• Welcome to Christian Forums
  1. Welcome to Christian Forums, a forum to discuss Christianity in a friendly surrounding.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to be able to join in fellowship with Christians all over the world.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon and God Bless!

Featured Is aionion necessarily coequal in duration with aionion (in Mt.25:46)?

Discussion in 'Controversial Christian Theology' started by ClementofA, Jun 17, 2018.

  1. ClementofA

    ClementofA Well-Known Member Supporter

    +1,144
    Non-Denom
    Private
    As for Matthew 25:46, allegedly universalism can be harmonized, as per the remarks below, with any of at least three different views re the "life" & "punishment" of that verse: (1) both life and punishment are eternal or everlasting, (2) both are finite, (3) life is eternal, punishment is finite.

    Maybe. Maybe not. Either way universalism is Bible truth & "eternal" is a deceptive translation.

    Is aionios used "differently" in each of its two occurrences in Rom.16:25-26? Is the aionios God (Rom.16:26) of the same duration as "long ages" (Rom.16:25, NIV, NASB, ESV, NET, WEY, YLT, etc) during which a revelation was kept secret (v.25) but is "now revealed" (v.26a)? Why, then, is it assumed aionios life must be of the same duration as aionios punishment (Mt.25:46)?

    Is a tall building the same height as a tall blade of grass? No. Why, then, is it assumed aionios life must be of the same duration as aionios punishment (Mt.25:46)? In the sentence "The blessed stay in a tall high rise, but the wicked in a tall dungeon", is the high rise equally as tall as the dungeon?

    Just as the adjective tall varies with what it refers to, so also the adjective aionion (eonian) varies with what it refers to. A tall man is not the same size as a tall tree or highrise or mountain. Likewise:

    "So of aiónion; applied to Jonah's residence in the fish, it means seventy hours; to the priesthood of Aaron, it signifies several centuries; to the mountains, thousands of years; to the punishments of a merciful God, as long as is necessary to vindicate his law and reform his children; to God himself, eternity." AIN -- AINIOS

    Similarly, a long life need not be of the same duration as a long punishment. A perpetual life is not necessarily of the same duration as a perpetual punishment.

    Is the aion of an ant of the same duration as the aion of a tree?

    "There are as many eons as entities, the respective durations of which are fixed by the normal conditions of the several entities. There is one eon of a human life, another of the life of a nation, another of a crow’s life, another of an oak’s life. The length of the eon depends on the subject to which it is attached." (WORD STUDIES IN THE NEW TESTAMENT by MARVIN R. VINCENT, D.D." https://www.hopefaithprayer.com/books/Word-Studies-in-the-New-Testament-Vol-3&4-Marvin-R-Vincent.pdf

    Is the church age eon of the same duration as the internet age eon? Is the eon of a geological age of the same duration as the millennial eon? If not, then why should eonian in Mt.25:46 have to be of the same duration in reference to punishment & life?

    If believers go into the life aionios (i.e. pertaining to the age to come) & unbelievers go into the punishment aionios (i.e. pertaining to the age to come), does that prove that the punishment must absolutely be co-extensive with the life? No. Does it prove that the age to come is not finite? No.

    Could both occurrences of aionios in Mt.25:46 refer to a finite age (or ages) to come? Yes.

    If aionios is of equal duration in both occurrences of Mt.25:46, shouldn't "all mankind" (Rom.5:18), "the many" (Rom.5:19) and "all" (1 Cor.15:22, 28) be co-extensive in number in these passages:

    Rom 5:18 Consequently, then, as it was through one offense for ALL MANKIND for condemnation, thus also it is through one just act for ALL MANKIND for life's justifying."
    Rom 5:19 For even as, through the disobedience of the one man, THE MANY were constituted sinners, thus also, through the obedience of the One, THE MANY shall be constituted just."

    1 Cor.15:22 AS in Adam ALL die - so also - in Christ shall ALL be made alive.
    1 Cor.15:28 And when ALL shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in ALL.

    "Augustine raised the argument that since aionios in Mt. 25:46 referred to both life and punishment, it had to carry the same duration in both cases. However, he failed to consider that the duration of aionios is determined by the subject to which it refers. For example, when aionios referred to the duration of Jonah’s entrapment in the fish, it was limited to three days. To a slave, aionios referred to his life span. To the Aaronic priesthood, it referred to the generation preceding the Melchizedek priesthood. To Solomon’s temple, it referred to 400 years. To God it encompasses and transcends time altogether."

