The Berean Expositor
Volume 42 - Page 204 of 259
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Leaving these passages until we are more prepared to consider their teaching in detail,
we pass to another group, this time in the N.T., namely, in the epistle to the Ephesians.
There the word aion is translated as inconsistently as we found its parallel olam in
"This world" (1: 21).
"The course of this world" (2: 2).
"The ages to come" (2: 7).
"From the beginning of the world" (3: 9).
"Eternal purpose' (3: 11).
"Throughout all ages, world without end" (3: 21).
"Rulers of the darkness of this world" (6: 12).
Here we have a strange assortment. This world, which had a beginning, but which has
no end, and the course of this world, and the eternal purpose which terms are hardly
comparable. Translate the word aion consistently, and order, light and instruction take
the place of human tradition and confusion.
Aiġn 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 (energeġ).
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 (energeġ).
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 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 aion is translated as though is were the adjective aionion, 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 the present six days' creation. While we
acknowledge that there is much which our curiosity would tempt us to ask, we do most
readily acknowledge 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,
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".