LMD wrote:I was led to this page regarding the above article which I wrote. I just wanted to clear something up about what modus said. He said "that is the etymological fallacy" regarding my examination of the word parts. However, to my knowledge the etymological fallacy says that it is not correct to assume the meaning of the word based SOLELY on its etymology. That is why I was careful to say "one useful way to discover a word's meaning..." Even dictionaries use etymology simply as one way to communicate meaning even just to show how the meaning changed. Etymology is just one way, but not the only way. I think I should have driven that point home a little more, by not only focusing on the Biblical usage to follow, but also in contemporary secular society showing alternative usage.
LMD wrote:Just curious, do you believe the King James Bible translators were incorrect in their translation of aphtharsia as "immortality?" The basic meaning of aphtharsia is incorruptible, but most scholars agree that the general meaning is immortality.
LMD wrote:Protestant Christians do think the KJV is infallible. They are the ones who will insist that aionios means eternal of its own merit, and in all cases.
The Justinian quote does show that he is equating a sense of endlessness to aionios life, and endlessness to punishment to reinforce aionios as endless. So also with Olympiadorus. And it is especially interesting that Justinian says that in opposition/contrast to Origin (who used the same word) who taught remedial aionios kolasin. I don't see why aionios must mean eternal in either case.
Yes, God is not subject to death by nature, or decay. However, I see no reason why either one could not be used to communicate a sense of conscious immortality. In the case of the NT they use both synonymously. But that does mean that you don't have to wonder why the translaters associated "non perishable" with God; it's because the Greek writers do it. BTW, just as a side note it is very interesting that the Bible contrasts "aionios kolasin" with "aionios zoe" rather than contrasting it with "anathasia zoe" (not a biblical term) or "apharthsia zoe" (not a biblical term). I just think that's interesting.
modus.irrealis wrote:About Olympiadorus, I'm now sure I misunderstood him. (The Greek passage is available online at http://www.toxolyros.gr/index.php?optio ... Itemid=857 if anybody's interested.) I stopped reading but in what comes after, he explicitly makes a distinction between aidios and aionios, so I don't understand why he seems to mix the two in the passage I quoted. But the distinction he makes is interesting, he takes aionios to mean being all in the now (he says we call god aionios because his existence is not in time but all time, present, past and future, is like now to him) while aidios means existing for all time (we don't call god aidios because his existence is not in time).
I'm still confused by the passage -- he says some sins are incurable and says the punishments are everlasting, and yet it's not to be understood as meaning for all ages. The only thing I can think of is that what he has in mind is a series of ages (or perhaps a cycle of ages), within which time exists and within which the punishment is everlasting, but the age might come to an end and the punishments with it. But you can ignore my comments on that passage now, since I'm not quite sure what to conclude from it.
modus.irrealis wrote:My point was that it doesn't show that aionios required any qualifications to mean endlessness, as you claimed. If you look at Justinian's argument he see "aionios" as itself implying endlessness, as he quotes 2 Thess 1:9, where his only point could be the use of aionios.
modus.irrealis wrote:How do you know they're used synonymously? I read something like 1 Cor. 15:53-54 and see them as clearly having different meanings, and I don't see why that should be any different in the other contexts.
Damoetas wrote:αἰώνιος means "eternal, endless;" everyone in the ancient world knew that. If you want to argue against the existence of hell, it would be simpler just to argue that the Bible is wrong.
In Dutch the exact same thing happens. The word eeuw means age. Age as in a long time but also a 100 year period. The adjective eeuwig means eternal and the noun eeuwigheid means eternity. In certain contexts this eternity is not literal of course; sometimes it can mean a period that appears to be without end.If 'aion' means 'age', then why does 'aionios' not mean 'pertaining to an age'?
Bert wrote:I just want to caution against using etymology to determine the meaning of words;
LMD wrote:But whether or not Justinian believed aionios meant eternity is beside the point. You could be right, maybe he did think that, or maybe he did not. Let's say Justinian did honsestly believe aionios means eternal. The very fact that he was there to contradict a contemporary of his who who taught at the Alexandria school, who taught remedial punishment from the same scriptures, caused Justinian to be in a position to reinforce aionios as endless to whomever was judging his position. Today, we don't need to say eternally eternal. We just take the word to be eternal and enough on its own terms to communicate endlessness. But Justinian's strategy reveals that not to be as widely acceptable in his time, among his detractors.So he reinforced aionios with endlessness to try to clarify what he meant by "aionios." It was an argument he had to make to prove his doctrine, which others obviously did not believe based on the same scriptures.
