by Jack Eberle
I’m certain that you’ve heard or read sentiments like this many times and probably have no disagreement with the statement. Yet, there must be questions in some folks’ minds as to just what that means. Some very intelligent folks seem to come away from reading various Scriptural statements and come away with something like, Well, it can’t mean that, so it MUST mean THIS!
Now, we don’t wish to cause confusion but rather to clear up confusion. It appears to me that some translator people have fallen prey to this nostrum. Case in point: recently a close associate was asking exactly what “word” or “words” did God use in John 3:16 which are interpreted as “everlasting”.
Well, here is where the most trustworthy Biblical scholar on matters such as these and many others, E. W. Bullinger comes in. I said, “Let’s find out what the exact words are.” It turns out that the exact Greek word, transliterated into English is aionios. In the Greek language, this would simply mean “ages”. “Ages” are “time” PERIODS. They each have beginnings and endings. I don’t believe anyone thinks of “eternal” or “everlasting” as having beginnings and endings. Is there something amiss here? Could it be that God’s Words actually mean the OPPOSITE of what He is saying? God said exactly what He meant to say. I’m afraid the translators or whoever will have to take a back seat to God’s actual Words.
Continuing on, we see that the simple word “day” with “length” or “long” in front of it is mistranslated “forever” by one would-be expert in the Word.
“Aion” is a Greek word meaning “age”. Yet it is translated “course” in one place and “world” in at least 20 places. Is this the precision requested in II Timothy 2:15? Remember Romans 3:23 where God speaks of “falling short”? That is the word “hamartano” meaning “come short”.
Let us be very thankful for faithful linguists and translators like E. W. Bullinger who not only work in God’s Word, but revere and rejoice in His very words. Dr. Bullinger was not alone in this. There are many who faithfully work (II Timothy 2:15) in His Word and respect it. They do not see the need to change His Words around to fit some preconceived religious “notions”.
In Appendix 152 of the Companion Bible, which features “hamartano” and relevant words, may refer to those “It must mean this” pseudoscholars, you will see the beginning of three pages which efficientlyshow the various shades and actual meanings of Hisblessed Word.
Earthly lucre will have no use in the “upon-heavenlies”. Rather, work for the crowns as God enjoins you in II Timothy 4:8. Be sure that you are reading, studying, and understanding GOD’S Word!