D.A. Carson is a recognized expert on biblical exegesis. But even the experts can sometimes get things wrong! Let’s take a look at an interesting example.
“10See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven. 12What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray? 13And if he finds it, truly, I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray. 14So it is not the will of my Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.”
–Matthew 18:10-141Unless otherwise indicated all quotation of the Bible will be from the ESV.
What does the word perish mean in this context?
In my reading of traditionalists’ commentaries to better understand how they interpret Matthew 18:14, I noticed something interesting in D. A Carson’s handling of this verse.
There are two books where he comments on the verse. The first that I will quote is from his commentary on Matthew, where he states,
Jesus drives the lesson home: the heavenly Father is unwilling for any of “these little ones” … to be lost. If that is his will, it is shocking that anyone else would seek to lead one of “these little ones” astray. … This love for the individual sheep is not at the expense of the entire flock but so that the flock as a whole may not lose a single one of its members.2D. A. Carson, Matthew, Kindle ed. (Zondervan, 2010), Kindle locations, 14328-14336.
In another book that focuses on themes in Matthew, Carson discusses this verse again,
Similarly, in 18:10–14 the expression “one of these little ones” must be understood to refer to believers, true disciples of Jesus who have honestly humbled themselves. Not one of them is to be despised; for on the one hand, “their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.” (Whatever this clause means, it implies that the little ones should not be despised because their dignity is in God’s eyes very great.) On the other hand, the shepherd, the Father Himself (18:14), is concerned for each sheep in His flock, so much so that He goes after the one that strays. After all, it is not His will that even one of these little ones, these humbled, true believers, should perish. If that is His attitude, it is an abomination for anyone else to try to make the little ones stumble.3D. A. Carson, God with Us: Themes from Matthew (Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock, 2009), 112–113.
I know the ESV renders ἀπόλλυμι as ‘perish’, but I want to make it clear that I do not think that Carson is erring by using the word ‘lost’. The reason for this will become apparent as I discuss this subject. What does Carson mean by ‘perish’ and ‘lost’? The Greek word behind “perish” is the much contested verb, ἀπόλλυμι. Since ἀπόλλυμι does have a range of meaning including “to destroy”, “to ruin”, “to perish”, and “to lose something”4William Arndt et al., A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000), 115. traditionalists have had room to argue for connotations of this verb that they think support the doctrine of eternal torment in hell. This is the case in Carson’s The Gagging of God: Christianity Confronts Pluralism, where he interacts with John Stott’s argument that the biblical language of destruction supports the doctrine of annihilationism by arguing,
The àπώλεια word-group has a range of meanings, depending on the context. It can refer to the “lost” coin or son of Luke 15, and to the “ruined” wineskin of Matthew 9:17: in neither case is cessation of existence in view. Similarly, the ointment lavishly poured out on Jesus is in the mind of his disciples a “waste” (Matt. 26:8): the same noun is deployed, with no suggestion that the ointment goes out of existence.
Moreover, when “life” and “destruction” are contrasted (as in John 3:16, etc.), one might reasonably infer that “destruction” refers to cessation of existence only if “life” means no more than mere existence. But is Christ doing no more than contrasting mere survival and extinction? Rather, Christ is contrasting two qualitatively different types of existence, one involving a loving communion with God and another lacking it (a state of ‘ruin’).”5Carson, D. A.. The Gagging of God: Christianity Confronts Pluralism, Kindle ed. (Zondervan, 1996), Kindle locations, 11886-11895.
It is clear that for Carson, whatever ἀπόλλυμι means in Matthew 18:14, it cannot involve the idea of complete destruction or the death of the person as conditionalists maintain. However, in his introduction to the section spanning Matthew 18:10-14, Carson makes two observations that help the case that Matthew 18:14 supports conditionalism rather than the doctrine of eternal torment in hell. Carson’s first observation is as follows,
Verse 10 clearly follows vv.5–9; but because it also forms a neat inclusio with v.14, vv.10–14 must be read together in the light of the preceding pericope.6Carson, Matthew, Kindle locations, 14277-14283.
