The Lost Link in the Golden Chain: The Meaning of Προγινώσκω in Romans 8:29

Scholars typically interpret προγινώσκω in Romans 8:29 in one of two ways: (1) “know beforehand”; (2) “choose beforehand.” The second meaning is by far the majority view among Romans commentaries. However, commentators who interpret προγινώσκω as “choose beforehand” often assume (rather than argue) that the word can mean this in the first place. This study argues based on Greek lexicography and a fresh analysis of biblical and nonbiblical occurrences that (1) there is no evidence that προγινώσκω means “choose beforehand”; (2) προγινώσκω has a third meaning not usually considered by Romans commentators: “decide beforehand” (based on prior knowledge).

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