Contrast two words resource

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Robert Peters | Forum Activity | Posted: Thu, Nov 28 2019 8:11 AM

I am looking for a resource where I can see teh comparison and contrast from οἶδα and γινώσκω

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Bruce Dunning | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Nov 28 2019 10:45 AM

The entry for οἶδα in the The Theological Dictionary of the NT is helpful. Like all words, context is key.


οἶδα is an Indo-Eur. perf. of the root εἰδ-, ἰδ- (→ εἶδος, εἰδέναι, ἰδεῖν), though always used in the pres.: “to have realised, perceived” == “to know.” It often replaces the perf. ἔγνωκα (→ I, 689), “to have experienced, learned to know” == “to know.” But it can also be synon. with γινώσκω; in the abs. use in the koine it is hard to establish any distinction of meaning. This is esp. so when the inchoative element in γινώσκω is subsidiary or absent. Cf. as LXX examples: Est. 4:17d: σὺ πάντα γινώσκεις, σὺ οἶδας, Sir. 34:9 f.: ἀνὴρ πεπλανημένος ἔγνω πολλά … ὃς οὐκ ἐπειράθη, ὀλίγα οἶδεν, Is. 59:8: ὁδὸν εἰρήνης οὐκ οἴδασιν (vl. ἔγνωσαν), and as NT   V 5, p 117  examples: Mt. 16:3: γινώσκετε διακρίνειν with Lk. 12:56: οἴδατε δοκιμάζειν, Jn. 7:27: τοῦτον οἴδαμεν πόθεν ἐστίν· ὁ δὲ Χριστὸς ὅταν ἔρχηται, οὐδεὶς γινώσκει πόθεν ἐστίν, 8:55; 14:7 (note the vl.); 21:17: πάντα σὺ οἶδας σὺ γινώσκεις ὅτι φιλῶ σε, R. 7:7: τὴν ἁμαρτίαν οὐκ ἔγνων … τήν τε γὰρ ἐπιθυμίαν οὐκ ᾔδειν, 2 C. 5:16: νῦν οὐδένα οἴδαμεν … νῦν οὐκέτι γινώσκομεν. One must thus beware of pressing the distinctive senses. Thus in Mk. 4:13: οὐκ οἴδατε τὴν παραβολὴν ταύτην, καὶ πῶς πάσας τὰς παραβολὰς γνώσεσθε, one can hardly demonstrate any difference, and it is hard to see any distinction in nuance as between Mt. 7:23: οὐδέποτε ἔγνων ὑμᾶς (cf. Lk. 13:27 οὐκ οἶδα πόθεν ἐστέ) and Mt. 25:12: οὐκ οἶδα ὑμᾶς (cf. Lk. 13:25).

