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Universal Reconciliation


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#1 gabe

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Posted 20 April 2004 - 04:32 PM

My thanks to Edit: (Mishael) for setting this up, and thanks to Fortigurn for participating in this discussion.

Scripture abounds with dire warnings concerning the consequences of unbelief. As a book of Prophecy, the Bible is not silent when it comes to the judgement that is to befall those who have neglected the offer of so great a salvation. The story does not end there, however, for the Bible also tells us of a time to come when those who undergo God's venegeance will finally be restored. First, let's take a look at a couple of pertinent scriptures which are likely to be cited by Fortigun as proof-texts against the eventual restoration of all mankind.

Matthew 25:46 "And these will depart into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

The Greek form for "everlasting punishment" in Matthew 25:46 is "kolasin aionion." Kolasin is a noun meaning "punishment, chastening, correction, to cut-off as in pruning a tree to bare more fruit." "Aionion" is the adjective form of "aion," and means "pertaining to an eon or age, an indeterminate period of time." So what we have here is remedial punishment pertaining to the final ages.

This verse cannot be cited as a proof against universal reconciliation (UR), for it gives no indication that one will not be grafted back in after being cut-off, and rather implies that the punishment is a means to a corrective end. This verse, along with Daniel 12:2, is perfectly compatible with my position.

Here is a passage which, as I understand it, reveals God's plan to save all mankind.

1 Corinthians 15:22 For even as, in Adam, all are dying, thus also, in Christ, shall all be vivified.
23 Yet each in his own class: the Firstfruit, Christ; thereupon those who are Christ's in His presence;
24 thereafter the consummation, whenever He may be giving up the kingdom to His God and Father, whenever He should be nullifying all sovereignty and all authority and power.
25 For He must be reigning until He should be placing all His enemies under His feet.
26 The last enemy is being abolished: death.
27 For He subjects all under His feet. Now whenever He may be saying that all is subject, it is evident that it is outside of Him Who subjects all to Him.
28 Now, whenever all may be subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also shall be subjected to Him Who subjects all to Him, that God may be All in all.)-CLNT

Everyone who dies in Adam will be vivified in Christ. The parallelism is abundantly clear. Everyone will be restored from the condemnation that is in Adam, but each man in his own order. After Christ, that portion of humanity that is His at His coming and, after that, the rest of humanity to be vivified when Christ subjects all enemies and hands over His rule to the Father. Romans 5:12-20 reads along the same lines.

God works all things according to the council of His will. Eph 1:11 "In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:"-KJV

Moreover it is His will to save all mankind. 1 Timothy 2:4 "Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth."-KJV

How will He accomplish His will? By His Son, who gave Himself as a ransom for all mankind. 1Tim 2:5-6 "FOR there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time."-KJV

God created the universe, subjected it to futility, and will completely restore it.

Romans 8:20 "For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope,
21 Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.
23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body."-KJV

All things that came from God shall return to Him. Romans 11:36 "For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen."-KJV

Just as all was created through Christ, so shall all be reconciled through Christ.

Colossians 1:15 "Who is the Image of the invisible God, Firstborn of every creature,
16 for in Him is all created, that in the heavens and that on the earth, the visible and the invisible, whether thrones, or lordships, or sovereignties, or authorities, all is created through Him and for Him,
17 and He is before all, and all has its cohesion in Him.
18 And He is the Head of the body, the ecclesia, Who is Sovereign, Firstborn from among the dead, that in all He may be becoming first,
19 for in Him the entire complement delights to dwell,
20 and through Him to reconcile all to Him (making peace through the blood of His cross), through Him, whether those on the earth or those in the heavens." -CLNT

In His restful yoke,

Gabe


Edit: Please refrain from using real names on the public forum section.

Edited by gabe, 21 April 2004 - 11:16 PM.


#2 Fortigurn

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Posted 21 April 2004 - 02:03 PM

Hi Gabe,

Scripture abounds with dire warnings concerning the consequences of unbelief. As a book of Prophecy, the Bible is not silent when it comes to the judgement that is to befall those who have neglected the offer of so great a salvation. The story does not end there, however, for the Bible also tells us of a time to come when those who undergo God's venegeance will finally be restored. First, let's take a look at a couple of pertinent scriptures which are likely to be cited by Fortigun as proof-texts against the eventual restoration of all mankind.

Matthew 25:46 "And these will depart into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

The Greek form for "everlasting punishment" in Matthew 25:46 is "kolasin aionion." Kolasin is a noun meaning "punishment, chastening, correction, to cut-off as in pruning a tree to bare more fruit." "Aionion" is the adjective form of "aion," and means "pertaining to an eon or age, an indeterminate period of time." So what we have here is remedial punishment pertaining to the final ages.


Let's deal with a couple of word definitions first.

It is claimed by Gabe that the word aion does not refer to a duration without end. Whilst I agree that in certain contexts it can mean simply 'an undetermined duration' or 'an age', I contest that it is used most commonly to refer to a time without end.

The principal difficulty with Gabe's claim is that it results in a counterintuitive interpretation of a range of passages.

If aion does not refer to a time without end, but refers only to a limited time of undetermined duration, then we are led inevitably to the conclusion that:

  • God will not live forever:

    Deuteronomy 32:
    40 For I lift up my hand to heaven, and say, I live for ever.

    Deuteronomy 32:
    40 oti arw eiv ton ouranon thn ceira mou kai omoumai th dexia mou kai erw zw egw eiv ton aiwna.

    Psalm 9:
    7 But the LORD shall endure forever: he hath prepared his throne for judgment.

    Psalm 9:7 (9:8)
    kai o kuriov eiv ton aiwna menei htoimasen en krisei ton yronon autou.


  • God's mercy will not last forever (a thought completely counterintuitive to Universalist dogma):

    1 Chronicles 16:
    34 O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever.

    1 Chronicles 16:
    34 exomologeisye tw kuriw oti agayon oti eiv ton aiwna to eleov autou


  • God will not be king or rule forever:

    Psalm 29:
    10 The LORD sitteth upon the flood; yea, the LORD sitteth King forever.

    Psalm 29:10 (28:10)
    kuriov ton kataklusmon katoikiei kai kayietai kuriov basileuv eiv ton aiwna .

    Psalm 66:
    7 He ruleth by his power forever; his eyes behold the nations: let not the rebellious exalt themselves. Selah.

    Psalm 66:7 (65:7)
    tw despozonti en th dunasteia autou tou aiwnov oi ofyalmoi autou epi ta eynh epiblepousin oi parapikrainontev mh uqousywsan en eautoiv diaqalma .


  • God's glory will not last forever:

    Psalm 104:
    31 The glory of the LORD shall endure forever: the LORD shall rejoice in his works.

    Psalm 104:31 (103:31)
    htw h doxa kuriou eiv ton aiwna eufranyhsetai kuriov epi toiv ergoiv autou


  • God's truth will not last forever:

    Psalm 117:
    2 For his merciful kindness is great toward us: and the truth of the LORD endureth forever. Praise ye the LORD.

    Psalm 117:2 (116:2)
    oti ekrataiwyh to eleov autou ef hmav kai h alhyeia tou kuriou menei eiv ton aiwna.


  • God's Kingdom will not last forever:

    Daniel 2:
    44 And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.

    Daniel 2:
    44 kai en taiv hmeraiv twn basilewn ekeinwn anasthsei o yeov tou ouranou basileian htiv eiv touv aiwnav ou diafyarhsetai kai h basileia autou law eterw ouc upoleifyhsetai leptunei kai likmhsei pasav tav basileiav kai auth anasthsetai eiv touv aiwnav.


  • The reward of the righteous does not last forever:

    Daniel 12:
    3 And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars forever and ever.

    Daniel 12:
    3 kai oi sunientev eklamqousin wv h lamprothv tou sterewmatov kai apo twn dikaiwn twn pollwn wv oi asterev eiv touv aiwnav kai eti.


And that's just the Old Testament, before we even get into the New.

But we only really need one verse to cause problems for the Universalist view of aion, and it's right here:

Matthew 25:
46 And these will depart into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”


If the Universalist interpretation is accurate, then although the wicked do not receive a punishment which lasts forever, the righteous do not receive a reward which lasts forever. In fact, at the end of the duration, the righteous die. This is not compatible either with Scripture, or Universalism.
Miserere mei Deus,
Secundum magnam misericordiam tuam.
Et secundum multitudinem miserationum tuarum
dele iniquitatem meam.

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">I am a Christadelphian. Click here to see my confession of faith.
______________________________________________________________________
‘John Wesley once received a note which said, “The Lord has told me to tell you that He doesn’t need your book-learning, your Greek, and your Hebrew.”

Wesley answered “Thank you, sir. Your letter was superfluous, however, as I already knew the Lord has no need for my ‘book-learning,’ as you put it. However—although the Lord has not directed me to say so—on my own responsibility I would like to say to you that the Lord does not need your ignorance, either.”

Osborne & Woodward, ‘Handbook for Bible study’, pp. 13-14 (1979)

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target="_blank">Apologetics

#3 Fortigurn

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Posted 21 April 2004 - 02:05 PM

The strongest expression of eternality is 'for ever and ever', which incorporates the word aion. In the following places, it is evident that this expression is used of a duration which has absolutely no end:

Exodus 15:
18 The LORD shall reign for ever and ever.



1 Chronicles 16:
36 Blessed be the LORD God of Israel for ever and ever. And all the people said, Amen, and praised the LORD.

1 Chronicles 29:
10 Wherefore David blessed the LORD before all the congregation: and David said, Blessed be thou, LORD God of Israel our father, for ever and ever.

Nehemiah 9:
5 Then the Levites, Jeshua, and Kadmiel, Bani, Hashabniah, Sherebiah, Hodijah, Shebaniah, and Pethahiah, said, Stand up and bless the LORD your God for ever and ever: and blessed be thy glorious name, which is exalted above all blessing and praise.

Psalm 9:
5 Thou hast rebuked the heathen, thou hast destroyed the wicked, thou hast put out their name for ever and ever.

Psalm 10:
16 The LORD is King for ever and ever: the heathen are perished out of his land.

Psalm 148:
6 He hath also stablished them for ever and ever: he hath made a decree which shall not pass.

Isaiah 30:
8 Now go, write it before them in a table, and note it in a book, that it may be for the time to come for ever and ever:

Daniel 2:
20 Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his:

Daniel 7:
18 But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever.

Daniel 12:
3 And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.


In all of these passages, the Hebrew phrase which is rendered 'for ever and ever' in the KJV, is rendered 'aiwn aiwn' in the LXX.

The phrase 'aiwn aiwn' therefore unavoidably means 'for ever and ever' - an everlasting duration which does not come to an end.

In the following New Testament passages, the same phrase is used:

Galatians 1:
5 To whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Philippians 4:
20 Now unto God and our Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

1 Timothy 1:
17 Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

2 Timothy 4:
18 And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Hebrews 13:
21 Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

1 Peter 4:
11 If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

1 Peter 5:
11 To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

Revelation 1:
6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

Revelation 4:
9 And when those beasts give glory and honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever,

Revelation 4:
10 The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying,

Revelation 5:
13 And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.

Revelation 5:
14 And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever.

Revelation 7:
12 Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen.

Revelation 10:
6 And sware by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer:

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 and ever.

Revelation 15:
7 And one of the four beasts gave unto the seven angels seven golden vials full of the wrath of God, who liveth for ever and ever.

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.


The reference to a time without end is unmistakable.
Miserere mei Deus,
Secundum magnam misericordiam tuam.
Et secundum multitudinem miserationum tuarum
dele iniquitatem meam.

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">I am a Christadelphian. Click here to see my confession of faith.
______________________________________________________________________
‘John Wesley once received a note which said, “The Lord has told me to tell you that He doesn’t need your book-learning, your Greek, and your Hebrew.”

Wesley answered “Thank you, sir. Your letter was superfluous, however, as I already knew the Lord has no need for my ‘book-learning,’ as you put it. However—although the Lord has not directed me to say so—on my own responsibility I would like to say to you that the Lord does not need your ignorance, either.”

Osborne & Woodward, ‘Handbook for Bible study’, pp. 13-14 (1979)

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target="_blank">Apologetics

#4 Fortigurn

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Posted 21 April 2004 - 02:06 PM

This informs our understanding of passages such as these:

Revelation 14:
11 And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.

Revelation 19:
3 And again they said, Alleluia. And her smoke rose up for ever and ever.

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.


There is no indication that a limited time is involved here. An eternal duration is being identified.
Miserere mei Deus,
Secundum magnam misericordiam tuam.
Et secundum multitudinem miserationum tuarum
dele iniquitatem meam.

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">I am a Christadelphian. Click here to see my confession of faith.
______________________________________________________________________
‘John Wesley once received a note which said, “The Lord has told me to tell you that He doesn’t need your book-learning, your Greek, and your Hebrew.”

Wesley answered “Thank you, sir. Your letter was superfluous, however, as I already knew the Lord has no need for my ‘book-learning,’ as you put it. However—although the Lord has not directed me to say so—on my own responsibility I would like to say to you that the Lord does not need your ignorance, either.”

Osborne & Woodward, ‘Handbook for Bible study’, pp. 13-14 (1979)

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target="_blank">Apologetics

#5 Fortigurn

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Posted 21 April 2004 - 02:11 PM

Let's get back to this:

Kolasin is a noun meaning "punishment, chastening, correction, to cut-off as in pruning a tree to bare more fruit."


The reference to pruning is illegitimate. The noun does derive from a root which has this sense, but the root is not under question here - the noun derived from it is. To claim that kolasin actually means 'to cut off as in pruning to bare more fruit' is simply incorrect. This is why we do not find this meaning listed within the semantic range of the word.

Here is the listing in LSJ:

kol-a^sis , eôs, hę, checking the growth of trees, esp. almond-trees, Thphr.CP3.18.2 (pl.).

2. chastisement, correction, Hp.Praec.5, Pl.Ap.26a, al., Th.1.41; opp. timôria, Arist.Rh.1369b13; of divine retribution, Ev.Matt.25.46, al.: pl., Pl.Prt.323e, al., Phld.Ir.p.52 W.


Note that the only hint of the original 'pruning' aspect which remains is the cutting off - it is the checking of growth to which this word refers, not the encouragement.

In the following passages (taken from the LXX), we find the word used of punishment without any suggestion of the action being for a remedial purpose:

Jeremiah 18:
20 ei antapodidotai anti agaywn kaka oti sunelalhsan rhmata kata thv quchv mou kai thn kolasin autwn ekruqan moi mnhsyhti esthkotov mou kata proswpon sou tou lalhsai uper autwn agaya tou apostreqai ton yumon sou ap autwn

20 Forasmuch as evil is rewarded for good; for they have spoken words against my soul, and they have hidden the punishment they [meant] for me; remember that I stood before thy face, to speak good for them, to turn away thy wrath from them.

Ezekiel 14:
3 uie anyrwpou oi andrev outoi eyento ta dianohmata autwn epi tav kardiav autwn kai thn kolasin twn adikiwn autwn eyhkan pro proswpou autwn ei apokrinomenov apokriyw autoiv

Ezekiel 14:
3 Son of man, these men have conceived their devices in their hearts, and have set before their faces the punishment of their iniquities: shall I indeed answer them?

Ezekiel 14:
4 dia touto lalhson autoiv kai ereiv prov autouv tade legei kuriov anyrwpov anyrwpov ek tou oikou israhl ov an yh ta dianohmata autou epi thn kardian autou kai thn kolasin thv adikiav autou taxh pro proswpou autou kai elyh prov ton profhthn egw kuriov apokriyhsomai autw en oiv enecetai h dianoia autou

Ezekiel 14:
4 Therefore speak to them, and thou shalt say to them, Thus saith the Lord; Any man of the house of Israel, who shall conceive his devices in his heart, and shall set the punishment of his iniquity before his face, and shall come to the prophet; I the Lord will answer him [according to the things] in which his mind is entangled,

Ezekiel 14:
7 dioti anyrwpov anyrwpov ek tou oikou israhl kai ek twn proshlutwn twn proshluteuontwn en tw israhl ov an apallotriwyh ap emou kai yhtai ta enyumhmata autou epi thn kardian autou kai thn kolasin thv adikiav autou taxh pro proswpou autou kai elyh prov ton profhthn tou eperwthsai auton en emoi egw kuriov apokriyhsomai autw en w enecetai en autw

Ezekiel 14:
7 For any man of the house of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn in Israel, who shall separate himself from me, and conceive his imaginations in his heart, and set before his face the punishment of his iniquity, and come to the prophet to enquire of him concerning me; I the Lord will answer him, [according to the things] wherein he is entangled.

Ezekiel 18:
30 ekaston kata thn odon autou krinw umav oikov israhl legei kuriov epistrafhte kai apostreqate ek paswn twn asebeiwn umwn kai ouk esontai umin eiv kolasin adikiav

Ezekiel 18:
30 I will judge you, O house of Israel, saith the Lord, each one according to his way: be converted, and turn from all your ungodliness, and it shall not become to you the punishment of iniquity.

Ezekiel 43:
11 kai autoi lhmqontai thn kolasin autwn peri pantwn wn epoihsan kai diagraqeiv ton oikon kai tav exodouv autou kai thn upostasin autou kai panta ta prostagmata autou kai panta ta nomima autou gnwrieiv autoiv kai diagraqeiv enantion autwn kai fulaxontai panta ta dikaiwmata mou kai panta ta prostagmata mou kai poihsousin auta

Ezekiel 43:
11 And they shall bear their punishment for all the things that they have done: and thou shalt describe the house, and its entrances, and the plan thereof, and all its ordinances, and thou shalt make known to them all the regulations of it, and describe [them] before them: and they shall keep all my commandments, and all my ordinances, and do them.

Ezekiel 44:
12 any wn eleitourgoun autoiv pro proswpou twn eidwlwn autwn kai egeneto tw oikw israhl eiv kolasin adikiav eneka toutou hra thn ceira mou ep autouv legei kuriov o yeov

Ezekiel 44:
12 Because they ministered to them before their idols, and it became to the house of Israel a punishment of iniquity; therefore have I lifted up my hand against them, saith the Lord God.


The only place in the New Testament where it is used, is in the Matthew passage under discussion.
Miserere mei Deus,
Secundum magnam misericordiam tuam.
Et secundum multitudinem miserationum tuarum
dele iniquitatem meam.

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">I am a Christadelphian. Click here to see my confession of faith.
______________________________________________________________________
‘John Wesley once received a note which said, “The Lord has told me to tell you that He doesn’t need your book-learning, your Greek, and your Hebrew.”

Wesley answered “Thank you, sir. Your letter was superfluous, however, as I already knew the Lord has no need for my ‘book-learning,’ as you put it. However—although the Lord has not directed me to say so—on my own responsibility I would like to say to you that the Lord does not need your ignorance, either.”

Osborne & Woodward, ‘Handbook for Bible study’, pp. 13-14 (1979)

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">Apologetics

#6 Fortigurn

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Posted 21 April 2004 - 02:15 PM

On the passage in Matthew, you also said:

This verse cannot be cited as a proof against universal reconciliation (UR), for it gives no indication that one will not be grafted back in after being cut-off, and rather implies that the punishment is a means to a corrective end.


Firstly, it gives every indication that there will not be a 'grafting in', because the very opposite image is used.

Secondly, there is no implication whatever that this punishment is 'a means to a corrective end'. The context indicates no such thing.

Thirdly, the use of the word aion indicates that this punishment will last forever.

This verse, along with Daniel 12:2, is perfectly compatible with my position.


Unfortunately for your position, the passage in Daniel 12:2 insists that not all will rise, and then goes on to tell us that of those who rise, not all will be rewarded.

It speaks of the punishment of the wicked, and the eternal life granted to the righteous. It says nothing of any stage afterwards during which everyone is reconciled.
Miserere mei Deus,
Secundum magnam misericordiam tuam.
Et secundum multitudinem miserationum tuarum
dele iniquitatem meam.

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">I am a Christadelphian. Click here to see my confession of faith.
______________________________________________________________________
‘John Wesley once received a note which said, “The Lord has told me to tell you that He doesn’t need your book-learning, your Greek, and your Hebrew.”

Wesley answered “Thank you, sir. Your letter was superfluous, however, as I already knew the Lord has no need for my ‘book-learning,’ as you put it. However—although the Lord has not directed me to say so—on my own responsibility I would like to say to you that the Lord does not need your ignorance, either.”

Osborne & Woodward, ‘Handbook for Bible study’, pp. 13-14 (1979)

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">Apologetics

#7 Fortigurn

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Posted 21 April 2004 - 02:24 PM

You also quoted this:

Here is a passage which, as I understand it, reveals God's plan to save all mankind.

1 Corinthians 15:22 For even as, in Adam, all are dying, thus also, in Christ, shall all be vivified.
23 Yet each in his own class: the Firstfruit, Christ; thereupon those who are Christ's in His presence;
24 thereafter the consummation, whenever He may be giving up the kingdom to His God and Father, whenever He should be nullifying all sovereignty and all authority and power.
25 For He must be reigning until He should be placing all His enemies under His feet.
26 The last enemy is being abolished: death.
27 For He subjects all under His feet. Now whenever He may be saying that all is subject, it is evident that it is outside of Him Who subjects all to Him.
28 Now, whenever all may be subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also shall be subjected to Him Who subjects all to Him, that God may be All in all.)-CLNT

Everyone who dies in Adam will be vivified in Christ. The parallelism is abundantly clear. Everyone will be restored from the condemnation that is in Adam, but each man in his own order. After Christ, that portion of humanity that is His at His coming and, after that, the rest of humanity to be vivified when Christ subjects all enemies and hands over His rule to the Father.


Firstly, I would like to ask you why you chose this translation. Does it favour your interpretation? Will your interpretation stand up when read from other translations?

Secondly, I don't see that even this translation gives you any real support (although I can see you intend to equivocate using the ambiguous grammar in the translation).

Thirdly, you say:

Everyone who dies in Adam will be vivified in Christ. The parallelism is abundantly clear.


But the text does not say this. Your translation says:

1 Corinthians 15:22 For even as, in Adam, all are dying, thus also, in Christ, shall all be vivified.


This guarantees death to all who are in Adam, and life to all who are in Christ, but does not say that all are in Christ - or that all will be.

Everyone will be restored from the condemnation that is in Adam, but each man in his own order.


This says no such thing. What it says is that only those in Christ will receive life:

1 Corinthians 15:22 For even as, in Adam, all are dying, thus also, in Christ, shall all be vivified.
23 Yet each in his own class: the Firstfruit, Christ; thereupon those who are Christ's in His presence;


The part I have highlighted is clear. Only those who are in Christ will receive life. There would be no need to say this if everyone was eventually going to be saved. This is a statement of qualification.

After Christ, that portion of humanity that is His at His coming and, after that, the rest of humanity to be vivified when Christ subjects all enemies and hands over His rule to the Father.


