The Overthrow of the World

18 Nov
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Peter uses the phrase the foundation of the world in 1Peter 1:20. I believe Adam’s rebellion is in view with this phrase in the KJV and other translations of the New Testament. The Greek word katabole (G2602) has been translated almost exclusively by the English translators as foundation, creation or beginning (in the several translations I possess)—all referring to the creation of the world by God. The sole exception is Hebrews 11:11 where the word (G2602) is translated conceive in order to show Sarah was given the ability to give birth to Isaac. It is my understanding that this Greek word (G2602) has not been rendered properly by the translators, and I believe I am able to prove my argument by showing how its related word, kataballo (G2598), is translated in the New Testament. Katabole (G2602),[1] which appears eleven times in the New Testament, is the noun, while kataballo (G2598), appearing three times, is the verb.

Paul uses the verb form of the Greek in 2Corinthians 4:9, where he was writing about the trouble he and his helpers had been enduring. They were afflicted from every quarter, but they didn’t feel distressed; they didn’t know which way to turn, but they were not in despair (2Corinthians 4:8). Paul and company were mistreated and persecuted, but were not left alone; they were cast down (G2598), but not destroyed (2Corinthians 4:9). There doesn’t seem to be a sense of foundation or founding anything here. It has to do with being overthrown or being cast to the ground. Paul is speaking of violence of some kind being used against him and his company.

The Greek word (G2598) is used again in Revelation 12:10, describing a war in heaven (Revelation 12:7), where Michael (Jesus)[2] and his angels (Jesus’ disciples) fought the dragon (the serpent, Satan, the Devil—see verse-9) and his angels (viz. the Pharisees and chief priests (cf. Luke 10:1-3, 17-18), and the result was that the enemy (Satan) was cast down (defeated, overthrown – Revelation 12:10, cf. Luke 10:18). Again, there doesn’t seem to be room for the Greek to mean foundation or a similar word in this Scripture.

The final time the word (G2598) is used in the New Testament is at Hebrews 6:1. There it is translated as laying (a foundation), but is this the sense that should be taken in this verse? The foundational doctrines are mentioned in Hebrews 6:1-2 – repentance from dead works, faith toward God, the doctrine of washings, laying on of hands, resurrection from the dead and eternal judgment. Certainly the other writers of the New Testament aren’t shy about mentioning the resurrection of the dead or the coming judgment. Certainly faith in God is necessary before anyone could receive anything from him, and Peter mentions that, because of Jesus, all men believe in God (1Peter 1:21). So, if the author of Hebrews doesn’t mean that New Testament disciples shouldn’t preach these fundamental doctrines, what does he mean?

I believe the word translated laying (G2598) should read casting down, that is, we shouldn’t rebel against God by casting down this foundation. Rather, we need to hold fast these fundamental truths. The author of Hebrews just got finished writing about how much better Christ is than Moses, how much greater authority and power he has than angels, and that he is a much better Savior than Joshua etc. Therefore, although our Messiah is much better than all who came before him, we must not cast down that foundation that pointed to Jesus’ coming.

Knowing how the verb, kataballo (G2598), should be translated, should help us understand how the noun, katabole (G2602) should be rendered in the English. Rather than pointing to the creation, it points to the casting down of the work of God as a result of Adam’s rebellion. Notice how this makes sense in the Scriptures where we find katabole (G2602) in the New Testament:

  • Matthew 13:35 “…I will utter things which have been kept secret from the overthrow (G2602) of the world.” (i.e. pointing to Adam’s rebellion)
  • Matthew 25:34 “…inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the overthrow (G2602) of the world.
  • Luke 11:50 “That the blood of all the prophets, which was shed from the overthrow (G2602) of the world, may be required of this generation.
  • John 17:24 “…for you loved me before the overthrow (G2602) of the world.
  • Ephesians 1:4 “…he has chosen us in him before the overthrow (G2602) of the world.
  • Hebrews 4:3 “…although the works were finished from the overthrow (G2602) of the world.
  • Hebrews 9:26 “For then must he often have suffered since the overthrow (G2602) of the world: but now once in the end of the world has he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.
  • 1Peter 1:20 “Which verily was foreordained (or foreknown) before the overthrow (G2602) of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you.”
  • Revelation 13:8 “…the book of life of the Lamb slain from the overthrow (G2602) of the world.”
  • Revelation 17:8 “…whose names were not written in the book of life from the overthrow (G2602) of the world…”

The only other Scripture in which katabole (G2602) appears is Hebrews 11:11 and there it concerns Sarah becoming able to conceive and give birth to Isaac. It would appear that Sarah was unable to produce an egg in her womb each month in order to receive Abraham’s sperm. However, after she was enabled by God, the follicle holding the egg burst open and cast down (G2602) the egg to receive Abraham’s sperm. Thus, in each passage the meaning is either cast down or overthrow. It has nothing to do with laying a foundation.


