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The Pathfinder, Elwin & Margit Roach, PO Box 4004, Alamogordo, NM 88311-4004

The Pathfinder


#253.13
 

The Book of Ages


Blaspheming the Holy Spirit
Eternal God -- Eternal Life
Eternal or Eonian
Grammatical Rules



The Book of Ages, which is known as The Bible, has been Christianity’s handbook since the early days of the Church. It is a book that has guided many souls through perilous storms of life and has given priceless instructions concerning every facet of life, and like its author, it is no respecter of persons. Anyone who ventures therein can be helped and encouraged immensely by what they find, or they may be cut deeply and killed by its law. It has been attested that this book is THE INERRANT WORD OF GOD. However, many have not realized that this "inerrant word of God" has also guided large numbers of people down the road to spurious beliefs and grave deceptions. Therefore, the question might be, WHICH BIBLE is THE INERRANT WORD OF GOD? Is it the Roman Catholic’s Douey Version, the New International Version, Martin Luther’s German Version, the King James Version, or perhaps some other version? Most of those we know who have made that statement were referring to the King James Version. So which version is best to use as the inerrant word of God to defend their dogmas and tenets of faith? Since there is not one translation that is error free with it being an exact and accurate translation to the letter, it is good to use several versions and study aids.

It seems that the most noted source of errors started while the church was still relatively young. Whether it was deliberate or planned, we do not know; but it seems that the greatest of infractions began with the Latin Vulgates. (Vulgate: from the Latin, vulgus, relating to the common people or the speech of common people. From which comes the English word, vulgar.) This was before Jerome wrote his Latin version. Their inception was during the 2nd century by the Latin speaking churches of North Africa, and they drifted a great deal from the Greek and Hebrew texts. Nevertheless, they used these inferior translations until the 4th century. A critical ecclesiastical revision was made in Northern Italy, which was by then also using Latin Vulgates. This was of little help, for they were also very poorly translated, and by the end of the 4th century the Latin texts of the Bible in the Western Church had fallen into the highest degree of corruption.

Jerome (329-420 A.D.) was responsible for more accurate, but still lacking, translations of the scriptures. His several versions were adopted by the church as well as the other Latin versions that were available, and by the 8th century the corruption had arrived to such a height, that Charlemagne instructed Alcuin to revise the Latin text, which was considered one of the more accurate Vulgates. However, by the 15th century many others were being used as well, and the invention of the printing press increased the flood of unreliable texts. When the Council of Trent declared the Vulgate to be the authoritative text of scripture, the need of a standard text became more urgent than ever. An edition was then published in 1590 under the supervision of the Pope Sixtus V, with the famous constitution prefixed, in which Sixtus affirmed the total authority of the edition for all future time. It was soon found, however, that this edition also was defective; and accordingly another edition was prepared under papal authority. It appeared in 1592 in the Pontificate of Clement VIII. This version helped some but not a great deal. All in all, the Old Testament had suffered the most at the hands of the Latin translators. In the New Testament far more has been done for the correction of the Vulgate, but even here no critical edition has yet been published. Nonetheless, the vast power which the Vulgate has had in determining the theological terms of Western Christendom can hardly be overrated. By far the greater part of the current doctrinal terminology is based on the Vulgate. It was also the Vulgate that Martin Luther used in translating his German version of the Bible, and from Luther the influence of the Latin was eventually passed on to our own King James or Authorized Version. (Above information compiled from Smith's Bible Dictionary, pages 732—735).

Through Jerome’s Latin Vulgate is where we inherited the words "eternal" and "everlasting" as incorrect translations of the Greek word "aion," and the Hebrew "olam." Both words mean the same, which is a period of time that has a beginning and an endnot eternity! Of all the errors in his version, the thought of eternal punishment for nonbelievers remained as a foundation for other translators to build on, and King James’ forty-seven translators followed that common trend when they rendered his version in 1611. By this time, roughly 1200 years after Jerome's seed was planted in his Vulgate, the belief of eternal, everlasting, never ending punishment awaiting non Christians, especially evil people, was common dogma which appeared in proceeding translations. None of us would have thought to deviate from that tenet of faith. To have done so could have, and most likely would have, cost our lives at the stake and flaming fagots.

