Immortality and Its Meaning

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Bobcat
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Immortality and Its Meaning

#1 Post by Bobcat » 3 years ago

I wanted to open a thread on the meaning of the word "immortality." The idea being to search out what the Bible actually says (and doesn't say) about it. Also to catalog reference material on it.

Just to start:

Here was a thread started by Meleti that compared the term with a couple other terms.

Here is a thread on 1 Timothy 6:14-16 which has a bearing on this topic.

Bobcat

DeborahsTree
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Re: Immortality and Its Meaning

#2 Post by DeborahsTree » 3 years ago

Hi Bobcat,

Things have become so clouded. The immortality topic is virtually impossible to separate from the mindset many have.

What is mortal? The flesh subject to death? Are the angels mortal? Or is it the fleshly bodies which eventually decay and die that are "mortal"? While the angels not being subject to decay and death can live forever? (Barring God's intervention.)

What does it mean for the flesh to put on immortality? Is it the opposite of being mortal and not being subject to death? Unable to die? Even angels who all their lives have seen God face to face have fallen.

If Adam and Eve had not been put out of the Garden would their continued access to the Tree of Life have made them immortal?

The terms "everlasting life" or "eternal life" have a clarity about them that is clouded, or less understood, when Christians speak of "immortality".

Paul wrote, "to those who by perseverance in doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life;" (Romans 2:7 NASB)

Paul equated immortality with eternal life. So, yes, it appears that Adam and Eve could have had eternal life, immortality, in the Garden.

ANTONINVS
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Re: Immortality and Its Meaning

#3 Post by ANTONINVS » 3 years ago

DeborahsTree wrote:
3 years ago

Paul equated immortality with eternal life. So, yes, it appears that Adam and Eve could have had eternal life, immortality, in the Garden.
I believe immortality involves a little more. One who is immortal no longer requires God to sustain his life. An immortal being is self-sustaining or self-sufficient, no longer reliant on God to supply or sustain life. I don't believe this was true of Adam and Eve.

Bobcat
Posts: 3367
Joined: 7 years ago

Re: Immortality and Its Meaning

#4 Post by Bobcat » 3 years ago

Thanks Deb & ANTONINVS for your replies.

After bringing up the topic I got a little busy with work and haven't had a chance to get back to it.

The other links I supplied had some previous discussion on it. The issues (for most of us) are:
(1) the etymology of the word,

(2) What the WT teaches about it (for those of us who have that in our background, and

(3) how the word is actually used in the Bible (esp. the NT). There is also the non-NT use that I haven't got to yet.

From a practical standpoint, it is probably true that an angel or Adam & Eve (before they sinned) were unable to die unless permitted by God for some reason. Of course, after sinning they are not just "able" to die, but, are fated to die or cease existing.

The etymology of the word "immortal", by itself, might suggest the idea of "self-sustaining or self-sufficient, no longer reliant on God to supply or sustain life." But, the NT does not actually elaborate on that idea. Or does it?

1Ti 6:14-16, I believe, uses a different word for "immortality" from the one Paul used in 1 Corinthians 15. Another issue with 1Ti 6:14-16 is who one believes is being talked about. If God is "the one alone having immortality", then, this puts Him on a level even above the resurrected Jesus.

Anyways, I'll get back to this later today (hopefully).

Bobcat

DeborahsTree
Posts: 1014
Joined: 5 years ago

Re: Immortality and Its Meaning

#5 Post by DeborahsTree » 3 years ago

ANTONINVS wrote:
3 years ago
DeborahsTree wrote:
3 years ago

Paul equated immortality with eternal life. So, yes, it appears that Adam and Eve could have had eternal life, immortality, in the Garden.
I believe immortality involves a little more. One who is immortal no longer requires God to sustain his life. An immortal being is self-sustaining or self-sufficient, no longer reliant on God to supply or sustain life. I don't believe this was true of Adam and Eve.
Do you believe the anointed will be immortal?

ANTONINVS
Posts: 1066
Joined: 5 years ago

Re: Immortality and Its Meaning

#6 Post by ANTONINVS » 3 years ago

DeborahsTree wrote:
3 years ago

Do you believe the anointed will be immortal?
Yes. The scriptures tell us that the "new creation" (chosen, elect, Christ's brothers), or annointed as the JW's refer to them, will be immortal. For in scripture they are said to be glorified, empowered, incorruptible, or immortal in the same manner as Jesus.

AmosAu2
Posts: 440
Joined: 4 years ago

Re: Immortality and Its Meaning

#7 Post by AmosAu2 » 3 years ago

ANTONINVS wrote:
3 years ago
DeborahsTree wrote:
3 years ago

Do you believe the anointed will be immortal?
Yes. The scriptures tell us that the "new creation" (chosen, elect, Christ's brothers), or annointed as the JW's refer to them, will be immortal. For in scripture they are said to be glorified, empowered, incorruptible, or immortal in the same manner as Jesus.
My thoughts exactly. :thumbup:

Bobcat
Posts: 3367
Joined: 7 years ago

Re: Immortality and Its Meaning

#8 Post by Bobcat » 2 years ago

I had hoped to get back to this thread some time back, but anyways . . .

I made this statement above:
1Ti 6:14-16, I believe, uses a different word for "immortality" from the one Paul used in 1 Corinthians 15.
Based on the Greek pages at BibleHub (here for 1Co 15:53 and here for 1Ti6:16) that statement is incorrect. They both appear to use the same word (Strong's #110).

I am still inclined to think that the word "immortality" as used at 1Co 15:53 can be applied to Adam & Eve before they sinned.

But I am still hoping to look up its non-NT usage.

Bobcat

Bobcat
Posts: 3367
Joined: 7 years ago

Re: Immortality and Its Meaning

#9 Post by Bobcat » 2 years ago

This post has some very interesting research Jerome did on how the WT has arrived at their view of immortality.

Bobcat

Bobcat
Posts: 3367
Joined: 7 years ago

Re: Immortality and Its Meaning

#10 Post by Bobcat » 2 years ago

A few posts above I mentioned that Jesus was effectively immune from death (while on earth) until the divinely appointed time arrived for him to die. The NET has a footnote (93) on John 10:39 to this effect (here):
It is not clear whether the authorities simply sought to “arrest” him, or were renewing their attempt to stone him (cf. John 10:31) by seizing him and taking him out to be stoned. In either event, Jesus escaped their clutches. Nor is it clear whether Jesus’ escape is to be understood as a miracle. If so, the text gives little indication and even less description. What is clear is that until his “hour” comes, Jesus is completely safe from the hands of men: His enemies are powerless to touch him until they are permitted to do so.
One could say that Jesus was effectively "immortal" until God gave the permission, or "abandoned" him to his enemies. (Mt 27:46) And after his resurrection he would never again be in the position where he could be killed. (Heb 9:25-28)

Bobcat

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