1Peter 3,20 force of the prepositional phrase

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Peter Streitenberger
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Joined: June 3rd, 2011, 10:45 am

1Peter 3,20 force of the prepositional phrase

Post by Peter Streitenberger » May 7th, 2019, 4:35 am

Dear friends of Greek,

I may ask you a tricky (at least for me) question concerning 1Peter 3.20, where it states:
ἀπειθήσασίν ποτε, ὅτε ἀπεξεδέχετο ἡ τοῦ θεοῦ μακροθυμία ἐν ἡμέραις Νῶε, κατασκευαζομένης κιβωτοῦ, εἰς ἣν ὀλίγαι, τοῦτ᾽ ἔστιν ὀκτὼ ψυχαί, διεσώθησαν δι᾽ ὕδατος•
heretofore disobedient, when the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah while the ark was preparing, into which few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water: (Darby-Translation).

δι᾽ ὕδατος ("through water") is questionable as it could be (according to the Exegetical Summary of SIL/Wycliff) instrumentally (they were rescued by the means of the water, e.g. from the godless folks around) OR they were rescued in a local sense through the water (when the flood came they could escape the waters of it, by entering the boat beforehand).

Here the entry in the ES-Volume:
QUESTION—What does he mean by δι’ ὕδατος ‘through water’?
1. It is used locally; they were saved going through the water.
1.1 They were saved as they were passing through the waters of the flood in the ark [EGT, IVP,
NCBC, NIC, NTC, Sel; NAB].
105
1.2 They were saved as they were wading through the water of the flood to get into the ark [ICC,
TNTC].
2. It is used instrumentally; they were saved by means of the water [Alf, BNTC, EGT, NIC,
NTC, Sel, TG, TH, WBC].
2.1 The water was instrumental, in that it floated the ark to safety [BNTC, EGT, TH].
2.2 The water was instrumental, in that it saved them from a flood of human wickedness [NTC].
3. It is used both instrumentally and locally [BNTC, EGT, NIC, NTC, Sel].
In Greek literature I found both in connection with the same predicate:

Ctesias Fragmenta 1b.565: „ἡ δὲ Σεμίραμις ἐπειδὴ τὸ πλεῖστον μέρος τῶν ἀπὸ τῆς μάχης διασωζομένων διὰ τὸν ποταμὸν ἔτυχε τῆς ἀσφαλείας“
Semiramis could bring the remnant of the battle to safety through the river (locally).

Or

Diodorus Siculus, Bibliotheca historica 12.43,3: „γενομένης δὲ πολιορκίας, καὶ τοῦ Βρασίδου λαμπρότατα κινδυνεύσαντος, Ἀθηναῖοι μὲν οὐ δυνάμενοι τὸ χωρίον ἑλεῖν ἀπεχώρησαν πρὸς τὰς ναῦς, Βρασίδας δὲ διασεσωκὼς τὴν Μεθώνην διὰ τῆς ἰδίας ἀρετῆς καὶ ἀνδρείας ἀποδοχῆς ἔτυχε παρὰ τοῖς Σπαρτιάταις“.

Brasidas could rescue the town of Methone through his own virtue and by being brave (instrumentally).


As boths seems possible I tend to focus on the focus, the next verse states that the water of the batism saves ("which figure also now saves you, even baptism, not a putting away of the filth of flesh, but the demand as before God of a good conscience, by the resurrection of Jesus Christ,"), maybe from the connection to the surrounding world as in the case of Noah and his rescue from the ungodly folks at that time. At least the relative pronoun revers to the "water". Maybe the lacking article befor "water" could say more. Just a guess. I am far from sure.

Can you help?
Yours Peter
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Peng Huiguo
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Re: 1Peter 3,20 force of the prepositional phrase

Post by Peng Huiguo » May 7th, 2019, 5:36 am

They were saved as they were passing through the waters of the flood in the ark
and
Semiramis could bring the remnant of the battle to safety through the river
are the closest in sense to what this verse in Peter is getting at. Matthew has quite a number of verses (8:28, 12:1, 12:43...) using διά this way. It's a good word choice here, linking back to not only the flood but also the passage thru the red sea, and forward like you said to baptism, with the attendant διά sense of a change in state.
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Barry Hofstetter
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Re: 1Peter 3,20 force of the prepositional phrase

Post by Barry Hofstetter » May 7th, 2019, 9:19 am

Peter Streitenberger wrote:
May 7th, 2019, 4:35 am
Dear friends of Greek,

I may ask you a tricky (at least for me) question concerning 1Peter 3.20, where it states:
ἀπειθήσασίν ποτε, ὅτε ἀπεξεδέχετο ἡ τοῦ θεοῦ μακροθυμία ἐν ἡμέραις Νῶε, κατασκευαζομένης κιβωτοῦ, εἰς ἣν ὀλίγαι, τοῦτ᾽ ἔστιν ὀκτὼ ψυχαί, διεσώθησαν δι᾽ ὕδατος•
heretofore disobedient, when the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah while the ark was preparing, into which few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water: (Darby-Translation).

