The Word Knowledge

The picture below is of an original note of Gordon Clark’s on the topic “The Word Knowledge.”

Harkening back to the “Clark-Van Til Controversy” he writes about a distinction between the “mode” and “object” of knowledge. This distinction, seemingly ungrasped by the authors of “The Complaint”, would have, if accepted, helped clarify a major misunderstanding in the controversy. Where the authors of the Complaint seemed to think of “knowledge” as a process, Clark argues that should be primarily the content or “object” which is meant.

As it is difficult to read, here is a transcription:
(note, n.b. probably is the Latin nota bene meaning “note well”.

The Word Knowledge

Knowledge is an ambiguous term. It may refer to the mode of knowledge (i.e. the knowing, the mental activity) It may also refer to the object of knowledge.

Acts 4:13 [boldness of Peter and John – unlearned and ignorant] “they took knowledge of them that they had been with Jesus”

The word kno does not refer to the mental activity of the priest, but to the information that they had been with Jesus.


I am discussing the Greek word, not the English. There the Greek word is a verb. Further the Greek uses two verbs where the English has only know. i.e the English word knowledge is more ambiguous, has a wider meaning than either greek word.

The Word Knowledge


About douglasdouma

I am a graduate of the University of Michigan (BSME), Wake Forest University (MBA), and Sangre de Cristo Seminary (Mdiv). I've learned far more from books than in school. I'm particularly in debt to Martin Luther, Ludwig von Mises, and Gordon H. Clark for any thoughts I have.
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