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Old 07-15-2009, 06:39 AM
 
Location: Germany
1,815 posts, read 1,933,293 times
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as I came around several times about CARM and many seem to see this page as an authority in matters of believe I decided to write them a letter on the subject of the reconciliation of the whole (Col. 1:20), I haven't received and answer yet, but maybe somebody is interested in reading it:


Dir madam or sir, please let come this letter to Mr. Slick personally, also and especially the attachments.

Dear Mr. Slick,

I came across your page, on the subject of the reconciliation of the whole (Col. 1:20) I think you are in error concerning the words translated eternal, everlasting, forever and ever etc., you will find in the attachment my interpretation of Mt. 25:46, an examination I did on the phrase eis ton aiõna in the Septuagint and the New Testament; and a part of an article of a German scholar and (Evangelical) theology professor translated into English, where he is refuting the well known St. Augustine on this subject.

I will also answer something written on your page, the phrase forever and ever in English bibles, Greek: εις τους αιωνας των αιωνων [eis tous aiõnas tõn aiõnõn], in the Latin bible SAECULA SAECULORUM, meaning ages of ages; in worldis of worldis in the archaic Wycliffe bible is translated with “von Ewigkeit zu Ewigkeit” in German bibles, in English it would be from eternity to eternity, this makes no sense in English (it doesn’t make sense in German either), where your argument lacks referring this phrase to God is, that the ages of ages at least must have a beginning, while God has no beginning, according to the German translation it includes also God’s past eternity but that would imply that some beings must have been tormented for all past eternity which is impossible, this aspect of past eternity is lost in English translations, this makes the English translation even worse according to the Greek than German from eternity to eternity (as this translation at least reveals the strange notion of such a phrase if one thinks enough, and aiõn means at least more likely eternity than it means only ever, this would be aei thus the translation from eternity to eternity is better than for ever and ever though wrong as well, some German bibles actually have for the eternities of the eternies), now while ages of ages have a beginning and are therefore not eternal, why should they have no end? – As God is, will be and has always been, His glory and life did exist before the ages of ages and will continue even if ages of ages will cease. If it would be self-evident that ages of ages means everlasting in your opinion, what reason is there not to translate literal as for example John Nelson Darby did? (yet he believed in everlasting punishment, I think I am able to show that Mr. Darby was in error in the file you'll find in the attachment)

Or may it be that is not so self-evident at all and therefore the mistranslation?

St. Augustine the champion in promoting the doctrine of everlasting torment wrote about the ages of ages (saecula saeculorum in Latin), it seems he had no idea what it is supposed to mean, if he had thought it means everlasting, I suppose he would have used this arguing in favor for this doctrine as you do, you find in The City of God against the Pagan,De civitate Dei, Liber XII, [XX], I found the Latin text and an English translation, as it seems to me St. Augustine sees no connection to eternity, I must admit I have no idea what it is supposed to mean as well, all I know is that it is most probably a Hebrew idiom, an enhancement, not in quantity but in quality, like song of songs is not countless songs but a special song, there is a similar Hebrew idiom le’netzach netzachim – maybe duration of durations found in Isaiah 34:10, which the Vulgate translates with saeculum saeculorum (age of ages), while the Septuagint has only long time (chronon polun), in this context eternity could hardly have been in the mind of the writer.

De civitate Dei, Liber XII, [XX]

Quod utrum ita faciat, et continvata sibi conexione copulentur quae appellantur saecula saeculorum, alia tamen atque alia ordinata dissimilitudine procurrentia, eis dumtaxat, qui ex miseria liberantur, in sua beata inmortalitate sine fine manentibus; an ita dicantur saecula saeculorum, ut intellegantur saecula in sapientia Dei inconcussa stabilitate manentia istorum, quae *** tempore transeunt, tamquam efficientia saeculorum, definire non audeo. Fortassis enim possit dici saeculum, quae sunt saecula, ut nihil aliud perhibeatur saeculum saeculi quam saecula saeculorum, sicut nihil aliud dicitur caelum caeli quam caeli caelorum. Nam caelum Deus vocavit firmamentum super quod sunt aquae; et tamen psalmus: Et aquae, inquit, quae super caelos, laudent nomen Domini. Quid ergo istorum duorum sit, an praeter haec duo aliquid aliud de saeculis saeculorum possit intellegi, profundissima quaestio est, neque hoc quod nunc agimus inpedit, si indiscussa interim differatur; sive aliquid in ea definire valeamus, sive nos faciat cautiores diligentior ipsa tractatio, ne in tanta obscuritate rerum adfirmare temere aliquid audeamus. Nunc enim contra opinionem disputamus, qua illi circuitus asseruntur, quibus semper eadem per interualla temporum necesse esse repeti existimantur; quaelibet autem illarum sententiarum de saeculis saeculorum vera sit, ad hos circuitus nihil pertinet; quoniam sive saecula saeculorum sint non eadem repetita, sed alterum ex altero contextione ordinatissima procurrentia, liberatorum beatitudine sine ullo recursu miseriarum certissima permanente, sive saecula saeculorum aeterna sint temporalium tamquam dominantia subditorum, circuitus illi eadem revolventes locum non habent, quos maxime refellit aeterna vita sanctorum.

