The Evangelical Universalist Forum

Scholarly EUs Assemble!

I don’t recall anyone thinking “age” or “eon” is the meaning of aion throughout all ancient Greek literature. Applying the meaning “eon” to the NT would be, perhaps, more reasonable. Compare Greek-English Interlinears & literal translations of the NT. Also the LSJ lexicon entry on aion re NT references where it is defined likewise as “2. space of time clearly defined and marked out, epoch, age”:

If that is the meaning of the noun in the NT, we might consider what the probability is that the associated adjective, aionion, carries a different meaning. Or are they likely related as America is to American?

“In the Gospels there are instances where the substantive aion and the adjective aionios are juxtaposed or associated in a single image or utterance (most directly in Mark 10:30 and Luke 18:30). This obvious parallel in the Greek is invisible in almost every English tanslation” (p.540, The New Testament: A Translation, by EO scholar David Bentley Hart, 2017).

Considering Lk.18:30 above, ECF John Chrysostom limits aionios to a specific age of finite duration:

“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).

Also another Early Church Father by the name of Origen spoke of what is “after” and “beyond” aionios life. As a native Greek speaker & scholar he knew the meaning of the word:

“…in the one who drinks of the water that Jesus gives leaps into eternal life.
And after eternal life, perhaps it will also leap into the Father who is beyond
eternal life.” (Comm. in Io 13.3)

N.T. Wright is considered to be a leading NT scholar & his translation renders “life aionios” as “the life of God’s coming age” (1 Jn.1:2, NTE). Compare:

Weymouth New Testament
the Life was manifested, and we have seen and bear witness, and we declare unto you the Life of the Ages which was with the Father and was manifested to us–

Young’s Literal Translation
and the Life was manifested, and we have seen, and do testify, and declare to you the Life, the age-during, which was with the Father, and was manifested to us –

And the life was manifested, and we have seen and are testifying and reporting to you the life eonian which was toward the Father and was manifested to us. (CLV)

And, the Life, was made manifest, and we have seen, and are bearing witness, and announcing unto you, the Age-abiding Life, which, indeed, was with the Father, and was made manifest unto us; (Ro)

(and the life was manifested, and we have seen, and we bear testimony, and we declare to you the life the age-lasting, which was with the Father, and was manifested to us (Diaglott Greek-English interlinear)

…the AIONIAN LIFE…(Diaglott margin)

and announce to you the life of the Age…(The NT: A Translation, by EO scholar David Bentley Hart, 2017).

Indeed the Chayyei [Olam] was manifested, and we have seen it and we give solemn eidus (witness of testimony) and we proclaim to you the Chayyei Olam which was alongside with HaAv [Yochanan 1:1-4,14] and made hisgalus (appearance of, exposure of in revelation) to us [Shlichim]. (OJB)

Speaking of OLAM, we now turn to Dan.12:2-3, which also supports the above position:

The context suggests the view that both the life & the punishment referred to in v.2 are of finite duration (OLAM), since v.3 speaks of those who will be for OLAM “and further”.

2 From those sleeping in the soil of the ground many shall awake, these to eonian life
and these to reproach for eonian repulsion." 3 The intelligent shall warn as the warning
of the atmosphere, and those justifying many are as the stars for the eon and further."
(Dan.12:2-3, CLV)

The Hebrew word for eonian (v.2) & eon (v.3) above is OLAM which is often used of limited durations in the OT. In verse 3 of Dan. 12 are the words “OLAM and further” showing an example of its finite duration in the very next words after Dan. 12:2. Thus, in context, the OLAM occurences in v.2 could also both be understood as being of finite duration.

Additionally, the early church accepted the following Greek OT translation of the Hebrew OT of Dan. 12:3:

καὶ οἱ συνιέντες ἐκλάμψουσιν ὡς ἡ λαμπρότης τοῦ στερεώματος καὶ ἀπὸ τῶν δικαίων τῶν πολλῶν ὡς οἱ ἀστέρες εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας καὶ ἔτι[and further]

Notice the words at the end saying KAI ETI, meaning “and further” or “and still” or “and yet” & other synonyms.

eti: “still, yet…Definition: (a) of time: still, yet, even now, (b) of degree: even, further, more, in addition.” Strong’s Greek: 2089. ἔτι (eti) – still, yet

εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας καὶ ἔτι means “into the ages and further” as a translation of the Hebrew L’OLAM WA ED[5703, AD]

So this early church Greek translation of the Hebrew Scriptures agrees with the above translation (& those below) using the words “and further”, “futurity”, “beyond” & similarly.

