This is an excerpt from something written by Joseph Herrin which should complement the most recent posts…
Let us look at the scripture in Matthew where we are told that the Lord will separate the sheep from the goats, some entering into blessing while others enter into a time of correction.
Matthew 25:34 – 46
“Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world… ‘And when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’ Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal [aionian] fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels… And these will go away into eternal [aionian] punishment, but the righteous into eternal [aionian] life.”
Now, I don’t want to belabor the point by showing further how the phrases that contain the Greek word aion and its variants should actually be interpreted as “age lasting fire,” “age lasting punishment,” “life of the ages,” etc.. I have already shown in other writings that this is truly the meaning of “aion” and its variations. It was the doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church, and later the Anglican Church, as well as others, that Hell is an eternal place of torment and no soul shall ever escape from it. The translators therefore translated according to their false understanding. But there have been other translators through the years who did not share the mythology of Rome and they have made much better translations. Following are just a few.
“Depart from Me, you cursed ones, into that aionian fire… and these shall go away into a cutting-off age lasting.”
“And these He will dismiss into a LONG CORRECTION.”
(The Bible in Modern English by Farrar Fenton)
“These shall go away into age-abiding correction.”
(Rotherham’s New Testament)
“And these shall go away to punishment age-during.”
(Young’s Literal Translation)
I know that some folks might be concerned that it is seemingly only relatively obscure translations that bring out the true meaning of these phrases. They may be concerned that the overwhelming majority of the most popular translations that are used nearly universally by the Christians of our day do not reveal these meanings. In fact, these popular bibles declare something quite contrary. I know that no believer that has a shred of integrity would declare that the majority must be right simply due to their numbers, but it is somehow disturbing to find that so many are being led astray, that so many have embraced that which is no truth at all, but is in fact based upon mythology and fables.
To this person who has this concern I would say this, “The scriptures clearly show that this would be the condition of the church in the last days.”
II Timothy 4:3-4
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires; and will turn away their ears from the truth, and will turn aside to MYTHS.
II Thessalonians 2:3
Let no one in any way deceive you, for it [the coming of the Lord Jesus the Messiah] will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction…
We live in a day, at the end of our current age, when men will not endure sound doctrine. They have turned aside from the truth, exchanging truth for myth. Did not Paul say clearly this would be the case? Furthermore, as so many are speaking of the soon return of the Lord, have they duly noted that He will not return unless the apostasy comes first? The apostasy is defined as “a falling away from the truth”. The word apostasy shares as part of its root the same word for divorce. Apostasy is a divorcement from the truth that men might be wedded to falsehood, mythology, and fable…