The first epistle of st. Peter 1: 1-2: 17


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hJma'", us, unites the Apostle and those to whom he wrote; yet not directly with reference to apostleship as his, and church membership as theirs, but on the ground of their common church-membership, as suggested by the preceding phrase “our Lord.”

eij" ejlpivda zw'san, unto a living hope] The elastic preposition eij", G1650, can hardly be understood as introducing a mere result or accessory of the new birth. Rather, to judge by the form of the sentence, it describes what is, under one aspect, the very nature of the existence newly entered. It thus includes the sense of “into” as well as “unto.” The construction may be compared with that of Gal. 4:24, eij" douleivan gennw'sa, “bearing [children born] into and unto bondage.” The new order of things is represented as in a manner all one great all-pervading hope. The prominence of hope in some leading verses of this Epistle (so 1 Pet. 1:13, 21; 3:15) has often been noticed. Its relative importance however is usually exaggerated. St Paul himself had led the way for St Peter in his own strong language about hope, especially in the Epistles to the Romans, Ephesians, and Colossians. See further on 1 Pet. 1:21.

zw'san, living] The corrupt reading zwh'", found in a pair of cursives and several early versions, embodies a natural misinterpretation (unto a hope of life). Life is a quality or characteristic of the hope here spoken of, not the object of it. St James twice describes a faith as “dead” (James 2:17, 26), i.e. having only such semblance of life as a corpse has of a living body, and in the light of the analogous contrast St Peter’s phrase becomes clearer. It is in the first instance the expression of his personal experience as a Jew. Hope, centred in the Messianic expectation, belonged in a peculiar sense to Israel (see e.g. Acts 26:6 f.; 28:20: cf. 23:6; Luke 2:38; 24:21); but it had for the most part become languid and conventional, in a word “dead.” The Gospel had however breathed into it a new life, and so a new power to inspire life. But the phrase would have not less force as applied to the Gentiles, for whom it might almost be said that the very hope itself was new. At no time had their forefathers known the power of a glad sense of the future, even in their highest thoughts of the present. (Compare Leop. Schmidt, Ethik d. alten Griechen, ii.68-76; who notes some partial exceptions, p. 73). The Gentiles of the Apostolic age could be described as “having no hope” (Eph. 2:12) in a more positive sense, so great was the spiritual exhaustion proceeding from the decay of religion, philosophy, and politics.

dij ajnastavsew" jIhsou' Cristou' ejk nekrw'n, by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead] These words must not be taken with zw'san though standing next to it. They belong naturally to ajnagennhvsa", and the order is perfectly what was to be expected, if, as we have already found reason to believe, the four words ajnagenn. eij" ejlp. zw'san are to be taken together as forming a single idea. The absence of an article suggests at first sight that ajnavstasi", G414, may be transitive, not “resurrection” in the strict sense of “rising up,” but “raising up.” The form of the word would be compatible with this, and ajnivsthmi, G482, is six times used in the Acts of the raising up of our Lord by the Father. But it is difficult so to apply the word in 1 Pet. 3:21; the neuter sense is certainly the usual one in the N.T., nor is there any passage which requires the transitive meaning. The difference after all is not great, for the agent in the Resurrection here is virtually implied to be the Father, since He is the subject of ajnagennhvsa". How our Lord’s Resurrection was the instrument by which a new life of hope was brought into mankind may be read in many places of the Acts and the Epistles. It reversed every doom of every kind of death, and thus annulled the hopelessness which must settle down on every one who thinks out seriously what is involved in the universal empire of death. It was by the faith in the Resurrection that mankind was enabled to renew its youth.

4. eij" klhronomivan, unto an inheritance] Eij", a very favourite preposition with St Peter, may be taken either as a repetition of the former eij", G1650, or as parallel to it, or in sequence to it; i.e. either as marking an explanatory equivalent for ejlpivda zw'san or as carrying us on to a fresh result of either ajnagen. simply or ajnagen. eij" ejlpivda zw'san. It does not seem natural to take klhronomivan as equivalent to ejlpivda, and on the contrary both words gain in force if they stand in antithesis to each other, as they may do if we take them as alike dependent on ajnagennhvsa". The new life bestowed by the Father through the Gospel is at once a hope and an inheritance.

