The Evangelical Universalist Forum

Scholarly EUs Assemble!


I had never heard of the Greek-Spanish lexicon DGE, though I’m aware that there are those who consider BDAG to be the best lexicon.

As i see it BDAG’s aion & aionios entries are mainly just a bunch of selected references to ancient usages of the words plus its author/s biased opinions as to how the word should be defined. It seems likely the vast majority of its Christian readers (e.g. pastors) take such opinions on blind faith like BDAG is a substitute pontiff without ever having read, let alone studied, the cites themselves.

The citations themselves are a small selection that BDAG selected out from numerous ancient references to the words & as such have left out those that oppose the conclusions of BDAG, including several i’ve posted already in this thread from Deissman’s tablet, Philo, Origen & Chrysostom. Therein is the bias of pro endless punishment biased lexicons & scholars such as BDAG exposed. The question is did they omit such references out of being ignorant of them, or willfully in order to sell more books to their endless punishment buyers?

The BDAG second entry on aionios as “pert. to a period of time without beginning or end…Ro 16:26…Hb 9:14…” (p.33) is IMO probably wrong in light of there being a beginning to the “times aionion” since there was a ‘time’ “before times aionion” (2 Tim.1:9; Titus 1:2; cf 1 Cor.2:7, before the eons). Also, arguably, there will be an end of all aions & aionion periods as per 1 Cor.10:11 & Heb.9:26 according to these two posts at:

Every other scholarly source & lexicon i consulted (of 10 in total) did not agree with & or opposed BDAG re aion being a personal entity Aeon in Eph.2:2; Col.1:26; Eph.3:9. So who’s wrong, the vast majority of scholars, lexicons & commentaries? Or BDAG?

Eminent lexicographer John A. L. Lee, in his book “A History of New Testament Lexicography” (2014), which has been well reviewed by his peers, points out many errors in BDAG & how lexicons have often blindly copied from one another, including their mistakes.

“Baldwin’s use of the lexicons as authoritative raises the question: Do the lexicons provide authoritative boundaries for the meaning and glosses of αὐθεντέω in the various contexts? Lee, Nida and Louw are agreed that the answer is ‘no’, not only for αὐθεντέω, but in general. Lee asserts, ‘The body of attestations accumulated in the lexicons has reached its greatest extent yet. But because of the ways it has been gathered there is an inherent unreliability’ (Lee, Lexicography, p. 124). Nida and Louw write: ‘We must not assume that the English glosses in a Greek–English lexicon can provide accurate information about the designative and associative meanings of a Greek term’ (Nida and Louw, Lexical Semantics, p. 59)”

"No one has drawn more attention to the methodological issues and, well, let’s face, flaws, in our New Testament Greek lexicons that John A. L. Lee. In a good summary statement of the state of affairs of our lexicons, Lee says “The concise, seemingly authoritative statement of meaning can, and often does, conceal many sins - indecision, compromise, imperfect knowledge, guesswork, and, above all, dependence on predecessors.”

Lee is quoted again: “…NT lexicons are contaminated by glosses from the standard translations, going back as far as the Vulgate.”,+going+back+as+far+as+the+Vulgate&source=bl&ots=2DhEuz321X&sig=WqEru2rQlmvcYL8fgoqxo-qHzlY&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj7_LyjiavXAhUH6mMKHXQdA0IQ6AEIJjAA#v=onepage&q=NT%20lexicons%20are%20contaminated%20by%20glosses%20from%20the%20standard%20translations%2C%20going%20back%20as%20far%20as%20the%20Vulgate&f=false

“The first three chapters chronicle the three leading characteristics of the NT lexicographical tradition: reliance on predecessors, employment of the gloss method, and dependence on versions. Lee demonstrates how lexicographers in their choice of glosses frequently drew on the rendering of a given word in current translations and shows the chain of development from the KJV to Tyndale, from Tyndale to Luther, and from Luther via Erasmus to the Vulgate. He also points to the limitations of the gloss method and advocates a definition approach instead… Hence even BDAG (2000) is but the last in a series of works with a long, checkered pedigree that should now give way to new efforts…”

The Curious Case of Gerhard Kittel, the Nazi lexicographer:

Myth: Biblical Reference Works Are Objective:

" Lee goes on to say that lexicographical work in Greek – especially the vocabulary of the LXX – is far from over not just in terms of demand, but in terms of accuracy. There is a huge amount of sources not yet incorporated into our understanding of Koine Greek. Undertaking exhaustive and integrative analysis of this body of language is therefore essential to interpreting Scripture rightly."

“Recent studies have…demonstrated the inadequacies of many of the standard Greek lexicons, including Bauer & Dankers:”

Christian Identity in Corinth: A Comparative Study of 2 Corinthians …By V. Henry T. Nguyenhttps:


The various meanings & synonyms of “permanence” & “permanent” are quite varied, including “lasting”, “indefinitely” remaining duration, etc:

"the state or quality of lasting or remaining unchanged indefinitely.
“the clarity and permanence of the dyes”

Examples of permanent in a Sentence

She made a permanent home in this country.

