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Re: Help urgently needed! (aion, aionios??)

Postby Damoetas » Mon Jun 08, 2009 4:52 pm

LMD wrote:That is an erroneous statement. I assume you are referring to Fundamentalism. It isn't just the fundamentalists who believe that. I know that from experience across a wide range of denominations. Most Protestant Christians will say that the Bible is a protected writing, and that God would not allow error into it. They don't think of the KJV as a translation, but as the inspired word of God, and it generally takes a shift in reasoning for most Christians to concede that it is a translation in which error could possibly be introduced.


I'm afraid you've conflated several different positions -- which is an easy thing to do, when their proponents themselves are often not careful in distinguishing them! The fact is that most Evangelical Protestants believe the Scriptures are inerrant in the original autographs, i.e. the first handwritten text that the Biblical author wrote down. This means:

1) They recognize that errors may have crept in during the textual transmission process, although in practice most Evangelicals are optimistic that that there are no major errors in the text as we have it: the correct reading has likely been preserved in some manuscript, and we can figure it out by applying sound textual criticism.

2) They do not believe that any translation of the Bible is inerrant or inspired. Those who do are on the fringe, or they are not very well informed. In essence, the King James Only-ites are troubled by claim that the inspired Word of God has to be reconstructed through textual criticism; it must have been preserved, complete and inerrant, in a single text. So they conclude that, rather than the Greek, this must be the King James version.

For two typical Evangelical statements on Biblical inerrancy, see here (http://www.pcanet.org/general/beliefs.htm and here http://home.trbc.org/index.cfm?PID=9060. For some entertaining statements of the King James Only position, see here http://www.av1611.org/
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Re: Help urgently needed! (aion, aionios??)

Postby LMD » Mon Jun 08, 2009 5:38 pm

Damoetas wrote:They do not believe that any translation of the Bible is inerrant or inspired. Those who do are on the fringe, or they are not very well informed. In essence, the King James Only-ites are troubled by claim that the inspired Word of God has to be reconstructed through textual criticism; it must have been preserved, complete and inerrant, in a single text. So they conclude that, rather than the Greek, this must be the King James version.


Damoetas, every Christian I have ever encountered initially holds the opinion that the King James is untainted with error. That does not mean they believe that the King James is the only book to use. That IS a minority. Protestant Christians are generally taught not to distinguish "the scripture" from "the Bible."
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Re: Help urgently needed! (aion, aionios??)

Postby modus.irrealis » Mon Jun 08, 2009 6:01 pm

LMD, I guess we'll have to disagree on what Justinian's argument implies, since I don't see what you're seeing. About sheol and so on, to understand the New Testament, it's not the earlier parts of the Old Testament that are most important, but the Jewish literature from the period. 1 Enoch for example had certain ideas like sheol having different areas for the just and unjust, where they await the final judgement (an idea that was certainly influential in Christianity). But part of the good news of Christianity is that death has been overcome, so even then it cannot be assumed that what NT authors thought Hades was like pre-crucifiction is the same as what they thought it was like post-resurrection (if that's clear).
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Re: Help urgently needed! (aion, aionios??)

Postby modus.irrealis » Mon Jun 08, 2009 6:04 pm

LMD wrote:They believed in a much different idea than what Hades came to be. While scholarly opinion always varies depending on many factors (you can find a scholar to verify just about anything), Scholars will pretty much admit to a big difference between sheol and the modern concept of hell and of the Hellenistic concept of Hades. More specifically, the KJV translators (at least half the time), and all modern scholarly adaptations of the Hebrew bible agree that sheol was the equivalent to "grave." In fact the KJV translators render "hades" as "grave" in 1 Corinthians 15:55, whereas in all other NT instances of hades, they render hell. However, in the more modern NIV, they only render hades as hell once. Obviously among modern Christian scholarship, there is a shift in belief as to what the NT writers were influenced by.

Where does the NIV use "hell" for "hades"? I was taught growing up that "Hades" and "Hell" are different and that things in English like "Harrowing of Hell" are mistranslations, so I'm wondering why they would still keep it as "hell" in one place.
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Re: Help urgently needed! (aion, aionios??)

