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I have been struggling to locate the main verb in the sentence that comprises 2 Peter 1,3-4. NA28 gives full stops at the end of verses 2 and 4. Thus, if verses 3-4 are punctuated as a complete sentence, I should be able to identify a finite main verb within an independent clause.

ΠΕΤΡΟΥ ΕΠΙΣΤΟΛΗ ΔΕΥΤΕΡΑ 1,3 Ὡς πάντα ἡμῖν τῆς θείας δυνάμεως αὐτοῦ τὰ πρὸς ζωὴν καὶ εὐσέβειαν δεδωρημένης διὰ τῆς ἐπιγνώσεως τοῦ καλέσαντος ἡμᾶς ἰδίᾳ δόξῃ καὶ ἀρετῇ 4 δι’ ὧν τὰ τίμια καὶ μέγιστα ἡμῖν ἐπαγγέλματα δεδώρηται, ἵνα διὰ τούτων γένησθε θείας κοινωνοὶ φύσεως ἀποφυγόντες τῆς ἐν τῷ κόσμῳ ἐν ἐπιθυμίᾳ φθορᾶς.

Greek Bible text from: Novum Testamentum Graece, 28th revised edition, Edited by Barbara Aland and others, © 2012 Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, Stuttgart.

Verse 3 appears to me to be a subordinate clause, due to the initial adverb Ὡς.

Likewise, verse 4a appears to be a relative (subordinate) clause, due to the initial relative pronoun δι’ ὧν.

Verse 4b is further subordinated by ἵνα.

Of the five verbs I could identify within the sentence (verses 3-4), three were participles: δεδωρημένης, καλέσαντος, ἀποφυγόντες

It would seem that either δεδώρηται or γένησθε could be the main verb, except that they're in subordinate clauses.

My grammar is woefully inadequate, but the rules as I understand them above seem to exclude all 5 verbs from being the main verb of the sentence. Thank you in advance for assistance in locating the main verb.

  • I think the short answer is that the NA isn't justified in showing v2 as a full stop. Your observation proves this in my opinion. I expanded in an answer. – user33515 Jan 1 '18 at 15:06
  • You're grammatical analysis is good, don't underrate yourself. There're several clauses here, a finite verb is not required. The structure of the sentence is complex. The first conundrum involves Ὡς. Verse three is potentially in paratactic relationship to verse 2. I suggest looking at critical commentary, Bauckham, Mayor, etc. for a discussion of the possible alternatives for parsing the syntax. I don't believe in reinventing the wheel, which is why I'm not posting an answer. – C. Stirling Bartholomew Jan 4 '18 at 17:04
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Verses 3 and 4 are, I think, both subordinate to verse 2, but this isn't clear from the way that the Greek texts are punctuated. The Nestle-Aland version of v.2 reads:

χάρις ὑμῖν καὶ εἰρήνη πληθυνθείη ἐν ἐπιγνώσει τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ Ἰησοῦ τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν.

May grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. (ESV)

But the original manuscripts had no punctuation; if a pause is understood, it is up to the discretion of the Greek text editor as to what sort of pause to insert (comma, period, semicolon, colon). Scrivener's 1881 edition of the Textus Receptus inserted a colon (raised period) at the end of verse 2:

χάρις ὑμῖν καὶ εἰρήνη πληθυνθείη ἐν ἐπιγνώσει τοῦ Θεοῦ καὶ Ἰησοῦ τοῦ Κυρίου ἡμῶν·

Nonetheless, the KJV translators inserted a comma here:

Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,

The ESV and other versions based on the Nestle-Aland text are generally faithful to its punctuation scheme and terminate verse 2 with a period.

RSV

May grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.

NIV

Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.

With something other than a period terminating v.2, though, v.3 can be understood to modify τοῦ Κυρίου ἡμῶν (our Lord) in v.2, and v.4 in turn can be understood to modify δόξῃ καὶ ἀρετῆς (glory and virtue). The NKJV illustrates this:

χάρις ὑμῖν καὶ εἰρήνη πληθυνθείη ἐν ἐπιγνώσει τοῦ Θεοῦ καὶ Ἰησοῦ τοῦ Κυρίου ἡμῶν·

Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord,

ὡς πάντα ἡμῖν τῆς θείας δυνάμεως αὐτοῦ τὰ πρὸς ζωὴν καὶ εὐσέβειαν δεδωρημένης, διὰ τῆς ἐπιγνώσεως τοῦ καλέσαντος ἡμᾶς διὰ δόξῃ καὶ ἀρετῆς·

as His [i.e., the Lord's] divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue,

διʼ ὧν τὰ μέγιστα ἡμῖν καὶ τίμια ἐπαγγέλματα δεδώρηται, ἵνα διὰ τούτων γένησθε θείας κοινωνοὶ φύσεως, ἀποφυγόντες τῆς ἐν κόσμῳ ἐν ἐπιθυμίᾳ φθορᾶς.

by which [i.e. glory and virtue] have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

The Orthodox New Testament provides a similar reading:

Grace to you and peace be multiplied in a full knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord:

Inasmuch as His divine power hath freely given to us all the things for life and piety, through the full knowledge of Him Who called us by glory and virtue,

By which He hath freely given to us the very great and precious promises, that through these ye might become partakers of the divine nature.

Contrast this with the ESV reading, which must contend with v.2 being treated as standalone sentence in Greek:

May grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.

His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence,

by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.

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There are at least two possibilities. Note that the punctuation in the Greek text was not in the original writing of the New Testament books, but was added much later. The same goes for capital and small letters. In the first century Greek was written in Uncials without conscious word division when writing.

1) Hebrew can have a particle as a main verb, so this may be a Hebraism.
2) Or, the punctuation is wrong and the main verb is either that the one in verse 2 or verse 5.

A side issue, note this in verse 2: τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ Ἰησοῦ When there is an article with the first noun, but not with the second noun joined by καὶ, the nouns are describing the same one or thing.

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