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4. It has been said the O.T. gives us preparation, the N.T. fulfillment. Each period in
this preparation and fulfillment is marked by some transitional event, e.g.,
Gen. 1: 2 - 1: 31, The creative preparation for man.
The Sabbath rest.
Continue this endeavour to trace the unfolding of the purpose through both O.T.
and N.T., noting particularly the events that link up each section.
5. Compare Genesis with Revelation. Set out parallels, e.g., Gen. 3: 17 with
Rev. 22: 3; show how this comparison helps us in understanding the purpose of
The Purpose of the Ages.
Course 100: Paper #2.
pp. 61 - 64
We have considered the fact that the Bible is the record of a purpose. We now
consider the further fact that the purpose is being worked out through the ages. Here we
are met by a powerful tradition that has been responsible for the veiling of much truth.
We read over and over again in the A.V. the words, "for ever", "everlasting", and
"eternal', and we naturally believe that the subjects connected with these words have
reference to eternity. This is not so; the Bible practically says nothing about eternity.
Genesis commences with creation, Revelation ends with the new creation, the interval
being spanned by the ages. To illustrate the inconsistency of the traditional rendering
will also enable us to see the true meaning of the words translated "for ever", etc.
It is evident that the ages had a beginning (I Cor. 2: 7), for the word translated "world"
here is aiġn, which in other places is translated "for ever". The ages also have an end
(Matt. 24: 3). Some ages are past (Eph. 3: 9), some are to come (Luke 1: 33;
Eph. 2: 7). If aiġn means eternity, how can it also mean "world", and also what
consistency is there in a rendering which uses the same word in such opposite senses as
"the end of the world", and "world without end"? Further, if aiġn in the singular means
eternity, what can aiġn in the plural mean? Can there be eternities?
The adjective aiġnios has likewise been subjected to similar treatment. In Titus 1: 2
we read that ETERNAL life was promised before the WORLD began. Observe the
words in capitals, they are as opposite as can be, yet they are both the same word aiġnios
in the original. There is, further, no word "began" at all, the words are pro chronġn
aiġniġn, "before times of ages".
Eph. 3: 11 (translated in A.V. "the eternal purpose") is rendered properly in the R.V.
margin "Gk. Purpose of the ages." If the Greek says "ages", then "eternal" is merely
man's idea given instead of God's truth.