2 Peter 3:7 NUN OURANOI
ben.crick at argonet.co.uk
Tue Dec 29 21:34:26 EST 1998
On Mon 28 Dec 98 (23:08:11 +0100), stephanschenker at swissonline.ch wrote:
> Can anyone help me to grasp the term NUN OURANOI in 2 Peter
> 3:7. In German we can translate nunmehrige Himmel. NIV has "the
> present heavens".
What an interesting question. hOI DE NUN OURANOI to me would mean /die
jetzige Himmel/, the present heaven (or sky). This is in distinction from
the heavens which were of old, OURANOI HSAN EKPALAI KAI GH, 2 Peter 3:5.
It's the heavens *and the earth*; heaven mentioned first because it is
mentioned first in Genesis 1:1.
It seems that Peter and his contemporaries thought that the heavens had
perished by fire, at the same time as the earth was destroyed by water;
compare Josephus /Antiquities/, 1.2.3 PROEIRHKEN ADAM AFANISMON TWN hOLWN
ESESQAI, TON MEN KAT' ISCUN PUROS, TON hETERON DE KATA BIAN KAI PLHQUN
Origen refers to this (Contra Celsum 4:11, 79), but argues that the purpose
of the fire was not to destroy, but to cleanse or purge. Origen does not
mention 2 Peter; but he had his doubts about that epistle as we know.
See Charles Bigg DD, /St Peter and St Jude/, ICC, Edinburgh 1902 (2nd ed)
pages 214f and 294f. The eschatological expectation was that at the End Time
the wicked would be destroyed by *fire* (because God promised not to do it
again by water). Hence the lurid phraseology of the rest of 2 Peter 3,
especially verses 10-12, which some liken to a nuclear catastrophe. Is not
Uranium-235 named after the Greek word OURANOS? 8-/
Compare Isaiah 34:4 and Micah 1:4. Perhaps Wagner was on to something with
his /Goetterdaemmerung/ and Valhalla consumed with flames!
This is not the forum for eschatological theories, so I'll sign off
Revd Ben Crick, BA CF
<ben.crick at argonet.co.uk>
232 Canterbury Road, Birchington, Kent, CT7 9TD (UK)
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