"Eternal" Punishment (Matthew 25:46) is NOT True to the Greek Language.

By Tony Nungesser and Gary Amirault

The entire concept of eternal or everlasting punishment hinges primarily on a single verse of Scripture--Matthew 25:46. This is the only place in the entire Bible where we find these two words together AND only in some Bibles. There are over a dozen English translations which do NOT contain the concept of "eternal punishment" on ANY of their pages, NOR the pagan concept of Hell.

The Greek form for "everlasting punishment" in Matthew 25:46 is "kolasin aionion." Kolasin is a noun in the accusative form, singular voice, feminine gender and means "punishment, chastening, correction, to cut-off as in pruning a tree to bare more fruit." "Aionion" is the adjective form of "aion," in the singular form and means "pertaining to an eon or age, an indeterminate period of time." (Note: the two words in many, not all translations become reversed changing the Greek into English.)

"Aionion," as shown above, is the singular form of the adjective of the Greek noun "aion." Many people unfamiliar with the Greek do not realize that the endings of the same word change (inflection) to indicate its mood, case, gender, etc. Therefore, "aionion" may appear with different endings. "Aionion, aioniou, aionios," for example, are all different inflections of the adjective form of the noun "aion."

The noun "aion" in Greek literature has always meant "an indeterminate period of time. It could be as short as the time Jonah spent in the belly of a fish (three days or nights), the length of a man's life, or as long as a very long age.

The Bible speaks of at least 5 "aions" and perhaps many more. If there were "aions" in the past. This must mean that each one of them have ended for they are now past! The New Testament writers spoke of "the present wicked aion" which ended during that very generation. Obviously, it was followed by another "aion"-- the "aion" in which we presently live. If there are "aions" to come, it must mean that this one we live in will also end.

There is a verse which says "the consummation of the aions" showing that each "aion" ends. So how can they be eternal?

There is "the coming eon" (Matt.10:30, Luke 18:30
There is "the present wicked eon" (Gal.1:4)
There is "the oncoming eons (future)(Eph.2:7)
There is "the conclusion of the eon (present) (Mt.13:39,40)
There is "the secret concealed from the eons (past) (Eph.3:9)

Plainly, the Greek word "aion" transliterated "eon" cannot mean "eternal." A study into the Greek of the Biblical period and before will bear this out.

"Aionion" is the adjective of the noun "aion."

Since grammar rules mandate an adjective CANNOT take on a greater force than its noun form, it is evident that "aionion" in any of its adjective forms (ios, ou, on) CANNOT possible mean "everlasting" or anything remotely indicating eternity or unending time.

For example, "hourly" cannot mean "pertaining to days, weeks, months, or years. The word MUST mean "pertaining to an hour." Therefore, "aionion," the adjective form of the noun "aion" which clearly means a period of indeterminate TIME, CANNOT mean, "forever and ever, eternal, everlasting, eternity, etc) or other words which connote timelessness or unending ages.

Therefore, those many Bibles which do NOT contain the teaching of everlasting punishment or Hell are true to the original languages of Greek and Hebrew and those which teach everlasting punishment or Hell are false. Scholars are just as easily subjected to the "traditions of the elders" as the rest of us. It's time to let the original Greek and Hebrew languages of the Bible break down the traditions of men. For a list of the many English translations of the Bible that do NOT contain these pagan concepts and for an article explaining why the punishment in Matthew 25:46 does NOT have to be the same length as the life spoken of in that verse, write to us ( Tentmaker--118 Walnut--Hermann, MO 65041)
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