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The Parable of the Wheat & the Tares & its Explanation

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  • The Parable of the Wheat & the Tares & its Explanation

    A Word on the Weeping & Gnashing of Teeth Texts

    Before proceeding onward to our discussion of the parable of the wheat and the tares, I believe a word should be said regarding the phrase that occurs at the end of Jesus' explanation of the parable to his disciples (13:42b).

    It worth noting that none of the "weeping and gnashing of teeth" texts we find in the Gospels indicate the duration of suffering the lost will undergo in "hell". The expression occurs six times in Matthew (8:12; 13:42,50; 22:13; 24:51; 25:30), once in Luke (13:28). In its first occurrence in Matthew, Jesus warns the unbelieving Jews (i.e., "the sons of the kingdom") that they will be cast out of the kingdom while the nations will find a seat with the Patriarchs (8:11,12). In this passage, the "weeping and gnashing of teeth" denotes the emotional anguish of those banished from the kingdom. Similarly, in the one instance where this phrase occurs outside Matthew, it is set in the context of Jesus exhorting his disciples to strive to enter through the narrow door into the kingdom (Luke 13:24-30). Jesus describes the sharp emotional response of those who are not allowed into the master's house after the door has has been shut with the familiar phrase: "In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God but you yourselves cast out" (13:28 ESV). First, it is evident that we are told nothing of how long the lost will endure or exist after having been excluded from the kingdom in this text. Such a consideration is foreign to the text. Second, we have observed that the expression "weeping and gnashing of teeth" relates to the internal emotional affliction of the unrighteous, not any external infliction of pain by God or some other party.


    The Parable of the Wheat & the Tares & its Explanation

    24 Jesus presented another parable to them, saying, "The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25 But while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went away. 26 But when the wheat sprouted and bore grain, then the tares became evident also. 27 The slaves of the landowner came and said to him, 'Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?' 28 And he said to them, 'An enemy has done this!' The slaves said to him, 'Do you want us, then, to go and gather them up?' 29 But he said, 'No; for while you are gathering up the tares, you may uproot the wheat with them. 30 Allow both to grow together until the harvest; and in the time of the harvest I will say to the reapers, "First gather up the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them up; but gather the wheat into my barn."'"
    36 Then He left the crowds and went into the house. And His disciples came to Him and said, "Explain to us the parable of the tares of the field." 37 And He said, "The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man, 38 and the field is the world; and as for the good seed, these are the sons of the kingdom; and the tares are the sons of the evil one; 39 and the enemy who sowed them is the devil, and the harvest is the end of the age; and the reapers are angels. 40 So just as the tares are gathered up and burned with fire, so shall it be at the end of the age. 41 The Son of Man will send forth His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all stumbling blocks, and those who commit lawlessness, 42 and will throw them into the furnace of fire; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear." (Matthew 13:24-30,36-43 NASB)

    Jesus parallels the fate of the weeds (13:30) with the fate of the lawless (13:40).

    "'Gather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned [katakaio], but gather the wheat into my barn.'" (13:30 ESV)
    "Just as the weeds are collected and burned up [katakaio] with fire, so will it be at the end of the age." (13:40 NRSV)

    Earlier in Matthew's Gospel John the Baptist issued a similar warning:

    "His winnowing fork is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clear His threshing floor; and He will gather His wheat into the barn, but He will burn up [katakaio] the chaff with unquenchable fire." (3:12 NASB; cf. Luke 3:17)

    Insofar as it pertains to the fate of the unrighteous, the main thrust of Jesus' explanation of the parable of the wheat and the tares is that everything in opposition to the kingdom of the Father will be purged and destroyed. It should be evident that this text appears to be extremely problematic to the conventional view of final punishment understood as endless conscious torment (ECT). To put it bluntly, there is no similitude or symmetry between unwanted weeds being burned up in order to clear a farmer's field and the wicked being sustained forever in fiery torment (as in ECT).1 Notice that Jesus alludes to the furnace of fire of Daniel 3:6 in Matthew 13:42a (cf. 13:50a). A furnace of fire is not intended to perpetuate pain or inflict ongoing torment, but to consume or destroy that which is cast in it. Not only does Jesus depict human agents (i.e., "those who commit lawlessness" [v.41 NASB]) as being thrown into a fiery furnace at the end of the age in his explanation of the parable of the wheat and the weeds, but stumbling blocks/causes to sin (skandalon, v.41) as well. This is significant. It is impossible for stumbling blocks to undergo torment, much less unending torment. David Powys aptly observes

