by A.E. Knoch


"THE UNDERWORLD, though not sharing in the universal reconciliation, will be powerless to prevent and impotent to infringe upon that perfect bliss."

Such, in substance, were the words which closed a chapter on "The Reconciliation of the Universe," in the manuscript of "THE MYSTERY OF THE GOSPEL."

But such a terrible thought as is popularly understood by "the underworld"--a seething, surging sea of tormented humanity -- seemed far too frightful for the close of a chapter on universal reconciliation. It would be better to say nothing at all, than this. And so the sentence was omitted.

But such a cowardly evasion of so important an issue gave still less satisfaction. So the entire subject was reconsidered with sevenfold thoroughness. Nothing but the Word of God in the original languages was given any place. The facts which were gathered from the inspired writers were arranged and cataloged for study and comparison. The effect, as the following pages show, was to throw entirely new light upon the subject, such light, too, as could not possibly be obtained from the current versions.

God is conciliated to man. This, however, is a one-sided conciliation, except in such cases where men receive it. Universal reconciliation, however, as the following pages show, is mutual; it is enjoyed by both God and man.

If this be true, then what about "eternal torment?" A thorough search into the words which are supposed to furnish us with the thought of eternity revealed many startling facts, a few of which are presented here.

The conclusion that there would be an actual, mutual, universal reconciliation was so astounding, so overwhelming, so glorious, that I cannot contain it; it must overflow. I cannot even wait until the larger work is published.

I do not appeal to prejudice, or to human reasoning, but only and solely to the Word of God. If I go past versions to the original, I trust that all is made so plain that the most ordinary spirit can follow and apprehend.

To discover such a glorious consummation to God's dealings with mankind has immeasurably heightened the glory of His power and wisdom and truth and love. Sin is but His handmaid, not His master; and shall not mar His work when it is finally finished.

It is usual to view this subject from the depths of the sinner's doom. But let us rather view it from the heights of God's glory, and rejoice that He who was made sin for us, will yet, by the power of His cross, undo all the Devil has done, and sweep every sign of sin from Gods universe.


 ...through Him to reconcile the universe unto Him (having made peace through the blood
of His cross) whether that upon the earth or that in the heavens.

It may be new to many to know that conciliation, as viewed in the Word of God, is one-sided. When we are spoken of as "conciliated to God by the death of His Son" God receives us into favor. It implies no change on our part. That comes when we "receive the conciliation." Likewise when we are exhorted to be "reconciled to God" we are not to look for any change in Him. He was conciliated when His Son died; we are reconciled when we believe Him. Usage, which alone can establish the current value and significance of any expression, shows us dearly that the word ordinarily translated reconciliation katallassoo does not infer a mutual friendliness.

If this be true of our text, then universal reconciliation means no more than what has already been so fully considered: the truth that God has laid aside all enmity and is most favorably inclined towards all of Adam's sinful sons. But if we examine the text more closely we will find that the word katallassoo has, in this case, been strengthened by the addition of the prefix apo- which must mean more than katallassoo alone. God cannot, however, be more reconciled than He is as set forth in those passages where the ordinary word is used.

Immediately following our text we read that the Colossians once were alienated and enemies. This they were years after they had been conciliated to God at the cross. "But now," says the apostle, "you have been apokateellaxen reconciled." Once the estrangement had been laid aside on God's part, but now that they had entered into that grand truth, the conciliation had become mutual. When both parties to an estrangement are conciliated the result is complete reconciliation.

The reconciliation of the universe cannot be confined to the peace made by the blood of the cross, for it is only after having made this peace, that we read the added truth that, through Him (not His cross), the universe is to respond to that peace and share its blessed fruits (Col.1:20).

So then, mutual, complete, universal reconciliation is based upon the work of the cross and God's attitude as a consequence. But it does not stop short here. It includes also the actual and complete blotting out of the estrangement on man's side also.

This meaning is confirmed by the only other place where it occurs. In Eph.2:16 we read: "And that He might reconcile apokatallaxee both unto God in one body through dia the cross, having slain the enmity thereby." Here we are taught that the enmity had been slain at the cross; and this becomes the channel through which mutual reconciliation is to be effected. In view of the tremendous issues involved, it behooves everyone who treasures God's revelation, to search this matter to the core. We believe that those who do will come to the same conclusion to which we have been compelled, namely, that there is to be, at some future time, a condition of affairs in which the entire universe will be at perfect peace with God.

