Greek: Aeon World/Age Study Archive

The enemy who sowed them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are angels.


Greek New Testament
/Aeon” (World/Age)

The End of the ‘World’
Physical Universe, or Historical Eras ?

The World in Matthew 13:38-40






The field is the world, the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; The field is the world, the good seed are the sons of the kingdom; but the tares are the sons of the wicked one.



the enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels. The enemy who sowed them is the devil, the harvest is the end of the age; and the reapers are the angels.



As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so will it be at the end of this world.  (Source: R.C. SproulLast Days)



Abbo of Fleury (c.945-c.1004)
“When I was a young man I heard a sermon about the end of the world preached before people in the cathedral of Paris.  According to this, as soon as the number of a thousand years was completed, the Antichrist would come and the Last Judgment would follow in a brief time.  I opposed this sermon with what force I could from passages in the Gospels, the Apocalypse and the Book of Daniel” (Apologetic Work)

George Wesley Buchanan (2005)
“Jews believed there were large temporal units called “ages” that followed each other..  Each cycle had two halves, just as each day had two halves — night and day.  One half of the cycle was the dark age, and the other was the age of light.. The end for which pious Jews and Christians longed was the end of the dark age — not the end of the world, the cosmos, or of time.  When the dark age came to an end, there would be a new age of light with a Jewish messiah ruling the Kingdom of God from his throne at Jerusalem.” (The Book of Revelation: Its Introduction and Prophecy, p. 10)

Jonathan Edwards (1739)
“And the dissolution of the Jewish state was often spoken of in the Old Testament as the end of the world. But we who belong to the gospel-church, belong to the new creation; and therefore there seems to be at least as much reason, that we should commemorate the work of this creation, as that the members of the ancient Jewish church should commemorate the work of the old creation.” (“The Perpetuity and Change of the Sabbath” (The Works of Jonathan Edwards, vol 2).

W.B. Godbey
“The popular idea of the end of the world is unscriptural. Matthew 24:3, which reads, “end of the world,” should read, “end of the age.” The Greek word is not cosmos (world), but aeon (age, or time).”

James Patrick Holden
“There were various views about what this age would constitute; not all views involved a Messianic figure, and the disciples themselves show some confusion when they ask if the kingdom will be restored to Israel (Acts 1:6). They are in line with certain Messianic expectations when they ask this; they are expcecting that now that the Age of the Messiah has dawned, Israel will be restored properly again. It boils down to this: the “end of the age” refers back to the destruction of the Temple and the end of the covenant, and the beginning of the new covenant. “The age to come, the end of Israel’s exile, [was seen] as thhe inaugration of a new covenant between Israel and her god.” [NTPG, 301] (Cf. Matt. 12:32, “And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.” “World” in both cases is aion.) The verse 39 example has the same theme, only it uses the analogy of a harvest. (One other use, Matt. 28:20, offers no contextual clues.) This would sensibly fit in with Matt. 24:31, a later part of the discourse (“And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.”) How could this refer to the “end of the age” in 70 AD? I think rather easily. Dispensational commentators see here a reference perhaps to the “Rapture” and/or final judgment. But neither a harvest nor a fishing expedition is such a quick event. Harvests took days to process in the age before tractors. Fishermen stayed out fishing for extended periods (as Peter and co. stayed out all night, until Jesus leant a hand). No commentator would disagree that upon death the wicked, and the justfied in Christ, are encountering their final judgment (Heb. 9:27) — and the “field” here is the “world” (kosmos), the entire world. The seed sown by Jesus is sown over the entire kosmos.” (Olivet Discourse and Prophetic Fulfillment)

B.W. Johnson
“Literally, ‘the inhabited earth of the future.’ The Jewish dispensation was called by the Jews ‘the present world.’ A dispensation following it would be the world to come.’ The reference is rather to the future gospel ages than to the eternal world.” (B. W. Johnson, People’s New Testament with Notes)

John Locke (1705)
(On Galatians 4:25,26) “The He might take us out of this present evil world, or age, so the Greek words signify. Whereby it cannot be thought that St. Paul meant that Christians were to be immediately removed into the other world. Therefore enestwtoj aiwnoj (gk.) must signify something else than present world in the ordinary import of those words in English. Aiwnoj toutou, 1 Cor. ii. 6,8, and in other places, plainly signifies the Jewish nation under the Mosaical constitution; and it suits very well with the apostle’s design in this epistle that it should do so here. God has in this world but one kingdom and one people. The nation of the Jews were the kingdom and people of God whilst the law stood. And this kingdom of God under the Mosaical constitution was called aiwnojtoutouthis age, or, as it is commonly translated, this world, to which aiwnoj enestwtoj, the present world, or age, here answers. But the kingdom of God which was to be under the Messiah, wherein the economy and constitution of the Jewish Church, and the nation itself, that in opposition to Christ adhered to it, was to be laid aside, is in the New Testament called aivwvn mevllwn, the world, orage, to come; so that Christ’s taking them out of the present world, may, without any violence to the words, be understood to signify His setting them free from the Mosaical constitution.” (Paraphrase and Notes on Galatians)

(On Ephesians 2:2 and the word ‘aeon’ – gr. aiwn) “aivwn (aeon) may be observed in the New Testament to signify the lasting state and constitution of things in the great tribes or collections of me, considered in reference to the kingdom of God: whereof there were two most eminent, and principally intended, if I mistake not, by the word aivw./nej, when that is used alone, and that it is o.. nu/n aivw./n, this present world, which is taken for that state of the world wherein the children of Israel were His people and made up his kingdom upon earth; the Gentiles, that is, all the other nations of the world, being in a state of apostasy and revolt from Him, and aivwvn mevllwn, the world to come, that is, the time of the Gospel, wherein God, by Christ, broke down the partition wall betwee jew and Gentile, and opened a way for the reconciling the rest of mankind and taking the Gentiles again into His kingdom under Jesus Christ, under whoe rule He had put it.” (Notes on Eph. ii.2)

(On I Corinthians 10:11, Ephesians 1:21 and the word ‘aeon’ – gr. ai,w.n) “It may be worth while to consider whether aivw./n (aeon) hath not ordinarily a more natural signification in the New Testament by standing for a considerable length of time, passing under some one remarkable dispensation.” (Notes on I Cor 10:11)

James Macknight (1763)
“The gospel dispensation is called ainos milloutos, the age to come, Heb.6:5, but never oikoumene millousan, the inhabitable world to come. The phrase, if I mistake not, signifies the heavenly country promised to Abraham and his spiritual seed. Wherefore, asoikoumene, the world, Lk.2:1, and elsewhere, by a usual figure of speech, signifies the inhabitants of the world, the phraseoikoumene millousan may very well signify the inhabitants of the world to come, called [in] Heb.1:14 ‘Them who shall inherit salvation.’” (Apostolical Epistles)

Reverend Abel C. Thomas (1843)
“The phrase ‘the end of the world,’” he wrote, “occurs seven times in the New Testament. The Greek term rendered world is notkosmos (which signifies material world), but aion, which signifies era or age. Its meaning is well expressed when we speak of the Christian era, the Jewish era, the Elizabethan era – or Golden Age – the Dark Ages, and the like. The Disciples asked our Lord in a private interview, ‘What shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?’ (aion.) In the reply of our Saviour he speaks thrice of the end – namely, the end of the world inquired for, and He assures His Disciples that the end would be before that generation passed away.. ..There is not a place in Scripture where the end of kosmos is mentioned, but the end of aion is seven times spoken of in the New Testament. ‘The Harvest is the end of the world’ (aion). Matt. XIII – verse 48. ‘So shall it be at the end of the world’ (aion).” [A Complete Refutation of Miller’s Theory of the End of the World in 1843. Published in 1843. Appendix, pp. 263-64.]

N.T. Wright (1995)
“The present age was a time when the creator god seemed to be hiding his face; the age to come would see the renewal of the created world. The present age was the time of Israel’s misery; in the age to come she would be restored. In the present age wicked men seemed to be flourishing; in the age to come they would receive their just reward. In the present age even Israel was not really keeping the Torah perfectly, was not really being YHWH’s true humanity; in the age to come all Israel would keep Torah from the heart.” (New Testament and the People of God, 299-300)

“Within the mainline Jewish writings of this period, covering a wide range of styles, genres, political persuasions and theological perspectives, there is virtually no evidence that Jews were expecting the end of the space-time universe.  There is abundant evidence that they knew a good metaphor when they saw one, and used cosmic imagery to bring out the full theological significance of cataclysmic socio-political events.   There is almost nothing to suggest that they followed the Stoics into the belief that the world itself would come to an end; and there is almost everything to suggest that they did not.” (NTPG 333)

“To the list of sources there in favour of the position advanced should be added Horslet 1987, 138f., 337; and (cited by Horsley) Wilder 1959.  Among many passages which could be cited, the three which Allison 1985, 89 quotes, against the drift of his own argument (on which see above, 209 n. 38, and the next note, below), will do for a start: Ps. – Philo 11.3-5; 4 Ezra 3.18-19; and bZeb. 116a.” (Jesus and the Victory of God, p. 321f.)

“If Jesus and the early church used the relevant language in the same way as their contemporaries, it is highly unlikely that they would have been referring to the actual end of the world, and highly likely that they would have been referring to events within space-time history which they interpreted as the coming of the kingdom.  It will not do to dismiss this reading of ‘apocalyptic’ language as ‘merely metaphorical’.   Metaphors have teeth; the complex metaphors available to first-century Jews had particularly sharp ones.”  (Jesus and the Victory of God, p. 321)

Preterist Commentaries from Modern Preterism

John Brown (1858)
” ‘Heaven and earth passing,’ understood literally, is the dissolution of the present system of the universe, and the period when that is to take place, is called the ‘end of the world.’ But a person at all familiar with the phraseology of the Old Testament Scriptures, knows that the dissolution of the Mosaic economy, and the establishment of the Christian, is often spoken of as the removing of the old earth and heavens, and the creation of a new earth and new heavens” (Discourses and Saying, vol. 1, p. 170)

“The period of the close of the one dispensation and the commencement of the other, is spoken of as “the last days,” and “the end of the world,” and is described as such a shaking of the earth and heavens, as should lead to the removal of the things which were shaken (Hag. ii.6, Hen xiv. 26,27).

(On I Peter 4:7) “After some deliberation I have been led to adopt the opinion of those who hold that “the end of all things” here is the entire end of the Jewish economy in the destruction of the city and temple of Jerusalem, and the dispersion of the holy people. That was at hand; for this epistle seems to have been written a very short while before these events took place, not improbably after the commencement of the “wars and rumours of wars” of which our Lord spake. This view will not appear strange to any one who has carefully weighed the terms in which our Lord had predicted these events, and the close connection which the fulfillment of these predictions had with the interests and duties of Christians, whether in Judea or in Gentile countries.

