Eph. 4:9 and Genitive of Apposition

From: David Moore (dvdmoore@dcfreenet.seflin.lib.fl.us)
Date: Sat Oct 14 1995 - 17:58:05 EDT

"Calvin D. Redmond" <102630.1150@compuserve.com> wrote:

>It should be clear that the translation "the lower parts, which consist of the
>earth" or something similar is at least possible. The grammatical category is
>recognized by the major grammarians, although it appears that all my other
>grammars are in my library office which lacks a phone line.The question as to
>whether this translation is correct will depend more on one's understanding of
>the context and one's theology.

        Robertson has an interesting comment on this verse. He says we
probably do not have a genitive of apposition or definition here, but the
ablative (read ablative use of the genitive) after the comparative
(Robertson, _Grammar of the Greek New Testament_, p. 499).

        Blass-DeBrunner comes to about the same conclusion without
expressing it in quite the same words: "TA KATWTERA (MERH) THS GHS is not
partitive ... or appositive ('the lower regions', i.e. the earth ...), but
'the regions under the earth' (Buchsel, TW III 641f.)" (Bl-DeB, _A Greek
Grammar of the New Testament_, #167).

        IMO, the mention of Christ's ascention hUPERANW PANTWN TWN OURANWN
(v. 10) is meant to contrast with the passage we are considering in verse
9 - i.e. beneath the earth (in physical terms, a reference to His burial
after death) serves as couterpoint to his ascention above all the heavens.
So v. 9 needs to be taken in its most emphatic sense.

David L. Moore Southeastern Spanish District
Miami, Florida of the Assemblies of God
dvdmoore@dcfreenet.seflin.lib.fl.us Department of Education

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