Re: Ephesian 4:1-2

From: Dale M. Wheeler (
Date: Wed Feb 07 1996 - 20:31:05 EST

Steve Clock wrote:

>4:1) re `O DESMIOS: Since the principal verb is PARAKALO, 1st singular,
>I took `O DESMIOS to be an independent nominative.

You are correct; this type of independent is specifically called a "Pendent
(Hanging) Nominative" or "Nominativus Pendens"; cf., John 7:38.

>4:1) re `HS: Clearly refers back to its antecedent THS KLHSEOS but how to
>classify? Since the pronoun often is attracted to the case of its
>antecedent (even though functioning in a different sense) should this be
>taken as a genitive of reference (as KLHSEOS), or should `HS be
>classified according to its sense, as a dative of reference, in relation

You are correct that it is attracted to it antecedent and as such has a
function different from the genitive case. I would agree that its
functional case is dative; whether its reference, direction, means, is
another question (depending on whether you think the "calling" refers to:
(1) eternity past, (2) at point of regeneration, or (3) eschatological and

>4:2) re the three genitives following META: "with all humility and
>meekness" clearly functions adverbially, describing HOW to "walk
>worthily" in the first verse. Question: The only classification that
>would make any sense would be to take all these genitives as adverbial
>genitives - but D+M subclassify adverbial genitives only as (a) time (b)
>place and (c) reference, NONE of which makes much sense. This is a fair
>example of the difficulty encountered when trying to classify any nouns
>in prepositional phrases.

This is a good example why you should not, in my opinion, classify case
function after prepositions by the categories of the naked cases. Koine may
be in flux on this issue, but the presence of or the lack of prepositions
still means something. Prepositions followed by certain cases should be
classified according to the functions of that preposition and not by the
case. The best way to do this is to look them up in BAGD (they classify the
first one as "attendant circumstances" A.III.1., and the second one "to show
a close connection betw.[een] two nouns, upon the first of which the main
emphasis lies...").

>4:2) re ALLHLON: This is a fixed form adjective isn't it? Fixed
>apparently in the genitive plural. Would this be taken then as an
>adverbial genitive of reference, explaining the sphere of reference of
>the action of "enduring"?

The ALLHL- root can occur in any plural form, not just the genitive. The
reason its genitive is that ANEXW takes a genitive direct object (cf., BAGD,
which says: "1. endure....a. TINOS someone..."; when BAGD puts TINOS after a
verb they mean that it takes a genitive direct object; TINI a dative direct
object; TINA accusative dir.obj.).

One final suggestion; next time you teach the course you may want to change
to another intermediate grammar/syntax; Brooks & Winbury, Wallace, etc. D&M
is hit and miss in terms of its accuracy on a variety of issues.

Keep smiling and readin' that Greek.....
Dale M. Wheeler, Th.D.
Chair, Biblical Languages Dept Multnomah Bible College
8435 NE Glisan Street Portland, OR 97220
Voice: 503-251-6416 FAX:503-254-1268 E-Mail:

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