From: Randy Leedy (RLEEDY@bju.edu)
Date: Tue Sep 23 1997 - 08:54:42 EDT
I've been watching this thread with particular interest, especially
since I am currently teaching a Greek reading course in the Prison
Epistles. I think I must demur from the general consensus that EIS
EPAINON... is a parenthetical insertion. Time pressure has kept me
from pursuing some lines of research that would be necessary to give
firmer basis for my opinion, but I can point out a few things that I
think deserve attention.
>From what I understand about the common Jewish doxological insertions
(e.g., "Blessed be His name"), they are complete statements rather
than mere phrases. Further, they tend to be inserted immediately
after a mention of God. Only the first of the three phrases in
Ephesians comes right after a reference to God. The one in v. 12
comes after a mention of PEOPLE, which strikes me as very strange
place to insert an ejaculation of praise. Are there clear parallels
in Jewish literature?
And all the doxologies in this passage are mere phrases, at least two
of which can fit grammatically into their contexts. Perhaps my
understanding of the nature of these Jewish insertions is defective,
but what we have in Ephesians strikes me as fundamentally different.
The first phrase is even modified by a relative clause. This to me
argues strongly against taking the phrase as a parenthetical
insertion. I can't imagine a case where a parenthesis can be modified
by a relative clause; the idea flies in the face of the very
definition of parenthesis.
Further, EIS commonly indicates purpose, and Paul's whole discussion
in this passage focuses on God's purpose, which, ultimately, is His
own glory. I do not see these phrases as little insertions but rather
as providing the necessary climax to the redemptive purpose of God
laid out in these verses.
As to the grammar of the most difficult of these phrases, that in v.
12, I think another possible understanding deserves consideration,
seeing EINAI + EIS as a Hebraism, representing HYH + L. This would
allow us to translate "that we who first (or previously) trusted in
Christ might become the praise of His glory." This fits with Paul's
conception that God is glorifying Himself and His Son by gathering
together a people who share the divine character. Eph. 2:19-22
reflects this idea quite clearly, though it does not actually use the
In Love to God and Neighbor,
Bob Jones University
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