    [T]he concept of 'causes of sin' being thrown into 'the furnace of fire' must be figurative. This suggests that the passage ought not be interpreted with rigid literalism. Whatever destiny is discerned here for the unrighteous must be one to which the 'causes of sin' can also be assigned. Things cannot sensibly be said to be assigned to retribution, suffering or even exclusion. Things can only be destroyed.2

    In light of the foregoing considerations, the expression "In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth" (Matthew 13:42b) likely points back to the preceding verse: "The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all law-breakers" (v.41 ESV). The sadness and anger of the lawless is a result of their being gathered out of the kingdom by the angels of God in order to be destroyed. When the wicked are gathered out of the kingdom, in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. This is similar to how the expression is employed elsewhere.

    [The phrase] does not need to fit neatly with the details of the parable, but rather serves as a solemn conclusion to connect the parables that revolve around the theme of the final judgment. The ἐκεῖ [ekei] therefore need not be understood to imply the the weeping and gnashing of teeth will take place "in" the fiery furnace. If the parable intended to describe any feelings in a fiery furnace, pain and anguish would have been much more appropriate and these could not last long. The emphasis here as elsewhere is on the exclusion or removal from the kingdom of everything that causes offence. The phrase is, therefore, justified since those excluded will feel the disappointment and anger already encountered in previous descriptions of the exclusion of the wicked from the kingdom.3

    It is highly unlikely that we are to envisage the "the weeping and gnashing of teeth" of the unrighteous as actually taking place inside the fiery furnace, whether for a short or prolonged period of time. As we noted earlier, the expression is not used to denote externally inflicted pain or torment.

    [T]he phrase weeping and gnashing of teeth seems out of place with the flow of the parable and interpretation, but is appended in order to link to this parable to other parables and/or sayings in the Gospel of Matthew that deal with the judgment at the end of the age. As such, it retains its meaning as an expression of sorrow and anger at exclusion from the kingdom.4

    Throughout Matthew, fire serves as an agent of purgation and destruction (3:10-12; 7:19; 13:30,40-42,49,50). The righteous will only shine like the sun in the kingdom of the Father after the kingdom is purged of all that is contrary to Christ (13:43; cf. Daniel 12:3).5 Ongoing torment simply doesn't factor into this text.


    Notes

    1 This observation stands regardless of whether the fire in Matthew 13:42a (cf. 13:50a) is to be understood as literal or metaphorical in nature.

    2 D.J. Powys, 'Hell': A Hard Look at a Hard Question: The Fate of the Unrighteous in New Testament Thought ([Carlisle, UK: Paternoster, 1997] Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2007), p.287.

    3 Kim Papaioannou, The Geography of Hell in the Teaching of Jesus: Gehenna, Hades, the Abyss, the Outer Darkness Where There Is Weeping and Gnashing of Teeth (Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2013), pp.204,205.

    4 Ibid., p.205.

    5 See ibid.
    Last edited by The Remonstrant; 02-11-2014, 08:24 PM.
    For Neo-Remonstration (Arminian/Remonstrant ruminations): <https://theremonstrant.blogspot.com>