Therefore, we can perhaps see one of the reasons why the King James Version lists the Greek aion and Hebrew olam 91 times as everlasting, eternal 47 times, eternity on one occasion, and for ever and for ever and ever more than 50 times. Let us note some of the scriptures wherein the translators took their liberty of eternalizing the time oriented ages:

In Jonah 2:6, "for ever" means "three days and nights: "Now the LORD had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights. I went down to the bottoms of the mountains; the earth with her bars was about me for ever: yet hast thou brought up my life from corruption, O LORD my God." Jonah 1:17, 2:6.

Paul says that the runaway slave Onesimus would return back home where he would be received "forever." (Philemon 15, KJV). Surely, Onesimus is not still there today, some 2000 years or so later. Forever here clearly means his lifetime.

1 Chronicles 28:2, 4 says that King David would to be king "forever." Later this forever is specified as 40 years according to 1 Chronicles 29:27. Of course, David is still not reigning today, and "forever" here was 40 years!

In 1 Samuel 1:22 we see that Hannah offered her son to the Lord's service in the temple "forever" which was actually "all the days of his life."

So we can clearly see that the words "forever" and "eternal" in the Bible do NOT mean endlessness. Once again, the problem lies in the translations.

If there are Greek and Hebrew words that do stand for endlessness, they are not used in the Bible; for it is a book that has to do with the ages rather than eternity. Therefore, when we read scriptures that use these words , we can do so with the understanding that they do not speak of never ending, never changing, eternal things. Again we note:

"And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name." Revelation 14:11.

"And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal." Matthew 25:46. (This eternal/age-lasting life changes as it matures and ascends to an even greater life.)

John 3:36 says, "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him." (How long is this wrath? As long as it takes, through the age, for him to believe and be freed from sin and its wages of death.)

This fiery punishment for sin will vary according to the degree of sin for each individual, but after the punishment, the fire will go out when there is no more fuel of sinful carnality to burn (wood, hay, and stubble).

The teaching of eternal torment has done more to drive people to atheism and insanity than any other invention of men. It is unconscionable slander upon the loving character of our gracious, heavenly Father and has done untold harm to the Christian cause.

Blaspheming the Holy Spirit

Much could be said concerning each of these previous verses; but we will delay that for now as this mystery unfolds before us and defer to another who used his pen to draw and paint some of these truths upon the canvasses of our souls. Quite a number of years ago, he wrote:

"It is most regrettable that many Bible translators have been careless in their translation of words that concern the ages. The common thought seems to have been that any age following this present age must be identical with eternity, which. of course, is gross error, and we get ourselves into all manner of confusion by thinking that such is the case. For instance, according to the King James Version Jesus, speaking of the blasphemy of the Holy Ghost, is clearly quoted as saying, 'He that blasphemeth the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness.' Mark 3:29. Because of this faulty rendering we have concocted the fallacious notion of an unpardonable sin. But the Emphatic Diaglott translates the passage correctly thus: 'Whoever may blaspheme the Holy Spirit has no forgiveness to the age, but is exposed to aionian (age lasting) judgment.' Likewise also the passage in Matt. 12:32: '…Whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.' The word world here, as the margin of your Bible will probably indicate, is translated from the Greek word aion, which means age or some indefinite time. See also Young's Concordance.

