RE: Ephesians 4:29

From: Dale M. Wheeler (
Date: Tue Mar 19 1996 - 12:18:52 EST

Stephen Clock wrote:

b)Does not EI indicate that this portion of the sentence (from EI through
CHREIAS) is a protasis?

c) If EI...CHREIAS is the protasis, where is the apodasis? Is the
translator justified in supplying it based on the logical inferences between
this protasis and the first clause to which it is contrasted?

You are correct that the apodosis of this 1st class (not 3rd, as pointed out
by Carlton in another post) is missing; it should be something like "but if
there is any good (word) for the edification of the need, [let that rather
come forth]." Elipses of this sort, i.e., where the elided portion is so
obvious (esp., in such a highly structured passage as Eph 4:25-32), are
quite common.

As to whether a translator is justified in supplying the elipsis depends on
what you believe to be appropriate translation theory/philosophy/method.
Clearly the International Children's Bible felt it necessary, the others do
not (evidently because they think either "translation" should be "literal"
or that the elipsis is obvious enough even in English).

If this question is leading into philosophy of translation, I think we've
had that discussion on list several times already; you might want to review
the archives.

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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