The term ‘foundation' is found in all versions of the Bible. In the Concordant Version it is used just 16 times, but in most versions it occurs around 28 times. A reader of any other version might assume this to be an accurate translation of a single Greek word that means foundation in all 28 places.
Readers new to the Concordant Version often find the language a little strange at first. Why are there so many unfamiliar words? Could not more ‘user friendly' terms be employed? It almost seems as if the translators tried to use strange and obscure terms. One such word is the subject of this article: it is ‘disruption'. Though this term is not uncommon in everyday affairs, when we look at other versions (translations) of the Bible we do not find the term ‘disruption' at all. It is rendered almost universally by the English word ‘foundation.'
As we read foundation in its various occurrences we find it used in a parable where two men built houses, one founded on a rock, and the other without a foundation. When Paul and Silas are in prison in Philippi, the found-ations of the prison are shaken by an earthquake. A further instance is where Paul says, in 1 Corinthians 3:10-12 "Other foundation can no man lay beside that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone is building . . ." It is obvious that, whatever the Greek word may be, it is correctly translated foundation in these scriptures, for there is a reference to building on it.
In each of the above scriptures the Greek term rendered foundation is THEMELIOS, a compound word made up of two parts: thenos meaning place, and melios meaning care. So THEMELIOS means place-care.
An early Greek thinker pointed out that gravity stands at a right angle to the horizon. When we lay the foundation for a house, it must be placed very carefully indeed. If it is not level the walls of the building will not be vertical. The windows will not fit properly, the doors will not close. A foundation must be ‘placed care'-fully.
This expression occurs some 16 times in the New Testament (the Greek scriptures), and in every place it is used as a basis for building, either literally (the foundation of a house), or figuratively (Christ is the one foundation). We can be certain that THEMELIOS is correctly translated foundation.
We noted that ‘foundation' occurs 28 times in most versions. Why can we only account for 16 in the Concordant Version? What about the other 12 —where do they fit in?
They do not fit in at all! Only one Greek word means ‘foundation' and it occurs 16 times —no more. In the other 12 scriptures where various versions have ‘foundation,' it is a rendering of a different Greek word —KATABOLE —with no similarity of meaning. It means something quite different from the other word also translated ‘foundation.'
Disruption' is an accurate translation of the Greek katabole. It occurs twelve times, and only the Concordant Version has this term. Almost all others have translated katabole as ‘foundation.'
Without a Concordant Version we would conclude that all occurrences of foundation represent the same Greek word. According to them, katabole also means ‘foundation.'
KATABOLE sounds similar to other words we know well -such as ‘catastrophe' and ‘cataclysm': in fact, it is already in use in our language as katabolism. It also is made of two parts, ‘kata,' meaning down, and ‘ bole' meaning cast.
If we look up catabolism in a dictionary we will find it defined as "the disruptive process of chemical change in organisms; destructive metabolism." It is also used in metallurgy, and also to describe the breaking down of food in digestion.
‘Disruption' is never used of a constructive process.
Two words are translated foundation. They are not similar in meaning. They have no common elements. One means place-care and the other means down-casting The Concordant Version renders place-care as foundation, and down-casting as disruption. Foundation is always a basis for building. Nothing is ever built on the disruption.
FOUNDATION = THEMELIOS (PLACE-CARE)
DISRUPTION = KATABOLE (DOWN -CAST)
No immediate explanation is offered as to the cause of the disruption, other than to require it to be an intended feature in God's ways. The suggestion is sometimes offered that it was the result of a judging. Could this be so? Was the disruption brought about by a judgment?
The main feature of a judgment is a setting right —a restoration of equity—a fairness to both sides. When two parties have a dispute and take the matter to court, the judgment is between them. Each receives that to which his legal rights entitle him. In a criminal case, the judge has to be fair to the individual, and fair to the law. The usual outcome is that, if a person has infringed the law's rights, these must be restored, and the person is given a penalty.
A further point is that there is the feature of correcting in a judgment. It must correct that which is wrong. This feature of correction is absent from the disruption, for we have, following from the disruption, not only an event, but also a state of disruption. This has continued and will continue until the heading up of all in Christ. When we consider these matters, it is clear that the disruption was not the result of a judgment. Nothing was corrected or restored by the disruption.
The Scriptures tell us that the saints were chosen before the disruption of the world. Would it make any difference if it was before the foundation, rather than before the disruption of the world? Why then are we told this?
