Age - Eon
0165 AION (124): In the FCM (NT), the word aion means a duration, either eternity of infinite past and infinite future, or a period of time according to the human concept of time, or a combination of these depending upon the context. Human experience is totally related to events in time, but, with God duration is different: "...one day with [the] Master is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day" (2Pe.3.8). See also 0166 aionios below.
Until about the middle of the Twentieth Century aion was often translated "world" in some translations. But aion always means a duration, not a certain date or event, nor the Earth, nor human society. Usage of "world" to translate aion causes confusion between events which occurred in 70 A.D. and events at the end of time. For example, in Mt.24.3, Jesus' disciples asked him, "Tell us when these things will be, and what [will be] the sign of your presence and the end of the age (aion)?" Their inquiry was not about the end of the world (kosmos), destruction of planet Earth or the Day of Judgement, but concerning things that would occur within their own generation or "age" (aion).
Kosmos and aion are used together in several contexts which show that their meanings are very different: For example 1Co.1.20: "Where [is the] wise one? where [is the] scribe? where is the debater of this age (aion)? Did not God make the wisdom of the [human] world (kosmos) foolish?" Similarly in Heb.9.26: "...otherwise it would have been necessary [for] him (Jesus) to suffer often from [the] foundation of [the human] world (kosmos); but now once at [the] completion of the ages (aion) he was made apparent for the annulment of wrongdoing (sin) through his sacrifice."
AION REPRESENTS ONE OF THESE SIX DURATIONS IN THE FCM:
1. THAT PART OF THE INFINITE DURATION (ETERNITY) PRIOR TO CREATION: God's FCM does not use the word aion to directly describe this duration. But in 1Co.2.7 aion does refer to God's actions before the ages: "...but we speak a wisdom of God in a hidden secret, which God predetermined before the ages (pro ton aionon) for our magnificence." Also Jud.25a: "To [the] only God, our Rescuer through Jesus the Anointed One [is] magnificence, greatness and authority before all the age (pro pantos tou aionos), and now and unto all the ages (aion)." Note that Jud.25 lists three consecutive durations.
2. THE PERIOD OF TIME FROM CREATION THROUGH JESUS' GENERATION: This includes the time period in which Jesus lived in a physical body and in which both the AM (OT) and the FCM were written. This period is described by the expressions "from the age" or "throughout the age." These always refer to a time period after creation. For example, Jn.9.32: "From the age (ek tou aionos) it has not been heard that the eyes of anyone born blind were opened." Also Eph.3.8-9: "To me, the least of the purified ones, was this favor given: to announce to the foreigners the good news [of] the immeasurable riches of the Anointed One, and to illuminate what is the administration of the secret hidden from the ages (apo ton aionon) in God, who created all things."
3. THE AGE BEGINNING WITH JESUS' PHYSICAL BIRTH AND EXTENDING UP TO THE "JUDGMENT DAY" AND THE DESTRUCTION OF PLANET EARTH: that is, the present age (anno domini), which may be expressed in the FCM as, "the age", "this age" or "the present age." Or, in reference to the end of this present age it may be referred to as "the full completion of the age."
For example, Mt.13.22: "But the [seed] sown in the thorns, this is the [person] hearing the message, but the worries of the age (aion) and the deceitfulness of riches choke the message, and it becomes unfruitful." Similarly in Mk.4.19: "...and the worries of the age and the deceitfulness of riches...choke the message and it becomes unfruitful." Also Mt.28.20: "...teaching them to observe all things whatever I have commanded you+. And look, I am with you+ always until the full completion of the age (aion)." That is, not just to the end of the Jewish age in 70 A. D. but until Judgment Day. Aion is plural in 1Co.10.11 and Heb.9.26, indicating that it may refer to the total time from creation until the end of the Earth.
4. "UNTO THE AGE", "INTO THE AGE" OR "IN THE AGE" (eis ton aiona): In these passages aion refers to two consecutive durations, the present age (age 3, above) plus the duration following it (age 6, below); that is, from now on, henceforth, always (3842 pantote) or without end. Eis ton aiona may be translated "unto, into or in the age," depending upon the context. Compare this usage to "[final]-age" (0166 aionios, below).