Otherwise, he could say "these universalists are idiots, it says aionios kolasin. Period, end of story." But he couldn't do that because not everyone would agree with that view of aionios kolasin. And what is worse, is that he says that the Bible teaches endless ateleutetos punishment (kolasin?) to the wicked. It's just worth noting that the Bible never associates "ateleutetos" with "kolasin."
Damoetas wrote:The Thesaurus Linguae Graecae (TLG - http://www.tlg.uci.edu/) is probably the most comprehensive database, but it requires a subscription. If you are connected with a university that subscribes, or if live near one, that's probably your best bet. There's also Diogenes, which runs on free software, but you have to pay to download the database. Perseus is free (and hosted on various sites: http://www.lib.uchicago.edu/efts/PERSEUS/ or here http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/) and contains a huge number of Greek texts, although probably not as many as the TLG. Perhaps other Textkit users have other suggests, but I hope those are a good start!
LMD wrote:At the time of the NT writing, they referred to "hades" which means "unseen." In that day Hades was also known as a pagan underworld. The question is, did the Bible refer to the pagan Hades, or the pure meaning of "unseen" which was another way of implying "grave." It is pretty clear that "hades" is used as the equivalent of the Hebrew "sheol" which in itself greatly differs from the pagan Greek concept of otherworld Hades, within the Bible.
modus.irrealis wrote:ut he doesn't say "eternally endless" -- he uses the fact that the word aionios is used to prove that it means "endless", which you could certainly do with the English word "eternal." The things is, you could just as easily say that certain authors began using arguments based on the word's morphological makeup and so people had to respond that what the word means is "eternal."
modus.irrealis wrote:That is pretty much what he does say. He says that Holy Scripture and the Holy Fathers clearly teach that the punishment has no end, and asks what sort of restoration (apokatastasis) do those who side with Origen imagine. (And technically, he says the Church teaches an ateleutetos punishment).
modus.irrealis wrote:You're on shakier ground here -- it's a conjecture that Hades etymologically means "unseen". The word, as far as I can see, is never attested with that meaning, and so it's an extraordinary claim that the NT writers would have used it in that sense.
modus.irrealis wrote:so it's not surprising that Jews felt comfortable using the word for their own concept.
Only a minority, more like a fringe minority of Protestants believe that.Protestant Christians do think the KJV is infallible.
You cannot talk about word usage in the NT without talking about Hebrew word usage, since the NT is inextribly linked to the ancient Hebrew manuscripts and taught from them. The NT writers would have deferred word usage to the meaning of scriptures they were trying to teach and expound upon, which they do frequently. The Septuagint renders the Hebrew sheol as hades. James Tabor wrote:
"The ancient Hebrews had no idea of an immortal soul living a full and vital life beyond death, nor of any resurrection or return from death. Human beings, like the beasts of the field, are made of "dust of the earth," and at death they return to that dust (Gen. 2:7; 3:19). The Hebrew word nephesh, traditionally translated "living soul" but more properly understood as "living creature," is the same word used for all breathing creatures and refers to nothing immortal...All the dead go down to Sheol, and there they lie in sleep together — whether good or evil, rich or poor, slave or free (Job 3:11-19). It is described as a region "dark and deep," "the Pit," and "the land of forgetfulness," cut off from both God and human life above (Pss. 6:5; 88:3-12). Though in some texts Yahweh's power can reach down to Sheol (Ps. 139:8), the dominant idea is that the dead are abandoned forever. This idea of Sheol is negative in contrast to the world of life and light above, but there is no idea of judgment or of reward and punishment. If one faces extreme circumstances of suffering in the realm of the living above, as did Job, it can even be seen as a welcome relief from pain–see the third chapter of Job. But basically it is a kind of "nothingness," an existence that is barely existence at all, in which a "shadow" or "shade" of the former self survives (Ps. 88:10)."
Sheol was not the same as the Hades of a living underworld. In fact the King James renders it equally "hell" and "grave," whereas modern Bibles revert from the King James and render it as "grave" in all cases. So when the NT writers referred to hades, they were not teaching the same doctrines as in the living underworld Hades of the Gentiles.
Nooj wrote:Only a minority, more like a fringe minority of Protestants believe that.
Nooj wrote:The early Israelites believed in some sort of shadowy underworld where everyone, good and the bad, went.
Nooj wrote: I think that you're assuming too much if you think that the NT writers believed as the early Israelites did.
Nooj wrote:Scholars have good reason to think that the NT writers were influenced in some way by the Hellenistic context in which they lived.
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