Point-Counterpoint: Slough on Apollumi
As Promised here is E. D. Slough’s “counterpoint” to Pollock’s analysis [See “Point-Counterpoint: Pollock on Apollumi“] of the Greek word apollumi:
In his essay on page 11, Campbell tells us the word “Apollumi” is found ninety-two times in the N. T. And from these ninety-two times he concludes, we cannot fail to arrive at a radical conception of its meaning
He says of these ninety-two times, it is found thirty-two times rendered “perish” and “perished.”
Good; we know what that means. Many people perish annually in railroad disasters, ocean calamities, tornadoes, devastating fire, “horrible war” as it now raging in continental Europe. Million perish yearly by disease, by coal mine and factory accidents. And the Lord referred to the eighteen on whom the Tower of Siloam fell and said: “Except you repent you shall all likewise perish.” Yes, we know what perish means. Continuing, he says: “twenty-seven times it is translated “destroy” or “destroyed.”
Simple again. We might to the list above mentioned, as many more, and speak of them as either perished or destroyed.
“Thirty-one times it is translated ‘lose’’ or lost,’” easy again. Call all the above either “perished, destroyed or lost” and none can be ignorant of their meaning.
“It is translated once ‘marred,’ once ‘die.’” Thus we see, out of the ninety-two times it occurs, in every instance it carries with it the primary and original sense except one, “to mar.” And it must carry a like meaning or be counted a corruption of the word. For the Lexicon gives no such definition as “Marred” for “Apollumi.” Look and see for yourself.
Thus, instead of giving support to eternal torment, a volume of “ninety-two applications against it.
But, he argues, “Apollumi” is applied to a waste—“To what purpose is this waste of the ointment?” (Matt. 16:8). Well, what of that? I see no objection. Let us leave it there, for a waste of the ointment would be a destruction of it. Judas was speaking from his own mind as he saw it. To him it seemed a waste. It did not seem so to the other apostles, nor to the Lord; but to selfish Judas. And as far as he could see it was destroyed (apollumi) by anointing the Lord with it.
The object in taking us back to the Greek was to get Greek definitions of words used in the N. T. We have them, and we are going to stand by them, for there is nothing in the Lexicon on the word “apollumi” which can take so mild a form as “marred,” which the Dictionary defines “dissipate,” “to waste,” “to lose,” hinder, obstruct, impede, injure, spoil, hurt, damage, disfigure, etc. Take this definition of “mar’ and if you can apply it in a way which will “ruin of spoil,” such a degree would be acceptable. For on page 13 Campbell directs our attention to one evangelist who speaks of “bottles” being “destroyed” and “perish.” And by another evangelist the same” bottles” are said to be “marred.” Well, then, marred in this place means the same as “destroyed” in the other, whether our translators so saw it or not. In both instances the same word “apollumi” is used, and in both instances were the bottles destroyed, because in both instances “apollumi” means destroy.
This is much simplified when we remember bottles in those days were made of perishable substances such as leather and skins of animals. It requires no dangerous stretch of the imagination to anticipate that by long use the bottles would become unfit for “new wine.” That is why used the figure to teach the Jews that he was not injection new life into the old law, and made it interesting by the apt illustration that men do not put new wine into old bottles, or the bottles would break and the wine would be lost. Had the bottles been made of glass, as they are today, that could not have been said of them. So the primary meaning of “Apollumi” stands unshaken.
The Indictment of Eternal Torment
E D Slough
[Click on this link to see the next installment in this series: Apollumi: How Do Pollock’s and Slough’s Arguments Stack Up?]