Ramelli & Konstan: Terms for Eternity: Aiônios and Aïdios in Classical and Christian Texts

The words translated “eternal”, “eternity” or “forever” in traditional Bible translations do not, in fact, mean eternity or eternal in the sense of endless duration, but “age” or “age-enduring”.

An important element in the argument for biblical universalism is that the words translated “eternal”, “eternity” or “forever” in traditional translations do not, in fact, mean eternity or eternal in the sense of endless duration, but “age” or “age-enduring”. This new scholarly study explains in detail how this works.

terms_for_eternity
Ilaria L. E. Ramelli & David Konstan (2007)

“Apart from the Platonic philosophical vocabulary, which is specific to few authors, aiónios does not mean “eternal”; it acquires this meaning only when it refers to God, and only because the notion of eternity was included in the concep- tion of God: for the rest, it has a wide range of meanings and its possible renderings are multiple, but it does not mean “eternal.” In particular when it is associated with life or punishment, in the Bible and in Christian authors who keep themselves close to the Biblical usage, it denotes their belonging to the world to come.” (p. 238)

Find the book here: Terms for Eternity: Aiônios and Aïdios in Classical and Christian Texts.