From: Tom Belt (
Date: Tue Nov 24 1998 - 14:53:21 EST


I is often claimed that OIDA and GINWSKW connote two quite different forms
of "knowing." One study I have, for example, commenting on 1 Cor. 2.14,
says, "Here the apostle used the Greek verb 'ginosko', meaning 'to embrace
the teaching as a reality in a personal way.' A similar word he could have
chosen is
'oida' which implies 'simple mental understanding.'" If we follow his logic,
however, 1 Co 2.12 claims no more than that the Spirit was given to give us
in order that we have "simple mental understanding" of the gifts bestowed on
us by God. But surely by "OIDA" here Paul intends more than purely academic
knowledge in this case.

I've looked for the distinction spoken of but just haven't found it. That's
not to say they are absolutely synonymous in every possible use.

Check out Paul's use of GINWSKW and OIDA in 1 Cor. 2.12 ("...that we might
EIDWMEN the things give to us") and 2.14 (...the natural not able
to GNWNAI them [the gifts of God]). He doesn't seem consciously to make a
distinction between the two verbs.

I also thought the following verses were interesting (If the distinction
between these two verbs existed as is often claimed, how are we to account
for these and other verses like them?):

Jo 7.27 "Yet we know (OIDAMEN) where this man comes from; and when the
Christ appears, no one will know (GINWSKEI) where he comes from."

Jo 21.17 "...And he said to him, "Lord, you know (OIDAS) everything; you
know (GINWKEIS) that I love you."

2Co 5:16 "From now on, therefore, we know (OIDAMEN) no one from a human
point of view; even though we once knew (EGNWSKAMEAN) Christ from a human
point of view, we know (GINWSKOMEN) him thus no longer."

It is true, as you say, that GINWSKW behaves a little differently when
followed bo hOTI. But the same thing is true of OIDA. So this doesn't prove
much in terms of the alleged distinction between the two verbs. It does, as
you mentioned, signify a slight difference between the subject and the
object of the knowledge. Once again, though, the same is true of OIDA. That
is, it is not apparent that a distinction between the subject and object of
knowledge is something "built into" GINWSKW as such, for the same
distinction arises with OIDA. Indeed, the fact that hOTI must be used to
introduce such a distinction between subject and object shows that the verbs
themselves do not carry it within them.

Tom Belt
Evangelical Assemblies of God of Lebanon
Beirut, Lebanon

-----Original Message-----
From: Jim Beale <>
To: Biblical Greek <>
Date: Tuesday, November 24, 1998 1:38 AM
Subject: GINWSKW + hOTI

>I've seen evidence in a recent study of usage in the Pauline
>corpus, that there is a difference in the nuance of meaning
>of GINWSKW or AGNOEW depending on whether it is or isn't
>followed immediately by hOTI.
>It seems to me that GINWKSW XYZ tends to blur the boundary
>between the subject and object of knowledge, whereas the
>same followed by hOTI tends to sharpen the boundary between
>the two. The same seems to hold in English, "to know XYZ"
>can be quite a different idea from "to know THAT XYZ." In
>the former, the subject and object are less distinct, where
>in the latter the two are viewed as quite distinct.
>Has anyone else thought about this?
> The good man does not grieve that other people
> do not recognize his merits. His only anxiety
> is lest he should fail to recognize theirs.
> -- Confucius
>B-Greek home page:
>You are currently subscribed to b-greek as:
>To unsubscribe, forward this message to
>To subscribe, send a message to

B-Greek home page:
You are currently subscribed to b-greek as: []
To unsubscribe, forward this message to
To subscribe, send a message to

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.4 : Sat Apr 20 2002 - 15:40:08 EDT