Forever is not forever...

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by Deqxter, Apr 10, 2016.

  1. Forever is not Forever

    For hundreds of years now, Bible translators have unthinkingly followed the lead of Jerome's Latin Vulgate in mistranslating two words, one Hebrew and the other Greek. The Vulgate was Rome's official Bible and it held sway over everyone's thinking, even after the Reformation. Jerome translated the Hebrew 'olam and the Greek aoin incorrectly as aeternum, which everyone then correctly translated as eternal or everlasting. But while that is a correct rendering of the Latin word, the Latin word is NOT a correct rendering of the Hebrew or Greek, as this document will show. We will provide a list of verses where these words are used and the reader will be able to see that these words cannot possibly mean eternal or everlasting. Quite simply, they mean a time period whose end (or beginning) is not in sight. The fact that those time periods can end will be seen as obvious from the passages themselves.
    Old Testament
    The Hebrew noun 'olam comes from the verb 'alam, which means, to be hidden, hence not in view. The word occurs over 400 times in 34 OT books, showing that it is a very common word whose meaning should therefore not be in doubt. Anyone who wants to maintain that it must mean “everlasting” has to explain every one of the following occurrences of the word.
    Gen 9.12, 16. How can the covenant of the rainbow be for ever if there will be a new heaven and a new earth?
    Gen 13.15, 17.7-8. The same question applies to the gift by God of Canaan to Abraham's offspring.
    Gen 17.13. How can circumcision be anything other than life-long?
    Gen 49.24; Deut 33.15. Hills cannot be everlasting if we are getting a new earth.
    Ex 12.14, 17, 24. How can the Passover ritual be everlasting if Christ has fulfilled it?
    Ex 14.13. Israel did see the Egyptians again many times in subsequent history, so if this word means for ever then the Bible contains errors.
    Ex 21.6; Deut 15.17. Service was clearly for life, not for ever.
    Ex 27.21. Aaron and his sons did not burn incense for ever, for the tabernacle worship became obsolete with the coming of the NT.
    Ex 28.43. The same applies to the priesthood of Aaron.
    Lev 3.17; 16.29; Num 18.8 etc. The same applies to every statute concerning the offerings.
    Num 10.8. The same applies to the blowing of trumpets.
    Num25.13. Phinehas did not have an everlasting priesthood; the OT priesthood is obsolete.
    Deut 23.4. The tenth generation is not for ever.
    1 S 1.22. Samuel did not live in the tabernacle for ever. He died.
    2 S 12.10. This threat was clearly for life, not for ever.
    1 K 9.3; 2 Chr 7.16. God did not put his name on the temple for ever. He destroyed it.
    Isa 32.14. How can this desolation be for ever when the next verse starts with “until the Spirit is poured upon us”?
    Jer 5.15. Babylon did not exist from eternity past.
    Jer 25.9. Nebuchadnezzar did not make the lands desolate for ever. They are inhabited to this day.
    Jer 28.8. Prophets did not exist from eternity past.
    Jer 49.33. This permanent desolation can only last until there is a new heaven and earth.
    Jer 51.26. The same applies here.
    Ezek 25.15. Did the Philistines' hatred exist from eternity past?
    Ezek 35.5. The same question about Edom.
    Amos 9.11. The same question about David's tabernacle.
    Mic 7.14. The same question about God pasturing his people.
    Hab 3.6. Hills are not eternal.
    Mal 3.4. Were the offerings of Judah from eternity past?
    Ps 49.12. The grave is not man's eternal home.
    Ps 119.52. I have remembered God's rulings from eternity past?
    Ps 143.3; Lam 3.6. Dead for ever?
    Prov 22.28; 23.10. An eternal landmark?
    1 Chr 15.2. The Levitical system was not everlasting.
    2 Chr 2.3. The same applies.
    New Testament
    Here we actually have two related words, the noun aion with 128 occurrences and the adjective aionios, with 71 occurrences. Once again, those who wish to insist that the word means “forever” must deal with the following passages. If we read these passages as if aion means “forever” then we see the stupidity of trying to force meanings into words.
    Matt 12.32; Eph 1.21. In this forever or the one to come?
    Matt 13.22; Mk 4.19. The cares of this forever?
    Matt 13.39-40. The harvest is at the end of this forever?
    Matt 13.49. The end of this forever?
    Matt 24.3. The end of forever?
    Lk 1.70. Prophets have been speaking since eternity past?
    Lk 16.8; 20.34. The children of this forever?
    Rom 12.2. Do not be conformed to this forever?
    1 Cor 1.20; 3.18. The disputers and the wise of this forever?
    1 Cor 2.8. The rulers of this forever?
    2 Cor 4.4; Eph 6.12. The god of this forever?
    Eph 2.7; Col 1.26. The coming eternities? The word is plural in these verses.
    1 Tim 6.17. Those who are rich in this eternity?
    2 Tim 1.9; Tit 1.2. Before time eternal?
    2 Tim 4.10. Demas loved this present eternity.
    Tit 2.12. Live soberly in this present eternity.
    Heb 1.2; 11.3. He made the eternities? More plurals here.
    Heb 9.26. The end of eternity?
    Rev 14.11 etc. For ever and ever? That is a nonsense phrase, another way of saying, for evers and a pathetic failure to capture the meaning of the Greek, which could be rendered “age upon age”.
    This selection proves beyond doubt that in translating these words we should not use the words “eternal, everlasting, forever”. The words refer to an age. We may not be able to see the beginning or the end of that age but we must not infer from that that we are looking at endlessness.
    God is endless, but Paul uses a different word to describe God, aidios, which is the correct Greek word for eternal, without beginning or end (Rom 1.20).
    Now that we have established that the words refer to an age, allow your theology to be challenged by applying this understanding to the many other passages where they occur.
    If these verses give you concern that maybe the life the Lord gives us is not everlasting, realise that the endlessness of that life is established by other verses with other words, for example;
    Lk 20.35-36. Those who are accounted worthy to attain that age and the resurrection of the dead...die no more...being sons of the resurrection.
    Jn 11.25-26. He who believes in me will live even if he dies and everyone who believes in me will never die.
    Rom 6.8. If we have died with Christ we will also live with him.
    1 Jn 3.2 When he appears we will be like him.