This duration is called the "last age" in The Christian Bible (TCB). And it truly is the "last age," when one considers that there can be no further durations if the next one is "from now on, henceforth, always or without end." But the word "last" is interpolated into the text and should be italicized.
That there is a duration called an aion beyond the present age can be seen in 1Jn.2.17: "And the [human] world (kosmos) is passing away, and its lust, but the [one] who is doing God's desire endures into the age (eis ton aiona)." That is, the one who endures in this age continues to exist after the human world. ends, and into the following duration.
This can also be seen in Jn.8.51-52: "Truly truly I say to you, if anyone heeds my message, he will surely not taste of death into the age (eis ton aiona). The Jews said to him, 'Now we know that you have a demon. Abrahan and the spokesmen died, and you say, "If anyone heeds my message, he will surely not taste of death into the age (eis ton aiona)"'". "Not taste of death" means that his spirit will never experience death.
In Mt.12.32 the duration beyond the present age is called "the [one] coming": "And whoever speaks against the Son of man, it will be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Pure Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, neither in this age (touto to aion) nor in the [one] coming (mellonti)." The duration "coming" must be the one after Judgment Day, otherwise the passage doesn't make sense.
2Pe.3.18 also speaks of two durations, "now" and "in a day of age" (eis hemeran aionos): "But grow in favor and knowledge of our Master and Savior, Jesus the Anointed One. To Him [is] the magnificence both now and into the age."
When eis ton aion is accompanied by a negative word or phrase, its literal translation may become awkward, as in Mk.3.29: "...but whoever speaks contemptuously against the Pure Spirit does not have forgiveness unto the age, but instead, is guilty of wrongdoing, [even to] the [final]-age." The NASB translates this, "...but is guilty of an eternal sin".)
Eis ton aion is described both negatively and positively in Jn.8.34-36: "Jesus answered them, 'Truly truly I say to you+, everyone who is doing wrong is a slave to wrongdoing. Now the slave does not remain in the house into the age (eis ton aion), [but] the Son remains into the age (eis ton aion). So then, if the Son frees you+, you+ will really be free'". "Into the age" refers to the duration after Judgment Day because the "slave to wrongdoing" would not have remained in the house (God's family), but the Son (Jesus) remains in the house "always" (pantote, 1Th.4.17).
Other passages which describe eis ton aion negatively may use the expression "surely not," as in Jn.4.14: "...whoever drinks of the water which I will give him will surely not thirst into the age (eis ton aion); but the water which I will give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up to [final]-age life (aionios zoe )." In Jn.11.26, the expression, "surely not die" is conditional, based on trusting in Jesus: "...and everyone who is living and trusting in me will surely not die in the age (eis ton aion)."
Translation of eis ton aion:
5. THE INFINITE DURATION BEFORE AND AFTER "TIME" PLUS THE AGES FROM CREATION TO JUDGEMENT; THAT IS, ALL AGES CONSIDERED TOGETHER: This is expressed variably as ages, age of the age, ages of the ages, etc. For example, 1Ti.1.17: "Now to the King of the ages (aionon), incorruptible, invisible, only God, [is] honor and magnificence unto the ages of the ages (aionas ton aionon)...". In this passage "ages" (aionon) means the same thing as "ages of the ages" (aionas ton aionon). In Revelation every use of aion is "unto the ages of the ages," as in Rev.1.18: "Fear not. I (Jesus) am the first and the last and the living [one], and I became dead. And look! I am living unto the ages of the ages (aionas ton aionon). And I have the keys of death and of [the] unseen place (hades)." This is the duration to which 0166 aionios (below) refers when it describes God as being "eternal."
6. "THE INFINITE DURATION (ETERNITY) AFTER THE JUDGEMENT: "that age" or "the coming age." For example, Lk.20.34-35: "And he (Jesus) said to them, 'The sons of this age (toutou aionos) marry and are given in marriage; but those counted worthy to obtain that age (ekeinou aionos) and the raising-up neither marry nor are given in marriage.'" Also, Eph.2.6-7: "...and raised and seated [us] together in the heavenlies with the Anointed One, Jesus, so that he might display the surpassing riches of his favor in kindness toward us in the ages coming upon [us] in the Anointed One, Jesus."
0166 AIONIOS (70): an adjective that describes something with respect to duration or time.
Aionios is used in these two primary senses in God's FCM (NT):
1. Aionios describes something that is infinite or eternal in duration: The word "eternal" represents this concept. It is defined in the Fifth Edition of Webster's Collegiate Dictionary as: "1. Of infinite duration; everlasting. 2. Continued unintermittedly; perpetual. 3. Valid or existing at all times; immutable. 4. Timeless." Aionios in this sense corresponds to duration. 5. of 0165 aion (above).
The following verses explain why aionios describes something eternal; specifically, beings who existed before time began and who will continue to exist after time has ended.
Heb.9.14: "By how much more will the blood of the Anointed One who through eternal (aionios) spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our conscience from dead works to offer godlly service to the living God." Also Rom.16.26: "...but now is made apparent through the writings of the spokesmen according to the command of the eternal (aionios) God for trusting obedience, made known to all the nations."
2. Aionios describes something that was created, having a beginning and thus not being eternal: Aionios has usually been translated "eternal"when used in this sense. But how can anything having a beginning be eternal? This usage of aionios corresponds to duration 4 of aion (above) in which "unto the age" (eis ton aiona) means "the present age" plus a final-age (aionios).
The following verses explain why aionios describes both "life" (zoe ) and inanimate things or concepts as occurring in the final-age; that is, in the duration following the present age:
For example, Jn.10.28: "...and I give [final]-age life (aionios zoe ) to them and they by no means perish (0622 apollumi) into the age (eis ton aion);" Note that both "[final]-age life" and "by no means perish" (apollumi) continue beyond the present age." Also, "[final]- age life" is the alternative to "perish." Similarly in Eph.1.21: "...raising him (Jesus) from [the] dead and seating him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all prominence and authority and power and dominion and every name being named not only in this age (aion) but also in the one coming...". Also Mk.3.29: "...but whoever speaks contemptuously against the Pure Spirit does not have forgiveness into the age (eis ton aiona), but is guilty of a [final]- age (0166 aionios) wrongdoing." Similarly in Mk.10.30: "...but he receives a hundredfold now in this time houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and fields, with persecutions, and in the coming age (erchomeno aion) [final]-age (aionios) life." Aionios in these passages refers to the duration after the present age.
Also, Lk.1.33 states, "...and he (Jesus) will reign over the house of Jacob unto the ages (aionas) and there will be no end to his reign (basileia)" (Isa.9.7). Since Jesus' reign will not end, the "coming age" is necessarily the "final age."
1Ti.6.12 states: "Struggle the good struggle of trust, take hold of the [final]-age (aionios) life (zoe ), unto which you were called and before many witnesses and made the good admission."
FINAL-AGE THINGS OTHER THAN "LIFE:" Fire, Mt.18.8, 25.41 and Jud.7; Punishment, Mt.25.46a; Wrongdoing (sin), Mk.3.29; Dwelling, Lk.16.9; Times, Rom.16.25, 2Ti.1.9, Tit.1.2b; Magnificence, 2Co.4.17, 2Ti.2.10 and 1Pe.5.10; Unseen things, 2Co.4.18; Home, 2Co.5.1; Destruction, 2Th.1.9; Comfort, 2Th.2.16; Receiving, Phm.15; Rescue, Heb.5.9; Condemnation, Heb.6.2; Reign, 2Pe.1.11; Redemption, Heb.9.12, 15; Covenant, Heb.13.20; Good news, Rev.14.6. [FINAL]-AGE (21) Mt.18.8; 25.41,46a. Mk.3.29. Lk.16.9. 2Co.4.17,18; 5.1. 2Th.1.9; 2.16. 2Ti.2.10. Phm.15. Heb.5.9; 6.2; 9.12,15; 13.20. 1Pe.5.10. 2Pe.1.11. Jud.7. Rev.14.6.
Aionios may also describe something that occurred in times past, as in 2Tim.1.9: "...of the one having rescued us and having invited [us] with a pure invitation, not according to our works, but according to [his] own purpose and favor, given to us in Jesus the Anointed One before age-old (aionios) times."
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