1 Pet 3:21 EPERWTHMA (was: 1 Per 3:21 EPERWTHMA)

Carl W. Conrad cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu
Sun Mar 24 07:15:11 EST 2002

At 8:24 AM +0100 3/24/02, Iver Larsen wrote:
>This verse describes baptism as
>I am stuck on EPERWTHMA. Maybe this has been discussed on b-greek before.
>Baptism is contrasted to an ordinary bath which is a question of removing
>dirt from the body, but baptism is different, although it can be compared
>with a bath in a certain sense.
>Can it be understood as "but (baptism) is a question of (having/gaining?) a
>good conscience towards God"?

I don't think so in this instance.

>Or is it "a request to God for/from? a good conscience"
>Or maybe a pledge to God from a good conscience?
>Was the noun EPERWTHMA commonly in use in Hellenistic Greek, and if so was
>the meaning normally a question, an inquiry or a request?

Looks like the examples cited in LSJ are Hellenistic.

>Would you consider EIS QEON as connected to SUNEIDHSIS or to EPERWTHMA?

I'd take it with EPERWTHMA, whether one opts for "appeal/request" or for
"pledge/promise" as the sense of the noun, i.e. take it as adverbial
dependent upon the verbal notion in EPERWTHMA. In any case, "question" is
not the right sense here, inasmuch as the context is not interrogatory.

Louw & Nida:

33.162 EPERWTHMA, TOS n: (derivative of EPERWTAWb 'to ask for,' 33.161)
that which is asked for - 'request, appeal.' BAPTISMA ... ALLA SUNEIDHSEWS
AGAQHS EPERWTHMA EIS QEON 'but baptism Š is a request to God for a good
conscience' 1Pe 3:21. It is also possible to interpret EPERWTHMA in 1Pe
3:21 as meaning 'pledge' or 'promise,' in which case it may be classified
under 33.288. Accordingly, the phrase SUNEIDHSEWS AGAQHS EPERWTHMA EIS QEON
may be rendered as 'a promise made to God from a good conscience.'


eperôt-êma , Ion. epeir- , atos, to, question, Hdt. 6.67, Th.3.53,68,
2.  answer to inquiry put to higher authority: hence, sanction, kata to e.
tôn Areopagitôn SIG 856.6 (ii A.D.), cf. 1008.4 (iii A.D.).
3.  = Lat. stipulatio, PCair. Preis.1.16 (ii A.D.), Cod.Just.
(pl.): hence prob., pledge, suneidêseôs agathês e. eis theon 1 Ep.Pet.3.21 .


Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Emeritus)
Most months:: 1647 Grindstaff Road/Burnsville, NC 28714/(828) 675-4243
cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu OR cwconrad at ioa.com
WWW: http://www.artsci.wustl.edu/~cwconrad/

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