1. God’s Foreknowledge (Omniscience)
   a. Greek words, their occurrence and other important passages
   b. The ever-present One
   c. Consequent teaching on foreknowledge
2. Man’s Freewill (Moral Choice)
   a. Examples
   b. Changing our destiny
      i. The Fall changed man’s destiny
      ii. Choosing to obey or disobey determines man’s destiny
      iii. Proverbs 1:29-31
3. God’s Predestination (Predetermining Events)
   a. The Greek word and its occurrence
   b. Modern Definitions
   c. Two Principles
      i. Foreknowledge precedes Predestination
      ii. Predestination does not operate independently of man’s freewill
   d. Predestination and being ‘saved’
   e. A guiding principle
4. Matthew chapters 26-28
   a. Freewill
   b. Foreknowledge
   c. Predestination
   d. Additional note on Judas


At the outset, let me make three statements:

1. Calvinism is more dependent upon God’s predestination than upon man’s freewill in its teaching.
2. Arminianism, on the other hand, is more dependent upon man’s freewill than upon God’s predestination.
3. The debate between both camps has continued for a great many years.

I know that these three statements above are too simplistic - indeed, I believe that they’re probably downright incorrect if taken at the extremes of each view for strict Calvinism would deny the existence of man being able to exercise freewill, seeing everything guided and initiated by God Himself, predestining events whether global phenomenon or individual salvation.

However, they certainly hint at one of the major theological problems that seems to have existed for many centuries - namely, how can God’s predestination and man’s freewill be reconciled together? Or, more importantly, should we hold fast to one concept at the expense and ultimate denial of the other?

Probably, the best answer is that they were never meant to be reconciled!

They both stand as Truth, though many can’t conceive of both being correct (and, having watched the debates continue on numerous Internet newsgroups that seem to become ever more heated with time, I guess the debates will continue forever. Funny, I can’t remember seeing anywhere in Scripture that men and women needed to understand the interrelation between the two to be saved...).

Indeed, when the Calvinist insists that God’s foreknowledge is proof of His predestination of all matters, we seem to be appealing to something which goes unaffirmed in the Bible and which seems to stem from the logic of man’s rational (and sometimes very irrational) arguments.

Since I first put this web page on the ‘Old Doctrines’ site, the only negative comments I’ve received have been from believers who’ve declared themselves to be ‘Calvinist’ - whether they were or not, I have no idea but that they should take the label upon themselves and attack the work on the grounds solely of my acceptance of the freewill of mankind and man’s freedom in its employment would indicate that they were what they claimed to be.

Indeed, it’s always puzzled me that a person who consigns everything to the outworking of God’s purpose and sovereign control can reject the words here presented to them – for they must also have been predestined to be put together and published on the Internet. And perhaps their annoyance has also been predestined – along with my response to their emails? And where would that all end if we took it to the ultimate extreme?!

That no one has ever written to me and objected to the notes on the grounds of them being Arminian is somewhat surprising if the two camps are strictly polarised in their beliefs (the one accepting only predestination while the other freewill) so I guess that the Arminianist is the more likely to accept both predestination and freewill whereas the Calvinist simply rejects freewill on the ground of God’s predestination.

If the reader has worked their way through my notes on the cross linked on the Home Page, they’ll see that I’ve been very careful to speak of salvation as being initiated by God Himself but that, once initiated, there needs to be a correct freewill response from mankind (see especially my notes on ‘Repentance’).

I’m not sure just how far the Aminianist would be happy to accept that teaching but, for me, the greatness of God’s work in history is that God works not just in spite of man but because of man - that is, he gives power to each and every situation to bring about the purpose of His will without having to control each situation sovereignly to the extent of denying men and women the opportunity to exercise their freewill.

Whether people would care to label me Calvinist or Arminianist, I have no idea. If you asked me to give an answer one way or the other, I’d have to say I was neither - and yet, at the same time, probably both.

In the following notes I have tried to harmonise these two great truths of predestination and freewill along with foreknowledge (which is dealt with first necessarily so that the teaching that follows flows better). From here, these three subjects are briefly pointed out as they occur in the Passion narrative in the Gospel of Matthew chapters 26-28.

I’m sure that the seemingly endless debates that continue over these subjects will not be resolved, but if we were to simply accept plain and obvious Truth we would find that our strength is not sidelined into heated discussion but directed solely into the purpose for which we’ve been saved.

