The Evangelical Universalist Forum

The Meaning Of Aionios In the New Covenant

That’s a very good link, John. Thanks.


FineLinen, the word means “lasting.” Call it time related or not, that’s what the word means.

Dear Paidion: The vocabulary of the Greek N.T. by James Moulton & George Milligan says regarding aionios>>>

“In general, the word depicts that of which the horizon is not in view "

In that sense, “lasting” is indeed correct.

The question is, how long is it lasting, and if the horizon coming into view eclipses the aspect of calibre & quality of the same?

Greetings Fine Linen!

The word “αἰωνιος” (which means “lasting”) does not imply any specific length of time. It could be a few days, a few thousand years, or even forever. God Himself, who is eternal is said to be “αἰωνιος.”(Romans 16:26)

To find out what a Greek word means, one should look up the word in many writings. Lexicons can be deceiving. Besides with a dozen of more “definitions” how can you know the primary meaning of the word? I find that the dozens of meanings which lexiconophers (newly coined word) produce are usually possible words that may be placed in translations to make sense. Lexicons don’t really help much to understand the meaning of a word. I go also by the etymology of the word. I have studied Greek for several years, and my faith in lexicons has been steadily decreasing. I look up the words as they are normally used in the Septuagint (including the apocrypha), and in extra-biblical Greek writings.

The words which have been translated as “eternal punishment” are the Greek words “αἰωνιος κολασις” Let’s consider “κολασις” first. This word was originally used for “prune” as in pruning plants. Plants are pruned by cutting off certain parts so as to correct the growth of the plant. “κολασις” was used in classical Greek in reference to a means to correct an offender. Look at any Greek lexicon, and you will find “correct” is given as one of its meanings.

The word is found only twice in the entire New Testament — Matthew 25:46 in regards to the goats in Jesus’ parable, and I John 4:18 :

There is no fear in love, but complete love casts out fear. Fear has κολασις. The one who is afraid is not completed in love.

What could the statement “Fear has punishment” possibly mean? I could understand “Punishment has fear”, but not “Fear has punishment”. Do you know of anyone who has been punished because he is afraid?

However, I CAN understand “Fear has correction”. The context of this statement indicates what the correction is. A state of fear in a person can be corrected when that person is completed in love .

Now back to Matthew 25:46 where the goats are to be sent into “αἰωνιος κολασις”. If we agree that “κολασις” means “correction”, then what would “eternal correction” mean? If a person were corrected eternally, the correction would never be completed, and thus the person would not be corrected at all!

Fortunately “αἰωνιος” DOES NOT mean “eternal”. Indeed, it never means “eternal”. It is the adjectival form of the noun “αἰων”, which means “age”. So, I suppose we could translate “αἰωνιος” as “agey”, but as far as I know, the latter is not an English word.

The word was used in koine Greek (the Greek spoken from 300 B.C. to 300 A.D.) to refer to anything which is enduring. The word was used by Diodorus Siculus to describe the stone used to build a wall. The word seems to have been used as meaning “lasting” or “durable”.

Josephus in “The Wars of the Jews” book 6, states that Jonathan was condemned to “αἰωνιος” imprisonment. Yet that prison sentence lasted only three years.

But the clincher comes from the Homily of the Epistle of Saint Paul to the Ephesians, written by Chrysostom. He wrote that the kingdom of Satan “is αἰωνιος (agey), in other words it will cease with the present αἰων (age).” So Chrysostum apparently believed that “αἰωνιος” meant exactly the opposite to “eternal”! ---- that is “ lasting” but in this case also “temporary.”

As I see it, the following would be a correct translation of Matthew 25:46

And they [the goats] will go away into lasting correction, but the righteous into lasting life .

Lasting correction is correction which endures. At some point it comes to an end. Lasting life is life which endures. But it just so happens that the lasting life we receive from Christ endures forever. But the idea of “forever” is not inherent in the word “αἰωνιος”.

The true Greek word for “eternal” is “αἰδιος”. That word is found in the following verse:

Ever since the creation of the world his invisible nature, namely, his eternal (αἰδιος) power and deity, has been clearly perceived in the things that have been made. Romans 1:20


Dear Paidion: Due to the fact you reside in the backwoods of that remote area of Ontario, your advanced age & koine experience, and the fact you have made a remarkable post, F.L. concurs.

That which our Father does has enduring qualities in zao life or His correction/pruning. No being comes into His Royal Presence without radical change & transformation. It is lasting, it is good, & resounds to His good pleasure and our aionios enhancement.

