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Before and From

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Van, Mar 31, 2011.

  1. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
    Site Supporter

    Mar 4, 2011
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    According to the doctrines of the TULIP, every Christian was elected or chosen individually as a foreseen person before creation, in eternity before time began.
    If you look at Ephesians 1:4 you will see that we were chosen in Him before the foundation of the world. The Greek word translated “before” is transliterated “pro” and means before or above. Peter used the same word in the same formulation in 1 Peter 1:20 to describe that God’s plan of salvation was formulated before creation. And John relating the words of Jesus uses nearly the same formulation in John 17:24 to describe the relationship of the Son with the Father before creation.

    In each of these three uses of the phrase, before the foundation of the world, we have a description of some facet of the relationship between the Son and the Father. God giving glory to the Son through His love, God formulating His plan to sacrifice His Son, and God choosing Christ to be His Redeemer, and therefore corporately choosing anyone subsequently redeemed. If this choice of us “in Him” had been specific to foreseen individuals, then our names would have been written in the Lamb’s book of life before the foundation of the world, when we were supposedly chosen individually. But scripture does not support this mistaken view.

    In Revelation 17:8 we clearly see that the names were entered “from” the foundation of the world, or since the foundation of the world. Because the foundation of the world was laid during the creation week, when time began, this is saying the names of the lost were never entered from creation to the end of the age. The word translated “from” is the Greek term transliterated “apo” and means from or since and indicates separating something from something. So the phrase means after creation. The same idea is expressed in Luke 11:50 and Hebrews 9:24.

    Now only four versions that I could find translate “apo” as before, the ESV, the CEV, the NLT, and the NIRV in Revelation 13:8. On the other hand, 17 versions including the more literal versions translate “apo” as from or since, including the NASB, the NIV, the YLT and the HCSB. Not to mention the KJV, the NKJV and the KJ21 versions of Revelation 13:8. Interestingly, both the ESV and NIRV render Revelation 17:8 as from rather than before, so it is apparent that “apo” means since or from and not before. It is an exercise in redefining the meaning of words to say “apo” indicates before, especially when John uses pro to indicate before. Clearly if he had wanted to say that, he would have used pro in Revelation 13:8 and 17:8.

    In summary, the use of before and from presents a good case for rejecting individual election before the foundation of the world, and a good case for accepting that Ephesians 1:4 refers to our sharing in Christ’s election as the Redeemer when “in Him” we receive the grace provided by His election, just as 2 Timothy 1:9 says.