Press of the BeComingOne Church

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[Taken from the New Mind Papers  by Walter R. Dolen
 Copyright 1977-2003 by Walter R. Dolen and/or BeComingOne Church]
 

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NM 7: Age Paper

Eternal & Forever in the Bible
Contradictions
Aeonian Meaning in Harmony with Scripture
Context Argument One
Context Argument Two
Paradox: All Saved; Evil Damned Forever
Two Ages: One Ends; One Does Not End
Why Misusage of Word
Review and Further Arguments
Everliving or Agelasting?: Rosetta Stone

NM7 Abstract

One of the biggest mistakes in traditional Christianity is the mistranslation of two words into "eternal" that actually mean aeon or age. From this mistake came the eternal hell and punishment for those who never had the chance to learn about Christ or who simply did not believe in him. Not only this, but from this mistake we get such nonsense as, sacrifices for eternity, slaves for eternity, time before eternity, more than one eternity, and other such impossibilities. In this paper we refute the best arguments from Augustine and others. This paper is a key to unlocking the truth that has been hidden behind this mistranslation.

 Audio Intro

Eternal & Forever in the Bible

nm89 Do you know that eternal and forever in most translations of the Bible are incorrectly translated from words that mean age? Since the early fifth century AD and probably long before, this major inaccuracy in translation has filtered and shaded most doctrines of the Bible.

Olam & Aionios

nm90 In the Old Testament the Hebrew olam [ ~l'A[ ] is the most common word translated as 'forever.' In the New Testament the Greek aionios [ aivw,nio,j ] is the most common word translated as 'forever' or 'eternal.' In Young's Analytical Concordance to the Bible and Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible the words 'everlasting' and 'forever' are most often translated from the Hebrew olam or the Greek aionios.

nm91 Even though most translations of the Bible incorrectly translate the Hebrew olam or the Greek aionios in scripture, there are translations that correctly use them. Translations such as Young's Literal Translation of the Holy Bible and Rotherham's The Emphasized Bible do use 'age' or 'age-abiding' instead of 'forever.' You will find that in our papers we use the words 'age' or 'agelasting' or 'aeonian' instead of the inaccurate 'forever' or 'everlasting' or 'eternal.' Why do most translations use forever, everlasting, and eternal (or comparable words in other languages) while we use 'age' or 'agelasting' or 'aeonian'?

Vague Time Period

nm92 We will absolutely show in this paper that the Hebrew olam means age or agelong or an eon of indefinite length, and that the Greek aion and its adjective aionios mean an age of unknown length or agelong or aeonian. The main and only real meaning of these words is an age or eon of unknown length. The words in and of themselves tell us nothing about duration, or the beginning or end of the age. In context they may indicate "an age (of foreverness)" when it is speaking of an age that will not end, an endless age. But here they only indicate "an age (of foreverness)" by auxiliary words that clarify their normal vague meaning: the word 'age' by itself never tells us the length of the age or the beginning or end of the age. Without auxiliary words that specify its length, the word 'age' or 'eon' is always unclear as to its length.

Damning, Unforgiving Mindset

nm93 But there is a desire in mankind that wants and needs to believe that the Hebrew olam and the Greek aionios mean forever or eternal, and because of this they ignore the doctrine of forgiveness and the great all powerfulness of God.

nm94 This mindset traps mankind into paradoxes that make God contradictory and impotent. Mankind has its 'hell' theories where a supposedly good, forgiving, and almighty God puts humans in a hell-fire that somehow burns their fleshly body for ever and ever: their god does not terminate their life, he tortures them forever. They say, "those who don't believe or commit themselves to Christ, are damned forever." But all one has to do is to translate olam and aionios into 'agelong' or 'aeonian,' as we did in the BeComingOne Bible, and many of the great paradoxes of Biblical doctrine will end, and the great plan of God can be clearly seen. But this isn't easy for many. They insist on holding on to their tangled doctrines.

nm95 I once believed in this distortion. But once I learned of the mistranslation in 1969 it was obvious that major doctrines of the Bible were being taught incorrectly. There is a large difference between the word age and the word forever. Age normally indicates limits (most ages have beginnings and/or ends), but forever and eternal always indicate no limits and no end. In this paper we will go into much more detail on the mistranslated words olam and anionios, which are incorrectly translated into 'forever,' 'everlasting,' and 'eternal.' This is very important.

Contradictions

nm96 First let's look at some paradoxical translations caused by the incorrect translation of olam and aionios. If we translate these words correctly there are no paradoxes.

Sacrifices Forever?

nm97 Some sacrifices, offerings, and rituals of the Old Testament were olam or aionios sacrifices. (Note: Lev 3:17; 6:18; 7:36; 10:9,15; 16:29; 17:17; 23:14; 24:3; Num 10:8; 15:15; 18:8; 19:10; etc.) If olam or aionios mean forever or eternal why are these sacrifices, offerings, and rituals not now being performed? They are not still being performed because they were for an age, not forever. Christ abolished them by his perfect sacrifice (Heb 10:10-14).

Circumcision Forever?

nm98 If olam or aionios means forever or eternal why are not Christians following this olam or aionios covenant of circumcision:

  • "My covenant shall be in your flesh for an olam [or aionios] covenant" (Gen 17:13).

