“just as he chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and without blame before Him in love” (Eph 1:4)
We have dug around this verse but we can dig deeper yet. You can always go deeper with the Word of God.
- What does the “just as” refer to?
- How does that connect the verse to what went before?
Look at the versions and how they link this verse to the verse before.
- According as he chose us [KJV, MKJV, Murdock, Webster, YLT]
- Even as he chose us [AMP, ASV, BBE, ESV, LITV, RV]
- Just as he chose us [EMTV, ISV, NASB]
- Before the world was created [CEV GW, IBIS]
- Even before (the world was created) [GNB, NLT]
- Long before he laid down earth’s foundations [MSG]
The translations that have reordered the elements and set the time frame first have masked the conjunction “kathos”. The other translations choose either “according as“, “even as” or “just as” and all connected with [He chose]. What exactly does “according as He chose us” or “even as He chose us” or “just as he chose us” mean? It all sounds rather old English. Like the KJV version “according as he chose us . . .” – words, but do they have any meaning? The Bible is supposed to mean something. It is not gobble-de-gook. Paul had a particular purpose in mind when he wrote it. Therefore why choose the conjunction he did.
You can dig on the conjunction used by using E-Sword and the dictionary function. Open the Strong’s reference and then click on the Strong numbers in the KJV + version or in the GNT + version. That will show you the two parts of the compound conjunction translated “just as”. Then select the ISBE and enter the Strong’s numbers (G2596 and G5613) into the search slot in the ISBE.
The conjunction or connector in the Greek New Testament is [kathos] from G2596 and G5613; just (or inasmuch) as, that: – according to, (according, even) as, how, when.
Made up of :
A primary particle; (preposition) down (in place or time), in varied relations (according to the case [genitive, dative or accusative] with which it is joined): – about, according as (to), after, against, (when they were) X alone, among, and, X apart, (even, like) as (concerning, pertaining to, touching), X aside, at, before, beyond, by, to the charge of, [charita-] bly, concerning, + covered, [dai-] ly, down, every, (+ far more) exceeding, X more excellent, for, from . . . to, godly, in (-asmuch, divers, every, -to, respect of), . . . by, after the manner of, + by any means, beyond (out of) measure, X mightily, more, X natural, of (up-) on (X part), out (of every), over against, (+ your) X own, + particularly, so, through (-oughout, -oughout every), thus, (un-) to (-gether, -ward), X uttermost, where (-by), with. In composition it retains many of these applications, and frequently denotes opposition, distribution or intensity.
Probably adverb of compound from G3739; which how, that is, in that manner (very variously used as shown): – about, after (that), (according) as (it had been, it were), as soon (as), even as (like), for, how (greatly), like (as, unto), since, so (that), that, to wit, unto, when ([-soever]), while,
You can see from the above it is a complex conjunction. I favour the reading “in that manner like” or “just like”. Hence the connection would read “He blesses us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenlies in Christ JUST LIKE when he chose us before the world was created.” His choosing of us becomes an example of one the spiritual blessings that is ours in Christ. So too are all those that follow in Paul’s unfolding examples in Eph 1:3-14.
Tomorrow we will look at one more element before moving on.
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.Walt Emerson
Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.Anon