|Traditional definition:||To have previous knowledge of; know beforehand especially by paranormal means or by revelation|
|Calvinist definition:||No clear agreement on the meaning other than to be certain it does
not mean to have previous knowledge
or to know beforehand.
Some Calvinists argue that it means to love first and such attribute of love moved God to action. Of course this definition simply strips away the plain and clear meaning of the word used and redefines knowledge as love.
Others Calvinists simple focus on what the word does not mean or invoke an interpretation of certain verses which ignores the word entirely.
Uses in Scripture:
|1 Peter 1:2||Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.|
|Literal Understanding||God's election was based upon His foreknowledge of future events. In the context of the passage the basis upon which God chose humans to salvation was based upon His knowledge of their obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ.|
|Calvinist Understanding||God's election was not based upon foreknowledge of human response to the gospel or any other prior knowledge; God simply chose to elect some portion of humanity to salvation for reasons that we do not know other than to be sure it had nothing to do with human response. This interpretation is necessary to the "Unconditional" nature of God's election which necessitates that God chose without considering the future response of individuals to the gospel message.|
|Romans 8:29||For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate [to be] conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren|