So I’m having an exchange with this dude on facebook where I pointed out that Matthew makes quite a few references to Jesus sending people to hell (5:22; 5:30; 10:28; 13:41-42; 13:49-50; 18:8-9; 25:46 – and those are just the ones where he directly says it himself, and not through a parable!). Facebook doesn’t really allow long winded discourses so I can’t really flesh out my arguments there. But the guy came back in remonstrance of Matt 25:46 claiming that the Greek word αιωνιον::aionion doesn’t mean “forever” in Greek.
It most certainly does. Well, more accurately it can.
Matthew in 25:46 says that people who don’t believe will be sent to “eternal punishment” whereas the righteous will earn “eternal life”. The thing is, Matthew uses αιωνιον for both “eternals” so this guy is special pleading if he thinks that aionion doesn’t mean eternal since he’ll most definitely argue that the second “eternal” in “eternal life” really means “eternal”. Jesus also uses the same word for “eternal” in John 3:16 (ζωην αιωνιον::zoin aionion – life eternal), arguably the most famous passage in all Christianity.
He then argued (and I agreed) that the concept of “hell” is pagan. But virgin births, worshiping human kings as gods, and the “logos (Word)” are also pagan concepts as well. Really, Christianity is a pagan religion that’s only superficially Jewish. The only Jewish aspects of Christianity are the word “christ” being analogous to a king (or a high priest, which the author of Hebrews does) and quoting Jewish scripture (albeit in a non-Jewish way).