Re: Ephesians 3:1-13

From: Jonathan Robie (
Date: Sun Feb 09 1997 - 09:33:11 EST

At 06:17 AM 2/9/97 -0600, Carl W. Conrad wrote:
>At 3:08 PM -0600 2/8/97, Jonathan Robie wrote:

>>Whether this makes sense seems to hang on this question: can EI GE HKOUSATE
>>mean "if you have heard differently"?
>This reading of EK GE HKOUSATE does seem unnatural to me--unless, at
>least, "anders" can mean "sonst." Maybe my German is insufficiently nuanced,

Insufficiently nuanced? Have you been reading Wallace again? That phrase
drives me up a wall...

>but could the "anders" here have the sense of "anderswoher," or, as I said
>previously, of "sonst?"--"assuming, at any rate, that you have heard from
>some source or other, the nature of my ministry." I do think that the linkage
>of TOUTOU CARIN in 3:1 and DIO in 3:13 is right, and this big anacoluthon
>(of thought, at least, even if not of grammar) is characteristic of this
>writer (whom I personally remain reluctant to identify positively with Paul).

No, I think that the Zuercher Bible clearly implies that they may have heard
a different version from a different source, and that this might cause them
to lose heart. Just to make sure, I looked through Wahrig's to see if I was
missing some usage of anders. I'll send an email to one of my German friends
for final confirmation, but for now I think that "anders" means
"differently". I'm not a native speaker of German (though I lived in Germany
for 7 1/2 years), so the extra precaution is probably warranted. But I
didn't see "anders" in the Greek, and you confirm that this is a strange
translation for EK GE HKOUSATE. I'm usually quite happy with this
translation, but...

However, since I'm trying to understand it, not translate it into German,
maybe I'll take the "sonst" and run with it! Actually, I don't need "sonst"
or "anderswoher". "Surely you have heard" seems simpler.

>>The etymology would suggest invisible, a meaning which comes out in the KJV
>>"unsearchable" or the Lutheran "unausforschlich". But BAGD and many
>>translations also suggest "unfathomable" for this. Why?
>Because "unfathomable" is a different metaphor that has the same meaning:
>"beyond discovery or rational understanding." I have only the minimal
>Langenscheidt Taschenwoerterbuch at home here, but it offers the verb
>EXICNOSKOPEW in the sense "investigate"--and unless my memory fails me,
>I've seen EXICNEUW in Plato's Republic. The metaphor of following a trail
>to its end for unraveling a mystery, that fundamental gumshoe metaphor,
>first appears, if I remember rightly, in Sophocles' Oedipus Rex; Plato
>picks it up and it becomes standard Greek parlance. Our word "investigate"
>derives from the Latin equivalent, from IN and VESTIGIA, meaning the same
>thing,"follow the footprints." So the etymology in this instance is, I think,
>a valid clue to understanding ANEKSICNOASTON as AN- (the form of
>before a vowel), the verb EXICNOAZW, and the -TOS verbal adjective indicating
>"possible to be done."

This was fun to read. If I hang around here long enough, I'll get educated!
Thanks, this was helpful.

>I think the simplest way to understand FWTISAI here is in the sense
>"illuminate the question" and then take the following TIS hH OIKONOMIA KTL.
>as an indirect-question substantive functioning as the object of FWTISAI.

OK, that makes sense to me. In fact, the whole passage has made sense for
almost a whole day, so I'd better move on to another passage quickly before
it becomes cryptic again ;->


Jonathan Robie
POET Software, 3207 Gibson Road, Durham, N.C., 27703
Ph: 919.598.5728 Fax: 919.598.6728
email:, <--- shockwave enabled!

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