Sunday, August 11, 2013

I don’t know you (you evildoer) – Part I

This will be a 3-part series; in PART I, we will look at the meanings of “know”, and how they are used.  In PART II & III, we will then look at a few of the “I don’t know you (you evildoer)” in Scripture.


There are multiple “know” used in Scripture, and the Greek words (NT written largely in Greek) for “know” included these:

1.   G1097 (ginōskō)  - knowledge grounded on personal experience

2.   G1492 (eido) – knowledge from mental perception

3.   G1987 (epistamai) – knowledge from proximity

4.   G4920 (suniemi) – knowledge from native insight or 5 senses
Today, we want to look at 2 of them, eido-know and ginosko-know, in some details, and the rest, in passing. Then we will look at some of the “I don’t know you (you evildoer)” in Scripture.

Two “know” words, in one verse
We will start with John 13:7 (KJV) - Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter.

There are 2 “know” in the verse above.  The context was that it was just before the Passover Feast, and Jesus had started to wash the feet of the Disciples; and He had come to Peter, and the latter asked in a protesting manner if Jesus was about to wash his feet.

Jesus answered Peter saying what He was about to do (wash the feet of the Disciples), Peter would NOT know then, but Peter would know later.

Essentially, Jesus was saying Peter would NOT understand what He was doing through the washing of the feet, but that Peter would know later.  The first “know”, as in “What I do thou knowest not now;”, is the eido-know (G1492); and the second “know” as in “but thou shalt know hereafter.”, is the ginosko-know (G1097) – two knows in one verse or sentence!

Jesus did NOT use the same Greek word in the one verse.  What is the difference between the two?

If you look up the short-form Lexicon, you get something along what I have given above - eido-know is knowing or knowledge from mental perception; and ginosko-know is knowing or knowledge from personal experience.

Eido-know (G1492)
What does eido-know (G1492) cover or what is meant by mental perception?  Maybe the best is to give examples of how eido-know is used:

1.   I do NOT know (eido) he was coming. The connotation is this: I “check my mind” and I found I have no knowledge of him was coming; meaning, my mind did NOT yield any knowledge of him coming.  It could be no one told me, or I have not heard or read anything (about him coming); the processing of my mind yielded nothing of him coming.

2.   I don’t know (eido) why he crossed the road, and so, was knocked down by the car.  The connotation is this: My mind tried to figure it out as to why he crossed the road, but yielded nothing.  It could be: I saw him dashed across the road, but I don’t know why; I suniemi-know (G4920) [another “know” – see above] he crossed the road but I don’t know why.

3.   Even though you worked 5 years in this American MNC of 5,000 employees where I too worked for 5 years, at the same; but I don’t know (eido) you.  The connotation is this: Despite you were there, my mind did NOT register you; my mind did NOT associate you to any meaningful things that my mind would have kept memory of.

4.   Sir, do you know (ginosko/eido) this man; he is wearing your Company employee name-tag?  This name-tag is genuine, I know (eido) him; you can let him through. The connotation is this: By the name-tag, I know he is an employee of the Company, and so, you can let him through.  It is mental assent – he wears the Company employee name-tag, and so, he is an employee.

From the examples given, you can now understand why the first know, eido-know was used in the verse of John 13:7; Jesus was saying Peter would NOT understand (mental assent) why Jesus was wanting to do what he was about to do – to wash Peter’s feet.  Do you know (eido) the significance of what Jesus did?

Ginosko-know (G1097)
We now look at ginosko-know (G1097); knowing from personal experience.  What is knowing or knowledge from personal experience or grounded on personal experience?  Again, let’s look at some examples to get to know how it is used:

1.   He and I grew up together; and I know (ginosko) him to be an honest man.  The connotation is this:  Because of the direct interactions between us, for years as childhood friends, I have the personal experiences to back me in saying what I said, that he is an honest man.

2.   I know (ginosko) he goes to that park every Sunday morning, because I go with him to that park every Sunday morning to pray together, before we leave for Sunday church services.  The connotation is this:  I had been doing it with him, and so I know, from my personal experiences with him, as prayer buddies.

3.   Yah, magazines carried such stories of him; people in church talked about him being so, but I do NOT know (ginosko).  The connotation is this:  But I have no close association with him, and so, no personal experience with him to know if all these stories about him are true or NOT (negative statement, intent to stress absence of relation and personal experience).

