THE EONIAN TIMES
An Address delivered before the Concordant Students of the
Scriptures in the Chapel of the Y. M. C. A., West 135th Street Branch,
New York City, Sunday, January 7th, 1945 by Leon A. Bynoe.
This Address is printed as preached, except for such minor
changes necessary in transforming the spoken word into the written
The Texts: 2 Timothy 1:9 "Who saves us and calls us with a holy
calling, not in accord with our acts, but in accord with His own purpose
and the grace which is given to us in Christ Jesus before eonian times."
Titus 1:l-2 ; "In expectation of eonian life, which God, Who does not
lie, promises before eonian times" (Concordant Version).
The "Eonian Times" are but one great part of God's plan in His
dealing with the Universe. The "Eons" are the times of evil. At the
beginning of the "Eons" sin and death are introduced, and will
continue its course until the end of the "Eons," or Consummation.
Before the "Eons" we read of no evil manifested; there is no open
record of such; and after the "Eons" we find no record of sin and
evil, or death, "For the former things shall have been passed away."
So here we are confined to the "Eonian Times."
EON AND EONIAN
The term, "Eonian" which is derived from the noun "Aion," is
familiar to devout students of the Word of God only. The average
Christian knows nothing of the stupendous revelation contained in this
original God-given term found in the Greek Manuscripts of the holy
Scriptures. More and more, we who are custodians of such revelation,
must use this term more often so that fellow-believers may become
acquainted with the usage of this word, and the fullness of its meaning.
From the records as far back as we may go, the ablest minds have
concluded that there is no English word that can be substituted for the
Greek word "Aion," and do justice to the Text, with but one
exception, and that is by substituting the word "age" . . . its
nearest English equivalent, which denotes a period of time. But it is
more scriptural to use the original word in its pure unadulterated form,
since it works no hardship to the English Text, and this is consistent
with our use of many Latin words in our English Language.
The word eon is really a transliteration of the Greek aion, a noun,
and its adjective aionion, (eonian) describing the kind of times in
view. Eonian Times, is a well-founded scriptural term, and not a
brain-child of an imaginative mind. This purely Greek word became lost,
and the truth concerning the eons had become obscure; and the collapse
of the truth of the eons left the way open for pagan error to reassert
itself, and fasten itself upon scripture teaching, very quickly after
the time of the apostle Paul. No one after him appears to have said a
word about it, until these last days, and with very few exceptions in
the remote past, such as Herodian, the historian, about the end of the
second century; Lactanius, born about 260 A. D.; Eusebius, the historian
of the early Church, born about 265 A. D.; Wyclif about 1320. The record
shows that, the Latin Fathers, led by Jerome who gave us the Latin
Vulgate, began this departure from the original; and in the year 696 at
Constantinople, a council of the Church publicly condemned this doctrine
of the eons, as proclaimed by Origen as, "drunken ravings as to the
future life of the dead." Tyndale, coming one hundred and fifty years
after Wyclif gave us in our English Bibles the totally erroneous
teaching of endlessness, by the English words Eternal, forever and ever,
and everlasting, from the root word in the Greek aion, which means a
period of time.
This purely Greek word, spelled with English letters (EON), is used
in the scriptures to qualify life, salvation, glory, judgment (or
chastening), etc. Quote . . . "For the ration of Sin is death, but God's
gracious gift is eonian life in Christ Jesus our Lord." Rom. 6:23; and
in Heb. 5:9 we read, "And being perfected He became the cause of
eonian salvation to all who are obeying Him." Also read Chap. 6: 2,
"eonian judgment" . . . and 2 Tim. 2:10 "Eonian glory"
The recent revival of the use of this word did not come through the
advent of the Concordant Version, for we discover that the Emphatic
Diaglott, an earlier translation, uses it consistently, as do other good
versions, such as, American Revised, Weymouth, Fenton, Darby, Rotherham,
Moffatt, and Goodspeed. I have had in my possession a copy of Clarence
Larkin's book, entitled, "Dispensational Truth," designed and
written since 1914, and published four years later, and this is what Mr.