Klhronomiva (—evw) in the O.T. chiefly represents words from the two roots vr"y:, H3769 and lj'n:, H5706, and apparently contains no implication of hereditary succession, as it does usually in classical Greek. The sense is rather “sanctioned and settled possession.” The same fundamental sense remains in the N.T., but the Greek associations also of the word naturally hang about it in St Paul, and probably in Hebrews. In St Peter (viz. here and 1 Pet. 3:7, 9) the Greek sense is more doubtful. Here it would come in fitly, but is not needed; and in 3:7, 9 it seems to be out of place.

The typical inheritance in the O.T. is the inheritance of the Promised Land by Israel, awaited through several generations from the first promise to Abraham through all the vicissitudes of bondage and wandering (see esp. Ps. 105:8-11). For this idea of inheritance as the fulfilment of promise see Rom. 4:13 f.; Gal. 3:18; Heb. 6:12, 17; 11:8, 9. St Peter’s language here then calls attention to the new life not only as full of ardent hope for the future, but as at the same time the fulfilment of ancient longings of men and ancient promises of God. This double character runs through the whole paragraph: it looks backward to the searchings of the prophets, and forward to the full unveiling of the Son of God. This consideration supplies an answer to the question whether the inheritance is present or future, a question which is not directly dealt with by the words that follow. The inheritance is in one sense future (see Eph. 1:13 f.), for it is as yet but partially revealed, and it is as yet encumbered by many hindrances and enemies. But it is also present, being inseparable from sonship (see esp. Rom. 8:16 f.; Gal. 4:7). Compare such passages as mark the heavenly Jerusalem as present, e.g. Gal. 4:26 and especially Heb. 12:22-24 (the passage ending with the words diaqhvkh" neva" mesivth/ jIhsou' kai; ai{mati rJantismou'). It is not however identical with sonship, but is the result of it: it expresses from one side a share in the use and enjoyment of the created universe bestowed on men in proportion as they enter into their true relation to God the Lord of all. Both the range and the condition of inheritance are expressed in the words “All things are yours, and you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.” From another side it is a share of God’s rule over lower things, the kingdom of heaven (Matt. 25:34, & c.: cf. e.g. Matt. 5:3, 10; Luke 12:32). Thus the word is complementary to the parepidhvmoi" of 1 Pet. 1:1 (cf. Heb. 11:8-10).

a[fqarton kai; ajmivanton kai; ajmavranton, incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away] These three words are all absent from the LXX. and all found in Wisdom (Wisd. 12:1; 18:4; 3:13; 4:2; 8:20; 6:12). It is a little startling to read these epithets in connection with klhronomivan. They at first sight suggest what is evidently subject to corruption and pollution and withering, such as living bodies or at least things made from living bodies, rather than anything obviously belonging to the idea of inheritance. But we must not too hastily assume that there is any mixture or confusion of images. Going back to the fundamental O.T. conception of Israel’s inheritance as the Promised Land, suggested as it is by its contrast to parepidhvmoi" above, we find that these words are in some manner represented by corresponding verbs in the O.T. in connexion with the land, the first two quite completely. While therefore there would be doubtless a certain strangeness, at least as regards ajmavranto", G278, if gh', G1178, were here used for klhronomiva, G3100, and a certain abstractness is given by the use of this word, the image of a land in which men dwell as a home, the scene, so to speak, of their life, and its most universal and most permanent base, is apparently never lost, and would be ill replaced by the vague notion of an indeterminate possession.

a[fqarton] Here the antithesis is to fqeivrw, G5780, and practically to its compounds such as diafqeivrw, katafqeivrw. These mainly stand for tj'v;, H8845, which has much the same meaning, though with less of the notion of corruption—to injure, mar, spoil. One interesting passage, probably not forgotten by St Peter, stands rather alone, Gen. 6:11-13 (fq. followed by katafq.): cf. 9:11. But he had probably chiefly in mind the ravaging of a land by a hostile army, for which fqeivrw, G5780, is good Greek (e.g. Plut. Per. 34 (i.171 A); Demet. 33 (i.904 E)); the LXX. also has diafqeivrw, G1425, several times in this sense (Ruth 4:6 mhv pote diafqeivrw th;n klhronomivan mou has the more general sense “spoil”), and so 1 Macc. 3:39; 15:4. The use of fq. and katafq. for other Heb. words in Isa. 24:1, 3, 4 seems to be irrelevant.

