A Concise Study on the Words “Proginóskó” and “Prognósis”

Click here to download a word version (.docx) of this article: A Concise Study on the Words “Proginóskó” and “Prognósis”.

“proginóskó”:

“proginóskó” (Strong’s Greek 4267): to know beforehand/foreknow

* Acts 26:5: This text talks about the Jews having known Paul, as a most righteous person, to the outward appearances of the sect of the Pharisees.

* Romans 8:29: those whom He foreknew (in a relational way), are predestined to be conformed to the image of the Son of God.

They already have been called, justified,… all in the simple past, I don’t see a need for reading a certain Calvinistic chronology (in which part is already fulfilled and part has not yet been fulfilled) into the text.

* Romans 11:2: The Jewish people with whom God had a relationship before are not fully cast away.

* 1 Peter 1:20: When using the traditional translation, one can only state that it says that Jesus Christ was foreknown before the foundation of the world. Hence, it talks about Christ’s pre-existence. Furthermore this translation only says that God the Father (and the Spirit) had a personal relationship with Christ before the foundation of this world. “Foreordained” is a misleading and unnecessary translation, as it is the same proginóskó here. Perhaps the translators changed its translation, while philosophising what the meaning of its context might have been. “Pro” can be translated as “before” but it can also be translated as “in view of”. As indicated before, “the foundation of the world” is a doubtful translation. I suggest to translate it as “before [/ in view of] the destruction of the world”1. The result of translating katabolé in this way is that it suits better the apocalyptic genre of the Book of Revelation and other Bible passages; Christ is, as in Revelation 13:8, the Lamb that was slain before the destruction of the world, as our only means of being saved from this world that is doomed to destruction. Also in 1 Peter 1:20 Christ’s appearance for our sakes seems to be the means of escape from this coming judgment-destruction of God.

1 Some good examples of the word being used as “destruction” (and the like) are: 2 Samuel 20:15; Job 12:14; Ezekiel 26:4,9,12. The author does not claim that the word cannot have other meanings. (For example, it is often translated as “fall” when used in a different context). He is simply stating that this, to him, is the most obvious translation. (For more information on the translation of the word katabolé, click here and here.)

[Literally analysis of the word katabolé: kata: down + bolé: throwing = a throwing down / downthrow (destruction?) of the world (?).]

* 2 Peter 3:17: Peter warns the believers he is addressing that they should know about certain false teachers who try to wrest Paul’s writings and other Biblical writings. He is telling them about these things so that they may know these things that are happening, before they will also happen there. So that they may “know these things beforehand” and “look out for”/”be on their guard” (phulassó) against these things…

“prognósis”:

“prognósis” (Strong’s Greek 4268): foreknowledge/forethought/pre-arrangement

* Acts 2:23: Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and FORETHOUGHT of God

Christ was appointed (horizó) under God’s plan/purpose (boulé). Therefore God knew before this happened (beforehand) [, as this was His plan,] that Christ would be crucified for our sakes. Peter states that God was not surprised by the crucifixion of His Son. This portrays a God who planned the crucifixion and therefore foreknew it, and was not taken by surprise, as it was the plan which He determined. It does not portray a God who lives in an eternal-now and sees the crucifixion as much as “now”, as He sees His plan leading up to the crucifixion as “now”. He knew that, given the sinfulness of human beings and God’s sovereign right of hardening man’s heart and given Christ’s obedience, this masterplan would succeed.

* 1 Peter 1:2: Peter says he was chosen [to be an apostle among those people2] thanks to the Father having determined (arranged) this beforehand (foreknowledge/forethought/pre-arrangement). After the Father made up this plan, it was actualized through the Holy Spirit sanctifying Him so that He would obey and also through the blood of Christ.

2 Other examples of the theme of having been predestined to a certain ministry can be found in Galatians 1:15 (Paul) and Jeremiah 1:5 (Jeremiah.

Conclusion:

The author of this article thought that the words “proginóskó” and “prognósis” defend the notion of God’s absolute foreknowledge.

The point of this article is that a Biblical understanding of foreknowledge does not include any concept that God absolutely foreknows every event that will happen in the universe. Only a man-made, human-preconceived knowledge of absolutely every event includes that notion. And then that notion would have to be forced on the Scriptures, because it is nowhere to be found in the text itself.

Contrary to the understanding of many Christians, the author has not (yet) found where the Bible states: “God foreknows everything”, let alone, “God predetermines / predestines everything”.

May the Lord Jesus Christ lead you as you prayerfully study the matter on your own, in all humility.

Click here to download a word version (.docx) of this article: A Concise Study on the Words “Proginóskó” and “Prognósis”.

5 thoughts on “A Concise Study on the Words “Proginóskó” and “Prognósis”

  1. Side issue: KATABOLE might better be uniformly translated “disruption” since it fits the context in Heb 11 as well. “From the disruption of the world” might also be “since the disruption” might it not? Just wondering…

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    1. Interesting… 🙂 I don’t know 🙂 I only went with what I know (could study on it) and I’m not a native English speaker so for me it’s hard sometimes to think it through in English 🙂

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    1. This website has cost me many hours 🙂 I think most of the time of my last summer holidays and also during the school year it cost me a lot of time 🙂 At the moment it is put on a hold as I’m finishing my school year and studying Korean 🙂

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