My dear, sweet friend Ellen joins us today taking on a word we use commonly, but often fail to apply correctly – knowledge – for this week’s Word Nerd Wednesday.
September has rolled around. Down South, that means football season! But it’s also the beginning of a new school year. Time for some learnin’; book knowledge for the journey of life. I’ve found there is one Book that provides all the knowledge you need for this life. That is God’s Word, the Bible.
According to The Holman Treasury of Key Bible Words, the Greeks had two words for knowing: “oida and ginōskō (the noun form of which is gnōsis). Oida, related to the Greek word for “seeing,” denotes “perception” and “absolute knowledge.” Once something is known, it is known for good–nothing can be added to it. Ginōskō denotes “inceptive and ongoing knowledge.” It designates ongoing, personal knowledge, which implies a relationship between the person who knows and the person who is known. This knowledge can grow and mature. By way of illustration, we can “know” (oida) someone’s name immediately, but it will take a lifetime to really “know” (ginōskō) that person.” (1)
Today, we’ll look at knowledge from the root word Ginosko, as seen in Colossians 2:2-3:
“that their hearts may be encouraged, having been knit together in love, and attaining to all the wealth that comes from the full assurance of understanding, resulting in a true knowledge of God’s mystery, that is, Christ Himself, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” NASB
The first use of knowledge is the Greek word epignosis (Strong’s G1922), from the root word ginosko. It is used in the sense of “coming to understand something clearly and distinctly or as true and valid, often with a personal acquaintance that necessitates a positive or negative reaction.” (2)
Spires Zodhiates, in The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament, states that this word implies a more thorough participation on the part of the learner who is acquiring the knowledge. It’s a knowledge laying claim to personal involvement. He also adds that in Colossians 2:2 it means “the discernment which comes in connection with possessing salvation which helps in determining the moral conduct.”
The second use of the word knowledge is the Greek word gnosis (Strong’s G1108), again from the root word ginosko. It is used in the sense of “the sum or range of what has been perceived, discovered or learned; knowledge.” (3)
Zodhiates tells us that this word is “present and fragmentary knowledge as contrasted with epígnōsis, clear and exact knowledge…Objectively spoken of what is known, the object of knowledge, generally knowledge, doctrine, science.” (4)
But, really, what does all this knowledge stuff mean?
Paul prays constantly that the believers in Colossae and Laodicea may really understand what they have in Jesus, who is the storehouse where God has placed all the “treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”
It’s the same for us today.
To have all the treasures of knowledge, we must KNOW Christ. Not head knowledge, but personal and experiential knowledge. Saving knowledge. Understanding and accepting that Jesus gave His life to pay for our sins.
When we know this to be true, and have this epignosis knowledge of Jesus Christ, then we will have all the wisdom and gnosis knowledge needed to become progressively, more intimately acquainted with Him.
It’s all about relationship, isn’t it? Deepening our relationship with Jesus, really KNOWING Him and experiencing Him day to day, is the ONE THING that will strengthen and revive our spiritual life.
1. Carpenter, E. E., & Comfort, P. W. (2000). In Holman treasury of key Bible words: 200 Greek and 200 Hebrew words defined and explained (p. 318). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.
2. Logos Bible Software, version 7
3. Logos Bible Software, version 7
4. Zodhiates, S. (2000). The complete word study dictionary: New Testament (electronic ed.). Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers.
Ellen pens her stories from the Bayou Country of South Louisiana, but her heart and birthplace are in Mississippi. She’s a Southern Belle through and through. When not writing and digging into God’s Word, you can find Ellen digging in her flower beds, relaxing on the back porch, or traveling with her husband John.
Ellen has loved writing since high school, but this passion lay dormant for many decades. When her mom passed away in 2011, Ellen felt the Lord urging her to write her stories, stories that help her see His faithfulness in her ordinary, every day life.
She is passionate about scripture and shares the truth of God’s word at Ellen Chauvin (dot) com. It is there that she encourages her readers to soak in God’s Word and sprout seeds of faith.
Ellen has contributed to Deeper Waters, Word Nerd Wednesday, The Laundry Moms, The Consilium and The Message, a study magazine published annually by the women’s department of WEGOM, a non denominational evangelistic organization in Nigeria.