1 Peter 1:11

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1 Peter 1:11

Post by JBarach-Sr » June 5th, 2013, 6:46 pm

My son asks the following:
In 1 Peter 1:11, we have the phrase εραυνωντες εις τινα η ποιον καιρον. Some think it says the prophets were "investigating who or what time" and others that it says they were "investigating what [time] or what kind of time."

But what I want to know is: Does εραυναω + εις ever appear elsewhere with what follows the εις being the thing the investigator is seeking to know more about?

It seems to me that every time εραυναω appears in the LXX or the NT, it takes its direct object in the accusative (e.g., "searching hearts," "searching the Scriptures"). When it does appear with εις in Genesis 31:33 (2x), what follows the εις indicates where the search was made, not what Laban was searching for.

Is it possible that 1 Peter 1:11 is not saying that they were investigating "who or what time" nor that they were investigating "what or what kind of time," but rather that they were investigating one of two things: "unto/for whom" (i.e,. for themselves or for a future generation) the prophecies were meant OR "what (kind of) time" they refer to? Is that an option?
καὶ ἀνέγνωσαν ἐν βιβλίῳ νόμου τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ ἐδίδασκεν Εσδρας καὶ διέστελλεν ἐν ἐπιστήμῃ κυρίου καὶ συνῆκεν ὁ λαὸς ἐν τῇ ἀναγνώσει. (Neh. 8:8)

Stephen Hughes
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Re: 1 Peter 1:11

Post by Stephen Hughes » June 6th, 2013, 3:59 am

I understand that in essence, your son is asking whether ἐρευνῶ can possibly be used together with a preposition (εἰς), or whether in this case the prepositional phrase is a bit dissociated from the verb.

Your son's question is good, but due to fact that the extant textual / inscriptional evidence from the ancient world is not complete, (and therefore the answer to such a question always needs to carry the caveat "as far as we can tell" or the like), I suggest that you also ask a related question.

If you want to use the εἰς apart from the verb, then the verb will have no object. So, you could ask, is the verb ἐρευνῶ is ever used intransitively (without a direct object).

Another approach is that perhaps you could consider the παρακύπτω in the following verse 1Peter 1:12 εἰς ἃ ἐπιθυμοῦσιν ἄγγελοι παρακύψαι., as you are considering your ἐρευνῶ. It might be part of Peter's idiolect (personal speech habit) to favour using the εἰς with verbs that have the same meaning.
Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

Ken M. Penner
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Re: 1 Peter 1:11

Post by Ken M. Penner » June 6th, 2013, 5:31 am

JBarach-Sr wrote:Does εραυναω + εις ever appear elsewhere with what follows the εις being the thing the investigator is seeking to know more about?
Not that I can find, in the Septuagint, Philo, Josephus, Pseudepigrapha, and Apostolic Fathers.
Ken M. Penner
St. Francis Xavier University

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