Re: EN + dative in Eph 5:18

From: Edgar Krentz (
Date: Tue May 06 1997 - 09:27:44 EDT

>In Ephesian 5:18 we read:
>...but instead be filled BY the Spirit.
>Most English translations translate EN PNEUMATI as "with the Spirit" as
>if the *content* of the filling is the Spirit but this is normally a
>function of the genitive is it not?
>I think "By the Spirit" is a better translation. This means that this
>verse is talking about allowing the Spirit to dominate our lives in
>thought and action. ie. we should display the fruit of the Spirit (cf.
>Gal. 5:22-23).
>What do others think?

I read this in Ephesians as the alternative to MH MEQUSKESQE OINWi, i.e.
speech that comes from spirit possession (to be ENQOUS) is not to be
confused with speech or action that comes from being drunk. So I sometimes
playfully translate
"And don't get drunk with wine, in which there is dissoluteness, but 'tank
up' on Spirit, as you ..." Dionysiac inspiration was a part of the
environment, as some of the art related to Dionysos makes clear. MAENADS
get there name from the same stem as MANIA and MANTIKOS.

The inspired song of the Ephesian community must be clearly Spirit inspired
(PNEUMATIKOS), not wine induced.

Edgar Krentz, Prof. of New Testament
Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago
Tel: [773] 256-0752; (H) [773] 947-8105

Reply to: (office)
          or (home)

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.4 : Sat Apr 20 2002 - 15:38:14 EDT