There is no fear in love, but complete love casts out fear. Fear has κολασις. The one who is afraid is not completed in love.

The Greek Words “aion” and “aionios,” do these words mean “eternal” or “everlasting”?


Strong’s Greek: 126. ἀΐδιος (aidios) – everlasting

The Ages or A Time Sequence in aionios How Words “Mean” in Greek and English
Dr. Orville Boyd Jenkins

Time or Character, The Ages or A Time Sequence in aionios: How Words “Mean” in Greek and English

The adjective (aionios)is never found until the writings of Plato (427 BC - 347 BC) who only used the word five times, and while he did use this word in the context of eternity, he never used it by itself to mean such.


The word, in and of itself, does not mean eternal. Whenever he wanted to convey the idea of eternity, he always combined a stronger forced word with it such as aidios. Not once did he ever use aionios by itself to mean endless.


Both Plato and Aristotle did use the word by itself to mean temporary.

Dr. J. W. Hanson

Plato, referring to certain souls in Hades, describes them as being in aionian intoxication.

He does not use the word in the sense of endless is evident from the Phaedon, where he says, “It is a very ancient opinion that souls quitting the world, repair to the infernal regions, and return after that, to live in this world.”

“After the aionian intoxication is over, they return to earth, which demonstrates that the word was not used by him as meaning endless.”

Aristotle uses the word in the same sense.

"All these things (the earth) seem to be done for her good, in order to maintain safety during her aionios duration, or life.

And still more to the purpose is this quotation concerning God’s existence:

“Life and 'an aion continuous and eternal, zoe kai aion sunekes kai aidios.” Here the word aidios, (eternal) is employed to qualify aion and impart to it what it had not of itself, the sense of eternal.

So we can see from classic Greek usage that the word aionios meant a temporal period of time and was not used to convey the idea of eternity.

“As the marsh-hen secretly builds on the watery sod, behold I will build me a nest on the greatness of God.” -Sidney Lanier_

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The New Testament in Modern Speech, by Dr. R. F. Weymouth

Eternal: Greek: “aeonion,” i.e., “of the ages.” Etymologically this adjective, like others similarly formed, does not signify “during,” but “belong to” the aeons or ages."

The Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible (vol. IV, p. 643)

Time: The O.T. and the N.T. are not acquainted with the conception of eternity as timelessness. The O.T. has not developed a special term for “eternity.” The word aion originally meant “vital force,” “life,” then “age,” “lifetime.”

Elliot’s Commentary on the Whole Bible (Matt. 25:46)

Everlasting punishment–life eternal. The two adjectives represent the same Greek word, aionios-it must be admitted that the Greek word which is rendered “eternal” does not, in itself, involve endlessness, but rather, duration, whether through an age or succession of ages, and that it is therefore applied in the N.T. to periods of time that have had both a beginning and ending (Rom. 16:25).

Hasting’s Dictionary of the New Testament (Vol. I, p. 542, art. Christ and the Gospels)

Eternity. There is no word either in the O.T. Hebrew or the N.T. Greek to express the abstract idea of eternity. (Vol. III, p. 369): Eternal, everlasting-nonetheless “eternal” is misleading, inasmuch as it has come in the English to connote the idea of “endlessly existing,” and thus to be practically a synonym for “everlasting.” But this is not an adequate rendering of aionios which varies in meaning with the variations of the noun aion from which it comes. (p. 370):

The chronoios aioniois moreover, are not to be thought of as stretching backward everlastingly, as it is proved by the pro chronon aionion of II Tim. 1:9; Titus. 1:2. (Note: pro chronon aionion means “BEFORE times eonian.” Since this Scripture tells us that there was time “before” eonian, eionian cannot possibly mean eternal, for nothing can be “before” eternity.)

The large Catholic Bible dictionary, The Encyclopedic Dictionary of the Bible (p. 693)

ETERNITY: The Bible hardly speaks of eternity in the philosophical sense of infinite duration without beginning or end. The Hebrew word olam, which is used alone (Ps. 61:8; etc.) or with various prepositions (Gen. 3:22; etc.) in contexts where it is traditionally translated as ‘forever,’ means in itself no more than 'for an indefinitely long period." Thus me olam does not mean ‘from eternity’ but ‘of old’ Gen. 6:4; etc.). In the N.T. aion is used as the equivalent of olam. (Note: even the Catholic translators of The Jerusalem Bible and The New American Bible have failed to heed the scholarship of their own Catholic authorities.)

