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A look at the translation of the Greek word EKLOGÉ

by Jacques More

"Election" is a word translated from the Greek word EKLOGÉ.

This is a noun.

We find this Greek word nowhere in the Bible of the 1st Christians1.
What we now call the Old Testament (OT).

So, though we find the word EKLOGÉ nowhere in the Septuagint (LXX), it is 7 times in the New Testament (NT).

What does EKLOGÉ mean?

Robert Young2, who perhaps alone among all of Bible Translators in history, studied and looked for himself at the meaning of every Hebrew and every Greek word of the Scripture, in his Analytical Concordance mentions it as "choice, a laying out" (page 293) and as "choice, a selection" (Page 165). So, this Greek word EKLOGÉ is a "decision" ("choice" in that sense only).

When EKLOGÉ is rendered as "election" this means "a decision", "the decision" and "the decided", as follows (remember, this is a noun):

The 7 occurrences of EKLOGÉ are Acts 9:15, Romans 9:11, Romans 11 (three times) in verses 5, 7 and, 28; as well as in 1 Thessalonians 1:4 and 2 Peter 1:10. Let's look at each in turn.

Acts 9:15

for he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles

Acts 9:15 NKJV

because a choice vessel to Me is this one, to bear My name before nations

Acts 9:15 YLT

òτι σκευος έκλογης μοι έστιν οùτος του βαστασαι το óνομα μου ένωπιον έθνων3


a vessel

of a decision

to me

(he) is

this (one)

of the

to bear



of me



       A vessel of (a) decision for a job to do: it is not an adjective here, but both vessel and decision are the nouns used, so the most literal is "a vessel of a decision" (JM).

It was a decision of God to have Paul to bear witness to Jesus among the Gentiles and many high placed individuals. He is a vessel of a decision. This is not speaking of a decision to save Paul, but a decision about the work he was to do.

Just like the 11 apostles Jesus was with in John 15 (Judas Iscariot departed in John 13:21-30 after being given a piece of bread), of the 11 He said "You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit" (John 15:16a). In the KJV it is given as "Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you". These apostles were not chosen for salvation here, but for a job to do: to bear fruit.

Chosen in the KJV - its valid use
The verb for "chosen" in John 15:16 is EKLEGOMAI.
It resembles the noun EKLOGÉ and is its verb "relation".
       To "choose" and "chosen" are valid renderings of EKLEGOMAI. As "chosen" (KJV) we find it in Mark 13:20b "for the elect's sake, whom he hath chosen, he hath shortened the days"5; Luke 10:42b "Mary hath chosen that good part" this is an example of the verb used to mention that Mary chose other than her sister Martha: the word "chosen" is not limited to God's use; John 6:70b "Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil?"; John 13:18a "I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen"; John 15:16a (see earlier quote); John 15:19b "I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you"; Acts 1:2b "the apostles whom he had chosen"; Acts 1:24b "shew whether of these two thou hast chosen"; Acts 15:22a "Then pleased it the apostles and elders, with the whole church, to send chosen men of their own company" this is another example of men choosing; as also here in Acts 15:25 "to send chosen men unto you"; 1 Corinthians 1:27-28a "But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; and base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen"; Ephesians 1:4a "According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world"6; James 2:5b "Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith".

Also in the KJV we find "chosen" in Matthew 12:18a "Behold my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased". Here it is rendered from the Greek verb HAIRETIZÓ and this is the only use of the word in the NT. HAIRETIZÓ is well used in the LXX translating the main use of the Hebrew word BACHAR - BACHAR is the main Hebrew word for (to) "choose" (X77) and "chosen" (also X77); See also note7 about the 2nd meaning of BACHAR).

Examples of HAIRETIZÓ rendering BACHAR are in 2 Chronicles 29:11; Haggai 2:23; Zechariah 1:17b; et al. HAIRETIZÓ "to choose" is related to the noun HAIRESIS from which we get "heresy", "sect", "faction": it is of note that every heresy is chosen to be believed.

