aiōn: Etymology and Definition

Now let’s take a closer look at the Greek word ain. We will look at its etymology and definition.


Etymology gives no warrant for applying the idea of eternity to the word … We find no reason in its etymology for giving it the sense of endless duration. – J.W. Hanson, The Greek Word Aion, 1875, pp. 10, 11

It must be admitted that the Greek word which is rendered “eternal” does not, in itself, involve endlessness, but rather, duration, whether through an age or succession of ages, and that it is therefore applied in the New Testament to periods of time that have had both a beginning and ending. – Charles John Ellicott, Ellicott’s Commentary on the Whole Bible.


The time of life. – Hesychius (A.D. 400-600)

An interval denoting time. – Theodoret (A.D. 300-400)

Properly, an age. –Strong’s Greek Lexicon #G165

Primarily signifies time, in the sense of age, or generation. – International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, p. 1010

An age. – W.E. Vine, Vine’s Expository Dictionary

A period of time related to the subject. Charles J. Wilhelm, Biblical Dyslexia, 2004, p. 80

Any space of time whether longer or shorter, past, present or future, to be determined by the persons or things spoken of, and the scope of the subjects; the life or age of man. Aionios, a definite and long period of time, that is, a long enduring, but still definite period of time. – John Schleusner, Novus Thesaurus Philologico-Criticus, 1829

The life that hastes away in the breathing of our breath, life as transitory; then the course of life, time of life, and general life in its temporal form, then, the space of human life, an age. – E.W. Bullinger, A Critical Lexicon and Concordance

A period of existence; one’s lifetime; life; an age; a generation; a long space of time. A space of time clearly defined and marked out; an era, epoch, age, period or dispensation. – Liddell and Scott’s Greek-English Lexicon

Time; space of time; life time and life; the ordinary period of man’s life; the age of man; man’s estate; a long period of time. – James Donnegan, A New Greek and English Lexicon, 1839

A space of time, as a lifetime, generation, period of history, an indefinitely long period. – Abbott-Smith, Manual Greek Lexicon of the New Testament

Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.
The Salvation of All
© 2005-2010

Explore posts in the same categories: Salvation

Tags: , , , , ,

You can comment below, or link to this permanent URL from your own site.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: