Eternity Terminology

Compared to time terminology, eternity terminology occurs much more frequently in the two German hymnbooks. In EG, eternity is mentioned 1.6 times more often than time. In GL, there are even two passages containing eternity terminology for every one passage containing time terminology.

In contrast to time terminology with its numerous compound expressions, eternity terminology is limited to only a few concepts. The area is covered well by the words Ewigkeit(en) (eternity, eternities) and ewig(lich) (eternal). Apart from these words, only the terms der/das Ewge50 (the eternal) and allewig51 (eternal) occur.

The adjectival, adverbial, and substantive uses of ewig (eternal) occur much more frequently than the use of Ewigkeit (eternity). In the GL, ewig

(eternal) appears 1.6 times more often than Ewigkeit (eternity); in the EG, the corresponding figure is actually 2.1 times as high.52 The plural usage of eternity occurs, but it is rare.53

The spectrum of everything that can be eternal is large. In GL, one finds ewig (eternal) as a description of divinity: eternal God, Father, Son, and High Priest; in divine predicates, such as splendor, radiance, on high, wisdom, throne, power, realm; as a description of that which emanates from God: word, counsel, covenant, gospel, goodness, salvation, redemption, comfort, gleam (of light); and finally, as a description of things that can be eternal from a human perspective: death, sufferingg, darkness, imprisonment, time, paths, good, light, rest, bliss, life, (divine) joy, love, home, fatherland, stone, community, the eternal purity (= Mary), and even eternity itself.54

With few exceptions, the terms mentioned above also occur in the EG in combination with ewig (eternal). Furthermore, the EG also speaks of other things that could be "eternal": truth, honor, favor, mouth, compassion, fount, foundation, treasures, faithfulness, need, pain, ransom, reconciliation, freedom, gratitude, joy, church, beauty, paradise, the Lord's Supper, nuptial bliss, Advent, and the present.

In contrast to EG, Sv ps is more economical in its references to eternity terminology. Its usage here is not significantly higher than that of time terminology, the ratio between the two being 1.14:1. From a total of 325 passages containing eternity terminology, 225 mention evig (eternal), three speak of den evige (the Eternal), and nine mention evinnerligen (everlasting). Evighet (eternity) appears eighty-eight times, mostly in the singular,55 and occasionally in a genitive construction.56 The range of what is considered to be eternal is diverse. The concepts that are most frequently considered eternal are time57 and life,58 as well as light, well-being, and peace.59 Rest, grace, joys, need, and death are also presented several times as being eternal.60 Furthermore, one encounters eternity in connection with statements about God: Father, God, king, the Good, power and honor, glory, compassion, counsel, law, covenant, throne, and cross.61 The hymn of praise, the hallelujah, jubilation, joy, comfort, wealth, the fruit, and the Word can also be eternal.62 Hope for the future is directed toward eternal reconciliation, eternal paradise, eternal dwelling place, eternal joy, eternal joys of summer, and eternal banquet hall.63 Some time concepts are also immersed in the dimension of eternity: now, day, morning, spring, New Year, and church year.64 Service, goal, foundation, and harm can also be eternal.65 The Holy Spirit is actively creating with eternal breath.66 An eternal sign of love67 occurs at the Communion table.

Pspo turns all previous proportions upside down. Here, one finds almost twice as much time terminology as eternity terminology; to be exact, the ratio of eternity terminology to time terminology is 0.55:1. Of the twenty-seven passages containing eternity terminology, fifteen contain evig (eternal) and eight contain evighet (eternity). Eternity formulations containing double usage of the noun eternity occur four times, all under the category Psalms and Canticles.68 Eternal time is mentioned twice. The adjective "eternal" is used once each for God's day and God's love, for heaven, for the fount, and for spring.69 Something can also be in eternal agreement with God's calendar.70 When considering eternity terminology in the literal sense, SA is very similar to Pspo, since here one also finds almost twice as much time terminology as strictly literal eternity terminology. In this case, the exact ratio of eternity terminology to time terminology is 0.57:1. The picture changes radically, however, when one considers eternity terminology in a more general sense. Then the ratio becomes 1.67:1. In other words, this means that the major portion of eternity terminology in SA consists of ever and evermore. Twenty-three passages contain these two terms, while eternal and everlasting occur only eight or four times. The noun eternity does not appear at all. Eternal life71 is mentioned three times. The divine name,72 God's love, and the signs of this divine love73 are also eternal. Finally, it is also said that the Son, the heavenly feast, and the goal are eternal.74

Of all the hymnbooks studied, the AHB incorporates the most terminology concerning eternity. Eternity terminology in the most literal sense of the word occurs in approximately the same ratio to time terminology as it does in GL.

In the AHB, the ratio of time to eternity is 1:2. When eternity in a more general sense is included, it rapidly increases to 1:3.75. Ever and evermore occur 164 times.75 In the case of literal eternity terminology, most of the 112 occurrences consist of eternal,76 co-eternal,77 eternally,78 and the Eternal79 The remaining eighty-four incidences are distributed among everlasting,,80 endless/unending,81 and eternity.82 Here, the list of everything that can be "eternal" is also long and complex. The words God, Father, Son, Spirit, Lord, The One or Three in One, Savior, King, Ruler, in combination with eternal, are used as direct terms for God. A certain triumphalism cannot be ignored: eternal decree, honors, strength, Head, arms, righteousness, splendor, glory, rock, throne, praise, and rays of resurrection. Of course, one also mentions the eternal word, name, light, life, peace, love, grace, mercy, rest, truth, loving kindness, and joy. Some concepts of time can even be eternal, for example, day, night, spring, years, ages, and Eastertide. Furthermore, eternity can also appear as an attribute of house and home, gates, doors, and gifts of Christ.

The terms hymn, merit, covenant, purpose, bread, fount of love, thought, theme, seat, woe, ransom, and things, and things "in general," are also combined with "eternal."

Time Terminology Eternity Terminology Ratio ofTime in % of All Passages in % of All Terminology to

Containing Time Passages Containing Eternity

Time Terminology Eternity Terminology Ratio ofTime in % of All Passages in % of All Terminology to

Containing Time Passages Containing Eternity

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