Postby LMD » Mon Jun 08, 2009 6:23 pm

modus.irrealis wrote:LMD, I guess we'll have to disagree on what Justinian's argument implies, since I don't see what you're seeing.


That's cool. I would say that his argument (and the very fact that he needed to make the arguement) shows that scholars of his time disagreed on how much ateleutetos could be related to aionios kolasin.

modus.irrealis wrote:Where does the NIV use "hell" for "hades"?

Do you mean in the KJV? In all instances except one. An example would be: Acts 2:27. KJV says "hell" where NIV says "grave." As a Christian I never even knew that hell was translated from hades until I was an adult and began to research it for myself.

modus.irrealis wrote:About sheol and so on, to understand the New Testament, it's not the earlier parts of the Old Testament that are most important

For me, the most important is the texts that the NT writers taught from. There are many MANY Jewish writings through the ages, but I defer to the ones that the NT writers specifically referenced. 1 Enoch is a fairly controversial writing, and is hotly debated as to it's validity. I won't take up the debate here. But overwhelmingly, specific references to Jewish writing in the NT are from sources which have been canonized into the OT. It makes the Bible fairly self-contained.

modus.irrealis wrote: 1 Enoch for example had certain ideas like sheol having different areas for the just and unjust, where they await the final judgement (an idea that was certainly influential in Christianity)


Different areas in "hell" for the unjust just and just? Try that out on a Christian board. That certainly diverges from classic Christian doctrine, which says that the just go to Heaven, and the unjust go to hell/sheol, which accounts for the variation in the KJV. The Jews though everyone goes to sheol. So the influence of 1 Enoch on contemporary Christianity is not very noticeable to me. Ecclesiastes characterizes sheol as a place everyone goes where there is no knowledge or life.
Last edited by LMD on Mon Jun 08, 2009 6:27 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Help urgently needed! (aion, aionios??)

Postby Damoetas » Mon Jun 08, 2009 6:23 pm

LMD wrote:Damoetas, every Christian I have ever encountered initially holds the opinion that the King James is untainted with error. That does not mean they believe that the King James is the only book to use. That IS a minority. Protestant Christians are generally taught not to distinguish "the scripture" from "the Bible."


If the question is about whose sample of Christians is more accurate or representative, I'm not sure we can settle the issue here! But I'm trying to tell you what is taught in seminaries and Christian colleges, because those are the views that you really need to interact with if you want your case to be persuasive. It doesn't help you much to argue against the uninformed masses, when the people who have really studied the issues can say, "Well, that's not what we believe anyway!"

"Scripture" and "the Bible" are synonymous. They don't refer to the distinction between "manuscripts" and "translations," which is conveyed by other words.
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Re: Help urgently needed! (aion, aionios??)

Postby LMD » Mon Jun 08, 2009 6:31 pm

Damoetas wrote: It doesn't help you much to argue against the uninformed masses, when the people who have really studied the issues can say, "Well, that's not what we believe anyway!"


The view is definitely changing, where the uninformed masses are beginning to see what you see regarding this issue. It is impossible to direct attention to EVERY person in a single article since every person will have SOME distinction in their beliefs (hence the thousands of denominations.) People who already understand the difference between the original texts and the KJV translations could just take a statement as review. But it is the uninformed masses that I am appealing to, so that they stop being uninformed.

Damoetas wrote:"Scripture" and "the Bible" are synonymous. They don't refer to the distinction between "manuscripts" and "translations," which is conveyed by other words.


To you. Not to the uninformed masses. Those masses do not distinguish between the scripture and the translation. In fact many Christians don't even know what language the Bible is translated from. I didn't know until much later in my life!
Last edited by LMD on Mon Jun 08, 2009 7:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Help urgently needed! (aion, aionios??)

Postby LMD » Mon Jun 08, 2009 6:44 pm

modus one of the reasons we might be talking past eachother is because my appeal is not that aionios could NEVER mean eternity to someone, but the appeal is against those who say that aionios must ALWAYS be translated as infinite. That is the blanket statement on the other end of the spectrum.

