"Know" and "Foreknow"

Theo1689

Well-known member
Since a significant portion of discussion/debate here depends on the understanding of the word, "foreknow", I think it would be helpful to do a study on this (and related) words.

First of all, I am concentrating on the verb, "foreknow", not the NOUN, "foreknowledge". The passages which come up use the verb, not the noun, and they do have have identical meanings. Verbs indicate ACTION, and the action of "foreknowing" is something that God actually DOES, not merely something He "knows".

The Greek term is "proginosko" (I will be transliterating Greek terms, and not distinguishing between the two Greek 'o's), and is where we get the medical term, "prognosis", which is used for doctors predicting (or "knowing") what will happen over time to a patient. The term "proginosko" is a compound word, being formed from "pros" ("in front of", "ahead") and "ginosko" ("to know").

So since the root term is "ginosko" ("know"), let's look at the meaning of that term first. There are two Greek terms for "know", namely "ginosko" and "oida", and I was hoping that they had different semantic ranges. I was originally under the idea that "oida" was more about factual knowledge, and "ginosko" was more about relational knowledge, but as it turns out, both terms are used for both ideas, so they're pretty interchangeable. As for the Hebrew, I don't claim expertise, so I'm basing my study on how the Hebrew has been translated into the English, "know".

How is "Know" Used in Scripture?

Sexual Knowledge/Intimacy​

Gen. 4:1 Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived
Gen. 4:17 Cain knew his wife, and she conceived
Gen. 4:25 And Adam knew his wife again, and she bore a son
Gen. 19:8 Behold, I have two daughters who have not known any man.
Gen. 24:16 The young woman was very attractive in appearance, a maiden whom no man had known.
(See also Gen. 19:5, 38:26, Num. 31:17, 31:35, Judg. 11:39, 19:22,25, 21:12, 1 Sam. 1:19, 1 Kings 1:4, Matt. 1:25)

Relational Knowledge (or nonsexual love/care)​

Deut. 9:24 You have been rebellious against the LORD from the day that I knew you.
Deut. 34:10 And there has not arisen a prophet since in Israel like Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face,
Jer. 1:5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
and before you were born I consecrated you;
I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”
Amos 3:2 “You only have I known of all the families of the earth;
therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities.
Matt. 7:23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’
(see also Deut. 11:28, 13:2,6,13, 28:36,64, 29:26, 32:17, John 1:10, 7:27,28, 8:19,55, 10:4, 13:18, 14:7,9,16:2, 17:3,25, 1 Cor. 8:3, Phil. 3:10, 4:6, 1 Thess. 4:5, 2 Thess. 1:8, 2 Tim. 2:19, Heb. 8:11, 1 John 2:3-5,13-14, 1 John 3:1,6, 1 John 4:6-8)

Of course, there are other uses where "know" means factual information, but I simply wanted to point out the NOT insignificant number of times where "know" is used in terms of "relational" knowledge, regarding relations with others, either sexual or non-sexual.

I hope it is apparent that these are relational. God is omniscient, so to say of Him that Israel is the only family/nation He has "known", needs to be understood as relational or covenantal, rather than merely "informational" (clearly God knows about the Assyrians, the Babylonians, the Egyptians, etc.). Same with Jesus, He is face to face with someone and tells him, "I NEVER knew you", not, "I no longer know you", or, "I stopped knowing you".


Now, the term "pro-ginosko" is simply the word, "ginosko" ("know"), with the prepositional prefix, "pro" attached to it. So it retains the same meaning, only pushing it back in time.

Having said that, let's look at how respected and comprehensive Greek lexicons define the term, "proginosko":

--------------------------------
BDAG:

προγινώσκω
1.
to know beforehand or in advance, have foreknowledge (of) τί someth..—Closely connected is the idea of choice that suggests foreknowledge
2. choose beforehand τινά someone Ro 8:29. τὸν λαὸν αὐτοῦ 11:2


Not only does this definition give both meanings used, but it also tells us how to tell when each definition is intended. When the object of "proginosko" is a thing, the meaning is "to know in advance". When the object of "proginosko" is a PERSON, the meaning is "CHOOSE beforehand".