"Hence the translation should be, 'It shall not be forgiven him, neither in this age nor in the coming age.' Emphatic Diaglott. Jesus was born in the age of law. Therefore, when He spoke of this age, He was speaking of the age of law, the age to come being the age of grace in which we now live. Our problem concerning the ages will be cleared up if we remember the following simple facts. The Greek noun aion, which literally means an age, or an indefinite period of time, (Young), has been translated into the following fifteen different words and phrases in the King James Version of the New Testament: age (2), beginning of the world (2), course (1), world (32), eternal (2), world began (1), forever (27), for evermore (2), ever (1), while the world standeth (1), for ever and ever (1), for ever and ever (20), for evermore (1), never (7), world without end (I). Along with this the adjective aionios is translated eternal 42 times, everlasting (25), and for ever (1). Yet all these words, which you may look up in your own concordance and at your leisure, come from one original word, aion, which means age and should be so translated. 'Anything and everything that has to do with an age or a dispensation has to do with time and therefore has both a beginning and an end. That which is eternal has nothing whatever to do with time, because that which is eternal is timeless. Eternity cannot be described as endless time, because there is no such element as time in eternity. It may come as a great surprise to most readers to learn that the Bible does not use any word that is equivalent to our English word eternal. All God's dealings with man concern ages, dispensations, and times. It is not until Christ delivers up a perfect universe to the Father that time will be no more, and there will be no need of the sun to rule by day nor of the moon by night, for the Lord God giveth them light. Where there is neither day nor night there is no time. That is the eternal realm. In that realm there is not only no more time, but a complete absence of things that belong to time - no pain, no crying, no tears, no more hell, no more lake of fire no more judgment, and no more death, for all the former things will have run their course of duty and will have passed away. All will be perfect in God's universe. All will be reconciled and all will be restored." (George Hawtin - The Restitution of All Things)

Eternal God — Eternal Life

Most all of those in Christendom have not given much thought about the Bible having little to do with the eternal God and His eternal life, thinking for the most part that it is a book that encapsulates eternal things. But as we are seeing, the Bible is not a book of eternal things. It is a book that speaks of time. It relates to time. It is a message to mankind who is a creature of time. It was, therefore, written of the same kind. Except for a few occasions, the Bible makes no references to eternity; that is, according to the original manuscripts. The less than perfect translations often speak of "eternal" things, but this is not the case with the Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic. When we read LORD (printed in all upper case letters) in the King James version, it comes from the four letters, YHWH, called the Tetragrammaton, and Yahweh is favored by most Hebrew scholars and is widely accepted as the vocalization of the Tetragrammaton. As "Yahweh," He is ever "I AM," the witness, not of past or future, but of the truth itself, which cannot pass, but is eternal. "El Olam" shows Him as the God of "times and seasons," in which He works to meet downfalls and victories, which prove that they are not the true life, eternal life, by "waxing old and vanishing away" Hebrews 8:13.

Jehovah is still used in some translations of the Bible and by various religious sects, such as the Interestingly, this fact is admitted in much Jehovah's Witness literature, such as their Aid to Bible Understanding (p. 885). This is surprising because Jehovah's Witnesses loathe the Catholic Church and have done everything in their power to strip their church of traces of Catholicism. Despite this, their group's very name contains a Catholic "invention," the name "Jehovah." http://www.catholic.com/quickquestions/is-gods-name-yahweh-or-jehovah *Jehovah’s Witnesses. Notwithstanding with YHWH, Yahweh, and Jehovah, we get a glimpse of eternity, for the names mean: I Am, self-existent one, the eternal one, the one without beginning or end of days, the one who sustains himself. He is also called at least eleven other names (El, El Shaddai, Adonai, etc.). Each name speaks of how He relates to and deals with man in particular fashions in various eras of time. During those times He is aionion/olamin, that is, the age-lasting God, the God of duration, the God of the age or ages. When He is called the LORD of Hosts, Jehovah Sabaoth; Self-existent One or God of Warriors, this is saying that He injected Himself into time and His relationship to His people is as Lord of whatever event or age it might be. If He was only the eternal God, His people could not relate to Him, and His army of warriors would be without their all-knowing Commander and void of guidance and power sufficient enough to overthrow the enemy. Without God being age-lasting and fit for the occasion, no battle or war could be won.

