14 For if those who are of the law are heirs, faith is made void and the promise made of no effect,
Verses 14 to15 demonstrate that, if salvation comes by the law, then that renders both faith and promise null. Faith would not be necessary in a works-oriented salvation. This would also remove the principle of God’s promise, a grace offer.
14 For if [assumed true for the sake of argument] those who are of [characterized by keeping the law] the law are heirs,
Those “of the law” are the problem in Romans. These are people who live by law-keeping as a way of salvation. These individuals are more than Jews; they are anyone who tries to keep law for salvation. There is no salvation that originates in the law. Paul set law and promise in antithesis. If you have one, you do not have the other. God’s standards show people that they can never live up to the expectations of the law. That inability should drive them to the faith principle for salvation.
If Jews by the law obtained a right standing in God’s eyes, then that has a serious effect on how people become Christians. Salvation would be by something other than by faith. That would make void faith, as we see in the next phrase.
faith is made void [remains void, perfect tense]
The Holy Spirit used two strong terms to negate a works salvation: “made void” and “no effect.” There are then two consequences of justification by keeping the law. The first is that it permanently makes faith void.
If we become Christians by the law, that would make void coming to God by “faith.” The Greek word for “made void” is made empty, made without content, rendered invalid. Faith would be emptied of its purpose. The Greek tense indicates that the result would be that faith would remain in an ongoing state of invalidation (perfect tense). Faith would have no value for salvation in that case.
The word “faith” has the definite article “the,” which harks back to Abraham’s faith. His faith would remain permanently invalid under the hypothesis of justification by keeping the law (perfect tense). Any idea that people are justified by works makes faith stand void as a proper principle for salvation. Faith has no value if we accept God’s promises by keeping the law. The law and God’s promise are incompatible means of salvation. All this empties faith of its essential meaning. If God saves people under the law by keeping the law, then there is no place for faith.
and the promise made of no effect [remains of no effect—perfect tense],
The second consequence of salvation by law is that it makes the promise ineffective. The word “promise” occurs four times in verses 13 to 22. Promise does not rest on law keeping. That would negate the idea of an unconditional promise. The next verb “made of no effect” has the idea of made invalid. The law approach to God renders the “promise” inoperative. Any qualification to a promise invalidates the promise; a promise must be unconditional, otherwise it would not be a promise. If we ask anything more than faith in God’s promise, we nullify the promise.
A promise is an unconditional commitment to someone. Faith is trust in that promise. Abraham’s faith was an appropriate response to God’s promise. There are two Greek words for promise: (1) the first carries the idea of a promise entered by certain conditions; (2) the second is a promise made unconditionally, made out of the principle of grace towards people. The second is the Greek word in this verse. God loves us without condition. His love will sometimes make us glad and sometimes it will make us sad, but it is love nevertheless. It is a love that will never let us go. It is a love that does not depend on us or on our merit, but wholly on God’s heart toward us.
The purpose of the law is to reveal our sin, whereas the purpose of the promise is to show God’s grace toward us.
The purpose of the law was not to determine the scope of God’s promise to us but to bring us face-to-face with our transgression of God’s standards. The law shows our utter bankruptcy before God, but the promise shows God’s unconditional grace toward us if we accept it by faith. Both Jew and Gentile stand in need of God’s grace; there are no exceptions.
This shows how God makes saints out of sinners.
This is an excellent Commentary of Roman 4:14. I would like to see the whole book of Romans broken down this way.
Daniel, thanks for your comment. I have made my way through chapter 14 and am working on chapter 15.
Dr. Grant could you offer some insight on Galatians 5:1-4…Can a believer lose salvation fallen from Grace. I guess I need to understand what fallen from Grace actually means.
Daniel, I just came across your comment from 2014. Did you read my commentary on Gal 5:1-4?
The actual practical application is that natural Israel, physical descendants of Jacob are NOT heirs of the promise. Paul reiterates this in Galatians 4. Thus, the notion that special promises await fulfillment for natural Israel are preposterous; they are a resurrection of the very Judaism Paul was fighting… and the very Judaism that wanted that little turncoat Jew from Tarsus killed.
George, note this article:
WHAT IS REPLACEMENT THEOLOGY?
by Thomas Ice
Replacement theology “is the view that the church is the new or true Israel that has
permanently replaced or superseded Israel as the people of God.”1 Another term,
often found in academic circles, for replacement theology is supersessionism.
