[B-Greek] Col 3:19 PIKRAINW

Oun Kwon kwonbbl at gmail.com
Wed Aug 11 16:33:03 EDT 2010

See below:

On Wed, Aug 11, 2010 at 5:54 AM, Iver Larsen <iver_larsen at sil.org> wrote:

> 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".

OJK: Of course a husband can be 'bitter' against wife.  He can be
sissy, can't he? However, even aside from Gk text and the Biblical
context, it is my experience from almost four decades of interaction
(or paucity of interaction) with my wife that tells me that the
problem seen in family dynamics is with 'husband being harsh to wife'
and 'wife being bitter toward wife'. I'm still having its lingering
effect ;-<

Interestingly, Ann Nyland's Source NT reads 'to be insensitive' (the
footnote in p. 526 - "used to describe a style which was rough around
the edges. Dion. H. de Dem. 55). It seems to me 'to be insensitive'
and 'to be harsh' go together hand in hand, different from 'rejecting'
or 'ignoring', which is as equally as pathogenic.

> 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 ("strong").
> 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

OJK: The verb being a passive does put another twist. Is it then an
passive injunction against the husband's 'affective disorder'?  It
almost reads like a middle form (if there is any) - 'getting himself
bitter over wife'.

However, such reading would be strange, seeing that the context should
require rather an active injunction - to deal with a 'behavioral
disorder' on the part of the husband.

Oun Kwon.

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