In Part 4, I will be discussing the meaning of the Hebrew word `owlam and the Greek words aiōn and aiōnios and how they all have been improperly translated as eternal or everlasting in the context of judgment and punishment.
Hebrew – “`owlam”
The Hebrew word `owlam appears in the Old Testament of the King James bible 439 times and according to Strong’s Concordance, it is defined as long duration, antiquity, futurity, for ever, ever, everlasting, evermore, perpetual, old, ancient, or world.
`Owlam is used in scripture in the following manner: ever (272x), everlasting (63x), old (22x), perpetual (22x), evermore (15x), never (13x), time (6x), ancient (5x), world (4x), always (3x), alway (2x), long (2x), and more (2x).
If you take some time to consider that this Hebrew word `owlam appears 439 times and there are at least 13 different words that have all be translated from this word should provide enough evidence that we need to be careful when attempting to understand its true meaning. I think it should be noted that this word is translated to mean everlasting and never which should tell you there is a problem with this translation. Let’s look at two scriptures that translate `owlam as everlasting and never;
Jeremiah 32:40 And I WILL MAKE AN EVERLASTING [Hebrew – `owlam] COVENANT WITH THEM, that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; but I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me.
Judges 2:1 And an angel of the Lord came up from Gilgal to Bochim, and said, I made you to go up out of Egypt, and have brought you unto the land which I sware unto your fathers; and I said, I WILL NEVER [Hebrew – `owlam] BREAK MY COVENANT WITH YOU.
Now if we take these same words, and switch them, would the scriptures make sense?
Jeremiah 32:40 And I WILL MAKE AN NEVER [Hebrew – `owlam] COVENANT WITH THEM, that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; but I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me.
Judges 2:1 And an angel of the Lord came up from Gilgal to Bochim, and said, I made you to go up out of Egypt, and have brought you unto the land which I sware unto your fathers; and I said, I WILL EVERLASTING [Hebrew – `owlam] BREAK MY COVENANT WITH YOU.
We should easily be able to see that these words cannot be used interchangeably and it is obvious that the Hebrew word `owlam cannot mean everlasting and never. Now Jeremiah 32:40 tells us that God is going to make an “everlasting” covenant with them (the children of Israel). If this covenant was really meant to be an everlasting covenant, one could conclude that this covenant would “never” be broken without any need for a new covenant right? What do you think about this scripture?
Jeremiah 31:31 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I WILL MAKE A NEW COVENANT WITH THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL, AND WITH THE HOUSE OF JUDAH: How can God make a new covenant if the original covenant was supposed to be an everlasting covenant? This is basically making God out to be a liar which we know is not the truth. Since God cannot lie, then there is only one other option and it is the fallacy with the translations of men. The Hebrew word `owlam does not mean everlasting. Let me show you how Jeremiah 32:40 is translated in two better renderings of the Hebrew;
and I HAVE MADE FOR THEM A COVENANT AGE-DURING, in that I turn not back from after them for My doing them good, and My fear I put in their heart, so as not to turn aside from me; (Young’s Literal Translation)
I WILL CONTRACT WITH THEM AN EONIAN COVENANT, from whom I shall not turn back; I will do good to them. And I shall bestow the fear of Me in their heart so as not to go away− from on Me. (Concordant Version of the Old Testament)
Consider this scripture;
Psalm 90:2 Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from EVERLASTING [Hebrew – `owlam] TO EVERLASTING [Hebrew – `owlam], thou art God. If the Hebrew word `owlam means everlasting, then I think its fair to say that this scripture makes absolutely no sense. Everlasting is defined as lasting forever or a duration with no end. The phrase “everlasting to everlasting” implies that there is more than one period of everlasting. If everlasting means lasting forever, how can there be more than one period of lasting forever? Speaking this way doesn’t even make sense. In the context of this Psalm, the writer is speaking about time. There was a time when the mountains didn’t exist because God hadn’t created them yet. There was a time when God formed the earth and it came into existence. This is clearly speaking about how God is there in all time periods, ages, and generations. We see this is we look back just one verse;
Psalm 90:1 LORD, THOU HAST BEEN OUR DWELLING PLACE IN ALL GENERATIONS. Does this say that the Lord has been our dwelling place in all everlastings? No it doesn’t and it wouldn’t make sense if it did just like it doesn’t make sense in Psalm 90:2. The Hebrew word `owlam doesn’t mean everlasting or any word similar to everlasting. Young’s Literal Translation has Psalm 90:2 translated this way;
Psalm 90:2 Before mountains were brought forth, And Thou dost form the earth and the world, Even from AGE UNTO AGE Thou [art] God. In connection with the context of the whole chapter of Psalm 90 in reference to time, `owlam translated as age is obviously appropriate. Do you still doubt that the meaning of the Hebrew word `owlam means age?