Glorious as such a prospect is, magnificent as such a consummation of God's mighty administrations must seem, and however passionately perfection pleads for some such an ultimate Utopia, it will not be an easy task for most of us, who have been nursed in the lap of Tradition, to believe, much less to comprehend, truth so glorious and so grand.

The many objections which present themselves have been examined with great care and labor. The results of this investigation, though not in line with our main subject, are necessary to an acceptance and understanding of its marvelous message, and shall have the benefit of a separate chapter.


The host of objections against the possibility of a universal reconciliation narrow themselves down to those scriptures which speak of "everlasting" punishment, or torment "forever and ever."

A right division of the word of truth in regard to the doom of the lost is just as necessary as when considering the destiny of the saved. The fact that Satan, the Beast, the False Prophet, and the worshippers of the Beast are to be "tormented" does not give us liberty to say that all the lost will be tormented. Neither does the fact that their torment extends to "the eons of the eons" allow us to extend the duration of others' punishment to a like length.

Nor are we at liberty to dislocate a passage (Matt.25:46) dealing with the judgment of living nations gathered before the Son of Man, based upon their treatment of His Jewish brethren, and assume that their "everlasting" punishment may be transferred to those who live today. Such is not reading, but rather, wresting the word of God.

The truth as to the present day unbeliever is not obscure nor hard to determine. God's present intentions are clearly set forth in the opening argument of the epistle to the Romans: "Who will repay each one according to his deeds; those indeed, who, with consistent endurance in good deeds, are seeking glory and honor and incorruption, eonian life, but to those who are of faction, and, are refusing the truth but persuade themselves to injustice, wrath and rage, affliction and distress, upon every human soul that carries evil into effect," (Rom.2:6-9). It is most significant that there is no reference here to the duration of the doom inflicted whatever. Let us not be wise above what is written.

The statements which do deny the possibility of such a thing are those which speak of torment "forever and ever." We could probably prove that only Satan, the Beast, his Prophet, and his Israelitish worshippers, are included in this terrible doom. But if Satan alone were to suffer such a fate, and even if he be consigned to the remotest corner of the universe, his single case would not allow us to speak of the reconciliation as universal. We need to consider most carefully, then, the words which seem to teach the endlessness of Satan's doom.


How do we get the thought of "everlasting" in the Word of God?

It is acknowledged by all that the Greek word aion (which we will call eon) did not mean "for ever" until after it came in contact with Hebrew in the Greek version of the Scriptures. Then, because it was applied to God in such phrases as Psalm 90:2, "even from everlasting to everlasting Thou art God." it acquired, it is said, its new meaning of endlessness. Since it is used thus of God, consistency requires, we are told, that the same meaning be attached to it when it is applied to men.

In order to test the truthfulness of this deduction it will be absolutely necessary for us to get our facts directly from the original languages. It is quite easy, however, after these facts have been gathered, for anyone to satisfy themselves as to the real meaning of the original terms which we translate "for ever."

First let us consider the Hebrew word olam, which lies at the root of the matter. It is used in reference to the past in a number of passages. It is much easier for us to grasp things which have become history than those which are still future.

The following are the passages in which me-olam, or "from everlasting" occurs. They are arranged under two heads, first those which refer to God, then those concerned with mankind.

 1 Chron.  29:10    for (from) ever.
 Psa.      25: 6    ever of old.
           41:13    from everlasting.
           90: 2    even from everlasting.
           93: 2    from everlasting.
          103:17    from everlasting.
            8:23    from everlasting.
           63:16    from everlasting.


 Gen.       6: 4   of old.
 Joshua    24: 2   in old time.
 1 Sam.    27: 8   of old.
 Psa.     119:52   of old.
 Isa.      42:14   long time.
           46: 9   of old.
           57:11   even of old.
           63:19   (n) ever.
           64: 4   For since the beginning of the world.
 Jer.       2:20   of old.
            5:15   ancient.
 Ezek.     26:20   old time.

There is a startling inconsistency here. When applied to God it is always "ever" or "everlasting," but when applied to men it is never so rendered. Why? Because in no case will the sense bear it. Man and his history do not stretch back to a dateless past eternity. No nation, no prophets, have been "from everlasting."

