Re: EN + dative in Eph 5:18

From: kdlitwak (
Date: Thu May 08 1997 - 01:31:54 EDT

I'll make this one last post on this subject, which has gone on too
long, with posters passing each other in the night. It is true that in
Eph 3:20 Paul wrote:
It is important to note, however, that in 3:16, Paul wrote:
It may be argued from this that Paul uses the Genitive to refer to the
Holy Spirit as a personal agent. Therefore, when Paul uses the dative
PNEUMATI in Eph 5:18 it maybe asked why Paul did not use the genitive if
he meant instrumentality. Furthermore, if in fact Paul's interest is in
effects, what is the parallel Paul is trying to draw? What leads to
contrasting effects? It is surely not being filled with wine, i.e.,
drunk, which leads to success vs. being filled with ???? by the vessel
of the Holy Spirit (or perhaps the Spirit is the one who purs the jar
into believers), which produces singing. I don't think Paul is talking
about effects. Heis talking about states of being, i.e., being filled
with wine, which leads to drunkiness, which EQUALS excess, or being
filled with the Holy Spirit. The text doesn't say that being filled
with ??? leads to spiritual singing. The participles are present, which
means a concurrent action. Blievers are to be filled ??? and to sing at
the same time. One cold aargue that OINWi is instrumental, do not be
drunk by means of wine, but what does that mean? One gets drunk by
being filled with wine. The wine is not an outside agent. It can only
make one drunk if one is filled with it. So if 5:19 are the effects to
come from filling, it seems necessary to me to say that the singing
comes from being filled withthe Holy Spirit.

   Since this construction of PLHROW + EN +Dative is not found
elsewhere, however, one cannot be sure of what it may or may not mean.
It may be that attempting to argue between instrumental and indirect
object senses is not possible at this distance because we cannot know
for usre how such a clause would have been construed by its original
hearers. We MAY make educated guesses, but I think it is problematic to
insist upon only one possibility. Paul may have an instrumental idea in
mind but there is good reason, as outlined above, for thinking

Kenneth Litwak

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