Is "EVERLASTING" Scriptural?

INTRODUCTION:

A dictionary or lexicon is the not the most authoritative place to find the true definition of a word. Especially if the word in question makes or breaks a particular controversial doctrine, such as, is punishment of the wicked for a period of time that ends, or for eternity. 

In many Bibles the Greek word: "aion" is translated as "forever," and "aionios" is translated, "everlasting," or "eternal." 

Strong's Greek Dictionary defines "aion" as follows:  "an age, perpetuity, the world, a Messianic period, course, eternal, forever, evermore, without end." Strong's defines the adjective aionios as follows: "perpetual, eternal, forever, everlasting."

Are these definitions good scholarship or religious bias? Imagine defining the word "white" like this: "white, WHITE LIGHT, bright, maximum lightness, brilliant, blanch, off-white, shaded, light gray, dark gray, between light and dark, dark gray, dark, COAL BLACK." Does anything see a problem with my definition of "white?" Does anyone see a problem with Strong's definition of "aion/aionios?"

In the following paper, I answer an email from a "wanna-be scholar" on this very subject.


I will make
"Comments" to your unscriptural assertions using BOLD blue type:

WORD STUDY ON "AIONIOS":

'AIONIOS' LIFE MEANS ETERNAL LIFE

Consider another critical word in the Bible which a number of cults claim cannot mean everlasting because it is used to refer to everlasting condemnation and everlasting life:

Comment: Your opening statement is not reputable scholarship—it is a mis-direction. The fact that there may or may not be "cults" who claim that the word "aionios" is mistranslated in many Bibles, has absolutely nothing to do with the validity of the argument. I personally know that "aionios" is not translated properly in most places of the King James Bible, yet I am not a cult. Furthermore, the reason given as to why this word cannot be translating "everlasting" is also not as you state, "because it is used to refer to everlasting condemnation and everlasting life." That is decidedly NOT the reason at all. The true test of this word’s meaning is, usage and etymology. Your statement is designed to prejudice the reader from the first sentence. After all, who wants to be associated with "a cult?" and what kind of silly proof is your statement attributed to these cults?

The secular Greek-English lexicon by Bauer, p.28, defines "aionios" and it's family of words, ("aionion", "aioniou") to most commonly mean "without beginning or end" and "eternal".

Comment: Mr. Bauer’s phrase "to most commonly mean," of course is a clear statement of admission that not even Mr. Bauer believes that "aionion" ALWAYS means what you suggests it means. I will prove that it does not ever mean "without beginning or end" or "eternal" in the Scriptures. Note: When I refer to the "Scriptures," I am assuredly not referring to error-filled Bible translations of the Scriptures.

Furthermore, who cares that the "secular Greek-English lexicon by Bauer" defines aionios as without beginning or end and eternal? Does that mean that we should pick up our tents and go home? Should we burn all the other lexicons and dictionaries on our book shelves, that teach contrary, because "Bauer has spoken?" If a dictionary definition carries weight on this matter, then consider some real scholars on the subject:

The New Testament in Modern Speech, by Dr. R. F. Weymouth: Eternal: Greek: "aeonion," i.e., "of the ages." Etymologically this adjective, like others similarly formed, does not signify "during," but "belong to" the aeons or ages."

The Interpreter’s Dictionry of the Bible (vol. IV, p. 643): Time: The O.T. and the N.T. are not acquainted with the conception of eternity as timelessness. The O.T. has not developed a special term for "eternity." The word aion originally meant "vital force," "life," then "age," "lifetime."

Elliot’s Commentary on the Whole Bible (Matt. 25:46(. Everlasting punishment--life eternal. The two adjectives represent the same Greek word, aionios—it must be admitted that the Greek word which is rendered "eternal" does not, in itself, involve endlessness, but rather, duration, whether through an age or succession of ages, and that it is therefore applied in the N.T. to periods of time that have had both a beginning and ending (Rom. 16:25).

Hasting’s Dictionary of the New Testament (Vol. I, p. 542, art. Christ and the Gospels): Eternity. There is no word either in the O.T. Hebrew or the N.T. Greek to express the abstract idea of eternity. (Vol. III, p. 369): Eternal, everlasting—nonetheless "eternal" is misleading, inasmuch as it has come in the English to connote the idea of "endlessly existing," and thus to be practically a synonym for "everlasting." But this is not an adequate rendering of aionios which varies in meaning with the variations of the noun aion from which it comes. (p. 370):

The chronoios aioniois moreover, are not to be thought of as stretching backward everlastingly, as it is proved by the pro chronon aionion of II Tim. 1:9; Titus. 1:2. (Note: pro chronon aionion means "BEFORE times eonian." Since this Scripture tells us that there was time "before" eonian, eionian cannot possibly mean eternal, for nothing can be "before" eternity.)

The large Catholic Bible dictionary, The Encyclopedic Dictionary of the Bible (p. 693): ETERNITY: The Bible hardly speaks of eternity in the philosophical sense of infinite duration without beginning or end. The Hebrew word olam, which is used alone (Ps. 61:8; etc.) or with various prepositions (Gen. 3:22; etc.) in contexts where it is traditionally translated as ‘forever,’ means in itself no more than ‘for an indefinitely long period." Thus me olam does not mean ‘from eternity’ but ‘of old’ Gen. 6:4; etc.). In the N.T. aion is used as the equivalent of olam. (Note: even the Catholic translators of The Jerusalem Bible and The New American Bible have failed to heed the scholarship of their own Catholic authorities.)

Dr. R. F. Weymouth, a translator who was adept in Greek, states in The New Testament in Modern Speech (p. 657), Eternal, Greek aeonion, i.e., of the ages: Etymologically this adjective, like others similarly formed does not signify, "during" but "belonging to" the aeons or ages.

Dr. Marvin Vincent, Word Studies of the New Testament (Vol. IV, p. 59). The adjective aionios in like manner carries the idea of time. Neither the noun nor the adjective in themselves carries the sense of "endless" or "everlasting.’ Anionios means enduring through or pertaining to a period of time.

Dr. F. W. Farrar, author of The Life of Christ and The Life and Word of St. Paul, as well as books about Greek grammar and syntax, writes in The Eternal Hope (p. 198), "That the adjective is applied to some things which are ‘endless’ does not, of course, for one moment prove that the word itself meant ‘endless;’ and to introduce this rendering into many passages would be utterly impossible and absurd."

I have argued this point for years. Just because a word translated WRONGLY can still make sense does NOT justify doing so. Perchance someone might wish to translate Mark 9:41 as follows: "For whosoever shall give you a GLASS OF ICE COLD LEMONADE to drink in my name… shall not lose his reward." Does not the verse make equal SENSE as when it is correctly translated "A CUP OF WATER?" Yes it does, but that is NOT what the Holy Spirit inspired to be preserved for us. Hence, "a glass of ice cold lemonade" is wrong, just as translating Rom. 16:26 as "the everlasting God," is wrong. The Holy Spirit inspired the word aionios, which translated to our English equivalent "eonian," and this is how it must be translated if we are to be faithful to God’s Word.

And so I will repeat this most important truth of translating:

"That the adjective is applied to some things which are ‘endless’ [as with ‘God’ in Rom. 16:26] does NOT, of course, for one moment prove that the word itself meant ‘endless;’ and to introduce this rendering into MANY PASSAGES [some of which we will look at later] WOULD BE UTTERLY IMPOSSIBLE AND ABSURD." (CAPS are mine).

In Dr. Farrar’s book, Mercy and Judgment, (p. 378), "Since aion meant ‘age,’ aionios means, properly, ‘belonging to an age,’ or ‘age-long,’ and anyone who asserts that it must mean ‘endless’ defends a position which even Augustine practically abandoned twelve centuries ago. Even if aion always meant ‘eternity,’ which is not the case in classic or Hellenistic Greek—aionios could still mean only ‘belonging to eternity’ and not ‘lasting through it."

The Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible, (Vol. 4, p. 641), "The O.T. and the N.T. are not acquainted with the concept of eternity as timelessness." Page 655: "The O.T. has not developed a special term for eternity." Page 645: "The use of the word aion in the N.T. is determined very much by the O.T. and the LXX. Aion means long, distant, uninterrupted time. The intensifying plural occurs frequently in the N.T. but it adds no new meaning."

