T.B. Williams, «Reading Social Conflict through Greek Grammar: Reconciling the Difficulties of the Fourth-Class Condition in 1 Pet 3,14.», Vol. 26 (2013) 109-126
For the most part, it is assumed that in the Koine period the fourth-class condition indicated a future contingency with a possible or, in many cases, only a remote chance of fulfillment (e.g., “if this could happen”). If this meaning is applied to the condition in 1 Pet 3,14, it seems to imply not the reality of suffering, but merely the remote possibility, which is at odds with the popular understanding of the epistle’s social situation. This study is an attempt to examine the meaning of the fourth-class condition in 1 Pet 3,14 and its function(s) within the larger Petrine argument, a task which not only sheds light on the interpretation of 1 Pet 3,13-17, but also provides the unity of the epistle with some much-needed substantiation.