From: Dale M. Wheeler (
Date: Fri Sep 19 1997 - 18:57:54 EDT

Perry L. Stepp wrote:

>Hello, all.
>Carl Conrad and I were having a private discussion regarding Ephesians
>1.11-12, and decided to take it public.
>- -----------------------------Quote mode on----------------------------
>Carl wrote:
>I want to say, however, especially about the EIS EPAINON phrases in 1:6 and
>1:12 that I think these particular segments are little more than
>doxologies inserted ALMOST automatically by those steeped in Jewish
>liturgical phraseology such that, every time an assertion is made about
>God's mighty deeds, they immediately respond with BARUKH ATAH ADONAY

I agree with Carl; let me suggest an OT structural reason. What you are
looking at in Eph 1:3-14 is an OT Hebrew Baruch Praise Psalm (Ps 41:14;
66:20; 71:18; 89:53; cf Luke 1:68; further on the form see, Westermann,
Praise of God in the Psalms, pp. 88ff). Such a Psalm has a clear

1) Call to Praise
2) Reason(s) to Praise
3) Renewed Call to Praise

In Eph, the parts are:

1) Call to Praise (3a)
2) General Reason to Praise (3b) (Rel Pron/ASHER Clauses frequently begin
these in Hebrew)
3) Specific Reasons to Praise (4-14); intro by KAQWS
        a) Specific Reason 1 - Work of Father (4-5)
                a1) Renewed Call 1 (6)
        b) Specific Reason 2 - Work of Son (7-11)
                b1) Renewed Call 2 (12)
        c) Specific Reason 3 - Work of Spirit (13-14a)
                c1) Renewed Call 3 (14b)

Let me suggest that the reason you don't find this layout, which seems
so obvious to me and no doubt would to any Hebrew/OT Prof, is that
most NT programs don't get their students into the nuts and bolts of
the OT; thus the students aren't exposed to the ANE forms and functions
of Psalms, Treaties, Lawsuits, Proverbs, Succession Edicts, etc., etc.,
etc. While many NT things can simply be explained by Graeco-Roman
practices, patterns, etc., the NT writers were also men of the OT, and
used its forms, etc., intuitively.

Another example which I never understood until I took several courses
in OT exgesis of Legal and Prophetic literature are the letters in
Rev 2 and 3, and esp., the "Angel of the Church at..." After reading
treaties and lawsuits it becomes fairly obvious that these "letters"
are OT lawsuits and the "Angels" are "Angels" who are charged with
the responsibilites of witnesses at the covenant ratification ceremony,
and thus are judge, jury, and executioners at the trial against the
unfaithful vassals. As far as I know, no one has written about this
either...I hope to have the time sometime to put it into an article.
As an experiment, I asked several NT Profs what they thought the
letters were and they said "letters." I asked them if they could be
lawsuits, and they replied that they had heard of the Rib but really
wouldn't know one if they saw it. Then I asked several OT Profs, and
they all immediately said upon re-reading the letters, "Well, of course,
they are covenant lawsuits !" (See Deut 32; Ps 50; Isa 1)

This is NOT intended to be a put down of any program, person, or anything
else (most programs already have TOO much in them as it least from
the students' standpoint), but an encouragement to students not to
neglect *serious* study of the OT in their pursuit of the NT, since the
NT writers were, in addition to other things, men of the OT.

That's my $0.02 on this topic...I don't want to get into the thread
on this, PLEASE.....


Dale M. Wheeler, Ph.D.
Research Professor in Biblical Languages Multnomah Bible College
8435 NE Glisan Street Portland, OR 97220
Voice: 503-251-6416 FAX:503-254-1268 E-Mail:

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