The translators, when referring to the past, saw fit to use entirely different language for God than that for man. They were sure that the passages referring to man could not mean everlasting. A false sense of reverence led them to depart from the consistent usage of the original and the example of the Greek translators, whose rendering received the stamp of Divine approval in the later breathings of the holy Spirit. The possibility that these passages might not refer to God simply as existent in eternity past, but to His revelation of Himself under various titles which describe His relationships to His creatures during the eons or age-times, does not seem to have suggested itself to them. We will follow this hint a little later.

Other passages make it still more manifest that olam does not necessarily mean endless when applied to the past. Here are some with their renderings:

 Deut.32:7 old; Job 22:15 old; Psa.77:5 ancient time; Prov.22:28 ancient; 23:10 old; Ecc.1:10 of old time; Isa.44:7 ancient; 51:9 of old; 58:12 old; 61:4 old; 63:9 old; Jer.5:15 ancient; 6:16 old; 18:15 ancient; 28:8 old; 1 Sam.27:1 old; Ex.25:15 old; 26:20 of old; 36:2 ancient; Amos 9:11 old; Micah 7:14 old; Mal.3:4 old.

Now we are ready to raise the question, Does olam mean "for ever" when it refers to the future? The Authorized version is no authority in this matter. They have rendered it by about twenty-five different terms. Even in the future we find eternal, ever, lasting, long, and world.

To be consistent they should have rendered Psa.73:12: "Behold these are the ungodly who prosper FOREVER (in the world, AV)." The mere statement will be denied by everyone.

There are some things which we know are not eternal. Rev.21:22 reads: "And I saw no sanctuary therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lambkin are its sanctuary." Thus, in that blessed eon, when God is once more with men (Rev.21:3) there is no need of the temple with its ceremonial. The very perfectness and freedom of access to God make a temple obsolete. The sanctuary and its service and priesthood are not to last eternally. In conflict with these facts we are asked to believe that the sanctuary (Ezek.37:26,28), its ministrations (Ex.30:21; Lev.6:18,22), the priesthood (Ex.29:9; 40:15; Num.25:13; Psa.110:4), the offerings (Ex.29:28; Lev.7:34,36; 10:15; 17:7; Num.18:8,11,19), are to continue "forever."

Our Lord could say "Heaven and earth shall pass away" (Matt.24:35). And concerning the law and the prophets "Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or tittle shall in no wise pass from the law till all be fulfilled." It is evident that He expected the passing of the law and this present earth, both at the same time. But in the earlier revelation we read that the earth (Psa.78:69; Ecc.1:4) and its hills (Gen.49:26; Deut.33:16; Hab.3:6) are to endure "for ever."

The position that olam does not mean endless is much strengthened by the fact that the va-ed, meaning "and still," is added to it in about a score of cases. In English it is usually rendered "for ever and ever." Even in English we can get a glimmering of the true thought if we render the added Hebrew word va-ed by the meaning which it ordinarily bears in hundreds of passages, and change the phrase to "for ever and still" further. And this would have the right effect of limiting "for ever" to a period of time. This combination is probably the most comprehensive expression which the Hebrew Scriptures know relative to duration. If we can fix its meaning we shall have the key to our problem.[1]

A most important and interesting occurrence of this phrase is Psa.45:6: "Thy throne, O Elohim, is for ever and ever." This is quoted by the Holy Spirit in Heb.1:8:

"But unto the Son He saith, "Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever" eis ton aioona tou aioonos.

May we dare suggest that the kingdom of the Son of God is to have an end? Some there are, and we heartily sympathize with them, who may turn from such an inquiry as traitorous and unworthy of those for whom He died. But we beg them to bear with us a little further. His glory is more dear to us than the hand that pens these lines. This pen would never have taken upon itself to write of these things unless, first of all, His highest glory had been set beyond question. Yet it will never do for us to decide what glorifies Him and what dishonors. God alone knows that. In 1 Cor.15:24-28, we read: "Afterwards the consummation, whenever He may hand over the kingdom to God, even the Father, when all suzerainty and all delegate authority and power will be abolished. ...Yet whenever the universe may be subordinated to Him, then the Son Himself shall be subordinated to Him who subordinated the universe to Him, that God may be All in ALL."

Few things are more evident in holy writ than the perfect subjection of the Son of God to His Father. "Not My will but Thine" was His constant motto. It sustained Him in the darkest hours of earthly sorrow. Such subjection will always be one of His perfections, but is not the subject of our text. The subjection here spoken of follows the giving up of the throne of that universal kingdom which God will yet make His.

