This phrase is found only in Revelation 2:11, 20:6, 20:14, and 21:8. The Targums use it ( Deut 33:6 ; Psalm 49:11 ). Philo uses the term to refer to all miseries arising from sin causing physical death followed by hopelessness in the afterlife (Rewards and Punishments 2.419). Revelation 2:10-11 contrasts it with the life given to the faithful. Death is the loss of the only kind of life worthy of the name.
The word used for "eternal punishment" in Matthew 25:46 is kolasis [kovlasi"]. According to Bauer writers during the New Testament period used it only of temporal torture and conscious torment in the afterlife. No other idea for koine Greek is recognized. Moulton and Milligan can find only examples in papyrus where kolasis [kovlasi"] involves the person actually feeling the punishment. It is used elsewhere in the New Testament only in 1 John 4:18, which says fear has torment.
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