You are interpreting the word 'subjection' as if it means 'restoration'. Let's see what happens when we do that:

24 thereafter the consummation, whenever He may be giving up the kingdom to His God and Father, whenever He should be nullifying all sovereignty and all authority and power.
25 For He must be reigning until He should be placing all His enemies under His feet.
26 The last enemy is being abolished: death.
27 For He restores all under His feet. Now whenever He may be saying that all is restored, it is evident that it is outside of Him Who restores all to Him.
28 Now, whenever all may be restored to Him, then the Son Himself also shall be restored to Him Who subjects all to Him, that God may be All in all.)-CLNT


It doesn't work, does it?

But there's another issue, and it's this:

25 For He must be reigning until He should be placing all His enemies under His feet.
26 The last enemy is being abolished: death.


Placing enemies under one's feet is not a sign of restoration. It is a sign of subjection, certainly, but not restoration.

If all enemies are eventually going to be restored, then we we have a problem with this verse:

26 The last enemy is being abolished: death.


How is death going to be restored?

Romans 5:12-20 reads along the same lines.


We shall see.
Miserere mei Deus,
Secundum magnam misericordiam tuam.
Et secundum multitudinem miserationum tuarum
dele iniquitatem meam.

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">I am a Christadelphian. Click here to see my confession of faith.
______________________________________________________________________
‘John Wesley once received a note which said, “The Lord has told me to tell you that He doesn’t need your book-learning, your Greek, and your Hebrew.”

Wesley answered “Thank you, sir. Your letter was superfluous, however, as I already knew the Lord has no need for my ‘book-learning,’ as you put it. However—although the Lord has not directed me to say so—on my own responsibility I would like to say to you that the Lord does not need your ignorance, either.”

Osborne & Woodward, ‘Handbook for Bible study’, pp. 13-14 (1979)

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#8 Fortigurn

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Posted 21 April 2004 - 02:29 PM

Next up:

God works all things according to the council of His will. Eph 1:11 "In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:"-KJV


Yes He does. But this does not say that His will is inevitably accomplished with everyone.

Moreover it is His will to save all mankind. 1 Timothy 2:4 "Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth."-KJV


This is His desire. But this does not say that His desire is inevitably accomplished with everyone.

How will He accomplish His will? By His Son, who gave Himself as a ransom for all mankind. 1Tim 2:5-6 "FOR there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time."-KJV


The ransom is available to all, but not all accept it. There are no passages which say that all will accept it.
Miserere mei Deus,
Secundum magnam misericordiam tuam.
Et secundum multitudinem miserationum tuarum
dele iniquitatem meam.

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">I am a Christadelphian. Click here to see my confession of faith.
______________________________________________________________________
‘John Wesley once received a note which said, “The Lord has told me to tell you that He doesn’t need your book-learning, your Greek, and your Hebrew.”

Wesley answered “Thank you, sir. Your letter was superfluous, however, as I already knew the Lord has no need for my ‘book-learning,’ as you put it. However—although the Lord has not directed me to say so—on my own responsibility I would like to say to you that the Lord does not need your ignorance, either.”

Osborne & Woodward, ‘Handbook for Bible study’, pp. 13-14 (1979)

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">Apologetics

#9 Fortigurn

Fortigurn

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Posted 21 April 2004 - 02:32 PM

Now we turn to this:

God created the universe, subjected it to futility, and will completely restore it.

Romans 8:20 "For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope,
21 Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.
23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body."-KJV


This says nothing of universal reconciliation, but does give hope to those who are in Christ that they will receive a redemption of the body, and hope that the earth will be restored.

All things that came from God shall return to Him. Romans 11:36 "For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen."-KJV


This says nothing of universal reconciliation.

Just as all was created through Christ, so shall all be reconciled through Christ.

Colossians 1:15 "Who is the Image of the invisible God, Firstborn of every creature,
16 for in Him is all created, that in the heavens and that on the earth, the visible and the invisible, whether thrones, or lordships, or sovereignties, or authorities, all is created through Him and for Him,
17 and He is before all, and all has its cohesion in Him.
18 And He is the Head of the body, the ecclesia, Who is Sovereign, Firstborn from among the dead, that in all He may be becoming first,
19 for in Him the entire complement delights to dwell,
20 and through Him to reconcile all to Him (making peace through the blood of His cross), through Him, whether those on the earth or those in the heavens." -CLNT


This says that Christ was prepared for the purpose of extending reconciliation to all men, but gives no guarantee that it will occur.
Miserere mei Deus,
Secundum magnam misericordiam tuam.
Et secundum multitudinem miserationum tuarum
dele iniquitatem meam.

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">I am a Christadelphian. Click here to see my confession of faith.
______________________________________________________________________
‘John Wesley once received a note which said, “The Lord has told me to tell you that He doesn’t need your book-learning, your Greek, and your Hebrew.”

Wesley answered “Thank you, sir. Your letter was superfluous, however, as I already knew the Lord has no need for my ‘book-learning,’ as you put it. However—although the Lord has not directed me to say so—on my own responsibility I would like to say to you that the Lord does not need your ignorance, either.”

Osborne & Woodward, ‘Handbook for Bible study’, pp. 13-14 (1979)

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">Apologetics

#10 gabe

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Posted 21 April 2004 - 08:31 PM

Fortigurn,

I was surpised to see that you have posted 8 times. It would really be nice if we could stick to a one-post response, otherwise things could quickly get messy.
What do you say?


Let's deal with a couple of word definitions first.

It is claimed by Gabe that the word aion does not refer to a duration without end. Whilst I agree that in certain contexts it can mean simply 'an undetermined duration' or 'an age', I contest that it is used most commonly to refer to a time without end.


I would contest the opposite. The usual usage of ‘aion’ and its derivatives entails time, and not timelessness. For instance, the Aaronic priesthood is said to be "everlasting," Num. 25:13. The land of Canaan is given as an "everlasting" possession, Gen. 17:8, and 13:15. In Deut. 23:3, "for ever" is distinctly made an equivalent to "even to the tenth generation." In Lam. 5:19, "for ever and ever" is the equivalent of from "generation to generation." The inhabitants of Palestine are to be bondsmen "for ever," Lev. 25:46. In Num. 18:19, the heave offerings of the holy things are a covenant "for ever." Caleb obtains his inheritance "for ever," Josh. 14:9. And DAVID'S seed is to endure "for ever," his throne "for ever," his house "for ever;" nay, the passover is to endure "for ever;" and in Isaiah 32:14, the forts and towers shall be "dens for ever, until the spirit be poured upon us." So in Jude 7, Sodom and Gomorrah are said to be suffering the vengeance of eternal (aeonian) fire, i.e., their temporal overthrow by fire, for they have a definite promise of final restoration. -- Ez. 16:55.



The principal difficulty with Gabe's claim is that it results in a counterintuitive interpretation of a range of passages.

If aion does not refer to a time without end, but refers only to a limited time of undetermined duration, then we are led inevitably to the conclusion that:


God will not live forever:

Deuteronomy 32:
40 For I lift up my hand to heaven, and say, I live for ever.

Deuteronomy 32:
40 oti arw eiv ton ouranon thn ceira mou kai omoumai th dexia mou kai erw zw egw eiv ton aiwna.

Psalm 9:
7 But the LORD shall endure forever: he hath prepared his throne for judgment.

Psalm 9:7 (9:8)
kai o kuriov eiv ton aiwna menei htoimasen en krisei ton yronon autou.

God's mercy will not last forever (a thought completely counterintuitive to Universalist dogma):

1 Chronicles 16:
34 O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever.

1 Chronicles 16:
34 exomologeisye tw kuriw oti agayon oti eiv ton aiwna to eleov autou 

God will not be king or rule forever:

Psalm 29:
10 The LORD sitteth upon the flood; yea, the LORD sitteth King forever.

Psalm 29:10 (28:10)
kuriov ton kataklusmon katoikiei kai kayietai kuriov basileuv eiv ton aiwna .

Psalm 66:
7 He ruleth by his power forever; his eyes behold the nations: let not the rebellious exalt themselves. Selah.

Psalm 66:7 (65:7)
tw despozonti en th dunasteia autou tou aiwnov oi ofyalmoi autou epi ta eynh epiblepousin oi parapikrainontev mh uqousywsan en eautoiv diaqalma .

God's glory will not last forever:

Psalm 104:
31 The glory of the LORD shall endure forever: the LORD shall rejoice in his works.

Psalm 104:31 (103:31)
htw h doxa kuriou eiv ton aiwna eufranyhsetai kuriov epi toiv ergoiv autou

God's truth will not last forever:

Psalm 117:
2 For his merciful kindness is great toward us: and the truth of the LORD endureth forever. Praise ye the LORD.

Psalm 117:2 (116:2)
oti ekrataiwyh to eleov autou ef hmav kai h alhyeia tou kuriou menei eiv ton aiwna.

God's Kingdom will not last forever:

Daniel 2:
44 And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.

Daniel 2:
44 kai en taiv hmeraiv twn basilewn ekeinwn anasthsei o yeov tou ouranou basileian htiv eiv touv aiwnav ou diafyarhsetai kai h basileia autou law eterw ouc upoleifyhsetai leptunei kai likmhsei pasav tav basileiav kai auth anasthsetai eiv touv aiwnav.

The reward of the righteous does not last forever:

Daniel 12:
3 And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars forever and ever.

Daniel 12:
3 kai oi sunientev eklamqousin wv h lamprothv tou sterewmatov kai apo twn dikaiwn twn pollwn wv oi asterev eiv touv aiwnav kai eti.

And that's just the Old Testament, before we even get into the New.

But we only really need one verse to cause problems for the Universalist view of aion, and it's right here:

Matthew 25:
46 And these will depart into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

If the Universalist interpretation is accurate, then although the wicked do not receive a punishment which lasts forever, the righteous do not receive a reward which lasts forever. In fact, at the end of the duration, the righteous die. This is not compatible either with Scripture, or Universalism.



This is but a simple grammatical misunderstanding on your part. 'Aionion' may be applied as an epithet to that which is endless, but the idea of endlessness is not derived from the epithet itself, but from the object to which the epithet is applied. The fact that God is described as the God of the ages does not preclude His eternality for the same reason that His being the God of the Earth does not preclude His sovereignity over the entire universe.

You have reasoned that if 'aionion' does not mean 'eternal,' then believers don't have eternal life. This is illogical. The doctrine of eternal life does not hinge upon the word 'aionion' but on the passages which clearly promise us immortality (such as 1 Corinthians 15). 'zoe aionion' simply signifies our immortal life insofar as it pertains to the final ages.

So, God's mercy does last forever, but not because of any inherent force of the words 'aion' and 'olam'. The fact that God's truth, kingdom, and mercy exists throughout the age(s) does not imply that these will cease at the conclusion of the ages.


The strongest expression of eternality is 'for ever and ever', which incorporates the word aion. In the following places, it is evident that this expression is used of a duration which has absolutely no end:

Exodus 15:
18 The LORD shall reign for ever and ever.

1 Chronicles 16:
36 Blessed be the LORD God of Israel for ever and ever. And all the people said, Amen, and praised the LORD.

1 Chronicles 29:
10 Wherefore David blessed the LORD before all the congregation: and David said, Blessed be thou, LORD God of Israel our father, for ever and ever.

Nehemiah 9:
5 Then the Levites, Jeshua, and Kadmiel, Bani, Hashabniah, Sherebiah, Hodijah, Shebaniah, and Pethahiah, said, Stand up and bless the LORD your God for ever and ever: and blessed be thy glorious name, which is exalted above all blessing and praise.

Psalm 9:
5 Thou hast rebuked the heathen, thou hast destroyed the wicked, thou hast put out their name for ever and ever.

Psalm 10:
16 The LORD is King for ever and ever: the heathen are perished out of his land.

Psalm 148:
6 He hath also stablished them for ever and ever: he hath made a decree which shall not pass.

Isaiah 30:
8 Now go, write it before them in a table, and note it in a book, that it may be for the time to come for ever and ever:

Daniel 2:
20 Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his:

Daniel 7:
18 But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever.

Daniel 12:
3 And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.

In all of these passages, the Hebrew phrase which is rendered 'for ever and ever' in the KJV, is rendered 'aiwn aiwn' in the LXX.

The phrase 'aiwn aiwn' therefore unavoidably means 'for ever and ever' - an everlasting duration which does not come to an end.

In the following New Testament passages, the same phrase is used:

Galatians 1:
5 To whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Philippians 4:
20 Now unto God and our Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

1 Timothy 1:
17 Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

2 Timothy 4:
18 And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Hebrews 13:
21 Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

1 Peter 4:
11 If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

1 Peter 5:
11 To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

Revelation 1:
6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

Revelation 4:
9 And when those beasts give glory and honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever,

Revelation 4:
10 The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying,

Revelation 5:
13 And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.

Revelation 5:
14 And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever.

Revelation 7:
12 Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen.

Revelation 10:
6 And sware by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer:

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 and ever.

Revelation 15:
7 And one of the four beasts gave unto the seven angels seven golden vials full of the wrath of God, who liveth for ever and ever.

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. 



The reference to a time without end is unmistakable.


You are mistaken. The phrase 'eis tous aionas ton aionon' literally translates as "unto the ages of the ages," and its grammatical structure is akin to the phrase "the holies of the holies."

In Ex. 26:33 (LXX), the text reads: "tou hagiou ton hagion" (in the holy of the holies). This is similar to the "eon of the eons" of Eph. 3:21. In II Kings 8:6 (LXX) we see, eis ta hagia ton hagion, "for the holies of the holies"-similar to "eons of the eons." The "holy of the holies" and "holies of the holies" refer to the tabernacle. Psalm 44:7 says, ho thronos sou ho theos, eis ton aiona tou aionos, "Thy throne, O God, is for the eon of eon"-similar to Heb. 1:8. Daniel 7:18: "until eon of the eons" and similar to that of Eph. 3:21, where a singular is followed by a plural, "eon of the eons." In these expressions we see the eons corresponding to the holies in the tabernacle. While there are many different teachings on the types in the Tabernacle of Moses, it should not be too difficult to see that there were at least five divisions: (1) without the camp; (2) in the camp; (3) in the court; (4) in the holy place; and (5) in the holy of holies. These may be likened to the five eons we find in the Scriptures (past eons, present eon, future eons). The last eon is called the "eon of the eons," because it, like the "holy of holies," is the climax of the others. In Hebrews chapter 9, the Greek text of Nestle reads (margin v. 25), eis ta hagia ton hagion, "into the holies of the holies," and (v. 3), hagia hagion, "holies of holies." Just as the two holy places in the tabernacle are called the holies of holies, so the last two eons are often called the eons of the eons. As the tabernacle illustrated man's approach to God, it corresponds closely with the eonian times, which also brings man to God. The "holy of holies" was a single holy place. The "eon of eons," a single eon. It was the pre-eminence of the "holy of holies," in relation to the other holy places, which caused it to be so designated. So the pre-eminence of the "eon of the eons" lies in its being the fruitage and harvest of previous eons. The same is true of the "holies of the holies" of Heb. 9:25. They may be likened to the "eons of the eons" of Rev. 11:15; 22:5. Luke 1:33 says of Christ's "kingdom there shall be no end." While the kingdom itself will not end, but the reign of Christ for the eons of the eons will end when He delivers up the kingdom to the Father (1 Cor. 15:24-26).

If 'eis tous aionas ton aionon' really means endless time, then we have a blatant contradiction in God's word. Revelation tells us that Christ is to reign unto the ages of the ages, and 1 Corinthians 15 tells us that Christ will not reign forever. How are you going to have it? The ages of the ages do not constitute endlessness, but rather the final ages...and we know that the ages will end. Moreover, the phrase itself indicates that endless time is not in view:

Hebrews 1:8 is a quotation from Psalm 45:6, LXX, where the Greek text says, eis ton aiona tou aionos, "into the eon of the eon,"-the singular form for eon in both occurrences. The preposition eis is translated "into" or "unto;" idiomatically, "for." Bagster's Analytical Greek Lexicon and Concordance defines it: "eis, into, to as far as, to the extent of."

Dr. E.W. Bullinger's Lexicon and Concordance says (p. 804), "eis, unto, when referring to time, denoting either the interval up to a certain point, during; or the point itself as the object or aim of some purpose, up to, for."

Dr. Nigel Turner, in his book, Grammatical Insights into the N.T., says (p. 91), "eis involves a movement for development toward a goal." If eis means as far as, to the extent of, or a movement or development toward a goal, then it cannot be used with words meaning endless or unlimited time.




I said:

Kolasin is a noun meaning "punishment, chastening, correction, to cut-off as in pruning a tree to bare more fruit."




Fortigun replied:

The reference to pruning is illegitimate. The noun does derive from a root which has this sense, but the root is not under question here - the noun derived from it is. To claim that kolasin actually means 'to cut off as in pruning to bare more fruit' is simply incorrect. This is why we do not find this meaning listed within the semantic range of the word.

Here is the listing in LSJ:


QUOTE 
kol-a^sis , eôs, hę, checking the growth of trees, esp. almond-trees, Thphr.CP3.18.2 (pl.).

2. chastisement, correction, Hp.Praec.5, Pl.Ap.26a, al., Th.1.41; opp. timôria, Arist.Rh.1369b13; of divine retribution, Ev.Matt.25.46, al.: pl., Pl.Prt.323e, al., Phld.Ir.p.52 W.



Note that the only hint of the original 'pruning' aspect which remains is the cutting off - it is the checking of growth to which this word refers, not the encouragement.


Your points are well taken, although I still see plenty of reason to understand 'kolasis' as remedial punishment (considering the character of God and the symbolic imagery associated with the punishment He administers) and see no evidence in Matt. 25:46 which supports your position.

In the following passages (taken from the LXX), we find the word used of punishment without any suggestion of the action being for a remedial purpose:


QUOTE 
Jeremiah 18:
20 ei antapodidotai anti agaywn kaka oti sunelalhsan rhmata kata thv quchv mou kai thn kolasin autwn ekruqan moi mnhsyhti esthkotov mou kata proswpon sou tou lalhsai uper autwn agaya tou apostreqai ton yumon sou ap autwn

20 Forasmuch as evil is rewarded for good; for they have spoken words against my soul, and they have hidden the punishment they [meant] for me; remember that I stood before thy face, to speak good for them, to turn away thy wrath from them.

Ezekiel 14:
3 uie anyrwpou oi andrev outoi eyento ta dianohmata autwn epi tav kardiav autwn kai thn kolasin twn adikiwn autwn eyhkan pro proswpou autwn ei apokrinomenov apokriyw autoiv

Ezekiel 14:
3 Son of man, these men have conceived their devices in their hearts, and have set before their faces the punishment of their iniquities: shall I indeed answer them?

Ezekiel 14:
4 dia touto lalhson autoiv kai ereiv prov autouv tade legei kuriov anyrwpov anyrwpov ek tou oikou israhl ov an yh ta dianohmata autou epi thn kardian autou kai thn kolasin thv adikiav autou taxh pro proswpou autou kai elyh prov ton profhthn egw kuriov apokriyhsomai autw en oiv enecetai h dianoia autou

Ezekiel 14:
4 Therefore speak to them, and thou shalt say to them, Thus saith the Lord; Any man of the house of Israel, who shall conceive his devices in his heart, and shall set the punishment of his iniquity before his face, and shall come to the prophet; I the Lord will answer him [according to the things] in which his mind is entangled,

Ezekiel 14:
7 dioti anyrwpov anyrwpov ek tou oikou israhl kai ek twn proshlutwn twn proshluteuontwn en tw israhl ov an apallotriwyh ap emou kai yhtai ta enyumhmata autou epi thn kardian autou kai thn kolasin thv adikiav autou taxh pro proswpou autou kai elyh prov ton profhthn tou eperwthsai auton en emoi egw kuriov apokriyhsomai autw en w enecetai en autw

Ezekiel 14:
7 For any man of the house of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn in Israel, who shall separate himself from me, and conceive his imaginations in his heart, and set before his face the punishment of his iniquity, and come to the prophet to enquire of him concerning me; I the Lord will answer him, [according to the things] wherein he is entangled.

Ezekiel 18:
30 ekaston kata thn odon autou krinw umav oikov israhl legei kuriov epistrafhte kai apostreqate ek paswn twn asebeiwn umwn kai ouk esontai umin eiv kolasin adikiav

Ezekiel 18:
30 I will judge you, O house of Israel, saith the Lord, each one according to his way: be converted, and turn from all your ungodliness, and it shall not become to you the punishment of iniquity.

Ezekiel 43:
11 kai autoi lhmqontai thn kolasin autwn peri pantwn wn epoihsan kai diagraqeiv ton oikon kai tav exodouv autou kai thn upostasin autou kai panta ta prostagmata autou kai panta ta nomima autou gnwrieiv autoiv kai diagraqeiv enantion autwn kai fulaxontai panta ta dikaiwmata mou kai panta ta prostagmata mou kai poihsousin auta

Ezekiel 43:
11 And they shall bear their punishment for all the things that they have done: and thou shalt describe the house, and its entrances, and the plan thereof, and all its ordinances, and thou shalt make known to them all the regulations of it, and describe [them] before them: and they shall keep all my commandments, and all my ordinances, and do them.

Ezekiel 44:
12 any wn eleitourgoun autoiv pro proswpou twn eidwlwn autwn kai egeneto tw oikw israhl eiv kolasin adikiav eneka toutou hra thn ceira mou ep autouv legei kuriov o yeov

Ezekiel 44:
12 Because they ministered to them before their idols, and it became to the house of Israel a punishment of iniquity; therefore have I lifted up my hand against them, saith the Lord God.


Need I say that God's dealings with Israel have always been rooted in His loving intentions? As Romans 9-11 tell us, God's judgements on Israel are a means towards a reconciliatory end. The same holds truth for all mankind, for God loves all of us and punishes us only because He wants the best for us.

On the passage in Matthew, I said:

This verse cannot be cited as a proof against universal reconciliation (UR), for it gives no indication that one will not be grafted back in after being cut-off, and rather implies that the punishment is a means to a corrective end.


You replied:

Firstly, it gives every indication that there will not be a 'grafting in', because the very opposite image is used.


Absence of evidence does not constitute evidence for absence. Careful not to commit that ol' argument from silence fallacy. Sure, the only image being presented in this verse is that of a cutting-off.

Secondly, there is no implication whatever that this punishment is 'a means to a corrective end'. The context indicates no such thing.


Although this is debatable, I don't think that it would be expedient for me to focus on this, seeing that the most important point I was trying to make was the this verse is not a proof-text for either one of our positions.


Thirdly, the use of the word aion indicates that this punishment will last forever.


You're going to have to give me more than your say-so. So I suppose that Jonah was in the belly of the fish for eternity? What about 1 Cor 2:7....before eternity?


I said:

This verse, along with Daniel 12:2, is perfectly compatible with my position.



Fort replies:

Unfortunately for your position, the passage in Daniel 12:2 insists that not all will rise, and then goes on to tell us that of those who rise, not all will be rewarded.

