Re: Syntax of Eph. 4:11

Domenico LEMBO (
Thu, 14 Nov 1996 11:49:09 +0100

On Tue, 12 Nov 1996, Rod Decker wrote:
>I'm interested in the syntactical series of Eph. 4:11 (MEN... DE... DE...
>DE... KAI). I don't find this pattern elsewhere in the NT (even with fewer
>KAIs). Is anyone aware of it outside the NT?
>The significance lies, of course, in whether the last two elements are
>equal, parallel members with the first three, or if they are to be treated
>as a joint (hyphenated?) member. (Granville Sharp rule does NOT apply
>here, BTW, since the nouns are plural).

>apostles or apostles
>prophets prophets
>evangelists evangelists
>pastors pastors-teachers [or: pastors, even teachers]

The second option is the right one. In other words, "pastors KAI teachers"
are a single group: the fourth one in the series. It *must* be so, just
because there is a single article, which unifies "pastors KAI teachers" as
a single group.
We have one slight ambiguity left. Are the same people both pastors and
teachers? Or are pastors and teachers two different subsets of the whole
group? Well, the common way to express the latter thing would be to use TE
... KAI (TOUS ... TE ... KAI ... TOUS). What we have is "TOUS x KAI y". So
we should think of people that are both pastors and teachers. However, this
is strongly probable but not entirely sure. What the text means could
equally be: the other ones (let's say, the fourth group), whether they are
pastors or teachers. In this case, the unifying perspective would be a bit
weaker and partly subjective. I.e., the fourth group would be kind of a
residue: the whole minus the first three. To say the same thing without any
ambiguity, the text should read "pastors H teachers".

That's my two cents.


D. Lembo


Domenico LEMBO Universita' di Napoli