罗8:29的“预先知道”是什么意思?(James Faris)

「因为祂预先所知道的人,就预先定下效法祂儿子的模样,使祂儿子在许多弟兄中作长子。」(罗八29)

原标题:What Does “Foreknew” Mean In Romans 8:29?
作者:James Faris
译者:诚之
译自:http://theaquilareport.com/what-does-foreknew-mean-in-romans-829/
转自:https://yimawusi.net/2021/02/02/what-does-foreknew-mean
编辑:若水漫海(仅增补原文、链接以及漏译部分)


「因为祂预先所知道的人,就预先定下效法祂儿子的模样,使祂儿子在许多弟兄中作长子。」(罗八29

“For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.” Romans 8:29 (ESV)

罗马书八章29节的“预先知道”(编注:原文为προέγνω / proegnō [4267])是什么意思呢?这节经文的意思是上帝提前望穿时间,事先知道谁会相信基督,并因此预定他们会效法耶稣的模样吗(译按:这是亚米念主义的观点)?还是它告诉我们,当上帝衡量各种变数和祂的被造物可能的决定时,所得到的某种“中间知识”(译按:这是莫林那主义[Molinism]的观点)?这些与历史上的改革宗对预知的理解相反的说法,想要保留的都是人不受限制的意志。

What does “foreknew” mean in Romans 8:29? Does it mean God looked ahead through time and knew in advance who would believe in Christ and thus predestined them to be conformed to the image of Jesus? Perhaps it reveals some kind of “middle knowledge” of God as he weighed various contingencies and possible decisions of his creatures? These options, which stand opposed to the historic reformed understanding of foreknowledge, seek to preserve unrestricted freedom of man’s will.

对这段经文提两个问题会有助于我们思考。第一是关于背景:上帝预知的对象是什么?第二,预知这个词的含义是什么?(编注:这一段为编者译,原译者未译)

It’s helpful to ask two questions of the text at this point. First, to get the context, what is the object of God’s foreknowledge? Second, what is the meaning of the word?

罗马书八章29节里,上帝的预知的对象是人。上帝在这里所说的不是祂预先知道人的倾向、选择、或是行动。上帝所预知的不是人的信心,而是预知。上帝选择要拯救人,不是根据祂预见人的工作或决定。圣经很清楚说明,我们是靠著上帝主权的恩典、藉著信心得救的(如:罗九11-13弗二8-9)。Robert Raymond 在他的系统神学著作(A New Systemic Theology of the Christian Faith)里,注解以弗所书一章4节这节平行经文时写到:“上帝在创世以前拣选我们,使我们成为圣洁,而不是因为祂看到我们会成为圣洁而拣选我们。”

The object of God’s foreknowledge in Romans 8:29 is people. God does not say here that he foreknew inclinations, choices, or actions. It is not faith God foreknew; he foreknew people. God did not choose to save based on foreseen human works or decisions; Scripture is clear that we are sovereignly saved by grace through faith (e.g. Romans 9:11-13, Ephesians 2:8-9). Commenting on the parallel passage in Ephesians 1:4, Robert Reymond writes in his A New Systematic Theology of the Christian Faith, “God chose us before the creation of the world that we should be holy, not because he saw that we would be holy.”

这个字是什么意思呢?在圣经里,它的意思可以是“先见”(prescience),或仅仅是事先知道(如:徒廿六5彼后三17)。威斯敏斯特大要理问答14是按这个意思来使用这个词的:“上帝按照祂毫无错谬的预知,以及祂自由的、永不改变的旨意计画,以创造并护理之工,来执行祂的旨意。”

What does the word mean? In Scripture, It can mean “prescience” or merely to know in advance (e.g. Acts 26:5, 2 Peter 3:17). The Westminster Larger Catechism Answer 14 uses the English word in that sense: “God executeth his decrees in the works of creation and providence, according to his infallible foreknowledge, and the free and immutable counsel of his own will.”

