Baptists/Is Forever, Forever?

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Question
Dec 15 at 11:03 PM  






Because the New Testament was written in Greek and translated to English, I find certain words did not properly translate. First there are
56 times the word “Forever” is quoted in the Bible. Same with the Word Eternity The Bible continually uses the word cast into the Lake of Fire forever.
Matt 18:8….thrown into eternal Hell
Matt 25:41…into the eternal Hell
Matt25:46…..eternal punishment
Mark 3:29…….he is guilty of eternal sin
Mark 10:30…eternal life
I could go on and on and the Bible speaks of the Age to come.
Question: If the Greek translated the term aionion for eternal and eon for Forever These terms actually mean a period of time or age. We think the term Forever has no Ending as Eternal has no ending. If the scrolls used the word Aionion and Eon and this represents an Age or a period of time why do we believe that non-believers would be cast into Hell forever? Hell was created for the Devil and his demons. The un-believers cast into the lake of fire or Hell would be for a period of time and not forever as the translators says. The Bible uses the term “parish”, “burned up”, “turned into Ashes”, Psalm 68:2 “as wax melted before the fire, so let the wicked perish at the presence of God” There are many other comparison’s using the term Death, chaff stubble, wax, fat and that the fire will burn them up and will be like ashes under the soles of the feet of the righteous Mal 4:1-3……………………………..Now we take it for granted that Believer’s will spent eternity in the New Jerusalem with Christ, and we want to believe this. The Bible says we spend eternity with Christ and live with him forever. Did the Greeks also transcribe this eternity and forever to mean something different? Perhaps God who is on such a higher level that man cannot understand his plans for all believers at a later date while in the New Jerusalem. This God who created all the universe and stars and planets is not limited to just creating humans and the Earth to a finite detail. Why would we be so lucky to have this God to ourselves? Even as Believer’s we are not without sinning every day. Yes, one day we will have new bodies and be free of any sin and will judge the angels and be Christ like.
So, do you see my dilemma? These Translations of these two words can be a game changer to some. As a Believer I still wonder the use of these two words Forever and Eternity meaning a period of time or age for the unbeliever, as the same Forever and Eternity be used in the same context as a period of time if you are a believer?
In Christ
Ben

Answer
Hi Ben,

Thanks for this great question.  It is important to consult linguistic experts before coming up with radical assumptions that effect orthodox doctrine.  Below is a clear explanation of the word in question, demonstrating that it is absolutely legitimate to translate it as eternal.

“The predominant meaning of aionios, that in which it is used everywhere in the NT, save the places noted above, may be seen in 2 Cor. 4:18, where it is set in contrast with proskairos, lit., ‘for a season,’ and in Philem. 15, where only in the NT it is used without a noun. Moreover it is used of persons and things which are in their nature endless, as, e.g., of God, Rom. 16:26; of His power, 1 Tim. 6:16, and of His glory, 1 Pet. 5:10; of the Holy Spirit, Heb. 9:14; of the redemption effected by Christ, Heb. 9:12, and of the consequent salvation of men, 5:9, as well as of His future rule, 2 Pet. 1:11, which is elsewhere declared to be without end, Luke 1:33; of the life received by those who believe in Christ, John 3:16, concerning whom He said, ‘they shall never perish,’ 10:28, and of the resurrection body, 2 Cor. 5:1, elsewhere said to be ‘immortal,’ 1 Cor. 15:53, in which that life will be finally realized, Matt. 25:46; Titus 1:2.  
“Aionios is also used of the sin that ‘hath never forgiveness,’ Mark 3:29, and of the judgment of God, from which there is no appeal, Heb. 6:2, and of the fire, which is one of its instruments, Matt. 18:8; 25:41; Jude 7, and which is elsewhere said to be ‘unquenchable,’ Mark 9:43.  
“The use of aionios here shows that the punishment referred to in 2 Thess. 1:9, is no temporary, but final, and, accordingly, the phraseology shows that its purpose is not remedial but retributive.”*  


Vine, W. E., Unger, M. F., & White, W., Jr. (1996). Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words. Nashville, TN: T. Nelson.

Forever is forever.

I hope that this helps.

In Christ
Pastor Don

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Pastor Don Carpenter

Expertise

I believe that every word of the Bible is God-Breathed. This blessed book is the foundation of truth for faith and practice. If you ask this volunteer a question you will receive an answer from the Bible that is based upon a litteral, normal interpretation, taking into account the grammar and culture of the time.

Experience

I have been in the ministry almost 20 years. During this time, the Lord has used me as Senior Pastor, counsellor, youth pastor and generally in the equipping of the saints for the work of the ministry.

Organizations
Professor at New England School of the Bible - Southington CT

Publications
The Revival Chronicles

Education/Credentials
BS in Bible Baptist Bible College of Clarks Summit, PA

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