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Participles in Ephesians 3:17

Posted: August 2nd, 2019, 11:54 am
by ronsnider1
Someone may have addressed this previously but these forums seem pretty difficult to search. The text...

κατοικῆσαι τὸν χριστὸν διὰ τῆς πίστεως ἐν ταῖς καρδίαις ὑμῶν, ἐν ἀγάπῃ ἐρριζωμένοι καὶ τεθεμελιωμένοι,

My question relates to the elephant in the room, the two nominative participles, which have been explained in at least five ways in a number of places, with none of the arguments being clearly persuasive to me.

I am wondering how they relate here or should the prepositional phrase be simply viewed as an attendant circumstance? The use of the perfect must be significant.

Thanks in advance,

Re: Participles in Ephesians 3:17

Posted: August 2nd, 2019, 1:02 pm
by Barry Hofstetter
I simply see these as fronted from the ἵνα clause, so that they really go with ἐξισχύσητε, a construction not unknown in Greek literature in general. Is that one of the 5? If so, go with it, because it's the right one. As for ἐν ἀγἀπῃ, attendant circumstances seems weak to me. The ἐν strikes me as figuratively locative here. Perfect participles are practically adjectival, here describing the state that they are currently in, rooted and grounded (and proof that mixed metaphors are biblical).

Re: Participles in Ephesians 3:17

Posted: August 2nd, 2019, 11:47 pm
by MAubrey
Barry Hofstetter wrote:
August 2nd, 2019, 1:02 pm
Perfect participles are practically adjectival, here describing the state that they are currently in, rooted and grounded (and proof that mixed metaphors are biblical).
Well said. Especially since they're middle!

Re: Participles in Ephesians 3:17

Posted: August 3rd, 2019, 11:00 am
by ronsnider1
Thank for the reply. I did not mean to indicate that the "in love" phrase was circumstantial, but rather the participles. As far as any other NT passage, there is nothing like this one I can find. The few places where participles precede a HINA clause are pretty straightforward. Mk. 15:15 Jn. 12:20 Rom. 7:4 Eph. 3:9,17 Phil. 1:10 Col. 1:9 1 Tim. 6:19 Heb. 12:27

The participles are clearly referring to the audience (but not found in vocative), but the question becomes how do they relate temporally, grammatically, and logically to the two infinitival object clauses "He may grant to you to be strengthened...Christ to dwell..."

Thanks in advance.

Re: Participles in Ephesians 3:17

Posted: August 5th, 2019, 10:46 am
by Barry Hofstetter
ronsnider1 wrote:
August 3rd, 2019, 11:00 am
Thank for the reply. I did not mean to indicate that the "in love" phrase was circumstantial, but rather the participles. As far as any other NT passage, there is nothing like this one I can find. The few places where participles precede a HINA clause are pretty straightforward. Mk. 15:15 Jn. 12:20 Rom. 7:4 Eph. 3:9,17 Phil. 1:10 Col. 1:9 1 Tim. 6:19 Heb. 12:27

The participles are clearly referring to the audience (but not found in vocative), but the question becomes how do they relate temporally, grammatically, and logically to the two infinitival object clauses "He may grant to you to be strengthened...Christ to dwell..."

Thanks in advance.
You said:
Ron wrote:should the prepositional phrase be simply viewed as an attendant circumstance
Therefore I looked for the nearest prepositional phrase. As to your other comments, nominative for vocative is fairly common. The use of the perfect expresses a settled state, as it were, and provides the basis for the imperative.

Of course, none of the examples above are syntactically parallel, as each of the participles are easily explained as having referents in their own clauses (as you say, straightforward). Eph 3:17 is not so easily explained, since there is no clear nominative grammatically to which they can refer. If the "you" is referred to and the writer is grammatically consistent, one would expect ἐρριζωμένων καὶ τεθεμελιωμένων to agree with ὑμῶν, but Paul instead peskily gives us the nominative. I think seeing the participles fronted for emphasis makes the best sense. It's also possible to see it as a kind of constructio ad sensum referring to the conceptual subject of the passage, and so Paul instinctively uses the nominative, an understandable break in the sense. Others have noticed this and made similar suggestions (as you acknowledge above with your comment about at least 5 possible readings):
Larkin wrote:ἐρριζωμένοι καὶ τεθεμελιωμένοι. Since there appears to be no finite verb in the immediately preceding context for these nominative participles to modify, scholars have made a number of suggestions for how they function: (1) imperatival (Turner 1965, 165–68); (2) presenting a subsidiary request, loosely linked to the preceding infinitives (Lincoln, 197, 207); (3) representing a brief parenthesis (Best, 342–43); or (4) adverbial/causal, giving a ground upon which or circumstances in which the following clause (3:18–19a) occurs (Lenski, 494–95). Although ἵνα generally marks a clause boundary, here the adverbial expression, ἐν ἀγάπῃ ἐρριζωμένοι καὶ τεθεμελιωμένοι, has been fronted right out of the ἵνα clause to make it particularly prominent. They are then nominative because they go with ἐξισχύσητε: “that, having been rooted and grounded in love, you might be able to grasp.…”
Larkin, W. J. (2009). Ephesians: A Handbook on the Greek Text (pp. 62–63). Waco, TX: Baylor University Press.

I note that Larkin is smart enough to agree with me on this! :shock: :lol: