Greek Words for Teach -- By: Roy B. Zuck

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 122:486 (Apr 1965)
Article: Greek Words for Teach
Author: Roy B. Zuck

Greek Words for Teach

Roy B. Zuck

[Roy B. Zuck, Executive Director, Scripture Truth Foundation.]

Teaching of the Bible should be patterned after teaching in the Bible. In other words, the principles of teaching you follow and the techniques you use should be in accord with and not in conflict with those principles stated or illustrated in the Bible.

This is why a study of the Hebrew1 and Greek words for “teach” and “learn” are basic to effective teaching. Several educational principles are indicated by the following words in the Greek New Testament translated by “teach,” “learn,” or related words.


This verb is the casual form of ginoskō, “to know.” Ginoskō means “to make known, to cause to know.” It suggests communicating in such a way that those addressed know what the communicator wants them to know. This communication of facts from one person to another is indicated by the fact that the verb is often followed by an accusative and a dative of person.2

It is interesting that in about half the occurrences of this word God is the One making something known. He has made known His power through the vessels of wrath (Rom 9:22), the riches of His glory to the vessels of mercy (Rom 9:23), and has made known His manifold wisdom (Eph 3:10), the mystery of His will (Eph 1:9), and the mystery of Christ (Rom 16:26, Eph 3:3, 5, Col 1:27).

The idea of revealing previously unknown facts is included in this verb ginoskō. Paul said he “declared” the gospel

(1 Cor 15:1); the shepherds spoke of the message about the birth of Christ which the angels had made known to them (Luke 2:15); then the shepherds made known to others what they had heard and seen (Luke 2:17).

Though gnorizō is not translated “teach” in the Authorized Version, this verb does suggest that teaching involves the ...

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