Dr. Edward Plumptre, an eschatologist, "I fail to find, as is used by the Greek Fathers, any instance in which the idea of time duration is unlimited."

Time and Eternity by G. T. Stevenson, (p. 63), "Since, as we have seen, the noun aion refers to a period of time it appears, very improbable that the derived adjective aionios would indicate infinite duration, nor have we found any evidence in Greek writing to show that such a concept was expressed by this term."

Professor Herman Oldhausen, German Lutheran theologian, "The Bible has no expression for endlessness. All the Biblical terms imply or denote long periods."

Professor Knappe of Halle wrote, "The Hebrew was destitute of any single word to express endless duration. The pure idea of eternity is NOT FOUND IN ANY OF THE ANCIENT LANGUAGES." (CAPS emphasis are mine).

An Alphabetical Analysis by Charles H. Welch (Editor of The Berean Expositor and a man well versed in Greek), (Vol. 1, p. 279), "Eternity is not a Biblical theme." (Vol. 1, p. 52), "What we have to learn is that the Bible does not speak of eternity. It is not written to tell us of eternity. Such a consideration is entirely outside the scope of revelation." 

This meaning is based on the most frequent usages of the word by the people to whom the ancient koine Greek language was native. Plato, Phocylides, Philo, Clement, Diodorus Siculus, Arrianus, Josephus, Maximus Tyrius, Ignatius, Homer are among those who used this meaning of the word "aionios".

You couldn’t get me to read all of these pagan authors at the end of the barrel of a 57 Magnum. However, consider the following:

Dr. Mangey, a translator of the writings of Philo, says, "Philo did not use aionios to express endless duration."

The Complete Works of Falvius Josephus. Josephus obviously did not consider anionios to be "everlasting," seeing that he uses the word to represent the period of time between the giving of the law of Moses and that of his own writing [clearly not an eternity]. He also assigns aionios to the period of imprisonment of the tyrant John by the Romans [clearly he was not imprisoned for an eternity], and also for the period during which Herod’s temple stood [since Herod’s temple was not even standing at the time Josephus wrote, it too proves that Josephus did not mean ‘eternity’ when he wrote ‘aionios’].

Saint Gregory of Nyssa speaks of anionios diastema, "an eonian interval." How many intervals do you know of that are "endless" or "eternal?"

Saint Chrysostum, in his homily on Eph. 2:1-3, says that, "Satan’s kingdom is aeonian; that is, it will cease with the present world."

Saint Justin Martyr, in the Apol. (p. 57), used the word aionios repeadedly: aionion kolasin…all ouchi chiliontaete periodon, "eonian chastening but a period, not a thousand years," or as some translate this clause "but a period of a thousand years only." Hence, to Justin Martyr, aionios was certainly not "endless."

Etc., etc.

THE GREEK WORD AIÓN -- AIÓNIOS, TRANSLATED Everlasting -- Eternal
IN THE HOLY BIBLE, SHOWN TO DENOTE LIMITED DURATION

BY REV. JOHN WESLEY HANSON, A.M.
Editor of THE NEW COVENANT
CHICAGO: NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSALIST PUBLISHING HOUSE 1875

The verbal pivot on which swings the question, Does the Bible teach the doctrine of Endless Punishment? Is the word Aión and its derivatives and reduplications. The author of this treatise has endeavored to put within brief compass the essential facts pertaining to the history and use of the word, and he thinks he has conclusively shown that it affords no support whatever to the erroneous doctrine. It will generally be conceded that the tenet referred to is not contained in the Scriptures if the meaning of endless duration does not reside in the controverted word. The reader is implored to examine the evidence presented, as the author trusts it has been collected, with a sincere desire to learn the truth.

THE PLATONIC DERIVATIONS

We have proceeded on the ground that Aristotle's etymology is authoritative. But nothing is further from the truth. The scholarship of to-day, possessed by an average educated philologist, is far more competent to trace this or any Greek word to its real source, than Plato or Aristotle was able to do. In his analysis of Plato's Cratylus,(8) Grote accurately observes of Plato's etymologies: "Though sometimes reasonable enough, they are in a far greater number of instances forced, arbitrary, and fanciful. The transitions of meaning imagined, and the structural transformations of words, are alike strange and violent. Such is the light in which these Platonic etymologies appear to a modern critic. But such was not the light in which they appeared either to the ancient Platonists or critics earlier than the last century. The Platonists even thought then full of mysterious and recondite wisdom. So complete has been the revolution of opinion that the Platonic etymologies arenow treated by most critics as too absurd to have been seriously intended by Plato, even as conjectures. It is called 'a valuable discovery of modern times' (so Schleiermacher terms it) that Plato meant most of them as mere parody and caricature."

The character of Aristotle as an etymologist is thus stated by Grote: "Nor are they more absurd than many of the etymologies proposed by Aristotle." A slender hook this, whereon to hang such a doctrine as that of the immortal wo of countless millions of souls.

CONCLUSIONS

The conclusions to which any judicial mind must arrive are these: 1, It is uncertain from what source the word Aión sprang; 2, It is of no consequence how it originated; 3, Aristotle's opinion is not authority; and 4, It is probable that he was not defining the word, but was alluding to that being whose aión, or existence is continuous and eternal. That he did not understand that aión signified eternity, we shall demonstrate from his uniform use of the word, in the sense of limited duration. And we find no reason in its etymology for giving it the sense of endless duration. And if it did thus originate, it does not afford a particle of proof that it was subsequently used with that meaning.

ETERNAL DURATION AND MODERN CONCEPTIONS

It does not seem to have been generally considered by students of this subject that the thought of endless duration is comparatively a modern conception. The ancients, at a time more recent than the dates of the Old Testament, had not yet cognized the idea of endless duration, so that passages containing the word applied to God do not mean that he is of eternal duration, but the idea was of indefinite and not unlimited duration. I introduce here a passage from Professor Knapp, or Knappius, the author of the best edition of the Greek Testament known, and one in use in many colleges and ranks as a scholar of rare erudition. He observes:

"The pure idea of eternity is too abstract to have been conceived in the early ages of the world, and accordingly is not found expressed by any word in the ancient languages. But as cultivation advanced and this idea became more distinctly developed, it became necessary in order to express it to invent new words in a new sense, as was done with the words eternitas,perennitas, etc. The Hebrews were destitute of any single word to express endless duration. To express a past eternity they said before the world was; a future, when the world shall be no more. . . . The Hebrews and other ancient people have no one word for expressing the precise idea of eternity."

1.-- THE GREEK CLASSICS

It is a vital question How was the word used in the Greek literature with which the Seventy were familiar, that is, theGreek Classics?

Some years since Rev. Ezra S. Goodwin(13) patiently and candidly traced this word through the Classics, finding the noun frequently in nearly all the writers, but not meeting the adjective until Plato, its inventor, used it. He states, as the result of his protracted and exhaustive examination from the beginning down to Plato, "We have the whole evidence of seven Greek writers, extending through about six centuries, down to the age of Plato, who make use of Aión, in common with other words; and no one of themEVER employs it in the sense of eternity."

When the Old Testament was translated from Hebrew into Greek by the Seventy, the word aión had been in common use for many centuries. It is preposterous to say that the Seventy would render the Hebrew olam by the Greek aión and give to the latter (1) a different meaning from that of the former, or (2) a different meaning from aión in the current Greek literature. It is self-evident, then, that Aión in the Old Testament means exactly what Olam means, and also what Aión means in the Greek classics. Indefinite duration is the sense of olam, and it is equally clear that aión has a similar signification.

In the Iliad and Odyssey Aión occurs thirteen times, as a noun, besides its occurrence as a participle in the sense of hearing, perceiving, understanding. Homer never uses it as signifying eternal duration. Priam to Hector says,(14) "Thyself shall be deprived of pleasant aiónos" (life.) Andromache over dead Hector,(15) "Husband thou hast perished from aiónos" (life or time.)

Sophocles nine times. "Endeavor to remain the same in mind as long as you live." Askei toiaute noun di aiónos menein.(21) He also employs makraion five times, as long-enduring. The word long increases the force of aión, which would be impossible if it had the idea of eternity.