An inclusio is a “literary framing device in which the same word or phrase stands at the beginning and the end of a section.”7Matthew S. DeMoss, Pocket Dictionary for the Study of New Testament Greek, (InterVarsity Press, 2001), 71 An inclusio tells the reader where a given literary unit of writing begins and ends. It is meant to be read and thought of together. In this case, Carson is saying that the inclusio of Matthew 18:10-14 is linked with the immediately preceding literary unit of Matthew 18:5-9.8One may wish to quibble over whether the preceding literary unit also incorporates Matthew 19:1-4 but for our purposes it is sufficient to note that what Jesus says in Matthew 18:8-9 must be considered for what Jesus meant to say in verse 14, and vice versa.
His second observation has to do with the possible parallel passage, Luke 15:3-7. On the face of it, Luke 15:3-7 may appear to have the same point in view but Carson writes,
It is remarkable how different Matthew’s and Luke’s forms of the parable are when closely compared in the Greek text. Almost every relevant term is not the same as in the parallel, and the few that are the same are well within the bounds of repetition expected in an itinerant ministry (see comments at 5:1–2). The evidence suggests that these are two similar parables, both taught by Jesus, but with very different aims… Matthew is not concerned with “faithful pastorship in the community” … but, following the preceding pericope, with the importance in Messiah’s community of harming no member, of sharing the Father’s concern that none of “these little ones” be lost.9D. A.; Carson, Matthew, Kindle locations, 14283-14295.
In the study of the Synoptics, it is important to be aware of parallel passages so one can evaluate the extent to which the parallel(s) should impinge on the interpretation of the passage being exegeted. Luke 15:3-7 is the kind of passage that traditionalists might cite to deny that the use of ἀπόλλυμι has to do with the destruction of the little ones in Matthew 18:14 at all. With his observations, Carson has ruled this move out entirely. Both of Carsons’ observations mean Matthew 18:1-9 and similar passages within Matthew itself should be the main lens through which an interpreter understands the meaning of perish in Matthew 18:14.
How do we apply that to our exegesis of this verse?
First, I would point out that Carson is correct to say that Matthew 18:5-14 is a cohesive unit. His argument can be supplemented with the observation that the literary unit of Matthew 18:1-14 is bound together by similar phrases like ‘become like children’ (Mat 18:3), ‘this child’ (v4), ‘one such child’ (v5), ‘one of these little ones’ (v6), ‘one of these little ones’ (v10), ‘one of these little ones’ (v14). This does not mean that every section of the passage make exactly the same point. Verse 1-2 are an introduction to the section with verses 3-4 establishing the prerequisite of becoming like children as a prerequisite for entering the kingdom. This means that verses 5-9 do not necessarily have infants in view but believers who have become like children in some respect. They are the little ones who are in view in the remainder of the passage.
Verses 5-9 and 10-14 express overlapping themes. In verses 5-9 the focus is on the danger to people who might cause these little ones to sin while verses 10-14 focus on the protection of the little ones from perishing (or being lost). Given the warnings of severe treatment in store for those who cause the little ones to sin (v 6) and Jesus’s comments about avoiding sin so one can avoid being thrown into the fire of Gehenna/eternal fire (vs 8-9) it stands to reason that in Matthew 18:14 Jesus is referring to a fate that is of eternal significance. That is, when Jesus says ‘it is not the will of my Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish’ he has their final fate in mind.
Second, if Matthew 18:5-9 (and not Luke 15:3-7) is the primary lens through which one must read Matthew 18:14 then it stands to reason that thematic, and verbal clues from that passage that hark back to similar Matthean passages also form part of that lens. That is, where we can see that Matthew 18:5-14 contains words, phrases, and themes that are used elsewhere in Matthew when discussing a similar theology, then those passages form part of the lens through which we should interpret the text being exegeted.
