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Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Dealing with Unfortunate Divisions

The chapter and verse divisions in our Bibles are necessary to both more effectively navigate the text and communicate with one another.  However, many times, they break up the train of thought, the logic of the passage.  1 Peter 1:22 – 2:3 is a good example of this.
Dealing with Unfortunate Divisions
Many of us have memorized 1 Peter 2:2.  It is a key passage on the importance of the word of God for growth in our Christian life.  However, first, it is the middle clause of one of Peter’s sentences.  Second, the first clause of the sentence begins with, “therefore”.

We all know that we do when we see a “therefore,” we look to see what it is there for.

The previous sentence, 1 Peter 1:24 – 25 begins with “for” which suggests it supports the previous sentence, 1 Peter 1:22 – 23.  That sentence begins with “since” which functions similarly to “for” but also sets up a cause and effect, since ________, therefore __________.

Look at the content of 1 Peter 1:24 – 25.  Notice – well there is a lot in there, but note the last phrase of verse 23, “through the living and enduring word of God”.  “Through,” is another one of those signpost words that indicates how something is done, the means to an end.  In this case, our being born again, purified.

Now back to 1 Peter 2:1 – 3.  Notice the last phrase of verse 2, “so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation.”  “By,” functions as “through,” it describes the means to an end; in this case, growth in our salvation.

There is a strong connection between 1 Peter 1:22 – 25 and 1 Peter 2:1 – 3.  The function of the Word of God is in focus.  First, in bringing us to faith.  Second, causing us to grow in that faith.

We must remember as we read and study to look past the chapter and verse divisions.  If we do not, we can miss some crucial truth.

1 comment:

  1. Excellent and well-taken observations. I can think of different examples in which the truth of the passage was obscured b/c I wasn't aware that Greek had no such divisions and they were only inserted much later. Helpful in many ways, but also quite confusing if we are not aware of the dangers.

    Thanks for helping make the significance of this clear.

    ReplyDelete