Bill Mounce

For an Informed Love of God

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Exegetical Insight (Chapter 12)

Pronouns have many different uses in Greek. One of the most common pronouns is aujtovV. Its ordinary use is to “stand in” for a noun to avoid repetition. “James loved Mary, but Mary couldn’t stand James” reduces to “James loved Mary, but she couldn’t stand him.” But sometimes the pronoun is used with a noun to add some kind of stress to it. This is a construction that Peter uses in 1 Peter 5:10, where he writes, “And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.” Here Peter reinforces the subject of the sentence by adding the pronoun aujtovV, and the force of the addition is to indicate that God is personally involved in caring for his people.

In his comment on this verse P. H. Davids says, “Our author is emphatic, indicating that God is not removed from their situation, but personally involved.” Such a verse would thus have come as all-the-more powerful comfort to Christians who faced hostility from the people round about them. They were being told to recognize in their activity the malevolent working of Satan and to resist him firmly, lest they succumb to the temptation to give up their faith because the going was too tough. In such a situation they needed to be convinced that, just as Satan was at work in their opponents, so God himself was not far away, leaving them to struggle on their own, but was personally concerned for each one of them, to strengthen and sustain them, and eventually to summon them to their eternal reward with him.

I. Howard Marshall