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  • Cory Trout

What is Eternal Life?

The phrase eternal life occurs over 20 times in the Scriptures. In contrast the phrase life eternal occurs less than 8 times, and everlasting life over 10 times.

Here are two Scriptures that speak of eternal life, followed by the meaning of the word eternal:

John 10:28 “And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.” 1 John 5:13 “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.”

To understand what eternal life is, it is important to know what the word eternal means.

The word eternal is an adjective, defined as “infinite in past and future duration; without beginning or end; that always has existed and always will exist”; “without beginning or end of existence; without end of existence or duration; ceaseless; unchangeable; existing at all times without change”; “which hath no beginning nor end”.

Thus eternal life is life that has no beginning and no end, life that is without beginning or end. By definition eternal life cannot cease or change, it cannot be modified or altered in any way. To be more direct and specific, it is the life itself that is eternal, having neither beginning nor end.

Eternal life is given to a person at salvation. To learn how to be saved according to the Scripture, click here: Heaven.

The adjective eternal not only describes the type of life a saved person has but also describes God himself. Deuteronomy 33:27 “The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms: …”



  1. Bullokar, John. “Eternall.” An English Expositor Teaching the Interpretation of the Hardest Words Vsed in Our Language. With Sundry Explications, Descriptions, and Discourses. By I.B. Doctor of Phisicke, Iohn Legatt, 1616.

  2. Webster, Noah, and Rosalie J. Slater. “Eternal.” Noah Webster’s First Edition of an American Dictionary of the English Language, Foundation for American Christian Education, 2009.

  3. “Eternal.” The Compact Edition of the Oxford English Dictionary: Complete Text Reproduced Micrographically, I A-O, Oxford University Press, 1971, p. 899.


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