- (ESV) even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love
- (GNB) Even before the world was made, God had already chosen us to be his through our union with Christ, so that we would be holy and without fault before him. Because of his love
- (ISV) just as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless in his presence. In love
- (NASB) just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love
Notice the common feature of all of these translations. These all place “in love” in a sequence to go with what follows and don’t include it as an element to go with verse 4.
Therefore is the placement “to be holy and without blame before Him in love”? Or should it read “in love having fore-ordained us to be adopted . . .? ” You will have to read it for yourself to work out what you think about the matter. Does “in love” belong with verse four or does it belong with verse five? If it does go with verse four then there are two positions. One is to connect it with in him / in love as I have explained already. The alternative is as other translations do, to link it with the being holy and blameless before Him, in love. In other words we work out our response by being holy and blameless in His eyes because we love him.
I personally don’t favour that interpretation. It doesn’t feel a natural link and it is not logical theologically, that we work out our holiness because we love Him. In fact He first loved us. We work on our holiness when we catch the significance of His grace.
I won’t make any more comment. It is over to you now to work out what you think about it. Read it the two different ways in a number of different versions and see what feels more natural to you.
It’s faith first and last; It’s grace always and forever.Anon
God will never make you more holy than you want to be.Anon
Don’t make simple things complicated in the effort to preserve your theology.Anon