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Author Topic: Aions  (Read 2476 times)

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Craig

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Aions
« on: May 01, 2006, 12:40:11 PM »

Ray,
     
    This is my second email to you that again I am confused by things that you have written.  On the topic of AION you stated that it does not take a rocket scientist or biblical scholar to know assuredly that the Greek word "aion"  cannot be translated "evers" or "eternities" and so on.  I did a little studying to check up on that and maybe I am misunderstanding you since I didn't find that always to be the case.
     
    OLAM is the Hebrew word that expresses the idea of eternity or endlessness when applied to the final order of things after the resurrection, even so aion and aionios are the two Greek words which were used in the Septuagint to translate olam.
     
    The word aion is found in the Septuagint 308 times.  Except for about 20 cases, where it is used to translate such words as ad, it is always used as the Greek equivalent of olam.
     
    Aionios is used 92 times in the Septuagint and is the equivalent of olam except in 6 cases.
     
    With both words, the various shades of meaning of olam are maintained by the translators of the Septuagint.  These words are used to speak of the endless quality of the final order of things (Daniel 12:1-3).
    (Sorry, I am getting to my point)
     
    There is an importance here to these words as pointed out in The Dictionary of New Testament Theology on pages 200,201:
    "These (words) contain nothing peculiar to the N.T. From the time of the LXX they formed part of the common usage of Hellenistic Judaism....Hence it may be seen that the usage of the N.T. is distinguished from that of the LXX only by an intensification of the tendency already displayed in the LXX to replace the simple formula by more complicated."
     
    In Girdlestone's Synonyms of the Old Testament on page 317:
     
    "These Greek phrases, therefore, when they appear in the N.T., must be interpreted in accordance with the usage of the word olam."
     
    McClintock and Strong state on page 314 in their encyclopedia:
    "The Greek term Aion remarkably corresponds to the Hebrew Olam in nearly all these sense, and is its usual rendering in the Sept."
     
    There is in later Jewish apocalyptic literature, that the contrast between the temporary present age and the endless or eternal age to come was greatly intensified.
     
    Enough babbling.
     
    I not sure if what I read by you is correct but appears that you deny that "endlessness," or "eternity," which is an essential part of the meaning of aion when it refers to the final order of things and that what you believe cannot stand up to close scrutiny.
     
    To say that aion only means that it pertains to the coming age is not enough.  Countless scholars will say that when aion refers to the final order, it means "pertaining to the endless age to come."
     
    In the New Testament the word aion in its various form is found 108 times in the Greek New Testament.  It is translated in the KJV as follows:
    World: 41 times
    Forever: 26 times
    Forever and ever: 23 times
    Never: 7 times
    For evermore: 3 times
    Ages: 2 times
    Eternal: 2 times
    Worlds: 2 times
    Without end: 1 time
    Course: 1 time
     
    The word aionios is found 70 times in the New Testament and is translated in the KJV as "eternal" 41 times, "everlasting" 25 times, "world" 3 times, "forever" 1 time.
     
    I think that it is abundantly clear that aion and aionios follow olam in having a wide range of meaning and not simply pertaining to an age.
     
    Arndt and Gingrich define aion as referring to eternity past which has no beginning. 2nd, a segment of time as in either a present or past age. 3rd, the world in a spatial sense, and 4th, the coming age which has no end or eternity future.  Thayer defines it as forever, eternity, 2nd, ancient times. 3rd, the world. 4th, this present order of things (usually viewed as evil).  5th, the final order of things.  The dictionary of New Testament Theology points out that "when it is directed to the on-going future, aion can take the meaning of eternity."  Jeremias in Kittel's Theological Dictionary of the New Testament states that "in respect of the duration of this sojourn (in the age to come), there can be no doubt that it was originally thought to be everlasting."  The lexicons define aionios as meaning basically the same as aion.
     
    My study of the different uses of aion and aionios have resulted in this:
     
    1st, in 1st Timothy 1:17 (aion) and Romans 16:26 (aionios) are used to speak of God's absolute eternity or would you deny that?
     
    Is not God eternal in the sense of being beginningless and endless (1st Timothy 1:17; Heb. 9:14).
     
    2nd,  both aion in John 9:32 and aionios in Titus 1:2 are used to encompass all of time since creation.  The "world" is thus viewed in a temporal sense as well in a spacial sense.
     
    3rd, both aion in Mt. 21:19; John 8:35 and aionios in Luke 16:9; Philemon 15 describe a long, indefinite period.
     
    4th, both aion in Col.1:26 and aionios in Romans 16:25 describe past ages or generations.
     
    5th, aion is used to speak of this present evil age or world system (Rom.12:2; Gal. 1:4; Eph. 2:2).
     
