Ephesians 1:4

Forum rules
Please quote the Greek text you are discussing directly in your post if it is reasonably short - do not ask people to look it up. This is not a beginner's forum, competence in Greek is assumed.
Post Reply
Mike Baber
Posts: 97
Joined: May 30th, 2011, 11:25 pm
Location: Texas

Ephesians 1:4

Post by Mike Baber » August 18th, 2011, 3:03 am

καθὼς ἐξελέξατο ἡμᾶς ἐν αὐτῷ πρὸ καταβολῆς κόσμου εἶναι ἡμᾶς ἁγίους καὶ ἀμώμους κατενώπιον αὐτοῦ ἐν ἀγάπῃ

My question pertains to εἶναι ἡμᾶς ἁγίους καὶ ἀμώμους κατενώπιον αὐτοῦ, literally "us to be holy and immaculate before Him."

Thus, the entire scripture would be translated as,

Even as He lovingly chose us for Himself in him before the constitution of the world, us to be holy and immaculate before Him...

How would one translate that?
0 x



Barry Hofstetter
Posts: 1873
Joined: May 6th, 2011, 1:48 pm

Re: Ephesians 1:4

Post by Barry Hofstetter » August 18th, 2011, 8:06 am

Mike Baber wrote:καθὼς ἐξελέξατο ἡμᾶς ἐν αὐτῷ πρὸ καταβολῆς κόσμου εἶναι ἡμᾶς ἁγίους καὶ ἀμώμους κατενώπιον αὐτοῦ ἐν ἀγάπῃ

My question pertains to εἶναι ἡμᾶς ἁγίους καὶ ἀμώμους κατενώπιον αὐτοῦ, literally "us to be holy and immaculate before Him."

Thus, the entire scripture would be translated as,

Even as He lovingly chose us for Himself in him before the constitution of the world, us to be holy and immaculate before Him...

How would one translate that?
Normally B-Greek is about understanding the Greek, not about translation. However, I would avoid "immaculate" simply because in English it has technical associations not implied by ἀμώμους in Greek (even though from it's Latin etymology is parallel to the Greek). I would also not have ἐν ἀγάπῃ modifying ἐξελέξατο. I don't think this is a case of hyperbaton. Rather ἐν ἀγάπῃ is placed strategically between the two clauses (1:5) so that it could be taken with either, and I believe this placement to be intentional.
0 x
N.E. Barry Hofstetter
Instructor of Latin
Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
καὶ σὺ τὸ σὸν ποιήσεις κἀγὼ τὸ ἐμόν. ἆρον τὸ σὸν καὶ ὕπαγε.

David Lim
Posts: 901
Joined: June 6th, 2011, 6:55 am

Re: Ephesians 1:4

Post by David Lim » August 18th, 2011, 8:23 am

Mike Baber wrote:καθὼς ἐξελέξατο ἡμᾶς ἐν αὐτῷ πρὸ καταβολῆς κόσμου εἶναι ἡμᾶς ἁγίους καὶ ἀμώμους κατενώπιον αὐτοῦ ἐν ἀγάπῃ

My question pertains to εἶναι ἡμᾶς ἁγίους καὶ ἀμώμους κατενώπιον αὐτοῦ, literally "us to be holy and immaculate before Him."

Thus, the entire scripture would be translated as,

Even as He lovingly chose us for Himself in him before the constitution of the world, us to be holy and immaculate before Him...

How would one translate that?
I would not think it is possible for "εν αγαπη" to modify "εξελεξατο" instead of "ειναι ημας αγιους και αμωμους κατενωπιον αυτου" since they are separated by this clause of which "εν αγαπη" can easily be part of. Anyway if the translation conveys that "ειναι ημας αγιους και αμωμους κατενωπιον αυτου εν αγαπη" is the purpose of "εξελεξατο ημας εν αυτω προ καταβολης κοσμου", it should be fine. One way in English is to use "so that we may be".
0 x
δαυιδ λιμ

