Re: Fw: EIS EPAINON EINAI in Eph 1:12

From: James H. Vellenga (
Date: Mon Sep 22 1997 - 09:43:53 EDT

My two cents worth, for what it's worth: I've been vaguely
troubled by the existing translations myself, particularly about
the standard interpretation of EINAI. It just didn't seem to
fit with the overwhelming usages of EINAI (and its morphs) as
either a connective or variations on "there are". So I'm kinda
relieved that Carl thinks it's an odd usage too. The alternative
translation suggested by one of you (I couldn't figure out which
one of you thought of it first), which I gather would run in
English something like

  for us to be (for praise of a glory of his)
  the ones who hoped first by means of the Messiah...

makes a lot more "sense" to me.

Jim Vellenga

> From: "Perry L. Stepp" <>
> Date: Fri, 19 Sep 1997 13:55:25 -0500
> 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
> [snip]
> Much more important with respect to stating purpose, I think are the EIS +
> accusative phrases such as 1:10: (EIS OIKONOMIAN ... ANAKEFALAIWSASQAI) and
> EIS + infinitive phrases such as in 1:12 (EIS TO EINAI hHMAS .. TOUS
> PROHLPIKOTAS--here I think these are the key elements, while the EIS
> EPAINON DOXHS AUTOU is essentially an almost parenthetical accompanying
> benediction (His Glory be praised!).
> I responded:
> So you would take the "to the praise of His glory", which is consistently
> translated as the purpose statement (I've checked over a dozen English
> translations) as a parenthetical comment, and the "the ones who
> previously/first hoped in Christ" as the actual purpose statement?
> This would produce something like "In Him we were made heirs . . . in order
> that we (God's glory be praised!) might be the first to hope in Christ"
> 1.11-12)? Is this what you're suggesting? It makes sense to me, but I've
> checked every translation I have for Eph 1.11-12, including M. Barth's and
> Andrew Lincoln's, and find no mention of this possibility.
> I'm surprised that no one else has made this (to my mind) extremely lucid
> suggestion. Are you aware of any discussion along this line?
> Carl responded:
> I may be very wrong about this and I'd really like to hear what others have
> to say--how those who want to take the predicate of 1:12 as EIS TO EINAI
> simply appositional to hHMAS. I'd be curious to see just how far out on a
> limb I am here (with my bias against the Greek of Ephesians!). I may be
> very wrong here, but I really think that EIS EPAINON THS DOXHS AUTOU EINAI
> is almost impossible Greek, even if we want to say in English (and Latin)
> things like "This is all for the greater glory of God." I can see that
> being said about one's labors; but it seems strange to say it of persons.
> One might say "live for his Glory"--but "BE for his glory" with a person as
> a subject really seems very strange to me.
> ---------------------------------------Quote mode
> off-----------------------------------------
> The language of Eph 1.3ff does indeed seem to me to be liturgical, and I
> can easily picture someone in that context interjecting "God's glory be
> praised!" at odd intervals during their doxology. What does everyone
> think? Is anyone aware of a discussion of the verse that takes the tack
> suggested here?
> Grace and peace,
> Perry L. Stepp
> (Permission granted to quote any or all and to name the writer.)

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