AIONIOS

Aiónios is found in none of the ancient classics above quoted. Finding it in Plato, Mr. Goodwin thinks that Plato coined it, and it had not come into general use, for even Socrates, the teacher of Plato, does not use it. Aidios is the classic word for endless duration.

Plato uses aión eight times, aiónios five, diaiónios once, and makraión twice. Of course if he regarded aión as meaning eternity he would not prefix the word meaning long, to add duration to it.

In all the above authors extending more than six hundred years, the word is never found. Of course it must mean the same as the noun that is its source. It having clearly appeared that the noun is uniformly used to denote limited duration, and never to signify eternity, it is equally apparent that the adjective must mean the same. The noun sweetness gives its flavor to its adjective, sweet. The adjective long means precisely the same as the noun length. When sweet stands for acidity, and long represents brevity, aiónios can properly mean eternal, derived from aión, which represents limited duration. To say that Plato, the inventor of the word, has used the adjective to mean eternal, when neither he nor any of his predecessors ever used the noun to denote eternity, would be to charge one of the wisest of men with etymological stupidity. Has he been guilty of such folly? How does he use the word?

PLATO'S USAGE

1. He employs the noun as his predecessors did. I give an illustration*- "Leading a life (aióna) involved in troubles."

2. The Adjective.(30) Referring to certain souls in Hades, he describes them as in aiónion intoxication. But that he does not use the word in the sense of endless is evident from the Phćdon, where he says, "It is a very ancient opinion that souls quitting this world, repair to the infernal regions, and return after that, to live in this world." After the aiónion intoxication is over, they return to earth, which demonstrates that the world was not used by him as meaning endless. Again,(31) he speaks of that which is indestructible, (anolethron) and not aiónion. He places the two words in contrast, whereas, had he intended to use aiónion as meaning endless, he would have said indestructible and aiónion.

Once more,(32) Plato quotes four instances of aión, and three of aiónios, and one ofdiaiónios in a single passage, in contrast with aidios (eternal.) The gods he calls eternal, (aidios) but the soul and the corporeal nature, he says, are aiónios, belonging to time, and "all these," he says, "are part of time." And he calls Time [Kronos] an aiónios image of Aiónos. Exactly what so obscure an author may mean here is not apparent, but one thing is perfectly clear, he cannot mean eternity and eternal by aiónios and aiónion, for nothing is wider from the fact than that fluctuating, changing Time, beginning and ending, and full of mutations, is an image of Eternity. It is in every possible particular its exact opposite.

[Ezek 37:26]:

"I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them...

........[Heb] olam = [Grk] aionios[Septuagint];

and I will give blessings to them and multiply them, and will set My sanctuary in the midst of them forevermore"

[Heb] olam = [Grk] aionios [Septuagint]

God's covenant was unilateral - so it would not be broken - therefore it was for all time: "forevermore". None of His unilateral covenants were for a season or an age. All of His unilateral covenants were for an eternity and God does not renege on His promises.

Therefore the Hebrew word "olam" in the Hebrew bible and the Greek word "aionios" in the Septuagint are indeed translated "forevermore" correctly.

Comment: Oh really? And do you think that we are too slow of intellect to detect your deceitful little insertion of the word "unilateral?" As if to admit that an "EVERLASTING covenant" which is NOT ‘unilateral’ might come to an end, but an "EVERLASTING covenant" which IS ‘unilateral’ can never come to an end. What kind of scholastic trickery is this?

A true unilateral covenant is one in which there is NO NEEDFUL PARTICIPATION OF A SECOND PARTY. The second that one puts a second party requirement into receiving the benefit of a unilateral covenant, it is no longer truly unilateral, but rather collateral.

RAINBOW COVENANT: Possibly the only truly unilateral covenant in the Bible, where absolutely no participation on our part is required for its fulfillment. Gen. 9:16,

"And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting [Heb: olam aionion/eonian] covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth."

This covenant has no requirements on our part, but is it truly everlasting—endless?

When God is "All in all" (I Cor. 15:28), and there is "a NEW heaven and a NEW earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were PASSED AWAY; and there was no more sea [pretty hard to flood the entire earth without ANY SEA WATER]" (Rev. 21:1), and when God says, "Behold, I make ALL THINGS NEW…." (Rev. 21:5), perhaps even you can agree that this "rainbow covenant" will have come to an END, and then be of no consequence or have no application in a scriptural, heavenly realm.

ABRAHAMIC COVENANT: Gen. 17:1:

"And when Abraham was ninety years old and nine, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before Me, AND be you perfect. And I will make My covenant between Me and thee, and will multiple thee exceedingly… And I will establish my covenant between Me and thee and your seed after you in their generations for a everlasting [Heb: olam] covenant. And I will give unto you, and to your seed after you, the land wherein you are a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting [olam] possession… This is My covenant, which ye shall keep, between Me and you and your seed after you; Every man child among you shall be CIRCUMCISED… He that is born in your house, and he that is bought with your money, must needs be circumcised: and My covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting [olam] covenant." (Gen. 17:1-2, 7-10, 13).

This was clearly not a "unilateral" covenant. It required walking perfectly before God and being circumcised. Now then, was this a covenant that would never end? Hardly: We are now instructed that if we are to be "Abraham’s seed," we are NOT TO BE PHYSICALLY CIRCUMCISED of our foreskin! Paul emphatically and dogmatically declares: "Behold, I Paul say unto you, "IF YE BE CIRCUMCISED, CHRIST SHALL PROFIT YOU NOTHING" (Gal. 5:2)! So much for that "unilateral EVERLASTING covenant."

THE OLD COVENANT: What we term the Old Covenant obviously was not to continue "forever" or "eternally," as it was REPLACED by a NEW Covenant which was clearly "NOT according to the covenant that I made with their fathers…." (Heb. 8:9).

How long did "EVERLASTING STATUTES" last?

Is the "everlasting statute" regulating the "day of atonement," still in force? "And this shall be an EVERLASTING [olam] statute unto you, to make an atonement for the children of Israel for all their sins once a year…." (Lev. 16:34). Now compare Rom. 5:11, "And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by Whom we have NOW received THE ATONEMENT."

So what do you suppose happened to that "EVERLASTING statute" regarding atonement for sin?

"But in those sacrifices there is remembrance again made of sins EVERY YEAR [on the day of ATONEMENT]… Then said He, Lo, I come to do Thy will, O God, He TAKES AWAY THE FIRST [covenant] that He may establish the second [covenant]. By the which will we are sanctified through the OFFERING OF THE BODY OF JESUS CHRIST ONCE [no longer ‘once a year’] FOR ALL" (Heb. 10:4, 9-10).

So much for your "everlasting/eternal" statute regulating the annual Day of Atonement. The Levitic Priests, the offering, the temple, the holy of holies is all, gone gone. Now there is ONE atonement for all, offered ONCE and never again. This particular "eternity" lasted less than 1500 years! So just maybe an olam is NOT ETERNAL afterall. What do you think?

The "EVERLASTING [olam] priesthood" of Exodus 40:15. And just how long did this "everlasting priesthood" last?

"If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, (for under it the people received the law,) what further need was there that another priest should rise after the order of Melchisedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron? For the PRIESTHOOD BEING CHANGED, there is made of necessity a change also of the law… For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Juda; of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood" (Heb. 7:11-12, 14).

And so we have no more "EVERLASTING" Levitical priesthood, but rather a CHANGE in law and a CHANGE in the priesthood. And so this "everlasting/eternity" also lasted shy of 1500 years, and ENDED.

I will give just one of many examples in the Old Testament where "olam" absolutely cannot mean "forever" or "eternal" as Dr. Strong so erroneously defines it: Exodus 21:6—

"Then his master shall bring him unto the judges; he shall also bring him to the door, or unto the door post; and his master shall bore his ear through with an aul; and he shall serve him FOR EVER [Heb: ‘olam’—Strong’s ‘ETERNITY’]."

Oh really? And does Dr. Strong also believe in ETERNAL SLAVERY?

