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The Poisonous Fruit of Vine. Vine taught that aionios (pronounced: I-own-ee-os) means eternal but for that to be so the Greek word aion (pronounced: I-own)  would have to be eternal. It is not. The adjective <i>Aionios</i> merely pertains to the noun from which it is derived which is <i>aion</i>. This completely disproves the so called eternal torment


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 God’s plan is to be found in Vine’s 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 God’s 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 angel’s 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 God’s 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 girl’s 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).

Let’s 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:
    “An Expository Dictionary of NT Words (W.E. Vine; Old Tappan, NJ: Fleming H. Revell, 1940, vol. 2, p. 43, under “Eternal”) pretty much sums it up as truth beyond argument.”

Then he quotes Vine’s Dictionary to prove his point:

“Aionios describes duration, either undefined but not endeless, as in Romans 16:25; 2 Tim 1:9; Titus 1:2; or undefined because endless, as in Rom 16:26, 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,’ and in Philm 15, where only in the NT it is used without a noun. Moreover it is used of persons and things which are in their nature endless, as, e.g., of God, Rom 16:26; of His power, 1 Tim 6:16, and of His glory, 1 Pet 5:10; of the Holy Spirit, Heb 9:14; of the redemption effected by Christ, Heb 9:12, and of the consequent salvation of men, 5:9, as well as of His future rule, 2 Pet 1:11, which is elsewhere declared to be without end, Luke 1:33; of the life received by those who believe in Christ, John 3:16, concerninng whom He said, ‘they shall never perish,’ 10:28, and of the resurrection body, 2 Cor 5:1, elsewhere said to be ‘immortal,’ 1 Cor 15:53, in which that life will be finally realized, Matt 25:46; Titus 1:2. Aionios is also used of the sin that ‘hath never forgiveness,’ Mark 3:29, and of the judgment of God, from which there is no appeal, Heb 6:2, and. of the fire, which is one of its instruments, Matt 18:8; 25:41; Jude 7, and which is elsewhere said to be ‘unquenchable,’ Mark 9:43.”

Tony’s 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 couldn’t! 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.’ ”
Tony’s reply: In the Bible there are different time words: “day,” “week,” “month,” “*season,*” “year,” “era,” and “eon(s),” This has direct bearing on 2Cor.4:18: “. . . what is being observed is temporary, yet what is not being observed is eonian.” We observe the outward man decaying and our affliction which is temporary. Yet what is not being observed is that which pertains to the coming eons or as Paul writes “what is not being observed is eonian.” There is what is “temporary” or seasonal and something which is longer than temporary or longer than “a season” which is “eonian.” The contrast need not be between something lasting for a season and something eternal. It cannot be eternal, for eonian is that which pertains to the eons, and we know that no eon is eternal.


Opposer: “and in Philm 15, where only in the NT it is used without a noun.”
Tony’s reply: Philemon would hardly collect his slave as an eternal payment . . . being his slave for all eternity! Rather it says: “For perhaps therefore is he separated for an hour, that you may be collecting him as an eonian repayment.” The repayment was pertaining to this eon and not pertaining to eternity.


Opposer continues: “Moreover it is used of persons and things which are in their nature endless, as, e.g., of God, Rom 16:26;”
Tony’s reply: This has already been dealt with above. God is the eonian God. He is the God pertaining to the eons. There is not one verse in all the Bible where aion (eon) means “eternal” or “endless.” God is the God pertaining to the eons and He is controlling the eons to His glory.
    Also, we need to get something straight here: The duty of the adjective is to modify the noun. The noun is never to modify the adjective. “God” being a noun, is not supposed to modify the adjective “eonian.” Look in any grammar book. So when Vine states that “aionios can be eternal when applied to God” he is breaking the grammar rule of the adjective. When aionios is applied to God it modifies the noun “God” by telling us of His relationship to the eons.