3 and·the·ones-being-intelligent they-shall- warn as·warning-of the·atmosphere
and·ones-leading-to-righteousness-of the·many-ones as·the·stars for·eon and·futurity (Dan. 12:3, Hebrew-English Interlinear)

2 and, many of the sleepers in the dusty ground, shall awake,—these, [shall be] to age-abiding life, but, those, to reproach, and age-abiding abhorrence;
3 and, they who make wise, shall shine like the shining of the expanse,—and, they who bring the many to righteousness, like the stars to times age-abiding and beyond. (Dan. 12:2-3, Rotherham)

2 And the multitude of those sleeping in the dust of the ground do awake, some to life age-during, and some to reproaches—to abhorrence age-during.
3 And those teaching do shine as the brightness of the expanse, and those justifying the multitude as stars to the age and for ever*. (Dan. 12:2-3, YLT)

Dan. 12:2-3 was the only Biblical reference to “life OLAM” Jesus listeners had to understand His meaning of “life aionios”(life OLAM) in Mt.25:46 & elsewhere in the New Testament.

Verse 3 speaks of those justifying “many”. Who are these “many”? The same “many” of verse 2, including those who were resurrected to “shame” & “contempt”? IOW the passage affirms universalism?


To be completely clear, as I’ve said elsewhere in this thread, my real position is “95%+ of the uses of aionios are . . . in the sense of permanence in particular.”

This is unambiguously reflected in its entry in BDAG:

pert. to a long period of time, long ago χρόνοις αἰ. long ages ago Ro 16:25; πρὸ χρόνων αἰ. before time began 2 Ti 1:9; Tit 1:2 (in these two last pass. the prep. bears the semantic content of priority; on χρόνος αἰ. cp. OGI 248, 54; 383, 10).

pert. to a period of time without beginning or end, eternal of God (Ps.-Pla., Tim. Locr. 96c θεὸν τ. αἰώνιον; IBM 894, 2 αἰ. κ. ἀθάνατος τοῦ παντὸς φύσις; Gen 21:33; Is 26:4; 40:28; Bar 4:8 al.; Philo, Plant. 8; 74; SibOr Fgm. 3, 17 and 4; PGM 1, 309; 13, 280) Ro 16:26; of the Holy Spirit in Christ Hb 9:14. θρόνος αἰ. 1 Cl 65:2 (cp. 1 Macc 2:57).

