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This page revised and Copyrighted: Theon Doxazo

14 December, 2023

 

In/By Means of

02.4.3

The Greek word εν appears at the beginning of each pair of the 2 Peter virtues.  This word can be translated as either 'in' or 'by, by means of' (Thayer, 1976, p. 209).  The first of these words (in) describes the place that a virtue is to be added (as in the Locative case).  The second word (by) implies the means by which the second virtue is added (as in the Instrumental case).  This author prefers to translate this word as 'by', consistent with the use of the Instrumental.  Either of the translations are acceptable, however.  Both translations clearly support the sequentiality of the 2 Peter qualities.

 

The repetitive usage of this term throughout the 2 Peter 1:5-7 passage is clearly meant to imply that the grammatical relationship between the terms found in the first clause is to be identically repeated in the following six clauses.

 

By using this word it implies that the first half of each pair of qualities must already exist for the second to be added to it.  In the Instrumental interpretation, because of the first qualities' operation, the second quality is added.  In the Locative interpretation, the first quality becomes the site of adding the second quality.  Adding accumulates qualities, it does not supplant them.