Re: EN + dative in Eph 5:18

From: Eric Weiss (
Date: Wed May 07 1997 - 14:31:41 EDT

My 2 cents more (though I referenced Daniel Wallace's comments in an
earlier post, that was strictly for information and interaction by
listmembers. My comments below indicate that I probably don't view the
passage as Dan does):

The fact that OINWi doesn't have EN but PNEUMATI does doesn't seem
significant to me - I recall other similar occurences (e.g., Mark 1:8),
so it seems to me OINWi and what it is and does is being compared to
PNEUMATI and what it is and does. Perhaps rather than looking at just
the OINWi and PNEUMATI, maybe the phrase MEQUSKESQE OINWi needs to be
compared with the phrase PLHROUSQE EN PNEUMATi - "drunk with/by wine"
and "filled with/by Spirit." MEQUSKESQE OINWi seems to mean to have
actively partaken of wine to excess so that one is filled with wine and
is now influenced by or under the control of what one has drunk; and now
having been filled and controlled by wine, one carries out the actions
resulting from being drunk - i.e., behavior described as ASWTIA.
Likewise, PLHROUSQE EN PNEUMATI might mean to actively fill yourself
with the Spirit (Carl commented that he views it as middle, so I would
see being filled with the Spirit as something we can do, or can pray for
or put ourselves in a spiritual position for God to do to us - I
Corinthians 12-14 seems to be based on such an understanding of how the
church is to operate when it assembles, and that seems to be similar to
what's in mind here) so that, being filled by the Spirit (and WITH the
Spirit - I see means and content here, just like wine), one then
operates as one who is Spirit-controlled or Spirit-filled - i.e.,
speaking to one another with psalms, hymns and PNEUMATIKAIS songs -
songs inspired by the infilling and controlling PNEUMA. While I probably
agree as Carl states that if content were meant, a partitive genitive
(with EK?) would be preferable, if the author wanted to infer BOTH means
and content, wouldn't dative (with or without EN) be the preferred
choice - and hence explain what we have here?

Eric S. Weiss
part-time former Greek student at The Criswell College
"Send those testimonies!"

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