pert. to a period of unending duration, without end (Diod S 1, 1, 5; 5, 73, 1; 15, 66, 1 δόξα αἰ. everlasting fame; in Diod S 1, 93, 1 the Egyptian dead are said to have passed to their αἰ. οἴκησις; Arrian, Peripl. 1, 4 ἐς μνήμην αἰ.; Jos., Bell. 4, 461 αἰ. χάρις=a benefaction for all future time; OGI 383, 10 [I b.c.] εἰς χρόνον αἰ.; EOwen, οἶκος αἰ.: JTS 38, ’37, 248–50; EStommel, Domus Aeterna: RAC IV 109–28) of the next life σκηναὶ αἰ. Lk 16:9 (cp. En 39:5). οἰκία, contrasted w. the οἰκία ἐπίγειος, of the glorified body 2 Cor 5:1. διαθήκη (Gen 9:16; 17:7; Lev 24:8; 2 Km 23:5 al.; PsSol 10:4 al.) Hb 13:20. εὐαγγέλιον Rv 14:6; κράτος in a doxolog. formula (=εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας) 1 Ti 6:16. παράκλησις 2 Th 2:16. λύτρωσις Hb 9:12. κληρονομία (Esth 4:17m) vs. 15; AcPl Ha 8, 21. αἰ. ἀπέχειν τινά (opp. πρὸς ὥραν) keep someone forever Phlm 15 (cp. Job 40:28). Very often of God’s judgment (Diod S 4, 63, 4 διὰ τὴν ἀσέβειαν ἐν ᾅδου διατελεῖν τιμωρίας αἰωνίου τυγχάνοντα; similarly 4, 69, 5; Jer 23:40; Da 12:2; Ps 76:6; 4 Macc 9:9; 13:15) κόλασις αἰ. (TestReub 5:5) Mt 25:46; 2 Cl 6:7; κρίμα αἰ. Hb 6:2 (cp. κρίσις αἰ. En 104:5). θάνατος B 20:1. ὄλεθρον (4 Macc 10:15) 2 Th 1:9. πῦρ (4 Macc 12:12; GrBar 4:16.—SibOr 8, 401 φῶς αἰ.) Mt 18:8; 25:41; Jd 7; Dg 10:7 (cp. 1QS 2:8). ἁμάρτημα Mk 3:29 (v.l. κρίσεως, κολάσεω, and ἁμαρτίας). On the other hand, of eternal life (Maximus Tyr. 6, 1d θεοῦ ζωὴ αἰ.; Diod S 8, 15, 3 life μετὰ τὸν θάνατον lasts εἰς ἅπαντα αἰῶνα; Da 12:2; 4 Macc 15:3;PsSol PsSol:3, 12; OdeSol 11:16c; JosAs 8:11 cod. A [p. 50, 2 Bat.]; Philo, Fuga 78; Jos., Bell. 1, 650; SibOr 2, 336) in the Reign of God: ζωὴ αἰ. (Orig., C. Cels. 2, 77, 3) Mt 19:16, 29; 25:46; Mk 10:17, 30; Lk 10:25; 18:18, 30; J 3:15f, 36; 4:14, 36; 5:24, 39; 6:27, 40, 47, 54, 68; 10:28; 12:25, 50; 17:2f; Ac 13:46, 48; Ro 2:7; 5:21; 6:22f; Gal 6:8; 1 Ti 1:16; 6:12; Tit 1:2; 3:7; 1J 1:2; 2:25; 3:15; 5:11, 13, 20; Jd 21; D 10:3; 2 Cl 5:5; 8:4, 6; IEph 18:1; Hv 2, 3, 2; 3, 8, 4 al. Also βασιλεία αἰ. 2 Pt 1:11 (ApcPt Rainer 9; cp. Da 4:3; 7:27; Philo, Somn. 2, 285; Mel., P. 68, 493; OGI 569, 24 ὑπὲρ τῆς αἰωνίου καὶ ἀφθάρτου βασιλείας ὑμῶν; Dssm. B 279f, BS 363). Of the glory in the next life δόξα αἰ. 2 Ti 2:10; 1 Pt 5:10 (cp. Wsd 10:14; Jos., Ant. 15, 376.—SibOr 8, 410 φῶς αἰῶνιον). αἰώνιον βάρος δόξης 2 Cor 4:17; σωτηρία αἰ. (Is 45:17; Ps.-Clem., Hom. 1, 19) Hb 5:9; short ending of Mk. Of unseen glory in contrast to the transitory world of the senses τὰ μὴ βλεπόμενα αἰώνια 2 Cor 4:18.—χαρά IPhld ins; δοξάζεσθαι αἰωνίῳ ἔργῳ be glorified by an everlasting deed IPol 8:1. DHill, Gk. Words and Hebr. Mngs. ’67, 186–201; JvanderWatt, NovT 31, ’89, 217–28 (J).—DELG s.v. αἰών. M-M. TW. Sv.

I think even the most passing glance here will show which usage dominates. (I don’t have TDNT in front of me right now, but from what I remember it suggests much the same.)

Also, for what it’s worth, χρόνοι αἰώνιοι in Romans 16:25, etc., is almost certainly a Semitism, and in any case is probably functionally equivalent to χρόνοι αρχαίοι: see, for example, the parallel in 1 Cor. 2:7 (πρὸ τῶν αἰώνων), and in 2 Timothy 2:9 and Titus 1:2, πρὸ χρόνων αἰωνίων.

Additionally, if one who supports biblical harmony & endless punishment extends such a view of aionios to olam in the OT, it faces the problem of the following passage

Harmonizers will always face problems. But that’s a two-way street. If Biblical texts supported both eternal mercy (for all) but also predicted true eternal punishment (for some), then the former would contradict the latter just as much as the latter would contradict the former; and there’d be no basis for choosing one over the other, other than which one is subjectively more pleasing to us.

