Eph 4:22-24 revisited. . .

From: Tom Launder (ae298@lafn.org)
Date: Wed Feb 12 1997 - 21:17:45 EST

Hi all,
(I recognize that what follows is seriously close to being out of bounds
regarding "no theology," yet I do not know how to wrestle with this text
without mentioning some of the theological aspects.)

The comments regarding the Eph 4:22-24 passage have been helpful and
have brought to light some interesting exegetical questions. If I am
understanding correctly, the three infinitives (APOQESQAI,
ANANESOUSQAI,ENDUSASQAI) are indirect discourse of EDIDAXQhTE and
represent the original direct discourse content.

The infinitives themselves have no time significance, but the question
is whether the direct discourse refered to by Paul is imperative or
indicative. In other words, was Paul refering to the put off, be
renewed, and put on as commands or as the content of what happened (Put
off the old man! or You have put off the old man).

One interesting aspect to examine is what was brought up by professor
Wheeler regarding the nature of the words themselves. Are the actions
of put off and put on thought of inherently as whole events and thus
normally refered to in aorist tense. Hmmm. I do not know how to flesh
that out any further.

I think the parallel passage in Colossians is very significant here.
The participles APEKDUSAMENOI and ENDUSAMENOI can be understood as
causal and thus "Do not lie to one another *because* you have put off
the old man. . . and *because* you have put on the new.

This understanding does seem to be in line with Gal 2:19 and Rom 6:6
passages which find a crucifying of the old man and 2 Cor 5:17 which
views man as a new creation with the old passed away.

I mention these passages because I think that they help in determining
what Eph 4:22-24 means. In my humble and fallible understanding, I
think that the whole of Scripture views the old as having passed away
and has been crucified with Christ and the Col 3:9-10 seems to help
clinch it. Still, there are enough questions and scholarly
disagreements to warrant further study and gracious discussion.

Ephesians 4:22-24 appears to be a passage which is not easily or not
possibly solved apart from one's theological understandings. If I am
missing anything significant, please let me know. If the theological
nature of this post has offended, please forgive. I in no way mean to
start a theological debate on this subject, but I am just trying to use
Greek to help me understand theology. There is a fine line, I hope I
have not obliterated it. :)


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