Opposer: “of His power, 1 Tim 6:16,”
Tony’s reply: 1Tim.6:16 says “. . . to Whom be honor and might eonian.” His power and might is shown to be pertaining to the eons. In the future, Christ will lay down all power and might when the eons have run their course (1Cor.15:25-28). He reigns until He quits reigning. He subjects Himself to God. This disproves the eternality of aionios.


Opposer: “and of His glory, 1 Pet 5:10;”
Tony’s reply: 1Pet.5:10 says “ . . . Who calls you into His eonian glory in Christ.” The glory we will have in Christ is a glory pertaining to the eons. No eon is eternal.


Opposer: “of the Holy Spirit, Heb 9:14;”
Tony’s reply: Here is Heb.9:14: “Who, through the eonian spirit (which is quite possibly Christ’s spirit?) offers Himself flawless to God.” This need not pertain to the holy spirit of God. The Bible talks about the “spirit of your mind” (Eph.4:23). This is the spirit which pertains to the eons.


Opposer: “of the redemption effected by Christ, Heb 9:12,”
Tony’s reply: This is “entered once for all time into the holy place, finding eonian redemption.” The eonian redemption, like eonian life pertains to the eons and does not mean that God will not become All in all.


Opposer: “and of the consequent salvation of men, 5:9,”
Tony’s reply: “He became the cause of eonian salvation to all who are obeying Him.” This salvation spoken of is the salvation pertaining to the eons. Not all mankind get to enjoy this special salvation. Many must wait till the eons have ended.


Opposer: “as well as of His future rule, 2 Pet 1:11,”
Tony’s reply: “For thus will be richly supplied to you the entrance into the eonian kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” This eonian kingdom is the kingdom which pertains to the eons. After all are subjected then the eonian kingdom is not needed to subject people. It ceases to be the kingdom of Jesus Christ when all are subjected to God, for then Christ ceases to reign. God then reigns supreme in all mankind (see 1Cor.15:22-28).


Opposer: “which is elsewhere declared to be without end, Luke 1:33;”
Tony’s reply: “And of His kingdom there shall be no consummation” (Lk.1:33). It does not say that of Jesus Christ’s reign there shall be no end. 1Cor.15:25 disproves that. The Kingdom continues after Christ’:s reign is completed.


Opposer: “of the life received by those who believe in Christ, John 3:16,”
Tony’s reply: “ . . . who is believing in Him should not be perishing, but may be having eonian life.” They get the life pertaining to the eons. The unbelievers do not. And what’s more, the believers don’t die. But this does not prove that aionios is eternal because they don’t die. It just means that what is eonian here involves us who are also given immortality.


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.”
Tony’s reply: It is a flaw of logic to say that if one has immortality and one lives for the eons that therefore the eons are eternal. Christ is immortal. He has been living for almost 2000 years of this current eon since He rose from the dead. This does not prove we are living in eternity!


Opposer: “Aionios is also used of the sin that ‘hath never forgiveness,’: Mark 3:29,”
Tony’s reply: “Whoever should be blaspheming against the holy spirit is having no pardon for the eon, but is liable to the eonian penalty for the sin” (Mk.3:29). This proves that the sin is not eternal. The time limit on it not being forgiven is for an eon. And the penalty for that sin is eonian, which means that it is pertaining to the eon. The penalty pertains to that which is not eternal, but to a period having both a definite beginning and a definite end.


Opposer: “and of the judgment of God, from which there is no appeal, Heb 6:2,”
Tony’s reply: I don’t see where he gets that out of Heb.6:2! Here it is: “(not again teaching judgment eonian. And this will we be doing, that is, if God may be permitting).” The writer of Hebrews is just saying they would not be teaching on those things any more. He made no allusion that there is no appeal to this judgment. The teaching is that the judgment is pertaining to the eon(s), since it is “eonian judgment.”


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.”
Tony’s reply: What does each verse say?

Matt.18:8: “to be cast into fire eonian.”
     Mat.25:41: “cursed into the fire eonian.”
     Jude 7: “justice of fire eonian.”
     Mark 9:43: “into Gehenna, into the unextinguished fire.”


    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 Christ’s 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 Vine’s. 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 God’s 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 God’s 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

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