但是,既然上帝的预知,尤其在罗马书八章29节,其对象是人,我们就必须看到《旧约》里与“认识”平行的词,它们的用法与这个词之间的关联。在旧约圣经里,“认识”的意思是指有亲密的知识,正如亚当“认识”夏娃(编注:ESV为knew),因而怀了他们的儿子(创四1;和合本译为:亚当和夏娃“同房”)。这个词常常被用来描述上帝拣选祂的子民。创十八19论到亚伯拉罕,说:“我眷顾他(译按:《新译本》作“我拣选了他”;希伯来文原文就是“认识”;),为要叫他吩咐他的众子和他的眷属遵守我的道,秉公行义,使我所应许亚伯拉罕的话都成就了。” 主在每个孩子诞生前就认识他们,因此当祂在耶利米书说到这点,祂头脑里对耶利米必定已有更密切的认识:“我未将你造在腹中,我已晓得你;你未出母胎,我已分别你为圣;我已派你作列国的先知。”(耶一5)。类似的用法充斥在旧约圣经里(参:诗一6一四四3何十三4-5摩三2

But especially since the object of God’s foreknowledge in Romans 8:29 is people, we must see the connection to the use of the parallel word for knowing in the Old Testament. To know in the Hebrew Scriptures is to know intimately, as Adam did Eve when they conceived their son (Genesis 4:1). The word is frequently used to describe God’s election of his people. Genesis 18:19 says of Abraham, “For I have chosen [known] him, that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the LORD by doing righteousness and justice, so that the LORD may bring to Abraham what he has promised him.” The Lord knew of every child before he or she was born, so he must have something more intimate in mind when in speaking to Jeremiah when he said, “Before I formed you in the womb Iknew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations” (Jeremiah 1:5). Similar uses abound in the Old Testament (c.f. Psalm 1:6, 144:3; Hosea 13:4-5, Amos 3:2).

上帝对祂百姓亲密的、充满爱意的知识的这个主题,延续到了新约圣经:“然而,上帝坚固的根基立住了;上面有这印记说:‘主认识谁是祂的人’;又说:‘凡称呼主名的人总要离开不义’。” (提后二19;参:林前八3:若有人爱神,这人乃是神所知道的。)当然,从一个纯粹知识的角度,主认识世上的每一个人,因此在这些例子里,经文明显是论到一种更亲密的个人关系。

The theme of God’s intimate, loving knowledge of his people carries into the New Testament, “But God’s firm foundation stands, bearing this seal: ‘The Lord knows those who are his,’ and, ‘Let everyone who names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity’” (2 Timothy 2:19, c.f. 1 Corinthians 8:3). Certainly, the Lord knows every person on earth from a standpoint of bare knowledge, so the text is clearly speaking of something more personal in these cases.

在天父对祂爱子的预知上,最能看到这种爱的关係:“基督在创世以前是预先被神知道的,却在这末世才为你们显现。”(彼前一20

Love is seen most of all in the Father’s foreknowledge of his own Son, “He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for your sake” (1 Peter 1:20).

相对于此种对人的灵魂充满爱意的认识,上帝对这些悖逆者宣告说:“我从来不认识你们”(太七23;参:太廿五11-12

In contrast to this loving knowledge of souls, God will declare to rebels “‘I never knew you” (Matthew 7:22, c.f. Matthew 25:11-12).

因此,慕理(John Murray)在他为罗马书所作的注释书里,为预知这个词所作的结论是:上帝所“预先知道”的人,就是“祂特别关心的人”,或“祂从永恒就以与众不同的爱和喜悦来认识的人”,这实际就等同于“祂所预爱的人(forelove)”。(编注:最后一句为编者译,原译者未译)

Thus, in his commentary on Romans, John Murray concludes of the word “foreknew”, “It means ‘whom he set regard upon’ or ‘whom he knew from eternity with distinguishing affection and delight’ and is virtually equivalent to ‘whom he foreloved.’”

在下一节经文里,上帝也预定这些人直到末了。这个预定的行动,从逻辑来说,是根植于祂对祂子民亲密的预知。

God also predestines these people to the end described in the next verse. That predestinating act is logically rooted in his intimate foreknowledge of his people.

因此,“预知”这个词的意思是上帝爱(forelove)祂的百姓。它是在描述这样的一种爱:上帝出于祂单纯的美意,在永恒里爱祂的百姓。这对上帝的子民来说是个好消息,即既然我们救恩的确据是根植于上帝永恆的爱,我们就相信祂会叫万事互相效力——即使我们现在有艰难的处境——使我们得著益处(罗八28),而且没有任何事可以叫我们与上帝在我们主耶稣基督里的爱隔绝(罗八39)。赞美主!

So, the word “foreknew” means that God foreloved his people. It describes love with which he loved his people his people in eternity past out of his mere good pleasure. The good news for the people of God is that since our assurance of salvation is rooted in God’s eternal love we can trust that he is working all things – even difficult circumstances in our lives at present – for our good (Romans 8:28) and that nothing will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:39). Praise the Lord!


James Faris是印城第二改革宗长老教会的牧师。本文首刊于Gentle Reformation,蒙授权使用。