In 1 Corinthians 15:1, what does Paul mean by γνωρίζω?

New International Version Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand.

Westcott and Hort / [NA27 variants] Γνωρίζω δὲ ὑμῖν, ἀδελφοί, τὸ εὐαγγέλιον ὃ εὐηγγελισάμην ὑμῖν, ὃ καὶ παρελάβετε, ἐν ᾧ καὶ ἑστήκατε,

The translations are all over the map:


BDAG provides a very small semantic domain for the word:

γνωρίζω fut. γνωρίσω (γνωριῶ [POxy 1024, 18; LXX; Just., D. 14, 8] Col 4:9 v.l. [Tdf. S. Vog.]); 1 aor. ἐγνώρισα. Mid.: ἐγνωρισάμην. Pass.: 1 fut. γνωρισθήσομαι; 1 aor. ἐγνωρίσθην; pf. 3 sg. ἐγνώρισται 2 Esdr 7:24 (Aeschyl. et al.; pap, LXX, pseudepigr., Philo, Joseph.; Ar. 12, 6; Just., Ath. 3, 1) ① to cause information to become known: make known, reveal (Aeschyl., Prom. 487; Diod S 1, 6, 2; 1, 9, 2; 10, 3, 1; Plut., Fab. Max. 186 [21, 3]; Cato Maj. 336 [1, 2] al.; LXX; TestJob 41:5; Jos., Ant. 8, 102) γ. τι Ro 9:22f; Eph 6:19; τί τινι Lk 2:15; Hs 9, 5, 4; ways of life Ac 2:28 (Ps 15:11); sins Hv 2, 1, 2; words 2, 2, 3f; the past and the future B 1:7; cp. 5:3. πάντα Eph 6:21; Col 4:7, 9; J 15:15; cp. Hs 9, 5, 4; name 17:26.—2 Cor 8:1; 2 Pt 1:16. Pass. Eph 3:5, 10; Hv 2, 4, 2. τινὶ τὸ μυστήριον Eph 1:9; pass. 3:3. περί τινος Lk 2:17. W. ὅτι foll. 1 Cor 12:3; τινί τι, ὅτι Gal 1:11. W. indir. quest. foll. Col 1:27; Hv 4, 3, 1; m 8:2; Hs 2:5; 8, 3, 1. W. attraction of the relat. D 9:2f; 10:2. Abs. Hm 12, 1, 3. Pass. γνωριζέσθω πρὸς τ. θεόν let (your requests) be made known to God Phil 4:6. γνωρίζεσθαι εἰς πάντα τὰ ἔθνη be made known among all the nations Ro 16:26. Reflexive ἐγνωρίσθη Ἰωσὴφ τοῖς ἀδελφοῖς J. made himself known to his brothers Ac 7:13 v.l. (ἀνεγν. N., as in Gen 45:1; cp. Ruth 3:3).—In 1 Cor 15:1, where apparently the discussion deals with someth. already known, γ. is nevertheless correctly used because of the instruction, which evidently introduces someth. new. ② to have information or be knowledgeable about someth., know (Dio Chrys. 4, 33; Plut., Coriol. 224 [23, 4]; Herodian 2, 1, 10; Achilles Tat. 7, 14, 1 and 3; Herm. Wr. 10, 15; POxy 705, 39; 1024, 18; 1643, 8. Λόγος τέλειος: PGM 3, 602ff; Pr 3:6; 15:10; Job 4:16 Sym. ἐγνώρισα=LXX ἐπέγνων; TestAbr A 6 p. 83, 4 [Stone p. 14]; 8 p. 86, 9 [Stone p. 20]; Philo, De Jos. 165, Conf. Ling. 183; Jos., Ant. 2, 97, Vi. 420; Just., D. 3, 2 γνωρίζεις με al.; 80, 2 ‘share a point of view’; Ath. 3:1 ‘note, recognize’ of animals) w. indir. question foll.: τί αἱρήσομαι οὐ γ. which I shall choose I do not know Phil 1:22. Abs. (w. ἰδεῖν) Dg 8:5.—DELG s.v. γιγνώσκω p. 225. M-M. TW.

Arndt, W., Danker, F. W., & Bauer, W. (2000). A Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament and other early Christian literature (3rd ed., p. 203). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

I've highlighted BDAG's take:

In 1 Cor 15:1, where apparently the discussion deals with someth. already known, γ. is nevertheless correctly used because of the instruction, which evidently introduces someth. new.

It makes no sense for Paul to be informing his audience of that which they already know and believe:

1Co 15:1 Now I'm making known to you, brothers, the gospel that I proclaimed to you, which you accepted, on which you have taken your stand, 1Co 15:2 and by which you are also being saved if you hold firmly to the message I proclaimed to you—unless, of course, your faith was worthless.

So based on that context and BDAG's comment, shouldn't it be rendered like this?:

"Also, I'm going to expand on the gospel I've proclaimed to you..."

  • Thiselton's take. (His translation, which is hidden in the preview: "Now I want to restore to your full knowledge....")
    – Susan
    Jul 27, 2016 at 17:41
  • @Susan Isn't that kind of a wordy way to say "I remind you"?
    – user10231
    Jul 27, 2016 at 19:32
  • Hi @Wounded, I only provided the translation here because it wasn't included in the preview. For explanation and defense please do have a look at the discussion linked in which he draws out this very distinction (there in part referred to in terms of ἀναμιμνῄσκω = "to remind").
    – Susan
    Jul 27, 2016 at 20:26
  • @Susan I finally followed your extremely helpful link, thanks.
    – Ruminator
    Sep 2, 2017 at 18:44

1 Answer 1


Paul's purpose is not to give them new knowledge since they are not applying the knowledge they have been given, but to bring to the forefront of their minds the gospel which was already preached.

Keep in mind that which I have preached!

1Co 15:2 ... if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.

His role here is similar to the Holy Spirit whose purpose is to remind us of things we have forgotten:

Joh 14:26 But the Comforter, [which is] the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

  • (+1) For now my rendering would be "emphasize".
    – Ruminator
    Sep 2, 2017 at 18:59

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