Re: Ephesians 4:12-13

From: James H. Vellenga (
Date: Tue May 20 1997 - 10:58:21 EDT

> Jeff Smelser here, to all-
> ...
> (2) In terms of punctuation: in verse 12, should we read a break, i.e., a
> comma following "the saints"?
> (3) Suppose the answer to the previous question is "no", and the passage is
> to be read, "for the equipping of the saints unto a work of ministry," does
> the singular DIAKONIAS seem a little difficult given that the saints,
> plural, were mentioned, and given that the passage stresses the contribution
> of the individual saints to the body rather than the collective contribution
> of the whole (vs. 16)?
Let me offer a rationale on punctuating verse 12. The idea is
that when we want to string together like ideas we either use
a connective such as "and" (or KAI in KOINE), or we use a
common introductory form -- participle, for example, or a

In this case, it appears to me that the two EIS's are stringing
together like ideas, while PROS is distinct. Then by a rule
of proximity, I'd tend to put the EIS as a modifier
to the PROS TON KATARTISMON, and thus get

   "And he gave [us] not only the apostles, but also the prophets,
   and the evangelists, and the shepherds and teachers, for the
   fine-tuning of the saints to an activity of service, to building
   up the body of the Messiah"

I think of KATARTISMOS (here rendered as fine-tuning) as a process
of ongoing adjustment (such as mending nets) rather than an (initial)

As read this way, it does indeed emphasize a common and shared
activity. v. 16 talks, I think, about the contribution of
"each individual part", but it is the body as a whole, working
through the contributions of each part, that is producing its
own growth as a whole:

   all the body .... produces the growth of the body ...

Jim V.

James H. Vellenga |
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