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Old & New Testament Greek Lexical Dictionary
Strong's #166 - αἰώνιος
- without beginning and end, that which always has been and always will be
- without beginning
- without end, never to cease, everlasting
αἰώνιος, ον, also α, ον Pl. Ti. 37d, Hebrews 9:12 : —
1. lasting for an age (αἰών 11), perpetual, eternal (but dist. fr. ἀΐδιος, Plot. 3.7.3), μέθη Pl. R. 363d; ἀνώλεθρον.. ἀλλ' οὐκ αἰώνιον Id. Lg. 904a, cf. Epicur. Sent. 28; αἰ. κατὰ ψυχὴν ὄχλησις Id. Nat. 131 G.; κακά, δεινά, Phld. Herc. 1251.18, D. 1.13; αἰ. ἀμοιβαῖς βασανισθησόμενοι ib.19; τοῦ αἰ. θεοῦ Romans 16:26, Ti.Locr. 96c; οὐ χρονίη μοῦνον.. ἀλλ' αἰωνίη Aret. CA 1.5; αἰ. διαθήκη, νόμιμον, πρόσταγμα, LXX Genesis 9:16, Ex. 27.21, To. 1.6; ζωή Matthew 25:46, Porph. Abst. 4.20; κόλασις Matt. l.c., Olymp. in Grg. p.278J.; πρὸ χρόνων αἰ. 2 Timothy 1:9 : opp. πρόσκαιρος, 2 Corinthians 4:18.
2. holding an office or title for life, perpetual, γυμνασίαρχος CPHerm. 62.
3. = Lat. saecularis, Phleg. Macr. 4.
4. Adv. -ίως eternally, νοῦς ἀκίνητος αἰ. πάντα ὤν Procl. Inst. 172, cf. Simp. in Epict. p.77D.; perpetually, μισεῖν Sch. E. Alc. 338.
5. αἰώνιον, τό, = ἀείζωον τὸ μέγα, Ps.- Dsc. 4.88.
αἰώνιος , -ον (as usual in Attic), also -α , -ον : 2 Thessalonians 2:16 Hebrews 9:12;
[in LXX chiefly for H5769;] age-long, eternal,
(a) of that which is without either beginning or end: Romans 16:26, Hebrews 9:14;
(b) of that which is without beginning: Romans 16:25, 2 Timothy 1:9, Titus 1:2;
(c) of that which is without end (MM, VGT, s.v.):
σκηναί Luke 16:9;
οἰκία , 2 Corinthians 5:1;
διαθήκη , Hebrews 13:20;
εὐγγέλιον , Revelation 14:6;
παράκλησις , 2 Thessalonians 2:16;
λύτρωσις , Hebrews 9:12;
κληρονομία , Hebrews 9:15;
κόλασις , Matthew 25:46;
κρίμα , Hebrews 6:2;
κρίσις , Mark 3:29;
ὄλεθρον , 2 Thessalonians 1:9;
πῦρ , Matthew 18:8;
freq. c. ζωή , q.v.
SYN.: ἀίδιος G126, q.v.
Copyright © 1922 by G. Abbott-Smith, D.D., D.C.L.. T & T Clarke, London.
Without pronouncing any opinion on the special meaning which theologians have found for this word, we must note that outside the NT, in the vernacular as in the classical Greek (see Grimm-Thayer), it never loses the sense of perpetuus (cf. Deissmann BS p. 363, LAE p. 368). It is a standing epithet of the Emperor’s power : thus Cagnat IV. 144.3 τ.αἰ.οἶκον of Tiberius, BGU I. 176 τοῦ αἰωνίου κόσμου of Hadrian. From the beginning of iii/A.D. we have BGU II. 362iv. 11 ff. ὑπὲρ σωτηριῶν καὶ αἰω [νίου ] διαμο [νῆ ]ς τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν Αὐτοκρά [τορος ] Σεουή [ρου Ἀ ]ντωνίνου. Two examples from iv/A.D. may be quoted addressed to the Emperor Galerius and his colleagues : ὑμετέρῳ θείῳ καὶ αἰωνίῳ [νεύματι ], and [ὑπὲρ ] τῆς αἰωνίου καὶ ἀφθάρτου βασιλείας ὑμῶν, OGIS 56920, 24. Ultimately it becomes a direct epithet of the Emperor himself, taking up the succession of the Ptolemaic αἰων ́όβιος (see above under αἰών sub fin.). The earliest example of this use we have noted is BGU IV. 1062.27 (A.D. 236), where it is applied to Maximus : so in P Grenf II. 6727, a year later. (In both the word is said to be very faint.) P Lond 2339 ( = II. p. 273) παρὰ τῆς θιότητος τῶν δεσποτῶν ἡμῶν αἰωνίων Αὐγούστων, referring to Constantius and Constans, is the precursor of a multitude of examples of the epithet as applied to the Christian Emperors. The first volume of the Leipzig Papyri alone has twenty-seven instances of the imperial epithet, all late in iv/A.D. Even in BGU I. 303.2 (A.D. 586) and ib. 309.4 (A.D. 602) we have still τοῦ αἰωνίου Αὐγούστου (Maurice). In Syll 757.12 (i/A.D.—see under αἰών) note θείας φύσεως ἐργάτης αἰωνίου (of Time). Syll 740.18 (iii/A.D.) joins it with ἀναφαίρετον. P Grenf II. 7111 (iii/A.D.) ὁμολογῶ χαρίζεσθαι ὑμῖν χάριτι αἰωνίᾳ καὶ ἀναφαιρέτῳ is a good example of the meaning perpetuus; and from a much earlier date (i/B.C.) we may select OGIS 383.8 f. (a passage in the spirit of Job 19:24) : Ἀντίοχος. . . ἐπὶ καθωσιωμένων βάσεων ἀσύλοις γράμμασιν ἔργα χάριτος ἰδίας εἰς χρόνον ἀνέγραψεν αἰώνιον. Add BGU II. 531ii. 20 (ii/A.D.) ἐὰν δὲ ἀστοχήσῃς [αἰω ]γίαν μοι λοίπην (i.e. λύπην) [π ]αρέχιν μέλλις. In his Index to OGIS Dittenberger gives fourteen instances of the word.
The etymological note on αἰών in Grimm-Thayer, though less antiquated than usual, suggests the addition of a statement on that side. Αἰέν is the old locative of αἰών as αἰές is of αἰώς (acc. αἰῶ in Aeschylus), and αἰεί, ἀεί of *αἰ ϝ όν (Lat. aevum), three collateral declensions from the same root. In the Sanskrit āyu and its Zend equivalent the idea of life, and especially long life, predominates. So with the Germanic cognates (Gothic aiws). The word, whose root it is of course futile to dig for, is a primitive inheritance from Indo-Germanic days, when it may have meant ";long life"; or ";old age";—perhaps the least abstract idea we can find for it in the prehistoric period, so as to account for its derivatives.
In general, the word depicts that of which the horizon is not in view, whether the horizon be at an infinite distance, as in Catullus’ poignant lines—
Nobis cum semel occidit brevis lux,
Nox est perpetua una dormienda,
or whether it lies no farther than the span of a Cæsar’s life.
Copyright © 1914, 1929, 1930 by James Hope Moulton and George Milligan. Hodder and Stoughton, London.
Derivative Copyright © 2015 by Allan Loder.
the Third Week after Epiphany