These two words EKLEGOMAI and HAIRETIZÓ together and quoted above give us all the valid translations of "chosen" in the NT8. "Chosen" is in the conjugation range of the Perfect (the tense of completed actions) of the verb "to choose"; "chosen" then is not a noun. EKLOGÉ as a noun cannot in literal and thus non paraphrased rendering be given as "chosen".

Other than Chosen in the KJV for these verbs
To complete the look at these verbs here are the other places (again KJV) where (to) choose is rendered, but not in the Perfect (conjugation) of "chosen" (as already given): Luke 6:13b "he called unto him his disciples: and of them he chose twelve"; Luke 14:7a "And he put forth a parable to those which were bidden, when he marked how they chose out the chief rooms"; Acts 6:5b "they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost"; Acts 13:17a "The God of this people of Israel chose our fathers, and exalted the people when they dwelt as strangers in the land of Egypt"; Acts 15:7b "ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel" the words "made choice" together translate the verb [thus ="chose"], where Peter is describing how God picked him for the task as the first to speak of the gospel to the Gentiles.

Romans 9:11

that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works but of Him who calls

Romans 9:11 NKJV

that the purpose of God, according to choice, might remain; not of works, but of Him who is calling

Romans 9:11 YLT

ìνα ʽη κατ' έκλογην του θεου προθετις μενη ούκ έξ έργων άλλ' έκ του καλουντος

in order that


according to

a decision

of (the)

(of) God

(a) purpose



out of

(of) works


out of

of the


in order that the purpose of (the) God remains according to a decision . . .

       A decision not based on works, but on God's call to a task (to be two different nations)
[The word of promise is "the call" in view9]

Paul was a vessel of a decision so that he would then be used as a witness. Here, a decision before they were born was also made by God, so Esau could father the nation of Edom whilst Jacob, be the father to the nation of Israel. This is not a decision about their salvation, but for a job to do.

Part of this word of promise, this "call" in view, was that "The older shall serve the younger." (Romans 9:12). Esau never served Jacob in scripture, but the nation of Edom served Israel: this shows that this example of a call, this word of promise, is about the two nations to come from Jacob and Esau and not about Jacob's or Esau's salvation.

Romans 11:5

Even so then, at this present time there is a remnant according to the election of grace.

Romans 11:5 NKJV

So then also in the present time a remnant according to the choice of grace there hath been;

Romans 11:5 YLT

οùτως ούν και έν τω νυν καιρω λειμμα κατ' έκλογην χαριτος γεγονεν







(a) season

(a) remnant

according to

(a) decision

of grace

(there) has been

       A decision of grace (not "of debt" = not based on works)

Paul contrasts a decision of grace to the alternative, a decision of works, which would thereby be "a decision of debt". Paul immediately contrasts grace with works "And if by grace, then it is no longer of works" (Romans 11:6a) since, if working was God's way, God would be indebted to the "worker" to give what was "bought": God would be "indebted" to that person. But God's decision in view here, His election, is as to what type of way things would be done: By seeing the person having faith in what God says, the person is given imputation of righteousness (Romans 4 and Abraham's example) as opposed to what anybody does and their trust in that personal "doing".
        God chose, His election, is to have things done by what is in the heart of the person: faith in Him and what He says. Paul mentions the "decision (election) of grace" after mentioning those who had NOT bowed the knee to Baal as a testimony to what they believed, since these chose *to believe* no matter the odds (Romans 11:4). God chose, His election, is not to have things done by works and folk trust in their works, but to trust in Him and what He says.

[there is a difference between works as a result of faith in God, like not bowing the knee to Baal and - in contrast to - works being relied on for their relationship with God]

If this thinking/reading is new to you, then read the above paragraphs again a couple of times or, see my separate article WHAT IS THE ELECTION OF GRACE?

Romans 11:7

What then? Israel has not obtained what it seeks; but the elect have obtained it, and the rest were hardened.

