[B-Greek] Hebrews 13:17-18
George F Somsel
gfsomsel at yahoo.com
Mon Nov 20 12:22:12 EST 2006
17. PEIQESQE TOIS hHGOUMENOIS hUMWN KAI hUPEIKETE, AUTOI GAR ARGUPNOUSIN hUPER TWN YUXWN hUMWN hWS LOGON APPODWSONTES, hINA META XARAS TOUTO POIWSIN KAI MH STENAZONTES, ALUSITELES GAR hUMIN TOUTO
18. PROSEUXESQE PERI hHMWN, PEIQOMEQA GAR hOTI KALHN SUNEIDHSIN EXOMEN, EN PASIN KALWS QELONTES ANASTREFESQI
It is not necessary to conclude that an author will use a word in the same sense every time. It is not even necessarily true that he will use a word in the same sense twice in the same sentence. Tied up with this is the development of the monarchical episcopate. When Paul in Acts 20 met with the elders (PRESBUTEROUS) and subsequently calls the bishops (EPISKOPOUS) seeminly indicating that there were a number of "overseers" or "bishops" in the church. By the time of Ignatius he could write
hOQEN PREPEI hUMIN SUNTREXEIN THi TOU EPISKOPOU GNWMHi hOPER KAI POIEITE. TO GAR ACIONOMASTON hUMWN PRESBUTERION, TOU QEOU ACION, hOUTWS SUNHRMOSTAI TWi EPISKOPWi, hWS XORDAI KIQARAi. DIA TOUTO EN THi hOMONOIAi hUMWN KAI SUMFWNWi AGAPHi IHSOUS XRISTOS ADETAI.
SPOUDASWMEN OUN MH ANTITASSESQAI TWi EPISKOPWi, hINA WMEN QEWi hUPOTASSWMENOI.
Werefore it is fitting that ye should run together in accordance with the will of your bishop, which thing also ye do. For your justly renowned presbytery, worthy of God, is fitted as exactly to the bishop as the strings are to the harp. Therefore in your concord and harmonious love, Jesus Christ is sung.
Let us be careful, then, not to set ourselves in opposition to the bishop in order that we may be subject to God.
Ignatius, "Epistle to the Ephesians", iv, v.
Of course, the question is not so much how this developed as at what stage the book of Hebrews indicates itself to be. Perhaps the context here can shed some light on the meaning. Note that in v. 17 there are two things enjoined
(1) PEIQESQE TOIS hHGOUMENOIS hUMWN
PEIQESQE and submit
It would seem likely that even though PEIQW can, and in many cases does, have the sense "be persuaded, that it would here be more nearly connected with the second injunction -- to be subject.
----- Original Message ----
From: Scott Stocking <scottsox at conxxus.com>
To: b-greek at lists.ibiblio.org
Sent: Monday, November 20, 2006 11:18:57 AM
Subject: [B-Greek] Hebrews 13:17-18
Lately I have become uncomfortable with the translation of PEIQESQE (PEIQW)
in Hebrews 13:17,
especially when the word is used again in vs. 18 with a completely different
meaning (at least in the NIV).
The NIV translates vs. 17 as "Obey your leaders,' while the TNIV is a little
"Have confidence in your leaders." Verse 18 (PEIQOMEQA) is the same in both:
"We are sure."
One of my lexica does list "obey" as a meaning in the passive, along with
several other meanings.
It cites Acts 5:36-37 as an example, although there the sense of the word in
that context seems more like "rally around."
My SPLANGCNON and my theology tell me to go with a translation that is less
authoritarian, something like:
"Be persuaded by your leaders," which is closer to the TNIV. In the NIV, vs.
17 is the only time
the word is translated "obey" in the NT. In other words, leaders should be
living such lives that those
who look to them as leaders would be convinced or persuaded to model their
I have checked other translations and lexica, and they are diverse, as one
Pastor, Congregational Christian Church
Adjunct Professor, Lincoln Christian College
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