It is quite plain that in our Lord’s prediction the expressions “the end,” and probably “the end of the world,” are used in reference to the entire dissolution of the Jewish economy. The events of that period were very minutely foretold, and our Lord distinctly stated that the existing generation should not pass away till all things respecting “this end” should be fulfilled, This was to be a season of suffering for all; of trial, severe trial, to the followers of Christ; of dreadful judgment on His Jewish opposers, and of glorious triumph to His religion. To this period there are repeated references in the apostolical epistles. “Knowing the time,” says the Apostle Paul, “that now it is high time to awake out of sleep, for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand.” “Be patient,” says the Apostle James; “stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.” “The Judge standeth before the door.” Our Lord’s predictions must have been very familiar to the minds of Christians at the time this was written. They must have been looking forward with mingled awe and joy, fear and hope, to their accomplishment: “looking for the things which were coming on the earth;” and it was peculiarly natural for Peter to refer to these events, and to refer to them in words similar to those used by our Lord, as he was one of the disciples who, sitting with his Lord in full view of the city and temple, hears these predictions uttered. (Expository Discourses on 1 Peter, vol. ii. pp.292-294)

Gary DeMar
“Notice that the disciples did not ask about the dissolution of the physical heaven and earth or the judgment of the “world” (kosmos). After hearing Jesus pronounce judgment on the temple and city of Jerusalem (Matthew 23:37­39), His disciples ask about the end of the “age” (aion). When did the “end” occur? The only proximate eschatological event that fits the “end of the age” framework is the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70. The disciples knew that the fall of the temple and the destruction of the city meant the end of the Old Covenant order and the inauguration of a new order. As Jews who were familiar with Old Testament imagery, the disciples recognized the meaning of this restructuring language. Jesus nowhere corrects or modifies the multi-faceted question of the disciples..  The “age to come,” therefore, is simply a designation for the Christian era, an era that was long ago prophesied by the prophets. Abraham, for example, “rejoiced in order to see [Jesus’] day; and he saw it, and was glad” (John 8:56). The old covenant with its attendant animal sacrifices and earthly priesthood passed away when God’s lamb, Jesus Christ, took away the sins of the world.” (The Passing Away of Heaven and Earth)

F.W. Farrar
“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.” (The Eternal Hope, page 198)

Thomas Newton (1754)
“‘The coming of Christ’ is also the same period with the destruction of Jerusalem, as may appear from several places in the Gospels, and particularly from these two passages; ‘There are some standing here,’ saith our blessed Lord, ‘who shall not taste of death till they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom,’ Matt xvi. 28, that is, evidently, there are some standing here who shall live, not till they end of the world, to the coming of Christ to judge mankind, but till the destruction of Jerusalem, to the coming of Christ in judgment upon the Jews. In another place, John xxi.22, speaking to Peter concerning John, he saith, ‘If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee?’ what is that to thee, if I will that he live till the destruction of Jerusalem? as in truth he did, and long. ‘The coming of Christ,’ and ‘the conclusion of the age,’ being therefore only different expressions to denote the same period with the destruction of Jerusalem, the purpose of the question plainly is, when shall the destruction of Jerusalem be, and what shall be the signs of it?’” (Newton, p. 374)

N. Nisbett (1787)
Upon this assertion, his disciples very naturally asked him, when these things should be, and what would be the sign of his coming? St. Matt. alone has this addition, and of the end of the world; which Bishop Pearce has, I think, more justly translated, the end of the age, during which the Jewish state was to last, and which age, the disciples imagined, would be at an end, when the Christ came, and visited the Jewish nation.” (An Attempt to Illustrate..)

Stafford North (1985)
“Actually, their phrase in Matthew may more precisely be translated from the Greek as “the end of the age.”  The RSV, in fact, translates it as “close of the age.”  The destruction of the temple was, in fact, the means God used to mark the “end of the age” of His dealings with the Jews as His chosen people.. The terms “thy coming” and “end of the age” in Matthew were their way of describing what, in their minds, was the cataclysmic event Jesus had spoken about and not a reference to the “end of the world” as we think of it.” (Armageddon Again?, OK, 1991, p. 42)

Bishop Pearce (18th Century)
(On I Corinthians 10:11)
 “St. Paul did not imagine, that the end of the world was at hand (as some commentators have, much to his prejudice, supposed): He only alluded to the Jewish distinction of time.”

(On Hebrews 9:26) “which phrase of the ‘end of the world; relates, not to the end of the world, strictly speaking, but to the preceding ages, being ended.”

James Stuart Russell (1878)
(On Matthew 13:39) “We find in the passages here quoted an example of one of those erroneous renderings which have done much to confuse and mislead the ordinary readers of our English version. It is probable, that ninety-nine in every hundred understand by the phrase, ‘the end of the world,’ the close of human history, and the destruction of the material earth. They would not imagine that the ‘ world ‘ in ver. 38 and the ‘world’ in ver. 39 40, are totally different words, with totally different meanings. Yet such is the fact. Koinos in ver. 38 is rightly translated world, and refers to the world of men, but aeon in ver. 39, 40, refers to a period of time, and should be rendered age or epoch. Lange translates it aeon. It is of the greatest importance to understand correctly the two meaning of this word, and of the phrase ‘the end of the aeon, or age.’ aion is, as we have said, a period of time, or an age. It is exactly equivalent to the Latin word aevum, which is merely aion in a Latin dress; and the phrase, (Greek- coming), translated in our English version, ‘the end of the world,’ should be, ‘the close of the age.’ Tittman observes: (Greek – coming), as it occurs in the New Testament, does not denote the end, but rather the consummation, of the aeon, which is to be followed by a new age. So in Matt. xiii. 39, 40, 49; xxiv. 3; which last passage, it is to be feared, may be misunderstood in applying it to the destruction of the world.’ (8) It was the belief of the Jews that the Messiah would introduce a new aeon: and this new aeon, or age, they called ‘the kingdom of heaven.’ The existing aeon: therefore, was the Jewish dispensation, which was now drawing to its close; and how it would terminate our Lord impressively shows in these parables. It is indeed surprising that expositors should have failed to recognize in these solemn predictions the reproduction and reiteration of the words of Malachi and of John the Baptist.” (p.21)

“Nothing can be more misleading to the English reader, than the rendering, ‘the end of the world;’ which inevitably suggests the close of human history, the end of time, and the destruction of the earth — a meaning which the words will not bear. . . . What can be more evident than that the promise of Christ to be with his disciples to the close of the age implies that they were to live to the close of the age ? That great consummation was not far off ; the Lord had often spoken of it, and always as an approaching event, one which some of them would live to lice. It was the winding up of the Mosaic dispensation; the end of the long probation of the theocratic nation; when the whole frame and fabric of the Jewish polity were to be swept away, and the kingdom of God to come with power. This great event, our Lord declared, was to fall within the limit of the existing generation.” (The Parousia, p. 121.)

Milburn Cockrell (1998)
“The translators of our English version did a very poor job in translating the Greek word “aion.” It occurs a little over 100 times in the Greek New Testament. In our King James Version it is translated ‘world’ 32 times, ‘for ever’ 27 times, ‘for ever and ever’ 20 times, and by a few other words some-times. Only two times out of a little over 100 is it properly translated ‘age’ (Eph. 2:7Col 1:26). In my honest opinion, two out of a hundred is a very poor record.” (Berea Baptist Banner August 5, 1998, page 1 – M.C. Editor)

Steve Duff
“The word “world” carries many meanings. It can mean the terrestrial world. This is the meaning of, “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” (Mark 8:36) If it’s important to you, the Greek word is kosmos, meaning world, including its inhabitants. We believe that context is sufficient to determine the meaning. This is probably the primary meaning of the word in the modern day. It can also mean a large amount of the terra firm, or the known world. This is the meaning of, “But I say, Have they not heard? Yes, verily their sound went into all the earth,” (Rom. 10:18) The Greek word (if you must have it) is oikoumene, meaning the known world at that time, the Roman Empire. In this verse (Matt. 24:3), the word “world” means a sphere, realm or kingdom. The Greek word (if you were wondering) is aion meaning “age”. We use the word this way when talking about the “world of fashion,” the “renaissance world” or the Greek “bronze age.” The disciples wanted to know when the Jewish kingdom or age would end.  It stands to reason that the destruction of the Temple would coincide with the end of the Jewish age. The Temple was the epicenter of their culture. And it stands to reason that the destruction would have been the result of God’s judgment. Israel universally believed that God himself would deliver them, as he has in Old Testament times. These are not, however, just inferences and conjecture based on obscure word meanings. Jesus had traveled with them for three years and taught the Old Testament prophecies to them. These events are foretold in Daniel, Isaiah, Ezekiel, Joel, Amos and Zechariah. All of the prophets touch on the subject in some manner. Their question was a logical inquiry based on the context of what they knew.” (The Last Days)

Thomas Hewitt
“Some have understood the world to come, he oikoumene he mellousa, as having the same meaning as in the verse, ‘Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness’ (2 Pet.3:13). In 6:5 the expression occurs again, but instead of oikoumene (the inhabited earth) aion (age) is used. The expression most probably carries the same breadth of meaning as ‘at the end of these days’ (1:2,RV). Such terms as these have extensive meanings, embracing the entire divine activity to bring about the salvation of man. Calvin remarks that, ‘the world to come is not that which we hope for after the resurrection, but that which began at the beginning of Christ’s Kingdom, but it no doubt will have its full accomplishment in our final redemption.’ Whatever meaning is applied to the phrase it is not put in subjection to angels; it merely states that the new order will not be in subjection then but to Christ, the Son of man.” ( Tyndale Commentaries, in loc.)

Robert Milligan
” The world to come (he oikoumene he mellousa) means, not the coming age (ho aion ho mellon) as in Matt.12:39, etc., but the habitable world under the reign and government of the Messiah (ch.1:6). It is the world in which we now live; and in which, when it shall have been purified from sin [emphasis added], the redeemed shall live forever. For man, it was first created (Gen.1:28-31); and to man, it still belongs by the immutable decree of Jehovah.” (Epistle to the Hebrews)

Hugo McCord
“Scripturally, no age follows our present age: on “us” is “the fulfillment of the ages has come” (1 Corinthians 10:11, NIV), “the ends of the world are come” (KJV). Christ has appeared “at the end of the ages” (Hebrews 9:26, NIV), “in the end of the world” (KJV). After “the end of the age” is not another one on this planet, but then comes the “harvest,” and “the harvesters are angels” (Matthew 13:39, NIV), when “the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age” (Matthew 13:40, NIV), “in the end of this world” (KJV). Jesus said, “This is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous” (Matthew 13:49, NIV), “at the end of the world” (KJV).Because some might infer that there is to be another age after our present age before the end of the world, it is better to stick with the KJV and the ASV translations of Matthew 28:20.” (2 Chronicles 25:29)

“In general, the word depicts that of which the horizon is not in view . . . (The Vocabulary of the Greek Testament;edited by James Hope Moulton and George Milligan, p.16).

Alan Richardson
“.. in the later writings of the Old Testament we find the picture of the healing river, or living waters, which will flow out from Jerusalem in the Messianic Age (Ezek. 47.1-12Zech. 14.8Joel 3.18; cf. Isa. 12.333.21), bringing life to the world. St. John, in whose writing Jewish eschatology is adapted to Christian ends with consummate skill, fastens on the idea and represents Christ as the fulfillment of the promise of ‘living water’ (John 4.10) in the latter days: ‘The water that I shall give him shall become in him a well of water springing up into the life of the (new) Age’ (John 4:14)… Thus, the conception of life, which the New Testament takes over from later Judaism, is thoroughly eschatological.” (An Introduction to the Theology of the New Testament, pp.7172.)

The fact is that in the New Testament zoe, or more fully zoe aionios, is an eschatological conception; it is one of the characteristic marks of the Age to Come, like glory, light, etc. In the contemporary rabbinic conception, the Age to Come (cf. Mark 10.30, ho erchomenos aion; Heb. 6.5, ho mellon aion), as distinct from this age (ho nun aion or ho aion hou-tos), was to be characterized by zoe, that is, zoe aionios, the life of the (coming) aion. Thus, what appears in EVV as ‘eternal life’ or ‘life everlasting’ really means ‘the life of the Age to Come’. The phrase zoe aionios need not necessarily imply ever-lasting life (e.g. Enoch 10.10), but the usual meaning is life after death indefinitely prolonged in the World to Come (Dan. 12.2 10.10), but the usual meaning is life after death indefinitely prolonged in the World to Come (Dan. 12.2; Test. Asher 5.2; Ps. 501. 3.16; II (4) Esd. 7.12f.; 8.52-54). (An Introduction to the Theology of the New Testament, pp.73,74)

“The real point is the CHARACTER of the punishment. It is that of the order of the Age to Come as contrasted with any earthly penalties” (An Introduction to the Theology of the NT).

R. Schnachanburg (1963)
“There is never a hint in (John’s) gospel that the Greek idea of immortality, the mere survival of the soul, has replaced the Semitic concept of life” – that is to say, the life of the whole man in true creaturely existence (God’s Rule and Kingdom, p.280; cited in George Eldon Ladd, The Pattern of New Testament Truth, p.72).

G.T. Stevenson
“Translation from one language to another is a notoriously difficult task, the expression of nuances felt to be present in one tongue being often practically impossible in another because of lack of appropriate vocabulary. Therefore it is to be expected that some discordance will arise.

In the translation of ‘aion’ in well-known English versions,the following forty different renderings appear: Age, eon, time, period, today, the future, universe, course, world, worldly, world without end, since the world began, from the beginning of the world, ever, evermore, for ever and ever, end of my days, eternal, everlasting, always, permanently, constantly, of old, ancient times, all time (since) time was, (since) time began, (before) time began, all time, (since) the beginning of time, eternal ages, eternal life, eternity, course of eternity, utter (darkness), (the son) does (remain), ages of the eternities, (in and through) the eternities of the eternities, etc.

