Author Topic: Eternal Life, aionios doesn't mean forever  (Read 2735 times)

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Offline Dallas

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Eternal Life, aionios doesn't mean forever
« on: March 17, 2010, 05:45:19 PM »
Quote
Aionios is used in all 8 places where eternal or eternally is translated. This last section should help you see that eternal, even at the time this was written, did not mean neverending. He speaks about men being saved out of the fierce fire (the fire where the eternal punishment and chastisement takes place) and eternal gnashing of teeth. These who were in everlasting flame are taken to eternal life.

This is something that I have always found alittle humorous. Lot's of people have delved into the word aion and all it's forms... to disprove the ending of or non-exsisting form of forever punishment. The thing I find humor in is....

If eternal torment doesn't actually mean forever, then eternal life than actually doesn;t mean life forever.

Wondering, how do you reconcille that?


(quote taken from another thread to avoid hi-jacking, left as anonymous so as not to identify anyone inparticular)

Offline CHB

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Re: Eternal Life, aionios doesn't mean forever
« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2010, 07:59:46 PM »
What if the word just means age and has nothing to do with forever or eternal?

CHB

Paul Hazelwood

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Re: Eternal Life, aionios doesn't mean forever
« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2010, 08:34:08 PM »
Quote
Aionios is used in all 8 places where eternal or eternally is translated. This last section should help you see that eternal, even at the time this was written, did not mean neverending. He speaks about men being saved out of the fierce fire (the fire where the eternal punishment and chastisement takes place) and eternal gnashing of teeth. These who were in everlasting flame are taken to eternal life.

This is something that I have always found alittle humorous. Lot's of people have delved into the word aion and all it's forms... to disprove the ending of or non-exsisting form of forever punishment. The thing I find humor in is....

If eternal torment doesn't actually mean forever, then eternal life than actually doesn;t mean life forever.

Wondering, how do you reconcille that?


(quote taken from another thread to avoid hi-jacking, left as anonymous so as not to identify anyone inparticular)


Because the life we may be raised to could be a type of life that then could change.   Scripture talks about a new heaven and new earth, while we are alive the whole time the type of life will be different or there is nothing "NEW" about it.

Immortality is the absolute sense of the nature of our life.   We can be immortal and have different types of existances.


Concerning the word aion and aionios they are in the absolute sense temporary references and in the abstract sense our perceptions based on the inability to percieve the ending or change of things of that nature.   

Humans of any culture talk in that nature of that perception.   "This stop light is taking forever"   "That elevator took forever"  "is there any end at all to my problems"


In the old testament, even the ancient cultures used Olam to describe the imperceptible.



Offline WhiteWings

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Re: Eternal Life, aionios doesn't mean forever
« Reply #3 on: March 17, 2010, 08:34:42 PM »
What if the word just means age and has nothing to do with forever or eternal?

CHB
Then eternal life is not very eternal  :winkgrin:

See below for two explanations (of many)
Click here #1
Click here #2
1 Timothy 2:3-4  ...God our Savior;  Who will have all men to be saved...
John 12:47  And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.
Romans 4:5 But to the one who does not work, but believes in the one who declares the ungodly righteous ...

Offline sven

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Offline CHB

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Re: Eternal Life, aionios doesn't mean forever
« Reply #5 on: March 17, 2010, 11:53:59 PM »

If the words "forever" and "eternal" have no beginnings or ends how can it apply to us at all?

CHB

Offline WhiteWings

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Re: Eternal Life, aionios doesn't mean forever
« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2010, 12:01:40 AM »
You are right there CHB.
But I think the translators of KJV meant something like "never ending"
So you when you are resurrected your life never ends. And according to some torture never ends.
It's easy to show aion doesn't always mean 'without end'. Because the aion/eternal fire of Sodom is no longer burning. For more details see Sven's study/post.
But the links I posted show that the same word can have different durations.
1 Timothy 2:3-4  ...God our Savior;  Who will have all men to be saved...
John 12:47  And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.
Romans 4:5 But to the one who does not work, but believes in the one who declares the ungodly righteous ...

Offline Dallas

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Re: Eternal Life, aionios doesn't mean forever
« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2010, 09:13:26 PM »
Quote
It's easy to show aion doesn't always mean 'without end'. Because the aion/eternal fire of Sodom is no longer burning.

So then we can choose what it means for our own doctrine?

Offline CHB

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Re: Eternal Life, aionios doesn't mean forever
« Reply #8 on: March 18, 2010, 09:41:00 PM »

WW,

I know aion can have different durations but eternal and forever do not, they are both without beginning or end. The way I understand it is, eternal and forever can only apply to God. Everything that we are associated with {except God of course} has a beginning and end, or one or the other. Aion is a word that can mean a short or long lenght of time and doesn't have anything to do with eternal or forever.

