"Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust." (KJV)

Whereby,can also be "through which or by what" in Greek, I think. Some suggest it is referring to "glory and virtue" in the previous verse. Some suggest "all things that pertain unto life and godliness".

Previous verse:

According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue. (KJV)

Anyone good at Greek? What do you think and why?


In 2 Peter 1:4, the KJV's "whereby" translates the Greek phrase, δι’ ὧν = "through which", or, "via which", or similar. This is how most modern versions correctly render it.

That is V3 is the means by which V4 is accomplished. That is -

  • (V3) His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through the knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.

enables the following -

  • (V4) He has given us His precious and magnificent promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, now that you have escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

Expressed more briefly, Jesus' (V2) divine power enables the sinner to escape the corruption of the world by becoming a partaker of the divine nature.

  • Good answer. +1
    – alb
    Jun 20 at 13:06

δόξῃ καὶ ἀρετῇ (“glory and virtue”) is the most probably the reference since it is the closest, but their are other possibilities.

Whereby (δἰ ὡν [di’ hōn]). [1] Probably the “glory and virtue” just mentioned, though it is possible to take it [2] with παντα τα προς [panta ta pros], etc., or [3] with ἡμιν [hēmin] (unto us, meaning “through whom”). -- Robertson, A. T. (1933). Word Pictures in the New Testament (2 Pet. 1:4). Nashville, TN: Broadman Press.

In the scriptures glory often refers to a visible manifestation of His presence. Also:

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14, ESV)

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