There are few peculiarities in the NT use of the term. 1. In most of the 320 passages where οἶδα occurs it has the sense “to know” as indicated above, and only rarely is it interchangeable with related senses of “know,” e.g., knowing a person (Mk. 14:71; Mt. 26:72: Peter in the court of the high-priest: οὐκ οἶδα τὸν ἄνθρωπον, 2 C. 5:16: ὥστε ἡμεῖς ἀπὸ τοῦ νῦν οὐδένα οἴδαμεν κατὰ σάρκα), or ability to understand (Mt. 7:11; Lk. 11:13: οἴδατε δόματα ἀγαθὰ διδόναι, cf. Jos. Bell., II, 91: φέρειν οἴδασιν μετρίους ἡγεμόνας, Lv. r., 5, 8: לְמִשְׁאַל אִיתְּתָא דִחֲכִימָא, a woman who knows how to borrow. εἰδέναι == חֲכַם == “to be able.” Cf. Phil. 4:12; Jm. 4:17: εἰδότι οὖν καλὸν ποιεῖν; cf. Jos. Ant., VI, 167: παῖδα … ψάλλειν εἰδότα), or understanding in the sense “to apprehend” (Eph. 1:18: εἰς τὸ εἰδέναι ὑμᾶς τίς ἐστιν ἡ ἐλπὶς τῆς κλήσεως αὐτοῦ, Mt. 26:70: Peter at the denial: οὐκ οἶδα τί λέγεις, cf. the par. in Mk. 14:68: οὔτε οἶδα οὔτε ἐπίσταμαι σὺ τί λέγεις). Unusual, though understandable, is the use for “to recognise” (“to know about someone”) in 1 Th. 5:12: εἰδέναι τοὺς κοπιῶντας, cf. as a par. Ign. Sm., 9, 1: καλῶς ἔξει θεὸν καὶ ἐπίσκοπον εἰδέναι.
2. Of theological significance is the phrase “to know God (or Christ)” or “not to know God (or Christ).” The NT use is influenced by the OT concept of a culpable ignorance of God, which is echoed in Paul under the slogan εἰδέναι. The Gentiles are characterised by the fact that they “do not know (a) God,” “they know nothing about a God”; Gl. 4:8: τότε μὲν οὐκ εἰδότες θεόν …, cf. Tt. 1:16 and the adoption of OT sayings in 1 Th. 4:5 and 2 Th. 1:8 (Jer. 10:25, cf. ψ 78:6). Cf. also Hb. 8:11 (== Jer. 31:34).
The demons have a knowledge of Jesus in Mk. 1:24, 34 (Lk. 4:34, 41). By supernatural knowledge they can see the purpose of His coming. Hence, realising that their very existence is threatened, they seek to defend themselves against Jesus   V 5, p 118  by declaring His true name and nature: Mk. 1:24: οἶδά σε τίς εἶ, ὁ ἅγιος τοῦ θεοῦ. This is not to be taken as a confession, but as a defensive formula.9
In distinction from γινώσκω and γνῶσις (→ I, 708 f.), the thought of knowing Jesus plays no very significant role in Paul in connection with the term εἰδέναι. We simply find the term in the Corinthian letters where Paul is wrestling with the penetration of Gnostic ideas into Christianity. Thus 1 C. 2:2: οὐ γὰρ ἔκρινὰ τι εἰδέναι ἐν ὑμῖν εἰ μὴ Ἰησοῦν Χριστόν, καὶ τοῦτον ἐσταυρωμένον, is a demarcation against Gnostic attempts to change the message of Christ into wisdom speculation. 2 C. 5:16: ὥστε ἡμεῖς ἀπὸ τοῦ νῦν οὐδένα οἴδαμεν κατὰ σάρκα, is also a demarcation, though here obviously directed against Judaisers who made the apostle’s ignorance of the earthly Jesus an occasion for agitation against him.
3. Only in the Fourth Gospel can one say with certainty that Gnostic usage has intruded into εἰδέναι. To the same degree that the unity of Jesus with God is expressed in the Johannine writings by the term γινώσκειν (→ I, 711), the same is true in respect of εἰδέναι, especially in the repeated statement of Jesus that He has knowledge of, or knows, God: 7:28f.: καὶ ἀπʼ ἐμαυτοῦ οὐκ ἐλήλυθα, ἀλλʼ ἔστιν ἀληθινὸς ὁ πέμψας με, ὃν ὑμεῖς οὐκ οἴδατε· ἐγὼ οἶδα αὐτόν, ὅτι παρʼ αὐτοῦ εἰμι κἀκεῖνός με ἀπέστειλεν. 8:55: ἐγὼ δὲ οἶδα αὐτόν. κἂν εἴπω ὅτι οὐκ οἶδα αὐτόν, ἔσομαι ὅμοιος ὑμῖν ψεύστης· ἀλλὰ οἶδα αὐτὸν καὶ τὸν λόγον αὐτοῦ τηρῶ (cf. 8:14). This knowledge is not abstract. In 7:28f. it is a knowledge of the goal and purpose of His mission, and according to 8:55 it takes concrete shape in His obedience to the word and commandment of His Father. His union with God explains His knowledge of the divine plan of salvation which is fulfilled in His mission, and especially in His death: 13:3: εἰδὼς ὅτι πάντα ἔδωκεν αὐτῷ ὁ πατήρ … καὶ ὅτι ἀπὸ θεοῦ ἐξῆλθεν καὶ πρὸς τὸν θεὸν ὑπάγει. To this extent His death does not catch Him unawares, cf. 13:1: … εἰδὼς ὁ Ἰησοῦς ὅτι ἦλθεν αὐτοῦ ἡ ὥρα ἵνα μεταβῇ ἐκ τοῦ κόσμου τούτου πρὸς τὸν πατέρα, cf. 18:4; 19:28: μετὰ τοῦτο εἰδὼς ὁ Ἰησοῦς ὅτι ἤδη πάντα τετέλεσται.
To the same degree that there is expression of this knowledge of Jesus concerning His Father and His mission, it is also true that the Jews do not recognise Jesus as the Son of God; they do not know Him, because they “are of this world” (8:23). Even the Baptist, to whom knowledge of Jesus had to be imparted by divine revelation (1:31ff.), says to them: μέσος ὑμῶν στήκει ὃν ὑμεῖς οὐκ οἴδατε (1:26), and in what follows the Fourth Gospel continually refers to this lack of knowledge: 7:28; 8:14: ὑμεῖς δὲ οὐκ οἴδατε πόθεν ἔρχομαι ἢ ποῦ ὑπάγω, 8:19; 8:54f.: 9:29; cf. 4:10, 22. The disciples are also described as men   V 5, p 119  who do not know, cf. 4:32: ἐγὼ βρῶσιν ἔχω φαγεῖν ἣν ὑμεῖς οὐκ οἴδατε, and especially 14:7: εἰ ἐγνώκειτέ με, καὶ τὸν πατέρα μου ἂν ᾔδειτε. But to the disciples, who are not of the world (15:19; 17:14, 16), full knowledge is promised when Jesus has gone away and sent to them the Paraclete (14:15ff.; 16:7 ff., 25ff.),

Seesemann, H. (1964–). οἶδα. G. Kittel, G. W. Bromiley, & G. Friedrich (Eds.), Theological dictionary of the New Testament (electronic ed., Vol. 5, pp. 116–119). Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans.

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