The Berean Expositor
Volume 6 - Page 40 of 151
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Leaving these passages until we are more prepared to consider their teaching in detail,
we pass on to another cluster of seven, this time in New Testament, namely, in
Ephesians. There the word aiõn is translated as inconsistently as we found its parallel
olam in Ecclesiastes.
1: 21.
"This world."
2: 2.
"The course of this world."
2: 7.
"The ages to come."
3: 9.
"From the beginning of the world."
3: 11.
"Eternal purpose."
3: 21.
"Throughout all ages world without end."
6: 12.
"Rulers of the darkness of this world."
Here we have a strange assortment. This world, which had a beginning, but which has
no end, the course of this world, and the eternal purpose. Translate the word aiõn
consistently, and order, light, and instruction take place of human tradition and confusion.
Aiõn in Ephesians.
A | 1: 21. Rulers of this and the coming age.--Subject to Christ in resurrection.
B | 2: 2. The age of the world.--Satanic energy (energõ).
C | 2: 7. Ages to come.--Display of divine grace (future).
D | 3: 9. Hid since the ages.--The mystery.
C | 3: 11. The purpose of the ages.--Display of divine wisdom (now).
B | 3: 21. The generations of the age of the ages.--Divine energy (energõ).
A | 6: 12. Rulers of the darkness of this age.--
Withstood by believers in resurrection power.
All lovers of the Word must see how great is the loss which we all have sustained
through the traditional translation. "The eternal purpose" sounds very grand, it gives a
certain sound of reality and indefectibility to the purpose of God, yet it is a double
violation. The noun aiõn is translated as though it were the adjective aiõnion, apart from
the mistake of putting eternity where age should have been. What we have to learn is that
the Bible does not speak of eternity. It was not written to tell us of eternity. Such a
consideration is entirely outside the scope of revelation.  Many, many undreamed
wonders will doubtless be unfolded when the ages are no more. What they will be and
what they will involve is idle and profitless speculation. The Word of God as it has been
given is a complete system of teaching for us; it does not treat fully of the creation
around us, much less of the time before or after. While we acknowledge that there is
much which our curiosity would tempt us to ask about, we do most heartily bow before
the divine boundaries of our studies, realizing that by the repeated emphasis upon the
teaching of the ages, and the absence of teaching concerning eternity, that the Lord is still
showing us (as is expressed in Ecclesiastes) that the time has not yet arrived when we
may "find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end."
We have already, in Answers to Correspondents (page 79), indicated that our minds
are likely to bring unscriptural notions along with the words "age" and "age-long," beside