Replacement theology has been the fuel that has energized Medieval anti-Semitism,
Eastern European pogroms, the Holocaust and contemporary disdain for the modern
state of Israel. Mike Vlach notes: “The acceptance or rejection of supersessionism may
also influence how one views the modern state of Israel and events in the Middle
East.”2 Wherever replacement theology has flourished, the Jews have had to run for
DEFINITION AND DESCRIPTION
Preterist and covenant theologian, Kenneth Gentry defines replacement
theology—to which he holds—as follows: “We believe that the international Church
has superseded for all times national Israel as the institution for the administration of
divine blessing to the world.”3 We dispensationalists believe that the church is the
current instrument through which God is working in this age, but God has a future
time in which He will restore national Israel “as the institution for the administration of
divine blessing to the world.” Gentry adds to his initial statement the following
That is, we believe that in the unfolding of the plan of God in history, the
Christian Church is the very fruition of the redemptive purpose of God. As such,
the multi-racial, international Church of Jesus Christ supersedes racial, national
Israel as the focus of the kingdom of God. Indeed, we believe that the
Church becomes “the Israel of God” (Gal. 6:16), the “seed of Abraham” (Gal.
3:29), “the circumcision” (Phil. 3:3), the “temple of God” (Eph. 2:19-22), and so
forth. We believe that Jew and Gentile are eternally merged into a “new
man” in the Church of Jesus Christ (Eph. 2:12–18). What God hath joined
together let no man put asunder!4
Walt Kaiser tells us that replacement theology, “declared that the Church,
Abraham’s spiritual seed, had replaced national Israel in that it had transcended and
fulfilled the terms of the covenant given to Israel, which covenant Israel had lost
because of disobedience.”5 European scholar, Ronald Diprose, defines replacement
theology as follows: “the Church completely and permanently replaced ethnic Israel in
the working out of God’s plan and as recipient of Old Testament promises addressed to
Israel.” It appears that supersessionists believe that Israel is a “has been” and has no
future in the plan of God. The Church inherits all the blessings, while Israel is meant to
endure only curses.
THE RISE OF REPLACEMENT THEOLOGY
Replacement theology has been “the consensus of the church from the middle of
the second century A.D. to the present day, with few exceptions.”6 Even though the
ante-Nicene fathers were predominately premillennial in their understanding of future
things, they laid a groundwork that would lead to the rise and development of
Pre-Trib Rapture — Ice — Page 2
replacement theology. Premillennialist Justin Martyr was the first to view “the
Christian church as ‘the true spiritual Israel’ (Dial. 11)”7 around A.D. 160. Justin’s views
laid the groundwork for the growing belief that the church had superseded or replaced
Israel. “Misunderstanding of it colours the Church’s attitude to Judaism and contributes
to anti-Semitism,” notes Peter Richardson.8 He adds, “In spite of the many attributes,
characteristics, prerogatives of the latter which are applied to the former, the Church is
not called Israel in the NT. The continuity between Israel and the Church is partial; and
the discontinuity between Israel B.C. and its continuation A.D. is partial.”9
Further, by the time of Irenaeus, it becomes entrenched in Christian theology that
“the bulk of Israel’s Scriptures [are] indecisive for the formation of Christian
doctrine.”10 Soulen continues: “In addition to narrowing the thematic focus of the
Hebrew Scriptures to the problem of sin and redemption, the standard model also
foreshortens the Hebrew Scriptures into a temporal sense. As perceived through the
lens of the standard model, the Hebrew Scriptures do not relate a story that extends
indefinitely into the future.”11 Kaiser paints the following developmental picture in the
Replacement theology is not a new arrival in the theological arena, for it
probably has its origins in an early political-ecclesiastical alliance forged
between Eusebius Pamphilius and the Emperor Constantine. Constantine,
regarding himself as God’s representative in his role as emperor, gathered all
the bishops together on the day of his tricennalia (30th anniversary of his
reign), an event, incidentally, which he saw as the foreshadowing of the
eschatological Messianic banquet. The results of that meeting, in Eusebius’
mind, made it unnecessary to distinguish any longer between the Church and
the Empire, for they appeared to merge into one fulfilled kingdom of God on
earth in the present time. Such a maneuver, of course, nicely evacuated the
role and the significance of the Jewish people in any kingdom considerations.
