Appendix 2. Life in the Age to Come

The Greek phrase that we translate “life in the Age to come” is zōē aiōnios (#2222 ζωή; #166 αἰώνιος). The word zōē is the noun, “life,” while aiōnios is the adjective, “Age.” (Occasionally the phrase occurs as aiōnios zōē, with the noun last; John 17:3; Acts 13:46, but that is the exception, and there is no difference in meaning).

English Bibles usually translate the phrase zōē aiōnios as “eternal life” or “everlasting life,” but we feel that most of the time that is not a good translation, and can even be confusing. The phrase zōē aiōnios (“Age life”) refers to everlasting life which begins in the Messianic Age, also known as the “Millennial Kingdom” (cp. Rev. 20:1-6).

Translating zōē aiōnios as “everlasting life” in verses such as John 3:16 causes a couple of problems. One problem is that the phrase “everlasting life” places the emphasis on “How long will I live” (answer: “Forever”), instead of “When will I live forever” (answer: “In the Messianic Age”). Many verses attest to the fact that the Messianic Age will never end (cp. Ps. 89:29, 37; Isa. 9:7; 65:18; Jer. 17:25; Ezek. 37:25-28; Dan. 2:44; 7:18; Micah 4:7), and so from both those verses, and the duration of time that is implied in the word aiōnios, it is understood that those people who have zōē aiōnios will never die once they are raised from the dead. However, as we will see from the study below, zōē aiōnios usually places the emphasis on the “Age” when people will live more than how long they will live.

A second problem that occurs if zōē aiōnios is translated “everlasting life” or “eternal life” is that most English readers take that translation at face value and think they have everlasting life right now. Thus, translating zōē aiōnios as “everlasting life” has contributed to the general misunderstanding held by most Christians that when a righteous person dies, only his body dies, while his soul (or spirit) does not die, but lives on in heaven; and when an unsaved person dies, his soul lives on in “hell”. Actually, no one has “everlasting life” right now. Believers have the promise of everlasting life, which will be fulfilled at the Rapture or their resurrection from the dead.

The well-respected biblical scholar F. F. Bruce states what we feel is the correct understanding of zōē aiōnios, and that it does not mean “eternal life.” He writes:

While ‘eternal life’ (zōē aiōnios) etymologically might mean simply life of indefinite or perpetual duration, it appears from its NT usage to mean more precisely ‘the life of the Age to Come,’ i.e., resurrection life.” (see Geoffrey Bromiley, general editor, The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, “Age,” Vol. 1, p. 67, article by F. F. Bruce.)

C. H. Dodd agrees, and writes, “…zōē aiōnios is used in John with reference to the Jewish idea of the life of the Age to Come.” (see C. H. Dodd, The Interpretation of the Fourth Gospel, p. 146). Craig Keener writes, “Jewish sources traditionally applied the phrase “eternal life” to mean the “life of the world to come,” which (according to Jewish teaching) was to be inaugurated by the future resurrection of the dead” (The IVP Bible Background Commentary, note on Titus 1:2-3, p. 626).

To understand the phrase zōē aiōnios, we must know some background information on the subject of death, resurrection, and the Age to Come. Scripture teaches that when a person dies, he is dead in every sense of the word, and he stays dead until he is raised by Jesus Christ, either at the Rapture of the Church, or at one of the resurrections (see Appendix 4, “The Dead are Dead,” and Is There Death After Life by Graeser, Lynn, Schoenheit).

Until the Church Epistles stated that the Christian Church would be taken up to heaven from the earth in an event that many theologians refer to as “the Rapture,” (1 Thess. 4:16-18), the Bible had only revealed that there would be two resurrections. The first resurrection is called, “The first resurrection” (Rev. 20:5, 6); “the resurrection of life” (John 5:29); and “the resurrection of the Righteous” (Luke 14:14; Acts 24:15). The first resurrection will occur at the beginning of the 1000 year Millennial Kingdom of the Messiah. The second resurrection is called “the resurrection of judgment” (John 5:29), and the resurrection of the “unrighteous” (Acts 24:15), because most of the people who are raised at that time will be judged to be unrighteous. This second resurrection will occur after the 1000 year Millennial Kingdom is over (Rev. 20:4-13). There are some verses in the Bible that refer to both of these resurrections in the same verse or context, and these include: Daniel 12:2; John 5:29; Acts 24:15; and Revelation 20:4-13. [For more on the Rapture and the resurrections, see commentary on Acts 24:15].

