"Aionois" Eternal

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by Heavenly Pilgrim, May 20, 2007.

  1. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    There has been some discussion on another thread concerning the use of words in Scripture, and if in fact they conveyed the same concepts to those at the time they were written as they do today. It has been suggested by Hope of Glory (HOG) and JJump (JJ) that the word eternal, denoted in the GK as ‘aionios’ which according to HOG “is an adjective that means "age-lasting"; it's limited in duration, but without specific limits inherent in the word.”

    ‘Aionois’ is mentioned 70 times in the NT in 19 writings. The ‘Exegetical Dictionary of the New Testament’ in three volumes, states that “Throughout the NT it can be rendered by eternal.”

    Certainly eternal can take on slightly different meanings, sometimes referring to God or His attributes which have no beginning or end, and at other time eternal in the sense of everlasting into the future. The word eternal carries with it the idea that something is not subject to the vicissitudes of life or the changing of times.

    In the area of eternal punishments, the idea according to the ‘EDOTNT’ “the idea of everlasting comes through more strongly than is true in cases where there is a positive stress.”

    Certainly we use the word eternal in differing senses as I believe can properly assumed that others did when conversing in the Gk or any other language. I might say ‘in a sense’ that the light at the stop sign lasted for an eternity, or the silence in the room lasted for an eternity. Just the same, because one might, in some cases, use the word to describe a long period of time in no wise delineates from the meaning of everlasting or forever that the word eternity conveys. We would call such uses of the word eternity in such cases as a ‘figure of speech.’

    The question I have for the list, is when and when not can the word denoted in the GK as aionois, or eternity in the English language, be accepted as a mere figure of speech? When does the word eternal carry with it the actuality of ‘forever or everlasting’ in a literal sense? What caution would those on the list have for us in deciding when or when not to take the word literally as everlasting or forever? Is there any place in Scripture that one, by the plainly elucidated context, apart form a injection of a mere presupposition such as OSAS, can properly assume that a figure of speech has been employed, and that it would be improper to take the word eternal for its literal rendering of being 'forever or everlasting' in duration? If one was to error on the side of caution, what might be your approach? Does the old addage “If the literal sense makes common sense, use no other sense lest you end up with nonsense” sound reasonable and as such present us with a trustworthy rule to follow?

    Would those, such as HOG or JJ, that feel that the word eternal speaks of a specific time period of ‘one thousand years’ in duration at least in some instances, please tell us once again the specific passages that they claim should not be thought of in the literal sense of everlasting or forever? Can they give to the list clear indications from Scripture that the context is mandating such an interpretation that would suggest that the word eternal is either a mere ‘figure of speech’ or that it cannot be taken in a literal universally understood sense of everlasting or forever?
     
    #1 Heavenly Pilgrim, May 20, 2007
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  2. Hope of Glory

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    What does "aidios" mean?

    I wonder why God would author confusion by taking two completely different words and twisting them to mean the exact same thing?

    BTW, it's only the age to come that is 1000 years. How long is the current age? (Did you even read the part about "without specific limits" that you yourself typed?)

    In addition to the question about what "aidios" means, let me ask you: OK, if you claim that the Millennial Kingdom is not 1000 years, how long is it?
     
  3. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: First, I appreciate your willingness to continue our discussion. I trust you have read my apology. There is much I have to learn, and can find myself not understanding ones views just as we all can. The very last thing in the world that I wish to do is to purposefully misrepresent ones views. I KNOW I have failed, and admit that publically, but before God that is not my honest intention to misrepresent anyone. I can only apologize and move on, endeavoring to do better in the future. I do not desire to be seen as one that beateth the air. It serves no purpose.

    I am no GK student. I have only a few works by which to ascertain the meanings of the GK. If I know the English word, it will be easier for me to research and gain in insght. Help me out. You tell me what it means in English, and then I can do the research I am capable of with the tools at my disposal, and then we can discuss it.



    HP: Like ‘canine’ and ‘dog?’ Like our modern day theologians do with 'fornication' and 'adultery?'


    HP: If you believe I have overlooked something you have said, or in my ignorance misunderstood you, condescend to a man of low estate and explain it to me again. I am slow, but there is some hope of me catching on.



    HP: I for one see no evidence in Scripture that there is going to be any literal thousand year period on this planet earth named the millennium, if that is what you are asking. I am not hard shell about that, but can only say that with all I have read, and with all the differing opinions, I have no literal hope in one, again on this earth involving us. If that is your hope, possibly you might have somewhat to share with the list concerning it.
     
