#5 – Examples of Aion(ios) in Scripture

In the last blog we saw how various Biblical Authorities interpret the words that have traditionally been translated as “Forever” and “Eternal.”  We saw how they do not necessarily mean endless and could be interpreted (probably more correctly) as “Age” and “Age-long.”  However, I do not presume to expect everyone to believe that simply b/c I offered some Academic support.  I merely offered those quotes to prove that my position is not unsupported.

Nevertheless, there are still authorities who would disagree that aion signifies an “age” rather than eternity.  And if there is conflict concerning the meaning of a word in the Bible then it behooves us to find further evidence to clarify which side is correct.  I personally believe that the truth will always be supported by the majority of evidence (and with enough time, all the evidence). I believe that with the information we will examine through this series on Aion(ios) the truth will emerge much clearer.

That being said, the next logical step to clarifying the true meaning of a word would be to look at how it is used.  What is the overall sense of the word as it occurs in Greek literature.

The first piece of Greek Literature we will look at is the Bible and how it uses these words, then in the following blogs we will look at its use in various other forms of Greek literature.

Before we get to how the words aion and aionios are used in the Bible we need to clarify something; the word aion is a noun, and its general definition is, “age.”  Even a Concordance will show you that.  Aionios is an adjective.  Aionios is derived from the noun aion, which is not hard to see b/c (aion)ios contains the word aion in it.  Any time that we have an adjective whose root (or lingual relative) is a noun, then that adjective derives its meaning from the definition of the noun.  Aionios, therefore, is defined by aion.  To say it another way, as Nathaniel Scarlett (1798) states,

“That aiónios, does not mean endless or eternal, may appear from considering that no adjective can have a greater force than the noun from which it is derived. If aión means age (which none either will or can deny) then aiónios must mean age-lasting, or duration through the age or ages to which the thing spoken of relates.” (italics mine)

Here are some examples of what we are talking about: the adjective dysfunctional obtains its meaning from the noun dysfunction.  As we saw before the adjective generational receives its definition from the noun generation.  And etc….  Again, no one would expect the word generational to mean anything other than pertaining to a generation.

Aion

That being said, lets look at the use of the word aion in the New Testament.  It is used 102 times in the New Testament and is translated almost half of those times as “age(s).”

“we speak God’s wisdom in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God predestined before the ages (aion – plural form) to our glory;” (1 Corinthians 2:7)

“to bring to light what is the administration of the mystery which for ages (aion – plural form) has been hidden in God who created all things.” (Ephesians 3:9)

“the mystery which has been hidden from past ages (aion – plural form) and generations, but has now been manifested to His saints,” (Colossians 1:26)

“…who gave Himself for our sins so that He might rescue us from this present evil age (aion), according to the will of our God and Father.”  (Galatians 1:4)

For more instances of a ‘present age’ see Matthew 12:32; Mark 10:30; Luke 16:8, 20:34; 1 Corinthians 1:20, 2:6,8, 3:18; Ephesians 1:21 and Titus 2:12.

“…in accordance with the working of the strength of His might which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age (aion) but also in the one to come. (Ephesians 1:21)

For more instances of the ‘age to come’ see Matthew 12:32; Mark 10:30; Luke 18:30, 20:35 and Hebrews 6:5.

“when we were dead in our transgressions, [God] made us alive together with Christ, and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come (aion – plural form) He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.” (Ephesians 2:7)

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age (aion).” (Matthew 28:20)

For more instances of ‘the end of the age’ see Matthew 13:39,40,49 and 24:3.

“Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages (aion – plural form) have come.” (1 Corinthians 10:11)

“now once at the consummation of the ages (aion – plural form) He has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.” (Hebrews 9:26)

The descriptions used to complement this word aion ought to concern us.  It seems to indicate something far more intricate and detailed than “forever.”  The fact that it refers to ages past, ages to come, and the end or consummation of various ages definitely indicates a temporary state, not an endless one.  On top of this the fact that aion is used in both the singular and plural form, gives serious discredit to it meaning forever.  For how can forever be plural?

The teaching in Scripture concerning the ages deserves our attention.  The ages are truly distinct from each other and therefore deserve to be treated with as much reverence as any other teaching God has given us in His Word.  But we must wait until a later blog in this series to see exactly what they are indicating.

