2 Peter and the Transfiguration

Today is the Feast of the Transfiguration of Our Lord Jesus Christ.Transfiguration_by_Feofan_Grek_from_Spaso-Preobrazhensky_Cathedral_in_Pereslavl-Zalessky_(15th_c,_Tretyakov_gallery).jpeg

Οὐ γὰρ σεσοφισμένοις μύθοις ἐξακολουθήσαντες ἐγνωρίσαμεν ὑμῖν τὴν τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ δύναμιν καὶ παρουσίαν ἀλλ’ ἐπόπται γενηθέντες τῆς ἐκείνου μεγαλειότητος. λαβὼν γὰρ παρὰ θεοῦ πατρὸς τιμὴν καὶ δόξαν φωνῆς ἐνεχθείσης αὐτῷ τοιᾶσδε ὑπὸ τῆς μεγαλοπρεποῦς δόξης, Ὁ υἱός μου ὁ ἀγαπητός μου οὗτός ἐστιν εἰς ὅν ἐγὼ εὐδόκησα, καὶ ταύτην τὴν φωνὴν ἡμεῖς ἠκούσαμεν ἐξ οὐρανοῦ ἐνεχθεῖσαν σὺν αὐτῷ ὄντες ἐν τῷ ἁγίῳ ὄρει.

For we followed not craftily devised myths when we made known to you the power and the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were made eyewitnesses of his greatness. Receiving from God the Father the honor and glory, such a voice was brought upon him by the majestic glory, “This is my beloved Son – this is the one in whom I am well-pleased.” And we heard this voice borne from Heaven, for we were with Him on the holy mountain. (2 Peter 1.16-18)

 

2 Comments

Filed under Catholicism, New Testament

2 responses to “2 Peter and the Transfiguration

  1. Josh,
    Thank you for another instructive post. You have certainly been busy on Son of the Fathers lately, and I appreciate your work.

    In the interest of learning, I have questions about the translations you have provided for 2 terms:

    1) ἐπόπται (“eyewitnesses” in your translation): One definition the LSJ offers for ὁ ἐπόπτης is one to whom special knowledge has been revealed (“one admitted to the highest grade of mysteries”). I was wondering if you had any thoughts on whether or not this meaning is active in this passage and what significance that could have for proper way to interpret the passage as a whole.

    2) ὁ ἀγαπητός: I was, of course, clearly able to identify this as a term of endearment closely associated with with ἠ ἀγάπη (“beloved” is an obvious translation for it indeed), but when I decided to check the LSJ for any possible nuances, I found that its primary usage (or at least one common enough to be specifically mentioned within the first definition) was for an only child – especially an only son. I was wondering if you had any thoughts on whether or not this meaning may have been active for the author of 2 Peter.

  2. Joshua McManaway

    Corey – Thanks for the comment.

    With respect to ἐπόπται, I translated it as “eyewitnesses” since it is semantically related to ἐφοράω. However, as you’ve pointed out, the LSJ suggests this as a passage where it means “one admitted to the highest grade of the mysteries.” It could very well be the case, I’m not sure. I’d have to spend more time in the Petrine epistles.

    With respect to ἀγαπητός – that’s an interesting point about only children. LSJ’s examples seem pretty old, though (Homer, Sappho, etc). I’m not sure if the NT authors had that in mind when using the word or if it was just a natural translation of the idea of “רָצָה” in Isaiah 42.1.

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