1. God’s Foreknowledge (Omniscience)

a. Greek words, their occurrence and other important passages

i. proginosko
Strongs Greek number 4267

A verb. It means, literally, ‘to know beforehand’ and comes from ‘pro’ meaning ‘before’ and ‘ginosko’ meaning ‘to know’. It occurs in Rom 8:29 (‘Those whom He foreknew, He also predestined...’), Rom 11:2 (‘God has not rejected His people whom He foreknew’), I Peter 1:20 (‘Foreknown before the foundation of the world’. The RSV is wrong here and translates it ‘He was destined’ when there’s no pronoun relating it to Christ, whereas the author’s intention is to relate the foreknowledge to salvation through Christ written of in verse 19).

The occurrences both in Acts 26:5 (‘knew me before’ - not RSV), and II Peter 3:17 (‘knowing this beforehand’) do not refer to God’s foreknowledge.

ii. prognosis
Strongs Greek number 4268

A noun. It means ‘Knowledge beforehand’ and occurs in Acts 2:23 (‘Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God’) and I Peter 1:2 (‘...chosen exiles...according to the foreknowledge of God the Father...’ The RSV is again wrong here, translating the word as ‘destined’, making it a verb and removing the word ‘chosen’ from verse 1 into verse 2).

iii. The concept

We aren’t limited to the occurrences of the words as they appear in the NT for the concept of God’s foreknowledge is proclaimed in various other passages of Scripture (for example, see Ps 139:4, 139:16, Prov 15:3, Is 46:9-10, Jer 1:5, Acts 15:18, Heb 4:13 and I John 3:20).

Therefore, to understand about the ‘fore-knowing’ of God, there are a great amount of Scriptures which call the believer to consider and contemplate to understand the fact that God knows all things whether in the past, present or future to our own experience.

b. The ever-present One

God is the ‘I AM’, the ever-present One (Ex 3:14). God only has the one name, YHWH (‘YHWH’ is the Tetragrammon that the Jews considered too holy to pronounce. It has been conjectured as Yahweh and Jehovah by various commentators who have tried to theorise concerning the vowels used to sound it and, even, the correct consonant sound used for each of the four letters), a forever-relevant name that’s the nearest to summing up His entire Being.

We talk of God in future and past tenses (for instance, Revelation 1:4,8) because we understand Him within our concepts of time, but He’s the ever-present One and, as such, is unlimited by time, having created time within Himself (for nothing exists independently from God or outside Him - that is, outside His control) and He’s therefore not subject to time.

We speak of God being ‘eternal’ thinking of an endless period of time (Deut 33:27, Ps 41:13, Ps 90:2), but we’re only describing Him in terms that we can understand. God also expresses Himself within our concepts of time so that we’re able to comprehend a little of His greatness (Is 57:15, Rev 1:18).

Such questions as ‘How old is God?’ can’t be answered for ‘God exists’ independently of time and isn’t subject to its limitations. If He were restricted by what He created then, very simply, He would no longer be God! Balancing this, though, we need to remember that God does sometimes allow Himself to be restricted within what He’s created (for instance, in Christ and in the heart of a man who rebels against His rule).

God is outside time and therefore knows everything that will happen in time (see Figure 1 below). He’s both at the beginning ‘waiting’ for time to elapse and also at the end of time looking ‘back’ at all that has happened at the same moment (notice that in my attempt to define God being outside time, I have had to use time terminology - such is our incomprehensible conception of God’s Sovereignty over time!).

[NB - God, the all-present One
If we accept that God isn’t limited by time then it’s equally certain that God isn’t limited by space either (Is 66:1, II Chr 6:18, Ps 139:7-10, Acts 7:48-49) - whether it be dimensions, 3D, the world we live in - but has to express Himself in our language for us to be able to understand Him (Ex 15:6 - The Lord’s right hand; Is 1:20 - His mouth; Ps 11:4 - His eyes; Gen 8:21 - God smells [a cheap joke, sorry]). God expresses Himself within our concepts of space.
Space is within God (hence the inadequacy of Figure 1 above) - it’s His Creation but He cannot be defined into any shape or form (Ex 20:4-6) - again, though, with the proviso that He does temporarily allow Himself to be thus restricted.
The question ‘How big is God?’ is also unanswerable. Our conception of God as ‘Omnipresent’ is erroneous if it only conceives of God as ‘everywhere’, a definition based upon dimension. Ungers definition of the word is better. He writes
‘...God is free from the laws or limitations of space...’
thereby not conforming God to a dimension within our conception.]

c. Consequent teaching on Foreknowledge

God knows all things - even the outcome of man’s freewill.

