Re: EN + dative in Eph 5:18

From: kdlitwak (
Date: Wed May 07 1997 - 10:46:23 EDT

Hmmm. I think I have some difficlty with arguing that an othewise
unknown construction clearly has the force of X, particularly when it
seems to me to break the context. That is, Paul has said to not be
drunk with wine. Certainly one can argue that OINWi has an instrumental
force, but the parallel with the Spirit begs for what the drunk person
is filled with. If OINWi is an instrument, with what is the drunk
person full? If one is filled by means of the Holy Spirit, with what is
one filled? The implied reader is surely to undestand "Don't be filled
with wine. Instead be filled with an unknown by means of the Holy
Spirit." I'm afraid that doesn't make much sense contextually and I
think it is necessary to see grammar inthe service of meaning, and NOT
the other way around. There needs to be something the believer is
filled with. The obvious choice is the Holy Spirit (barring that, it
could be virtually anything, since it's unstated), and if that's
expressed with an otherwise unknown construction, I have a hard time
thinking that it's not grammatically possible, based on analogies which
may not apply. Not to be flippant, but after a semester of Thucydides,
Lucain, Eupolemos and other classical writers, I'minclined to the
opinion (for which I claim no expertise) that Greek writers, much as
English writes, felt free to do pretty much what they wanted
grammatically in the search for "a well-seasoned soup (Lucian)."

Ken Litwak

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