The Berean Expositor
Volume 38 - Page 11 of 249
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The Chapel of Acknowledgment (1: 15 - 19).
An examination of the word translated "knowledge" (1: 17).
pp. 21 - 23
"That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the
spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him" (Eph. 1: 17).
With these words, the great prayer opens. Before examining any of its parts or
phrases, it is incumbent upon us to explain the reason why we have used the word
"acknowledgment" in the heading of this article, where the A.V. uses "knowledge". The
word under consideration is the translation of the Greek epignosis.  This word
undoubtedly is used for "knowledge" in several passages, but it is also rightly translated
"acknowledgment" in others. This is true also of the verb epignosko. In some instances
the A.V. translators have used one word in one occurrence and the other word in a
parallel passage thus. In II Tim. 2: 25 we read of "repentance to the acknowledging of
the truth", whereas in the next chapter we read "never able to come to the knowledge of
the truth" (II Tim. 3: 7).  Which is right?  Why should the words be translated
differently? The R.V. uses "knowledge" in both places.
Let us consider one or two passages where the word "knowledge" is used. Suppose
we believe that epignosis means "full knowledge". We read in Matt. 7: 16: "Ye shall
know them by their fruits." If we import "full knowledge" into this passage we rob it of
its intention and we state an untruth. A peasant to whom the words biology and botany
would be meaningless, would be able to "recognize" grapes, figs or thistles, not from any
profound knowledge of the science, but by sheer "recognition". When the Saviour,
speaking of John the Baptist, said "That Elias is come already, and they knew him not"
(Matt. 17: 12), it is evident that He meant that they did not recognize him.  In
Mark 6: 33, it is evident that the people "recognized" the Lord at a distance and ran to
meet Him. So in some passages the A.V. uses the word "perceive" instead of "know"
(Mark 2: 8; Luke 1: 22 and 5: 22). The word "recognize" aptly suits Luke 24: 16,
"their eyes were holden that they should not recognize Him", so in Acts 3: 10, 4: 13,
12: 14,  19: 34,  27: 39,  all these passages are better understood if the word
"recognize" is substituted.  Epignosko is translated "acknowledge" in the following
passages in the A.V.: I Cor. 14: 37 "Let him acknowledge"; 16: 18 "therefore
acknowledge";  II Cor. 1: 13  "shall acknowledge (twice)";  1: 14  "ye have
acknowledged".  So with the noun epignosis, the A.V. reads "acknowledgment" or
"acknowledging" in Col. 2: 2; II Tim. 2: 25; Titus 1: 1 and Philemon 6.
Writing in Titus, the Apostle seems to have followed much the same path as is
indicated in the first chapter of Ephesians. After introducing himself as a servant and an
apostle he stops, and in parenthesis says according to (1) the faith of God's elect; this is
comparable to the charter of the church; (2) the acknowledging of the truth which is
after godliness.  The sequel is the prayer and the acknowledgment which follows in
Eph. 1: 15-19. Here too, is "hope" and "promise" and a period "before the world began"