The “Messianic Age” has two parts, and those people who are in the first resurrection will participate in both parts. The first part lasts 1000 years (Rev. 20:4), and so it is known as the “Millennial Kingdom” (from the Latin word mille, “thousand”). In the Millennial Kingdom the earth will be similar to the earth we know now, but it will be mostly restored to a pristine state (Matt. 19:28). After the Millennial Kingdom, there will be a war with Satan, then the second resurrection and the White Throne Judgment (Rev. 20:7-15). Then the second part of the Messianic Age begins, which lasts forever, so it can be referred to as the “Eternal Kingdom” (Rev. 21:1ff). At the start of the Eternal Kingdom a huge gold city comes down from heaven to earth, complete with walls made of precious stones and streets made of gold (Rev. 21:10-21).

Although the book of Revelation shows us that the Messianic Age is broken into two parts, the Millennial Kingdom and the Eternal Kingdom, that is new light shed upon the subject by the book of Revelation. As far as anyone in the Old Testament or Gospels knew, the “Messianic Age” was one continuous everlasting wonderful future age when the Messiah would rule the earth from Jerusalem, there would be no sickness or hunger, and righteousness and peace would last forever. The fact that the two distinct stages of the Messianic Age were unknown before the book of Revelation was written explains why the Jewish rabbis and most of the New Testament speak only of two ages, the present evil age and the wonderful Messianic Age to Come [For more on the Rapture, the two resurrections, the Millennial Kingdom, and the Eternal Kingdom, see, Schoenheit, The Christian’s Hope: The Anchor of the Soul.]

People who are saved begin their everlasting life after they are raised from the dead. Mark 10:30 and Luke 18:30 show this to be true.

Mark 10:29, 30 (NIV)

“I tell you the truth,” Jesus replied, “no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel 30 will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age (homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields—and with them, persecutions) and in the age to come, eternal life.

Mark 10:30 is one of the verses that clearly show Jesus talking about the two ages: this present age and the age to come. He said that anyone who gave things up for his sake would “receive a hundred times as much in this present age” and also, in the Age to Come, “eternal life” (zōē aiōnios). There are two very important things we must understand when we read this verse. The first is that Jesus taught in terms of two “ages,” the present age, and the Age to Come. The second is that Jesus taught that a person’s “eternal life” begins in the Age to Come, not immediately.

That the Jews in the time of Jesus recognized that there were two “ages” is clearly portrayed in Scripture. For example, Christ said people who blaspheme the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven “either in this age or in the Age to Come” (Matt. 12:32). Many versions translate aiōn as “world” in this verse but that is misleading. First, the “world” does not come to an end; it is restored to a pristine condition by Christ. It is this evil “age” that ends. Second, by translating aiōn as “world” here and in many other places, the English reader never really understands the important biblical teaching of the two ages. For example, in the King James Version, there are about 30 places where aiōn is translated “world” where “age” would have been more accurate and more helpful in communicating to people the teaching of the New Testament. Ephesians 1:21 also speaks of both the present and future age, telling us that Christ is far above all rule and authority, not only “in the present age but also in the one to come.”

While the verses noted above speak of both the present age and the future age in that one verse, there are many verses that only mention one of the two ages. For example, Matthew 13:22 speaks of the cares of “this age,” and Romans 12:2 says not to be conformed to “this age.” Other verses that mention this age include Mark 4:19; 1 Corinthians 2:6; 3:18; Galatians 1:4; 1 Timothy 6:17; 2 Timothy 4:10; and Titus 2:12. The “children of this age” are people whose character reflects the character of this age (Luke 16:8), and the “god of this age” is the Devil (2 Cor. 4:4).

The Bible makes it clear that this age will come to an end. For example, the disciples came to Jesus while he sat on the Mount of Olives. They asked him about his coming and “the end of the age.” (Matt. 24:3). Other verses that speak of the end of the age are: Matthew 13:39, 40, 49; 24:3; 28:20; 1 Corinthians 10:11; and Hebrews 9:26.

