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Acts 15:18 – Textual Variants and Literal Accuracy



“Known from the ages to God are all His works;” (Acts 15:18, YLT)


The Aion Variant here is “aiōnos” which more accurately means “age” (singular) since the Nature of this Word (or the “feel”) in Greek is “Noun-Genitive-Masculine-Singular, NGMS”.


So, does it mean that the YLT translation above is Wrong?


Not necessarily. An even more literal rendering might read:

“Known from the AGE to God are all His works;” (Acts 15:18)


Where we replaced the AGES by AGE in the YLT translation above to agree with the ‘singular nature of this root word-Aion’ which holds in a FACTUAL Statement.


The Verse above clearly implies that God knows All His Works at the START (or BEGINNING) of the age itself which is evidenced by the phrase “from the AGE” for ANY AGE.


That is, since His Foreknowledge holds for ANY AGE, in meaning it refers to God Knowing His Works from the Beginning of ALL AGES allowing the plural-translation with regards to its MEANING.


Note that I would still prefer a singular-AGE translation which would have been MORE ACCURATE.

In analogy, the singular word MAN denotes “ALL MEN” which is like the word AGE in Verse above due to its Generality (of not specifying ‘which age’) while the plural word MEN could be used to refer to ALL MEN too likewise as it seems to be done in the translation above with regards to the choice of the word AGES instead of AGE.

The Important thing is that the MEANING in both TRANSLATIONS remain the SAME for this Verse namely that God KNOWS His Works before each AGE(s).

In cases where the singular-AGE or plural-AGES matter, we take it as it is Written. All these further highlights the importance of translating singular occurrences as singular-age and the plural occurrences as plural-ages in order to be more accurate for FACTUAL Statements. Even the YLT is not a perfect translation either whilst the others being even more ‘NON word to word at times’.


For example the Rotherham Emphasized Bible translates this Verse using the SINGULAR – AGE as follows (being more accurate in this case):


“Known from AGE-past times” (Acts 15:18, Rotherham Emphasized Bible)





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