Comment on the Very Elect

By David Pyles

For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. – Mt 24:24

The expression very elect in the above text is thought by some to refer to a special subset of the elect family of God. I do not believe such a conclusion can be drawn from this text. I concede that God does not deal with all of His elect the same. The same sovereignty whereby the elect were chosen over others is also of force in God’s dealings with the elect themselves. For example, some elect have been shown extensive truth; others have been shown somewhat less, and yet others have been shown comparatively little.

However, the word very in this scripture is translated from the Greek word kai which does not have the meaning of “special” or “exceptional.” It therefore will not support the idea that a special kind of elect is under consideration. kai is frequently translated as even, and I believe this is the obvious meaning here. That is, the very elect is all the same as even the elect. Hence, very should not be understood as a modification of the term elect. Instead it places emphasis on the word deceive. The deception shall be of such extent that it would deceive even the elect if this were possible.

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