ajmivantonº miaivnw, the antithetical verb, chiefly represents amef;, H3238, which (rendered by miaivnw, G3620) is often used of the defilement of the Holy Land; e.g. Lev. 18:27 f.; Num. 35:34; but see especially Deut. 21:23 and Jer. 2:7; cf. Ps. (Ps. 78:1) 79:1. Miaivnw stands also for ll'j;, H2725, “to (open) profane” (usually rendered by bebhlovw, G1014) in Isa. 47:6, ejmivana" (so LXX.; Heb. “I have profaned”) th;n klhronomivan mou.

ajmavranton] from maraivnw, G3447, used in the passive in late Greek for the withering of flowers and herbage (cf. maranqhvsetai James 1:11; ajmaravntinon t. dovxh" stevfanon 1 Peter 5:4), also for the dying out of a fire, and the wasting of the features by illness (comp. the medical word marasmov"). Maraivnw is rare in LXX. (Job 15:30; 24:24; cf. Wisd. 2:8). But the maranqhvsetai in James 1:11 refers back to ejxhvranen t. covrton k.t.l., from Isaiah 40:7, itself quoted in 1 Pet. 1:24; and moreover xhraivnomai with much the same meaning (Heb. vbey:, H3312 very often used for “withering”) is applied to portions of the earth, Jer. 23:10 aiJ nomai; th'" ejrhvmou; Amos 1:2 hJ korufh; tou' Karmhvlou: cf. Job 12:15. The force of the image is best seen by such prophetic passages as Isa. 29:17; 32:15 ff.; 60; 61 (especially 61:11). The land of inheritance is a land clothed with the brightness and freshness of life and living growth, and that a brightness and freshness not subject to the law of decay; and what in strictness applies only to the face of the earth is said, as it were, of the earth itself. jAmavranto" thus exhibits in a figure the essential sense of aijwvnio", G173, the negation of mutability and perishableness: cf. Heb. 9:15 th'" aijwnivou klhronomiva". The three epithets then severally stand in contrast to the spoiling and ravaging of a land, as by a hostile army; to its defilement and profanation; and to the scorching and decay of its living face.

5. tethrhmevnhn ejn oujranoi'" eij" uJma'", which hath been kept in (the) heavens unto you] JUma'" must be read, not hJma'", which has indeed hardly any evidence.

tethrhmevnhn, not to be confounded with throumevnhn (contrast frouroumevnou" in the next line). There is not the slightest need to depart from the full proper sense of the perfect “which hath been kept.” In Col. 1:5 ajpokeimevnhn contains part only of the sense, viz. that the Divine gift is now kept or laid up. But the perfect, while implying this, means that it has been laid up from the beginning: through all the long ages during which it was not revealed it still lived in the eternal counsel of God which was before all worlds; cf. provgnwsin in 1 Pet. 1:2. Doubtless there is special reference to the reception of the Gentiles in the fulness of time. See Eph. 1:4-12; 3:5 f., 9-12 (ajpokekrummevnou, vs. 9); Col. 1:25-27 (ajpokekrummevnon, vs. 26); Rom. 16:25 f. (sesighmevnou, vs. 25); 1 Cor. 2:7-9 (ajpokekrummevnhn, vs. 7), where (vs. 9) the same idea is expressed in another form by hJtoivmasen (cf. Heb. 11:16 and probably Eph. 2:10). There is indeed special force in the verb threvw, G5498, itself here, as indicating the reservation till an appointed time, not mere destination.

ejn oujranoi'". This language is derived from such words of our Lord as Matt. 5:12; 6:20; 19:21; Luke 12:33 f.; cf. Col. 1:5 (referred to above); compare the Book of Henoch lviii.5 (with Dillmann’s note): “And thereafter shall it be said to the saints that they shall seek in heaven the mysteries of righteousness, the inheritance of (constant) faith” (sc. hidden till then in heaven). JO oujranov", the visible sky or heaven, is the natural symbol of the invisible world of God, which under the same image we speak of as the world above. The plural, rare in LXX. (mostly in Psalms), much commoner proportionally in N.T., may have come originally from the literal rendering of the Hebrew. But the Jews of late times believed that there was a plurality of heavens (on the “Seven Heavens,” see Wetstein and  on 2 Cor. 12:2); and the N.T. has passages (as Eph. 4:10; Heb. 4:14) which contain likewise a clear implication of plurality, though perhaps only in a symbolic sense, expressive of variety and gradation. The absence of the article arises, as often with prepositions, from the familiarity of the phrase as indicating, as it were, a well-known region, the two words together forming a quasi-adverbial expression, which might be compared to “heavenward,” “earthward,” “homeward.” Similarly “in heavens” occurs in early English versions. It is hardly necessary to say that this whole local language is figurative only: without such figures human thought and speech would be impossible in respect of all the highest things. “The heavens” are the image of God’s spiritual treasure-house, where, to speak in human language, He keeps what things He has “prepared for them that love Him.”