Because He knows everything - even the outcome of our free choice - then a number of truths emerge from the Scriptures concerning His relation to Time:

i. He foreknew the need for Jesus to be crucified before there was ever any need for Him to die (see the correct translation of I Peter 1:20 above - not RSV)
ii. He was able to lay upon Jesus the punishment for all sin - past, present and future (I John 2:2 - though this doesn’t specifically teach this, it infers it. And how could the early Church proclaim the forgiveness of sins for men after Christ’s death, burial, resurrection and ascension if this weren’t so [Acts 2:38]?)
iii. He was able to write a book of all who were to be saved before the world ever began (Eph 1:4, Rev 13:8, 17:8). And yet, at the same time, it remains His will that all could be saved (II Peter 3:9).
iv. He has made provision for every mistake of ours (even our disobedience - see point ii) to be incorporated into the outworking of His ultimate will and purpose (Eph 1:10-11 - not RSV - Rom 8:28). But disobedience is still our responsibility!

If something is foreknown, it doesn’t mean that it’s predestined, only known before its occurrence without giving God the responsibility of determining all things that take place. This appears to be the main place where the staunch Calvinist has gone astray for God’s foreknowledge is taken to prove His predestination when it does no such thing.

Therefore, also, predictive prophecy is not predestined events (necessarily) but foreknowledge (and yet dependent upon a correct freewill response from man to bring the reality to fruition).

2. Man’s Freewill (Moral Choice)

a. Examples

i. In Gen 2:15-17, before the Fall, God gave both Adam and Eve the freedom to choose which fruit from which trees they would eat with the warning concerning the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

In Gen 3:6-7, both Adam and Eve exercised their freewill when they chose to consciously disobey God. It’s evident, therefore, that freewill was sown into the nature of humanity as part of God’s original plan. God cannot be blamed for bringing sin into the world, or for creating sin - only for allowing the possibility for it to occur.

ii. Deut 30:15-20 reads

‘I have set before you this day, life and good, death and evil...choose life, that you and your descendants may live...’

After the Fall, man still had the capacity to make his own decisions and to choose whether or not to obey and follow God. In fact, ‘freewill’ as a concept runs throughout the Bible even though the word occurs only once in the AV (apart from the numerous ‘freewill’ offerings of the sacrificial system), making individual men and women morally responsible for all their actions and reactions.

iii. Prov 1:29-31 reads

‘Because they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the Lord...’

The operation of these ‘fool’s’ freewill (verse 22) was to reject reverence for God when the personification of God’s wisdom called to them to choose what was upbuilding and full of life.

The testimony of the Bible doesn’t just point towards the exercise of man’s freewill on a few rare occasions but screams it repeatedly - man is asked to choose life, to follow after God and to reflect the image of God into all Creation. The rejection of a man’s ability to make a conscious choice between one route or another has meant that all things are consigned to the will of God, ultimately making God responsible for everything that takes place around us.

But God’s sovereignty is such that He rules over Creation and at the same time allows men and women to stand up against Him of their own free choice and even, on some occasions, to frustrate His will and purpose for themselves (Luke 7:30).

b. Changing our Destiny

Although this section should come after heading ‘3’, it’s included here as a natural outcome of man’s freewill. Naturally speaking, what a man does in the present shapes what will happen to him and what he will be like in the future. In this sense, man is responsible for his own destiny - what we get is what we choose. God has also destined or ‘predestined’ (that is, determined beforehand) man for great things, but, when man exercises his freewill against the known will and purpose of God, he changes his own destiny for the worse. In this case, man is taking his own fate upon himself and rejecting God’s destiny for him. Only in Christ can it be restored.

Some will feel that my definition of God’s purpose for men and women as ‘predestination’ is too strong for this word implies an unopposable move of God that gets His will done regardless of what any other man or woman might desire. However, as we’ll see below, predestination comes about as the result of God’s foreknowledge of man’s freewill and is but one aspect - the ‘end game’, so to speak - of God’s choice of destiny for mankind.