Therefore we have just seen absolute and unarguable proof that the Hebrew olam does not and cannot possibly mean everlasting or eternal.

[2 Cor 4:18]:s

"Since we consider and look not to the things that are seen [temporal - temporary] but to things that are unseen [spiritual - eternal]; for the things that are visible are temporal (brief and fleeting), but the things that are invisible are deathless and everlasting

Comment: The concept of "eternity" is foreign to the Holy Scriptures. There is virtually nothing that is outside of the time periods known as aions. There are just a couple of hints regarding life beyond the ages of time. Luke speaks of things pertaining to the Kingdom, not coming to an end. And Paul tells us that in resurrection we will have "incorruption" and "immortality" signifying "deathlessness," but neither word has to do with time itself. Paul also speaks of a time in which God will be "ALL in all." That is the extent to which the Scriptures even hint of eternity or anything beyond the ages of time.

II Cor. 4:18 is neither speaking of "deathless" or "everlasting," as you suggest. It is speaking of what is happening now, in our life of flesh, and what will happen during the ages of our reign with Christ in the kingdom of God. The things of this life, we SEE daily. The things pertaining to the Kingdom of God are as yet "NOT seen." Again, it is not even speaking of what is "visible" and "Invisible," but rather what is NOW SEEN as compared with things "eonian" and NOT YET SEEN, which when seen will not be temporary, but will last through whole eons of time. And all that is perfected through the Kingdom of God and the reign of Christ bringing all enemies into subjection, will last on PAST the eons, and will have NO END.

The next great event in prophecy is not eternity, but rather the END of this eon and the BEGINNING of the next—the one in which the very elect will reign with Christ. There is no sense in jumping into eternity when as yet, we have numerous ages to yet live and administer God’s government and His Great Judgment. And so, what is not yet seen, is "eonian" (pertaining to the eons), and not "eternity" as you and the King James suggests in this verse.

..............................................................[Grk] "aionios"

Here in this passage the contrast is between the temporal and the eternal

Comment: No, it is contrasting what is "seen" now and what is "not seen," now, but is yet future.

-          the material and the spiritual.

Comment: No, strictly speaking it is not contrasting material with spiritual, but rather what is perceived in this temporary life and what is ahead as our reward in the Kingdom.

Surely the Greek word "aionios" could not be translated to mean "age" which would force the passage to provide a meaning of comparing the difference between spiritual things which then, because of the mistranslation of "aionios", portray spiritual things lasting just for a finite age as opposed to temporal things which do not last for an age.

Comment: You are arguing from a false premise. Plus you misrepresent aionios on both ends of the spectrum. From your point of view, you want to extend what pertains to the ages into ETERNITY. And from the perspective of the Truth, that is what the word actually means, you are trying to limit it to ONE SINGLE AGE. Neither is true. Aionios is the adjective of the noun aion, and as such it must mean "that which pertains to ages." It could be one or many ages, just as the adjective "hourly" pertains to hours. It could be pertaining to only one, but it could also be pertaining to very many hours. But it must pertain to hours, and not weeks, months, or centuries!

We know that spiritual things prove out to last longer. Furthermore, this meaning makes no sense in the context which Paul is establishing which is a permanence of spiritual things over the temporary nature of the material world.

Comment: No, Paul is not speaking of spiritual things over the material world. Notice the previous verse:

"Four our light affliction, which is but for a moment [this is temporary, and this is what Paul tells us we are NOW OBSERVING], works for us a far more exceeding and AIONIOS weight of glory."

Paul is contrasting the [1] ‘light affliction’ with [2] and ‘exceeding weight of glory.’ This cannot be denied, for I have just merely numbered the two contrasting points he is making. Now then, we know that the ‘light affliction’ is as he says ‘momentary’—it is SEEN, it is NOW, and it is TEMPORARY. But, he tells us that this NOW SEEN TEMPORARY affliction will bring us an EXCEEDING WEIGHT OF GLORY. WHEN? Why IN THE RESURRECTION, of course, the first resurrection, when we will be GLORIFIED WITH CHRIST and… and what? Why we are to be "kings and priests" with our Lord. When? All through ETERNITY? NO, during the "oncoming ages." These verses are speaking of the trials we now see and are enduring for a temporary moment, contrasted with the glory that will be ours IN THE KINGDOM OF GOD on this earth ruling and reign with Christ THROUGH THE AGES, not for eternity. Not even Christ rules as "King" for eternity.

Therefore the Greek word "aionios" must mean eternal or everlasting.

Comment: Nonsense, it means eonians—pertaining to the oncoming AGES. Our glorious reign with Christ on the earth over the nations is for the AGES, not for eternity. The reign of Christ COMES TO AND END, just as aionios comes to an end (I Cor 15:25-26).

[Ro 16:26]:

"But now is made manifest, and by the Scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of

the....everlasting..........God,

tou ...aioniou ...............Theou

the ...everlasting ..........God

made known to all nations for the obedience of faith."

An adjective, when used to modify a noun, must agree with its noun in gender, number and case in the Greek. Is the above word aioniou an adjective which then describes God?

Answer: YES and it does agree in gender, number and case! =

tou .............aion- iou .........The - ou

def article..stem .ending....stem .ending

article .......adjective .........noun

masculine .singular ...........genitive

If this verse was supposed to say "...according to the commandment of the God of the ages." then the Greek transliteration would have to look like this: "ton Theou ton aion" but it does not.

Comment: Nice try, Walter, but try that on a Junior High Debate Team. Aionios is the adjective form of the noun aion, is it not? Yes, of course it is, you know it is. And even Dr. Strong concedes that the definition of aion is AGE. Therefore the adjective aionios pertains to that which is of an age or ages. Why are you then trying to cleverly suggest that the ONLY way that this verse could "pertain to the ages" would be to CHANGE AN ADJECTIVE INTO A NOUN AND THEN CHANGE THE SENTENCE STRUCTURE TO "God of the AGES," rather than leaving it as is and translate it correctly "tou…aion-iou…Theou"—"The EONIAN God?" One does NOT have to change the phrase "hourly schedule" into "schedule of hours" in order for it to make the same sense!

You falsely try to make it sound as if "God of the ages" cannot be translated correctly as "the eonian God." That is both nonsense and deceitful. You see, there are TWO ways to say the same thing—one with a noun and the other with an adjective. Furthermore, Walter, since when does a noun in ANY LANGUAGE take on a much GREATER AND DIFFERENT meaning when it is turned into an adjective? NO ADJECTIVE can take on a greater or different means from the noun from which it is derived. Talk about "adding TO the word of God." You take a word olam/aion which means a period of time as short as a man’s lifetime (Deut. 15:17), and you try to turn it into ETERNITY!!

It is both foolish and unscriptural to insist that any "adjective" applied to God, such as "aionios/eonian," must be of an "eternal" nature, or it cannot be applied to an "eternal God." Here is your whole unscriptural argument: Since aionios/eonian pertains to ages or eons which have a BEGINNING and have an ENDING, it absolutely according to your theories of grammar and your theories of interpretation, can NEVER be applied to God, unless we change the etymology, meaning, and Scriptural usage of this word to a totally DIFFERENT WORD, "eternal."

Therefore, according to you, God can be "the God OF the eons," but He absolutely cannot be "the eonian God." Did I say all that correctly?

With that said, do we find God getting "jealous" anywhere in the Scriptures? Yes, many places. Is God ever called "the God of jealousy" used as a noun? NO. No we don’t. Nowhere. Not once. But do we find the term "a JEALOUS God" used as an adjective? YES, many times. One example: "…for I the LORD thy God am a JEALOUS GOD…." (Ex. 20:5).

Now unless you are able to turn this adjective word "jealous" into something that is "ETERNAL," I suggest that we have once more, Scripturally contradicted your theory. By God’s own definition of this word, it means: "God is JEALOUS, and the Lord revengeth; the Lord revengeth, and is FURIOUS; the Lord will take VENGEANCE on His adversaries, and He reserves WRATH for His enemies" (Nahum 1:2). "…for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, VISITING INIQUITY of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate Me" (Deut. 5:9). "For the Lord thy God is a JEALOUS God among you lest the ANGER of the Lord thy God be kindled against thee, and DESTROY thee from off the face of the earth" (Deut. 6:15).

So "jealous" means to God: "FURY," "VENGEANCE," "WRATH," "VISITING INIQUITY," "ANGER," "DESTRUCTION." Etc. Must we believe that all of these attributes of jealousy must be ETERNAL since God is "a jealous God?" Say, did you catch that "unto the third and fourth generation" thing in Deut. 5:9. I wouldn’t call four generations an "eternity," would you? Do you really believe that God in heaven will be, furious, vengeful, wrathful, FOR ALL ETERNITY? And God is called "the HAPPY God?" Can you not see how unscriptural, and stupid theories are?

Adjectives may be used in three distinct ways in Greek: attributively, predicatively and substantively. The attributive use of the adjective is that use in which the adjective attributes a quality to the noun modified. In the attributive construction there are two possible positions of the adjective in relation to the noun:

either before the noun as in the passage on the previous page:

tou aioniou Theou

or

after the noun which would then look like this:

tou Theou tou aioniou

Note that the adjective aioniou is immediately preceded by the definite article tou in this second possibility of the attributive case.

In the attributive case therefore the adjective aioniou strongly modifies Theou in whichever position the adjective is placed. Since God is an eternal God the adjective aioniou must be translated eternal or everlasting in the above two examples.

Comment: Balderdash. That is nonsense. That has no basis in fact or Scripture. We know that Satan is the "god of this age [aion]" (II Cor. 4:4). But he is nowhere called the "god of the ages," all of the ages, in the plural. Well, if Satan is not the God of the "ages," then Who is? Why, GOD, of course. God created the ages [aions] (Heb. 1:2), and He is working out His plan of the ages, therefore God is "the aionios/eonian GOD." This is not difficult.

The second case for adjectives is the predicative case. The above phrase in the predicative case would look like -

1) this: "tou Theou aioniou"

(Notice: no definite article before "aioniou".

This indicates the predicative case)

2) or this:"aioniou tou Theou"

The third and final case for adjectives is the substantive case in which the adjective itself is used as the noun in order to be the subject of the sentence. The Greek word for God, Theou, is the noun and the subject in this passage in Ro 16:26. Since there already is a subject in the passage, then there is no need for an adjective to act as a noun. Therefore in this particular passage in Romans 16:26 the Greek word aioniou is in the attributive case and it therefore modifies the Greek word for God: Theou and must be translated everlasting or eternal God and not 'God of the ages' or an 'agelasting',

Comment: Defining "aionios" as "agelasting" is not correct. The adjective "aionios" does not mean "age lasting," thereby erroneously suggesting that such verses if translated "eonian God" would be in fact saying that God Himself will only last or live FOR ONE AGE. That is nonsense, that is not honest scholarship. Aionios means to "belong TO the ages," NOT, "agelasting" or "during an age." Aionios can be used in reference to multiple ages, as we will conclusively prove.

(not eternal), god because the grammar and the context just does not support those interpretations. An 'agelasting' god makes no sense in this passage.

Comment: Certainly this verse is not speaking of an "agelasting god." But "aioniou Theou" should not be translated "agelasting God" but "eonian God." God is NOT an "agelasting god" but rather "THE God of the ages." If you could but get it through your head that a Greek "aion" is an English "eon," and a Greek "aionios" is an English "eonian." Your charade in trying to imply that since the noun "age" has no adjective form, that we must then change the Greek adjective into a noun in order for this verse to be correct, will not fool anyone with a lick of sense.

We all know that the word "age" has no adjective form, and that’s why it is more accurate to translate "aionios" as "eonian" rather than to invent words like "age-lasting" or age-during," or "age-abiding," etc. Eon IS the English spelling of the Greek aion, and eonian IS the English spelling of the Greek aionios. Eon is the exact English equivalent of the Greek aion, and eonian is the exact English equivalent of the Greek aionios. And so all of your grammatical gyrations are of no value whatsoever.

OTHER EXAMPLES SUBJECT ADJECTIVE DEFINITE ARTICLE

[1 Tim 1:17 - predicative case]:

"Now to the King of the ages "

...tps ..de Basilei ...ton ...aionon "

Comment: Interesting that you should correct this King James translation of I Tim. 1:17. But a shame that you didn’t finish and correct the whole verse. So you admit that "tps…de Basilei…ton…aionon" should be translated "Now the King of THE AGES." What then with the rest of the verse? Here is the last of I Tim. 1:17 from an interlinear:

"…honor and glory for the ages of the ages; so be it."

Are you going to argue that aionon [ages/eons] in the plural in the first half of this verse should be "of the ages" but in the last half of the same verse that aionon of the aionon [eons of the eons] should NOT be translates eons or ages, but rather "for EVER AND EVER?"—and never mind the fact that "aionon ton aionon" is genitive.

[2 Cor 13:11 - predicative case]:

"the God ....of .Love."

"ton Theou tes agapes "

[not in the Bible - predicative case]:

The god ...of the ages

tou .theou tou ....aioniou

[Ro 16:26 - the attributive case]:

The everlasting God

tou .aioniou ......Theou

Comment: This is all very interesting, Walter, but what exactly does it PROVE regarding the translating of "tou aionios Theou" as "the eonian God?" Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Absolutely nothing you have said is proof that "tou aionios Theou" cannot or should not both Scripturally and grammatically be translated as "the eonian God."

If the New World Translation of the Bible and the Concordant Bible translations, (Jehovah's Witnesses), are correct in their insistence upon aioniou having one meaning and one meaning only in Scripture no matter what the grammar or context; and that meaning is 'eonian', meaning 'for an age', 'for an eon'. And that's it, no other meaning.....................

Comment: Walter, you got your facts concerning the Jehovah’s Witnesses and The Concordant people all mixed up. First of all, the Concordant Literal New Testament is not associated with the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Second, the New World Translation (which is the Jehovah’s Witlnesses’ Bible) DOES translate "aioniou" ( albeit erroneously) as "everlasting—"…in accord with the commandment of the EVERLASTING God…." (Rom. 16:25, New World Translation). "And these will depart into EVERLASTING cutting-off, but the righteous ones into EVERLASTING life" (Matt. 25:46, New World Translation of Jehovah’s Witnesses).

[Mt 25:46]:

"kolasin aionio " =

They falsey claim this to be punishment 'eonian' = for an eon, age. Punishment not eternal but limited to an age.

Comment: This statement has many problems. You say, "They," but we must now exclude the JW’s as they follow the error of the KJV with reference to "aionio." And as for the word "kolasin," you make a mistake here as well. Actually the New World Translation translated this word correctly, but the word is not "punishment." The Greek word "kolasin" comes from "kolazo" and it means to "cut off" or to "prune." Since the New World Translation knew to properly translate this word "cutting off," it is remarkable that they still erred and translated "aionio" as everlasting, hence: "everlasting cutting-off." Pruning is administered to INCREASE LIFE AND PRODUCTION. They should have seen by this alone that this "pruning" could not be "everlasting.

The word "kolasin" is better translated "chastening" which agrees with pruning or cutting off. And "aionio" mean "eonian"—pertaining to the aions, hence "chastening eonian" is the proper translation. And "life eonian" is also proper. Hence both times "aionio" is eonian and not eternal. The life that is promised to the elect who overcome is life for the eons—"eonian life." They are promised rulership with Jesus on this earth over the nations, Rev. 2:26. They are NOT promised rulership over the nations for all eternity, as not even Christ Himself rules over the nations eternally:

"Then comes the END, when He shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father, when He shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For he must reign, TILL [and no longer] He has put all enemies under His feet. The LAST enemy that shall be destroyed [abolished] is death" (I Cor. 15:24-26).

The proper translation "punishment" is used but one time only with reference to sinners, and that is in Heb. 10:29, and nowhere else in the entire New Testament!

[2 Thes 1:8]: "olEthron aiOnion" destruction ‘eonian’ is falsely claimed to be for an eon, age. Destruction not eternal but limited to an age.

Comment: What? Not even an argument for "eternal" in this verse? Are we simply to take your word for it? The word is "aionion" and it means "eonian" not eternal. Actually a proper translation of this phrase is, "the justice of eonian extermination." Now lest anyone think that some "exterminated" is beyond the redemption of the cross, consider that this very same Greek word "olehtros" is found in I Cor. 5:5 where we read this:

"To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction [extermination] of the flesh, that the spirit MAY BE SAVED in the day of the Lord Jesus."

Yes, to the utter chagrin of many a holier-than-thou Christian theologian, there will be MANY SAVED in the Day of the Lord Jesus!

[Mt 25:26]:

"Zoen aionio "

Life 'eonian' = if false claimed to be for an eon, age.

Life not eternal but limited to an age.

Comment: Once more you are making statements that are not grammatically true. When there are no words of limitation present, "aionios" is NOT limited to "an [one] age," as you keep repeating. Aionios can be used as either singular or plural, but the word itself carries no connation whatsoever about what might or might not happen at its conclusion or consummation. The Elect will reign and JUDGE the nations not only through the millennium, but also for the whole period of the Great White Throne/Lake of fire/Second death judgment.

And AFTER the consummation of the ages, the elect saints continue to live, not because they were promised "eternal" life, but because they have been resurrected from the dead or changed at our Lord’s coming, hence they are all given IMMORTALITY! Which means that they will NEVER EVER die, even though they have never been promised "eternal" life by such a name or term.

So if all of the above false claims were true, then the following must be considered true and God is merely mortal not eternal, he is just a god with a limited finite existence:

Comment: This again is nonsense, Walter. The Scriptural fact that God is an "aionios [eonian] God" in no way suggests that God lives only for the period covered by the word "aionios." That is unjustifiable speculation based on false deductions from a false premise. This reasoning is so silly that it hardly deserves comment.

In Gen. 24:3 we read that God is the "God of the earth." Now the earth is visible; is God therefore visible? No. The earth is physical; is God therefore physical? No. The earth will pass away (Matt. 24:35); does this mean that God too will "pass away," since He is the "God" of this "visible, material, passing away" earth? NO. Pretty silly huh?

[Ro 16:26]:

"aionio theou"

'eonian' god.

God therefore must simply be a god who is not eternal and limited to an 'eonian' - an eon, an age.

Comment: I will say it just one more time: Where under heaven do you get the idea that since God is an "eonian God" that His very LIFE is LIMITED to the period of an age or two? This is a straw man argument that has no basis in fact.

However, the God of the Bible has no beginning and has no end. The god of the New World Translation and the Concordant 'Bibles' is therefore not the same as the God of the Bible.

Comment: Maybe you too, would do well, to start using the word "Scriptures" when you want to make reference to the words God’s Spirit preserved for us, rather than the word "bible."

"For perhaps He [Jesus Christ] therefore departed for a season, that thou shouldst receive Him forever."

..........................................."aionion"

The word "aionion" must mean forever here in order for the verse to make any sense. Would Jesus depart for a season - for a while - so that we will then be enabled to receive Him for a while? Then what? Do we unreceive Him?

Comment: I won’t be too hard on you for this one, Walter, for I believe it to be just a sincere mistake on your part. The Scripture you are quoting is from Philemon 15, but it does not have reference to Jesus Christ, but rather to Philemon, the runaway servant of Onesimus. Paul is behooving Onesimus to take back his servant, Philemon, as a brother and not as a slave. However, since you brought up this Scripture, let’s look at just how silly your argument is regarding it.

You believe that the phrase "…receive him for EVER" is the only correct translation of this verse, and that it would be wrong to translate it "receive him for an age [or eon]." Consider: If your interpretation is correct, then what Paul is advocating in this verse is "ETERNAL SLAVERY." That Onesimus should take back Philemon as a SLAVE FOR ALL ETERNITY. Kind of silly, huh? You shot yourself in your theological foot again, Walter.

[Heb 9:12]:

"Nor by the blood of goats and calves, but by His own blood, entered once for all into the holies, having obtained eternal.....redemption for us."

........................................................................"aionian"

Would God redeem us for just a few ages? (Then what?)

"aionian" here must mean "eternal" to make sense because Christ entered, (sacrificed Himself), once for all and for all time! Why would His sacrifice be for anything less than for eternity - all time? Is He not God?

Comment: Let me try this one more time. God created the eons of time, therefore, He is "the eonian God." God is working out His plan of salvation for the entire human race within the confines of these "eonian times." The Scriptures know nothing of "eternity." They didn’t even have a word for the concept. Redemption is only one of many things that God will accomplish in the eons. There are no promises, no prophecies, no anything, mentioned in Scripture that goes beyond the conclusion of the eons. After the eons are over, then what? What will we do? IT DOESN’T SAY. We know of only two things that are taught in reference to anything beyond the eons [1] we will all have IMMORTALITY [we will never die]. The word itself has nothing to do with "time," but rather ‘death-less-ness, and [2] God will be ALL IN ALL. That’s it! Beyond these, we must trust God in faith regarding what eternity holds for us.

Now for one of the most important truths of all regarding this word "aionios." When God says that He is "the EONIAN God," He is stating a FACT. That Jesus procured "EONIAN redemption" for us, is a statement of FACT. Neither "eonian God" nor "eonian redemption" are statements of LIMITATION. And to suggest that they are statements of limitation is to pervert the Scriptures—they neither say nor insinuate any such thing.

This principle of stating a FACT, which is not a statement of LIMITATION is found throughout the Scriptures. God is for example: "The God OF Abraham, OF Isaac, and OF Jacob"(Ex. 3:6). This is a statement of FACT. It is not a statement of LIMITATION. This statement of fact does not limit God from also being the God of Moses, David, Peter and Paul.

If the statement said that God is the "God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob ONLY," then it would be a statement of limitation, but we don’t find any such words of limitation in the verses in question. It doesn’t say that God is the "eonian God, ONLY," or that Jesus procured "eonian redemption ONLY" for us. Does it? Well, DOES IT? Why then do you deceitfully suggest that that is what IT MUST AND HAS TO MEAN?

And so this verse doesn’t say that Jesus procured for us eonian ONLY redemption, nor does it mean such a thing. But it does say that Jesus procured "EONIAN redemption for us," that that is a statement of fact, and that fact is Scripturally true. God’s elect will receiving "redemption" during the remaining eons of time. Nowhere does it say that at the end of the eons we will then LOSE our redemption. These are but unscriptural carnal arguments used to discredit God’s word and promote the pagan doctrine of eternal torture.

[Compare 1 Ti 6:16]:

"Who [God] only hath immortality dwelling in the

....................................."athanasia"

light which no man can approach unto; Whom no man hath seen, nor can see; to Whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.

..................................................................."aionio "

In order for this passage to make sense and be admissible as the word of God the words "athanasia", and "aionio " must not contradict one another in this passage so as to provide a nonsensical or no meaning.

Comment: For once, I can agree with your statement.

"Athanasia" is translated even by the New World translators and the Concordant Bible translators as "immortality".

Comment: That too is correct. Virtually all bibles on earth translate it "immortality."

Therefore the word "aionio " must be translated "everlasting" in order to make any sense.

Comment: What? WHAT? Just were under heaven did that bit of unscriptural nonsense come from? Because "athanasia" is correctly translated as "immortality," "aionio" MUST BE TRANSLATED "everlasting?" Give me a break. True, they must not contradict (seeing that the Scriptures properly translated do NOT contradict), but translating "athanasia" as "immortality," and "aionio" as "eonian" DOES NOT CONTRADICT ANYTHING except your unscriptural theories.

If only God has, as a part of His essence, immortality, then how could the word "aionio " mean just for an age:

Comment: Will you kindly drop the unscriptural assertion of "JUST" and "AN" age. These limitations are no part of the word or any part of the verses. There are no words of limitation in any of these verses, which refer to God as the "eonian God."

"Who God only hath immortality.........to Whom be ......honour and power for an age - or for everlasting???"

Comment: I just explained all this in the paragraphs above. You are the one inserting the word "JUST for an age." "Aionios" has no such connotation as "JUST for an age." Dr. R. F. Weymouth correctly states the following: "Etymologically this adjective [aionios], like others similarly formed, does not signify ‘during,’ but ‘belong to’ the aeons or ages." Likewise, Dr. Farrar concers stating that "aionios belonging TO, not lasting THROUGH."

