Notes on 1 Peter 1:9 (part 1)

Apostle_Peter_Georgian_mosaicEnd of 1 Peter 1:8:

ἀγαλλιᾶσθε χαρᾷ ἀνεκλαλήτῳ καὶ δεδοξασμένῃ

1 Peter 1:9:

κομιζόμενοι τὸ τέλος τῆς πίστεως ὑμῶν σωτηρίαν ψυχῶν.


You will be rejoicing greatly with inexpressible and glorified joy

 when you will be receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your beings.

Some Grammatical, Lexical, and Syntactical Notes:

1. κομιζόμενοι. This is an adverbial participle that functions at the head of a clause that probably indicates time. It is therefore a temporal participle that modifies ἀγαλλιᾶσθε (Michaels, 1 Peter; Forbes, Exegetical Guide to 1 Peter, 27). This is true for those who regard the verb ἀγαλλιᾶσθε as indicating a future rejoicing. Those who do not regard the rejoicing as future, commonly take this participle as causal. Causal would also appear to be a possible option for those who regard ἀγαλλιᾶσθε as a futuristic present (you will be rejoicing, because you will be receiving).

At first glance, the present tense (imperfective aspect) of κομιζόμενοι is a little hard to account for, since it is probably not anticipating that the act of receiving is an action that will be an ongoing action in the future. Peter is presenting the receiving as an action that will be “in progress” at the same time as the rejoicing (see Porter, Idioms of the Greek NT, 29). Although it might seem to be more appropriate (in terms of aspect), an aorist temporal participle would not fit here, because aorist participles generally indicate an action that takes place before the time of the main verb (relative time), especially if the main verb is present tense. The rejoicing and receiving belong in the same timeframe, so a present tense participle is the best option for Peter here.

2. τῆς πίστεως ὑμῶν. The ὑμῶν could be a subjective genitive (Dubis, 1 Peter Handbook, 17).

3. σωτηρίαν ψυχῶν. Σωτηρίαν is in apposition to τέλος. The genitive (ψυχῶν) makes good sense as an objective genitive.

Coming Up: Theological notes on 1 Peter 1:9

This post is part of a series of posts on 1 Peter. To read the other posts in the series, click here.

Related Resources:

1 Peter: A Handbook on the Greek Text
Mark Dubis, 1 Peter: A Handbook on the Greek Text (Baylor Handbook of the Greek New Testament)
1 Peter: A Handbook on the Greek Text
Greg Forbes, 1 Peter (Exegetical Guide to the Greek New Testament)
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