[B-Greek] Question on I Timothy 2:1 (also I Timothy 2:9)

Blue Meeksbay bluemeeksbay at yahoo.com
Sat Aug 7 10:42:13 EDT 2010


PARAKALW OUN PRWTON PANTWN POIEISQAI DEHSEIS PROSEUCAS ENTEUXEIS EUCARISTIAS 
hUPER PANTWN ANQRWPWN.   1 TIMOTHY 2:1
 
In considering the verse above, I was wondering what a first century Greek 
reader (or hearer) would naturally think the writer of I Timothy meant by the 
verse quoted above. 

 
Would he think he is mentioning the first thing he exhorts Timothy to do, or 
would he think he is mentioning the first thing he wants the church to do in 
their gathering together. In other words, which word is PRWTONmodifying – 
PARAKALWor POIEISQAI.
 
Should we understand it as, for example, as the NASB does, where PRWTONmodifies 
PARAKALW –  *First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions 
and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men.* Or should it be understood as 
PRWTONmodifying POIEISQAI  so that it would be understood something like this – 
*I therefore exhort, that first of all, entreaties and prayers, petitions and 
thanksgivings, be made in behalf of  all men.*
 
I cannot find any pattern in the GNT that might help us.  Sometimes PRWTONis 
before the word it modifies as it does in Rom. 1:8.
 
   PRWTON MEN EUCARISTW TWi QEWi MOU DIA IHSOU CRISTOU PERI PANTWN hUMWN hOTI hH 
PISTIS hUMWN KATAGGELLETAI EN hOLWi TWi KOSMWi.
 
Sometimes it is after the word it modifies as in John 1:41
 
hEURISKEI hOUTOS PRWTON TON ADELFON TON IDION SIMWNA KAI LEGEI AUTWi• hEURHKAMEN 
TON MESSIAN, hO ESTIN MEQERMHNEUOMENON CRISTOS.
 
And sometimes it seems it can go either way. 
 
LUKE 9:59 EIPEN DE PROS hETERON• AKOLOUQEI MOI. hO DE EIPEN• [KURIE,] EPITREYON 
MOI APELQONTI PRWTON QAYAI TON PATERA MOU.
                                                       
(It seems this verse could be understood as – first permit me to go and bury my 
father, or, permit me to go and first bury my father.)
 
Does anyone who is well read in classic Greek texts or extra biblical Greek 
texts know of any patterns that might help us – maybe patterns of PRWTON used 
with verbs of exhortation?
 
 Perhaps we can never know for sure since the answer might only be known by 
where the reader of the epistle paused. In other words, if the reader cried out 
* PARAKALW OUN* and then paused before continuing the hearer would know PRWTON 
PANTWN belongs with POIEISQAI.  Conversely, if the reader cried out * PARAKALW 
OUN PRWTON PANTWN *, and then paused, the hearer would know it belonged with 
PARAKALW.
 
However, since we cannot avail ourselves of that, it seems the only thing we are 
left with is context, and if we take the context, it seems Paul is saying this 
is one of the first things he desires the church to do when it comes together in 
assembly. He first deals with the public prayers of both men and women (vs. 
1-10) and then moves into the teaching aspect (vs. 11-15) of the church 
gathering. (I believe WSAUTWS in verse 9 should be seen as referring back to 
BOULOMAI  and also PROSEUCESQAI  in verse 8, so that Paul is saying – *In like 
manner I desire the women to pray in proper attire, with modesty and 
discreteness – to adorn themselves, not with braided hair and gold, or pearls or 
expensive clothing, but with good works, (which is appropriate to women 
proclaiming piety.*). 

 
It seems the context is saying that prayer is based upon two things – 1) with 
men it is based upon sanctification (holy hands) and 2) with women it is based 
upon lives of charity (good works). (Perhaps, because of Jam. 5: 16b ). 
Therefore, the context seems to refer to the public worship of the church and 
not to the first thing he exhorts Timothy to do. Besides the first exhortation 
to Timothy was given to him in I Tim. 1:3, not 2:1.
 
Any thougts?
 
Cordially,
Blue Harris
 
P.S.  Does anyone also believe that WSAUTWS in I Tim. 2:9 should include 
PROSEUCESQAI of verse 8?    It seems a similar passage would be Luke 22:19-20, 
where it seems the hWSAUTWS  of verse 20 should not only include LABWN but also 
EUCARISTHSAS, so that the verse should read, *And in like manner, after supper 
[he took] the cup, [and gave thanks] saying, etc.* 

 
LUKE 22:19  KAI LABWN ARTON EUCARISTHSAS EKLASEN KAI EDWKEN AUTOIS LEGWN• TOUTO 
ESTIN TO SWMA MOU TO hUPER hUMWN DIDOMENON• TOUTO POIEITE EIS THN EMHN 
ANAMNHSIN.
 
LUKE 22:20 KAI TO POTHRION hWSAUTWS META TO DEIPNHSAI, LEGWN• TOUTO TO POTHRION 
hH KAINH DIAQHKH EN TWi hAIMATI MOU TO hUPER hUMWN EKCUNNOMENON.


      


More information about the B-Greek mailing list