August 28, 2007

Information or Knowledge?

Science considers "data", "information" and "knowledge" to be different things. Data is facts and figures, while information is data that has been interpreted or given form. Knowledge is information (interpreted, structed data) that has been put into use by a person. (1)

From that standpoint, the Bible is information (not just data, as it has form and meaning) and Sacred Tradition is information.

But God doesn't want us just to be informed of Him. We are meant to know God. A popular verse from the Psalms is often translated as "be still and know me" (Ps 46:11). In the New American Bible, the translation "be still and confess that I am God" still suggests reacting to more than just information; the confession comes from a deep and true knowledge of God.

Knowledge is the result of information put into use - the meeting of information and a user of that information. In other words, to say we know something or someone - that is, that we have knowledge, not just information - we must be using what we know.

You cannot know Jesus by reading the Bible, attending a class, or listening to a sermon. You can be informed of Jesus. To know Him, by definition, you must put that information to use in your life.

1. Russ-Eft, D and Preskill, H. Evaluation in Organizations. Basic Books, 2001. pp 6-7.

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