[B-Greek] Ephesians 5:5 "TOU XRISTOU KAI QEOU"

Iver Larsen iver at larsen.dk
Sat Jul 9 03:39:10 EDT 2005

> On Sun, 03 Jul 2005 01:20:29 +0000 kgraham0938 at comcast.net writes:
> > You wrote:
> >
> > > In Ephesians 5:5 we have this phrase "OUK EXEI KLHRONOMIAN EN TH
> > >
> > > My question is the construction of two nouns with one article at
> > the end.
> > > How much weight should we put on this when
> > >
> > > translating it.that is can we say that this supports the deity of
> >
> > > XRISTOU.does KAI here mean 'EVEN' because of the
> > >
> > > lack of an article with QEOU? Is that a reasonable option? Why or
> > why not?
No, I don't think it is a reasonable option. Has any commentator suggested
it? No translation that I know of, has taken this interpretation.

> You are correct in stating that the Granville Sharp rule does not apply
> to proper nouns.  The question remains, however, whether XRISTOS in its
> various cases is a proper noun.  When combined with IHSOUS, it would seem
> that it must be taken as a PN, but otherwise (as here) that is unclear.

Both CRISTOS and QEOS can be taken as titles or proper nouns depending on
context. It is similar to "President" in American English ("Monarch" in
Britain). The reason is that although these words are descriptive titles,
they also in most contexts refer to one particular known person. In English,
the writer can by convention clarify the intention by using capitals, e.g.
"The President is coming to our town." But the listener cannot hear the
capital letter, so still needs to infer from context whether this refers to
the President of the US or some other president.

In English, we can have both the title "god" and the proper noun "God" as
well as "anointed person" and "the Anointed One". The problem with
transliterating CRISTOS as Christ rather than translating it, is that we
lose the possibility of feeling the aspect of title which was still present
in the NT. Generally speaking, the focus of CRISTOS is on the title in the
Gospels, but later the title was used so much that it became more and more
like a name.
I would say that when Paul used the order CRISTOS IHSOUS (11 times in Eph)
the concept of the Messiah/Anointed One is still prominent in his mind. When
he says IHSOUS CRISTOS (7 times in Eph) the focus is more on Jesus as the
Saviour or Jesus Christ as a combined name.   This last order is almost
always in Eph used in contexts where it further qualifies the title KURIOS,
in which case the focus is on the Lordship of Jesus Christ/the Messiah.
(This is, of course, based on the general principle in NT Greek: "more to
the left implies more prominence").

It would be more accurate to consistently translate CRISTOS as "the Anointed
One" or "The Messiah", but it requires some Biblical background knowledge to
grasp the significance of anointing or the title "Messiah".

In any case, CRISTOS and QEOS in Eph 5:5 refer to different entitles and
cannot be used to support or disclaim the deity of the Anointed One, nor can
KAI be translated "even" in this context.

In my opinion, the so-called Granville Sharp rule in its various forms is at
best superfluous and at worst misleading.

Iver Larsen
Bible Translation Consultant

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