Re: Eph.5:27

Carl W. Conrad (
Thu, 28 Mar 1996 13:30:53 -0600

On 3/28/96, Stephen Clock wrote:

> In Ephesians 5:27 Paul wrote "...that He (Christ) might present it(or her,
> ie. the church) to Himself a glorious church"
> Nestles has AUTOS, emphasizing Christ the subject, whereas the Received Text
> has AUTHN referring to the church as the object. In the received text then,
> we find a double accusative which effectively strengthens the description of
> the church. That is, "that He might present it to Himself, a glorious
> church". The Nestles text could be taken as "that He might present to
> Himself a glorious church".
> "a glorious church" is ENDOXON THN EKKLHSIAN, and ENDOXON is clearly an
> irregular adjective, feminine singular accusative.

It's not really irregular; compound adjectives normally have a single set
of endings (2nd declension form) for BOTH masculine and femine and then
also a neuter set of endings.

> The question is that since ENDOXON appears to have a predicate position in
> relation to EKKLHSIAN, that perhaps "which is" ought to be supplied (ie.
> translate the predicate adjective in a predicate statement) - thus: "that He
> might present to Himself a church which is glorious". Is this legit or not?
> The real difficulty comes when we tried to classify these substantives. Is
> there any such animal as a predicate accusative?

This would do, but still better would be "as glorious," or "in its glory."
It would be like "show something as being glorious," "reveal something in
all its glory."

> Looking back on the examples of predicate and attributive adjectives in my
> Greek texts, I only found instances using the Nominative Case. Maybe this
> is a clue to what we're doing wrong?

I hope the following may be clear:

(1) You may have a predicate adjective in the nominative as follows:

KALH' ESTIN hH EKKLHSIA: "The Church is beautiful"

(2) You might have an adjective used with an accusative object where the
verb is what makes the object have the quality described by the adjective:

KALH`N EPOIKODOMOUMEN TH`N EKKLHSI'AN: "We build the church (to be)
beautiful = "We beautify the church when we build it."

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University
One Brookings Drive, St. Louis, MO, USA 63130
(314) 935-4018 OR