[b-greek] Re: EIPER

From: Wayne Leman (wleman@mcn.net)
Date: Mon Jun 26 2000 - 00:49:02 EDT

>This is the last part of Romans 8:17
>What does EIPER mean here?

Mark, you're asking a good question. I quote from the book "A Semantic and
Structural Analysis [SSA] of Romans", by Ellis W. Deibler, Jr. (available
from the SIL website (http://www.sil.org) in the translations publications
section). Page 186,

"_We know this is true_ [NB: implicit meaning made explicit in the SSA]

The conjunction EIPER is not to be translated 'if' in the sense of
introducing a condition which must be met before the consequence (17a-d) can
be fulfilled. Rather, it states the grounds by which we are assured of the
validity of the statements in 17a-d. Cranfield says teh clause introduced by
EIPER 'is not to be understood as introducing a conditoin, but rather as
stating a fact which confirms what has just been said.'

  In BAGD (p. 220.VI11) the potential meanings for EIPER in this verse are
given as 'if indeed, if all, since,' showing the possibility of other than a
conditional sense.... "

In a number of other places in the Greek NT, 'if' doesn't always mean
English 'if'. It often means 'since'. We miss that meaning if we simply
translate "gloss" meanings, making each occurrence of any form of EI
(including EIPER) always mean 'if'. Meaning of words in any language are
always conditioned by the context in which they occur.

>It seems to be saying that we will be joint heirs with Christ, but only IF
>we suffer together with Christ. I would assume then that if someone does
>suffer, he or she will not be a joint heir with Christ.
>I have been a Christian for a while, but I am not sure I have “suffered

>If we must “suffer,” could you please let me know exactly what suffering
>this means?

I don't think there is an "exactly" answer that one can give to this
question, but I suspect your time of suffering will still come. If you
desire the various gifts that are so highly commended in the Bible, such as
patience, you will likely experience some form of suffering to attain those
gifts. (See Romans 5:3 for that principle.)

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