Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
May 1, 1952

Foreordained — Rom. 8:29, 30

James D. Bales, Searcy, Arkansas

"Whom He foreknew He also foreordained."

"The translators of the Authorized Version reveal, it would seem, doctrinal prejudice by their rendering He also did predestinate.' For this unjustified word they went back to Catholic Versions, the Rheims and the Vulgate, which have predestinavit, whereas the earlier English Versions of Wycliffe and Tyndale had the softer and more accurate word "preordain.' This is the more noticeably in the case of Wycliffe seeing that he was translating from the Vulgate. These later translators had reason for forsaking the Latin, and its restoration by the Authorized Version has had the disastrous effect of fixing in the mind of the English reader the fatalistic notion so foreign to scripture. If the Authorized translators had understood Isaiah 65:11 considered in the last chapter, they might have felt the wrongness of introducing the idea of destiny seeing that God had solemnly condemned it. Their change is the less excusable seeing that in 1 Corinthians 2:7 they translate the same word by ordain.

"A thing may be foreordained without it being irreversible, for it may be ordained on conditions, which not being fulfilled the ordination lapses. And this is the case here. The passage is speaking of those foreordained being conformed to the image of God's Son, and glorified. Now but a few sentences earlier (Rom. 8:17) it had been written that the children of God are 'heirs indeed of God, but joint heirs with Christ, if so be that we suffer with Him, that we may be also glorified with Him.' In his last letter which we have the same writer states the same condition as attaching to the same prospect of sharing the glory of Christ. (2 Tim. 2:10-13) He speaks there of the elect obtaining 'the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory,' and he adds that 'Faithful is the saying: For if we died with him, we shall also live with Him: if we endure, we shall also reign with Him: if we deny Him, He also will deny us'." (English Version) (G. H. Lang, World Chaos Its Root and Remedy, London: The Paternoster Press, 1948, p. 63)