Here began the long trail of replacement theology.12
The details about Israel’s future, especially in the Old Testament, are simply missing
as a part of the development of Christian theology. Jeffrey Siker cites this issue as the
primary reason for the disinheriting of the Jews within the early Christian church. “The
first factor is the diminishing emphasis upon the eschatological dimensions of the
THE IMPACT OF REPLACEMENT THEOLOGY
“The doctrine of replacement theology reflects a wide range of Christian thinking,”
notes Menachem Benhayim. “From utterly malignant anti-Jewish hatred to simple
misunderstanding and misapplication of biblical texts.”14 Since Israel is a subject found
on just about every page of the Old and New Testaments, to get that subject wrong can
only lead to a mega-distortion of Scripture. This has indeed been the case throughout
the history of the church.
Paul says in Romans 11:7–8, “But if some of the branches were broken off, and you,
being a wild olive, were grafted in among them and became partaker with them of the
rich root of the olive tree, do not be arrogant toward the branches; but if you are
arrogant, remember that it is not you who supports the root, but the root supports
you.” Yet, this history of most during the church age has been an attitude of arrogance
toward God’s wayward, chosen people—Israel.
Pre-Trib Rapture — Ice — Page 3
Such an attitude of arrogance has led to a distortion of so many biblical teachings.
The church often allegorizes many portions of the Bible, both Old and New Testaments,
in order to teach that since the time of Christ Israel has no claim to the land of Israel.
Replacement theologian Colin Chapman obfuscates the issue as follows: “the coming of
the kingdom of God through Jesus the Messiah has transformed and reinterpreted all
the promises and prophecies in the Old Testament. . . . Jesus the Messiah, who lived,
died and was raised from death in the land, has opened the kingdom of God to people
of all races, making all who follow him into ‘one new humanity’ (Ephesians 2:15,
NRSV).”15 As Hebrew Christian Arnold Fruchtenbaum is fond of saying, “While the
church is said to be a partaker in Israel’s promises in the New Testament, nowhere is
she said to be a taker over of Israel’s promises.”
“Replacement theology is just plain bad news for both the Church and Israel,”16
declares Kaiser. Not only does the Bible distinguish between God’s plan for Israel and
His plan for the church, but it also teaches a distinction between saved and lost Jewish
individuals. This is one of the things denied by replacement theology. British
commentator C. E. B. Canfield, who is by no means a Bible thumping fundamentalist (a
rare moment in academia), provides the following appropriate apology:
It is only where the Church persists in refusing to learn this message, where it
secretly—perhaps quite unconsciously!—believes that its own existence is
based on human achievement, and so fails to understand God’s mercy to
itself, that it is unable to believe in God’s mercy for still unbelieving Israel,
and so entertains the ugly and unscriptural notion that God has cast off His
people Israel and simply replaced it by the Christian Church. These three
chapters [Romans 9—11] emphatically forbid us to speak of the Church as
having once and for all taken the place of the Jewish people. . . . But the
assumption that the Church has simply replaced Israel as the people of God is
extremely common. . . . And I confess with shame to having also myself used
in print on more than one occasion this language of the replacement of Israel
by the Church.17
Yet, today, even some evangelicals, are attempting to develop new reasons to replace
Israel with the church. May God help us all to understand His Scripture more clearly!
1 Michael J. Vlach, “The Church as a Replacement of Israel: An Analysis of Supersessionism,” (PhD
dissertation at Southeaster Baptist Theological Seminary, Wake Forest, NC, 2004), p. xv.
2 Vlach, “Replacement of Israel,” p. 10.
3 Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr., “Supersessional Orthodoxy; Zionistic Sadism,” Dispensationalism in
Transition, Vol. VI, No. 2; Feb. 1993, p. 1.
4 Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr., “The Iceman Cometh! Moronism Reigneth!,” Dispensationalism in Transition,
Vol. VI, No. 1; Jan. 1993, p. 1.
5 Walter C. Kaiser, Jr., “An Assessment of ‘Replacement Theology,’” Mishkan (No. 21; 1994), p. 9.
6 H. Wayne House, “The Church’s Appropriation of Israel’s Blessings” in H. Wayne House, editor,
Israel: The Land and the People (Grand Rapids: Kregel, 1998), p. 77.
Pre-Trib Rapture — Ice — Page 4
7 R. Kendall Soulen, The God of Israel and Christian Theology (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1996), p.
8 Peter Richardson, Israel In The Apostolic Church (Cambridge: At The University Press, 1969), p. 2.
9 Richardson, Israel, p. 7.
10 Soulen, God of Israel, p. 50
11 Soulen, God of Israel, p. 53
12 Kaiser, “Replacement Theology,” p. 9.
13 Jeffrey S. Siker, Disinheriting The Jews: Abraham in Early Christian Controversy (Louisville, KY:
Westminster/John Knox Press, 1991), p. 194.
