Can Such a Minority View Be True?

FRIEND>> How can such a minority viewpoint be true or even worth consideration?  Furthermore, Christians have translated and studied the Scriptures for 2,000 years.  How can you suggest that there is a mistranslation of the word "eternal?"

ME>> Those are excellent questions.  In fact I have asked them of myself quite often over the past year.  Let me give reply.

We both agree that "narrow is the gate, and restricted is the way that leads to life! Few are those who find it" (Matthew 7:14 WEB). However, some have complained that my understanding is not only narrow, but is the minority of an already small minority.  The first point is that one should not think of my view as a minority of the minority or a sub-set of the sub-set.  True believers have always been a very small minority throughout history.  However, the next larger group has been the religious, and then the largest group is the a-religious.  So while the repentant stand at the foot of the cross, the self-righteous and the unrighteous fall to the left and the right of true healing.  So the paramount question is not how large a particular group is, but instead what is the truth?  A second equally important question is whether we are believers, merely religious, or pagan?  The body of religious people has always been greater than the body of true believers.

Consider Joshua and Caleb.  These two men and their families were the lone believers when the scouts returned from the Promised Land in the book of Exodus.  The entire family of Israelites followed the complaining and fears of the unbelieving scouts and thus were excluded from entering the Promised Land.  Two people and their families are a pretty small minority out of roughly two million Israelites.  In fact Hebrews 3:16 - 4:2 uses this very example to urge those that will listen to place their faith in Christ in the present generation.

You are also right to question my authority to suggest that the word "eternal" is mistranslated in the New Testament.  I do not have formal training in Greek or Hebrew.  I could not even recite the Greek alphabet in order.  Yet I have been compelled by grace to answer the question of the extent of God's grace toward not only myself, but also my fellow human beings.  Through study of the Greek lexicon on my shelf and critical online resources, I do not only suggest, but assert that the Greek word "aion" does mean eternal in some contexts, but in other contexts it most definitely means "age," "eon," or "complete."  This observation alone should be motivation for every Christian to at least reconsider the great question of the final salvation of our fellowman.  Everyone in the least acquainted with saving grace and God's unconditional love ought to be driven to muster their greatest energies to learn about the extent of God's love for others.  I do not find tradition a safe place to stand, especially, in light of history.  Do you?

Of course if you do not find my Greek research trustworthy, I am not offended.  But please check out John Wesley Hanson's classic 1875 work titled, The Greek Word Aion-Aionios translated Everlasting-Eternal in the Holy Bible Shown to Denote Limited Duration.  This classic work is available for free from the U.S. Library of Congress website and also from my own website.  Dr. Heleen Keizer has also written a dissertation proving the same titled, Life, Time, Entirety - A Study of Aion in Greek Literature and Philosophy, the Septuagint and Philo.  You can read her 315 page dissertation online or an abstract of her conclusions on my website.  Young's Literal Translation also properly translates the Greek word "aion" as "age."