FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD
This Is Appendix 146 From The Companion Bible.
BY: E. W. BULLINGER
To arrive at the true meaning of this expression, we must note that there are two words translated “foundation” in the New Testament: (1) themelios, and (2) katabole.
The Noun, themelios, occurs in Luke 6:48-49, 14:29, Acts 16:26, Romans 15:20, 1Corinthians 3:l0-12, Ephesians 2:20, 1Timothy 6:19, 2Timothy 2:19, Hebrews 6:1, 11:10, Revelation 21:14,19. It is never used of the world (kosmos) or the earth (ge). The corresponding Verb (themelioo) occurs in Matthew 7:25, Luke 6:48, Ephesians 3:17, Colossians 1:23, Hebrews 1:10 and 1Peter 5:10. The verb is only once used of the earth (ge). Hebrews 1:10.
A comparison of all these passages will show that these are proper and regular terms for the English words “to found”, and “foundation”.
The Noun, katabole, occurs in Matthew 13:35, 25:34, Luke 11:50, John 17:24, Ephesians 1:4, Hebrews 4:3, 9:26 , 11:11, 1Peter 1:20, Revelation 13:8, 17:8 and the corresponding Verb (kataballo) occurs in 2Corinthians 4:9, Hebrews 6:1 and Revelation 12:10.
A comparison of all these passages (especially 2Corinthians 4:9 and Revelation 12:10) will show that kataballo and katabole are not the proper terms for founding and foundation, but the correct meaning is casting down, or overthrow.
Consistency, therefore, calls for the same translation in Hebrews 6:1, where, instead of “not laying again”, the rendering should be “not casting down”. That is to say, the foundation already laid, of repentance, etc., was not to be cast down or overthrown, but was to be left and progress made unto the perfection.
Accordingly, the Noun katabole, derived from, and cognate with the Verb, ought to be translated “disruption”, or “ruin”.
The remarkable thing is that in all occurrences (except Hebrews 11:11) the word is connected with “the world” (Greek kosmos. Appendix 129.1), and therefore the expression should be rendered “the disruption (or ruin) of the world”, clearly referring to the condition indicated in Genesis 1:2, and described in 2Peter 3:5-6. For the earth was not created tohu (Isaiah 45:18) but became so, as stated in the Hebrew of Genesis 1:2 and confirmed by 2Peter 3:6, where “the world that then was by the word of God” (Genesis 1:1), perished and “the heavens and the earth which are now, by the same word” were created (Genesis 2:4), and are “kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment” (2Peter 3:7) which shall usher in the “new heavens and the new earth” of 2Peter 3:13.
“The disruption of the world” is an event forming a great dividing line in the dispensations of the ages. In Genesis 1:1 we have the founding of the world (Hebrews 1:10 = themelioo), but in Genesis 1:2 we have its overthrow.
This is confirmed by a further remarkable fact, that the phrase, which occurs ten times, is associated with the Preposition apo = from (Appendix 104. iv) seven times, and with pro = before (Appendix 104. xiv) three times. The former refers to the kingdom, and is connected with the “counsels” of God; the latter refers to the Mystery (or Secret; See Appendix 193) and is connected with the “purpose” of God (see John 17:24, Ephesians 1:4, 1 Peter 1:20).
Ample New Testament testimony is thus given to the profoundly significant fact recorded in Genesis 1:2, that “the earth became tohu and bohu (i.e. waste end desolate); and darkness was on the face of the deep”, before the creation of “the heavens and the earth which are now”. (2 Peter 3:7)
FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD [E. W. Bullinger] 1