The Evangelical Universalist Forum

Why do UR's change the meaning of "Aionion"?

I erased this bad example and edited my OP :smiley:

Revival, There are numerous other threads on this particular topic already. What’s the point of starting another one?

I only saw one in the “Discussion negative” section. This topic was hi-jacking another thread so I felt the need for it to be discussed in its proper place.

I believe that the truth is that it is the ECT’r that have mis-translated the greek word to support their theology.

For example:
In his book God’s Methods with Man(New York: Revell,1898), G. Campbell Morgan (scholar, associate of D.L. Moody, and a highly respected expositor of Scripture), said:

Let me say to Bible students that we must be very careful how we use the word “eternity.” We have fallen into great error in our constant use of that word. There is no word in the whole Book of God corresponding with our “eternal,” which, as commonly used among us, means absolutely without end. The strongest Scripture word used with reference to the existence of God, is—“unto the ages of the ages,” which does not literally mean eternally.

I appreciate that but why do you agree when (aionion) is describing God, his life, etc to mean everlasting or eternal, but when the same exact word is used to describe punishment and judgment it does not carry the same everlasting or eternal meaning?

I see how it was hijacking the other thread. But here are just a few of the other threads which discuss the meaning of aionion. It might be worth having a look at those first:
[eis aionas aionon?)
[Aionios CAN'T be translated "eternal" for punishment!!!!!!!!)
["Terms for Eternity: Aiônios & aïdios" talk part 1)
["Terms for Eternity: Aiônios & aïdios" talk part 2)
[More thoughts on aionion, Matt Slick's argument)

Are you serious? He just said that it doesn’t mean eternal (in the sense of infinite time, that is) in regards to God even!

I have an idea of what might possibly be a little more compelling for you: why do people who have NDE’s and meet Jesus say that it’s as if time has ceased to exist or has lost meaning? Why are they never sure how much time has passed, and why does it always seem to them as if much more happened than could possibly fit into the three minutes or so that they were legally dead?

So what you are saying, Justin, is that the translators who are more qualified than you or me should not have used “aionion” to describe God or the life we receive from Him at salvation because it doesn’t mean everlasting or eternal? Did Jesus lie when he said we receive everlasting or eternal (aionion) life when we believe in him? If this “aionion” life is not eternal or everlasting then how long is it?

Only as long as God-life :wink:

Which is?

Revival, how long is an age?


Now when I write those immediately you have thoughts that come to your mind. Both are used as terms for homosexuals, one is not nice, both can be used in a not nice way.

Those words didn’t originally have anything to do with what they mean now.

Gay meant happy. Fag is a pack of matches, properly a bundle of sticks (faggot).

Now you read an old book or listen to older christmas carols and you hear them sing about being gay, and you think wow is this a homosexual christmas song? No thats you using a modern day interpretation of a word that didn’t have that meaning when it was written.

Thats exactly what you and other translators are doing, by continually reading into the words what they think it means. Even if the word meant eternity back in the 1st century, which it really didn’t, their understanding of eternity is very different from ours. It meant something that was long lasting, like oh I don’t know… an age.

In secular writing a wall was called eternal (aionos). The Levite priesthood was eternal, the covenant of circumcision was eternal, a flame was eternal, sodom’s destruction was eternal.

Just like hell originally meant unseen. Roofing tiles are hela, they cover over. Our modern connotation is a place of burning and flames, and torture, with a red guy with a pitch fork laughing because he has stolen all these souls from our impotent god who could not win them over.

As for it referring to God. Ever heard the term Rock of Ages. Plan of the ages. God is a God who works in ages (more than 2)

Eternal life is life in the age. You are so conditioned to think that eternal life is some thing after you die. It is life now. The definition of eternal life is given in the gospel of John. To know God and Christ. Thats not to say it doesn’t extend to the after life. But it is properly life in the age, which began after Christ died and rose again. Eternal life is now. We were dead, and now are alive.

couldn’t put it better, though i can make one small addition to your examples. over here in England, a fag is a cigarette. just to illustrate how culture can also create meaning!
to understand an old word, we must understand what it meant to the people that used it…and not read in thousands of years of progress in philosophy and maths. (maths = English for math :wink: )

Amen to both redhotmagma and corpselight! :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

thanks corpselight, I couldn’t remember if it was a cigarette or matches. I know its a bundle of wood, from wiki.

