[B-Greek] Hebrews 13:17-18

Jeff Smelser jeffsmelser at ntgreek.net
Mon Nov 20 16:55:16 EST 2006


Scott,

Two examples will illustrate the breadth of meaning that PEIQESQE might 
encompass. First, from Dio Cassius, there is the speech of Caesar 
dealing with recalcitrant soldiers who were disapppointed because they 
had not been allowed to plunder. Caesar is careful to note that not all 
those in his audience are guilty of the things of which he speaks, 
hUMEIS MEN GAR hOI POLLOI KAI PANU AKRIBWS KAI KALWS TOIS TE 
PARAGGELMASI TOIS EMOIS PEIQESQE, "for most of you obey my orders 
altogether precisely and well" [Roman History, Book XLI.28]. We might 
think he had in mind a response to his orders more along the lines of 
obedience to authority than reasoned response to persuasive exhortation.

However, in the speech of the exiled Andocides to the Athenians, wherein 
he makes his case for being allowed to return on good terms, he pleads 
with them saying, PEIQESQE OUN MOI, KAI HDH PAUSASQE EI TWi hUMWN 
DIABOLON TI EN THi GNWMHi PERI EMOU PARESTHKEN, roughly translated, "Be 
persuaded therefore by me, and restrain yourselves now if in this matter 
a slanderer among you has presented something in the opinion concerning 
me" [On his Return, 24]. Andocides was pleading his case, not commanding 
obedience. Clearly here the idea is "be persuaded."

I like Carl's effort to recognize a common idea underlying the varied 
uses of PEIQW, but struggled in my own mind to explain the use in Dio 
Cassius above in a manner consistent with that underlying idea. I don't 
doubt that it's possible, but I gave up trying to express it, unless 
maybe it is, "most of you put your trust in my orders." After all, in 
the immediate context, Caesar speaks to his soldiers as a loving father 
to a child, arguing that it is for their good that he restrains them 
from greedy plundering. He speaks of his duty to teach them and protect 
them, admonishing (NOUQETOUNTA) and correcting them. Of course, at the 
end of his speech, he had the worst of the disobedient ones executed. 
(Speech teachers always say you need a strong conclusion!)

But in the end, I think one will probably come to a conclusion regarding 
the significance of PEIQESQE in Heb. 13:17 based on his prior 
understanding of church leadership. For my part, I don't think the use 
here in close relation to hUPEIKETE necessitates our understanding the 
significance to be unlike that in Andocides. And I do see "persuasion" 
as being intrinsic to the kind of leadership characterized by the 
ability PARAKALEIN EN THi DIDASKALIAi THi hUGIAINOUSHi KAI TOUS 
ANTILEGONTAS ELEGCEIN, "to exhort in the sound doctrine and to convince 
the opponent" (Tit. 1:9).


Jeff Smelser
http://www.ntgreek.net
http://www.centrevillechurchofchrist.org




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