The Evangelical Universalist Forum

The Meaning Of Aionios In the New Covenant

Dr. Orville Jenkins

Eternal Punishment

Kolasis Aionian


Owlam, Aion, Aionios


Olethron Aionian (Dr. Marvin Vincent)

G. Campbell Morgan

An Analytical Study of Words (Louis Abbott)

The Greek word “αιωνιος” (aiōnios) means “lasting.” It has no different meaning “in the New Covenant” than it has in any other covenant.

It NEVER means “eternal.” The Greek word for “eternal” is “αιδιος” (aidios) as found in the following verse:

For his invisible nature, his eternal power and deity from the creation of the universe, being clearly understood in the things that have been made, they are without excuse. (Romans 1:20)

Dear Paidion: I am in complete agreement with you!

The New Testament has ONLY one word which can truthfully be translated as ETERNAL. This is the Greek word Aidios which is used only twice: For since the creation of the world GODS invisible qualities - His eternal (aidios) power and divine nature - have been clearly seen.

However, if you read it carefully, you will see a difference between Jude 1:6 and Jude 1:7, whereas, they do not use the same Greek WORD. The fire speaks to that of an age, a period of time, not something that is without a beginning or an end. Nobody would use two different words two describe the same thing, unless - they were speaking English, as there is a difference in their application. Any divergence or variance is worthy of attention and significant - if you’re not playing the ignorant card.

The fire goes out once it has served its purpose. It’s not a reference to that which is Eternal (aidios), having no beginning or end. The words endless torment (adialeipton timorion) or eternal imprisonment (aidios eirgmos) and eternal punishment (aidios kalasin) do not appear anywhere in the Greek New Testament, at least not in conjunction. Therefore, whoever says that there is an eternal (aidios) time set for punishment (kalasin) beyond this life is sadly mistaken. It’s a limited duration of aionion (age-abiding) kalasin (chastisement or correction) which is in view; but the day and hour that it begins and ends is unpredictable. If it were eternal, then the word Aidios would have been used. But not even Jesus used the word for eternal in conjunction with any kind of punishment or life for that matter.

That is true concerning the two different words that are used. “aidios” (eternal) is used in Jude 6, whereas “aiōnios” (lasting) is used in Jude 7. However, whereas the “eternal chains of darkness” are indeed eternal, the text seems to say that the fallen angels will be kept in that eternal darkness only until “the judgment of the great day”

Dear Paidion: The aidios chains of the Aidios God of Glory are wonderful chains indeed. For those who follow the Lamb in the withersoever they bind with love cords, for beings who will not yield (YET) they are cords of restraint. In either case,His Aidios chains ultimately lead to the God of ta panta!

It is clear every dimension of our Father, (heavens, earth & underworld) all confess IN/EN His mighty Name: “You Are Lord.” It is also clear all beings will experience reconciliation.

" For by him were all things created, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; And, having made peace through the blood of his cross to reconcile the all things unto Himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven."

Hebrew Olam=

This is the Hebrew word that is translated into Greek as “αιωνιος” (aiōnios). It does not mean “eternal”; it means “lasting.” The Greek word for “eternal” is “αιδιος” (aidios).

Dear Paidion: You are correct, olam has nothing to do with eternal (aidios) and in fact is related to time (time-related) as is aionios in the New Covenant.

Post by Mike=

As has been shown, the word αἰώνιος has within its semantic range of meaning, the idea of unending duration . . .eternal or everlasting. And eternal punishment is in contrast to eternal life. The duration of both is the same. Because αἰώνιον life is unending, so is αἰώνιον punishment.

In Daniel 12:2, in the Septuagint, the word αἰώνιον is used for those who have been resurrected to a life of unending duration. Resurrection is not a temporary condition, therefore, in this context, the word αἰώνιον refers to unending duration.

Daniel 12:2

2 καὶ πολλοὶ τῶν καθευδόντων ἐν γῆς χώματι ἐξεγερθήσονται, οὗτοι εἰς ζωὴν αἰώνιον καὶ οὗτοι εἰς ὀνειδισμὸν καὶ εἰς αἰσχύνην αἰώνιον .