Perhaps it’s better to speak of God’s frustratable will as being His intended destiny but to speak of those matters which will certainly happen as being events which are ‘predestined’ or ‘fixed’ without thinking that they come about regardless of man and even, sometimes, as the result of the freewill disobedience of man against Him.

The examples below relate to the exercise of freewill as outlined in the corresponding Scriptures above:

i. The Fall changed man’s destiny

God did not intend man to sin, but He knew he would and it didn’t take Him by surprise. There were certain consequences:

1. Gen 1:28 - ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it...’
Gen 9:1 - ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth...’
Mankind was created to have dominion over all the earth but forfeited God’s destiny for himself when he subjected his rule to the will of the serpent.

2. Gen 1:27 - ‘...God created man...male and female He created them’
Gen 3:16 - ‘...your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you’
Man and woman were created to co-rule - the two were created as a reflection of God. Because of freewill choice, the wife was subjected to her husband (not subjected to man - the verse does not say that unmarried woman was subjected to man, but that in a husband/wife relationship, the woman is subject to the man because of the Fall).

3. Gen 2:9,16-17 - Man(kind) had the right to eat of the tree of life and, therefore, to possess eternal life.
Gen 3:19,24 - The right to eat of the tree of life was forfeited and so, too, the right to possess eternal life.
Man changed God’s destiny for him by choosing to disobey the revealed will of God - the right to eat from the tree of life, however, is restored in Christ (Rev 22:1-2). When we choose the fruit of one tree, we lose the right to choose the fruit of the other.
I have included a thorough exposition of these points in part 2 of my notes entitled ‘Creation/Restoration of Creation’.

ii. Choosing to obey or disobey determines man’s destiny

Deut 30:15-20 tells us that obedience to the commandments of the Lord would result in life, fruitfulness and being blessed by God in the land of Canaan that they were entering in to possess (verse 16). Disobedience, on the other hand, would lead to national obliteration and short lives (verse 18).

Their choice determined God’s destiny for them.

iii. Prov 1:29-31

Because these people did not ‘choose’ the fear of the Lord, a destiny awaits them that’s a direct consequence of the operation of their freewill - verse 31 reads

‘...they shall eat the fruit of their way...’

Similarly, Gehenna (Hell) is a direct consequence of a freewill rejection of Jesus Christ. We often think of God as a meanie when He stands as Judge at the end of time and consigns some to everlasting torment while the redeemed followers of Jesus Christ shall enter in to His presence for all eternity but those who haven’t wanted to be in God’s presence in this life are simply receiving the desire of their own heart - they get the ultimate fulfilment of all that their lives have announced through the outworking of their will on earth.

3. God’s Predestination (Predetermining events)

a. The Greek word and its occurrence

The Greek authors used just the one word to speak of God’s predestination, the word transliterated ‘proorizo’ (Strongs Greek number 4309), a verb meaning ‘to determine beforehand’. This is another word that means literally what you’d expect the compound of the two words to mean from which it’s formed (‘pro’ meaning ‘before’ and ‘horizo’ meaning ‘to set a boundary, to determine’).

It occurs in Acts 4:28, Rom 8:29-30, I Cor 2:7, Eph 1:5 and 1:11 (not RSV).

b. Modern definitions

The Dictionary defines ‘Predestination’ as

‘God’s decree of fixing unalterably from all eternity [that is, before time began] whatever is to happen, especially the eternal happiness or misery of men’

And also as:

‘Fixed fate’

but such definitions, at their extreme, confine all things to the will of God, while committing man’s freewill to a matter of God’s predestined plan and not solely His foreknowledge. The point is an important and fundamental one - either God pays no regard to the will of man or else predestination has to be explained with reference to man’s freewill.

c. Two Principles

i. Foreknowledge precedes Predestination

Rom 8:29 has Paul dictating the statement that

‘...those whom [God] foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son...’

and Jer 1:5 records YHWH as saying to His prophet

‘Before I formed you in the womb I knew you [foreknowledge] and before you were born...I appointed you [predestination]...’

It’s because God foreknows reactions, actions, situations, happenings and so on, that He predestines events before time begins using those foreknown reactions (and the like) to contribute to bringing about His will.