14 Menachem Benhayim, “The Church Has Replaced the Jewish People—A Response,” Mishkan (No.
21; 1994), p. 31.
15 Colin Chapman, Whose Promised Land? The Continuing Crisis Over Israel and Palestine (Grand
Rapids: Baker, 2002), p. 285.
16 Kaiser, “Replacement Theology,” p. 20.
17 C. E. B. Cranfield, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on The Epistle to The Romans, 2 vols.
(Edinburgh: T & T Clark, 1979), vol. 2, p. 448.
The phrase “replacement theology” is a red herring. I don’t say the body of Christ has “replaced” Israel, because believing Gentiles have been grafted in among believing Jews. This is the reason that Paul was hounded and persecuted by the Jews: He obliterated the distinction between Jew and Gentile, in Christ, outside of Christ, and in the redemption transaction (“…broke down the middle wall of partition; creating one new man, and reconciled them in one body”). The whole point of Paul’s discussion/analogy in Galatians 4 is that natural, physical descendants of Jacob – viz., Jews qua Jews – have no part in the inheritance; Romans 4:14 reiterates that point. It might do the church well to get a good dose of Hebrews, where the writer tells us that there’s been a change in both the law and the priesthood, and that Jeremiah’s new covenant has been established/enacted (Heb. 8).
If one takes into consideration the context of Romans 4, the distinction Paul is drawing is between Jews and Gentiles, the former having and being “created” by the Law. The distinction is NOT between believers who depend solely on grace and those who insist that some kind of good deed either merits or enhances the salvific enterprise. Those who are afraid to take Paul at his word; those who misunderstand the point of Galatians, try to water down this passage (Romans 4:14). The point of Galatians is NOT (simply) justification by faith without good deeds. The point is that not only do Gentiles NOT have to become Jewish in order to be saved (see Acts 15:1, 5), but that in and of themselves (direct descendants of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob) who have their distinct identity due to the Law…; Jews qua Jews are not heirs of the promises. One of the reasons – if not the main reason – the Jews insisted that Gentiles become Jews is because they (the Jews) were certain that they were entitled to the promises, by virtue of their flesh: Jewish, circumcised, law-possessing/keeping flesh. But Paul absolutely destroys that notion. And THAT is why they wanted him dead. He maintained that outside of Christ, their is no distinction (for all have sinned; Romans 3:9-ish); he maintained that in Christ there is no distinction (Gal. 3:28-ish); and, he maintained that in the transaction of redemption, the middle wall of distinction was broken down. Unfortunately, for most of evangelicalism, Paul’s letter to Galatia is treated on a very superficial level: saved by grace, not good works. But to maintain that THAT alone is the theme/message of Galatians (and much of Romans), is like asserting that the theme of the Song of Solomon is how to treat a woman on a first date.
Thanks for your posts.
You seem to neglect the priority of the extant, explicit statements in both Romans and Galatians about justification by faith and grace in favor of the secondary issue of the Jew/Gentile problem (obviously there are some passage where the Jew/Gentile problem is the focus). This is particularly true in the context of Romans 4 where you claim the context supports the Jew/Gentile issue. No doubt Paul argued the merger of Jew and Gentile in the body of Christ. He does that in many, many passages including Romans 4. However, the main argument of Romans 3 to 5 is justification by faith (N.T. Write notwithstanding with his presupposition of interpolating Second Temple issues into the NT).
It is true that the main argument of Galatians is how the believer responds to the implications of justification by faith in sanctification. See my commentary on the whole book and note that commentary on Galatians 4.
The argument for Premillennialism is based on the four unconditional covenants of the OT (it does not rest on Rev 20 where the word Millennium is mentioned). Those four is unconditional covenants are the Abrahamic, Davidic, Palestinian and New covenants. An unconditional divine covenant is a sovereign decision by God whereby He established an unconditional or declarative one-way compact with man, obligating Himself, in grace, by the formula, “I WILL,” to bring to pass what He has promised. All aspects of these promises have not been fulfilled, thus, if God is going to be faithful to His word then they must be fulfilled. For example, the promise that the nation Israel would possess land from the Euphrates to the Red Wadi has never been fulfilled even under Solomon.
The Abrahamic covenant was NOT unconditional. All one needs is a familiarity w/logic and the conditional proposition: If A, then B.
