(2 Thess. 1:9) Is hell really annihilation of the soul?

CLAIM: Paul writes of these persecutors facing “eternal destruction” (2 Thess. 1:9). However, Annihilationists claim that we cannot be destroyed for eternity. Instead, this passage refers to a completed destruction that will have consequences for eternity. Is this the case?

RESPONSE: Greek scholar Robert Thomas writes, “Olethros (‘destruction’) does not refer to annihilation, which cannot be ‘everlasting.’ The word in LXX and NT usages never has this meaning but rather turns on the thought of separation from God and loss of everything worthwhile in life.”[1] For more on this topic, see “Is Hell Divine Overkill?” and “Is Hell Annihilation?”

[1] Thomas, R. L. (1981). 2 Thessalonians. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Ephesians through Philemon (Vol. 11, p. 313). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.