CHB

Offline WhiteWings

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Re: Eternal Life, aionios doesn't mean forever
« Reply #9 on: March 18, 2010, 10:20:06 PM »
Merriam-Webster
Eternal
1 a : having infinite duration: (1) : infinite in past and future duration : having no beginning or end *the eternal God is your dwelling placeó Deut 33:27 (Revised Standard Version)* (2) : infinite in past duration : having no beginning (3) : infinite in future duration : having no end
Forever:
for a limitless time or endless ages

Both go on without an end into the future. => God + we
But Eternal goes also endlessly back in time => God

CHB, we may define it a little different but from your explanation I see we agree.

About Aion. Did you read my links? I think especially the first link is worth reading/considering.
1 Timothy 2:3-4  ...God our Savior;  Who will have all men to be saved...
John 12:47  And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.
Romans 4:5 But to the one who does not work, but believes in the one who declares the ungodly righteous ...

Yab Yum

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Re: Eternal Life, aionios doesn't mean forever
« Reply #10 on: March 18, 2010, 10:27:48 PM »
Are there any verses that describe post mortem existence without using "aionos"?

Offline WhiteWings

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Re: Eternal Life, aionios doesn't mean forever
« Reply #11 on: March 18, 2010, 10:40:09 PM »
IIRC there is only one mentioning in the Bible of really eternal; as with no beginning and end.
And that's used in connection with God.

Maybe this is of some use for you:



"In the book of Revelation we do not have the final plan of God. Paul, in 1Co_15:22-28 takes us much further into the future than does the book of Revelation. To illustrate this more clearly, study the following: 1Co_15:22-28 as compared with the new heaven and new earth of Revelation 20-22: 

In 1Co_15:22-28, we have:
 
No more rule
No more authority
No more power
No more enemies
No more reigning
All subjected
No more death, death destroyed
All made alive, immortal
 

In Revelation 20-22, we have: 

Still rule (Rev_20:6; Rev_22:5)
Son still reigns (Rev_22:1-5; Rev_21:5)
Authority (Rev_21:24-25)
Power (Rev_21:24-25; Rev_22:2)
Kings (Rev_21:24-26)
Saints reign (Rev_22:5)
Second death still exists (Rev_21:8)
The nations still mortal (Rev_22:2)" 
1 Timothy 2:3-4  ...God our Savior;  Who will have all men to be saved...
John 12:47  And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.
Romans 4:5 But to the one who does not work, but believes in the one who declares the ungodly righteous ...

Offline Dallas

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Re: Eternal Life, aionios doesn't mean forever
« Reply #12 on: March 18, 2010, 10:44:41 PM »
Quote
IIRC there is only one mentioning in the Bible of really eternal; as with no beginning and end.
And that's used in connection with God.

So, like the question I posed, then there really isn't life never-ending?

Offline CHB

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Re: Eternal Life, aionios doesn't mean forever
« Reply #13 on: March 19, 2010, 02:31:10 AM »
What if the word just means age and has nothing to do with forever or eternal?

CHB
Then eternal life is not very eternal  :winkgrin:

See below for two explanations (of many)
Click here #1
Click here #2

Hi WW,

Here is a quote from that article.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
"Well from first look, most people compare the eternal in eternal punishment with the eternal in eternal life. Estimating that should both be considered a time period, that should one represent perpetuality, the other also must. They consider that eternal in both instances both represent the same indefinitive perpetuality or the indefinite end. It is an easy mistake and I believe very costly to Universalists".
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

My understanding of this verse that is being spoken of is, the eternal in punishment means age and the eternal in eternal life is age also. The reason I say this is, both of them have a beginning and both will have an end. Let me explain the end. Jesus message was for the Jew's only and his message was concerning the earthly kingdom which will in itself have an end. I believe Jesus was only talking about this time period that the apostles would be sitting on twelve thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

I could be wrong on this but this is the way I see things as of now.

CHB


pickr

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Re: Eternal Life, aionios doesn't mean forever
« Reply #14 on: March 19, 2010, 04:04:01 AM »
Quote
IIRC there is only one mentioning in the Bible of really eternal; as with no beginning and end.
And that's used in connection with God.

So, like the question I posed, then there really isn't life never-ending?

Hi Dallas,

Maybe you're confusing aionion life (knowing God and His Son) with what Paul calls "putting on immortality" when the dead are raised "incorruptible" when the last trumpet sounds.

If you know God and His son, then you have what Jesus calls (in various non-literal translations) "eternal life" right now. Yet, if the Lord tarries long enough in His return then you are sure to die a physical death at any rate, just as believers with the very same "eternal life" have been doing for some 2,000 years.

Don't you think it's possible, even likely, that Jesus is talking about the character of the life in question (or the punishment) rather than its duration? That's why translating aion/aionios as anything but age/age-lasting seems problematic, at least as far as I can tell.