Ecclesiastes 3:11 He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the WORLD [Hebrew – `owlam] in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end. As you can see, the word world was translated from the Hebrew word `owlam. What does it mean for God to set the world on the hearts of men? Would this verse make more sense if `owlam was translated as everlasting?
Ecclesiastes 3:11 He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the EVERLASTING [Hebrew – `owlam] in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end. Using the world everlasting is even more confusing than the word world. What is the author of Ecclesiastes trying to convey? I can tell you that it has nothing to do with the words everlasting or eternal. The whole chapter of Ecclesiastes 3 has to do with one thing and it is time;
Ecclesiastes 3:1 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: From verse 2 to verse 8, the author explains that there is a time to be born and a time to die – a time to love and a time to hate and so on so it is clear that the message has much to do with time. Let’s look at a better translation of Ecclesiastes 3:11;
Ecclesiastes 3:11 He has made everything beautiful in its appropriate time. He has also put obscurity in their hearts so that no one comes to know the work that God has done from the beginning to the end. (Modern English Version)
The Hebrew word `owlam comes from the root word `alam which means to hide or conceal. This verse has nothing to do with God putting eternity on our hearts as some translations have it and it makes no sense whatsoever. Some believe that this verse is telling us that God has put on our hearts to be aware of eternity with the idea of taking control of one’s salvation. I don’t think anything could be further from the truth. We understand that things have there time and place in this life but God has hidden the work he has done from beginning to end from our hearts. We will never understand God’s full work in this life because God has kept it a secret from us. Everlasting or eternal is a terrible translation of the Hebrew word `owlam.
Here is just another example that proves without a doubt that the Hebrew word “`owlam” should never be translated as everlasting;
Leviticus 16:34 And this shall be an EVERLASTING (Hebrew –`owlam) statute unto you, to make an atonement for the children of Israel for all their sins once a year. And he did as the Lord commanded Moses. [Now, according to the KJV, this supposed “everlasting” statute (law) was the process of the Israelite priests offering animal sacrifices to atone for Israel’s sins each year but is this how our sins are forgiven?
Hebrews 10:10 By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ ONCE FOR ALL. [Jesus Christ is the LAMB, the permanent atonement for sins. This “everlasting” statute has been long voided so it is clear that the Hebrew `owlam should be translated as an age or (age-lasting) in this verse.
Greek – “aiōn & aiōnios”
Aiōnios is used in scripture in the following manner: eternal (42x), everlasting (25x), the world began (with G5550) (2x), since the world began (with G5550) (1x), for ever (1x). Let’s see an example from Scripture for each of the different uses;
Matthew 25:46 And these shall go away into EVERLASTING[aiōnios] punishment: but the righteous into life ETERNAL[aiōnios].
2 Timothy 1:9 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before THE WORLD BEGAN[aiōnios with chronos],
Romans 16:25 Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret SINCE THE WORLD BEGAN[aiōnios with chronos],
Philemon 1:15 For perhaps he therefore departed for a season, that thou shouldest receive him FOR EVER[aiōnios];
In Romans 16:25 & 2 Timothy 1:9, aiōnios is used in the Greek in conjunction with another Greek word “chronos” to form the translation “the world began” or “since the world began”.
Chronos is used in Scripture in the following manner: time (33x), season (4x), while (2x), a while (2x), space (2x), oftentimes (with G4183) (1x).
