The Current Controversy: For most of 2000 years of church history men of faith have held to the teaching of the eternal punishment of the wicked. Currently, among evangelical Christians, some scholars of renown are espousing the position known as annihilationism. This is the belief that the wicked ultimately cease to exist, i.e. punishment is not eternal. These men are Clark Pinnock, John R. Stott, Phillip E. Hughes, and John Wenham. This view is also held by Seventh Day Adventists, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and The World-wide Church of God (Armstrongism).
B. Main Questions associated with the teaching of Eternal Punishment, i.e. Hell:
1. Is hell a reality? Can educated people in this day and age really believe in a literal hell?
2. How can a loving God confine people to such punishment?
I. Introduction (Note: This Briefing Paper updates and supplements #27: Facts About the Flood)
A flood of great proportions is described in Genesis 6 – 9. The text never indicates that it was anything other than?a historical event. The Flood, and, or Noah, the builder of the Ark, are mentioned 7 more times in the OT.?These passages are Gen.10:1,32; 11:10; I Chron. 1:3; Isa. 54:9; and Ezek.14:14,20. The NT also assumes that?a great deluge came on the earth as the result of God?s judgment: See Matt. 24:37 – 39; Lk. 3:36; 17:27; Heb.?11:7; I Pet. 3:18 – 21, and II Pet. 2:5; 3:3 – 7. ( See ?Noah and the Flood in Jewish, Christian and Muslim
Tradition,? in the Biblical Archaeologist, Dec. 1984.)
The Pseudepigrapha, a corpus of extra-biblical literature written approximately from the Second Century B.C. to?the Second Century A.D., likewise contains many references to a catastrophic Flood. It is found most?prominently in the books of I Enoch, Jubilees, and the Genesis Apocryphon.
Josephus, a very important historian of the First Century, expounds on the Flood as he recounts Jewish history?in his work Antiquities of the Jews. He basically recounts the Biblical story, but adds that the Flood began 2656?years after Adam. Josephus, who had access to all the libraries of Rome, quotes from many pagan sources?(some which are no longer available) who also wrote about a historical Flood.
To read the entire article,?download the pdf here.