δι᾽ ὕδατος ("through water") is questionable as it could be (according to the Exegetical Summary of SIL/Wycliff) instrumentally (they were rescued by the means of the water, e.g. from the godless folks around) OR they were rescued in a local sense through the water (when the flood came they could escape the waters of it, by entering the boat beforehand).

Here the entry in the ES-Volume:
QUESTION—What does he mean by δι’ ὕδατος ‘through water’?
1. It is used locally; they were saved going through the water.
1.1 They were saved as they were passing through the waters of the flood in the ark [EGT, IVP,
NCBC, NIC, NTC, Sel; NAB].
105
1.2 They were saved as they were wading through the water of the flood to get into the ark [ICC,
TNTC].
2. It is used instrumentally; they were saved by means of the water [Alf, BNTC, EGT, NIC,
NTC, Sel, TG, TH, WBC].
2.1 The water was instrumental, in that it floated the ark to safety [BNTC, EGT, TH].
2.2 The water was instrumental, in that it saved them from a flood of human wickedness [NTC].
3. It is used both instrumentally and locally [BNTC, EGT, NIC, NTC, Sel].
In Greek literature I found both in connection with the same predicate:

Ctesias Fragmenta 1b.565: „ἡ δὲ Σεμίραμις ἐπειδὴ τὸ πλεῖστον μέρος τῶν ἀπὸ τῆς μάχης διασωζομένων διὰ τὸν ποταμὸν ἔτυχε τῆς ἀσφαλείας“
Semiramis could bring the remnant of the battle to safety through the river (locally).

Or

Diodorus Siculus, Bibliotheca historica 12.43,3: „γενομένης δὲ πολιορκίας, καὶ τοῦ Βρασίδου λαμπρότατα κινδυνεύσαντος, Ἀθηναῖοι μὲν οὐ δυνάμενοι τὸ χωρίον ἑλεῖν ἀπεχώρησαν πρὸς τὰς ναῦς, Βρασίδας δὲ διασεσωκὼς τὴν Μεθώνην διὰ τῆς ἰδίας ἀρετῆς καὶ ἀνδρείας ἀποδοχῆς ἔτυχε παρὰ τοῖς Σπαρτιάταις“.

Brasidas could rescue the town of Methone through his own virtue and by being brave (instrumentally).


As boths seems possible I tend to focus on the focus, the next verse states that the water of the batism saves ("which figure also now saves you, even baptism, not a putting away of the filth of flesh, but the demand as before God of a good conscience, by the resurrection of Jesus Christ,"), maybe from the connection to the surrounding world as in the case of Noah and his rescue from the ungodly folks at that time. At least the relative pronoun revers to the "water". Maybe the lacking article befor "water" could say more. Just a guess. I am far from sure.

Can you help?
Yours Peter
Considering how Peter actually applies this in vs. 21, ὃ καὶ ὑμᾶς ἀντίτυπον νῦν σῴζει βάπτισμα, the instrumental use seems most likely. BTW, the Cetesias fragment, if the reading is correct, is not parallel. διὰ τὸν ποταμὸν, the noun is in the accusative, they were saved because of or an account of the river.
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N.E. Barry Hofstetter
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Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
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Peter Streitenberger
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Re: 1Peter 3,20 force of the prepositional phrase

Post by Peter Streitenberger » May 7th, 2019, 12:01 pm

dear both of you, thank you for the help! Barry, yes, I need to withdraw that example, it is accusative and so indeed no parallel.
I tend to your solution, maybe I find a real parallel. Thanks for far - at least two statements! Yours peter
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Peter Streitenberger
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Re: 1Peter 3,20 force of the prepositional phrase

Post by Peter Streitenberger » May 7th, 2019, 1:09 pm

It is me again, one additional question: If Peter had constructed the preposition with the accusative, just as the example (Ctesias Fragmenta 1b.565), it would be clearly locally. Isn`t Ctestias a hint, as Peter did it the other way, to treat it as instrumental.

