Thursday, February 2, 2012

Word Study: Knowledge (Ginosko) And Foreknowldge

From God’s Strategy in Human History by Roger T. Forster and Paul Marston:

Meanings of “Know” in scripture- “Foreknowledge” is made up of the two Greek elements “previous” (pro) and “knowledge” (ginosko). Ginosko, like the English word know, can have many shades of meaning. It is not always possible from the contexts in which they appear to distinguish them. But it is beneficial to examine the various meanings so they will be clear in one’s mind. Then when one considers the word foreknowledge, the various possibilities will be clear. These were the meanings of ginosko at the time of the Apostles, from the Greek New Testament and the Septuagint:

Perceive (usually knowledge of the facts) - 1Jn. 3:24, Mk. 13:28, Lk. 7:39.

Understand- Jn. 8:43, 10:6, Acts 8:30. (In some cases, difficult to distinguish from perceive, at other times closer to knowledge of persons, see below).

Experience or follow- Micah 3:1, 4:9, Zeph. 3:5, Heb. 3:10.

Acknowledge- Dt. 33:9, 1Chron. 28:9, Job. 19:13, Jer. 3:13. See also Gen 38:26, 1Kings 10:24, Is. 33:13, 59:12, 61:9, Jer. 14:20, Dan. 4:22, 29 where “acknowledge” appears to be the preferable reading. Sometimes it might be difficult to distinguish between recognize and knowledge of persons. See Acts 19: 15- “And the evil spirit said unto them, Jesus I know (ginosko), and Paul I know (epistemai), but who are you?”

Recognize (personal or impersonal objects)- Lk. 24:35, Mt. 12: 33, 1Kings 20:41.

Knowledge of persons (implying understanding of them, object of the verb is a personal one, but a personal relationship may [Mt:25:24] or may not be involved [Jn. 2:24, 5:42])- Mt. 25:24, Jn. 2:24,25, Jn. 1:47,48, 5:42, Ps. 138: 1,2,6, Jer. 12:3.

Knowledge of persons (special relationships)- 1Jn. 2:4, 1Jn. 4:7, Mt. 7:23, Dt. 34:10 (compare with Ex. 33:11, 12, 17), Hos. 6: 3,4 (see also 8:2), Gen. 4:1, Lk. 1:34.

Foreknowledge- Used only seven times in the New Testament. These are the five times it refers to something other than the Church:

2Pet: 3:17, Acts 2:23, 1Pet 1:18-20, Rom. 11:12, Acts 26: 4-5.

God’s foreknowledge of the Church:

1Pet 1:1,2, Rom 8:28-30.

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