You are obviously not making that case. While the etymology of the word is not the final yardstick, the etymology alone dismisses the idea that I get from the "uninformed masses" that aionios must ALWAYS be translated as "infinite" with the implication of unlimited span of linear time. They make that case because aionios is related to God, which is unsound scholarship since logic demands that even if aionios is related to God, THAT fact does not automatically define aionios as an infinite span of time. Many factors disagree with that, including the connection between olam and aionios, seeing that the Greek translators around the time of Jesus saw a connection between aionios and a Jewish concept not having to do with a modern Westernized concept of eternity. Since you already know the divergence of opinions on aionios and that it CAN very well be translated as "pertaining to age(s)" depending on who is writing it, you are not my appeal.
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Re: Help urgently needed! (aion, aionios??)

Postby modus.irrealis » Mon Jun 08, 2009 6:49 pm

LMD wrote:Do you mean in the KJV? In all instances except one. An example would be: Acts 2:27. KJV says "hell" where NIV says "grave." As a Christian I never even knew that hell was translated from hades until I was an adult and began to research it for myself.

No in the NIV, where you said they render hades as hell once. I was too lazy to look through each verse and find out, so I was hoping you could tell me.

For me, the most important is the texts that the NT writers taught from. There are many MANY Jewish writings through the ages, but I defer to the ones that the NT writers specifically referenced. 1 Enoch is a fairly controversial writing, and is hotly debated as to it's validity. I won't take up the debate here. But overwhelmingly, specific references to Jewish writing in the NT are from sources which have been canonized into the OT. It makes the Bible fairly self-contained.

Whose OT though? 1 Enoch is I believe accepted as canonical by the Ethiopian church. And it's said to be quoted in the NT, compare

Jude 14-16: Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men: "See, the Lord is coming with thousands upon thousands of his holy ones to judge everyone, and to convict all the ungodly of all the ungodly acts they have done in the ungodly way, and of all the harsh words ungodly sinners have spoken against him."

1 Enoch 1:9: And behold! He cometh with ten thousands of ⌈His⌉ holy ones To execute judgement upon all, And to destroy ⌈all⌉ the ungodly: And to convict all flesh Of all the works ⌈of their ungodliness⌉ which they have ungodly committed, And of all the hard things which ungodly sinners ⌈have spoken⌉ against Him.

modus.irrealis wrote:Different areas in "hell" for the unjust just and just? Try that out on a Christian board. That certainly diverges from classic Christian doctrine, which says that the just go to Heaven, and the unjust go to hell/sheol, which accounts for the variation in the KJV. The Jews though everyone goes to sheol. So the influence of 1 Enoch on contemporary Christianity is not very noticeable to me. Ecclesiastes characterizes sheol as a place everyone goes where there is no knowledge or life.

Classic Western Christian doctrine (and even then I thought Tertullian and other early Latin fathers had a similar view on Hades, although I may be wrong). But the Orthodox teaching is that most people, when they die, go to Hades (where they get a foretaste of heaven or hell) and wait there until judgement day. As far as I know this is the belief of early Christianity (see http://books.google.ca/books?id=kgRV7Qo ... #PPA503,M1 for example) and that only later were there new developments in the West. (There were developments in the East too, but they didn't change that basic picture.)
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Re: Help urgently needed! (aion, aionios??)

Postby LMD » Mon Jun 08, 2009 7:00 pm

modus.irrealis wrote:Whose OT though?

Protestant Christianity's OT. Like I said, Enoch is is a point of controversy among various scholars, and Protestant Christianity ignores it, which is why it's view on hell has no influence on Western Christian doctrine.

modus.irrealis wrote:But the Orthodox teaching is that most people, when they die, go to Hades (where they get a foretaste of heaven or hell) and wait there until judgement day. As far as I know this is the belief of early Christianity


One of the reasons that even "early Christianity" is suspect in doctrine is that even in the times of the apostles there were clear divergencies in teaching even before Paul had died. In fact, Paul said that "there must be heresies among you."
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Re: Help urgently needed! (aion, aionios??)

