The Evangelical Universalist Forum

Matt Slick: "the truth is, they (universalists) are right"

[QUOTE=“Major1, post: 75056633, member: 391026”]Actually, you are right and you are wrong.

“Aiomios” can be translated into a temporal sense as it is in Rom. 16:25…
“Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery which has been kept secret for long ages (aionios1) past.”

But the reason it is translated that way is because of context, and that is extremely important. Context determines meaning.

With the claim that “aionion” can be translated into something temporal and that its root means “age,” the universalist then says that any reference to “eternal fire,” “eternal torment,” or “eternal punishment” is not really eternal. Instead of “eternal torment,” it is “aionion torment.” Instead of “eternal punishment,” it is “aionion punishment.” That way, to the universalist, there is no eternal hell, no eternal punishment, and no eternal damnation. Everyone will be saved.

It should be quite obvious that there is an eternal punishment and that universalism is nothing more than a hopeful wish. The Universalists are not justified in picking and choosing the meaning of a word based upon their interpretations of “aion” that suits them and depending on which verse is used.
A look at the word “aionion” |[/QUOTE]

Brother Slick states from the same article you quote:

“To get around the problem of the English Bibles translating Greek words into “eternal,” “forever,” and forevermore” when describing fire (Matt. 18:8) or torment (Rev. 20:10), the universalists go to the Greek. The Greek word that is translated into eternal is “aionion.” It comes from the Greek root “aion” meaning “age.” This fact combined with the various uses of Greek words derived from the root “aion,” are what the universalists use to attempt to show that “aionion” does not always mean “eternal” but can refer to a finite period of time.

The truth is, they are right."

“The truth is, they are right”, Matt Slick affirms. Universalists are right. He agrees that the universalists are right that the Greek word aionios can, in certain contexts, “refer to a finite period of time”.

So the context of each passage where aionios occurs, both the immediate & larger contexts of Scripture, should be considered to determine the meaning of aionios in any given verse.

Slick goes on to argue aionios means “eternal” in 1 Tim.6:16 where it is applied to God’s dominion. He says His dominion is not finite, but eternal, so aionios there must mean “eternal”. But that is faulty logic. God’s dominion could be understood to occur both within long finite “eonian” periods like an eon or eons (unlike the brief dominions of human Kings & Emperors) or from finite “age to age” as well as being “eternal”. All 1 Tim.6:16 may be saying is that His dominion is eonian - unlike that of earthly rulers - without even addressing the subject of its eternality. Just as Scripture elsewhere tells us He is the “Ancient of Days” & He is “from of old” & from “age to age”. To say “God rules this day” does not deny He ruled yesterday or will rule tomorrow, or rule this present wicked eon, or the previous eon, or without end. When Scripture speaks of Satan as the “god of this eon” (2 Cor.4:4), that doesn’t deny that he was god of the previous eon or eons or that he won’t rule for a short time at the end of the millenium.

Does this limit God sustaining a man only till old age & deny He will also sustain him in the after life:

Isa.46:4 Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you

Not necessarily. God’s power is not only in eternity but also in eons (i.e. ages) when He works in people’s lives & demonstrates His power through creation & the resurrection of Christ, etc. Here God Himself is said to be aionion & epiaionion(more than aionion):

"Adolph Deissman gives this account: “Upon a lead tablet found in the Necropolis at Adrumetum in the Roman province of Africa, near Carthage, the following inscription, belonging to the early third century, is scratched in Greek: ‘I am adjuring Thee, the great God, the eonian, and more than eonian (epaionion) and almighty…’ If by eonian, endless time were meant, then what could be more than endless time?” "

Which is verified by the following:

The original Greek he copied from the tablet is given at the url above, along with an English translation which was, in this case, “eternal and more than eternal and almighty…”

“…The tablet, as is shown not only by its place of origin (the Necropolis of Adrumetum belongs to the second and third centuries, A.D. ; the part in which the tablet was found is fixed in the third), but also by the character of the lettering, is to be assigned to the third century, that is to determine it by a date in the history of the Greek Bible about the time of Origen.” [page 275ff]

The same Greek word for “eternal” is used of the “eternal fire” (Jude 1:7) that burned Sodom & was not “eternal” but temporary, i.e. finite.

The same Greek word for “eternal”, i.e. aionios, is also used by early church father Chrysostom of an obviously finite duration here:

“For that his[Satan’s] kingdom is of this age,[αἰώνιος] i.e., will cease with the present age[αιώνι] …” (Homily 4 on Ephesians, Chapter II. Verses 1-3). CHURCH FATHERS: Homily 4 on Ephesians (Chrysostom)

The Greek text may be found here:,_Iohannes_Chrysostomus,_In_epistulam_II_ad_Thessalonicenses,_MGR.pdf

“He standeth, and shaketh the earth, He beholdeth, and maketh the nations to tremble; And the everlasting mountains are dashed in pieces, The ancient[OLAM] hills do bow; His goings are as of old.[OLAM]” Hab.3:6, JPS

But thou, Beth-lehem Ephrathah, Which art little to be among the thousands of Judah, Out of thee shall one come forth unto Me that is to be ruler in Israel; Whose goings forth are from of old, from ancient days. Micah 5:2

Matt Slick then goes on to list verses from mistranslated Bible versions that he assumes prove his case that aionios means “eternal” in such contexts. These verses have been addresed before. For some examples, see:

Matthew 25:46

Matthew 25:46 paralllel argument with Rom 5 19:

Spirit blasphemy in harmony with universal salvation:

1 Like

Origen unleashed!! Good stuff!

1 Like