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Abarim Publications' Biblical Dictionary: The New Testament Greek word: ολλυμι

Source: http://www.abarim-publications.com/DictionaryG/o/o-l-l-u-m-i.html

ολλυμι

Abarim Publications' online Biblical Greek Dictionary

ολλυμι

The verb ολλυμι (ollumi) means to terminate, kill or destroy. It corresponds to both the Latin verbs perdo, meaning to lose life or to end life (hence our word perdition), and pereo, meaning to perish, come to an end or be ruined (hence our word perish). In an evolutionary sense, our verb describes the opposite of perpetuation, survival and salvation, which is termination and extinction (and of course damnation).

In John 6:12 this verb is used to describe what Jesus wanted the disciples to prevent from happening to leftover bread: he had them gather the pieces into baskets so that nothing would be: abandoned and left exposed to scavengers and the forces of nature that would decompose them down to their constituting elements and recycle those without the memory of the bread they were once part of, that was once baked lovingly, from dough that was kneaded laboriously, from ingredients that were collected carefully, from resources that were grown patiently. Our verb describes a failure to be incorporated, which results in the suspension of the forces of maintenance and thus utter decomposition. This verb describes a motion in the opposite direction of life. It describes a becoming disconnected, because of which death occurs, because of which decomposition occurs.

When Jesus sent his disciples to the "lost" sheep of Israel (Matthew 10:6), he sent them to people who had already been disconnected and who were in fact already as dead as a severed limb and were decomposing, in order to have them reconnected to the unbroken tree of life. Similarly, Jesus was sent to save the "lost" (Matthew 18:11), which comes down to a resurrection of people who are socially dead and already mentally decomposing, back onto life. Something "lost" isn't merely inconveniently out of sight: it is severed from the economy of life and given up for dead and will soon indeed decompose and exit all consciousness and memory — and it occurs to us here at Abarim Publications that Matthew's puzzling zombie scene (Matthew 27:52) of also taps into this principle.

This horrific verb is not used independently in the New Testament but it is part of the following important compounds:

  • Together with the preposition απο (apo), meaning from: the verb απολλυμι (apollumi), meaning to exterminate, eradicate totally, to wipe out and away. This important verb does not only describe the fate of the victims, but rather more so the fate of the survivors. The ancients realized that often some ruling class or status quo holds back the formation of greater things — think mammals and birds whose supremacy had to await the demise of the dinosaurs, or the second temple period after the fall of Babylon, or the rise of modernity after the destruction of Jerusalem, or the Body of Christ presently within Great Babylon — but these ruling classes can not be defeated by whatever successors awaits within them in embryonic form. In stead, this destruction must be brought about by angelic (Revelation 9:11) or divine destroyers: hence Apollo and perhaps Shaddai (Isaiah 13:6).
    The difference between the good guys and bad guys isn't always clear, but since perfection can't be corrupted is thus eternal (Matthew 24:35, Revelation 22:5), the rule is: whatever can be destroyed, must be destroyed. However, since embryonic winners often depend on some imperial eggshell to develop within (like Israel in Egypt), no human should undertake the destruction of whatever he or she deems unworthy of further survival. In stead, all humans are under strict orders to (1) love enemies, obey rulers and wait patiently for God to destroy things, and (2) corrupt the pillars of the empire and exasperate its leaders by offerings objections in debate, alternatives in design and greater functionality in the operation of our private social structures.
    This important verb is used 90 times, see full concordance, and from it derive:
    • The noun απωλεια (apoleia), meaning an extermination; a losing or loss, ruin or perdition. This word doesn't happen all too often in the classics, yet it shows up 19 times in the New Testament, see full concordance. Spiros Zodhiates says it bone-chillingly: "In the NT, apoleia refers to the state after death wherein exclusion from salvation is a realized fact" (The Complete Wordstudy Dictionary New Testament).
    • Together with the preposition συν (sun), meaning together or with: the verb συναπολλυμι (sunapollumi), meaning to jointly exterminate, or to lose one thing in addition to another thing: to lose also (Hebrews 11:31 only).
  • The noun ολεθρος (olethros), meaning a termination, destruction, ruin or loss, with the same divine and evolutionary overtones as the verb απολλυμι (apollumi; see above). This noun is used 4 times, see full concordance, and from it derives:
    • The verb ολοθρευω (olothreuo), meaning to cause termination, destruction, ruin or loss (Hebrews 11:28 only). From this verb in turn come:
      • Together with the preposition εκ (ek), meaning out or from: the verb εξολοθρευω (exolothreuo), meaning to exterminate (Acts 3:23 only). This verb is obviously a close synonym of απολλυμι (apollumi).
      • The noun ολοθρευτης (olothreutes), which describes someone who cause termination, destruction, ruin or loss: a terminator (1 Corinthians 10:10 only).