Larkin, (deceased) formerly of Foxchase, Philadelphia, Pa., has to say
in his great work on Dispensational Truth, I quote:-
"There is much confusion in the New Testament because the Greek
word "Aion" (or Eon) meaning "age" has been translated by eight
different English words, as follows: 'Ages' twice; 'Ever' 30
times ; 'Ever and Ever' 21 times; World' 35 times; 'Worlds'
twice; 'Course' once; 'Eternal' twice; and 'End' once. When
the word "age" is substituted for the above, it will be seen that
not our material world is meant, but a period of time. Take the
following for illustration. Matt. 12:32; 13:39-40; Mark 10:30; Luke
20:34-35; Gal. 1:4; 2 Tim. 4:l0; Heb. 6:5; Rev. 20:l0. In the Greek it
will be seen that we have the singular "Aion" (or Eon) Matt. 24:3;
the plural "Aions" (or Eons) in Eph. 2:7; in Rev. 20:10 "Aions of
the Aions," and in Eph. 3:21 "Aion of the Aions." (end of
In the above quotation Mr. Larkin proves beyond a shadow of a doubt
the inconsistency the revisers who gave us the King James or Authorized
Version in dealing with the Greek word "Aion" or Eon. How could it
be possible for this one Greek word to cover so many different terms in
our English Bibles? Then the fault also lies with our clergy, and the
layman is not absolved, because the injunction is to "search the
Scriptures" . . . "correctly partition the truth."
Mr. Larkin's book has been scattered in many parts of the Christian
world, for the past thirty one years. He is one from among the
established churches who had seen the light and dared publish it. Yet,
this truth of the eons is as obscure among the believers today, as the
light of the glorious gospel was in the dark days of Martin Luther in
1510. I, too, like the mass of Christians, have had this valuable book
in my possession for many years, and never paid careful attention to the
hidden treasure discovered by Mr. Larkin. He is right when he says, "There
is much confusion in the rendering of the King James Version of the New
Testament." . . . This has resulted in much confusion among believers
everywhere, and today groups of Christians cannot truthfully say with
the apostle, Paul, Eph. 4:6, "One Lord, One Faith, one Baptism." . .
. There are lords many, faiths many, and baptisms many. What a sad state
of affairs in our Christian churches! "We are not divided; all one
body we," sung in the popular hymn of the Church is untrue. We are
divided, many bodies we. Let us face the truth.
THE UNPARDONABLE SIN
The Student of Scripture should notice that in Matt. 12:32, we have
blasphemy of the holy spirit . . . not pardoned in this eon, or that
which is future. . . . Although the statement is clear that forgiveness
is denied the offender, yet one must be careful to note that this is
only during two eons, namely, this eon and the one which is impending.
But there is another eon yet to follow, namely, the new heavens and the
new earth wherein dwelleth righteousness.
The unpardonable sin then is particularly limited to two eons, the
present and the next. Beyond that, it. will be forgiven. There is coming
a time when God the Father will reconcile the whole Universe to Himself.
All sin and evil will not only be forgiven, but completely abolished.
This wonderful display of God's grace most Christians are ignorant of,
as witness the preaching of today, and the Christian literature
circulated dealing with "eternity," a word unknown in the Greek
Text, and the setting for the final judgment our modern preachers
dispense to the public, and this in high places, among our leading
established churches. The fault lies chiefly in the texts of the King
James Version, which cast a different and misleading conception on the
original truth God intended His people to know.
The Eonian Times are bounded by the Alpha and Omega--Christ Jesus,
and the Consummation. 1 Cor. 15:24.
Christ Jesus, He is before eonian times and He remaineth the same in
the glory of the Father, after the eons have run their course. He is the
A and Z. The First and the Last, i.e. He is the first and last of God's
direct creation. Col. 1:15-16.
If this grand doctrine of the eons becomes known among Christian
people, it will be the means of uniting God's people in their common
faith, so that we can all speak the same thing. How far apart are we
today, the majority misled by the false conception placed on this phrase
"eonian times" rendered in the King James Version, "Ever and Ever"
. . . "Eternal" . . . "everlast-ing" . . . "eternity!' . . .
"world without end" . . . etc., with endlessness in mind; while a
faithful few, true to the original, of what God hath said, believing
that an "eon" does not mean endlessness, but a fixed period of time.
I was awakened to this treasure already in my possession, when God
directed our beloved Elder Arthur Benta, who introduced the Concordant
Version of the Holy Scriptures to me. Weymouth's, the Emphatic
Diaglott, the American Revised Version, Goodspeed's and other good
translations, prove that the Editors of the Concordant Version, and all
who try to dispense this truth, are backed up by every warranty of
Scripture in the Greek Text. One grand thing the Concordant Version does
for the English reader, it does not try to substitute anything for the
original, but brings the word ("eon") bodily over into the English.
This is the advantage of possessing a copy of this version above many
others; but other good translations have tried to express this Greek
word by rendering it, for example "of the ages" . . . "times of
the ages" . . . "life of the ages" . . . "judgment of the ages"
. . . etc., such rendering is good, far better than "eternal" or "everlasting"
as used in the King James version.
THE EONS DEFINED
Our Greek-English Lexicons usually define "olm" in the Hebrew,
and "Aion" in the Greek, as an indefinite period of time . . .
similar to an age.
The tragedy of the King James Translators: Theology so-called has
stretched these terms to mean 'forever,' 'evermore,' 'eternal,'
'everlasting,' 'for ever and ever,' 'always,' 'world,'
'eternity,' and 'world without end' . . . with the idea of
endlessness in mind: words that are foreign to the sacred Scriptures in
their original form. This is the tragedy of the King James Translators,
who gave us the so-called Authorized Version. Authorized by whom? King
James l., of England. Old English versions were not made from the Greek,
but from the Latin Vulgate, between the years 680 and 995. John Wyclif
was probably the first person to translate the whole Bible into the
English tongue. He was born about 1320, commenced translating 1356 and
finished the entire Bible in 1382; two years later he died. He was a
true scholar, a bitter opponent to the Roman Church's claims, and
while he was in the University at Prague, John Huss came under his
influence, and was burned at the stake in 1415 for the faith. The Latin
Vulgate version dominated Europe for centuries until Wyclif's time, no
one seems to have thought of a Greek original, perhaps, because Latin
had taken the place of Greek as the universal language of courts,
clergy, and scholars. Wyclif was true to the original, but one hundred
and fifty years after, Tyndale led the group of translators who departed
from the original, and followed Jerome and the Latin Vulgate. Coverdale's
(1535)) Crammer's (1539)) the Genevan (1557) and the Rheims (1582)
down to the Authorized Version of 1611. Never once does Wyclif use the
expression, "forever," or "for ever and ever ," and he never
uses the word "eternal." Tyndale's version followed Wyclif's and
it is here for the first time published in English, we find the words,
'for ever,' 'for ever and ever,' 'for evermore,' etc. The
Greek church having declined, the Latin church with its own version rose
into prominence. But the Latin version was only a translation and
therefore, not inspired; it changed the import of certain very important
inspired time-words as found in the Greek, and gave them a different
shade of meaning. This is the root from whence all the confusion into
which we are engulfed and have experienced in the past. The Reformation,
which should have given us, first, a Version of the Scriptures, true to
the original Greek Text, revising the grevious error of the Latin
Church, only reformed along certain lines, and actually confirmed and
established the corrupt dogmas of the Roman Church. The American Revised
Version should have taken the place of the popular Authorized version,
and although in recent years many Hebrew and Greek scholars have given
us better versions, yet the mass of Christian people hold on to this
version of 1611, and neglect the revelation God has given to those who
seek truth, and dare to find out what God has said. The undeniable fact
remains that, the Authorized Version was not a translation, but simply a
revision of the Bishop's Bible.
THE FIVE EONS
"Aion" . . . means a period of time between two great physical
and moral cataclysms of the earth and its inhabitants. There are four
such great physical and moral changes in the history of the human race,
and the earth which the race inhabits, namely, (a) the Disruption, Gen.
