Comments?However, once we apply such limiting criteria, what we immediately find is that the range of meaning that was present in the entire apoleia word group is now filtered out entirely, and one clear emphasis of meaning remains. This is because in every single instance of the word apollumi where these criteria are met – The example is in the Synoptic Gospels, the active voice is used and the word clearly refers to the actions of one person or agent against another, the term apollumi – setting aside Matthew 10:28 – always refers to the literal killing of a person, with not a single exception. I will list just seven representative examples, but the reader is encouraged to check this for themselves:
1.In Matthew 2:13, Herod wants to kill the baby Jesus.
2.In Matthew 12:14 the Pharisees conspired together about how they might kill Jesus.
3.In Matthew 21:41 (story of the wicked tenants) the vineyard owner kills the wicked tenants.
4.In Matthew 27:20, the elders and chief priests urge the people to have Barabbas released and Jesus killed.
5.In Mark 3:6, the Pharisees plot to kill Jesus.
6.In Mark 9:22, the parents of a boy with an unclean spirit tell Jesus that the spirit often throws the boy into water or into a fire, trying to kill him.
7.In Luke 6:9, Jesus asks if it is lawful on the Sabbath to save life or kill.
In each and every other instance where all these criteria are met, the meaning is the same. There literally is no semantic range in these cases. Some claims in biblical interpretation are matters of opinion and open to question, but this is not one of them. This is a feature of the raw data itself – what we think it implies however may be questioned. But at minimum, it is clear that to take a meaning that arises from a significantly different usage of apollumi – a different voice, or a different body of literature, or a different context (e.g. where we are no longer looking at the actions of one person or agent against another), and to insist that we should attribute that meaning to a use of the word that conforms to the pattern described here, at very least requires a very robust defence. The mere fact that the wider apoleia word group is capable of expressing such meanings under different conditions (e.g. ruin, lose etc) cannot be the reason that we should find that meaning in Matthew 10:28, for this would be a perfect example of the illegitimate totality transfer. However theologically inconvenient it may be for defenders of the traditional doctrine of the eternal torments of hell, this is an instance where the exegetical evidence is very heavily against them, and there is no apparent escape route via an appeal to semantics.