From: James H. Vellenga (
Date: Fri Feb 16 1996 - 08:22:05 EST

I have for several years now been learning NT Greek "one word at a time," as I
look at a word in all of its contexts in the NT (or at least in a large number
of them) and try to get a sense of a single English word/phrase (or set of
closely related words) that more or less fits all contexts.

This week I've been looking at PERIPOIHSIS and verb PERIPOIEW. Strong's (my
resources are limited) translates the noun as "acquisition" or "preservation"
and the verb (used only in the middle form) as "to make around oneself" or "to
acquire or buy."

However, as I look at the contexts (5 for the noun, 3 for the verb), it seems to
me that a better sense for the verb might be "to nail down or guarantee for
oneself" and for the noun simply "a guarantee" -- i.e., something we are sure of
obtaining eventually but don't yet have.

Thus, for example, Eph. 1.14:

 "... who is a down payment on our inheritance until the redemption of the
 guarantee ..."

Luke 17.37:

 "Whoever tries to guarantee his psyche for himself will lose it, and whoever
 will lose it will rescue (or rebirth) it."

1 Pet. 2.9:

 "... but you [are] a selected race, a royal priesthood, a people for [serving
 as] a guarantee, so that you can proclaim ..."

The other contexts are more ambiguous, but IMO "guarantee" fits the contexts at
least as well as "acquisition" or "possession", etc. E.g.,

Acts 20.28:

 "... to shepherd God's assembly, which he guaranteed for himself through his
 own blood."


Jim V. 8-)

James H. Vellenga |
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