Monday, September 25, 2006

Seminary N.T. Prof. Blogs Regularly

Dr. Matt Harmon (pictured), the new Associate Professor of New Testament Studies at Grace Theological Seminary, has a blog which may be of interest to pastors. Here is an excerpt--see the current entry at

Knowledge in 1 John and the Postmodern Epistemological Crisis

This semester I am taking my Greek exegesis class through 1 John. This time through the epistle one of the things that has struck me is the emphasis that John places on knowledge.

The two verbs meaning "to know" (oida and ginosko) appear a combined total of 39x. Even more striking is the variety of direct objects used with these verbs. They can be broken up into two categories.

The first is peronal objects (whether pronouns or proper nouns) that refer to God, sometimes to specific persons of the Trinity (2:3, 4, 13, 14; 3:6; 4:2).

The second group consists of abstract concepts such as truth (2:20) or God's commands (2:4). Related to this second category are examples where a verb of knowing is followed by a phrase that expresses the content of what a believer knows (2:3, 5, 29; 3:2, 5, 14, 15, 19, 24; 5:2, 13, 15, 18, 20).

Two reflections suggest themselves from this data:

1. Central to the Christian life is the "experiential" knowing of God, something not reducible to mere intellectual assent to a set of propositions.

2. Central to the Christian life is the cognitive knowing of certain propositional truths about God.


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