[B-Greek] Eph 4:15
yancywsmith at sbcglobal.net
Sun Nov 12 00:29:10 EST 2006
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
yancywsmith at sbcglobal.net
5636 Wedgworth Rd.
Fort Worth, TX 76133
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..."
> "But speaking the truth, in love we must grow up in every way into
> "But speaking the truth, may we grow in love into him in all
> 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...."
> 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..." ?
> Susan Jeffers
> EMail: susan at read-the-bible.org
> Peace Church Bible Study Home Page: www.read-the-bible.org
> B-Greek home page: http://metalab.unc.edu/bgreek
> B-Greek mailing list
> B-Greek at lists.ibiblio.org
More information about the B-Greek