σπευδοντας 2 Pt 3:12

Semantic Range, Lexicography, and other approaches to word meaning - in general, or for particular words.

σπευδοντας 2 Pt 3:12

Postby Alan Patterson » September 21st, 2013, 12:53 pm

11 τουτων ουτως παντων λυομενων ποταπους δει υπαρχειν [υμας] εν αγιαις αναστροφαις και ευσεβειαις
12 προσδοκωντας και σπευδοντας την παρουσιαν της του θεου ημερας δι ην ουρανοι πυρουμενοι λυθησονται και στοιχεια καυσουμενα τηκεται

I am wondering why most translators seem to choose the meaning "hasten on" (or some equivalent) for σπευδοντας. It has always read out of place to me. Alternate meanings exist for σπευδοντας that equally (better?) make sense, but none seem to be considered/selected.

Does anyone have an objection to "being eager for" or "being zealous of" for σπευδοντας? To me, these definitions seem to align better with προσδοκωντας. While waiting for X, one should be eager for it, or be zealous of it. So, σπευδοντας further modifies προσδοκωντας.

Any thoughts?
χαρις υμιν και ειρηνη,
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Re: σπευδοντας 2 Pt 3:12

Postby David Lim » September 21st, 2013, 11:58 pm

Alan Patterson wrote:I am wondering why most translators seem to choose the meaning "hasten on" (or some equivalent) for σπευδοντας.

Both the ASV and KJV read similar to your suggested alternative:
[ASV] looking for and [1] earnestly desiring the [2] coming of the day of God, by reason of which the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the [3] elements shall melt with fervent heat?
[ASV note] [1] Or hastening [2] Gr presence [3] Or heavenly bodies
[KJV] Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?
I can guess that the translators who render it using "hasten on" or an equivalent interpret it to mean that by holy conduct we hasten the coming of the day of God, but as you said it doesn't seem to fit the rest of the sentence nor the context in which the day of God is described as coming suddenly.
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Re: σπευδοντας 2 Pt 3:12

Postby Wes Wood » September 22nd, 2013, 1:34 pm

The net bible has a note saying that "hastening" is the prevalent meaning found in Jewish apocalyptic literature. I don't know if this is true or not. This word pairing puts me in mind of certain English ones that are often used together. My feeling is that the pair may indicate a larger meaning than the standard lexical one-two terms referring to a larger concept, but I readily admit I am probably off base. :)
"We cannot teach people anything; we can only help them discover it within themselves."
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Re: σπευδοντας 2 Pt 3:12

Postby Stephen Hughes » September 23rd, 2013, 5:30 am

2 Peter 3:12 wrote:προσδοκῶντας καὶ σπεύδοντας τὴν παρουσίαν τῆς τοῦ θεοῦ ἡμέρας

It seems that it might be helpful to look a little more at the word παρουσία.

ASV note wrote: [2] Gr presence
I think that statements like this are less than helpful. They are one of the good reasons for learning more Greek! It is really a strange thing for a translation from the Greek to say that the meaning of the Greek is "presence", but they translated it as "coming".

The basics of the Greek around the word are that (1) the opposite of παρουσία is ἀπουσία and (2) any of the verbs of motion to somewhere else (perhaps with ἀπο- on the front) will effect a change from παρουσία to ἀπουσία and any of the verbs of motion (expressing arrival) will effect a change from ἀπουσία to παρουσία.

The meaning of παρουσία in Greek is "presence" as the note in the ASV says, no problem with that, but translating it was "arrival" or "coming" is not something that we need to worry about. Now, if we look at "presence" as part of a sequence of παρουσία - verb of motion (departure) - ἀπουσία - verb of motion (arrival) - παρουσία, we can see that παρουσία is a noun describing an action that takes place over a period of time, yes. It is also an action that has a beginning, and that beginning is the end of a verb of motion (arrival) - which is translated as "coming" or could be expressed as "arrival". The use of παρουσία in the sense of arrival or coming to cover the end of the verbs action and not to just talk about the unchanging state, is to my mind a particularly NT feature. [I have no evidence to support the logical conclusion that ἀπουσία could be used of departure - but that is only and admission of ignorance, perhaps that is waiting to be found?]

