Is Hell for an age (Greek aion, aionius) or eternity?
As I read through several English translations of the Bible I found several places where the English text
said something would last forever but in other places or in actuality that was not true. I also thought,
God has a purpose for everything He does. What would be His purpose for torturing anyone forever? On the
other hand, in my own life and the life of others I have seen limited loving discipline bring about a
change in attitude and behavior. Some people seem to need more loving discipline or punishment than
others. I wondered if there was something about the Greek and Hebrew words our English Bibles often
translate eternal, eternity, forever, etc., that we misunderstood.
Fortunately, I found www.tentmaker.org and discovered my suspicions were correct.
I found out the Hebrew word olam means age not eternal. The Greek word aion and aionius likewise mean
age not eternity and not forever. An age has a beginning and an ending. An age may be a short period
of time or it may be a very long period of time. I also found out up into the fifth century most early
Christians and most early church fathers did not believe the unrepentant and unbelieving wicked would
be punished forever. However, around the fifth century the people in power began to aggressively promote
the idea of an eternal hell or punishment in the lake of fire. Following the theology of the day the
King James Translators often wrongly translated olam and aion as eternal or some such word instead of
age or a similar word. If you look at different Greek Dictionaries you will find some disagreement on
the meaning or meanings of the Greek words aion and aionius. Some Greek Dictionaries think aion means
both age or eternal. Other Greek Dictionaries believe aion and aionius only refers to an age that has
a beginning and an ending. I am convinced by the evidence at www.tentmaker.org that the Hebrew word
olam and the Greek words aion and aionius refer to an age or eon which has a beginning and an end
and is thus a limited period of time. So how long will people be in Hell? We are not told how long
people will suffer in Hell. Some could be there for a few years while others might be there for thousands
of years. Some might have to stay in Hell a lot longer than others. It seems there are different degrees
of suffering in Hell. I believe the purpose of Hell is to induce people to repent and change their behavior
Here are some specific articles, books, and videos, at www.tentmaker.org that may shed more light
and understanding on this topic.
7) www.tentmaker.org has many more articles, books, and videos on this and other subjects.
8) Answers questions about the narrow gate.
9) An analytical study of words showing one's time in hell may be long but not eternal.
10) A book on the Lake of Fire.
11) Answers which is correct, Ages or Eternity.
12) A tract titled Does "forevers AND everS" Make Sense to You?
13) Quick links to information on Hell and Univeral Salvation (the eventual salvation of all mankind.
I believe "Hell" or the "lake of fire" is a real place. You can go to U-Tube and type in
"life after death," and hear the accounts of many different people who died and went to
either heaven or hell. The u-tube video "Three atheists's died and went to Hell" is pretty informative.
Many of the other video accounts by people who have experienced hell that also come up when one types
in that phrase are also very sobering.