    6th, aion is used to describe the present order of things which will end when Christ returns (Mt. 12:32; 12:29, 40, 49; 24:3, and so on).
     
    7th, both aion (Mt.12:32; Lk. 18:30; Eph. 1:21; 2nd Timothy 4:10; Titus 2:2) and aionios (2nd Cor. 4:17, 18) are used in context where the present temporal order is contrasted to the final order in that the final order is endless in duration.
     
    8th, both aion and aionios are used to describe actions which begin in this present age and continue on into the eternal state without interruption or end.  These activities are endless in duration in the fullest sense of the word.
     
    Does not God receive endless glory and praise throughout this present age and continue on into the eternal state without interruption or end?  Both aion (1st Timothy 1:17; 2nd Peter 3:18) and aionios (1st Timothy 6:16) are used in this sense.
     
    Is not Christ's kingdom in Luke 1:17 said to be endless (aion) and resurrection life (Rev.1:18, aion) said to be "forever" or endless in duration?  That is certainly what "forever" means in the context of Luke 1:33 or do you deny that?  Christ and His kingdom is "forever" in the sense that it "shall have no end."
     
    Sorry for the length, I see that you are a carpenter if I remember correctly.  I know that is tiring work so I don't mean to drag this way out but as I can see in your posts that you are a lot like me that gives extensive definitions.  I'll try to shorten everything.
     
    I guess that I lack the ability "to know assuredly" from your standpoint on the Greek word aion.  The following verses are about God using the Greek word aion and clearly it doesn't mean an age but something that endures forever: 1st Timothy 1:17; 6:16; 1st Peter 1:23; Romans 1:23; 2nd Corinthians 9:9; Jude 1:25; Revelation 10:6; 22:5; Galations 1:5; Philippians 4:20 along with many more.
     
    I know that you deny final judgment so I want to end with this.  In Hebrews 6:2, the author of Hebrews refers to "eternal judgment" as one of the elementary teachings of Christianity.  The contrast that he makes is between a temporary verdict or sentence in which there is still hope of a reversal and an endless or permanent verdict which is irreversable.
     
    On the day of judgment, when a sinner receives the final divine verdict or sentence, it is an endless one.  There will be no second chance given.  The fires of Gehenna will not purge sinners of their evil and then cause a new verdict to be rendered.  The verdict is on the books for all eternity.  It is endlessly binding and in force.
     
    You see annihilationalists that fail to see "judgment" as a noun and end up making it a verb (a word of action).  The "judgment" in noun form means that an endlessly binding verdict is being described.  Also, the endlessness of this verdict is part of the superiority of the new covenant.
     
    I mention this because aion and aionios is tried to be argued that punishment of the eternal state will be endless in result and not in process.  They resort to this twisting in Hebrews 9:12 with the words "eternal redemption" by making that a verb and not a noun.  They attempt to connect the two to argue the same thing that the result is endless but not in process.  I don't know if that is what you believe but the their belief and yours are very similar.
     
    I end it with this question:  If what you believe is true then what will happen to me?  What will happen to those that I sought to win over with the gospel?  Now let's turn the question around: If what you believe is wrong then what will happen to you?  What will happen to those that you sought to convince of your teachings?  If you are right then I will merely receive a slap on the hand by God but if you are wrong then how many presently lulled to sleep by such a gospel will awake to torment day and night forever (Revelation 20:10, AION)?
     
    My reference to the "lulled asleep" is what I am finding to be true of those that I have been talking too and not necessarily you.  There is no concern to get the gospel out but these men are only bashing those that believe in an actual judgment for sinners that have no second chance or no hope (1st Thess. 4:13).  As we seek to witness to others they seek to jump in and knock us down and resort to slander.  If they are right then their endeavors will cause no harm but if they are wrong then they will have eternal consequences.
     
    Thank you and I await your response,
     
    Dave


Dear David:
As it would take me a week or more to explain all of your questions in detail, I will simply ask you to read my paper on: "Is EVERLASTING Scriptural" in which all of your questions are answered. I realize that you don't understand the subject, But if my explanation of this subject is not understandable to you, it will not help for me to explain it again. I get asked about this subject constantly, along with "free will."  People constantly write me emails showing me Scriptures which they believe prove that we do have free will. What they don't understand or believe is all the dozens and dozens of Scriptures which prove that it is not possible for us to have "free will."  You state that "olam" in the Hebrew Old Testament Scriptures means "eternity" or "endlessness."  NO IT DOESN'T. And your suggesting that it does, does NOT make it so. If everyone reading my papers could easily and instantly see that the world of theology has utterly perverted and distored and twi sted and blasphemed the word of God, then there would be no more deception. This is not God's intention.  These deceptions are clever, and that is why the whole world believes these deceptions.
God be with you,
Ray
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