Once more you are trying to interject limitations on a simple statement of fact. The IMMORTAL GOD is going to show forth "honour and power eonian." Don’t try to suggest that God is belittled if this word is translated properly and Scripturally. What you are doing is wrong. Statements of facts are not statements of limitations unless there are only words within the verse that set limitations—words like, "just" and "only."

The reign of Jesus is for the "eons of the eons." First it behooves us to know that this phrase means. They are specific eons of time. This phrase does not heap eons upon eons for all eternity, hence "everlasting eons" or any other such unscriptural nonsense. But the point to be made is, what happens when the consummation of all the ages [I Cor 10:11] arrives? Let’s ask the Scriptures:

"Then comes the END [the ‘end’ of WHAT? The end of life? The end of Christ? NO], when He [Jesus] shall have delivered up the kingdom of God, even the Father; when He shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. [His reigning has fully and completely accomplished its purpose. THEN what?] For He [Jesus] must reign, TILL [Webster’s ‘till, until, up to the time…’] He has put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death" (I Cor. 15:25-26).

If God is immortal then His honour and power is likewise immortal - everlasting.

Comment: "Immortal honour" is a bit of a stretch, Walter, seeing that inanimate things don’t really have life of their own. As already shown, "immortality" and "everlasting" are two different words with two different meanings. They are not synonymous. And the "God Who has immorality" being honoured for the "eons" is not a contradiction, but rather a confirmation of dozens of other Scriptures.

[Jn 3:15-16]:

"That whosoever believeth in Him [Jesus Christ] ..............should not perish but have eternal life."

me apoletai..........................Zoen aionion."

(lit.)"not should perish"......(lit.) life eternal"

The phrase should not perish would make no sense if "aionion" only meant for an age: "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have life 'eonian' - for an age?????

So God so loved the world that He went through the agony of giving up His one and only Son so that whosoever believes in Him..... He'll only let you live for just an age??? And then what - annihilation??? What kind of god is that? Certainly not the God of the Bible.

Comment: No, what kind of silly unscriptural argument "is that?" It is almost blasphemy to take a grand and marvelous reward, of God’s, and turn it into something stupid and worthless. NO, God WILL NOT ANNIHILATE His very elect after the "eons"—plural. The eonian life of rulership and reigning with our Lord is a MOST SPECIAL AND PRECIOUS GIFT afforded the very elect overcomers ONLY. It is a glorious reward that lasts for THOUSANDS of years before the rest of humanity and the whole heavenly host of messengers are judged and enter the Family of God. Don’t demean it!

[Compare 1 Cor 15:53]:

"For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on "immortality"

............."athanasia"

If the body of a believer becomes immortal according to the first phrase, i.e. eternal, then in the following phrase the word "aionion" which describes the same subject - the believer in Christ - must also mean eternal.

Comment: Walter, your statements are nonsense. That statement is not based on any Scriptural principal. It is not based on any law of language or grammar. It is a carnal human argument of the flesh. The chosen elect saints CAN TOO rule and reign with Christ for thousands of years (eons/ages) as a special reward from God. Why can’t they? They are given immortality SO THAT THEY CAN live and not die during the thousands of years with Christ. They, along with Christ, bring about the consummation of the ages when ALL ENEMIES are subjected and death itself is abolished. You know NOTHING of this grand and glorious plan of God.

So why then, since they are given this ‘eonian" period of rulership with Christ, do you insist that their life must END when the eons end? Your argument is absurd. Suppose I have a small company and I decide to give all my employees a month’s vacation in Europe, all expenses paid. Now suppose in addition to this vacation for ALL employees, I express a desire to send my top five sales people to Europe a month earlier to enjoy a prior month’s vacation as a SPECIAL REWARD, BEFORE the vacation for all begins. Am I not at liberty to do this?

Now then, when the special reward, a prior month’s vacation for the special group of high producers only, comes to an end, what happens? Do they have to go home? No. Do I fire them? No. Do they DIE? No. Well, what then? Simple. The REST of the employees JOIN them and they ALL CONTINUE VACATIONING. So even though their special reward vacation comes to an end, their place of honor does not; their vacation does not, their employment does not; their lives do not. This is not rocket science.

Now if our benevolent employer had the power he might even bestow immortality on them all, but this is getting beyond the limits of our analogy.

[Compare 2 Cor 5:1]:

"For we know that if our [believers'] earthly house [physical bodies] of this tabernacle were dissolved [destroyed] we have a building of God, an house not made with hands [not made so that it won't last] [but] .eternal in the heavens."

aionion

If the body of a believer becomes immortal, (1 Cor 15:53), then it becomes eternal ("aionion", 2 Cor 5:1).

Therefore "aionion" = "eternal.

Comment: I already covered this a couple of times now. We are looking forward to an "eonian" habitation OUT of heaven, on this earth, with Christ, for the eonian periods of time. This is again the statement of fact, without limitations. An "immortal" body for all practicality is also "eternal." There is no argument here over that. An immortal body is DEATHLESS, and as such will live forever, eternally. But it will not live "eternally on this earth reigning with Christ." THAT reward is "eonian" and it then comes to an END. Our lives don’t come to an end, but the period of reigning on the earth and judging the nations DOES COME TO AN END. Listen carefully: "Eonian times, eonian rulership, eonian rewards, eonian judgment" ALL END. However, those elect saints GIVEN eonian rulership and judgment with Christ DO NOT DIE OR DO NOT CEASE TO EXIST BECAUSE THEY HAVE IMMORTALITY, not because they are promised "eternal" life ANYWHERE in Scripture.

I have no problem with the fact that "immortality" is practically "eternal." That is, those with immortality live eternally. But that is NOT what the words themselves mean. Eternal does not MEAN immortality anymore than immortality means eternal.

Let’s have a little common sense and wisdom regarding this matter. It is senseless to state that "God is eternal." The very fact OF God is proof in itself that God IS eternal. We do not speak of "wet rain," do we? We do not say: "It’s raining WET rain." The very fact OF rain assumes that it is WET. The writers of Scripture had NO WORD in their vocabulary which could be defined as "endless time." But they DID have a word that signified "no death." Immortality means DEATH=LESS=NESS, not eternal or eternity.

[Compare Heb 9:14]:

"How much more shall the blood of Christ, Who through the

eternal Spirit .............offered Himself without spot to God."

aionion pneumatos

The context here demands "aionion" = "eternal". There would be absolutely no reason to translate "Pneumatos aionion" to mean 'Spirit of the age.'

Grammar indicates that aionion is an adjective which modifies "Pneumatos". There is no genitive case and/or no preposition 'of' included in the grammar, so that "aionion" could be translated 'of the age' in the above verse. Since "aionion" also carries NO definite article in this passage nor satisfies grammatical rules which would then make it a noun, it therefore cannot be translated 'the age' or 'the ages'.

Comment: You are attempting to build a grammatical straw man. We don’t HAVE to change the adjective "aionion" into the noun "aion." We simply translate the adjective "aionion" (which means that which pertains to the aions) into the English adjective "eonian" (which means that which pertains to the eons), and ALL IS WELL!

Since God the Holy Spirit is not limited to just one age in His existence, the word "aionion" must be translated eternal because God is eternal and not temporal or temporary. Note that this is legitimate because the word "aionion" has a legitimate and most common usage and translation of "eternal" from ancient times when the Bible was written.

Comment: That statement is not true. In ancient times "when the Bible was written," the word "aionion" decidedly WAS NOT COMMONLY USED OR TRANSLATED AS "ETERNAL." Show me the historical proof of that statement. Don’t you think that if God wanted His word to contain a statement about "eternal" or "eternity" that He would have seen to it that one of the languages used, WOULD ACTUALLY HAVE SUCH A WORD? They did NOT.

In other words, if the word "aionios" has always been used to mean 'eternal' by the people that used the language when the Bible was written

Comment: Yes, "IF" indeed. Let me assure you that "aionios" did not mean "eternal" by the people that "used the language when the Bible was written." If that were true, there would have been no reason whatsoever for Justinian to call a council in 540 wherein he labored to add the word "endless" to the Greek "aionios" life. He knew and conceded that "aionios" was not endless, and so insisted in the Church inserting the word "endless" before it to signify "endless life" and "endless punishment."

on up to even today, then it is legitimate to conclude that that is the correct meaning when found in Scripture providing it does not violate the context which it certainly does not.

