"Eternal" Punishment (Matthew 25:46) Is NOT Found In The Greek New Testament.
By Tony Nungesser and Gary Amirault
The entire concept of eternal or everlasting punishment hinges primarily on a single verse of Scripture-- Matthew 25:46. This is the only place in the entire Bible where we find these two words together AND only in some Bibles. There are over a dozen English translations which do NOT contain the concept of "eternal punishment" on ANY of their pages, NOR the pagan concept of Hell.
The Greek form for "everlasting punishment" in Matthew 25:46 is kolasin aionion." Kolasin is a noun in the accusative form, singular voice, feminine gender and means "punishment, chastening, correction, to cut-off as in pruning a tree to bare more fruit." "Aionion" is the adjective form of "aion," in the singular form and means "pertaining to an eon or age, an indeterminate period of time." (Note: the two words in many, not all translations become reversed when bringing the Greek into English, that is, "kolasin aionion" literally punishment everlasting is reversed to everlasting punishment so as to make better sense in English.)
"Aionion," as shown above, is the singular form of the adjective of the Greek noun "aion." Many people unfamiliar with the Greek do not realize that the endings of the same word change (inflection) to indicate its mood, case, gender, etc. Therefore, "aionion" may appear with different endings. "Aionion, aioniou, aionios," for example, are all different inflections of the adjective form of the noun "aion."
The noun "aion" in Greek literature has always meant "an indeterminate period of time. It could be as short as the time Jonah spent in the belly of a fish (three days or nights even though the KJV has him in the "belly of Hell" "forever," obviously a mistranslation; see Jonah 2:2, 2:6.), the length of a man's life, or as long as an age.
The Bible speaks of at least 5 "aions" and perhaps many more. If there were "aions" in the past, then aions must have an end. The New Testament writers spoke of "the present wicked aion" which ended during that very generation. Obviously, it was followed by another "aion"-- the "aion" in which we presently live. If there are "aions" to come, it must mean that this one we live in will also end.
There is a verse which says "the consummation of the aions" proving
that each "aion" ends. So how can
they be eternal?
There is "the coming eon" (Matt.10:30, Luke 18:30
There is "the present wicked eon" (Gal.1:4)
There is "the oncoming eons (future)(Eph.2:7)
There is "the conclusion of the eon (present) (Mt.13:39,40)
There is "the secret concealed from the eons (past) (Eph.3:9)
Plainly, the Greek word "aion" transliterated "eon" cannot mean "eternal." A study into the Greek of the Biblical period and before will bear this out.
"Aionion" is the adjective of the noun "aion."
Since grammar rules mandate an adjective CANNOT take on a greater force than its noun form, it is evident that "aionion" in any of its adjective forms (ios, ou, on) CANNOT possible mean "everlasting" or anything remotely indicating eternity or unending time.
For example, "hourly" cannot mean "pertaining to days, weeks, months, or years. The word MUST mean "pertaining to an hour." Therefore, "aionion," the adjective form of the noun "aion" which clearly means a period of indeterminate TIME, CANNOT mean, "forever and ever, eternal, everlasting, eternity, etc." or other words which connote timelessness or unending ages.
Therefore, those many Bibles which do NOT contain the teaching of everlasting punishment or Hell are true to the original languages of Greek and Hebrew. Those which teach everlasting punishment or Hell are false. Scholars are just as easily subjected to the "traditions of the elders" as the rest of us. It's time to let the original Greek and Hebrew languages of the Bible break down the traditions of men.
Here is a list of Bibles which have taken major steps towards correcting many of the corruptions found in the King James Bible, NIV, NASB, NRSV, Amplified, as well as other leading selling Bibles:
Some of them are published by leading Evangelical Christian publishers like Baker Book House, Kregal and Eerdman's Publishing. Here's a partial list of some English Bible translations that do NOT contain Hell nor the concept of everlasting punishment: Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (Kregal Publishers), Young's Literal Translation of the Holy Bible (Baker Book House Publishers; Robert Young is author of the famous Young's Concordance), Concordant Literal Translation of the N.T. (Concordant Publishing Concern), Scarlet's New Testament (Nathaniel Scarlett, 1798), The New Testament (Abner Kneeland, 1823) Emphatic Diaglott (Greek/English Interlinear), The New Covenant (J.W. Hanson, 1884), New Testament in Modern Speech (Weymouth, 1910), The Restoration of Original Sacred Name Bible (1976), The Twentieth Century New Testament (1900), The New Testament of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Anointed (James L. Tomanek)1958), The Western New Testament (1926), The New Testament, a Translation (Rev. Edgar Lewis Clementson, 1938), The People's New Testament (Arthur Overbury), The New Testament, A New Translation based upon the Oldest Manuscripts (Johannes Greber, 1980) Jonathan Mitchell New Testament (2009) Far Above All New Testament (2009).
There are other translations like the Companion Bible King James Version, American Standard Version (1901), the Newberry Reference Bible (Still published by Kregal Publications), and the Riverside New Testament by Ballantine (1934) which contain footnotes, marginal readings and appendages which point out that several key Greek and Hebrew words have been MIStranslated by such Bible versions as the King James Bible.
For much more information on how this word as well as words have been mistranslated in many leading selling Bibles, write to the address below or visit our internet site. http://www.tentmaker.org