*
About the 13th century the term "Jehovah" appeared when Christian scholars took the consonants of "Yahweh" and pronounced it with the vowels of "Adonai." This resulted in the sound "Yahowah," which has a Latinized spelling of "Jehovah." The first recorded use of this spelling was made by a Spanish Dominican monk, Raymundus Martini, in 1270.

Interestingly, this fact is admitted in much Jehovah's Witness literature, such as their Aid to Bible Understanding (p. 885). This is surprising because Jehovah's Witnesses loathe the Catholic Church and have done everything in their power to strip their church of traces of Catholicism. Despite this, their group's very name contains a Catholic "invention," the name "Jehovah." http://www.catholic.com/quickquestions/is-gods-name-yahweh-or-jehovah

Another place says He is the Almighty God (El Shaddai), which means the Strong Breasted One. If He does not descend temporarily from His status as the eternal God we as creatures of time, could not relate and would starve to death—spiritually and perhaps naturally as well. Yet, while retaining His eternal Godhood, He does lower Himself for a moment, and we find ourselves feasting on His word and bringing in bumper crops from the field. Praise God that He is the God of the ages as well as the eternal God; for we would be adrift in the vast ocean of life with no bearings, no sails, no power to propel ourselves in any direction and eventually would starve or perish from thirst, even dashed upon the shoals of death.

Praise God that He becomes the God of the ages, the God of perilous circumstances; but He is still the eternal God where we all will find our place as well. Frankly, I see that we are already in that place, we never left it, but there is much to be done in our lives before we know it experientially. For instance, the spirit of the little baby that was in us at conception, and on to adulthood, has not changed. That is who we are, and we are the same person we were way back then, and even before we were lowered into this world wherein our natural life began. Therefore, whether sucking on our thumbs as babies or beer bottles as grown men, the spirit of who we have always been is the same. That which has changed has been our souls and bodies, not our spirits of who we are.

Regardless of how we view or experience Him, He is still the eternal God who enters into the realm of time so man can perceive and learn from and find their way back into Him. When He injects Himself into time, it is not unusual for Him to be called El Olam or El Olamim (God of the age or ages (Genesis 21:33). Just because He is the Eternal God does not in any way keep Him from being the GOD OF THE AGES as well.

Other than the word Jehovah/Jahweh, I have found in the book of Hebrews is the only other place where the scriptures refer to anything being eternal, and that speaks of His Life. All other places that speak of His Life (or judgment) are in relation to time, and with time, the human life changes. Man’s life changes in the sense of growing and maturing unto fullness. Certain aspects of his life will end, not because it ceases to be, but because it grows into something greater, like when a green apple grows to be a ripe apple. For instance, what we know and experience in Christ today is not the full expression of Himself to us. If it was, we would be totally content with what we have and never press toward the mark of the prize of the high calling of God. However, His Life, the very essence of our Father, will never end in us, for its essence is that of the ETERNAL GOD!

Paul left us a message in Romans 11:36 that says, "For out of Him, and through Him, and into Him are ALL THINGS. To Him the glory into the ages." The Emphatic Diaglott. With this being the case, and we are persuaded that God is eternal, then we should be safe in saying all things are eternal, for there is nothing that is that has not come out of God. However, actions, deeds, works, souls, bodies, etc. are not eternal in the sense of never changing. God worked for six days and then He rested. His work ended, but that which He created did not end, nor did it begin at the commencement of His work. It had always been, for it was in God who is eternal, but the form he placed upon this earth as man had a beginning, and it was lacking. He was not complete. This was his beginning of incompleteness, however, in Christ he will experience the end of that lack and at the same time a beginning of a completion. It is also in Him we find the end of our process of being made complete. Truly, He is the BEGINNING and the END to everything in our lives -- the AUTHOR and FINISHER of our faith! (ref. Revelation 22:13 & Hebrews 12:2).