Both the Hebrew and the Greek form of the verb used in 12:1 are the imperative mood; the mood of command.
God’s blessing Abraham was conditioned upon his obedience to the command, “Go.” See Hebrews 11:8.
Thus, Gen. 12:1 might be rewritten thus: If you go, pursuant to My command, I’ll give you…”
Have you never read Paul’s sermon in Acts 13? The promise made to the fathers, He has fulfilled in Christ.
In terms of the Davidic covenant, try reading Peter’s sermon in Acts 2. The sure mercies referred to the resurrection of the Christ, because David did not ascend. God has made, not will make, Him both Lord and Christ… Let ALL of the house of Israel know.
The letter to the Hebrews indicates that Land was a type of a walk of obedience and faith (chapter 3 or 4). The reason Joshua did not give them “rest” was because the land itself was NOT the rest, but only a type. But if you read Josh. 21:43 (et al.), you’ll see that under Joshua’s administration, the land WAS in fact possessed. And under Solomon, Israel controlled/administered all the land from the Medit sea to the Great River.
Natural Israel was in fact the apple of His eye under the old economy; but the Church, comprising Jews and Gentiles, is His body. Your theology resurrects the middle wall, and makes void the statement that thought we once knew Christ “after the flesh” (as a Jew), henceforth we know Him nor any many thus, as believers (Jews and Gentiles) for a one new man. The covenant has been established on better promises; that covenant is called eternal by the writer to the Hebrews. One cannot find ONE OT passage that hints of a covenant between the Messiah and the Gentiles (only), or between the Messiah, Gentiles, and a handful of Jews.
And, the reconciliation between Romans 9:27, “…though the number of the seed of Israel be like the sand on the seashore, (only) a remnant shall be saved,” and, Romans 11:26, “All Israel shall be saved,” is found in Romans 9:6b, viz., “…they are not all Israel who are Israel.” Those of natural Israel who are not of the believing, spiritual Israel status in which Gentile believers participate (“…now you ARE the people of God” I Peter); those natural, unbelieving Jews fulfill what Paul said in Galatians 4: “The son of the bondwoman (current Jerusalem and her children) will NOT be heirs…”
Furthermore, the perspective of the NT trumps that of the OT. Peter refers to this in his first epistle. Christ said that many Kings and holy men had a desire to see “what you see” and did not. This is that. The Law and the priesthood have been changed. And the writer to the Hebrews encouraged his Jewish audience to go out from the city (they have no right to partake of our altar), unto the heavenly Jerusalem/Mt. Zion.
Your theology/eschatology is ample evidence that Paul’s intent in Galatians, for all practical purposes, fell to the wayside. A great deal of evangelicalism has a sycophantic relationship with natural Israel. “They want to exclude you, and make themselves look ‘special/chosen’, so that you’ll affect them, by longing to be one of the ‘blessed’ children.” (Edit mine). In terms of natural Israel, “the wrath of God has come upon them to the uttermost”; they’ve forfeited their original status. However, INDIVIDUALLY, if they turn to Christ, the veil will be removed from their eyes. Note the order events: they turn, the veil is removed, and NOT vice-versa, in some post-rapture “return to the Jews” of God’s concern. He never turned (Romans 10:21). He came unto His own… they rejected Him, just as, historically, they had constantly rejected the word since departing Egypt. What more could be done for My vine?
On the night He was betrayed, “This IS the new covenant.” He was speaking to Jews there, with no Gentiles present. The Church fails to recognize that at the very beginning, Christianity comprised ONLY Jews… and yet, “God has temporarily turned away from His people until the Gentiles are whisked away”?
Also, it might be constructive to consider the “perpetuity” of God’s promises… I cannot give you the chp/vs at this moment, but I believe that in more than one place you’ll find promising the priesthood to Aaron and his descendants, “forever.” Really? But again, the writer to the Hebrews says that “promise” has been annulled what with the establishment of the Melchizedek-order priesthood (Hebrews 7). I guess God forgot His promise to Aaron? Or, has that all be superseded under the new covenant?
As you may know, biblical terms whether Hebrew, Aramaic or Greek, depend on context for their meaning. Time and unconditionality are two different things. When God made the unconditional covenants, He put the onus upon Himself, not on Abraham or any human being or nation. God did not give Aaron or his descendants an unconditional promise via covenant. The argument of Hebrews is Jesus is greater or better than (repeated in the book). This argument shows the temporal nature of the ceremonial law of Moses including Aaron and the priesthood.