If olam or aionios mean forever or eternal, how can anyone unbound such a regulation? Of course olam and aionios only mean age, thus the reason Christians are no longer bond by physical circumcision (note Acts 15:5-29; 1Cor 7:18-19; Gal 5:1-4,6; Col 3:11).

Slaves Forever?

nm99 If olam or aionios mean forever or eternal, then according to the law of the Old testament, some can be made slaves forever or for eternity (Lev 25:46; Deut 15:17). Of course there are no forever slaves: olam and aionios do not mean forever, they speak of an age.

Before Eternity?

nm100 If aionios means forever or eternal how could there have been any time before eternity, "before the times of eternities [aionion, plural of aionios]" (Greek text, 2Tim 1:9)?

More Than One Eternity?

nm101 Is there more than one eternity? If the Greek aionios or the Hebrew olam mean eternal, then according to 2Tim 1:9 there was a time before eternitieS. How can there be more than one eternity. There are at least two other places in the Greek New Testament that has aionios in its plural form:

  • "But the things invisible are aionia" (2Cor 4:16). [This Greek aionia is the plural form of aionios (Analytical Greek Lex., Zondervan)..]
  • "Which God, who cannot lie, promised before times of aionion" (Titus 1:2). [According to the Lexicon aionion here is in its plural form.]

nm102 The Hebrew word olam is also translated forever or everlasting. Olam is also found in its plural form in such verses as in Pss 77:6, 145:13; Isa 26:4, 45:17. Is there more than one eternity? Of course not.

nm103 The Greek aionios and the Hebrew olam are speaking about an age or ages of secret or hidden or unknown time lengths. We can only ascertain the time periods of each olam and aionios by other words in context that explain to us what age the Bible is speaking about. The words olam or aionios in and of themselves tell us nothing about the duration, or the beginning or the ending of the age. We only know that the age of Satan will end because of scripture. We only know the new and coming age of the True God will not end because of scripture. And we can know through scripture that there are ages within the great age of God just as there are ages within Satan's age.

Never Die?

nm104 In John 8:51 and verse 52 we see contradictions: "If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death. Then said the Jews unto him [unto Jesus], Now we know that you are possessed of a demon. Abraham is dead, and the prophets; and you say, If a man keep my saying, he shall never taste of death." And in John 11:26 we see a similar contradiction: "And whosoever lives and believes in me shall never die."

nm105 In this translation Christ seems to say that if one kept his words and believed in him that such a person would never die. But by reading the New Testament we know that those who do keep his word and that do believe in him do die. A contradiction? No! It is a mistranslation.

nm106 The English word "never" in these verses was mistranslated. It should have been translated as follows: "no not death should he behold into the age" - John 8:51; "no not should he taste of death into the age" - John 8:52; "no not [anyone believing] should die into the age" - John 11:26. Double negatives in Greek adds emphasis to the negative. "No not" can be translated "absolutely not." Thus "absolutely not should anyone who believes in Christ die into the age."

nm107 These scriptures speak about an age and that into that age or in that age those who believe in Christ (those who keep his word) will not, absolutely not, die. This great age begins with the 1000 year age as other scripture indicates (see Reward for Christians [NM 11]). When we translate aion literally these scriptures make sense. But when we translate it as some think it ought to be translated we come up with contradictions. In the above three scriptures "never" was mistranslated for the Greek words that literally meant "no not" and "age."

David's Throne Forever?

nm108 If olam or aionios mean forever or eternal, then David and Solomon's thrones should have lasted forever (2Sam 7:12-13,16; 1Kgs 9:5). Of course this kingdom of David and Solomon lasted only for an age. It is the Spiritual Seed of David that will establish the kingdom in the endless age or endless olam or aionios.

Cities and Land Destroyed Forever?

nm109 If olam or aionios mean forever or eternal, then there are cities and lands that forever or for eternity will be in ruins (Isa 25:2, 32:14; Jer 18:15, 25:9,12, 49:13,33, 51:26,62; Ezek 26:21, 27:36, 28:19, 35:9; etc.). But this cannot be true because when Jesus Christ returns to the earth, the earth will be renewed and eventually created totally new (Pss 104:30; Isa 61:4; Ezek 36:10-11; Amos 9:14; Rev 21:5; etc.). Of course, since olam or aionios only indicate an age, these cities and lands will not be forever ruined, but will be renewed and the people of these former cities will be resurrected.

Present Earth Forever?

nm110 In such places as Eccl and Pss 104:5 it speaks about the earth standing for olam or aionios. But Christ said that heaven and earth would pass away (Mat 24:35; Mark 13:31; Luke 21:33). The present earth stands not forever, but for an olam or aionios, that is, it stands for an age. But after that age it will be totally created new (Rev 21:5).

Land Forever?

nm111 If olam or aionios means forever or eternal, then Israel would have continually and forever possessed the land (Note Gen 13:15; see Greek trans.). But if olam or aionios means agelong, the Gen 13:15 promise means that Israel would possess the land during an age. This is what happened: physical Israel did possess the land for an age - not forever. The true higher meaning of this scripture is that the Spiritual Israel will possess the land during the age (olam) of the True God.

