1Thess 3:13

Carl Conrad cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu
Fri Jul 2 17:39:37 EDT 1999

On 07/02/99, ""Steve Amato" <samato at cfa.harvard.edu>" wrote:
> I wonder if someone might be able to tell me why the NIV translates 1Thess
3:12,13 as

"May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for
everyone else, just as ours does for you."
"May he strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in 
the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his
holy ones." (NIV)

but "stengthen" (or "establish") in vs 13 is infinitive, not indicative. 
Shouldn't it be "to strengthen (or "to establish") your hearts"?

No: this is the relatively rare optative 3d sg., both PLEONASAI and 
PERISSEUSAI, expressing a wish, and "may" is the normal way to translate an 
optative. It is true that the active infinitives would, in fact, have the 
very same forms, but these are unquestionably optatives. The optative is so 
rare in the NT that many NT Greek books don't even teach it.

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