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1 Peter 1:25 "...but the word of the Lord remains forever." And this word is the good news that was preached to you". ESV. [word/rhema].

Matthew 24:35 "Heaven and earth will pass away , but my words will not pass away". ESV. [words/logoi].

For 1 Peter 1:25 over 20 versions in Bible Hub translate "eis ton aiona" with "forever" or "ever".

But YLT, BLB and LSV put "age". e.g. Literal Standard Version 1 Peter 1:25: "but the saying of the LORD remains-throughout the age".

In Colossians 1:26 "the mystery hidden for ages"-here ages/aionon are in time, belong to time.

In Matthew 24:35 "heaven and earth will pass away but my words will not pass away". Does "not pass away" mean for "all eternity", in contrast to "forever", meaning, "as long as this world exists?

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Yes, surely. Both are quotes of Isaiah 40:8: "The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever," and of Psalm 119(118):89 "Your word, o Lord, will last forever", and Psalm 33 (32):11 "The council of God remains forever, and thoughts of His heart from generation to generation" (ἡ δὲ βουλὴ τοῦ Κυρίου εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα μένει, λογισμοὶ τῆς καρδίας αὐτοῦ εἰς γενεὰν καὶ γενεάν.) Indeed, what has more dignity, the source, or that that, which comes out from the source? The first must be at least as dignified, if not more, than what comes out of it. Similarly, if word sourced out from Jesus remains forever, then necessarily to Jesus Himself, to the Source of this word, pertains divinity and eternity, which is clearly asserted of Him in the Gospels (cf. John 1:1 for His being God and eternal without reference to His Incarnation, or Paul in Hebrews 13:8, already with reference to the Logos's Incarnation - "Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and for ever /εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας/".)

No prophet or apostle would say this from his own person, for it would be a blasphemy; that's why they say that "Lord's word will remain forever", or "Your word, o Lord, will last forever"; on the contrary, Jesus says the same from His own Person, for He is the Lord God, whose word will remain forever.

As to the question concerning the Matthew 24:35: "Does "not pass away" mean for "all eternity", in contrast to "forever", meaning, "as long as this world exists?" - the "not pass away" in this passage means "eternally", "forever", because the "heaven and earth" stand for the entirety of creation, both visible and invisible, and only creation can end, whereas what is beyond creation, i.e. the word the Lord, is necessarily exempt from the category of ending, and thus possesses divine, supra-creaturly ever-ness.

However, if your question asks whether there is a twofold distinction in words of God, that is to say, a) one type of those words stand for those things that existed before the creation of the world and will not come to an end even if the world will be annihilated (such words can be like Father the Son and the Holy Ghost whispering to each other "I love Thee" in a divine language that has nothing to do with English and even with Homeric Greek); and b) another type of those words which stand for things that last only from the creation to the end of the universe. However, this distinction is not plausible at all, for even those words of God that relate to the concrete temporal facts in the history of mankind are eternal in Him and thus never pass away. It is, thus, eternal truth that "Abraham will become father of nations" (cf. Genesis 17:4) that was true before creation of the world, for God knew it even in that atemporal, prior-to-creational "then", and will be true and stand even after the consummation of the created universe, for it is still existing in God's eternal knowledge. Yet, the last possibility that the created world will be done away entirely so that there will remain again only the Trinity without created universe, is sheerly hypothetical, for the universe has a beginning, but not end, and one of the eternal uncreated hypostases of God, Logos, has adopted forever the human created nature, thus the preservation of the creation is guaranteed.

Again, to return to the gist of the matter, let us show that the Jesus' words have exactly the same divine dignity as the words attested to the Lord in Old Testament. In fact, what is more principal: a source, or that which comes out of source? Of course, the source, for it should contain at least as much as what comes out of it, and, moreover, it holds a causal and logical superiority. Now, if the Son, unlike servants, remains forever (John 8:35), then also all His essential features and attributes that are manifested from the eternal Son, the "word" being one of those attributes, also remain eternally, for how that what is essential to somebody who is eternal be not co-eternal?

Moreover, as to the servants, who are angels (Hebrews 1:14), they cannot speak out of their own sovereign authority, for they are just servants, and thus, nobody can pray to angels that they may commit this or that out of their sovereign authority; whereas Jesus can be asked to speak and act out of His sovereign authority, as God. That is why the wise centurion, understanding this, asks Him not to come to his house, but to "just say a word" and his servant would be healed (Matthew 8:8-9). That is to say, the centurion believed that Jesus had a self-sovereign authority over spirits (believed to be the causes of illnesses), just like he himself had authority over soldiers. Thus, Jesus' word is not for centurion an angelic word, but a self-sovereign divine word, for angels do not have self-sovereign authority over each other, so as to give orders and commands to each other. Even highest of angels, like e.g. Michael, cannot stop Satan from doing iniquity, but invokes name of God to stop him (Jude 1:9), because, unlike Jesus, Michael is not God, but just a servant. But Jesus heals, and expels demons, by His self-sovereign will and initiative, without praying to any principle above Him, for He, alongside with the Father, is the highest Principle, for He and Father are one (John 10:30). Thus, this word of Jesus, so far as it possesses divine self-sovereign authority, is eternal.

