Knoch, Adolph Ernst (1874-1965), German speaking American theological writer, Bible translator and publisher, and founder of ConcordantPublishing Concern (the Universalist offshoot of the Plymouth Brethren). Knoch designed the hyper literal Concordant Version/Translation of the Bible – his great labour of love – to put the reader who lacks a formal knowledge of Koine Greek in touch with the meaning of the original manuscripts (the Old Testament is largely the work of Vladimir Gelesnoff, although many others were involved including Adlai Loudy and Ernest Stroeter).
‘The Brethren changed “God wills all men to be saved”, to God “wishes”, but my concordance showed me that it was the Brethren who wished it so, not God … They also altered “the Saviour of all” to “the Preserver of all” … Romans five and First Corinthians fifteen and Colossians one contained statements which I could not believe because they contradicted many other passages dealing with the fate of unbelievers. It was only after the truth as to the eonian times was opened up to me that I was able to exult in their glorious unfoldings”. (Unsearchable Riches, vol.24, Concordant Publishing Concern, Almont, Michigan, USA, pp.65-69).
“In his book THOUGHTS ON DIVINE GOODNESS, Ferdinand Oliver Petitpierre taught that men are sinners, and God punishes them with severity; but this severity is dictated by goodness, and all the punishments God inflicts are declared to be for the sinner’s good.
How opposed to this is the dreadful doctrine of eternal punishment, an error which grew up under a misconception of the meaning of the word rendered everlasting. God punishes always to reform, a fact which the author establishes with the most irresistible reasoning.
‘These shall go away into eonian punishment’ in which the word rendered punishment, he maintains, quoting the authority of Wittenbach, and Grotius, signifies a remedial, corrective discipline. The infinite authority of God is entirely founded on His goodness.
‘Eternal’ punishment is real evil, an infinite evil, in which everything conspires to exclude from God’s plan of the ages.”
“To those who would challenge the truth of the reconciliation of all, I would reply, ‘It is God’s choice, and praise be to Him that He has chosen it to be so. Let no one deny God the right to choose as He wills.’ ”
“When God’s conciliatory hand of friendship has been grasped by all in complete reconciliation, and when the wisdom of His choosings and His appointments, that is His sovereignty has been universally accepted beyond question – in short, when God is All in all, then every one of His creatures will rejoice in being one of HIS achievements, and all in the heavens and on earth will be both prepared and glad to acknowledge that of themselves they have contributed nothing, but that ALL HAS BEEN OF HIM.”
The introduction reads “Mistranslation of the Greek word ‘aion’ is a master stroke of diabolical genius. Perhaps no other word erroneously translated, could more effectively pervert man’s image of God and cause such widespread confusion. Because the understanding of the eons and God’s purpose in them has been lost, the church is divided on important issues like judgement, and man’s destiny. The following work by Joseph E. Kirk is offered in the hope that the serious seeker after spiritual truth will be aided in their quest.”
Here is a snippet from the writing itself. “During this present wicked eon (Gal.1:4), sin reigns, Satan who is said to be ‘the god of this eon’ (2Cor. 4:4) blinds and deceives mankind, and death swallows up the race (1Cor. 15:22). But notwithstanding, God is over all and in supreme control. He is the eonian God.
In due time, He will deliver the entire creation and bring good out of all the suffering mankind is called upon to endure (Rom. 8:18-23).”
“The inspired scriptures never speak of eternity. They describe nothing as eternal. They contain no term which itself bears our time sense of everlasting. As eternity is not a subject of revelation, our present object is to discover how and when this unscriptural term gained entrance into theology, with most disastrous results.
It may be stated, without fear of contradiction, that the more one explores into the early centuries of Christendom, the clearer does it become that a corrupt theology was alone responsible for displacing the teaching regarding the eons by a dogma respecting ‘eternity.’”
“As an escape from the doctrine of eternal torment, I at first embraced the doctrine of annihilation for the wicked, and for a little while tried to comfort myself with the belief that this life ended all for them. But the more I thought of it, the more it seemed to me that it would be a confession of serious failure on the part of the Creator, if He could find no way out of the problem of His creation, but to annihilate the creatures whom He had created.
One day a revelation came to me that vindicated God, and settled the whole problem forever. I saw that it was true, as the Bible says, that ‘as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.’ As was the first, even so was the second. The ‘all’ in one case could not in fairness mean less than the all in the other. I saw therefore that the remedy must necessarily be equal to the disease. The salvation must be as universal as the fall.
I saw this that day on the tram-car on Market Street, Philadelphia — not only thought it, or hoped it — but knew it. It was a Divine fact. And from that moment I have never had a questioning thought as to the final destiny of the human race. The how and the when I could not see; but the one essential fact was all I needed — somewhere and somehow God was going to make everything right for all the creatures He had created. My heart was at rest about it forever.”
Its an odd phrase, age-during, where did it come from?
Whilst doing some study into the concept of eternal punishment I found that whilst most Bibles have the Greek word “aiōnion” translated as “eternal” or “forever”, the Young’s Literal Translation (YLT) uses the phrase “age-during”, which implies a limit in time rather than something that goes on forever and ever.
In other places the phrase “age-lasting” is used. Again, this implies a limit in time. Something that lasts for an age.
Further study has me convinced that the Christian doctrine of eternal punishment is incorrect and is in part supported by the mis-translation of aiōnion.
The concept of an everlasting punishment for finite sin has puzzled me and many sincere Christians for many years. It is hard to reconcile the apparent contradiction between a God of amazing, outrageous grace and a God who would punish for eternity.
As, has become clear to me, punishment for sin is for a period of time not forever, and the nature of the punishment is corrective rather than punitive – for the good of the one being punished, not the one punishing.
The Good News really is good news.