On the word “Eternity” in the New Testament
It can easily be proven that the translations of the Bible, both O.T. and N.T. have been very much colored by the philosophic and theological views of the translators, and what is needed by mankind, and particularly by students of theosophy, is, not so much an esoteric version of the Bible, as a correct translation. While this could easily be proven, the writer is giving in this instance a case to show how one of the strongest evidences in favor of reincarnation in the N.T. has been hidden. That is, those passages which in the Greek text use the word “aion,” usually translated as age, or eternity, but not consistently translated at all.
Gerald Massey in his masterful and invaluable works on Egypt strove to prove that the word “Eternity” is of Egyptian derivation and comes from the root “Ter” which means a circle, and “eternity” meant “going around in a circle.” We know very well that the circle was used as a symbol of eternity.
Our word “eternity” comes from the Latin “aeternitas,” derived from the adjective “aeternus,” which is itself a contraction of “aevi-ternus,” from the noun “aevum.” Both “aevum” and the Greek “aion” have the same meaning and the common root “aevo.”
They both mean a period of time, an epoc, but originally meant a life or lifetime. The root “aevo, aevo, aio” probably comes from “au” which meant ”to blow” as the wind, e.g. and so meant “to breathe.” The ancients well knew the relationship between Breath and Life, so we have “aion” and “aevum,” a life. Let us apply this.
In the Lord’s Prayer, we have the English “forever,” we have the Greek “eis tous aionas,” which means “into the ages.“ But these ages were to the Greeks the same as a lifetime, and this idea could very well be rendered “through the lives or incarnations,” or “through the circles.” In fact we find in the Vulgate the words “per saeculas,” meaning “through the cycles.” Saecula, like aion and aevum, had the meaning “age,” but originally meant a “life” or “a lifetime,” so would naturally be the Latin rendition of “through the period of incarnations.”
There is no evidence that Jesus meant a continuance without an end in those cases where the N.T. text uses the Greek “aion.” The very last words in Matthew read “I am with you all the days until the completion of the “aion.” Here the translator changed the meaning of “aion” to “world.” If “world” was meant, the writer of Matthew would have used “kosmos.” The meaning indicated was that Jesus would be with his disciples even though they were in the physical and He in a more subtle body. Naturally the orthodox Christian would hide any such evidence of reincarnation.
Strange to say, “aeon” also meant “the spinal marrow.” This is exceedingly interesting because of its relationship to the password of the Third Degree of Masonry, the symbolism of the circle and the esotericism of the “body temple.”