2 And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life , and some to reproach and everlasting shame.…ook=50&page=12

In Revelation 1:18, Jesus, who was dead (a reference to His crucifixion), is alive, having been resurrected, to the ages of the ages which expresses unending duration since Jesus, having been resurrected, will never die again.

Revelation 1:18 καὶ ὁ Ζῶν καὶ; ἐγενόμην νεκρὸς , καὶ ἰδοὺ ζῶν εἰμι εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας τῶν αἰώνων καὶ ἔχω τὰς κλεῖς τοῦ θανάτου καὶ τοῦ ᾅδου .

Revelation 1:18 and the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades.

As for the word kolasis , it is not restricted to remedial, corrective punishment. In 2 Maccabees 4:38 Kolasis is used for capital punishment. There is nothing remedial, or temporary about capital punishment.

2 Maccabees 4:38

38 καὶ πυρωθεὶς τοῖς θυμοῖς, παραχρῆμα τὴν τοῦ ᾿Ανδρονίκου πορφύραν περιελόμενος καὶ τοὺς χιτῶνας περιρρήξας, περιαγαγὼν καθ᾿ ὅλην τὴν πόλιν, ἐπ᾿ αὐτὸ τὸν τόπον, οὗπερ εἰς τὸν ᾿Ονίαν ἠσέβησεν, ἐκεῖ τὸν μιαιφόνον ἀπεκόσμησε, τοῦ Κυρίου τὴν ἀξία αὐτῷ κόλασιν ἀποδόντος.

38 And being kindled with anger, forthwith he took away Andronicus his purple, and rent off his clothes, and leading him through the whole city unto that very place, where he had committed impiety against Onias, there slew he the cursed murderer. Thus the Lord rewarded him his punishment , as he had deserved.…book=22&page=4

Warden Dresden response=

Mike, your links don’t lead to anything that supports your argument, just some non-biblical literature with a Greek page opposite. There is no semantic range in them nor reasoning as to how to reach your conclusion.

On the other hand I provided specific links or referenced books to the chapter if electronic or page number if typed.

God’s punishment is corrective, not punitive—-and there is even a biblical illustration.

Check out the punishment that Paul prescribes in I Corinthians 5: 5. You never never have guessed that, in prescribing such a punishment—that is, delivering a man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh—Paul had in mind a corrective purpose if Paul hadn’t explicitly stated the corrective purpose himself (“ that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus”). So as this text illustrates, even harsh punishment of a seemingly retributive kind can in fact serve a redemptive purpose.


Dr. Helena Keizer is a trustworthy authority on the definition of aiōn in ancient Greek literature, including the Bible in the time of Christ. Keizer published a 315-page doctoral dissertation titled: “Life, Time, Entirety –A Study of Aiōn in Greek Literature and Philosophy, the Septuagint and Philo.” Presented on September 7, 1999 in Holland, at Amsterdam University. Keizer stated: “Olām and hence aiōn in the Biblical sense is time constituting the human temporal horizon.” (29) “Our study has led to the conclusion that infinity is not an intrinsic or necessary connotation of aiōn, either in the Greek or in the Biblical usage (‘ olām) .” (30) “To speak of ‘this aiōn’, its ‘end,’ and ‘theaiōn to come’ clearly lends to aiōn the meaning of a limited time.” (31) “The following description of Gregory of Nyssa… makes a good finishing point for now: ‘Aeon designates temporality, that which occurs within time.’” (32)

Beauchemin, Gerry; Hope Beyond Hell; The Righteous Purpose of God’s Judgment , Chapter One (EB)

Both Origen and Clement of Alexandria believed in Restorative Universalism. And note there is a huge difference between Universalism and Restorative Universalism—- the later holding to the view that, at least for some, there will be a period of separation from God that will be unpleasant. You can read what some church fathers thought here: Is Hell Eternal Punishment, Death or Corrective Restoration? - GodRules.NET

Aidios Chains

Originally, the word “κολασις” (kolasis) was used to reference to the pruning of trees, shrubs, or vines with a view to correcting their growth by shaping them. Later it was used figuratively with reference to the correction of people, e.g. Children. To translate the word as “punish” is correct as long as it is understood to be reformative rather than retributive. In English, “punish” may have either connotation, although it is more often taken in the latter sense, or in the sense of administering a penalty.