Mike Baber
Posts: 97
Joined: May 30th, 2011, 11:25 pm
Location: Texas

Re: Ephesians 1:4

Post by Mike Baber » August 18th, 2011, 12:20 pm

Barry Hofstetter wrote:Normally B-Greek is about understanding the Greek, not about translation. However, I would avoid "immaculate" simply because in English it has technical associations not implied by ἀμώμους in Greek (even though from it's Latin etymology is parallel to the Greek). I would also not have ἐν ἀγάπῃ modifying ἐξελέξατο. I don't think this is a case of hyperbaton. Rather ἐν ἀγάπῃ is placed strategically between the two clauses (1:5) so that it could be taken with either, and I believe this placement to be intentional.
I understand Barry. My question pertained to the grammar of the Greek specifically the phrase εἶναι ἡμᾶς, the infinitive followed by 1st person plural in the accusative (or any pronoun in the accusative, for that matter). I just didn't exactly know how to form the question. I was basically wondering why they just didn't use a subjunctive if it should be translated as "so that we may be." I found that particular construction odd.
0 x

Dave Soemarko
Posts: 17
Joined: August 3rd, 2011, 12:37 pm

Re: Ephesians 1:4

Post by Dave Soemarko » August 18th, 2011, 3:42 pm

I understand Barry. My question pertained to the grammar of the Greek specifically the phrase εἶναι ἡμᾶς, the infinitive followed by 1st person plural in the accusative (or any pronoun in the accusative, for that matter).
Well, it is good that you have narrowed down the question now. :) The original post was so general that, as you can see, some were looking at the "immaculate." Others were looking at ἐν ἀγάπῃ. I myself were looking at a few other things like:

καθὼς should probably be translated as "just as" rather than "even" because here Paul is starting to list the spiritual blessings mentioned in v. 3, and that God's choosing of us is one of them.

ἐν αὐτῷ should probably be translated as "in Him" rather than "for Himself." The "self" is not there. Two persons might be in view here (see v. 3). God the Father (of our Lord Jesus Christ) blessed us with all spiritual blessings, just as He (God the Father) chose us in Him (our Lord Jesus Christ). Of course this is subject to interpretation but "in him" is at least more faithful to the text. If you translate "ἐν αὐτῷ" to "for Himself" you somewhat limit the possibility.

But as to question of εἶναι, in translation some theology is almost always there, and a decision has to be made. For straightforward translation, it could be "he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. (NIV)" Some might consider believers are holy and blameless (positionally) and such translation would be fine; but others might consider that we are certainly imperfect and not blameless, but God chose us so that we can become that. With such consideration, one would translate it as "he chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him (NAS)"

Note that although NAS is generally considered more wooden translation and NIV dynamic equivalent, in this case it seems to be the other way around.
0 x

Barry Hofstetter
Posts: 1873
Joined: May 6th, 2011, 1:48 pm

Re: Ephesians 1:4

Post by Barry Hofstetter » August 18th, 2011, 5:41 pm

Mike Baber wrote: I understand Barry. My question pertained to the grammar of the Greek specifically the phrase εἶναι ἡμᾶς, the infinitive followed by 1st person plural in the accusative (or any pronoun in the accusative, for that matter). I just didn't exactly know how to form the question. I was basically wondering why they just didn't use a subjunctive if it should be translated as "so that we may be." I found that particular construction odd.
Oh, in that case it's an infinitive used of purpose, which you see a bit more often in Koine Greek than in Classical (although I believe you see it occasionally in the poets, if memory serves me right). Why doesn't he use a subjunctive clause? I don't know. I don't think there is any subtle difference, it may just be stylistic choice here. ἡμᾶς is accusative because the subject of the infinitive is normally in the accusative (unless it is the subject of the main verb, then you can have it in the nominative).
0 x
N.E. Barry Hofstetter
Instructor of Latin
Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
καὶ σὺ τὸ σὸν ποιήσεις κἀγὼ τὸ ἐμόν. ἆρον τὸ σὸν καὶ ὕπαγε.

Post Reply

Return to “New Testament”