Comment: The word "eternal" comes from the Latin "aeternum" which in the first century meant virtually the same as the word "seculum," and in fact, Jerome sometimes rendered "aion" aeternus, and in other places he renders "aion" as seculum. They were considered virtually synonyms. Here is the how Latin dictionaries define, seculum—"a generation, an age, the world, the times, the SPIRIT OF THE TIMES, and a period of a hundred years." (Caps mine).

Trajan, Roman emperor from 98 to 117 AD spoke of seculum as the time he lived in. Tertullian, born about 160 AD refers to "a mighty shock impending over the entire world, and the conclusion of the seculum itself." Lactantius, born about 260 AD speaks of the "learned ones of this seculum." Eusebius, early Church historian, born about 265 AD gives the account of a martyrs’ trail in which Speratus, the martyrs’ leader, replied, "The empire of this seculum [world] I do not recognize."

We read this from the work, Whence Eternity by Scholar and Expert in the Greek language, Alexander Thomson, "Long ago in Rome, periodic games were held, which were called ‘secular’ games. Herodian, the historian, writing in Greek about the end of the second or beginning of the third century, call these ‘eonian’ games. In no sense were the games eternal. Eonian did not mean eternal any more than a seculum meant eternity" (Page 12).

[Lk 1:33]:

"And He shall reign over the House of Jacob

forever......

eis tous aiOnas

(lit.) into the ages = idiomatic expression = "forever"

Comment: Jesus doesn’t reign over ANYONE "forever." That is not a translation, but an interpretation. If Jesus reigns "forever," then Paul lied in I Cor. 15:25 where he tells us that Jesus rules ONLY UNTIL He puts down all enemies. He then TURNS OVER THE KINGDOME TO HIS GOD AND FATHER. He STOPS reigning. His "eternal" reign COMES TO AN END, because His reign is "aionion" and not "eternal."

....and of His Kingdom there shall be no end."

.................................................ouk estai telos"

........................................(lit.) not shall be [an] end"

In order to make sense in this passage the word "aiOnas" must again be translated to the most common usage of "forever" or for eternity" in order to coincide with the parallel phrase which immediately follows which states "there shall be no end". It makes no sense to insist that "aiOnas" is always limited to the translation - usage - of 'of the ages':

'And He shall reign over the House of Jacob for ages and of His kingdom there shall be no end???

Either our Lord's kingdom is for ages or it is forever.

Comment: You got that right, but which is it? It is obviously "for the ages," seeing that the Scriptures clearly state that his reign lasts ONLY U-N-T-I-L He turns it over to His Father. Only UNTIL all enemies are subdued. Oh yes, all that is "OF the kingdom" continues, but Jesus as King of the kingdom ends. Jesus reigns "for the eons OF the eons," not "for ever AND ever."

[Compare 2 Pet 1:11]:

"For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom."

aionion

"Aionion" is an adjective here! It modifies kingdom. So if the kingdom of Jesus Christ shall have no end, (Lk 1:33), then it must be everlasting.

"aionion" = "everlasting"

Comment: No, the kingdom does continue; it is endless. However, Jesus as "King" of this kingdom, is "eonian" and NOT ENDLESS, as we have clearly seen from I Cor. 15:24-25.

If "ton aionios Theos" means "God of the Ages" , (and it does not), then the word "aionios" must be a noun.

Comment: Your persistent use of a straw man argument is wearing thin. I know of no one who is insisting that "ton ionios Theos" has to be translated as "God of the ages," if it doesn’t mean eternal. That is a straw man argument designed to deceive. "Ton ionios Theos" is translated "the eonian God," and that is what it means and that is how the Scriptures use it, and it contradicts nothing except your unscriptural theories.

It is not! The word "aionios" is an adjective, the word "aion" which is not in the above passages is a noun. Examples of the Biblical use of the noun are as follows:

[Eph 2:6-7]:

(v. 6) "And God raised us up with the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus,

(v. 7) "in order that in the coming ages He might show the incomparable riches of His grace, expressed in His kindness to us in Christ Jesus."

"in the coming ages" =

"en tois aiosin tois eperchomeois"

"in the ages that [are] coming"

"aiosin" = ages

Comment: And is this supposed to somehow magically prove that "aionios" does not mean "eonian," and cannot be translated, eonian? I think not. I think you have exhausted your silly straw man theory.

You stated early: Therefore the Hebrew word olam in the Hebrew Bible, and the Greek word "aionios" in the Septuagint are indeed translated "forevermore," correctly.

Comment: Some argue that "eon" in the singular means "age," but in the plural it means "forever" or "eternal." Let’s see how the Greek Septuagint uses both the singular and plural forms in these two verses"

Singular: Micah 4:5—"ets ton aiona kai epekeina….for the eon and BEYOND." Well that can’t possibly mean forever for eternal, as there can be nothing "beyond" eternity.

Plural: Dan. 12:3, "eis tous aionas kai eti….for the eons and LONGER." Once again, there can be nothing "longer" than eternity Besides, how is it possible to have a plurality of "eternities?"

Here are just a few scriptures in which "aionios" cannot possibly mean ETERNAL:

1. Rom. 16:25—"…according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world [Gk: aionios] began." You have attempted time and again to set up a straw man by insisting that if "aionios" is "eonian," then it must be changed to a noun and translated as "of the ages." Well check this bit of translating genius out. We have the ADJECTIVE word "aionios" and the KJV translators changed it to a NOUN, "world."

Well guess what? The word "world" (kosmos) is not found in this verse, furthermore, neither is the word "began." The Greek reads: "…in times eonian." Do we really believe in "times eternal." What does "time," let along "timeS" have to do with "eternity?" And as Paul speaks of the "revelation" of this secret, how could it EVER be revealed if it was kept secret ‘ETERNALLY?’ Do you not see a problem—a CONTRADICTION in all of this?

2. II Thes. 2:16—"…and has given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace." "Console" is defined as, "To allay sorrow or grief of." "Hope" is defined as, "To wish for something with expectations of its fulfillment." Now then, according to this inane KJV translation of this verse, just how long are we going to have our "SORROW AND GRIEF ALLAYED?" How long must we "HOPE" before we have our hope fulfilled? For ALL ETERNITY? Nonsense.

3. II Tim. 1:9—"…according to His own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began." The word "world" is not found in the Greek manuscripts, the word "began" is not found in the Greek manuscripts. Here is what the Greek says: "…before TIMES EONIAN." So where is the consistency with these translators? Could they not deceive the readers by translating this verse properly? If "aionios" means "eternal" or "evermore" then HOW, pray tell, can there be "TIMES" "BEFORF" "ETERNITY?" Give me a break. This is not translating; this is out and out planned deception! They change an adjective into a noun, then change the noun to a different word, then completely leave out the word "times." This total lack of scholarship and honesty is reprehensible!

4. Jude 7—"Even as Sodom and Gomorha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire." The Greek reads: "…experiencing the justice of fire eonian." Well just how long does this "eonian/aionios fire last? Is it really "eternal" as the Authorized Version and you, contend?

A.      There is NO FIRE burning in Palestine since the days of Sodom anywhere, let along in the vicinity of these ancient cities. The best archaeologists can discern, Sodom is located at the bottom of what is now a sea.

B.      Ezekiel 16:55—"When your sisters, SODOM and her daughters, shall RETURN TO THEIR FORMER ESTATE, and Samaria and her daughters shall return to their former estate, then you [Jerusalem] shall return to your former estate."

The judgment of God against Sodom was decidedly not, ETERNAL. Here is clear Scriptural evidence and proof that "olam/aion/aionios," etc., DO NOT MEAN ETERNAL OR ENDLESS TIME. Give it up, Walter. The doctrine of "eternal torture" is the most evil doctrine, teaching, or concept ever invented in the history of the universe. It is the MOST blasphemous thing that could ever be attributed our Lord and Father. Give it up!

Ray