Aion is also translated as “time,” although it would be just as easily understood if it was translated as “the age” in the following examples.

“Since the beginning of time (aion)…” (John 9:32)

The word ‘beginning’ is not in the Greek, it should say,  “since the age.”

“spoken of from ancient time (aion).”  (Acts 3:21)

The word ancient is also not in the Greek, it simply says, “spoken of from the age.”

“makes these things known from long ago (aion).” (Luke 1:70; Acts 15:18)

It literally says, “makes these things known from the age.”  But notice also that these all seem to refer to previous times that are long past.  This would contradict a “forever” definition.

Aion is further translated as “world;” and, like “time,” could easily continue to be translated as “age.”

“do no be conformed to this world (aion).” (Romans 12:2; see also Mark 4:19)

“Instruct those who are rich in this present world (aion) not to be conceited.”  (1 Timothy 6:17; see also 2 Timothy 4:10)

“the god of this world (aion) has blinded the minds of the unbelieving.” (Referring to Satan.) (2 Corinthians 4:4)

And lastly Aion is translated as “course,” as in a race course.  It conveys the idea of a beginning and end.

“you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course (aion) of this world (cosmos), according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience.” (Ephesians 2:2)

This world has a set age in which it exists, this world began and it will come to an end – that is the sense that the Greek word aion conveys.  The word ‘course’ is a perfect picture of an age; it is not endless, but rather, once an age has run its course, it gives way to the next one.

Aionios

To move on to the adjective aionios; it is almost always translated as “eternal,” but should more correctly be translated as “age-long.”  This word also has its peculiarities because aionios has a plural form!?!  How can eternity be plural?  Several times it is translated as “eternal ages past,” or “eternities past.”  For instance, the NASB translates them as follows.

“[God] has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity.” (2 Timothy 1:9)

That phrase “from all eternity” in Greek is ‘pro aionios chronos.’  Pro means ‘before,’ aionios is in a plural form as is chronos, which means ‘time.’  It literally means ‘the times of previous ages.’

“Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery which has been kept secret for long ages past.” (Romans 16:25)

The phrase “long ages past” in Greek is ‘aionios chronos.’  Again, both aionios and chronos are in a plural form, so it literally reads, “the times of the (previous) ages.”  Or “the previous age-long times.”

“…in the hope of eternal life, which God, who cannot lie, promised long ages ago,” (Titus 1:2)

Again, the phrase, “long ages ago,” in Greek is ‘pro aionios chronos.’  And again, both aionios and chronos are in a plural form.  It is unfeasible to have multiple eternities that ended a long time ago.  That is why the translators for many versions of the Bible refrain from using the word “eternal” in these verses.  The question then remains…if this word means eternal, then how can there be more than one eternity?  And how can there be eternities that are past?

We will look more closely at aionios later in this series, but for now, we are just a little bit closer to more clearly understanding these words.  The next blog will focus on how the Septuagint uses aion and aionios to translate the Old Testament.  This will give us further insight into how these words were not only used, but also understood by the people in Jesus’ time.

About Luke Kessler

Luke Kessler has a bachelor's degree in Biblical Studies (not that that matters to God) and spent some time as a missionary in Asia. It was there, through unique circumstances that God began to reveal His glorious plan to save all men. God brought his time of missions to an end and Luke now works in Construction on the Central Coast in California. He enjoys spending his free time studying God's Word and the signs of the times, and sharing what God has shown him every opportunity he has. If you can figure the following out, feel free to contact him by email (his Yahoo account spelled out so as to avoid spam is "luke" then "land" then the number "7") :)
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14 Responses to #5 – Examples of Aion(ios) in Scripture

  1. Michael says:

    How do you explain αἰῶνας αἰώνων in Rev 14:10? They are both nouns.

    Actually, you are NOT “a little bit closer to a true understanding of the definition of these words.” You continue to use bad logic by playing word games with English translations and citing unsupported “scholars” from ‘ages’ past.

    Until you can disprove the scholarly work from the top academic lexicons of today, your argument will not be convincing to those who know the original languages. Your “scholars” are not recognized as academic sources in any circle today. I will help you by pointing to the exact pages numbers of the “big 3” lexicons (written by groups of scholars and tested over time by other scholars), so you can make your case against them.