And so when we see the use in Rom. 8 and Rom. 11, the object is "people", meaning that the meaning is "CHOSE in advance".
--------------------------------
Strong's Dictionary:

4267. προγινώσκω proginosko, prog-in-oce´-ko; from 4253 and 1097; to know beforehand, i.e. foresee: — foreknow (ordain), know (before).
--------------------------------
UBS Lexicon:

προγινώσκω
(aor. προέγνων) know already, know beforehand; choose from the beginning, choose beforehand
--------------------------------
Mounce Greek Dictionary:

προγινώσκω
proginōskō
to know beforehand, to be previously acquainted with, Acts 26:5; 2 Pet. 3:17; to determine on beforehand, to foreordain, 1 Pet. 1:20; in NT, from the Hebrew, to foreknow, to appoint as the subject of future privileges, Rom. 8:29; 11:2*
--------------------------------



A word study of "know" and "foreknow" tells us that the meaning is not always about "factual information", but sometimes about relational "choosing". And BDAG gives us the specifics of when we can know the "choose in advance" meaning is intended.



Calvinists aren't "redefining" anything.
Non-Calvinists are simply choosing to reject the accepted definitions.
 

praise_yeshua

Well-known member
Thanks Theo. Of course some folks will once again try to make the Greek say what it does not say. Desperate attempts on their part.

God Speed my friend

I haven't. Foreknow is God purpose in humanity. Literally, God brings about His Divine purpose. Calvinist are too prone to picking "low hanging fruit"....

Ultimately, it is philosophical discussion. The issue/battle is about "WHO".

God's foreknowledge revolves around God's choice in Jesus Christ. It is the purpose of God to conform any person that would listen and exercise faith in the Gospel to be like Jesus Christ.

God didn't "foreknow" Calvinists.
 

Theo1689

Well-known member
I haven't. Foreknow is God purpose in humanity. Literally, God brings about His Divine purpose. Calvinist are too prone to picking "low hanging fruit"....

Ultimately, it is philosophical discussion. The issue/battle is about "WHO".

Thanks for your personal opinion.

God's foreknowledge revolves around God's choice in Jesus Christ. It is the purpose of God to conform any person that would listen and exercise faith in the Gospel to be like Jesus Christ.

That's simply not what the Bible teaches.
In fact, your theology would make God, "a respecter of persons", choosing individuals "with respect to" whether they "would listen and exercise faith ... and be like Jesus Christ".

God didn't "foreknow" Calvinists.

Well, those whom God foreknew were not limited to Calvinists.
 

praise_yeshua

Well-known member
Thanks for your personal opinion.

My comments agreed with your own. Thanks for your personal opinion.

That's simply not what the Bible teaches.
In fact, your theology would make God, "a respecter of persons", choosing individuals "with respect to" whether they "would listen and exercise faith ... and be like Jesus Christ".

It certainly is what the Bible teaches and it certainly doesn't create a scenario with God respects any person. He treats them all the same and grants them all the same hope.

Oh the irony that you believe Calvinism doesn't believe God treats some differently. You believe God Himself bowed to you "chosen few" alone.

Well, those whom God foreknew were not limited to Calvinists.

I said that God didn't foreknow Calvinists. Your response is peculiar. It has nothing to do with what I said.
 
Last edited:

Beloved Daughter

Super Member
I haven't. Foreknow is God purpose in humanity. Literally, God brings about His Divine purpose. Calvinist are too prone to picking "low hanging fruit"....

Ultimately, it is philosophical discussion. The issue/battle is about "WHO".

God's foreknowledge revolves around God's choice in Jesus Christ. It is the purpose of God to conform any person that would listen and exercise faith in the Gospel to be like Jesus Christ.

God didn't "foreknow" Calvinists.

Thank your personal opinion. I don't share it.
 

Our Lord's God

Well-known member
Since a significant portion of discussion/debate here depends on the understanding of the word, "foreknow", I think it would be helpful to do a study on this (and related) words.

First of all, I am concentrating on the verb, "foreknow", not the NOUN, "foreknowledge". The passages which come up use the verb, not the noun, and they do have have identical meanings. Verbs indicate ACTION, and the action of "foreknowing" is something that God actually DOES, not merely something He "knows".