  • #2
    Originally posted by The Remonstrant View Post
    The main thrust of Jesus' explanation of the parable of the wheat and the tares and is that everything in opposition to the kingdom of the Father will be purged and destroyed. It should be evident that this text appears to be extremely problematic to the conventional view of final punishment understood as endless conscious torment (ECT). To put it bluntly, there is no similitude or symmetry between unwanted weeds being burned up in order to clear a farmer's field and the wicked being sustained forever in fiery torment (as in ECT).
    You're not explaining the parable at all; you're just using it to attack a position with which you disagree. You've managed to confuse a small part of the language of the parable with its main point. The point of the parable is that we don't know from this vantage point which people are 'wheat' and which people are 'tares'; that's for God to settle on the Day of Judgment. This text is not problematic at all to the conventional view of final punishment, since the parable is not about that. And I'll note that it IS a parable, so a literal interpretation is likely to miss the point of the passage.
    Enter the Church and wash away your sins. For here there is a hospital and not a court of law. Do not be ashamed to enter the Church; be ashamed when you sin, but not when you repent. – St. John Chrysostom

    Veritas vos Liberabit<>< Learn Greek <>< Look here for an Orthodox Church in America<><Ancient Faith Radio
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    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by One Bad Pig View Post
      You're not explaining the parable at all; you're just using it to attack a position with which you disagree. You've managed to confuse a small part of the language of the parable with its main point. The point of the parable is that we don't know from this vantage point which people are 'wheat' and which people are 'tares'; that's for God to settle on the Day of Judgment. This text is not problematic at all to the conventional view of final punishment, since the parable is not about that. And I'll note that it IS a parable, so a literal interpretation is likely to miss the point of the passage.
      Observe the first and second notes in my message above. It should be abundantly clear that I am not arguing for any kind of "rigid literalism". That aside, you are correct that one of the main points of the parable is that we do not/cannot know who is in and out of the kingdom of heaven/God prior to the day of judgement.

      I'm afraid that there is more to the parable and its explanation than you are willing to allow, however. Your assumption seems to be that Jesus' explanation of the parable is somehow vague or devoid of content regarding the fate of the unrighteous. It is not. While we are certainly not to pry into the text for lurid details of how much or how little suffering the lawless will undergo, the passage is not silent as to the end of the unrighteous. Like the weeds of Matthew 13:30 being expunged/burned up from the farmer's field, so will the unrighteous be "burned up" and expunged from the kingdom of the Father (13:40). Of course all this can be summarily dismissed by insisting on the "vagueness" of Jesus' explanation of the parable or allowing the presupposition of universal human immortality to override any contrary evidence to your position.
      Last edited by The Remonstrant; 02-11-2014, 03:36 PM.
      For Neo-Remonstration (Arminian/Remonstrant ruminations): <https://theremonstrant.blogspot.com>

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by One Bad Pig View Post
        You're not explaining the parable at all; you're just using it to attack a position with which you disagree.
        Also, I should say I take exception to this assertion as well. When you use such loaded language as "attack" it appears you are implying some kind of malice on the part of the one making the critique (whether such was your intention or not, I do not know). Furthermore, you claim to know my precise motive for posting this message(!) when, in fact, you do not. So we're already getting off on the wrong foot. That said, it should be evident to any unbiased reader that while I argue for a certain position in my opening post (and by implication, against contrary views), it is free of vitriol or malice.

        I would greatly appreciate it if you would refrain from employing such loaded language from this time forward in our discussions together. It is contrary to having a civil exchange. Thanks.
        Last edited by The Remonstrant; 02-11-2014, 01:55 PM.
        For Neo-Remonstration (Arminian/Remonstrant ruminations): <https://theremonstrant.blogspot.com>

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by The Remonstrant View Post
          Observe the first and second notes in my message above. It should be abundantly clear that I am not arguing for any kind of "rigid literalism".
          Yes, you're merely selectively applying literalism where it makes the point you want it to make.
          I'm afraid that there is more to the parable and its explanation than you are willing to allow, however. Your assumption seems to be that Jesus' explanation of the parable is somehow vague or devoid of content regarding the fate of the unrighteous. It is not.
          Your assumption of my assumption is sadly misinformed.
          While we are certainly not to pry into the text for lurid details of how much or how little suffering the lawless will undergo, the passage is not silent as to the end of the unrighteous. Like the weeds of Matthew 13:30 being expunged/burned up from the farmer's field, so will the unrighteous be "burned up" and expunged from the kingdom of the Father (13:40). Of course all this can be summarily dismissed by insisting on the "vagueness" of Jesus' explanation of the parable or allowing the presupposition of universal human immortality to override any contrary evidence to your position.
          Did you enjoy burning that strawman?

