Joseph E. Kirk: The eons of the Bible

“God’s purpose in creating man, and God’s purpose of the eons are inseparably related. Many are unfamiliar with this important subject because the facts have been concealed by incorrect and misleading translations of the Bible from the original languages into English.”–Joseph E. Kirk

(The words “aion” and “aionion” does not mean “eternity” or “eternal” as they are translated in many bible translations, but “age” and “age-enduring”. This article by Joseph E. Kirk gives an overview of the use of the word in the Bible.)

The teaching of the Scriptures about the eons provides answers to frustrating questions concerning the meaning of human existence. God’s purpose in creating man, and God’s purpose of the eons are inseparably related. Many are unfamiliar with this important subject because the facts have been concealed by incorrect and misleading translations of the Bible from the original languages into English.

The eons are the longest periods of time referred to in the Scriptures. Time-wise, they are of indefinite duration, but event-wise, they are distinctly marked off by great cataclysms which affect the whole earth.

FACTS REVEALED CONCERNING THE EONS

THE EONS HAVE A BEGINNING

Literal Translation -vs- KJV:

Heb. 1:2: God made the eons –vs- God made the worlds

1 Cor. 2:7: before the eons -vs- before the world

Tim. 1:9: before times eonian -vs- before the world began

THE EONS END, INDIVIDUALLY AND COLLECTIVELY

Heb. 9:26: the end of the eons -vs-the end of the world

1 Cor. 10:11: the end of the eons -vs- the ends of the world

Matt. 24:3: the end of the eon -vs- the end of the world

HOW MANY EONS ARE THERE?

Col. 1:26: hid from the eons -vs- Past hid from ages (at least two ages have past)

Luke 20:34: this eon -vs- this world (this present age)

Eph. 2:7: eons to come -vs- ages to come (At least two more to come, thus–a minimum of five eons indicated)

THE PURPOSE OF THE EONS

“…according to the eternal (aionian) purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Eph 3:11)

“…that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times (ages) He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth–in Him. In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will” (Eph 1:10-11).

The above verses talk about the purpose of the eons (“eternal purpose,” AV). If the eons have a purpose, what it is? We believe the gospel makes it clear that the purpose of the eons is–CHRIST!

“Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Phil. 2:9-11).

“For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross” (Col 1:19-20).

The words “eon” and “eonian” occur 199 times in the New Testament.

They are translated as follows in the King James Version:

AION or EON AIONIOS or EONIAN
Ages: 2
Never: 7
Everlasting:25
Course: 1
Evermore: 4
Eternal:42
World: 40
Eternal: 2
World:3
Ever: 72
Ever:1

The fact that the same word translated “for ever,” “everlasting,” and “eternal” is also translated “world,” is a shocking surprise to many believers. Had God meant “world” in these places, He would have used the Greek word kosmos which means world. In the best literal translations, the words aion and aionios are consistently rendered “age” and”age-abiding” or transliterated “eon” and “eonian.” See Rotherham’s Emphasized Version; Young’s Literal Translation; or the Concordant Literal New Testament.

God made the eons (Heb. 1:2) and fitted them out (Heb. 11:3) for the accomplishing of His purpose (Eph. 3:8-11; Eph. 1:9-11). During the eonian times, sin, suffering and death enter God’s creation, serve their purpose and are abolished by Jesus Christ (1 Tim. 4:9-11; Col. 1:20; 1 Cor. 15:22-28; Rom. 5:18-19; Phil. 2:9-11; John 12:32-33; 1 John 3:8).

The existence of God is not confined to the eons. He made the eons; therefore, He existed before they began. At the conclusion of the eons Jesus Christ will do away with sin (Heb. 9:26) and will abolish death (1 Cor. 15:22-26). All will then be subjected to God and God will be All in all (1 Cor. 15:27-28). Therefore, God continues to exist after the eons have ended. The statement “from everlasting to everlasting thou art God” (Ps. 90:2, AV), is literally, “from age to age thou art God.” This does not limit God’s existence to the eons any more than the statement, “I am the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob” (Ex. 3:6), excludes Him from being the God of others also.