After this age ends, the Age to Come, the wonderful Messianic Age, will begin, and it will be a time of great blessing and joy, but only the righteous will attain it. Jesus talked about that when he spoke about “those who are considered worthy of taking part in that age and in the resurrection from the dead…” (Luke 20:35). Other verses that speak of the Age to Come include Mark 10:30; Luke 18:30; Ephesians 2:7; and Hebrews 6:5. David Hill writes about how zōē aiōnios emphasizes the concept of the Age to Come.

“Now it is well known that in discussions of the New Testament use of zōē aiōnios it is generally assumed that the adjective [aiōnios] refers to the “Age to Come” and that the phrase means “the life of the Age to Come,” explicable in terms of the Jewish doctrine of the Two Ages. ...It would appear therefore to be legitimate and right to interpret zōē aiōnios to mean “life of the Age to Come.” To do so, however, does not mean that the idea of duration is absent. The future Age is brought in and established by God’s action, and in so far as it is his age it is enduring and eternal: those who experience it share in “life” which is infinitely prolonged. In other words, zōē aiōnios in the New Testament contains a temporal reference but stresses the qualitative reference.” (David Hill, Greek Words and Hebrew Meanings, pp. 186-188.)

In light of the fact that zōē aiōnios refers to the life of the Age to Come, and those who attain that Age then live forever, there are some verses, such as John 3:16, where the phrase might legitimately be translated expansively as, “everlasting life in the Age to come.” Furthermore, as Hill pointed out, although aiōnios generally emphasizes the Age to Come, it does have a temporal, durative meaning, and there are some verses where that temporal meaning is emphasized. In those places translating it “everlasting” is more appropriate than translating it “Age to Come.” Mark 10:30 and Luke 18:30 are good examples of verses when zōē aiōnios is better translated “everlasting life” than “life in the Age to come.”

The difficulty in properly understanding the phrase zōē aiōnios is exacerbated by the fact Christian commentators and lexicographers tend to see the definition of words in light of what they believe is true, and have often oversimplified the definitions they put in their study helps. This can make it difficult to accurately study the subject, particularly if one’s research library is very limited. For example, The Complete Word Study Dictionary New Testament, by Spiros Zodhiates, gives the following definitions for aiōnios: “eternal, perpetual, belonging to the aiōn, to time in its duration, constant, abiding.” Similarly, Thayer’s Lexicon defines it as “without beginning, without end.” While those definitions can be correct in the sense that aiōnios can refer to something that is everlasting, that is not the only definition of the word, and is not even the best definition to apply to many verses. It would help people understand the Bible if the scholars who write the lexicons and other resource books would give the full meaning of words used in the Bible, and not just part of the meaning.

The adjective aiōnios is derived from the word aiōn, “age,” and gets much of its meaning from it, so if we are going to understand aiōnios it is important that we understand the meaning of aiōn. The Liddell and Scott Greek-English Lexicon shows that aiōn, “age,” from which the adjective aiōnios is derived, does not always mean an “everlasting age.” It gives the following four definitions for aiōn: 1. One’s lifetime, life. 2. An age, generation. 3. A long space of time, an age, of old, for ages, for ever. 4. A definite space of time, an era, epoch, age, period; ‘This present world’ (New Testament).” (H. G. Liddell and R. Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, “aiōn.”)

Once we understand that aiōn can refer to different durations of time, we can see why in the Septuagint it is the word that is most often chosen to translate the Hebrew word “olam.” In fact, understanding olam can help us understand aiōn. Like aiōn, olam does not always mean “forever.” The Hebrew word olam (#05769 עוֹלָם), generally refers to a long period of time or an indefinite period of time. It occurs over 400 times in the Hebrew Old Testament and exactly what it means, or how long a period of time it refers to, must be determined from the context and from the scope of Scripture.

Olam can mean a long time with no specific end in sight. C. H. Dodd correctly and succinctly states: “The word עוֹלָם [olam; #5769], with αἰών [#165 aiōn ] as its equivalent, denotes properly a period of time of which the beginning or the end are both out of sight, an indefinitely long, rather than strictly an infinite period.” (C. H. Dodd, The Interpretation of the Fourth Gospel, p. 144)

For example, in 2 Chronicles 33:7 God says He would put His name in the Temple in Jerusalem “forever” (olam) but we know that in the Eternal City that comes from heaven there will not even be a temple (Rev. 21:22). At the time it was written that the Temple would last “forever,” the statement was accurate because there was no specific end in sight for the temple even though at some point the Temple would be no more. Translating olam and aiōn is very difficult, because English really does not have any word that is equivalent to them. The English word “forever,” is not a good translation, because “forever” has no end, whereas olam and aiōn can come to an end—the end is just out of sight, a long time away. There does not seem to be a very good English word for olam, so “forever” gets used most of the time, even though it is misleading. Some translations might be: “age-abiding,” “age-long,” “for ages,” “for eons,” etc. Some other times olam refers to a long period of time include Psalm 143:3 and Lamentations 3:6, referring to people who have been dead a long time.

Olam can also refer to a long period of time that is now over. For example, Isaiah 63:9 refers to God carrying Israel “in the day of old” (olam). It would be wrong to translate olam as “forever” in that verse, because then the verse would not be accurate. (Other verses that have that meaning for olam include Deut. 32:7; Isa. 44:7; 63:11; Amos 9:11; Micah 5:1; 7:14; Mal. 3:4).

Olam can be used to define a specific period of time that does not have a definite end. For example, a human life. According to the Law, a person who volunteered to be a bondslave would be a slave “forever” (olam), meaning the life of the person, however long that ended up being (Deut. 15:17; cp. Exod. 21:6; 1 Sam. 1:22; 27:12; Job 41:4.

Olam can be used to define things that will seem to last indefinitely, and some, like God, will indeed last “forever.” God is forever (Gen. 21:33; Isa. 40:28). [For a more complete definition with more examples, see Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon].

Seeing the different periods of time that olam can refer to, and realizing that it was translated by the word aiōn, shows us that the word aiōn (from which we get our English word, “aeon” or “eon”), can refer to different durations of time—something that can be easily seen in both the Bible and Greek literature. If we count the uses of aiōn in both the Septuagint (the Greek translation of the Old Testament) and the Greek New Testament, it occurs more than 750 times. In Exodus 21:6 it refers to the duration of someone’s life. In Exodus 40:15 it refers to the priesthood of Aaron, which, while lasting a long time, is not “forever.” In Leviticus 25:46 it refers to the time a slave serves, which would be for their lifetime at the longest, certainly not “forever.” In Joshua 4:7 it refers to a heap of stones that were to be a memorial but are gone today and therefore not “forever.” In 1 Samuel 1:22 it refers to the term of Samuel’s service at the Tabernacle.

We also need to be aware that the word aiōn refers to more than just a period of time itself, i.e., a passage of years. One reason that aiōn is sometimes translated “world” in many versions of the New Testament is because the meaning of aiōn often included both the period of time itself and the characteristics of that period (cp. the KJV in Matt. 12:32; Mark 4:19; Luke 16:8; John 9:32; Acts 15:18; Rom. 12:2; 1 Cor. 2:6; 2 Cor. 4:4; Gal. 1:4; Eph. 6:12). The Greek-English Lexicon by Arndt and Gingrich lists “world” as one of the meanings of aiōn, while Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon says aiōn is used figuratively, with “age” meaning “world” by the figure of speech “metonymy of the container for the contained…i.e., the aggregate of things contained in time.”

A helpful way of thinking of “age” as referring to the characteristics of the age would be to think of a restaurant trying to create a specific “atmosphere.” A Mexican restaurant might be in downtown Indianapolis, IN, but the owners want you to feel as if you are in Mexico when you go inside. They create an “atmosphere” by having characteristics of the country designed into the restaurant, including architecture, colors, and decorations. Thus “atmosphere,” which normally refers to the mass of air surrounding the earth, also refers to the characteristics and influences in the immediate environment. In a similar way, aiōn, age, not only refer to the period of time, but also to the characteristics of the age. Sometimes the characteristics of the age are specifically spelled out, such as when the Bible speaks of the “present evil age” (Gal. 1:4). Richard Trench writes about aiōn, age, referring to the characteristics of the age, that the word aiōn includes:

All that floating mass of thoughts, opinions, maxims, speculations, hopes, impulses, aims, aspirations, at any time current in the world, which it may be impossible to seize and accurately define, but which constitute a most real and effective power, being the moral, or immoral, atmosphere which at every moment of our lives we inhale, again inevitably to exhale—all this is included in aiōn…. (Richard Trench, Synonyms of the New Testament, p. 217, 218.)