Aeonian or Agelasting Meaning In Harmony With Scripture

nm112 When the Greek aion, its adjective aionios, and the Hebrew olam are translated anything but age or aeonian or agelasting, contradictions occur in scripture. But when these words are correctly translated a clear meaning is projected to the reader. In all our papers on doctrine we always use the correct translation of these words because it is the best way to translate these words. And because throughout our papers and in the BeComingOne Bible we have translated "aeonian" as it should be translated, we project to you the mercy of God and the great plan of the God. The True God is not a damning forever God. Our God is a God of love and forgiveness. He punishes, but He also will eventually save all. See our paper "All Saved" [NM 13] for there are many scriptures in the Bible where it says that all will eventually be saved. There is/was a purpose for evil. There is hope for all.

Hebrew Meaning of Olam

nm113 In Hebrew, the language of the Old Testament, the Hebrew word most often translated "forever" or "everlasting" is olam.

[or alam, Strong's # 5956 & # 5957; 'owlan, #5769; 'eylowm, # 5865; see also 'ad, # 5703. Note that the word is spelled in Hebrew differently at different times because of prefixes and suffixes attached to it.]

From the Hebrew and Chaldee Lexicon by Gesenius, it shows that the Hebrew word olam (Strong's # 5956) has the meaning of a hidden age or hidden time specifically "hidden time, long."

nm114 From the Analytical Hebrew and Chaldee Lexicon by Benjamin Davidson (Pub., by Zondervan, l970), it shows that the Hebrew word olam means a hidden time or secret time or age.

nm115 This word was first used in the Bible to describe the hidden or secret age that Adam and Eve missed because of their sin: "and live into olam" (Gen 3:22). Its basic meaning concerns a hidden or secret age, or simply an age of unknown length. At the time Gen 3:22 was spoken, Adam and Eve were only alive a short while. At that time Adam and Eve did not and could not understand time. Time is something one learns to understand through living in time. See "Reason Why" paper [NM 20] to understand how one learns.

Greek Meaning of Aion

nm116 In Greek, the language of the New Testament, the Greek words most often translated "forever" or "everlasting" or "eternal" are aion or aionios. (Note: both of these words are spelled somewhat differently in the New Testament text depending on the usage in the sentence.)

nm117 From Thayer's Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, the Greek word aion is said to mean age or a human lifetime.

nm118 From The Analytical Greek Lexicon (Pub. Zondervan), the Greek word aion is said to mean "a period of time of significant character; life; an era; an age."

nm119 From William F. Arndt and F. Wilbur Gingrich's A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, the meaning of aion is "time, age."

nm120 From the Lexicons in Young's and Strong's concordances, the Greek word aion also is indicated as meaning an age or time.

nm121 From Wuest's Word Studies, Volume 8, Studies in the Vocabulary, under "world," we see concerning aion the following:

  • "Aion which comes from aio [it is debatable whether aion came from aio] 'to breathe,' means 'a space or period of time,' especially 'a lifetime, life.' It is used of one's time of life, age, the age of man, an age, a generation." And in the same place, "as to aion, the papyri speak of a person led off to death, the literal Greek being 'led off from aion life.' A report of a public meeting speaks of a cry that was uttered by the crowd, namely, 'The Emperors forever' (aion). It is also found in the sense of 'a period of life."'

nm122 In the Greek translation of the Old Testament, aion was used for olam in such verses as Pss 90:2: "from everlasting to everlasting ... "; Hebrew has it: 'from olam to olam; and Greek has it: "from the aion until the aion;" the literal text of the Emphasized Bible has it: "from age unto age";

Meaning of aionios

nm123 The Greek word aionios is merely an adjective that comes from the root aion. While aion means "age," aionios, being an adjective, means "agelasting," or "aeonian," or "agelong." When the Septuagint was translated, the translators used in many cases the Greek word aionios for the Hebrew word olam.

nm124 For example the Greek aionios was used for the Hebrew olam in Gen 13:15: "For all the land which you see I will give to you, and to your seed during olam."

nm125 Or again in Gen 3:22: "And now, lest he put forth his hand and also take from the tree of life and eat and live into olam [Greek aiona]."

nm126 And again, "Every man child among you shall be circumcised ... my covenant shall be in your flesh for an olam [or aionion] covenant" (Gen 17:10,13).

nm127 Thus, from the above scripture and many others, we see the Greek aionios must be a synonym for the Hebrew word olam. To ascertain the meaning of aionios we can look to the meaning of olam. As shown above olam means basically a hidden or secret age or time. Thus aionios also must mean a hidden age or time or an unknown age or time. And so it is, the basic meaning of aionios is an indeterminate time or age. The word aionios can be translated as "agelasting" or "aeonian" or "agelong." It speaks of an age which has an unknown length and which begins and ends at an unknown time.

nm128 From William Barclay's New Testament Words we note the following concerning the Greek word aionios. Barclay says aionios is an adjective formed from the noun aion. "In classical Greek this word aion has three main meanings. It means a life-time . . .. Then it comes to mean an age, a generation, or an epoch . . . But then the word comes to mean a very long space of time." Then Barclay's goes on and tries to say that the "strange" word aionios somehow means eternal and gives some examples from Plato to back up his contention.

