Re: Romans 2:4

From: Paul S. Dixon (
Date: Sun Nov 22 1998 - 18:54:27 EST

On Sun, 22 Nov 1998 13:47:45 -0500 Jim Beale <> writes:
>Hello b-greekers,
>A friend and I are having a disagreement over the interpretation
>of Romans 2:4. I interpret it in the usual way, such that AGEI
>is understood to be conative, that is, as saying something about
>the tendency of God's goodness. My friend interprets this verse
>as follows. Would anyone have a moment to comment on it? He
> The present participle AGNOWN can be taken in its full
> force as meaning they did not know experientially. AGNOWN
> comes from an A privative plus GINOWSKW which is
> experiential knowledge in contrast to OIDA, head knowledge.
> Then, if we take AGEI as an iterative or customary present
> (a far more common nuance of the present tense than is the
> conative or tendentia)l, we will get efficacious leading
> versus tendential and inefficacious leading.

Your friend may have overstepped the case here. If there is a
difference between GINWSKW and OIDA it may be that the
former stresses an experiential or subjective knowledge versus
a head or objective knowledge. But, the words often appear to
be used interactively and at times synonymously.

It reminds one of the difference between AGAPAW and FILEW in
Jn 21. Are these being used synonymously or is there a
distinction meant? Probably the former. But, this is not to say
the two words are always to be taken synonymously. Likewise,
with GINWSKW and OIDA.
> Furthermore, the participle AGNOWN can be taken causally,
> yielding in an amplified way, "you think lightly of the riches
> of His kindness and forbearance and patience because you do
> not know experientially that the kindness of God leads you
> efficaciously to repentance."
> The idea is that God's kindness does not actually lead the
> reprobates to repentance and that is why they think lightly
> of His kindness, forbearance and patience. Likewise, by
> contraposition, had they known experientially that God's
> kindness led them to repentance, then they would not have
> thought lightly of His kindness, forbearance and patience.

Your friend here used contraposition inaccurately. He really
meant and/or should have used "negation." The negation,
of course, is not a valid inference. But, this does not mean
it is not true. But, hey, what are we doing talking about this
here on the b-greek list?
>Thanks, and cheers!

No problem. Glad to be of help anytime.

Paul Dixon

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