Knowledge

 •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 6
There are several Greek words translated “to know,” the principal of which are
(¹). οῖδα, signifying “inward conscious knowledge” in the mind; and
(²). γινώσκω, signifying “objective knowledge.” The latter passes into consciousness, but not vice versa. There are several passages in the New Testament in which both words occur, a study of which will show that the words are not used promiscuously, and need to be carefully considered.
John 7:2727Howbeit we know this man whence he is: but when Christ cometh, no man knoweth whence he is. (John 7:27). We know¹ this man whence He is; but when Christ cometh, no man knoweth² whence He is.
John 8:5555Yet ye have not known him; but I know him: and if I should say, I know him not, I shall be a liar like unto you: but I know him, and keep his saying. (John 8:55). Ye have not known² Him; but I know¹ Him; and if I should say, I know¹ Him not, I shall be a liar like unto you: but I know¹ Him, and keep His saying.
1 Cor. 8:1-21Now as touching things offered unto idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth. 2And if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know. (1 Corinthians 8:1‑2). We know¹ that we all have knowledge². Knowledge² puffeth up, but charity edifieth. And if any man think that he knoweth¹ [Editors alter this into ²] anything, he knoweth² nothing yet as he ought to know².
2 Cor. 5:1616Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more. (2 Corinthians 5:16). Henceforth know¹ we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known² Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know² we Him no more.
1 John 2:2929If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him. (1 John 2:29). If ye know¹ that He is righteous, ye know² that every one that doeth righteousness is born of Him.
Both these words are employed for the Lord’s own knowledge. In Matthew 12:1515But when Jesus knew it, he withdrew himself from thence: and great multitudes followed him, and he healed them all; (Matthew 12:15), Jesus knew² (that they were plotting to destroy Him) having heard it. And in Matthew 12:2525And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand: (Matthew 12:25) Jesus knew¹ their thoughts—had the conscious knowledge of it. Respecting our knowledge of the person of Christ, in Luke 10:2222All things are delivered to me of my Father: and no man knoweth who the Son is, but the Father; and who the Father is, but the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal him. (Luke 10:22), no one knows² who the Son is except the Father; but in Matthew 11:2727All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him. (Matthew 11:27), which is a parallel passage, neither of the above words are used, but ἐπιγινώσκω, which implies a certain objective knowledge, not a mere acquaintance with a person. The knowledge that is partial, and that shall vanish away, is the objective knowledge (1 Cor. 13:8-98Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. 9For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. (1 Corinthians 13:8‑9)); not the inward conscious knowledge. In 1 Corinthians 13:1212For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. (1 Corinthians 13:12) it is real knowledge in the future, ἐπιγινώσκω. The words—both (¹) and (²)—often occur separately in John’s gospel and epistles, and their use may be profitably studied in a Greek Testament or Concordance.