The opening of 1 Peter

Mike Sangrey msangrey at
Fri May 17 20:44:32 EDT 2002

On Fri, 2002-05-17 at 14:13, waldo slusher wrote:
> DIASPORAS PONTOU, etc........
> Here is my question... what do all these prepositions
> modify?
> [EIS} hRANTISMON about a totally different way of looking at it?  Allow me
to think out loud, sort of green lighting here.  What if we think of the
opening of the letter like this:

    From:    Peter, an Apostle of Jesus Christ;
    To:      The elect, the strangers--the ones scattered in Pontus,
             Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia;
    Subject: What God the Father knew beforehand specifically about
             the Spirit's sanctifying power and how that concerns
             our obedience and the sprinkling of (ie. purification by)
             the blood (ie the death) of Jesus Christ.
    Salutation:  May grace and peace increase for you.
In other words, to answer your question about what the prepositions
modify:  they state (modify?) the subject of the letter.

A couple of notes regarding the freely rendered prepositions (if there
is anything that does NOT map one-for-one between languages, it's the

        * KATA...I think it was Carl who mentioned that when he sees
          KATA he thinks about a river winding its way down to its
          mouth.  That seems an appropriate preposition to state the
          subject, or the topic, of a letter.  The picture is that the
          development of the letter would move the reader down toward
          this particular subject.  Or you can think of it as "this
          letter is developed ACCORDING TO this topic."
        * EN... See Louw & Nida (L&N) 89.5 "with regard to
          (specification)" So, Peter is going to deal with God's
          foreknowledge as it specifically relates to sanctification.
        * EIS... See L&N 90.23 "with reference to"  They cite Acts 2:5
          "for David spoke concerning him" and Rom. 16:19 "I want you to
          be wise concerning what is good."  I think there's an element
          of `goal' in mind, too.  In other words, Peter will be laying
          some ground work, but ultimately, this topic is what he wants
          to get to.

So, the topic is about God's foreknowledge as it specifically relates to
sanctification, but the key piece of information, the point the reader
needs to get to is an understanding of how Jesus' death relates to this.

Now, note the following points somewhat in parallel to the above three
        * 1 Pet. 1:3-12--it is about what God has done and that he told
          the prophets about it.  So then, it's God who did it and he
          knew about it before hand and indeed, purposed to carry out
          exactly what he determined to do.  This matches up with
        * 1 Pet. 1:13-2:10--Starts with DIO (cf L&N, 89.47, "relatively
          emphatic marker of result, usually denoting the fact that the
          inference is self-evident") so (and for other reasons, too)
          this is a fairly large sectional break.  What's this section
          about?  If you do a quick read through it I think you'll
          notice that there's a fair amount of emphasis on the believer
          being purified by God.  It ends with Peter saying that we've
          become a royal priesthood.  In other words, it syncs with
          sanctification in the sense of our being "set apart for a holy
        * 1 Pet. 2:11-4:11.  I can't develop such a large section in
          just one bullet point; however, note the twin topics of
          obedience in specific social roles and how the death of Jesus
          is absolutely vital for this obedience to occur.  Otherwise we
          won't be able to deal successfully with the SARC.  It's
          interesting to me how the explanation of the death of the
          Christ is intimately woven into very practical instruction
          regarding certain social roles.  This i mirrored in the way
          the opening statement is worded:  EIS hUPAKOHN KAI hRANTISMON
Also, note that there isn't a nice neat, strictly developed point 1,
point 2, point 3.  There's some cyclic or iterative development of the
points.  This makes sense to me since the topic really needs to hang
together as a unit.

Well, just thinking outside the box.  Read through 1 Peter a few times
with the above topic in mind (or something similar) and see what you
Mike Sangrey
msangrey at
Landisburg, Pa.
                        "The first one last wins."
            "A net of highly cohesive details reveals the truth."

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