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This page revised and Copyrighted: Theon Doxazo

14 December, 2023

 

Vs. 12 - Remind You

02.3.6

“Therefore, I shall always be ready to remind you of these things, even though you already know them, and have been established in the truth which is present with you.”  -  2 Peter 1:12

 

As we saw in verse 10, so this verse begins with the same word:  'Therefore' (διὸ), a conjunction.  It's purpose is to bind these verses together.  So, given the exhortations in verses 10 and 11, then follows verse 12 which should be seen as linked to those preceding verses.  We don't want to stumble (vs 10) and we do want an 'abundant' entrance into heaven (vs 11), 'therefore' he will remind us (vs 12).

 

“ . . . I shall always be ready to remind you . . “  Who is the 'I' that is speaking?  Peter.  Note that he will 'always be ready'.  Whether now, later or much later, Peter will ALWAYS be ready to remind us of 'these things' discussed in verses 5-7.  Why will he always be ready?  Because they are important!

 

What are 'these things'?  It would seem intuitively obvious.  We keep reading 'these things' so they should be talking about the same things again, right?  Well, maybe.  It seems that the Greek text takes a turn at this point.  In verses 8, 9, and 10 a single Greek word, tauta/ταῦτα, is used in all 3 verses and translated into English as 'these things'.  Then, in verse 11, a different word outos/οὕτως is used which is translated into English as 'in this way'.  When I read this verse I see it as clearly referring to verses 5-7.  Others are less certain.  Then when one gets to verse 12, a still different Greek word appears, touton/τούτων which, confusingly, is also translated into English as 'these things'.  This same word is used in verse 15 and translated the same way.  Thus, when you read verses 8-15, you keep hearing 'these things', but the Greek changes, twice!

 

Whats is to be made of this?  For those of you unfamiliar with Greek, this may seem to be a real problem.  It turns out that it is not.  ταῦτα in verses 8, 9, and 10 is the nominative or accusative neuter plural of the demonstrative pronoun οὗτoς.  It can readily be translated at 'these'.  In verse 11 οὕτως is the adverb form of the same demonstrative pronoun οὗτoς.  It can be readily be translated 'in this way'.  In verse 12 and verse 15 τούτων is the genitive neuter plural form of the same demonstrative pronoun οὗτoς.  It can be readily translated as 'these'.  All three of these Greek 'words' are, in fact, the same Greek word, just cast in different ways due to the demands of their different sentence structures.  Thus, the first three (vs. 8, 9, and 10) as well as the final two (vs. 12 and 15) are all translated correctly as 'these things'.   Only vs 11 gets translated differently.   οὕτως is an adverb.  As a result it doesn't refer to any number of items, either singular or plural.  Thus, it simply modifies the main verb in the sentence and is thus treated as a singular.  That means that, instead of speaking of the 2 Peter virtues as a group (plural), it gets translated into English as "in this way", speaking of the whole sequence of virtues as in the singular.  The word 'this' refers to the same group of virtues in vs 5-7, it's just treated as a singular because it is an adverb modifying it's verb.

 

Some commentators hold that 'these things' in verses 11, 12 & 15 refer to something different than they did in verses 8, 9 & 10.  Specifically, some argue that the change to touton/τούτων in verse 12 doesn't just refer to 5-7, but to everything from 1-11!  This is a very broad 'these things'.  Still, if that is correct, and not everybody agrees, it would still include vs. 5-7 among the 'things' they are to be reminded of.  So, even if there is a change, the point still remains.  'These things' in verses 5-7 are important!

 

Notice also that he will 'remind' us of these things.  If he is to remind us, it implies that, at some time, we already knew these things.  Recall that in verse 1 Peter says that he is writing to 'those who have received a faith of the same kind as ours', Christians!  He will remind us of the things that bring us closer to God because, as disciples of our Lord, we already know something of the things that bring us closer to God.

 

When he speaks of us as having been 'established in the truth' I believe he is implying that, as Christians, we have established a relationship between ourselves and Christ.  We have committed ourselves to serve our Lord, who is the Truth incarnate.  If this understanding is correct, then the next clause would seem to logically follow.  The truth 'which is present with you' would seem to indicate the presence of the Holy Spirit which Christ gave to his Apostles and which continues to abide with His Church, both individually and collectively, even to this day.