The Berean Expositor
Volume 1 - Page 104 of 111
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Berean Expositor Volume 1
For ever.
An examination of the words thus translated in A.V. and R.V.
pp. 82-86
Following upon the study of the Scriptures as to the question of immortality, we
instinctively turn to the following expressions which so often occur, viz., "everlasting,"
"forever," etc. In the great majority of cases the word thus translated is the Greek word
aiġn, or the Hebrew olam. The A.V., has rendered the word aiġn by the words "world,"
"course," "age," "eternal," and in conjunction with the prepositions apo (from), ek
(out of), and eis (into), it gives "since the world began," "from the beginning of the
world," "forever," "for evermore," "for ever and ever," "while the earth standeth,"
"world without end,"; while the adjective aiġnios is rendered "eternal" and "everlasting."
If we have no theology to uphold, and if we count the judgment of man as a "very
small thing," it is possible that we may venture to wonder how it comes about that one
word can be translated "since the world began," and also "world without end"; or again,
how the word can be rendered "world" (which certainly had a beginning), and at the
same time mean "for ever" and "eternal." It has been forced upon us that in all these
diverse renderings we have had a good percentage of man's ideas of accurate and
unflinching translation.
Our space is too limited to give many examples, but we draw attention to a few. In
Matt.24: 3 we read of "the end of the world." This clearly shows that the word aiġn,
translated "world," may have an end. We turn to the very next chapter and find that the
word aiġn, when it becomes an adjective, aiġnios, is translated by the words "eternal"
and "everlasting," words which admittedly allow of no end (Matt. 25: 46). One thing
seems evident, that a true rendering is not found here. Again, there are three important
passages where the word aiġnios is found with the word chronos (time), viz.,
Rom. 16: 25; II Tim. 1: 9, and Titus 1: 2. The A.V. translates thus, "since the world
began," and "before the world began," while the R.V., going to the other extreme, renders
the words, "through times eternal," and before "times eternal." What can we make of a
word which can mean a limited period and eternity?
Rom. 16: 25
Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus
Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began,
II Tim. 1: 9
Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to
his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,
Titus 1: 2
In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;