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Saturday, July 24, 2010

thoughts on 1Peter 1:10-12 part two

The text:
1Pet. 1:9 κομιζόμενοι τὸ τέλος τῆς πίστεως [ὑμῶν] σωτηρίαν ψυχῶν. 10 περὶ ἧς σωτηρίας ἐξεζήτησαν καὶ ἐξηραύνησαν προφῆται οἱ περὶ τῆς εἰς ὑμᾶς χάριτος προφητεύσαντες, 11 ἐραυνῶντες εἰς τίνα ἢ ποῖον καιρὸν ἐδήλου τὸ ἐν αὐτοῖς πνεῦμα Χριστοῦ προμαρτυρόμενον τὰ εἰς Χριστὸν παθήματα καὶ τὰς μετὰ ταῦτα δόξας. 12 οἷς ἀπεκαλύφθη ὅτι οὐχ ἑαυτοῖς ὑμῖν δὲ διηκόνουν αὐτά, ἃ νῦν ἀνηγγέλη ὑμῖν διὰ τῶν εὐαγγελισαμένων ὑμᾶς [ἐν] πνεύματι ἁγίῳ ἀποσταλέντι ἀπ᾿ οὐρανοῦ, εἰς ἃ ἐπιθυμοῦσιν ἄγγελοι παρακύψαι.

In verse ten the sentence begins with a prepositional phrase περὶ ἧς σωτηρίας. The relative pronoun ἧς with the antecedent σωτηρίας following (A.T. Robertson pp. 719, 721). The antecedent σωτηρίαν in v9 is repeated in περὶ ἧς σωτηρίας where the relative probably functions like a demonstrative, the whole phrase serving as a “title” (J.R. Michaels 1Peter WBC) for what follows. The repetition of the noun σωτηρίαν … σωτηρίας, like all repetition, draws attention to the idea providing some rhetorical underlining. It also removes all possibility of an ambiguous antecedent. It might be argued that this repetition of the noun reduces textual cohesion[1] since the use of an anaphoric pronoun serves to increase textual cohesion when the antecedent is in the preceding co-text. In other words, if the reader/auditor is required to make the link between ἧς and σωτηρίαν that increases textual cohesion but if the the noun is repeated the reader isn’t required to find an antecedent. However, if we view the relative as a functional demonstrative, this problem disappears since the demonstrative expression requires an antecedent. I would argue that the cohesion is actually enhanced by the repetition of the noun, since word repetition is another factor in textual cohesion[1].

[1] MAK Halliday and Ruqaiya Hasan. Cohesion in English. Longman, London,. 1976.

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