The critical point is that by examining all the contexts of this word, we learn that the disruption was a pivotal point in God's ways:—
Before the disruption there was no sin. No enmity. No estrangement. No darkness. Before the disruption there existed only good. There was no evil.
We learn that we were chosen in Christ before that event, in order that we might know there existed no reason for the choice, other than God's counsels. These were God's own counsels, and no one was consulted, for all is out of God.
Here is an ominous event of which we previously knew nothing. It is given no place in translations, other than in the Concordant Version.
From the disruption there has come sin and suffering, opposition and estrangement. From that point the death of God's Son was a certainty. God cannot now be approached by the creature. The headship of Christ is denied by creation. There is now not only an event, but also a state of disruption.
The following list of Scriptures shows all the occurrences of disruption when it refers to the disruption of the world. Note the distinction between ‘before' and ‘from' the disruption.
Before the disruption:
1. John 17:24. "Thou lovest Me before the disruption of the world."
2. Eph. 1:4 "He chooses us in Him before the disruption of the world."
3. 1 Peter 1:20 "The precious blood of Christ, as of a flawless and unspotted lamb, foreknown, indeed, before the disruption of the world."
From the disruption:
4. Matt. 13:35 "I shall be opening My mouth in parables, I shall be emitting what is hid from the disruption of the world."
5. Matt.25:34 "The kingdom made ready for you from the disruption of the world."
6. Luke 11:50 "The blood of all the prophets which is shed from the disruption of the world."
7. Heb. 4:3 "Although the works occur from the disruption of the world."
8. Heb. 9:26 "He must be suffering often from the disruption of the world."
9. Rev. 13:8 "The Lambkin, slain from the disruption of the world."
10. Rev. 17:8 "The scroll of life, from the disruption of the world."
We can see there are three things stated to have been "before the disruption," and seven things which are "from the disruption." One of the outstanding occurrences of ‘disruption' is found in Ephesians One, verse four. There we read, the saints were chosen in Christ "before the disruption of the world," C.V.
Now it might seem to us that there is no great difference in the meaning of the text whichever word we use, for if we understand that God chooses us in Christ before the foundation of the world, it means just as much to us. We might think that whichever word we choose to represent the Greek, it means the same, for it does not alter God's choosing of us. In either case it was long before we were born. Someone might even argue that it makes no real difference to the meaning of any sentence in the list quoted.
But there are several very real differences, and one of them is critical. These two Greek words have no similarity of meaning, no common elements, and we lose value from each if we make one term to repres-ent both. Yet if we are reading the Concordant. Version, where each word has its exclusive English equivalent, by examining every occurrence of ‘foundation' and of ‘disruption,' we have a clearness of thought not otherwise possible. Each word is a subject for consideration. These are things any reader can easily check by using a concordance of Greek, such as Young's, Strong's or Wigram's.
It is possible to research this subject without a Concordant Version, but you would not do so unless you knew what you were looking for. So to make real progress in understanding God's word, a Concordant Version is the ideal tool.
Sometimes people object to our enthusiasm for the C.V. We reply, "We are not ‘into the Concordant Version' —we are ‘into the Scriptures,' and use the Concordant Version to gain better understanding. If something better came along, I pray we would have the wisdom and humility to adopt that —but it also would need to have a consistent vocabulary —a pattern of sound words. We should not go back to a discordant vocabulary, for in the original Scriptures, the vocabulary was already consistent. Discordances came only with translations."
In some aspects ‘disruption' means almost the opposite of foundation, for the result of katabole—that is, disruption —excludes the feature of planning, of place care. We began by noting that some things were stated to have been ‘before the disruption,' and some ‘from the disruption.' Let us now look at some of the instances quoted in our introduction.
The Lamb was slain (9) from the disruption—yet was foreknown (3) before the disruption. This tells us there was no requirement for the death of Christ before the disruption. Sin had not made its appearance before the disruption. The harmony of creation was unbroken. Yet from the disruption (8) Christ must be suffering often.
The blood of Christ was foreknown (3) before the disruption. Here we learn that, before the entrance of sin, God has planned for its removal. This also tells us that God was not overtaken by events —that the death of His Son was not to rectify something that had appeared without His foreknowledge.
The saints who comprise the ecclesia, the body of Christ, were chosen (2) before that event, yet the scroll of life -for God's saints in Israel - was (10) from that event. Israel's ministry was to be a testimony to the nations, yet in God's intention, it demonstrated the failure of human endeavour, and the weakness of the flesh.
