Everlasting or Eternal?

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by Dr. Bob, Dec 13, 2003.

  1. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob
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    Same identical Greek word. In 99% of other versions translated "eternal" in both. Do you see differences in the two words? KJV used them randomly (it seems) 25+ for everlasting, 45+ for eternal in the NT.

    God alone inhabits eternity. As a result, I am hesitant to say that I have such eternality.

    Everlasting - into the ages of the ages to come - seems more understandable.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. USN2Pulpit

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    I don't see this as a problem - their meanings being practically identical, unless as you say, we assign something divine to the word "eternal."
     
  3. robycop3

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    I believe we often assign a definition to 'eternal' as being that which has always existed, and will always exist without change, I.E. God. He is often called "The Eternal" in Scripture, an appellation which has HAD to have shaped our innermost thoughts.

    We generally think of "everlasting" as that which will always exist FROM A POINT IN TIME onward. However, to us who are not English professors, the words can be used interchangeably.
     
  4. gopchad

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    I hesitate to delve into a topic that I am otherwise not professionally trained to delve into, i.e. Greek; but I did look up the Greek word aionios in Strong's. The definition I found there indicates that the word could mean:

    without beginning or end (eternal)

    or

    without end (everlasting)

    So I suppose that either word could be used in translation (may be splitting hairs here).

    To what extent I possess eternality is an interesting question philosophically though. I personally would have to agree that the idea of everlasting seems to more accurately describe my life in Christ on the surface. But because I existed in the mind of GOD before time began, do I also possess the potential for being described as eternal? Just a thought, and I really do not know the answer for sure, just looking for reaction.
     
  5. Charles Meadows

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    Any of you guys remember a mean English teacher in your past who tried to pound "elements of style" into your head? Actually mine was not really mean.... Authors often try to find different words for the exact same thing - breaks up the monotony! The point is it's tough to really read alot into particular distinctions between similar words. This is especially the case here where both are "aionion" in the Greek text. [​IMG]
     
  6. Dr. Bob

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    I do not believe that Jesus spoke John 3:16. I believe His words end at v. 15 and may be the reason for the choice of a different word in v. 16 for the same Greek idiom.

    (Don't fuss over your red letter version. Just read the text and see how John then changes the tone at v.16ff and begins an "explanation" or summary of Jesus' teaching. Neat study)

    BTW, "Monotony" was one of my best subjects in school! :rolleyes:
     
  7. go2church

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    Dr. Bob,
    I remember hearing the red-letter guys got it wrong in Bible-college. My poor virgin ears! Check the pronouns and see, a bit too much red ink it would seem.

    The words seem to be the same to me, I just like the sound of eternal over everlasting. No real reason.
     
  8. Dr. Bob

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    Can you imagine ME as a "typical" Bible college prof? I was dean of a small college/grad school 1984-88 but still taught classes every day.

    Then in 1996-2000 at a strong ifb school where I taught 6-8 classes each semester. LOTS of eyes raised at some of my classes!
     

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