The Evangelical Universalist Forum

Aionios in 2Tim 1:9, Titus 1:2 and Rom 16:25


“I had to wait in the queue for ages.” Or “I had to wait in the queue for lasting times.”

Yes, I think your idea makes sense. In that case, there would certainly be a “before lasting times.” Or today we might refer to “lasting times” as “a long time” although “before a long time” doesn’t seem to fit present English usage—perhaps “before a long time had passed.” Indeed this may be the answer!
Let’s see how this would fit in the three passages you brought up:

In 2 Tim 1:9
God saved us according to his purpose and grace before a long time had passed.

In Titus 1:2
God promised lasting life before a long time had passed.

In Rom 16:25-27
The gospel, leading to the obedience of faith among the Gentiles, was kept secret for a long time, but has now been made known by the lasting God.

This seems to fit well. Thank you, Craig, for sharing your thoughts on this matter. As a result, these three passages make sense to me for the first time!


:smiley: :smiley: :smiley:
I am really pleased you found the discussion helpful, Paidion. I likewise always find your thoughts helpful. Indeed, I was only really trying to build on the thoughts you have expressed concerning aionios meaning “lasting" to see if there was any way that it might be the meaning here in these passages as well.

I think the sense of “before a long time had passed” that you have suggested may be a little different to “a long time ago” that I had in mind, but that is OK. I am glad that in pursuing “lasting” as the meaning for aionios we are seeing some viable options for what “before aionios times" may mean.

I haven’t totally ruled out other meanings such as “before the times of the coming age” (but my friend would have to be wrong about the Greek in Rom 16:25), or "before the times of all the ages” (but the word “promise” would have to include “plans”, and it has the problem of time not existing “before” creation).

The main thing in the overall picture is that aionios can’t really mean “eternal” or “everlasting” in these passages, and we have some other viable options for what it can mean.

I found a quote from Sonia (SLJ) very helpful from a long time ago (before aionios times? :laughing: )

These passages from the OP demonstrate this.
Sonia continued,


Since the ages have been discussed in this thread; here is an interesting take on the ages: … es-series/


Thanks for sharing that. :slight_smile:


Hi Melchizedek… it was interesting and firmly in the ‘covenant eschatology’ aka prêterism camp, and bang on the money IMO; take these quotes for example…


“εν ταχει” does not necessarily mean “soon”; it can mean “speedily.” With the latter meaning, it could simply indicate that the length of time from the beginning of the events until the their end will be short. It does not necessarily indicate that the events will occur soon after the time in which the author wrote the words.


Rev:001:003 Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words
of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written
therein: for the time is at hand.
Rev:022:010 And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the
prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand.

OK, soon can mean speedily. What does “at hand” mean?



Yes that’s fair enough… and that indeed fits the prophesied time-frame AD66-70 i.e., the apocalyptic 3½yrs – 42mths – 1260 days etc; or as Jesus put it…

…IOW, when these things begin it will all happen “quickly” – which in their day on their horizon would indeed be “shortly” or “at hand”.


So … taking it a “speedily”, that is, that the duration of events from beginning to end are short, fits both the preterist and futurist paradigms.


Relatively speaking… however, IMO prêterist assumptions follow more faithfully the intent of prophetic texts, viewing such in the light of the historic events that imminently ensured in that biblical period; thus leave little to no space for the wild and exaggerated exuberance of futurism’s ever-evolving “yet to happen” scenarios.


Amen to this.


What things it behooves to take place in quickness. (Biblehub interlinear).

en tachei Definition: quickness, speed; hastily, immediately- Strong’s

Of course, if it is understood as IMMEDIATELY or right NOW and it is written for those who have “ears to hear what the Spirit is saying to the churches”, it is a message in spiritual pictures concerning spiritual realities that are always concurrent for any reader in any generation of this age among the ecclesia, hence elevating the spiritual messages above ANY historic considerations and rendering…

“Look, I am coming soon! Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy written in this scroll.”

…as very immedite.

Come quickly Lord Jesus.

The Lord is always coming. The wedding fest is always happening, and the invitation is sent- the highways and the hedges are invaded., is your vessel full of oil O ye virgins? The end of the age is when you die(as far as “you” are concerned in any generation). No man knows the day or the hour. The thief will take the sleeper unaware but those who walk as children of the day will keep the words of the scroll whenever they are on the stage of time.



IMO… that’s the sort of “theological blancmange” that reduces the text to the level of one’s own creativity to have it saying just what you want.


Not at all. It takes a lot of interpretation from any view to read the apocalypse of John. If you see how the prophets spoke to Israel, there were some historical images, but most of them were visions that pertained to the current spiritual state of the nation. Hosea, Jeremiah, Isaiah, Ezekiel… many, many similar picture images of spiritual reality in their time that apply through out time to anyone with ears to hear and eyes to see.