Scholars acknowledge that by the time between the Old and New Testaments, there was rabbinic teaching that there were at least two ages: the present evil age and a glorious Age to Come that was associated with the advent of the Messiah. Joachim Guhrt writes in his article on “time” in The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology:

…in the rabbinic Judaism at the turn of the era and in the apocalyptic of the 1st century AD…one finds a quite new use of olam [the Hebrew word usually translated “age” or “everlasting”] which exhibits a spatial significance as well as a temporal one. …Old Testament statements concerning primal and final time (Isa. 24-27; Joel 2) are here systematized into a doctrine of the two worlds (aeons)…. From the Book of Daniel onwards, ‘eternal life’ is an expression of the longed-for eschatological blessings of salvation, life in the Age to come (cf. Dan. 12:2). (Colin Brown, editor, The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology, “Time,” Vol. 3, p. 829-833.)

It is important to notice Guhrt referenced Daniel 12:2. The NIV is a typical translation.

Daniel 12:2 (NIV)

Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt.

The phrase the NIV translates as “everlasting life” is the Greek phrase zōē aiōnios in the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Hebrew text that was made about 250 BC. As Guhrt pointed out, the rabbis recognized that it did not so much refer to a duration of time as an independent age, i.e., the Messianic Age they were expecting. Thought of in those terms, a possible translation of Daniel 12:2 from the Septuagint could be: “And the multitude of those sleeping in the dust of the earth will awake, some to life in the Age to come, and some to shame; to contempt in the Age to Come.” In his article on “Age, Ages,” G. E. Ladd writes:

Theologically the most important usage of aiōn in the NT is that which designates two distinct periods of time: this age and the age to come. …This age will come to its end with the parousia [coming] of Christ (Matt. 24:3). …The age to come is the age of eternal life (Mark 10:30), when the righteous will ‘shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father’ (Matt. 13:43). Mark 10:24, 30 equate the age to come with both eternal life and the Kingdom of God; and in Matt. 25:34, 46, the righteous inherit the Kingdom of God and enter into eternal life when the Son of man comes in his glory (Matt. 25:31) at the end of this age (Matt. 25:41). (Walter Elwell, editor, Evangelical Dictionary of Theology, “Age, Ages” pp. 19, 20.)

Like the noun aiōn, the adjective aiōnios can refer to a period of time and also to the characteristics or qualities of that period. As was stated above, while we can understand why Christian lexicographers see aiōnios in light of their theology and define it in terms of “eternal” or “everlasting,” that is not the full meaning of the word. Alan Richardson writes:

The fact is that in the New Testament, zōē or more fully zōē aiōnios is an eschatological conception [connected with the future times]; it is one of the characteristic marks of the Age to Come, like glory, light, etc. In the contemporary rabbinic conception, The Age to Come…as distinct from this age, was to be characterized by zōē, that is zōē aiōnios, the life of the (coming) age. Thus, what appears in the English versions as ‘eternal life’ or ‘life everlasting’ really means ‘the life of the Age to Come.’ The phrase zōē aiōnios need not necessarily imply ever-lasting life (e.g., Enoch 10:10), but the usual meaning is life after death indefinitely prolonged in the World to Come (Dan. 12:12…). Throughout the NT, zōē aiōnios means ‘the life of the World to Come.’ (Alan Richardson, An Introduction to the Theology of the New Testament, pp. 73, 74.)

Nigel Turner also wrote that the Greek words aiōn and aiōnios referred not just to a duration of time, but specifically to an “age,” and points out that “eternal life” is an imprecise translation of zōē aiōnios.

But a peculiar meaning appears in Jewish and Christian Greek, and aiōn becomes one of the seven ‘ages’ or ‘dispensations’ which make up the world’s history according to some contemporary Jewish thought. …Sometimes the number of dispensations was simplified to two: ‘this aiōn’ and ‘the aiōn to come,’…In the NT, aiōn indicates not only this present period in which we live, but also a coming age of ‘eternal’ life which we strive to be worthy to obtain (Matt. 12:32; Mark 10:30; Luke 16:8; 18:30; 20:35). The life of the Coming Age is often described as ‘eternal’ life, but it must not be understood thereby that time and eternity are set in contrast, as if time was a quality of the present Age and ‘eternity’ was a quality of the future Age…. It would be…misleading to translate the aiōn as ‘eternity,’ for the aiōn is still a period of time. It is no less imprecise to render ‘aiōnios life’ as ‘eternal life.”