Did you catch it? How can “aiōnios” which supposedly means eternal or everlasting be combined with “chronos” which means time, season, or a while? That’s like saying I love my wife always sometimes…. (For those of us who are married would almost think this makes sense) but this is what is called an oxymoron. The truth is that the Greek word “aiōnios” is left untranslated in Romans 16:25 and here is the reason why. In Romans 16:25, it clearly says that the mystery of the revelation of Jesus Christ was kept secret since the world began but this is no longer a secret because the revelation of Christ has been revealed. Do we have a scriptural witness? I thought you’d never ask as the scriptural proof is provided in the very next verse;
Romans 16:26 BUT NOW IS MADE MANIFEST, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith: This is the reason why you do not see the word everlasting in Romans 16:25 because that would lead us to believe that the revelation of Jesus Christ to be an everlasting mystery to be kept secret from us for all eternity which would ultimately mean that we have no savior and no forgiveness of sins. Let that sink in for a few moments…
Let’s dig a little deeper;
Aiōnios is an (adjective) and comes from the root word “aiōn” which is a (noun).
Aiōn in scripture is used in the following manner: ever (71x), world (38x), never (with G3364) (with G1519) (with G3588) (6x), evermore (4x), age (2x), eternal (2x).
How can aiōn mean “age” and “eternal”? Well that is exactly how it’s been translated in your bible. I’ve actually heard people say that aiōn can be translated as an age or as eternal. An age is a predetermined period of time. Eternal means a duration without an end. There is NO possible way for aiōn to used as a translation for age and eternal. Do you still think your bible translation is God’s perfectly restored version of His inspired words? If you say yes, then you are admitting to yourself that God contradicts. God’s word doesn’t contradict but the uninspired translations of men do contradict. If we find a contradiction, it is our responsibility to search the scriptures with the goal of seeking the truth so that there aren’t any contradictions in our understanding of God’s truths.
Now we all know or at least I hope we know that a noun is a person, place or thing, and an adjective is a word that describes a noun. So we also know that an adjective can’t take on a different meaning than the noun from which it was derived. See the following example;
|aiōn (age)||aiōnios (age abiding or pertaining to ages)|
I could go on and on but I think you get the idea. Hourly can never pertain to months since the root noun for hourly is hour, so aiōnios can never mean eternal or everlasting since its root noun means age.
Aiōn and aiōnios means an age and pertaining to the ages; age abiding.
If aiōn and aiōnios really mean eternal or everlasting, let me show you a scripture that will prove how absurd this is;
Matthew 12:32 And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this WORLD[aiōn], neither in the world to come. [Is this earthly world eternal? If there is a world to come, then that would definitely prove that worlds or “aiōns” do not speak about eternity.
Even with this kind of evidence, the Christian theologians still think that aiōn means eternal. So let’s see;
Matthew 12:32 And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this eternity [aiōn], neither in the eternity to come.
How about everlasting?
Matthew 12:32 And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this everlasting [aiōn], neither in the everlasting to come.
Suppose that I punished my son for lying and I told him that he will not play his video game this week or the week after. Does this imply in any way that he will never get to play his video game for all eternity? Of course not but this is the same principle that we are told in Matthew 12:32. Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven in this world, life, age, (not eternity) or the world, life, age (not eternity) to come.
This world or the present aiōn is the age of wickedness in which the devil has reign to deceive the nations.
The world to come or the next aiōn will be the age of the millennial reign of the saints with Christ in the kingdom of God. (This age comes to an end)
In the next age, which will be the age of judgment, blasphemy of the Holy Spirit WILL BE forgiven. This proves that FORGIVENESS will be a part of God’s judgmental process contrary to the evil teachings of Christianity.
So we can conclude that there is NO such thing as multiple eternities or everlastings and it’s not difficult to see that this just doesn’t make any sense. There is only one eternity since eternity means forever or a duration without an end. If this is the proper translation then tell me how there can be more than one eternity or everlasting? It doesn’t even make sense to speak this way.
Now we can render aiōn the appropriate way;
Matthew 12:32 And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this Age[aiōn], neither in the age to come.
