Thomas Varallo Presented a Paper at the Far West Evangelical Theological Society Regional Meeting

Thomas Varallo



At the recent Far West Regional meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society held at Grand Canyon University,  Thomas Varallo, Th.M candidate presented a paper titled, “I did not know Him,” οὐκ ᾔδειν: A proposed lexical solution to the apparent conflict of the Baptist’s knowledge of Jesus in John 1:31 and 33.”



When considering John 1:31 and 1:33, the rest of John 1, and the other synoptic accounts of John the Baptist and his baptism of Jesus, it seems awkward that the Baptist did not “know” his cousin Jesus.  This has spawned numerous explanations of how that could be, since John conversed with Jesus quite knowledgeably before baptizing Him.  The source of the awkwardness seems to converge on the pluperfect active indicative of οἶδα, in John 1:31 and 1:33, that is, the phrase οὐκ ᾔδειν. This paper surveys the possible meanings when John said he οὐκ ᾔδειν Jesus, and how those can be reconciled with the other synoptic accounts. Out of the six meanings in BDAG, there is one meaning in the semantic range that resolves the apparent contradiction in John’s Gospel and reconciles with the synoptic accounts of Jesus’ baptism.  This paper explores the semantic range and proposes that with the pluperfect usage, the best meaning and most satisfying conclusion is reached with the BDAG meaning of “to recognize merit, respect, honor.

Click here to read paper


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