[B-Greek] Col 3:19 PIKRAINW

Iver Larsen iver_larsen at sil.org
Wed Aug 11 05:54:36 EDT 2010

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Oun Kwon" <kwonbbl at gmail.com>
To: <b-greek at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: 11. august 2010 03:31
Subject: [B-Greek] Col 3:19 PIKRAINW

> Col 3:19
> What an injunction!
> Even though I don't like 'be bitter' and prefer 'be harsh' in the
> meaning of PIKRAINW, what does it mean in the text?
> Husband getting bitter because of wife,
> or wife getting bitter because of husband?
> Or I am not on a right track?
> Oun Kwon

An interesting question. I can see that most English versions have gone for 
"harsh". One problem I have with this is that I have not found anywhere else in 
the NT or LXX where PIKRAINW, PIKRWS, PIKRIA or PIKROS are used in the sense of 
"harsh". Another problem I have is that a passive verb form is used here. PIKROS 
refers to something painful to the senses or feelings. When used as an adjective 
qualifying a noun describing pain or sorrow, it can just be an intensifier 
Because of the passive, I think there is an intended implicit cause for the 
husband to become bitter. True, he should not let that bitterness be expressed 
in a harsh treatment of the wife. The best antidote against bitterness is 
forgiveness, and I think Heb 12:15 with its bitter root is also relevant.

I cannot help thinking of the preceding verse where Paul asks the women to be 
subject to their husbands. What if they don't? How does that affect to the 
husband? Is that part of the context?

Iver Larsen 

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