          Jesus' explanation is neither vague nor devoid of content regarding the fate of the unrighteous. The unrighteous will be separated from the righteous at the judgment, and will be subject to destruction. Where you err is in pressing the metaphor to assume the complete destruction of the tares subject to fire. Tares, as they are purely material, are of course going to be utterly consumed by fire. Are the unrighteous truly tares? No. Are the unrighteous purely material? No. They may be utterly consumed, but this passage does not provide evidence either way.

          Originally posted by OBP
          You're not explaining the parable at all; you're just using it to attack a position with which you disagree.
          Also, I should say I take exception to this assertion as well. When you use such loaded language as "attack" it appears you are implying some kind of malice on the part of the one making the critique (whether such was your intention or not, I do not know).
          You need to grow a thicker skin. Malice? Lawl.

          Furthermore, you claim to know my precise motive for posting this message(!) when, in fact, you do not. So we're already getting off on the wrong foot. That said, it should be evident to any unbiased reader that while I argue for a certain position in my opening post (and by implication, against contrary views), it is free of vitriol or malice.
          It is evident that you are arguing against a certain position, and that your eisigesis of the passage is predicated on your favored position. The entire context of your interpretation of this passage is that you imagine it provides some sort of proof for your favored theory (and corollary disproof of the conventional position). I stand by my initial assessment.
          I would greatly appreciate it if you would refrain from employing such loaded language from this time forward in our discussions together. It is contrary to having a civil exchange. Thanks.
          You're the one who read 'vitriol' and 'malice' into my post, hypocrite.
          Enter the Church and wash away your sins. For here there is a hospital and not a court of law. Do not be ashamed to enter the Church; be ashamed when you sin, but not when you repent. – St. John Chrysostom

          Veritas vos Liberabit<>< Learn Greek <>< Look here for an Orthodox Church in America<><Ancient Faith Radio
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          I recommend you do not try too hard and ...research as little as possible. Such weighty things give me a headache. - Shunyadragon, Baha'i apologist

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by One Bad Pig View Post
            Yes, you're merely selectively applying literalism where it makes the point you want it to make.

            Your assumption of my assumption is sadly misinformed.
            Did you enjoy burning that strawman?

            Jesus' explanation is neither vague nor devoid of content regarding the fate of the unrighteous. The unrighteous will be separated from the righteous at the judgment, and will be subject to destruction. Where you err is in pressing the metaphor to assume the complete destruction of the tares subject to fire. Tares, as they are purely material, are of course going to be utterly consumed by fire. Are the unrighteous truly tares? No. Are the unrighteous purely material? No. They may be utterly consumed, but this passage does not provide evidence either way.


            You need to grow a thicker skin. Malice? Lawl.


            It is evident that you are arguing against a certain position, and that your eisigesis [sic] of the passage is predicated on your favored position. The entire context of your interpretation of this passage is that you imagine it provides some sort of proof for your favored theory (and corollary disproof of the conventional position). I stand by my initial assessment.

            You're the one who read 'vitriol' and 'malice' into my post, hypocrite.
            OBP:

            In your post above (#5), you raise anthropological considerations in order to evade the parallelism of the unrighteous being burned up/destroyed as weeds in Jesus' explanation of the parable of the wheat and the tares in Matthew 13. Are humans "purely material" or do they possess an immaterial component as well (i.e., an immaterial "soul" that is separable from the body)?1 Evidently you are operating under the presupposition that human beings possess not only a material body, but an immaterial soul as well. Not all share this presupposition (myself included).