It speaks of the punishment of the wicked, and the eternal life granted to the righteous. It says nothing of any stage afterwards during which everyone is reconciled. 


Again, you are arguing from silence. This passage does not indicate that those resurrected unto damnation will not be restored. Fortunately, the Bible is not silent concerning the eventual vivification of all (1 Cor 15:22-28).




1 Corinthians 15:22 For even as, in Adam, all are dying, thus also, in Christ, shall all be vivified.
23 Yet each in his own class: the Firstfruit, Christ; thereupon those who are Christ's in His presence;
24 thereafter the consummation, whenever He may be giving up the kingdom to His God and Father, whenever He should be nullifying all sovereignty and all authority and power.
25 For He must be reigning until He should be placing all His enemies under His feet.
26 The last enemy is being abolished: death.
27 For He subjects all under His feet. Now whenever He may be saying that all is subject, it is evident that it is outside of Him Who subjects all to Him.
28 Now, whenever all may be subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also shall be subjected to Him Who subjects all to Him, that God may be All in all.)-CLNT

I said:

Everyone who dies in Adam will be vivified in Christ. The parallelism is abundantly clear. Everyone will be restored from the condemnation that is in Adam, but each man in his own order. After Christ, that portion of humanity that is His at His coming and, after that, the rest of humanity to be vivified when Christ subjects all enemies and hands over His rule to the Father.




Fort responds:

Firstly, I would like to ask you why you chose this translation. Does it favour your interpretation? Will your interpretation stand up when read from other translations?


I chose the CLNT because it aptly translates the passage. But, yeah...my reading would stand up to any decent translation.

Secondly, I don't see that even this translation gives you any real support (although I can see you intend to equivocate using the ambiguous grammar in the translation).



Attempt to equivocate? Be specific, please, so that I might catch my error. Thanks.

1 Corinthians 15:22 For even as, in Adam, all are dying, thus also, in Christ, shall all be vivified.

This guarantees death to all who are in Adam, and life to all who are in Christ, but does not say that all are in Christ - or that all will be.


This guarantees that, just as In Adam everyone is dying, so In Christ will everyone be made alive. Just as by one man's disobedience we all died, so by one man's obedience shall we all be vivified. The text is plain. It is clearly parallelistic, contrasting the effects that two men have on the rest of mankind.


I said:

Everyone will be restored from the condemnation that is in Adam, but each man in his own order.




Fort:

This says no such thing. What it says is that only those in Christ will receive life:


QUOTE 
1 Corinthians 15:22 For even as, in Adam, all are dying, thus also, in Christ, shall all be vivified.
23 Yet each in his own class: the Firstfruit, Christ; thereupon those who are Christ's in His presence;



The part I have highlighted is clear. Only those who are in Christ will receive life. There would be no need to say this if everyone was eventually going to be saved. This is a statement of qualification.


It's not a qualification at all, but rather a simple contrast between the consequences of Adam's failure upon all men and the consequences of Christ's victory upon all men.

I said:

After Christ, that portion of humanity that is His at His coming and, after that, the rest of humanity to be vivified when Christ subjects all enemies and hands over His rule to the Father.




Fort: You are interpreting the word 'subjection' as if it means 'restoration'. Let's see what happens when we do that:


QUOTE 
24 thereafter the consummation, whenever He may be giving up the kingdom to His God and Father, whenever He should be nullifying all sovereignty and all authority and power.
25 For He must be reigning until He should be placing all His enemies under His feet.
26 The last enemy is being abolished: death.
27 For He restores all under His feet. Now whenever He may be saying that all is restored, it is evident that it is outside of Him Who restores all to Him.
28 Now, whenever all may be restored to Him, then the Son Himself also shall be restored to Him Who subjects all to Him, that God may be All in all.)-CLNT



It doesn't work, does it?


I never implied that "restored all under His feet" would be an accurate rendering. Rather, "placing all under His feet" entails restoration unto obedience. The portrait is plain. The act of subjecting His enemies entails an end of their resistance towards God's will and thus they will be in accord with God (The result of the subjection is a state wherein God is all in all).

Placing enemies under one's feet is not a sign of restoration. It is a sign of subjection, certainly, but not restoration.

If all enemies are eventually going to be restored, then we we have a problem with this verse:



26 The last enemy is being abolished: death.

How is death going to be restored?


Death is the very principle of enmity and alienation between the creature and the Creator. It is by means of the abolishment of death that the dead are delivered. Just as Christ will conquer those of His creatures which oppose Him (just as He conqueres Saul), so will he conquer that very principle of darkness. Yes, Christ will conquer both His sentimental creatures and the impersonal force of death.

I said:

God works all things according to the council of His will. Eph 1:11 "In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:"-KJV




Fort:

Yes He does. But this does not say that His will is inevitably accomplished with everyone.


Put the two together and the answer is an obvious deduction. God works all things according to His will, and His will is to save all mankind.


QUOTE
Moreover it is His will to save all mankind. 1 Timothy 2:4 "Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth."-KJV



This is His desire. But this does not say that His desire is inevitably accomplished with everyone.


Sure, it is His desire as it is also His purpose.


I said:

How will He accomplish His will? By His Son, who gave Himself as a ransom for all mankind. 1Tim 2:5-6 "FOR there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time."-KJV




Fort:

The ransom is available to all, but not all accept it. There are no passages which say that all will accept it.


1 Timothy 2:4-6 implies that everyone will accept it, for it plainly says that God's purpose is to save all mankind via the ransom of His son. I find nothing in the Bible which indicates that God will miss the mark. On the contrary, the Bible is clear that God cannot fail; He cannot sin (harmatia).

But there are more explicit passages which indicate that everyone will accept Christ. We are told that everyone will confess that Christ is Lord to the glory of the Father. A few points. First, would God be glorified by forcing people to cry "uncle," so to speak? Nay, God will not settle for such irreverent lip-service. A truly glorious victory would entail nothing less than the repentance of the sinner. Second, it is worthy to note that the word for 'confess' always signifies praise and thanksgiving throughout the Septuagint.


Romans 8:20 "For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope,
21 Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.
23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body."-KJV


This says nothing of universal reconciliation, but does give hope to those who are in Christ that they will receive a redemption of the body, and hope that the earth will be restored.


You are missing the clear meaning of the text, I'm afraid. The WHOLE creation will be delivered from corruption.

All things that came from God shall return to Him. Romans 11:36 "For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen."-KJV

This says nothing of universal reconciliation.


Well, if all things created by God will return to Him, what room is there for eternal exclusion? If all things will be united in God, then what room is there for eternal separation?

Colossians 1:15 "Who is the Image of the invisible God, Firstborn of every creature,
16 for in Him is all created, that in the heavens and that on the earth, the visible and the invisible, whether thrones, or lordships, or sovereignties, or authorities, all is created through Him and for Him,
17 and He is before all, and all has its cohesion in Him.
18 And He is the Head of the body, the ecclesia, Who is Sovereign, Firstborn from among the dead, that in all He may be becoming first,
19 for in Him the entire complement delights to dwell,
20 and through Him to reconcile all to Him (making peace through the blood of His cross), through Him, whether those on the earth or those in the heavens." -CLNT



This says that Christ was prepared for the purpose of extending reconciliation to all men, but gives no guarantee that it will occur.


All that was created through Christ is to be reconciled to God through Him. He will not fail, for the Word shall fullfill all that He was sent to accomplish. This passage says that all of the Creation will eventually be reconciled, and that believers have a special salvation in which we are presently reconciled. The whole passage reads matter of factly, and not contigently. Christ created all things. All things will be reconciled by Him.

Shalom!

Gabe

Edited by gabe, 21 April 2004 - 10:50 PM.


#11 Fortigurn

Fortigurn

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Posted 22 April 2004 - 07:39 AM

Hi Gabe,

[quote]I was surpised to see that you have posted 8 times. It would really be nice if we could stick to a one-post response, otherwise things could quickly get messy.
What do you say?[/quote]

Fine with me. I divided your post up into the separate issues it addressed, since I thought we would soon have several discussions running concurrently. It makes it easier for me to track a conversation that way, and means I can post a bit at at time on each issue, if I don't have time for a single post. But whatever you like.

[quote]The usual usage of ‘aion’ and its derivatives entails time, and not timelessness.[/quote]

I would like lexical, historical, and textual evidence for this please.

[quote]For instance, the Aaronic priesthood is said to be "everlasting," Num. 25:13. The land of Canaan is given as an "everlasting" possession, Gen. 17:8, and 13:15. In Deut. 23:3, "for ever" is distinctly made an equivalent to "even to the tenth generation." In Lam. 5:19, "for ever and ever" is the equivalent of from "generation to generation." The inhabitants of Palestine are to be bondsmen "for ever," Lev. 25:46. In Num. 18:19, the heave offerings of the holy things are a covenant "for ever." Caleb obtains his inheritance "for ever," Josh. 14:9. And DAVID'S seed is to endure "for ever," his throne "for ever," his house "for ever;" nay, the passover is to endure "for ever;" and in Isaiah 32:14, the forts and towers shall be "dens for ever, until the spirit be poured upon us."[/quote]

In every quote you have there, the meaning of the word is, in fact 'forever'. When this is applied to situations in which circumstances are not everlasting, it is called hyperbole. But the essential meaning of the word does not change. You are committing the fallacy of illegitimate totality transfer, in attempting to redefine the meaning of the word by its application in a certain context.

[quote]So in Jude 7, Sodom and Gomorrah are said to be suffering the vengeance of eternal (aeonian) fire, i.e., their temporal overthrow by fire, for they have a definite promise of final restoration. -- Ez. 16:55.[/quote]

The passage in Ezekiel 16:55 is actually speaking of Judah and Israel, under the figure of Sodom and Gomorrah. It is part of an extended parable which covers a few chapters, which is why people invariably miss this.

[quote]This is but a simple grammatical misunderstanding on your part. 'Aionion' may be applied as an epithet to that which is endless, but the idea of endlessness is not derived from the epithet itself, but from the object to which the epithet is applied. The fact that God is described as the God of the ages does not preclude His eternality for the same reason that His being the God of the Earth does not preclude His sovereignity over the entire universe.[/quote]

This is the fallacy of illegitimate totality transfer again. You are attempting to define the word by its application in specific contexts, rather than by the semantic range of the word itself. I would like lexical, historical, and textual evidence for your claim please.

In addition, I would like to know what the functional difference is between saying that God will live for the aion, or that He will live eis tous aionas ton aionon, and saying that He has immortality. I see no difference whatever.

But all that aside, this still needs to be addressed:

[quote]But we only really need one verse to cause problems for the Universalist view of aion, and it's right here:

Matthew 25:
46 And these will depart into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

If the Universalist interpretation is accurate, then although the wicked do not receive a punishment which lasts forever, the righteous do not receive a reward which lasts forever. In fact, at the end of the duration, the righteous die. This is not compatible either with Scripture, or Universalism.[/quote]

Let's continue:

[quote]You have reasoned that if 'aionion' does not mean 'eternal,' then believers don't have eternal life. This is illogical.[/quote]

It is not illogical. If the life promised to them is not eternal, then it has a termination point. If, as you claim, the term simply means 'towards a goal', or 'to an undetermined point in time', then it has a termination point.

[quote]The doctrine of eternal life does not hinge upon the word 'aionion' but on the passages which clearly promise us immortality (such as 1 Corinthians 15).[/quote]

You're missing the point. The point is that you are contradicting yourself. On the one hand you interpret a passage as saying that the righteous rewarded with immortality. On the other hand you interpret a different passage as saying that the righteous are rewarded with a life which has a termination point. These two statements cannot stand together.

[quote]'Kolasin aionion' simply signifies our immortal life insofar as it pertains to the final ages.[/quote]

I beg your pardon? The phrase kolasin aionion is the phrase used to describe the punishment of the wicked, not the reward of the righteous.

This said, there is nothing in the passage in Matthew 25 which qualifies the life given to the righteous as being 'our immortal life as it pertains to the final ages'.

[quote]So, God's mercy does last forever, but not because of any inherent force of the words 'aion' and 'olam'. The fact that God's truth, kingdom, and mercy exists throughout the age(s) does not imply that these will cease at the conclusion of the ages.[/quote]

Phrases such as that which is translated 'His mercy endureth forever' do not mean 'throughout the ages'. If your interpretation is correct, then there are no statements which guarantee the eternal existence of God, the eternal nature of His promises, the eternal nature of His characteristics, or the eternal length of His reign.

In each and every case, the phrase used is the one which you insist has a definite but undetermined termination point at some time in the future. This is a problem I wish to see addressed.

Naturally, this leads you into grave difficulties with the Hebrew and Greek phrases which are translated 'for ever and ever':

[quote]The phrase 'eis tous aionas ton aionon' literally translates as "unto the ages of the ages,"...[/quote]

That is the literal translation of each separate word, but that is not an accurate translation of the phrase. You are committing the root word fallacy, and abandoning the interpretation of the phrase as an idiom (which it undeniably is).

[quote]...and its grammatical structure is akin to the phrase "the holies of the holies."[/quote]

The fact that its grammatical structure is akin to the phrase 'the holiest of holies' does not support your point. What it indicates is that the phrase is an idiom, and ought to be interpreted as such - not as a set of discrete words.

[quote]In Ex. 26:33 (LXX), the text reads: "tou hagiou ton hagion" (in the holy of the holies). This is similar to the "eon of the eons" of Eph. 3:21.[/quote]

The grammatical structure of the idiom is similar. There the similarity ends. The rest of this was mere speculation.

[quote]While the kingdom itself will not end, but the reign of Christ for the eons of the eons will end when He delivers up the kingdom to the Father (1 Cor. 15:24-26).[/quote]

Here you state clearly that you believe that 'eis tous aionas ton aionon' refers to a time with a termination point. This supports my previous statement that your claims result in a counterintuitive interpretation of many passages which would otherwise suggest eternality.

[quote]If 'eis tous aionas ton aionon' really means endless time, then we have a blatant contradiction in God's word. Revelation tells us that Christ is to reign unto the ages of the ages, and 1 Corinthians 15 tells us that Christ will not reign forever. How are you going to have it?[/quote]

This is not a contradiction. The reign of Christ as representative of his Father will continue for eternity. But at the end of the Kingdom age, the Father will commence a personal rule as King, without the necessity of a representative.

[quote]The ages of the ages do not constitute endlessness, but rather the final ages...and we know that the ages will end.[/quote]

Here again you assert (without proof), that you believe that 'eis tous aionas ton aionon' refers to a time with a termination point. This supports my previous statement that your claims result in a counterintuitive interpretation of many passages which would otherwise suggest eternality.

[quote]Moreover, the phrase itself indicates that endless time is not in view:

Hebrews 1:8 is a quotation from Psalm 45:6, LXX, where the Greek text says, eis ton aiona tou aionos, "into the eon of the eon,"-the singular form for eon in both occurrences. The preposition eis is translated "into" or "unto;" idiomatically, "for." Bagster's Analytical Greek Lexicon and Concordance defines it: "eis, into, to as far as, to the extent of."

Dr. E.W. Bullinger's Lexicon and Concordance says (p. 804), "eis, unto, when referring to time, denoting either the interval up to a certain point, during; or the point itself as the object or aim of some purpose, up to, for."

Dr. Nigel Turner, in his book, Grammatical Insights into the N.T., says (p. 91), "eis involves a movement for development toward a goal." If eis means as far as, to the extent of, or a movement or development toward a goal, then it cannot be used with words meaning endless or unlimited time.[/quote]

You are committing the root word fallacy by dividing up an idiom into its discrete units. The meaning of theentire idiom is not to be governed by one particular application of one particular part of the semantic range of any of its constituent words. It needs to be translated as an idiom, not broken up.

In addition, you are committing the fallacy of illegitimate totality transfer. The word eis as an individual word bears the semantic range mentioned here, but its precise meaning in a given context is not to be represented as the entire semantic range in any context.

And once more, I note that you are translating the phrase 'eis tous aionas ton aionon' as a time duration having a specific termination point. I know of no reputable lexical or translation authority which interprets the phrase in this way. I know of none which interpret it as meaning 'the final ages' as opposed to timelessness.

[quote]Your points are well taken, although I still see plenty of reason to understand 'kolasis' as remedial punishment (the character of God and the symbolic imagery associated with the punishment he administers)...[/quote]

This is speculation. I want to see evidence please.

[quote]...and see no evidence in Matt. 25:46 which supports your position.[/quote]

My point is that the kolasin in Matthew 25:46 is the punishment of the wicked. The text states this plainly. My point is also that the kolasin in Matthew 25:46 endures forever. The text states this plainly also.

[quote]Need I say that God's dealings with Israel have always been rooted in His loving intentions?[/quote]

As a nation, yes. But this does not change the fact that many of those whom He punished were actually destroyed. The punishment was not for their correction, or to turn them aside to a better way of life. It was intended to remove them from the face of the earth. And you seem to have neglected the punishment mentioned there which was inflicted not by God, but by men.

[quote]As Romans 9-11 tell us, God's judgements on Israel are a means towards a reconciliatory end.[/quote]

As a nation, yes. But the principle does not hold true for every individual.

[quote]The same holds truth for all mankind, for God loves all of us and punishes us only because He wants the best for us.[/quote]

This does not preclude the fact that God also metes out punishments which are intended to be final and everlasting.

[quote]On the passage in Matthew, I said:

[quote]This verse cannot be cited as a proof against universal reconciliation (UR), for it gives no indication that one will not be grafted back in after being cut-off, and rather implies that the punishment is a means to a corrective end.[/quote]

You replied:

[quote]Firstly, it gives every indication that there will not be a 'grafting in', because the very opposite image is used.[/quote]

Absence of evidence does not constitute evidence for absence. Careful not to commit that ol' argument from silence fallacy. Sure, the only image being presented in this verse is that of a cutting-off.[/quote]

I am not committing the argument from silence. I am exegeting the text.

Thus:

  • I claim that this text declares the punishment of the wicked, and the reward of the righteous - it does

  • I claim that this text declares the punishment of the wicked and the reward of the righteous to be eternal in duration - it does

  • I claim that no mention whatever is made of any cessation of the punishment of the wicked, or the reward of the righteous - it isn't

  • I claim that the text gives absolutely no indication whatever that there is another reward later, in which the wicked are involved - it doesn't

So you see, I'm not arguing from silence. I'm arguing straight from the text. And the text necessarily excludes the Universalist doctrine.

But you are arguing from silence. An argument from silence is an argument predicated on the absence of evidence. Your argument is indeed predicated on the absence of evidence. You claim that the absence of a denial of the Universalist doctrine actually renders this verse incapable of being used against it.

You argue:

[quote]This verse cannot be cited as a proof against universal reconciliation (UR), for it gives no indication that one will not be grafted back in after being cut-off...[/quote]

That is the argument from silence, and it is a logical fallacy.

I wrote:

[quote]Secondly, there is no implication whatever that this punishment is 'a means to a corrective end'. The context indicates no such thing.[/quote]

You replied:

[quote]Although this is debatable, I don't think that it would be expedient for me to focus on this, seeing that the most important point I was trying to make was the this verse is not a proof-text for either one of our positions.[/quote]

It's not debatable at all. There is nothing in the text to suggest this. And I have demonstrated that the verse is indeed a proof text for my position, since it declares both the punishment of the wicked and the reward of the righteous to be eternal in duration.

I wrote:

[quote]Thirdly, the use of the word aion indicates that this punishment will last forever.[/quote]

You replied:

[quote]You're going to have to give me more than your say-so. So I suppose that Jonah was in the belly of the fish for eternity? What about 1 Cor 2:7....before eternity?[/quote]

See previous comments on aion, especially my comment on hyperbole.

[quote]I said:

[quote]This verse, along with Daniel 12:2, is perfectly compatible with my position.[/quote]

Fort replies:

[quote]Unfortunately for your position, the passage in Daniel 12:2 insists that not all will rise, and then goes on to tell us that of those who rise, not all will be rewarded.

It speaks of the punishment of the wicked, and the eternal life granted to the righteous. It says nothing of any stage afterwards during which everyone is reconciled.[/quote]

Again, you are arguing from silence. This passage does not indicate that those resurrected unto damnation will not be restored.[/quote]

I am not arguing from silence, since my argument is predicated on the fact that the text which is present actually excludes your position. The fact that it excludes your position is the reason why your position is absent from the text.

But you are arguing from silence. An argument from silence is an argument predicated on the absence of evidence. Your argument is indeed predicated on the absence of evidence. You claim that the absence of a denial of the Universalist doctrine actually renders this verse incapable of being used against it.

Here you go again:

[quote]This passage does not indicate that those resurrected unto damnation will not be restored.[/quote]

That is the argument from silence, and it is a logical fallacy.

[quote]I said:

[quote]Everyone who dies in Adam will be vivified in Christ. The parallelism is abundantly clear. Everyone will be restored from the condemnation that is in Adam, but each man in his own order. After Christ, that portion of humanity that is His at His coming and, after that, the rest of humanity to be vivified when Christ subjects all enemies and hands over His rule to the Father.[/quote]

Fort responds:

[quote]Firstly, I would like to ask you why you chose this translation. Does it favour your interpretation? Will your interpretation stand up when read from other translations?[/quote]

I chose the CLNT because it aptly translates the passage. But, yeah...my reading would stand up to any decent translation.[/quote]

We shall see.

I wrote:

[quote]Secondly, I don't see that even this translation gives you any real support (although I can see you intend to equivocate using the ambiguous grammar in the translation).[/quote]

You replied:

[quote]Attempt to equivocate? Be specific, please, so that I might catch my error. Thanks.[/quote]

The translation you have provided is hyperliteral, which means that it does not render the grammar idiomatically. This provides you with the illusion of a license to interpret the grammar as you please. So you choose to interpret the grammar in such a way as suggests support for your case. This is illegitimate exegesis.

I wrote:

[quote]This guarantees death to all who are in Adam, and life to all who are in Christ, but does not say that all are in Christ - or that all will be.[/quote]

You replied:

[quote]This guarantees that, just as In Adam everyone is dying, so In Christ will everyone be made alive. Just as by one man's disobedience we all died, so by one man's obedience shall we all be vivified. The text is plain. It is clearly parallelistic, contrasting the effects that two men had on the rest of mankind.[/quote]

I agree that all those in Christ will be made alive. But this does not say that all will be in Christ.

[quote]It's not a qualification at all, but rather a simple contrast between the consequences of Adam's failure upon all men and the consequences of Christ's victory upon all men.[/quote]

If this were the case, then saying that those who are in Christ will be rewarded would be redundant. In any case, the statement does not guarantee the consequences of Christ's victory upon all men.

[quote]I never implied that "restored all under His feet" would be an accurate rendering. Rather, "placing all under His feet" entails restoration unto obedience.[/quote]

I don't see the difference in meaning between what I wrote and what you've written. But you see Gabe, you're not actually translating the idiom, are you? Nowhere do we find the idiom 'placed under his feet' meaning 'restored unto obedience', and such a translation fails manifestly when you attempt to apply it to death, as I have shown.

