1 Peter 1:1-2

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by The Archangel, Apr 8, 2011.

  1. The Archangel

    The Archangel
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    In another post, Van wrote:

    Is this so?

    Since Van's preferred translation is the NASB, here is the NASB's rendering of 1 Peter 1:1-2
    1Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who reside as aliens, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, who are chosen 2according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood:May grace and peace be yours in the fullest measure
    Here is the ESV, my preferred translation:
    1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who are elect exiles of the dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, 2 according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in the sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with his blood: May grace and peace be multiplied to you.
    Here's the passage in Greek:
    1 Πέτρος ἀπόστολος Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ ἐκλεκτοῖς παρεπιδήμοις διασπορᾶς Πόντου, Γαλατίας, Καππαδοκίας, Ἀσίας καὶ Βιθυνίας, 2 κατὰ πρόγνωσιν θεοῦ πατρὸς ἐν ἁγιασμῷ πνεύματος εἰς ὑπακοὴν καὶ ῥαντισμὸν αἵματος Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ, χάρις ὑμῖν καὶ εἰρήνη πληθυνθείη.
    Without giving an overly-detailed exegesis, let me make a few points.

    The NASB's rendering "...who are chosen by the foreknowledge of God..." is an especially poor rendering (and I love the NASB!). Why is it poor?

    Here is the wooden translation (intermixed with the Greek): Πέτρος [Peter] ἀπόστολος [apostle] Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ [of Jesus Christ] ἐκλεκτοῖς παρεπιδήμοις [to elect exiles] διασπορᾶς [of the dispersion]

    Some notes: The word ἐκλεκτοῖς is the common word for "elect" or "chosen." In this instance, it is an adjective...a plural adjective in the dative case (hence the "to").

    The NASB seems to twist both the word order and the grammar--the NASB renders "chosen" as a verb, not the adjective that it is. In fact, there are no verbs in this passage until the last word "πληθυνθείη, an Aorist Passive Optative in the 3rd person singular.

    The NASB places the adjective "chosen" as a verb at the very end of verse 1, giving the impression that this is word is a verb.

    Now, the interpretive challenge comes when the prepositional phrases of v. 2 are considered. They are:

    κατὰ πρόγνωσιν θεοῦ πατρὸς (by the foreknowledge of God the Father). Though the definite article "the" has been supplied by me before "foreknowledge" it is proper. Greek prepositional phrases generally omit articles.

    Here the preposition κατὰ is governing the accusative, carrying the basic meaning of "in accordance with."

    If κατὰ were followed by a genitive, which, again, it isn't, one might be correct in stating that the meaning of "by the foreknowledge of God" cold be in the sense of "from" meaning that election is caused by foreknowledge. However, that cannot be the case.

    The best and most simple rendering is "in accordance with the foreknowledge of God the Father). Note: This is not a discussion about the meaning of foreknowledge. Generally speaking foreknowledge cannot only mean that which is known beforehand.

    ἐν ἁγιασμῷ πνεύματος (in sanctification of the Spirit).

    Here we have our pesky ἐν + dative which cannot be adverbial here. Since "chosen" (in the NASB) translation is not a verb, this phrase--no matter how hard it tries--cannot answer the question "how."

    εἰς ὑπακοὴν καὶ ῥαντισμὸν αἵματος Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ (into obedience to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with his blood)

    It is likely the preposition εἰς is governing both accusatives "obedience" and "sprinkling," therefore linking the concepts as two sides of the same coin. The preposition εἰς can show result (defined by translating "with the result...") So, this phrase can show the result of the choosing--that we become obedient to Christ and we are sprinkled with His blood. What it certainly does not show is that "obedience" and "sprinkling" caused election.

    It is interesting, again, that Van would like all of these prepositional phrases to be adverbial, answering the question "how?" What is of particular importance is that these phrases cannot give any adverbial force and, therefore, cannot suggest that the choice of election was made in (in times past) on the basis of our current obedience or sanctification.

    Why is this not possible, you might ask? Remember, there is no verb in this passage until the very last word of v. 2 and these phrases modify something that comes before, not after.

    Grammatically, these prepositional phrases are adjectival--since they are modifying the adjective "elect."

    So, again, we have the grammatical facts.

    Let the discussion commence...and, by all means, enjoy!

    The Archangel
     

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