    William Arndt, Frederick W. Danker, and Walter Bauer, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature, vol 1 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000), page 33.

    J. Guhrt, “Time,” ed. Lothar Coenen, Erich Beyreuther, and Hans Bietenhard, New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology, vol 3 (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1986), pages 827–832.

    Gerhard Kittel, Geoffrey W. Bromiley, and Gerhard Friedrich, eds., Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1964–), pages 197–208.

    I look forward to your scholarly response to these “gold standards” of Greek lexical work.

    • Luke Kessler says:

      Michael.

      I very much appreciate your comments, and hope you continue to offer them, not just for my sake, but for other readers as well. Thank you.

      In response to your advice about using Modern Lexicons, I will agree that the newer lexicons are more accurate due to the fact that more information on various ancient languages have been unearthed through archaeology in recent years. However, I also see that the “traditions of men” or “doctrines of men” highly influence these works. That of course is a difficult position to argue, b/c those who believe in what I think are doctrines of men, will disagree. So to them the Lexicons are free of error. So this is not an argument that I will engage in, but you should know that I feel very deeply that they are tainted by the scholar’s doctrinal position. This is why I wish I could leave out any and all academic or scholarly support and just take a naked look at Scripture and at the Greek’s usage of these words. But alas, I do so in order to prove that my position is not completely unsupported academically. And there are modern scholars who agree with my position, though they have not written books on it. I encountered during the time I was getting my B.A.

      Plus, I have found through my own research into these words, as they are used in ancient Greek literature that they absolutely cannot have a meaning of endlessness (at least not until around 400 A.D.) This is mostly why I deviate from the “accurate” lexicons. b/c until they can go through the hundreds of instances that these two words have been used in ancient Greek literature, and show each and every time why they are not used to convey endlessness, I have a hard time believing that they signify something that they were never used to signify. I appreciate Lexicons very much, but I just cannot bring myself to accept it when they claim Aion means forever, when it is used hundreds of times to convey a period of 7 days, or 12 months, or the lifespan of a man, etc…But I shall show some of this in upcoming blogs.

      And as for your question concerning Revelation 14:10, I shall deal with that in an upcoming blog, along with most of the other “forever and ever” instances. However, here is a very thought provoking look at that verse and the phrase it employs, check it out, its super short, but very enlightening.

      http://unsettledchristianity.com/2010/03/revelation-14-11-and-eternity/

      Thanks again!

  2. Michael says:

    Luke,

    I appreciate your tenacity.

    Where did you receive your Bible degree and what was its emphasis? Did you study either Greek or Hebrew?

    It appears that you do not understand how lexicons and word studies work. You say “I have found through my own research into these words, as they are used in ancient Greek literature that they absolutely cannot have a meaning of endlessness (at least not until around 400 A.D.)” With all due respect, I trust published lexicons more than your study published on a blog. These lexicons have been tested by numerous scholars of various stripes over the decades and almost a century (in the case of BDAG and TDNT). Again, with all due respect, you show your ignorance of what these lexicons are when you say aion cannot mean ‘eternity’ “at least not until 400 A.D.” BDAG covers the use of a Greek word from NT times up until the 5th century. TDNT and NIDTT go back to the earlier classic Greek writers. That is 1500 years of the Greek language before 400 A.D. showing that aion can mean eternity in certain contexts! That means these men have actually looked at the different uses of the Greek words and surveyed their meaning in classical Greek, the Spetuagint (LXX), NT writings, the papyri, and the Apostolic and Patristic Fathers. If one is going to disagree with them, there must be very strong evidence.

    By the way, TDNT is by liberal Germans and was edited by a Nazi supporter, BDAG has some liberal leanings, and NIDNTT is only a moderately conservative evangelical work. So as you can see, they do not come from one strain of doctrinal teaching.