Dr. R. F. Weymouth, a translator who was adept in Greek, states in The New Testament in Modern Speech (p. 657)

Eternal, Greek aeonion, i.e., of the ages: Etymologically this adjective, like others similarly formed does not signify, “during” but “belonging to” the aeons or ages.

Dr. Marvin Vincent, Word Studies of the New Testament (Vol. IV, p. 59).

The adjective aionios in like manner carries the idea of time. Neither the noun nor the adjective in themselves carries the sense of “endless” or "everlasting.’ Anionios means enduring through or pertaining to a period of time.

Dr. F. W. Farrar, author of The Life of Christ and The Life and Word of St. Paul, as well as books about Greek grammar and syntax, writes in The Eternal Hope (p. 198)

In Dr. Farrar’s book, Mercy and Judgment, (p. 378)

“Since aion meant ‘age,’ aionios means, properly, ‘belonging to an age,’ or ‘age-long,’ and anyone who asserts that it must mean ‘endless’ defends a position which even Augustine practically abandoned twelve centuries ago. Even if aion always meant ‘eternity,’ which is not the case in classic or Hellenistic Greek- aionios could still mean only ‘belonging to eternity’ and not 'lasting through it.”

The Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible, (Vol. 4, p. 641)

“The O.T. and the N.T. are not acquainted with the concept of eternity as timelessness.” Page 655: “The O.T. has not developed a special term for eternity.” Page 645: “The use of the word aion in the N.T. is determined very much by the O.T. and the LXX. Aion means long, distant, uninterrupted time. The intensifying plural occurs frequently in the N.T. but it adds no new meaning.”

Dr. Edward Plumptre, an eschatologist

“I fail to find, as is used by the Greek Fathers, any instance in which the idea of time duration is unlimited.”

Time and Eternity by G. T. Stevenson, (p. 63)

“Since, as we have seen, the noun aion refers to a period of time it appears, very improbable that the derived adjective aionios would indicate infinite duration, nor have we found any evidence in Greek writing to show that such a concept was expressed by this term.”

Professor Herman Oldhausen, German Lutheran theologian

“The Bible has no expression for endlessness. All the Biblical terms imply or denote long periods.”

Professor Knappe of Halle wrote

“The Hebrew was destitute of any single word to express endless duration. The pure idea of eternity is not found in any of the ancient languages.”

An Alphabetical Analysis by Charles H. Welch (Editor of The Berean Expositor and a man well versed in Greek), (Vol. 1, p. 279)

“Eternity is not a Biblical theme.” (Vol. 1, p. 52), “What we have to learn is that the Bible does not speak of eternity. It is not written to tell us of eternity. Such a consideration is entirely outside the scope of revelation.”

Dr. Mangey, a translator of the writings of Philo, says

“Philo did not use aionios to express endless duration.”

The Complete Works of Falvius Josephus.

Josephus obviously did not consider anionios to be “everlasting,” seeing that he uses the word to represent the period of time between the giving of the law of Moses and that of his own writing [clearly not an eternity] . He also assigns aionios to the period of imprisonment of the tyrant John by the Romans [clearly he was not imprisoned for an eternity] , and also for the period during which Herod’s temple stood [since Herod’s temple was not even standing at the time Josephus wrote, it too proves that Josephus did not mean ‘eternity’ when he wrote ‘aionios’] .

Saint Gregory of Nyssa speaks of anionios diastema

“an eonian interval.” How many intervals do you know of that are “endless” or “eternal?”

Saint Chrysostum, in his homily on Eph. 2:1-3

“Satan’s kingdom is aeonian; that is, it will cease with the present world.”

Saint Justin Martyr, in the Apol. (p. 57)

Used the word aionios repeatedly: aionion kolasin…all ouchi chiliontaete periodon, “eonian chastening but a period, not a thousand years,” or as some translate this clause “but a period of a thousand years only.” Hence, to Justin Martyr, aionios was certainly not “endless.”

Dr. O.B. Jenkins

FL, eternity doesn’t have an end. It should be translated “the end of the ages.”

Dear Paidion: Eternity indeed does not have an end & cascades into the One from whom, and in Him the all terminates. Much thanks for the end of the ages translation.

Dear Qaz: then koine_lingua stands very much alone!