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  • Re: word. John 6:68 You have the rhema/words of eternal life. Like preaching these words may or may not be accepted. But in John 5:38 is that logos/word accepted and indwelling-when it is believed. Is that acceptable distinction between the two?
    – C. Stroud
    Feb 4 at 20:09
  • @C.Stroud I might not clearly understand your last question. Perhaps there is a distinction in a nuance: in 6:68 it may mean that for accepting the word of God, i.e. preaching of Jesus ("He is My beloved Son, Him you listen!"), one has already to have in one's heart some readiness of disposition for this acceptance, and this readiness of disposition is also a preliminary presence of divine word in them or at least influence of such a preliminary presence. Intent, wisdom and word of God is infinite, and thus its portion can and does precede another portion in finite beings like angels and men. Feb 4 at 21:20
  • If someone hears the Gospel words [rhema] but does not believe them then the truth of those words [logos] does not dwell in them. If they can intellectually recall those words then the "word" is in them but without faith the word is not currently living in them. In what other way might one see the contrast between rhema and logos?
    – C. Stroud
    Feb 5 at 12:20
  • @C.Stroud I would not make this semantic distinction, for we also hear that the Sower (God) sows "word"/logos (Matthew 13:19) in hearts of men, and some cultivate this word, but in others satan comes and takes it away, thus in this parable "logos" has the same function you ascribe to rhema. Feb 5 at 14:46
  • Yes rhema and logos overlap in meaning sometimes but not, I'm confident, always. The definition of a synonym is of two words sometimes overlapping and sometimes not. Do you know Trench's "Synonyms of the N.T."? In case you or anyone else reading this does not know it this book is "the best". Being thorough he compares: logos with phonen; logos with laletheis; logos with mythous etc:
    – C. Stroud
    Feb 5 at 16:05
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In 1 Peter 1 we observe that Peter directly equates two phrases:

  • (V23) λόγου ζῶντος Θεοῦ (word of [the] living God)
  • (V25) τὸ ῥῆμα Κυρίου (the word of [the] Lord)

This idea of the permanence of the God's Word is spoken about in several places:

  • Matt 24:35 - Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words [logoi] will never pass away. See also Mark 13:31, Luke 21:33.

There are very similar ideas presented in related passages as well such as:

  • Matt 5:17-19 - Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets. I have not come to abolish them, but to fulfill them. For I tell you truly, until heaven and earth pass away, not a single jot, not a stroke of a pen, will disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. So then, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do likewise will be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever practices and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
  • 2 Peter 1:20, 21 - Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture comes from one’s own interpretation. For no such prophecy was ever brought forth by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

Here, Peter and Jesus regard the inspired words of the (OT) prophets as also permanent using similar language as Jesus' words. This is further confirmed by the fact that Jesus quotes (in Matt 24:35) Isa 40:8

The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever.”

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In 1 Peter 1:25 "rhema/word" occurs twice. The second time-"And this "rhema"/word is the good news that was preached..". ESV.

In this answer I want to look at the connection between rhema/word and preaching. Could salvation preaching only exist as long as salvation is possible, i.e. as long as time lasts?

In 1 Peter 1:18-21 the good news is explained.."you were ransomed...with the precious blood of Christ...who through him are believers in God".

The good news is good news because it brings salvation-a passport to heaven. But in the future eternity, will people need to hear about how to get there when they are already there? They will rejoice in what was preached but that is not the same as the preaching itself.

Matthew 24:14 "this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed...and then the end will come". "the end" of the world but also of, I suggest, a particular sort of proclamation, the sort that is instrumental in the bringing about of salvation.

1 Peter 1:23 The word here is "the living and abiding "logou"/word of God". This word will abide and be fulfilled in heaven, but what about the "rhema/word"?

Why in 1 Peter 1:23-25 do "logou" and "rhema" appear in close proximity to each other unless a distinction is intended? What other distinction might exist apart from the one I am trying to describe?

In Isaiah 40:8-9 "the grass withers, the flowers fade, But the word of God stands forever". If this "word" is the "good tidings" in "you who bring good tidings"- then again it might be the preaching aspect that is being mentioned.

  1. This answer is full of its own questions and "might be's" but I think I have started down avenues the previous answers have not touched on.

  2. I am not sure I can prove it but it appears to me that in 1 Peter 1:25 "word" describes preaching for salvation or condemnation in this world not the next. i.e. this preaching is for the forever before heaven and earth pass away.

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