Not all English Bibles have translated the Greek in such a way that
suggests or supports the doctrine of Eternal Punishment. I have heard
it said that most modern biblical translations are about 50 years
behind the current scholarship. Maybe in time, more of the newer
translations will reflect the improvements noted in the following
Matthew 18:8 The Weymouth New Testament In Modern
"If your hand or your foot is causing you to fall
into sin, cut it off and away with it. It is better for you to enter
into Life crippled in hand or foot than to remain in possession of two
sound hands and feet but be thrown into the FIRE OF THE AGES."
Weymouth, in his footnote to Matthew 18:8 states, "Of the ages] Greek
'Aeonian.' In this present Translation this word, which occurs here for
the first time, is thus rendered in each of the seventy passages in
which it occurs. Etymologically this adjective, like others similarly
formed, does not signify 'during, 'but 'belonging to 'THE AEONS OR
AGES, or age. Whether usage gives it a different sense is another
question. That the word sometimes means everlasting in the strongest
sense of the word, cannot reasonably be doubted. LET THE READER JUDGE
FOR HIMSELF IN EVERY CASE."
Moulton and Milligan in "Vocabulary of the Greek New
Testament" write concerning aionios that "In general the word depicts
that of which the horizon is not in view, whether the horizon be at an
infinite distance, or whether it lies no farther than the span of
Matthew 25:46 The Weymouth New Testament In Modern
"And these shall go away into the PUNISHMENT OF THE
AGES, but the righteous into the Life in the Ages"
The KJV translates it as "everlasting punishment"
Mark 3:28-29 Concordant
Literal New Testament（マルコ ３：２８－２９、コンコーダントリベラル新約聖書）
"Verily I am saying to you
that all shall be pardoned the sons of mankind, the penalties of the
sins and the blasphemies, whatsoever they should be blaspheming, yet
whoever should be blaspheming against the holy spirit is having no
pardon for the eon, but is liable to the EONIAN PENALTY for the sin"
Hebrews 6:2 The Weymouth New
Testament In Modern Speech（ヘブル ６：２、ウェイマウスの新約聖書、現代版）
"Therefore leaving the
elementary instruction about the Christ, let us advance to mature
manhood and not be continually re-laying a foundation of repentance
from lifeless works and of faith in God, or of ceremonial washings, the
laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and the LAST
William Barclay , the layman's theologian, in his
book "New Testament Words" speaks of "Aionios: The Word of Eternity".
He considers aionios philosophically, rather than examining only the
linguistic aspects of the word. He contends that it must be interpreted
very carefully especially when speaking of punishment. Within the New
Testament 'aionios' is used to describe the fire of punishment,
punishment itself, judgment, and destruction.
"It is in these passages that we need to be
specially careful in our interpretation of the word. Simply to take it
as meaning lasting forever is not enough. In all these passages we must
remember the essential meaning of aionios. Aionios is the word of
eternity as opposed to and contrasted with time.
It is the word of deity as opposed to and contrasted
with humanity. It is the word which can only really be applied to God.
If we remember that, we are left with one tremendous truth - both
blessing which the faithful shall inherit and THE PUNISHMENT WHICH THE
UNFAITHFUL SHALL RECEIVE ARE SUCH AS BEFITS GOD TO GIVE AND INFLICT.
BEYOND THAT WE CANNOT GO. Simply TO TAKE THE WORD AIONIOS, when it
refers to blessings and punishment, TO MEAN LASTING FOREVER IS TO
OVERSIMPLIFY, and INDEED TO MISUNDERSTAND THE WORD ALTOGETHER.
It means that that which the faithful will receive
and THAT WHICH THE UNFAITHFUL WILL SUFFER IS THAT WHICH IT BEFITS GOD'S
NATURE AND CHARACTER TO BESTOW AND INFLICT - BEYOND THAT WE who are men
CANNOT GO, except to remember that that nature and character are holy
Let's also take a quick look at the Greek word for punishment. The
Greek word for punishment is "kolasis". George Ricker Berry in "A Greek
English Lexicon and New Testament Synonyms" translates "kolasis" as
CHASTISEMENT or punishment. Therefore, "these shall go away into
eternal punishment", could be translated as "these shall go away into
CHASTISEMENT FOR THE AGES". (Matthew 25:46)
As well, the New Thayers Greek-English Lexicon of
the New Testament defines "kolasis" as "CORRECTION, punishment,
penalty". Therefore, it is a linguistically possible to translate
"eternal punishment" as "CORRECTION FOR THE AGES." This is significant
because it suggests that "kolasis" is not only for the purpose of
justice, but also for the purpose of correction. CORRECTION IS
REMEDIAL. "Correction for the ages" would be for the remedy of sin and
rebellion in the heart of the unbeliever, not unending torment for the
purpose of justice. To dogmatically insist that the passage must be
translated as "eternal punishment" is not linguistically required.
There are also many universalism passages that suggest that eternal
punishment would not be consistant with the whole of scripture. .
For this reason, let us exercise caution to
interpret the "aionian" Punishment passages individually in the light
of the immediate context, and the larger context of the Salvation
message within scripture, rather than narrowly imposing the dogmatic
concept of "Eternal" punishment as the one extreme definition to be
used in all instances.