Re: Ephesians 3.1

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Tue May 04 1999 - 07:09:28 EDT

At 9:25 PM -0700 5/3/99, Al Lukaszewski wrote:
>Dear Listmembers:
>I would be interested in hearing what everyone thinks of the syntax, in
>Ephesians 3.1, of TOUTOU XARIN and whether the sentence should be
>understood as with an understood EIMI or without. In the WBC series,
>Lincoln suggests it is the beginning of a sentence that is not resumed
>again until v. 14 (Lincoln, _Ephesians_, 172; also cf. Barth, _Ephesians
>1-3_, 326ff). This is in contrast to the Peshitta, Chrysostom, et al. who
>I do not have access presently to Chrysostom but the Peshitta renders it
>somewhat woodenly (with the exception of the second pronoun), assumably
>directly from the Greek as it was understood early on: METULL HANA) )ENA)
>I would like to know how others see this verse and how best to understand
>TOUTOU XARIN in the syntax of the passage -- i.e., suggestions on how to
>diagram it. If anyone has access to Best's NICC commentary that just came
>out I would be interested to hear what he suggests for this passage.

I suspect there's not going to be a whole lot of consensus on this one, but
I'll thrown in my 2c worth:


The editors, by punctuating thus, have pretty clearly indicated that they
see this as a sentence fragment, and I find it difficult to think
otherwise; I think it may be easiest to see, as you say Lincoln evidently
feels, this is "the beginning of a sentence that is not resumed again until
v. 14." I don't really see how the problems here are resolved by assuming
an EIMI; it seems to me that TOUTOU CARIN and hUPER hUMWN TWN EQNWN really
need to construe with a verb of action.

(a) While the genitive TOU CRISTOU can, I think, be legitimately attached
to hO DESMIOS, I think that hUPER hUMWN TWN EQNWN cannot; I really think
this phrase would need an additional article to give it attributive linkage
to hO DESMIOS, and without that linkage, I think some indication of what
the writer HAS DONE "on behalf of you Gentiles" is required to attach the
phrase to;

(b) To an only slightly lesser extent do I also think that's true of TOUTOU
CARIN: I'm really troubled even by the notion that TOUTOU has the preceding
several verses as a meaningful antecedent--and forms of hOUTOS do normally
refer to what has immediately preceded rather than to what follows--and I
don't personally see how one can point to Eph 2:14-22 as clearly stating
the REASON ("And that is why ...") for the writer's being the prisoner of
Christ. On the other hand, I can see it as referring to the preceding
verses if TOUTOU CARIN belongs syntactically to a verb of action that never
appears in the extant verse--presumably because we have an anacoluthon at
the end of verse 1 and a brand new beginning in verse 2. I think some
intended verb of action must be understood with which TOUTOU CARIN and
hUPER hUMWN TWN EQNWN must BOTH construe syntactically.

Others may very well feel that there's nothing syntactically problematic
about these two phrases, but my own feeling is that both are adverbial in
nature and need to construe with an action verb rather than with an EIMI
that is nothing more than a copula linking a subject and predicate

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics/Washington University
One Brookings Drive/St. Louis, MO, USA 63130/(314) 935-4018
Home: 7222 Colgate Ave./St. Louis, MO 63130/(314) 726-5649

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