[B-Greek] Hebrews 13:17-18

Carl W. Conrad cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu
Mon Nov 20 12:32:11 EST 2006

Surely the fundamental sense involved in the root PEIQ/POIQ/PIQ (also  
in its derivative PISTIS/PISTEUW forms) is consensus, assurance,  
"going along with." The verb then, although commonly glossed as  
"obey," really should have overtones that are closer to the sense  
"win over" for the active; the middle PEIQOMAI, particularly when  
used with a dative complement,  means "consent (to), "go along  
(with)," or "trust (in)" and "trust" or "be confident" when used with  
a clause stating a proposition. Or so I think. Some might think I'm  
trying to bring the varied usages to tightly under a common  
conception, but I think this works, more or less, in this instance.

On Nov 20, 2006, at 11:18 AM, Scott Stocking wrote:

> Lately I have become uncomfortable with the translation of PEIQESQE  
> 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
> less authoritarian:
> "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
> Christian lives.
> I have checked other translations and lexica, and they are diverse,  
> as one
> might expect.
> Scott Stocking
> Pastor, Congregational Christian Church
> Adjunct Professor, Lincoln Christian College
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Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)
1989 Grindstaff Road/Burnsville, NC 28714/(828) 675-4243
cwconrad2 at mac.com
WWW: http://www.ioa.com/~cwconrad/

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