Re: Accusative absolute

Carlton Winbery (
Sat, 18 Jan 1997 20:46:08 +0400

Carl Conrad wrote;
>>The key question in an absolute construction is its relatedness to a main
>>clause. Basically it is "unrelated" (except in thought) to a main clause.
>>In the case of Eph. 1:18 James Brooks and I had different ideas. It the
>>relatedness is to the preceeding clause, it looks a bit more like an
>>absolute, but even there the indirect object of the verb is the owner of
>>the heart which is enlightened. If the following clause is the one related
>>(per NRSV), then it is clearly circumstantial.
>I don't exactly understand what you're saying here, Carlton, when you say,
>"If the relatedness is to the preceding clause, it looks a bit more like an
>absolute ..." My own understanding of the basic phrase here, PEFWTISMENOUS
>TOUS OFQALMOUS, is that it is appositional to the primary object of the
>verb DWHi in vs. 17: "eyes of your heart(s) illuminated so that you know
>an alternative way of saying the same thing. So: "May God ... grant you a
>spirit (that is) wise and enlightened (by revelation) in understanding him,
>(that is) eyes of your heart (that are) illumined so that you know what is
>the hope ..."
Yes, I would agree that the structure PEFWSTISMENOUS . . . KLHSEWS AUTOU is
appositional (or explains the result of) the last half of 17. This would
still leave the perf. ptc. indicating the circumstance of the infinitive
which shows result. "so that with an illumined heart, you may know . . ."
This is typical construction in Ephesians, sentences that are extended by
ptcs, infs, and various clauses. What happens in translation is that these
get broken up and the connectedness of ideas gets lost.

Carlton L. Winbery
Fogleman Professor of Religion
Louisiana College
Fax (318) 442-4996
Phone (318) 487-7241