"I do not presume to determine whether God does so, and whether these times which are called ages of ages are joined together in a continuous series, and succeed one another with a regulated diversity, and leave exempt from their vicissitudes only those who are freed from their misery, and abide without end in a blessed immortality; or whether these are called ages of ages, that we may understand that the ages remain unchangeable in God's unwavering wisdom, and are the efficient causes, as it were, of those ages which are being spent in time. Possibly ages is used for age, so that nothing else is meant by ages of ages than by age of age, as nothing else is meant by heavens of heavens than by heaven of heaven. For God called the firmament, above which are the waters, Heaven, and yet the psalm says, Let the waters that are above the heavens praise the name of the Lord. Which of these two meanings we are to attach to ages of ages, or whether there is not some other and better meaning still, is a very profound question; and the subject we are at present handling presents no obstacle to our meanwhile deferring the discussion of it, whether we may be able to determine anything about it, or may only be made more cautious by its further treatment, so as to be deterred from making any rash affirmations in a matter of such obscurity. For at present we are disputing the opinion that affirms the existence of those periodic revolutions by which the same things are always recurring at intervals of time. Now whichever of these suppositions regarding the ages of ages be the true one, it avails nothing for the substantiating of those cycles; for whether the ages of ages be not a repetition of the same world, but different worlds succeeding one another in a regulated connection, the ransomed souls abiding in well-assured bliss without any recurrence of misery, or whether the ages of ages be the eternal causes which rule what shall be and is in time, it equally follows, that those cycles which bring round the same things have no existence; and nothing more thoroughly explodes them than the fact of the eternal life of the saints."


http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/120112.htm

Concerning Greek words meaning eternal or everlasting, you might look at this list, it is very interesting, there are many words which seem to mean stricter perpetuity than aiõnios does, aiõnios is far weaker as other expressions (e.g. aidios, ateleutêtos) as you will see in the files in the attachment.

http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/definitionlookup?type=exact&q=eternal&lang=greek

Maybe you want to rethink your position on this subject; I hope I have presented you enough arguments to do so, your position seems not as unchallengeable at all as you might suppose and I hope you will realize, without wanting to start a personal quarrel on this subject.


This is also a most interesting, very scholarly article, the best on the subject I’ve read yet, I would recommend you to read it:

http://tojuki.tripod.com/id24.htm



I do not know if you actually believe the doctrines you endorse, you seem to be an educated and learned man, but sometimes it seems you’re more interested in doctrines for doctrines’ sake rather than for the sake of truth, though I can’t know of course and want not to accuse you falsely, maybe you’re an earnest man and a honest scholar, maybe these writings will help you.


St. Augustine was honest enough to admit in Enchiridion 112:

"It is in vain, then, that some, indeed very many, make moan over the eternal punishment, and perpetual, unintermitted torments of the lost, and say they do not believe it shall be so; not, indeed, that they directly oppose themselves to Holy Scripture, but, at the suggestion of their own feelings, they soften down everything that seems hard, and give a milder turn to statements which they think are rather designed to terrify than to be received as literally true."

Interesting, isn't it? very many I've heard might be also translated the majority, and this alone in the Latin speaking church of that time I guess, which is known to have tought the doctrine of everlasting torment while 4 other theological schools taught the restitution of all things as the scholar says, and one school the utter destruction of the wicked; though history and tradition wether ancient or recent of course is no authority, but it is remarkable that St. Augustine admits that they not actually contradicted the Holy Scripture.

Attachments:

Professor Stroeter on aiõnios (pdf file 2 pages)
My interpreatation of Matthew 25:46 (pdf file 3 pages)
age of eternity, refuting J.N. Darby (pdf file 23 pages)



Please consider these things and do not carelessly claim things that already have been refuted before you answer me, and I hope you will answer me. I gave many quotations, Greek texts, I gave the sources etc. you can check all the claims I've made. If I am in error please show me where, If you can't do so, please be as honest as St. Augustine was and admit that the teaching of the reconcilation of the whole (Col. 1:20) does not actually contradict other teachings of the Holy Scripture at all.