For ‘aionios” the English versions use:- everlasting, eternal, eonian, age lasting, age during, age duringly, age abiding, (in) the time of the ages, age times, (before) the ages of time, of the ages, (in) the periods of past ages, (before) the ages began, for the ages of time, (before) the beginning of time, since the world began, (before) the times of the world, (before) times eternal, from eternity, from all eternity, for ever, unfailing, final, unending, permanent, immemorial, enduring, lasting, eternally, long, perpetual, an immeasurable eternity, last, heavenly.

The above lists, compiled by J. Kirk, Eonian, Everlasting or Age-lasting? (Sacred literature Concern, Los Angeles, undated) have been gathered from The Douay Version (1582), The King James Version (1611), Wilson’s Emphatic Diaglott (1881), Rotherham’s Emphasized Bible (1872), The English Revised Version (1881), The American Standard Version (1901), Young’s Literal Translation, The Modern Reader’s Bible (1898), The Numerical Bible (1899), The Twentieth Century New Testament (1901), The N.T. in Modern Speech (Weymouth) (1903), The Complete Bible in Modern Speech (Fenton) (1906), Moffat’s N.T. (1922), Goodspeed’s N.T. (1923), The Centenary N.T. (Montgomery) (1924), Darby’s W.T., The Concordant N.T. (1930), The Numeric English N.T. (Ivan Panin) (1935), The N.T. or Covenant (Cunnington) (1935).” (Time and Eternity: A Biblical Study)

G.F. Taylor (1907)
“THE old idea that this earth is to be destroyed is very erroneous.  There is not a line of Scripture when properly viewed to support this theory.  Men are too prone to jump at certain conclusions about the Scriptural doctrines without properly considering them.  A great routine of false teachings on the Scriptures have been handed down to us from the dark ages.  The sad thing is that the most of us accept them as true without ever investigating for ourselves.  A greater heresy never prevailed in the world than the one that this earth is to be destroyed.  There is an abundance of Scripture to prove that the earth will stand forever.

This erroneous idea concerning the earth has grown from mistranslation of certain words in the original Greek of the New Testament.  There are three different words in Greek all translated by our word “world.”  1st, “kosmos,” the ma­terial universe; 2nd, “oikoumenee,” the inhabitants of the world; 3rd, “aion,” an age.  The Authorized Version makes no distinction between these different words.  For the use of the first word, “kosmos,” see Luke 11: 50.  For the use of the second word, “oikoumenee,” see Heb. 2: 5. For the use of the third word, “aion,” see Matt. 28: 20.  It should be noted that the expression, “end of the world,” in Matt. 28: 20, should be; “the end of the age.”  Moreover, there are a great number of passages in the New Testament that refer to the “end of the world, but in each and every case the Greek is “aion,” or the “end of the age.”  Time is divided into many different ages, and that this present age will come to a close is sure; but there is no Scripture to teach that this earth will ever be de­stroyed.  It is a calamity that such an idea is inferred from a mistranslation of certain Greek terms. ” (The Second Coming of Jesus, Chapter 34)

Tittman (1835)
“(Greek – coming), as it occurs in the New Testament, does not denote the end, but rather the consummation, of the aeon, which is to be followed by a new age. So in Matt. xiii. 39, 40, 49; xxiv. 3; which last passage, it is to be feared, may be misunderstood in applying it to the destruction of the world.”  (Synonyms of the New Test. vol. i. a. 70; Bib. Cab. No. iii.)

Earl Traut
“THE PERIOD FROM CREATION THROUGH JESUS’ GENERATION: This includes the time period in which Jesus lived in a physical body and in which both the AM (OT) and the FCM were written. This period is described by the expression “from the age” (ap’ aionos). For Example, Lk.1.69-70: “and raised a horn of rescue for us in David’s house; as he spoke through [the] mouth of his pure spokesmen from the age (ap’ aionos).” Also Act.3.21: “…whom it is necessary for heaven to receive until [the] times of restitution of all things which God spoke through [the] mouth of his pure spokesmen from the age (ap’ aionos).  Translation:

AGE (4) Lk.1.70Jn.9.32Act.3.2115.18. AGES (2) Eph.3.9Col 1.26.”

W.E. Vine
“The force attaching to the word is NOT so much that of the ACTUAL LENGTH of a period, but that of a period marked by spiritual or moral characteristics” (An Expository Dictionary of NT Words).

Charles Wright
“The passing away of the dispensation of the law of Moses, which as limited in great part to Israel after the flesh, might well be called the Jewish dispensation, was justly regarded as “the end of the age” ( Matt. xxiv. 3). The Messiah was viewed as the bringer in of a new world. The period of the Messiah was, therefore, correctly characterised by the Synagogue as “the world to come.” In this signification our Lord used that expression when he uttered the solemn warning that the sin against the Holy Ghost would be forgiven “neither in this world (the then dispensation), neither in the world to come” (Matt. xii. 32), or the new dispensation, when, “having overcome the sharpness of death,” Christ “opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers.”  (Commentary on Zechariah)

Spiros Zodhiates, Th.D. (1990)
165. Aion
; age, refers to an age or time in contr. to kosmos (2889), referring to people or space. Derived from aei (104), always, andon, being. Denotes duration or continuance of time, but with great variety. (1) Both in the sing. or pl. it signifies eternity whether past or to come (Mt. 6:13Mk. 3:29Lk. 1:55Jn. 4:146:51Acts 15:18Eph. 3:11, etc.); for ages, of ages (Rev. 1:6,185:1410:614:1115:720:10). (2) The duration of this world (Mt. 28:20Jn. 9:32Acts 3:21); since the beginning of the world (Mt. 13:39, etc.). (3) Pl. hoi aiones, the ages of the world (1 Cor. 2:7Eph. 3:9Col. 1:26). (4) Ho aion houtos, this age, generation (Lk. 16:820:34, cf. Mt. 13:221 Cor. 1:202:6Gal. 1:4Eph. 2:21 Tim. 6:1711 Tim. 4:10Tit. 2:12). (5) Ho aion ho erchomenos, the age, the coming one, meaning the next life (Mk. 10:30Lk. 18:30, cf. Lk. 20:35) (6) An age or dispensation of providence (Mt. 24:3, cf. Mt. 12:321 Cor. 10:11Heb. 1:26:59:26). (7) Aiones, ages, in Heb. 11:3 refers to the great occurrences which took place in the universe. Aion primarily has physical meaning (time) but also ethical. Signifies time, short or long in its unbroken duration, all of which exists in the world under conditions of time, ethically, the cause and current of this world’s affairs. It has acquired, likekosmos (2889), an unfavorable meaning (Lk. 16:820:34Eph. 2:2Gal. 1:4). (New American Standard Bible Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible [AMG Publishers; Chattanooga, TN], p. 1801)

George Booker
“The harvest is the end of the world (Greek aion: age, era, dispensation)” (v. 39). Some brethren suggest that this means A.D. 70, and the related overthrow of Israel is the fulfillment of this parable, but this seems to involve more than a minor dislocation of several related references. In the first place, such an interpretation would imply that the “sowing” or gospel proclamation must also have ceased in A.D. 70, and this is far from the case. Furthermore, the end of the aion means generally in the Bible the full and final end of Gentile times, marked by the resurrection and the judgment of the responsible. In this very same chapter (Matthew 13), in v. 49, the phrase has that obvious meaning. In the world (aion) to come, ye shall receive eternal life, Jesus said (Luke 18:30).” (Biblical Fellowship, chapter 14: The Wheat and the Tares)

Dave Ramey
“The subject of this Chapter 10 of Isaiah continues with God trying to get His People to listen to and follow Him, instead of our own ways, sytems, and creeds. This Message God is giving through Isaiah is not just for his era, but for us today also. In the last Chapter 9, God gave many references to the ‘evil day’, that is to say, the time when the ‘spurious Messiah‘, i.e., Satan, will cause the ‘abomination of desolation‘ in God’s Temple. These events recorded here in Isaiah are but types, or as Paul would say in I Cor.10:11,“Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.” The word ‘world‘ Paul used in the Greek is ‘aion‘, and it means an ‘age‘, or earth age, similar to ‘eon’, not a literal destruction of all things which God created; only those ‘elements‘, or properly ‘rudiments‘ spoke of in II Peter 3. It specifically applies to the events written in God’s Word which happen upon Christ’s second coming. Now we know that the return of Jesus Christ at the second Advent had not happened during Paul’s time, so even what Paul was writing there in I Cor.10 was for our ‘admonition‘, or learning, even today. ‘No worries mate’, if you’re in Christ Jesus and are trying to do what our Father has written for us to follow.” (“Isaiah 10:1 – 10:11”)

Earl Traut
“Prior to the Twentieth Century, aion was often rendered “world” in some translations. This has caused confusion between events which occurred in 70 A.D. and those to occur on “judgment day.” For example, in Mt.24.3, Jesus’ disciples asked him, “Tell us when these things will be, and what [will be] the sign of your presence and the end of the age (aion, not kosmos)?” Their inquiry was not about “the end of the world” (kosmos) or “the end of the Earth” or the Day of Judgment, but concerning things that would happen within their own generation such as Jesus’ presence, and the event when “not one stone would be left upon another.” (

Tony Warren (2000)
“Of course we are well aware of the Preterist claim that the end of the age was in 70 A.D., but that is a Biblically untenable position. The proponents of this theory come to this conclusion by selectively interpreting age/world [aion], and then arbitrarily making the supposition that there was an end of the age in 70 A.D. This, despite the fact that there is absolutely no Biblical warrant for declaring 70 A.D. the end of an Age. Not one scripture makes that claim! And while they insist Matthew 24 (the end of the world) is a mistranslation of the word [aion], which means age, they are still unable to coherently explain verses like: Luke 18:30 “Who shall not receive manifold more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting”. This is the exact same Greek word [aion], meaning world/age. If that present time Jesus spoke in was before 70 A.D., (Jesus spoke this before the cross) is when they received manifold more, and the age to come is Eternal life for them, then obviously 70 A.D. being the coming next age (according to their theory), must have been the age of eternal life Jesus spoke of. But did Life Everlasting start in 70 A.D? No, not at all. The theory is bankrupt! Jesus is obviously speaking not about an alleged age to come in 70 A.D., but about the end of the world/age when He would return and “all” would be fulfilled. That is that world or age to come when we would receive the everlasting life.” (This Generation)

Aionos – Eternal or Not?

“The period which includes the whole time of one’s life is called the aeon of each one.” (peri ouravou, i. 9,15)

Thomas Allin
“These are the originals of the terms rendered by our translators “everlasting,” “for ever and ever:” and on this translations, so misleading, a vast portion of the popular dogma of endless torment is built up. I say, without hesitation, misleading and incorrect; foraion means “an age,” a limited period, whether long or short, though often of indefinite length; and the adjective aionios means “of the age,” “age-long,” “aeonian,” and never “everlasting” (of its own proper force), it is true that it may be applied as an epithet to things that are endless, but the idea of endlessness in all such cases comes not from the epithet, but only because it is inherent in the object to which the epithet is applied, as in the case of God. Much has been written on the import of the aeonian (eternal) life. Altogether to exclude, (with MAURICE) the notion of time seems impracticable, and opposed to the general usage of the New Testament (and of the Septuagint). But while this is so, we may fully recognize that the phrase “eternal life” (aeonian life) does at times pass into a region above time, a region wholly moral and spiritual. Thus, in S. John, the aeonian life (eternal life), of which he speaks, is a life not measured by duration, but a life in the unseen, life in God. Thus, e.g., God’s commandment is life eternal. — John12:50. To know Him is life eternal, — John. 17:3, and Christ is the eternal life. — I John 1:2; 5:20. Admitting, then, the usual reference of aionios to time, we note in the word a tendency to rise above this idea, to denote quality, rather than quantity, to indicate the true, the spiritual, in opposition to the unreal, or the earthly. In this sense the eternal is now and here. Thus “eternal” punishment is one thing, and “everlasting” punishment a very different thing, and so it is that our Revisers have substituted for “everlasting” the word “eternal” in every passage in the New Testament, where aionios is the original word. Further, if we take the term strictly, eternal punishment is impossible, for the “eternal” in strictness has no beginning. ” (Christ Triumphant)

Joseph Bonsirven (1964)
“What we have learned about man’s fate after death helps us to see more clearly into the question of time and eternity. The ancient Semites had great difficulty in understanding this latter notion, to designate it, they had only the very imprecise term, olam. This word meant “time,” considered as the mysterious mass of the past or future. By extending the meaning of the word, it was possible to come to a wider conception of time. At the eve of the Christian era and under the influence of Greek thought, olam had come to be understood not only in a temporal sense but also in spatial terms, corresponding to the Greek term, kosmos. The possibility of distinguishing between two periods, two kinds of time, was then considered. There would be the time of unhappiness and corruption in which humanity was living, and the “new age,” a time in which unhappiness and corruption had been eliminated. This distinction appears first and above all in the Apocrypha; we find it mentioned by the rabbis from the first century on. The two ages succeed one another and prepare for one another; one is the vestibule, the other the main hall.” (Palestinian Judaism in the Time of Jesus Christ, translated from the French by William Wolf. (New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston), p. 169. From PALESTINIAN JUDAISM IN THE TIME OF JESUS CHRIST, Copyright 1963 Joseph Bonsirven. Reprinted by permission of Henry Holt and Company, Inc.)

Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary
“The Greek aion [aijwvn] in the Septuagint and New Testament corresponds to the Hebrew olam [‘l/[] of the Old Testament. Both words usually depend on a preposition (for example, ad olam and eis ton aionon are rendered “forever”). In some contexts olam [‘l/[] and aion [aijwvn] are translated “age” (“world” in the av); the Greek chronoi [crovno”] may also mean “ages.”

Ages as Epochs of Time Both Testaments speak of “ages” as undefined periods of history over which God rules (Psalm 90:21 Tim 1:17Jude 25 ). As with much intertestamental literature, the Apocalypse of Weeks goes farther, in this case dividing history into ten epochs of varying lengths (1 Enoch 91:12-17; 93:1-10). But the canonical writers do not try to calculate when successive ages will begin or end. The Bible may refer to past ages in order to exalt God’s knowledge as Creator in comparison with human ignorance (Isa 64:4; cf. Deut 4:32). In the New Testament the hidden wisdom of God is repeatedly connected with the gospel, a mystery that he has chosen to reveal after long ages (aion [aijwvn] in 1 Col 2:7Eph 3:9Col 1:26; chronoi [crovno”] in Rom 16:252 Tim 1:9Titus 1:2). According to 1 Corinthians 10:11Hebrews 9:26, and 1pe 1:20, the present era is the end of the ages. Even while the church anticipates the future consummation, it lives already in the time in which God’s plan of redemption is being fulfilled (cf. 2 Col 1:20). The boundless future may also be regarded as a series of ages. Normally the “ages to come” are invoked by the prophets to underscore God’s unending blessings for his people (Isa 45:17Dan 7:18). This theme is later taken up by Paul in Ephesians 2:7: “that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.”

This Age and the Age to Come The Old Testament predicts the future coming of God or the Messiah; most forms of postbiblical Judaism (see esp. 2 Esdras) go further and differentiate this age from the age to come, which is also known as the kingdom of God. This two-age schema is echoed in Matthew 12:32 and Ephesians 1:21, but the New Testament transforms the traditional pattern: with the coming of Christ, the blessings of the future are manifested among God’s people in the present age (cf. Heb 6:5). In terms of this age as a time of sin and darkness, aion [aijwvn] is sometimes synonymous with kosmos or “the world” (cf. Mark 4:19Rom 12:21 Col 1:20). During this time, Satan appears as the “god” of this age (2 Col 4:4) and sin prevails (Gal 1:42 Tim 4:10Titus 2:12). The citizens of this age are living in darkness and must rely on the devices of their own human wisdom (Luke 16:81 Col 1:202:683:18). But so long as Christians remain in the world, they are cheered by the spiritual presence of Jesus until the close of this age (Matt 28:20). Cataclysmic signs will signal the close of the present era (synteleia [tou]aionos, Matt 24:3). According to the New Testament, the end of the age will bring the return of Christ and the judgment of the wicked (Matt 13:39-40,49). When the age to come arrives, the dead will rise to inherit eternal life (Luke 20:34-35). Jewish and later Christian apocalypticists loved to speculate about the blessings of this future age, but the simple message of the Bible is that the coming age will bring a good inheritance (Mark 10:30Luke 18:30). Paul’s advice to Christians is to invest for the age to come by practicing generosity and good deeds in this present age (1 Ti 6:17-19). (Gary Steven Shogren)

R.H. Boll
“Distinctly does the word of God speak of the supremacy of Christ in the age to come, as well as in this present age. The clearness of the statement is somewhat affected by our English translation which often uses the word “world” to represent the Greek word “aion,” (“age”). In Eph. 1:21 it is declared that God, when He raised Christ from the dead, made Him to sit at His right hand in the heavenly places: “far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world (Greek, age) but also in that which is to come.” Thayer (Greek Lexicon of the N. T.) defines the Greek phrase, “ho nun aion” (the present age) mentioned in 1 Tim. 6:172 Tim. 4:10Tit. 2:12, as the “time before the appointed return or truly Messianic advent of Christ (i. e. the parousia, q. v.) the period of instability, weakness, impiety, wickedness, calamity, misery”; and “aion mellon” (the age to come) under which head he cites Eph. 1:21, “the age after the return of Christ in majesty, the period [6] of the consummate establishment of the Divine Kingdom and all its blessings.” However anyone may question Thayer’s phraseology, we must concede that this is not the effusion of some wild dreamer, but the sober dictum of a recognized scholar and a lexicographer of highest rank. And though we may disregard his comment as of only human authority, yet the statement of Eph. 1:21 speaks for itself, according to which there is an age to come in which Christ’s name and dominion will still be supreme. He will not, therefore, when He comes again, “deliver up the kingdom” as yet, to God the Father (according to the mistaken exegesis of 1 Cor. 15:24, which disregards the difference between the word “then” (Greek, tote) meaning “at that time”; and the “then” which means “afterward,” or “next in order” (Greek eita) which is used in 1 Cor. 15:24) but will reign supreme, until, at last, all things are completely subdued to Him. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death; and that is at the close of the Millennium. (1 Cor. 15:26Rev. 20:14).” (The Millennium; Church of Christ)

Colin Brown
“a. If aion means duration of the world, and the plural occurs, the idea is obvious that eternity embraces a succession or recurrence of aeons (cf. Eccl. 1:9-10 though here the aeons are periods of the world, and the biblical concept of creation, and hence of the uniqueness of this aeon, ruled out the idea of an unending series).

  1. Instead of recurrence the antithesis of time and eternity combined with the thought of plural aeons to produce the belief in a new and future aeon (or cosmos or kingdom) which will succeed this one but will be completely different from it. For the present and future aeons in the NT cf. Mk. 10:30Lk. 16:8Rom. 12:21 Cor. 1:20Gal. 1:41 Tim. 6:17Eph. 1:21Heb. 6:5 (and with kairos instead of aion, Jn. 8:23 etc.).
    c. The NT took over this concept from Jewish apocalyptic, e.g., Ethiopian Enoch.

Similar ideas occur in rabbinic writings and there is hope of a future age in Vergil. In the NT, however, the new aeon is not just future. Believers are already redeemed from this aeon (Gal. 1:4) and taste the  powers of the future aeon (Heb. 6:5 which Christ has initiated with his resurrection.” (Theological Dictionary of the New Testament )

“Epoch of Time.  “For enquire, I pray thee, of the former age, and prepare thyself to the search of their fathers: (For we are but of yesterday, and know nothing, because our days upon earth are a shadow)” (Job 8:8-9, KJV).  (The NIV and other versions translate this word as ‘generation’, meaning the average life span of a man, or the time between his birth and the birth of the next ‘generation’).

The literal rendering of the passage is, “And these shall go (eis kolasin aionion) to the cutting off age-lasting; but the righteous (eis zoen aionion) to life everlasting” (Matthew 25:46). The Hebrew word “olahm” corresponds to the Greek words “aion,” age, and “aionos,” pertaining to the age. Parkhurst says, “It (aion) denotes duration or continuance of time with great variety.” – Greek Lexicon. Liddell and Scott render the word aion thus: “A space or period of time, especially a life time: also one’s time of life, age, generation, definite period, a long space of time, eternity,” etc.: not once rendered “world” in their Greek Lexicon. In the Common Version, “everlasting, eternal, evermore, and for ever,” are usually given as the equivalent of aion. While in most cases this translation is practically correct, it has to be observed, even these words do not always represent the idea of unlimited duration. Their scope is purely by the subject with which they are connected. A few examples will suffice to show this:

1 – Unlimited Duration:
The everlasting God (Romans 16:26).
The King eternal: the only wise God (1 Timothy 1:17).
Thou, Lord, art most high for evermore (Psalm 92:8).
The Lord shall endure for ever (Psalm 9:7)

2 – Limited Duration:
For their anointing shall surely be an everlasting priesthood throughout their generations. Exodus 40:15;Numbers 25:13).
The priesthood being changed (Hebrews 7:12).
Even as Sodom and Gomorrah, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. Jude 1:7).
Ye shall observe to do for evermore; and ye shall not fear other gods. (2 Kings 17:37).
His master shall bore his ear through with an aul; and he shall serve him for ever. (Exodus 21:6).
Then said Daniel unto the king, O king, live for ever. (Daniel 6:21).
Perhaps he (Onesimus) therefore departed for a season, that thou shouldest receive him for ever (Philemon 1:15).

3 – With Beginning, but without End:
And every one that hath forsaken houses… shall inherit everlasting life. (Matthew 19:29).
And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life. (1 John 2:25).
I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen (Revelation 1:18).

In the following texts, the phrase “end of the world” is literally “end of the aion, i.e., age” (referring to the Jewish dispensation in most cases). See Matthew 13:3924:328:20Hebrews 9:261 Corinthians 10:11. Unto Him be glory in the ecclesia by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world (aion) without end (Ephesians 3:21). The earth which He hath established for ever (Psalm 78:69).” (Here)

The Companion Bible
aion = an age, or age-time, the duration of which is indefinite, and may be limited or extended as the context of each occurrence may demand.   The root meaning of aion is expressed by the Hebrew ‘olam (see Appendix 151. I.A and II.A) which denotes indefinite, unknown or concealed duration : just as we speak of the patriarchal age, or the golden age, etc. Hence, it has come to denote any given period of time, characterized by a special form of Divine administration or dispensation.    In the plural we have the Hebrew ‘olamim and Greek ‘aiones used of ages, or of a succession of age-times, and of an abiding from age to age. From this comes the adjective, aionios (Appendix 151. II.B), used of an unrestricted duration, as distinct from a particular or limited age-time. These age-times must be distinct or they could not be added to, or multiplied, as in the expression aions of aions.

These ages or age-times were all prepared and arranged by God (see Hebrews 1:211:3); and there is a constant distinction in the New Testament between this age, and the coming age (see Matthew 12:32Hebrews 1:2Ephesians 1:21).    This age is characterized by such passages as Matthew 13:24-3036-43Mark 4:1910:30Romans 12:21Corithians 2:8. 2Corithians 4:4. Galatians 1:4Ephesians 2:2. (transl. course). 2Timothy 4:10Titus 2:12.    The coming age is characterized in such passages as Matthew 13:39,40,4924:328:20Mark 10:30Luke 18:3020:351Corinthians 15:23Titus 2:13.    The conjunction of these ages is spoken of as the sunteleia, marking the end of one age and the beginning of another.    Other indefinite duration are mentioned, but they always refer to some unknown and prolonged continuance, the end of which cannot be seen; such as the end of life (Exodus 21:6). Hence the Hebrew Priesthood was so characterized because its end could not be foreseen (see Exodus 40:151Samuel 1:22Hebrews 7:12). It is used in the same way in other connections (see Matthew 21:19John 8:35). For further information see Appendix 151. II.A. ” (Appendix 129, Companion Bible)

J.J. Dewey
“The signs therefore at the end of the Piscean age and the beginning of the Aquarian age would have reached their highest intensity around 1945 for that was the midpoint between the ages. Even though we shall continue to have growing pains as we move into the new age, the fact is that the end of the “world” (AION – age) has come and gone and the greatest Armageddon at the end of this world/age that Jesus talked about was World War II. Any other great conflicts (which are possible, but do not have to be) belong to the “world/age to come” as it was expressed in the scriptures.”

