The Deeper Truth Regarding Punishment
The Word translated as “punishment” in Matthew 25:46 is “kolasin” (in Greek) which is actually been used in botany to mean “pruning”. Thus, “Kolasin” actually means “punishing or chastising for one’s betterment”.
Note that when Josephus (the most trusted Historian by Christians – for the contemporary of Christ period) mentions the various beliefs of “punishments” comparing the Jewish sects & Christians, he employs “different” Greek words as it is “preached by them” accordingly implying “different meanings of punishment are meant”.
(i) The Pharisees:
“Aidios Timoria” (everlasting punishment)
“Eirgmon Aidion” (everlasting prison)
“Aidios/Aidion” = Everlasting
“Timoria” = Torture (type of punishment, purposeless, Sadistic)
“Eirgmon” = A holding place or prison
*Christ the Lord clearly warned to be weary of the “leaven (doctrine) of the Pharisees”.
(ii) Jewish Sect: Essenes
“Timoria adialeipton” (Deathless Torture)
“Athanaton Timorian” (Immortal Punishment)
“Timoria/Timorian” = Purposeless torture type punishment
“Adialeipton” = Deathless or never-ceasing (“not” stopping)
“Athanaton” = Immortal
“Aionion Kolasin” (age-during punishment)
“Aionion” = (For the period of an age, age-during)
“Kolasin” = (Punishment for betterment, pruning, purposeful to change the sinner)
**Note that this phrase as used by Josephus when alluding to the Christian version of ‘afterlife punishments’ is what is found in Matthew 25:46.
***Note that in English “translations”, both the words “Timoria & Kolasin” are translated as “punishment” removing this ‘deeper & accurate meaning’. God doesn’t simply choose Words; it is accurate to the last dot.
The very fact that our Blessed Saviour rejected the use of the description of punishment as used by the Pharisees (or other Jewish sects) clearly depicts His disapproval of their Doctrine even in this. Because, if Christ wanted to Preach the “same” type of punishment, it is best to use “Existing, already popular terms” (as the Pharisees have taught) but the “Fact” remains that “He” did “not”.
“Restoration” (Restitution) of “All things” (not Christian things or believing things only) is clearly taught in Scripture by “all” (not some) His holy prophets as they “spoke” (not necessarily always written) which shall come to pass in “Times” (plural – indicating different parts of the ‘all things’ are to be ‘restored’ by Him at different times) as the verse below so clearly describes:
“whom it behoveth heaven, indeed, to receive till times of a restoration of all things, of which God spake through the mouth of all His holy prophets from the age.” (Acts 3:21)
Lastly, what does “Kolasin” mean in Greek itself when it is used to mean punishment by the usage of their best scholars of antiquity itself?
Please read the following excerpt:
“Thomas Talbott, philosophy professor at Willamette University in Oregon and author of The Inescapable Love of God, explained:
According to Aristotle, there is a difference between revenge and punishment; the latter (kolasis) is inflicted in the interest of the sufferer, the former (timōria) in the interest
of him who inflicts it, that he may obtain satisfaction.
Plato also appealed to the established meaning of kolasis as support for his theory that virtue could be taught: “For if you will consider punishment (kolasis)…and what control it has over wrong-doers, the facts will inform
you that men agree in regarding virtue as procured.”
Even where a punishment may seem harsh and unforgiving, more like retribution than parental chastisement, this in no way excludes a corrective purpose.”
So, even in Punishment (“Kolasin”), God is Good; truly, God is Good all the Time.