The same is true of the reference to Him as “the eonian God” (Rom. 16:25-26). During the present wicked eon (Gal. 1:4), Sin reigns, Satan who is said to be “the god of this eon” (2 Cor. 4:4) blinds and deceives mankind, and death swallows up the race (1 Cor. 15:22). But notwithstanding, God is over all and is in supreme control. He is the eonian God.

Neither is it true that if the eons end, the life of believers in Christ must end. Believers do receive eonian life. But if this is all that God promised, there would be no assurance of life beyond the eons. However, at the end of the eons God abolishes death from His universe (1 Cor. 15:26). This is accomplished by imparting the resurrection life of Christ to all who have not previously received it. Eonian life assures one of life up to that point. Beyond that, death is impossible.

In the Greek Scriptures endlessness is never expressed in terms of eons or of that which is eonian. The Scriptures never speak of “the endless eons of eternity.” Endlessness is expressed by the use of negatives: “not,” “no not,” “un-,” “less.” For example: “of His kingdom there shall be no end” (ouk estai telos; Luke 1:33); “endless life” (akatalutou; Heb. 7:16); “endless genealogies” (aperantois; 1 Tim.1:4); “nevermore” (ou me eti; Rev. 18:21-23).

COMPLETE CONCORDANCE

The Noun “Aion” and its Adjective “Aionios” Translated, Eon and Eonian

EON IN THE SINGULAR

1. The present eonGal. 1:4; 1 Tim. 6:17; 2 Tim. 4:10; Titus 2:12 (world).

2. This eonMatt. 12:32; Matt. 13:22; Mk. 4:19; Luk. 16:8; Luk. 20:34; Rom. 12:2; 1 Cor. 1:20; 1 Cor. 2:6-8; 1 Cor. 3:18; 2 Cor. 4:4; Eph. 1:21; Eph. 6:12 (world).

3. The eon of this worldEph. 2:2 (course of this world).

4. From the eonMatt. 21:19; Mk. 11:14; Luk. 1:55; Jn. 6:-51,58; Jn. 8:35; Jn. 12:34; Jn. 14:16; 2 Cor. 9:9; Heb. 5:6; Heb. 6:20; Heb. 7:17-21; 1 Pet. 1:23-25; 2 Pet. 2:17; 1 Jn. 2:17; 2 Jn. 2; Jude 13 (forever); Heb. 7:24 (ever); Heb. 7:28 (for evermore); 1 Cor. 8:13 (while the world standeth).

5. Not for the eonMk. 3:29; Jn. 4:14; Jn. 8:51-52; Jn. 10:28; Jn. 11:26; Jn. 13:8 (never).

6. Before all the eonJude 25a (AV omits) RV “before all time.”

7. From the eonLk. 1:70; Acts 3:21 (since the world began); Acts 15:18 (from the beginning for the world; Out of the eon Jn. 9:32 (since the world began).

8. The conclusion of the eonMatt. 13:39-40 Matt. 13:49; Matt. 24:3; Matt. 28:20 (the end of the world).

9. The coming eonMk. 10:30; Lk. 18:30; Heb. 6:5 (world); that eon Lk. 20:35 (that world).

10. For the day of the eon2 Pet. 3:18 (for ever). Compare Deut. 32:7; Mic. 5:2; Mic. 7:14; Mal. 3:4.

EON IN THE PLURAL

1. God made the eonsHeb. 1:2; equipped the eons Heb. 11:3 (worlds).

2. Purpose of the eonsEph. 3:11; King of the eons1 Tim. 1:17 (eternal).

3. Before the eons--1 Cor. 2:7 (before the world); From the eons Eph. 3:9 (from the beginning of the world); Col. 1:26 (from ages).

4. For the eonsMatt. 6:13; Lk. 1:33; Rom. 1:25; Ron. 9:5; Rom. 11:36; Rom. 16:27; Heb. 13:8 (for ever); 2 Cor. 11:32 (for evermore); _for all the eons_ Jude 25 (ever). “all” omitted in some MSS.