Wondrous rebuttal my brother. I’m doubly adamant that we should let words be transliterated and let context determine whether they are literal, figurative, both, etc. Not to mention, there being a clear distinction between aionian life, immortal life/being resurrected < being vivified (which StudyShelf and Co. do a great job at rightly dividing), contrasts between “aidios timoria” vs “aionion kolasis” and issues revolving around the interchangability/flexibility of ancient koine Greek though I’ll leave it to you, koine_lingua & others to dispute those concerns. Grace and peace to both of you, and I pray we all may one day, charitably reach the same conclusion, in the joy of the Lord. Blessings.

Cool, I never knew about this usage of ἐπαιώνιος. If I had to take a guess, I’d say that the ἐπαιώνιος in αἰώνιος καὶ ἐπαιώνιος here is rhetorically intensive—probably not dissimilar from, say, the way ἐπέκεινα function in the adverbial clause εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα καὶ ἐπέκεινα in LXX Micah 4:5 (Hebrew לעולם ועד). In other words, it’d be basically the exact equivalent of our modern phrase "forever and ever.” (Or “eternity and beyond.”)

Again though, the main principle of lexicography is that we determine a word’s meaning based on its contextual sphere: its immediate syntactical and literary context, its broader sociohistorical context, etc. Saying “look, here’s an instance where aionios is used in conjunction with something that turned out to be finite,” or pointing out the existence of a hapax epaionios, doesn’t help much when these are pretty distant from other, more relevant uses of the word. (Though as for the former, note again what I said earlier about gymnasiarchs, etc.)

And this is especially the case in light of what I’ve said about the predominant denotation of aionios, which again always hangs around the meaning “permanent”—the usage that dominates Greek literature as a whole.

I’ve commented on Mark 10:30 in particular before (actually in the post linked at the beginning by @marcthedawn ); and in my view this is one of the clearest examples of a significant contrast in meaning between aion and aionios in the New Testament. And it has significant implications, too. Here’s what I wrote, only slightly edited:

The final words here [in Mark 10:30] are καὶ ἐν τῷ αἰῶνι τῷ ἐρχομένῳ ζωὴν αἰώνιον. For those with a knowledge of Greek, the serious problem here might also be realized: if, as Ramelli and Konstan suggest, aiōnios is to be understood as “pertaining to the age to come,” then the saying of Jesus here is suggesting that his followers will receive “life of the age to come in the age to come”; and this is plainly redundant if not nonsensical. (Even if – taking a clue from Ramelli and Konstan – we were to gloss aiōnios not as the clunkier “pertaining to the age to come” but as the more concise “eschatological,” this does little to relieve the problem here.)

On the other hand, that they will receive “everlasting life in the age to come” is perfectly concise and sensible.

As I go on to note, there’s some sort of relationship between everlasting life and the “age to come”; but only in the sense that people enjoy everlasting life during that age. But there’s no semantic relationship between “age” and “everlasting” here. (This is even more so the case in Jewish eschatology, where עולם can attain a meaning more like “world/realm” than “age.” Funny enough, I’m pretty sure that some uses of aion, e.g. particularly in the Epistle to the Hebrews, also show the same shift in meaning.)

In truth, there are really any number of parallels we could point to, throughout both Greco-Roman and Jewish literature, where the blessed/righteous dead enjoy everlasting life in another realm or time.

Again, why you’re not a Christian ETC apologist, I’m hard pressed to guess why as you’d probably make more millions (than I’m assuming you already do as an agnostic/secular Biblical scholar) from the ministry in donations alone. Your sermons would be internationally known and translated into every tongue. Your warnings of ET would make an athiest shake in his boots, and make a Christian reevaluate his sincerity. You could resell copies of Johnathan Edwards’ famous sermon with your abridged scholarly commentary in favor of irrefutable, objective, unbiased Biblical (OT, Apocr., NT) and linguistic proof for each paragraph, seriously. Bravo for your rigorous studies buddy and firm integrity to hold your position unwaiveringly. Keep it up dude. You’ve got the gumption. Now we need you to investigate the evidence for the Resurrection with that same valor and tenacity and then I think we could call you a brother in Christ. But, if you never become a believer, I think according to Paschal’s wager and your accountability (which is shooting through the roof based on your knowledge), would most certainly place you in one of the more merciless tortures/torments in Hades and one of the more red hot molten ponds in the Lake of Fire. Thankfully, from my POV, you’d be delivered from even that. But if I’m wrong, you wouldn’t. Either way God gets the glory and I guess we have to deal with that as it stands.