Having established those two points, it follows that the exegete must explore any literary, thematic or verbal cues in Matthew 18:5-14 and elsewhere in the narrative that may shed light on what verse 14 teaches. As it turns out, there are several clues in Matthew 18:5-14 that do make the reader remember previous passages in Matthew.
One example is the use of the verb σκανδαλίζω (skandalizō) ‘to cause to stumble’ throughout the passage. It occurs where you see the English ‘cause … to sin’ in verses 6, 8, and 9. The cognate noun, σκάνδαλον (skandalon) ‘stumbling block’, occurs twice in Matthew 18:17 and is rendered as ‘temptation to sin’ and ‘temptations’. That noun also occurs in Matthew 13:40-42.
40Just as the weeds are gathered and burned with fire, so will it be at the close of the age. 41The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all law-breakers, 42and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
This is part of Jesus’s own explanation of what the parable about weeds secretly being sown in the kingdom (Matt 13:24-30) means. Jesus says all ‘causes of sin’ will be thrown into the fiery furnace and burned up just as the weeds in the parable are burned up in a harvest fire (v30). To be sure, he also says there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, but that occurs whilst they are consumed in that fire. That is a clear indication about what the eternal fire will do to people. It will kill them.
The verb, σκανδαλίζω, occurs in Matthew 5:29-30.
29If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. 30And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.
In this case, body parts rather than people are in view as the cause of sin. Now, if you are familiar with what commentaries have to say on this passage you will know that there are discussions about how this ought not to be taken literally so that we can obey this passage even when we do not actually tear out an eye or cut off a hand. This is because, when we give up what causes us to sin, we do permanently lose access to something we loved as much as an eye or a hand. So the point is to rid ourselves of anything that causes us to sin, even if one must do away with that cause of sin by destroying it completely at great and permanent cost.
I have more to say about this passage below.
One more obvious example of verbal allusion to other passages is the use of the language of ‘the eternal fire’ (v8) and ‘the hell of fire’ (v9). The phrase ‘the eternal fire’ appears again in Matthew 25:41 where Jesus indicates evil humans will be thrown into the fire that is prepared for the Devil and his angels. That verse does not indicate what that fire does to those who are thrown into it. Moreover, the adjective phrase, ‘eternal punishment’ (Matt 25:46) is ambiguous so that provides little help in clarifying what the eternal fire does to people thrown into it.
What about the phrase, ‘the hell of fire’?
The Greek behind this phrase is τὴν γέενναν τοῦ πυρός. This is one of those passages where Jesus uses the word γέεννα (geenna). As it turns out, the exact phraseology τὴν γέενναν τοῦ πυρός occurs in Matthew 5:25. Bruce Chilton states,
In 5:2, the first usage of γέεννα in his Gospel, Matthew adds “of fire” to the term in order to make its meaning clearer. In vv. 29 and 30 of the same chapter, no such qualification is necessary, because the concept has already been introduced with its explanatory qualifications. The order of sayings therefore seems to reflect a conscious plan of presentation…10Bruce Chilton, A Galilean Rabbi and His Bible: Jesus’ Own Interpretation of Isaiah, (SPCK, 1984), 103-104.
One implication of this is verses like Matthew 10:28, where γέεννα is the place where the soul and the body can be destroyed, imply that the instrument through which God would destroy the whole person is the fire of Gehenna. There is debate over exactly what ‘destroy’ means in that verse, but I have yet to find adequate rebuttals to the arguments for the conditionalist reading of the verse provided at the Rethinking Hell website.11Glenn Peoples, ‘The Meaning of “APOLLUMI” in The Synoptic Gospels, Rethinking Hell [blog], October 27, 2012, ’https://rethinkinghell.com/2012/10/27/the-meaning-of-apollumi-in-the-synoptic-gospels/, and Darren Clark, Exegesis Interrupted: A Critique of Stand To Reason’s Article “Hell Interrupted, Part 2”, Rethinking Hell [blog], https://rethinkinghell.com/2018/11/13/exegesis-interrupted-a-critique-of-stand-to-reasons-article-hell-interrupted-part-2/
I will not be going over old ground here except to say that even though traditionalists are correct that the Greek word behind ‘destroy’, ἀπόλλυμι, does have a range of meaning allowing debate over what Matthew 10:28 means, all the contextual evidence supports the conclusion that ἀπόλλυμι means ‘to slay’ in that verse. This brings us to the point where we can observe that the point Jesus is making in Matthew 10:28 is the same one he makes in Matthew 13:40-42: Those who end up in that fire will be killed.
