It is so unfortunate that one single word has been so mistranslated by ‘scholars’ that wonderful truths have been HIDDEN from God’s saints. The word I speak of in the Greek (New Testament) is ‘aion’ and the corresponding Hebrew (Old Terstament) word is ‘olam’. A Greek-English lexicon would define ‘aion’ as “An indefinite, long period of time; an age.”
For whatever their individual reasons many, if not most, translators have rendered this simple, little word as everything from ‘world’ to ‘eternal’, forever’, ‘always’, ‘everlasting’, and so on.
If they had just PROPERLY TRANSLATED IT CONSISTENTLY, as several versions such as Rotherham’s Emphasized Bible, Young’s Literal Translation and the Concordant Literal Version have done, we Christians would EASILY see that God has a ‘purpose of the eons’ (Ephesians 3:11), there was a time ‘before times eonian’ (2 Timothy 1:9), that Christ ‘made the eons or ages’ Hebrews 1:1-2), there are ‘eons or ages oncoming’ (Ephesians 2:7 and there is an ‘ends of the ages’ (1 Corinthians 10:11).
In fact, there is no word in Hebrew or Greek that literally means ‘eternal’ with the sense of time. When God is referred to as the ‘eonian God’ in Romans 16:26 it obviously means He is working with His plan using the eons, just as His being the God of Israel does not limit Him to just Israel.
There is NO “eternal punishment” (New American Standard and many others) but there is “eonian (age-abiding) chastisement”…. Matthew 25:46 (Concordant Literal NT and Rotherham’s Bible). It is for a LIMITED time.
There is NO penalty of “eternal” or “everlasting” destruction (New American Standard and many other versions) but there is “eonian extermination” or “age-abiding destruction”….2 Thessalonians 1:9 (Concordant Literal NT and Rotherham’s Bible, respectively). It is for a LIMITED time.
The point being: where ever you read “eternal”, “forever”, “everlasting”, etc. in those Bibles that incorrectly translate “aion”, just substitute “eon”, “age”, “age lasting”, etc..