The critical matter is the death of God's Son. Following the disruption it became a certainty.
Before the disruption God made the secret of His will, as we read in verse 9 of Ephesians 1. The secret of His will was made by the counsel of His will. And what did this secret require? It required the cross!
We have waited many centuries before the scriptures speak of the secret of God's will. Why is it not mentioned in Matthew, Mark or Luke? Why not in Isaiah? —Because Ephesians is speaking of the counsel of God's will, and Isaiah was not. Nor was Moses, nor the Psalmist, nor any of the minor prophets. Yet we learn from Proverbs that God ways were begun in wisdom. Wisdom, when personified, says she had being before God began his works. Therefore— God made the secret of His will.
God made the secret of His will. But why was there the need for a secret? Why did matters have to be kept secret? Because estrangement was to enter the universe, and estrangement was to be dispelled —was to be removed altogether, so that all might come to realise the love of the Father. It was not something which occurred without God's wisdom and knowledge, coming along to be the eternal nightmare!
In the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom knew not God!
Before the disruption, God made the secret of His will. This secret required the cross, and was maintained down the centuries. Even though the conduct of humanity was pressing for something better, it remained a secret. The failure of the law, due to the weakness of the flesh, demonstrated the need for something better. And even though it has been revealed to us, those who are the body of Christ, it remains secret from the world. This we learn as we ponder the other instances of disruption. The Lambkin was slain from the disruption of the world! Yet, together with this, God's wisdom is hid from the disruption of the world.
Much religion teaches that Satan caused the ‘fall' of humanity in Genesis 3, yet nowhere in Scripture is Adam's transgression referred to as the ‘fall'. We are learning here is that nothing happens outside God's specific counsel and intention.
Our next matter for consideration therefore is, what was God doing at the disruption? What place does it have in His purpose?
We might ask the question: Does religion find any accommodation for the salvation of Satan? No indeed! They cannot —for they are thoroughly unable to account for his existence! They see him as a creature who appeared —from nowhere—and brought about the entrance of sin into the universe, and has caused estrangement between man and his Maker, Who was unable to prevent it happening.
But that is not the God of the scriptures. Out of Him, and through Him and for Him is all. He is love, and in wisdom planned all before any part of His purpose was put into execution.
As we have been saying, the disruption was a pivotal point in God's ways. It is synonymous with the setting up of the office of the Adversary, for at that point sin entered the universe, and from that point God required the cross. There now existed a creature who did not accept the glory of Him Who was the Image of the invisible God. He was opposed—he did not accept the headship of the Firstborn of creation. His office was the jurisdiction of darkness!
The disruption ushered in the jurisdiction of darkness!
Let us now look at another matter. In verse 4 of this first chapter of Ephesians one, we have reference made to the disruption, the down-casting—and in verse 10 reference is being made to the heading up. Must there not be a definite connection between the two, the one reversing the other? The origin confirms the outcome, and the outcome confirms the origin. This is a piece of simple logic, the one reverses the other. We cannot return without first having set out. We cannot arrive without having departed. The origin confirms the consummation, and the consummation confirms the origin. And if it does not, we are thinking nonsense.
We have in some ways noted the effects of the disruption. It caused a crisis of the utmost magnitude in the universe, for the previous unbroken harmony of creation existed no longer. From that point we can no longer speak of the headship of Christ, for alongside that there is the jurisdiction of darkness that denies His headship. But in this jurisdiction of darkness God operates the secret of His will. He will call out a body of believers who will acknowledge that Christ is the Head!
THE TOTAL REVERSAL OF ‘DOWN-CASTING! —ALL WILL BE ‘HEADED UP' IN CHRIST
Note the term HEAD. In a college, the head boy or girl is the first among equals. We are not inferring that we are the equal of Christ, but that He is operating as Head of the ecclesia (church), in anticipation of that day when He will be head of the universe. As Head, He will lead a reconciled and glorified universe back to the Father, out of Whom all is.
As Head, He leads. We are not here thinking of discipline or rule, or of subjugation. Lord and Ruler and King are terms that agree with these words, but as Head He leads. Only a reconciled universe will follow. Only thus can creation come to realise the glory of the Father's love, revealed in the Son of His love.
"The state of disruption
will continue until all is
headed-up in Christ."
Truly, then, by the Son's obedient leading, all the effects of disruption will be reversed, and God will be All in all.*
*Scriptures:- 1 Cor. 15:28; Col. 1:20; Eph. 1:10.