Earthly kingdoms last until some disorder disrupts them. What a contrast is His rule! His Kingdom lasts until all is brought into such perfect subjection and harmony that His administration and that of His delegates, is no longer needed. It becomes a dead letter because of its perfection. His power, too, lacking any further exercise, fails through its very forcefulness.

Just as priesthood cannot exist where there is perfect and unhindered access to God by all His creatures, so government, too, in the hands of intermediaries, becomes unnecessary where there is perfect reconciliation between God and man. Indeed, the eons will have failed of their object unless mankind learns not only that God's is the only will, but that all true blessing issues from the Heart that moves it.

So then, the pinnacle of excellence is reached by the Kingdom of God's Son in its consummation. The rule spoken of in Heb.1:8 ceases when this "end" telos or consummation is reached. Here it the key to our problem.

Just as mankind for the present is confined by physical limitations to this comparatively small sphere, we call "the earth" so also, it has pleased God to limit man's present temporal[2] boundaries by the horizon of the eons.

God has been pleased to reveal Himself under various titles corresponding to the character and purpose of the theophany. Cosmic relationship is connected with Elohim, eonian relationship with Jehovah, and confined to Israel; Adonai is the All Ruler, corresponding to "Lord" in the epistles when used in connection with the other nations. Each is applied to the Son of God in His work of revealing the Divine excellencies.

So it is during the eons, but in the final consummation, when the dignities and activities which gave rise to these titles will have reached a full fruition, they will lay aside their force and aptness.

There will be no special covenants for Israel then with Jehovah, for that would deny the reconciliation. He will be the God of all the nations, which Jehovah never could be.

Why at that time call Him Adonai -- the ALL Ruler -- when all rule will have retired from the scene?

Such considerations as these will solve all those difficult passages which seem, by their connection with the names of God, to imply endlessness.

That keystone passage, to which all point in order to show that "everlasting means everlasting," Psa.90:2, should be read in this light. Who is spoken of here? The opening of the Psalm tells us that it is Adonai, the All-Ruler. But how could he sustain such a title in the eras before creation, when there was nothing to rule? And how can he continue to wear it in the consummation when all rule will have become a dead letter? The glories it has gathered down the eons must ever adorn His praise, but when it has become merely titular, its very retirement will call for added applause.

Is it not clear that this title applies to Him in his present manifestation of Himself in government and that it will yield to the Father's gentle eye, when all will be members of His great family.

The fact that "forever and ever" does not mean everlasting in the original is enough to satisfy our argument. But well may we turn aside a moment and ask, "What does it mean, then?" In about twenty-six instances olam is not associated with time. Then it is allowed its ordinary sense of secret (Psa.90:8; Ecc.12:14; Lev.4:13; 5:2,3,4, etc.) It speaks then, of secret, unrevealed duration, but not unlimited. The Greek translators so understood it when they changed the simple word olam to a phrase "unto the eon."

The horizon of the early prophets was limited to this present earth. Time prior to its making or after its destruction was outside the realm of that revelation. It was secret, i.e., olam.

Later unfoldings unwrap purposes before the eons (2 Tim. 1:9) or before olam.

They also carry us beyond olam in the description of the new heavens and the new earth, and the subsequent consummation.

This is confirmed by the uniform addition of "and still" va-ed whenever rule or government is in question, because that still continues in the new earth all the way up to the consummation.

"For ever," in the original, means up to the secret eon which commences with the new creation. "For ever and ever" leads still further, to the very consummation. "For ever" is applied to this earth, the temple, the priesthood, the sacrifices -- in fact to those things which endure till the last great conflagration -- but never to those things which emerge from it.

"For ever and ever" is used of government, because the universal kingdom of our Lord will not cease with the new earth but continue to the consummation.

His priesthood passes with the earth, but His dominion continues beyond it, hence it is olam va-ed, for ever and still.

Then will the Kingdom be handed over to God in His character as Father. This filial relationship, this changing of the great God from Creator to Father, is the ripened fruit of the eons. Then will come to pass that daydream of the present, the Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of Man, for then all will be one vast family linked together by the close fellowship of a Father's love.

Priests may be appointed for men in things Divine, and rulers delegated by God to wield His authority during the course of the eons, but in that ideal, that perfect, that eternal consummation, they would but deny the fullness and infinite perfection of the universal reconciliation.