  4. Amy.G

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    I have always understood there to be a literal 1000 year period in which Satan is bound and this is called the millenium. Christ will reign on the earth for the 1000 years.
     
  5. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: What about the OP? Do you have any relevant comments? :)
     
  6. Amy.G

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    Sorry, no. I didn't mean to butt in. I've never done any greek word studies. I will leave you to your discussion. :)
     
  7. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: Your input is always desired. :) I was not trying to cut your comments off, I just wondered what you might have to add, or questions you might want to ask the list, or just stick around and be the judge of the differing comments.

    As to the millennium, maybe you should start a thread on just that issue. That would be informative for sure. My mind is not fixed on the issue for sure. I would like to see how others lay out their ideas.
     
  8. Hope of Glory

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    First of all, there's a reason that most literal translations simply transliterate some words. For example, "baptism" is transliteration because everyone "knows" that it can mean "sprinkle" or "pour". (It doesn't; it means to immerse; we con prove that from ancient writings, but the traditions of men and all that...)

    "Aidios" is the closest that the Greek comes to "eternal" in the way we use it today. I have a friend of mine who is a retired astronaut, and he will tell you that scientifically "eternal" means "without beginning or ending" or "existing outside of time". However, modern common usage has made it come to mean "without ending". It's used twice in the NT. "Perpetual" or "imperceptible" or "always" are some of the ways that literal translations translate it, and the way that it is translated in secular writings.

    Well, "canine" means "any of various fissiped mammals with nonretractile claws and typically long muzzles". This includes wolves and other similar animals. A "dog" is more specific. "Collie" is even more specific. A Collie is both a canine and a dog; a dog is a canine, but not necessarily a Collie; a canine is not even necessarily a dog.

    Fornication is having illicit sexual relations. Adultery is when a married woman has sexual relations with someone other than her husband. Adultery is fornication, but fornication is not necessarily adultery. They're different, with different rules and consequences.

    Another example that I used elsewhere: A sofa is a couch, but a couch is not necessarily a sofa.

    Words mean things.

    God used specific words for a reason.

    Read Revelation 20. In the NT there are 5 verses that those who don't believe in a literal and future Kingdom try to use to "prove" there is no literal and future Kingdom. All 5 are exceptional passages, and are easily shown to not be valid arguments for that line of reasoning.

    But, based on Revelation 20, we see that the Kingdom is future and literal and will last 1000 years.

    However, "aionios" is "agelasting". It has limits, but without the limits being set inherently in the word. What is the context? If the context is the future Kingdom, it's 1000 years. If it's the present age, it's different. If it's referring to the age of a specific king, it could be 20 years.

    But, it's from "aiOn", which is "age". It's an adjective.

    It's found in 2 Timothy 1:9: Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,
     
  9. Hope of Glory

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    In this context, it's also important to remember that at the end of the 1000 years, the Christ will hand rule back over to God the Father. We find this in 1 Corinthians 15:24. If his Kingdom is "forever", we have another contradiction in Scriptures.
     
  10. Amy.G

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    Ok, I'll be the judge. :laugh: Seriously, I will have to leave the greek studies to more accomplished people than me. I will continue to read and learn from you guys.
     
  11. Amy.G

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    Yes. I see that.
     
  12. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: Mt 6:13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

    Sounds eternal, forever, everlasting to me.
     
  13. Amy.G

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    I believe this is talking about the Kingdom of God, not the millennial reign.
     
  14. Hope of Glory

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    The Doxology seems to have been added at some point. It is wanting in the oldest and and what most consider the best Greek manuscripts. The earliest forms of the doxology vary very much; some are shorter and some are longer than the one in the KJV. The use of a doxology arose when this prayer began to be used as a liturgy to be recited or to be chanted in public worship. It was not an original part of the model prayer as given by Jesus.

    So, it should simply be "and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from [the] evil [one]."

    "Evil", which should actually be "evil one" is interesting. The Greek obscures the gender. It can be "ho ponēros" (the evil one) or "to ponēron" (the evil thing). If it is masculine (ho ponēros), it can either refer to the devil as the Evil One or the evil man whoever he may be who seeks to do us ill.

    "Ponēros" has an interesting history coming from "ponos" (toil) and "poneō" (to work). It reflects the idea either that work is bad or that this particular work is bad. So the bad idea drives out the good in work or toil, which is an example of human depravity.
     
  15. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: I am indeed curious at this point. Does this mean that when Jesus used the word ‘fornication’ in the exceptional clause, that He was or was not addressing mere sexual immorality subsequent to getting married?



