2Peter style

Ken Smith kens at 180solutions.com
Mon Aug 13 14:02:20 EDT 2001

I certainly don't have the experience and expertise of the "Big Greeks"
on this list, which may explain my difficulties, but yes, I found 2
Peter fairly difficult going.  I know that it's common for scholars to
point out the differences in style between 1 and 2 Peter, and maybe
those differences are more pronounced than I realized, but my own
initial take on it was that there were far more similarities in style
than differences.  The Greek of both is very complex and convoluted
(compared to the rest of the NT, even Paul), and seemed to me to have a
fairly specialized vocabulary.  This is getting slightly off-topic, but
the styles were similar enough that, at least from a cursory reading, I
wouldn't have immediately jumped to the conclusion that there were two
separate authors behind them.  In other words, yes, I struggle with both
1 and 2 Peter.  Those two books, along with Hebrews and some stretches
of Acts, seem to me to be the most difficult Greek in the NT.

Ken Smith

> A decade ago I did a detailed study of Jude and taught a 
> class on it when I was living in Astoria OR in the summer of 
> 91. I have gone back several times since then and looked at 
> Jude again and my notes from my '91 study. It is a marvelous 
> little book.
> Two days ago I decided that my next NT project should be 2nd 
> Peter. I printed off work sheets, pulled R. Bauckham (WBC) 
> and J.B. Mayor off the shelf and launched off on what I 
> thought was going to be a bit of a lark, you know easy stuff 
> compared to Homer's Iliad and Sophocles.
> Well I got about as far as 2Peter 1:3-5 and found I was 
> having a hard time reading it. I just keep looking at the 
> text and finding different ways of analyzing the syntax. I 
> did not consult any English translations, and have not as 
> yet. After two days of working in the first chapter I took a 
> look at the introduction in R. Bauckham (WBC) to see what he 
> had to say about the greek style of 2nd Peter.
> My suspicions were confirmed. 2Peter is not going to be a 
> lark, and the text which was slowing me down 2Peter 1:3-5 is 
> one of the difficult ones. Anyway I have now managed to fit 
> together most of the syntax of this short section without 
> cheating and looking it up in a commentary.
> This experience has been humbling in a good way. I was 
> wondering if anyone else on b-greek was brought up short the 
> first time the tried to just sit down and read this book?

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