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New Testament Studies


The debate over the proper reading of 1 Thess 2.7 is much less ambiguous than it is typically portrayed to be. The external evidence is decisively in favour of νήπιοι (infants), a fact that even those opposed to this reading readily admit. An evaluation of the internal evidence and the four arguments commonly used to justify the choice of ηcombining comma abovéπιοι ('gentle') reveals that none of them provides the needed grounds for overriding the clear testimony of the external evidence. Furthermore, the superior reading 'infants' involves a striking metaphor that functions effectively in the overall argument of 1 Thess 2.5-7b. There are compelling reasons, therefore, for allowing Paul to make the claim of innocence that he made to the Thessalonians long ago: 'But we became infants among you.' © 2000 Cambridge University Press.

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