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Objections to patristic universalism part one AIONIOS


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Does eternal always mean eternal. Part one to objections to Patristic universalism. Is punishment eternal or a period of time?

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Objections to patristic universalism part one AIONIOS

  1. 1. Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life. Matthew 25:46 (NIV)
  2. 2. Aionios
  3. 3.  Is it really true that aionios always means eternal? To help answer that question, one must first look to the root word aion and understand how this term is defined. According to Dr. Heleen Keizer, the “primary meaning” of ‘aion’ is “lifetime” with the idea of “completeness” and thus ‘aion’ has more to do with “the entirety of time” rather than with “endlessness” and therefore, the concept of “eternity” to describe ‘aion’ is both “anachronistic” and “misleading.”
  4. 4.  With all the discussion regarding whether aionios means eternal, it should not be overlooked that if one is looking for a word that unequivocally means “eternal,” that word is aidios. This is interesting because the early Church Fathers would use either aionios or aidios when referring to future blessedness but would only use aionios—a more ambiguous term that usually did not mean eternal—when referring to future punishment. 
  5. 5.  If Christ wanted to unambiguously convey the idea that punishment was eternal in the “strict sense” of the word, surely the very term to express it would be aidios.
  6. 6. He will swallow up death for all time, And the Lord GOD will wipe tears away from all faces, And He will remove the reproach of His people from all the earth; For the LORD has spoken. Isaiah 25:8 Final outcome of God’s Victory to save His Creation