taken away and the abomination that makes desolate is set up, there shall be 1,290 days.” Here Daniel is told of a period of 1,290 days which will follow the midpoint of the prophesied “70th heptad” (or “week” of seven years) that was referred to earlier in Dan. 9:27 (where we’re told that a certain individual – i.e., “the coming prince” or “coming governor” – will “put a stop to sacrifice and offering,” and “the abomination of desolation” will be set up “on a wing of the temple”). In other words, the 1,290 days referred to in Dan. 12:11 will comprise the last half of the future seven-year period prophesied in Dan. 9:27 plus an additional 30 days (1,260 days + 30 days = 1,290 days).
In the next verse (Dan. 12:12), we read: “Blessed is he who waits and arrives at the 1,335 days. But go your way till the end. And you shall rest and shall stand in your allotted place at the end of the days.” These “1,335 days” refer to the last half of the future seven-year period of time plus an additional 75 days (1,260 days + 75 days). Apparently, something of great importance – something those who are alive at the time will be blessed to see – is going to take place on the 1,335th day. But what event could this be? Notice what the messenger’s next words to Daniel are: “And you shall rest and shall stand in your allotted place at the end of the days.” In other words, Daniel was being told that he would “rest” (that is, die) and then “stand” (be resurrected) at the end of the days being referred to here (interestingly, the word translated “resurrection” in the Greek scriptures – anastasis – literally means, “to stand up” or “to stand again”). Thus we see that the resurrection of Israel’s saints will take place 75 days after Christ’s return to earth – i.e., the last day of the 1,335 days spoken of by the messenger (the “end of the days”).
 The following is from the entry on the Greek preposition “eis” from Thayer’s Greek Lexicon that pertains to the meaning of this word when used of time:
denotes entrance into a period which is penetrated, as it were, i.e.
duration through a time (Latinin; German hinein, hinaus): εἰς τόν αἰῶνα and
the like, see αἰών, 1 a.; εἰς τό διηνεκές, Hebrews 7:3; Hebrews 10:1, 12, 14; εἰς πολλά, Luke 12:19; τῇ ἐπιφωσκούσῃ (ἡμέρα) εἰς μίαν σαββάτων, dawning into (A. V. toward) the first day of the week, Matthew 28:1.
the time in which a thing is done; because he who does or experiences a thing at
any time is conceived of as, so to speak, entering into that time: εἰς τόν καιρόν αὐτῶν, in their season, Luke 1:20; εἰς τό μέλλον namely, ἔτος, the next year (but under the word μέλλω, 1. Grimm seems to take the phrase indefinitely, thenceforth (cf. Greek text)), Luke 13:9; εἰς τό μεταξύ σάββατον, on the next sabbath, Acts 13:42; εἰς τό πάλιν,
again (for the second, third,
time), 2 Corinthians 13:2.
the (temporal) limit for which anything is or is done; Latinin;
our for, unto: Revelation 9:15; εἰς τήν αὔριον namely, ἡμέραν, for the morrow, Matthew 6:34; Acts 4:3; εἰς ἡμέραν κρίσεως, 2 Peter 2:9; 2 Peter 3:7; εἰς ἡμέραν Χριστοῦ, Philippians 1:10; Philippians 2:16; εἰς ἡμέραν ἀπολυτρώσεως, Ephesians 4:30.
Click the following link for the full entry: https://biblehub.com/greek/1519.htm
 See, for example, C.H. Dodd, The Interpretation of the First Gospel, pp. 144-50; George Eldon Ladd, A Theology of the New Testament, pp. 290-292; J.I. Packer, "The Problem of Eternal Punishment," Crux XXVI.3, September 1990, 23; "Evangelical Annihilationism in Review," Reformation & Revival, Volume 6, Number 2 - Spring 1997; John Painter, 1, 2 and 3 John (Sacra Pagina), p. 195; Alan Richardson, An Introduction to the Theology of the New Testament, pp.73-74; John G. Stackhouse, Jr. "Jesus Christ," The Oxford Handbook of Evangelical Theology, p. 151; N.T. Wright, Romans, p. 530.