Magic Word

nm129 One question will do here. How can an adjective that came from a word that means age, come to mean eternal? It would be comparable to the word "some" (i.e. some of time) coming to mean "all" (i.e. all of time). You cannot correctly use the adjective of age, which is agelasting or aeonian, as if it meant forever. The whole idea that aionios means eternal or everlasting is ludicrous. It is a lie. It is magical in an evil way. That lie has twisted scripture, and has made true doctrine in the Bible almost impossible to see. It has put a blindfold over peoples' eyes.

Aionios in Context

nm130 Barclay gives a few examples of Plato using aionios as if it meant eternal.

  • "The most significant of all the Platonic passages is in the Timaeus 37d. There he speaks about the Creator and the universe which he has created, 'the created glory of the eternal [aionios] gods."'

To Barclay, for some reason, because Plato used aionios in connection with "gods," it is some kind of proof that aionios means eternal. According to this reasoning since God ("gods") is eternal, then aionios must mean eternal. But this overlooks the fact that, yes, God in someway was/is perpetual (His power, Rom 1:20), but also God may in some sense also be or relate to an aeonian (aionios) time. Just because the word aionios is used in connection with "gods" doesn't give it the meaning of eternal. Furthermore, what do Plato's writings have to do with our God and the definition of His "eternalness"? Plato was speaking in the above example about gods, not God. Plato's writings were not inspired by God: they are full of myth and faulty thinking.

nm131 Others like Barclay try to make the adjective aionios ("agelasting"), which comes from the noun aion ("age"), mean "forever," "everlasting," and "eternal." They say aionios means "eternal" because in context of its usage it is used as if it literally means "everlasting." They call the Greek word aionios, "strange." And to me it is strange that a word that is derived from a word that means "age" should somehow mean "everlasting."

nm132 We will give you hereafter two of their "best" arguments in favor of the idea that aionios means "everlasting," and then we will refute their wrong reasoning. These same arguments were used by Augustine in the fourth-fifth century AD (see below).



Context Argument One

Aionios God; Olam God

nm133 This argument deals with the usage of aionios in connection with God. We will only examine this argument of context by referring to the relevant Biblical text usage. To try and say aionios means eternal because Plato or Aristotle seems to use it that way is off the mark. We are only interested in how the Bible uses the word aionios, not how some Greek philosopher seems to use it.

nm134 Rom 16:26: "the aionios God." Rom 16:26 speaks of the aeonian God or the God of the aeonian time. Notice that Gen 21:33 speaks of the God of olam and Isa 40:28 speaks of the God of olam. These verses were translated by the Greek aionios in the Greek text. Somehow this usage of aionios (or olam) is proof positive to many that aionios means "everlasting." But the Greek word aionios is simply an adjective that comes from the noun aion, which means age. The literal meaning of aionios is "aeonian" or "agelong." The book of Romans is speaking about one aspect of God. Somehow God is "aeonian." Of course since God is Spirit (John 4:24), and since spirits or angels do not die (Luke 20:36), then God will not die. God is immortal (1Tim 1:17). God's power and Godship was/is/will-be continuous (Rom 1:20, Greek aidios). But Rom 16:26 tells us that in some way God is aeonian.

nm135 In one aspect God is aeonian. The true God is aeonian in the respect that He rules through Jesus Christ as King of kings beginning in the age of 1000 years (Rev 19:16, 20:4). In this present age in which I write, the god of the world is a false one, the god of this age is the one called Satan by the Bible (2Cor 4:4). Satan is an agelasting god ruling in the old age. Satan is the power of death; he is what I call the "other-mind" (see the "Old Mind Paper" [NM 21]). The true God (His Good Spirit) does not rule this old age and that is the reason this age is so twisted. The true God through Jesus Christ rules beginning in the aeonian time, the 1000 year age. This is an aeonian aspect of God. Of course, since God's agelong (olam or aionios) kingdom will not end (Dan 2:44, 7:14; Luke 1:33), then this new aeonian kingdom (see Greek text, 2Pet 1:11) and rule will never end. It is an endless age, but it does have a beginning at the coming of Jesus Christ (Rev 11:15). Therefore it is an aeonian rulership. The word aionios (or olam) by itself means agelong, but the new and coming age belonging to God will not end like most ages because other clarifying words tell us that this special age, unlike ages before it, will not end (Isa 9:6-7; Dan 2:44, 7:14; Luke 1:33). It also can be said that the new age began in one sense at Christ's first presence or coming.