Anyway. Blessings to you.

Andy


Offline jabcat

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Re: Eternal Life, aionios doesn't mean forever
« Reply #15 on: March 19, 2010, 04:22:40 AM »
...confusing aionion life (knowing God and His Son) with what Paul calls "putting on immortality" when the dead are raised "incorruptible" when the last trumpet sounds.

If you know God and His son, then you have what Jesus calls (in various non-literal translations) "eternal life" right now. Yet, if the Lord tarries long enough in His return then you are sure to die a physical death at any rate, just as believers with the very same "eternal life" have been doing for some 2,000 years.

....likely, that Jesus is talking about the character of the life in question (or the punishment) rather than its duration? That's why translating aion/aionios as anything but age/age-lasting seems problematic, at least as far as I can tell.

Andy

Interesting post, some good things to consider   :thumbsup:
Neither should there be vulgar speech, foolish talk, or coarse jesting--all of which are out of character--but rather thanksgiving.  Eph. 5:4  **  Saved 1John 3.2, Eph. 2:8, John 1:12 - Being saved 2Cor. 4:16 2Peter 3:18 - Will be saved 1Peter 1:5 Romans 8:23

Offline WhiteWings

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Re: Eternal Life, aionios doesn't mean forever
« Reply #16 on: March 19, 2010, 09:32:51 AM »
What if the word just means age and has nothing to do with forever or eternal?

CHB
Then eternal life is not very eternal  :winkgrin:

See below for two explanations (of many)
Click here #1
Click here #2

Hi WW,

Here is a quote from that article.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
"Well from first look, most people compare the eternal in eternal punishment with the eternal in eternal life. Estimating that should both be considered a time period, that should one represent perpetuality, the other also must. They consider that eternal in both instances both represent the same indefinitive perpetuality or the indefinite end. It is an easy mistake and I believe very costly to Universalists".
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

My understanding of this verse that is being spoken of is, the eternal in punishment means age and the eternal in eternal life is age also. The reason I say this is, both of them have a beginning and both will have an end. Let me explain the end. Jesus message was for the Jew's only and his message was concerning the earthly kingdom which will in itself have an end. I believe Jesus was only talking about this time period that the apostles would be sitting on twelve thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

I could be wrong on this but this is the way I see things as of now.

CHB
You mean the verse is only about the Kingdom of Jesus?
That Kingdom is also often translated as eternal.
I presented those links as an alternative view because there are already many aion=age articles.

That said I think it's of not so much importance because aion applies to time (age) and the Bible speaks of end of the agess and God of the ages. So my guess is when Son hands over His Kingdom to Father ages/time ends.
God will be all in all. And because God isn't God of the dead He won't be all in the dead but in the living.
I think it's that kind of verses that needs to be looked at because there are many opnions on aion and ofcourse everyone is right about his/her view :winkgrin:
« Last Edit: March 22, 2010, 08:07:48 PM by WhiteWings »
1 Timothy 2:3-4  ...God our Savior;  Who will have all men to be saved...
John 12:47  And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.
Romans 4:5 But to the one who does not work, but believes in the one who declares the ungodly righteous ...

Offline CHB

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Re: Eternal Life, aionios doesn't mean forever
« Reply #17 on: March 19, 2010, 04:41:03 PM »
WW,

I agree. Good thinking.

CHB

Offline eaglesway

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Re: Eternal Life, aionios doesn't mean forever
« Reply #18 on: March 19, 2010, 08:18:12 PM »
Aionios pur
     I have found the aion/aionios aidos question to be a difficult one to deal with, because English, Greek and Hebrew are very different languages.
    I think it is a rational honest question when seekers ask, "If the fire isnt eternal- is the life eternal?"

Etymology is of limited use in the aion/aionios question(IMO) because they are translations of the older Hebrew word "olam". When we look for meaning in ancient words the goal is to understand what the speaker's thoughts were, in the words, in the time when they spoke. These speakers(Jesus, Paul, Peter, John, Luke) spoke Aramaic, a form of Hebrew, so the usage of olam in biblical Hebrew should explain the meanings of aion and aionios more than the etymology and usage among Greek contemporaries- they were largely alienated to Hebrew thought.

   I would say this regarding "aionios pur" (age-during, or as some prefer, everlasting fire )- the fire IS everduring- but it only judges till you "bow the knee". Our God is a consuming fire. Jesus' eyes are as flames of fire in John's revelation. The eye is the light of the soul. When the fire has consumed all the adversaries we will rejoice in the fire and it will only make us shine. THE FIRE IS THE LIGHT OF GOD. IT IS THE DAY THAT BURNS THE DARKNESS. You only need fear the fire when there is something in you that needs burning.


The following scriptures show some insight into the nature of aionios fire.