Now there are some really smart people that will try to figure out a way to “context” the truth out of scripture only to support the belief in eternal torture and to prove that they are the special few that God will save. They will say that the Greek word aiōn can mean eternal and an age depending on the context in which the word is used. This method is MAN’S attempt to understand God’s word without any spiritual enlightenment. Consider this example of usage of the Greek word aiōn;
Revelation 11:15 And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and HE shall reign for EVER [Greek – aiōn] AND EVER [Greek – aiōn]. [According to the King James translation, this verse tells us that Christ will reign for ever and ever and I’m assuming that most would believe this scripture to be true. But is there another scripture that contradicts this scripture? Yes it is.
1 Corinthians 15:24-25 Then cometh the end, when HE SHALL HAVE DELIVERED UP THE KINGDOM TO GOD, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For HE MUST REIGN, TILL HE HATH PUT ALL ENEMIES UNDER HIS FEET. [At the end, Christ will deliver the kingdom of God to the Father. Notice that it says that Christ must reign TILL which indicates that his reign does in fact have an end. There is no way to context a way around or out of this truth. Christ reigns for the ages of the ages.
Here is one last example of how the word aiōn has been misused in scripture;
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 shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. [We already know from our study that aiōn means age. Consider this; what is the difference between “for ever” or “for ever and ever“?
If I say, “I love my wife for ever”, is there any difference if I said, “I love my wife for ever and ever”? Does this even make sense? The Greek word aiōn doesn’t mean ever. Let’s look at a more accurate translation from Young’s Literal Testament;
Revelation 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.
Now let’s take another look at Revelation 20:10 and focus on the phrase, “tormented day and night”. If this “torment” is literally suppose to occur day and night for ever and ever, explain Revelation 22:5?
And THERE SHALL BE NO NIGHT THERE; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever. I know some naysayers will claim that this is referring to two different locations as if the scriptures ever talk about two separate earths. Day and night are associated with the realm of time in this current age. We already know that this world with all of its rules pass away so if the devil, beast, and false prophet are tormented day and night for ever and ever (or for eternity), then why are these elements of time associated with eternity? If you are a logical person with any decent common sense, you will not continue believing the lies that are taught in the Christian church today.
It should be noted that the Christian church believes wholeheartedly that God will damn most of his creation to the fiery pits of a literal hell where the souls of billions will be tortured for all eternity. They will tell you that this is a just punishment for any person that rejects God’s free gift of salvation through Jesus Christ. In regards to the Greek words aiōn and aiōnios, the Christian theologians will tell you that it is true that aiōn means an age, however, they will tell you that it is the context of scripture that determines meaning instead of the spirit of God. Scripture teaches us these truths;
2 Peter 1:20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. Other translations have “own” instead of “private” as in anyone’s “own interpretation”.
1 Corinthians 2:13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which MAN’S WISDOM TEACHETH [context, context, context], but which the HOLY GHOST teacheth; COMPARING SPIRITUAL THINGS WITH SPIRITUAL. This is really the meat of the matter. You can’t understand or interpret God’s Word with a carnal mind (man’s wisdom using context). You must compare spiritual with spiritual. Scriptural interpretation has nothing to do with context. Context is the world’s way of discerning scripture. God laughs at such things as it is silliness.
Continuing, the Christian bible scholars quote 1 Timothy 6:16 as proof that aiōnios must mean eternal because of the context of this scripture;
1 Timothy 6:16 Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen. According to the Christian theologians, the context of this verse is obviously dealing with God’s eternal nature. The word in Greek for “immortality” is “athanatos.” The Greek word for death is “thanatos.” The “a” in front of the word is the negator — without, non, etc. It means that God is deathless; hence, immortal. This is an eternal quality of God. Likewise, the verse states that God has eternal power (dominion). The word for “eternal” is “aiōnios” which is derived from the Greek root “aiōn” which means age. But, God is not immortal for only an “age,” nor is His dominion temporal. The word “eternal” is absolutely the best way to translate the Greek “aiōnios” because God is immortal and eternal. Therefore, it would be wrong to translate the verse by stating that God has “aionios” dominion. Rather, He has eternal dominion. Now, here is the really sick part. Christians come to this conclusion about the Greek word aiōnios so that they can make their sacred torture chamber of hell eternal for all those who reject their beliefs and version of the gospel.