Greek Words that Mean Forever

nm136 If Paul wanted in Rom 16:26 to describe God as the everlasting God or the endless God, Paul had many other Greek words to use to say this. Paul could have used akatalutos, which means "indissoluble." Paul could have used atelestos, which means "endlessness." Or Paul could have used aperantos, which also means "endless," as he used this word in 1Tim 1:4. But Paul did not use these words or other Greek words or phrases because he did not want to use them, for he was simply mentioning in Rom 16:26 that some aspect of God is "aeonian." God is a lot of things, and one of these is that he is in a certain way "aeonian." God belongs to the new never ending age - God's age or God's olam or aion. God is God of olam or God of aionios, He is the God of the new, great, never ending age. We know it is a new great and never ending age, not by the word olam or aionios, but by other words and sentences because olam and aionios speak only of a vague or undefined age, not a forever age.

nm137 In some translations of the Old Testament, it has "eternal God" in Deut 33:27, but this should be translated "ancient God" or "God of old." This mistranslated word is strong's # 6924, qedem. In some translations of Gen 21:33 and Isa 40:28 it has "everlasting God," but should be translated "olam God" or "God of olam." This means that God belongs or pertains to olam or the hidden age of the future first mentioned in Gen 3:22.

Context Argument Two

Aionios Life and Punishment

nm138 The second argument of context which Augustine cleverly articulated back in the early fifth century AD (413-26), in his City of God (trans. W.M. Green, The Loeb Classical Library, 1972), deals with two items: one is punishment, and the other is life. In Augustine's time some were teaching that the aionios punishment would end. Augustine in book 21 of his City of God was in part arguing against this position.

nm139 Augustine translates the word aionios from scripture into the Latin, aeternus and aeternitas. These Latin words are related to the Latin aevum, which in turn is related to the Greek aion (cf. Oxford Latin Dict., 1968, p. 74, col. 2, under aeternus, "[aevvm + -ternvs]").. Augustine knows that these words can mean longlasting, with the possibility of an end. Thus Augustine must emphasize in his writings that he is not speaking of the Latin, aeternus, in the sense of a long period, but in the sense of eternal, a period without end. Notice Augustine's own words, translated from Latin:

  • The term "eternal," as applied here, does not refer to a long period of time (aetas) lasting through many ages, but still at some time bound to end.1 Rather, as it stands written in the gospel, "of his kingdom there shall be no end.[Luke 1:33]" (City of God, book 22, part 1; page 173)

1 The words "eternal" and "eternity," from Latin aeternus, aeternitas, are related to aevum, which means both "unending time" and "a period of time"; for the second meaning the commoner word is aetas. Augustine seeks to make it clear that the "eternal" happiness of the saints is unending happiness, that is, an unending immortality for each individual (text of editorial footnote 1 on p. 173).

And from the Oxford Latin Dictionary, 1968, we see that:

  • aetas means

1. The number of years one has lived, one's age. 2. Period or time of life. 3. A person or person of a particular age or period of life, an age group. 4. a. youth. b. old or advancing age; greater age. 5. The whole period of a man's life, the mortal span, one's lifetime, an age. 6. Human life and all that goes with it. 7. The passage or lapse of time. 8. The time or period to which a person or thing belongs, an era, age; the duration of this as a unit of time, a generation.

  • aevum means

1. time of life. 2 a generation. 3. age.

nm140 Thus, even in his time, Augustine knew that aionios meant agelong or longlasting, thus he reasoned by context:

  • Then what sort of reasoning is it, to take the eternal [aeternum] punishment of the wicked as a fire of long duration and believe that eternal [aeternam] life is without end? For Christ said in the very same place, including both in one and the same sentence: "So these will go into eternal [Lat., aeternum; Greek aionios] punishment, but the righteous into eternal [Lat., aeternam; Greek, aionios] life." [Mat 25:46] If both are eternal, then surely both must be understood as "long," but having an end, or else as "everlasting," without an end. For they are matched with each other: in one clause eternal punishment, in the other eternal life. But to say in one and the same sentence: "Eternal life shall be without end, eternal punishment will have an end," is utterly absurd. Hence, since the eternal life of the saints will be without end, eternal punishment also will surely have no end, for these whose lot it is. [book 21, part 23; p. 113]

nm141 Augustine finds a place in the Bible where the Greek aionios is used to speak both of the punishment of sinners and the reward of the saints (Mat 25:46). But because all Christians think and know that their 'reward' is immortality, an everlasting life, and since in one sentence aionios describes the life for the righteous, and the punishment for evil, then according to this argument, aionios must mean forever, at least in context. This may seem logical, but in context of other scriptures it is not logical.

All Made Alive

nm142 Notice one sentence where it shows that since all die, all will be saved:

From Paul's resurrection chapter we read:

In this one sentence we have "all" repeated twice. Most believe the first "all," that is, because of Adam's sin all die. Most do not believe the second "all," that is, because of Christ all will be made alive.

nm143 What is meant in 1Cor 15:22 by "be made alive"? Does it mean be made alive (resurrected) and thereafter be killed in some kind of hell-fire? In context what does it mean to "be made alive"?

  • "For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all shall be made alive. But each in his own order" (1Cor 15:21-23, NASB).

nm144 Here it speaks of the resurrection of the dead. All shall be made alive, but not at the same time. There is an order to the "all shall be made alive." In context this resurrection has something to do with "the resurrection of the dead."

nm145 As we clearly show in our papers, 'All Saved' and 'Does All Mean All?,' there are three orders or ranks of resurrection. The first was Jesus Christ. The second will be the real Christians at Christ's second coming. The third and final resurrection will be at the end of creation when the universal resurrection of all others occur. This will not be a resurrection to death, but one to life. Please read these two papers so as to begin to see the truth about the universal resurrection to life. Also read the "Reason Why" [GP 7] paper in the God Papers to understand the need for the present age of confusion. There is hope for all. All will be given the good Spirit and the good mind.