    You said, “I just cannot bring myself to accept it when they claim Aion means forever, when it is used hundreds of times to convey a period of 7 days, or 12 months, or the lifespan of a man, etc.” Again, you do not understand Greek, or the study of languages for that matter. Context determines a words meaning. I can use the word “read” in a paper I write 100 times to mean something I have done in the past, i.e. “I have read the book.” But if my last sentence of the paper says, “I like to read books,” this does not mean the last instance is governed by the previous 100. BDAG, TDNT, and NIDTT do cite the other uses of aion, so it is not like they are trying to hide anything. They do not force every use of aion into the meaning of “forever.”

    “Only in the light of the context can it be said whether αἰών means “eternity” in the strict sense or simply “remote” or “extended” or “uninterrupted time”” (TDNT, 198–199). Also TDNT shows that it is not merely the word aion that signifies eternity, but a specific formulae used by the NT writers which use certain prepositions like “into” and “from.”

    “Surveying the usage [1000 years!] of the word aiōn, aeon, and the connected eschatology, one can establish that, with all the varied accentuations, the NT speaks of eternity in the categories of time” (NIDNTT, 833).

    Another example: BDAG cites that the Jewish philosopher Philo, writing around the same time as the nT, used aionion in his work Planting 8. He said, “But it is the eternal law of the everlasting God which is the most supporting and firm foundation of the universe” in Charles Duke Yonge with Philo of Alexandria, The Works of Philo: Complete and Unabridged (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1995), 191. Many more uses could be cited. See BDAG.

    Again, it simply will not do for you to dismiss these academic works with a sort of ‘well, they are tainted theologically’ attitude. You can’t simply dismiss them and then quote a universalist form the 18th century. You need to prove where the big lexicons are wrong with the data they cite. These lexicons are not making up definitions, but surveying the use of Greek words in history and then listing the different uses. In most cases, not much interpretation is needed. BDAG functions more like a catalog of meanings than it does a dictionary.

    • Luke Kessler says:

      Michael,

      I really appreciate your input and very much enjoy your comments. I graduated from Beacon University (which later became Beacon Seminary). My degree was in Biblical Studies, not Greek or Hebrew. But I do study Greek and Hebrew on my own, and am planning on getting my masters in Greek. But I do not rest any weight upon my “degree.” Nor do I expect others to. I am not asking people to believe me b/c I got a degree from this or that place, I am merely presenting the information that I find fascinating and hoping others will find it fascinating as well.

      Do you know if your 3 favorite Lexicons actually show instances in Greek literature of aion being used in a sense of eternity? I would definitely be interested in purchasing them if they would be able to supply me with actual, concrete references from ancient Greek writings. All the references I have ever encountered say things like, “Each wife shall deprive her husband of life (aion).” (Aeschylus, Prometheus 862). So I would be super interested in reading references that I might be unaware of that use the words in an eternal sense.

      However, I did notice that one of your quotes from NIDNTT said, “Surveying the usage [1000 years!] of the word aiōn, aeon, AND the connected eschatology…”…I must confess that that doesn’t convince me, b/c what I hear when they say, “AND connected eschatology,” is that they are really saying “b/c mainstream eschatology believes in eternal damnation, we give aion the definition of eternal.” I am convinced by evidence, not people’s interpretations, even if they are scholars. Its kind of like Science, I study science a little bit, and I read about the facts that Scientists interpret to prove evolution, yet I see the facts and come to a very different conclusion. But I am in no wise an expert, but I find their conclusions lacking, and usually due to the bias with which they interpret the facts. So for me, if a lexicon can show me the actual references in Greek literature where it is obvious that the word is being employed to describe something endless, then I will definitely have to rethink my view on aion.

      But aside from that, I am not out to “prove where the big lexicons are wrong.” You said that you trust the big lexicons rather than my blog study. And that is totally fine, I know that the majority of scholars (especially scholars published in the major Lexicons) think aion means eternity. I am not out to convince people who are obviously well educated and have formed opinions based upon the opinions of other well educated men. I do not expect you to believe me simply b/c I have a blog. The intention of my blog is to present the information that I have found utterly compelling, and if the reader finds it compelling as well, so be it. If the reader disagrees (and most will) so be it. I am not out to convince the world, those who read are free to agree with me, or disagree. I am simply sharing what I have found and what has convinced me in case there are others like me who would appreciate the information. I would have loved to have had something like this myself when I first began to look into this.