            Matthew 10:28 & the Permanent Destruction of the Whole Person

            That said, even if we were, for the sake of argument, to assume the validity of introducing your "material"/"immaterial" anthropological distinction to Jesus' explanation of the wheat and the tares in Matthew 13:36-43, this accomplishes absolutely nothing toward establishing your view (ECT) or negating mine (annihilationism). E.g., even if we are to understand Jesus as teaching an anthropological dualism in Matthew 10:28, Jesus nevertheless declares that God is able to destroy both "soul"/life (psuche) and body (soma) in Gehenna. If by "soul" Jesus means an immaterial part or aspect of the human being, still this in no way works toward establishing your understanding of final punishment as endless conscious torment. On the contrary, Jesus makes it abundantly clear that the psuche/"soul" is not a naturally immortal or indestructible substance of some sort—immaterial or not. Body and psuche/"soul" are capable of being destroyed by God. In Matthew 10:28 Jesus parallels "kill" (apokteino) and "destroy" (apollumi) as actions performed by man and God respectively. While the two terms are treated as essentially synonymous with each other in this text, the primary difference lies in the finality of God's execution. While humans may kill the body, God has the final say. God alone is able to sovereignly sever or destroy one's life permanently. In other words, God ultimately decides who lives and who dies.

            The Parable of the Wheat & the Tares & Jesus' Explanation Revisited

            In Matthew 13 Jesus' explanation of the parable of the wheat and the tares establishes the purging of stumbling blocks/causes to sin and lawless persons from the kingdom (vv.36-43). To say that these will be cast into a fiery furnace at the end of the age is simply another way to say they will be done away with. The furnace of fire (13:42a) need not be understood literally. Most likely it should not. If stumbling blocks/causes to sin are said to be thrown into a furnace we must understand the fire depicted by Jesus as in some way symbolically serving the function of destroying evil and cleansing the kingdom of all that is vile or contrary to the rule of God. A literal fire is simply not required. However, the image or the symbol of fire means something. It symbolizes the end of sin and sinners in this text, not their perpetuation in torment (as in ECT). It is only a certain unshakable preconception that all humans are immortal—or will be made so at some point in the future—that necessarily skews any exegesis of this text. Annihilation is clearly favored here, not ongoing torment. That is my basic point (one that you apparently are seeking to dismiss as "eisegesis" or a kind of "selective" literalism).

            Conclusion

            In summary, you have unsuccessfully introduced a foreign element—dare I say a red herring2—to Matthew 13:24-30,36-43 in order to evade my explication of the aforementioned text as final annihilation in the opening post. You have not engaged so much in "exegesis" (messages #2 and #5) as reading alien notions into the passage under consideration in order to complicate an otherwise straightforward text. Moreover, you have essentially ignored the majority of my exposition above and (falsely) accused me of "eisegesis" not based on a detailed critique, but a glib dismissal of a view that you are apparently unwilling to consider seriously or with an open mind. Your responses thus far will serve as an excellent reminder to evangelical annihilationists why they abandoned the conventional view of ECT in the first place.

            A Personal Note

            Judging by the derisive demeanor of your second message on this thread (#5) you've made it clear that you are not interested in having a civil exchange. Scattering your messages with juvenile insults and a personal accusation of your opponent being a "hypocrite" does nothing to further your case for ECT. Your dismissive rhetoric is unappreciated and unwarranted. I will not dialogue with you any further under these circumstances. As you appear unwilling or unable to engage in a respectful dialogue with me, I will no longer engage you in this forum.

            In light of the foregoing considerations, I would ask that you refrain from any further posts on this thread. (Moderators, please note my request. Thank you.)


            Notes

            1 As an aside, it is worth noting that we see no evidence in Matthew's Gospel for the notion of a conscious intermediate state. To be fair, taken by itself this consideration does not negate the possibility or presence of anthropological dualism in Matthew. It may, however, work against the idea that a strict or rigid distinction between a corporeal body and incorporeal soul is required or, more pertinently, originally intended by the author. In Matthew human life is always portrayed as embodied life. Psuche consistently denotes embodied existence in the Gospel. In fact, other than Matthew 10:28, the only other place in the Gospel where psuche ("soul"/life) is juxtaposed alongside soma (body) is in the middle of Jesus' sermon on the mount:

            "Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life [psuche], what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body [soma], what you will put on. Is not life [psuche] more than food, and the body [soma] more than clothing? (6:25 ESV)

            This observation substantially weakens the conventional understanding of psuche in Matthew 10:28 as necessarily denoting some immaterial part or aspect of the human being.

