[B-Greek] Fear of fear - 1Pe 3:6

Carl Conrad cwconrad2 at mac.com
Fri Apr 30 19:37:39 EDT 2010

On Apr 30, 2010, at 7:05 PM, Oun Kwon wrote:
> 1Pe 3:6b
> It is hard to see what the phrase μὴ φοβούμεναι	μηδεμίαν πτόησιν is
> trying to tell. (BDAG p. 895 PTOHSIS gives several glosses -
> 'terrifying' 'intimidation' 'fear' 'terror'.)
> Most English translations do not help much, while some do smooth it over.
> Is it possible understand this phrase something like 'fear of fear'?

I don't find it in BDAG but I do find "flutter" in LSJ for the verb PTOEW, which appears to be a denominative verb from the root PET/POT/PT whence we derive PIPTW (fall), PETAMAI (fly), PTWSIS (grammatical "case" from "falling", PTWMA (corpse), etc. I think that PTOHSIS really means the "quivering" or "shudder" that is a physical manifestation of fear. That being the case, I would understand MHDEMIAN PTOHSIN not as an object or complement of FOBOUMENOI but rather as an adverbial accusative: "and not being afraid even so much as a shiver" or we might say, "not even so much as a frisson."

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)

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