The Evangelical Universalist Forum

What about aion referring to eternal life(in heaven)?

What about fragments of the bible where word Aion is used referring to eternal life or eternal reward, or eternal life in heaven. If Aion dont mean eternal, does that mean that life in heaven is not eternal? Could someone explain that to me?

Welcome to the site SzymonG!

Perhaps the following post will help with your questions:

I would like to offer this excerpt:

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There is a precedent for using aionios to mean both “not eternal” and “eternal” even in the same verse, as Universalists assume to be the case in Matthew 25:46: “These will go away into eternal punishment [assumed not to be truly eternal], but the righteous into eternal life [assumed to be truly eternal].”

That precedent is in the Old Testament. Habakkuk 3:6 analogously mentions eternal to refer to the hills, which are decidedly not truly eternal, and to God, who is truly eternal. Both uses of the word eternal in this verse are translated from aionios in the Septuagint version of the Old Testament.

“When he stops, the earth shakes.

When he looks, the nations tremble.

He shatters the everlasting mountains

and levels the eternal hills.

He is the Eternal One!”

αιωνιος (aionios) doesn’t mean “eternal”, though the word can apply to that which is eternal.
This adjective actually means “lasting”, or as an adverb “lastingly”.

Phm 1:15 For perhaps he was for this reason separated from you for a while, that you would have him back forever.
I suggest “have him back lastingly” or "for a long time). Philemon can’t have him back forever. Both he and the servant would die.

Re 14:6 And I saw another angel flying in midheaven, having an everlasting gospel to preach to those who live on the earth, and to every nation and tribe and tongue and people;.
“Aionios” is used, but surely it’s not an “everlasting” gospel that will be preached forever.

The waters closed in over me to take my life; the deep surrounded me; weeds were wrapped about my head at the roots of the mountains. I went down to the land whose bars closed upon me forever; yet you brought up my life from the pit, O LORD my God. (Jonah 2:5.6)

Jonah was in the belly of the fish for three days. In the Greek septuagint, “ainios” is used. Surely surely he wasn’t there forever. If he had been then God didn’t bring him up from the pit.

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In Matt 25.46 the righteous already have immortality so it is not necessary to describe their life as eternal whereas the wicked go into age abiding punishment.

Thank you all for amazing answers, now i understand.

PS sorry for my english, it is my second language.


I cannot understand your statement. Most translations render this text as follows or similarly:

And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life. (ESV)

If the righteous already have immortality are you saying that they will go into age-abiding life, and the wicked into age-abiding punishment? I would translate the word as “lasting” in both instances (which is perhaps much the same in meaning).

But if the righteous already have immortality, what would it mean for them go into lasting life? There would be nothing for them to go into!

The argument often is used that the word “aion” must mean “eternal” otherwise the righteous do not have eternal life so my point is that the righteous already have immortality so for them the translation of the word “aion” into eternal is not necessary.

Life in heaven is a distorted view alone. Where does the Bible say that people will live in a place called heaven? The Bible says that the believers shall rise immortal and that God will create a new earth and new heavens, which still seems to be a physical place.

Aion seems to can mean everything, from a few days to endless.

I tend to say that also unbelievers will gain “aionios” life and they very well can loose it.


Qaz I’ll see if Sven reply’s, if not I’ll post my thoughts.

John 14

Here we have Jesus comforting his disciples and reassuring them as his departure draws near. In vr 1, Christ mentions his Fathers house in which there are many [dwellings / rooms = Greek / monē ] which many assume to be heaven,
an assumption I personally feel is wrong.
Christ mostly refers to his fathers house as the earthly temple [ie] Matt 21:12-13 + John 2:15-16, and not a house as in Gods
abode in the heavens. I believe Christ had the new covenant church / house in mind
[ie] 1 Peter 2:5 + 1 Tim 3:14-15, a spiritual house which will be made up of many dwelling places [ie] believers
1 Corinthians 6:19 -20. I believe this helps in understanding Christ’s following words
“ I go to prepare place for you.” Would we really assume that Christ is really preparing places for the believer to live in heaven, does heaven need preparing ? For me it would make sense that Christ was referring to his crucifixion which was eminently looming, this was the place christ was going - to prepare a place of many dwellings in Gods / his fathers house, starting with his disciples, via his death, resurrection and giving of Holy Spirit. Christ promises at his going away he will not leave them as orphans and that he will come again to them vr 18. The context I believe is about the coming of the Holy Spirit in such a way it had never been given before John 7:39, as was to be given at Pentecost. At john 14: 23 Christ says that he and his Father will come to those who obey his teachings and make their [home / monē] with them here on earth, Christ further says that he will come and receive his disciples to himself again, so that they may be where he is also [ie] in the presence of the Father. Sounds like Going to heaven ? Maybe so, but I don’t feel that’s the context. Christ went to be with the Father at his accession, and tells his disciples that they know the “way” Christ goes on to clear up Thomas confusion by saying “ I am the way, the truth and the life; no man comes to the father except through me “ [ie] when Pentecost occurs, Christ will lead his disciples into the very presence of the father, as they both make their abode with believers via the spirit, in the house of God here on earth.

I m o, the whole thing gets played out in a literal sense at some future point in time [ie] christ comes back Physically for his people in person at the first resurrection 1 Thess 4, to receive his own to himself to be where he is and to rule with him [ie] in his fathers coming kingdom here on earth, Matt 6;10, Acts 1:6, Rev 20:4 + Rev 21: 1-3.

Just my thoughts.

Notice it is in plural, there is an Angelic world without doubt, we do know little about the Angelic world. The heavens might be related to the New Jerusalem and is something yet to come, even the New Jerusalem is a physical realm in some sense.