Re: EN + dative in Eph 5:18 (but not the same thing!)

From: Larry & Beth Hartman (
Date: Sat May 10 1997 - 21:58:47 EDT

Eric Weiss wrote:
> Examining Eph. 5:18 &c. as part of the dialogue on this topic has caused
> me to wonder what the relationship of the following verses is to being
> "filled with the Spirit." I had assumed (probably prematurely) that the
> activities mentioned are the outcome of being filled with the Spirit,
> just like the outcome of being drunk with wine is ASWTIA. However, a
> comparison with the similar passage at Colossians 3:15-16 makes me
> wonder if these activities, in the form of participles - i.e., speaking
> to one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and
> psalming with (or in) your hearts to the Lord, giving thanks to the
> Father - and perhaps even the next participle, submitting to one another
> (now ALLHLOIS instead of hEAUTOIS) - are not to be taken as the RESULT
> of being filled with the Spirit but are the MEANS by which one is filled
> with the Spirit (i.e., "be filled in/with/by the Spirit, [by] speaking
> to yourselves/one-another with psalms, etc."). This was suggested to me
> in a chapter on being filled with the Spirit in "The Lord Told Me... I
> Think" by Don Matzat. While his explanation for this interpretation is
> inadequately explained, that seemed to be his point and caused me to
> rethink this passage along his lines. I initially disagreed until I
> compared it with the Colossians passage. Participles can have a number
> of semantic relationships to the finite verb(s) in the sentence - e.g.,
> telic (purpose) , temporal (while/after), causal (because), conditional
> (if), concessional (although), instrumental (by/ by means of),
> modal/manner (in the manner of), resultative (with the result of),
> attendant circumstance (i.e., treat like a finite verb - and though the
> context usually limits the possible choices to one or only a few of
> these possibilities, sometimes the "best" interpretation of the
> participle(s) can never be determined. How does anyone out there feel
> about interpreting the Eph. 5:19-21 participles as Instrumental (or
> Modal) as I've so described? The Colossians passage seems to indicate
> that the way the word of Christ was to dwell richly among the believers
> was by/by-means-of (or in the manner of) them teaching and admonishing
> each other with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, etc. Correctly
> interpreting these participles seems to me to be at least as important
> as determining by whom or by what or with what one is "filled" with or
> by the Spirit, as the earlier discussion on this passage addressed.
> --
> "Eric S. (and Karol-Ann) Weiss"
> part-time grad student at The Criswell College
> "Send those testimonies!"

        I am in one hundred percent agreement to the understanding of how the
present participles relate to the command which precedes them. I see
them as a description of the "how to" with the ultimate focus to submit
(love) one another and to love Christ (major paraphrasing here..).

A good word study is to look up all the occurrences of "full of Spirit",
what precedes them, and what are the results of them. I sincerely
belive that what folks call the second blessing is the "full of the
Spirit" concept instead of the "baptized with the Spirit" as is so often

Larry A. Hartman
Defense Language Institute Alumnus
Department of Arabic Studies

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