Romans 11:7 NKJV

What then? What Israel doth seek after, this it did not obtain, and the chosen did obtain, and the rest were hardened,

Romans 11:7 YLT

τι ούν ò έπιζητει ίσραηλ τουτου ούκ έπετυχεν ʽη δε έκλογη έπετυχεν òι δε λοιποι έπωρωθησαν




it seeks for




(he, she, it) obtained







they were calloused

       The decision did obtain
With those of "the decision" as a whole being in view, that is "those seen as being part of the group" (the group) which God decided as valid - If you have not read the explanation at the end of Romans 11:5 it is worth reading first (or again)

The decision of grace is in contrast to a decision of works (a decision of indebtedness).
So those who had faith (these being in view here), then gives us "The decided did obtain" as a good and accurate rendering (if paraphrased since this is a rendering of the noun and not the verb).

The type like those who did not bow the knee, but chose *to believe* no matter the odds (Verse 4) are those of the kind to whom God imparts righteousness (Romans 4). They are those of the decision (= "the decided").

To be a part of that group is in the individual's decision to believe.
God's decision is about the type of group He wants: God's choice of the type of group, since the decision of grace is God's election of how to do it (by grace) in contrast to there being a group to whom God was indebted to (Romans 11:5-6 and explanation above).

Romans 11:28

Concerning the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but concerning the election they are beloved for the sake of the fathers.

Romans 11:28 NKJV

As regards, indeed, the good tidings, they are enemies on your account; and as regards the choice - beloved on account of the fathers;

Romans 11:28 YLT

κατα μεν το εύαγγελιον έχθροι δι’ ùυας κατα δε την έκλογην άγαπητοι δια τους πατερας

according to





because of


according to





because of



       according to the decision
They are beloved because of the fathers, the decision to make Israel a chosen nation (is in view).

"For the gifts and the calling of God [to the fathers] are irrevocable." (Romans 11:29)

Not forgetting throughout history the unbelieving in the midst are weeded out.

The decision in view is that God chose a nation among all nations out of whom would come a witness to all nations both in the witness of the law of Moses to show the wise and gracious God that exists and then, later as the place from which His Son would be birthed and the perfect revelation of Who God is. So here the whole nation of Israel, as a people are mentioned by Paul as beloved because of the promise to the Fathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob that this would be so.

But, In Romans 11 as a whole Paul describes that only the actively believing "make it" as part of the nation at any moment in time, Gentiles by faith are grafted in and that unbelieving Jews can be grafted back in, once they too believe.

1 Thessalonians 1:4

knowing, beloved brethren, your election by God.

1 Thessalonians 1:4 NKJV

having known, brethren beloved, by God, your election,

1 Thessalonians 1:4 YLT

είδοτες άδελφοι ήγαπημενοι ùπο θεου την έκλογην ùμων








of ye

Knowing, beloved brothers by God, the decision of yours


              "beloved brothers by God" (JM)

              This is no different a construction of grammar than,


              Which is 2 Thessalonians 2:13

              "brethren beloved by the Lord" (NKJV)

But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord

2 Thessalonians 2:13a NKJV

And we - we ought to give thanks to God always for you, brethren, beloved by the Lord

2 Thessalonians 2:13a YLT

              THEOU "God" is only in the Genitive here to show HUPO is "by"

              As opposed to HUPO which means "under" when with the accusative:

As in Matthew 5:15a "Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket"; Luke 7:6b "I am not worthy that You should enter under my roof."; Romans 6:14-15 "For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace. What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not!"; et al.

The brethren are beloved by God.

The verb "knowing" is connected, to what is known as the direct object, by the word in the accusative "the decision" TÉN EKLOGÉN.
               HUMÓN "of yours" or "your" (for short) in the clause shows whose decision that Paul was mindful of: So this is an accurate rendering,

               "knowing your decision, beloved brothers by God"

               which is "The decision of yours" shortened to "your decision".

