[b-greek] Re: John 11:26 - EIS TON AIWNA

From: Mark Wilson (emory2oo2@hotmail.com)
Date: Fri Mar 16 2001 - 11:16:14 EST


Rosangela Lira wrote:

>In John 11:26 the words MH APOQANH EIS TON AIWNA are translataed in most
>English Bibles as "shall never die". In our version in Portuguese,
>however, it is translated as "shall not die for ever". This seems to be
>more in agreement with the literal translations:

>"shall not die - to the age"(Young's Literal Translation)
>"shall not ever die forever" (Green's Literal Translation).

>Would there be another way in Greek to express the idea of "never die"?

Here is the text from the NET with its alternate reading in verse 25:

11:23 Jesus replied, "Your brother will come back to life again." 11:24
Martha said, "I know that he will come back to life again in the
resurrection at the last day." 11:25 Jesus said to her, "I am the
resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will come to life even
if he dies (physically), 11:26 and the one who lives and believes in me will
never die (physically or spiritually??). Do you believe this?"

I really do not have a grammatical observation, but more so a contextual
observation. If verse 26 refers to PHYSICAL death, then it would be, in my
opinion, an unnecessary restatement of verse 25.

But if you understand verse 26 to be saying that the one who believes in
Christ will never be separated from him, then you have an additional idea
being expressed, and one Christ was quite ready to affirm elsewhere.

I prefer to think of death, whether physical or spiritual, as nothing more
than a separation. Physical death is the separation of the body from the
soul/spirit. And as we see from the parable of the Rich man and Lazarus,
even upon physical death, our souls/spirits are very much "alive."

Spiritual death is a separation of a person from God. That is why Paul says
we were dead in our trespasses and sins....
Clearly we were very much alive, but according to Paul, due to these sins,
we were separated from God... in some sense.

And I think that this kind of death is still a possibility for a member of
the redeemed to experience. However, a "spiritual" separation of a redeemed
person simply would be a separation from that stand point of "fellowship,"
not relationship.

Hope this provokes you to thinking about other options than just one.

My thoughts,

Mark Wilson

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