Wisdom, knowledge - Berry's New Testament Synonyms

Wisdom, knowledge

σοφία, φρόνησις, γνῶσις, ἐπίγνωσις.

σοφία is certainly the highest word of all these. It is properly wisdom. It denotes mental excellence in the highest and fullest sense, expressing an attitude as well as an act of the mind. It comprehends knowledge and implies goodness, including the striving after the highest ends, as well as the using of the best means for their attainment. It is never ascribed to any one but God and good men, except in a plainly ironical sense. φρόνησις is a middle term, sometimes having a meaning nearly as high as σοφία, sometimes much lower. It means prudence, intelligence, a skillful adaptation of the means to the end desired, the end, however, not being necessarily a good one. γνῶσις is knowledge, cognition, the understanding of facts or truths, or else insight, discernment. ἐπίγνωσις has an intensive meaning as compared with γνῶσις, it is a fuller, clearer, more thorough knowledge. The verb ἐπιγινώσκω has the same intensive force as compared with γινώσκω.