The Emperor Justinian

The Emperor Justinian (A. D. 540), in calling the celebrated local council which assembled in 544, addressed his edict to Mennos, Patriarch of Constantinople, and elaborately argued against the doctrines he had determined should be condemned. He does not say, in defining the Catholic doctrine at that time "We believe in aionion punishment," for that was just what the Universalist, Origen himself taught. Nor does he say, "The wordaionion has been misunderstood, it denotes endless duration," as he would have said had there been such a disagreement. But, writing in Greek with all the words of that copious speech from which to choose, he says, "The holy church of Christ teaches an endless aionios (ATELEUTETOS aionios) life to the righteous, and endless (ateleutetos) punishment to the wicked." Aionios was not enough in his judgement to denote endless duration, and he employed ateleutetos. This demonstrates that even as late as A. D. 540 aionios meant limited duration, and required an added word to impart to it the force of endless duration.

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