Passive Instrument: A Clarification

Harry W. Jones hjbluebird at
Thu Aug 16 21:32:57 EDT 2001

> Let me clarify my last post. In Colossians 1:16, how is the phrase "en
> autw" being grammatically used? En + Dative is not the normal Greek
> passive agency, which is usually accomplished by dative of instrument or
> agency. But "en autw" would then have no recourse but to be locative.
> However, the locative in this passage makes no sense. What would that be
> saying? That all of creation geographically exists inside Christ's
> physical body? Thus, am I justified in understanding this, by process of
> elimination, as simply a peculiar, but not unwarranted, perphrastic dative
> of passive agency? Thanks, Matthew R. Miller

Dear Matthew,

If you believe in the eight case system,as I do,then EN AUTW would
translate as, "by means of Him".Your question on passive agency would
have to deal with a particular verb. All the verbs in Col. 1:16 are
passive. IMHO EKTISQH is in the passive tense because it refers to 
the things that "were created" and EKTISTAI is in the passive tense
because it still refers to the things that "have been created" and 
not in the sense of an active agency.

I hope I have help a little.

Harry Jones

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