    HP: Indeed they do, but caution needs to be exercised in the discovery of what a word means. Words are not scientific entities to be examined in a test tube, but are designed to convey concepts often intended and addressed to specific individuals and certain situations. The words employed, in common parlance, do not necessarily follow some rigid scientific equation, whereby one can pour such words into a magical scientific machine and always expect to receive the same resulting answer to their meanings




    HP: Amen. I agree. We must also realize that the Scriptures are by far a spiritual book that can only be understood in their proper context and import as one employs spiritual means.




    HP: Here is where some of my confusion with what you are saying stemmed from. I understand you clearly now with this statement. Before, as I recall, you just stated, “without limits” without explaining that there are limits established by context. I am almost, not entirely, but almost in some agreement here with your more full explanation seen together as you have it here.




    HP: I fully reaize that context does give us a better understanding just how one would employ certain words, eternal being no exception.



    HP: Language and reason often employs words that are used in a limited and finite fashion, such as an 'age,' to illuminate matters for the most part lying outside of the purview of our finite abilities to grasp. That in no way removes the element of everlasting or forever from the word eternal in some measure.

    Let’s use a particular verse and context so we can see it clearer, if you do not mind. Why don’t you give us an example of where you see eternal limited to a thousand years, and where you see it used in the present age, or in the case of a specific king. I understand that there were some rulers that took upon the name of eternal in some context. I would say that this was an exception to the rule, much as if one today took upon themselves the name of God in some form or another. That in no way alters the universal idea of Deity.
     
    #15 Heavenly Pilgrim, May 20, 2007
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  16. Hope of Glory

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    If you're talking about Matthew 5:3 and 19:9, first of all, there is much doubt about the authenticity of the exception, and even if it is authentic, "fornication" would cover adultery within the marriage, as well as other things.

    One is a subset of the other, but not vice versa, and they are not synonymous.

    When "discovering" what a word means in English, what higher authority are you going to use than a dictionary and an etymology dictionary? When choosing a dictionary, what higher authority than the Oxford English dictionary? When choosing an etymology dictionary, what higher authority than Klein's or Barnhart's?

    Words mean things.

    What's the difference between an engine and a motor?

    By common usage, they have become interchangeable. But, that is not correct, except by common usage. When I was going through my certification classes to become certified by Honda for racing engines, if someone called an internal combustion engine a "motor", they failed the class.

    Words change meanings over time, words are used incorrectly, etc., but that doesn't change what a word means.

    I agree with your statement, but you stopped a bit short. The Holy Spirit will not interpret in contradiction to what is written. That would be some other spirit.

    If you read my posts, it states this explicitly. "Age-lasting" has limits; it's not limitless, but the limits are not inherent in the word itself. I even gave an example of one society that set a specific time period. But, even that is not inherent in the word itself.


    You're the only one who has said that we don't (or didn't) have the ability to grasp the concept of "eternal" or "forever". I stated explicitly that we have that ability, man has always had that ability, God certainly has that ability, but those concepts are not present in "age-lasting".

    Even the KJV translators had the concept down with the expression "forever and ever". But, "eternal" was not the word employed in the English language at the time to mean "forever".

    The Hebrew and the Greek both use a similar expression (when translated) to mean "eternal" and "forever". In Greek, "aionios" isn't it.

    Every case that uses "aionios" is limited in duration.

    1 Corinthians 2:7 is a good example that there's no way you can twist to mean "forever": But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:

    Oops, sorry. That's the noun form. Romans 16:25 uses the adjective form in a very similar passage: Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began,

    As to using it for a specific time period for a king, the only one that I can think of right off hand is used in Plato. Oh, and Josephus. And Athenagorus. But, I don't have them readily available to cut and paste, and I don't feel like using the Greek keys to input that much text. I'm not aware of any biblical cases of it, except for the Lord Jesus Christ, when he is one day King.

    Oh, and you can also find non-biblical references to the word being used as an epithet to represent imperial power, but AFAIK, it's always directed at the individual, not the kingdom of the individual.

    But, 2 Peter 1:11 points quite well to it being 1000 years: For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

    1 Corinthians 15:24 tells us that his Kingdom is limited in duration.

    The book of the Revelation tells us that it will be for 1000 years.

    Now, for "eternal" in the modern sense, which is without beginning or ending, or existing outside of time, (or even a long period of time without specific limits), there is the word "aidios". (It can also be used of something that is recurring episodic action, which can be found in 4 Maccabees.) It's found twice in the NT, and used quite frequently by Aristotle.

    Once is in Jude: And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.

    The other is in Romans 1:20: For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

    It's his power that is eternal. It's the Godhead that is eternal. ("Godhead" is a better term than "trinity", IMO; it's actually in the Bible, and describes the situation a little more easily and accurately.)