The Greek term is "proginosko" (I will be transliterating Greek terms, and not distinguishing between the two Greek 'o's), and is where we get the medical term, "prognosis", which is used for doctors predicting (or "knowing") what will happen over time to a patient. The term "proginosko" is a compound word, being formed from "pros" ("in front of", "ahead") and "ginosko" ("to know").

So since the root term is "ginosko" ("know"), let's look at the meaning of that term first. There are two Greek terms for "know", namely "ginosko" and "oida", and I was hoping that they had different semantic ranges. I was originally under the idea that "oida" was more about factual knowledge, and "ginosko" was more about relational knowledge, but as it turns out, both terms are used for both ideas, so they're pretty interchangeable. As for the Hebrew, I don't claim expertise, so I'm basing my study on how the Hebrew has been translated into the English, "know".

How is "Know" Used in Scripture?





Of course, there are other uses where "know" means factual information, but I simply wanted to point out the NOT insignificant number of times where "know" is used in terms of "relational" knowledge, regarding relations with others, either sexual or non-sexual.

I hope it is apparent that these are relational. God is omniscient, so to say of Him that Israel is the only family/nation He has "known", needs to be understood as relational or covenantal, rather than merely "informational" (clearly God knows about the Assyrians, the Babylonians, the Egyptians, etc.). Same with Jesus, He is face to face with someone and tells him, "I NEVER knew you", not, "I no longer know you", or, "I stopped knowing you".


Now, the term "pro-ginosko" is simply the word, "ginosko" ("know"), with the prepositional prefix, "pro" attached to it. So it retains the same meaning, only pushing it back in time.

Having said that, let's look at how respected and comprehensive Greek lexicons define the term, "proginosko":

--------------------------------
BDAG:

προγινώσκω
1.
to know beforehand or in advance, have foreknowledge (of) τί someth..—Closely connected is the idea of choice that suggests foreknowledge
2. choose beforehand τινά someone Ro 8:29. τὸν λαὸν αὐτοῦ 11:2


Not only does this definition give both meanings used, but it also tells us how to tell when each definition is intended. When the object of "proginosko" is a thing, the meaning is "to know in advance". When the object of "proginosko" is a PERSON, the meaning is "CHOOSE beforehand".

And so when we see the use in Rom. 8 and Rom. 11, the object is "people", meaning that the meaning is "CHOSE in advance".

You are incorrect and the root of your error is assuming the chronological point of reference. The context shows it refers to those who God had known in the past just as the same word does at Acts 26:5 where proginōskō refers to the Jews having known Paul in the past.


--------------------------------
Strong's Dictionary:

4267. προγινώσκω proginosko, prog-in-oce´-ko; from 4253 and 1097; to know beforehand, i.e. foresee: — foreknow (ordain), know (before).
--------------------------------
UBS Lexicon:

προγινώσκω
(aor. προέγνων) know already, know beforehand; choose from the beginning, choose beforehand
--------------------------------
Mounce Greek Dictionary:

προγινώσκω
proginōskō
to know beforehand, to be previously acquainted with, Acts 26:5; 2 Pet. 3:17; to determine on beforehand, to foreordain, 1 Pet. 1:20; in NT, from the Hebrew, to foreknow, to appoint as the subject of future privileges, Rom. 8:29; 11:2*
--------------------------------



A word study of "know" and "foreknow" tells us that the meaning is not always about "factual information", but sometimes about relational "choosing". And BDAG gives us the specifics of when we can know the "choose in advance" meaning is intended.



Calvinists aren't "redefining" anything.
Non-Calvinists are simply choosing to reject the accepted definitions.
 

civic

Well-known member
You are incorrect and the root of your error is assuming the chronological point of reference. The context shows it refers to those who God had known in the past just as the same word does at Acts 26:5 where proginōskō refers to the Jews having known Paul in the past.
oh boy the unitarian must be board on the Trinity forum, yikes another heterodox/cultist.

are you an Arminian ?
are you an Calvinist ?
 
Top