[1] I was first introduced to this understanding through The Companion Bible’s notes by E.W. Bullinger.

[2] In other blogposts I show that Michael is Jesus before he became flesh. Michael is an Archangel, but not an angelic being. Michael is God in every sense of the word. Arch-angel simply means he is Lord of angels. As man he became the Messiah and was then Lord of lords—Lord of all mankind. Jesus / Michael is Lord of heaven and earth. By the way, Michael is the **only** Archangel mentioned in Scripture, unless one views the Apocrypha as Scripture.


Posted by on November 18, 2016 in Epistles of Peter


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2 responses to “The Overthrow of the World

  1. Eddie

    November 18, 2016 at 18:09

    Greetings Pastor Galen, and once more, thank you for reading and for you comment.

    I believe you are pointing to how I would render Hebrews 6:1. With respect, I had no idea that what I write would be taken any other way but merely as one man’s opinion about what he reads in the Bible. I’m certainly not trying to get a following or to change anyone’s opinion about what he or she reads. To be sure I have debated with folks who like to do that sort of thing, and I don’t know what that did for my “opponent”, but it helped me to see the other side a little better, as well as sharpen my own point of view on a particular subject.

    As for how kataballo (G2598) should be rendered, as you are able to see for yourself, the other two Scriptures I mentioned both translate the word “cast down”. Therefore, it isn’t like I’m trying to say a new thing. I’m merely trying to be as consistent as possible. Moreover, in the Septuagint I have found the same Greek word (G2598) in 30 other verses. Not one is rendered “laying” (a foundation). Each one is translated similar to how it is used in 2Corinthinas 4:9 and Revelation 12:10. It is usually translated into the English as “throw down” but a few times “cast down” and once “overthrow” [2Samuel 20:15; 2Kings 3:19, 25; 6:5; 19:7; 2Chronicles 32:21; Job 12:14; 16:9, 14; Psalm 37:14; 73:18; 106:26, 27; 140:10; Proverbs 7:27; 18:8; 25:28; Isaiah 16:9; 26:5; Jeremiah 19:7; Ezekiel 6:4; 23:25; 26:4, 12; 29:5; 30:22; 31:12; 32:12; 29:4; Daniel 11:12].

    As for how I would translate the verse, the verse is:

    Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, (Hebrews 6:1 KJV)

    I would translate it:

    Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not casting down again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, (Hebrews 6:1)

    This is something the Jews did during the public ministry of Jesus. The writer of Hebrews (probably Paul) is calling for the Jews to repent as a nation and avoid being destroyed (which apparently they didn’t do and were dispersed among the nations in 70 AD). I think that how I would translate the verse fits very well, not only into orthodox Christianity, but Christian history. If you don’t agree, please don’t hesitate to show me where I am wrong.

    By the way, I have found one translation that agrees with me on this, the Apostolic Polyglot:

    Therefore,(G1352) having left (G863) the (G3588) [2of the (G3588) 3beginning (G746) 4of the (G3588) 5Christ (G5547) 1matter (G3056)], [2unto (G1909) 3the (G3588) 4perfection (G5047) 1we should bear on (G5342)], not (G3361) [2again (G3825) 3a foundation (G2310) 1casting down (G2598)]of repentance (G3341) from (G575) dead (G3498) works (G2041), and (G2532) of belief (G4102) upon (G1909) God (G2316), (Hebrews 6:1 ABP+)

    Lord bless you.

  2. Galen Currah

    November 18, 2016 at 10:57

    You will have to deal with the adverb “again” and with the direct object “foundation”. What ever the writer and readers are not wont to do again, they have done so at least once before, and that action did something with the foundational doctrines of the faith. Translation requires us to examine every word in its several contexts: semantic, grammatical, logical, discourse and theological. Would it not be safer, both for you and your readers, to cast interpretive innovations as “hypotheses” rather than as new beliefs?

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