Re: 1 Peter 2:5

From: Carl William Conrad (
Date: Thu Mar 21 1996 - 21:17:21 EST

On Thu, 21 Mar 1996, Eric Weiss wrote:

> We're studying 1 Peter in our 2nd-year Greek class at the Criswell College
> in Dallas, TX, so I was interested in the discussion initiated by Tim McLay
> last month on 1 Peter 2:5: "also yourselves as living stones are being built
> [up] a spiritual house into/unto a holy priesthood..." Conjectured responses
> or explanations included "spiritual house" (OIKOS PNEUMATIKOS) being a
> predicate nominative (with or without an implied EINAI) or a vocative.
> This clause looks like it is at the deep structure level a basic sentence
> pattern of the form:
> (implied)
> God is building [up] you a spiritual house
> which has undergone a transformation such that at the surface structure level
> the verb is now expressed in the passive voice. In the basic sentence
> pattern the DIRECT OBJECT and the OBJECT COMPLEMENT are both in the same
> case, i.e., accusative. But when the active verb at the deep structure level
> is transformed to a passive verb at the surface structure level, the DIRECT
> OBJECT ("you") becomes the SUBJECT of the clause and hence takes the
> nominative case, and the OBJECT COMPLEMENT ("a spiritual house"), now a
> SUBJECT COMPLEMENT, likewise takes the nominative case to agree with the noun
> its complementing.

I trust you're not looking for any argument here! This seems perfectly
reasonable to me, and this way of understanding the logic of the
construction does seem very helpful regarding precisely those points that
seemed to be causing difficulty in the earlier discussion of the passage.

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University
One Brookings Drive, St. Louis, MO, USA 63130
(314) 935-4018 OR

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.4 : Sat Apr 20 2002 - 15:37:39 EDT