Finally, comparing the way ἀπόλλυμι is used in Matthew 5:29-30 and in 18:14. In the earlier passage, ἀπόλλυμι is used when referring to the body parts. The exact phraseology in Greek in both verses is as follows, συμφέρει γάρ σοι ἵνα ἀπόληται ἓν τῶν μελῶν σου, which is rendered in the ESV as ‘For it is better that you lose one of your members’. “Lose” renders ἀπόληται. What does it mean in this context? Carson explains,
Just this: we are to deal drastically with sin. We must not pamper it, flirt with it, enjoy nibbling a little of it around the edges. We are to hate it, crush it, dig it out. “Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexually immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry” (Col. 3:5).12D. A. Carson, Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount and His Confrontation with the World: A Study of Matthew 5-10, (Baker Publishing Group, 1987), 56-57.
Put the offending body part to death!
Obviously this is a figurative way of referring to doing away with sin or what tempts us to sin. Having recognized that, Carson is not using death with some ‘spiritual’ sense of separation or whatever traditionalists mean when they talk about spiritual death. He has in mind the normal meaning of death as killing a living being: ‘a permanent cessation of all vital functions: the end of life’.13Merriam-Webster Dictionary, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/death, s.v. ‘Death’.
Yes, Jesus is speaking hyperbolically but the whole point of talking about plucking an eye out or cutting off a hand is to say we must destroy that which causes us to sin without expecting to get it back. If you sever body parts you kill that part of you. Those body parts will wither away into nothing, and it’s stated that you “enter the kingdom” without that body part. This is surely not literally true of body parts (our glorified bodies at the resurrection will have all their limbs), but it is true at least in general of causes of sin. Even rendered as “lost,” that kind of permanent destruction is what ἀπόλητα refers to here. You lose it because it will be destroyed and so it can never cause you to stumble into sin. The intent is to say that we must kill and destroy those things that might cause us to stumble in sin.
How does this relate to what Matthew 18:14 means? Carson himself ruled out looking to the parallel in Luke 15:3-7. As it turns out, Jesus uses some of the language from Matthew 5:29-30 in 18:14.
29If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose (ἵνα ἀπόληται) one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. 30And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one (ἵνα ἀπόληται ἓν) of your members than that your whole body go into hell.–Matthew 5:29-30
14So it is not the will of my Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish (ἵνα ἀπόληται ἓν).–Matthew 18:14
I have inserted the Greek into the translation just to give the reader a sense of where the language fits. This particular construction (word order) is rare in the NT, only being used in these two passages in Matthew and in John 17:3. That is not in and of itself enough to draw firm conclusions, for there can be variations in the syntax of the clauses in which these words are used. However, keep in mind that Matthew had, as noted above, a penchant for repeating words from earlier passages in later passages while addressing the same theme. This does mean we have warrant for arguing the use ἵνα ἀπόληται ἓν in Matthew 5:29-30 ought to inform our understanding of the use of the same construction in 18:14. Just as ἀπόλλυμι is used to the killing or destruction of the body parts in Matthew 5:29-30, so also the use of the same verb in 18:14 has to do with being killed or destroyed!
There are several implications that can be noted from this analysis.
First, it matters little that ἀπόλλυμι is rendered ‘lost’ or ‘perish’. In Matthew 5:29-30 ἀπόλλυμι is usually rendered as ‘lost’ but people do not think this means the hand or eye is merely misplaced. Most recognize that these body parts are lost precisely because they are destroyed. This means that Carson’s argument that ἀπόλλυμι has a range of meaning (see the quote from his The Gagging of God above) does nothing to establish what that word contextually denotes in any particular context in the hell proof-texts. Carson is correct that ἀπόλλυμι does have a range of meaning, but better exegetical practice would have led him to consider Matthew 18:14 in light of 5:29-30. That could have led him to the conditionalist reading of these verses.
