An Alphabetical Analysis
Volume 7 - Doctrinal Truth - Page 79 of 297
It should be remembered that neither Baptism nor the Lord's Supper are
called ordinances in the Scriptures, and this term should not be used when
dealing with these subjects.  Some in their zeal to show that in the
dispensation of the Mystery water baptism is unknown, or the Lord's Supper
has no place, weaken their testimony by misusing the word 'ordinance'.  The
truth needs no bolster, and most certainly can never be defended by the
misuse of terms.  (See Baptism1; and Lord's Supper2 for positive teaching on
these important subjects).
Ephesians 1:4
The A.V. reads at Ephesians 1:4:
'According as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the
This translation has been questioned and the alternative rendering is
'before the overthrow of the world'.  The word translated 'foundation' is the
Greek katabole, the verbal form being kataballo.  Katabole is found in
classical Greek bearing the meaning 'foundation'.  The Greek student knows
very well that the meanings attached to many Greek words by their pagan
originators are modified in or excluded from the pages of Holy Scripture, and
he should remember this word katabole is never used in the LXX.  This should
give us pause, for the idea of laying a foundation occurs many times.  The
LXX translates the phrase 'lay a foundation' by the Greek word themelioo, and
the noun 'foundation' by the Greek word themelion, both of which are endorsed
and used in the New Testament.  This too should be kept well in mind.  We
will not quote the thirty or more references that occur, but the following
will suffice as a sample of its usage in the LXX:
'Cursed be the man before the Lord, that riseth up and buildeth this
city Jericho: he shall lay the foundation (themelioo) thereof in his
firstborn' (Josh. 6:26).
'The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation (themelioo) of this
house' (Zech. 4:9).
When the Lord spoke of laying the foundation of the earth, He used the
same Greek word in Zechariah 12:1.
The New Testament follows this use of themelioo 'lay a foundation' and
themelion 'foundation', as the following examples will show.
'He ... laid the foundation on a rock' (Luke 6:48).
'It was founded upon a rock' (Luke 6:48 in the Received Text).
'As a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation ... for other
foundation can no man lay' (1 Cor. 3:10,11).
In like manner, the foundation of the apostles and prophets of
Ephesians 2:20, the sure foundation of 2 Timothy 2:19 and the twelve
foundations of the New Jerusalem (Rev. 21:19), these all use the Greek word
themelion.  The New Testament  therefore takes the same view as does the LXX.
So do we.