Prof. Tayler Lewis(73) in the course of learned disquisitions on the meaning of the Olamic and Aionian words of the Bible, refers to the oldest version of the New Testament, the Syriac, or the Peshito, and tells us how these words are rendered in this first form of the New Testament: "So is it ever in the old Syriac version where the one rendering is still more unmistakably clear. These shall go into the pain of the Olam (aion) (the world to come), and these to the life of the Olam (aion) (the world to come)." He refers to Matt. 19:16; Mark 10:17; Luke 18:18; John 3:15; Acts 13:46; 1 Tim. 16:12, in which aionios is rendered belonging to the olam, or world to come.Eternal life, in our version, the words in Matt. 25:46, are rendered in the Peshito "the life of the world to come."
We quote this not to endorse, but to show that one of the best of modern critics testifies that the earliest New Testament version did not employ endless as the meaning of the word. Of Prof. Lewis Dr. Beecher writes,(74) "We are not to suppose that so eminent an Orthodox divine says these things in support of Universalism, a system which he decidedly and earnestly rejects."
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