Christian Doctrines, Eschatology, theology

Bible Verses Edited for Eternal Conscious Punishment

The Bible has a lot to say about the final end of both the redeemed and the lost. It’s often said that the Bible is extremely clear on eternal conscious punishment–as though this is just read of the pages of Scripture and delivered as a whole doctrine to us. I have taken the liberty here of looking at a number of well-loved and well-known passages (and some lesser loved and known) through the lens of eternal conscious punishment, editing them as needed to actually support the allegedly biblical doctrine of eternal conscious punishment. Edits to the verses are in italics, to make it clear where editing has occurred.

John 3:16

For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believed in him should not have eternal life[the bad kind], but have eternal life [good kind].

Romans 6:23

For the wages of sin is eternal life [bad kind], but the gift of God is eternal life.

Matthew 10:28

Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot make eternal the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can make eternal both soul and body in hell.

Revelation 20:13-14

The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what they had done. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is eternal life.

Psalm 9:17

The wicked go down to eternal life, all the nations that forget God.

Matthew 25:46 (The Sheep and the Goats)

“Then they will go away to eternal life, but the righteous to eternal life.”

2 Thessalonians 1:9

They will be punished with everlasting life and shut out from the presence of the LORD and from the glory of his might…

Jude 1:7

In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They still stand today because they were not destroyed and serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire.

Psalm 37:8-11

Refrain from anger and turn from wrath;
    do not fret—it leads only to evil.
For those who are evil will live forever,
    but those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land.

A little while, and the wicked will be still alive;
    though you look for them, they will be found alive but suffering.
But the meek will inherit the land
    and enjoy peace and prosperity.


Eternal conscious punishment is not a “literal” reading of Scripture, nor is it simply read off the pages of scripture. To affirm it, one has to effectively redefine the meaning of “death” and other words constantly throughout the Bible. Generally, this requires the one teaching eternal conscious punishment to turn the word “death” into “eternal life,” for they believe that the lost are given eternal life, just a kind that involves punishment.



About J.W. Wartick

J.W. Wartick is a Lutheran, feminist, Christ-follower. A Science Fiction snob, Bonhoeffer fan, Paleontology fanboy and RPG nerd.


2 thoughts on “Bible Verses Edited for Eternal Conscious Punishment

  1. You understate the case. There’s 5 or 6 Greek words meaning death and destruction used of the fate of the wicked by the Bible. And when the bible expands on the language it supports a literal reading eg the wicked being burned up like weeds or chaff.
    There is just one verse in the Bible that speaks of eternal torment, Revelation 20:10 which depicts the devil the beast and false prophet being tormented for ever. But Revelation 17; 8 and 11 say the beast goes to destruction. And whereas 20:10 is from the imagery of the vision 17:8,11 are from the key provided by the angel to interpret the vision.
    Revelation 20:10 is the only verse the traditional view takes literally and it has to hold the Bible upside down to do it

    Posted by koitaleel | August 15, 2019, 8:08 AM

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