            2 "Red herring" (Wikipedia.org):

            The idiom "red herring" is used to refer to something that misleads or distracts from the relevant or important issue. It may be either a logical fallacy or a literary device that leads readers or characters towards a false conclusion. A red herring might be intentionally used, such as in mystery fiction or as part of a rhetorical strategy (e.g. in politics), or it could be inadvertently used during argumentation as a result of poor logic.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_herring
            Last edited by The Remonstrant; 02-13-2014, 03:57 PM.
            For Neo-Remonstration (Arminian/Remonstrant ruminations): <https://theremonstrant.blogspot.com>

            Comment


            • #7
              The Remonstrant is notorious for his explosive butthurt. It's too bad the old tweb went down with the poem I wrote for him.
              "As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths." Isaiah 3:12

              There is no such thing as innocence, only degrees of guilt.

              Comment


              • #8
                I would also ask the moderator that DE be prevented from posting on this thread (seeing especially as he is adding nothing of substance relating to the opening post). I am not interested in engaging in a flame war.
                Last edited by The Remonstrant; 02-11-2014, 11:04 PM.
                For Neo-Remonstration (Arminian/Remonstrant ruminations): <https://theremonstrant.blogspot.com>

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by The Remonstrant View Post
                  OBP:

                  In your post above (#5), you raise anthropological considerations in order to evade the parallelism of the unrighteous being burned up/destroyed as weeds in Jesus' explanation of the parable of the wheat and the tares in Matthew 13. Are humans "purely material" or do they possess an immaterial component as well (i.e., an immaterial "soul" that is separable from the body)?1 Evidently you are operating under the presupposition that human beings possess not only a material body, but an immaterial soul as well. Not all share this presupposition (myself included).
                  I'm sorry, I was operating under the assumption that your views had some connection with reality. Carry on.
                  Enter the Church and wash away your sins. For here there is a hospital and not a court of law. Do not be ashamed to enter the Church; be ashamed when you sin, but not when you repent. – St. John Chrysostom

                  Veritas vos Liberabit<>< Learn Greek <>< Look here for an Orthodox Church in America<><Ancient Faith Radio
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                  I recommend you do not try too hard and ...research as little as possible. Such weighty things give me a headache. - Shunyadragon, Baha'i apologist

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    OBP, how can it matter how many parts the wicked are composed of? This parable, and its specific interpretation by Jesus, tells us repeatedly that the wicked will be burned up while the good are "stored away". The emphasis on this burning up is repeated and stressed, while the idea that the righteous are stored is amplified to mean that they will be glorified.

                    Nothing in this passage can justify the idea that some part of the wicked will survive the burning; and elsewhere we see the specific point that the burning in hell has the power to destroy both body and soul.

                    It's one thing to hold an interpretation of imagery lightly; it's another thing entirely to insist, as you do, on holding Christ's interpretation of imagery lightly, and casting scorn on people who attempt to read it.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by paladin View Post
                      OBP, how can it matter how many parts the wicked are composed of?
                      Are the wicked composed of different parts than the righteous?
                      This parable, and its specific interpretation by Jesus, tells us repeatedly that the wicked will be burned up while the good are "stored away". The emphasis on this burning up is repeated and stressed, while the idea that the righteous are stored is amplified to mean that they will be glorified.
                      It is the tares that are said (twice) to be burned ("up" is not in most translations I've checked); the passage says nothing about the wicked being burned, only that they will be cast into the fire (where there will be wailing and gnashing of teeth). Does something that's burned up wail and gnash its teeth?