    "Thus, the word cannot have a set value. It is a relative term and its duration depends upon that with which it is associated. It is similar to what “tall” is to height. The size of a tall building can be 300 feet, a tall man six feet, and a tall dog three feet...An adjective relates to the noun it modifies."
    Eternity in the Bible by Gerry Beauchemin – Hope Beyond Hell
    http://www.tentmaker.org/books/hope_beyond_hell.pdf

    "...It is simply contrary to historical fact to suggest that the essence of these time expressions is that of endless duration. As Thomas De Quincey, the nineteenth century essayist and literary critic states: “All this speculation, first and last, is pure nonsense. Aiõnios does not mean ‘eternal,’ neither does it mean of limited duration . . . . What is an aiõn? The duration or cycle of existence which belongs to any object, not individually of itself, but universally, in right of its genius [i.e., inherent nature] . . . . The exact amount of the duration expressed by an aiõn depends altogether upon the particular subject which yields the aiõn.” " Eon As Indefinte Duration, Part Three

    Philosophy professor Tom Talbott, author of "The Inescapable Love of God", remarked:

    "Whatever its correct translation, “aionios” is clearly an adjective and must therefore function like an adjective, and it is the very nature of an adjective for its meaning to vary, sometimes greatly, depending upon which noun it qualifies. For more often than not, the noun helps to determine the precise force of the adjective. As an illustration, set aside the Greek word “aionios” for a moment and consider the English word “everlasting.” I think it safe to say that the basic meaning of this English word is indeed everlasting. So now consider how the precise force of “everlasting” varies depending upon which noun it qualifies. An everlasting struggle would no doubt be a struggle without end, an unending temporal process that never comes to a point of resolution and never gets completed. But an everlasting change, or an everlasting correction, or an everlasting transformation would hardly be an unending temporal process that never gets completed; instead, it would be a temporal process of limited duration, or perhaps simply an instantaneous event, that terminates in an irreversible state. So however popular it might be, the argument that “aionios” must have exactly the same force regardless of which noun it qualifies in Matthew 25:46 is clearly fallacious."

    "Accordingly, even if we should translate “aionios” with the English word “everlasting,” a lot would still depend upon how we understand the relevant nouns in our text: the nouns “life” (zoe) and “punishment” (kolasis). Now the kind of life in question, being rightly related to God, is clearly an end in itself, even as the kind of punishment in question seems just as clearly to be a means to an end. For as one New Testament scholar, William Barclay, has pointed out, “kolasis” “was not originally an ethical word at all. It originally meant the pruning of trees to make them grow better.” Barclay also claimed that “in all Greek secular literature kolasis is never used of anything but remedial punishment”–which is probably a bit of a stretch, since the language of correction and the language of retribution often get mixed together in ordinary language. But in any event, if “kolasis” does signify punishment of a remedial or a corrective kind, as I think it does in Matthew 25:46, then we can reasonably think of such punishment as everlasting in the sense that its corrective effects literally endure forever. Or, to put it another way: An everlasting correction, whenever successfully completed, would be a temporal process of limited duration that terminates in the irreversible state of being rightly related to God. Certainly nothing in the context of Matthew 25 excludes such an interpretation."

    "This would not be my preferred interpretation, however, because the English word “everlasting” does not accurately capture the special religious meaning that “aionios” typically has in the New Testament."

    Talbott on Matthew 25:41, 46?

    https://www.amazon.com/Inescapable-...498222412/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_pdt_img_top?ie=UTF8

    https://www.tentmaker.org/books/hope_beyond_hell.pdf
     
    We teamed up with Faith Counseling. Can they help you today?
  2. Gracia Singh

    Gracia Singh Newbie Supporter

    +3,454
    United States
    Christian
    Married
    It would be cool if UR were true. But it's not. We can hope in the mercy of God, but Scripture is clear that Hell is real, eternal, and painful. Instead of hoping or assuming that all souls are saved or will be saved, could we not better spend our time making sacrifices for souls, praying for people, witnessing, talking about Christ, and making sure that fewer souls to go Hell?
     