      And finally, I appreciate your admonition that it will not do for me to simply dismiss the academic works. I usually dont, unless I have reason to. And I usually dont have reason to b/c I dont take the time to look into every word they define. But these words I have spent time looking into and its “my opinion” that the scholars are wrong. I also dont dismiss them and then quote universalists. None of those scholars that I quoted believed in Universal Reconciliation.

      And again, I must reiterate to you that I am not founding my case upon the scholars that I quoted. My case will be presented in the next 6 months as I present information not only about aion and aionios in this first series, but also contextual looks at “Sheol, Hades, Gehenna, Tartarus, the weeping and gnashing of teeth and Hell in general” in the next series, and the scriptural context for “the lake of fire, Death, Destruction and Judgment” in the third series, and nearly 6 dozen instances in Scripture concerning the “salvation of ALL mankind,” in the 4th series, and quotes from all the early Church Fathers for the first 400 years of Church History showing that they believed and taught that God was ultimately going to save all men in the 5th series.

      So, again I merely included the quotes from scholars in order to show that “my view” is not unsupported academically. You reject the academic sources I quoted b/c you deem them “inaccurate,” I also retain the right to reject academic sources based upon what I deem is “accurate.” But the true weight of my position lies upon Scripture. And I hope that you continue to read, and offer criticisms, and eventually if you read all that I will present, you can show me why you still disagree with me.

  3. Michael says:

    Luke,

    You said, “I would definitely be interested in purchasing them if they would be able to supply me with actual, concrete references from ancient Greek writings..” This is what I have been trying to tell you all along! Of course that is what they do. This is the sole purpose of the lexicon! Lexicons are not theology books. With all due respect, the fact you don’t understand how lexicons work means you don’t understand how Greek and Hebrew work. You can be a God-honoring Christian and not know these biblical languages, but you cannot be a decent theologian or Bible translator without them. You cannot challenge every English translation from the first one in 1537 and the understanding of the church since the Apostolic Fathers.

    “I must confess that that doesn’t convince me, b/c what I hear when they say, “AND connected eschatology,” is that they are really saying “b/c mainstream eschatology believes in eternal damnation, we give aion the definition of eternal.” This is more proof you don’t understand lexicons and word books, nor do you understand context. The word “eschatology” last times. When aion is used in connection with texts that speak of “future things (eschatology)” then it carries the meaning of “eternity” based on context. This is biblical language exegesis 101.

    “But these words I have spent time looking into and its “my opinion” that the scholars are wrong.” You are doing eisegesis pure and simple. You’re hermeneutic is not being faithful to the intent of Scripture. You’re imposing your own meaning on the words, even when a plethora of sources show that aion is used for the meaning “eternity” in hundreds of classical, LXX, NT, and Patristic Greek writings. This is postmodern meaninglessness. If we cannot exegete the meaning of a text based on its ancient usage and the context of the word in the biblical passage, then “we are to be most pitied among men.” Don’t post about the Greek use of aionios if you haven’t read the standard lexicons and understand what they are saying.

    Let me try this one last time. Let’s try a logical syllogism.
    1. aion(ios) is a Greek word(s).
    2. To learn what Greek words mean, we must study its usage in ancient Greek and see what the context of the passage under examine shows us about its usage.
    3. The research clearly and unequivocally shows that over 15 years of the Greek language, aion can sometimes carry the meaning of eternity based on the context of its use.
    4. Therefore, aion can mean eternity in the Bible.

    That’s part of exegesis. Every Greek lexicon or word book I have citied shows ample proof of assertion #3.

    But here’s what you are doing:

    1. “I have found through my own research into these words, as they are used in ancient Greek literature that they absolutely cannot have a meaning of endlessness (at least not until around 400 A.D.)”
    2. Greek lexicons cannot be trusted if they contradict what I say. “its “my opinion” that the scholars are wrong.”
    3. Therefore, “they absolutely cannot have a meaning of endlessness.”

    Circular reasoning anyone?

    Answer question for me. Using your hermeneutic that you have described, prove to me that the Greek word γυνὴ (gyne) in Luke 1:5 means “wife.” I propose that it means “woman” here and it cannot be “wife.” Be consistent with your hermeneutic.Be honest and use the same method you have above to prove to me it means “wife.” What steps would you take to convince me of your position?

