Defense of Immortal, Conscious Souls (vs. Lucas Banzoli): #9

Defense of Immortal, Conscious Souls (vs. Lucas Banzoli): #9 November 18, 2022

9. Matthew 10:28: Did Jesus Teach That a Soul Could be Annihilated?

Lucas Banzoli is a very active Brazilian theological writer, who denies that Jesus is immutable in His Divine Nature (i.e., judging by the standard of trinitarian classical theism, he denies that Jesus is God; hence cannot be classified as either a trinitarian or a Christian). He has a Master’s degree in theology, a degree and postgraduate work in history, a license in letters, and is a history teacher, author of 25 books, as well as blogmaster (but now inactive) for six blogs. He’s active on YouTube.

This is my 44th refutation of Banzoli’s writings. Since 5-25-22 he hadn’t written one  word in reply, until he responded on 11-12-22 (see my reply) and on 11-15-22 (see my response). Why so few and so late? He says it’s because my articles are “without exception poor, superficial and weak” and my “objective” was “not to refute anything, but to exhaust [my] opponent.” Indeed, my writings are so bad that “only a severely cognitively impaired person would be inclined to take” them “seriously.” He didn’t “waste time reading” 37 of my 40 replies (three articles are his proof of the worthlessness of all of my 4,000+ articles and 51 books). He also denied that I had a “job” and claimed that I didn’t “work.” I disposed of these and other slanderous insults on my Facebook page on 11-13-22. But Banzoli thought that replying to me was so “entertaining” that he’ll “make a point of rebutting” my articles “one by one.” 

My current effort is a major multi-part response to Banzoli’s 1900-page self-published book, The Legend of the Immortality of the Soul [A Lenda da Imortalidade da Alma], published on 1 August 2022.  He claims to have “cover[ed] in depth all the immortalist arguments” and to have “present[ed] all the biblical proofs of the death of the soul . . .” and he confidently asserted: “the immortality of the soul is at the root of almost all destructive deception and false religion.” He himself admits on page 18 of his Introduction that what he is opposing is held by “nearly all the Christians in the world.” A sincere unbiblical error (and I assume his sincerity) is no less dangerous than a deliberate lie, and we apologists will be “judged with greater strictness” for any false teachings that we spread (Jas 3:1).

I use RSV for the Bible passages (including ones that Banzoli cites) unless otherwise indicated. Google Translate is utilized to render Lucas’ Portugese into English. Occasionally I slightly modify clearly inadequate translations, so that his words will read more smoothly and meaningfully in English. His words will be in blue.

*****

See the other installments:

 #1 Preliminaries [11-1-22]
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*

See also the related articles:

Seven Replies Re Interceding Saints (vs. Lucas Banzoli) [5-25-22]

Answer to Banzoli’s “Challenge” Re Intercession of Saints [9-20-22]

Bible on Praying Straight to God (vs. Lucas Banzoli) [9-21-22]

Reply to Banzoli’s “Analyzing the ‘evidence’ of saints’ intercession” [9-22-22]

*****

Matthew 10:28 And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.

The first thing that strikes the eye of any attentive observer is that the only text used to say that the soul is immortal is one that says that it is destroyed along with the body in hell. Although the immortalists here resort to the typical ploy that “destroying” does not means “annihilate”, but rather its opposite, any attempt to manipulate this specific text is thwarted by the context, which leaves no room for idea of ​​merely “spiritual” destruction or anything of the sort. . . . The simple fact that the first part of the verse speaks of literal death and that the second part is an antithesis of the first already attests that Jesus was talking about annihilation. The clear and manifest sense is, that God kills more than men are able to kill – because, while these kill only the body, God destroys body and soul. (p. 269)

The soul outlives the body, so it cannot be equated with man in every instance. The soul sleep view doesn’t even survive this one verse. But there’s much more:

2 Corinthians 5:8 . . . we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord.

Philippians 1:21-24  For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. [22] If it is to be life in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. [23] I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. [24] But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account.

If Paul was nonexistent after death, since a soul supposedly can’t exist apart from a body, how could he be “home with the Lord” and “be with Christ” while absent from his “body” and “flesh”?