eij" uJma'", unto you] This means more than “for you” in the sense of “to be given to you,” “for your benefit,” which would be expressed by the dative (2 Pet. 2:17 || Jude 13). That sense is no more than implied here. What is expressed is the keeping (tethr.) through all the ages till these converts; perhaps in combination with the idea “having you in view” (cf. John 12:7; Acts 25:21; 2 Pet. 2:4 (|| Jude 6), 2 Pet. 2:9; 3:7, though none of these cases refer to persons). Compare the use of eij", G1650, in 1 Pet. 1:10, 11, 25.

tou;" ejn dunavmei qeou' frouroumevnou", who in the power of God are guarded] jEn dunavmei might well be taken merely as another quasi-adverbial expression (as we say “in virtue of,” not “in the virtue of”). What is dwelt on however is not so much that the power of God is exerted on behalf of men, as that men

are uplifted and inspired by power, or by a power, proceeding from God. This power from without corresponds to the faith (see below) from within. Cf. Phil. 4:13; Col. 1:11; Eph. 3:16; 2 Thess. 1:11. For the phrase ejn dun. qeou', see Rom. 15:13, 19 (ejn d. pn. aJgivou); 1 Cor. 2:5; 2 Cor. 6:7: similarly ejk dun. qeou' 2 Cor. 13:4; kata; duvn. qeou' 2 Tim. 1:8. jEn is not here instrumental but is used with its strict meaning. In one sense the power is in men; but in another and yet truer sense men are in the power, they yield to it as something greater and more comprehensive than themselves, in which their separateness is lost. Fortunately we are used in Bible English to “in the power of.” Here the guarding power of God seems to be tacitly opposed to the visible and, as it might have been feared, overwhelming powernow being put forth to crush the little Christian flock.

frouroumevnou". The word (“being under watch and ward”) is probably chosen for a similar purpose, to indicate a protection against the assaults of enemies (on the use of frourei'n in the N.T. see Hicks in The Classical Review i.7f.). The context however shows that it cannot mean simply a protection that supplies escape from external attacks; for dia; pivstew" follows. A somewhat similar use of frourevw, G5864, occurs in Phil. 4:7, a difficult verse; and cf. Gal. 3:23 (ejfr....eij" t. mevllousan pivstin ajpokalufqh'nai). The idea here seems to be that, whether the swthriva, G5401, be revealed soon or late, it will not be too late to benefit the Christians: in a true sense they will be in keeping till that time. The sentence is illustrated in meaning, though not (at least obviously) in language, by our Lord’s own words in Matt. 10:22; 24:13 with || Mark 13:13 and still more Luke 21:19, which is preceded by the (in this context) most remarkable verse kai; qri;x ejk t. kefalh'" uJmw'n ouj mh; ajpovlhtai, reminding us of frouroumevnou". The guarding and the salvation are of a nature compatible with suffering and death.

dia; pivstew", through faith] Here we have, as with all the apostles, faith as the one central or fundamental Christian type of mind; seen in relation to the apparent triumph of enemies and the apparent indifference of God. This is emphatically reiterated in 1 Pet. 1:7, 9: see also 1:21; 5:9. The “endurance” spoken of in the Gospels is a particular mode of this faith, cf. 2 Thess. 1:4. The guarding is “through faith,” because faith is the human condition which brings the Divine strengthening into operation.