    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
  2. Random observation: Ecclesiastes says eternity is in the heart. Christ said heaven is within man.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  3. A very early realization I had when the Lord was calling me was that time was a created thing. The basic understanding came from a scientific discussion concerning space.

    The upshot of all this is that while God exists outside of time, we exist and will always exist as creatures forever within the creation of time. This understanding is why I put an hourglass as part of my avatar.

    Many times this distinction affects how certain concepts are presented. Thus the concept of God existing ‘before’ creation is only applicable if we insist on confining His existence as something with location on a linear time.

    If we wish to speak in that way, God is eternal in two directions (neither beginning nor end), while our souls are eternal only in the direction of to the future. Talking in this manner is fine when relating Him to us, since it uses our existence as a scale, but this is more a compromise with our linear concept of time than it is based on God being inside of time.

    We can also recognize God (creator) as wholly outside of time (His creation).

    Since the Bible is more meant to help men understand God’s nature and out relationship to Him and thus to others rather than a detailed discussion of the nature of space/time strange relationships that only appear to be in conflict can occur.

    For example, if you examine our choices in life strictly along the timeline of existence, we can be seen to make our own decisions (freewill), while if you examine God’s knowledge of our lives, we find that God can maintain a list of the elect from before Adam. We find that we cannot come to Him unless called, and that if called we will surely come, but in order to understand how all this works, you have to step outside of linear time and examine God’s perspective and find that His knowledge never diminishes our ability to make a choice.

    I apologize if this strays too close to the forbidden subjects (Calvinism vs Armenian-ism) but I expect proponents of both sides would be equally displeased with my illustration, though for different reasons. The staff is free to edit/delete this.

    The point is that forever, eternity, and other time related concepts are subjects that must be approached with great care, and since they relate to matters outside our day to day experiences tend to make extensive use of more or less rough analogies.
  4. If we can undergo an experience that seems to be the transcendence of time, then isn't that part of us that experiences that actually undergoing it?
  5. My postulation is that time does not exist, not as most people conceive of it. What we refer to as "time", is nothing more than a measurement of decay, growth and change. Measurements do not exist, they are just markers for us to compare things that do exist. Inches and centimeters do not exist, they are just common marks on a ruler, tape measure or some other apparatus.

    When measurements are created, it is nothing more than an agreed determination of what constitutes said measurement. We could all agree to change the length of an hour to be some other standard, for instance, instead of 24 hours in a day, we could make there be 48 hours in a day. Every new hour would be what was previously 30 minutes.

    So we see time measurements are arbitrary standards to compare the decay, growth and change of matter in the universe. With this definition, God now is outside of decay, growth and change for He is not affected nor effected by any of these tangible effects.
    Euphemia likes this.
  6. Pretty good, Big Moose. Pretty good.

