General Usage Of The Fathers

In fact, every Universalist and every Annihilationist among the fathers of the early church is a standing witness testifying that the word was understood as we claim, in their day. Believers in the Bible, accepting its utterances implicitly as truth, how could they be Universalists or Annihilationists with the Greek Bible before them, and aionion punishment taught there, unless they gave to the word thus used the meaning of limited duration? Accordingly, besides those alluded to above, we appeal to those ancient Universalists, the Basilidians (A. D. 130), the Carpocratians (A. D. 140), Clemens Alexandrinus (A. D. 190), Gregory Thaumaturgus (A. D. 220-50), Ambrose (A. D. 250), Titus of Bostra (A. D. 340-70), Didymus the Blind (A. D. 550-90), Diodore of Tarsus (A. D. 370-90), Isidore of Alexandria (A. D. 370-400), Jerome (A. D. 380-410), Palladius of Gallatia (A. D. 400), Theodore of Mopsuestia (A. D. 380-428), and others, not one of whom could have been a Universalist unless he ascribed to this word the sense of limited duration. To most of them Greek was as familiar as English is to us.

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