Plausible or not? Thx. P.
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MAubrey
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Re: 1Peter 3,20 force of the prepositional phrase

Post by MAubrey » May 7th, 2019, 3:44 pm

Correct me if I'm wrong, but boats travel δι᾽ ὕδατος, do they not?

And was not Noah, well, rescued via boat?
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Barry Hofstetter
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Re: 1Peter 3,20 force of the prepositional phrase

Post by Barry Hofstetter » May 7th, 2019, 4:25 pm

Peter Streitenberger wrote:
May 7th, 2019, 1:09 pm
It is me again, one additional question: If Peter had constructed the preposition with the accusative, just as the example (Ctesias Fragmenta 1b.565), it would be clearly locally. Isn`t Ctestias a hint, as Peter did it the other way, to treat it as instrumental.

Plausible or not? Thx. P.
Well, διά + acc tends to be used pretty much of cause, " because of, on account of." It's a standard distinction in prose from διά + gen., so you wouldn't see it in a "local" sense spatially with the accusative. Really, the lexicons cover these usages.

You may want to expand your search to the plural. It occurred to me that since ὕδωρ is really a mass noun, that maybe the plural would render a better return on the spatial use, parallel to the Latin per aequora, but I haven't found a spatial use. I did find a kind of instrumental use in Diodorus Siculus Bib. Hist. 5.27:

τοῦτο δʼ οἱ περὶ τὰς ἐργασίας ἀσχολούμενοι συνάγοντες ἀλήθουσιν ἢ συγκόπτουσι τὰς ἐχούσας τὸ ψῆγμα βώλους, διὰ δὲ τῶν ὑδάτων τῆς φύσεως τὸ γεῶδες πλύναντες παραδιδόασιν ἐν ταῖς καμίνοις εἰς τὴν χωνείαν.

"This those in engaged in the work gather and grind or crush the clods having the gold dust, and then with water washing away the dirt they put it in furnaces for smelting."
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N.E. Barry Hofstetter
Instructor of Latin
Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
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Peter Streitenberger
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Re: 1Peter 3,20 force of the prepositional phrase

Post by Peter Streitenberger » May 7th, 2019, 5:17 pm

Dear Barry, thanks. I hope I can reformulate the question by referring to a dictionary (Friberg):
διά preposition; I. with the genitive; (1) spatial through, by way of (JN 10.1); (2) temporal; (a) of a whole duration of time through, throughout (LU 5.5); (b) of time within which something takes place during, within (MT 26.61); (c) of an interval of time after (AC 24.17); (3) modal; (a) denoting manner through, in, with (LU 8.4); (b) of accompanying circumstance with, among, in spite of (AC 14.22); (4) causal; (a) of the efficient cause in consequence of, by, on the basis of, on account of (RO 12.1); (b) of the intermediate agent of an action by, through, by agency of (GA 1.1; 1C 1.9); II. with the accusative; (1) spatial through (LU 17.11); (2) causal, to indicate a reason on account of, because of, for the sake of (MT 13.21); (3) in direct questions δ. τί why? (MT 9.11); (4) in answers giving reason and inferences δ. τοῦτο therefore, for this reason (MK 11.24)

Dia + Acc. can mean a spacial through (a local determination), as the example of Ctestis.
Dia + Gen. can have a modal meaning. This is not the case in the acc. (at least in some dict. I consulted).

That is why I suggested to take it as hint, that Peter could not have chosen Dia+acc to point towards a modal meaning (instrumental), by which the rescue had happend, by water (the article is lacking as well, could point towards a general meaning, as Peter follows with water again, just in another context). Dia + acc. could not show a modal force (at least according to the TF lexicon), as for that reason and to be clear Peter took dia + Gen. If Peter meant the local aspect, he would have chosen dia + acc. P.
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Peter Streitenberger
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Re: 1Peter 3,20 force of the prepositional phrase

Post by Peter Streitenberger » May 8th, 2019, 2:32 pm


τοῦτο δʼ οἱ περὶ τὰς ἐργασίας ἀσχολούμενοι συνάγοντες ἀλήθουσιν ἢ συγκόπτουσι τὰς ἐχούσας τὸ ψῆγμα βώλους, διὰ δὲ τῶν ὑδάτων τῆς φύσεως τὸ γεῶδες πλύναντες παραδιδόασιν ἐν ταῖς καμίνοις εἰς τὴν χωνείαν.

"This those in engaged in the work gather and grind or crush the clods having the gold dust, and then with water washing away the dirt they put it in furnaces for smelting."
Great example, thanks, Barry.
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