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Thread: Does αἰώνιος always refer to an endless duration of time in the New Testament?

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    tWebber Quantum Weirdness's Avatar
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    Does αἰώνιος always refer to an endless duration of time in the New Testament?

    Let me preface this by saying I do not believe in Universal Salvation. However, I've seen it argued that this world could mean 'age-lasting'. This site argues that there are instances where this is the case. Notably, in 1 Enoch 10:10 which equates 'eternal life' to 500 years (See here). We do have a greek text of 1 Enoch available and apparently, the word used for 'eternal' is αιωνιον. Thoughts?
    -The universe begins to look more like a great thought than a great machine.
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    Troll Magnet Sparko's Avatar
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    Are they arguing that punishment in hell won't be eternal by arguing the word for "forever"?

    If that is the case, then neither would our glorified lives be eternal would they?

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    Professor KingsGambit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparko View Post
    Are they arguing that punishment in hell won't be eternal by arguing the word for "forever"?

    If that is the case, then neither would our glorified lives be eternal would they?
    I'm the token annihilationist here and I certainly wouldn't make that argument. There are a few people who might try to argue that, but as you point out, it's not a good argument. The way forward is to try to argue that it means the effects of the punishment are eternal. (And I'm not looking to debate my view on hell here, I don't want to derail his thread.)

    Having said that, my understanding is that the Hebrew word translated as "forever" doesn't necessarily mean that. This doesn't really affect the hell debate because it isn't really taught in the Old Testament, but it is interesting. The KJV of Exodus 21:6 translated the word (I think it's olam) as "for ever" in the context of a slave serving a master for life. More recent English translations like the "NIV' translate it as "for life" instead.
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    tWebber lee_merrill's Avatar
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    Source: Louw Nida


    pertaining to an unlimited duration of time—‘eternal.’
    ...
    αἰώνιος: βληθῆναι εἰς τὸ πῦρ τὸ αἰώνιον ‘be thrown into the eternal fire’ Mt 18:8; τοῦ αἰωνίου θεοῦ ‘of the eternal God’ Ro 16:26.

    © Copyright Original Source


    Now αἰών can mean "age", but "In the NT αἰώνιος (with the rare → ἀΐδιος) is used in the sense of eternal..." (TDNT)

    Blessings,
    Lee
    "What I pray of you is, to keep your eye upon Him, for that is everything. Do you say, 'How am I to keep my eye on Him?' I reply, keep your eye off everything else, and you will soon see Him. All depends on the eye of faith being kept on Him. How simple it is!" (J.B. Stoney)

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    tWebber Quantum Weirdness's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparko View Post
    Are they arguing that punishment in hell won't be eternal by arguing the word for "forever"?

    If that is the case, then neither would our glorified lives be eternal would they?
    If we're talking about Matt 25:46, then it may be possible to translate αἰώνιος as age-lasting. That is,

    “Then they will go away to age-lasting punishment, but the righteous to age-lasting life.”

    with the length of the age (maybe without end, maybe not) not being specified in this verse.
    -The universe begins to look more like a great thought than a great machine.
    Sir James Jeans

    -This most beautiful system (The Universe) could only proceed from the dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being.All variety of created objects which represent order and Life in the Universe could happen only by the willful reasoning of its original Creator, whom I call the Lord God.
    Sir Isaac Newton

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    tWebber lee_merrill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quantum Weirdness View Post
    If we're talking about Matt 25:46, then it may be possible to translate αἰώνιος as age-lasting.
    Though the dictionaries say otherwise!

    Blessings,
    Lee
    "What I pray of you is, to keep your eye upon Him, for that is everything. Do you say, 'How am I to keep my eye on Him?' I reply, keep your eye off everything else, and you will soon see Him. All depends on the eye of faith being kept on Him. How simple it is!" (J.B. Stoney)

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