When man was placed here in his incomplete state, it was the beginning of a deficiency for him but there will be an end to this type of existence, for Acts 3:21 says there will be a restitution of all things. The Greek word for restitution is apokatastaseos and more accurately it would be, "reconstitution of all things." When something is reconstituted, it means the ingredient that had been removed, such as Christ’s life, is reinstated. It is put back—such as when water is added back to dehydrated orange juice, thereby, making it reconstituted orange juice. When man took and ate the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, an essential ingredient was removed—God’s Spirit of life that had been joined to his spirit and soul, leaving only a residue in his blood. Thus, life is in the blood, no longer in the soul and spirit. That which would enable him to be obedient, trustworthy, faithful, patient, righteous, holy, godly, was taken out of him as he was taken out of the Garden. However, we now see Jesus Christ, and He is that ingredient that was removed from Adam, male and female. However, He does not breathe into us to give us His breath of Life, but we are impregnated by His life and become that breath; hence, we are reconstituted, and after the Firstfruits are reconstituted alive there will come the rest, but everyone in their own order, with the end rank being the last to be made alive. (ref. 1 Corinthians 15:22-24).

Again, the Bible is a book composed of things that deal with "time" with a few exceptions. Other than the name YHWH/Yahweh declaring God being the Eternal God, we have chapter seven of Hebrews which gives us an additional exception: "Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life...Who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life" Hebrews 7:3 & 16. The word endless here is not aion. This verse neither suggests that His life has the character of that age, nor is it age-lasting. The word for endless is akatalutos, and used only once in the scriptures, which means: indissoluble, imperishable, permanent, never ending. His life did not have a beginning and it will not have an ending. It is eternal! However, when we talk about the "days" (the passing of time) of Jesus when He walked (past tense that ended) the shores of Galilee, this speaks of time. Although there was no beginning or ending of His life, He carried that eternal life with Him wherever and whenever he went. He was the aionion, age-lasting Lord of that passing age while in that mortal body, yet enveloped by eternity.

This indicated the Life of Christ is to remain throughout eternity, it can not be dissolved, and that is the life that has been passed on to us; but even so, this does not mean it cannot become a greater reality to the ones who possesses it, and as they do, they are changed more and more by each encounter, but the life remains the same. Therefore, when we are first born of God, as wonderful as it is, the experience of the very Life and Essence of God, we will change as we mature in it, but His eternal life will not change nor will we ever lose it. We will live by it forever. Because of this change, we can truthfully say, we can change, but He does not, and because of His unchanging life, our adventure will be age lasting. We will last for the age and through the age until the age-lasting work has finished its course.

Another example is when we grow from babyhood to manhood, the babyhood age is gone, when it is replaced by the manhood age, but Christ’s life eternal has always been—the life that was in the baby is the same as the one in the man, and it is the same life that existed before it came into the baby to start the progress of change, while the life remains unchanged.

If eternal, forever, and everlasting are accurate words to be translated from the Hebrew olam and the Greek aion, this poses somewhat of a problem with what is commonly believed and taught.

For instance, 1 Chronicles 16:34 says: "O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever." If His mercy endures forever, would this mean that people would have to be sinning and doing stupid things forever in order for His mercy to be enduring forever? For you see, in order for mercy to be given, there has to be an act sin. If there is no sin, there is no one upon which to measure out mercy. And let us not forget, "God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away." Revelation 21:4. Through His lake of fire the very thing—SIN— that had caused all those horrid miseries upon creation is destroyed! Once Adam’s sin, the initiator of all anguish, is swallow up by Christ’s righteousness, every cheek will be dry, the doors to every funeral home will be barred forever. Heartbreaks will vanish, and all pain of any kind will be unknown! That is what happens when sin is destroyed, leaving mercy a thing of the past! Hallelujah!

Eternal or Eonian

Eternal, as mentioned above, has to do with having no beginning nor ending. Something that is eternal continues on without any change or interruption whatsoever. Eternity is not subject to time nor is it affected by it. If it changes to any degree, it is no longer eternal; and it makes no difference whether the change is to a negative or positive. If it changes either by decaying or by growing, it ceases to be eternal. If it ever ends or changes, it was never eternal in the first place.

