Intro

This blog gains its name from the book Steele's Answers published in 1912. It began as an effort to blog through that book, posting each of the Questions and Answers in the book in the order in which they appeared. I began the project on Dec. 10, 2011. I completed it on July 11, 2015. Along the way, I began to also post snippets from Dr. Steele's other writings — and from some other holiness writers of his times. I still do that every once in a while.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Undoubted Knowledge of Spiritual Realities

We are promised a knowledge of salvation by the remission of sins. Paul speaks in emphatic condemnation of those who are never able to come to a knowledge of the truth. He is speaking not of an intellectual grasp of the truth, but of its spiritual realization. The English reader of the Pauline Epistles fails to discover the fullness and certainty of the knowledge of spiritual realities on which the apostle insists.

In his struggle of mind and strain of style to express the Christian's privilege of full and undoubted knowledge of spiritual realities he accumulates epithets which burden his sentences as in Col. ii. 2: "That their hearts might be comforted being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgment of the mystery of God and of the Father, and of Christ."

He employs the compound word ἐπίγνωσις (epignosis), full knowledge, when he wishes to be emphatic, instead of γνῶσις (gnosis), knowledge. Bishop Ellicott and Dean Alford authorize this strengthened translation in the following passages: Eph. i.17, "That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the full knowledge of Him;" Eph. iv. 13, "till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the (full) knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;" "perfect knowledge of the Son of God;" Col. iii. 10, "renewed unto perfect knowledge after the image of Him that created him;" 1 Tim. ii. 4, "who willeth all men to be saved and come to the certain knowledge of the truth;" 2 Tim. iii. 7, "ever learning, and never yet able to come to the full knowledge of the truth." Peter uses the strengthened form in his Second. Epistle i. 8, "toward the perfect knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ."

Mile-Stone Papers (1878) Part 1, Chapter 22.