Internet Verse Search Commentaries Word Analysis ITL - draft

1 Thessalonians 2:7

Context
NET ©

1  although we could have imposed our weight as apostles of Christ; instead we became 2  little children 3  among you. Like a nursing mother caring for her own children,

NIV ©

but we were gentle among you, like a mother caring for her little children.

NASB ©

But we proved to be gentle among you, as a nursing mother tenderly cares for her own children.

NLT ©

As apostles of Christ we certainly had a right to make some demands of you, but we were as gentle among you as a mother feeding and caring for her own children.

MSG ©

We weren't aloof with you. We took you just as you were. We were never patronizing, never condescending, but we cared for you the way a mother cares for her children.

BBE ©

But we were gentle among you, like a woman caring for her little ones:

NRSV ©

though we might have made demands as apostles of Christ. But we were gentle among you, like a nurse tenderly caring for her own children.

NKJV ©

But we were gentle among you, just as a nursing mother cherishes her own children.


KJV
But
<235>
we were
<1096> (5675)
gentle
<2261>
among
<1722> <3319>
you
<5216>_,
even as
<5613>
a nurse
<5162>
cherisheth
<302> <2282> (5725)
her
<1438>
children
<5043>_:
NASB ©
But we proved
<1096>
to be gentle
<2261>
among
<1722>
<3319> you, as a nursing
<5162>
mother tenderly
<2282>
cares
<2282>
for her own
<1438>
children
<5043>
.
GREEK
alla
<235>
CONJ
egenhyhmen
<1096> (5675)
V-AOI-1P
nhpioi
<3516>
A-NPM
en
<1722>
PREP
mesw
<3319>
A-DSN
umwn
<5216>
P-2GP
wv
<5613>
ADV
ean
<1437>
COND
trofov
<5162>
N-NSF
yalph
<2282> (5725)
V-PAS-3S
ta
<3588>
T-APN
eauthv
<1438>
F-3GSF
tekna
<5043>
N-APN
NET © [draft] ITL
although we could have imposed our weight as apostles of Christ; instead we became
<1096>
little children
<3516>
among
<3319>
you
<5216>
. Like
<5613>
a nursing mother
<5162>
caring
<2282>
for her own
<1438>
children
<5043>
,
NET ©

1  although we could have imposed our weight as apostles of Christ; instead we became 2  little children 3  among you. Like a nursing mother caring for her own children,

NET © Notes

tn Punctuating vv. 6 and 7 is difficult. One must consider the difficult textual problem of v. 7 (see tc note on the word “children” in that verse) as well as the grammar of the verse. In the translation above, “little children” is understood to be a predicate nominative connected to the verb “became.” This allows a full stop to be placed at the end of v. 6 and before the phrase “like a nursing mother” in v. 7. This separates the two metaphors which impact the textual problem and allows for greater clarity in the way the sentence is read.

tn Or “were,” “proved to be.”

tc The variant ἤπιοι (hpioi, “gentle”) has fair support (א2 A C2 D2 Ψc 0278 33 1739 1881 Ï), but νήπιοι (nhpioi, “little children”) has significantly stronger backing (Ì65 א* B C* D* F G I Ψ* pc it bo). It is not insignificant that the earliest Alexandrian and Western witnesses in support of ἤπιοι are actually not Alexandrian or Western; they are the second correctors of Alexandrian and Western mss. Such correctors generally follow a Byzantine Vorlage. The reading νήπιοι is thus superior externally. Further, νήπιοι is much harder in this context, for Paul mixes his metaphors (“we became little children in your midst…Like a nursing mother…”). Thus, the scribes would naturally alter this reading to the softer ἤπιοι (“we became gentle…”). Paul is not known for his consistency of figures, however (cf., e.g., Gal 4:19); hence, the intrinsic evidence points to νήπιοι as original. On the other hand, it is possible that νήπιοι was caused by dittography with the preceding -μεν (-men). It is even possible that νήπιοι was caused by an error of hearing right from the beginning: The amanuensis could have heard the apostle incorrectly. But such a supposition cuts both ways; further, Paul would no doubt have corrected the reading in the ms before it was sent out. If so, one would surely have expected both earlier witnesses on the side of ἤπιοι and perhaps a few first correctors to have this reading. The reading “little children” thus stands as most probably original. (For an extended discussion of this problem, see J. A. D. Weima, “‘But We Became Infants Among You’: The Case for NHPIOI in 1 Thess 2.7,” NTS 46 [2000]: 547-64; T. B. Sailors, “Wedding Textual and Rhetorical Criticism to Understand the Text of 1 Thessalonians 2.7,” JSNT 80 [2000]: 81-98.)



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