Concerning Aion and Aionios

The most commonly used Greek-English lexicons used today by Christians are those by Thayer (1886) and by Arndt and Gingrich (1957). The definitions given for the noun, aion, and the adjective, aionios, are widely accepted as authoritative and determinative for the teaching of everlasting punishment. This becomes for many believers a strong bulwark against taking scriptural passages such as John 12:32; Romans 5:18,19; 11:32-36; 1 Corinthians 15:22-28; 2 Corinthians 5:14; Ephesians 1:10,11; Philippians 2:9-11; Colossians 1:20; 1 Timothy 2:4; 4:9,10; and 1 John 2:2, at face value. What is claimed for Matthew 25:46 or 2 Thessalonians 1:9, for example, is seen as limiting the meaning of the former passages.

Concerning the noun, aion, however, both lexicons (and all other such works) allow for an interpretation that would harmonize with the teaching of eventual, universal salvation.

Thayer’s lexicon gives as its first definition of aion the sense of “age.” This is the second definition (of four) given in the more recent lexicon edited by Arndt and Gingrich. Hence a passage such as Matthew 12:32 could be understood as referring to the present age and the age to come, which would not, in itself, keep us from taking Romans 3:21-24 and 5:12-19 in reference to universal justification.

But in both of these lexicons, the adjective, aionios, is presented as having three meanings, in none of which the limiting sense of “age” is carried over from the noun. The adjective, it is claimed, means: (1) without beginning; or (2) without end; or (3) without beginning or end.

This may strike others, as it does me, as a rather dubious development of an adjective’s meaning in relation to its noun form. But apart from that, this threefold definition simply does not work in several New Testament passages (and many other passages in the Greek translation of the Old Testament, called the Septuagint).

The usages of aionios in Romans 16:25; 2 Timothy 1:9; Titus 1:2; and Philemon 15, seem especially puzzling in view of the claims of these two lexicons.

It certainly is difficult to understand how the keeping of a secret can have no beginning, and indeed if the secret is revealed, we must assume its being kept as a secret has come to an end. No wonder the KJV of Romans 16:25 reads “since the world began,” even though the Greek speaks of “times” described as aionios. The RV is more faithful to the threefold definition, referring to a mystery kept “through times eternal” but now manifested, but that has the great disadvantage of making no sense whatever if these times are to be understood as either without beginning or without end, or, even more puzzling, without beginning and end.

In such cases, Bible commentators generally ignore the threefold definition given in the lexicons and make their own for these particular passages. In the NICNT volume on Romans, John Murray explains that “times eternal” refers “to the earlier ages of this world’s history” (THE EPISTLE TO THE ROMANS, vol.2, p.241). Such ages would obviously have both a beginning and end.

Notice how A. T. Robertson handles the adjective in his WORD PICTURES IN THE NEW TESTAMENT. In commenting on Matthew 25:46 he follows the threefold definition given above, writing: “The word aionios . . . means either without beginning or without end or both” (vol.1, p.202). But in commenting on Titus 1:2 he insists that the words “before times eternal” refer “Not to God’s purpose before time began . . . but to definite promises (Rom.9:4) made in time.” Here he explains Paul’s words as signifying “Long ages ago” (vol.4, p.597). Some other commentators may try to explain that Paul is referring to something that God promised in “eternity past” but for most of us it does seem difficult to grasp any meaning in the idea of a promise being made and kept without any beginning of its being made.
In the multi volume THEOLOGICAL DICTIONARY OF THE NEW TESTAMENT (begun in German under the editorship of Gerhard Kittel) Hermann Sasse admits, “The concept of eternity [in aionios ] is weakened” in Romans 16:25; 2 Timothy 1:9 and Titus 1:2 (vol.1. p.209). He explains that these passages use “the eternity formulae” which he had previously explained as “the course of the world” perceived as “a series of smaller aiones ” (p.203). Sasse also refers to the use of aionios in Philemon 15, which he feels “reminds us of the non-biblical usage” of this word, which he had earlier found to signify “lifelong” or “enduring” (p.208).

This is not to suggest any particular agreement with all these various attempts to define aion and aionios. In fact, the confusion created by these attempts to preserve some sense of everlastingness in these terms makes the attempts rather suspicious. Putting all the evidence of the usage of these terms in the New Testament together, it seems to me that the threefold definition of aionios as signifying without beginning, or without end, or without beginning and end, must be dismissed as inadequate at the very least. Furthermore, to add further definitions that are not at all clear in themselves, as Sasse does, only adds to the confusion.