    • Luke Kessler says:

      Michael,

      You might be correct that I dont understand how lexicons work, I don’t claim to be all knowing, so I am accutely aware that there is always a chance that I dont fully understand something. But I have used them many times for years, and I can tell you that NONE of the Lexicons that I have ever looked at do not give me any historical examples of Greek literature (outside of Scripture) and their usage of aion (and yes, I do own, and have looked at many lexicons other than the ones I used in my scholars blog). I have however, through my own searches found hundreds of usages in Greek Literature (New Testament, Septuagint, Greek historians, philosophers, writers, etc…) where Aion was NOT used in a sense of eternity. In fact I have not found ONE instance of it being used in a sense of eternity. This is why I believe what I do, its not b/c I dont know how to use lexicons. But I will check your lexicons out, I am definitely very interested to see those references.

      As for my circular reasoning, you have it wrong. I’m not saying that they cant be trusted if they contradict what I say, I’m saying, unless they show me proof positive EXAMPLES of this word being used in a sense of endlessness, then I’m not going to trust them simply telling me what it means. I’m saying that I trust the evidence, NOT people’s conclusions about the evidence, even if they are a scholar. I retain the right to judge the evidence for myself, as should you. Sure experts are helpful and they do us a great service with their research, but I’m not going to just believe whatever they say. So show me the evidence, dont show me someone’s opinion about it. That’s what my blog is designed to do. Sure I give my opinion, as would anyone, but I am going to be showing all the evidence I have found, which is why its going to take a long time.

      I respect your opinion, but I disagree with you when you say that I am practicing eisegesis. Hopefully my blogs will vindicate me.

      As for the question you posed me. In order to show you what I would think about whether gyne means wife or not, I would need many months of time to study. B/c the way I do things is by trying to find every occurance of a word in Greek and seeing how it is used, and then gleaning a sense of it that way. So I cannot answer you, b/c I dont have the time to look into that word. But if I didn’t have a vested interest in truly understanding the word, then I would simply check a lexicon and see what they say.

  4. Michael says:

    “NONE of the Lexicons that I have ever looked at do not give me any historical examples of Greek literature (outside of Scripture) and their usage of aion……B/c the way I do things is by trying to find every occurance of a word in Greek and seeing how it is used, and then gleaning a sense of it that way.”

    Luke, now you are either being intellectually dishonest or downright deceptive (or are simply ignorant = not knowing, which I do not think is the case.) You cited LSJ in your scholars post, yet LSJ lists “eternal” as a gloss for aionios and gives half a dozen classical Greek pieces to show you.
    http://www.tlg.uci.edu/lsj/#eid=2947&context=lsj&action=hw-list-click
    The earliest citation is Plato, who used aionios for “eternal” 400 years before the NT was writtten! Here are some more citations. Be honest and go look them up.

    9: αἰὼν ἐνεστώς; plur. μακροὺς αἰῶνας, Theocr., XVI, 43. e. “Eternity,” since Plato (infra); hyperbol. ἐξ … αἰῶνος, “from eternity,” Lycurg., 110, Diod. S., I, 63, 5; διʼ αἰῶνος, Ps.-Demosth. Or., 60, 6; Diod. S., III, 8, 5; κατὰ … αἰῶνος, Lycurg., 7; εἰς αἰῶνα, Lycurg., 106; εἰς ἅπαντα τὸν αἰῶνα “in eternity,” loc. cit.

    In the Hellenistic age the word acquires religious significance in virtue of the fact that Αἰών becomes the name of a god of eternity whose mysteries are known to have been celebrated in Alexandria from c. 200 B.C. (Ps.-Callisth., 30, 6, p. 27; Epiph. Haer., 51, 22). All the above cited from Gerhard Kittel, Geoffrey W. Bromiley, and Gerhard Friedrich, eds., Theological Dictionary of the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1964–), 197-198.

    In Plato the term is developed so as to represent a timeless, immeasurable and transcendent super-time, an idea of time in itself. Plutarch and the earlier Stoics appropriate this understanding, and from it the Mysteries of Aion, the god of eternity, could be celebrated in Alexandria. J. Guhrt, “Time,” ed. Lothar Coenen, Erich Beyreuther, and Hans Bietenhard, New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1986), 827.

    aionios is also used to mean “eternal” 29 times in the Apostolic Father Greek writings (ranging from 100 A.D. to 500 A.D.).