But they forget...

nm146 According to those who say aionios means "everlasting," those who do evil in this age will go away to serve an everlasting punishment because they did not bring God into their lives. And also according to these same people, those who do good in this age and/or those who accept God in this age will be given everlasting life. But they forget that it is God who gives the power for people to be good, to repent ("change one's mind"), to receive God's Spirit, and so forth (see the rest of the New Mind Papers for documentation). Thus, simply, those who will be damned for everlasting punishment, as some assert, will be damned merely because God did not give them the power to save themselves. What these people are saying is that God is discriminating wrongly against some: he saves some forever through his grace; he damns others forever by not giving them his grace.

Paradox: All Eventually Saved; Evil Damned Forever

nm147 The answer is not as Augustine argues, that all doesn't mean all (Book 21, part 24). Augustine needlessly throws in more confusion by alleging that 'all' doesn't mean 'all.' But the real answer negates the confusion. The answer to the paradox is that aionios, an adjective of aion (which is a word that means age), means aeonian, and that 'all' means 'all.' The aionios punishment the Bible speaks about is agelasting. There is an agelasting or aeonian punishment for many, not an everlasting punishment. Notice the following scriptures concerning the aionios (aeonian) punishment or judgment.

Aeonian or Agelasting Punishment.

nm148 There is an agelasting fire: "And if your hand or your foot offend you, cut them off, and cast them from you: it is better for you to enter into life lame and crippled, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into the aionios fire" (Mat 18:8).

nm149 At the physical return of the Messiah some people will burn in the fire (caused by the Last War) which is to last for an age. This fire was meant for the other-mind, our spiritual adversary, and his spiritual friends: "Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, you cursed, into aionios fire, prepared for the devil and his angels" (Mat 25:41).

nm150 This aionios fire is an aionios punishment: "And these shall go away into aionios punishment" (Mat 25:46). As shown in the "Thousand Years and Beyond Paper" [NM 15] this fire is mainly for the twisted spirits of Satan because people can't live in fire. People die in fire. But with this fire many will die. Their punishment is death from the fire. But the twisted spirits will be punished in the fire because they can't die in it.

nm151 This aionios fire, this aionios punishment is an agelasting destruction away from the glory of the Lord in his 1000 year rule: "The Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the good-news of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who [those not knowing God] shall be punished with aionios destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power" (2Thess 1:7-9).

Aeonian or Agelasting Life versus Immortal Life

nm152 Now the Bible speaks of an aionios life, thus an agelasting or aeonian life. As shown in the "Reward for Christians" paper [NM 11] this age-life begins at the beginning of the 1000 year rule of Christ the God. Of course, since this coming new age will never end, the aionios life continues after the 1000 years. There are at least 44 scriptures mentioning the aionios life and other scripture mentioning the age-life for those who are in God (see the Englishman's Greek Concordance under aionios; See "Reward for Christians Paper" [NM 11] and other papers for more detail on this agelasting "life."). When you are resurrected in the resurrection at Christ's coming, you will receive immortal life. But there is a difference between immortal life and aeonian life as explained in the Reward for Christians paper [NM 11]. It is possible for someone to live in the aeonian life and be mortal for those physically born during the 1000 years will be mortal.

Two Ages: One Ends; One Does Not End

Old Age

nm153 There are two main ages. There is Satan's age of confusion with its spirit of confusion. There is the True God's age of harmony with its Spirit of harmony. Mat 12:32 speaks about the present age (aion) and about the coming age. The KJV translates aion as "world." In Mat 13:22 it speaks about, "the care of this aion [KJV, "world"], and the deceitfulness of riches." In Mat 13:39-40 it speaks about "the end of the world," that is the end of the age (aion). There is a certain "wisdom" of this age or aion (1Cor 2:6). There are certain children of this age (- KJV "world"). These children are of the devil (Mat 13:38-40). There is a god of this age or aion (2Cor 4:4; KJV, "world"). People fight "against the rulers of darkness of this age [aion]" (Eph 6:12).

New Age

nm154 Scripture indicates that the end of this wicked age comes at the beginning of the new age - at Jesus Christ's coming. (Dan 2:44, 7:17-18,25-27; Mat 13:38-40, 24:3-31; 2Thess 2:1,8; Rev 11:15, 12:10-11, 20:1-5; see "Beast Paper" [PR2, PR3], "God's Wrath Paper" [PR4], etc.)

nm155 There is a coming age at the end of the old wicked age. Such scriptures as Mark 10:30; Luke 18:30, 20:35; Eph 1:21 in the Greek text indicate this. This New Age (aion) or agelasting (aionios) period under God's Spirit will not end as Dan 2:44; Luke 1:33, and Dan 7:14 indicate. But during this endless age their will be the 1000 year age in which some will be punished. After this age is another short age called the Great Last Day (see "Thousand Years and Beyond Paper" [NM 15] and others).

