Body Opening (1:13–2:10)

From: 1 Peter

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Body Opening 1 Peter 1:13-2:10 Analysis 1. Structure The pattern that dominates these verses and that gives them a linguistic unity is the aorist imperative with associated nominative plural participles. They are found in v. 13 (i>..7Tluan with lwa(wuctf!fVOL and v~ovns), vv. I4-16 (yfv~87Jn with CTVCTX7Jf.'an(of!fVOL), vv. 16-21 (avaurpa7Jn with dllOns), vv. 22-23 (aya7T~uan with ~yVLKOTfS and avayfyfVV1Jf!EVOL), and 2:1-3 (f7TL7T08~uan with a7T08Ef!fVOL). The participle/ verb pattern is absent in the OT quotation in vv. 24-25, perhaps indicating a conclusion. That pattern is repeated in 2:4-6 (o1KoOOf !fLCT8f with 7TpOufpxof.'fVOL), but the context indicates the mood of the main verb to be indicative rather than imperative.1 The pattern is again absent from the final verses (2:7-1 0), which have no main verb at all, probably in that way signaling the end of the section. Such a linguistic pattern allows us to divide the passage into sense-segments corresponding to its presence: 1:13, I4-I6, I7-2I, 22-23 with 24-25 to be included as conclusion, 2:I-3, 4-6 with 7-10 to be included, again as conclusion.2 Further division of the passage is possible by observing some other linguistic patterns: 1: 13 begins with a consequential conjunction and participle (oto and ava(wCTclf!fVOL) as does 2: I (a7T08Ef!fVOL and ovv), a pattern nowhere else repeated, although the ovv in 2:7 does introduce the concluding verses, 7-10. On that basis the body opening consists of two major sections, I: I3-25 and 2:I-IO. The individual sections can be further divided on the basis of the sense-segments. Clearest is the second section, with the first major part consisting of 2:1-6 and the second of 7-1 0 on the basis of the introductory ovv; they can be further divided into 2:1-3 and 4-6, since each begins with a nominative plural participle, and 7-9 and 10, with each beginning with Vf!fLS and a conjunction (ovv v. 7, oE in v. 9). Less clear is the division of 1:13-25, although vv. 13 and 22 each have two participles associated with the imperative, something nowhere else the case. That would allow a division into two major parts, 1: 13-2I and 22-25. Sense-units would then allow a division into three segments in the first part, vv. 13, 1416 , and 17-21, and two in the second, vv. 22-23, and 24-25.3 The outline would then be as follows: 4 I. I: 13-25 Part One A. I 3-21 Lives of hope are holy, and actions must conform I. 13, 14-16 Lives of hope are holy lives* 2. 17-21 Act in ways appropriate to your redemption* B. 22-25 Begotten by God's word, you must love one another* I. 22-23 Begotten by God's word, therefore love 2. 24-25 Such begetting is the content of the gospel II. 2:1-10 Part Two A. 1-3 Desire appropriate things* B. 4-1 0 You are a chosen people* I. 4-6 You are living stones 2. 7-10 You are the chosen people Such a division is confirmed by other linguistic indications. 1:13-21 shows itself a unity when it begins and ends with words for "hope" (1:13, fA7TLuan; 1:21 , fA7TLoa). 5 The unity of 1:13-25 is indicated by the fact that words for "sanctification" and "obedience" figure prominently in 1:13-21 and 22-25 (v7TaKoi)s, 1:14, v7Tat..1rloa). It is further signaled by the prominent use in both of the notion of new begetting/ new birth (1:3, avaywv~uas; 1:23, avayfyEVVTJJJ-fVOt; 2:2, aprtyfVV7JTa),6 and of the idea of Christian proclamation (1: 12,£vayy£Atuap..evwv; 1:25, £vayy£Atu8ev). 7 2 . 1magery There has been some discussion of the dominance in the body opening of imagery drawn from the OT account of the exodus. Among the more prominent images are: the girded loins (1 Pet 1: 13; Exod 12:11 ), the blood of a spotless lamb (I Pet I:19; Exod 12:5), and a kingdom of priests, a holy nation (1 Pet 2:9; Exod 19:5-6). Further images include the desires of former times (1 Pet 1:14; cf. Exod 16...