[quote]Death is the very principle of enmity and alienation between the creature and the Creator. It is by means of the abolishment of death that the dead are delivered. Just as Christ will conquer those of His creatures which oppose Him (just as He conqueres Saul), so will he conquer that very principle of darkness. Yes, Christ will conquer both His sentimental creatures and the impersonal force of death.[/quote]

But you claimed this:

[quote]..."placing all under His feet" entails restoration unto obedience...[/quote]

This interpretation of the idiom fails completely when applied to death. It fails because it is an illegitimate translation of the idiom. I want to see lexical, historical, and textual evidence that the phrase 'place under his feet' entails 'restoration unto obedience'.

[quote]I said:

[quote]God works all things according to the council of His will. Eph 1:11 "In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:"-KJV[/quote]

Fort:

[quote]Yes He does. But this does not say that His will is inevitably accomplished with everyone.[/quote]

Put the two together and the answer is an obvious deduction. God works all things according to His will, and His will is to save all mankind.[/quote]

This is syllogistic reasoning predicated on a false premise - that God never allows His will to be contradicted by the will of man. But He does.

[quote]1 Timothy 2:4-6 implies that everyone will accept it, for it plainly says that God's purpose is to save all mankind via the ransom of His son. I find nothing in the Bible which indicates that God will miss the mark. On the contrary, the Bible is clear that God cannot fail; He cannot sin (harmatia).[/quote]

This is a fallacy of equivocation. There is nothing in 1 Timothy 2:4-6 which says that God will miss the mark if not all men are saved. Furthermore, you have again failed to address the fact that God allows His will to be contradicted by the will of man. Free will is not possible otherwise.

[quote]But there are more explicit passages which indicate that everyone will accept Christ. We are told that everyone will confess that Christ is Lord to the glory of the Father. A few points. First, would God be glorified by forcing people to cry "uncle," so to speak? Nay, God will not settle for such irreverent lip-service. A truly glorious victory would entail nothing less than the repentance of the sinner. Second, it is worthy to note that the word for 'confess' always signifies praise and thanksgiving throughout the Septuagint.[/quote]

This fails for two reasons. Firstly, because you have previously claimed that some of these people will, in fact, obey by virtue of being made subject (which is crying uncle if ever I read it). Secondly, the 'all' her qualified in many other passages.

[quote][quote]Romans 8:20 "For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope,
21 Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.
23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body."-KJV

This says nothing of universal reconciliation, but does give hope to those who are in Christ that they will receive a redemption of the body, and hope that the earth will be restored.[/quote]

You are missing the clear meaning of the text, I'm afraid. The WHOLE creation will be delivered from corruption.[/quote]

This says that the creation was made subject to the bondage of corruption, and that it will be delivered from that corruption. But it does not say that the whole creation will be delivered. Not only that, but you have failed to identify why it is that if 'the whole creation' includes all the people, that Paul should differentiate Christians from 'the whole creation' in verses 22-23:

[quote]22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.
23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.[/quote]

When language such as 'they' and 'ourselves' is used ('them' and 'us'), it is manifest that two different groups are under discussion.

You wrote:

[quote]All things that came from God shall return to Him. Romans 11:36 "For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen."-KJV[/quote]

I replied:

[quote]This says nothing of universal reconciliation.[/quote]

You responded:

[quote]Well, if all things created by God will return to Him, what room is there for eternal exclusion? If all things will be united in God, then what room is there for eternal separation?[/quote]

But Gabe, this does not say 'all things created by God will return to Him'. Where does it say that?

I wrote:

[quote]Colossians 1:15 "Who is the Image of the invisible God, Firstborn of every creature,
16 for in Him is all created, that in the heavens and that on the earth, the visible and the invisible, whether thrones, or lordships, or sovereignties, or authorities, all is created through Him and for Him,
17 and He is before all, and all has its cohesion in Him.
18 And He is the Head of the body, the ecclesia, Who is Sovereign, Firstborn from among the dead, that in all He may be becoming first,
19 for in Him the entire complement delights to dwell,
20 and through Him to reconcile all to Him (making peace through the blood of His cross), through Him, whether those on the earth or those in the heavens." -CLNT

This says that Christ was prepared for the purpose of extending reconciliation to all men, but gives no guarantee that it will occur.[/quote]

You replied:

[quote]All that was created through Christ is to be reconciled to God through Him. He will not fail, for the Word shall fullfill all that He was sent to accomplish. This passage says that all of the Creation will eventually be reconciled, and that believers have a special salvation in which we are presently reconciled. The whole passage reads matter of factly, and not contigently. Christ created all things. All things will be reconciled by Him.[/quote]

This does not say that all things will be reconciled to him. You're equivocating. It's as simple as that.
Miserere mei Deus,
Secundum magnam misericordiam tuam.
Et secundum multitudinem miserationum tuarum
dele iniquitatem meam.

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">I am a Christadelphian. Click here to see my confession of faith.
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‘John Wesley once received a note which said, “The Lord has told me to tell you that He doesn’t need your book-learning, your Greek, and your Hebrew.”

Wesley answered “Thank you, sir. Your letter was superfluous, however, as I already knew the Lord has no need for my ‘book-learning,’ as you put it. However—although the Lord has not directed me to say so—on my own responsibility I would like to say to you that the Lord does not need your ignorance, either.”

Osborne & Woodward, ‘Handbook for Bible study’, pp. 13-14 (1979)

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target="_blank">Apologetics

#12 gabe

gabe

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Posted 22 April 2004 - 09:47 PM

Hey Fort.

You write: [quote]In every quote you have there, the meaning of the word is, in fact 'forever'. When this is applied to situations in which circumstances are not everlasting, it is called hyperbole. But the essential meaning of the word does not change. You are committing the fallacy of illegitimate totality transfer, in attempting to redefine the meaning of the word by its application in a certain context.[/quote]

The fallacy of illegitimate totality transfer consists in the inclusion of all the possible meanings of a word regardless of the limitations of the context. I don’t see how I am guilty of this. Now, you are baselessly asserting that 'aionion' means 'eternal'. You have not defended your conclusion, but are rather using your conclusion as your premise. Why should we go out on a limb in suggesting that this is hyperbole, when the usual sense works just fine? An aion is an age, and its adjective pertains to the age(s). You ask for lexical proof:

Dr. R.F. Weymouth, a translator who was adept in Greek, states in The New Testament in Modern Speech (p. 657), "Eternal, Greek aeonian, i.e., of the ages: Etymologically this adjective, like others similarly formed does not signify, "during" but "belonging to" the aeons or ages."

Dr. Marvin Vincent, in his Word Studies of the New Testament (vol. IV, p. 59): "The adjective aionios in like manner carries the idea of time. Neither the noun nor the adjective in themselves carries the sense of "endless" or "everlasting." Aionios means enduring through or pertaining to a period of time. Out of the 150 instances in the LXX (Septuagint), four-fifths imply limited duration."

Dr. F.W. Farrar, author of The Life of Christ and The Life and Work of St. Paul, as well as books about Greek grammar and syntax, writes in The Eternal Hope (p. 198 ) , "That the adjective is applied to some things which are "endless" does not, of course, for one moment prove that the word itself meant 'endless;' and to introduce this rendering into many passages would be utterly impossible and absurd." In his book, Mercy and Judgment, Dr. Farrar states (p. 378 ) , "Since aion meant 'age,' aionios means, properly, 'belonging to an age,' or 'age-long,' and anyone who asserts that it must mean 'endless' defends a position which even Augustine practically abandoned twelve centuries ago. Even if aion always meant 'eternity,' which is not the case in classic or Hellenistic Greek-aionios could still mean only 'belonging to eternity' and not 'lasting through it.'"

Lange's Commentary American Edition (vol. V, p. 48 ) , on Ecclesiastes chapter 1 verse 4, in commenting upon the statement "The earth abideth forever" says, "The preacher, in contending with the universalist, or restorationist, would commit an error, and, it may be, suffer a failure in his argument, should he lay the whole stress of it on the etymological or historical significance of the words, aion, aionios, and attempt to prove that, of themselves, they necessarily carry the meaning of endless duration." On page 45 of the same work, Dr. Taylor Lewis says: "The Greek aiones and aiones ton aionon, the Latin secula, and secula seculorum, the Old Saxon, or Old English of Wicliffe, to worldis or worldis (Heb. XIII 21), or our more modern phrase, for ever and ever, wherever the German ewig, was originally a noun denoting age or a vast period, just like the Greek, Latin, and Hebrew words corresponding to it."

The Rev. Bennet, in his Olam Hanneshamoth (p. 44), says, "The primary nature of olam is 'hidden,' and both as to past and future denotes a duration that is unknown." Olam is the Hebrew word for the Greek aion.

The Parkhurst Lexicon: "Olam (aeon) seems to be used much more for an indefinite than for an infinite time."

Dr. MacKnight: "I must be so candid as to acknowledge that the use of these terms 'forever,' 'eternal,' 'everlasting,' shows that they who understand these words in a limited sense when applied to punishment put no forced interpretation upon them."


The Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible, vol. 4, p. 643, says, "The O.T. and the N.T. are not acquainted with conception of eternity as timelessness." Page 644: "The O.T. has not developed a special term for eternity." Page 645: "The use of the word aion in the N.T. is determined very much by the O.T. and the LXX. Aion means long, distant, uninterrupted time. The intensifying plural occurs frequently in the N.T. ...but it adds no new meaning."

Dr. Lammenois, a man adept with languages, states, "In Hebrew and Greek the words rendered 'everlasting' have not this sense. They signify a long duration of time, a period; whence the phrase, during these eternities and beyond."

But let's see how you deal with some scriptures. How could 'aion' mean 'eternal' in the following instances? 1Cor.2:7; 2Tim.1:9; Titus 1:2 - before eternity?
How can an 'aion' be eternal when it is often found in its plural form, and when the Bible clearly outlines multiple aions?

PRESENT AGE (singular) - Gal.1:4; I Tim. 6:17; 2Tim.4:10; Titus 2:12.
THIS AGE (singular) - Luke 16:8; 1Cor.1:20; 2:6-8; Rom.12:2; Eph.2:2.
END OF AGE (singular) - Matt.13:39,40; 24:3
END OF THE AGES - Heb.9:26
THE COMING AGE (singular) - Matt.12:32: Mark 10:30; Luke 18:30; Eph.1:21; Heb.6:5
AGES (plural) TO COME - Eph.2:7, Luke 1:33; Heb.13:8.

Multiple eternities?

So I ask you, Fortigurn, to show me where aion/aionion necessarily, or even most likely means endlessness, and to provide your reasons for contesting such.

I said: [quote]'Aionion' may be applied as an epithet to that which is endless, but the idea of endlessness is not derived from the epithet itself, but from the object to which the epithet is applied. The fact that God is described as the God of the ages does not preclude His eternality for the same reason that His being the God of the Earth does not preclude His sovereignity over the entire universe. [/quote]

Fort replies: [quote]This is the fallacy of illegitimate totality transfer again. You are attempting to define the word by its application in specific contexts, rather than by the semantic range of the word itself.[/quote]

I challenge you to show me how exactly I have failed to define the word according to context, and how I failed to take into consideration its semantic range.

[quote]In addition, I would like to know what the functional difference is between saying that God will live for the aion, or that He will live eis tous aionas ton aionon, and saying that He has immortality. I see no difference whatever.[/quote]

The difference is simply that, when aion is applied to God, the writer is merely noting the relationship between God and the age(s). Similarly, the phrase "the God of Israel" expresses God's relationship to His chosen nation.

I said: [quote]You have reasoned that if 'aionion' does not mean 'eternal,' then believers don't have eternal life. This is illogical. [/quote]

Fort: [quote]It is not illogical. If the life promised to them is not eternal, then it has a termination point. If, as you claim, the term simply means 'towards a goal', or 'to an undetermined point in time', then it has a termination point.[/quote]

You are, again, making a simple grammatical mistake. As I said before, 'aionion' is applied as an epithet to the immortal life that we have in Christ. When the Bible refers to this immortal life insofar as it pertains to the final ages, it attaches the word 'aionion' to the word 'zoe'. To suggest that our life in Christ will perish because the ages will come to an end is akin to arguing that God will cease to exist after the conclusion of the ages. Again, you are only arguing in a circle in claiming that the idea of eternality is inherent in the word 'aionion'.

I said: [quote]The doctrine of eternal life does not hinge upon the word 'aionion' but on the passages which clearly promise us immortality (such as 1 Corinthians 15). [/quote]

Fort: [quote]You're missing the point. The point is that you are contradicting yourself.  On the one hand you interpret a passage as saying that the righteous rewarded with immortality. On the other hand you interpret a different passage as saying that the righteous are rewarded with a life which has a termination point. These two statements cannot stand together.[/quote]

I have done no such thing, and what I have said on this matter suffices to prove that you are mistaken on this point.

I orginally said: [quote]'Kolasin aionion' simply signifies our immortal life insofar as it pertains to the final ages. [/quote]

Fort: [quote]I beg your pardon? The phrase kolasin aionion is the phrase used to describe the punishment of the wicked, not the reward of the righteous.[/quote]

Correct, and I corrected my typo before you posted this response.

[quote]This said, there is nothing in the passage in Matthew 25 which qualifies the life given to the righteous as being 'our immortal life as it pertains to the final ages'.[/quote]

The word 'aionion' is the qualifier. The adjective of 'aion' is that which pertains to an aion, and it should be clear to you by now that the usual meaning of aion is 'age', and not 'eternal'.

I said: [quote]So, God's mercy does last forever, but not because of any inherent force of the words 'aion' and 'olam'. The fact that God's truth, kingdom, and mercy exists throughout the age(s) does not imply that these will cease at the conclusion of the ages. [/quote]

[quote]Phrases such as that which is translated 'His mercy endureth forever' do not mean 'throughout the ages'. If your interpretation is correct, then there are no statements which guarantee the eternal existence of God, the eternal nature of His promises, the eternal nature of His characteristics, or the eternal length of His reign.[/quote]

This argument of yours assumes that aion/aionion is the only means the Bible has in expressing the concept of eternality. This is, need I say, flatly false. First, here are some words which denote eternality: akataluton (imperishable); amarantos and amarantinos (unfading); aphtharto (immortal, incorruptible); and also athanasian. Secondly, the idea of endlessness can be expressed in the Greek by attaching a negator to a word denoting time, such as is seen in Luke 1:33. So, you need to give me another reason to think that my interpretation is incorrect, for it jibes quite well with the usual usage of the terms olam/aion.

I said: [quote]The phrase 'eis tous aionas ton aionon' literally translates as "unto the ages of the ages,"... [/quote]

Fort: [quote]That is the literal translation of each separate word, but that is not an accurate translation of the phrase. You are committing the root word fallacy, and abandoning the interpretation of the phrase as an idiom (which it undeniably is).[/quote]

I see no reason whatsoever to conclude that this phrase "unto the ages of the ages" (which makes perfect literal sense) is an idiom. You are basically arguing thus: "It is an idiom because it is undeniably an idiom."

[quote]The fact that its grammatical structure is akin to the phrase 'the holiest of holies' does not support your point. What it indicates is that the phrase is an idiom, and ought to be interpreted as such - not as a set of discrete words.[/quote]

What indicators do you see which suggest that this phrase is idiomatic? Both phrases make fine sense, literally. The holy of the holies is the innermost chamber wherein God is present, just as the age of the ages is the crowning age of the ages, which precede it. On this note, we must be mindful of three distinct phrases, which are indiscriminately rendered as "forever and ever" in many (but certainly not all) translations. These three distinct Greek phrases translate into: "the age of the ages"; "the age of the age"; and the "ages of the ages." Just as the holies of the holies refers to the two innermost chambers of the tabernacle, so do the ages of the ages refer to the final two ages in which God's plan for the ages comes to a climax wherein He is all in all. Despite what you might think, there is no speculation going on here...it's a matter of fact.

I said:
[quote]While the kingdom itself will not end, but the reign of Christ for the eons of the eons will end when He delivers up the kingdom to the Father (1 Cor. 15:24-26). [/quote]



Fort: [quote]Here you state clearly that you believe that 'eis tous aionas ton aionon' refers to a time with a termination point. This supports my previous statement that your claims result in a counterintuitive interpretation of many passages which would otherwise suggest eternality.[/quote]

There is nothing at all counterintuitive about my understanding of the phrase, and there is nothing about the phrase that suggests eternality.

I said: [quote]If 'eis tous aionas ton aionon' really means endless time, then we have a blatant contradiction in God's word. Revelation tells us that Christ is to reign unto the ages of the ages, and 1 Corinthians 15 tells us that Christ will not reign forever. How are you going to have it? [/quote]

Fort: [quote]This is not a contradiction. The reign of Christ as representative of his Father will continue for eternity. But at the end of the Kingdom age, the Father will commence a personal rule as King, without the necessity of a representative.[/quote]

Evidence, please?

I wrote: [quote]Moreover, the phrase itself indicates that endless time is not in view:

Hebrews 1:8 is a quotation from Psalm 45:6, LXX, where the Greek text says, eis ton aiona tou aionos, "into the eon of the eon,"-the singular form for eon in both occurrences. The preposition eis is translated "into" or "unto;" idiomatically, "for." Bagster's Analytical Greek Lexicon and Concordance defines it: "eis, into, to as far as, to the extent of."

Dr. E.W. Bullinger's Lexicon and Concordance says (p. 804), "eis, unto, when referring to time, denoting either the interval up to a certain point, during; or the point itself as the object or aim of some purpose, up to, for."

Dr. Nigel Turner, in his book, Grammatical Insights into the N.T., says (p. 91), "eis involves a movement for development toward a goal." If eis means as far as, to the extent of, or a movement or development toward a goal, then it cannot be used with words meaning endless or unlimited time. [/quote]

Fort responds: [quote]You are committing the root word fallacy by dividing up an idiom into its discrete units. The meaning of theentire idiom is not to be governed by one particular application of one particular part of the semantic range of any of its constituent words. It needs to be translated as an idiom, not broken up.[/quote]

Again, you baselessly assert that this phrase, which makes fine sense as it stands literally, is idiomatic. You're going to have to give some reasons for disregarding the plain meaning of the phrase. Moreover, I do not see how I have committed the root fallacy. Could you explain? Thanks.

[quote]In addition, you are committing the fallacy of illegitimate totality transfer. The word eis as an individual word bears the semantic range mentioned here, but its precise meaning in a given context is not to be represented as the entire semantic range in any context.[/quote]

If you can think of a more appropriate rendering of the word 'eis', I'd be happy to learn of it. No fallacy here.

[quote]And once more, I note that you are translating the phrase 'eis tous aionas ton aionon' as a time duration having a specific termination point. I know of no reputable lexical or translation authority which interprets the phrase in this way. I know of none which interpret it as meaning 'the final ages' as opposed to timelessness.[/quote]


You know of no reputable lexical or translation authority which interprets the phrase in WHAT way, exactly? As you know, 'unto the ages of the ages' is the literal translation of the phrase. It makes fine literal sense, and I explained to you its meaning. The late and reputable Greek scholar William Barclay, for instance, didn't view the phrase as an idiom, but shared my understanding.


[quote]My point is that the kolasin in Matthew 25:46 is the punishment of the wicked. The text states this plainly. My point is also that the kolasin in Matthew 25:46 endures forever. The text states this plainly also.[/quote]

Endures forever? Nah. The text simply indicates that the punishment will be administered in the age(s).

I asked: [quote]Need I say that God's dealings with Israel have always been rooted in His loving intentions? [/quote]

Fort answers: [quote]As a nation, yes. But this does not change the fact that many of those whom He punished were actually destroyed. The punishment was not for their correction, or to turn them aside to a better way of life. It was intended to remove them from the face of the earth. And you seem to have neglected the punishment mentioned there which was inflicted not by God, but by men.[/quote]

God uses men to accomplish His purposes, and the Bible is quite clear on the fact that God has, in past times, inflicted judgement upon Israel by having other peoples conquer them, enslave them, etc. But, as Romans 9-11 clearly outlines, those individuals who undergo punitive destruction will be eventually restored. Paul speaks of the full inclusion of the Gentiles and the subsequent restoration of ALL Israel. All of Israel includes the elect as well as those vessels fitted unto destruction.

[I said, in reference to the corrective nature of God's judgements: [quote]The same holds truth for all mankind, for God loves all of us and punishes us only because He wants the best for us. [/quote]

Fort: [quote]This does not preclude the fact that God also metes out punishments which are intended to be final and everlasting.[/quote]

I am at a complete loss as to how everlasting destruction could be good for the person destroyed.

[quote]I am not committing the argument from silence. I am exegeting the text.

Thus:

I claim that this text declares the punishment of the wicked, and the reward of the righteous - it does

I claim that this text declares the punishment of the wicked and the reward of the righteous to be eternal in duration - it does

I claim that no mention whatever is made of any cessation of the punishment of the wicked, or the reward of the righteous - it isn't

I claim that the text gives absolutely no indication whatever that there is another reward later, in which the wicked are involved - it doesn't

So you see, I'm not arguing from silence. I'm arguing straight from the text. And the text necessarily excludes the Universalist doctrine.[/quote]

True, no mention is made in Matthew 25:46 of a restoration. This absence of evidence does not equal evidence of absence, lest you be guilty of arguing from silence. You say that this verse describes the punishment and the life as eternal. This is simply not the case. It describes the life and the punishment insofar as they pertain to the age(s). This does not mean that our life will therefore come to an end. We know that our life in Christ is eternal because the Bible clearly tells us that it is imperishable, not because of the words aion and aionion.

[quote]But you are arguing from silence. An argument from silence is an argument predicated on the absence of evidence. Your argument is indeed predicated on the absence of evidence. You claim that the absence of a denial of the Universalist doctrine actually renders this verse incapable of being used against it.[/quote]

No, I merely said that this verse, as it stands by itself, cannot be used as a proof-text for your position. You need to dig deeper than that. Moreover, my claim that a certain verse does is consistent with UR IS NOT tantamount to an argument from silence.

In reference to this verse, I said: [quote]This passage does not indicate that those resurrected unto damnation will not be restored. [/quote]

Fort: [quote]That is the argument from silence, and it is a logical fallacy.[/quote]

Incorrect. It would be an argument from silence if I said "This passage does not indicate that those resurrected unto damnation will not be restored, therefore UR is true.” I trust you can discern the difference.

In reference to the CLNT's rendering of 1 Corinthians 15:22-28, Fort remarks:

[quote]The translation you have provided is hyperliteral, which means that it does not render the grammar idiomatically. This provides you with the illusion of a license to interpret the grammar as you please. So you choose to interpret the grammar in such a way as suggests support for your case. This is illegitimate exegesis.[/quote]

Actually, the translation is on the mark. I challenge you to show me how exactly this rendering lends itself to a self-serving interpretation. How have I twisted the text, Fortigurn?