  3. ewq1938

    ewq1938 Chewbacca kree! Supporter

    +3,464
    United States
    Christian
    Single
    US-Republican
    It's the same duration...without end. The issue is that it is an everlasting punishment, not punishing. The punishment is the second death so they will be dead forever not alive enough to feel pain forever. That was the scary thing the early church added on to scare people into church on Sundays. Maybe only Satan is kept alive for this torture BUT even that can be argued as a figure of speech. I will get into more details if needed.
     
  4. ClementofA

    ClementofA Well-Known Member Supporter

    +1,144
    Non-Denom
    Private
    That's one opinion. Another is that of Eastern Orthodox scholar David Bentley Hart:

    "...how greatly formulations that seem to imply universal salvation outnumber those that appear to threaten an ultimate damnation for the wicked. Still, none of that surprised me; it merely roused me from my complacent assumption that, simply by virtue of having read the text in Greek for many years, I had a natural feel for its tone."

    Christ's Rabble | Commonweal Magazine

    How about focusing on - the - one and only - "sacrifice for souls" for the salvation of the world (Jn.4:42) that results in its sin being taken away (Jn.1:29) & all being reconciled to God (Col.1:20; cf. 2 Cor. 5:19; Rom. 5:10)?

    Are your - works - really going to be "making sure that fewer souls go to Hell"? Or did you actually mean yourself alone? That is, if you don't "fall away". How do you know your - works - & those of some/many others doing such works - are not - repulsing - more away from God & into "hell", than towards God & into heaven? Are you sure what you are witnessing & talking re Christ is the truth & not a false gospel?

    Is spending one's time offering Christ as an "eternal hellfire insurance" policy how Christ wants us to live? Are such people even saved? If you knew "hell" didn't exist or wasn't eternal would you forsake Him?
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2018
  5. Gracia Singh

    Gracia Singh Newbie Supporter

    +3,454
    United States
    Christian
    Married
  6. ClementofA

    ClementofA Well-Known Member Supporter

    +1,144
    Non-Denom
    Private
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2018
  7. Hillsage

    Hillsage One for Him and Him for all Supporter

    +832
    United States
    Charismatic
    Married
    I said the same thing, for the 10 years I spent studying the 'good news' gospel of UR, over 40 years ago. To actually believe that the ‘gospel’ was truly ‘good news’ for all God’s creation, instead of an eternal torture pit for most, was revolutionary for me. And you’re right about "scripture being clear", but only in as much as men bound by the 'traditions and commandments of men' allowed the Greek scriptures to be ‘interpreted AND TRANSLATED clear'. And that's why we have so many 'unread and unbelieved' bibles and new testaments out there without the word HELL in them. :idea: They are interpreted better, but certainly not in alignment with 'mainline' thinking of majority Christianity....whether that be the church of Rome or Protestantism, matters not.

    For me it all simply boils down to this; if eternal hell is the price for sin, then why isn’t Jesus sitting in hell paying that eternal price, for you and me? Him being sinless never ‘changed the price for sin’. And that 'price' was either 'eternal hell' or it was 'physical death'. Being sinless never changed the price of sin, it simply ‘qualified’ sinless Jesus to vicariously pay 'the price' for us, that we might live again beyond the grave. And He did so by dying an UNJUSTIFIED physical death with a 'very short' time separated from the Father, in our place. And He did so, that we might be JUSTIFIED by His physical death. But the price was never 'eternal separation from God’ and it was never 'burning in Hell eternally' either. If that was 'the price' of sin, then that's where Jesus should eternally be, making payment. Jesus being perfect did not change the price for sin. And that's where orthodoxy's vision needs spiritual glasses to see what religious men have missed.

    Actually I think we're here for the same 'justifiable reason' that you're here. The big difference being, our Jesus is 'the savior of all' and your Jesus is the 'savior of a pitiful few'. Our Jesus came that we might have life 'here and now' as well as in the 'hereafter'. You guys are suffering through the now in the hope of a pitiful few of God's beloved creation ever making it to heaven hereafter. Which really makes your 'God view' the loser of most of His beloved creation. Not a very good plan of salvation for an omniscient God knowing the end from the beginning. A God who is creator of ALL but loser of most. :( Our divine plan 'view', has God dying for ALL and ultimately winning ALL. Your divine plan has God loosing most and then torturing them, for all eternity. :scratch: And then 'your God view' also puts US on a mandate GOD HIMSELF isn't going to live up to...and that mandate is 'we must always forgive' but He 'eternally never will'. I like our God view much better philosophically as well as scripturally. ;)
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Winner Winner x 1
    • List
  8. Gracia Singh

    Gracia Singh Newbie Supporter

    +3,454
    United States
    Christian
    Married
    One can hope in UR, and some Saints have. Or have hinted at this hope. But private hopes or thoughts on a matter do not alter what the Church teaches, and what is True. I hear you. UR is a really cool idea. But acknowledging the spiritual reality of Hell matters, too.

