This morning I searched for more sutta references that contain Nibbana and came across Bikkhu Bodhi’s introduction in his translation of the MN on Nibbana. He seems to make a similar argument: namely that the suttas suggest Nibbana cannot be fully explained by words that are typically used to describe the material. This sums up one of my issues with translating Nibbana as extinguishment pretty well: extinguishment is typically used to describe the material realm (in contrast, Nirvana and even liberation, for example, is often used to describe the abstract.)
Here’s an excerpt from Bikkhu Bodhi’s intro that seems useful to this discussion:
"The state that supervenes when ignorance and craving have been uprooted is called Nibbāna (Sanskrit, Nirvāṇa), and no conception in the Buddha’s teaching has proved so refractory to conceptual pinning down as this one. In a way such elusiveness is only to be expected, since Nibbāna is described precisely as “profound, hard to see and hard to understand,…unattainable by mere reasoning” (MN 26.19).
Yet in this same passage the Buddha also says that Nibbāna is to be experienced by the wise and in the suttas he gives enough indications of its nature to con-vey some idea of its desirability. The Pali Canon offers sufficient evidence to dispense with the opinion of some interpreters that Nibbāna is sheer annihilation; even the more sophisticated view that Nibbāna is merely the destruction of defilements and the extinction of existence cannot stand up under scrutiny.
Probably the most compelling testi-mony against that view is the well-known passage from the Udāna that declares with reference to Nibbāna that “there is an unborn, unbecome, unmade, unconditioned,” the existence of which makes possible “escape from the born, become, made, and conditioned” (Ud 8:3/80). The Majjhima Nikāya charac-terises Nibbāna in similar ways. It is “the unborn, unageing, unailing, deathless, sorrowless, undefiled supreme security
from bondage,” which the Buddha attained to on the night of his enlightenment (MN 26.18). Its pre-eminent reality is affirmed by the Buddha when he calls Nibbāna the supreme foundation of truth, whose nature is undeceptive and which ranks as the supreme noble truth (MN 140.26).
Nibbāna cannot be perceived by those who live in lust and hate, but it can be seen with the arising of spiritual vision, and by fixing the mind upon it in the depths of meditation, the disciple can attain the destruction of the taints (MN 26.19, MN 75.24, MN 64.9).
The Buddha does not devote many words to a philosophical definition of Nibbāna. One reason is that Nibbāna, being unconditioned, transcendent, and supramundane, does not easily lend itself to definition in terms of concepts that are inescapably tied to the conditioned, manifest, and mundane. Another is that the Buddha’s objective is the practical one of leading beings to release from suffering, and thus his principal approach to the characterisation of Nibbāna is to inspire the incentive to attain it and to show what must be done to accomplish this.
To show Nibbāna as desirable, as the aim of striving, he describes it as the highest bliss, as the supreme state of sublime peace, as the ageless, deathless, and sorrowless, as the supreme security from bondage. To show what must be done to attain Nibbāna, to indicate that the goal implies a definite task, he describes it as the stilling of all formations, the relinquishing of all acquisitions, the destruction of craving, dispassion (MN 26.19). Above all, Nibbāna is the cessation of suffering, and for those who seek an end to suffering such a designation is enough to beckon them towards the path.
p. 31-32 Acquired at wisdompubs.org
Hope this is helpful