Re: (Fwd) Re. Know in John 6 (oikamen vs egnwkamen)

From: James H. Vellenga (
Date: Thu Oct 10 1996 - 13:40:06 EDT

Let me once again add an alternative viewpoint.

Actually, I did some word studies of OIDA and GINWSKW some time back and
came to the following conclusions:

1) The perfect form OIDA can ordinarily be well translated as the
present form of "recognize". Etymologically, I guess this is the sense
of "having seen" this before. One exception to this may be John 9.12:

  And they said to him, "Where is that [person]?"
  He says, "I haven't seen him."

But one could also take this to have the same implication of not
being able to recognize him, albeit in the English equivalent of
the subjunctive.

  He says, "I wouldn't recognize him."

-- based on the fact that the healing had occurred after the man
left Jesus' presence.

OIDA could also mean "recognize," I think, in the sense of "hold up for
recognition" -- as in 1 Thess 5.12:

  Now we're asking you, brothers, to recognize the ones labouring
  among you ...

2) For GINWSKO, translation seems to go more smoothly if we treat the
aorist as incipient action ("to get to know") and the imperfect/present
as the simple form "know". This suggests "have come to know" for the
perfect form.

So in response to your questions, let me suggest:

  John 6.42: "Isn't this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother
  we recognize?" (i.e., know by sight)

and then later, in John 6.69, Peter says

  "and we have committed [ourselves] and have come to know that you
  are God's Holy One."

-- i.e., "we figured it out and still realize it."

And finally, in John 21.1, one could read Peter as saying

  "Master, you recognize (or have seen) all [kinds of] things;
  you know that I love you."

Jim V.

James H. Vellenga |
Viewlogic Systems, Inc. __|__ 508-303-5491
293 Boston Post Road West | FAX: 508-460-8213
Marlboro, MA 01752-4615 |

"We all work with partial information."

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.4 : Sat Apr 20 2002 - 15:37:53 EDT