Postby modus.irrealis » Mon Jun 08, 2009 7:20 pm

LMD wrote:Protestant Christianity's OT. Like I said, Enoch is is a point of controversy among various scholars, and Protestant Christianity ignores it, which is why it's view on hell has no influence on Western Christian doctrine.

If you're trying to understand the usage of the NT authors in and of itself, why would the Protestant view be privileged, when Protestantism is a relatively late development within Christianity?

modus.irrealis wrote:One of the reasons that even "early Christianity" is suspect in doctrine is that even in the times of the apostles there were clear divergencies in teaching even before Paul had died. In fact, Paul said that "there must be heresies among you."

Even if you believe the Orthodox doctrine is heretical, if you're interested in what the NT authors meant, you can't make choices based on what later Christians (including yourself) deemed heretical, because these heretical points of view might have better scriptural support. Isn't that your point with the whole endless hell thing?
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Re: Help urgently needed! (aion, aionios??)

Postby LMD » Mon Jun 08, 2009 7:45 pm

modus.irrealis wrote:If you're trying to understand the usage of the NT authors in and of itself, why would the Protestant view be privileged, when Protestantism is a relatively late development within Christianity?


Because the Protestant view is what I am arguing against. So I show my disagreement with texts that they deem relevant. And I tend to agree with their view on the relevancy of their accepted canon. Canon is basically a matter of faith. The process of canonization is based on scientific groundwork, and textual criticism, but ultimately what does God canonize? Is the Ethiopian church correct in it's final acceptance, according to God? That's where faith comes in and where everyone makes a faith based choice as to what canon they agree with.

modus.irrealis wrote:Even if you believe the Orthodox doctrine is heretical, if you're interested in what the NT authors meant, you can't make choices based on what later Christians (including yourself) deemed heretical, because these heretical points of view might have better scriptural support. Isn't that your point with the whole endless hell thing?


I only need to refer to texts that both Protestant AND early NT writers agreed were authentic. There is a debate as to Enoch's authenticity. But there is NO debate as to the validity of say Hosiah or Psalms among either Protestant canon or the NT writers. So If I disagree with a Protestant doctrine,and I can show from texts that both parties would have agreed on, I don't need to refer to the apocrypha.
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Re: Help urgently needed! (aion, aionios??)

Postby LMD » Mon Jun 08, 2009 8:24 pm

Hopefully I haven't hijacked this thread :(

I think the original post had to do with whether or not aionos can be translated as something not referring to an infinite span of time. So I'll step out so that it doesn't go on like that out of respect to the original poster. I said my part, so I don't want to overpost and end up bloating the thread. Thanks everyone!
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Re: Help urgently needed! (aion, aionios??)

Postby CoxRox » Mon Jun 08, 2009 8:39 pm

I've been enjoying how this thread has developed. What is the consensus on 'aionios' so far? :wink:
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Re: Help urgently needed! (aion, aionios??)

Postby Nooj » Mon Jun 08, 2009 9:51 pm

Damoetas, every Christian I have ever encountered initially holds the opinion that the King James is untainted with error. That does not mean they believe that the King James is the only book to use. That IS a minority. Protestant Christians are generally taught not to distinguish "the scripture" from "the Bible."
Then you must be living in some sort of fundamentalist enclave, because it simply isn't true of the majority of Protestant Christians. I've never heard from any protestant I've met that the KJV is free from error or infallible and I only became aware of people like this via the internet, it's that rare.
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Re: Help urgently needed! (aion, aionios??)

Postby Bert » Mon Jun 08, 2009 11:12 pm

Nooj wrote:
Damoetas, every Christian I have ever encountered initially holds the opinion that the King James is untainted with error. That does not mean they believe that the King James is the only book to use. That IS a minority. Protestant Christians are generally taught not to distinguish "the scripture" from "the Bible."
Then you must be living in some sort of fundamentalist enclave, because it simply isn't true of the majority of Protestant Christians. I've never heard from any protestant I've met that the KJV is free from error or infallible and I only became aware of people like this via the internet, it's that rare.

