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ISBE: PERDITION
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Perdition

PERDITION [ISBE]

PERDITION - per-dish'-un (apoleia, "ruin" or "loss," physical or eternal): The word "perdition" occurs in the English Bible 8 times (Jn 17:12; Phil 1:28; 2 Thess 2:3; 1 Tim 6:9; Heb 10:39; 2 Pet 3:7; Rev 17:11,18). In each of these cases it denotes the final state of ruin and punishment which forms the opposite to salvation. The verb apolluein, from which the word is derived, has two meanings: (1) to lose; (2) to destroy. Both of these pass over to the noun, so that apoleia comes to signify: (1) loss; (2) ruin, destruction. The former occurs in Mt 26:8; Mk 14:4, the latter in the passages cited above. Both meanings had been adopted into the religious terminology of the Scriptures as early as the Septuagint. "To be lost" in the religious sense may mean "to be missing" and "to be ruined," The former meaning attaches to it in the teaching of Jesus, who compares the lost sinner to the missing coin, the missing sheep, and makes him the object of a seeking activity (Mt 10:6; 15:24; 18:11; Lk 15:4,6,8,24,32; 19:10). "To be lost" here signifies to have become estranged from God, to miss realizing the relations which man normally sustains toward Him. It is equivalent to what is theologically called "spiritual death." This conception of "loss" enters also into the description of the eschatological fate of the sinner as assigned in the judgment (Lk 9:24; 17:33), which is a loss of life. The other meaning of "ruin" and "destruction" describes the same thing from a different point of view. Apoleia being the opposite of soteria, and soteria in its technical usage denoting the reclaiming from death unto life, apoleia also acquires the specific sense of such ruin and destruction as involves an eternal loss of life (Phil 1:28; Heb 10:39). Perdition in this latter sense is equivalent to what theology calls "eternal death." When in Rev 17:8,11 it is predicated of "the beast," one of the forms of the world-power, this must be understood on the basis of the Old Testament prophetic representation according to which the coming judgment deals with powers rather than persons.

The Son of Perdition is a name given to Judas (Jn 17:12) and to the Antichrist (2 Thess 2:3). This is the well-known Hebrew idiom by which a person typically embodying a certain trait or character or destiny is called the son of that thing. The name therefore represents Judas and the Antichrist (see MAN OF SIN) as most irrecoverably and completely devoted to the final apoleia.

Geerhardus Vos


Also see definition of "Perdition" in Word Study


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