I wrote: [quote]This guarantees that, just as In Adam everyone is dying, so In Christ will everyone be made alive. Just as by one man's disobedience we all died, so by one man's obedience shall we all be vivified. The text is plain. It is clearly parallelistic, contrasting the effects that two men had on the rest of mankind.[/quote]

Fort: [quote]I agree that all those in Christ will be made alive. But this does not say that all will be in Christ.[/quote]

Rom 5:18 Therefore as by the offence of one [judgment came] upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one [the free gift came] upon all men unto justification of life.

It is clear. Adam's sin brought death and condemnation upon the rest of mankind, just as Christ's obedience will bring justification and life to all mankind. You are trying to avoid the plain meaning of the text, for the contrast is most clear.

I said: [quote]It's not a qualification at all, but rather a simple contrast between the consequences of Adam's failure upon all men and the consequences of Christ's victory upon all men. [/quote]

Fort: [quote]If this were the case, then saying that those who are in Christ will be rewarded would be redundant. In any case, the statement does not guarantee the consequences of Christ's victory upon all men.[/quote]

I didn't say that all who are in Christ will be rewarded. The text clearly says that everyone who is condemned because of Adam will be justified because of Christ. This is a matter of fact, not contingency. Moreover, one would be going out on a limb in suggesting that this passage is only saying that those who are in Christ will be made alive. It is saying much more than that.

I wrote:
[quote]I never implied that "restored all under His feet" would be an accurate rendering. Rather, "placing all under His feet" entails restoration unto obedience. [/quote]

Fort: [quote]I don't see the difference in meaning between what I wrote and what you've written. [/quote]

I don't know how to spell it out any better.

[quote]But you see Gabe, you're not actually translating the idiom, are you? Nowhere do we find the idiom 'placed under his feet' meaning 'restored unto obedience', and such a translation fails manifestly when you attempt to apply it to death, as I have shown.[/quote]

Ah, but the context of 1 Corinthians 15:22-28 demands that this subjection entails a restoration unto obedience, for the result of Christ's victory over His opposition results in a state wherein God fills those who were once alienated from Him. Moreover, the word for 'subjection' is 'hupotasso', and Paul says that Christ Himself will be subjected to the Father. This doesn't mean that He will be restored unto obedience, but that His will shall be totally subjected to the Father. So, in other words, the most basic meaning of "subjection," in this context, implies an accordance of wills. If an enemy is subjected, then obviously such a subjection consists in the abolishment of their opposition and a transformation unto obedience. In the case of Christ, He simply yields the independent rule that He was temporally granted from the Father. In any case, the subjection entails a harmony between God and His creatures.


I said: [quote]Death is the very principle of enmity and alienation between the creature and the Creator. It is by means of the abolishment of death that the dead are delivered. Just as Christ will conquer those of His creatures which oppose Him (just as He conqueres Saul), so will he conquer that very principle of darkness. Yes, Christ will conquer both His sentimental creatures and the impersonal force of death. [/quote]


Fort: [quote]This interpretation of the idiom fails completely when applied to death. It fails because it is an illegitimate translation of the idiom. I want to see lexical, historical, and textual evidence that the phrase 'place under his feet' entails 'restoration unto obedience'.[/quote]

From Blueletterbible:

[quote]"Hupotasso:"

1) to arrange under, to subordinate

2) to subject, put in subjection

3) to subject one's self, obey

4) to submit to one's control

5) to yield to one's admonition or advice

6) to obey, be subject
++++
A Greek military term meaning "to arrange [troop divisions] in a military fashion under the command of a leader". In non-military use, it was "a voluntary attitude of giving in, cooperating, assuming responsibility, and carrying a burden".[/quote]

But let's have the context determine its meaning. And, how does my interpretation fail miserably in the case of death?

Gabe:[quote]
Put the two together and the answer is an obvious deduction. God works all things according to His will, and His will is to save all mankind. [/quote]

Fort: [quote]This is syllogistic reasoning predicated on a false premise - that God never allows His will to be contradicted by the will of man. But He does.[/quote]

No, that was not my premise. My premise was simply that God is working all things according to His purpose. This does not mean that God gets what He wants always and all ways, but that God will achieve His ultimate purposes. There is plenty of room for free will here. So, the syllogism has yet to be addressed.

I wrote: [quote]1 Timothy 2:4-6 implies that everyone will accept it, for it plainly says that God's purpose is to save all mankind via the ransom of His son. I find nothing in the Bible which indicates that God will miss the mark. On the contrary, the Bible is clear that God cannot fail; He cannot sin (harmatia). [/quote]


Fort: [quote]This is a fallacy of equivocation. There is nothing in 1 Timothy 2:4-6 which says that God will miss the mark if not all men are saved. Furthermore, you have again failed to address the fact that God allows His will to be contradicted by the will of man. Free will is not possible otherwise.[/quote]

Firstly, I have not failed to address the fact that God's will can be temporarily contradicted, as I believe in freewill (yet I realize its logical limits). Secondly, I don't see the equivocation. Where is it? Thirdly, if God's eternal purpose is to save all mankind, and if He fails to do so, then He will miss the mark (sin). God cannot sin; He cannot fail. To suggest otherwise is to make Him in our image - we would make Him out to be a failure.


Gabe: [quote]But there are more explicit passages which indicate that everyone will accept Christ. We are told that everyone will confess that Christ is Lord to the glory of the Father. A few points. First, would God be glorified by forcing people to cry "uncle," so to speak? Nay, God will not settle for such irreverent lip-service. A truly glorious victory would entail nothing less than the repentance of the sinner. Second, it is worthy to note that the word for 'confess' always signifies praise and thanksgiving throughout the Septuagint. [/quote]



Fort: [quote]This fails for two reasons. Firstly, because you have previously claimed that some of these people will, in fact, obey by virtue of being made subject (which is crying uncle if ever I read it). Secondly, the 'all' her qualified in many other passages.[/quote]

It is not their crying "uncle!" which brings glory to God. Rather, after they are conquered by God, they will praise Him, for they would have been changed from a state of enmity to one of peace. If you can give me a legitimate reason to suspect that only some tongues shall confess, then I'd be happy to correct myself on this point.

[quote]This says that the creation was made subject to the bondage of corruption, and that it will be delivered from that corruption. But it does not say that the whole creation will be delivered. Not only that, but you have failed to identify why it is that if 'the whole creation' includes all the people, that Paul should differentiate Christians from 'the whole creation' in verses 22-23:


QUOTE 
22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.
23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.



When language such as 'they' and 'ourselves' is used ('them' and 'us'), it is manifest that two different groups are under discussion.[/quote]

Fortigurn, Fortigurn...Paul is merely noting that even we who have the first fruits of the spirit are groaning together with the whole creation. The whole creation shall be delivered...not just parts of it..all of it.

As for Romans 11:36 "For of him, and through him, and to him, [are] all things: to whom [be] glory for ever."

It is quite plain, is it not? All of creation came from God, is upheld by God, and has its destiny in God.

I said: [quote]All that was created through Christ is to be reconciled to God through Him. He will not fail, for the Word shall fullfill all that He was sent to accomplish. This passage says that all of the Creation will eventually be reconciled, and that believers have a special salvation in which we are presently reconciled. The whole passage reads matter of factly, and not contingently. Christ created all things. All things will be reconciled by Him. [/quote]



[quote]This does not say that all things will be reconciled to him. You're equivocating. It's as simple as that. [/quote]

Now, I am well aware of the fallacy of equivocation, but help me out! Where did I commit such? Nonetheless, my points regarding Colossians 1:15-23 still need to be addressed.

Peace Bro!

Edited by gabe, 23 April 2004 - 08:16 PM.


#13 Fortigurn

Fortigurn

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Posted 27 April 2004 - 01:55 PM

Hi Gabe,

I've pointed out that in the passages I quoted, the meaning of the word is 'forever'. You have argued that it is not, and committed the illegitimate totality transfer.

You write:

[quote]The fallacy of illegitimate totality transfer consists in the inclusion of all the possible meanings of a word regardless of the limitations of the context. I don’t see how I am guilty of this.[/quote]

You've done this in assuming that the meaning 'age' or 'ages' is legitimate in each and every one of those passages, regardless of the context.

[quote]Now, you are baselessly asserting that 'aionion' means 'eternal'. You have not defended your conclusion, but are rather using your conclusion as your premise.[/quote]

I am not asserting it baslessly. I have illustrated through a number of passages, the context of which militates against any interpretation of the word other than eternity.

[quote]Why should we go out on a limb in suggesting that this is hyperbole, when the usual sense works just fine?[/quote]

Because what you call 'the usual sense' doesn't work 'just fine'.

[quote]An aion is an age, and its adjective pertains to the age(s).[/quote]

So we should read 'May the king live for an age', or 'May the king live throughout the age when Christ will reign', or 'May the king's life pertain to the age'? Nonsense.

[quote]You ask for lexical proof:[/quote]

I did, and you gave me one quote from a single lexicon, which was written about 200 years ago (fortunately I have an original edition of that particular lexicon myself). You also gave me a host of quotes from various commentators, and a couple of dictionaries, some of which were written by people who were either Universalists or had Universalist sympathisers. You avoided studiously modern concordances, or any contemporary lexical authorities, especially the standard works such as BADG, LSJ, and BDB, which should have been your first port of call.

All you did was rip a set of standard quotes straight from some Universalist site. That is not research.

Let's go through your quotes:

[quote]Dr. R.F. Weymouth, a translator who was adept in Greek, states in The New Testament in Modern Speech (p. 657), "Eternal, Greek aeonian, i.e., of the ages: Etymologically this adjective, like others similarly formed does not signify, "during" but "belonging to" the aeons or ages."[/quote]

Etymologically it does, but we're not talking about the meaning of the etymological root, we're talking about the word itself.

This quote alone proves that insisting on the meaning 'age' or 'ages' is committing the etymological (or 'root word'), fallacy.

[quote]Dr. Marvin Vincent, in his Word Studies of the New Testament (vol. IV, p. 59): "The adjective aionios in like manner carries the idea of time. Neither the noun nor the adjective in themselves carries the sense of "endless" or "everlasting." Aionios means enduring through or pertaining to a period of time. Out of the 150 instances in the LXX (Septuagint), four-fifths imply limited duration."[/quote]

Firstly, Vincent makes assertions without evidence. Where is the data to support him? Secondly, what are you going to do with the other fifth?

[quote]Dr. F.W. Farrar, author of The Life of Christ and The Life and Work of St. Paul, as well as books about Greek grammar and syntax, writes in The Eternal Hope (p. 198 ) , "That the adjective is applied to some things which are "endless" does not, of course, for one moment prove that the word itself meant 'endless;' and to introduce this rendering into many passages would be utterly impossible and absurd." In his book, Mercy and Judgment, Dr. Farrar states (p. 378 ) , "Since aion meant 'age,' aionios means, properly, 'belonging to an age,' or 'age-long,' and anyone who asserts that it must mean 'endless' defends a position which even Augustine practically abandoned twelve centuries ago. Even if aion always meant 'eternity,' which is not the case in classic or Hellenistic Greek-aionios could still mean only 'belonging to eternity' and not 'lasting through it.'"[/quote]

Farrar 'is probably best labeled a hopeful universalist', according to a site which explained his Universalist leanings. I note as usual the lack of evidence supplied for the conclusion.

[quote]Lange's Commentary American Edition (vol. V, p. 48 ) , on Ecclesiastes chapter 1 verse 4, in commenting upon the statement "The earth abideth forever" says, "The preacher, in contending with the universalist, or restorationist, would commit an error, and, it may be, suffer a failure in his argument, should he lay the whole stress of it on the etymological or historical significance of the words, aion, aionios, and attempt to prove that, of themselves, they necessarily carry the meaning of endless duration."[/quote]

The lexical authorities (citing the relevant historical and textual data), do not support these conclusions. I see no evidence from Lange to support them either.

[quote]On page 45 of the same work, Dr. Taylor Lewis says: "The Greek aiones and aiones ton aionon, the Latin secula, and secula seculorum, the Old Saxon, or Old English of Wicliffe, to worldis or worldis (Heb. XIII 21), or our more modern phrase, for ever and ever, wherever the German ewig, was originally a noun denoting age or a vast period, just like the Greek, Latin, and Hebrew words corresponding to it."[/quote]

Orginally they may have been. But they ended up with the meaning 'everlasting' by at least the time of the LXX.

[quote]The Rev. Bennet, in his Olam Hanneshamoth (p. 44), says, "The primary nature of olam is 'hidden,' and both as to past and future denotes a duration that is unknown." Olam is the Hebrew word for the Greek aion.[/quote]

Is this all he wrote? If so, what evidence does he provide that there is no sense of eternality in the word?

[quote]The Parkhurst Lexicon: "Olam (aeon) seems to be used much more for an indefinite than for an infinite time."[/quote]

I have a copy of Parkhurt's Lexicon (1809). Let's see what it has for aion:

[quote]It denotes duration, or continuance of time, but with great variety.[/quote]

His first definition:

[quote]I.  Both in the singular and plural it signifies eternity, whether past or to come.[/quote]

There follow the other definitions within the semantic range, with which I'm perfectly happy (such as 'an age' or 'this world'), but you can see for yourself what he thought the primary meaning was.

Then, on aionios, he has:

[quote]I.  Eternal, having neither beginning nor end, Rom. xvi. 26 (comp. 1 Tim. 17.) Heb. ix.14.

II.  Eternal, without end.[/quote]

There follow the other definitions with which I'm perfectly happy (such as 'the ages of the world'), but you can see for yourself what he thought the primary meaning was. He also notes:

[quote]The LXX frequently uses this Adj. for the Heb. olawm.[/quote]

Still happy with Parkhurst as an authority? :w00t:

[quote]Dr. MacKnight: "I must be so candid as to acknowledge that the use of these terms 'forever,' 'eternal,' 'everlasting,' shows that they who understand these words in a limited sense when applied to punishment put no forced interpretation upon them."[/quote]

This is mere opinion, and no corroborating data is cited.

[quote]The Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible, vol. 4, p. 643, says, "The O.T. and the N.T. are not acquainted with conception of eternity as timelessness." Page 644: "The O.T. has not developed a special term for eternity." Page 645: "The use of the word aion in the N.T. is determined very much by the O.T. and the LXX. Aion means long, distant, uninterrupted time. The intensifying plural occurs frequently in the N.T. ...but it adds no new meaning."[/quote]

This is mere opinion, and no corroborating data is cited.

[quote]Dr. Lammenois, a man adept with languages, states, "In Hebrew and Greek the words rendered 'everlasting' have not this sense. They signify a long duration of time, a period; whence the phrase, during these eternities and beyond."[/quote]

This is mere opinion, and no corroborating data is cited.

[quote]But let's see how you deal with some scriptures. How could 'aion' mean 'eternal' in the following instances? 1Cor.2:7; 2Tim.1:9; Titus 1:2 - before eternity?[/quote]

It doesn't have to. Remember, I don't have to read aion as 'eternal' in every passage. But you must prove it doesn't.

[quote]How can an 'aion' be eternal when it is often found in its plural form, and when the Bible clearly outlines multiple aions?[/quote]

You misunderstand the use of the plural in Greek. The function of the plural is used as an intensifier for abstract concepts in which plurals have no real meaning.

[quote]PRESENT AGE (singular) - Gal.1:4; I Tim. 6:17; 2Tim.4:10; Titus 2:12.
THIS AGE (singular) - Luke 16:8; 1Cor.1:20; 2:6-8; Rom.12:2; Eph.2:2.
END OF AGE (singular) - Matt.13:39,40; 24:3
END OF THE AGES - Heb.9:26
THE COMING AGE (singular) - Matt.12:32: Mark 10:30; Luke 18:30; Eph.1:21; Heb.6:5
AGES (plural) TO COME - Eph.2:7, Luke 1:33; Heb.13:8.

Multiple eternities?[/quote]

No, not multiple eternities.

[quote]So I ask you, Fortigurn, to show me where aion/aionion necessarily, or even most likely means endlessness, and to provide your reasons for contesting such.[/quote]

I've provided you with a range of quotes, and I want to see them dealt with thoroughly - one by one.

I'll also present you with the relevant lexical, historical, and textual data.

[quote]I challenge you to show me how exactly I have failed to define the word according to context, and how I failed to take into consideration its semantic range.[/quote]

With regard to context, I'll give you a single example out of the many I provided before - 'May the king live forever'. You have not interpreted the word correctly where it appears in that context.

With regard to its semantic range, I have pointed out more than once that you are refusing to acknowledge a recognised meaning of the word which has centuries of textual attestation.

I wrote:

[quote]In addition, I would like to know what the functional difference is between saying that God will live for the aion, or that He will live eis tous aionas ton aionon, and saying that He has immortality. I see no difference whatever.[/quote]

You replied:

[quote]The difference is simply that, when aion is applied to God, the writer is merely noting the relationship between God and the age(s). Similarly, the phrase "the God of Israel" expresses God's relationship to His chosen nation.[/quote]

This is assertion, not proof. You are assuming your conclusion. The phrase under discussion is not 'the God of the ages' (like 'the God of Israel'), it's a phrase saying that God will live eis tous aionas ton aionon. How do you get 'note the relationship between God and the age(s)' out of that?

I said that if the life promised to believers is not eternal, then it has a termination point. If, as you claim, the term simply means 'towards a goal', or 'to an undetermined point in time', then it has a termination point.

[quote]You are, again, making a simple grammatical mistake. As I said before, 'aionion' is applied as an epithet to the immortal life that we have in Christ.[/quote]

What grammatical mistake am I making? What sense of the word 'aionion' are you appealing to, within its semantic range? What is this 'epithet' supposed to mean?

[quote]When the Bible refers to this immortal life insofar as it pertains to the final ages, it attaches the word 'aionion' to the word 'zoe'.[/quote]

When does the Bible refer to 'this immortal life insofar as it pertains to the final ages'?

[quote]To suggest that our life in Christ will perish because the ages will come to an end is akin to arguing that God will cease to exist after the conclusion of the ages. Again, you are only arguing in a circle in claiming that the idea of eternality is inherent in the word 'aionion'.[/quote]

I'm not arguing in a circle, I'm actually arguing from your definitions. You were the one who told me that 'eis' meant to a certain point or goal, so that eis tous aionas ton aionon would mean 'to a conclusion'.

I said that on the one hand you interpret a passage as saying that the righteous rewarded with immortality. On the other hand you interpret a different passage as saying that the righteous are rewarded with a life which has a termination point. These two statements cannot stand together.

You replied:

[quote]I have done no such thing, and what I have said on this matter suffices to prove that you are mistaken on this point.[/quote]

You did. You told me that the life of the righteous is 'to a certain point or goal'. But you are also trying to argue that they are indeed immortal.

I said that there is nothing in the passage in Matthew 25 which qualifies the life given to the righteous as being 'our immortal life as it pertains to the final ages'.

You wrote:

[quote]The word 'aionion' is the qualifier. The adjective of 'aion' is that which pertains to an aion, and it should be clear to you by now that the usual meaning of aion is 'age', and not 'eternal'.[/quote]

I have to see some lexical, historical, and textual evidence from you that 'the adjective of 'aion' is that which pertains to an aion'.

I said that phrases such as that which is translated 'His mercy endureth forever' do not mean 'throughout the ages'. If your interpretation is correct, then there are no statements which guarantee the eternal existence of God, the eternal nature of His promises, the eternal nature of His characteristics, or the eternal length of His reign.

You wrote:

[quote]This argument of yours assumes that aion/aionion is the only means the Bible has in expressing the concept of eternality.[/quote]

No it doesn't. Please deal with my argument.

[quote]Secondly, the idea of endlessness can be expressed in the Greek by attaching a negator to a word denoting time, such as is seen in Luke 1:33.[/quote]

Such negatives are used in parallel with positive statements of eternity which use the word aion.

You wrote:

[quote]The phrase 'eis tous aionas ton aionon' literally translates as "unto the ages of the ages,"...[/quote]

I replied:

[quote]That is the literal translation of each separate word, but that is not an accurate translation of the phrase. You are committing the root word fallacy, and abandoning the interpretation of the phrase as an idiom (which it undeniably is.[/quote]

You then said:

[quote]I see no reason whatsoever to conclude that this phrase "unto the ages of the ages" (which makes perfect literal sense) is an idiom. You are basically arguing thus: "It is an idiom because it is undeniably an idiom."[/quote]

I am arguing that it is an idiom, on the basis of lexical, historical, and textual data. Your etymological fallacy is exposed by the very fact that you are forced to appeal repeatedly to translations which do not interpret idioms, but translate the words as discrete units. In particular, the very fact that you appeal repatedly to one literal translatin in particular is evidence that your interpretation is not acknowledged by standard authorities, or by Bible translators.

I said that the fact that its grammatical structure is akin to the phrase 'the holiest of holies' does not support your point. What it indicates is that the phrase is an idiom, and ought to be interpreted as such - not as a set of discrete words.

You replied:

[quote]What indicators do you see which suggest that this phrase is idiomatic?[/quote]

The structure of the phrase itself. It's a standard intensification device - this is idiomatic usage. The lexical, historical, and textual data supports this. Again, the rest of what you wrote is speculation.

You wrote:

[quote]While the kingdom itself will not end, but the reign of Christ for the eons of the eons will end when He delivers up the kingdom to the Father (1 Cor. 15:24-26).[/quote]

I replied:

[quote]Here you state clearly that you believe that 'eis tous aionas ton aionon' refers to a time with a termination point. This supports my previous statement that your claims result in a counterintuitive interpretation of many passages which would otherwise suggest eternality.[/quote]

You then said:

[quote]There is nothing at all counterintuitive about my understanding of the phrase, and there is nothing about the phrase that suggests eternality.[/quote]

Yes there is. You have not addressed the issue.

You said:

[quote]If 'eis tous aionas ton aionon' really means endless time, then we have a blatant contradiction in God's word. Revelation tells us that Christ is to reign unto the ages of the ages, and 1 Corinthians 15 tells us that Christ will not reign forever. How are you going to have it?[/quote]

I replied:

[quote]This is not a contradiction. The reign of Christ as representative of his Father will continue for eternity. But at the end of the Kingdom age, the Father will commence a personal rule as King, without the necessity of a representative.[/quote]

You said:

[quote]Evidence, please?[/quote]

It's right there in Revelation 21:3. See also Revelation 22:1-3.

Now I'm going to direct you to some scholarly work on this word.

There are a couple of professional email lists which deal with Biblical Greek, and with Bible translation. They are called 'B-Greek' and 'B-Trans' respectively. I have been a member of both of them over the years. I'm still on B-Trans.

You will find, if you search their archives, that the classic Universalist questions have been posted there, and answered. Let's see a few examples.

In this first example, someone has posted questions from their friend. I have placed them in italics. The answer given is in normal text:

[quote]And (even though my Hebrew is so poor as to not be worth mentioning, your friend's understanding of "Holy of holies" and "King of Kings" reflects complete ignorance of Hebrew idioms, IMHO.