We could say that this statement is actually fundamentally wrong from our statements above for God dwells outside time, unrestricted by our limitations - the very limitations that were imposed upon us at the very beginning of the Creation.

However, the idea of first one action, then another is entirely in-keeping with the Scriptures which explains the workings of God in terms which we can comprehend.

ii. Predestination does not operate independently of man’s freewill

Acts 4:27-28 records the observation of the early Church that God’s enemies had been gathered together in Jerusalem

‘ do whatever Thy hand and Thy plan had predestined to take place’

In other words, the reconciliation of the world was predestined to take place and the events leading up to it foreknown. Judas’ betrayal, Israel’s rejection of Christ and Pontius Pilate’s sentence were all outcomes of men’s freewill for which each of them were morally responsible - they were all foreknown by God but not predestined.

The predestined redemptive plan didn’t happen regardless of the circumstances then in existence but through those circumstances God’s predestined plan came about - and it could only be ‘predestined’ if the situation was ‘foreknown’ through which it was to come.

Predestination is not causing something to happen regardless of other circumstances but bringing something to pass out of the circumstances that are in existence. Therefore it seems quite true to say that God predestines events because He foreknows the outcome of man’s freewill - and in this one sentence we have brought all three concepts together and shown their inter-relation (see Figure 2).

d. Predestination and being ‘Saved’

God indeed ‘chose’ us to be in Christ before the foundation of the world (Eph 1:4), predestined us to be His sons through Jesus Christ (1:5) and yet, at the same time, allowed for the operation of our own freewill, the outcome of which was foreknown by Him. Some have struggled with the possibility of a pre-existent predestination, thinking that this must mean that God cannot, at a future time to his predestining, decide to predestine others. In other words, God’s predestination is seen as a decision in a moment in time from which the reality is worked out.

But, as we’ve previously noted above, God not only dwells outside time but has also predestined events ‘before the foundation of the world’ – that is, before time ever began. It’s incorrect to force God to make the decision concerning an event and then to see God bringing it about at a future point in time regardless of the situations then present and the freewill of men and women.

Rather, God predestines outside time because of events that He foreknows will happen inside time, giving power to situations to ultimately bring about the purpose of His will.

The Calvinist view of ‘Limited Atonement’ (that is, that Jesus paid the price only for those men and women who are predestined to be saved) is another case in point. The Calvinist (and I don’t mean to be unkind or unfair to his position) perhaps sees Jesus dying for the sins of all men – both saved and condemned together – as being a waste, something that Jesus wouldn’t have been expected to do. And so Jesus dies only for the elect, the predestined.

But, again, this is to limit God’s ability to foreknow the end from the beginning and to lay upon Jesus the full payment needed from a point outside time where Creation has not been started but also where the final judgment has taken place. As we saw above, God is present at all points in time but isn’t limited by it – He stands at the dawn of Creation looking forward to everything that is about to happen and also at close of the world, looking back at everything that has come to pass.

There’s no reason why God couldn’t lay upon Jesus the full penalty required on the cross for all those who would be saved throughout history because God already knows who will respond to the Gospel and who won’t. Equally, there’s no reason why God didn’t lay upon Jesus the full penalty for all men.

Either way, the compulsion laid upon Jesus’ followers to preach the Gospel to all Creation and to call everyone to repentance and to faith towards God doesn’t deny that only the elect will be saved and that none others can be – because freewill is unknown to us who live within time and God can predestine all those who make the choice to follow Jesus Christ outside time, before the foundation of the world as He foreknows all things.

Although ‘Limited Atonement’ and ‘Full Atonement’ have been argued over, there’s really no valid argument if it’s viewed from the perspective of timelessness. So, Mtw 22:1-14 (verse 14) tells us that

‘...many are called, but few are chosen’

As many as possible are called to come and feast from the provision of the cross (verse 9). Then there’s individual acceptance or rejection of the invitation (verse 10 - freewill). Those who correctly respond to the invitation (and not just those who become partakers of the benefits of the cross) are the ‘chosen of God’ (verses 11-14).

This ‘choice’ comes after a correct freewill response. Yet because God foreknows all things, He has ‘predestined’ all who will make that choice. The three stages are

1. Call
2. Response
3. Choice

God chooses us after we make a freewill response but, foreknowing what our response will be, He’s able to choose ‘before the foundation of the world’ in anticipation of what He knows our response will be.

