Tuesday, December 04, 2007

A quick note

I'm in the middle of an assigned translation for my Greek class, and I just ran across something interesting.

Most translations of 1 Peter 1:7 read along the lines of "That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ," (KJV). Most translations read similarly, and it's a perfectly valid translation. There is, however, a nuance present in the Greek that is very difficult to carry into the English translation. The adjective "more precious" (polutimoteros, in Greek) is modifying dokimion, "trial," and not pistis, "faith." In other words, in this case, it is not the faith that is "more precious than gold that perishes even though tested with fire," rather it is the testing of that faith.

There is, I think, much that could be said on this point theologically, though unfortunately I haven't the time to say it at present. Suffice it to say that I'm reminded of James 2 and Genesis 22, where righteousness must be proven by action, and our faith is shown by how we respond to certain situations.

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