I suppose this goes around the Greek word apollymi, which has the root meaning of "utterly destroy," as in eternal destruction/perdition. Interestingly, it also has the meaning of "lose," e.g. to apololos probaton, "the lost sheep." The corresponding Latin word perdo has the same two meanings.
How are the two meanings connected?? I'm thinking of the English expression "we lost a man," being a circumlocuitous way of saying a man died.
Dow we have a Hebraeologist here?
A voice in the wilderness. I would interested in your expanding on your reasons for saying the Orthodox not believing in the immortality of the lost.
I think that phrasing could be understood in a number of way.
Only if you have the time and inclination of course! Not looking to argue here, as I am rather agnostic on the matter.
I think there is a double aspect to it. For one thing, death and destruction is definitely the fate of the lost, while eternal life is something reserved for the saved. For evidence, see all those places in the Bible that Aesch... has referenced. She makes a very convincing argument from Scripture.
Look at Orthodox liturgical texts. What is Holy Communion for? "Eternal life" for the partaker. The implication is that others are deprived of eternal life. Not once in any Orthodox text I have ever seen, including the Bible, does it speak of the lost as having life.
But we are not annihilationists: we believe that the torment is eternal. And I believe that this view* is scripturally warranted, even if it's never explicitly spelled out.
So eternal life is not merely eternal existence, nor is the destruction of the lost an annihilation. The problem is that this paradox canNOT be resolved by contemporary popular anthropology, because we do not have a sufficiently refined understanding of what life and death are. So ultimately, this becomes an anthropological problem.
For about a decade now, I have been concerned that the latent anthropological beliefs people hold as well as certain metaphysical and logical notions have sucked us all into a death-spiral. How we are going to get out of it, I don't know. Christian theology will have to make some nifty moves in order to avoid being swallowed up by it.
Anyway, I hope you enjoyed my mental meanderings.
*EDIT: "this view" = eternal torment, as opposed to annihilation.