2:8 and a sound message that cannot be criticized, so that any opponent will be at a loss, 1 because he has nothing evil to say about us. 2:9 Slaves 2 are to be subject to their own masters in everything, 3 to do what is wanted and not talk back, 2:10 not pilfering, but showing all good faith, 4 in order to bring credit to 5 the teaching of God our Savior in everything.
1 tn Or “put to shame.”
3 tn Or “to be subject to their own masters, to do what is wanted in everything.”
4 tn Or “showing that genuine faith is productive.” At issue between these two translations is the force of ἀγαθήν (agaqhn): Is it attributive (as the text has it) or predicate (as in this note)? A number of considerations point in the direction of a predicate ἀγαθήν (e.g., separation from the noun πίστιν (pistin) by the verb, the possibility that the construction is an object-complement, etc.), though is not usually seen as an option in either translations or commentaries. Cf. ExSyn 188-89, 312-13, for a discussion. Contextually, it makes an intriguing statement, for it suggests a synthetic or synonymous parallel: “‘Slaves should be wholly subject to their masters…demonstrating that all [genuine] faith is productive, with the result [ecbatic ἵνα] that they will completely adorn the doctrine of God.’ The point of the text, then, if this understanding is correct, is an exhortation to slaves to demonstrate that their faith is sincere and results in holy behavior. If taken this way, the text seems to support the idea that saving faith does not fail, but even results in good works” (ExSyn 312-13). The translation of ἀγαθήν as an attributive adjective, however, also makes good sense.
5 tn Or “adorn,” “show the beauty of.”