[B-Greek] 1 Peter 1:11 "spirit of Christ" NWT

Carl Conrad cwconrad2 at mac.com
Fri Jul 23 07:36:20 EDT 2010


The following message came through moderation this morning and was approved, but seems to have slipped through the cracks (it'll probably show up later this morning?). At any rate, I'm going to post it and offer a brief response of my own to it.

From: Womble Song <womblesong at googlemail.com>
Date: July 23, 2010 5:15:24 AM EDT
To: greek B-Greek <b-greek at lists.ibiblio.org>
Subject: 1 Peter 1:11 "spirit of Christ" NWT

I am looking at the phrase "spirit of Christ" in 1 Peter 1:11 as it
appears in most translations. The NWT, however, doesn't use the phrase
"spirit of Christ". It says something different:

1 Peter 1:11 NWT:
They kept on investigating what particular season or what sort of
[season] the spirit in them was indicating concerning Christ when it was
bearing witness beforehand about the sufferings for Christ and about the
glories to follow these.

The phrase is: "TO EN AUTOIS PNEUMA CRISTOU"

It seems to me that the word CRISTOU being in the genitive case is more
describing the spirit that exists in the speaker and those to whom he is
speaking.

Literally "our spirit christ-like".

The genitive giving the word "CRISTOU" a quality so suggesting it is not
Christ the person whose spirit is being spoken of but the spirit of the
disciples is being described as being akin to that of Christ.

Am I right in that view of this phrase?

If so, does that give any merit to the NWT rendering that seems to
paraphrase quite heavily here.


Regards,

Gareth Buxton
========
CWC Response:

We really ought to start any examination of a Biblical Greek text with the 
Greek text itself rather than with any translation of it.

1Pet. 1:11 ἐραυνῶντες εἰς τίνα ἢ ποῖον καιρὸν ἐδήλου τὸ ἐν αὐτοῖς 
πνεῦμα Χριστοῦ προμαρτυρόμενον τὰ εἰς Χριστὸν παθήματα καὶ 
τὰς μετὰ ταῦτα δόξας. 
[1Pet. 1:11 ERAUNWNTES EIS TINA H POION KAIRON EDHLOU 
TO EN AUTOIS PNEUMA CRISTOU PROMARTUROMENON 
TA EIS CRISTON PAQHMATA KAI TAS META TAUTA DOXAS.]

In terms of the Greek text I don't see how the genitive CRISTOU can
refer to anything other than TO PNEUMA. What the Greek text quite
clearly says is "the spirit of Christ within them." It does NOT say
"their Christ-like spirit."

I suppose that this text can be interpreted variously depending on the
presuppositions one brings to it, but it seems to me a pretty far stretch
to envision the relationship of PNEUMA and CRISTOU as loosely as
is here suggested.


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






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