Second, since Matthew 18:5-14 form one literary unit it stands to reason that what Jesus says in verse 14 helps clarify what he says in verses 8-9. In verse 14 Jesus says the little one is rescued from death. Given Jesus’s emphasis on not causing others to sin (vs 6-7) and the need to excise any cause of sin in our own lives (vs 8-9) then the final fate of sinners must be in view in this passage. This means that verse 14 also has the final fate of the little ones in view. Having noted that, we are able to better analyze the contrast in verses 8-9. Here are those verses,
8And if your hand or your foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life crippled or lame than with two hands or two feet to be thrown into the eternal fire. 9And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into the hell of fire.
Notice the contrast. It is better to destroy an offending body part than to end up in the eternal fire/fire of Gehenna. If verse 14 has in view the death of the lost one who had gone astray, then we can conclude that the ultimate fate in that fire is the death of the whole person. This means the contrast is between lacking a part of your body when you enter the Kingdom or having your whole body destroyed in that fire. As such, this rules out the typical traditionalist assumption that the contrast is between the implicit pain involved in destruction of a part of our bodies and eternal torment in the eternal fire.
Third, this fits with what Jesus says about the final fate of the lost in the other Gospels. Most notably, the aorist subjunctive form of ἀπόλλυμι used in Matthew 18:14, ἀπόληται (‘perish’), is used in John 3:16. There is already very good exegetical evidence that John 3:16 teaches conditionalism14See Darren Clark, “Perish the Thought: How John 6 and 11 Challenge the Traditionalist Reading of John 3:16, [blog]”, June 14, 2019, https://rethinkinghell.com/2019/06/14/perish-the-thought-john-3-16/, and Darren Clark, “Perish The Thought, Part 2: More Challenges to the Traditionalist Reading of John 3:16 [blog]”, December 27, 2019, https://rethinkinghell.com/2019/12/27/perish-the-thought-part-2-john-3-16/. The use of ἀπόλλυμι in such similar contexts is just another piece of evidence that when Jesus said in John 3:16 that believers should not perish but have eternal life he really did mean we are saved from dying at the final judgment.
Then there is Luke 12:4-5 where Jesus says,
4I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do. 5But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him!
The word for ‘killed’ in Luke 12:5 is not ἀπόλλυμι but ἀποκτείνω (apokteinō). However, the two verbs are used synonymously in Matthew 10:28, where ἀπόλλυμι is translated as destroy but has the meaning of ‘to slay’. The verbs are also used synonymously throughout the Synoptic Gospels. They are used when it is Herod’s determination to kill another person is in view (ἀποκτείνω is used in Matt 14:5; Luke 13:31 and ἀπόλλυμι in Mat 2:13), when people sought to kill Jesus (ἀποκτείνω is used in Matt 16:21, 17:23 26:4; Mark 8:31; 9:31; 10:34; 14:1; Luke 9:22; 18:33 ἀπόλλυμι is used in Mat 27:20; Mar 3:6; 11:18; Luk 19:47). The parable of the tenants who kill a king’s messengers is a good example of the two verbs being used synonymously (ἀποκτείνω is used in Matthew 21:35, 38-39; Mark 12:5, 7; Luke 20:14-15 while ἀπόλλυμ is used in Matthew 21:41; Mark 12:9; Luke 20:16). When ἀπόλλυμ is used it can be rendered as ‘destroy’ but the meaning is always, ‘to slay’.
Then there is Mark 9:42-48.
42Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea. 43And if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than with two hands to go to hell, to the unquenchable fire.  45And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life lame than with two feet to be thrown into hell.  47 And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into hell,  ‘where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.’
Considering there are little ones in view in this passage as there are in Matthew 18:1-14, this passage is particularly relevant. The statement, ‘their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched’ is a near verbatim quote of the LXX of Isaiah 66:24.
