"Terms for Eternity: Aiônios & aïdios" talk part 2

Co-author (with Dr. Ilaria Ramelli of Milan, Italy's Catholic University of the Sacred Heart) of Terms for Eternity: Aiônios and Aïdios in Classical and Christian Texts. His B.A. was in mathematics; in his senior year of college, he began ancient Greek and Latin, and went on to obtain a doctorate in classics. He has been at Brown since 1987; from 1992-2010 he was the John Rowe Workman Distinguished Professor of Classics and the Humanistic Tradition and Professor in Comparative Literature.

Re: "Terms for Eternity: Aiônios & aïdios" talk part 2

Postby Melchizedek » Wed Aug 17, 2011 8:42 am

Indeed, a useful summary.
It is interesting to note that in at least one of the two scriptural incidences of aidios, it is used to refer to "chains" that are in use only until the judgment. So even what is clearly linguistically perpetual ("chains"), can be put to temporary use.
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Re: "Terms for Eternity: Aiônios & aïdios" talk part 2

Postby AUniversalist » Wed Aug 17, 2011 10:59 am


I am not a university-studied linguist, or an educated archeologist, and with just a little bit of original research on my own, I have to say that it feels great to know that I came to the same conclusion as someone who has a professional interest in this field.

Thanks for your hard work and I really enjoyed the above summary.
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Re: "Terms for Eternity: Aiônios & aïdios" talk part 2

Postby Alex Smith » Wed Aug 17, 2011 11:11 am

Thanks heaps David for an excellent summary! :)
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Re: "Terms for Eternity: Aiônios & aïdios" talk part 2

Postby Aaron » Wed Aug 17, 2011 2:19 pm

roofus wrote:
From Hebrews:
11 Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. 12 But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, 13 and since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool. 14 For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.

He has made perfect "forever". This doesn't seem to fit the universalist translation of aion (assuming that this is the word in the scriptures mentioned). He has made perfect "for the age to come"? do you think that this works? Seems like it doesn't.....

Aion is not used in this verse; rather, it's diēnekes. I think a better translation would be "for all time" (see, for example, the NET Bible). My understanding is that the author is saying that believers in Christ living both in the "last days" (when Hebrews was written) and afterwards during the age of the Messianic reign (the age which I believe commenced shortly after the letter was written) have no need of a repetition of the sacrifice that Jesus made "once for all" and have in this sense been "perfected for all time."
"Oh, no single piece of our mental world is to be sealed off from the rest, and there is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry: 'Mine!'" Abraham Kuyper
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Re: "Terms for Eternity: Aiônios & aïdios" talk part 2

Postby ZhuGeLiang » Sat Aug 11, 2012 6:44 am

I am very delighted to be able to have the very special joyful satisfaction of finding this forum with such awesome comments and invaluable material to download. :D :D :D

Therefore, I would like to add some comments with all due respect to the brilliant minds here ...

In regards to Jude 1.6 or for that matter other pericopes or writings in the NT
I recall the inerrancy debates in the past - and evidentialistic tendencies of myself included...
fast forward to today ... because of my studies of Early Church History and the heated discussions
I have been involved with especially concerning the Church Council of Chalcedon --
I have developed a keener appreciation for different perspectives within the "Church" worldwide..
From Catholic - Protestant - Oriental Orthodox - Eastern Orthodox - and so on ...

From memory -- there are approx. 5,000 Greek MSS and 13,000 Latin MSS along with Syriac e.g.
Thus the reliability of the NT via textual criticism is 99% regarding the existing mss we have ...

However, there surely must have been a multitude of mss written that have vanished in history ...
Along with the "Originals" which might have been written in Aramaic or Greek ...
Quite possibly the "Original" went thru various revisions itself...

Having a "static" perspective or view of the inerrancy or "inspiration" (aka dictation theory which i never held )
for the creation of the NT created in me a burning zeal to "safeguarding" this position ...
which in turn motivated me to serious reflective study of textual criticism, origins of the gospels
(which gospel came first and potential redaction for the others ) the identity of the author of Hebrews..
It took me nearly 20 years to finally resolve a question concerning the situation of splintered factions
within the "Church " at large...