Yours sincerely

PS: English is not my mother tongue, please excuse if some things might sound odd


this is the CARM link concerning the subject

A look at the word "aionion" | Christian Apologetics & Research Ministry

http://www.carm.org/religious-moveme...rever-and-ever

the attachments mentioned in the E-Mail can be read here:

Greek EIS TON AIOoNA - what does it mean?

Matthew 25:46

conservative Prof. Stroeter on the subject of everlasting punishment
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Old 07-15-2009, 07:53 PM
 
Location: NC
12,157 posts, read 14,682,514 times
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Thank you for sharing. God bless.
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Old 07-15-2009, 08:42 PM
 
7,374 posts, read 7,698,637 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShanaBrown View Post
Thank you for sharing. God bless.
I'm surprised with the logical fallacies presented in this argument from CARM, though i guess i shouldn't be. CARM as much as any other protest Christian organization is invested in the defense and dissemination of popular Christian fundamentalist doctrine, and not to researching the bible outside of the context of traditional interpretation. Nevertheless the audacity of such blatant logical fallacies presented in this argument are really surprising to have come from such a "well esteemed" group.

Quote:
"who alone possesses immortality and dwells in unapproachable light; whom no man has seen or can see. To Him be honor and eternal dominion! Amen," (1 Tim. 6:16)

The context is obviously dealing with God's eternal nature. The word in Greek for "immortality" is "athanatos." The Greek word for death is "thanatos." The "a" in front of the word is the negator -- without, non, etc. It means that God is deathless; hence, immortal. This is an eternal quality of God. Likewise, the verse states that God has eternal dominion. The word for "eternal" is "aionios" which is derived from the Greek root "aion" which means age. But, God is not immortal for only an "age," nor is His dominion temporal. The word "eternal" is absolutely the best way to translate the Greek "aionion" because God is immortal and eternal. Therefore, it would be wrong to translate the verse by stating that God has "aionion" dominion. Rather, He has eternal dominion.

This is just terrible. The context is obviously dealing with more than gods immortality ... It is a list of four of Gods divine qualities in fact, immortality being only one of those qualities. The others noted are is being unapproachable and his being light. He is unseen or invisible and his dominion is aionios. The question here is should we understand "aionios" dominion as a separate quality from his immortality or is it merely a redundant synonym of that word? Is it eternal dominion or immortal dominion? Because if the author meant immortal or everlasting dominion he could have used the phrase "kratos aphthartos". But he used "kratos aionios" ...

Or is "kratos aionios" referring to a different thing then immortal or eternal or everlasting? Indeed Ephesians chapter 3 tells us the purpose of God for the ages, which is to reveal himself and manifest his will to man. Could it be the "Kratos aionios" actually means age lasting dominion? Especially when we see that in 1 corinthians 15 that All authority and dominion shall be put under Christ, excepting the father which subjects all things to him. We see that even Christ gives up his authority so God can be all and in all. A time when no more authority exists above us but when authority(God) exists within everyone equally.


1 corinthians 15:24-28
"24Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. 25For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26The last enemy to be destroyed is death. 27For he "has put everything under his feet."[a] Now when it says that "everything" has been put under him, it is clear that this does not include God himself, who put everything under Christ. 28When he has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to him who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all."

Not to mention aionios is not merely a word derived from aion, it is the adjective form of aion. An adjective cannot communicate any more power than the noun from which it derives. Then there is the argument which states that if aionios means age, the the translations dominion for an age limmits God to power only in that age. However this is a fallacious argument on two counts ...

1. Saying that believers in UR say aionios means age is a strawman, because we know that it actually is not a noun but an adjective that derives from aion and means age abiding.

2. Even if age lasting could only mean lasting through one age(which is not the case, age abiding could just as well mean abiding throughout the ages), to conclude that means that the text in that passage would then deny Gods power throughout the rest of the ages is a fallacy of inference as that passage then would actually just have nothing to say on the issue of any other age than the one to which it referred. To say one thing isn't to say the other. A lack of evidence is not proof of the contrary. This kind of argument is known as "argumentum ad ignorantiam", or an argument from ignorance.

If I were to said God has day long power over my life, or that his power over my life lasted all day, would i be necessarily implying that Gods power in my life only lasts a day and not beyond that day or before that day? The fact of the matter is Gods Kratos(dominion) aionios(age abiding) is that outside of the ages or outside of time or outside of creation there is only God, and nothing he has dominion over. Everything God has created is what he has dominion over and everything he has created exists within the ages of time.

Last edited by Ironmaw1776; 07-15-2009 at 08:51 PM..
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