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what does eonian mean WRT punishment?


What do you think eonian mean WRT punishment and judgment? I know paidion thinks it means lasting. But wouldn’t that be redundant, as all punishment necessarily lasts for a period of time? IIRC Nik Ansell speculates that eonian in these texts means pertaining to the messianic age.


What do you think eonian mean WRT punishment and judgment? I know paidion thinks it means lasting. But wouldn’t that be redundant, as all punishment necessarily lasts for a period of time? IIRC Nik Ansell speculates that eonian in these texts means pertaining to the messianic ag

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I think Youngs has it as “duration” because it relates to the subject matter more then a time frame. So it’s different depending on who or what it pertains to.


Hmmmm… if that reasoning applies, then wouldn’t the word “lasting” be redundant in all contexts?

When someone tells you that you have a lasting illness, this normally implies that your illness is going to stay with you for a long (though unspecified length of) time.


So then paidion, am I right to infer you think eonian means “lasting a long duration”?


Nope. Just “lasting,” though more often than not is is applied to that which lasts for a long time.
However, in the case of Jonah in the belly of the whale, it lasted only three days. But to Jonah it must have seemed a long time!


Sometimes “αἰωνιον” (aiōnion) seems to mean something like “permanently.” For example in Philemon 15


The translation “lasting” is supported by:

“eternal (adj.)
late 14c., from Old French eternel “eternal,” or directly from Late Latin aeternalis, from Latin aeternus “of an age, lasting, enduring, permanent, everlasting, endless,” contraction of aeviternus “of great age,” from aevum “age” (see eon). Used since Middle English both of things or conditions without beginning or end and things with a beginning only but no end. A parallel form, Middle English eterne, is from Old French eterne (cognate with Spanish eterno), directly from Latin aeternus. Related: Eternally. The Eternal (n.) for “God” is attested from 1580s.”

OTOH the rendering “eternal” (for aionion) is not a true translation but an interpretation according to theologically biased opinion.
As such it should have no place in any translation.


This article is quite well written: … -judgment/

It says:

"Young’s Literal Translation was done by Dr. Robert Young in 1898. He was also the author of the Young’s Analytical Concordance. Dr. Young says in his Concordance that aion means “age, age-lasting.”

"… In his Bible translation, he consistently translates the Greek word aionios into English even more literally as “age-during” to show that it means the events occur “during” whatever age the author was discussing. This is very literal and precise. Even so, another Bible translator, Weymouth, on page 657 of The New Testament in Modern Speech, quibbles with Dr. Young, saying,

" “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.” "

"I suppose we must allow scholars to dispute the fine points of each word, for that is their vocation. But regardless of who is correct, they both agree on the essential fact that aionios does not mean “eternal.” "

“Rotherham’s The Emphasized Bible, is much like Young’s Literal Translation. He renders verse 46,”

" “46 And these shall go away into age-abiding correction, but the righteous into age-abiding life.” "

“Benjamin Wilson’s Emphatic Diaglott does not presume to render aionios “everlasting,” but prefers to just transliterate it directly from the Greek. This non-committal attitude allows men to interpret this word as they wish. He renders verse 46:”

" “46 And these shall go forth to the aionian cutting-off; but the righteous to aionian Life.” "

“The Cambridge Bible Commentary, by A. W. Argyle, has this to say about Matthew 25:46,”

" “46. eternal punishment, i.e., punishment characteristic of the Age to come, not meaning that it lasts for ever." "

" “eternal life, i.e., the life that belongs to the Age to come, the full abundant life which is fellowship with God.” "

“Argyle recognizes that the term aionios refers to “the Age to come” rather than eternity as such. In our next section we will have more to say about “The Age,” that is, the Messianic Age. This is the key to understanding how aion and aionios were defined when the Bible was written—and for many years afterward.”

“…We will develop this concept a bit further in our next section on “The Messianic Age.” Anyway, Wilson’s term, aionian, is much like that found in The Concordant Literal New Testament, which renders verse 46,”

" “46 And these shall be coming away into chastening eonian, yet the just into life eonian.” "


“After all, not only Walvoord, Buis, and Inge, but all intelligent students acknowledge that olam and aiõn sometimes refer to limited duration. Here is my point: The supposed special reference or usage of a word is not the province of the translator but of the interpreter. Since these authors themselves plainly indicate that the usage of a word is a matter of interpretation, it follows (1) that it is not a matter of translation, and (2) that it is wrong for any translation effectually to decide that which must necessarily remain a matter of interpretation concerning these words in question. Therefore, olam and aiõn should never be translated by the thought of “endlessness,” but only by that of indefinite duration (as in the anglicized transliteration “eon” which appears in the Concordant Version).” … art-three/


These renderings of “age-during” “age-abiding” “age-lasting” are all legitimate and rightly applied… “show that it means the events occur “during” whatever age the author was discussing.

Again this… “eternal life, i.e., the life that belongs to the Age to come, the full abundant life which is fellowship with God” is what Jesus points to about the new covenant age, as per Jn 17:3 and Jn 10:10.

Yes… and had Jesus wanted to mean endlessness he could well have chosen words like <ἀπέραντος> aperantos or <ἀκατάλυτος> akatklutos as per…


Yes, Jesus could have used “απεραντος” if he had meant “endless” as in 1 Tim 1:4. The word means “unfinished” and by implication “interminable.”

“απεραντος” is also used in the Job passage to which Davo refers.

And yes, he could have used “απαταλυτος” as in Heb 7:16. This word means “indestructible” and is translated as such by the ESV. But if a life is indestructible, then it is clearly endless.

One other word Jesus could have used if he had meant “endless” would be “αιδιος”. This word means “eternal” as in Romans 1:20 where it refers to God’s “eternal power and deity.”