                      Nothing in this passage can justify the idea that some part of the wicked will survive the burning;[/quote]
                      If the wicked are literally tares, I concede your point.
                      and elsewhere we see the specific point that the burning in hell has the power to destroy both body and soul.
                      There is a difference between 'can' and 'will'. Further, there is no necessary time limit to that destruction; the smoke of their torment, after all, will rise forever and ever [Rev 14:11].
                      It's one thing to hold an interpretation of imagery lightly; it's another thing entirely to insist, as you do, on holding Christ's interpretation of imagery lightly, and casting scorn on people who attempt to read it.
                      I insist on nothing of the sort.
                      Enter the Church and wash away your sins. For here there is a hospital and not a court of law. Do not be ashamed to enter the Church; be ashamed when you sin, but not when you repent. – St. John Chrysostom

                      Veritas vos Liberabit<>< Learn Greek <>< Look here for an Orthodox Church in America<><Ancient Faith Radio
                      sigpic
                      I recommend you do not try too hard and ...research as little as possible. Such weighty things give me a headache. - Shunyadragon, Baha'i apologist

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        [QUOTE=One Bad Pig;15121]Are the wicked composed of different parts than the righteous?

                        It is the tares that are said (twice) to be burned ("up" is not in most translations I've checked); the passage says nothing about the wicked being burned, only that they will be cast into the fire (where there will be wailing and gnashing of teeth). Does something that's burned up wail and gnash its teeth? //quote




                        The 'up' in 'burn up' may very well only appear in certain English translations, but the Greek word ('katakaio') does indeed mean 'burn up' or 'consume' (in the septuagint it is the word which describes what didn't happen to the burning bush in Exodus- it wasn't consumed by the fire).

                        I think we can all agree that the righteous are in some way like the wheat and the unrighteous like the tares (not litterally so, but metaphorically). So, in your opinion, in what way exactly are the wicked like the tares?

                        (I would add that wailing and the gnashing of teeth would be a perfectly comprehensible reaction for the wicked faced with final judgement- nowhere does it say how long the wailing and gnashing of teeth lasts).
                        Last edited by AndrewManuel; 02-13-2014, 12:45 PM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by AndrewManuel View Post
                          The 'up' in 'burn up' may very well only appear in certain English translations, but the Greek word ('katakaio') does indeed mean 'burn up' or 'consume' (in the septuagint it is the word which describes what didn't happen to the burning bush in Exodus- it wasn't consumed by the fire).
                          Ok. Thanks for the clarification.
                          I think we can all agree that the righteous are in some way like the wheat and the unrighteous like the tares (not litterally so, but metaphorically). So, in your opinion, in what way exactly are the wicked like the tares?
                          They are like the tares in that they are separated from not-tares, gathered together, and thrown into fire [though the fire in the case of the wicked is not necessarily literal].
                          (I would add that wailing and the gnashing of teeth would be a perfectly comprehensible reaction for the wicked faced with final judgement- nowhere does it say how long the wailing and gnashing of teeth lasts).
                          Comprehensible for those who thought they were righteous, certainly. I'm not so sure the wicked would accept such judgment as inevitable until it actually started.
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                          • #14
                            The wailing and gnashing of teeth could also refer at least in part to a realization at what one had missed, at least for some, since we know some will fruitlessly plead for a positive verdict at the judgement (i.e. Matthew 7:20). The term is connected with exclusion in at least one spot: Matthew 22:13. (This interpretation does not have to favor any particular interpretation of what happens to the unsaved.)
                            "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

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                            • #15
                              They are like the tares in that they are separated from not-tares, gathered together, and thrown into fire [though the fire in the case of the wicked is not necessarily literal].
                              The problem is in saying this you treat the image of the tares being seperated from the wheat, but not the image of the tares being burnt up. Sure, the fire is not necessarily literal, but the result must in some way be the same in the metaphor and in reality (and the result in the metaphor is that the tares are completely destroyed. It's essentially the same image as Malachi 4, where the wicked are burned like chaff, leaving neither root nor branch. The image is that what is being burnt will be no more.)

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