eij" swthrivan, unto a salvation] This word again cannot be rightly understood without reference to its O.T. usage. The primary idea of the verb “to save” in the O.T. ([v'y:, H3828) is deliverance from dangers or from enemies, or from death, the enemy of enemies. Cf. Exod. 14:13; 1 Sam. 11:9, 13, c the Psalms passim; Lam. 3:25, 26. And the same idea reappears explicitly (from Ps. 105:10 (106:10)) in Luke 1:71. But evidently the prevalent N.T. usage, though founded on this O.T. usage, goes much further. Here the context, quite in the strain of Lam. and other O.T. passages (e.g. Gen. 49:18), suggests patient waiting for deliverance in the midst of persecution. To learn what is the nature of the deliverance intended it is worth while to turn again to the passages of the Gospels referred to above. What St Matthew and St Mark call “being saved” St Luke calls “winning our souls.” St Peter presently in 1 Pet. 1:9 distinctly speaks of “salvation of souls” as the end of their faith. In these and similar phrases we must beware of importing into yuchv, G6034, the modern associations connected with the religious use of the word “soul.” The “soul” in the Bible is simply the life, and “to save a soul” is the opposite of “to kill”: see especially Mark 3:4. There are of course many passages where far more than this saving of the bodily life is meant; but the meaning is reached not so much by a different sense of the word “soul” as by a transfer of the whole idea to a different region. The bodily life is but the symbol of a more mysterious life, which is the very self; and this too has need to be saved. Those who endured to the end in the midst of the trials of the Day of the Lord were to be saved or to win their souls, although death might come upon them and they might seem to lose their souls (“Whosoever shall will to save his soul shall lose it,” & c., Matt. 16:25 and parallels), and thus might seem to find no salvation. But there was another salvation behind, the deliverance of a life beneath the bodily life (compare Heb. 10:34).

eJtoivmhn ajpokalufqh'nai, ready to be revealed] Revelation is always (probably even in Gal. 3:23) in the strictest sense an unveiling of what already exists, not the coming into existence of that which is said to be revealed. This also seems to be implied in eJtoivmhn, the more usual mevllousan (1 Pet. 5:1; Rom. 8:18; Gal. 3:23) being neutral as to this point: salvation is represented as already there, so to speak, awaiting, or prepared for, the withdrawal of the veil. If, as the context implies, the salvation intended be deliverance from spiritual evil, the transformation of the inner man into the Divine image, then this salvation will have been proceeding long before the crisis comes which makes it known.

ejn kairw'/ ejscavtw/, in a season of extremity] In the N.T., as in the O.T., e[scato", G2274, forms a part of various phrases denoting time, with more or less definiteness of meaning: see Cheyne on Isaiah 2:2. We shall have one of them in 1 Pet. 1:20. This particular combination occurs nowhere else, the nearest being ejn ejsc. hJmevrai" (hJm. ejsc.) (James 5:3; 2 Tim. 3:1) from Prov. 29:44 (=31:25). But there is no reason to think it has any technical sense, such as by association we attach to “the last days.” It is more natural to take it literally, “in a season of extremity,” “when things are at their worst”: so Kingsley (Poems 141):

“The night is darkest before the morn;

When the pain is sorest the child is born,

And the day of the Lord at hand.”
This, the most obvious meaning of the words, is borne out by classical examples: Polyb. 29 11, 12 w{ste kai; pro;" to;n e[scaton kairo;n ejlqovnta ta; kata; th;n jAlexavndreian...para; tou'to pavlin ojrqwqh'nai; Plut. Syl. 12 (458 F) eJlei'n t. a[nw povlin uJpo; limou' sunhgmevnhn h[dh th'/ creiva/ tw'n ajnagkaivwn eij" to;n e[scaton kairovn: cf. Plut. Per. c. Fab. Comp. 1 (190 B) Fabivou...ejn aijscivstoi" [? ejscavtoi"º kai; duspotmotavtoi" kairoi'" ajnadexamevnou th;n povlin; Xen. Hell. 6.5, 33 ajnemivmnhskovn te ga;r tou;" jAqhnaivou" wJ" ajeiv pote ajllhvloi" ejn toi'" megivstoi" kairoi'" parivstanto ejpj ajgaqoi'".