Mat 3:10-12  And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.   I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:  Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.

The fire here is for me as a believer. I am the wheat and I am the chaff. He will beat(sonship discipline) the seed until the chaff comes off. Then he will fan the chaff and it will separate from the wheat in the wind and He will gather the wheat. He will burn the chaff with unquencable fire. It will be unquenched until all the chaff is consumed. He is consuming the adversaries.

Mar 9:49-50  "For everyone will be salted with fire.  "Salt is good; but if the salt becomes unsalty, with what will you make it salty again? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another."

The fire is the saltiness, it preserves the offerings in purity.

1Co 3:12-15  Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw,  each man's work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man's work.   If any man's work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward. If any man's work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.

The relationship between day and fire in the scriptures is extensive and a great study.

In my opinion, the real question is not so much wether the fire lasts forever- it is whether the torment and alienation last forever. My answer is emphatically NO. Otherwise Eph 1:5-10; Colossians 1:16-20; 1Cor.15:22-28; 1 Jn 2:2 and a ton of other scriptures are empty lies and the Bible is rubbish.

Specificly-

Col 1:16-20  For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell;  And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.

The all things to be reconciled is defined in these verses clearly as all He ever created anywhere and all he rules over.

Eph 1:9-10  Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:  That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:

Eph 4:10  He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.

Behold! I am making all things NEW!

We can't resolve all of this based on the Greek etymology of one word and maintain the integrity of the scriptures.

Here are some more scriptures that give evidence that our God is a consuming fire and to be near Him is too dwell in fire.

Isa 33:14  The sinners in Zion are afraid; fearfulness hath surprised the hypocrites. Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings?

Eze 28:14  Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire.

Eze 28:16  By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.

Jas 5:3  Your gold and your silver have rusted; and their rust will be a witness against you and will consume your flesh like fire. It is in the last days that you have stored up your treasure!

1Pe 1:7  so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ;

This, to me, is the revelation of the burning bush.

Our God will never cease to be a consuming fire. To dwell with Him is to have been consumed by, and filled with the awesome holy fire of His being and the light that shines from His burning glory!  We are all passing through the fire every day. Some who believe will still pass through the fire in the Great Day, where the wood hay and stubble will be consumed. I believe the wicked will endure the penetrating light of His fiery day, revealing and consuming darkness until every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord.


1Co 15:28  And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.

This God's ultimate intention and the reason for all He has done. He cannot be all in all in anyone who is alienated and in torment forever. So as I said before, I believe it is not about neverending torment, it is about all the enemies being subdued. That is a glorious subjugation into His love, and it is a fire every living being is already experiencing in one way or another even now.
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Offline WhiteWings

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Re: Eternal Life, aionios doesn't mean forever
« Reply #19 on: March 22, 2010, 08:16:53 PM »
Etymology is of limited use in the aion/aionios question(IMO) because they are translations of the older Hebrew word "olam". When we look for meaning in ancient words the goal is to understand what the speaker's thoughts were, in the words, in the time when they spoke. I very much agree with that.

Quote
These speakers(Jesus, Paul, Peter, John, Luke) spoke Aramaic, a form of Hebrew, so the usage of olam in biblical Hebrew should explain the meanings of aion and aionios more than the etymology and usage among Greek contemporaries- they were largely alienated to Hebrew thought.
And once you figured out the Hebrew you get the Greek for free because LXX is a Greek translation of the OT. Scholars agree it was written in 3rd-1st century BC in the same dialect as the NT. So that gives us a translation by people who very likely mastered both very well. Lived in that time and society.
1 Timothy 2:3-4  ...God our Savior;  Who will have all men to be saved...
John 12:47  And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.
Romans 4:5 But to the one who does not work, but believes in the one who declares the ungodly righteous ...

Offline IceMan84

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Re: Eternal Life, aionios doesn't mean forever
« Reply #20 on: March 30, 2010, 04:21:49 AM »
The way I understand it is that God will eventually destroy death itself. Therefore, without death, life is eternal.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2010, 04:24:50 AM by IceMan84 »

Offline Tony N

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Re: Eternal Life, aionios doesn't mean forever
« Reply #21 on: March 31, 2010, 10:22:40 PM »
Quote
IIRC there is only one mentioning in the Bible of really eternal; as with no beginning and end.
And that's used in connection with God.

So, like the question I posed, then there really isn't life never-ending?

Hi Dallas,
There really is life never ending. But aionios life is not "life never ending."

There is life never ending due to putting on immortality as some have suggested in this thread.

The only way aionion can mean "never ending" or "eternal" is if its noun form means eternal. The adjective aionion would then tell us of that which pertains to eternity.

Since all the aions end, aionion cannot mean "pertaining to eternity.
Just because God says He will save all mankind
does not necessarily mean He won't.