Remember there was no punctuation in the uncial text, just capital letters joined together and no space for words or paragraphs. The common use of endings to show relationship in Greek informs us the order for rendering.

This reading is confirmed by the ongoing context wherein Paul commends their receiving,

And you became followers of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Spirit

1 Thessalonians 1:6

The verb for "having received" is DEChOMAI "to take up, to take with the hand, to receive".
       It is an active "receiving" on the part of the person: Just as, "he took Him up in his arms and blessed God" (Luke 2:28) or "So he said to him, 'Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty.'" (Luke 16:6b) or "Then He took the cup, and gave thanks" (Luke 22:17a) or "take the helmet of salvation" (Ephesians 6:17a), all these involve action of the person to do the act, so also in the use as "having received" with this verb is a dynamic action on the part of the receiver.
       The saints decision to believe is in view and Paul is reminding them of this act of theirs as something Paul is praising God for and a cause for his ongoing prayers for them (1 Thessalonians 1:2-3). In context then, we have,

We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers, remembering without ceasing your work of faith, labor of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the sight of our God and Father, knowing your decision, beloved brothers by God . . . you became followers of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Spirit,

1 Thessalonians 1:2-3 NKJV; 1:4 JM; 1:6 NKJV

Paul is complimenting the saints for their decision and their faithfulness as he sets out to encourage them in their faith and urges them to continue to hold on doing good (1 Thessalonians 4:1).

2 Peter 1:10

Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble;

2 Peter 1:10 NKJV

wherefore, the rather, brethren, be diligent to make stedfast your calling and choice, for these things doing, ye may never stumble,

2 Peter 1:10 YLT

διο μαλλον άδελφοι σπουδασατε βεβαιαν ùμων την κλησιν και έκλογην ποιεισθαι ταυτα γαρ ποιουντες ού μη πταισητε ποτε




endeavour ye


of ye





to be making




in no wise

ye should be tripping up


Peter urges his readers to make steadfast their calling and decision.
In doing this they would not stumble.

A new job appointee when given the appointment, having decided to go for the position in the first place, is to work to establish and fulfil that new role. This is the manner of speaking in view.

The calling of a Christian, like in Paul's list of consecutive verbs in Romans 8:29-30 (when read in context) involves the person to play their part in keeping going (see also Romans 11:22). The decision to believe, as John calls it "as received" (John 1:12a10), enabled the call to happen, which is all part of Paul's (equivalent) teaching of conditional predestination11.

For an explanation of PAUL'S TEACHING OF CONDITIONAL PREDESTINATION which shows the ones called are so by a decision of the heart having been known by God, after searching the heart, in the lifetime of the individual, as per Paul's mention of this in Romans 8, I recommend my article of the same name.

So rather brothers endeavour to make steadfast the calling and decision of yours, for these doing in no way you should be tripping up. (JM)


A summary

Paul wrote of,

. . . the election of grace.

Romans 11:5

I discuss it in my article entitled WHAT IS THE ELECTION OF GRACE?

This decision by God was to have salvation to function by grace and not by debt. The next verse clarifies the distinction of what grace is about.

And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. But if it is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work.

Romans 11:6

Faith is the deal when it comes to salvation, as someone believing, then finds God accounting that faith for righteousness which means that salvation comes to those who believe (Romans 4:9). If working for salvation was involved this would be a decision by God to be a debtor to him who works and could then be called an "election of debt". But God has made it clear here that the decision, the election, is of grace and not of debt.
That is the meaning of "the election of grace".

God chose Saul to be His servant (Acts 9:15), His apostle to the Gentiles, whether Paul would go on to do that or not. After all, Jesus said,

Many are called, few have mettle.