> Hi, > > I have a friend.... > > 2. He says that AION cannot ever mean "eternal" in the NT – that it is > an AGE, with an unspecified amount of time, but having a definite > beginning and end. An example of his reasoning is the question that > the disciples asked Jesus: "What will be the sign of the end of the > age".

If this is translated here as "eternity/forever" (as it is in > many other passages in several popular translations), it would not > make any sense at all (what will be the sign of the end of eternity). > I think he has a good point with that word, but what I’m really > interested in are the phrases "AION of AIONS", or "AIONS of AIONS" > (note the plural for both aion's in the last one). My friend would say > these should be taken literally, like the Holy of Holies, and King of > Kings – that they should be understood as "an age apart from all the > other ages", and "two ages apart from all other ages".


"Holy of holies" does NOT mean "a holy place apart from all other holy places." It means "The Most Holy place" or "The Holiest Place.". Hebrew lacks adjectives, and uses construct chains as a way of expressing things like "holier," "holiest." Likewise, "King of Kings" means "The Greatest King" or "King over all other kings."

As I said, my Hebrew is very poor, but I believe this is somewhat correct. Either way (i.e., whether I'm right or wrong), these phrases are definitely IDIOMS and to translate/treat them "literally" is to mistranslate them.

Hebrew has a phrase AD OLAM ("to the age") which I believe idiomatically can mean what we mean by "forever" as opposed to "unto a definite/specific age." The NT translates this Hebrew phrase with the AIWN usages you mention.

Look at how various scholars/translators translate Hebrews 1:2 for the different possible meanings/understandings of AIWNAS (accusative plural of AIWN). Most translators who translate AIWN here do not have an agenda -- they seek as best they can to translate what they believe the Greek means, based on their decades of study of the language.

I was raised Jewish and many prayers begin: "Blessed are you, Lord, our God, king of HA-OLAM." There is no exact English equivalent to this word, just as there is no exact Greek equivalent. We used the words "universe," "eternity," "the ages," "Sovereign Lord" to translate "melech ha-olam"/"olam" in these prayers. Likewise, I don't think Greek had an exact equivalent for the Hebrew OLAM, but AIWN was their closest word to it.

The Greek AIWN loses some of the meaning of the Hebrew OLAM it's translating, but also adds some of the semantic range of AIWN in the uses/appearances of this word in the New Testament. This can complicate the translator's and the reader's task.

Recommend to your friend that he take at least 1-1/2 years (i.e., 3 seminary semesters) of NT Greek before he makes the kinds of pronouncements about Greek that he seems to be wanting to make. If his commitment to integrity in teaching/preaching the Word of God is real, he should be willing to do this.

If he doesn't do this, but continues to make the kinds of statements you claim he is making, then he will more quickly and more greatly than he may realize end up teaching error -- the very thing he seems intent on exposing.[/quote]

In the second example, someone asks the questions themselves (in italics), and receives the same kind of answers as we saw previously (in normal text):

[quote]Blair Neil Davis wrote;

>First I would like to say hello to the people on this list. I just >subscribed and have read several of the posts. Congradulations on the kind >mannor of discussion this list seems to maintain.

Thanks, we are trying.

>I have never had any formal training in NT Greek. I have been using >lexicons and comparing the use of Greek words in the NT using my >Englishmans Concordance.

> >This works well in most cases but I am having some trouble with >conflicting evidence on how AIONIAN ZOE can be translated. As I understand >the term it means exactly what the KJV translates "everlasting life".I am >finding some scholars that want to translate AIONIAN ZOE as "life of the >age [to come]". I am trying to find someone to explain this conflict at a >beginners level that I can understand.


I would say the word "well" may be strained in this paragraph. I would encourage you to work with a good beginning grammar and continue to master basics of Greek grammar.

>Question; >1. Is "life of the age" a possible translation for AIONIAN ZOE?

First the adjective AIWNIOS (see fac for transliteration scheme) is an adjective of the second declension only and rarely takes a first declension form (AIWNIAN see below) which you give. There are three places in the NT where it precedes the noun ZWH. Most often it follows ZWH as in Matt.19:29 ZWHN AIWNION. "Life of the age" would have to be written ZWH TOU AIWNOS. I don't think that that appears in the NT. I did not check.[/quote]

Fortigun interjects: For the record, I checked. The phrase does not appear in the New Testament at all.

Continued:

[quote]The adjective is AIWNIOS. The noun is AIWN (nom) AIWNOS (gen).

>2. Is "of the age" a way of making AION into an adjective?[/]i

Yes, but it would mean something different from ZWH AIWNIOS.

> >3. How would "of the age" normaly be written in Greek.

TOU AIWNOS (using the noun)

>4. Is AIONIAN a word that deals only with matters concerning the age to >come?

I haven't looked up the adjective AIWNIOS, but I really think that it deals more with the kind of life than just the idea of beyond death or futuristic. Also there are two places in the NT where you do have a first declension form of the adjective in the accusative, 2 Th. 2:16 PARAKLHSIN AIWNIAN and Heb. 9:12 AIWNIAN LUTRWSIN.

Grace and Peace, Carlton L. Winbery Fogleman Prof. of Religion Louisiana College Box 612 Pineville, LA 71359 winbery at andria.lacollege.edu winberyc at speedgate.net Phones 318 487 7241, Home 318 448 6103[/quote]

In the third example, we find specific reference made to EIS TON AIWNA as an idiom:

[quote]On Fri 20 Jun 2003 (13:41:18), markosl80 at yahoo.com wrote: > John 8:51-52 [snippage] >

In both these passage there are Greek words untranslated in most > versions: "eis aion" never see death "for ever", never taste of death > "to the age". > > In your view.. > > What is the significance of these two words, in this passage, and also > John 11:26, in terms of .. translation > doctrine > idiomatic usage

In terms of Greek, EIS TON AIWNA in both verses 51 and 52 appear to be a Hebraism rendering `aD `oWLaM, "to eternity".

This adverbial phrase of time is found in Psalms 41:14, 90:2, 103:17, and 106:48. In Psalm 41:14 we have "Blessed be the LORD God of Israel Me`Ha`oWLaM W:`aD Ha`oWLaM 'aMeN W:'aMeN From [the] everlasting and to [the] everlasting Amen and Amen". The `oWLaM is "the age" or "eternity"; that is, eternity past and eternity future.

You'll notice that Jesus starts his saying in John 8:51 AMHN AMHN LEGW hUMIN: the doubled Amen with which Psalm 41:14 ends. EIS TON AIWNA reinforces the double negative OU MH in verses 51 and 52: "No not for ever" or "never ever for all eternity". Doctrine is a No-no for B-Greek; I'll refer you to the commentators for that.

Idiomatic Usage is the Hebrew idiomatic usage, somewhat woodenly translated into Greek. Compare Psalm 41:14 (40:13 in LXX) EULOGHTOS KURIOS hO QEOS ISRAHL *APO TOU AIWNOS KAI EIS TON AIWNA*: GENOITO, GENOITO.

With GENOITO for 'aMeN, compare MH GENOITO in Romans 6:2, 7:7,13, 9:14, 11:1, 11:11 and elsewhere, rendered "God forbid" in the KJV and "by no means" in later versions. You can hardly get more idiomatic than that! The emphatic negative MH plus the Optative implies "may it never ever be even an option!".[/quote]

As you can see, we're getting a very consistent set of answers here.

In the fourth example, we have another respondent replying to some of the same questions we read earlier:

[quote][i]> 2. He says that AION cannot ever mean “eternal” in the NT – that it is  an AGE, with an unspecified amount of time, but having a definite beginning and end. An example of his reasoning is the question that  the disciples asked Jesus: “What will be the sign of the end of the  age”. If this is translated here as “eternity/forever” (as it is in  many other passages in several popular translations), it would not  make any sense at all (what will be the sign of the end of eternity).  I think he has a good point with that word, but what I’m really> interested in are the phrases “AION of AIONS”, or “AIONS of AIONS” (note the plural for both aion's in the last one). My friend would  say these should be taken literally, like the Holy of Holies, and King  of Kings – that they should be understood as “an age apart from all  the other ages”, and “two ages apart from all other ages”. Most  translations use “forever” or “forever and ever” for these phrases.  Which is right? Are both translations legitimate (for the phrases)?  Bill Mounce makes reference to the Jewish concept of time in Basics of  Biblical Greek, but he doesn't go into detail. Did the Septuagint  translate Hebrew terms for "everlasting" as "age of ages",... or, in other words, is the phrase "age of ages" a Greek idiom meaning  forever? Does Koine Greek have idioms?


Of course Greek has idioms, and NT Greek includes idioms influenced Semitic modes of expression, not the least of which are those idioms including the word AIWN, as has been pointed out already.

While AIWN **may** refer to an age with a definite beginning and end, the context determines whether or not this is so. Apparently your friend would have us believe that the very fig tree Jesus cursed EIS TON AIWONA (Matt 21.19) will indeed grow fruit once this specified "age" comes to its conclusion!

Or that when Jesus promised the woman at the well that she would not thirst EIS TON AIWNA (John 4.14) he meant only for a limited time, after which she would be thirsty again!

Or that when Jesus promised in John 6.51 that if anyone ate the bread he was talking about he would live EIS TON AIWNA, he simply meant for a limited period of time, even though the context makes it abundantly obvious that this is not the case?

What can EIS TON AIWNA mean in John 6.58 if not "forever"? Is Jesus there saying that the fathers ate manna and eventually died, and whoever eats the bread Jesus offers will likewise eventually expire once this "age" is over?

Did the Jews indicate by EIS TON AIWNA in John 12.34 their belief that the Messiah would remain only for a specified age with a beginning and an end?

When Paul says in Rom 1.25 that God is blessed EIS TOUS AIWNAS does he really mean only for a limited number of ages? Or does he mean to tell his readers with the same prepositional phrase in Rom 11.36 that God deserves glory for a limited number of ages?

Or--silliest of all--should we take the angel of Rev 10.6 to mean by EIS TOUS AIWNAS TWN AIWNWN that God lives only for two ages apart from all other ages? We could go on and on, but you get the idea.

Let's look at this from another angle. Mark 3.29 says:

hOS D' AN BLASFHMHSHi EIS TO PNEUMA TO hAGION, OUK ECEI AFESIN EIS TON AIWNA, ALLA ENOCOS ESTIN AIWNIOU hAMARTHMATOS.

Note here that the person who commits blasphemy against the Holy Spirit does not have forgiveness EIS TON AIWNA precisely because he is guilty of an eternal sin (AIWNIOU hAMARTHMATOS). Why would such a person have forgiveness withheld for only a limited period of time when his sin is an eternal one?

Is Jesus really saying, "Whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit, does not have forgiveness for a limited amount of time, but is guilty of an eternal sin"? What sense does ALLA ("but") make here if this is so? Or would your friend suggest that the cognate adjective of AIWN here, namely AIWNIOS, be taken to mean "lasting for an age with a beginning and an end."

If so, I wonder how the NT has anything at all to say about anything truly eternal. In this case we would have to assume that when the man of Mark 10.17 runs up to Jesus and asks him what he must do to inherit eternal life (ZWHN AIWNION), what he really had in mind was not everlasting life, but a temporary life confined to a limited age!

One more example taken from Luke 1.33:

KAI BASILEUSEI EPI TON OIKON IAKWB EIS TOUS AIWNAS KAI THS BASILEIAS AUTOU OUK ESTAI TELOS.

What is immediately apparent from this example is that when Luke says that the Messiah will reign into the ages (BASILEUSEI ... EIS TOUS AIWNAS) he means that his kingdom will have **no end** (THS BASILEIAS AUTOU OUK ESTAI TELOS). Thus, the reign that lasts EIS TOUS AIWNAS is the rule that will have no end.

Note how EIS TOUS AIWNAS is clearly characterized as being endless
.[/quote]

I invite you to take up the issue on B-Greek and B-Trans.

You said:

[quote]Moreover, the phrase itself indicates that endless time is not in view:

Hebrews 1:8 is a quotation from Psalm 45:6, LXX, where the Greek text says, eis ton aiona tou aionos, "into the eon of the eon,"-the singular form for eon in both occurrences. The preposition eis is translated "into" or "unto;" idiomatically, "for." Bagster's Analytical Greek Lexicon and Concordance defines it: "eis, into, to as far as, to the extent of."

Dr. E.W. Bullinger's Lexicon and Concordance says (p. 804), "eis, unto, when referring to time, denoting either the interval up to a certain point, during; or the point itself as the object or aim of some purpose, up to, for."

Dr. Nigel Turner, in his book, Grammatical Insights into the N.T., says (p. 91), "eis involves a movement for development toward a goal." If eis means as far as, to the extent of, or a movement or development toward a goal, then it cannot be used with words meaning endless or unlimited time.[/quote]

I reponded:

[quote]You are committing the root word fallacy by dividing up an idiom into its discrete units. The meaning of the entire idiom is not to be governed by one particular application of one particular part of the semantic range of any of its constituent words. It needs to be translated as an idiom, not broken up.[/quote]

You replied:

[quote]Again, you baselessly assert that this phrase, which makes fine sense as it stands literally, is idiomatic.[/quote]

I'm not asserting it baselessly. Have a look at any number of Bible translations - you'll find it consistently translated as an idiom. Examine the lexical, historical, and textual data, and you'll find the same - it's an idiom.

Have a look at literal word for word translations, which do not take regard for idioms, and you'll find it translated as you do. What is this telling you?

[quote]You're going to have to give some reasons for disregarding the plain meaning of the phrase.[/quote]

The plain meaning of the phrase is derived from understanding that it is an idiom.

[quote]Moreover, I do not see how I have committed the root fallacy. Could you explain? Thanks.[/quote]

You have committed the root word fallacy by dividing up an idiom into its discrete units. You are not treating the phrase as an idiom.

I also wrote:

[quote]In addition, you are committing the fallacy of illegitimate totality transfer. The word eis as an individual word bears the semantic range mentioned here, but its precise meaning in a given context is not to be represented as the entire semantic range in any context.[/quote]

You replied:

[quote]If you can think of a more appropriate rendering of the word 'eis', I'd be happy to learn of it. No fallacy here.[/quote]

Certainly - the more appropriate rendering is 'for'. Hence for ever and ever.

You cited this rendering yourself, when you wrote:

[quote]The preposition eis is translated "into" or "unto;" idiomatically, "for."[/quote]

I wrote:

[quote]And once more, I note that you are translating the phrase 'eis tous aionas ton aionon' as a time duration having a specific termination point. I know of no reputable lexical or translation authority which interprets the phrase in this way. I know of none which interpret it as meaning 'the final ages' as opposed to timelessness.[/quote]

You replied:

[quote]You know of no reputable lexical or translation authority which interprets the phrase in WHAT way, exactly?[/quote]

In this way:

[quote]Into the eon of the eon.[/quote]

...or:

[quote]As far as the age of the age.[/quote]

...or:

[quote]Up to the goal of the eon.[/quote]

...or:

[quote]Into the ages of the ages.[/quote]

...or:

[quote]Unto the ages of the ages.[/quote]

You wrote:

[quote]As you know, 'unto the ages of the ages' is the literal translation of the phrase.[/quote]

It is the literal rendering of the individual words, but it is not a proper rendering of the phrase.

[quote]It makes fine literal sense, and I explained to you its meaning.[/quote]

It makes no literal sense, and the meaning you claim is not found in lexical or historical sources.

I suggest you take your translation to the academic Bible translation list, 'B-Trans', which you'll find here. Talk it over with them and tell me how you go.

[quote]The late and reputable Greek scholar William Barclay, for instance, didn't view the phrase as an idiom, but shared my understanding.[/quote]

The late William Barclay was 'a convinced universalist', to quote the title of one of his works ('I Am A Convinced Universalist').

I wrote:

[quote]My point is that the kolasin in Matthew 25:46 is the punishment of the wicked. The text states this plainly. My point is also that the kolasin in Matthew 25:46 endures forever. The text states this plainly also.[/quote]

You replied:

[quote]Endures forever? Nah. The text simply indicates that the punishment will be administered in the age(s).[/quote]

Is it supposed to be 'the age' or 'the ages'? Which one? What do they mean? What's the difference? And how many non-literal Bible translations give the interpretation you suggest?

More later. ;)

Edited by Fortigurn, 27 April 2004 - 02:00 PM.

Miserere mei Deus,
Secundum magnam misericordiam tuam.
Et secundum multitudinem miserationum tuarum
dele iniquitatem meam.

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‘John Wesley once received a note which said, “The Lord has told me to tell you that He doesn’t need your book-learning, your Greek, and your Hebrew.”

Wesley answered “Thank you, sir. Your letter was superfluous, however, as I already knew the Lord has no need for my ‘book-learning,’ as you put it. However—although the Lord has not directed me to say so—on my own responsibility I would like to say to you that the Lord does not need your ignorance, either.”

Osborne & Woodward, ‘Handbook for Bible study’, pp. 13-14 (1979)

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target="_blank">Apologetics

#14 Fortigurn

Fortigurn

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Posted 28 April 2004 - 12:19 PM

To continue our consideration of the word aionos, let's first investigate its meaning with a reputable lexicon, citing relevant historical sources:

[quote]aiônios , on, also a, on Pl. Ti.37d, Ep.Heb.9.12:--lasting for an age (aiôn 11 ), perpetual, eternal (but dist. fr. aďdios, Plot.3.7.3), methę Pl.R. 363d ; anôlethron . . all' ouk aiônion Id.Lg.904a , cf. Epicur. Sent.28; ai. kata psuchęn ochlęsis Id.Nat.131 G.; kaka, deina, Phld.Herc. 1251.18, D.1.13; ai. amoibais basanisthęsomenoi ib.19; tou ai. theou Ep.Rom. 16.26 , Ti.Locr.96c; ou chronię mounon . . all' aiônię Aret.CA1.5 ; ai. diathękę, nomimon, prostagma, LXX Ge.9.16, Ex.27.21, To.1.6; zôę Ev.Matt.25.46 , Porph.Abst.4.20; kolasis Ev.Matt. l.c., Olymp. in Grg.p.278J.; pro chronôn ai.2 Ep.Tim. 1.9 : opp. proskairos, 2 Ep.Cor. 4.18.

2. holding an office or title for life, perpetual, gumnasiarchos CPHerm.62.

3. = Lat. saecularis, Phleg.Macr.4.

4. Adv. -iôs eternally, nous akinętos ai. panta ôn Procl.Inst.172 , cf. Simp. in Epict.p.77D.; perpetually, misein Sch.E.Alc.338.

5. aiônion, to, = aeizôon to mega, Ps.-Dsc.4.88.[/quote]

You can see that the meaning 'lasting for an age', whilst being noted, is by far the least common and least attested sense. The overwhelming usage refers to eternity, to eternality, to perpetuity.

You will note that the word aionios is described as having a sense which is the opposite to the word proskairos, which means 'for a time, temporary', and that it is used in this sense in 2 Corinthians 4:18.

Let's go there:

[quote]2 Corinthians 4:
18 because we are not looking at what can be seen but at what cannot be seen. For what can be seen is temporary, but what cannot be seen is eternal.[/quote]

The contrast is manifest - that which is aionian here is that which is not temporary or limited in duration. It is eternal.

Now let's have a look at a couple of other passages in Scripture, and compare the English with the LXX and the Vulgate.

First the KJV and the LXX:

[quote]Genesis 9:

KJV:

12 And God said, This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations:

LXX:

12 And the Lord God said to Noe, This is the sign of the covenant which I set between me and you, and between every living creature which is with you for perpetual generations.

LXX:

12 kai eipen kuriov o yeov prov nwe touto to shmeion thv diayhkhv o egw didwmi ana meson emou kai umwn kai ana meson pashv quchv zwshv h estin mey umwn eiv geneav aiwniouv

KJV:

13 I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth.

LXX:

13 I set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a sign of covenant between me and the earth.

LXX:

13 to toxon mou tiyhmi en th nefelh kai estai eiv shmeion diayhkhv ana meson emou kai thv ghv

KJV:

14 And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud:

LXX:

14 And it shall be when I gather clouds upon the earth, that my bow shall be seen in the cloud.

LXX:

14 kai estai en tw sunnefein me nefelav epi thn ghn ofyhsetai to toxon mou en th nefelh

KJV:

15 And I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh.

LXX:

15 And I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you, and between every living soul in all flesh, and there shall no longer be water for a deluge, so as to blot out all flesh.

LXX:

15 kai mnhsyhsomai thv diayhkhv mou h estin ana meson emou kai umwn kai ana meson pashv quchv zwshv en pash sarki kai ouk estai eti to udwr eiv kataklusmon wste exaleiqai pasan sarka

KJV:

16 And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth.

LXX:

16 And my bow shall be in the cloud, and I will look to remember the everlasting covenant between me and the earth, and between every living soul in all flesh, which is upon the earth.

LXX:

16 kai estai to toxon mou en th nefelh kai oqomai tou mnhsyhnai diayhkhn aiwnion ana meson emou kai ana meson pashv quchv zwshv en pash sarki h estin epi thv ghv[/quote]

Now note the translation of Jerome's Vulgate (5th century):

[quote][12] God said, "This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations:

[16] The rainbow will be in the cloud. I will look at it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth."[/quote]

The Latin word used by Jerome to translate olam and aion here (he put together his text using both Hebrew and Greek manuscripts of the Old Testament), was sempiterni. No prizes for guessing what it means - it means eternal, everlasting, perpetual.

Let's examine another passage:

[quote]Exodus 27:
Vulgate:

[21] in tabernaculo testimonii extra velum quod oppansum est testimonio et conlocabunt eam Aaron et filii eius ut usque mane luceat coram Domino perpetuus erit cultus per successiones eorum a filiis Israhel

Vulgate:

[21] In the tent of meeting, outside the veil which is before the testimony, Aaron and his sons shall keep it in order from evening to morning before Yahweh: it shall be a statute forever throughout their generations on the behalf of the children of Israel.

KJV:

21 In the tabernacle of the congregation without the vail, which is before the testimony, Aaron and his sons shall order it from evening to morning before the LORD: it shall be a statute for ever unto their generations on the behalf of the children of Israel.

LXX:

21 in the tabernacle of the testimony, without the veil that is before the ark of the covenant, shall Aaron and his sons burn it from evening until morning, before the Lord: it is a perpetual ordinance throughout your generations of the children of Israel.

LXX:

21 en th skhnh tou marturiou exwyen tou katapetasmatov tou epi thv diayhkhv kausei auto aarwn kai oi uioi autou af esperav ewv prwi enantion kuriou nomimon aiwnion eiv tav geneav umwn para twn uiwn israhl[/quote]

I believe this speaks for itself. Note Jerome's translation of olam and aiwnion with the Latin perpetuus, from which we derive our English word perpetual.

Now a couple of historical sources for the use of the word aion:

[quote]Time is the number of movement, but there is no movement without a physical body. But outside heaven it has been shown that there is not, nor possibly can come into existence, any body. lt is evident then that there is neither place, nor void, nor time outside.

