Re: Concerning Eph 5:18-21

From: James H. Vellenga (
Date: Mon Oct 21 1996 - 14:27:16 EDT

> From: Somi Chuhon <>
> Has anyone studied this passage in the Greek. I've noticed that though NIV,
> NASB, and other translations seperate the clauses into individual sentences
> and makes all the verb imperative, it's actually one sentence. I've heard
> many (including seminary professors) say that the titles to the "Wives and
> Husbands" passage is verse 21. But verse 21 is actually part of the former
> sentence because it is one out of a whole string of participles with "be
> filled with the spirit" as the main idea of the sentence. Any comment on this?

Personally, I agree with your observation. On the other hand,

a) many (most?) scholars apparently believe that participles can
be used in an imperative way. There are other examples in the NT
(although I don't remember them right now) where participles are
generally translated into English as imperatives.

b) if you try to separate v. 22 from v. 21, you're left with v. 22
as a verbless sentence:

  You women to your own men as to the Master, in that a man ...

It really does seem like v. 22 needs somehow to hang off of v. 21:

  being subordinated to one another in awe of Christ -- you
  women to your own men as to the Master ....

An alternative, I suppose, would be the implicit linking verb:

  You women [are] to your own men as to the Master, in that ...

but subordination is definitely implied because v. 24 refers to it
once again.

Jim V.

James H. Vellenga |
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