24And they shall go out and look on the dead bodies of the men who have rebelled against me. For their worm shall not die, their fire shall not be quenched, and they shall be an abhorrence to all flesh.
Isaiah 66:15-16 is the context of that scene.
15For behold, the LORD will come in fire, and his chariots like the whirlwind, to render his anger in fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire. 16For by fire will the LORD enter into judgment, and by his sword, with all flesh; and those slain by the LORD shall be many.
Jesus is using a scene where the unburied corpses of the slain enemies of God are abhorred by the still living righteous, while “their worm” prospers and their fire burns. This is akin to what Jesus says in Luke 12:5 where the thing to be feared is having your corpse “having been killed” then dumped in Gehenna.
It is about being killed, not remaining alive forever.
That’s what Jesus consistently talked about when referring to the final fate of the lost. Matthew 18:14 is no exception. Talking about the little one being rescued from perishing is just another way Jesus emphasized that he rescues us from a final punishment in the form of execution.
In the final analysis, it is disappointing that Carson failed to follow up on his introductory observations on Matthew 18:10-14. I consider him to be a fine exegete because he often does follow the exegetical evidence where it leads. Perhaps if he had in this case he may have come to see that Jesus talked of the final fate of the lost not in terms of their experience of ongoing punishment but in terms of their death.
|￪1||Unless otherwise indicated all quotation of the Bible will be from the ESV.|
|￪2||D. A. Carson, Matthew, Kindle ed. (Zondervan, 2010), Kindle locations, 14328-14336.|
|￪3||D. A. Carson, God with Us: Themes from Matthew (Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock, 2009), 112–113.|
|￪4||William Arndt et al., A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000), 115.|
|￪5||Carson, D. A.. The Gagging of God: Christianity Confronts Pluralism, Kindle ed. (Zondervan, 1996), Kindle locations, 11886-11895.|
|￪6||Carson, Matthew, Kindle locations, 14277-14283.|
|￪7||Matthew S. DeMoss, Pocket Dictionary for the Study of New Testament Greek, (InterVarsity Press, 2001), 71|
|￪8||One may wish to quibble over whether the preceding literary unit also incorporates Matthew 19:1-4 but for our purposes it is sufficient to note that what Jesus says in Matthew 18:8-9 must be considered for what Jesus meant to say in verse 14, and vice versa.|
|￪9||D. A.; Carson, Matthew, Kindle locations, 14283-14295.|
|￪10||Bruce Chilton, A Galilean Rabbi and His Bible: Jesus’ Own Interpretation of Isaiah, (SPCK, 1984), 103-104.|
|￪11||Glenn Peoples, ‘The Meaning of “APOLLUMI” in The Synoptic Gospels, Rethinking Hell [blog], October 27, 2012, ’https://rethinkinghell.com/2012/10/27/the-meaning-of-apollumi-in-the-synoptic-gospels/, and Darren Clark, Exegesis Interrupted: A Critique of Stand To Reason’s Article “Hell Interrupted, Part 2”, Rethinking Hell [blog], https://rethinkinghell.com/2018/11/13/exegesis-interrupted-a-critique-of-stand-to-reasons-article-hell-interrupted-part-2/|
|￪12||D. A. Carson, Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount and His Confrontation with the World: A Study of Matthew 5-10, (Baker Publishing Group, 1987), 56-57.|
|￪13||Merriam-Webster Dictionary, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/death, s.v. ‘Death’|
|￪14||See Darren Clark, “Perish the Thought: How John 6 and 11 Challenge the Traditionalist Reading of John 3:16, [blog]”, June 14, 2019, https://rethinkinghell.com/2019/06/14/perish-the-thought-john-3-16/, and Darren Clark, “Perish The Thought, Part 2: More Challenges to the Traditionalist Reading of John 3:16 [blog]”, December 27, 2019, https://rethinkinghell.com/2019/12/27/perish-the-thought-part-2-john-3-16/|