Friday Files: Edgar’s The Meaning of Proginwskw (Foreknowledge)

, posted by Godismyjudge

Thomas R. Edgar’s THE MEANING OF PROGINWSKW (“FOREKNOWLEDGE”) is a word study on ‘foreknow’ and ‘foreknowledge’. Edgar first notes that “In secular Greek, proginwskw meant “to foreknow, to know beforehand.” Scholars do not seriously dispute this definition.” He then contends that “due to strong evidence for the meaning “know beforehand,” those who argue otherwise face the burden of proof for establishing the exegetical necessity for their proposed meaning. The theoretical possibility or the interpreter’s theological propensity is not sufficient. If “to know beforehand” fits the meaning in a New Testament passage, then this must be the preferred interpretation.”

Edgar then discusss all the passages with foreknow (Acts 26:5; Romans 8:29; 11:2; 1 Peter 1:20; and 2 Peter 3:17) and foreknowledge (Acts 2:23 , 1 Peter 1:2.) and explains with “to know beforehand” works in each case. Edgar deals with the two main Calvinist objections: (1) The meaning of proginwskw in this passage is to be derived from the use of ginwskw, “know,” in the LXX, and yâdau in the MT (Hebrew Old Testament) rather than from proginwskw, and (2) the personal object, “whom,” requires the meaning of “intimate relationship,” or “electing choice,” for proginwskw. Edgar points out that appealing to ginwskw and yâdau is an overt admission that the deterministic meaning desired by many interpreters cannot be derived from proginwskw itself. He contends “Neither does the prefix simply give a temporal thrust to this verb. It also narrows its semantic range, in this case to knowing beforehand. The entire semantic range of the root verb ginwskw is not carried over to the compounded form. For example, even though ginwskw, on occasion refers to sexual relations, proginwskw does not mean “to have sexual relations beforehand.” Edgar cites Acts 26:5 as a counter example of the “personal object” argument where foreknow is used personally, but implies foreknowing the person’s actions.