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1 Peter 3:19 - Printable Version

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1 Peter 3:19 - Keith - 06-03-2005


Does this verse (in the PNT) teach that Jesus preached or does it teach that Enoch preached to the spirits in prison. I know in some Greek manuscripts it say "he" (meaning Jesus) and others say it was Enoch who did this.

Your friend,

- Paul Younan - 06-03-2005

Hi Akhi Keith,

The Peshitta definitely reads that Meshikha preached to them.

However, a simple explanation for how some Greek manuscripts came to read "Enoch" can be found in the image I created below. This is the Aramaic script in use at the time by the Jews, and most likely the script the Peshitta was originally written in before being converted to Estrangelo for the use of Aramaic speakers east of the Euphrates.

It is Keepa 3:19. The first line replaces the redundant Aramaic word "those" with the Aramaic name "Enoch."

The first line reads:

"And Enoch preached to the souls who were in Sheol"

The second line reads:

"And He (referring back to Meshikha in v.18) preached to the souls who were in Sheol"

[Image: keepa319.jpg]

The sequence of events that could have led to this error (as we go from right-to-left, bottom-to-top):

(1) A sloppy scribe could have skipped past the Aleph (pointed in red) because it was the last letter in the previous word. (Note that I have included far more spacing between the words in this example, for purposes of illustration, than would have been present within the actual manuscripts.)

(2) The Yodh, if written a little more upright than normal by the scribe (and maybe even including a smudge-mark), would resemble the Kheth which starts the name of Enoch.

Both (1) and (2) could also have happened if, for whatever reason, the papyrus manuscript being used was damaged or hard to decipher.

(3) The Lamed is virtually indistinguishable from the Nun in Enoch's name above it.

(4) The Yud is virtually the same as the Waw above it, only tilted slightly more downward.

(5) The final form of Nun is almost impossible to distinguish in this particular script from the final form of Kaph in Enoch's name above it.