There is no such a thing as Eternal Torment? If it can be proven that the word behind Eternal does not really mean eternal then whole dogma of eternal torment evaporates like the morning fog on a hot summer day. Hopefully, within this page and the other pages on this web site, you will see that eternal torment is nothing more than a nightmare once you wake up to the reality that aionion cannot possibly mean eternal. In the Bible, God has deemed it wise to give us His revelation of His plan for humanity by means of words. If the words He gave us are misunderstood, then it goes without saying that His revelation will be greatly misunderstood as well. A good example of misunderstanding a given word and the havoc it has done to understanding Gods plan is to be found in Vines Dictionary on the word aionios from which we get the word aeonian or eonian and which some Bibles translate as eternal. Vine says that this word can mean eternal in some verses and in others it can mean non-eternal. So right off the bat we have direct contradictory statements about a most important word which affects our understanding of Gods plan for humanity. How can a word have two opposite meanings? Let us get down to what this word aeonian or eonian really means so we can clear this up.
If we think of Aionios as age-ic and that age-ic pertains to an age or ages we can better understand that Eonian pertains to an eon or eons as the case may be. Likewise, the adjective American pertains to the noun America. In the sentence: This president is the American president, we would know that his presidency, being American, pertains to America. Also, in this sentence: The heavenly angel visited Mary, we would understand that the angels realm originates in Heaven. Heavenly pertains to Heaven.
Eonian Pertains to the eon or eons
Eonian is an adjective. Eon is a noun. In the Bible, when anything is said to be eonian it is said to be that which pertains to the eon(s). In some Bibles, the words for ever, everlasting, eternal and the world began are interpretations of the Greek word aionion In the Concordant Literal New Testament, aionion is always brought directly over into English as eonian.
From Genesis to the end of Gods revelation as recorded in 1 Corinthians 15:28, there is not one verse where the noun eon is used in such a way that it carries the idea of eternal.
For eonian to mean eternal, or pertaining to eternity, there must be verses where the noun eon means eternity. There are no such verses to be found. An eon is a period of unspecified duration. We know if aion/eon has a beginning and an end by definitive verses. Eonian pertains to the eon(s). Since definitive scriptures testify to the non-eternalness of the eons, aionion cannot have the meaning of eternal.
W.E. Vine tries to prove that aionios means eternal when it is (as he says) applied to that which is eternal. Let us have a look at those verses he brings and show that they are not talking about what is eternal but what pertains to the eons.
Before we look at those verses let us first face squarely his idea that when aionios is applied to that which is eternal i.e. God, then it must mean eternal. This is faulty logic. If I say That sure is a timely girl since timely is applied to the girl, are we now to suggest that timely is to be interpreted as being temporary since the girls life is a temporary life and not an eternal life? No. Timely is an adjective which pertains to the girl being on time. What she is, (being female or young) and how long she lives has nothing to do with the word timely. Likewise, if we were to apply the word timely to God, it would not all of a sudden change meaning just because God is eternal. Thus also, when the adjective eonian is applied to God, the meaning of the word does not all of a sudden get changed due to God being eternal. Eonian, being an adjective, merely tells us that when it is used, it is that which pertains to the eon(s).
Lets look at the word weekly. In the American Heritage Dictionary it states adjective. 1. of or pertaining to a week. Now suppose we apply that word to the young girl and then to God. Does the length of the week morph into a different length of time when applied to girl as opposed to when it is applied to God? No. Of course an eon is vastly longer than a week. But just the fact that eonian pertains to the eon just as weekly pertains to the week, neither weekly nor eonian change into different meanings based upon which noun they modify.
Remember earlier when I wrote concerning that which is American is that which pertains to America? Just as our president is the American president, thus also, our God is the eonian God or the God pertaining to the eons. Just as our American president is presiding over the affairs of America, thus also our eonian God is over or in charge of the eons. He is subjecting all to the goals He has for each eon. See Romans 16:26 which it is stated that God is the eonian God. Your Bible might say eternal God or everlasting God. Now let us get on with what our objector wrote:
Our objector quotes Vines Dictionary to prove Aionios means eternal. Here I quote him:
Then he quotes Vines Dictionary to prove his point:
Tonys reply: Does Vine really prove that aionios can mean eternal in some verses in his dictionary? Let us step through each of the verses Vine quotes in his dictionary above and just see if, indeed it is beyond argument.
We begin with the first verse of Rom.16:26. First of all the verse just before verse 26 says: . . . in accord with the revelation of a secret hushed in times eonian. If Aionios is eternal (having no beginning and no end) how can a secret have ever been made before the beginning of eternity to be hushed? It couldnt! The word is aionios and transliterated eonian. It was hushed in times pertaining to the eon(s) yet manifested now. Vines is correct that aionios cannot mean eternal in verse 25. Yet he fudges and says it does mean eternal in verse 26 because God is eternal! Verse 26 has according to the injunction of the eonian God. This is supposed to prove eonian is eternal? It proves that God is the God pertaining to the eon(s) or ages. God is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Does that limit God to just them? He is also the God of the nations. When the eons end will God end? No. He is right now the God pertaining to the eons and when they end He will cease to be the eonian God (the God pertaining to the eons) and will then be God All in all (1 Cor.15:28).
Opposer: and the other 66 places in the NT. The predominant meaning of aionios, that in which it is used everywhere in the NT, save the places noted above, may be seen in 2 Cor. 4:18, where it is set in contrast with proskairos, lit. for a season.
Opposer: and in Philm 15, where only in the NT it is used without a noun.
Opposer continues: Moreover it is used of persons and things which are in their nature endless, as, e.g., of God, Rom 16:26;
Opposer: of His power, 1 Tim 6:16,
Opposer: and of His glory, 1 Pet 5:10;
Opposer: of the Holy Spirit, Heb 9:14;
Opposer: of the redemption effected by Christ, Heb 9:12,
Opposer: and of the consequent salvation of men, 5:9,
Opposer: as well as of His future rule, 2 Pet 1:11,
Opposer: which is elsewhere declared to be without end, Luke 1:33;
Opposer: of the life received by those who believe in Christ, John 3:16,
Opposer: concerning whom He said, they shall never perish,: 10:28, and of the resurrection body, 2 Cor 5:1, elsewhere said to be immortal,: 1 Cor 15:53, in which that life will be finally realized, Matt. 25:46; Titus 1:2.
Opposer: Aionios is also used of the sin that hath never forgiveness,: Mark 3:29,
Opposer: and of the judgment of God, from which there is no appeal, Heb 6:2,
Opposer: and of the fire, which is one of its instruments, Matt. 18:8; 25:41; Jude 7, and which is elsewhere said to be unquenchable,: Mark 9:43.
Matt.18:8: to be cast into fire eonian.
Not one of these verses proves aionios means eternal. The first three show that the fire is that which pertains to the eon. The last one dealing with Gehenna lasts only 1000 years during Christs millennial reign so it cannot be eternal. So since there is not one verse in all the Bible where aion means eternal, aionios cannot mean eternal since it is the adjective pertaining to the noun aion.
Theologians and Bible scholars alike have partaken of this fruit of Vines. It might taste sweet when you are eating it but after a while it turns very bitter in the stomach and leads to the death of the understanding of Gods wonderful revelation of His plan and purpose for humanity. Have you partaken of this fruit of W. E. Vine? There is healing for you in Gods wonderful Word. Only through His correctly translated Word can the bitter results of what you have eaten of this Vine be taken away. The remedy is not that hard to swallow. All you need do is to take God at His word for what He said and not what the theologians and scholars improperly think He said. May God richly bless you in your endeavors.
© Tony Nungesser