Of all widely used, modern attempts to define these terms, I have found the concluding definition given in THE VOCABULARY OF THE GREEK TESTAMENT (edited by James Hope Moulton and George Milligan) most helpful. Concerning aionios we read, “In general, the word depicts that of which the horizon is not in view . . .” (p.16). If the horizon of the extermination spoken of by Paul in 2 Thessalonians 1:9 is simply not in view, then we can see that what Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15:22 can truly occur. The same all who are dying in Adam, which includes some who incur eonian extermination, can indeed eventually be vivified in Christ. The Bible, in fact, does not speak of judgment and condemnation, death and destruction, hades and Gehenna, or any of these serious consequences of sin, as unending. It may refer to them as not having the end in view, but none of these fearful works of God can keep Him from achieving His will (1Tim.2:4); reconciling all through the blood of Christ’s cross (Col.1:20, and becoming All in all (1 Cor.15:28). -Dean Hough-

The Greek word “αιωνιος” (aiōnios) never MEANS “eternal.” It means “lasting.” It is often applied to that which lasts a long time, but which is temporary. The word sometimes is also APPLIED to that which is eternal. For that which is eternal is also lasting.

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J. Preston Eby

The noun AION nowhere means eternal. Its simple meaning is an age. In its plural form it means ages. We have unquestionably and incontrovertibly demonstrated this fact from numerous New Testament passages. Now once we understand that AIONIOS is the adjective form of the noun AION, a simple little sixth-grade grammar lesson should once and for all establish the exact meaning of AIONIOS.

And yet men who should know better tell us that the Greek noun AION means an age, or ages, which is TIME, and then proceed to ridiculously explain that the adjective form of the same word means exactly the opposite - unending, everlasting, ETERNAL!

What The New Testament Teaches

Aeonian Life Passes Into A Region Above Time

Let us consider the true meaning of the words “aion” and “aionios”.

These are the originals of the terms rendered by our translators “everlasting,” for ever and ever" and on this translation, so misleading, a vast portion of the popular dogma of endless torment is built up. I say, without hesitation, misleading and incorrect; for “aion” means “an age,” a limited period, whether long or short, though often of indefinite length; and the adjective “aionios” means “of the age,” “age-long,” “aeonian,” and NEVER “everlasting” (of its own proper force), it is true that it may be applied as an epithet to things that are endless, but the idea of endlessness in all such cases comes not from the epithet, but only because it is inherent in the object to which the epithet is applied, as in the case of God…


The word “Aionios” by itself, whether adjective or substantive, never means endless"–Canon Farrar -

“The conception of eternity, in the Semitic languages, is that of a long duration and series of ages.”–Rev. J. S. Blunt-- Dictionary of Theology.

" 'Tis notoriously known," says Bishop Rust, “that the Jews, whether writing in Hebrew or Greek, do by ‘olam’ (the Hebrew word corresponding to “aion”), and aion mean any remarkable period or duration, whether it be of life, or dispensation, or polity.”

The word aion is never used in Scripture, or anywhere else, in the sense of endlessness (vulgarly called eternity), it always meant, both in Scripture and out, a period of time; else how could it have a plural–how could you talk of the aeons and aeons of aeons as the Scripture does? -C. Kingsley-

So the secular games, celebrated every century were called “eternal” by the Greeks.–(See HUET, Orig. 2 Page 162)

…Much has been written on the import of the aeonian (eternal) life. Altogether to exclude, (with Maurice) the notion of time seems impracticable, and opposed to the general usage of the New Testament (and of the Septuagint). But while this is so, we may fully recognize that the phrase “eternal life” (aeonian life) does at times pass into a region above time, a region wholly moral and spiritual. Thus, in Saint John, the aeonian life (eternal life), of which he speaks, is a life not measured by duration, but a life in the unseen, life in God. Thus, e.g., God’s commandment is life eternal,–ib. 17.3, and Christ is the eternal life.–1 John 1:2, 20.

Quality & Quantity

Admitting, then, the usual reference of aionios to time, we note in the word a tendency to rise above this idea, to denote quality, rather than quantity, to indicate the true, the spiritual, in opposition to the unreal, or the earthly. In this sense the eternal is now and here. Thus “eternal” punishment is one thing, and “everlasting” punishment a very different thing, and so it is that our Revisers have substituted for “everlasting” the word “eternal” in every passage in the New Testament, where aionios is the original word. Further, if we take the term strictly, eternal punishment is impossible, for “eternal” in strictness has no beginning.

