"Christian" in 1 Peter 4:16

From: Bob Wilkin (ges@airmail.net)
Date: Wed May 26 1999 - 16:31:10 EDT

Jim West wrote:

Perhaps we need to take account as well of 1 Peter 4:16, which suggests
if one "suffers as a "christian", nonetheless let him not be ashamed; but
instead let him glorify God in spite of this name". Now why would one be
ashamed if a name or term was not used derisively? Further, it is
abundantly clear that the word is insulting when one sees that the term
"chrestianos" (good fellow), found in Sinaiticus!, meant something snide as
well- and was a derisive term applied to Christians as well. Further,
Tacitus, in Annals 15.44, has "... Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted
most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called
Christians by the populace...." The populace evidently using the term
derisively of a group they hated (unless we are to accept the unlikely
proposition that they meant it as a compliment of people they

In sum- there is precious little evidence that the term was not intended
derisively while there seems ample evidence that it was. Perhaps thats why
the suggestion is relatively widespread.



The reading in 1 Peter 4:16 is disputed. The Majority Text reads EN TW
MEREI TOUTW not EN TW ONAMATI TOUTW. If the majority reading is correct,
then it should be understood as "let him glorify God in this matter." In
fact, even if one takes the critical reading, this understanding is

Contextually it makes more sense to see the shame associated with evil
behavior (v 15), rather than with the name "Christian."

In His Grace,

Bob Wilkin

B-Greek home page: http://sunsite.unc.edu/bgreek
You are currently subscribed to b-greek as: [cwconrad@artsci.wustl.edu]
To unsubscribe, forward this message to leave-b-greek-329W@franklin.oit.unc.edu
To subscribe, send a message to subscribe-b-greek@franklin.oit.unc.edu

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.4 : Sat Apr 20 2002 - 15:40:29 EDT