5. The on-coming eonsEph. 2:7 (ages to come).

6. Conclusion of the eonsHeb. 9:26 (end of the world). R.V. “end of the ages.”

7. Ends of the eons1 Cor. 10:11 (ends of the world). R.V. “ends of the ages.”

EON TWICE IN THE SAME PHRASE

1. The eons of the eonsGal. 1:5; Phil. 4:20; 1 Tim. 1:17; 2 Tim. 4:18; Heb. 13:21; 1 Pet. 4:11; 1 Pet. 5:11; Rev. 1:6; Rev. 4:9,10; Rev. 5:13-14; Rev. 7:12; Rev. 10:6; Rev. 11:15; Rev. 14:11; Rev. 15:7; Rev. 19:3; Rev. 20:10; Rev. 22:5 (for ever and ever); Rev. 1:18 (for evermore). A comparison of Rev. 11:14-15 with 1 Cor. 15:27-28 makes it clear that the expression “the eons of the eons” does not mean an endless succession of eons. Christ reigns for “the eons of the eons,” after which He delivers up the kingdom to the Father and Himself becomes subject, that God may be All in all.

2. The eon of the eons–for all the generations of, Eph. 3:21 (throughout all ages, world without end). In the Authorized Version, the Greek word for “generations” is wrongly translated “ages” in this passage. The eon of the eons is the last and greatest eon of them all, which consummates in the realization of God’s purpose in the salvation of all.

3. The eon of the eonHeb. 1:8 (for ever and ever). This is a reference to the last eon which issues out of the one which preceeds it.

THE ADJECTIVE EONIAN

1. Before eonian times2 Tim. 1:9; Titus 1:2 (before the world began).

2. In eonian timesRom. 16:25 (since the world began).

3. Eonian lifeMatt. 19:29; Luk. 18:30; Jn. 3:15-16 Jn. 3:36; Jn. 4:14; Jn. 5:24; Jn. 6:27; Jn. 6:40-47; Jn. 12:50; Acts 13:46; Rom. 6:22; Gal. 6:8; 1 Tim. 1:16 (everlasting); Matt. 19:16; Matt. 25:46; Mk. 10:17-30; Luk. 10:25; Luk. 18:18; Jn. 4:36; Jn. 5:39; Jn. 6:54-68; Jn. 10:28; Jn. 12:25; Jn. 17:2-3; Acts 13:48; Rom. 2:7; Rom. 5:21; Rom. 6:23; 1 Tim. 6:12; Titus 1:2; Titus 3:7; 1 Jn. 1:2; 1 Jn. 2:25; 1 Jn. 3:15; 1 Jn. 5:11-13; 1 Jn. 5:20; Jude 21 (eternal).

4. Eonian redemptionHebrews 9:12 (eternal).

5. Eonian salvationHebrews 5:9 (eternal).

6. Eonian glory2 Cor. 4:17; 2 Tim. 2:10; 1 Pet. 5:10 (eternal).

7. Eonian kingdom2 Peter 1:11 (everlasting).

8. Eonian inheritanceHebrews 9:15 (eternal).

9. Eonian “things not seen–“2 Corinthians 4:18 (eternal).

10. Eonian house2 Corinthians 5:1 (eternal).

11. Eonian habitationsLuke 16:9 (everlasting).

12. Eonian consolation2 Thessalonians 2:16 (everlasting).

13. Eonian covenantHebrews 13:20 (everlasting).

14. Eonian gospelRevelation 14:6 (everlasting).

15. Eonian GodRomans 16:26 (everlasting).

16. Eonian SpiritHebrews 9:14 (eternal).

17. Eonian power1 Timothy 6:16 (everlasting).

18. Eonian judgmentHebrews 6:2 (eternal)

19. Eonian condemnationMark 3:29 (eternal damnation).

20. Eonian fire–Matthew 18:8; 25:41 (everlasting); Jude 7 (eternal fire).

21. Eonian chasteningMatthew 25:46 (everlasting).

22. Eonian extermination2 Thessalonians 1:9 (everlasting).

23. EonianPhilemon 15 (for ever).

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