Why Misusage of these Words?

nm156 There could easily be a book written on the story behind the misusage of olam and aionios. One reason was some of the early fathers of the Catholic Church such as Augustine relied too heavily on the Greek literature especially Plato's to obtain doctrine instead of relying on Biblical scripture. Augustine used the faulty Greek text of the Old Testament instead of the inspired Hebrew text (City of God, book 18, chapter ). Some of the very arguments used by Augustine to "prove" that aionios means eternal (City of God, book 21, chapters ; etc.) are used today by theologians and preachers to "prove" that aionios means eternal (Berkhof's Systematic Theology, "The Duration of their Punishment," p. 736; etc.).

nm157 We should no longer take our doctrine on the God and His ages from Plato or the other Greeks. The truth is found in the Bible, not Greek literature. Do read all our papers on Christianity (New Mind Papers) to better understand the age plan of God.

Review And Further Arguments for the Use of Agelasting or Aeonian

nm158 The Issue:

  • The misuse of the words "forever," "everlasting," and "eternal" instead of the correct usage of "age" or "aeonian."

nm159 The Question:

  • Why do Christians teach of an "everlasting" damnation (death or punishment) when the very word "everlasting" from which these Christians obtain their doctrine is a mistranslation according to reliable Biblical aids?

Explain to me why Christians use the traditional mistranslation of the Hebrew word olam and the Greek word aionios instead of the inspired meaning of these words?

Significance:

nm160

  • The great importance of using the correct translation is that it opens up highly important truths of the Bible. If one takes the literal meaning of these words every place they appear in the Bible, an "age" plan of God is projected.

Further Response to the Arguments of Context

nm161

1. The use of the context argument in the English language.

One way to disprove the context argument is to try and use the English word "age" to mean "everlasting" or "eternal." This can not be reasonably done.

2. The quantity of misusage of the Hebrew and Greek words for age.

If the context argument is correct then why should the great majority of the original words, that mean "age" in Hebrew and Greek be translated to mean "forever"? It would be more reasonable if most of the original words were translated with their literal meaning instead of their evolved "context" meaning.

3. Why didn't the writers of the Bible use other words or phrases in Greek that meant everlasting or eternal?

If the context argument is correct, in that the Greek word that means "age" should be read "forever" because of the context, then why didn't the original writers use other Greek words or phrases that literally meant "forever" when they were writing? No, they used words that meant literally agelasting because they were speaking of an agelasting time not an everlasting time. The writers of the Bible were referring to the time of olam that Adam and Eve missed by their sin (Gen 3:22).

4. The dubiousness of writers using two different languages using words that literally mean "age" which they intended to be understood by their readers to mean "everlasting."

The fact that the two main original languages of the Bible have words that mean "agelasting," which are said to mean "everlasting" because of their usage in context, helps to rule out the argument of context. Maybe, just maybe, one language could use a word that literally means "agelasting" in context so as to mean "everlasting." But both of the languages used words that literally meant "agelasting" to describe the agelasting reward and agelasting punishment of Christians and non-Christians because they were speaking of an age-time reward and punishment not an everlasting reward and punishment.

5. The dubiousness of most of the 40 or so writers of the Bible using words that literally meant "age" which they meant to be understood by their readers to mean "everlasting."

Maybe some of the writers would use words that mean "agelasting" in context to mean "everlasting," but surely not most of them.

6. On the passages such as Rom 16:26 where if taken literally God would be an agelasting God in some aspect.

Now there are many other places where it indicates that God is in someway an eternal God. God is in a sense eternal - His Power. But in another sense he is also an agelasting God. He is an agelasting God because His age begins in the coming 1000 years of the Kingdom of God. This is the age when God is King of kings, this is the age wherein God will rule all. In the present age God is not the God of the world, for Satan is now that god (2Cor 4:4). The new age of the true God will not end (Dan 2:44; Luke 1:33; etc.). The new age is different from the age of Satan, for Satan's age will end when God's age begins.

7. On the reward for Christians - agelasting life.

Christians live the agelasting life as servant-rulers under Christ, but since they also are made immortal at the beginning of the 1000 year age (1Cor 15:52-54), then they live on forever after that 1000 year age (see "Reward for Christians" paper [NM 11]). This 1000 year age is an age within an age or within the great age or great ages. The great age is the olam or aion of God, and this new age of ages will not end (Isa 9:6-7; Dan 2:44, 7:14; Luke 1:33).

 


Everliving? or Ageliving

Rosetta Stone: Egyptian Holy or Hieroglyphic Script.

nm162 The error of turning words that mean age into everlasting is not confined to the Bible. Of some interest is the translation of the Egyptian hieroglyphic signs into "everliving." On the Rosetta Stone certain hieroglyphs were translated into, "everliving." On the Rosetta Stone there are two languages: Egyptian and Greek. The Egyptian language is cut into the stone in two different kinds of characters: (1) Hieroglyphic characters were used for state and ceremonial documents that were intended to be seen by the public; and (2) Demotic characters, were "the conventional, abbreviated and modified form of the Hieratic character, or cursive form of hieroglyphic writing, which was in use in the Ptolemaic Period" (E.A. Wallis Budge, The Rosetta Stone, Ares Publishers; Chicago:1980, reprint of 1922 work, p. 2). The Greek portion of the inscription was cut into the stone in ordinary uncials. "The inscription on the Rosetta Stone is a copy of the Decree passed by the General Council of Egyptian priests assembled at Memphis to celebrate the first commemoration of the coronation of Ptolemy V. Epiphanes, king of all Egypt" (p. 7). This coronation of Ptolemy to king of Egypt took place about 196 BC. "The original form of the Decree is given by the Greek section, and the Hieroglyphic and Demotic versions were made from it" (p. 7).