“Forever” sometimes connotes eternity but other times it simply means time without end. Again, the context must determine the meaning. Note different uses from the Lexham Theological Workbook below:
Everlasting duration, associated with endless time but often understood theologically as distinct from time since God is eternal and outside time, the creator of time, and the only one who sees both the beginning and the end of time.
Eternity is the concept of endless time, or more fully, of being beyond time; only God is intrinsically eternal. The most common OT expression for eternity is עוֹלָם (ʿôlām, “long time”), which is frequently combined with עַד (ʿad, “lasting time”) in constructions such as “to ʿôlām and ʿad” (e.g., Exod 15:18; Psa 9:5) or “to ʿad to ʿôlām” (e.g., Psa 111:8). These phrases are typically translated “forever and ever.” The Hebrew word נֵצַח (nēṣaḥ, “duration”) is also used to indicate eternity or perpetuity (e.g., Isa 25:8; Psa 16:11). Hebrew also uses the word קֶדֶם (qedem, “ancient past”) to indicate the ancient past (e.g., Psa 74:12; Prov 8:22; Hab 1:12; Isa 51:9), but it can also be translated as “eternal” or “everlasting” (e.g., Deut 33:15, 27).
In Greek, the words αἰών (aiōn, “age”) and αἰώνιος (aiōnios, “eternal, long-lasting”) are used in expressions that refer to the ancient past, the distant future, or eternity. The NT uses that seem to emphasize eternity in the endless sense tend to use the plural of αἰών (aiōn; e.g., Luke 1:33; Rom 1:15; 11:36; Heb 13:8, 21).
Eternity is usually conceived of as endless time, but the infinite nature of eternity means that it actually transcends time. God is eternal (עוֹלָם, ʿôlām; e.g., Gen 21:33; Psa 93:2; Isa 40:28), and, as the creator of all things, must transcend all he has created, including time. While only God is eternal in the sense of always existing, he can give eternal (ʿôlām; αἰώνιος, aiōnios) life to his creatures; this is mentioned in the OT (Dan 12:2), but becomes a major theme in the NT, where eternal life is a gift of God through Jesus to those who believe in him (e.g., Mark 10:30; John 3:15–16; 17:2–3; Rom 6:23).
Other things are described as eternal (ʿôlām; aiōnios)—for example, the covenant (e.g., Gen 17:7; Psa 105:10; Isa 24:5; Heb 13:20), God’s kingdom (e.g., Psa 145:13; 2 Pet 1:11), salvation (Isa 45:17; Heb 5:9; 9:12), and the gospel (Rev 14:6). However, negative things can also be described as “eternal,” such as punishment (e.g., Matt 25:46), shame (e.g., Jer 20:11; Psa 78:66; Dan 12:2), and destruction (e.g., Jer 49:33; Psa 9:6; 2 Thess 1:9). All of these things are “eternal” in their quality, meaning that the effects of these items transcend time.
All that is eternal derives its quality ultimately from the One who is eternal. His love (Psa 103:17; Isa 54:8; Jer 31:3), his ways (Hab 3:6), and his words (Psa 148:6; Matt 24:35; Mark 13:31; Luke 21:33) are everlasting.
עוֹלָם (ʿôlām); Aram. עָלַם (ʿālam). n. masc. distant past, distant future, as long as something lasts, eternity. A period of time that either stretches into the far past or far future.
This word essentially refers to a long period of time. Context determines whether this means eternity, a long time into the past, or a long time into the future. It tends to refer to the past in phrases like “days (יוֹם, yôm) of ʿôlām” (e.g., Deut 32:7; Isa 63:11) and “generations (דּוֹר, dôr) of ʿôlām” (e.g., Isa 51:9). The phrase “from ʿôlām” can mean either “a long time ago” (e.g., Josh 24:2; Isa 46:9) or “for a long time, since long ago” (e.g., Isa 42:14; 57:11; 64:4). The word ʿôlām can indicate the remainder of a person’s lifetime, i.e., as long as someone lives (e.g., Exod 21:6; Deut 15:17; 1 Sam 1:22; 27:12). In many contexts it can mean “eternal, unending”; the meaning “forever” is often expressed with phrases such as “to eternity (ʿôlām),” but sometimes with just ʿôlām. Meanings of “eternity” or “forever” are commonly used to describe the attributes of God; Yahweh will reign forever (ôlām) and ever (עַד, ʿad) (Exod 15:18; similar expressions in Pss 10:16; 45:6), and he is Israel’s God forever (ôlām) and ever (ʿad) (Psa 48:14). It can also mean “forever” in other contexts; thus, after the fall, humans were banished from Eden so that they would not take fruit from the tree of life and live forever (ôlām). The related Aramaic synonym ʿālam can also refer to eternity (e.g., Dan 2:4; 7:14, 18) or to a long time in the past (e.g., Ezra 4:15).