In the meantime, I’d appreciate your thoughts on the following Steve Rudd articles by stating what premises you agree with or not:



  • I’m sure you can take it down in no time. Btw, I wanted affirm that there is no sarcasm or antagonism in my last post (though it may be read that way initially) but rather a true (though hyperbolically expressed) adoration for your earnest studies, but likewise an equally concerning, inconvenient, uncomfortable, probable truth to consider if in the course of your life you never become a believer and submit to Christ – at least from the POV that you defend (for good reason of course), and that most evangelical Christianity stands on. I know there are genuine followers of Christ who believe in ETC so my curiosity on how you have more Biblical knowledge than reputable Christian (particularly nondenominational Protestant) scholars is baffling, unsettling, and quite frightening for many reasons; one bc of the eschatological position I hold but more importantly is your endorsement of a default and otherwise fixed fate of men’s souls that by proxy includes you in that bunch. It’s like Alexander Scourby who read the KJV so powerfully and eloquently but never believed in a lick of it. That concerns me as a believer and prompts me to pray for you bc if what you say is true, you’re theoretically in as bad shape as us who believe, although wrongly.

Hey… marcthedawn, don’t marchthesunset with wrath… koine_lingua is only putting a position forward, that’s all.

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Understandable but he’s doing it on a forum with believers (and nonbelievers) of all creeds so as objective and scholarly dialogue ensues, it does follow that even vague forms of evangelism will cross his path. I apologize if I crossed a fine line of forum rules but I just wanted to make a point. I’m not angry at all, just sincerely perplexed and want to make that known to Mr. Lingua. I know that I am and could be wrong about a lot of things but regardless, my eternal soul is not something I’m willing to take a risk at losing nor can I let anyone else without considering the irrevocable implications of that; a fear that has gripped me since a child and still does Ik none of us are strangers to that. I know I can’t be alone but I will proceed in silence and subjection since I have a hard time trying to explain myself out of things especially sensitive, passionate subjects. I apologize all (@davo @koine_lingua, etc.). You all may carry on w/o me.

As for the first link: one problem is that I don’t think I see universalists suggesting that aionios in Matthew 25:46 actually has two different meanings. For example, I think Ramelli and Konstan (who wrote a semi-scholarly book on aionios) would say that aionios here suggests something like “of/in the age to come”—so that Matthew 25:46 means that the wicked will go to “punishment of the age to come,” and the righteous “life of the age to come.” Here the two uses of aionios obviously still mean the same thing, even if it’s not the traditional “eternal.”

Of course, there are all sorts of problems with Ramelli and Konstan’s suggestion, and this was exactly what my main big post that you originally quoted was concerned with. (For what it’s worth, Rudd’s post was largely concerned with Habakkuk 3:6, which I’ve also written about at length here.)

I’m not even sure what all your second link was trying to say. I’m not opposed to the idea that various texts and traditions in the New Testament envision differing degrees of punishment (or reward) in the afterlife—but I don’t think the NT is anywhere near as specific about these things as Rudd suggests. I also disagree that annihilationism is unbiblical.

As for the third link, on Hades and Luke 16:19-31: I’m not exactly sure where I come down on this. For one, I’m note sure that all of those quotes support the original claim (“the temporary two part receptacle of the conscious dead who are awaiting judgment”). To be sure, there were several prominent Jewish traditions in the centuries leading up to Christianity where the unrighteous dead are being temporarily punished, until the day of the final eschaton (which usually ended with their annihilation). But I’m pretty sure that there are also some interesting close Jewish and even Egyptian parallels to Luke 16:19-31 where the unrighteous aren’t just being temporally punished, but where this is their eternal fate.