  1. Preston Eby
    “In late years there has been much controversy over the meaning of the little Greek word AION. Certain deceivers, to further their unscrupulous ends and uphold their blasphemous and Romanish doctrine of eternal damnation, have maintained, contrary to and in spite of all revealed facts, that it means eternal. And our King James version renders it, together with the adjective AIONIOS as “age, course, eternal, for ever, evermore, for ever and ever, everlasting, world, beginning of the world, world began, world without end.” What a horrible mixture!

But we need not remain in darkness, for fortunately the Word of God tells us precisely what this Greek word means. Too few have taken the time or energy to consider the real meaning of AION. It is the word from which we get our English word eonEon, according to Webster, means “a long period of TIME.” Many attempts have been made to prove that eons are eternal. But this is more than a grave error, it is the height of stupidity, for the divine Author of the blessed Bible has not Himself used them in that way. AION nowhere means eternal! Its simple meaning is an age. In its plural form it means ages. This fact can be unquestionably and incontrovertibly demonstrated from numerous New Testament passages. A glance at any Greek concordance proves that the noun AION, or AGE, is not the synonym of eternity. A study of each case would make a library; so, leaving this task to the reader, we must content ourselves with adducing a few specimens to demonstrate the fact. It is usage that determines meanings – THEIR usage, not ours; the meanings that the holy prophets and apostles gave to their words rather than those that our English translators may try to give. Let me illustrate.

The term forever (and its equivalents, eternal and everlasting) often occurs when it cannot possibly mean unending. In the story of Jonah one is surprised to hear him say while in the belly of the fish, “I went down to the bottoms of the mountains; the earth with her bars was about me for ever” (Jon. 2:6). But he was in the fish only three days and three nights! When a Hebrew slave loved his master and did not wish to go free at the end of the seventh year, we read, “… His master shall bore his ear through with an awl; and he shall serve him for ever” (Ex. 21:6). Of course, that couldn’t be longer than his life span. Again, when Solomon built the temple unto the Lord, he began his prayer of dedication with the statement, “I have surely built You a house to dwell in, a settled place for You to abide in for ever” (I Kgs. 8:13). And the Lord answered Solomon, “I have heard your prayer and supplication that you have made before Me: I have hallowed this house, which you have built, to put My name there for ever” (I Kgs. 9:3). But Solomon’s temple lasted for only about 400 years! And it was never in God’s mind to dwell there for ever!

Any thinking person should clearly see that if you translate the word AION which means an age by the word eternal, which has nothing to do with time, you immediately get the wrong idea. The same thing applies when the word AION is translated by the word world. It is incorrect and brings nothing but confusion. That is why so many Christians have been worrying about “the end of the world” when they should have been understanding God’s special dealing here at “the end of the age.” There is a great deal of difference between the expression, “He      shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever,” and the expression,  “He shall be tormented day and night unto the ages of the ages.” For ever and ever has no end. The ages of the ages do have an end, and their end will see every knee bowing and every tongue confessing that Jesus Christ is the Lord to the glory of God the Father. (Phil. 2:10Rom. 14:10-11). The first expression forbodes complete hopelessness for billions and makes the faith of God of none effect. The second  expression, which is completely correct, not only offers hope but expresses the ultimate fulfillment of the purpose which was purposed in  Christ Jesus before the world began or before the ages were framed.” (Aion-An Age)

Walter A. Elwell
Many modern interpreters believe that eschatology, the doctrine of the endtimes, is the center of the apostle Paul’s thought, beginning with his presupposition of the two-age structure. According to early Judaism, time is divided into two consecutive periods: this age and the age to come. The former is characterized by sin and suffering, due to Adam’s fall. The latter will be implemented when the Messiah comes and, with him, righteousness and peace. In effect, the age to come is synonymous with the kingdom of God. But according to early Christianity, the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ marked a paradigmatic shift resulting in the overlapping of the two ages. The age to come of the kingdom of God was inaugurated within this present age. In other words, the two ages are now coterminous, and the Christian lives in the intersection of the two. This idea is commonly referred to as the “already/not yet” eschatological tension.  That is, the age to come has already dawned because of the first coming of Christ but it is not yet complete; completion awaits the second coming of Christ.”  (Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology)

“The Old Testament predicts the future coming of God or the Messiah; most forms of postbiblical Judaism (see esp. 2 Esdras) go further and differentiate this age from the age to come, which is also known as the kingdom of God. This two-age schema is echoed in Matthew 12:32 and Ephesians 1:21, but the New Testament transforms the traditional pattern: with the coming of Christ, the blessings of the future are manifested among God’s people in the present age (cf. Heb. 6:5).  In terms of this age as a time of sin and darkness, aion is sometimes synonymous with kosmos or “the world” (cf. Mark 4:19Rom. 12:21 Cor. 1:20). During this time, Satan appears as the “god” of this age (2 Cor. 4:4) and sin prevails (Gal. 1:42 Tim. 4:10Titus 2:12). The citizens of this age are living in darkness and must rely on the devices of their own human wisdom (Luke 16:81 Cor. 1:202:683:18). But so long as Christians remain in the world, they are cheered by the spiritual presence of Jesus until the close of this age (Matt. 28:20).   Cataclysmic signs will signal the close of the present era (synteleia [tou] aionos, Matt. 24:3). According to the New Testament, the end of the age will bring the return of Christ and the judgment of the wicked (Matt. 13:39–4049).  When the age to come arrives, the dead will rise to inherit eternal life (Luke 20:34–35). Jewish and later Christian apocalypticists loved to speculate about the blessings of this future age, but the simple message of the Bible is that the coming age will bring a good inheritance (Mark 10:30Luke 18:30). Paul’s advice to Christians is to invest for the age to come by practicing generosity and good deeds in this present age (1 Tim. 6:17–19).” (Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology)

F.W. Farrar
“The word by itself, whether adjective or substantive, never means endless.”

A.R. Fausset
“The phrase “for ever and for ever” {eis tous aionas aionon} occurs 20 times in the New Testament: 16 times of God, once of the saints future blessedness, the three remaining of the punishment of the wicked and the evil one: is it likely it is used 17 times of absolute eternity, yet three times of limited eternity? The term for “everlasting” {“aidiois”} in Jude.v6, “The angels who kept not their first estate He hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgement of the great day,” is from a word meaning absolutely “always” {“aei”}. Gehenna is used by our Lord Matt.5v29,30. 10v28.23v15,33. Luke.12v5.; with the addition “of fire,” Matt.5v22. 18v9. Mark.9v47.; and by James {3v6}.” (“Critical and Expository Bible Cyclopaedia.”, p 281)

Holman Bible Dictionary
If the language of the Lord’s Prayer and that of various Jewish prayers is similar, the meaning must be determined from Jesus’ overall message. Jesus and the early Christians believed in two ages, the Present Evil Age and the Coming Good Age. The Age to Come would be brought by a decisive intervention of God at the end of history. This shift of the ages would be accompanied by the resurrection from the dead and the last judgment. Before either of these events, there would be a time of great suffering or tribulation. One name given to the Age to Come was the Kingdom of God. It was a ideal state of affairs when Satan would be defeated, sin would be conquered, and death would be no more. Jesus believed that in His ministry, the activity of God that was to bring about the shift of the ages was already taking place. Within this world of thought, the Lord’s Prayer must be understood.      NEW AGE A time when God acts decisively in judgment and salvation. The term new age does not occur in Scripture. Parallel expressions, such as the age to come, the close of the age, are common. Many biblical writers conceived of history in two periods, the present and a future time when God’s salvation and judgment would be manifest. The age to come is associated with the experience of eternal life (Mark 10:30Luke 18:30), the resurrection of the dead (Luke 20:35) and the immeasurable riches of God’s gracious kindness (Eph. 2:7). The close of the age is associated with final judgment and reward (Matt. 13:394049) and with the coming of Christ (Matt. 24:3). The preceding references point to a new age in God’s future.”

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
In New Testament eschatological teaching a general development in a well-defined direction is traceable. The starting-point is the historico-dramatic conception of the two successive ages. These two ages are distinguished as houtos ho aion, ho nun aion, ho enesios aion, “this age,” “the present age” <Mt 12:3213:22Lk 16:8Rom 12:21 Cor 1:202:6,83:182 Cor 4:4Gal 1:4Eph 1:212:26:121 Tim 6:172 Tim 4:10Tit 2:12>, and ho aion ekeinos, ho aion mellon, ho aion erchomenos, “that age,” “the future age” <Mt 12:32Lk 18:3020:35Eph 2:7Heb 6:5>.
Thus, to each age belongs its own characteristic order of things, and so the distinction passes over into that of two “worlds” in the sense of two systems (in Hebrew and Aramaic the same word `olam, `olam, does service for both, in Greek aion usually renders the meaning “age,” occasionally “world” <Heb 1:211:3>, kosmos meaning “world”; the latter, however, is never used of the future world). Compare Dalman, Die Worte Jesu, I, 132-46. Broadly speaking, the development of New Testament eschatology consists in this, that the two ages are increasingly recognized as answering to two spheres of being which coexist from of old, so that the coming of the new age assumes the character of a revelation and extension of the supernal order of things, rather than that of its first entrance into existence. Inasmuch as the coming world stood for the perfect and eternal, and in the realm of heaven such a perfect, eternal order of things already existed, the reflection inevitably arose that these two were in some sense identical.”

(2) Aion.

We have indicated above the speciality of aion. It is a time, with the suggestion always of extension rather than limit (so that it lends itself to phrases denoting vast if not endless extension, such as “to the aions of aions,” rendered “forever and ever,” or “world without end”). In Hebrews 1:211:13, it denotes the “aeons” of the creative process. In numerous places, notably in Matthew, it refers to the “dispensations” of redemption, the present “age”of grace and, in distinction, the “age” which is to succeed it–“that world, and the resurrection” (Luke 20:35). Then, in view of the moral contents of the present state of things, it freely passes into the thought of forces and influences tending against faith and holiness, e.g., “Be not fashioned according to this world” (Romans 12:2). In this connection the Evil Power is said to be “the god of this world” (2 Corinthians 4:4).

(3) Oikoumene.

The word oikoumene occasionally means the Roman empire, regarded as pre-eminently the region of settled human life. So Luke 2:1Acts 11:28, and perhaps Revelation 3:10, and other apocalyptic passages. In Hebrews it is used mystically of the Empire of the Messiah (1:6; 2:5).

(4) Kosmos.

We have remarked above on kosmos, with its curious and suggestive history of meanings. It may be enough here to add that that history prepares us to find its reference varying by subtle transitions, even in the same passage. See e.g. John 1:10, where “the world” appears first to denote earth and man simply as the creation of “the Word,” and then mankind as sinfully alienated from their Creator. We are not surprised accordingly to read on the one hand that “God …. loved the world” (John 3:16), and on the other that the Christian must “not love the world” (1John 2:15). The reader will find the context a sure clue in all cases, and the study will be pregnant of instruction. (Electronic Database)

Jamieson, Fausset & Brown Commentary
“In the oldest manuscripts the Greek is. “At the last part of these days.” The Rabbins divided the whole of time into “this age,” or “world,” and “the age to come” (Heb 2:56:5). The days of Messiah were the transition period or “last part of these days” (in contrast to “in times past”), the close of the existing dispensation, and beginning of the final dispensation of which Christ’s second coming shall be the crowning consummation.” (Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible)

The Jewish Encyclopedia (1907)
The Perso-Babylonian world-year of twelve millenniums, however, was transformed in Jewish eschatology into a world-week of seven millenniums corresponding with the week of Creation, the verse “a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday” (Ps. xc5[A.V.4]) having suggested the idea that the present world of toil (“olam ha-zeh”) is to be followed by a Sabbatical millennium, “the world to come” (“olam ha-ba”): Tamid v11.4 . . . [The Jewish Encyclopedia (New York and London: Funk and Wagnalls Co., 1907), Vol. V, pp. 210-211.]

