The word ‘PERISH’ has nothing to do with separation from God in the afterlife or the annihilation of a soul.

The word “PERISH” isn’t even a spiritual term. It’s a literal term. In the NT, it is usually used to describe the death associated with those 1st century Jews who would die in the fires of AD70 if they didn’t heed Christ’s warning and abandon the Old Covenant Law before it was too late.

Referring to ‘lost’:

Sometimes the Greek rendering of ‘perish’ is translated as ‘lost’. A lost sheep who is scattered  in the wilderness among the beasts of the field and away from it’s Shepherd. It isn’t protected by it’s Shephard. This rendering of ‘lost’ has nothing to do with the soul or anything to do with the afterlife.

Referring to lost sheep (Matt 10:6; 15:24; Luke 15:4–7), to lost hair (Luke 21:18), to a lost reward (Matt 10:42; Mark 9:41; Luke 15:8–9; 2 John 8).

Were the sheep annihilated and then found? They were lost among the beasts of the field right? In the real story they had been ‘cut off’ from covenant with YHVH due to trespassing the Mosaic Covenant (Hosea1).

The prodigal son (referring to Ephraim) being lost (Luke 15:24, 32). Was this man annihilated and then found? No. Jesus removed the ‘ordinances of the law’ that were against Ephraim (10 northern tribes) so that he could return to the sheep fold (the New Covenant with YHVH).

What happens to lost sheep in the wild who are among the beasts of the field? They’re not worried about their souls ceasing to exist right?

Referring to ‘physical death’:


Most times the rendering of ‘perish’ has to do with physical death.

Notice Jesus’ words below to THEM (not us) warning THEM of perishing in a literal death.

Also, remember the word “you” isn’t talking to you. It’s talking to a specific reading audience in the 1st century, it’s not talking to you and me in the 21st century.

Luke 13:
2 And Jesus answered and said to them, “Do you suppose that these Galileans were worse sinners than all other Galileans, because they suffered such things?

What things did they suffer? Pilate murdered them.

3 I tell YOU, no; but unless YOU repent YOU will ALL LIKEWISE perish.

Likewise perish how? They will be murdered.

4 Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and KILLED THEM, do you think that they were worse sinners than all other men who dwelt in Jerusalem?
5 I tell you, no; but unless YOU repent YOU will ALL LIKEWISE perish.”

Likewise perish how? A physical death by the sword. He was warning THEM about THEIR coming destruction in AD70. The Romans literally murdered 1.3 million Jews in Jerusalem. The Jews that heeded Jesus’ message and fled Judea when the Romans surround Jerusalem were the ones ‘saved’ from the massacre.


We see the same thing in Mark 4:38 when the disciples were frustrated with Jesus because they feared they would DIE.

There is no sense, in this example below, of them going to a place called hell.

They feared drowning.

“and he himself was upon the stern, upon the pillow sleeping, and they wake him up, and say to him, ‘Teacher, art thou not caring that we perish?’ (YLT)”

They were afraid of dying. This is not an afterlife statement.


If you’ll look at the word ‘PERISH’ in different translations, you’ll find the words ‘DIE’ ‘STARVE’ ‘MURDERED’ ‘DROWNED’ in several of them instead of the word ‘PERISH’.

Try using ‘‘ and use their word search bar. Just type in ‘perish’ and you’ll see tons of examples.

You’ll see how it plainly stands for words like ‘die/starve/drown/murdered’.


List of scriptures:

Genesis 41:36
And that food shall be for store to the land against the seven years of famine, which shall be in the land of Egypt; that the land PERISH not through the famine.

Ezekiel 5:12
A third of your people will die of the plague or PERISH by famine inside you; a third will fall by the sword outside your walls; and a third I will scatter to the winds and pursue with drawn sword.

Numbers 21:30
So we overthrew them; Heshbon, as far as Dibon, PERISHED; and we laid waste as far as Nophah; fire spread as far as Medeba.”

Judges 5:31
“So may all your enemies PERISH, LORD! But may all who love you be like the sun when it rises in its strength.” Then the land had peace forty years.

Matthew 8:32
And He said to them, “Go.” So when they had come out, they went into the herd of swine. And suddenly the whole herd of swine ran violently down the steep place into the sea, and PERISHED (drowned) in the water.

Matthew 26:52
But Jesus said to him, “Put your sword in its place, for all who take the sword will PERISH(die) by the sword.

Luke 11:51
from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah who PERISHED(died/was murdered) between the altar and the temple. Yes, I say to you, it shall be required of this generation.

Luke 13:33
Nevertheless I must journey today, tomorrow, and the day following; for it cannot be that a prophet should PERISH(die) outside of Jerusalem.

Luke 15:17
But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have bread enough and to spare, and I PERISH(die/starve) with hunger!

Do you see how it plainly stands for words similar to ‘die/starve/drown/murdered”?

Last but not least.. (and this is my own hyper-literal translation)

For God so loved the world (order of Jews/Israelites)
that he gave his one and only Son,
that whoever (of the Old Covenant) believes in him (as Messiah to be saved from the judgement of the Old Covenant) shall not PERISH (die in their coming judgement of AD70 in Jerusalem and surrounding areas)
but have eternal life (New Covenant promise. Freed from the bondage of the Law).

How do I know that’s how John 3:16 is supposed to read?
John 3:36 basically repeats John 3:16:
Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them. (John 3:36)
Notice that the word PERISH is replaced by the term God’s WRATH.
Which wrath is that?
But when John saw many Pharisees and Sadducees coming to where he was baptizing, he told them, “You children of serpents! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? (Matthew 3:7)
The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side. They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you.” (Luke 19:43-44)
How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! There will be great distress in THE LAND and WRATH AGAINST THIS PEOPLE. They will fall BY THE SWORD and will be taken as prisoners to all the nations. Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled. (Luke 21:23-24)
The wrath was against ‘this people’ and ‘the land’?
It was the destruction of Jerusalem in AD70. That was the “wrath” and the judgement.
(thanks to Jonathan A Forgor’s blog for pointing out the match between John 3:16 and John 3:36)
The word ‘PERISH’ has nothing to do with separation from God in the afterlife or the annihilation of a soul.



David King believes that we’re on the forefront of the next great reformation of all 3 of the Abrahamic religions: Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. The historical truths being presented in this day are causing massive transitions out of superstitious religious understandings and into the fulfilled truths of what Jesus accomplished in the 1st century. Consider him your ally in the battle to set the global family free from false religious superstitions. What he shares comes from a lifestyle of study, and a place of love and deep sincerity. Finally with questions like “If Jesus didn’t come to save us all from an afterlife hell, then why did he come?,” we can begin to unpack the radical truths of what Jesus actually displayed at the cross. “LOVE is the revolution.”

You don’t have to gnash your teeth at God
nor be afraid of your soul’s destiny.
Just call the Hellbusters hotline!

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