“World without end” - Isaiah 45:17 and Ephesians 3:21
This expression occurs two times in the King James Bible. We find it once in the Old Testament (Isaiah 45:17) and once in the New Testament (Ephesians 3:21). It is just another way of saying “forever”.
Isaiah 45:17 - “But Israel shall be saved in the Lord with an everlasting salvation: ye shall not be ashamed nor confounded WORLD WITHOUT END.”
Ephesians 3:21 - “Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, WORLD WITHOUT END. Amen.”
The purpose of this short article is not to criticize the Bible Babble Buffet versions that nobody seriously believes are the inerrant words of God, but rather to show that the King James Bible is not in error at all for translating the phrases in both Hebrew and Greek as “WORLD WITHOUT END”
Not only does the KJB use the expression “world without end” in the Old Testament to mean “for ever” but so do the following Bible translations: Coverdale 1535, the Great Bible 1540, Matthew’s Bible 1549, the Bishops’ Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1599, Webster’s Version 1833, the Revised Version 1885, The Revised English Bible 1877, the ASV (American Standard Version) 1901, The Ancient Hebrew Bible 1907 - “WORLD WITHOUT END”, The Improved Bible 1913, the JPS 1917 (Jewish Publication Society) - “nor confounded WORLD WITHOUT END.”, The Word of Yah 1993, the KJV 21st Century 1994, The Revised Webster Bible 1995, God’s First Truth 1999, The Sacred Scriptures Family of Yah 2001, A Conservative Version 2005, The Context Group Version 2007, the Hebraic Transliteration Scriptures 2010, the BRG Bible 2012.
World English Bible - “to ages everlasting”
Young’s - “unto the ages of eternity”
Complete Apostles Bible - “forever”
Jubilee Bible - “through all ages”
ESV, NASB - “to all eternity”
The New American Bible 2010 - “in any future age”
NET - never again be ashamed”
The Voice - “never ever”
NIV - “to ages everlasting”
NKJV - “for ever and ever”
New Life Version - “for all time”
Ancient Roots Translinear- “until forever evermore”
Bond Slave Version - “age without end”
Apostolic Polyglot Bible 2003 - “unto the eon still”
Holy Scriptures VW Edition 2010 - “to everlasting eternity”
Online Interlinear 2010 (André de Mol) - “unto eons of future”
The Hebraic Roots Bible 2012 - “to the forevers of eternity”
In Ephesians 3:21 other Bible translations that use the expression “WORLD WITHOUT END” are The Great Bible 1540, the Bishops’ Bible 1568, the Bill Bible 1671, the Douay Rheims 1582 and 1899 American edition, Whiston’s N.T, 1745, John Wesley’s Version 1755, Webster’s Translation 1833, the Longman Version 1841, The Hussey N.T. 1845, The Hewett N.T. 1850, The Commonly Received Version 1851, the Kenrick N.T. 1862, The American Bible Union N.T. 1865, Cambridge Paragraph bible 1873 (Scrivener), The Revised English Bible 1877, the Dillard N.T. 1885, Weymouth N.T. 1912, The Clarke N.T. 1913, the Montgomery N.T. 1924, Lamsa's 1933 translation of the Syriac Peshitta, The Word of Yah 1993, the KJV 21st Century 1994, The Revised Webster Bible 1995, The Work of God’s Children Illustrated Bible 2011, the BRG Bible 2012.
Let's look at some other translations and see how they line up. The RV, ASV, RSV, ESV, NIV, NASB, Holman Standard all say: "to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, FOREVER AND EVER. Amen."
It should be noted that none of these are a strictly literal translation, but they all give the sense of the phrase. There WILL BE a new world and it will be without end and Christ and God will be glorified forever and ever.
A few translations try a more literal approach in translating the phrase and they actually end up teaching to opposite.
Green's "literal" translation, Darby's translation and Young's have: "to Him be the glory in the assembly in Christ Jesus, to all the generations OF THE AGE OF THE AGES. Amen."
If this glorifying of God is only to all the generations of the age of the ages, then there is eventually and END to it. At some time in the future this time will run out. So these translations end up missing the point.
The praise and glory to God will be for ever and ever, or as the KJB and several others have it, "world without end.”
ISV, ASV, ESV - “forever and ever”
Young’s - “to the age of the ages”
Mace N.T. - “thro’ all successions of future ages”
Living Oracles - “during all the endless successions of ages”
Common English bible - “forever and always”
Complete Jewish Bible - “from generation to generation forever”
God’s Word, Names of God Bible - “for all time and eternity”
New Life Version - “in all time”
Bond Slave Version - “age without end”
Concordant Version - “for all the generations of the eons of the eons”
Faithful N.T. 2009 - “to all the generations of the eternity of eternities”
The Last Days Bible 1999 - “for all ages to come”
The Aramaic N.T. 2011 - “throughout the centuries of the universe to the end of all the universes, amen.”
The Pioneer’s N.T. 2005 - “into all the generations of eternity”
Another related topic you may be interested in is the phrase “the end of the world” as used in Matthew 24:3 and other places in the King James Bible, as opposed to “the end of the age” in many modern versions.
You can see it here -
All of grace, believing the Book - the King James Bible.