And you, son of man, show to the household of Israel, the house, that they may cease from their sins, and show its appearance and its arrangement. And they shall receive their correction concerning all their doings, and you shall describe the house, and its entrances and its foundation, and all its systems, and you shall make known to them all it regulations and describe them in their presence, and they shall guard all my righteous ordinances and all my commands and do them.(Ezekiel 43:10-11) a translation of the Septuagint.

n Greek, the word “τιμωρεω” has the meaning “to punish” in the penal sense and the retributive sense. Indeed, every lexicon I have checked gives the primary meaning as “to adminster a penalty” or “to avenge”. Strongs indicates that the word was derived from the two words “τιμη” (honour) and “οὐρος”(guard). Put them together, and you have the concept of a person guarding his honour through penalty or vengeance. In recording Paul’s own words concerning his treatment of disciples of Christ prior to Paul’s becoming a disciple himself, Luke wrote:

Acts 22:5 "as also the high priest bears me witness, and all the council of the elders, from whom I also received letters to the brethren, and went to Damascus to bring in chains even those who were there to Jerusalem to be punished (τιμωρεω) .

Acts 26:11 "and I punished (τιμωρεω) them often in every synagogue and compelled them to blaspheme; and being exceedingly enraged against them, I persecuted them even to foreign cities.

One of the best ways to get a sense of how a Greek word is used is to note how it is used in literature. The word is used in 4 Macabees 2:12 to indicate correction of children. No good parent punishes his children out of vengeance, but corrects them out of love.

4 Macabees is thought to have been written sometime between 100 B.C. to 100 A.D., that is, in the period in which the New Testament was written. It seems the author had been strongly moved by his reading of the deeds of Antiochus Ephiphanes against the Jews in 1 and 2 Macabees. So much of his “philosophical” thought and “devout reason” centers around the history he read there. In the following sentence he uses both “τιμωρεω” and “ κολαζω“ in a single sentence!

The tyrant Antiochus was both punished (τιμωρεω) on earth and is being corrected (κολαζω) after his death. (4 Maccabees 18:5)

The Judaistic belief at the time was that people’s souls survive death. So the sentence seems to say that while Antochus’s enemies got their revenge on him and his armies here on earth, God began to correct his soul after death. The author apparently held that post-mortem punishment was remedial. Otherwise he would not have chosen the word “κολαζω” but would have maintained the word “τιμωρεω” for his punishment after death, too.

Here is an example from the Septuagint translation of Ezekiel 43:10-11:

And you, son of man, show to the household of Israel, the house, and show its appearance and its arrangement,that they may cease from their sins. And they shall receive their κολασις concerning all their doings, and you shall describe the house, and its entrances and its foundation, and all its systems, and you shall make known to them all it regulations and describe them in their presence, and they shall guard all my righteous ordinances and all my commands and do them. (Ezekiel 43:10-11)

In this passage, God states His purpose in asking Ezekiel to show the house to Israel, namely that they may cease from their sins. He immediately follows this with “And they shall receive their κολασις concerning all their doings.” If God wants them to cease from their sins, and then gives them κολασις, is He penalizing them or punishing them retributively, or is He correcting them? The answer seems plain. Furthermore the conclusion of the matter is that the Israelites “will guard all my righteous ordinances and all my commands and do them.”

Aidios was used as a time word, I don’t agree with this explanation, however it was used sometimes in a more limited sense too as has been argued by some universalist scholars, I was able to confirm this quote:

The Peloponnesian War, Book 6, chapter 24, section 3, can be find here:

All alike fell in love with the enterprise. The older men thought that they would either subdue
the places against which they were to sail, or at all events, with so large a force, meet with no
disaster; those in the prime of life felt a longing for foreign sights and spectacles, and had no
doubt that they should come safe home again; while the idea of the common people and the
soldiery was to earn wages at the moment, and make conquests that would supply a neverending fund of pay [aidion misthophoran] for the future.

The context suggests that it didn’t meant literally everlasting there, a commentary states: “aidion misthophoran - this is explained by editors to mean that the addition of Sicily to the empire would lead to continual campaigns; but Gilbert rightly paraphrases: ‘they hoped to get permanent employment out of the acquisition somehow’: misthophora is used loosely for pay for any services.”