Owing to the gradual evolution of eschatological conceptions, the Rabbis used the terms “olam ha-ba” (the world to come), “le-atid la-bo” (in the coming time). and “yemot ha-Mashiah” (the Messianic days) promiscuously or often without clear distinction (see Geiger . . . ) . . . R. Eleazar of Modi’im of the second century (Mek., Beshallah, Wayassa, ed. Weiss, p.59, note) distinguishes between the Messianic time (“malkut bet Dawid”), the “olam ha-ba” (the future world), which is that of the souls, and the time of the Resurrection, which he calls “olam hadash” (the new world, or world of regeneration). [Ibid., p.216]

Bob Jones
The English word “conformed” is the Greek word “schema”, meaning, an outer transformation in appearance only. “World” in this verse is the Greek word “aion”, or “age”, meaning for us not to fashion ourselves according to the “age”, or “time period” in which we live, and “transformed” is the Greek word “metamorphosis”, meaning “an outer transformation due to an outworking of the inner nature”.” (“Insights” from the New Testament Greek” Rom 12:1&2)

“‘Tis notoriously known,” says Bishop Rust, “that the Jews, whether writing in Hebrew or Greek, do by olam (the Hebrew word corresponding to aion), and aion mean any remarkable period and duration, whether it be of life, or dispensation, or polity.” “The word aion is never used in Scripture, or anywhere else, in the sense of endlessness (vulgarly called eternity, it always meant, both in Scripture and out, a period of time; else how could it have a plural — how could you talk of the aeons and aeons of aeons as the Scripture does?”

Eric Landström (2001)
“The same words in both Greek and English are used to describe the future punishment of the wicked that are used to describe God, the Spirit, salvation, and the kingdom. “Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matt. 25:41). Therefore, the fallacy with even arguing how long the duration of “aion” and “aionios” as to mean an age or duration of time less than forever and ever and to mean something other than time everlasting to support the doctrine of universal reconciliation is that then the same argument can be applied to heaven, God, and the everlasting life of the saints. In this the universalist is not consistent with their argument of what these words mean. Further, any objections to aion and aionius being rendered as “for ever” in English and not specifically covered here will be based on such scanty factual evidence or philosophical reasoning as to be made untenable to be the basis of one’s belief in universalism.” (The Hebrew concept of time and “aionios” and “aion”)

“In the Old Testament the believer looked forward to the future reign of Messiah. For the Jews there were but two ages, the present age and the “age to come” which was Messiah’s reign on earth. The prophets had much to say about Messiah’s future reign the order of the Age to Come will involve a new heaven and a new earth, and will be so different from the present order that we can speak of it as beyond history.”  (Handbook of Theology)

Leon Morris
“The jews divided time into the present present age and the age to come, but the adjective referred to life in the coming age , not the present one “Eternal life” thus means means “the life proper to the age to come”. It is an eschatological expression conception  (cf. 6:40, 54). But as the age to come is never thought of as coming to an end the adjective came to mean “everlasting”, “eternal”. “

The New Bible Dictionary
“The NT picks out one of the times appointed by God as decisive. The first note of Jesus’ preaching was ‘The time is fulfilled’ (Mk. 1:15). The life and work of Jesus mark the crisis of God’s purposes (Eph. 1:10). This is the great opportunity (2 Cor. 6:2) which Christians must fully seize (Eph. 5:16Col. 4:5). Within the period of Jesus’ earthly ministry there is a further narrowing of attention to the time of his death and resurrection (cf. Mt. 26:18Jn. 7:6).    It is the fact that this decisive time is in the past which makes the difference between the Jewish and Christian hopes for the future: the Jew looks for the decisive intervention of God in the future; the Christian can have an even keener expectation of the consummation of all things because he knows that the decisive moment is past ‘once for all’. The last times are with us already (Acts 2:17Heb. 1:21 Jn. 2:181 Pet. 1:20). The NT makes a striking modification of the contemporary Jewish division of time into the present age and the age to come. There is still a point of transition in the future between ‘this time’ and ‘the world to come’ (Mk. 10:30Eph. 1:21Tit. 2:12-13), but there is an anticipation of the consummation, because in Jesus God’s purpose has been decisively fulfilled. The gift of the Spirit is the mark of this anticipation, this tasting of the powers of the world to come (Eph. 1:14Heb. 6:4-6; cf. Rom. 8:18-23Gal. 1:4). Hence John consistently stresses that we now have eternal life, zoµeµ aioµnios (e.g. Jn. 3:36). It is not simply that aioµnios has qualitative overtones; rather John is urging the fact that Christians now have the life into which they will fully enter by resurrection (Jn. 11:23-25). This ‘overlapping’ of the two ages is possibly what Paul has in mind in 1 Cor. 10:11.”

New Catholic Dictionary
“(Greek: aion, age) An age of the universe; ever-existing; eternal Divine power. In Gnosticism, one of the spiritual powers evolved from the eternal Divine Being by progressive emanation and constituting the Pleroma (plenitude) or invisible spiritual world, as distinct from the Kenoma (chaotic void) or visible material world. “

New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology (1978)
“In Plato the term [aion] is developed so as to represent a timeless, immeasurable and transcendent super-time, an idea of time in itself. Plutarch and other earlier Stoics appropriate this understanding, and from it the Mysteries of Aion, the god of eternity, could be celebrated in Alexandria, and gnosticism could undertake its own speculations on time.

In Hellenistic philosophy the concept of aeons contributed towards a solution of the problem of the world-order. The aeons were assumed to be mediating powers which bridge the infinite qualitative distinction between God and the world. They are an emanation of the divine pleroma, the fullness of the divine Being….

The statements of the Johannine [John, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John] writings, which cannot always be pinned down with absolute certainty of meaning.., Heb., where the meaning is quite clear .. and naturally those cases where aion is used in the plural, all reveal a strong inclination to conceive of a timeless, because post-temporal, eternity… As in the OT [Old Testament], these statements reveal the background conviction that God’s life never ends, i.e. that everything belonging to him can also never come to an end…”(Volume 3 (edited by Colin Brown, Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 1978, page 827, 830):

John Henry Newman
“BY [aion], age, seems to be meant duration, or the measure of duration, before or independent of the existence of motion, which is the measure of time. As motion, and therefore time, are creatures, so are the ages. Considered as the measure of duration, an age has a sort of positive existence, though not an [ousia] or substance, and means the same as “world,” or an existing system of things viewed apart from time and motion. vid. Theodor. in Hebr. i. 2. Our Lord then is the Maker of the ages, thus considered, as the Apostle also tells us, Hebr. xi. 3, and God is the King of the ages, 1 Tim. i. 17, or is before all ages, as being eternal, or [proaionios]. However, sometimes the word is synonymous with eternity: “as time is to things which are under time, so ages to things which are everlasting,” Damasc. Fid. Orth. ii. 1, and “ages of ages” stands for eternity; and then the “ages,” or measures of duration, may be supposed to stand for the [ideai] or ideas in the Divine Mind, which seems to have been a Platonic or Gnostic notion. Hence Synesius, Hymn. iii., addresses the Almighty as [aionotoke], Parent of the Ages. Hence sometimes God Himself is called the Age, Clem. Alex. Hymn. Pæd. iii. fin., or the Age of ages, Pseudo-Dion. de Div. Nom. 5, p. 581, or again, [aionios]. Theodoret sums up what has been said thus: “Age is not any subsisting substance, {359} but is an interval indicative of time, now infinite, when God is spoken of, now commensurate with creation, now with human life.” Hær. v. 6. If then, as St. Paul says in Hebr. xi. 3, the Word is Maker of the ages, He is independent of duration altogether; He does not come to be in time, but is above and beyond it, or eternal. vid. Decr. 18. Elsewhere he says, “The words addressed to the Son in the 144th Psalm, ‘Thy kingdom is a kingdom of all ages,’ forbid any one to imagine any interval at all in which the Word did not exist. For if every interval is measured by ages, and of all the ages the Word is King and Maker, therefore, whereas no interval at all exists prior to Him, it were madness to say, ‘There was once when the Everlasting ([aionios]) was not.’” Orat. i. 12. And so Alexander: “Is it not unreasonable that He who made times, and ages, and seasons, to all of which belongs ‘was not,’ should be said not to be? for, if so, that interval in which they say the Son was not yet begotten by the Father, precedes that Wisdom of God which framed all things.” Theod. Hist. i. 3, p. 736. vid. also Basil. de Sp. S. n. 14. Hilar. de Trin. xii. 34.

The subject is treated of at length in Greg. Nyssen. contr. Eunom. i. t. 2. Append. p. 93-101. vid. also Ambros. de Fid. i. 8-11. As time measures the material creation, so “ages” were considered to measure the immaterial, as the duration of Angels. This had been a philosophical distinction. Timæus says, [eikon esti chronos toi agennatoi chronoi, hon aiona potagoreuomes]. Vid. also Philo, p. 298, Quod Deus Immort. 6. Euseb. Laud. C. p. 501. Naz. Orat. 38. 8. {360}”

Pocket Cyclopedia
“The word rendered “everlasting,” “eternal,” “world” (often) in the New Testament, is some form of aion; that is, “age,” “era,” “epoch,” etc. It never denotes, of itself, endless duration. It is applied, among other things, to the Jewish, Christian, and other future dispensations. “This world” (aion), “the world to come” (aion), mean the Jewish and Christian dispensations, and “eternal,” “everlasting” (aionian) mean pertaining to those dispensations; that is, aion–lasting, or pertaining to the aion referred to. As “daily” cannot mean endless because its limit is defined by the noun “day,” whence it is derived, so aionian cannot mean everlasting, inasmuch as no aion is without end. The worst possible rendering of aionian is everlasting. Every form of the word must denote a limited period, unless some term is associated with it to extend its meaning, as the aionian God. In that case the word is qualified by the noun, as the word “great” would be. ” (Pocket CyclopediaAion, aions, aionian)

W.G.T. Shedd
“In reference to man and his existence, the Scriptures speak of two, and only two aeons or ages ; one finite, and one infinite; one limited, and one endless; the latter succeeding the former.  An indefinite series of limited eons with no final endless aion is a Pagan, and Gnostic, not a Biblical conception.”

“Since the word aeon, aion or age, in Scripture, may denote either the present finite age, or the future endless age, in order to determine the meaning of ” aeonian ” ( aionios), it is necessary first to determine in which of the two eons, the limited or the endless, the thing exists to which the epithet is applied; because anything in either Aeon may be denominated ” Aeonian.. If anything belongs solely to the present age, or aeon, it is aeonian in the limited signification; if it belongs to the future age, or aeon, it is aeonian in the unlimited signification.”

Vine’s Expository Dictionary
 “The word genea is to be distinguished from aion, as not denoting a period of unlimited duration.” (entry for genea)

“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.’” Dr. Lammenois

“All the way through it is never feasible to understand ‘aionios’ (Greek word translated eternal, everlasting, and for ever in many English Bible translations.) as everlasting.” Dr. Nigel Turner

“Let me say to Bible students that we must be very careful how we use the word ‘eternity.’ We have fallen into great error in our constant usage of that word. There is no word in the whole Book of God corresponding with our eternal…” Dr. G. Campbell Morgan

“‘Olam (the Hebrew for aion) simply signifies for a long time. The Hebrew Scriptures do not contain any doctrine of everlasting punishment.” Rabbi Loewe

“The Greek word translated into the English as “world” or “age” is very politicized in the theological world.  This is due to the fact that doctrines of the second coming, the culmination of all time, the limits of salvation, and the afterlife (among others) are all tied into this word.  There are numerous views which emphasize or de-emphasize “aion/aeon.”  Perhaps the two most important issues this page will address is 1) Whether ‘aion’ is to be understood as limited or unlimited.  2) When the ‘aion about to come’ of the New Testament came and/or is coming.  Seems everyone has a different opinion, so watch closely.

Futurists generally claim that “this age” is our temporal world, and that “the age to come” is eternal life after death.  Preterists claim that the end of the age was that of the Old Covenant, when the Second Temple in Jerusalem was destroyed by fire on the 9th of Ab in A.D.70.