I suspect that it is a development in the Koine period, some time between the Ptolemaic Koine period and the Imerial Koine period. At some time people wanted to use a nominal expression to describe the "arrival" which (being a verb) was usually expressed as a verb (cf. ἥκει), and rather than making up a new noun from the verb, they stretched the meaning of the noun that was next in the sequence.
- Mire sear stir ears art our players for are mourn Thor sore.
- Wart word sheer warned tore door tore more roar?
- Sheer word warned tore gore tore Bore stern, Ire sir pores.
- Mare Ire gore tore?
- Sure!
(How Mandarin from Northern China sounds to me)
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Re: σπευδοντας 2 Pt 3:12

Postby Brett » September 23rd, 2013, 12:36 pm

προσδοκῶντας καὶ σπεύδοντας τὴν παρουσίαν τῆς τοῦ θεοῦ ἡμέρας

Alan, translate these two words, προσδοκῶντας καὶ σπεύδοντας, as "eagerly waiting for." I read that in a grammar book or commentary quite some time ago. Is this a Hendiadys?
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Re: σπευδοντας 2 Pt 3:12

Postby Stephen Hughes » September 23rd, 2013, 11:57 pm

Alan Patterson wrote:Does anyone have an objection to "being eager for" or "being zealous of" for σπευδοντας? To me, these definitions seem to align better with προσδοκωντας. While waiting for X, one should be eager for it, or be zealous of it. So, σπευδοντας further modifies προσδοκωντας.

Brett wrote:Alan, translate these two words, προσδοκῶντας καὶ σπεύδοντας, as "eagerly waiting for." I read that in a grammar book or commentary quite some time ago. Is this a Hendiadys?

I don't have an "objection" as such to being eager/ zealous for" if that is one way the Greek could be taken, either severally or in hendiadys (eagerly waiting for) as Bret suggests, but I'm just considering the "slant" that translation can put on the end of the world for an English reader.

The message of this passage could be read as, "Yeah, I want to see it all burn and pass away, I just can't wait to see it happen." or it could be seen as "Wow, things are going to happens so suddenly and terribly, I need to work harder for the Kingdom of God while I have the chance". In one case σπεύδοντας is just a feeling, in the other it is a call to personal holiness and evangelical action.

Wes Wood wrote:The net bible has a note saying that "hastening" is the prevalent meaning found in Jewish apocalyptic literature. I don't know if this is true or not.
It's a while since I looked at the intertestamental period literature, but in my general opinion, the Jewish apocalyptic movement (one of the many precursors to Christiantiy) found its fulfilment in Christianity with the realisation that the evil sinners that they wanted to see destroyed were capable of repentence and salvation according to the Gospel message. And the theopolitical aims were given new meaning in the kingdom of God / the heavens that Jesus spoke about. Perhaps taking the earlier pre-Christian thoughts and putting them behind the authour of 2 Peter's pen misses an essential change in thinking between Jewish apocalyptic and early Christianity. Compassion and love together with the apocalyptic view of the world produces a different feeling towards the end of the world.
- Mire sear stir ears art our players for are mourn Thor sore.
- Wart word sheer warned tore door tore more roar?
- Sheer word warned tore gore tore Bore stern, Ire sir pores.
- Mare Ire gore tore?
- Sure!
(How Mandarin from Northern China sounds to me)
Stephen Hughes
 
Posts: 1298
Joined: February 26th, 2013, 7:12 am
Location: China

Re: σπευδοντας 2 Pt 3:12

Postby Wes Wood » September 24th, 2013, 12:34 pm

I agree with you, Stephen. My personal opinion is that the statement is meant to contrast starkly the wish for the destruction of others with the need for the audience to prepare the world for it.
"We cannot teach people anything; we can only help them discover it within themselves."
-Galileo Galilei
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