Re: Ephesians 3:1-13

From: Jonathan Robie (
Date: Mon Feb 10 1997 - 09:21:33 EST

I just received a response from a German friend who indicates that "anders"
has a meaning that I was not aware of. For anybody who missed the context of
the question, here it is again:

At 06:17 AM 2/9/97 -0600, Carl W. Conrad wrote:
>At 3:08 PM -0600 2/8/97, Jonathan Robie wrote:
>>After days of abusing my synapses, I still have three remaining questions
>>about this passage:
>>1. Eph 3:1-2 In my Zuercher Bibel, the translators connect TOUTOU XARIN with
>>DIO AITOUMAI from verse 13 to create the phrase: Therefore I, Paul, beg you,
>>I who am a prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you, the heathens, to
>>not lose courage if you have heard differently [EI GE HKOUSATE]... (Deshalb
>>[bitte ich], Paulus, der ich der Gefangene Christi Jesu um eurer, der
>>Heiden, willen bin [, nicht mutlos zu werden], wenn ihr anders von der
>>Veranstaltung der Gnade Gottes gehoert habt...
>>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." It does seem to me that what he means by this
>parenthesis beginning with those words and extending through vs. 12 is to
>recapitulate the nature of Paul's ministry to the Gentiles, and if Paul is
>the author, he may not be sure that the recipients of this encyclical letter
>are aware of his credentials; on the other hand, on the view that this is a
>deutero-Pauline letter, the intent may be to assert the Pauline credentials
>underlying this letter and the doctrines set forth in it. Maybe my German is
>insufficiently nuanced, 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
>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).

I put this question to my friend Anja Fleischer, a good friend who I met
during the 7 1/2 years I lived in Berlin, and it turns out that Carl had a
brilliant guess here:

> Ich finde dieses "anders" zweideutig: es koennte heissen, jemand hat
> etwas unterschiedliches von der Veranstaltung erzaehlt, aber auch,
> jemand anderes hat darueber erzaehlt (dann kann er aber dasselbe
> erzaehlt haben).

Translated, this means:

> I find this "anders" ambiguous: it could mean, someone has spoken
> differently about the nature (of his ministry), but it could also
> mean that someone else has spoken about it - but in that case, he
> could have said the same thing

Now we can all go nuance our German more sufficiently ;->

So the Zuercher Bible seems to be on target here; I just didn't know that
"anders" could carry the meaning Carl suggested.


Jonathan Robie
POET Software, 3207 Gibson Road, Durham, N.C., 27703
Ph: 919.598.5728 Fax: 919.598.6728
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