Greek/English Translation of "Everliving"

nm163 In Budge's The Rosetta Stone, he has the translation of the Greek into English. On lines 4, 8, 37, 49, and 54 of the translation he has the Greek aionobioy translated into "everliving." But this Greek word is made up of two parts. The Greek aion is the word for "age" or "era." The Greek bioy is the genitive singular for bios, which means "life" or "living." Thus this Greek word means "age-living" or "era-living" or in a sense "long-living." This word does not mean everliving.

Copic Translation of "Eternity"

nm164 Quoting Budge from page 6,

  • it was therefore guessed that the next sign [the next part of the hieroglyphic signs translated into "everliving"] meant "ever." Coptic again showed that one of the old Egyptian words for "ever, age, eternity," was Djet, and as we already know that the phonetic value of the second sign in the word is T, we may assume that the value of [sign] is DJ.

Budge attempts to show in another way through a Coptic word that a certain hieroglyphic sign means "everliving." But notice this Coptic word means, "ever, age, eternity." Here it is again, the mixing of the word age with eternity. But as we see using the Greek translation of the Rosetta Stone, this sign reads "age-living" or "long-living" or "era-living." Remember the original was written in Greek and the Egyptian translation was taken from the Greek.

Egyptian's "Everlastingness," "Eternity," or "Millions of Years"

nm165 In Budge's, The Gods of the Egyptians, this same hieroglyphic sign mentioned on page 6 of Budge's, The Rosetta Stone, is translated as either "ever" or "everlastingness" (Vol 1, pp 54-55, line 521). But also note that the hieroglyphic sign, heh, is translated "eternity" in line 520 of this same book. Yet,

  • "according to Dr. Brugsch the name Heh is connected with the word which indicates an undefined and unlimited number, i.e., heh, when applied to time the idea suggested is "millions of years," and Heh is equivalent to the Greek [aion]" (Budge, The Gods of the Egyptians, Vol 1, p. 285).

Thus, the sign, heh, is wrongly translated as "eternity" and sometimes translated "millions of years," but is equivalent to the Greek aion, which we have seen in this paper means an age of undefined time.

To Conclude

nm166 Not only was the Bible mistranslated, but what we are manifesting here is that one should be very careful when reading translations in general. There is a bias against translating words or signs that mean "age" correctly. They prefer the hyperbolic mistranslations of "forever," "everlasting," or "eternity." Be careful.

The Saying, "To the Age"

nm167 A saying that goes back to ancient time is, "long live the king." Or in the Bible it has it:

nm168 As we have learned in the "Age Paper" [NM 7] olam or alam means a hidden age or time. It in fact is that great age of the kingdom of God promised since the garden of Eden after mankind lost the right to "live to olam" (Gen 3:22, see Hebrew). The Hebrew preposition el, which means to or towards or into, is connected in the above verses with the Hebrew olam or alam, thus our translation of "to olam" or "to (the) age." Throughout my life I have heard the saying "til kingdom come" or "to kingdom come." These sayings are versions of the Bible's 'to olam,' that is, to (the) age of the kingdom.

Examples in the NT

KJV Rev 20:10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

YLT Rev 20:10 and the Devil, who is leading them astray, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where {are} the beast and the false prophet, and they shall be tormented day and night--to the ages of the ages.

GNT Rev 20:10 kai. o` dia,boloj o` planw/n auvtou.j evblh,qh eivj th.n li,mnhn tou/ puro.j kai. qei,ou o[pou kai. to. qhri,on kai. o` yeudoprofh,thj( kai. basanisqh,sontai h`me,raj kai. nukto.j eivj tou.j aivw/naj tw/n aivw,nwn


What about Predestination?  The called and chosen?  How can God be fair to all yet predestinate some? Some are said to be predestinated to hell? How can this be? How can God be good, fair, and unbiased, yet predestinate some? Click "next" to continue.

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Index 
NM1  New Mind & Christianity
NM2  Church of God
NM3 Repentance
NM4  Baptism
NM5  Begotton, Born
NM6  Body, Soul, & Spirit
NM7  Age Paper
NM8  Predestination
NM9  Free Will v. Predestination
NM10  Proof Paper
NM11  "Reward" for Christians
NM12  According to Works
NM13 All Saved?
NM14  Does all mean all?
NM15  1000 Years
NM16  Times & Seasons
NM17  Freedom & Law
NM18  Other Papers
NM19  Reason Why
NM20  Other Mind
NM21  Old Mind
NM22  Spirit of man given by God
NM23  Judging
NM24  Last Judgment
NM25  Kingdom of God
NM26  Plan of Creation

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