Re: Ephesians 4:16,18

From: Carlton Winbery (
Date: Thu Feb 22 1996 - 11:55:46 EST

Steve Clock wrote;
>Here are a few more questions that have arisen in our exegesis of
>Ephesians that I hope some of you will comment on.
>In 4:16 PAN TO SWMA appears to be the main subject in the sentence. The
>question is, the subject of which verb? If we supply no finite (ie.
>supply 'WN instead of 'ESTIN) between
>this subject and the following participles (SUNARMOLOGOUMENON KAI
>SUNBIBAZOMENON), then it appears the main verb in the sentence would be
>POIETAI further on in 4:16. Is one translation better than the other?
>Does either translation violate any rules of syntax?
>It seems that POIETAI in 4:16b would then be the primary clause if we
>supplied 'WN before the participles in 4:16a, but POIETAI would be the
>secondary clause if we go with'ESTIN. Any comments?
>We further noted that two agencies are expressed in 4:16 for the joining
>and fitting together of the Body, namely 'EX hOU (referring to Christ in
>4:15), and also DIA PASHS hAFHS (referring to individual believers). That
>much is fact. The question is prompted by the KAI between the
>participles, and the positioning of these two agencies - one before the
>first participle, and the second agency following the second participle.
>Question: Does the positioning of these agencies and participle
>separated by KAI suggest that Christ is the agent of SUNARMOLOGOUMENON
>and believers are the agents of SUNBIBAZOMENON? I realize the gender of
>both participles relates them both to SWMA and doesn't directly relate
>them to these distinct agents.

EX hOU indicates the agent of the passive verb POIEITAI. PAN TO SWMA is
the subject of POIEITAI. The two participles SUNARMOLOGOUMENON and
SUNBIBAZOMENON are circumstantial. Hence, "By whom the whole body, being
framed together and joined together, . . . is being made into a building."

>In 4:18, in the phrase DIA THN 'AGNOIAN THN 'OUSAN 'EN 'AUTOIS, how far
>does the influence of the preposition extend? To the entire phrase, or
>primarily over THN 'AGNOIAN? We were thinking that if DIA influenced the
>whole phrase, then THN 'OUSAN could be classified in an adverbial sense
>the same as THN 'AGNOIAN. But if the attributive participle is not
>governed by DIA, then even though it is still adverbial in nature, it
>would not be modifying what 'AGNOIAN is modifying, but would be modifying
>'AGNOIAN directly. Clarification?
attributive to THN AGNOIAN. It is "the ignorance which is in them." The
prep. DIA is causal with the accusative, hence "because of the ignorance
which is in them." The participle OUSAN is adjectival.

Carlton L. Winbery
Prof. Religion
LA College, Pineville, La

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