1:2; . . . (b) the Deluge, Gen. 6; . . . (c) the Day of Wrath . . .
Indignation, Rom. 2:5; . . . (d) and the judgment of fire that will
usher in the New heavens and the New earth. Rev. 20; . . . (see
illustration page 3). The Eons are set within bounds in the past by the
times before the Eons began . . . and in the future . . . by the
Consummation (the end). Though these times deal with the longest periods
in Scripture, nevertheless, there is always a beginning, and an ending.
It is not necessary to know the Greek tongue in order for a Christian
to discover the truth; just a careful search of the present versions at
our disposal will convince all whose hearts the Lord has opened; for
If the word 'aion' meant 'forever' or 'eternal' in the
singular, the plural form would have been an impossibility. Yet the
plural is used quite frequently, as seen in Eph. 2:7; . . . "and
rouses us together and seats us together among the celestials, in Christ
Jesus, in order that, in the on-coming eons, He should be displaying the
transcendent riches of His grace"; also in Col. 1:26, we read . . .
"the secret, which has been concealed from the eons and from the
generations." It would make nonsense if the word "aion" were
translated "forever" in Ephesians and in Colossians, for then the
mystery or secret could never have been made known. Then again, at one
time the word is translated "eternal" . . . meaning endlessness, and
in another place the same word is translated, "age" or "world" .
. . showing a limited period of time. So what must the student of God's
ETERNAL LIFE OR EONIAN LIFE, WHICH?
Finally, if the word "aion" meant "forever" or "eternal,"
there would have been no beginning, as well as no end. Yet we read in 1
Cor. 2:7, "But. we are speaking God's wisdom in a secret, which has
been concealed, which God designates before the eons for our glory."
Theology so-called, has made the distinction of Time and Eternity, a
term never used in the sacred scriptures in the original.
No believer have "eternal" life now, that is, 'immortality" .
. . but they are assured by the Saviour, of "eonian"--or "age-lasting
life (commonly mis-called "everlasting" or "eternal"), after
they have been roused from the death state.
This scriptural word "eonian" accords with God's purpose in
grace towards the believer (or members of Christ's Body), because
during the on-coming ages, the believer today will assist the Saviour in
the work of Reconciliation of the Universe, while the unsaved will
remain in the death state. This is the advantage the believer has over
the unbeliever. Of course it is solely God's grace, the gift of God,
no goodness or holiness on the part, of the believer.
Our role, after we are raptured, i.e. "caught up to meet Him in the
air," will be one of service, among the on-heavenlies or celestial
creatures throughout the on-coming eons. Eph. 2:7 at the close of the
eons, or after the reign of Christ is over, our work of service with Him
will also be at an end. This is really the "eonian life" promised to
us in the on-coming eons or ages. If we possess immortality now, what
need would there be of a resurrection? Why do we have to die? The
Apostle Paul says--"this corruptible must put on incorruption and
this mortal must put on immortality" 1 Cor. 15:23, but our personal
life will not end by any means, for we shall have then possessed
immortality, incorruptibility. For what else could it be, when God
becomes All in all, but endless life for us and for all creation. All
this may be equivalent to endlessness, but we are cautioned in the
scriptures to, "have a pattern of sound words." Since God says, "eonian
life," let us not substitute what God has said, in the original, for
what Tyndale brought in the English, from the Latin Vulgate of the Roman
Christ Jesus will present to the Father a perfect Universe, for He
must reign until He has accomplished this feat. He will not quit the
Throne until He makes it possible for God the Father to become All in
all His creatures. Wondrous love . . . Wondrous grace . . . Grace that
is greater than all our sin. " Where sin abounded, grace shall
super-abound." It is a crying shame that some who profess to know and
love Him and show such devotion and zeal in His cause, yet they hate to
acknowledge these wondrous truths, and are actually hiding the light
under a bushel. They will admit that something is wrong with what we
call Christendom today, but they detect a change, and hate to be
criticized: so in order to be popular, and have the praise of men, most
ministers, in order to have and to hold a large congregation, are not
willing to go outside the camp, not willing to bear the suffering and
reproach of the cross. But the truth will eventually win, though error
runs long and strong. The matter of endlessness is not at all a subject
of scripture, but eonian times is the sole theme of the inspired Word.
