Saturday, December 11, 2010

Two Dispensations: Kingdom and Grace (Mystery) #5 "Before the Foundation"

As promised in our last article, we now take up the study of the phrase found in Ephesians 1:4, "before the foundation of the world". This is an important benchmark of Biblical chronology as it sets the time period when the CHURCH, Eph 1:22,23, was chosen. Paul reveals that the CHURCH was chosen before this event--the foundation of the world. So what was this "foundation of the world"?

At first glance based upon the English translation of the original Greek language, it would appear to reference the creation event. But before we move upon this appearance, a closer look at the Greek words translated foundation and world is warranted. The Greek word that the translators of the KJV translated foundation is katabole. The English word derived from this Greek word katabole is katabolism which means "a destructive metabolism",(Concise Oxford Dictionary of Current English) and defines a biological event of "breaking down". The opposite English word is anabolism, or "a building up". There seems to be a conflict in referring to katabole as "creation" based upon its use in the Greek language so before resting with the KJV translator's choice of foundation, further study needs to be undertaken by the "Workman" 2 Tim 2:15 Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

First let us look at the uses of foundation by the KJV translators in the New Testament. In the New Testament, there are actually two Greek words that are translated "foundation"--katabole and themelios. We have already looked at the meaning of katabole and looking now at themelios we find that this Greek word as defined by the Strong's Concordance means: "G2310. themelios, them-el'-ee-os; from a der. of G5087; something put down, i.e. a substruction (of a building, etc.), (lit. or fig.):--foundation". This word is translated foundation and occurs in Eph 2:20, as well as Luke 6:48,49, 1 Corinthians 3:10,11,12, Luke 14:29, Romans 15:20, 1 Timothy 6:19, 2 Timothy 2:19,Hebrews 1:10, 6:1, and Revelation 21:19. The remaining 10 occurrences of foundation in the NT are translated by the Greek word katabole. As you read these remaining verses, one will note that 3 of the ten occurrences fall in the phrase BEFORE the katabole, and 7 verses have the phrase, "SINCE" or "FROM" the katabole. The conclusion that one must draw from the use of these two words is that themelios refers to a thing or item that has been created as a substructure upon which to build, and that katabole has been used to define an event--themelios used as a part of construction and katabole, DESTRUCTION. And further, one cannot from the evidence conclude that the 23 occurrences of the English word foundation all mean the same thing! Concluding evidence will be found in examining the use of the verb form of katabole, kataballo. It is used in 2 Cor 4:9, Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; and Rev 12:19 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.. This same Greek verb, kataballo, is used in the LXX version (Greek Translation) of the Old Testament 31 times translating 8 different Hebrew words as: to "cast down", to "crush", to "mar, corrupt or destroy", to "leave, spread out", to "break down", to "break forth", to "tear", and to "destroy". Conclusively then the Greek word katabole as used in the phrase "before the foundation and since the foundation can only mean the "destruction" not the "creation" of the world. This is much said for the "Workman" to digest, but the import is of such significance to understanding God's Strategice Plan that it must have the appropriate consideration.

As we continue examining the phrase "foundation of the world" our next step is do to the same with the word "world" which translates the Greek word kosmos. We will continue on this path in our next article.

1 comment:

Marcia said...

I am so excited about learning these things. It is so refreshing to hear things explained so that I don't end up trying to figure out what appears to be inconsistencies. From your rightly dividing the Word, I look further and further and find that your interpretation seems legitimate.