    "God" is a title. This title is applied to many different persons at different times, not all of whom are deity, although we tend to equate the word "God" with deity. (The Godhead is deity, but there are humans that are god, Satan is the god of this age, etc. The word "god" is not inherently deity.)

    But, the Godhead (theiOtes; this is divinity) is eternal, in spite of the fact that Jesus is the god of the age to come. Satan, the god of this age, is not deity. He was created. And he will be in the lake of fire forever and ever when he's thrown in.
     
  17. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: One of the greatest curses upon the church has been the proliferation of versions of Scripture. You will never convince me that the corrupt Wescott-Hort text is one of the oldest or best texts. No one has the authority to chop out sections of Holy writ. That is one of the problems with the corrupt W-H text, its clear omissions.

    May I remind the reader of a comment by HOG?



    HP: The only tool of Satanic forces that I believe is more detrimental than the one HOG brings to the table by his statement, is the absolute obfuscation of the text by the total and complete annihilation of Scriptural truth via such corrupt versions such as the NIV via the corrupt Wescott Hort text.



    HP: Now that is indeed one way to win an argument. Simply take out ones gospel sword, by choosing a version that has eliminated the passage in question, and cut out the passages that might be seen to be at odds with any opposing truth. Walaaa!
     
  18. Hope of Glory

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    You're at it again!

    Mind showing me where I once mentioned the W-H text?


    But, adding things in is not evil, as the KJV has done?

    We're told to neither add, nor take away. So, when we can clearly see that something has been added, what's the rationale for leaving it there?

    Well, I wasn't "choosing a version" so much as looking at the Greek text. The TR is the only major text that I can find that includes the doxology. (I had only looked at the NA-27 until you made your claim.) You are correct that the W-H says it doesn't belong, but after looking at a dozen others, none of them do either.

    So, are you KJVO?

    I haven't looked at any other translation either. Why don't we do so? The ASV doesn't, nor the CLV, ESV, Weymouth, Rotherham, NET, Darby's, ISV, NASB (but it's in brackets), New Century Version, NIV, NLV, NRSV, or Today's English Version.

    The KJV has it, the NKJV has it but includes a note, and Young's has it, but it's based on the TR as well.

    I cannot find anything other than the TR and translations based upon it that include it, except for some later manuscripts. (Much later.)
     
  19. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: OK, just don’t get mad and call me a liar this time. :laugh:



    HP: You did not mention it I agree. Neither did I directly state you had. Let me restate it in another way. You will never convince me that any corrupt text, Wescott Hort or otherwise, that has produced the numerous omissions such as the one concerning the doxology, is one of the oldest or best texts. How is that? Better?



    HP: It is pointless to argue this matter. We will have to agree to disagree. What text one places their faith in is a matter of faith. We shall soon see how we have done in our choices. May God have mercy on us both.





    HP: One thing that I will not do, is go and ask permission to use their copyrighted versions. I believe the KJV is the peoples Bible. It is all I need personally.

    Again, I will agree to disagree. Just out of curiosity, what translation do you read the most or use in the pulpit if in fact you are a minister? Remember, God is listening.:)
     
  20. Hope of Glory

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    I've never even mentioned an "older" text, only older manuscripts, although the W-H is older than the NA-27. When reading the Greek, I use the NA-27, but compare it to older NA versions whenever I can. The liner notes change sometimes.

    When preaching, I use the KJV because a) I like it and b) it's the one that I'm most familiar with. However, it's far from the best translation. The best translations that I've found are the CLV, Rotherham's, and the NASB. The CLV is stilted reading, and Rotherham's is not as readily available. I finally got a paper copy of the NASB, but it's loose-leaf, which is great for notes, but lousy for turning pages.

    My KJV is an interleaved version, which is great for notes. They used to be readily available, but now, as far as I can tell, there is only one publisher making an interleaved KJV without Schofield's (sp?) notes, and they include the sinner's prayer on the back page that I had to tear out. (They should include a warning in their advertising.)

    Oh, I also found an Oxford KJV interleaved Bible recently, with no references, but it's $100. (I just found out this moment that the one that I own is now $100 also.)

    I found an NIV interleaved Bible, but I'm not particularly fond of the NIV.

    I use the KJV when I preach, but I realize that just like the translators themselves, they were not perfect. They expected others to do what they had done: Take a translation and build upon as new discoveries were made, language changed, etc. Why, if you see italics in your Bible, it's words they added that aren't even in the Greek! That doesn't even count the words that were added into the faulty Greek text they used.
     

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