I would like to preface this by saying that this can be a sensitive passage, and I do not want anyone to touch on where it be for or against certain theological inclinations (such as eternal/conditional security.) Those positions, assumedly, can have numerous other supporters (or contenders) elsewhere in the writ.
Now, I am not someone who knows much about Linguistics or especially Greek—like so many others, I do this on my own time at leisure. I don't think I even have a particularly competent understanding, though I do understand languages are not like perfect grammatical queues that always work the same in a cookie-cutter fashion. In other words, not all Languages are Latin, and not all languages are Lojban, and not all are Navajo.
Just to summarise my understanding of the chapter as an isolate (and it is very bad to isolate things willy-nilly), I view the passage as a loving pastor attempting to comfort his flock before he is executed; not to condemn them, but to remind them of where they stand and to never surrender.
¹⁰ «διὸ μᾶλλον ἀδελφοί σπουδάσατε βεβαίαν ὑμῶν τὴν κλῆσιν καὶ ἐκλογὴν ποιεῖσθαι ταῦτα γὰρ ποιοῦντες οὐ μὴ πταίσητέ ποτε ¹¹ οὕτως γὰρ πλουσίως ἐπιχορηγηθήσεται ὑμῖν ἡ εἴσοδος εἰς τὴν αἰώνιον βασιλείαν τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν καὶ σωτῆρος Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ»
Issue and My Understanding
Now, I have highlighted both verbs most people seems to link together: the subjunctive in the inferior verse and the indicative in the superior verse.
This is thought-for-thought, but this is my 'translation' of both verses:
Because of this (the fact that if you fall into evil habits and forget your salvation, that you become a bad person and fail to win people to the faith), be mindful to make y'all's invitation and election firm (in y'all's own minds and in practice), because if y'all are doing this, then y'all should never fall. Because, (regardless of whatever you do,) a spot in his Kingdom is prepared for y'all.
So my understanding is that in the first passage, the subjunctive is acting as it does in English: it is merely stating that if you do be mindful to keep good works and study to show yourself approved, then you will be profitable and not fall (go back into being barren and fruitless;) however, if you fail, then you will go back into being barren and fruitless. That said, the next passage, though, is not a conditional statement—it is a simple statement of fact. It is easy, in many English translations, to think that it is conditional, but the Greek does not indicate this to me. In otherwords, in immediate context, it does not matter if you 'make your calling and election sure' or not, either way, a place will be prepared for you. Thus, the «οὕτως γὰρ» is merely reinforcing the reasoning of the prior verse: because you have a place prepared, hey, make your calling and election sure.
Questions I Have
These are a bit broad, but let's see here:
- Can the indicative in Greek work like subjunctive does in English? is v. 11 conditional?
The NIV moves the word order and verb mood around, changing it to:
[...] For if you do these things, you will never stumble, and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
The CSB, however, at least at first reading, seems to render it like how I understand it:
[...] because if you do these things you will never stumble. For in this way, entry into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be richly provided for you.
The NASB seems to be somewhere between both, though it leans more toward CSB:
[...] for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble; for in this way the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be abundantly supplied to you.
- If the prior, then why? Languages are not cookie-cutter, but what might some other examples of this language be?