[B-Greek] 2 Peter 1:15 SPOUDASW plus two infinitives
cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu
Tue Mar 14 06:27:55 EST 2006
On Mar 13, 2006, at 9:33 PM, Mitch Larramore wrote:
> Dr. Conrad:
> Sorry to keep posting from this chapter, but your last
> posting helped me quite a bit. Would you do me one
> last (I promise) honor by reconstructing this verse
> 15. (It is surely apparent to all that I've had no
> academic/formal Greek training. And I've come to
> realize my English is quite deficient as well.)
> SPOUDASW DE KAI hEKASTOTE ECEIN hUMAS META THN EMHN
> EXODON THN TOUTWN MNHMHN POIEISQAI...
> My difficulty seems to lie with infinitives.
Mitch, there's no need to apologize for asking questions and more
questions: you raise good questions. Aristotle says that the right
kind of APOREIN (confronting and resolving difficulties encountered)
is at the heart of learning, and if we don't recognize the APORIAI as
we come to them, we don't learn. So repeated question-asking is
appropriate to the classroom and certainly to this would-be
electronic classroom. It seems to me that some of our most useful
threads have been those with follow-up questions that intensify the
focus or call attention to what may have been missed previously.
Perhaps I should start using emoticons again to indicate when I'm
speaking/writing tongue-in-cheek ;-) -- I certainly was so speaking
when I said I had noted the same verse was the subject of a previous
The construction you've raised up for consideration this time is
sufficiently complicated that I felt it called for a closer
examination of the larger preceding context. There's something quite
awkward in the snippet that you have given because two of the
infinitive phrases that follow upon the primary verb SPOUDASW have
appeared commonly in Pauline letters with a different focus: Paul
uses ECEIN hUMAS (EN MNHMHi or the like) for "hold you in mind" and
he uses MNHMHN POIEISQAI for "make mention of" or "remember." Here
however, it is evident that the second infinitive phrase depends not
upon the original SPOUDASW but rather upon the first infinitive ECEIN.
The larger context: 2Pet. 1:12 DIO MELLHSW AEI hUMAS hUPOMIMNHSKEIN
PERI TOUTWN KAIPER EIDOTAS KAI ESTHRIGMENOUS EN THi PAROUSHi
ALHQEIAi. 13 DIKAION DE hHGOUMAI, EF' hOSON EIMI EN TOUTWi TWi
SKHNWMATI, DIEGEIREIN hUMAS EN hUPOMNHSEI, 14 EIDWS hOTI TACINH ESTIN
hH APOQESIS TOU SKHNVMATOS MOU KAQWS KAI hO KURIOS hHMWN IHSOUS
CRISTOS EDHLWSEN MOI, ... and that leads into the snippet about which
My rendition of this prior context: So, despite the fact that you
know and are solidly grounded in the truth accessible to you, I'll
remind you about these matters. I think it proper, so long as I am in
this body, to stir your recollection, cognizant that my sloughing of
the body is close at hand as our Lord Jesus Christ has shown me ..."
The context then is clear: Peter is close to -- or assumes that he is
close to -- death. He claims to be confident that those to whom he
writes are solidly grounded in "these things" -- but nevertheless he
wants to REMIND them of what they know.
I think that a key to understanding your snippet is the phrase META
THN EMHN EXODON: "after my departure ( i.e. after I've died)."
SPOUDASW: "I shall endeavor" -- to do WHAT? Then we read KAI
hEKASTOTE ECEIN hUMAS ... THN TOUTWN MNHMHN POIESQAI. I think that we
expect hUMAS to be the object of ECEIN and ECEIN to be complementary
to SPOUDASW. But I think actually that hUMAS is the SUBJECT of ECEIN,
and that the sense is "I shall endeavor that you keep on keeping on
(ECEIN) at any and every moment (hEKASTOTE) mentioning/calling to
mind (MNHMHN POIEISQAI) these matters (TOUTWN)." Alternatively
ECEIN ... MNHMHN POEISQAI could be "be able to mention/call to mind."
Grammatically then, I'd say that ECEIN hUMAS is the immediate
complement of SPOUDASW and that THN TOUTWN MNHMHN POIESQAI is the
complement of ECEIN hUMAS.
The focus of Second Peter is the certainty of the PAROUSIA, despite
the fact that it was promised -- so long ago -- and hasn't yet
arrived. Here Peter endeavors mightily (SPEUDAZEI) to make sure that
believers not ever, at any moment, let slip away the awareness of the
long-awaited COMING of Christ in glory.
Having said all that, let me hasten to "deny accountability" for what
I've written. I think the passage is difficult -- precisely because
those phrases ECEIN hUMAS and MNHMHN POIEISQAI have been used
elsewhere in slightly different senses; and it is evident that there
are wide-ranging speculations concerning how this "snippet" of yours
is best to be construed. You might want to look at the note on this
in NET and the note in AT Robertson's Word Pictures.
Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Emeritus)
1989 Grindstaff Road/Burnsville, NC 28714/(828) 675-4243
cwconrad2 at mac.com
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