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“Predestined” (Ephesians 1:5) and the NLT

Ephesians 1:4-5 (ESV)

even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will,

Now read Ephesians 1:4-5 in the NLT:

Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.

What I like is that by reading the NLT rather than the ESV (not to pick on the ESV because the NRSV, NKJV, NASB, etc. read similarly) is that the “theological baggage” of predestination is removed. When I don’t read the word “predestined,” I am able to clearly see what Paul was describing. Before the world was made, God chose to adopt people into his family. This adoption process would happen through Jesus Christ and this decision was God’s eternal plan and pleasure.

Sometimes removing “biblish” can bring clarity to a text that had been previously muddled by scholars, commentators, and theologians.

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