4.   We have been divorced for years, and so, being living apart for a long time, I don’t know (ginosko) her anymore.  The connotation is this: I no longer know her personally or from personal experience with her.  I can only say, I eido-know her.

The point to note here, is that ginosko-know is used with another person.  It is not knowing or knowledge from an experience, but knowing or knowledge from PERSONAL experience.  There is usually a relation or close association involved ( friends, family relations, master-disciples, etc). When we have a personal experience; another is involved with us (personal here does NOT mean private, like private experience as in “I did it and it is a personal thing”, or no one knows about it).

From the above examples on the use of ginosko-know, we can appreciate why Jesus would use ginosko-know on the last part of the verse, that Jesus said Peter would later ginosko-know the significance of what He would be doing (washing of his feet).  Peter could subsequently claim he ginosko-ly-knew, for he experienced it with the Lord, as His disciple.  We cannot claim ginosko-ly-know, unless we get washed of our feet by Jesus.  We would eido-ly-know when someone explained to us, the significance of what Jesus did – the washing of the feet.

Another illustration – working with the Lord in miracle
I give us one more illustration before we end this part.  In part II and part III, we will look at the “I don’t know you (you evildoer)” of the Scripture:

I have read and have seen it, even seen it being demonstrated (yah, this minister with the special call, actually said she was going to demonstrate it, and she proceeded to demonstrate, and it happened as she said! Great mutual abiding between the Lord and her), that someone with unequal leg lengths can be healed by God through God supernaturally extending/shortening one of the legs, when the person was made to sit upright, and prayer was made in the name of Jesus. 

I used to know (eido) it, that such a healing could happen.  I eido-know, because my mind has had knowledge – knowledge from past reading and seeing.  More than 5 years ago, if someone asked me if I knew it could happen, I would say I eido-knew.  I could even say I suniemi-knew it, for I have seen it happened.  I was even right-up close, once, and so, I could even say I epistamai-knew.  But I could NOT say I ginosko-knew, until a few years back. 

In the last 5 years, I have twice prayed for such a miracle, as a (lay) minister of the Lord, and it happened, and now I can say I ginosko-know, for I have had personal experience with the Lord (as his minister); I have worked with the Lord when He did the healing by the lengthening of the shorter leg of the ministee (people with unequal leg lengths are commonly with persistent backaches; and so, would ask for healing prayer).

Significance of ginosko-knowing
What is the significance of this understanding of the ginosko-knowing?  Its significance is this: what is important is whether God ginosko-knows you; and when He ginosko-knows you, you too, would ginosko-know Him.  Ginosko-knowing is used in these:

1.   John 10:14 (NIV) - I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my
                                sheep know me.
                         (KJV) – I am the good shepherd, and know my [sheep], and
                                    am known of mine.

2.   1 Cor 8:3 (NIV) -   But the man who loves God is known by God.
                                 (KJV) -  But if any man love God, the same is known of him.

3.   2 Tim 2:19 (NIV) -Nevertheless, God's solid foundation stands firm, 
                               sealed with this inscription: "The Lord knows those
                               who are his," and, "Everyone who confesses the name
                               of the Lord must turn away from wickedness."
                                  (KJV) - Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure,
                                   having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his.
                                   And, Let everyone that nameth the name of Christ
                                   depart from iniquity.

God is omniscience, all knowing, yet, there is still a need to be known by God, because the knowing looked for, is ginosko-knowing, knowing or knowledge from personal experience shared by the parties, in a relation (God and you as his child, servant, disciple, friend, …).  The Christian faith is said as a relationship between one (man) with God, NOT for no realm or reason; and it is NOT just a nice thing to say; it is what it is – God ginosko-knows you, and you ginosko-know Him. 

Now, when God says He ginosko-knows you, He would even stand for you, when you are challenged (revolt/rebellion of Korah – Num 16; Apostle Paul’s exposition on 2 Tim 2:19), and so, it is great; on the other hand, when God says He don’t know you, it too, has great negative implication.  “I don’t know you; you evildoer”, this phrase or one close to it, is found in Scripture, and we will look at a few of them, in Part II & Part III, to come.

Anthony Chia, high.expressions
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