Wherefore neither in place are things there formed by nature; nor does time cause them to grow old; neither is there any change of any thing of those things which are arranged beyond the outermost orbit; but unchangeable, and subject to no influence, having the best and most independent life, they continue for all eternity [AIWNA].

For this expression has been divinely uttered by the ancients; for the completeness which embraces the time of the life of each outside which there is nothing, according to nature, is called the AIWN of each.

According to the same word the completeness of the whole heaven, and the completeness which embraces all time and infinitude is AIWN, having received this name from existing for ever [APO TOU AEI EINAI], immortal [ATHANATOS], and divine.

Aristotle, De Coelo, I, 9, c. 350 BC[/quote]

You will note, of course, that Aristoteles identifies aion with existing forever, and with being immortal.

Ok, so that was 350 BC. Let's skip forward to the first century AD, and see if the word is still being used in the same way:

[quote]But in eternity nothing is passed, nothing is about to be, but it exists only.

EN AIWNI DE OUTE PARELHLUTHEN, OUTE MELLEI, ALLA MONON hUPSESTHKEN.

Philo, De Mundo, 7, 1st century AD[/quote]

Yes it is. Note Philo's use of aion to denote eternal existence. Josephus also used the word to denote eternality.

You originally said:

[quote]Need I say that God's dealings with Israel have always been rooted in His loving intentions?[/quote]

I replied:

[quote]As a nation, yes. But this does not change the fact that many of those whom He punished were actually destroyed. The punishment was not for their correction, or to turn them aside to a better way of life. It was intended to remove them from the face of the earth. And you seem to have neglected the punishment mentioned there which was inflicted not by God, but by men.[/quote]

You then said:

[quote]God uses men to accomplish His purposes, and the Bible is quite clear on the fact that God has, in past times, inflicted judgement upon Israel by having other peoples conquer them, enslave them, etc. But, as Romans 9-11 clearly outlines, those individuals who undergo punitive destruction will be eventually restored. Paul speaks of the full inclusion of the Gentiles and the subsequent restoration of ALL Israel. All of Israel includes the elect as well as those vessels fitted unto destruction.[/quote]

This statement concerning 'all Israel' is qualified in several ways throughout these chapters.

Paul says clearly that not all those who are literal Israelites are to be counted as the 'true Israel' who will be saved:

[quote]Romans 9:
]6 It is not as though the word of God had failed. For not all those who are descended from Israel are truly Israel...[/quote]

Paul quotes from Isaiah to demonstrate that not every Israelite will be saved:

[quote]Romans 9:
27 And Isaiah cries out on behalf of Israel, “Though the number of the children of Israel are as the sand of the sea, only the remnant will be saved...[/quote]

Paul emphasises his 'remnant' argument by saying that although God has not cast off the entire nation of Israel, He will save only a remnant:

[quote]Romans 11:
1 So I ask, God has not rejected his people, has he? Absolutely not! For I too am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, from the tribe of Benjamin.
2 God has not rejected his people whom he foreknew! Do you not know what the scripture says about Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel?
3 “Lord, they have killed your prophets, they have demolished your altars; I alone am left and they are seeking my life!”
4 But what was the divine responseto him? “I have kept for myself seven thousand people who have not bent the knee to Baal.”

5 So in the same way at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace.[/quote]

Describing the possibility of the redemption of individual Israelites (being 'regrafted'), Paul describes their restoration as conditional, not inevitable:

[quote]Romans 11:
23 And even they—if they do not continue in their unbelief—will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again.[/quote]

In conclusion, Paul states that 'all Israel' consists of Gentiles who have been grafted in, and Jews who have been regrafted - not 'every Israelite who ever lived':

[quote]Romans 11:
25 For I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers and sisters, so that you may not be conceited: A partial hardening has happened to Israel until the full number of the Gentiles has come in.
26 And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written:

“The Deliverer will come out of Zion; he will remove ungodliness from Jacob.

27 And this is my covenant with them, when I take away their sins.”[/quote]

You wrote:

[quote]The same holds truth for all mankind, for God loves all of us and punishes us only because He wants the best for us.[/quote]

I replied:

[quote]This does not preclude the fact that God also metes out punishments which are intended to be final and everlasting.[/quote]

You then said:

[quote]I am at a complete loss as to how everlasting destruction could be good for the person destroyed.[/quote]

It isn't. Why would you think this is what I'm saying? I am saying that the fact that God chastens us for our correction, does not preclude the fact that He also punishes eternally those who consistently transgress and reject His offer of salvation.

I wrote:

[quote]I am not committing the argument from silence. I am exegeting the text.

Thus:

I claim that this text declares the punishment of the wicked, and the reward of the righteous - it does

I claim that this text declares the punishment of the wicked and the reward of the righteous to be eternal in duration - it does

I claim that no mention whatever is made of any cessation of the punishment of the wicked, or the reward of the righteous - it isn't

I claim that the text gives absolutely no indication whatever that there is another reward later, in which the wicked are involved - it doesn't

So you see, I'm not arguing from silence. I'm arguing straight from the text. And the text necessarily excludes the Universalist doctrine.[/quote]

You replied:

[quote]True, no mention is made in Matthew 25:46 of a restoration.[/quote]

Thank you.

[quote]This absence of evidence does not equal evidence of absence, lest you be guilty of arguing from silence. You say that this verse describes the punishment and the life as eternal. This is simply not the case. It describes the life and the punishment insofar as they pertain to the age(s).[/quote]

I have seen no evidence from you that Christ intended his words to be understood as referring to 'the life and the punishment insofar as they pertain to the age(s)'. On the contrary, Christ's words here have a finality which is paralleled in Hebrews:

[quote]Hebrews 9:
27 And just as people are appointed to die once, and then to face judgment,
28 so also, after Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many, to those who eagerly await him he will appear a second time, not to bear sin but to bring salvation.[/quote]

The judgment in Hebrews 9 occurs once, after men have died once. Not only is there no suggestion of any subsequent life, or resurrection, or judgment of the same people who originally died and were subsequently judged, but it is absolutely excluded by the text (men die once, and they they are judged - as Matthew 25 says), as the parallelism with Christ makes clear. As far as both of these texts are concerned, this is the only time that these people will be judged and either rewarded or punished.

You also said:

[quote]This does not mean that our life will therefore come to an end. We know that our life in Christ is eternal because the Bible clearly tells us that it is imperishable, not because of the words aion and aionion.[/quote]

As I have demonstrated, the word aion is used synonymously with life which is athanatos. Refer also to my previous material on aion and aionion

I wrote:

[quote]But you are arguing from silence. An argument from silence is an argument predicated on the absence of evidence. Your argument is indeed predicated on the absence of evidence. You claim that the absence of a denial of the Universalist doctrine actually renders this verse incapable of being used against it.[/quote]

You replied:

[quote]No, I merely said that this verse, as it stands by itself, cannot be used as a proof-text for your position. You need to dig deeper than that.[/quote]

But it can, because it states the everlasting punishment or reward of those who are judged at the return of Christ.

[quote]Moreover, my claim that a certain verse does is consistent with UR IS NOT tantamount to an argument from silence.[/quote]

An argument from silence is an argument predicated on the absence of evidence. Your argument is indeed predicated on the absence of evidence. You claim that the absence of a denial of the Universalist doctrine actually renders this verse incapable of being used against it.

[quote]It would be an argument from silence if I said "This passage does not indicate that those resurrected unto damnation will not be restored, therefore UR is true." I trust you can discern the difference.[/quote]

An argument from silence is an argument predicated on the absence of evidence. Your argument is indeed predicated on the absence of evidence. You claim that the absence of a denial of the Universalist doctrine actually renders this verse incapable of being used against it.

You wrote:
[quote]In reference to the CLNT's rendering of 1 Corinthians 15:22-28, Fort remarks:

[quote]The translation you have provided is hyperliteral, which means that it does not render the grammar idiomatically. This provides you with the illusion of a license to interpret the grammar as you please. So you choose to interpret the grammar in such a way as suggests support for your case. This is illegitimate exegesis.[/quote]

Actually, the translation is on the mark. I challenge you to show me how exactly this rendering lends itself to a self-serving interpretation. How have I twisted the text, Fortigurn?[/quote]

You have interpreted the grammar as not referring to the idea that all in Christ will be saved (as the next verse demonstrates).

You wrote:

[quote]This guarantees that, just as In Adam everyone is dying, so In Christ will everyone be made alive. Just as by one man's disobedience we all died, so by one man's obedience shall we all be vivified. The text is plain. It is clearly parallelistic, contrasting the effects that two men had on the rest of mankind.[/quote]

I replied:

[quote]I agree that all those in Christ will be made alive. But this does not say that all will be in Christ.[/quote]

You then said:

[quote]Rom 5:18 Therefore as by the offence of one [judgment came] upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one [the free gift came] upon all men unto justification of life.

It is clear. Adam's sin brought death and condemnation upon the rest of mankind, just as Christ's obedience will bring justification and life to all mankind. You are trying to avoid the plain meaning of the text, for the contrast is most clear.[/quote]

You haven't dealt with this:

[quote]Romans 5:
17 For if, by the transgression of the one man, death reigned through the one, how much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one, Jesus Christ![/quote]

Moreover, verse 18 doesn't say that all will receive this life:

[quote]Romans 5:
18 Consequently, just as condemnation for all people came through one transgression, so too through the one righteous act came righteousness leading to life for all people.[/quote]

You wrote:

[quote]It's not a qualification at all, but rather a simple contrast between the consequences of Adam's failure upon all men and the consequences of Christ's victory upon all men.[/quote]

I replied:

[quote]If this were the case, then saying that those who are in Christ will be rewarded would be redundant. In any case, the statement does not guarantee the consequences of Christ's victory upon all men.[/quote]

You said:

[quote]I didn't say that all who are in Christ will be rewarded.[/quote]

I know you didn't. I did, because the Bible says so.

[quote]The text clearly says that everyone who is condemned because of Adam will be justified because of Christ. This is a matter of fact, not contingency. Moreover, one would be going out on a limb in suggesting that this passage is only saying that those who are in Christ will be made alive. It is saying much more than that.[/quote]

Let's see:

[quote]Romans 5:
17 For if, by the transgression of the one man, death reigned through the one, how much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one, Jesus Christ!
18 Consequently, just as condemnation for all people came through one transgression, so too through the one righteous act came righteousness leading to life for all people.[/quote]

Show me again where it says that all will receive this life. All verse 18 says is that through Christ's righteous act came righteousness which leads to life for all.

You wrote:

[quote]I never implied that "restored all under His feet" would be an accurate rendering. Rather, "placing all under His feet" entails restoration unto obedience.[/quote]

I'm looking for 'restoration unto obedience' within the semantic range of hupotasso. Could you find it for me please?
Especially the restoration bit.

I wrote:

[quote]But you see Gabe, you're not actually translating the idiom, are you? Nowhere do we find the idiom 'placed under his feet' meaning 'restored unto obedience', and such a translation fails manifestly when you attempt to apply it to death, as I have shown.[/quote]

You replied:

[quote]Ah, but the context of 1 Corinthians 15:22-28 demands that this subjection entails a restoration unto obedience...[/quote]

Let's see:

[quote]1 Corinthians 15:
25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet.
26 The last enemy to be eliminated is death.[/quote]

What I'm seeing there Gabe is that to put an enemy under your feet is to eliminate them. I'm also seeing death put under his feet in this way. I struggle to see how you can 'restore unto obedience', death. Especially when the passage is explicit about elimination.

[quote]Moreover, the word for 'subjection' is 'hupotasso', and Paul says that Christ Himself will be subjected to the Father.[/quote]

We're discussing the expression 'put all his enemies under his feet' at the moment Gabe, not hupotasso.

[quote]If an enemy is subjected, then obviously such a subjection consists in the abolishment of their opposition and a transformation unto obedience.[/quote]

That's not what the passage says Gabe. It speaks of the destruction and elimination of the enemy, not their opposition. And you need to reconcile your interpretation with the elimination of death.

You wrote:

[quote]Death is the very principle of enmity and alienation between the creature and the Creator. It is by means of the abolishment of death that the dead are delivered. Just as Christ will conquer those of His creatures which oppose Him (just as He conqueres Saul), so will he conquer that very principle of darkness. Yes, Christ will conquer both His sentimental creatures and the impersonal force of death.[/quote]

I replied:

[quote]This interpretation of the idiom fails completely when applied to death. It fails because it is an illegitimate translation of the idiom. I want to see lexical, historical, and textual evidence that the phrase 'place under his feet' entails 'restoration unto obedience'.[/quote]

You didn't deal with this. You responded:

[quote]From Blueletterbible:


QUOTE
"Hupotasso:"

1) to arrange under, to subordinate

2) to subject, put in subjection

3) to subject one's self, obey

4) to submit to one's control

5) to yield to one's admonition or advice

6) to obey, be subject
++++
A Greek military term meaning "to arrange [troop divisions] in a military fashion under the command of a leader". In non-military use, it was "a voluntary attitude of giving in, cooperating, assuming responsibility, and carrying a burden".[/quote]

That's fine Gabe, but we're discussing the expression 'put all his enemies under his feet' at the moment, not hupotasso. Would you address the question please?

You also wrote:

[quote]But let's have the context determine its meaning. And, how does my interpretation fail miserably in the case of death?
[/quote]

Sure, here's the context, and here's why it fails:

[quote]1 Corinthians 15:
25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet.
26 The last enemy to be eliminated is death.[/quote]

What I'm seeing there Gabe is that to put an enemy under your feet is to eliminate them. I'm also seeing death put under his feet in this way. I struggle to see how you can 'restore unto obedience', death. Especially when the passage is explicit about elimination.

You wrote:

[quote]Put the two together and the answer is an obvious deduction. God works all things according to His will, and His will is to save all mankind.[/quote]

I replied:

[quote]This is syllogistic reasoning predicated on a false premise - that God never allows His will to be contradicted by the will of man. But He does.[/quote]

You then said:

[quote]No, that was not my premise. My premise was simply that God is working all things according to His purpose. This does not mean that God gets what He wants always and all ways, but that God will achieve His ultimate purposes. There is plenty of room for free will here. So, the syllogism has yet to be addressed.[/quote]

Your premise was that God works all things according to His will in such a way as that God will get exactly what He wants in the end, regardless of human volition.

This comes out when your next argument is considered - which states that if God did not get exactly what He wanted in this way, then He would be a sinner.

You wrote:

[quote]1 Timothy 2:4-6 implies that everyone will accept it, for it plainly says that God's purpose is to save all mankind via the ransom of His son. I find nothing in the Bible which indicates that God will miss the mark. On the contrary, the Bible is clear that God cannot fail; He cannot sin (harmatia).[/quote]

I replied:

[quote]This is a fallacy of equivocation. There is nothing in 1 Timothy 2:4-6 which says that God will miss the mark if not all men are saved. Furthermore, you have again failed to address the fact that God allows His will to be contradicted by the will of man. Free will is not possible otherwise.[/quote]

You responded:

[quote]Firstly, I have not failed to address the fact that God's will can be temporarily contradicted, as I believe in freewill (yet I realize its logical limits).[/quote]

You only believe in the exercise of free will for a certain duration of time, after which point it is overriden by God. So you don't really believe in total free will.

[quote]Secondly, I don't see the equivocation. Where is it?[/quote]

The equivocation is between God's will, and what God considers to have fulfilled His purpose.

[quote]Thirdly, if God's eternal purpose is to save all mankind...[/quote]

This is the assumption you're making.

You said:

[quote]But there are more explicit passages which indicate that everyone will accept Christ. We are told that everyone will confess that Christ is Lord to the glory of the Father. A few points. First, would God be glorified by forcing people to cry "uncle," so to speak? Nay, God will not settle for such irreverent lip-service. A truly glorious victory would entail nothing less than the repentance of the sinner. Second, it is worthy to note that the word for 'confess' always signifies praise and thanksgiving throughout the Septuagint.[/quote]

I replied:

[quote]This fails for two reasons. Firstly, because you have previously claimed that some of these people will, in fact, obey by virtue of being made subject (which is crying uncle if ever I read it). Secondly, the 'all' her qualified in many other passages.[/quote]

You then responded:

[quote]It is not their crying "uncle!" which brings glory to God. Rather, after they are conquered by God, they will praise Him, for they would have been changed from a state of enmity to one of peace.[/quote]

I didn't say that their crying 'uncle!' brings glory to God. I actually pointed out that this brings no glory to God. This is sstill a problem.

[quote]If you can give me a legitimate reason to suspect that only some tongues shall confess, then I'd be happy to correct myself on this point.[/quote]

Sure - Daniel 12:2.

I wrote:

[quote]This says that the creation was made subject to the bondage of corruption, and that it will be delivered from that corruption. But it does not say that the whole creation will be delivered. Not only that, but you have failed to identify why it is that if 'the whole creation' includes all the people, that Paul should differentiate Christians from 'the whole creation' in verses 22-23:

[quote]
22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.
23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.[/quote]

When language such as 'they' and 'ourselves' is used ('them' and 'us'), it is manifest that two different groups are under discussion.[/quote]

You replied:

[quote]Fortigurn, Fortigurn...Paul is merely noting that even we who have the first fruits of the spirit are groaning together with the whole creation. The whole creation shall be delivered...not just parts of it..all of it.[/quote]

You didn't address what I wrote. What I demonstrated is that even when Paul uses the phrase 'the whole creation', he isn't referring to everyone. In fact, he differentiates here between one group ('the whole creation'), and Christians ('we ourselves'). Simple.

[quote]As for Romans 11:36 "For of him, and through him, and to him, [are] all things: to whom [be] glory for ever."

It is quite plain, is it not? All of creation came from God, is upheld by God, and has its destiny in God.[/quote]

Gabe, this says nothing whatever about everything being restored. Nor does it even say 'Everything has its destiny in God', whatever that's supposed to mean.

You wrote:

[quote]All that was created through Christ is to be reconciled to God through Him. He will not fail, for the Word shall fullfill all that He was sent to accomplish. This passage says that all of the Creation will eventually be reconciled, and that believers have a special salvation in which we are presently reconciled. The whole passage reads matter of factly, and not contingently. Christ created all things. All things will be reconciled by Him.[/quote]

I replied:

[quote]This does not say that all things will be reconciled to him. You're equivocating. It's as simple as that.[/quote]

You then said:

[quote]Now, I am well aware of the fallacy of equivocation, but help me out! Where did I commit such? Nonetheless, my points regarding Colossians 1:15-23 still need to be addressed.[/quote]

You are equivocating God's will, with what He ultimately achieves.

Edited by Fortigurn, 21 October 2004 - 07:28 AM.

Miserere mei Deus,
Secundum magnam misericordiam tuam.
Et secundum multitudinem miserationum tuarum
dele iniquitatem meam.

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">I am a Christadelphian. Click here to see my confession of faith.
______________________________________________________________________
‘John Wesley once received a note which said, “The Lord has told me to tell you that He doesn’t need your book-learning, your Greek, and your Hebrew.”

Wesley answered “Thank you, sir. Your letter was superfluous, however, as I already knew the Lord has no need for my ‘book-learning,’ as you put it. However—although the Lord has not directed me to say so—on my own responsibility I would like to say to you that the Lord does not need your ignorance, either.”

Osborne & Woodward, ‘Handbook for Bible study’, pp. 13-14 (1979)

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">Apologetics

#15 gabe

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Posted 20 October 2004 - 12:33 AM

Fortigurn wrote:

Here follow a number of quotes usually presented by Universalists in their attempt to argue that the concept of eternality is not present in Scripture, and that the Greek and Hebrew words translated 'eternal' in many Bibles, have been translated incorrectly.


I'm not sure that I see the relevance in mentioning Universalists here, for although there may be some Universalists who would make the odd claim that the concept of eternality is not present in Scripture, such an outstanding claim has nothing to do with the doctrine that God will save all mankind.

#16 gabe

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Posted 20 October 2004 - 12:38 AM

Dr. R.F. Weymouth, a translator who was adept in Greek, states in The New Testament in Modern Speech (p. 657), "Eternal, Greek aeonian, i.e., of the ages: Etymologically this adjective, like others similarly formed does not signify, "during" but "belonging to" the aeons or ages."


To this Fort repled:

Etymologically it does, but we're not talking about the meaning of the etymological root, we're talking about the word itself.

This quote alone proves that insisting on the meaning 'age' or 'ages' is committing the etymological (or 'root word'), fallacy.


Weymouth was, in fact, talking about the word itself. Simply noting the literal meaning of the adjective is not tantamount to claiming that 'age' or 'ages' is the only meaning of aion. No root word fallacy is apparant.

#17 gabe

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Posted 20 October 2004 - 03:46 AM

QUOTE
Dr. F.W. Farrar, author of The Life of Christ and The Life and Work of St. Paul, as well as books about Greek grammar and syntax, writes in The Eternal Hope (p. 198 ) , "That the adjective is applied to some things which are "endless" does not, of course, for one moment prove that the word itself meant 'endless;' and to introduce this rendering into many passages would be utterly impossible and absurd."

In his book, Mercy and Judgment, Dr. Farrar states (p. 378 ) , "Since aion meant 'age,' aionios means, properly, 'belonging to an age,' or 'age-long,' and anyone who asserts that it must mean 'endless' defends a position which even Augustine practically abandoned twelve centuries ago. Even if aion always meant 'eternity,' which is not the case in classic or Hellenistic Greek-aionios could still mean only 'belonging to eternity' and not 'lasting through it.'"



fortigurn comments:

Farrar 'is probably best labeled a hopeful universalist', according to a site which explained his Universalist leanings. I note as usual the lack of evidence supplied for the conclusion.


I'm not sure what point Fort is attempting to make in mentioning Farrar's universalistic tendencies. Would Fort disregard the studies and opinions of Christadelphians when these opinions and studies are consistent with Christadelphian doctrine?

As for lack of evidence, which claim of Farrar's do you want evidence for? The claim that it is unwarranted to suggest that aionios must mean eternal? I rather doubt that you would take issue with this, so which claim it is exactly that you do take issue with?


QUOTE
Lange's Commentary American Edition (vol. V, p. 48 ) , on Ecclesiastes chapter 1 verse 4, in commenting upon the statement "The earth abideth forever" says, "The preacher, in contending with the universalist, or restorationist, would commit an error, and, it may be, suffer a failure in his argument, should he lay the whole stress of it on the etymological or historical significance of the words, aion, aionios, and attempt to prove that, of themselves, they necessarily carry the meaning of endless duration."



Fort remarked:

The lexical authorities (citing the relevant historical and textual data), do not support these conclusions. I see no evidence from Lange to support them either.


What exactly was said by Lange which needs evidence? And what did he say which is not confirmed by lexical authorities? And which authorities did you have in mind? It is undeniable that the word 'aionios', stripped from context, has any inherent meaning of eternality. If you dispute this, I'd love to hear your arguments.