Aaronic Priesthood Long Ceased To Exist

Again, a point of great importance is this, that it would have been impossible for the Jews, as it is impossible for us, to accept Christ, except by assigning a limited–nay, a very limited duration–to those Mosaic ordinances which were said in the Old Testament to be “for ever,” to be “everlasting” (aeonian). Every line of the New Testament, nay, the very existence of Christianity is thus in fact a proof of the limited sense of aionios in Scripture. Our Baptism in the Name of Jesus Christ, our Holy Communion, every prayer uttered in a Christian Church, or in our homes, in the name of the Lord Jesus: our hopes of being “for ever with the Lord”–these contain one and all an affirmation most real, though tacit, of the temporary sense of aionios.

Aionios Repeatedly Applied To Things That Have Long Ago Ceased To Exist

As a further illustration of the meaning of aion and aionios, let me point out that in the Greek version of the Old Testament (the Septuagint)–in common use among the Jews in our Lord’s time, from which He and the Apostles usually quoted, and whose authority, therefore, should be decisive on this point–these terms are repeatedly applied to things that have long ceased to exist.


The Aaronic priesthood is said to be “everlasting,” -Numb.25:13-

The land of Canaan is given as an “everlasting” possession, and “for ever” -Gen. 17:8…Gen. 18:15-

In Deut. 23:3, “for ever” is distinctly made an equivalent to “even to the tenth generation.”

In Lamentations 5:19, “for ever and ever” is the equivalent of from “generation to generation.”

The inhabitants of Palestine are to be bondsmen “for ever” -Lev. 25:46-

In Numb. 18:19, the heave offerings of the holy things are a covenant “for ever.”

Caleb obtains his inheritance “for ever” -Joshua 14:9-

And David’s seed is to endure “for ever,” his throne “for ever,” his house “for ever;” nay, the passover is to endure “for ever;” and in Isa. 32:14, the forts and towers shall be “dens for ever, until the spirit be poured upon us.”

So in Jude 7, Sodom and Gomorrah are said to be suffering the vengeance of eternal (aeonian) fire, i.e., their temporal overthrow by fire, for they have a definite promise of final restoration.–(Ezek. 16:55)

Christ’s Kingdom Is To Last Forever & Yet

And Christ’s kingdom is to last “for ever,” yet we are distinctly told that this very kingdom is to end.–(I Cor. 15:24) Indeed, quotation might be added to quotation, both from the Bible and from early authors, to prove this limited meaning of aion and its derivatives; but enough has probably been said to prove that it is wholly impossible, and indeed absurd, to contend that any idea of endless duration is necessarily or commonly implied by either aion or aionios.


Thus Josephus calls “aeonian,” the temple of Herod, which was actually destroyed when he wrote. PHILO never uses aionios of endless duration.

Aion Either Means Endless Duration Or It Does Not

Further, if this translation of aionios as “eternal,” in the sense of endless, be correct, aion must mean eternity, i.e., endless duration. But so to render it would reduce Scripture to an absurdity.

In the first place, you would have over and over again to talk of the “eternities.” We can comprehend what “eternity” is, but what are the “eternities?” You cannot have more than one eternity. The doxology would run thus: “Thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, unto the eternities.”

In the case of the sin against the Holy Ghost, the translation would then be, “it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this eternity nor in that to come.”

Our Lord’s words, (Matt. 13:39), would then be, “the harvest is the end of the eternity,” i.e., the end of the endless, which is to make our Lord talk nonsense.

Again, in Mark 4:19, the translation should be, “the cares,” not of “this world,” but “the cares of this eternity choke the word.”

In Luke 16:8, “The children of this world,” should be “the children of this eternity.”

In 1 Cor. 10:11, the words, “upon whom the ends of the world are come,” should be: “the ends of the eternities.”

Take next, Gal. 1:4: “That He might deliver us from this present evil world,” should run thus: “from this present evil eternity.”

In 2 Tim. 4:10, the translation should be: “Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present eternity.”

And “Now once at the end of the ages hath He been manifested,” should read, on the popular view, “at the end of the eternities.”

Let me state the dilemma clearly. Aion either means endless duration as its necessary, or at least its ordinary significance, or it does not. If it does, the following difficulties at once arise;


  1. How, if it mean an endless period, can aion have a plural?

  2. How came such phrases to be used as those repeatedly occurring in Scripture, where aion is added to aion, if aion is of itself infinite?