A dirty rag hidden in some rocks… a watchman’s hut in a cucumber field… a beloved wife become a harlot in chains…

As a matter of fact, most of the prophecies that had any historical context past or future were tied to the current spiritual state God was speaking to through the prophet.

That is clearly a primary method of speaking throughout the prophets.

Then you have Jesus… His parables were often images speaking to contemporary spiritual conditions and images expressing various elements of the Kingdom of God and the nature of it and life in it- corporately and individually.

Why it would seem “blancmange” to read the apocalypse of John in a similar manner to that which YHWH has used to express Himself to His people for thousands of years seems to me a surprisingly quick knee jerk reaction from your own doctrinal jail-cell, and an unwillingness to listen to anything that does not reaffirm your own narrow position.


Last night I was reading 2 Kings in the NABRE.

2 Kings 1
*12 Elijah answered them, “If I am a man of God, may fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty men.” And divine fire came down from heaven and consumed him and his fifty men. *

There is a footnote that says “divine fire” is literally “fire of God”. The latter being how the NRSV translates this verse. I thought that was interesting.


It’s not a “quick kneejerk reaction”… we’re reading someone else’s mail. To extrapolate as you have in your previous post above is to ignore the audience to whom such was written and to over-ride such by interpolating your own (or whomever else’s) story into or onto the text, THUS reading right over what was being said AND understood (let him who has ears… etc) by those to whom SUCH WAS written.

For example… your “The Lord is always coming. The wedding fest is always happening” is bunkum, i.e., they were one off events and there is NO scriptural warrant for saying otherwise. What YOU are postulating (and you’re free to do it) is YOUR OWN theological spin, which again is fine so long as you own it yourself and not have Scripture saying what it plainly does NOT say.

Finding ‘spiritual applicability’ from the truths of Scripture and making ‘personal relevance’ from this to one’s life is fine and good; BUT to imply this is that by your blanket statements (which seems to me what you are saying… pardon me IF I’m wrong) goes “beyond what is written” – something even Paul cautioned against.


Davo, in Peter Enns’ I&I, Enns makes the point that the NT’s writers and Jesus himself didn’t always use the grammatical-historical hermeneutic. OT passages were taken out of their original, apparent context and given new meaning. In that way, perhaps there is a “double propesy” with eschatological texts.


Yes indeed… aka ‘prophetic recapitulation’, but that wasn’t what Eagles was saying/doing, and thus not what I was pointing out.

OT prophecy was more than mere predictive foretelling, but more so prescriptive forth-telling, telling forth the Word of God. Certain “events” were foretold, while on other occasions the prophet’s utterance told forth or was instructive of God’s will to be followed, and or their response to it etc.

In relation to “events” – prophecies were fulfilled in that OT setting – however, it was not unusual for Jesus to use such past fulfillment as a “type” of whatever it was that Jesus was speaking to, and thus it became the antitype. So it wasn’t so much a case of “multiple fulfilments” but the reapplying of the meaning of such a fulfillment.

One way to understand this is Jesus’ words in relation to the Scriptures or OC tradition when he said – “you have heard it said… but I say to you…” Jesus’ reinterpretation or reapplication is the recapitulation of what has gone before – but with a renewed and somewhat fulfilled or completed meaning i.e., its ultimate end – and that always in light of the NC, of which all of OC history was ultimately pointing. And we know that all redemptive history of which much was expressed through the prophetic came to fruition and fulfillment within Jesus’ “this generation” timeframe AD30-70, culminating with ‘the Day of the Lord’ circa AD70.

Consider this… IF “prophecy” is seen in terms of popular “multiply fulfillments” then it is only natural to ask – how many times does prophecy get fulfilled before it is really fulfilled? Prophecy just becomes an endless loop slavishly bound to the next imaginative theory or timetable espoused. So you see what western Christianity has done? It’s made us think metaphorically about simple time statements but then think very literally about symbolic metaphors. It’s all backwards, i.e., the cart before the horse.


What you’re saying sounds like a roundabout way of concurring that prophesies could have double fulfillment. You don’t believe in double prophecy?

I’m no saying there definitely will be a future end times, just that i don’t think it can be ruled out given that Jesus and the NT writers showed that the grammatical-historical hermeneutic is not the only valid way to interpret scripture.


You’re right, I don’t believe in “double prophecy”… but that isn’t prophetic recapitulation. Daniel for example prophetically speaks of Antiochus Epiphanes, and yet Jesus uses or borrows and reapplies the same prophetic language in speaking of the coming conflict with Rome.

Biblical prophetic fulfillment (NOT double) can be found in the likes of Peter’s this IS that motif of…

Peter’s “this is what” means THEY NOT WE were living in the living in “the last days” – which many a passage (as you would know) in the NT rightly affirms.

I tend to go with of the ‘narrative-historical hermeneutic’ espoused by Andrew Perriman.