[B-Greek] Eph 4:15

yancywsmith yancywsmith at sbcglobal.net
Sun Nov 12 00:29:10 EST 2006


Susan,
	I'll take a go at your question. You might take a look at Lincoln's  
WBC Ephesians commentary (p. 259-60). In terms of grammar, of course,  
this verse has what seems to modern English readers to be an  
unhappily ambiguous phrase. Some scholars (Meyer, 230) have in fact  
construed EN AGAPH with AUXHSWMEN, as you suggest, which would then  
form a nice parallel with the expanded corporate metaphor of growing  
in love expressed in v. 16. In terms of grammar this is perfectly  
acceptable. But most Ephesians scholars see an inverted sequence  
structure (chiasm) in 4:14-15

A  hINA MHKETI WMEN NHPIOI
	B KLUDWNIZOMENOI KAI PERFEROMENOI PANTI ANEMWi THS DIDASKALIAS EN  
THi KUBEIAi TWN ANQRWPWN
		C EN PANOURGIAi THN MEQODEIAN THS PLANHS
		C' ALHQEUONTES DE EN AGAPH
	B' AUXHSWMEN EIS AUTON TA PANTA,
A' hOS ESTIN hH KEFALH, CRISTOS

Those who discern this rhetorical structure observe that ALHQEUONTES  
DE EN AGAPH begins the reversal of the trend of A-C. One of the  
results of normal grows is that the human body and head become more  
proportional in terms of size. It might be observed that babies often  
have heads that are disproportionately large in comparison with their  
bodies. Be that as it may, the starting point NHPIOI is clearly  
contrasted with the end point (Christ) of the trend from C'-A'. The  
perception of this rhetorical structure then would disallow the  
otherwise perfectly acceptable reading of EN AGAPH in an adverbial  
relation with AUXHSWMEN and cause the reader to decide in favor of  
linking EN AGAPH with ALHQEUONTES. Ancient readers were used to  
hearing speeches populated by such tropes and would have "heard" the  
letter this way in all likelihood. Here is a nice instance where  
assumed knowledge in the cognitive context of the ancient writer and  
audience ought to be the decisive factor in resolving the ambiguity  
of "grammar."

Yancy Smith
yancywsmith at sbcglobal.net
5636 Wedgworth Rd.
Fort Worth, TX 76133
817-361-7565




On Nov 10, 2006, at 9:16 AM, Susan Jeffers wrote:

> Greetings, Greekers!
>
> ALHQEUONTES DE EN AGAPH AUXHSWMEN EIS AUTON TA PANTA (Eph 4:15a).
>
> Any reason this couldn't be interpreted:
>
> "But speaking truth, might we grow into him in love in all things..."
> or
> "But speaking the truth, in love we must grow up in every way into  
> him..."
> or
> "But speaking the truth, may we grow in love into him in all  
> things..."
> or
> some other variation that puts the "in love" part with the "growing
> in him" part?
>
> As opposed to the customary "Speaking the truth in love...."  
> translation?
>
> In other words, the usual translation implies that if people "speak
> truth in love" we will "grow up into him in all things" -- but what
> if it's saying that if we "speak truth" then we will "grow in love  
> in him..." ?
>
> Thanks!
>
> Susan Jeffers
>
> -----------------------------------------------
> EMail: susan at read-the-bible.org
> Peace Church Bible Study Home Page: www.read-the-bible.org
>
>
>
>
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