Date: Wed Mar 29 2000 - 22:24:17 EST

In a message dated 3/29/2000 12:52:25 AM Central Standard Time,

 I have a question about the use of PROFHTAI in Eph 2:20 and 3:5. There is a
 phrase APOSTOLOI KAI PROFHTAI in both verses. The APOSTOLOI is clear - the
 Twelve, but what about the PROFHTAI.
 There are two hypotheses:
 - the OT prophets (as 2Pt 3:2 uses PROFHTAI KAI APOSTOLOI)
 - the NT recently born christian church prophets (as Jesus in Mt 23:34 or Lk
 11:49 uses them)
 My question is:
 Is there any hint in the text (in the greek), esp. in 3:5, which could give
 preference to one of those hypotheses? (YES/NO).

I'm not sure that it would be possible to give you a linguistic answer to
your question. It rests more upon apprehending the flow of the argument than
upon linguistic criteria. Personally, I would say

(1) PROFHTWN in Eph. 2.20 probably refers to the OT prophets since they are
part of the foundation (QEMELIWi) upon which the church is built.

(2) PROFHTAIS in Eph 3.5 on the other hand probably refers to church prophets
since it is contrasting what is now revealed (hWS NUN APEKALUFQH) with the

(3) The apostles thus are members of both sets -- the foundation upon which
the church is built and the current (as of the time of the writing of
Ephesians) revelation.


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