Matthew 22:14 JM8

With decision as the meaning this article then helps establish a more coherent reading of EKLOGÉ


1That is, what we now call the Septuagint (LXX): The Greek translation of the Hebrew Scripture. The first Christians only had the Old Testament (OT) as their bible to begin with. This Greek bible in the 1st century is what Jesus and the apostles are seen to quote in the New Testament. This is because by the time of Jesus' birth, Greek had become the language of the world of the day, following the earlier conquest of the Greek Alexander the Great 3 centuries earlier. The land of Israel was not finally conquered by the Romans until 63BC under the General Pompei. Latin then began to be used for administration with Rome. This is why the sign "JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS" was written in the 3 main languages used in Jerusalem "Hebrew, Greek, and Latin" (John 19:19-20). The LXX remained the OT for the early Christians right up until the 4th century when Latin translations then began to be put together. It was not until Jerome's Latin version that the Hebrew original was used as the OT to translate from.
       I mentioned this word was not in the LXX because it can be very useful to understand the meaning of a Greek word in the New Testament when it is also in the LXX, as one can then compare with the Hebrew word or words that the Greek one has translated. See note 8 as a good example.
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2Robert Young, author of both Young's Literal Translation of the Bible (YLT - 178 pages, Baker Book House) and the Analytical Concordance of the Bible (1090 pages+). The 2 concordances of Strong and Young were perhaps the first most useful research tools of choice for bible students before the internet.
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3The Received Text is used for the Greek for a number of reasons, not least of which is the intended audience who are often found as KJV users.
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4For those not familiar with Greek letters here is the key to the Anglicised version used:
α - A; β - B; γ - G; δ - D; ε - E; ζ - Z; η - É; θ - Th; ι - I; κ - K; λ - L; μ - M; ν - N; ξ - X; ο - O; π - P; ρ - R; σ or ς - S; τ - T; υ - U; φ - Ph; χ - Ch; ψ - Ps; ω - Ó
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5 I render this verse "but for the righteous' sake, whom He chose, He shortened the days" (Page 123 The Companion - Deleting ELECT in the Bible). See also note 8.
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6 Check out this short video for my take on this passage: the group of those in Christ is in view, not those who make up that group Quick Answers to Calvinists Ephesians 1
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7 BACHAR is a Hebrew word with two meanings like "table" or "Chair" in English, have two meanings. See my article THREE WORDS - TWO MEANINGS: BACHAR - GENEA - HAMARTIA.
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8The Greek word EKLEKTOS has been mistranslated as "chosen" and "elect", meaning "selected". Its use in the LXX shows no reasonable case for that use. Instead "excellent, best, tops" is well seen with the fat cows coming out of the Nile in Pharaoh's dream as EKLEKTOS cows, the fat kernels of wheat as EKLEKTOS wheat, young men (guys in their prime) EKLEKTOS, Pleasant land as EKLEKTOS land, Highest branches as EKLEKTOS branches, with the pure (EKLEKTOS) you shall be pure (EKLEKTOS), et al.
              See my books Deleting ELECT in the Bible (544 pages - for the exhaustive evidence) or, The Companion - Deleting ELECT in the Bible (144 pages).
       Or, check it all out for yourself (it will take time) with the occasion of every ELEKTOS in the LXX here, but remember to check out all the Hebrew words EKLEKTOS is rendered from and also to check out the two meanings for the Hebrew word BACHAR (See note 7 above).
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              (1st mention of note 8)

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              (2nd mention of note 8 with "many are called, few have mettle")

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11Prof. George Park Fisher in his History of Christian Doctrine uses the phrase "conditional predestination" to describe what was persistently taught in the early church. He wrote "In harmony with the foregoing views as to human freedom and responsibility, conditional predestination is the doctrine inculcated [persistently taught] by the Greek Fathers." See my article The Early Church: Original Sin - Fallen nature - Man's part in salvation
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Ref. M.045

Unless otherwise stated Bible quotes are from
The New King James Version

© copyright Thomas Nelson Inc. 1979,1980,1982.

Marked JM is the author's own rendering

Marked YLT is the Young's Literal Translation

© copyright Jacques More 2019. All Rights Reserved.

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