Eternal, in Hebrews 6:2, comes from the word AIONIOS which is the primary adjective of the noun AION. There are two English words that are equivalent in meaning to this Greek noun which is EON or AGE. The dictionary says an eon is "An unspecified long period of time and comes from the Latin, aeon, and the Greek, aion." Eonian, as it is with aionios or aionion, is an adjective that is a derivative of EON. Notwithstanding, aion and its adjectives were translated fourteen different ways by the King James translators and went unquestioned as it was propagated to some degree by other translators since that day. The following are the words the 17th century translators generated from this one word AION: "age, course, eternal, ever, for ever, for evermore, ever, never, world, beginning of the world, while the world, world began, world without end, and everlasting."

The king’s order was to keep the translation as close as possible to the church’s dogma and tenets of faith of that day while using the Bishops Bible as the guideline. It is, therefore, understandable how so many words could have evolved from the single word, aion. With such a menagerie of inconsistent words, there is little wonder that we do not have more Christian beliefs and denominations than we do. Since God changes not, being always consistent, we would think those calling themselves by His son’s name would also be consistent in translating His written word, but they have not been so. They have been careless in handling the words in their handbook of life, some of them even skewed the meaning of the term, unquenchable fire by teaching that unquenchable fire means an everlasting fire of hell, that it will never be nor can ever be extinguished. Please, cast that abhorrent thought and man-made image into the deepest sea as we come to the knowledge of the truth.

We do not have the original source of the following statement, but it is so true and worth considering:

"Unquenchable fire is fire that cannot be put out, but which goes out when it has turned everything to ashes. Jeremiah 17:27 says Jerusalem was to be destroyed with unquenchable fire, and in 2 Chronicles 36:19-21 the Bible says this fire burned the city, ‘O fulfill the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah and left it desolate.’ Yet we know this fire went out, because Jerusalem is not burning today.

"To quench means to extinguish or put out. No one will be able to put out the fire of judgment. That is the strange fire of God. No one will be able to escape from it by extinguishing it. Isaiah says of that fire, ‘Behold, they shall be as stubble; the fire shall burn them; they shall not deliver themselves from the power of the flame: there shall not be a coal to warm at, nor a fire to sit before it’ (Isaiah 47:14). After it has accomplished its work of necessary destruction, that fire will go out. No one can deliver themselves from its flame. They cannot put it out, but finally, not a coal will be left. So say the Scriptures."

Grammatical Rules

While considering the words olam and aion in reference to the terms eternal, everlasting, forever, without end, never, etc., and age, age-lasting, and age-abiding, we will take a moment and notice a grammatical rule of all languages, especially the Hebrew and Greek: A derivative of a word cannot carry more strength or have a different meaning than the root word from which it is derived. Derivative must always reflect the essence of its parent word. For example:

Daily comes from and has something to do with a day. Daily is not a stronger word than day. It is a word that is telling us about the noun to which it is associated; such as, when referring to a newspaper that is printed every day of the week is called a daily newspaper; but, by changing the word from a noun to an adjective, which tells us something about the paper, does not make the paper come more than once a day. Moreover, daily is not a longer period of time than a day. It is merely a descriptive word. Likewise with yearly. It is no longer than a year, and lively living does not extend beyond one’s lifetime, nor does eonian have a greater element of time than the eon to which it is related. Eonian is a derivative of an eon. They are very closely related. There is no way that the adjective, eonian, can cease to be time and become eternal. Even if you double up on the noun and say, "The eon of the eons," does not make it reach out an become eternity. It would be utter nonsense to hold to such a thought. We know that when we make mention of the Book of books, we are not saying the Bible is all the books ever written or is something entirely the opposite of a book. Or when we call the Bible the Book of Ages, we are not indicating that it is a book about eternity. By no means! We say what we mean, and mean what we say; namely, that it is a Book of Ages, a book that relates to eras of time, it is a book that speaks of sunrises and sunsets, of days, of years, of groups of years, of centuries, and of millennia—but not eternity!