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It doesn’t need to be a said “problem”… reading certain presuppositions into it might be. There is no necessity to read ‘age to come’ in terms of postmortem (customarily done in evangelicalism). It can indeed be viewed as eschatological and seen on THEIR OWN historical horizon, and survival or deliverance into that age be reward in itself. On Mk 10:30 N.T. Wright has this to say…

The same theme, once again, surfaces in the discussion which, in all three synoptics, follows the incident of the rich young ruler:

There is no-one who has left house, or brothers, or sisters, or mother, or father, or children, or fields, for my sake and the gospel’s, who will not receive a hundred times over, now in the present age: houses, and brothers, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and fields — with persecutions; and, in the coming age, the life of the new world.

N.T. Wright: Jesus and the Victory of God p. 402

The coming age= post AD70 DoJ… where thereafter the gospel of the new age in Christ went forth.


For one, I’m note sure that all of those quotes support the original claim (“the temporary two part receptacle of the conscious dead who are awaiting judgment”). To be sure, there were several prominent Jewish traditions in the centuries leading up to Christianity where the unrighteous dead are being temporarily punished, until the day of the final eschaton (which usually ended with their annihilation). But I’m pretty sure that there are also some interesting close Jewish and even Egyptian parallels to Luke 16:19-31 where the unrighteous aren’t just being temporally punished, but where this is their eternal fate. >

  • Does Enoch ever come to mind?

Passion is fine and we can all have it… I do, and I’ve likewise expressed a bit too much heat at times as well. So IMO there’s no need to excuse yourself off from contributing your thoughts etc… exploring these things what these forums are about. :smiley:

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The issue isn’t so much whether “age to come” signifies a genuine afterlife/eschatological age or, as you suggest, the preterist post-Temple “age” interpretation (which I think completely indefensible, but…).

The issue is whether it makes the best syntactical/linguistic sense to translate ἐν τῷ αἰῶνι τῷ ἐρχομένῳ ζωὴν αἰώνιον in Mark 10:30 as “in the Age to come, the life of that Age” (as in David Bentley Hart’s recent translation) or “in the coming age, the life of the new world” (N. T. Wright), or “life of the age to come in the age to come.” (Actually, the translation that Ramelli and Konstan really suggest is “in the time to come a future life.”)

But these are all demonstrably inferior to the standard “everlasting life in the age to come,” both aesthetically and in terms of corroborating philological evidence.

I agree with that but as a partial preterist, I’d also addendum “the age to come” as reference to the Millenial Age. Too many gaps in both futurist and full preterist (not saying you’re either) eschatologies imo. I think there’s always room for dual if not multiple fulfillments on (this) Earth__, at least until the end of the Millenial Age/Kingdom

Your mercy and compassion all too relished by me right now. I’m basking it unabashedly. I must ask, if you could summarize your personal soteriology and eschatology, how so?

1 Enoch is an interesting case here. Actually, one of the most recent posts I’ve been working on is precisely on the eschatology of 1 Enoch. What it may suggest is differing fates for different people/beings: one would be eschatological annihilation after a long period of torment; but for some others, they might not actually be annihilated at the eschaton. If I finish the post soon, I’ll let you know.

Another interesting little tidbit here is that although everyone knows the quotation of 1 Enoch in the Epistle of Jude, there’s actually a “hidden” quotation of 1 Enoch by Jesus himself (or at least in his parable), in Matthew 22:13—in direct conjunction with the “outer darkness.” (1 Enoch also emphasizes a dark realm of punishment.)

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2nd Thoughts On PUR (Purgatorial Universal Restoration)

In your spare time, please share the convictions of your heart, mind, and studies on my treatise/rant. It would be greatly edifying, my brother, in Adam lol.

I actually have no issue with that at all… and especially with your “permanent” notion of αἰώνιος. As pantelist aka an inclusive prêterist, I tend to view αἰώνιος more in qualitative terms as opposed to quantitative as in longevity — I don’t discount it, but from my position I see the likes of Mt 25:46 as reflecting the TOTALITY of ruin or reward aka death or life, and such, pertinent to the life — or as Wright frames it… “the life of the new world.” Thus αἰώνιος undoubtedly carries exactly the same meaning either way in that verse and doesn’t need endless massaging to make it say something other than it does.

With regards to this qualitative approach to αἰώνιος such is reflected perfectly right here…

Jn 17:3 And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.

