Epignosis (Philippians 1:9)

It was 1979 and I was sitting in my high school calculus class. My teacher was a formidable figure on campus, revered by generations of students who, because of his innovative teaching, excelled in their AP calculus exams. He was a strict disciplinarian and we always sat at attention in his class. On this afternoon, he was scribbling formulas on the chalkboard when he abruptly stopped and pointed to the complex patterns.


“I don’t want you to simply know this,” he began. “I want you to know epignosis this!”


He wrote on the chalkboard the Greek word gnosis.




“This means to know.” He then added a prefix, completing the word, epignosis.




“Epignosis means to have full knowledge or precise and correct knowledge. It means I want you to know this as part of your very soul!”


We all nodded, fearful that we would fail to learn this obviously important lesson. Little did I know that this was one of my earliest introductions to New Testament Greek! My teacher was a believer in Jesus Christ and studied the Bible as passionately as he taught calculus. Years later, after I became a Christian, this word re-appeared in my vocabulary. This word, epignosis, is used at least twenty times in the New Testament by the Apostle Paul and several other writers, inspired by the Holy Spirit.


And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment,

Philippians 1:9 (NKJV)


Like my high school calculus teacher lessons, it was not enough to simply know about God. I had to consume, live, and breathe it. God’s Word was to become part of my very soul. I had to epignosis Him! And with this knowledge, I will be able to discern God’s will in my life. I wil be able to love God more completely and freely so that He may bring me to completion in the image of His Son, Jesus Christ.




Perfection and completion in life only comes with the precise and correct knowledge of God!


Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.