From: Carl W. Conrad (email@example.com)
Date: Wed Mar 29 2000 - 12:12:11 EST
<x-charset iso-8859-1>At 6:22 PM +0200 3/29/00, J¸rg Buchegger wrote:
>I was just looking through the archives to find something on Eph 4:22-24.
>22 APOQESQAI hUMAS KATA ThN PROTERAN ANASTROFhN TON PALAION ANQRWPON TON
>FQEIROMENON KATA TAS EPIQUMIAS ThS APAThS.
>23 ANANEOUSQAI DE TW PNEUMATI TOU NOOS hUMWN.
>24 KAI ENDUSASQAI TON KAINON ANQRWPON TON KATA QEON KTISQENTA EN
>DIKAIOSNh KAI hOSIOThTI ThS ALhQEIAS.
>There was a thread back in 1997 (initiated by Tom Launder; his question
>beeing, whether the infinitives are to be understood as imperatives or to be
>translated in the indicative) on this passage. What became clear is
>1. The three infinitives are dependant on EDIDAXQhTE in V.21
>2. The three infinitives give an indirect discourse
>3. The aorist (and change to present in ANANEOUSQAI) should not be
>interpreted in any "temporal" way
>4. The construction makes the infinitves the direct object of the verb "you
>Now, for me, one important question was not addressed (and is not addressed
>in one commentary I had a chance to take a look into), and that is:
>What role does the hUMAS in V.22 play? Is it true that we have an
>"accusative + Infinitive" (AcI) construction here? My Grammatical Analysis
>by Zerwick/Grosvenor makes me think I am right with that, and Markus Barth
>in his Commentary says in a footnote (p 506, fn 38): "The syntax of Eph
>4:22-24 may well be that of an accusative with infinitive." Does "may well
>be" mean that there are other possibilities to interpret hUMAS?
>If we have an AcI here what does this mean for the question of translating
>the infinitives as imperatives or in the indicative form?
>And: If the EDIDAXQhTE in V.21 logically (not because of the Aorist) must be
>understood to have temporally happened in the past and this is followed by
>an AcI (and not only by a direct object in the form of an infinitive), would
>this have some impact on the content of the infinitive in terms of the
>Last question: What function does the DE in V.23 have? Wouldn't it be
>possible that the change from the aorist to the present together with this
>DE (see KAI in V.24, where we have aorist again) is a strong marker and hint
>for at least the following: The first and third infinitive talk about an
>action that has the same time and circumstance(aspect). The second
>infinitive is deliberately marked in a way that wants to have it understood
>in a different way concerning time and circumstance(aspect).
>Taking all this together I am asking myself (for one second leaving aside
>all the theological questions and concerns around this text): Wouldn't
>someone reading this text for the first time, in the most natural way have
>understood something like:
>"You have been taught ... 22 that you have put off (AcI) ... the old man ...
>23 (=kind of paranthesis) but you are being renewed ... 24 and you have put
>on ... the new man..."
>Any thoughts on this?
If I may, I'd like to add to the context the preceding couple of verses
which I think do bear on understanding the construction here:
20 hUMEIS DE OUC hOUTWS EMAQETE TON CRISTON 21 EI GE AUTON HKOUSATE KAI EN
AUTWi EDIDACQHTE 22 APOQESQAI hUMAS KATA THN PROTERAN ANASTRFHN TON PALAION
Yes, I do think that hUMAS is functioning as the subject of APOQESQAI and
the other infinitives in verses 23 and 24, but I think that all of these
infinitives are to be understood as standing in for aorist imperatives
rather than for aorist indicatives; I think that the key to understanding
them thus lies in verse 21: " ... if at any rate, you heard him (scil.
'telling you') and if IN HIM you were instructed, THAT YOU SHOULD PUT OFF
THE OLD MAN ..." LEGW and DIDASKW can be followed by an infinitive
representing a command, and I think that is what is happening in these
verses. I understand what you're asking here about those infinitives
representing actions taken in the past, but I don't think that really makes
much sense ("You were taught that you have put off the old self, the one
that is perishing, and that you are now letting yourself be remade, and
that you have put on the new self ...")--to me it doesn't. I think rather
that the aorist infinitives represent the telic aspect: Go ahead and strip
off the old man (get it done!)--and later: Go ahead and put on the new man
(go ahead! DO IT!)--whereas in the middle we have the continuous aspect in
ANANEOUSQAI: submit yourself to the ongoing process of renewal in/by the
Finally, the DE in verse 23, it seems to me, marks the beginning of the
antithetical movement: first discard the old self, but then start the
renewal process begin with the efficacy of the spirit.
If it isn't already obvious, I take it for granted that this is all to be
understood in terms of baptismal imagery and an understanding of what it
means in terms of taking off one's old clothes before immersing oneself in
the water of baptism, dying to the old-self and beginning the process of
re-creation/new creation, then ultimately rising from the water and putting
on the new clothes of the regenerated self.
I don't know if this helps, but I hope so.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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