For entertainment purposes, notice the views in the “Millennial Debate.”  Most Post-millennialists view verses which speak of the harvest at the “end of the world,” such as Matthew 13:39, as bolstering the position that the second coming of Christ ends the history of the physical world. Pre-millennialists, however, not wanting to allow Matthew 13:39 to teach that the harvest (“rapture”)  occur at the end of the physical world, recognize that the word for the physical universe (kosmos) is not used, but rather that for an “age” (aion) or period of time. Both become “consistency challenged,” however, when this very word is pointed out in other locations.  Post-millennialists, acknowledging the prophetic significance of Matthew 24, teach that v. 3 is in reference to the end of the Old Covenant age; Pre-millennialists, however, prefer the definition of kosmos for the physical world

*Both aion/genea in Col. 1:26 “…hid from ages and from generations…”

“If we have no theology to uphold, and if we count the judgment of man as a ” very small thing,” it is possible that we may venture to wonder how it comes about that one word can be translated ” since the world began,” and also ” world without end “; or again, how the word can be rendered ” world ” (which certainly had a beginning), and at the same time mean “for ever” and “eternal.” It has been forced upon us that in all these diverse renderings we have had a good percentage of man’s ideas instead of accurate and unflinching translation.” (Charles Welch, Forever)

Aionios: the Greek word for Eternity
New Testament Words

William Barclay

We do well to search out the true meaning of the word aionios, for in the NT this is the word which is usually translated eternal or everlasting, and it is applied to the eternal life and the eternal glory, which are the Christian’s highest reward, and to the eternal judgment and the eternal punishment, which must be the Christian’s greatest dread.

Even in classical and in secular Greek aionios is a strange word, with a sense of mystery in it. Itself it is an adjective formed from the noun aion. In classical Greek this word aion has three main meanings.

(i) It means a life-time. Herodotus can speak of ending our aion (Herodotus, 1.32); Aeschylus, of depriving a man of his aion (Aeschylus, Prometheus 862); and Euripides of breathing away one’s aion (Euripides, fragment 801).

(ii) Then it comes to mean an age, a generation, or an epoch. So the Greeks could speak of this present aion, and of the aion which is to come, this present age and the age which is to come.

(iii) But then the word comes to mean a very long space of time. The prepositional phrase ap’aionos means from of old; and di’aionos means perpetually and for ever. It is just here that the first mystery begins to enter in. In the papyri we read how at a public meeting the crowd shout `The Emperor eis ton aiona, The Emperor for ever.’

The adjective aionios becomes in Hellenistic Greek times the standing adjective to describe the Emperor’s power. The royal power of Rome is a power which is to last for ever. And so, as Milligan well puts it, the word aionios comes to describe ‘a state wherein the horizon is not in view’. Aionios becomes the word of far distances, the word of eternities, the word which transcends time.

But it was Plato who took this word aionios — he may even have coined it — and gave it its special mysterious meaning. To put it briefly, for Plato aionios is the word of eternity in contrast with time. Plato uses it, as it has been said, ‘to denote that which has neither beginning nor end, and that is subject to neither change nor decay, that which is above time, but of which time is a moving image’.

Plato does not mean by this word simply indefinite continuance — this is a point to which we must later return — but that which is above and beyond time. There are three significant instances of the word in Plato.

In the second book of the Republic (363d) Plato is talking of the poets’ pictures of heaven. He talks of the rewards Musaeus and Eumolpus offer the just men: ‘They take them down into the world below, where they have the saints lying on couches at a feast, everlastingly drunk, with garlands on their heads; their idea seems to be that an immortality of drunkenness (aionios methe) is the highest meed of virtue.’

In The Laws he speaks of the soul and the body being indestructible, but not eternal (904a). There is a difference between simple existence for ever and eternity, for eternity is the possession of gods, not of men.

The most significant of all the Platonic passages is in the Timaeus 37d. There he speaks about the Creator and the universe which he has created, ‘the created glory of the eternal gods‘ — The Creator was glad when he saw his universe, and he wished to make it as nearly like the eternal universe as it could be. But ‘to attach eternity to the created was impossible.’ So he made time as a moving image of eternity.

The essential point in this picture is that eternity is always the same and always indivisible; in it there is no being created and no becoming; there is no such thing as being older and younger in eternity; there is no past, present or future.

There is no was or will be but only an eternal is.

Obviously we cannot have that state in a created world; but none the less the created world is, within its limits, the image of eternity.

Here then is the salient fact.

The essence of the word aionios is that it is the word of the eternal order as contrasted with the order of this world; it is the word of deity as contrasted with humanity; essentially it is the word which can be properly applied to no one other than God. Aionios is the word which describes nothing less and nothing other than the life of God.

We must now turn to the use of the word aionios in the NT itself. By far its most important usage there is in connection with eternal life. But that usage is so important that we must retain it for separate treatment. And we must first take a sweeping view of all its usages.

As we do so we must remember that aionios is distinctively the word of eternity, and that it can properly describe only that which essentially belongs to and befits God.

It is used of the great blessings of the Christian life, blessings which have been brought by Jesus Christ.

It is used of the eternal covenant of which Christ is the mediator (Heb. 13.20). A covenant means a relationship with God, and through Jesus Christ men enter into a relationship with God which is as eternal as God himself.

It is used of the eternal habitations into which the Christian shall enter (Luke 16.9II Cor. 5.1.). The ultimate destiny of the Christian is a life which is none other than the life of God himself.

It is used of the eternal redemption and the eternal inheritance into which the Christian enters through Jesus Christ (Heb. 9.15). The safety, the liberty, the release which Christ wrought for men is as lasting as God himself.

It is used of the glory into which the faithful Christian will enter (I Peter 5.10II Cor. 4.17II Tim. 2.10). There awaits God’s faithful man God’s own glory.

So it is used in connection with the words hope and salvation (Titus 3.7II Tim. 2.10). There is nothing fleeting, impermanent, destructible about the Christian hope and salvation; even another world could not change or alter them; they are as unchangeable as God himself.

It is used of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ (II Peter 1.11). Jesus Christ is not surpassable; he is not a stage on the way; his revelation, his value is the revelation and the value of God himself.

It is used of the Gospel (Rev. 14.6). The Gospel is not merely one of many revelations; it is not merely a stage on the way of revelation; it is eternity entered into time.

But while aionios is used to describe the greatest blessings of the Christian life, it is also used to describe the greatest threats of the Christian life.

It is used to describe the fire of punishment (Matt. 18.825.41Jude 7). It is used to describe punishment itself (Matt. 25.46). It is used to describe judgment (Heb. 6.2). It is used to describe destruction (II Thess. 1.9). It is used to describe the sin which finally separates man from God (Mark 3.29).

It is in these passages that we need to be specially careful in our interpretation of the word. Simply to take is as meaning lasting for ever is not enough. In all these passages we must remember the essential meaning of aionios.

  • Aionios is the word of eternity as opposed to and contrasted with time. It is the word of deity as opposed to and contrasted with humanity. It is the word which can only really be applied to God.

If we remember that, we are left with one tremendous truth — both the blessings which the faithful shall inherit and the punishment which the unfaithful shall receive are such as befits God to give and to inflict.

Beyond that we cannot go.

  • Simply to take the word aionios, when it refers to blessings and punishment, to mean lasting far ever is to oversimplify, and indeed to misunderstand, the word altogether. It means far more than that.

It means that that which the faithful will receive and that which the unfaithful will suffer is that which it befits God’s nature and character to bestow and to inflict — and beyond that we who are men cannot go, except to remember that that nature and character are holy love.

We must now turn to the greatest of all uses of the word aionios in the NT, its use in connection with the phrase eternal life.

  • We must begin by reminding ourselves of the fact which we have so often stressed, that the word aionios is the word of eternity in contrast with time, of deity in contrast with humanity, and that therefore eternal life is nothing less than the life of God himself.

(i) The promise of eternal life is the promise that it is open to the Christian to share nothing less than the power and the peace of God himself. Eternal life is the promise of God (Titus 1.2I John 2.25). God has promised us a share in his own blessedness, and God cannot break a promise.

(ii) But the NT goes further than that — eternal life is not only the promise of God; eternal life is the gift of God (Rom. 6.23I John 5.11). As we shall see, eternal life is not without its conditions; but the fact remains that eternal life is something which God out of his mercy and grace gives to man. It is something which we could neither earn nor deserve; it is the free gift of God to men.

(iii) Eternal life is bound up with Jesus Christ. Christ is the living water which is the elixir of eternal life (John 4.14). He is the food which brings to men eternal life (John 6.2754). His words are the words of eternal life (John 6.68). He himself not only brings (John 17.23) but is eternal life (I John 5.20).

  • If we wish to put this very simply, we may say that through Jesus there is possible a relationship, an intimacy, a unity with God which are possible in no other way. Through what he is and does men may enter into the very life of God himself.

(iv) This eternal life comes through what the NT calls belief in Jesus Christ (John 3.1516365.246.4047I John 5.131 Tim. 1.16). What does this belief mean? Clearly it is not simply intellectual belief. Belief in Jesus means that we believe absolutely and implicitly that what Jesus says about God is true… that life is in the hands of the love of God. But further, this belief means believing that Jesus is who he claims to be… We believe that God is Father and that God is love, because we believe that Jesus, being the Son of God, has told us the truth about God … Eternal life is nothing else than the life of God himself…

  • We shall never enter into the full ideas of eternal life until we rid ourselves of the almost instinctive assumption that eternal life means primarily life which goes on for ever.

Long ago the Greeks saw that such a life would be by no means necessarily a blessing. They told the story of Aurora, the goddess of dawn, who fell in love with Tithonus, the mortal youth. Zeus offered her any gift she might choose for her mortal lover. She asked that Tithonus might never die; but she forgot to ask that he might remain for ever young. So Tithonus lived for
ever growing older and older and more and more decrepit, till life became a terrible and intolerable curse.

  • Life is only of value when it is nothing less than the life of God — and that is the meaning of eternal life.

Greek Word Studies

Gr. aion, (165)

an age; by extens. perpetuity; by impl the world; spec. (Jewish) a Messianic period”
– age, course, world


1) for ever, an unbroken age, perpetuity of time, eternity
2) the worlds, universe
3) period of time, age

Other Examples:

Matthew 12:32 And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world <165>, neither in the world <165> to come.

Eph. 1:21 – “Far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age <165> , but also in theage <165> to come.”

Matthew 13:39 The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world <165>; and the reapers are the angels.

Matthew 13:40 As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world <165>.

Matthew 24:3 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and whatshall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world <165>?

Luke 18:30 Who shall not receive manifold more in this present time, and in the world <165> to come life everlasting.

Matt. 13:4950 – “So it will be at the end of the age; the angels shall come forth, and take out the wicked from among the righteous, and will cast them into the furnace of fire; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

Matt. 28:20 – “Teaching them to observe all that I command you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

Luke 20:34-36 – “And Jesus said to them, ‘The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage, but those who are considered worthy to attain to that age and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, not are given in marriage; for neither can they die anymore, for they are like angels, and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection.”

1 Cor. 2:6-8 – “Yet we do speak wisdom among those who are mature; a wisdom, not of this age, nor of the rulers of this age, who are passing away; but we speak God’s wisdom in a mystery, the hidden wisdom, which God predestined before the ages to our glory; the wisdom which none of the rulers of this age has understood; for if they had understood it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.”

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

2 Cor. 4:4 – “In whose case the god of this world [age] has blinded the minds of the unbelieving, that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.”

Eph 2:7 – “In order that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.”

Heb. 1:1-2 – “God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world [ages].”

Heb. 6:5 – “And have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age [about] to come.”

Heb. 9:26 – “Otherwise, He would have needed to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now once at the consummation of the ages He has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.”

Heb. 11:3 – “By faith we understand that the worlds [age] were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible.”


In Hebrew, the language of the Old Testament, the Hebrew word most often translated “forever” or “everlasting” is olam.

[or alam, Strong’s # 5956 & # 5957; ‘owlan, #5769; ‘eylowm, # 5865; see also ‘ad, # 5703. Note that the word is spelled in Hebrew differently at different times because of prefixes and suffixes attached to it.]

From the Hebrew and Chaldee Lexicon by Gesenius, it shows that the Hebrew word olam (Strong’s # 5956) has the meaning of a hidden age or hidden time specifically “hidden time, long.”

From the Analytical Hebrew and Chaldee Lexicon by Benjamin Davidson (Pub., by Zondervan, l970), it shows that the Hebrew word olam means a hidden time or secret time or age.

