An Analytical Study of Words

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My hope in writing this book, is to conclusively show that there is no valid evidence supporting the translations of the Hebrew word olam and the Greek words aion and aionion with English words expressing unlimited time or eternity. Each of these Hebrew and Greek words expresses a limited period of time, an eon or an age. Furthermore, I want to show that the several Greek and Hebrew words traditionally translated into the single English word "Hell" in many English Bibles, carry no meaning closely resembling the images projected by many of the modern theological schools of thought. While the works of eminent scholars of Scripture, past and present, and those of secular writers will be cited, the final and only authority for determining the meaning of the words rests in their inspired usage by God as recorded in the sacred Scriptures.

Dr. R.A. Torrey wrote, "Usage is always the decisive thing in determining the meanings of words." An examination of the usage of olam, aion and aionion follows. Such a study should clear from our minds the seeming inconsistencies or contradictions in the Scriptures where these words are used.

Much of the confusion resulting in splitting into different denominations stems from mistranslation of a handful of words in some of our commonly used Bibles. While some Christians are satisfied with accepting carte blanche their denominations' doctrinal positions, many Christians are seeking for a purity which can only be found beyond man-made institutions.

One key area various denominations are divided over, is the final destiny of the ungodly, the wicked, the unsaved, the unregenerated or however one wishes to phrase it. There are three views on this subject. Each position claims Scriptural support: (1) eternal torment; (2) eternal destruction; and (3) the ultimate salvation of all. It is obvious that all cannot be correct.

Dr. C. Ryder Smith, a teacher of eschatology for twenty years, says in his book, The Bible Doctrine of the Hereafter (p. 258): "In an earlier chapter, it has been shown that the New Testament teaches everlasting punishment. On a review of the whole evidence, therefore, it follows that throughout that book there are two doctrines, which, to the human mind, are irreconcilable: The doctrine of universalism and the doctrine that there are those who will not be saved." The Scriptures do not teach two different destinies for mankind They only seem to do so because of mistranslations. The Scriptures are the inspired words of God and therefore cannot be contradictory.

Another church leader, a professor, author, and doctor in his field, comes to the uncertain conclusion that, to use his words, "Eternal punishment is a half-truth and universal restoration is a half-truth." A study of the words olam and aion as used by God should dispel such confusion.

May this study help many to become acquainted with the Author of the Scriptures, and to know Him as the Savior of ALL. Truly understanding the meaning of these words should result in one's seeing the harmony of the Scriptures as well as the perfect harmony of the attributes of God with His Love for all mankind. "For God so loved the world ..."

-Louis Abbott


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