I am with you Nooj. I have met people who think there is no need for a translation besides the KJV (because "it was fine for so many years so why wouldn't it be fine now") but that is not the same as thinking that it's infallible.
LMD, I don't know where you find your Christians but I have never met anyone who thinks the KJV is infallible.
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Re: Help urgently needed! (aion, aionios??)

Postby CoxRox » Tue Jul 21, 2009 8:36 pm

I'm still perplexed regarding 'aionios' and it's original meaning/s. I came across this post on another forum which is very interesting:

''Latin saecularis is given as a synonym of Greek aiônios

http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/tex ... entry%3Dai)w%2Fnios

saecularis is the adjective of saeculum (age)

in the Latin vulgate, Jerome translated aiônios in one sentence both with aeternum and saecularis:

Titus 1:2 (Textus Receptus)

επ ελπιδι ζωης αιωνιου ην επηγγειλατο ο αψευδης θεος προ χρονων αιωνιων

in spem vitae aeternae quam promisit qui non mentitur Deus ante tempora saecularia

this is the definition of saecularis, obviously synonymous with aiônios

http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/tex ... u%5Ela_ris

maybe interesting for somebody''

I was certainly interested as it seems 'aionios' did retain or contain a meaning closer to 'aion'?
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Re: Help urgently needed! (aion, aionios??)

Postby modus.irrealis » Wed Jul 22, 2009 9:47 pm

I think, though, that you can take this as evidence that aionios did mean eternal, in one of its senses. If aionios didn't mean eternal than why would the Vulgate have translated it using two different words? Here, you have saecularis used to translate aionios used of the present ages and aeternum to refer to eternity. I can't be sure, but when we were discussing this before, I remember taking a look at the Vulgate and this distinction seemed to be pretty consistent.
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Re: Help urgently needed! (aion, aionios??)

Postby CoxRox » Mon Jul 27, 2009 3:25 pm

HI Modus, I've been checking some stuff out since you posted. The ancient Hebrews didn't have a word for 'eternity'. Their nearest word was 'olam' which is for 'mystery time' - time that you can't see back to it's start, or that you can't see ahead for it's possible end. We know that aionios is the word that was used in the Greek Septuagint for 'olam' so that fact alone, shows aionios doesn't mean 'eternal' or 'everlasting' but rather a mystery period of 'time', bearing in mind that 'time' to God is not how we view time. He is outside of time. Jerome may have used 'aeternum' because this mystery time is understood from a Greek/Roman perspective as 'eternal'. The fact he decides that the 'life' is 'eternal' whereas the other part of the verse is not translated with this view in mind, shows that 'eternal' may have not been the best word to use, to convey the Hebrew understanding of this 'life'.
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Re: Help urgently needed! (aion, aionios??)

Postby ad hock » Tue May 25, 2010 12:50 am

Hey guys, this thread has intrigued me, (I'm obviously a johnny-come-lately here!) I'm studying the same thing. Just had a thought, does the fact that 'aion' has a plural form and are also said to begin and end add strength to the fact that "aion" is not eternal in any sense? If so, how can the adjective, "aionios" supercede its corresponding noun? Love to hear what you guys think. Thanks.
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Re: Help urgently needed! (aion, aionios??)

Postby FireBones » Wed Feb 06, 2013 2:45 pm

CoxRox wrote:Is it possible to search for the occurrence of 'aionios' in ALL Greek manuscripts in order to check the context of its usage? Does such a catalogue exist?


Hi there. It turns out that there _is_ a book dedicated to exactly this question.

The book is entitled "Terms for Eternity: Aionios and Aidios in Classical and Christian Texts." It is by Ilaria Ramelli and David Konstan.

The authors provide an exhaustive account of all uses of Aionios in the earliest texts. They also provide their interpretation of the meaning of Aionios in the individual passages. I personally am not convinced that their _interpretations_ are accurate, and it seems clear that they are biased by some theological interest. However, this does not detract from the research itself, which is appreciated, especially since the term "aionios" was apt to change in meaning once the (perhaps idiomatic) "aionios zoe" became commonly used in the earlier centuries by Christian writers. Having examples of the use of aionios prior to these writings is extremely valuable.
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