1. What is meant by "damnation?"

28 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,

29 And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done devil, unto the resurrection of damnation. (John 5:28-29)


  1. Are there different types of damnation spoken of in the Bible?

46 Beware of the scribes, which desire to walk in long robes, and love greetings in the markets, and the highest seats in the synagogues, and the chief rooms at feasts;

47 Which devour widows’ houses, and for a shew make long prayers: the same shall receive greater damnation. (Luke 20:46-47)

What would a "lesser damnation" be? (See discussion of "greater damnation" from Matthew 23:14 in link below)


  1. When does this occur in conjunction with the events described in Revelation 20:12-14?

12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.

14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. (Revelation 20:12-14)


  1. If damnation means going to hell, does that mean it is before the resurrection (Rev. 20:13), or is damnation something that occurs after the resurrection (John 5:29), and damnation is equivalent to the second death? Or would these be different types of damnation?

Partially inspired by

  • PS I linked to the Matthew 23:14 question because it was related and relevant, but the discussion there did not answer my specific inquiry Commented May 1, 2021 at 15:44
  • Somewhat related: Same punishment or different punishments? Luke 12:42-48 vs Luke 13:1-5
    – user38524
    Commented May 1, 2021 at 15:51
  • It corresponds to the differeng degrees of reward in heaven. If justice means anything, it's that those who strove more in virue recieve greater reward, and those who strove more in vice recieve greater punishment in hell. Common sense. Commented May 1, 2021 at 22:00

3 Answers 3


The original Greek words do not really say damnation.

Young's Literal Translation John 5:29

and they shall come forth; those who did the good things to a rising again of life, and those who practised the evil things to a rising again of judgment [krisis G2920].

Luke 20:47

who devour the houses of the widows, and for a pretence make long prayers, these shall receive more abundant judgment [krima G2917].

Thayer's Greek Lexicon

STRONGS NT 2917: κρίμα

  1. a decree: ...

  2. judgment; i. e. condemnation of wrong, the decision (whether severe or mild) ...

  3. a matter to be judicially decided, a lawsuit, a case in court

There is another related Greek word for a strictly adverse sentence: katakrima (vs krima)

Thayer's Greek Lexicon

STRONGS NT 2631: κατάκριμα

damnatory sentence, condemnation

What is meant by damnation?

It actually means judgment.

Are there different types of damnation/judgment?

Yes, the dictionary meaning agrees with that.

When does this happen?

John 5:

28b for an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice 29and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment.

This will happen on the last day.

Luke 20 concerns specifically the scribes:

46‘Take heed of the scribes, who are wishing to walk in long robes, and are loving salutations in the markets, and first seats in the synagogues, and first couches in the suppers, 47who devour the houses of the widows, and for a pretence make long prayers, these shall receive more abundant judgment.’

They could be judged at any time, before or after death.


The Greek nouns in these two verses are generally translated "judgement", although in context, "damnation" is not completely wrong.

  • John 5:29 has κρίσις (krisis and the English "crisis") = trial process, judgement
  • Luke 20:47 has κρίμα (krima) = decision, sentence or verdict, judgement

The distinction between these two nouns is not always clear nor maintained in the NT. The timing of the final judgement is provided in 2 Thess 1:5-10 -

All this is clear evidence of God’s righteous judgment. And so you will be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are suffering. After all, it is only right for God to repay with affliction those who afflict you, and to grant relief to you who are oppressed and to us as well. This will take place when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in blazing fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will suffer the penalty of eternal destruction, separated from the presence of the Lord and the glory of His might, on the day He comes to be glorified in His saints and regarded with wonder by all who have believed, including you who have believed our testimony.

The primary function in John 5:28, 29 is to clearly distinguish the resurrection to eternal life, from the resurrection to judgement.

Just how this judgement is executed, etc, depends on your theology of eschatology. Paul gives some information about this in 2 Thess 2 and 1 Cor 15. Here are some general remarks about the resurrection:

  • The source of our eternal life at the resurrection is Jesus and His resurrection. 1 John 5:11, 12, 11:25, Rom 1:4, 6:5, 1 Cor 15:12-21, Phil 3:10, 11, 1 Peter 1:3, 3:21, etc.
  • The resurrection of the dead will occur at the end of time when Jesus returns. Matt 22:30, 31, Mark 12:23, Luke 14:14, 20:33-36, John 11;24, 25, 1 Thess 4:16, 17, 1 Cor 15:21, 22, 46-55.
  • There are two resurrections – one of the righteous and the wicked. Rev 20:5, 6, John 5:28, 29, Dan 12:2, Acts 24:15, Heb 11:35. See also Rev 1:7.
  • People receive their rewards at the resurrection, Luke 14:14, Rev 22:12, 13.
  • The righteous receive real, imperishable bodies at the resurrection, albeit different from what we have now; 1 Cor 15:35-54.
  • People are unconscious “sleeping” in the grave until awakened by the resurrection, Acts 2:29-31, 34, Matt 9:24, 28:13, Mark 5:39, Luke 8:52, John 11:11, 12, Acts 7:60, 13:36, 1 Cor 7:39, 11:30, 15:6, 18, 20, 51, 1 Thess 4:13-15, 5:10, 2 Peter 3:4, etc.
  • The teaching about bodily resurrection is also found in the OT; Job 19:25, 26, Isa 26:19, Dan 12:2, 13. See also 1 Sam 2:6, Job 14:14, Ps 17:15, 49:15, Hos 13:14 (which is quoted by Paul in 1 Cor 15:55).

Jesus said in Matthew 10:28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell

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