1 Peter 3:9 – Inheriting a blessing

The text:

Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.
(1 Peter 3:8-9)

In the first part of this text Peter describes how a Christian should behave towards others:

  • sympathetically
  • compassionately and humbly
  • not repaying evil with evil or insult with insult
  • on the contrary, blessing others

Peter then says that a Christian is called to inherit blessing.

In verse 10 he continues with the description of how a Christian should behave:

Whoever would love life and see good days
- must keep their tongue from evil and their lips from deceitful speech.
- They must turn from evil and do good;
- they must seek peace and pursue it.   (1 Peter 3:10-11)

How strange that Peter summarises how a Christian should behave lovingly towards others and should bless them and then, in the middle of his discourse, remarks that a Christian is himself called to receive blessing.

What does he mean, exactly?

An explanation from the Greek:

Three words in the sentence are important in order to understand what Peter is saying:
because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.’:

  • because
  • blessing
  • may inherit.

Because:
A word that is also translated as:

  • for to this you are called

The Greek word translated by ‘because’ is ‘hoti’ and it is preceded by the verb ‘oida’ conjugated as a participle, and which is not translated in the text.
The Greek text says therefore: ‘oida hoti’ (because) you are called to this …

The OLB translates:

  • ‘oida’ as: to know, to see, to notice, to discern
    - conjugated as a participle: knowing(ly), (while) seeing, (while) noticing, (while) discerning
  • ‘hoti’ as: that, because

When the translation of ‘oida hoti’ is imported the sentence becomes:

  • knowing that you are called to this …

May inherit:
Here the Greek uses the verb ‘kleronomeo’, translated by the OLB as: aorist, active, subjective. The OLB translates it as:

  • To receive an inheritance, to inherit

According to the conjugation ‘kleronomeo’ is translated as: inherits.
Like the rich young ruler who asked Jesus:

Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?   (Mark 10:17)

Imported into the sentence: … knowing that you are called to this: that you inherit

Blessing:
Here the Greek uses the verb ‘eulogeo’ conjugated as a participle.
The OLB translates it as:

  • to praise, to bless, to laud
    - conjugated as a participle: (while) praising, (while) blessing, (while) lauding

Imported into the sentence: … knowing that you are called to this: that you inherit while blessing.

Alternative translation:

The Bible text:

Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.   (1 Peter 3:9)

According to the alternative translations, as discussed above, Peter says:

Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, knowing that you are called to this: that you inherit while blessing.   (1 Peter 3:9)

According to the Greek text Peter lays the emphasis upon ‘others’ and he calls us to bless as we go through life, for that is the calling of every Christian.
Not to live for oneself, but to be a light in the world.

Peter emphasises the fact that a Christian should realise to what he is called, so that he will receive his inheritance (eternal life) in heaven.

 

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1 Peter 3:9 - Inheriting a blessing.