If we could but fix this vision of the glorious ultimate, and enlarge our hearts to receive it, much that seems to intercept our sight will become transparent. For instance, in Eph.1:10 we read of the "dispensation of the fullness of times," that is, the harvest season of the eons, when Christ will again be Head of everything in heaven and upon earth. Not a word here, you say, as to the underworld or the lake of fire. This is quite true. But this scripture does not speak of the final state. Here is a question of Christ's headship, His rule. Then it will be a question of His abdication, the first and only Ruler who brings rule to ripened perfection.

This subject has been so long divorced from the glory of God and sunk to the level of an inquiry as to the doom of the impenitent that some will be impatient to know what becomes of them.

Since God does not associate everlasting or any period of time with the doom of sinners today, we, too, refrain from doing so. But there still remains the "everlasting" punishment of the nations who are gathered before the Son of Man when He appears in His glory, and also the torment "for ever and ever" of those (Israelites) who worship the Beast and his image (Rev.14:10-11), and the Beast and False Prophet themselves with the Accuser who deceived them (Rev.20:10). It has been pointed out that the word "are" in the phrase, "where the beast and the false prophet are" is in italics, having no authority in the Greek. But its force is, nevertheless implied in the plural form of "shall be tormented," which should read "they shall be tormented." It is well to see and acknowledge God's just and equitable sentence upon these, the most heinous of all highhanded rebels against His throne. They ought to get the severest punishment, for they have been guilty of such awful crimes against God as lie entirely outside the capacity of ordinary men. Obsessed by the spirit of Satan and his associates, they have attempted to wrench God's scepter from His hand.

But, if the torment of the Beast and his dupes ends at the great consummation, surely, some will say, Satan and his angels can not die like men.

But upon what does such an objection rest?

In the ancient Greek pantheon the younger race of gods delighted to be called the "Immortals." The history of Zeus and his train, as the usurpers of the throne of their father Kronos, bears a most marked resemblance to the career of Satan and his following and justifies us in concluding, (what could easily be shown from other scriptures) that he was the ruler of the Olympian "Immortals."

But what says Elohim, while He judges among the gods? (Psa. 82:1,6,7). After rebuking them for their unjust rule of the earth He pronounces their doom:

"I have said, Ye are gods;
And all of you are sons of the Most High,
But you shall die like mankind..."

Here we have Satan leveled, with humankind in his death. He proclaims himself immortal. Men have eagerly accepted his falsehood but God will yet feed him into the jaws which have devoured so many of Adam's sons, and Death itself will at length be satisfied when it feasts upon the Prince of Death.

Thus when the final class are raised at the consummation, all will have entered and emerged from the death state, which is then abolished.

But by this time our innate selfishness will assert itself and we exclaim: "Is our `eternal life' only for a limited time, then? What security have we for the future?" But even here, instead of robbing God of the glory due His great Name, the truth only adds lustre to its effulgence. As a matter of fact, His word guarantees life and blessing until the consummation -- until the eons of the eons, when He will be All in All. Then we no longer have any prop to lean upon, no foundation whatever upon which to rest, but -- GOD HIMSELF!

Who would not trust themselves to Him? As for me, now that He has revealed Himself, I can repose upon Him in the utmost confidence, even when His promises and His word have long since been fulfilled. What He IS, is sufficient for me, and will suffice all to whom the eons have revealed Him.

And this I know most pleases Him.

Picture to yourself a perfect universe! Not a trace of sin or of transgression to eclipse the effulgence of God's love! Not an impulse of His affection but receives an instant and thrilling response from every heart. What a marvelous harvest of redemption that will be! How potent the cross through which it comes! How glorious the God who purposed and perfected such a reconciliation!

The travail of sin may well be borne exultingly if such a birth impends. Even the eons of suffering and anguish which now dim our eyes will then fade into a tiny speck upon the receding horizon and at last be swallowed up in the distance and the joy and exultation of the glory eternal.

To us, a dreary day drags its length so slowly to a close; toilsome years wear wearily away; but what are days or years, yes, what are eons compared with an endless and unceasing eternity? All of the eons from the beginning to the consummation of God's purposes are but a brief moment, a passing cloud, compared with the ceaseless sunshine of cycles unending.

