What the Scriptures Actually Teach Us About the Ages (aiōns) of God

The Ages (aiōns) Have a Beginning

Hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son, Whom He hath appointed heir of all things, by Whom also He made the worlds [aiōn] (Hebrews 1:2).

But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world [aiōn] unto our glory (I Corinthians 2:7).

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 [aiōnios] began (II Timothy 1:9).

The Ages (aiōns) Have an End, Individually and Collectively

For then must He often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world [aiōn] hath He appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself (Hebrews 9:26).

Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world [aiōn] are come (I Corinthians 10:11).

And as He sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of Thy coming, and of the end of the world [aiōn]? (Matthew 24:3).

How Many Ages (aiōns) Are There?

We can acquire a basic grasp of the number of ages related to God’s dealings with man by considering the three basic categories of time: past, present and future. Let’s consider three verses that will help us in these three areas of time.

In the Past:

Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages [aiōn] and from generations, but now is made manifest to His saints (Colossians 1:26).

In the Present:

Who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil world [aiōn], according to the will of God and our Father (Galatians 1:4).

In the Future:

That in the ages [aiōn] to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:7).

In these three verses we have a minimum of five ages indicated:

In Colossians 1:26 we have “ages” in the plural form, speaking in the past tense, indicating at least two former ages.

In Galatians 1:4 we have “world” in the singular form, a reference to the present age.

In Ephesians 2:7, again we have “ages” in the plural form, speaking in the future tense, indicating at least two upcoming ages.

This is a minimum total of five.

Conclusion

In the Scriptures the words translated as “for ever,” “eternal” and “everlasting” cannot possibly mean “endless.”

(1) If so, how could aiōn ever be in the plural, as in the repeated translation of “for ever and ever”? If “for ever” means “eternity,” what does “for ever and ever” mean?

(2) If so, how could aiōn ever be spoken of as having an end, as in the repeated use of “the end of the aiōn”? If aiōn means “eternity” how does it come to and end?

The basic concept of aiōn does not convey the religious system’s imposed definition of “without end.” A clear understanding of scriptural words, defined by the Scriptures themselves, is always the best remedy to the traditional bondage of the mind by the doctrines of men. The Scriptures should be translated in such a way that they maintain the clarity of their meaning.

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

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