עַד (ʿad). n. masc. lasting time, forever. This word emphasizes the length of “forever.”
The noun ʿad occurs almost exclusively in the Prophets and Writings. It appears in the Pentateuch only in Exod 15:18. The majority of its occurrences are in Psalms. It is often found in conjunction with עוֹלָם (ʿôlām, “long time”; e.g., Isa 30:8; Mic 4:5; Psa 9:5) and occasionally in parallelism with נֵצַח (nēṣaḥ, “duration”; e.g., Psa 9:18; Amos 1:11). However, it is sometimes found alone; for example, in 1 Chr 28:9 the phrase “to ʿad” means “forever.” Like ʿôlām, ʿad can sometimes refer to a long time in the past (e.g., Hab 3:6), especially in the phrase “from ʿad” (e.g., Job 20:4). The noun ʿad is related to and spelled like the preposition עַד (ʿad, “until”), and their meanings are also related. Thus, context is often necessary to distinguish whether a particular instance involves the preposition or the noun, and some instances may be ambiguous.
נֵצַח (nēṣaḥ). n. masc. duration, eternity. Describes the quality of something as eternal or enduring.
This noun is related to the verb נָצַח (“to be enduring”). The phrase “to eternity” (לָנֶצַח, lānēṣaḥ) is often used in parallelism with other expressions for “forever,” including לְעוֹלָם (lĕʿôlām, “for a long time”; e.g., Isa 57:16; Jer 3:5; Psa 103:9) and לָעַד (lāʿad, “for lasting time”; e.g., Psa 9:18), to emphasize the idea of eternity or the enduring quality of something. It can mean “forever” outside the phrase lānēṣaḥ as well; Amos 1:11 uses nēṣaḥ alone in parallel with lāʿad.
קֶדֶם (qedem). n. masc. ancient past. A time period in the past that was long ago, even possibly before creation.
This term means “ancient past.” It can be used to describe God as eternal in the sense of existing from before the beginning of time (Psa 74:12; Hab 1:12). The word qedem occurs most frequently in the phrase “days of qedem” i.e., “ancient times” (e.g., 2 Kgs 19:25; Isa 23:7; Jer 46:26; Psa 143:5). It is also used to describe “kings of qedem” (i.e., ancient kings [Isa 19:11]), “the heavens of heavens of qedem” (i.e., the highest heavens of old [Psa 68:33]), and the origins of wisdom, which was set up “from the beginning (qedem) of the earth” (Prov 8:22–23).
דּוֹר (dôr); Aram. דָּר (dār). n. masc. generation. The span of time in a line of descent from parent to child (usually about 30 years); the people born or living in such a span.
This term means “generation.” By itself it does not indicate eternity, but it is used in various phrases denoting long periods of time or sometimes eternity. The phrase “to their/your generations (dôr)” (e.g., Gen 17:7; Exod 12:14) is used to indicate that something will or should happen as long as the descendants of a group in question (usually the Israelites) continue to exist. Sometimes it is used in combination with עוֹלָם (ʿôlām, “long time”; e.g., Lev 10:9). The word also occurs in the phrase “all generations” (dôr; e.g., Psa 45:17), which indicates the whole human future. It very often occurs in the phrase “to generation (dôr) and generation (dôr),” which is often translated “from generation to generation,” or “for all generations.” This phrase also indicates continuity into the far future and is sometimes used in parallel with “to עוֹלָם” (ʿôlām, “long time”; e.g., Psa 79:13). In Psalm 90:1, the variant “in generation (dôr) and generation (dôr)” refers to continuity into the far past rather than continuity into the far future. Sometimes the literal phrase “from generation (dôr) to generation (dôr)” does occur (e.g., Isa 34:10, where it is similarly used in parallel with “to ʿôlām.”). The related Aramaic word dār occurs in the OT only in the expression “with generation (dār) and generation (dār)” (Dan 4:3, 34), which is equivalent in meaning to Hebrew “to generation (dôr) and generation (dôr).”
αἰῶν (aiōn). n. masc. age, eon. Describes a long period of time that may or may not have an ending point.
This word is the usual Septuagint translation both of Hebrew עוֹלָם (ʿôlām, “long time”) and its Aramaic cognate עָלַם (ʿālam, “long time”), and of Hebrew עַד (ʿad, “lasting time”). In the NT, aiōn has several meanings. Sometimes it means “world” (e.g., Mark 4:19; Heb 1:2; 11:3). More often it means “age, period of the world” (e.g., Luke 20:34; Col 1:26); sometimes it is unclear which of these meanings is intended, and translations differ (e.g., Luke 16:8; Rom 12:2). Sometimes it means “antiquity,” especially in the phrase “from antiquity” (aiōn; Luke 1:70; Acts 3:21). The phrases “to the ages” (aiōn; e.g., Luke 1:33; 2 Cor 11:31; Heb 13:8) or “to the age” (aiōn; e.g., John 6:51; 2 Cor 9:9) mean “forever” and tend to be used to describe the attributes of God or eternal life. In the NT, a distinction is constantly made between the present age (or world) and the one to come (Matt 12:32; Mark 10:30; Luke 18:30; Eph 1:21). The phrase “to the ages (aiōn) of the ages (aiōn)” means “forever and ever” and is almost always used in statements glorifying God and describing his attributes as eternal (e.g., Eph 3:21; 1 Tim 1:17; 1 Pet 4:11; Rev 1:18).
αἰώνιος (aiōnios). adj. eternal, long-lasting. Describing the nature of something as enduring or eternal.
This adjective is related to the noun αἰών (aiōn, “age”). It describes the quality of something as lasting the eon or enduring the age. Many of the instances in which this word occurs are in reference to something eternal, especially eternal (aiōnios) life (e.g., Matt 19:16; John 4:14; Acts 13:48; Rom 2:7).
διηνεκής (diēnekēs). adj. continual, perpetual, eternal. Refers to the eternal quality of something.
This word appears in the NT only in the book of Hebrews, always in the phrase “to the diēnekēs,” i.e., continually or perpetually. Hebrews 7:3 uses the word of Melchizedek’s priesthood: He remains a priest perpetually (to the diēnekēs). The other three occurrences are in Heb 10. The sacrifices offered continually (to the diēnekēs) at the temple cannot perfect people (Heb 10:1), but Christ offered one sacrifice for all time (to the diēnekēs; Heb 10:12), which has perfected Christians for all time (to the diēnekēs; Heb 10:14).
ἀΐδιος (aidios). adj. eternal, continual. Describes a continuing period of time.
This adjective is related to the adverb ἀεί (aei, “always”) and means “eternal.” Romans 1:20 describes God’s eternal (aidios) power, along with his divine nature, as self-evident. Jude 6 describes as eternal (aidios) the bondage in which the fallen angels are kept until the judgment day. In this instance, it appears that the word does not mean “for all of time,” since the ending point is the day of judgment.
ἀρχαῖος (archaios) adj. ancient, previous. Describes something that happened earlier.
This adjective is derived from the noun ἀρχη (archē, “beginning”). The adjective generally describes something as long ago or ancient. In the Gospels, it is used when talking about people in the distant past, such as “prophets of old” (archaios; Luke 9:8, 19) or “the ancients (archaios),” i.e., people of ancient times (Matt 5:21, 33; compare with Acts 15:21). In Acts, the word sometimes means “early” or “earlier,” referring to the earlier days of the Church (Acts 15:7; 21:16). The word can also mean “former” (2 Cor 5:15) or “ancient” (of antediluvians, 2 Pet 2:5; of Satan, Rev 12:9; 20:2).
George, Premillennialism has no argument with your thesis that God has rejected Israel as a nation. A main distinction in the varied divine economies is the difference between Israel and the church. The point of the Tribulation is to bring Israel back to God again. When that happens then Jesus will come and set up His Millennial Kingdom fulfilling the unconditional promises.
The Trib will do what the Holocaust couldn’t then? Suddenly, contrary to their history of rejecting God’s overtures, Jews will en masse turn?
George, the Holocaust was playing with toys compared to the Tribulation. Have you read Revelation?
George, let’s stick with exegesis and exposition rather than expressing opinions.
If exegesis and exposition were entirely void of opinion, sir, there’d be no disagreements.
I do not mean that there is apodictic truth to exegesis and exposition, however, that last blog by you and my response did not reflect well on either of us (re. Tribulation).