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Shlama Akhay,

Some of the Greek texts differ as to how the final phrase of Second Peter 3:10 should read. This verse from the 1901 American Standard Version reads as follows:

But the day of the Lord will come as a thief; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall be dissolved with fervent heat, and the earth and the works that are therein shall be burned up.

Some Greek editions have e??req??setai - heurethesetai - "shall be found". The footnote of George Berry's Greek-English Interlinear reads "shall be detected".
The ASV rendering "shall be burned up" as given above is kataka??setai - katakaesetai in the Greek text. As you can see, the only similarity is the "-esetai" ending of these two words.
The two Greek words don't look or sound anything alike except for this ending. The meanings of these two words have nothing in common. "Found / detected" versus "burned up".

What I was fascinated by is the fact that this passage in Second Peter which concerns the wrath and indignation of God not only has perfect correlation in certain Old Testament verses, but BOTH THEMES (the found / detected / discovered motif AS WELL AS the consumed / burned up motif represented by these two Greek variants in Second Peter 3:10) are answered to.
The examples that I feel the Lord led me to contain the word 'nostrils' such as "smoke of His nostrils" and "blast of the breath of His nostrils".

Second Samuel 22:9 (repeated in Psalm 18:8) - There went up a smoke out of his nostrils, and fire out of his mouth devoured: coals were kindled by it.

Second Samuel 22:16 (repeated in Psalm 18:15) - And the channels of the sea appeared, the foundations of the world were discovered, at the rebuking of the LORD, at the blast of the breath of his nostrils.

So both themes of this Greek variant ("found" and "burned up") have their Old Testament counterpart from these Semitic idioms, namely, "smoke out of his nostrils" and "blast of the breath of His nostrils".

The Syriac Peshitto follows the "shall be found" reading with the word Xkt4t whose root is Xk4 . <!-- m --><a class="postlink" href=""></a><!-- m --> What I can't understand is why Lamsa, Murdock and others put the negative in their translations and made it "shall not be found" !?!?! The text doesn't seem to support it !!

Any thoughts?

Shlama w'Burkate, Larry Kelsey

Shlama Akhi Larry,

This is curious. I don't see the word that you reference here in "The Aramaic New Covenant Peshitta Text with Hebrew Translation" for 2 Peter 3:10. I have on occasion noted a difference between it however and the "blue book", or swadaya version, but I keep the latter at work so I can't compare at the moment.

What I can say though is that the word in question in the ANCWHT is TAIQED (SEDRA # 9439, spelled taw-alap-qoph-dalet) and it does mean "will be burned up".

I suspect that Lamsa and company have engaged in a little dynamic equivalence game. As you rightly point out, the negative "not" (LA) does not appear in the Peshitto text of 2 Peter 3:10. However, I would like to point out that it does not have to. Reason being, if the earth's foundation is all burned up (TAIQED), then by defintion that foundation is gone, and hence "it can't be found". The NO does not need to appear if they are simply rendering substitute phrases for what is the same physical effect. I surely would not translate this way, but I understand why they did.

Now, I suppose someone can say the earth is burned TO ITS FOUNDATION, which means it CAN be found because it is exposed by the departure of the rest of the planet, but I would argue against this reading. The simple fact is, the verse itself reads otherwise as W'ARAA W'AIVDEH DEBA TAIQED, or 'and the earth AND ITS WORKS (which would include the foundation) WILL BE BURNED UP.

Hope this helps!
Shlama akhay,

The 1905 Syriac NT follows Gwynn's Critical edition of the General Epistles , which collates at least seven mss. In 2 Peter 3:10 it reads [font=Estrangelo (V1.1)]xkt$t[/font] "found, discovered".

This is probably the correct reading; remember that The Peshitta does not contain 2 Peter, so we are dealing with the difference between the Harklean Version from Greek (used in the Red Book) and the Syriac mss.

I believe this verse has been misconstrued and misconstructed into a doctrine by itself with little or no support from other scripture. The only thing which undergoes destruction here is [font=Estrangelo (V1.1)]0skw+s0[/font][font=Estrangelo (V1.1)] Nydqy[/font] "elements, first principles", are"consumed, burned". The heavens [font=Estrangelo (V1.1)]Nyrb9[/font] "cross over" or "pass on"; The "first principles being consumed will be dissolved". The translations are plainly incorrect to have "the earth and its works will not be found." It says plainly they will be found ! We cannot make a positive a negative.

If "Estoksa" is "first principles" (Greek "stoixeia" can also have this meaning) -See Smith's Compendious Dictionary for the Aramaic definition, then we are not necessarily talking about a physical destruction of the universe, but a radical moral and spiritual transformation which consumes the "principles of this world system" .

"Estoksa" is found six times in The NT : Twice in Galatians 4 and twice in Colossians 2 and twice in 2 Peter 3.
In Galatians and Colossians, it refers to doctrines and philosophy or principles, never to chemical or physical elements.

The text says that the earth will remain after this "conflagration" , so I must take "Estoksa" to mean the "philosophies , principles and teachings" of the world system will be destroyed and the world will be purged of evil. Colossians 4:21 seems to list some of these principles referred to in v. 20. "Touch not, taste not, handle not".

Besides, the Old Testament says "One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh, but The earth abides forever" -Ecclesiastes 1:4.

The new heaven and new earth are the result of spiritual regeneration, not physical destruction and re-creation.

By the way, [font=Estrangelo (V1.1)]Nwrt$n [/font] , used in v. 10 and v.12 , can mean "set free".
Also in v. 12 , the word "Bakhar" , root for "Mithbakhrayn" is used : "Shemaya kad Mithbakhrayn b'nora" - " Heaven will be tested by fire". Heaven will not be destroyed; it will be tested ! How would melting and dissolving the physical universe be a test or trial of it ?

God tests people, not atoms.

Tibotha w 'Burktha,