Re: Eph. 2:15

From: George Blaisdell (
Date: Fri May 21 1999 - 13:49:12 EDT


>From: Paul Zellmer

>Andrew Bowman wrote:
> > I am a beginning Greeker and am writing an exegetical paper for my
> > Exegeting Greek (3rd semester) class. My passage is Eph. 2:11-22. I
> > am having a bit of difficulty with the grammar of vs. 15, specifically
> > in hINA clause. It reads (forgive me if I transliterate incorrectly)
> > question is how do phrases "the two" and "into one new man" connect to
> > the verb "he might make" ? It seems that they are functioning as a
> > double direct object, but BAGD or the other instances of KTIZW in the
> > NT support that conclusion. If I take the prepositional phrase as
> > modifying the verb, I am not at all sure how it would be relating to
> > it. I am equally baffled by how the phrase would be modifying
> > ANQROPOV. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks, Andrew Bowman
>On the surface, it appears to me as if the genitives and both
>prepositional phrases modify the verb, the genitives describing the
>source material, the EN phrase, giving the sphere (or perhaps agency),
>and the EIS phrase, the goal or end. The object of EIS is ANQRWPON,
>with hENA and KAINON being adjectives describing ANQRWPON. The direct
>object is never specifically stated. The construction as stated in
>English, with the necessary change of word order: "in order that he
>might, in him[self], create [a creation] into one new man out of the
>I realize it doesn't flow smoothly when we handle it strictly literally,
>but KTIZW doesn't take a genitive "direct object," and it would be even
>more difficult to make a prepositional phrase play that role. And the
>three actions expressed by the phrases *are* all of the same ilk (source
>material, sphere of activity, and final product). To have each be a
>modifier of the verbal action does seem to follow a common Pauline
>grammatical pattern, although we many times would expect to see EK on
>the genitive/ablative phrase.
>Hope this helps,

That was a nice job, Paul. I would offer the following tries:

Ultra literal:

"That the two He might create in Himself into one new man."

Cleaned up a tad:

"In order that in Himself he might create the two into one new person."

I have often wondered if the use of the subjunctive in the NT might often
mean that without the action or condition prescribed, the subjunctive simply
does not happen. This avoids the quid pro quo problem, yet shoulders us
with our own responsibility.


George Blaisdell
Roslyn, WA

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