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?