If we use the term the age of the ages, it would not change the aion/eon/age to mean never ending or eternity, as some have rationalized. It simply tells us there is one age that stands out as perhaps the greatest age among the other ages. It speaks of quality rather than quantity, but is not miraculously transformed into never ending eternity. To say otherwise is not being honest with the rule of language. I know that age-old doctrines are like precious jewels to many and they want them to continue forever; but there is no justification in changing the meaning of words and crucifying grammatical rules in order to keep traditions of men alive. Frankly, it is time for that old ruse to be buried.

Aion and aionion, according to some of the recognized Hebrew and Greek authorities, have been translated: "AGE and AGE-DURING (Young's Analytical Concordance & Young's Literal Translation of The Bible), AGE and AGE-ABIDING (Rotherham's Emphasized Bible), EON and EONIAN (Concordant Literal Translation of The Bible), and AGE and AGE-LASTING (The Emphatic Diaglott -- Dr. J.J. Griesbach). These men were thorough and consistent with the usage of these two words, and they all agreed that they deal with undisclosed TIME PERIODS of particular QUALITIES that have a beginning and an ending. With study aids as these, it makes it much easier to see that the adjective aionion is not only something that takes place in the realm of time, but it carries the thought of possessing the quality of whatever age or eon to which it is being referred.

There are, of course, some authorities who disagree with these definitions. However, most, if not all, of them will agree that the noun aion means an age, but when the word is changed to the adjective form aionion they say it can then mean eternal, everlasting, for ever, world, world began, etc, and this evidently depends on the discretion of the translator. For instance, it is said by some of them, "When this word becomes plural and is extended (a suffix added to it or used more than once in the same phrase) it means for ever and ever." They say it is implying that the Greek, tous aionas ton aionon is speaking of a never ending situation, rather than it meaning the ages of the ages, which according to proper research would prove ages of the ages to be accurate and would bring more harmony to the scriptures. If for ever really means eternity, then we wonder why another "ever" is applied to the first ever? —That is, "for e v e r AND e v e r." This would be an impossibility. You cannot add an additional ever on to the first for ever. There must be an end to a thing if another is attached to it. Wouldn't you agree? Therefore, if the first for ever has an end, it stands to reason the second one will also end, and when aion is translated age, that is what we have. An unspecified time period that has an end.

To sum it up, Preston Eby says it very well in his book
      Just What Do You Mean...ETERNITY:

"Once we understand that AION and all the compounds of that word denote TIME, how clear everything becomes! And how ridiculous the ignorant pratings of men! In an effort to harmonize the scriptures with the false doctrines of the apostate church, the translators rendered `the ages of the ages' as `for ever and ever.' This one little mistake exposes their folly. Even in English we can see that `for ever' cannot be endless if `and ever' may be added to it. Eternity cannot be added to! Only time may be compounded. Eternity is absolute timelessness. Eternity is without either beginning or end. There cannot be more than one eternity. You cannot add a second eternity on to a first eternity. For ever in English means `for eternity; always; perpetually; endlessly.' Now if `for ever' is `eternity' how can you add `and ever,' attaching ANOTHER ETERNITY to an already existing eternity? That isn't even correct English grammar! Ah -- but ages are time, and time, beloved, can be added to! When the Greek speaks of `the ages of the ages' it is speaking of AGGREGATED PERIODS OF TIME -- not eternity! And you cannot get eternity by compounding all the time periods of the past and the future, for time began and time ends. The ages and all the time and times combined do not equal eternity. There simply is no such thing as `the endless ages of eternity' as the preachers love to say, for the phrase is a complete contradiction of itself. No one who is sane and reasonable can maintain otherwise. To do so is to contradict all known facts and to contradict God's own Word."

Thus, The Book of Ages! Don’t you think?

Elwin R. Roach


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