Re: 1 Peter 1:2

From: Eric Weiss (
Date: Tue Aug 19 1997 - 11:15:12 EDT

We had fun with this passage in 2nd-year Greek class, not just with your
question, but with the theological implications of the various
translations (e.g., since the sanctifying work of the spirit comes at or
after salvation, how can one be chosen "according to the foreknowledge
of God" (i.e., an event before or outside of time) by an act that occurs
in time at or after salvation (i.e., the sanctifying work of the
Spirit). Coming from a Baptist perspective, my teacher had real problems
with the theological implications of certain "literal" translations, so
we looked at all kinds of alternatives, "dative of sphere," etc. Then we
sought to determine the O.T. referents here - Exodus 19 and 24, or the
sprinkling by the priests for the cleansing of lepers? And who does the
sprinkling, God or Jesus?. If this is an implicit trinitarian statement,
then Jesus would do the sprinkling, so all three members of the Godhead
would have an active part in this work. And are the three prepositional
phrases semantically equal, or are the second two subordinate thoughts
to the first? The confusion over where to place "elect" has to do with
deciding whether it is their election that is according to God the
Father, etc., or whether it is their sojourning that is according to God
the Father, or both. The explicit identification of his readers as a
"chosen" people, in a "dispersion," along with other things he says in
the letter, makes a strong case that Peter is identifying the church as
being the people (laos) of God, replacing "natural" Israel - thus these
first 2 verses set forth a clear "replacement theology" against the
popular (among many evangelicals) dispensationalist theology that views
God as still having two peoples - the Jews and the church. You've picked
a heck of a verse to translate. I'm looking forward to the other
members' responses to this.

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