:coffee:

#18 Fortigurn

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Posted 20 October 2004 - 03:50 PM

Gabe said:

I'm not sure what point Fort is attempting to make in mentioning Farrar's universalistic tendencies. Would Fort disregard the studies and opinions of Christadelphians when these opinions and studies are consistent with Christadelphian doctrine?


I note this strange thing in Fort's argumentation too. Apparently the goal justify the means (discrediting universalist scholars).

If you read my post, you will see that this is not the purpose of my mentiong Farrar's Universalist tendencies.

The purpose was to demonstrate that Universalists invariably quote other Universalists to support their arguments. This is cross-pollination, and it is invalid. If they could quote the same number of non-Universalists to support their arguments, then that would be significant.

Universalists quoting the opinons of other Universalists, is like quoting the Book of Mormon to support Mormonism. It would be like me quoting other Christadelphians to support the Christadelphian faith.
Miserere mei Deus,
Secundum magnam misericordiam tuam.
Et secundum multitudinem miserationum tuarum
dele iniquitatem meam.

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">I am a Christadelphian. Click here to see my confession of faith.
______________________________________________________________________
‘John Wesley once received a note which said, “The Lord has told me to tell you that He doesn’t need your book-learning, your Greek, and your Hebrew.”

Wesley answered “Thank you, sir. Your letter was superfluous, however, as I already knew the Lord has no need for my ‘book-learning,’ as you put it. However—although the Lord has not directed me to say so—on my own responsibility I would like to say to you that the Lord does not need your ignorance, either.”

Osborne & Woodward, ‘Handbook for Bible study’, pp. 13-14 (1979)

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#19 gabe

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Posted 21 October 2004 - 01:51 AM

Round two to come?

:smited:

#20 Fortigurn

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Posted 21 October 2004 - 01:54 AM

Round two to come?

:smited:

Sure. You want me to move your new posts?
Miserere mei Deus,
Secundum magnam misericordiam tuam.
Et secundum multitudinem miserationum tuarum
dele iniquitatem meam.

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">I am a Christadelphian. Click here to see my confession of faith.
______________________________________________________________________
‘John Wesley once received a note which said, “The Lord has told me to tell you that He doesn’t need your book-learning, your Greek, and your Hebrew.”

Wesley answered “Thank you, sir. Your letter was superfluous, however, as I already knew the Lord has no need for my ‘book-learning,’ as you put it. However—although the Lord has not directed me to say so—on my own responsibility I would like to say to you that the Lord does not need your ignorance, either.”

Osborne & Woodward, ‘Handbook for Bible study’, pp. 13-14 (1979)

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target="_blank">Apologetics

#21 Fortigurn

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Posted 21 October 2004 - 01:59 AM

Dr. R.F. Weymouth, a translator who was adept in Greek, states in The New Testament in Modern Speech (p. 657), "Eternal, Greek aeonian, i.e., of the ages: Etymologically this adjective, like others similarly formed does not signify, "during" but "belonging to" the aeons or ages."


To this Fort repled:

Etymologically it does, but we're not talking about the meaning of the etymological root, we're talking about the word itself.

This quote alone proves that insisting on the meaning 'age' or 'ages' is committing the etymological (or 'root word'), fallacy.


Weymouth was, in fact, talking about the word itself.

Actually Gabe he was indulging in etymology:

Dr. R.F. Weymouth, a translator who was adept in Greek, states in The New Testament in Modern Speech (p. 657), "Eternal, Greek aeonian, i.e., of the ages: Etymologically this adjective, like others similarly formed does not signify, "during" but "belonging to" the aeons or ages."


Miserere mei Deus,
Secundum magnam misericordiam tuam.
Et secundum multitudinem miserationum tuarum
dele iniquitatem meam.

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">I am a Christadelphian. Click here to see my confession of faith.
______________________________________________________________________
‘John Wesley once received a note which said, “The Lord has told me to tell you that He doesn’t need your book-learning, your Greek, and your Hebrew.”

Wesley answered “Thank you, sir. Your letter was superfluous, however, as I already knew the Lord has no need for my ‘book-learning,’ as you put it. However—although the Lord has not directed me to say so—on my own responsibility I would like to say to you that the Lord does not need your ignorance, either.”

Osborne & Woodward, ‘Handbook for Bible study’, pp. 13-14 (1979)

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target="_blank">Apologetics

#22 Fortigurn

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Posted 21 October 2004 - 02:06 AM

As for lack of evidence, which claim of Farrar's do you want evidence for? The claim that it is unwarranted to suggest that aionios must mean eternal? I rather doubt that you would take issue with this, so which claim it is exactly that you do take issue with?


Fort remarked:

The lexical authorities (citing the relevant historical and textual data), do not support these conclusions. I see no evidence from Lange to support them either.

This:

In his book, Mercy and Judgment, Dr. Farrar states (p. 378 ) , "Since aion meant 'age,' aionios means, properly, 'belonging to an age,' or 'age-long,' and anyone who asserts that it must mean 'endless' defends a position which even Augustine practically abandoned twelve centuries ago.

Even if aion always meant 'eternity,' which is not the case in classic or Hellenistic Greek-aionios could still mean only 'belonging to eternity' and not 'lasting through it.'"


I want to see a lot more than assertions from Farrar.

Now Lange:

Lange's Commentary American Edition (vol. V, p. 48 ) , on Ecclesiastes chapter 1 verse 4, in commenting upon the statement "The earth abideth forever" says, "The preacher, in contending with the universalist, or restorationist, would commit an error, and, it may be, suffer a failure in his argument, should he lay the whole stress of it on the etymological or historical significance of the words, aion, aionios, and attempt to prove that, of themselves, they necessarily carry the meaning of endless duration."


My response:

The lexical authorities (citing the relevant historical and textual data), do not support these conclusions. I see no evidence from Lange to support them either.


You ask:

What exactly was said by Lange which needs evidence? And what did he say which is not confirmed by lexical authorities?


This:

"The preacher, in contending with the universalist, or restorationist, would commit an error, and, it may be, suffer a failure in his argument, should he lay the whole stress of it on the etymological or historical significance of the words, aion, aionios, and attempt to prove that, of themselves, they necessarily carry the meaning of endless duration."


You ask:

And which authorities did you have in mind?


Standard lexical authorities such as BADG and LSJ. Together with the relevant historical and textual data (such as Aristotle, De Coelo, I, 9, c. 350 BC, the LXX, Philo, De Mundo, 7, 1st century AD, Jerome's Vulgate, 5th century AD, and others).

It is undeniable that the word 'aionios', stripped from context, has any inherent meaning of eternality.  If you dispute this, I'd love to hear your arguments.


This statement of yours is meaningless, since 'aionios' never appears 'stripped from context' in any passage of Scripture.
Miserere mei Deus,
Secundum magnam misericordiam tuam.
Et secundum multitudinem miserationum tuarum
dele iniquitatem meam.

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">I am a Christadelphian. Click here to see my confession of faith.
______________________________________________________________________
‘John Wesley once received a note which said, “The Lord has told me to tell you that He doesn’t need your book-learning, your Greek, and your Hebrew.”

Wesley answered “Thank you, sir. Your letter was superfluous, however, as I already knew the Lord has no need for my ‘book-learning,’ as you put it. However—although the Lord has not directed me to say so—on my own responsibility I would like to say to you that the Lord does not need your ignorance, either.”

Osborne & Woodward, ‘Handbook for Bible study’, pp. 13-14 (1979)

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#23 gabe

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Posted 21 October 2004 - 04:34 AM

Fortigurn wrote:

Actually Gabe he was indulging in etymology:


QUOTE 
Dr. R.F. Weymouth, a translator who was adept in Greek, states in The New Testament in Modern Speech (p. 657), "Eternal, Greek aeonian, i.e., of the ages: Etymologically this adjective, like others similarly formed does not signify, "during" but "belonging to" the aeons or ages." 


I don't notice the indulgence. Might you exlpain further?


I asked:

As for lack of evidence, which claim of Farrar's do you want evidence for? The claim that it is unwarranted to suggest that aionios must mean eternal? I rather doubt that you would take issue with this, so which claim it is exactly that you do take issue with?




Fort replies:

This:


QUOTE 

In his book, Mercy and Judgment, Dr. Farrar states (p. 378 ) , "Since aion meant 'age,' aionios means, properly, 'belonging to an age,' or 'age-long,' and anyone who asserts that it must mean 'endless' defends a position which even Augustine practically abandoned twelve centuries ago.

Even if aion always meant 'eternity,' which is not the case in classic or Hellenistic Greek-aionios could still mean only 'belonging to eternity' and not 'lasting through it.'"



I want to see a lot more than assertions from Farrar.


I don't see anything that is open to debate here. It might be that I'm being naive, but what are you doubting exactly?


fort procedes:

Now Lange:


QUOTE 
Lange's Commentary American Edition (vol. V, p. 48 ) , on Ecclesiastes chapter 1 verse 4, in commenting upon the statement "The earth abideth forever" says, "The preacher, in contending with the universalist, or restorationist, would commit an error, and, it may be, suffer a failure in his argument, should he lay the whole stress of it on the etymological or historical significance of the words, aion, aionios, and attempt to prove that, of themselves, they necessarily carry the meaning of endless duration."



My response:


QUOTE 
The lexical authorities (citing the relevant historical and textual data), do not support these conclusions. I see no evidence from Lange to support them either. 



You ask:


QUOTE 
What exactly was said by Lange which needs evidence? And what did he say which is not confirmed by lexical authorities?



This:


QUOTE 
"The preacher, in contending with the universalist, or restorationist, would commit an error, and, it may be, suffer a failure in his argument, should he lay the whole stress of it on the etymological or historical significance of the words, aion, aionios, and attempt to prove that, of themselves, they necessarily carry the meaning of endless duration."


I don't see where your problem lies with Lange's quote. He, like you, asserts that an argument based upon etymological indulgence is a fatally-flawed one. Basing an anti-universalist argument upon an indulgence in etymology (more specifically, the claim that aionios must express eternality) is erroneous.



Fort:

Standard lexical authorities such as BADG and LSJ. Together with the relevant historical and textual data (such as Aristotle, De Coelo, I, 9, c. 350 BC, the LXX, Philo, De Mundo, 7, 1st century AD, Jerome's Vulgate, 5th century AD, and others).


Let's take a look, shall we? Present some examples from these authorities which you think discounts what Lange said in that quote. By this I do not mean to ask you to retreive evidence that aionios often means eternal but to demonstrate that it must mean eternal.



I said:

It is undeniable that the word 'aionios', stripped from context, has any inherent meaning of eternality.  If you dispute this, I'd love to hear your arguments.


Fort responded:

This statement of yours is meaningless, since 'aionios' never appears 'stripped from context' in any passage of Scripture.


Right on, Matey. Likewise, it is meaningless to assert that aionios must mean eternal.

#24 Fortigurn

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Posted 21 October 2004 - 04:39 AM

Fortigurn wrote:

Actually Gabe he was indulging in etymology:


QUOTE 
Dr. R.F. Weymouth, a translator who was adept in Greek, states in The New Testament in Modern Speech (p. 657), "Eternal, Greek aeonian, i.e., of the ages: Etymologically this adjective, like others similarly formed does not signify, "during" but "belonging to" the aeons or ages." 


I don't notice the indulgence. Might you exlpain further?

I put it in bold, and size 3 type. Have another look.

I don't see anything that is open to debate here.  It might be that I'm being naive, but what are you doubting exactly?


I am asking for the relevant lexical and historical evidence for this claim. None is given in that quote.

I don't see where your problem lies with Lange's quote.


My problem is that this claim was unsupported by any evidence whatever:

"The preacher, in contending with the universalist, or restorationist, would commit an error, and, it may be, suffer a failure in his argument, should he lay the whole stress of it on the etymological or historical significance of the words, aion, aionios, and attempt to prove that, of themselves, they necessarily carry the meaning of endless duration."


You said:

He, like you, asserts that an argument based upon etymological indulgence is a fatally-flawed one.


He actually asserts that an argument based on historical evidence is also fatally flawed. This is wrong.

Basing an anti-universalist argument upon an indulgence in etymology (more specifically, the claim that aionios must express eternality) is erroneous.


The claim that 'aionos must express eternality' is not an indulgence in etymology. But no one is actually claiming that aionos must express eternatlity anyway.

Fort:

Standard lexical authorities such as BADG and LSJ. Together with the relevant historical and textual data (such as Aristotle, De Coelo, I, 9, c. 350 BC, the LXX, Philo, De Mundo, 7, 1st century AD, Jerome's Vulgate, 5th century AD, and others).


Let's take a look, shall we? Present some examples from these authorities which you think discounts what Lange said in that quote.


I recommend you to my last few posts (which have stood here for a number of weeks now).

By this I do not mean to ask you to retreive evidence that aionios often means eternal but to demonstrate that it must mean eternal.


I recommend you to my posts for an understanding of exactly what I am choosing to argue, rather than what you would prefer me to argue.
Miserere mei Deus,
Secundum magnam misericordiam tuam.
Et secundum multitudinem miserationum tuarum
dele iniquitatem meam.

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">I am a Christadelphian. Click here to see my confession of faith.
______________________________________________________________________
‘John Wesley once received a note which said, “The Lord has told me to tell you that He doesn’t need your book-learning, your Greek, and your Hebrew.”

Wesley answered “Thank you, sir. Your letter was superfluous, however, as I already knew the Lord has no need for my ‘book-learning,’ as you put it. However—although the Lord has not directed me to say so—on my own responsibility I would like to say to you that the Lord does not need your ignorance, either.”

Osborne & Woodward, ‘Handbook for Bible study’, pp. 13-14 (1979)

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#25 Fortigurn

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Posted 21 October 2004 - 04:40 AM

I said:

It is undeniable that the word 'aionios', stripped from context, has any inherent meaning of eternality.  If you dispute this, I'd love to hear your arguments.


Fort responded:

This statement of yours is meaningless, since 'aionios' never appears 'stripped from context' in any passage of Scripture.


Right on, Matey. Likewise, it is meaningless to assert that aionios must mean eternal.

Can you explain what you mean by this?
Miserere mei Deus,
Secundum magnam misericordiam tuam.
Et secundum multitudinem miserationum tuarum
dele iniquitatem meam.

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">I am a Christadelphian. Click here to see my confession of faith.
______________________________________________________________________
‘John Wesley once received a note which said, “The Lord has told me to tell you that He doesn’t need your book-learning, your Greek, and your Hebrew.”

Wesley answered “Thank you, sir. Your letter was superfluous, however, as I already knew the Lord has no need for my ‘book-learning,’ as you put it. However—although the Lord has not directed me to say so—on my own responsibility I would like to say to you that the Lord does not need your ignorance, either.”

Osborne & Woodward, ‘Handbook for Bible study’, pp. 13-14 (1979)

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target="_blank">Apologetics

#26 gabe

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Posted 21 October 2004 - 07:19 AM

I said:

I don't notice the indulgence. Might you exlpain further? 



fort replied:

I put it in bold, and size 3 type. Have another look.


You sure did, and noting some etymological facts about a word is not tantamount to comitting the root word fallacy.


I said:

I don't see anything that is open to debate here.  It might be that I'm being naive, but what are you doubting exactly?



Fort replies:

I am asking for the relevant lexical and historical evidence for this claim. None is given in that quote.


There are more than one claim. Once again, which specific claim did you have in mind?


Lange: QUOTE
"The preacher, in contending with the universalist, or restorationist, would commit an error, and, it may be, suffer a failure in his argument, should he lay the whole stress of it on the etymological or historical significance of the words, aion, aionios, and attempt to prove that, of themselves, they necessarily carry the meaning of endless duration."


I said:

He, like you, asserts that an argument based upon etymological indulgence is a fatally-flawed one.




Fort replies:

He actually asserts that an argument based on historical evidence is also fatally flawed. This is wrong.


He nowhere asserted that an argument based on historical evidence is flawed. If you read more carefully, you will note that what Lange considers as flawed is the argument that a biblical word (in this case aion and aionios) must necessarily have a certain meaning (in this case "eternal") based upon historical and etymological factors. Sure, historical and etymological factors must be thoroughly considered in developing a comprehensive understanding of any given word, but there is mushc more to it that this, as you well know.

I said:

Basing an anti-universalist argument upon an indulgence in etymology (more specifically, the claim that aionios must express eternality) is erroneous.



The claim that 'aionos must express eternality' is not an indulgence in etymology. But no one is actually claiming that aionos must express eternatlity anyway.


Actually, one could only hope to justify the claim that a word must always carry a certain meaning by appealing to etymology. Of course, the hope would be disappointed.

Now, I know that you understand that aionios need not be understood as conveying the idea of eternality, which is why I asked you to be specific with regards to the claims that Lange and Farrar made to which you demand evidence. I see nothing whatever in Lange's quote, for instance, which requires explanation.


I said:

By this I do not mean to ask you to retreive evidence that aionios often means eternal but to demonstrate that it must mean eternal.



fort responded:

I recommend you to my posts for an understanding of exactly what I am choosing to argue, rather than what you would prefer me to argue.


A misunderstanding, apparantly. I have no preferences for what you will argue. I recommend for you to be a bit more cool-headed.

Ok, let's get to the good stuff.

Matthew 25:46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

Ok, let's start with some basics. Who are the sheep and the goats? Who are the nations? And what makes you think that the duration of the life and punishment are being compared?

:smited:

#27 gabe

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Posted 21 October 2004 - 07:22 AM

Gabe:

Likewise, it is meaningless to assert that aionios must mean eternal. 



Fort:

Can you explain what you mean by this?


You see, I was under the impression that you were taking issue with Lange's comment about the error in claiming that aionios

must

mean eternal. Am I correct to now think that your issue is rather with his comment about historical significance fo words?

#28 Fortigurn

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Posted 21 October 2004 - 07:30 AM

I said:

I don't notice the indulgence. Might you exlpain further? 



fort replied:

I put it in bold, and size 3 type. Have another look.


You sure did, and noting some etymological facts about a word is not tantamount to comitting the root word fallacy.

But they weren't facts. That's the problem. I've been through this 'belonging to the ages' thing before - it's in my posts above.

There are more than one claim.  Once again, which specific claim did you have in mind?


I said 'this claim', and quoted the claim for which I required evidence (I placed it in bold).

I'll do it again:

"The preacher, in contending with the universalist, or restorationist, would commit an error, and, it may be, suffer a failure in his argument, should he lay the whole stress of it on the etymological or historical significance of the words, aion, aionios, and attempt to prove that, of themselves, they necessarily carry the meaning of endless duration."


I hope that's clear.

I said: 

He, like you, asserts that an argument based upon etymological indulgence is a fatally-flawed one.


Fort replies:

He actually asserts that an argument based on historical evidence is also fatally flawed. This is wrong.


He nowhere asserted that an argument based on historical evidence is flawed.


Here it is:

should he lay the whole stress of it on the etymological or historical significance of the words, aion, aionios, and attempt to prove that, of themselves, they necessarily carry the meaning of endless duration."


What next?

f you read more carefully, you will note that what Lange considers as flawed is the argument that a biblical word (in this case aion and aionios) must necessarily have a certain meaning (in this case "eternal") based upon historical and etymological factors.  Sure, historical and etymological factors must be thoroughly considered in developing a comprehensive understanding of any given word, but there is mushc more to it that this, as you well know.


I'm at a loss. What else is there?

Actually, one could only hope to justify the claim that a word must always carry a certain meaning by appealing to etymology.  Of course, the hope would be disappointed.


We've been through this before (at least I have), and I refer you to my posts above. It's the Universalist who appeals to the etymological arguments.

Now, I know that you understand that aionios need not be understood as conveying the idea of eternality, which is why I asked you to be specific with regards to the claims that Lange and Farrar made to which you demand evidence.  I see nothing whatever in Lange's quote, for instance, which requires explanation.


I've repeated it for you.

Ok, let's get to the good stuff.

Matthew 25:46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

Ok, let's start with some basics.  Who are the sheep and the goats?  Who are the nations?  And what makes you think that the duration of the life and punishment are being compared?


The sheep and goats are those who are responsible to Christ at his return. The 'nations' do not exist in Matthew 25 - the word should be translated 'peoples'. The duration of the life and punishment are not being 'compared', we are simply told that the duration of the life and punishment are identical (the same word is used to describe the duration of both of them).
Miserere mei Deus,
Secundum magnam misericordiam tuam.
Et secundum multitudinem miserationum tuarum
dele iniquitatem meam.

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">I am a Christadelphian. Click here to see my confession of faith.
______________________________________________________________________
‘John Wesley once received a note which said, “The Lord has told me to tell you that He doesn’t need your book-learning, your Greek, and your Hebrew.”

Wesley answered “Thank you, sir. Your letter was superfluous, however, as I already knew the Lord has no need for my ‘book-learning,’ as you put it. However—although the Lord has not directed me to say so—on my own responsibility I would like to say to you that the Lord does not need your ignorance, either.”

Osborne & Woodward, ‘Handbook for Bible study’, pp. 13-14 (1979)

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">Apologetics

#29 Fortigurn

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Posted 21 October 2004 - 07:32 AM

Gabe:

Likewise, it is meaningless to assert that aionios must mean eternal. 



Fort:

Can you explain what you mean by this?


You see, I was under the impression that you were taking issue with Lange's comment about the error in claiming that aionios

must

mean eternal. Am I correct to now think that your issue is rather with his comment about historical significance fo words?

I actually have an issue with the assertion that it is an error to claim tht aionios 'must mean eternal', because it's an assertion which is particularly poorly worded. It sounds as if to assert that the word contains that meaning is to assert that it contains only that meaning, and is used in only that way.

But I also took issue with his comment regarding the 'historical significance' of words, as I've shown.
Miserere mei Deus,
Secundum magnam misericordiam tuam.
Et secundum multitudinem miserationum tuarum
dele iniquitatem meam.

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">I am a Christadelphian. Click here to see my confession of faith.
______________________________________________________________________
‘John Wesley once received a note which said, “The Lord has told me to tell you that He doesn’t need your book-learning, your Greek, and your Hebrew.”

Wesley answered “Thank you, sir. Your letter was superfluous, however, as I already knew the Lord has no need for my ‘book-learning,’ as you put it. However—although the Lord has not directed me to say so—on my own responsibility I would like to say to you that the Lord does not need your ignorance, either.”

Osborne & Woodward, ‘Handbook for Bible study’, pp. 13-14 (1979)

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">Apologetics

#30 gabe

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Posted 21 October 2004 - 06:57 PM

Fort, I snipped out the nonsense so that we could get right to the real issues.

Matthew 25:46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

I asked:

Ok, let's start with some basics.  Who are the sheep and the goats?  Who are the nations?  And what makes you think that the duration of the life and punishment are being compared?




The sheep and goats are those who are responsible to Christ at his return. The 'nations' do not exist in Matthew 25 - the word should be translated 'peoples'. The duration of the life and punishment are not being 'compared', we are simply told that the duration of the life and punishment are identical (the same word is used to describe the duration of both of them).


I will take issue with you only on your last comment. Why do you think that aionios signfies the duration of both the life and punishment?




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