Re: Eph 4:22-24 revisited. . .

From: Jonathan Robie (
Date: Fri Feb 14 1997 - 09:19:31 EST


> (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.)

My own opinion is that it is useful to avoid using our theological framework
to interpret the text, but to approach the text inductively and carefully,
being careful not to force it into our theological framework before we have
let it speak for itself. That's one reason that we try to avoid too much
theology here.

> 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).

You have already received two really great responses to this from
people whose Greek is better than mine. In fact, I had been reading it
wrong, so I was really glad that you asked the question.

Carlton's response was especially clear:

>The construction here makes the infinitive the direct object of the verb.
>"you were taught" . . . What? "to put away"

You were taught to put away, to be renewed, to put on...

I think that Dale Wheeler's response said pretty much the same thing,
though with very different vocabulary. At one point, Dale added:

>Thus the tense of the originals has virtually nothing to do with
>whether the original statments were impv's or ind's.

Well, I think that's your answer. It doesn't say "you have put away",
and it doesn't say "put away!", it says "you were taught to put away."

Hope this helps!


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