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Bible Dictionaries

Morrish Bible Dictionary


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There are several Greek words translated 'to know,' the principal of which are

1. οἶδα,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 N.T. in which both words occur, a study will show that the words are not used promiscuously, and need to be carefully considered .

Matthew 24:43 . Know [2] this, that if the goodman of the house had known [1] in what watch the thief would come, etc. The same distinction occurs in Luke 12:39 .

Mark 4:13 . Know [1] ye not this parable? and how then will ye know [2] all parables?

John 7:27 . We know [1] this man whence he is; but when Christ cometh, no man knoweth [2] whence he is.

John 8:55 . Ye have not known [2] him; but I know [1] him; and if I should say, I know [1] him not, I shall be a liar like unto you: but I know [1] him, and keep his saying.

John 13:7 . What I do thou knowest [1] not now; but thou shalt know [2] hereafter.

John 21:17 . Lord, thou knowest [1] all things; thou knowest [2] that I love thee.

Romans 7:7 . I had not known [2] sin, but by the law: for I had not known [1] lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.

1 Corinthians 8:1,2 . We know [1] that we all have knowledge [2]. Knowledge [2] puffeth up, but charity edifieth. And if any man think that he knoweth [1] (Editors alter this into [2] ) anything, he knoweth [2] nothing yet as he ought to know. [2]

2 Corinthians 5:16 . Henceforth know [1] we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known [2] Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know [2] we him no more.

Hebrews 8:11 . They shall not teach . . . . saying, Know [2] the Lord: for all shall know [1] me, from the least to the greatest.

1 John 2:29 . If ye know [1] that he is righteous, ye know [2] that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him.

1 John 5:20 . We know [1] that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know [2] him that is true.

Both these words are employed for the Lord's own knowledge. In Matthew 12:15 , Jesus knew [2] (that they were plotting to destroy him) having heard it. And in Matthew 12:25 Jesus knew [1] their thoughts — had the conscious knowledge of it. Respecting our knowledge of the person of Christ, in Luke 10:22 , no one knows [2] who the Son is except the Father; but in 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 Corinthians 13:8,9; not the inward conscious knowledge. In 1 Corinthians 13:12 it is real knowledge in the future, ἐπιγινώσκω.The words (both Nos. 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.

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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Morrish, George. Entry for 'Knowledge'. Morrish Bible Dictionary. 1897.

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