Prolonged exposure to the sun can cause permanent skin damage.

The museum’s permanent collection includes works of art from the 18th century.

The transcripts will serve as a permanent record of the proceedings.

lasting or intended to last or remain unchanged indefinitely.
“a permanent ban on the dumping of radioactive waste at sea”
synonyms: lasting, enduring, indefinite, continuing, perpetual, everlasting, eternal, abiding, constant, irreparable, irreversible, lifelong, indissoluble, indelible, standing, perennial, unending, endless, never-ending, immutable, undying, imperishable, indestructible, ineradicable, ineliminable;"

That is the pontificated opinion of the BDAG author/s of the aionios article. Proving their case is another matter altogether, is what is at issue, especially with regard to references such as Mt.25:46 & Dan.12:2, and something which BDAG has not even attempted to do. Listing references that allegedly support their position while excluding those that oppose it may be a good way of selling books to the target buyers who agree with that opinion, but is no way to present evidence objectively.

TDNT notes, after references to Plato & the meaning “eternal”, that in “later poetry and prose aionios is also used in the sense of “lifelong” and “enduring”, in accordance with the basic meaning of --> aion.” (vol 1, p.208). Also, unlike BDAG, TDNT notes that “the phrase in Phlm. 15…“that thou shouldest receive him for ever”…reminds us of the non-biblical usage…and of…“slave for life” in Dt.15:17” (p. 209).


Oh right, everything that disagrees with you is the product of a conspiracy, Nazis, or Satanists. (I also find it funny that you were the one who was originally going on about how all the best lexicons agree with you – but now all of a sudden you’re disavowing the exact ones that you were previously appealing to: “the authors of BDAG, LSJ, Vine’s, & TDNT lexicons, to name a few,” as you wrote.)

And just to establish a baseline of competence in reading Greek, can you tell me what this says?

I have to admit, though, that I misstated things in my earlier comment. I’m pretty sure what I meant to say was that DGE is a nice recent supplement to LSJ. It’s not actually a NT lexicon at all (unlike BDAG, obviously).


No, sir, it might as well be Ferengi, Klingon, or Romulan. Ultimately my faith in universalism isn’t based on the conclusions of ancient dead language scholars (universalists vs annihilationists vs ECTers), let alone their arguments based on Greek or Hebrew language nuances & such which i cannot comprehend & therefore makes them all the same as nonsense to me, but on the teaching of the Holy Spirit:

But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him. (1 Jn.2:27)

Those are some reasons why your disputes with Ramelli are not going to be found convincing by Christian universalists & have been largely ignored on these forums. As someone once posted:

“The Third Law of Theology: For every theologian there is an equal and opposite theologian.”

Or similarly, For every Greek scholars’ opinion there is an equal & opposite opinion.

I’ll be waiting for an English translation.

Inasmuch as pro endless punishment biased lexicons admit that aionion can refer to & be defined as a duration that is finite, they are in agreement with me & opposed to the theory that the word has but one definition, namely “eternal”, and this is also always its meaning, except in the relatively few cases when it is used figuratively (e.g. in hyperbole), such as, for example, with the English word “forever”.

As an unbeliever i don’t expect you to believe in the existence of demons or Satan in influencing false teachings. But, as you may well be aware, Scripture clearly refers to such. It is not that rare IME to find Christians on forums telling me that universalism is a doctrine of demons, & i’m sure you can guess which doctrine i consider to be from that source. Which would glorify Love Omnipotent more, being characterized as a Saviour of all, or an eternal Nazi sadist.


You should have stopped right there. :expressionless:


Redundancy is used in Scripture, such as when Jesus often says “truly truly” or “amen amen”. Moreover, the same phrase as appears in Mk.10:30 is used in Lk.18:30. Soon after Luke also informs that those who attain to the resurrection out from the dead & the age to come will never die (Lk.20:35-36). If Lk.18:30 meant by aionion life an endless life, then Lk.20:35-36 would be redundant info when it tells us they never die.

Also if Jesus had merely said they would obtain life in the age to come, then it may have left it an open question as to whether or not the life would last for the entire age, or possibly just a part of it, something that could be a concern to His listeners (& the readers of the gospel of Mark) in light of Isa.65:20b “the one who dies at a hundred will be thought a mere child; the one who fails to reach a hundred will be considered accursed.” However when translated as, for example, “and in the age to come life age-lasting” (EDNT), it gives the impression that the life will be obtained throughout the entire coming age, and not be subject to the fate indicated in Isaiah 65:20b. Similarly “in the age that is coming, life age-abiding” (Rotherham). Compare:

in the age that is coming, life age-during" (YLT)
and in the coming age the Life of the Ages. (WEY)
and in the coming eon, life eonian (CLV)

Eastern Orthodox scholar David Bentley Hart renders it in his translation of the New Testament as “…in the Age to come, the life of that Age” (Mk.10:30).

