Re: John 15:4 MEINATE EN EMOI?

From: Wes Williams (
Date: Sun Mar 02 1997 - 14:02:13 EST

<<Does the Bible ever say that one person is EN another person where the second
person is not God, Jesus, or the Holy Spirit?>>

How about Abraham, in

   And EN TWi ADAMi (1Cor 15:22)?

On the other side of the EN + <a person> not meaning a mutual indwelling, one
person privately mailed me this reference for our consideration, from A.J.M.
Wedderburn, "Some Observations on Paul's Use of the Phrases 'In Christ' and
'With Christ'" (Journal for the Study of the New Testament 25 [1985] 83-97). I
will have to risk my life and cross town in heavy traffic to get to a seminary
that has it, but here are some excerpts the sender quoted:

       "We read . . . that God both has reconciled
       us to himself through (DIA) Christ
       (2Cor 5:18) and reconciles the world to
       himself EN XRISTWi (v. 19). Perhaps the
       difference [in the prepositions indicates]
       . . . that in Paul's usage EN can carry with
       it a sense of togetherness, association (SUN)
       with the agent of reconciliation, an idea that
       is not present in DIA as such.
       But what of 'with Christ'? Being blessed 'in'
       or 'through Abraham' meant that one was blessed
       'with' him. The change in the preposition seems
       to make more precise the way in which Abraham is
       the means or channel of blessing to the nations:
       it is by being associated with him as recipients
       of his blessing.... Abraham provides an analogy
       to, though not, of course, a source of, the EN
       XRISTWi language in Paul.... Abraham and
       Christ are viewed as representative figures
       through whom God acts towards the human race:
       he acts towards them 'in' those figures and
       they are caught up 'with' them in that divine
       initiative of grace."

I read Brown's commentary on MENW + EN last night, which Carl well summarized.
Brown also comments on the Mystical EN as different than the "mutual indwelling"
Porter (Porter Idioms, 2nd Ed. p. 159) rejects the "physical locative metaphor
for some sort of corporate mysical union between the believer and Christ." (from
Moule). But I do not find Porter's explanation convincing that EN XRISTWi refers
to a Dative of Sphere (of control) in favor of the Dative of Association. I
would think that this explanation would make the expression that the Father is
EN EMOI (Christ) mean that Christ controls the Father.

Wes Williams

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