GOD'S PURPOSE OF THE EONS
The Eonian Times are the period of sin and estrangement, but it is
also the period God sets apart to bring His rebellious creatures
terrestrial and celestial back to Himself. They embrace the entire
period of His operation.
The title of our subject is brought to us in two notable passages of
Scripture: In 2 Tim. 1:9 and Titus 1:2. "Eonian" is the word used in
the original. In both texts the King James version reads, "Before the
world began:" a very poor rendering for such an important thought.
What the texts are saying is that there is such a period known as "Eonian
Times," but that God's purpose towards us is older than that. It is
before "Eonian Times." We are in the very center of the operation of
sin and death . . . but it will soon give way to a happy phase of the
"Eonian Times"--namely, the reign of Christ, in the last two eons .
. . when the complete removal and abolition of the havoc that sin has
wrought will take place.
Eonian Times are the period of education in the knowledge of good and
evil; Satan is the minister of evil. He occupies the first phase of the
eonian times, as seen in Job's day, and to this hour, he is the god of
this present wicked eon, Gal. 1:4, which is the third of the five eons.
This is ruled over by him, 2 Cor. 4:4, and this eon however, will end
his rule. Let us all say, thank our God! In the next eon Satan will be
bound, Rev. 20:1-3, for one thousand years; then after a little season,
his final doom takes place. His work is finished. Then the next phase of
the Eonian Times will be administered by Christ. His ministry will
continue until all has been subjected and brought to God, at the
conclusion of the eons, 1 Cor. 15:28. His is a ministry of good. Man's
history is replete with the facts of the ministry of evil. At present,
witness the billions being ear-marked and spent among the great nations
of the world in this missile and rocket age for the destruction of human
life and property. Suppose a small percentage of this vast sum was spent
for the families of the earth, to live in happiness and peace. Billions
for war, just a trickle for peace. This is a wicked eon. But the
Scriptures are also replete in promise and prophecy of the coming
ministry of good for all God's creation in heaven and on earth, under
the beneficent rule of Christ. This is one of the meanings of Eonian
Another important reason of the eonian times is that God's
creatures may come to know Him now. "It is eonian life that they may
know Thee, the only true God, and Him Whom Thou dost commission Jesus
Christ ." What an education is this? Only the Saints at present can
tell it in part, for now we only know in part, so we cannot tell this
wondrous secret in its fullness.
All the various aspects of time mentioned in the Scripture, days,
months, years, times, seasons, etc., are all parts of Eonian Times and
conform to His purpose of the Eons. The Eons were not eternal in the
past . . . they had a beginning. The Eons will not be eternal in the
future; they will have a conclusion. God hath spoken to humans, finite
beings in periods of time. Only the infinite Mind can conceive of
endlessness or eternity. God hath not given us such minds. He has not
made eternity a subject of revelation. Eternity is not known in the
original Greek Scriptures or Hebrew text. Let us not add to His Word. Go
back to God's original. The phrase, "Countless ages of eternity,"
is unscriptural, unsound.
What a wonderful understanding God we have!
What a wonderful Saviour is Christ Jesus our Lord!
Let us adore Him more and publish glad tidings, tidings of
peace--Tidings of Jesus' Redemption and Release. Yes, Eonian Times
will terminate in the Reconciliation of the Universe.
Elder A. Benta says: "You will never know how much of the
meaning of God's word is hid from you until you understand the subject
of the Eons. It is one of the keywords of Scripture that has been hid
from view through mistranslation. God's grand and glorious purpose
will never be fully understood until we learn that this Greek word "aion"
transliterated "eon" by the (Concordant Version), is a time word.
That is to say, it does not denote endlessness as it is so often
rendered in our common version: ever, forever and ever and world without
"Likewise also, its adjective is translated everlasting and eternal.
These are wholly mistranslations that hide the truth from the vernacular