6. ejn w|/ ajgallia'sqe, in whom ye exult] It is not easy to decide what is the antecedent of w|/. The most obvious is kairw'/ ejscavtw/, either with the meaning “exult in that season” as an object of exultation, or “in that season exult,” i.e. denoting merely the time of exultation. The former, if true, would render the Epistle needless: if they were already exulting in the prospect of that season, they needed no further encouragement. The latter would be tolerable only if ajgallia'sqe were a future, as some Latin fathers and inferior Vulg. MSS. have it (exultabitis): but it is impossible to understand a present as a future in a passage depending on the contrast of present with future. A better sense is obtained by taking ejn w|/ to refer to the whole contents of 1 Pet. 1:3-5 (the adverbial use need not be discussed): but here too there is an incongruity, though less than the former, in supposing that they so cordially believed all that precedes as to exult in it. The verses that follow are evidently meant to contain an undertone of lightly touched admonition, and therefore these principal verbs in the second person plural are likely to contain something of the nature of an appeal. I think therefore that it is better to take w|/ as masculine, referring either to the principal subject of the preceding sentence, oJ Qeo;" kai; pathvr k.t.l., or to jIhsou' Cristou' twice named, the last distinctly named qeou' (ejn dun. qeou') being indeterminate and virtually adjectival. There is ample O.T. precedent for this language, exulting in God, ajgalliavomai being used (for several Hebrew words) in such cases both with ejpiv, G2093, and with ejn, G1877, (MSS. sometimes differing); e.g. Ps. 32:1; Hab. 3:18, which last is of a strain similar to that of this passage; and in the N.T. see especially Luke 1:47 (though with ejpiv, G2093: but ejn, G1877, is used John 5:35). It is also confirmed by 1 Pet. 1:8, for, though grammatically eij" o}n goes with pisteuvonte" only, the verse gains in force if a rejoicing in Christ is taken as implied. Compare also 4:13. St Peter could safely appeal to the exultation of the Christians in God or in Christ as a ground for his exhortations to hopeful endurance: what he desired was a practical application of the primary religious faith which they already possessed. jAgalliavw (—omai) with the cognate substantives is unknown except in the LXX. and the N.T. and the literature derived from them, and in the N.T. it is confined to books much influenced by O.T. diction (Matt, Luke, Acts, 1 Peter, Jude (-asi"), Jn. (including Apoc.)), being absent from the more Greek writers, St Paul and (except in quot.) Heb. Its usage in the LXX. for various Hebrew words expressive of joy is too promiscuous to give any precise indication of meaning. It apparently denotes a proud exulting joy, being probably connected closely with ajgavllomai, properly to be proud of, but often combined with h{domai and such words. In the last Beatitude (Matt. 5:11 f.) it is used to express the temper of mind which unrighteous persecution should produce. Clem. Str. vi. p. 789 says th;n de; ajgallivasin eujfrosuvnhn ei\naiv fasin, ejpilogismo;n ou\san th'" kata; th;n ajlhvqeian ajreth'" diav tino" eJstiavsew" kai; diacuvsew" yucikh'": but he does not mention his authority; the important words are apparently eJstivasi" and diavcusi". So also Str. vi. p. 815 eujfranqw'men kai; ajgalliaqw'men ejn aujth'/,;n qeivan eJstivasin eujwchqw'men. As regards the mood, ajgallia'sqe (like St Paul’s caivrete, 1 Thess. 5:16; Phil. 3:1, 4:4) would make sense as the imperative; cf. 1 Pet. 5:12 eij" h}n sth'te, which is even more abrupt. But we have to take into account the obviously parallel ajgapa'te followed by ajgallia'te (—sqe) in 1 Pet. 1:8, where the imperative is hardly natural. See also 2:5 (oijkod.). Moreover (1) the Diov of 1 Pet. 1:13 seems to begin the exhortation proper, and (2) almost all the many imperatives of the Epistle are aorists, even when a present would at least have been not out of place (apparently 2:17 is the only exception).

ojlivgon, a little] The word may mean “for a little time” (as Mark 6:31 prob.; Apoc. 17:10)—in Luke 5:3 it is “a little space”—or “to a little amount.” In 1 Pet. 5:10 there is the same ambiguity, aijwvnion being by no means decisive; and Rom. 8:18, 2 Cor. 4:17 (to; parautivka ejlafrovn) are favourable to either interpretation. But on the whole the general tone of the Epistle suggests rather depreciation of the intrinsic importance of the sufferings endured than insistance on the relative shortness of their duration, though this might also be included in their slightness. In 2 Clem. 19 § 3 there is no ambiguity (ka]n ojlivgon crovnon kakopaqhvswsin ejn tw'/ kovsmw/).

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