Re: Genitive phrase in 2 Peter 1:3...

From: Maurice A. O'Sullivan (
Date: Mon Jun 14 1999 - 07:17:17 EDT

At 23:34 13/06/99, you wrote:
>I have a question about the genitive phrase THS QEIAS DUNAMEWS AUTOU. Why
>is this phrase translated as the subject of the sentence in all the
>translations I have read? They say "His divine power has given us
>everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him who
>called us by His own glory and goodness." Could someone explain this use of
>the genitive to me? I'm pretty much a novice when it comes to greek, but am
>trying to learn more through personal study.
>To my (very) limited greek knowledge, it seems the verse could be
>"He has given to us all things [we need?] for life and godliness by means
>of His divine power..." [adverbial genitive of means?]
>"He has given to us all things for life and godliness from His divine
>power..." [genitive of source?]
>Any insights would be greatly appreciated.

As Carl has already pointed out, this is what's called a "geneitive absolute".

You should go to:

This brings you to the latest feature on the Perseus website -- a
marvellous facility which I hope you will use more and more as your studies

This particular feature is an electronic version of a famous classical
Greek grammar by Herbert Weir Smyth; originally published in 1920, it is
still available in a well-bound, revised edition in hard-back.

But thanks to the Perseus staff, it is now available on-line. Just now,
though, it has one drawback -- you cannot search on a term such "genitive
absolute" but only on the numbered paragraphs taken directly from the book.
That's just while work on this feature is still underway, apparently.

So, for the time being, I can tell you to go to the above URL and enter
Smyth 2070 and keep going up to and including 2075

BTW, when you first bring up par. 2070 you will see the underlined Greek
words in transliterated English.

At the top right of your browser you will see "Change Greek font"
Click on this, and you will be faced with a choice of fonts
If you are using a PC with Windows, I would suggest donwloading and
installing the SGreek fonts.
Don't forget to re-start after installing the new fonts. Then go back on
line, and when you bring up par 2070 again, click on "Change Greek font "
and then invoke the SGreek font option, and you will see all the ciations
from the classical Greek literature in Greek.


If you come across any other feature of Greek grammar which you want to
look up in Smyth, just e-mail the list and one of us will be happy to look
up the index in our hard copies and let you know what par. number to enter
on the Perseus seach panel.

Maurice A. O'Sullivan [ Bray, Ireland ]

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