Wednesday, April 11, 2007

1 Peter 1:3-6—study in prepositions

I've long been struck by Peter's love for (and deft use of) prepositional phrases. Do you notice them, simply reading through 1:3-6?
3 Εὐλογητὸς ὁ θεὸς καὶ πατὴρ τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ, ὁ κατὰ τὸ πολὺ αὐτοῦ ἔλεος ἀναγεννήσας ἡμᾶς εἰς ἐλπίδα ζῶσαν δι᾽ ἀναστάσεως Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ ἐκ νεκρῶν, 4 εἰς κληρονομίαν ἄφθαρτον καὶ ἀμίαντον καὶ ἀμάραντον, τετηρημένην ἐν οὐρανοῖς εἰς ὑμᾶς 5 τοὺς ἐν δυνάμει θεοῦ φρουρουμένους διὰ πίστεως εἰς σωτηρίαν ἑτοίμην ἀποκαλυφθῆναι ἐν καιρῷ ἐσχάτῳ. 6 ἐν ᾧ ἀγαλλιᾶσθε, ὀλίγον ἄρτι εἰ δέον [ἐστὶν] λυπηθέντες ἐν ποικίλοις πειρασμοῖς,
Now go t hrough it again, isolating the prepositional phrases after the introductory thought:
3 Εὐλογητὸς ὁ θεὸς καὶ πατὴρ τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ, ὁ
κατὰ τὸ πολὺ αὐτοῦ ἔλεος ἀναγεννήσας ἡμᾶς
εἰς ἐλπίδα ζῶσαν
δι᾽ ἀναστάσεως Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ
ἐκ νεκρῶν,
4 εἰς κληρονομίαν ἄφθαρτον καὶ ἀμίαντον καὶ ἀμάραντον, τετηρημένην
ἐν οὐρανοῖς
εἰς ὑμᾶς 5 τοὺς
ἐν δυνάμει θεοῦ φρουρουμένους
διὰ πίστεως
εἰς σωτηρίαν ἑτοίμην ἀποκαλυφθῆναι
ἐν καιρῷ ἐσχάτῳ.
6 ἐν ᾧ ἀγαλλιᾶσθε, ὀλίγον ἄρτι εἰ δέον [ἐστὶν] λυπηθέντες
ἐν ποικίλοις πειρασμοῖς,
I count thirteen prepositional phrases in four verses. They show the motive for sovereign regeneration, its outcome (in two swoops), its means, that from which Christ was raised, where our inheritance is kept and for whom, by what means and agency we are under guard and towards what end, at what time, what this provokes in us, and the circumstances amid which we rejoice.

Rich for reflection, and quite preachable!

4 comments:

Matt Harmon said...

Dan,

Excellent post. It helpfully shows the importance of these little words that pack such a punch. And I agree that part of the richness of this passage and its eminent teachability/preachability originates in the use of the prepositions.

BTW, I think moving to 1 Peter was helpful for those here who might not be ready for the Greek of Hebrews

Beth'sMomToo said...

I loved this passage when I was preparing a Ladies' study for 1 Peter! There is so much doctrine packed into such a small space! I find that's one of the great things about translating - it slows me down and makes me pay attention. How many times have I just read over these verses and missed their power?! This section also made a cool analytical chart.

I was especially encouraged by vv.4-5 (if I did it right!) - "...an inheritance that has been kept/guarded in heaven for you/us [Alt.]...the ones who are being guarded/protected..." Love those Passive Voices!

DJP said...

Right on, Matt and Beth's Mom. Good points.

Yep, I've got a bit to say about v 5 later, Beth's Mom.

Turretinfan said...

I love prepositional phrases, but they can be so tough to accurately translate.