From: Bill Steidtmann
Adam: Whadaya know for sure?
Bob: This debate is taking forever Mr. Mint! I’m going to be an old man by the time it’s done.
Adam: It’s good to know your forevers aren’t actually that long.
Bob: I didn’t mean forever literally, it was just hyperbole.
Adam: I recall you saying that you thought the Greek word “aion” had more than one meaning.
Bob: Yup, two different meanings. Sometimes it means “age” and sometimes it means “eternity”.
Adam: What does aion mean in this verse: Hebrews 9:26 “For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.”?
Bob: Well, aion is plural there, but I’ve arbitrarily decided to ignore that, so probably it means “eternity”.
Adam: So, it should read “but now once in the end of eternity”?
Bob: No, sometimes aion means “world” too.
Adam: And by world you mean “planet”?
Bob: I mean the world as a system.
Adam: I thought that was the Greek word “kosmos”, which is in the first half of that verse.
Bob: Kosmos means world, but so does aion. I like to mix it up a bit so the Scriptures have more pizazz.
Adam: First you tell me that sometimes one word has two meanings, and now you tell me that sometimes one meaning has two words.
Bob: I can’t believe you don’t even know what a synonym is.
Adam: Right now, Mr. Elan, I’m trying to think of a synonym for “confusion”.
Bob: Actually aion has three different meanings, “eternity”, “age”, and “world”.
Adam: Don’t forget “universe”, yet another way to hide the plural form of aion, like the NIV does in Hebrews 1:2 and 11:3, even while conveniently abandoning that idea in 9:26.
Bob: That’s because the plural aion, being more than one world, is the universe. They’re doing you a favor by not just translating, but also interpreting the words, so ya don’t have to do so much thinkin’.
Adam: If aion is plural in Hebrews 9:26 that I just read to you, why is “world” singular there?
Bob: Um, it should be ages. Endless ages!
Adam: I think you mean “end of the ages”.
Bob: Um... yeah, end of the ages. What was I thinking? How could there be endless ages if there’s an “end of the ages”?
Adam: Good question. Kinda makes you wonder about that eternal Hell business.
Bob: There you go trying to trick me again. I changed my mind, it means “end of the worlds”.
Adam: I think the real problem is a bit deeper. Tell me, what’s a werewolf?
Bob: This just proves how crazy you are, but okay... it’s half man half wolf.
Adam: That’s because the Old English “wer” meant “man”, so a werewolf is a man-wolf.
Bob: Does this fairy tale end with “... and everyone lived happily ever after”? What’s this got to do with aion?
Adam: Yes it does. “World” is from Old English “weorold”, and the even older Germanic “wer” and “ald”.
Bob: An aion is an old man?
Adam: No, it literally means man-age. The fact that “world” was used at all to translate “aion” proves my point that an aion is properly an “age”, not “eternity”.
Bob: So you agree that aion should be translated as “world”?
Bob: Why not? You just explained it that way.
Adam: Because today the word “world” has lost too much of the original idea of time. It keeps people from realizing the truth about the aions, which prevents them from understanding that God plans to save everyone through Jesus Christ.
Bob: Well I still just think aion has two different meanings.
Adam: Don’t you mean three or four?
Bob: I said two because two is a synonym for “couple”, and couple can sometimes mean three or four.