Therefore, Jude or Paul or Luke or James or John e.g. were gifted individuals who wrote with
Energetic Passion to influence those who were connected with them ...
In communicating with the huge Sea of Chinese that surround me each day for the past 23 years
I have rarely taken the same approach I did when I was super zealous for Evidentialism while I
was either handing out 'tracts' in downtown Seattle, involved in Apologetic discussions at U of W
or Online .. or asking controversial questions at Bible College then Seminary ...

I surely believe that God truly gifted these early Christian writers... but
without living in their cultural milieu during those times... without having the physical opportunity
of listening to them preach or have discussions ... as I can notice from Paul's * letters *
written to various Churches ... there were enough misunderstandings or conflicts...

It could be possible that R.F. Capon, Barth, NT Wright, Moltmann, Kreeft, C.S. Lewis
which come from different perspectives could have similar a similar gift for being creative
writers blessed by the perichoretic koinonia which is the ontological essence of Trinitarian fellowship

In my view I greatly admire various early Church Fathers... especially those who reflective upon
the perichoretic koinonia of the Trinity ( Cappadocian fathers and memory tugs tugs )...
but also realize that these exceptionally famous Theologians had more than enough ...
skills and characteristics that do not adhere to the typical "halo" effect many have given to them...
especially during the so called Ecumenical Church Councils and attempts to alienate or excommunicate
or throw anathemas at each other ..

What does this have to do with Jude ?

I apologize for the long winded beginning ..
Jude wrote as a exceptionally gifted individual with Passion in order to communicate
a message to a Church ...

Which surely must have a dynamic influence in the reader's life in order to promote serious reflective musings for
attempting to better understand how God is working in their current sitz im leben ....

If one takes a static or dogmatic or lexical or concordant perspective then I believe the dynamic
presence of the perichoretic koinonia flowing from the Trinitarian fellowship is surely weakened ...
leading to more factious factions fighting to be the so called "Church" in this World filled with
selfish autonomous individuals seeking more consumeristic tendencies or wars or power struggles...

all debating over a single greek word... that surely has much less chance of being nailed down ...
than my Chinese friends and neighbors and the Sea of them that surrounds me
coming into the Kingdom of God ...

I am indebted with gleeful joy at being able to read and understand what Dr. David Konstan
and others wrote here in this forum...

Alive... dynamic .. congenial ... definitely the presence of the perichoretic koinonia flowing
from the Trinitarian fellowship is evident...

All the best ..
( yes my QQ nickname is hothorse -- passion horse sounds ridiculous.. i was born in the
Chinese year of the horse too .. QQ has probably more than 500 million users too ; )
愿主耶稣的恩惠与所有的圣徒同在!阿们!(Rev 22:21)
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Re: "Terms for Eternity: Aiônios & aïdios" talk part 2

Postby Origen; » Sun Aug 14, 2016 6:27 pm

Melchizedek wrote:Indeed, a useful summary.
It is interesting to note that in at least one of the two scriptural incidences of aidios, it is used to refer to "chains" that are in use only until the judgment. So even what is clearly linguistically perpetual ("chains"), can be put to temporary use.

The word only occurs twice in the NT, the first in Romans 1:20 re God's "eternal power".

The second is in Jude 6 that speaks of "eternal chains" or bonds keeping beings until judgement day.

I have a theory.

I wonder if "eternal chains" (Jude 6) are just a way of speaking of God's "eternal power" (Rom.1:20) which is able to chain beings eternally.
Or loose them if and when He desires.

God's eternal power is able to eternally chain beings, or imprison them, as well as loose them from the same. Hence, "eternal chains".

God's eternal power eternally has an eternal chaining ability. His eternal power is able to chain & let go from His chaining.

An eternal prison has an eternal chaining ability, but may also be able to loose prisoners from these "eternal chains".

That prisoners may be loosed does not deny the eternalness of God's ability to chain, hence "eternal chains".

Does this make any sense?
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