Re: Ephesians 4:12-13

From: Jonathan Robie (
Date: Mon May 19 1997 - 10:02:57 EDT

On Sun, 18 May 1997, Jeff Smelsner wrote:
>I'm working on Ephesians 4, and trying to determine if PROS TON KARTARTISMON
>TWN hAGIWN in verse 12 should be understood as the intermediary result of
>the aforementioned gifts, and the ultimate end is stated in the following
>prepositional phrase(s), or if it's the other way around. I'm turning to you
>all for help because of your Greek expertise. That is to say, I'm looking
>for help with the mechanics, rather than doctrinal arguments as to why the
>passage should be understood one way or the other.

The first question is, *what* was done PROS TON KATARTISMON. As I understand
the construction, it starts in verse 11:


I think that the purpose of his giving these things was TON KATARTISMON.

The second question is, *what* was done EIS ERGON DIAKONIAS. If you ask me,
it was TON KATARTISMON. So God has given these gifts to equip us. Equip us
for what? For (1) ERGON DIAKONIAS, (2) OIKODOMHN TOU SOMATOS. God gave the
gifts to equip the saints (TWN hAGIWN) to do these things. And the saints
are going to be doing these things until (MEXRI) we all attain unity of
faith, knowledge of the Son of God...

Robertson suggests that this MEXRI is a temporal clause with a purpose idea;
this agrees with my sense.

To me, this passage puts spiritual gifts into perspective in much the same
way that 1 Cor 13 does - the gifts have a purpose: to grow into unity in

>and finally on verse 13,
>(4) My thought is that the MEXRI KATANTHSWMEN hOI PANTES does not mean,
>"till each of us
>individually attain...", but that Paul speaks of the maturing of the whole.
>Compare Acts 19:7 - HSAN DE hOI PANTES ANDRES hWSEI DWDEKA - "there were in
>all about 12 men" - QUESTION: how certainly does the construction require
>this meaning?

The BAGD entry on PAS, PASA, PAN looks very helpful here. I don't have time
to read it carefully now, since my wife is suggesting that I join her on the
couch in front of a nice movie...


Jonathan Robie
POET Software, 3207 Gibson Road, Durham, N.C., 27703

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