Let’s look at 1 Timothy 6:16 in two different translations;
who only is having immortality, dwelling in light unapproachable, whom no one of men did see, nor is able to see, to whom [is] honour and might AGE-DURING! Amen. (Young’s Literal Testament)
Who alone has immortality, making His home in light inaccessible, Whom not one of mankind perceived nor can be perceiving, to Whom be honor and might EONIAN! Amen! (Concordant Literal New Testament)
Is there any part of these two verses that isn’t true? The Christian theologian says that God is not immortal for only an “age,” nor is His dominion temporal. Well they aren’t wrong in saying this but God’s immortality or dominion isn’t limited to the ages. That is a human inference. If I say that God is immortal to the age or that God’s love is age-abiding, this doesn’t imply that God is no longer immortal or that God’s love no longer abides at the end of the age. It doesn’t matter what age we (mankind) are living in, God is immortal in all ages. God created the ages. This justification is absolutely absurd. Let’s see what God’s Word says;
Colossians 1:16 For BY HIM WERE ALL THINGS CREATED, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be THRONES, OR DOMINIONS, OR PRINCIPALITIES, OR POWERS: ALL THINGS WERE CREATED BY HIM, and for him: Should we leave out the ages? Did Christ through God not create all things including the ages? Would it be untruthful to consider God to be the God of the ages or the Eonian God seeing that it is he that created the ages (eons)? I think you can now answer these questions without the polluted lies of Christian theology. You have to understand that the theology of Christianity requires one to believe in eternal damnation so they will do whatever it takes to justify it even if it includes adding and taking away from God’s word.
The King James translators and many others for whatever reason decided to let this word aiōn mean age, ever, never, eternal, evermore, and world which does nothing but confuse the reader. Let’s look at a few scriptures so that we can see how these verses read so that we can be sure that aiōn means an age;
1 Timothy 1:17 Now unto the King ETERNAL, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for EVER and EVER. Amen. The Greek word aiōn is used 3 times in this scripture as eternal, and ever twice.
John 8:51 Verily, verily, I say unto you, If a man keep my saying, he shall NEVER see death. The Greek word aiōn is used in this verse as the word never. How can the Greek word aiōn mean ever and never?
Let’s do a little switcharoo with these words and see if they make any sense. Keep in mind that all of these words come from the same Greek word aiōn.
1 Timothy 1:17 Now unto the King EVER, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for NEVER and NEVER. Amen. Sounds stupid right…How about this one?
John 8:51 Verily, verily, I say unto you, If a man keep my saying, he shall ETERNALLY see death. Do you see what happens when people pick and choose what these words mean in different verses to suit their “own understanding” instead of just rendering the Greek as it is written?
Let’s look at a translation that is a much more accurate translation of the Greek manuscripts;
1 Timothy 1:17 Now to the King of the EONS, the incorruptible, invisible, only, and wise God, be honor and glory for the EONS of the EONS! Amen!
John 8:51 Verily, Verily, I am saying to you, If ever anyone should be keeping My word, he should under no circumstances be beholding death for the EON.”
In the Concordant Literal New Testament, aiōn is translated as eon (which is synonymous with age) all 4 times it is used in these two scriptures. Can you now see how nearly impossible it is to really grasp the true meaning of scripture when we don’t understand these translation mistakes? Usage in scripture is one way we can be sure of the true meaning of a word. We can’t create new meanings for words to fit our interpretation. Of the 128 times the word aiōn appears in the scriptures, each and every time it should have been translated as “age or eon”. So let me make myself clear on this; aiōn means an age and aiōnios means pertaining to the ages or age abiding. Don’t ever forget this very important scriptural truth.
In Part 5, I will be discussing and reviewing the word “torment” as it is used in scripture. I will explain its accurate meaning and denounce its use to denote physical literal torture.
Click the link to go to Part 5: Torment: Literal or Spiritual?