1Thess 3:13

MikeBzley at aol.com MikeBzley at aol.com
Sat Jul 3 05:17:29 EDT 1999

In a message dated 02/07/99 22:40:26 GMT Daylight Time, 
cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu writes:

> 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 
>  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 "strengthen" (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 
>  optative. It is true that the active infinitives would, in fact, have the 
>  very same forms, but these are unquestionably optatives. The optative is 
>  rare in the NT that many NT Greek books don't even teach it.

In no way do I wish to be construed as disagreeing with Carl, however it 
seems to me that  Steve was asking a rather different question from that 
which Carl answered.

Steve's original question was about STHRIXAI not PLEONASAI and PERISSEUSAI.  
He said:

>but "stengthen" (or "establish") in Vs 13 is infinitive, not indicative. 
>Shouldn't it be "to strengthen (or "to establish") your hearts"?
>It seems to me that the effect on the interpretation is that if it is 
>"may", then Paul is just listing another thing he is praying, not 
>necessarily related to vs 12.
>But if it is "to", then the strengthening would be an effect of the answer 
>of Paul's prayer in vs 12, rather than a separate prayer.

It seems to me to be a very fair question.  The NIV is treating the verses as 
though they are parallel constructions, which they aren't.  IMHO the second 
is clearly the end towards which the first is aimed.  A T Robertson says of 
the second verse, "To the end he may stablish ([eis to sterixai]). Another 
example of [eis] and the articular infinitive of purpose. Same idiom in 
#3:2|. From [sterizo], from [sterigx], a support."

I like the BBE translation, "12And the Lord give you increase of love in 
fullest measure to one another and to all men, even as our love to you; 13So 
that your hearts may be strong and free from all sin before our God and 
Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints."

Mike Beazley

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