    I would definitely recommend to you, and to any Christian with an interest in UR or in how God's mercy works to read the Diary of Saint Faustina, Divine Mercy in my Soul. It is an awesome read.
     
  9. Der Alter

    Der Alter This is me about 1 yr. old. Supporter

    +2,107
    United States
    Baptist
    Married
    The Jews, long before the early church, believed in a place of eternal, unending fiery punishment which they called both sheol and gehinnom. Read all about it here.
    The place where children were sacrificed to the god Moloch was originally in the "valley of the son of Hinnom," to the south of Jerusalem (Josh. xv. 8, passim; II Kings xxiii. 10; Jer. ii. 23; vii. 31-32; xix. 6, 13-14). For this reason the valley was deemed to be accursed, and "Gehenna" therefore soon became a figurative equivalent for "hell."
    GEHENNA - JewishEncyclopedia.com
    While the lake of fire is called the second death not one single verse says that anything/anyone is thrown into the LOF then they die.
    The lake of fire passages, in context.

    Revelation 2:11 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.
    Revelation 20:6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.
    Revelation 19:20 And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.
    And 1000 years later, the beast and the false prophet, who is a person, are still in the lake of fire.
    Revelation 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 they shall be tormented [plural verb] day and night for ever and ever.
    Revelation 20:14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
    Revelation 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
    Revelation 21:8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
    The lake of fire [LOF] is called “the second death” twice in Rev. vss. 20:14 and 21:8. While this is true, Rev. never says that anyone is thrown into the LOF then they die. The terms the “lake of fire” and “ the second death” are interchangeable, “the lake of fire” is “the second death” and the “second death” is “the lake of fire,” thus we can see that it is not synonymous with death or destruction.
    .....We also see that being thrown into the LOF is not synonymous with death from Rev 19:20, where the beast and the false prophet, who is a person, are thrown into the LOF and 1000 years later in 20:10 the devil, is thrown into the LOF. Three living beings, are thrown into the LOF but they do not die, they are tormented day and night for ever and ever. There is not one verse in Revelation which says anyone or anything is thrown into the LOF then they/it dies.
    .....Rev 20:14 says death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. Death is the point in time end of life, it has no physical presence and cannot be literally thrown anywhere. Since neither death nor hell could or have died a first death they can’t die a second death. But there is a scriptural answer which does not involve jumping through hoops mixing literal and figurative in one sentence, there is a death and hell which can be thrown into the LOF.

    Revelation 6:8 And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.
    The angel of death and the demon of hell are thrown into the LOF and their power to kill ended.
    .....More verses which show that the LoF is not synonymous with death or destruction. Rev 21:4 says “there shall be no more death” in vs. 5 Jesus said “Behold I make all things new.” “No more death””all things new” but 3 verses later Rev 21:8 says certain groups “shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.” If vs. 4 is correct then the 8 groups of people mentioned in vs. 8 do not die.

    Revelation 21:4 And 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 21:5 And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.
    Revelation 21:8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2018
  10. ClementofA

    ClementofA Well-Known Member Supporter

    +1,144
    Non-Denom
    Private
    Well said, Hillsage.

    Your 2 paragraphs i quoted might make interesting topics to start a couple threads on. I'm wondering how people would respond. Especially paragraph 1.
     
  11. Hillsage

    Hillsage One for Him and Him for all Supporter

    +832
    United States
    Charismatic
    Married
    Thank you for your kind words. :) In all the years I've been here I have never started a thread. I don't know why that is, but...it is. You certainly are free to take what I've said and run with those two paragraphs, with my approval and blessing. But, in all honesty, any time I've ever mentioned paragraph one here before, I don't remember anyone 'on the other side' ever responding with anything, just like 'sister Gracie' has done. So it might be a pretty short thread.
     
    • Winner Winner x 1
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
    • List
  12. FineLinen

    FineLinen Senior Veteran Supporter

    +617
    Non-Denom
    A question for you, my friend, one of the fundamental passages of Scripture for unending punishment is St. Matt 25. Can you tell us what are the qualifications (according to the context of the parable) for #1. the goats.
     