    “I have however, through my own searches found hundreds of usages in Greek Literature (New Testament, Septuagint, Greek historians, philosophers, writers, etc…) where Aion was NOT used in a sense of eternity.” This is a big fallacy.
    http://c2.com/cgi/wiki?AbsenceOfEvidenceIsNotEvidenceOfAbsence
    Simply because you have found cases were aion does not mean eternity doesn’t prove that it never means eternity. “I’ve looked for God’s presence thousands of times, and I’ve never seen Him, therefore God does not exist?” ”

    “In order to show you what I would think about whether gyne means wife or not, I would need many months of time to study.” Let me get this straight. It would take you 4 months to prove that gyne means wife in Luke 1:5 (something that would take a first year Greek student 5 minutes to do) and you expect the readers of this blog to believe your interpretative, exegetical, and theological conclusions which deny one of the New Testament’s core teachings?

    • Luke Kessler says:

      I know that absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. I was merely saying that I had not found it, so unless I’m supposed to extrapolate every fact I come accross as incomplete simply b/c I havent discovered all the information in the world, I will continue to come to conclusions based upon what I observe. And for me that isnt a problem b/c I always remain open to having my views adjusted and even changed outright. And I now have a host of new Greek citations to scour. Thank you!

      As for the gyne question, you consistently seem to not understand what I say. I would that you would practice a bit of your hermeneutics on what I say. I have a very hard time “proving” beyond a shadow of a doubt anything that I am not an expert on (and by expert I simply mean from my own standpoint I have done enough research to feel utterly convinced that what I am about to make a stand on is correct, but of course I do not consider myself to be perfect, so I am always open to the more than likely event that I could be wrong). I simply will not do it, b/c I dont feel comfortable with information that I dont know inside and out. So yes, I could look up a lexicon in 5 minutes and tell you what THEY say about it, but I would not know whether that is 100% accurate or not. What if there were other points of view? How could I possibly know that by a cursory glance at a Christian Lexicon?

      So no, I dont feel comfortable teaching about gyne and sharing with others what I think about it, b/c I havent researched it to my heart’s content. But I do feel comfortable sharing what I see in Scripture.

      And again, i dont expect the readers of my blog to believe anything I say. I am merely sharing the information that I have found compelling.

    • Luke Kessler says:

      Michael,

      Do you know if there is a Concordance type book/tool for The entire Greek Language? That shows all the instances of each word in Greek and where it is located (book, chapter, paragraph, etc…)

  5. Michael says:

    The closest thing to what you want is Kohlenberger’s Exhaustive Concordance to the Greek New Testament. It doesn’t cover every use of every NT Greek word (as that would be a huge, multivolume work), but it is exhaustive and should cover all the uses of aion(ionos). But with good bible software today, you can do a search of every use of a Greek word in about 2.5 seconds and it will give you all the verses. When I run this search on Logos, I see that aion is used 122 times in the NT and aionios is used 70. Continue in your studies and may the Spirit enlighten you when doing so.

    • Luke Kessler says:

      Thanks Michael,

      I have a bible study software, with the LXX1 and LXX2 and Greek New Testament and Hebrew Old Testament, as well as several lexicons. I use it everyday. I have not only searched out every use of aion(ios) in the N.T. but also as they were used in the Septuagint. What I don’t have however, is something that will do that for literature outside of the N.T. Thats fine though, thanks again for your help.

  6. Carol says:

    Wow! This is quite the discussion! Luke- you do have such a wonderful attention to detail and I am impressed with the amount of time you’ve spent studying and researching. I also appreciate your thoughtful and kind heart and how considerate you are with your words. Michael- I’m super grateful for all the time you’ve also put into your responses. They are really valuable and I’ve really enjoyed reading the conversation versus just one perspective.

    • Luke Kessler says:

      Wow! Thanks for your kind comment comment Carol! I also really appreciate that you are checking this out. And feel free to ask any question you may have or to share any observation you may have (for or against).

  7. Carol says:

    I will, thanks Luke =)

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