But, alas! If this is but a mirage, a dream which is denied by the word of the God upon whom its fulfillment depends, why mock ourselves with it now or embitter the bliss that surely will be the portion of all who are His favorites? For, if an eternity of happiness will blot out the sorrows of the ages, it is no less true that an eternity of suffering would infinitely transcend all the anguish which pales us now. Why even the tiniest tinge of sin, rigidly confined that it cannot spread, would at length amount to more than all the sins of all the eons. It would work worse woe from the mere immensity of its duration. A mathematician will tell us that the minutest fraction multiplied by infinity will produce a greater result than the highest power of the largest number conceivable.

But if, instead of a slight trace of sin and its consequent suffering, we imagine the sinner suffering the torment of the orthodox hell with its unbearable bodily anguish, the pangs of conscience, the taunts of fiends, and the torture of God Himself, one hour of which is more than all his earthly sorrows rolled in one -- lengthen this out to endlessness and season it with hopeless despair--and its horrors will be absolutely inconceivable.

But this is far from all. Multiply this single case by the vast majority (so we are told!) of humankind, who, age after age, have been huddled into this horrid "hell" and imagine each one tortured and tormented while the ages roll, and roll, and roll....without respite and without redress, and then imagine--but no, we will imagine no more, for the heart grows sick even at the very thought.

Though our lips may be afraid to frame the words, our hearts will whisper "Can such be the fruit of God's adventure?" Would that serve as one of the jewels that He sought for His eternal diadem? Is that the response for which He hungered when He allowed -- nay, when He purposed -- that sin should estrange His creatures from Him?

Christ came to destroy the works of the Devil (1 John 3:8). But, if orthodoxy is true, then Satan has not only the vast majority on his side, but his work is not destroyed at all. Its results would mar the universe for ever and ever.

David was right when he preferred to fall into the hands of God, for His very judgments show none of the cruelty which so often mars man's mercy.

But let us awake from the sickening nightmare of man's imaginings and let us wing our spirits to God's glorious consummation. Here is a vision worthy of the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Sin, sorrow, suffering, estrangement-all these are but memories which, in the divine alchemy of that blessed era, will sweeten every sweet cup and illumine love itself. Not sin triumphant, with its bitter fangs buried even in that blessedness. Ah, no. Sin will be absent, yet subservient -- the chiefest condiment of sinless bliss.

Once all was perfect, ere Satan fell or man rebelled; and all shall be perfect once again. Man has been God's enemy; yet through this very enmity He will draw mankind far closer to Himself than otherwise could have been.

And the zenith of that sublime perfectness will be -- not innocence or friendship's chain unbroken -- but reconciliation, perfect and complete. A universe in harmony with God! O, who would not feast his eyes on such a sight.

     This, this is our goal.
     This, this is His grandest glory.

          "Thus heavenward all things tend. For all were once
          Perfect, and all must be at length restored.
          So God has greatly purposed; who would else
          In His dishonour'd works Himself endure
          Dishonour, and be wronged without redress.
          Haste, then, and wheel away a shatter'd world,
          Ye slow-revolving seasons! we would see
          (A sight to which our eyes are strangers yet)
          A world that does not dread and hate His laws
          And suffer for its crime; would learn how fair
          The creature is that God pronounces good,
          How pleasant in itself what pleases, Him." --Cowper


[1]Its first occurrence Is Ex.15:18. The LXX (the Greek version of the Hebrew Scriptures) renders this instance by "the eon and upon the eon and still ton aioona kai ep' aioona, kai eti. That the last word means still or longer or further is shown by its use in such passages as Luke 16:2; Rom.6:2; Rev.22:11 (four times). This shows conclusively that, in ancient times, the thought of endlessness was not ascribed to olam.

Other occurrences are: Psa.9:5; 10:16; 21:4; 45:6,17; 48:14; 52:8; 104:5; 119:44; 145:1,21; Dan.12:3; Micah 4:5; Psa.148:6; Isa.30:8 and Jer.1:7 must not be confused with these, though rendered "forever and ever."

[2]The rendering "temporal" i.e., pertaining to time, in 2 Cor.4:18 leads to serious misunderstanding. It should be rendered "for a season" "for a while" "temporary" or "transient." A reference to Matt.13:21, Mark 4:17 and Heb.11:25, the only other occurrences, will substantiate this. The rocky ground hearer does not endure during the course of time, but "for a while." And this reminds us that any superficial study of this subject in the "Authorized" can only lead us back to the traditions which its translators themselves help. They have colored the context with their opinions wherever possible. The contrast in this passage is between temporary things and those which last through the eons.

[Return to main indexpage]