Posted On March 31, 2021

2 Peter 1 in the Legacy Standard Bible

by | Mar 31, 2021 | Theology

With the full text of the LSB New Testament now available, we have an opportunity for the first time to look through how the translation handles one of the catholic (general) epistles. I’ve sought to explain every change in 2 Peter 1 in this post.

LSB NASB 1995
head Growth in Christian Virtue Precious and Magnificent Promises
1 Simeon Peter, a slave and apostle of Jesus Christ,
To those who have received the same kind of faith as ours, by the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ:
Simon Peter, a bond-servant and apostle of Jesus Christ,
To those who have received a faith of the same kind as ours, by the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ:

Both “Simeon” and “Simon” appear in places in the LSB text, but the Greek spelling is closer to the former in this case.

There is a good argument to italicize the first “the” in the LSB. The Greek article and the participle for “to receive” are dative, but the accusative for “faith” has no article with it. However, one can also argue that the idea of faith here has to be a definite concept.

LSB NASB 1995
2 Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the full knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord; Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the | knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord;

LSB translators are likely seeking to bring out the “epi” prefix of ἐπίγνωσις (epignosis). Whereas just plain gnosis is knowledge, epignosis may denote “the coming at the knowledge of a thing, ascertainment.” [1]

LSB NASB 1995
3 seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the full knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.

LSB renders the same Greek verb from v. 2, ἐπιγνώσις (epignosis), as “full knowledge.”

[[v. 4–7 // no changes]]

LSB NASB 1995
8 For if these things are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the full knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Not surprisingly, we see the same “full knowledge” translation that we saw twice earlier.

LSB removes the “qualities” rendition of the pronoun οὖτος in favor of more plainly translating, “these things.”

LSB NASB 1995
9 For in whom these things are not present, that one is blind, being nearsighted, having forgotten the purification from his former sins. For he who lacks these qualities is blind or short-sighted, having forgotten his purification from his former sins.

By using the phrase “in whom these things are not present,” LSB brings out the dative case of the phrase ᾧ […] μὴ πάρεστιν ταῦτα, whereas the NASB 1995 attempted to smooth it out.

LSB NASB 1995
10 Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to make your calling and choosing sure; for in doing these things, you will never stumble; Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble;

“Brethren” is an interesting case. This was the NASB 1995’s method of providing a gender-neutral translation of ἀδελφός (adelphos) before “brothers and sisters” became trendy. The NASB 2020 has moved away from this in favor of “brothers and sisters,” italics original to the translation. LSB here renders “brothers,” but “brethren” still appears in 1 Peter 2:17; 5:9.

The phrase “His calling and choosing you” is a dynamic translation within the otherwise formal NASB95. This is yet another case where the NASB unnecessarily swung into thought-for-thought translation, and the LSB rightly renders formally. The Greek words for “calling” and “choosing” are nouns, not verbs, and there are no corresponding Greek words for the NASB’s “His” and “you” despite the lack of italics.

[v. 11 — no changes]

LSB NASB 1995
12 Therefore, I will always be ready to remind you of these things, even though you already know them, and have been strengthened in the truth which is present with you. Therefore, I will always be ready to remind you of these things, even though you already know them, and have been established in the truth which is present with you.

Greek verb in question is στηρίζω (sterizo), from which English ultimately derived “strengthen.”

[v. 13 — no changes]

LSB NASB 1995
14 knowing that the laying aside of my earthly dwelling is imminent, as also our Lord Jesus Christ has indicated to me. knowing that the laying aside of my earthly dwelling is imminent, as also our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me.

BDAG, the leading lexicon of New Testament Greek, indicates two usages of this Greek verb δηλόω:

  • 1. to make some matter known that was unknown or not communicated previously, reveal, make clear, show
  • 2. to make something clear to the understanding, explain, clarify

BDAG itself lists this verse under #2. NASB95’s “make clear” is ambiguous between the two. How exactly does one differentiate between “make clear” and “clarify”? LSB less ambiguously agrees with the BDAG editors and chooses #2.

[v. 15–18 — no changes]

LSB NASB 1995
19 And we have as more sure the prophetic word, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts. So we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts.

The Greek term in question is an adjective, not a verb. The LSB thus removes the implication of verbal action. I previously wrote concerning this passage here and took a different position on how to translate the phrase in question, but even from this perspective, the LSB is a marked improvement and just as word-for-word as what I advocated. Given this, I might go back and reconsider my position from back then.

LSB NASB 1995
20 | Know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes by one’s own interpretation. But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation,

Let’s do the easy part first: “But” never should have shown up in the NASB 1995, as there is no equivalent term in the Greek text of this verse. LSB correctly fixes this.

Now the hard part: The NASB 1995 swings into dynamic mode again here in its italicized “a matter,” whereas the Greek verb is much closer to “comes.” The “by” comes from the genitive case of ἰδίας ἐπιλύσεως (“one’s own interpretation”). Here is where the line between translator and interpreter gets blurred inasmuch as the LSB translators have made a point of being the former and not the latter as much as possible. If a Bible reader is reading this verse casually, he will almost certainly conclude that “one” is merely an individual recipient of prophecy and just carry on. While this is a legitimate interpretation with plenty of advocates, the term for “one’s own,” ἰδίας (idias) could refer to (1) the prophet himself, (2) an individual reader of Scripture, or (3) the prophecy itself (“it’s own interpretation”).

I dug into this interpretive issue here and encourage you to check it out. As for the translation, I think the LSB does the best it possibly can not to be the interpreter without the benefit of an explanatory footnote.

LSB NASB 1995
21 For no prophecy was ever made by the will of man, but men being moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God. for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men | moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.

It is debatable whether the NASB95 should have italicized “an act of” given that there is no direct Greek term for “act,” but the LSB rightly sidesteps the issue since the text doesn’t mandate any theoretical single act.


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