A Greek Resource

From Facebook group Open Theism:

For those who are interested, a powerful tool for determining the meaning of a Greek word by comparison to its use in ancient Greek documents is the word frequency search tool at the Perseus Digital Library:


For instance, in a discussion on this page regarding the Greek word “proginōskō” translated “foreknew” in Romans 8:29, a word frequency search of hundreds of Greek manuscripts, I located “proginōskō” in 55 different ancient writings and about 100 references.

After finding where it was located in ancient Greek writings, each writing can be selected to see how it is used in the actual text.

For example, the word “proginōskō” is found in The Antiquities of the Jews by Flavius Josephus in 21 different places. I selected one, Book I, Section 311 (which corresponds to Book I 19:9 in my E-Sword copy) and found:

“Jacob also drove away half the cattle, without letting Laban know of it beforehand (proginōskō)…” (Greek word added to identify original)

In this particular passage, “proginōskō” does not mean “foreknow” but rather “to be aware”, as it does in other New Testament passages. Jacob failed to make Laban aware that he was driving away half the cattle. Had he told Laban, Laban would have been aware of the fact. He would “know” it ahead of time in the sense of awareness, not absolute detailed knowledge of a pre-determined event.

It doesn’t add much to the discussion, but it reinforces the idea that the knowledge need not be absolute in nature, but only planned ahead as Jacob had planned to drive away the cattle.

Anyway, it is a valuable tool for ancient Greek research…

open theism

One comment

  1. Of course it bears saying that the Perseus library is in part a public domain version of Liddle-Scott’s abridged Greek English Lexicon that includes Classical Greek as well as Biblical Greek. One just needs to keep their “wits” about them when giving a citation.

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