    Did you read some philosophers of mind or did you come up with that yourself?
  7. That is my own. God gave me a mind which questions why things are the way they are.
    Capparell likes this.
  8. I'd just change it to say, "Time exists only as a mental construct."

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Big Moose likes this.
  9. I like that.
  10. Every time I look in the mirror I ask the same thing.........."Why are things the way they are".
    KingJ and Big Moose say Amen and like this.
  11. Oh LORD free me from the entrapment of this Natural Man; help me shed the Old Man on the Way. Help me; prepare me LORD in this time to live as the New Man. I cannot do this in my own strength or in the knowledge and wisdom of men: I NEED Your (Holy) Spirit to create new eyes and ears in this life, on This Earth. In the name of the Son Christ Jesus. Amen.
    Big Moose likes this.
  12. #12 KingJ, Apr 13, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2016
    Time exists on earth and in heaven. God and us living forever is a separate issue.

    I don't believe we will ever grasp God's ability to live outside of time. We will never be God. We will never fully grasp God. We may have resurrected bodies in heaven, but will still forever be the human race. Saying we will live outside of time is like saying we will cease being human. Kind of like those who think we who make it to heaven will forever be very good people. Hardly deep thought imho.

    Ecc 3:3 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven. (Note ''every'').
    John 14:3 And if I go and prepare a place for you. (Note He did not say ''a place is prepared'').
    Matt 8:29 Have you come here to torture us before the appointed time, (Note that angels in the spiritual realm grasped God dealing with them on a time basis)
    Rev 20:7 When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison (John was not shown any timeless future).
  13. This argument is used by those who believe hell is not eternal. Is this your end game? Just curious. You post a detailed OP and seem to have left the door open on your underlying point.

    All the OT verses you quoted work fine with forever. Example, circumcision is not forever the covenant is. God will never destroy mankind again with a flood. Anyway, not arguing for or against. Just acknowledging many OT examples work either way. The NT clearly not.
  14. Rofl :LOL:
    Major likes this.
  15. #15 KingJ, Apr 13, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2016
    I agree, but we just need to be clear that God being outside of time does not ever equal us being there with Him. There will be other time / event markers for us in heaven. We can make a day 28 hours if it served a purpose. Bottom line is that our God given sun determines the measurement.
  16. This article is a word study on forever, just plain facts and correct translation of the original Hebrew and Greek words. There is no intention to argue for or against any particular thought or doctrine, merely state the truth of what scripture really says.

    If our theology is challenged by what is written then maybe our theology needs amending, for what is written as inspired of God cannot be changed.
    Complete likes this.
  17. Lots of deep thinking here. I'm more of simply believing in my Faith and what I was taught. Faith, Love and Forgiveness to start with.
  18. I like to get deep enough that I'm in over my head. :D
  19. Our individual concepts of time and eternity are not the issue here, only what is written.
    Deqxter likes this.
  20. Strongs Concordance Description:-
    H5769 - ‛ôlâm ‛ôlâm
    From H5956; - 'To veil from sight'
    - properly concealed,
    - that is, the vanishing point;
    - generally time out of mind (past or future),
    - that is, (practically) eternity;
    - frequentative adverbially (especially with prepositional prefix) always
    :- always (-s), ancient (time), any more, continuance, eternal,
    (for, [n-]) ever (-lasting, -more, of old), lasting, long (time), (of) old (time),
    perpetual, at any time, (beginning of the) world (+ without end).
    Compare H5331, H5703.

    Hello @Deqxter,

    I have printed off your study to go through quietly verse by verse.

    * Reading it I was reminded of Hebrews 1:2 and Hebrews 11:3:-

    'Hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son,
    whom He hath appointed heir of all things,
    by whom also he made the worlds;
    ' ('aions' or ages)

    'Through faith we understand
    that the
    worlds ('aions' or ages)
    were framed by the word of God,
    so that things which are seen
    were not made of things which do appear.

    * Again, a time period is involved, cloaked by translation.

    G165 - aiōn
    From the same as G104; - 'continued duration' (ever)
    - properly an age;
    - by extension perpetuity (also past);
    - by implication the world;
    - specifically (Jewish) a Messianic period (present or future)
    Translated: - age, course, eternal, (for) ever (-more), [n-]ever,
    (beginning of the, while the) world (began, without end).
    Compare G5550.

    Thank you
    In Christ Jesus

Share This Page