To know God equates to fullness of life, i.e., eternal life.


That’s fine.

I’m not sure how “a variable-application meaning” got understood as “a single fundamental meaning”, but I used that phrase because I understood you to say that the adjective has no singular fundamental meaning (as you put it in reply). I also (pedantically? not pedantically enough?) specified that I was talking about how authors in the Greek OT and NT texts used the adjective, and its very-much-related-via-Hebrew prepositional phrases.

Since we’re talking about the adjective (and its related prep phrases via Hebrew translation to Greek), I’m not sure of the point of the digression here.

But if you “think suggesting that trying to incorporate [the adjective’s] various uses into a single meaning here [i.e. the broad concept of “lasting”] runs into the same problems” as the position you’ve been combating (i.e. the fundamental meaning of eon is age); and then you go on to claim that “95%+ of the uses of [the adjective] are used in the sense of permanence in particular” – then I have to wonder how your two claims are supposed to synchronize.

If I replied to your claim about permanence being the particular sense, “I think suggesting that trying to incorporate the adjective’s various uses into a single particular sense runs into the same problems as when people try to say that the fundamental meaning of the noun is “age” and thus that the fundamental meaning of the adjective must be “age-lasting””, and then I went on to claim that the adjective has a single meaning (instead of a variable-application meaning) of “lasting”… wouldn’t you be wondering why I switched out my positions on single meanings so quickly?

So, you don’t suggest trying to incorporate its various uses into a single meaning since the root “in fact has no singular meaning” (your original emphasis), when I suggest a variable-meaning concept for the adjective that in practice covers 100% of the usage in the cultural texts under consideration; and instead you’re going to insist that the adjective has a “base denotation of permanence” which covers over 95% usage in those texts and from which the 5% variant usages of the adjective can be characterized as “rare/idiosyncratic… variations on its base denotation of permanence.” (your original emphasis)

Ooookay. Just so you’re very clear about that.

But to be very clear, it looks to me like your insistence against a single denotation for the meaning of the adjective, even when that’s proposed in a very broad and variable-application fashion (which I attempted as a reconciliation of variable-but-broadly-applicable single meaning, since you’re clearly going to insist on a single meaning anyway when I myself am fine with a number of meanings applied on a case basis), evaporates immediately in favor of a different single denotation for the meaning of the adjective.

And it isn’t too hard to figure out the difference in practice: one single denotation is a broad variable that allows room for context to decide the specific meaning on a case-by-case basis, and cleanly covers all examples, and so leaves a terminological argument against universal salvation to one side; and the other single denotation is a narrow singularity that, aside from generating a few proposed exceptions to the narrower meaning, happens to count as a terminological argument against universal salvation.

This suggests the key factor of whether the term should be treated as having a single denotation or not, isn’t linguistic. Rather, it should be treated as a having a single denotation (not multiple ones) only if the denotation weighs against a particular doctrine being true; but proposing a single denotation at all, should also be rejected as running into variable-meaning problems, if the denotation does not weigh against a particular doctrine being true. Whichever stick is good enough, single-denotation, or no single-denotation, from moment to moment, is the consistent factor.

After all, when it comes time for applying either a broad single denotation that can include but doesn’t necessarily have to mean “permanence”, or else multiple denotations which can include but don’t have to necessarily mean “permanence”, or else a single denotation that necessarily has to mean permanence without regard to any allowed rare exceptions, then it isn’t like you’re willing to consider broad single denotations which comfortably fit all the data set, nor to consider a narrow single denotation other than permanence applied across the data set (with perhaps a few rare exceptions), nor to consider multiple denotations across the data set. We don’t hear anything then, about how even a broad variable-meaning single denotation of the adjective runs into problems because the noun has no singular fundamental meaning. Rather, we get this:

That’s all totally dependent on a very narrow single denotation of the adjective being true in practice (without regard to whether or not the noun has a single narrow denotation of meaning).

If you’re going to insist on that, then be consistent about insisting on one particular (and not another) very narrow (not broad) single (not multiple) denotation of the adjective, and come up with a linguistic rationale for insistence on that particular meaning. There should be no reason to appeal to a self-contradictive linguistic rationale instead when faced with a proposal that cleanly includes all the data.