  3. How come such phrases as for the “aion” or aions and beyond?–ton aiona kai ep aiona kai eti: eis tous aionas kai eti.–(see Sept. Ex. 15:18…Dan. 12:3…Micah 4:5)

  4. How is it that we repeatedly read of the end of the aion?–Matt. 13:39-40-49;…Matt. 24:3…Matt. 28:20…1 Cor. 10:11…Hebr. 9:26.

  5. Finally, if aion be infinite, why is it applied over and over to what is strictly finite? e.g. Mark 4:19…Acts 3:21…Rom. 12:2…1 Cor. 1:20…1 Cor. 2:6…1 Cor. 3:18, 10:11, etc. etc.

If Aion Is Not Infinite

But if aion be not infinite, what right have we to render the adjective aionios (which depends for its meaning on aion) by the terms “eternal” (when used as the equivalent of “endless”) and “everlasting?”

Indeed our translators have really done further hurt to those who can only read their English Bible.

They have, wholly obscured a very important doctrine, that of “the ages.” This when fully understood throws a flood of light on the plan of redemption, and the method of the divine working. Take a few instances which show the force and clearness gained, by restoring the true rendering of the words aion and aionios.

Turn to Matt. 24:3. There our version represents the disciples as asking “what should be the sign of the end of the world.” It should be the end of the “age;” the close of the Jewish age marked by the fall of Jerusalem.

In Matt. 13:39-40-49, the true rendering is not the end of the “world,” but of the “age,” an important change.

So John 17:3, “this is life eternal,” should be “the life of the ages,” i.e., peculiar to those ages, in which the scheme of salvation is being worked out.

Or take Heb 5:9; Heb. 9:12; Heb. 13:20, “eternal salvation” should be “aeonian” or of the ages; “eternal redemption” is the redemption “of the ages;” the eternal covenant is the “covenant of the ages,” the covenant peculiar to the ages of redemption.

In Eph. 3:11, “the eternal purpose” is really the purpose of “the ages,” i.e., worked out in “the ages.”

In Eph. 3:21, there occurs a suggestive phrase altogether obscured (as usual, where this word is in question), by our version, “until all the generations of the age of the ages.” Thus it runs in the original, and it is altogether unfair to conceal this elaborate statement by merely rendering “throughout all ages.”

In 1 Cor. 10:11 “the ends of the world” are the “ends of the ages.” In 1 Cor. 2:6-7-8, the word aion is four times translated “world,” it should be "age’ or “ages” in all cases.

And here it is impossible to avoid asking how–assuming that aion does mean “world” in these cases–how it can yield, as an adjective, such a term as “everlasting?” If it mean “world,” then the adjective should be “worldly,” “of the world.” And great force and freshness would be gained in our version by always adhering to the one rendering “age.”

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Eby is right.

The meaning of Aion is not as simple as many here see it, Aion is rather time than eternity, but time as a whole can be everlasting as well and so can Aion be everlasting, however I consider the meaning of olam more important than the notion of Aion in Greek thought. Interesting literature on the topic, partly difficult to understand:

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Justinian, described as a “half-heathen”, made an ET declaration, but didn’t just use kolasis (punishment) aonian, but qualified it with the word ‘ateleutetos’ - which means endless.

He said “The holy church of Christ teaches an endless aeonian (ateleutetos aionios) life to the righteous, and endless (ateleutetos) punishment to the wicked.”

If he supposed aionios denoted endless duration, he would not have added the stronger word to it. The fact that he qualified it by ateleutetos, demonstrated that as late as the sixth century the former word did not signify endless duration. Thereby admitting that kolasis aonian was NOT considered ‘eternal’ at the time.

However, as his (Julian) contemporary, Olympiodorus wrote,

“Do not suppose that the soul is punished for endless ages in Tartarus. Very properly the soul is not punished to gratify the revenge of the divinity, but for the sake of healing. But we say that the soul is punished for an aeonian period, calling its life, and its allotted period of punishment, its aeon.” It will be noticed that he not only denies endless punishment, and denies that the doctrine can be expressed by aionios declares that punishment is temporary and results in the sinner’s improvement."

The noun is Life or judgment and the modifying ADJECTIVE is the age that life/judgment are both taking place in. Your Greek scholars error is in taking a noun… aion/age , which is an undetermined period of time with a beginning and an end, and then defining the modifying adjective of that noun …aionios …as almost always (67 X vs 3 X) being defined as a length of time that’s eternally endless both forward and backward . That is bad grammar, but it is the definition of the word aidios . Grammatical law says no adjective can have a definition stronger than the noun from which it is derived from.

