[b-Greek] EPHESIANS 1.4,5

Long, Fred longf at bethelcollege.edu
Mon Jan 13 11:26:41 EST 2003


Esteban, 

My initial response was to resist your notion to take the EN AUTW as "for
himself" rather than as "in him" in accordance with the emphasis on "in
Christ" throughout the whole passage and book of Ephesians, whatever we are
to make of this (Christ's agency, corporate representative, mysterious
union, etc.)  See for example: 

1:3 EN CRISTW
1:6 EN TW HGAPHMENW
1:7  EN hW
1:9 EN AUTW

However, I may be open to change this resistance due to evidence from
searching data that related to your more primary question about EXELEXATO
followed by the infinitive EINAI and hHMAS repeated. 

I have found that there are many instances where the verb EXELEXATO is found
with an infinitive complement (to choose to do something).  For example, in
the LXX: Deut 12:5, 11, 21, 26; 14:2, 23, 24; 16:2, etc.; 1 Sam 2:28.  

Then, I looked more closely at one of these grammatical parallels.
Deuteronomy 14:2 "For you are a holy people to the LORD your God, and the
LORD has chosen you to be a people for His own possession out of all the
peoples who are on the face of the earth " (NASB).  The Greek is SE
EXELEXATO KURIOS hO QEOS SOU GENESQAI SE AUTW LAON PERIOUSION ("The Lord has
chosen you to be a choice people for himself").   Due to the correspondence
of theme and grammar, I am inclined to think that Paul's Greek in Eph 1:4
has been influeced by this sort of usage (Hellenistic? or Semitic?) and even
this particular passage. First, there is the complementary infinitive with
EXELEXATO.  Second, a verb of being is found as the complement (GINOMAI as
opposed to EIMI). Third, the repetition of the direct object in the
"subject" of the infinitive is the same (SE...SE in Deut and hHMAS...hHMAS
in Eph). Fourth, the thematic link of the formation of a "holy" people.
Fifth, "for the Lord" or "For himself" in support of your take on the EN
AUTW as meaning "For Himself."  Taken together, these correspondences are
weighty enough to suggest a direct intertextual influence.  Interestingly,
the NA26 or UBS3 do not have Deut 14:2 as an allusion.  

As for the EINAI and hHMAS, the repeated hHMAS is emphatic, I think, and in
the accusative case, since the nominative case is not possible, since it is
the direct object and not the subject of EXELEXATO.  

As for your main question, I think that simply understanding a complementary
infinitive (with purpose connotations from the lead verb EXELEXATO) would
aptly describe what is going in Eph 1:4, with the explanation of hHMAS
coming from the grammatical influence of Deut 14:2 or simply the emphasis on
hHMAS.

Fred Long

+++++++++++++++++
Fredrick J. Long, Ph.D. 
Assistant Professor of New Testament
Bethel College
1001 W. McKinley Ave.
Mishawaka, IN   46545
(574) 257-2548 
longf at bethelcollege.edu

> -----Original Message-----
> From:	Esteban Otero [SMTP:oterofamily4 at msn.com]
> Sent:	Saturday, January 11, 2003 9:20 PM
> To:	Biblical Greek
> Subject:	[b-greek] EPHESIANS 1.4,5
> 
> 1:4 kaqw.j evxele,xato h`ma/j evn auvtw/| pro. katabolh/j ko,smou ei=nai
> h`ma/j a`gi,ouj kai. avmw,mouj katenw,pion auvtou/ evn avga,ph|( 5
> proori,saj h`ma/j eivj ui`oqesi,an dia. VIhsou/ Cristou/ eivj auvto,n(
> kata. th.n euvdoki,an tou/ qelh,matoj auvtou/(
> 
> 4)KAQWS EXELEXATO hHMAS EN AUTW PRO KATABOLHS KOSMOU EINAI hHMAS hAGIOUS
> KAI 
> AMWMOUS KATENWPION AUTOU EN AGAPH 5)PROORISAS hHMAS EIS UIOQESIONDIA IHSOU
> 
> CRISTOU EIS AUTON KATA THN EUDOKIANTOU QELHMATOS AUTOU
> 
> My questions are in regards to the EINAI clause and its relationship
> between 
> EXELEXATO and PROORISAS.
> 
> First, is the EINAI clause a (1)purpose/intended result clause (somewhat 
> epexegetical) or (2)the continued object of EXELEXATO (viewing PRO
> KATABOLHS 
> KOSMOU as parenthetical? Let me give a couple of translations to
> illustrate 
> in case my question isn't clear.
> 
> 1) even as he selected us for himself before the foundation of the world,
> in 
> order that/for the purpose of we might be/us being holy and blameless in
> his 
> presence
> 
> 2) even as he selected us for himself, before the foundation of the world,
> 
> to be holy and blameless in his presence
> 
> The reasons for my confusion are these:
> 1) if the first hHMAS is the primary object of EXELEXATO and the EINAI 
> clause is a purpose/intended result/epexegetical clause then PROORISAS
> hHMAS 
> seems to make the first hHMAS redundant as the primary object. The hHMAS
> of 
> PROORISAS seems to be the primary deictic indicator of person, i.e. object
> 
> of the whole thought clause, since PROORISAS is an aorist participle 
> antecedent in time to EXELEXATO (I think). If PRO KATABOLHS KOSMOU is
> taken 
> parenthetically, can the hHMAS of the EINAI clause be taken as an
> expressed 
> resumptive indicicator (basically serving to connect EXELEXATO hHMAS with 
> EINAI hHMAS ...)? This would make the object of God's selection our being 
> holy and blameless as opposed to us being something else. I don't know if 
> that is valid.
> 
> 2) On the other hand, all the works I have consulted (including Louw & 
> Nida's offered translations) as well as every translation I've looked at 
> take the EINAI clause as purpose, etc. If I am wrong about the
> relationship 
> of PROORISAS with EXELEXATO, and verse 4 can be taken "absolutely", then
> it 
> makes good sense to view the EINAI clause as purpose.
> 
>   Lastly, I think it makes good sense to take EN AUTW to mean "for
> himself" 
> almost as a way of further expressing the middle of EXELEXATO. Robertson 
> discusses this a bit. Also, a while back Mike Sangrey offered the 
> possibility of reading IN CRISTW as "with respect to Christ" due to seeing
> 
> EN as merely highlighting the personal aspect of the dative form. Is this
> a 
> valid translation.
> 
> Sorry for the length. Any help is greatly appreciated.
> 
> Esteban Otero
> Tampa, FL
> 
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