2 Thessalonians 1:3-10: A Study In Sentence Structure -- By: Duane A. Dunham

Journal: Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society
Volume: JETS 24:1 (Mar 1981)
Article: 2 Thessalonians 1:3-10: A Study In Sentence Structure
Author: Duane A. Dunham

2 Thessalonians 1:3-10:
A Study In Sentence Structure

Duane A. Dunham*

We are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren, even as it is meet, for that your faith groweth exceedingly, and the love of each one of you all toward one another aboundeth; so that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and in the afflictions which ye endure; which is a manifest token of’ the righteous judgment of God; to the end that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer: if so be that it is a righteous thing with God to recompense affliction to them that afflict you, and to you that are afflicted rest with us. at the revelation of the Lord Jesus from heaven with the angels of his power in flaming fire, rendering vengeance to them that know not God, and to them that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus: who shall suffer punishment, even eternal destruction from the face of the Lord and from the glory of his might, when he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be marvelled at in all them that believed (because our testimony unto you was believed) in that day (2 Thess 1:3–10, ASV).

Communication between human beings is a complex and at times a bewildering process to understand and be understood clearly. The differences between written and oral expression become very clear to one who attempts to carry on a courtship by mail in lieu of’ seeing the beloved in person. The technical student of Scripture has even more burdens placed on him from the language and historical setting to the theological implications. The exegete brings so much baggage with him that no matter how innocently it is acquired it nevertheless inhibits a clear and precise understanding of Scripture.

The use of punctuation marks may seem a small part of exegetical study. Since the earliest texts of the NT have virtually no punctuation, we are virtually entirely at the mercy of the editors. Not that this is all bad, for the judicious use of’ keen scholarship and practical good judgment have combined to make an excellent Greek text for the modern reader whether he chooses Nestle’s edition or UBSGNT. When one comes to a controversial text there is often some vagueness that contributes to the misunderstanding. Usually, however, the battle rages about the meaning of the words, the grammar and other facets of’ the context. It is not usual to appeal to the punctuation, for we generally look past this to the “more important” data. Providing one takes proper safeguards to avoid eisegesis, a fresh examination of punctuation and sentence structure should not be disregarded. 2 Thess 1:3–10 has s...

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