  13. FineLinen

    FineLinen Senior Veteran Supporter

    +617
    Non-Denom
     
  14. FineLinen

    FineLinen Senior Veteran Supporter

    +617
    Non-Denom
    My friend Clement: aionios like the Hebrew olam is strictly ages related. Aionios life is one thing, aidios life in a far higher dimension in the Aidios God. This is a good subject, and I will bet on my favorite marriage partners life, DerAlter will want to join us. He will be little help, but join us he will!
     
    • Funny Funny x 1
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
    • List
  15. FineLinen

    FineLinen Senior Veteran Supporter

    +617
    Non-Denom
    I believe aionios is equal in regards to the sheep & the goats. Our Father most certainly is the God of aionios life, and aionios punishment. The problem, of course, is aionial cannot be translated everlasting, and most assuredly not "eternal." Aionios= age lasting. Aidios found in only 2 passages of Scripture, is firmly rooted in the Aidios God who is Eternal.
     
  16. Hillsage

    Hillsage One for Him and Him for all Supporter

    +832
    United States
    Charismatic
    Married
    "To address the accusation that we are somehow limiting the life of God by our translation of the word “aionios,” we most confidently declare that God’s life never had a beginning, nor will have an end. This life can be found nowhere except in God. This life fills both time and eternity. It existed before the ages (1 Cor. 2:7), and it will continue after the ages (1 Cor. 15:28 ). God is eternal (Rom. 1:20--Gk. word “aidios”), indissoluble (Heb. 7:16), and immortal (1 Tim. 6:16), and therefore, His life is also eternal, indissoluble, and immortal.

    When the Bible speaks of the “aionian God” (1 Tim. 1:17), it does not mean that God is less than eternal. It simply means that He manifests Himself within the framework of time. When the Bible speaks of the “eternal/adios” God (Rom. 1:20), this means that God transcends all time, and He manifests Himself in that which is unseen. God is the only One who can exist in both the state of time and timelessness. "
     
  17. he-man

    he-man he-man

    +282
    United States
    Non-Denom
    Private
    2Th 1:9 who shall suffer justice—destruction age-during—from the face of the Lord, and from the glory of his strength, [YLT]
    2Th 1:9 who shall pay the penalty of everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his might, [DARBY]
    Rom 16:17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.
    18 For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own mind; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.
    19 For your obedience is come abroad unto all men. I am glad therefore on your behalf: but yet I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil.
    1Tim 4:1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits, and teachings of devils/demons;
     
  18. ClementofA

    ClementofA Well-Known Member Supporter

    +1,144
    Non-Denom
    Private
    None of that addresses the arguments i've made in the OP in regards to the title of this thread:

    Is aionion necessarily coequal in duration with aionion (in Mt.25:46)?

    If you want to discuss other passages of Scriptures, perhaps you should start your own thread on such. Or search the forum where universalists, myself included, have previously addressed them before.
     
  19. Der Alter

    Der Alter This is me about 1 yr. old. Supporter

    +2,107
    United States
    Baptist
    Married
    I believe aionios is equal in regards to the sheep & the goats. Our Father most certainly is the God of aionios life, and aionios punishment. The problem, of course, is aionial cannot be translated everlasting, and most assuredly not "eternal." Aionios= age lasting. Aidios found in only 2 passages of Scripture, is firmly rooted in the Aidios God who is Eternal.
    Romans 1:20
    (20) For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal [ἀΐ́διος/aidios] power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

    Romans 16:26
    (26) But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting [αἰώνιος/aionios] God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:
    In Romans 1:20 Paul refers to God’s power and Godhead as “aidios.” Scholars agree “aidios” unquestionably means eternal, everlasting, unending etc. In Rom 16:26 Paul refers to God as “aionios,” therefore Paul evidently considers “aidios” and “aionios” to be synonymous.
    .....Another verse which describes/defines aionas as "for ever."

    Luke 1:33
    (33) And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; [αιωνας/aionas] and of his kingdom there shall be no end.[τελος/τελος]
    In this verse “aionas” is paired with “without end.” “aionas” cannot be paired with “without end” if it means only “ages” a finite period. “Aionas” by definition here means eternal.



     
  20. FineLinen

    FineLinen Senior Veteran Supporter

    +617
    Non-Denom
     
Loading...