This word was first used in the Bible to describe the hidden or secret age that Adam and Eve missed because of their sin: “and live into olam” (Gen 3:22). Its basic meaning concerns a hidden or secret age, or simply an age of unknown length. At the time Gen 3:22 was spoken, Adam and Eve were only alive a short while. At that time Adam and Eve did not and could not understand time. Time is something one learns to understand through living in time. See “Reason Why” paper [NM 20] to understand how one learns. (Aion Paper)

Commonly Mistaken Translations of “World”



I. 2889 kosmos

{kos’-mos} probably from the base of 2865; TDNT – 3:868,459; n m AV – world 186, adorning 1; 187


1) an apt and harmonious arrangement or constitution, order, government
2) ornament, decoration, adornment, i.e. the arrangement of the stars, ‘the heavenly hosts’, as the ornament of the heavens. 1 Pet. 3:3
3) the world, the universe
4) the circle of the earth, the earth
5) the inhabitants of the earth, men, the human family
6) the ungodly multitude; the whole mass of men alienated from God, and therefore hostile to the cause of Christ
7) world affairs, the aggregate of things earthly

7a) the whole circle of earthly goods, endowments riches, advantages, pleasures, etc, which although hollow and frail and fleeting, stir desire, seduce from God and are obstacles to the cause of Christ

8) any aggregate or general collection of particulars of any sort

8a) the Gentiles as contrasted to the Jews (Rom. 11:12 etc)

8b) of believers only, John 1:293:163:176:3312:47 1 Cor. 4:92 Cor. 5:19


Mt 4:8 Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world <2889>, and the glory of them;

Mt 13:38 The field is the world <2889>; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; (165 aion is used in the very next verse)

Lu 11:50 That the blood of all the prophets, which was shed from the foundation of the world <2889>, may be required of this generation;

Joh 1:10 He was in the world <2889>, and the world <2889> was made by him, and the world <2889> knew him not.

Ro 1:8 ¶ First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world <2889>.

Ro 11:12 Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world <2889>, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness?

1Ti 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world <2889>, received up into glory.


II. 3625 oikoumene

{oy-kou-men’-ay} feminine participle present passive of 3611 (as noun, by implication of 1093); TDNT – 5:157,674; n f AV – world 14, earth 1; 15


1) the inhabited earth

1a) the portion of the earth inhabited by the Greeks, in distinction from the lands of the barbarians
1b) the Roman empire, all the subjects of the empire
1c) the whole inhabited earth, the world
1d) the inhabitants of the earth, men

2) the universe, the world


Mt 24:14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world <3625> for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.

Lu 2:1 ¶ And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world <3625> should be taxed.

Lu 21:26 Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth <3625>: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.

Ac 11:28 And there stood up one of them named Agabus, and signified by the Spirit that there should be great dearth throughout all the world<3625>: which came to pass in the days of Claudius Caesar.

Ac 17:6 And when they found them not, they drew Jason and certain brethren unto the rulers of the city, crying, These that have turned the world<3625> upside down are come hither also;

Re 3:10 Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world<3625>, to try them that dwell upon the earth.

Re 12:9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world <3625>: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

Re 16:14 For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world <3625>, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.

LAND/GE <1093>

III. 1093 ge

{ghay} contracted from a root word; TDNT – 1:677,116; n f ; AV – earth 188, land 42, ground 18, country 2, world 1, earthly + 1537 + 3588 1; 252


1) arable land
2) the ground, the earth as a standing place
3) the main land as opposed to the sea or water
4) the earth as a whole

4a) the earth as opposed to the heavens
4b) the inhabited earth, the abode of men and animals

5) a country, land enclosed within fixed boundaries, a tract of land, territory, region


  • Mt 9:31 But they, when they were departed, spread abroad his fame in all that country <1093>.
  • Mt 23:35 That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth <1093>, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar.
  • Mt 24:30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth <1093> mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
  • Mr 13:27 And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth <1093> to the uttermost part of heaven.
  • Ro 10:18 But I say, Have they not heard? Yes verily, their sound went into all the earth <1093>, and their words unto the ends of the world.
  • Re 1:7 Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth <1093> shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.
  • Re 3:10 Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth <1093>.
  • Re 14:15 And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth <1093> is ripe.




  1. aion –  , – age, world

    1. “for ever, an unbroken age, perpetuity of time, eternity; the worlds, universe; period of time, age.”

      1. Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon, (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.) 1995, [Online] Available: Logos Library System.

  2. aionion, aionios –  – eternal

    1. “aionios,” the adjective corresponding, denoting eternal.  It is used of that which in nature is endless, as, e.g., of God, (Rom. 16:26), His power, (1 Tim. 6:16), His glory, (1 Pet. 5:10), the Holy Spirit, (Heb. 9:14), redemption, (Heb. 9:12), salvation, (5:9), life in Christ, (John 3:16), the resurrection body, (2 Cor. 5:1), the future rule of Christ, (2 Pet. 1:11), which is declared to be without end, (Luke 1:33), of sin that never has forgiveness, (Mark 3:29), the judgment of God, (Heb. 6:2), and of fire, one of its instruments, (Matt. 18:825:41Jude 7).”

      1. Rom. 16:26 – ” . . .according to the commandment of the eternal God. . .”

      2. 1 Tim. 6:16 – “. . . To Him be honor and eternal dominion! Amen.”

      3. 1 Pet. 5:10 – ” . . . who called you to His eternal glory in Christ,”

      4. Mark 3:29 – ” . . . never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin.”

      5. etc.

        1. SOURCE:  Vine, W. E., Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words, (Grand Rapids, MI: Fleming H. Revell) 1981, Available: Logos Library System.

  3. “describes duration, either undefined but not endless, as in Rom. 16:252 Tim. 1:9Tit. 1:2; or undefined because endless as in Rom. 16:26, and the other sixty–six places in the N.T.

    1. Rom. 16:25 – ” . .  which has been kept secret for long ages past,”

    2. Rom 16:26 – “. . . according to the commandment of the eternal God,”

    3. 2 Tim. 1:9 – “. . .  which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity,”

    4. Titus 1:2 – “the hope of eternal life, which God, who cannot lie, promised” long ages ago”

      1. SOURCE:  Vine, W. E., Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words, (Grand Rapids, MI: Fleming H. Revell) 1981, [Online] Available: Logos Library System)

  4. Eis tous aionios ton aionion –   – Forever and Ever,  Lit. “into the age of the ages”

    1. “unlimited duration of time, with particular focus upon the future – ‘always, forever, forever and ever, eternally.”

    2. Phil. 4:20 – “. . .to our God and Father be the glory forever and ever.”

    3. Rev. 19:3 – ” . . .Her smoke rises up forever and ever.”

    4. Rev. 20:20 – “And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.”

      1. SOURCE:  Louw, Johannes P. and Nida, Eugene A., Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament based on Semantic Domains, (New York: United Bible Societies) 1988, 1989, Available: Logos Library System.





Young’s Literal Translation (1898)
1. And these shall go away to punishment age-during, but the righteous to life age-during.
2. and the Devil, who is leading them astray, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where are the beast and the false prophet, and they shall be tormented day and night-to the ages of the ages.

Emphatic Diaglott (1942)
1. And these shall go forth to the aionian cutting-off; but the RIGHTEOUS to aionian Life.
2. And THAT ENEMY who deceived them was cast into the LAKE OF FIRE and Sulphur, where both the BEAST and FALSE-PROPHET [were cast,] and they will be tormented Day and Night for the AGES of the AGES.

6 Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this aworld, nor of the princes of this aworld, that come to nought:

7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the 1hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the aworld unto our glory:
1 Psalms 8:2Matt 11:251st Cor 1:272nd Cor 3:14

8 Which none of the princes of this aworld knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. (a) “world” = “age” – Strongs #165 “aion”, an age.

The Restoration of Original Sacred Name Bible (1976)
1. And these shall go away into age-abiding *correction, but the righteous into **age-abiding life.
2. And the Adversary that had been deceiving them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where were both the wild-beast and the false-prophet; and they shall be tormented day and night unto the ages of ages.

Rotherham’s Emphasized
“unto the ages of the ages. “

Revelation 20:10 “forever AND ever”
Original:  eis tous aionas ton aionon anabainei
Literal translation: Unto (or into) the eons of the eons.
King James Version: for ever and ever.
Zondervan Parallel NT in Greek and English: unto the ages of the ages.
Young’s Literal Translation: to the ages of the ages.
Concordant Literal New Testament: for the eons of the eons.


Rabbis and Aion

This two age/world schema is a thoroughly Jewish conception which the Christians picked up on.

Adam Clarke in his commentary frequently quotes Jewish thought in this regard The rabbis have a saying similar to this: “It is better for thee to be scorched with a little fire in this world than to be burned with a devouring fire in the world to come.”

“This money goeth for alms, that my sons may live, and that I may obtain the world to come. —Bab. Rosh. Hashshanah.

[Verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.] The rabbis have a similar saying: “He that gives food to one that studies in the law, God will bless him in this world, and give him a lot in the world to  come.” —Syn. Sohar.

 This distinction of `owlaam (OT:5769) hazeh (OT:2088), this world, and of `owlaam (OT:5769) ha-ba’ (OT:935), the world to come, you may find almost in every page of the rabbis.

“The Lord recompense thee a good reward for this thy good work in this world, and let thy reward be perfected in the world to come. —Targum on Ruth.

“It (that is, the history of the creation and of the Bible) therefore begins with the Hebrew letter beth (b), in the word bªree’shiyt (OT:7225) because two worlds were created, this world and a world to come. —Baal Turim.

“The world to come hints two things especially (of which see Rambam, in Sanhed. cap. 2 Chelek.)
I. The times of the Messiah: `Be mindful of the day wherein thou camest out of Egypt, all the days of thy life: the wise men say, by the days of thy life is intimated this world: by all the days of thy life the days of the Messiah are superinduced.’ In this sense the apostle seems to speak, Heb 2:5, and 6:5.

II. The state after death: thus Rab. Tancum, The world to come, is when a man has departed out of this world.”

Therefore in the resurrection whose wife shall she be of the seven? for they all had her.  [Whose wife shall she be of the seven?] The rabbis have said, That if a woman have two husbands in this world, she shall have the first only restored to her in the world to come. —Sohar. Genes. fol. 24.

[Ye do err] Or, Ye are deceived-by your impure passions: not knowing the scriptures, which assert the resurrection:-nor the miraculous power of God (teen (NT:3588) dunamin (NT:1411) tou (NT:3588) Theou (NT:2316)) by which it is to be effected. In Avoda Sara, fol. 18, Sanhedrin, fol. 90, it is said: “These are
they which shall have no part in the world to come: Those who say, the Lord did not come from heaven; and those who say, the resurrection cannot be proved out of the law.”

Perhaps the Scriptures were never more diligently searched than at that very time: first, because they were in expectation of the immediate appearing of the Messiah; secondly, because they wished to find out allegories in them; (see Philo;) and, thirdly, because they found these scriptures to contain the promise
of an eternal life. He, said they, who studies daily in the law, is worthy to have a portion in the world to come, —Sohar. Genes. fol. 31.

From the tract Kiddushin, fol. 81.“Some captive women were brought to Nehardea, and disposed in the house and the upper room of Rabbi Amram. They took away the ladder (that the women might not get down, but stay there until they were ransomed.) As one of these captives passed by the window, the light of her great beauty shined into the house. Amram (captivated) set up the ladder; and when he was got to the middle of the steps (checked by his conscience) he stopped short, and with a loud voice cried out FIRE! FIRE! in the house of Amram! (This he did that, the neighhours flocking in, he might be obliged to desist from the evil affection which now prevailed in him.) The rabbis ran to him, and (seeing no fire) they said, Thou hast disgraced us. To which he replied: It is better that ye be disgraced in the house of Amram in this world, than that ye be disgraced by me in the world to come.

There is a saying among the rabbis very like that of the apostle in this and the preceding verse. Siphri, in Yalcut Simeoni, page 2, fol. 10: “The faces of the righteous shall be, in the world to come, like suns, moons, the heaven, stars, lightnings: and like the lilies and candlesticks of the temple.”

It is remarkable that the Jews themselves maintained that Abraham was saved by faith. Mehilta, in Yalcut Simeoni, page 1., fol. 69, makes this assertion: “It is evident that Abraham could not obtain an inheritance either in this world or in the world to come, but by faith.”

Date: 22 Feb 2006
Time: 22:30:54

Good job! keep up the good work so that everyone may clearly see this truth, and many more that comes with it.

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