Our freewill, however, is the reason why we’re chosen and we see that salvation, although initiated by God both by the sending of the Son and the continued conviction by the Holy Spirit of sin, is something in which the action of God and the faith of man go hand in hand.

e. A guiding principle

By our actions today, we shape tomorrow.

We live inside time, limited by time and the future is not fixed to us as it is to God in His foreknowledge living outside time. When we act or react in situations then we’re shaping our own destiny - changing it for the better or for the worse.

God will use every situation that we find ourselves in for our benefit and to bring about His ultimate purpose for us whether that situation is of our own making, brought about by satan or coming about through a direct work of God. But that does not mean that we should accept every situation as being ‘ordained by God’ but subject every situation to the will of God in Christ Jesus - this is getting God’s will done ‘on earth as it is in Heaven’ and bringing in the Kingdom of Heaven (Heaven’s rule).

4. Matthew chapters 26-28

The Passion narrative is a complex passage that deals with the three concepts of foreknowledge, freewill and predestination. Below I have attempted to outline these concepts as they occur in Matthew chapters 26-28 simply because they give us a good insight into the way in which salvation was obtained.

It also helps us to see whether the much supposed ‘predestination’ of Judas to ‘damnation’ is accurate or erroneous.

a. Freewill

i. Judas
John 12:4-8 - This incident was the ‘final straw’ that persuaded Judas to betray Christ. He chose from that time onward to set his will against Him.
Mtw 26:14-16, Mark 14:10-11, Luke 22:3-6 - Judas’ meeting with the chief priests was a choice of his own freewill, though inspired by satan.

ii. Chief Priests
John 11:45-53 - The Sanhedrin met and took counsel how to put Jesus to death. This was the outcome of their persistent refusal to accept Jesus as the Messiah.
Mtw 26:3-5, Mark 14:1-2, Luke 22:2 - They chose the time at which they wanted to arrest Him. Though it would appear that they had to act earlier than they would have wanted because of Judas’ betrayal.
Mtw 26:14-16 and so on - They chose to enter into an agreement with Judas in order to capture Jesus.
Mtw 26:65-27:2 - They chose to sentence Him to death and sought a way to implicate Him before the Roman authorities.
Acts 4:10 - ‘...Jesus...whom you crucified...’
Acts 5:30 - ‘...Jesus whom you killed...’

iii. Pilate
John 18:28-19:16 - Pilate struggled with Jesus’ innocence (see 18:38, 19:4, 19:6) but when he was made to realise that his own allegiance to Rome would be compromised if he let Christ go, he chose rather to deliver up Jesus to be crucified (Mtw 27:24-26).

iv. The crowds
Mtw 27:21-23 - The crowds chose Barabbas rather than Christ because he seemed to them to be more like the king they wanted.

b. Foreknowledge

Mtw 16:21, 17:22-23, 20:17-19 - Jesus made it plain before He arrived in Jerusalem for the last time, that He knew what awaited Him. That is, the Father had revealed the matter to Him and the Son was not operating independently out of His own omniscience.
Mtw 26:1-2 - Even more plain was the time when His crucifixion would take place. This was also foreknown.
I Peter 1:19-20 (not RSV) - The plan for the reconciliation of the world through the shedding of Christ’s blood was foreknown before the beginning of time.
Notice also Mtw 26:20-25 and John 6:70-71 - Judas’ betrayal was foreknown (see below).

c. Predestination

Acts 4:27-28 - Predestination does not work independently of freewill and foreknowledge, but God, foreknowing the outcome of man’s freewill, is able to bring about His purposes through it all.

d. Additional note on Judas

Question: Was Judas predestined to betray Jesus?
Answer: No!

Acts 1:17 - Judas was destined to share in the ministry of the Twelve.
Mtw 19:28 - Judas was destined to share in the judging of the twelve tribes of Israel.
Luke 6:16 says that Judas ‘became’ a traitor. The inference is that he wasn’t a traitor at the beginning but had the same potential as all the others.
Mtw 26:20-25 (especially verse 24) - This is foreknowledge but not predestination. Judas fulfilled the Scripture because God knew what the outcome of his freewill would be, not because he had no choice in the matter. Indeed, there’s no need to insist on the inevitability of Judas’ betrayal and consign it to God’s predestining of events - rather, foreknowledge is all that’s required.