RE: EN + dative in Eph 5:18

From: Andrew Kulikovsky (
Date: Tue May 06 1997 - 21:11:33 EDT


Your interpretation / translation presents the idea that the Spirit is
the *content* of the filling which is what I objected to in my original
post on grammatical grounds.

It is all very well and good to appeal to historical background but not
at the expense of disregarding the semantics of the grammar. The grammar
can tell you what the possible meanings are, and then you look at the
historical and grammatical context to choose the most sensible meaning.
But your interpretation is ruled out by the extreme improbability or
impossibility of EN+dative indicating the *content* of filling.

Eric Weiss posted a quote from Wallace's grammar regarding the
interpretation of this passage. No-one has yet made any comment or
responded at all to Wallace's comments so does anyone out there have any
objections to his interpretation?

Andrew S. Kulikovsky B.App.Sc(Hons) MACS
Software Engineer
CelsiusTech Australia
Module 6 Endeavor House
Fouth Ave, Technology Park
Adelaide, Australia
Ph: +618 8343 3837
Fax: +618 8343 3777

> ----------
> From: Edgar Krentz
> Sent: Tuesday, 6 May 1997 10:57 PM
> To: Andrew Kulikovsky
> Cc:
> Subject: Re: EN + dative in Eph 5:18
> >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.
> 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
> CHICAGO, IL 60615
> Tel: [773] 256-0752; (H) [773] 947-8105
> Reply to: (office)
> or (home)

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