Deep Structure Eph 3:7

c stirling bartholomew cc.constantine at
Mon Sep 24 13:16:01 EDT 2001

on 9/23/01 11:54 AM, Iver Larsen wrote:

> Stephen Levinsohn makes the following observations in his book "Information
> structure and discourse features of NT Greek." I quote:
> "Nonrestrictive relative clauses in Greek are traditionally subdivided into
> appositional and continuative (Winer 1882:680).  Appositional relative
> clauses, as their name suggests, stand in apposition to the noun that they
> modify. Continuative relative clauses, in contrast, typically describe an
> event that involves the referent of the relative pronoun and occurs
> subsequent to the previous event or situation in which the referent
> featured."


The idea of a continuative relative clause predates Winer (1882:680). John
Eadie (Ephesians, 1854, p. 216) discussing Eph 3:5 hO hETERIAS GENEAIS
states: "The antecedent of hO is MUSTHRION, the relative forming a frequent
link of connection."
> And again:
> "In continuative relative clauses in narrative, the material preceding the
> relative pronoun is often naturally background information. In non-narrative
> discourses such as reasoned argument, however, it may itself have been the
> foreground assertion, which then becomes the "ground" for another foreground
> assertion.  For example, Acts 7:44-46 contains a chain of relative clauses.
> Each in turn becomes the ground for a following foreground assertion."

This all sounds well and good but I find it difficult to apply to Ephesians
3:4-7 (just an arbitrary chunk of text).

Eph 3:4 PROS hO . . . , The antecedent of hO appears to be MUSTHRION. The
following clause seems to further explain MUSTHRION. So, would we call this
appositional? I don't think so. Paul is just going on and on talking about
MUSTHRION, the hO that begins Eph 3:5 links once again to MUSTHRION. These
clauses give us further information about the antecedent, they expound and
expand on the idea and this leads me to wonder how do we distinguish between
an appositional relative and a continuative? Is constituent order the key to

The answer to this is probably obvious to everyone except me.


Clayton Stirling Bartholomew
Three Tree Point
P.O. Box 255 Seahurst WA 98062

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