The Greek word for “destroy” in Matthew 10:28 is apollumi (Strong’s word #622). Thayer’s Lexicon defines its use in this verse as meaning: “metaphorically, to devote or give over to eternal misery.” W. E. Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words (under “Destroy”) concurs:

The idea is not extinction but ruin, loss, not of being, but of well-being. This is clear from its use, as, e.g., of the marring of wine skins, Luke 5:37; of lost sheep, i.e., lost to the shepherd, metaphorical of spiritual destitution, Luke 15:4,6 , etc.; the lost son, Luke 15:24; of the perishing of food, John 6:27; of gold, 1 Peter 1:7 . So of persons, Matthew 2:13 , “destroy;” Matthew 8:25 , “perish;” Matthew 22:727:20; of the loss of well-being in the case of the unsaved hereafter, Matthew 10:28Luke 13:3,5John 3:16

Banzoli and other soul sleep heretics contend that apollumi must mean “annihilation” in Matthew 10:28. But it doesn’t, according to the two standard linguistic sources above, and another equally renowned biblical linguist. A. T. Robertson, in his Word Pictures of the New Testament, for this verse, states: “‘Destroy’ here is not annihilation, but eternal punishment in Gehenna (the real hell) . . .”

To illustrate that apollumi can’t possibly always mean “annihilation” or “absolute destruction” we need only see its use in other verses. I have substituted annihilation or annihilated, etc. in them, to show how ridiculous that meaning would be:

Matthew 10:6 but go rather to the annihilated sheep of the house of Israel.

Matthew 10:39 He who finds his life will lose it, and he who annihilates his life for my sake will find it.

Matthew 16:25 For whoever would save his life will annihilate it, and whoever annihilates his life for my sake will find it.

Luke 5:37 And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; if he does, the new wine will burst the skins and it will be spilled, and the skins will be annihilated.

Luke 15:4, 6 What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost, until he finds it? . . . [6] And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was annihilated.’

Luke 15:24 for this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was annihilated, and is found.’ . . .

John 6:27 Do not labor for the food which is annihilated, but for the food which endures to eternal life, . . .

Banzoli concedes that the word is used in different ways: “apollumi can also mean “lose”, depending on the context (as in Luke 15:4, which speaks of the lost sheep, and Luke 15:9, which speaks of the lost coin) . . . many words often took on more than one meaning depending on the context” (p. 271).

The question basically comes down to: “shall we trust Lucas Banzoli for the definitive interpretation of apollumi in Matthew 10:28, or actual biblical linguists such as Vine, Thayer, and Robertson?” I choose the latter, and highly recommend that my readers do the same. And this should especially be the case, seeing that the apostate Banzoli “preaches another Jesus than the one” Paul preached (2 Cor 11:4).

***

Practical Matters: Perhaps some of my 4,000+ free online articles (the most comprehensive “one-stop” Catholic apologetics site) or fifty books have helped you (by God’s grace) to decide to become Catholic or to return to the Churchor better understand some doctrines and why we believe them.

Or you may believe my work is worthy to support for the purpose of apologetics and evangelism in general. If so, please seriously consider a much-needed financial contribution. I’m always in need of more funds: especially monthly support. “The laborer is worthy of his wages” (1 Tim 5:18, NKJV). 1 December 2021 was my 20th anniversary as a full-time Catholic apologistand February 2022 marked the 25th anniversary of my blog.

PayPal donations are the easiest: just send to my email address: apologistdave@gmail.com. You’ll see the term “Catholic Used Book Service”, which is my old side-business. To learn about the different methods of contributing, including 100% tax deduction, etc., see my page: About Catholic Apologist Dave Armstrong / Donation InformationThanks a million from the bottom of my heart!

***

Photo credit: Saint Michael the Archangel and Another Figure Recommending a Soul to the Virgin and Child in Heaven, by Bartolomeo Biscaino (1629-1657) [public domain / Wikimedia Commons]

***

Summary: Part 9 of many responses to Lucas Banzoli’s 1900-page book, The Legend of the Immortality of the Soul: published on 1 August 2022. I defend historic Christianity.

 

"So do many modern songs that rely real historical events but use non-literal figures."Bye Bye ..."

Debate: Historical Local Flood & Biblical ..."
"Correct of course Einstein taught us motion is relative to the view point of the ..."

Debate: Historical Local Flood & Biblical ..."
"A very straightforward critique of the evidence presented for an airburst in the “fantastically detailed” ..."

Sodom Obliterated

Browse Our Archives

Close Ad