If you guys go to Google you can find plenty of sites that show how words have changed their meanings over the years. Its pretty interesting. Some words have changed so much that it now means the complete opposite from what it once did. :astonished:

:laughing: is it just me or does UR change the meaning of the word
when it benefits them? Im at work and don’t have time
to respond.

Something with a beginning by definition cannot be eternal.

An eon has a beginning. Eons of eons has a beginning. Eonian has a beginning.

To say that God is eonian does not mean that He had a beginning. It simply means He exists during the ages. It doesn’t mean He didn’t exist before the ages or that He ceases to exist after the ages. It just means He is in existence during the ages.

God is eternal; He has no beginning or end.

If hell is eternal as God is eternal, then hell exists outside of time and space and therefore had no beginning.

If you believe hell is eternal as God is eternal then you must also believe hell has always been (it has no beginning or end) just as God has always been.

Where logic meets a brick wall


Your argument ignores the fact that eonian isn’t always used in ways that could even possibly mean “everlasting”, including in one of your own chosen scriptures (although you neglected to supply the preceding verse where no one of any belief for or against anything anywhere thinks the term means “everlasting”.)

Had you bothered to read or at least pay attention to the many other threads on this site (not to say elsewhere) discussing this topic, you would have known this already, and rephrased your argument to account for that.

Until then, no one here who has bothered to read on the topic is going to be impressed with a complaint wondering why :laughing: URs merely “change” the meaning of eonian.

Thus your argument can be turned around:

“The ECT has no problem with interpreting “aionion” to mean something other than everlasting or eternal in Rom 16:25, but when the exact same word is used to describe God, the life of God, His power and life, suddenly ‘aionian’ means everlasting or eternal meaning. There are many more examples in the Greek Bible where ECTs treat eonian as referring to things that are and were not everlasting (even in cases where the original context might have been reasonably expected to mean everlasting), but Rom 16:25 will suffice. Why do ECTs think it’s Ok to do this? Why does not ‘aionion’ carry the same meaning in describing times previous to the coming of Christ, or hills, or the sacrifices offered in the temple, or the right of various families to do this or that, or how long Jonah was in the whale, as it does when describing the one and only unique God Most High and His properties? Everlasting is everlasting whether it’s describing God, the life of God, or things created or promised by God. The ECTs are not justified in picking and choosing the meaning of a word based upon their interpretations of ‘aion’ that suits them and depending on which verse is used.”

Any ECT with any experience at all would immediately and correctly disregard this argument, and would reply something to the effect of, “Duh, we interpret eonian according to the narrative and thematic contexts and/or according to previously established metaphysical positions, which is why we sometimes translate eonian as meaning never-ending, especially in regard to God Himself, and sometimes as meaning something that ends; and that’s also why we even do so on the couple of occasions, Rom 16:25-26 being one of them, where eonian is used twice in the same exact sentence with superficially similar but ultimately quite different meanings. It is therefore foolish for a UR to use our agreement that eonian doesn’t always mean everlasting as evidence merely in itself that eonian doesn’t mean everlasting when talking about punishment. Nor are we merely changing the meaning of the term around to suit our convenience in order to keep ECT going.”

Had you actually done more research on the forum, you’d already be familiar with arguments (including from myself) indicating that the context of 2 Thess 1:9 and of Matt 25 indicates “eonian” doesn’t mean never-ending in regard to the punishments.

My (and other) arguments might be wrong, but wrong arguments are not the same as merely picking and choosing the meaning of the word based upon the interpretation of “aion” that suits them and depending on which verse is used.

To this I can add (and have added in those arguments you couldn’t be bothered to even research before accusing URs of having no arguments at all but only convenient assertions on this topic), that non-universalists as non-universalists are absolutely committed to interpreting identical terms in close topical context in ultimately different ways, when dealing with scriptures where interpreting those terms identically would otherwise lead to a scriptural testimony of universal reconciliation of sinners by God. (One of those examples involves the term “reconcile” itself, at Col 1.) But those arguments are available in other threads, and you should already be familiar with how ECTs deal with such incidents anyway. If not, you’re welcome to go study them, and come back to try again when you’ve caught up enough to rephrase your challenge to something that isn’t a straw man of your opponents.