The Evangelical Universalist Forum

Eternity (aidiotêtos)

I’m not sure if this is the right section but maybe it fits the best here, there is much emphasis in this discussion on the words aión and aiónios whether they mean everlasting or not, however there is actually a word, that was commonly understood as eternal in the sense of everlasting, it is aidios, and also a noun aidiotês (aιδιοτης) or aidiotêtos (ἀϊδιότητος).

I mean if there was also a word meaning strict infinity I can’t imagine a second having exactly the same meaning, did anyone come across this words? Ts it possible, that aión might be a “subeternity” (in a philosophical sense, not necessarily in a biblical sense) while aidiotêtos is a strict divine eternity?

do you understand what I mean, are there studies out about this topic?, it might be further support to show that aiónios is not infinite if it can be shown that there were other words which had that meaning and were used in that sense, unlike aión and its adjective.

the term is used in the apocryphal Book of Wisdom

Wisdom 2:23

For God created man to bee immortall, and made him to be an image of his owne eternitie [aidiotêtos]. (KJV)

it seems to be a less known term, my dictionary doesn’t have it.


in regard to {aidios}, which as this and as a closely related morph appears only twice in the NT, this thread on the forum features a lot of preliminary discussion on the meaning of this term, both in its construction options and in NT contextual usage. (The hyperlink goes to the post where I discuss the alternate meaning, “invisible” or “imperceptible”, in the most detail.)

I would be very curious to see where/if aidiotês (aιδιοτης) and/or aidiotêtos (ἀϊδιότητος) appear in the NT (or in the Greek OT, or in extra-canonical usage contemporary with those texts.) But in the two NT uses of aιδιος, all scholars (even ones who translate it as “eternal” or “everlasting”–meanings which Vine’s, by the way, strenuously consider distinct) agree that the surrounding contexts are talking about hidden or invisible things in connection with this word–the idea of hiddenness or invisibleness is established by contexts apart from reference to the word in question.

aidiotêtos only in the Book of Wisdom as far as I know, aidios is found in Wisdom 7:26

*For she is the brightness of the everlasting (aidios) light, the unspotted mirror of the power of God, and the image of his goodness. *(KJV)

I came across 4. Macc 10:15

*By the blessed death of my brethren, and the eternal punishment of the tyrant, and the glorious life of the pious, I will not repudiate the noble brotherhood. *

ma ton makarion tôn adelphôn mou thanaton kai ton aiônion tou turannou olethron kai ton aidion tôn eusebôn bion ouk arnêsomai tên eugenê adelphotêta

is it possible that the translation above is wrong, and the destruction/perdition (olethros) of the tyrant is called aiônios while the life (bios?) of the righteous aidios?

how would you translate it?

…and long-enduring (aiônios) [is] the tyrant’s perdition (olethros) and eternal/everlasting (aidios) [is] the pious’ (eusebôn) life (bios?)

would this be correct?

ps: I found a better translation:

*No, by the blessed death of my brothers, by the eternal (aiónios) destruction of the tyrant, and by the everlasting (aidios) life of the pious, I will not renounce our noble brotherhood. * … te=4496061

obviously the doom of the tyrant is “only” called eonian while the life of the righteous eternal (aidios), very, very interesting, what would you say?

True, although one of the few places {aidios} is used in the NT canon, i.e. in Jude v.6, it is in reference to the bonds of those rebel spirits kept in the gloom of darkness until the day of judgment.

The extra refs are very interesting, because in my comments on the construction-meaning of the term, I also wondered whether {aidios} means something like “above-coherent” or “ever-together”, i.e. the coherency or togetherness is from God.

This interpretation (as well as “imperceptible” or “unseen”) would make excellent sense of the two known NT usages (Rom 1:6; Jude v.6), if we’re talking about a God Who is Himself actively self-coherent (which we would certainly be doing as trinitarian theists–note however that this doctrine has to be established prior to considering this as an interpretive option). But it would also make excellent sense, which “imperceptible” or “unseen” would not, in the refs you’ve just found. The Wisdom ref would be similar to the Rom 1:6 ref; while the 4 Macc ref would have a lot of thematic similarities to the concept of {dikaiosune_} or “righteousness” in English meaning “fair-togetherness” (in this case, fair-togetherness from God, Who is the ultimate source and enaction of fair-togetherness anyway.)

Whereas, “everlasting” (simply of itself) makes no sense in regard to the bonds of the demons: God looses their bonds (at least temporarily) during the tribulation in RevJohn (if not at the judgment)!–and besides there is a serious ontological problem with considering anything other than God (such as for example the bonds of demons) as being “everlasting”. The same would be true of the life of the pious, simply considered as itself: that life cannot be intrinsically everlasting.

But, on the other hand, it can be seen how (by a natural oversimplification) the concept of the meaning of “everlasting” could be translated in those cases, even though the “everlastingness” is derivative (conditionally immortal, as our many of our annihilationist friends would say! :mrgreen: ) and so does not necessarily continue lasting.

And, on another hand (or perhaps a similar hand :wink: ), the construction of the word is (as far as I can tell) a pun for “unseeable”, so the double-meaning makes sense in the two NT usages. Yet again, one of the key characteristics of the Father is that (unlike the Son and/or the Spirit, whether in trinitarianism or in most other Christian theologies), He is unseen and unseeable (except by the Son and/or the Spirit). So this coherency from above (somewhat overliterally from the sky or the “air” as we would say) ultimately does come from the Unseen One, the Father, the ontological ground of even Deity.

All of which I think is rather nifty. :smiley:

(Also, by the way, neutral for or against universalism or non-universalism either one.)

I agree that universalism does not stand or fall with the term eternal, on the other hand, the argument of “eternal” punishment is the strongest, if not the only scriptural argument against universalism, the more we can weaken this argument, the better.

I shared this with another guy, belonging to the “concordant community”, he thinks aidios means unseen, sometimes maybe in the sense of unseen time, he utterly rejects the idea of eternity as unscriptural.

he told me there is a word aidnês, which seems similar to aidios, meaning unseen, dark

btw this is an interesting tool:

I don’t think that the motive should be to “weaken” the other side’s arguments. It should be to go wherever the evidence suggests vs. stacking the cards in your favor.