Why do you think aidios expresses endlessness? Is it a better term to express endlessness than aionios? I believe that is the position of Ramelli. Though the CLNT has imperceptible for aidios, or something similar. I’ve read the word is similar to that for Hades, the unseen.

Does immortality express endlessness? Or the words “no end” (Lk.1:33)?


IMO it is a much better word for describing “endlessness” as aiōnios pertains to the limits of the age in view, or as the article you linked to above more fully has it…

As to <ἀϊδίοις> aidiois carrying more the sense of endlessness or longevity Jude seems to make that case…

Some do however view <ἀϊδίοις> aidios as a synonymous term with aiōnios because the above is applicable to a timeframe, i.e., “the judgment of the great day” but even so aiōnios is a better candidate for that understanding given the adjective’s latent reference to an ageaiōn.


Simply because it does. It has been used in that way in many classical works as well as some during New Testament times.

You can’t compare it as being “better” or “worse” than “aionios” as a term for “endlessness,” simply because aionios doesn’t mean “endlessness” at all. It NEVER means “endlessness” (although it has been applied to that which is endless—just as in English the word “blue” does not mean “tall”, though it can be applied to something that is tall, such as a tower.)

Rather “aionios” means “lasting”.


So αιδιος is never used for punishment(ie hellfire/lake of fire)?


<ἀϊδίος> aidios was used in connection with ‘judgment’ as per Jude 1:6 above; BUT such is NOT stated in terms of that being “hellfire/lake of fire”. The apocryphal LXX also uses <ἀϊδίος> aidios twice, but again NOT in any negative sense…

So although on some level <ἀϊδίος> aidios (eternal) is considered synonymous with <αἰώνιον> aiōnion (everlasting) in terms of eternal it pretty much carries a QUALITATIVE meaning as opposed to the quantitative meaning of longevity; even though confusingly <αἰώνιον> aiōnion CAN likewise be seen as qualitative… BUT <ἀϊδίος> aidios much more so.


Also we may notice another interesting fact from Jude 1:6

And the angels who did not stay within their own position of authority, but left their proper dwelling, he has kept in eternal chains under gloomy darkness until the judgment of the great day… (Jude 1:6 ESV)

While it says that the chains are eternal, the implication concerning the fallen angels seems to be that they will be kept in those eternal chains only until the judgment of the great day.


davo, you said;

"Yes… and had Jesus wanted to mean endlessness he could well have chosen words like <ἀπέραντος> aperantos or <ἀκατάλυτος> akatklutos as per…

1Tim 1:4 nor give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which cause disputes rather than godly edification which is in faith."

Philo lived at or near the time of Christ.

Helena Keizer says Philo used a word, apeiron, with aion, to mean an “unlimited aion”.

See page 212 at: … &q&f=false

“the unlimited aion” = ton apeiron aiona

Is this word apeiron related to aperantos?

It seems Philo’s interpretation, whether right or wrong, was that Exo.15:18 refers to an “unlimited aion”.

Scripture never uses these terms [apeiron & aperantos] for punishment. If Jesus & Scripture had intended us to understand their teaching to be endless punishment, why not use these words instead of the ambiguous olam, aion and aionios?

If aion meant eternal, would there be any need to add apeiron (unlimited) to it?

Exo.15:18 Yahweh, He shall reign for the eon and further. (CLOT)

for the eon and further
l·olm u·od … /exo15.pdf

"Apeiron (ἄπειρον) is a Greek word meaning “(that which is) unlimited,” “boundless”, “infinite”, or “indefinite”[1] from ἀ- a-, “without” and πεῖραρ peirar, “end, limit”, “boundary”,[2] the Ionic Greek form of πέρας peras, “end, limit, boundary”.[3] Akin to Persian, piramon, “boundary, circumference, surrounding” " … eironperas … eiron.html

the unlimited, indeterminate, and indefinite ground, origin, or primal principle of all matter postulated especially by Anaximander

κύριος βασιλεύων τὸν αἰῶνα καὶ ἐπ᾽ αἰῶνα καὶ ἔτι

Kaiser translates “(through) the aion and during aion and still” for τὸν αἰῶνα καὶ ἐπ᾽ αἰῶνα καὶ ἔτι.


15:18 The Lord reigns for ever and ever and ever.


Philo’s rendition… ““the unlimited aion” = ton aiperon aiona” would be correct in itself… but that’s BEYOND what the text of what Exo15:18 actually says.

As for “Is this word apeiron related to aperantos?” — the closest to “apeiron” I can find is <ἄπειρος> apeiros = inexperienced, unskilled, ignorant; which by extension could mean endless by way of far from experienced etc. However… one LXX reference in Jer 2:6 renders <απειρῳ> apeirō as vast or trackless which does come close to the idea. And according to my 1861 Liddell & Scott these terms are indeed synonymous.


If i understand “Liddell-Scott-Jones Definitions”, it seems that apeiron (apeiros) can mean (1) inexperienced or (2) endless/infinite/boundless:

Apeirophobia (from Greek ápeiros, “infinite, boundless”) is the fear of infinity or eternity.

However Alexander Thompson disagrees:

"An instance of the reckless methods of theologians is seen above in the extracts from Aristotle. What he calls “undiscovered” or “unprobed” time or space (apeiron) has been distorted by careless Scholars into “boundless " or “infinite” time or space. The word accurs once in the N.T. at Heb. 5:13 (A.V. unskilful; margin, hath no experience). “Boundless” and “infinite” are not so-called secondary meanings; they are distortions. No Hebrew or Greek term, used by God, can possibly mean two things. No word can ever mean more than itself. Scholars and theologians are most slow to recognise this important law of language.” … -hell.html

I wonder how Thompson would understand Philo’s remark re a “apeiron aion”. As an inexperienced, undiscovered or unprobed aion?