Then to add dumber to dumb, the translators backpedaled to define aion/age as a limited time frame (which it is) as well as an unlimited or eternal time frame . HELLO, that’s NO DEFINITION AT ALL, it means nothing definitively, but TIME alone. Then they based that worthless definition upon how that word fit their doctrine in a verse. That is just " Lying scribes " scripture. It was in Jer 8:8 and it is still true today. And it does not fall within the parameters of “context determines definition” either. A concept I do understand and do believe in, but not with a definition that has been butchered to fit indoctrination.

An ’ hour ’ (noun) is a 60 minute long period of time. 8 hourly (modifying adjective) meetings doesn’t mean an hour is now 480 minutes. An age/aion is a defined amount of time with a beginning and an end. Adios has no beginning or end. So you are right none of your 'aionios means ETERNITY verses’ are correct. None of us have adios life…saved or unsaved. ALL we ever have until the ages are no more is a 'quality of life in any of the quantity of time ages. Ages that have been and are yet to come.

EPH 2:7 that He might show, in the ages that are coming , the exceeding riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus,

And what " grace " is this verse talking about manifesting in the future ages? The same grace that we received in this age to be saved. So if you got saved in this age you don’t need to be saved again in the age to come. You just need to experience the life that becomes available in that age because you already ARE saved.

Sorry but aidios is used only twice in the new testament. Niether one refers to us!

Already explained that.

Rom. 1: 20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

Quality of power defined by length.

Where did you come up with this definition of " quality of power defined by length "? I ask because it ‘stinks’ IMO. It smells like the same source as all those " lying scribes " that Jeremiah said fooled ALL who believed ‘ALL their scholars’ back then. :sigh:

So what you now have to do is show why aionios (derived from aion–age) is not a time meaning eternal as has been defined by nearly all Bible believing Greek scholars and is a qualitative not quantitative description. So you are contending that the body of Christ has been deceived for centuries by Greek Translators.

aionios is translated 67 times as everlasting, eternal. All turning a qualifying adjective into a noun. Where does aionios ever get defined as what it is, an adjective pertaining to an AGE.

When is it NOT defined as eternal or everlasting you ask? Let’s look;

ROM 16:25 Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world/aionios began,
Hmm, so your word translated ETERNAL 67 times had a BEGINNING…hmmm.

2TI 1:9 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world/ aionios began ,
Hmm, so your word for ETERNAL had something before ETERNITY began…hmm.

Now here is a verse where the LYING SCRIBES dug deep into the stink to defend a false doctrine.

TIT 1:2 In hope of eternal/aionios life , which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world/aionios began;

So ETERNAL LIFE…before…ETERNAL ever began . Now that stinks bad.

Short story is YES you are believing a long contrived lie perpetrated in the 400 years that universalism was predominant. But then it was almost snuffed out by pen and sword by the WESTERN orthodox church of ROME. So tell me, do you ascribe to Roman Catholic theology…which was the source of so much we Protestants totally disavow? If you don’t, then don’t use your “how could the scholars be wrong so long” litmus on me. Just because it stinks doesn’t mean it doesn’t still stick to those who let it. ;)

Those verses above from a reputable scholar whose Concordance is still in print today. Young’s Concordance…and here is his translation which stays true to the Greek and the laws of grammar.

ROM 16:25 And to Him who is able to establish you, according to my good news, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the secret, in the times of the ages having been kept silent,

2TI 1:9 who did save us, and did call with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace, that was given to us in Christ Jesus, before the times of the ages ,

TIT 1:2 upon hope of life age-during , which God, who doth not lie, did promise before times of ages ,

An ’ age ’ is a period of time. And ’ ages ’ are " times" (plural) because those 'ages ’ are plural .

0126 aidios : everduring (forward and backward, or forward only)

A good way would be to show by scholarship why aionion is not never ending but more a quality of of existence instead of a “time”

I just did.

So you believe in universal salvation then.

First exposed to it in the early 70’s. Studied it for 10 years just HOPING it was true. Ever since then, I have undoubtedly believed it is true. My God has a plan for all his creation to be saved. If not then he is worse than Hitler could ever be. Firing eternal torturing flames for no more purpose than to satisfy his unforgiving vindictive hate for those HE CONSIGNED TO SIN that He might have mercy on them ALL. Or MIGHT NOT. Now there is an “ETERNAL” belief that befits the fire of Hell. -Thank you Hillsage-

The Bible Ages =

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