New Testament scholar N.T. Wright’s translation shortens it to “the life of the age to come”, leaving several words untranslated.


Then you have no actual rational basis for defending your beliefs here – only “they make me feel better and I like them more”; or, rather, “I like the opinions of [these scholars] more than [these scholars], even though they appear to be equally matched; and I have no competence to actually determine who has the better argument, other than how much it appeals to my personal emotional whims or not.”

I know there’s probably a nicer way to put it, so I’ll apologize in advance for how blunt that was. But even if there were a nicer way, it still wouldn’t change the facts of the matter here.


The problem is - atheism is soooooo boring. And I found it to be sooooo confining. I needed a bigger world than that.
Is that the ‘reason’ I’m a Christian believer? NO, but it’s icing on the cake. :wink:
I’m a Christian, thank God, because I’m rational, or come to think of it, maybe it’s the other way around? Yes I think it IS the other way around! I became a Christian out of need, and among the gifts given was the gift of rationality.
Life is difficult enough without someone trying to undermine someone else’s hope. Does hope really bother atheists so much? Why do they spend time trying to destroy it? What is the point of trying to destroy a life-enhancing dimension that can lead to the flourishing of human beings? I said CAN - people being who they are, we get it wrong often enough. Still, the slenderest knowledge of the most glorious things are worth more than the most exhaustive knowledge of the utterly mundane.


And just to establish a baseline of competence in reading Greek, can you tell me what this says?

There are two ways, one of life and one of death.


That was good. Thanks.


Hey, at least there’s one.

I’m just sick of total amateurs trying to comment authoritatively on ultra-complex matters of Greek philology, but who can’t even read the Greek alphabet or the simplest of verses.


No problem. No doubt there was a nicer way to state my positions to you & i apologize if you have been offended by such. Certainly i have rough edges that need to be filed off.

IMO your extensive work as per the “7 part monstrosity” of the OP has been an interesting and valuable contribution to the debate re the Scriptures’ teaching on final destiny. By that i mean the portions that are comprehensible to the layman who has little or no knowledge of ancient languages. The rest i might not have much to comment on, such as regards your philological opinions vs Ramelli, except perhaps in some cases to point out what various scholars have said.

Regarding a rationale basis for defending my beliefs, i think i’ve proven that universalism can be reasonably supported in the following thread i created:

Of course, as Christians in general believe, i don’t consider the knowledge of the truth re Jesus Christ, salvation & the Scriptures’ teachings to be dependent on having attained to a certain level of learning in ancient languages. It may help or actually hinder the quest for truth.


Okay. How about demonstrating your own proficiency in Greek by translating the first four lines of the following copy of a page from a papyrus dating from around A.D. 150?


First line is

…σὺ μείζων εἶ τοῦ πρς [=πατρὸς] ἡμῶν Ἰακώβ

…are you greater than our father, Jacob…

This has gotta be P66, John 14:12f. (The negative μὴ prefacing this, giving it an interrogative force, is presumably on the previous page. The last line ends with …πέντε γὰρ ἄνδρας, “…for five husbands/men,” the beginning words of John 14:18.)

[Edit:] Ah I forgot you said first four lines. The next 3 are

ὃς ἔδωκεν ἡμῖν τὸ φρέαρ καὶ

αὐτὸς ἐξ αὐτοῦ ἔπιεν καὶ ^οἱ^ υἱοὶ

αὐτοῦ καὶ τὰ θρέμματα αὐτοῦ

No variants from the standard text – the only thing (barely) worthy of remark being the superscripted article for υἱοὶ. Also there’s some sort of (punctuation?) mark in between φρέαρ and καὶ.


Well, l must say, Koine, that I am deeply impressed with your ability to recognize this page which makes up John 14:12-18! Your transliteration is correct, of course. And this leaf is indeed from Papyrus 66. How you recognized that very papyrus, I cannot even imagine! I hadn’t even noticed the “οι” that had been added superlinearly, though I had noticed that mark between “φρεαρ” and “και” and wondered what it was there for. It resembles an English apostrophe. There appears to be another one after “ιακωβ.” Did you notice that one? Or is that one meant to be a question mark?

I have studied koine Greek for only two years formally, though I repeated year one once, and once again in a concentrated summer course. This was just to get a better handle on it, as languages are not my strong point. I also continued to study koine Greek informally for many years afterwards. But I am sure that I am nowhere near your level of competence.


Lets say aionios does mean eternal. Couldn’t it be that the effect of the punishment is eternal, though not necessarily the duration of the punishment?


Yeah… that’s typically called ‘annihilationism’.


Or universalism.


The quoted remarks were not meant as absolutes or literally, but using a literary device called exaggeration:

Wasn’t that obvious?


Davo, how do you explain the aionios punishment of Matthew 25?