Occurrence Of The Adjective

The adjective aionios is (incorrectly) said by Professor Stuart to (53) occur sixty-six times in the New Testament, be we make it seventy-two times. Of these fifty-seven are used in relation to the happiness of the righteous; three in relation to God or his glory; four are of a miscellaneous nature; and seven relate to the subject of punishment. Now these fifty-seven denote indefinite duration, "everlasting life" being a life that may or may not —certainly does not always — endure forever.

Thus the great preponderance of usage in the New Testament is indefinite duration. But if the preponderance were against this usage, we ought, in order to vindicate God's character, to understand it in the sense of limited when describing a Father's punishment of his children.

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