If the noun aiōn, then, acquired new significance in biblical Greek, so did the adjective, aiōnios. …it changed its meaning in Jewish and Biblical circles. …The dispensation intended in this special sense was that of the future, the Kingdom of Christ, the reign of the Messiah. Aiōnios has a new meaning, and the ‘aiōnios Gospel’ is not therefore in Christian language the ‘everlasting Gospel.’ …it is the Gospel of, or concerning, the Kingdom-age (Rev. 14:6). …We read more than forty times of ‘aiōnios life,’ which is the life to come…. The expression stands primarily for the quality of life. We read of habitations belonging to the Messianic Age—aiōnios habitations (Luke 16:9; 2 Cor. 5:1). …The expression aiōnios life appears in the OT, both in the LXX and Theodotion’s version of Daniel (12:2), and later Jews continued the idea in the rabbinic phrase, ‘life of the Coming olam.’ …To denote the characteristic of everlastingness, there is a separate adjective in Christian Greek, aidios….” (Nigel Turner, Christian Words, Thomas Nelson, Nashville, 1982. Entries: αἰών; αἰώνιον; pp. 449-457).

Turner makes a good point when he says there is another Greek word that can mean “everlasting” or “eternal” in a temporal sense, aidios, and it is used of God’s power in Romans 1:20. J. Louw and E. Nida, in the Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament Based on Semantic Domains, write:

The most frequent use of aiōnios in the NT is with zōē, “life….” In combination with zōē there is evidently not only a temporal element, but also a qualitative distinction. …If one translates “eternal life” as simply “never dying,” there may be serious misunderstandings….” (J. Louw and E. Nida, Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament Based on Semantic Domains, aiōnios.)

We agree wholeheartedly with the conclusion of Louw and Nida that simply translating zōē aiōnios as “eternal life” can cause “serious misunderstandings,” and one of them, as we stated above, was that based on that translation, some people conclude that when a person believes, his “eternal life” starts right then instead of at the resurrection and start of the Age to Come. William Barclay writes that if we just think of aiōnios as “eternal” life we oversimplify what it means.

Simply to take the word , aiōnios, when it refers to blessings and punishment, to mean lasting for ever is to oversimplify, and indeed to misunderstand, the word altogether. It means far more than that. (William Barclay, New Testament Words, pp. 37.)

The Greek word aiōnios is an adjective modifying the noun zōē, so a very literal translation of the Greek would be “Age Life,” and we considered using that translation in the REV. Nevertheless, we felt that most Christians would only be confused by “Age Life,” and competent scholars such as Bruce show that the meaning of the phrase is indeed “Life in the Age to come,” so we felt it best to use that translation. Saved people do not have “everlasting life” now, as if they could not die, but rather they are promised “Age Life,” that is, life in the wonderful Messianic Age to Come.

Edward Fudge devotes an entire chapter of his book, The Fire that Consumes, to the word aiōnios. He points out that there is an impressive list of scholars who weigh in on the meaning of aiōnios, and their opinions vary from aiōnios always referring to a duration of time and never the quality of an age; to it always referring in a qualitative sense to an age, and never to duration of time; to it having both meanings. Thus he points out, “How the Bible uses a word is far more crucial for understanding a passage of Scripture than all the historians of any language.” (Edward Fudge, The Fire that Consumes, p. 39.) We have already seen many verses that refer to the Age to come, and have seen that verses such as Mark 10:30 show that everlasting life is a quality of the Age to come, not this age. Other verses confirm this. John 6:40 connects zōē aiōnios with the resurrection, not with the time someone believes in Jesus Christ, and so does John 6:54. In Titus 1:2, Paul refers to having “hope” of zōē aiōnios, but Romans 8:24 makes it clear that no one hopes for something he already has. Titus 1:2 is exactly correct, what we have now is hope for life in the Age to come, a hope that is based upon the promises of God and the mercy of Jesus Christ (Jude 1:21).

In closing, we have seen that, of the two ages, the present evil age and the Age to come, zōē aiōnios refers to the Age to come. We have also seen that there is a temporal meaning to aiōnios, and it is certainly true that people who have life in the Age to come will live forever. Those who are resurrected to “life in the Age” never die again. In that light, most places that the REV has “life in the Age to come,” we could have put, “everlasting life in the Age to come” but that conflation was thought too much for most contexts. Most people should quickly come to know that “life in the Age to come,” will last forever.

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