Who is the Foreknown in Romans 8:29-30? What does this verse mean?

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Romans 8:29-30 “For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.”

Romans 8:29 is talking about Old Testament Saints that God knew-before, like Abraham, Joseph, Moses, David, Elijah, that were foreshadow images of Christ. God had determined plans for Abraham Joseph, Moses, and David, which turned them into foreshadow images of Christ. That is why it speaks in the past-tense of their glorification, because they have already died and past into glory.

This verse cannot be referring to future saints who haven’t been born yet, as then it would have to say “them he shall glorify.”


The word translated as “foreknew” (Rom. 11:2) or “foreknow” (rom. 8:29) is the word “proginōskō”. However, it is falsely assumed that this word necessarily implies that this knowledge is eternal and exhaustive, thus creating the doctrine of eternal and exhaustive foreknowledge. This, however, cannot be the case as Paul uses the same word to apply to the knowledge of men (Acts 26:5). In fact, the Apostle Peter also used this same word to describe the knowledge of men (2 Pet. 3:17).

Peter uses the word to say that the believers knew a specific truth before, thus they foreknew it. Paul uses the word to say that Israel knew him before. This use of the word is not describing a foreknowledge of the future, but a knowledge of someone in the past. There were Israelites who knew Paul before he was arrested, thus they foreknew him. That is how Paul used the word in Acts 26:5, and that also seems to be how Paul used it in Romans. 8:29 and 11:2. The word is not being used to describe a foreknowledge of a future event, but the knowledge God had of Israel and of Old Testament Saints before the New Testament. God knew Israel and Old Testament Saints before the New Testament, thus He foreknew them.



Divine Nescience & Foreknowledge contains two classic works from the 1800’s in one volume. They are “Divine Nescience of Future Contingencies A Necessity” and “The Foreknowledge of God, and Cognate Themes in Theology and Philosophy” by L. D. McCabe. Because these books were out of print, these books have been very hard to find and very expensive to purchase, until now. These two profound books were written in the 1800’s and brilliantly expound upon the open view of God. They are two of the most important theological writings of the 19th Century and arguably two of the best writings on the topic of open theism. This book is a must read for any Christian who wants to understand the scriptural and logical arguments for the open view of the future. 490 pages



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1 Response to Who is the Foreknown in Romans 8:29-30? What does this verse mean?

  1. So the Calvinists “Golden Chain of Redemption” turns out to be fools gold after all!

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