Re: Eph 4: 22-24

From: Dale M. Wheeler (
Date: Tue Apr 04 2000 - 11:23:26 EDT

<x-flowed>Someone asked along the way what the "new man/old man" referred to. Might
I suggest that Paul has already in Ephesians defined the terms for us in
2:15: "...that he might create in himself one new humanity in place of the
two, thus making peace..." (NRSV). The "old man" which we are commanded to
put off (I personally think that these indirect discourse infinitives go
back to original imperatives), then would be the state in which the
Ephesians lived prior to their salvation, when the Jews and Gentiles were
"unreconciled" to each other. The "new man", or as the NRSV puts it, the
"new humanity" (I like gets rid of all of those psychological
interpretations about having some new soul, or person implanted in a
believer, which I personally don't think this passage is discussing), then
is the corporately reconciled Body of Jew and Gentile believers. It is
that reality then that Paul is calling upon the Eph's to implement in their
local church, I take it. As to the middle infinitive --> imperative, the
present imperative would be naturally chosen based on the lexis of the
verb, and would seem to indicate, human beings being what they are, that
the application of the new humanity to the details of daily life will be an
ongoing struggle. People will have to allow God to change their minds
about their formerly hated neighbors; to convince them that they are
actually just as good people as one's other friends, just as capable, just
as honorable, just as God-fearing and God-loving. Such types of changes of
attitudes come slowly, thus the permissive passive or middle voice, "allow
yourselves to have your minds renewed..."

Humbly submitted for your consideration...

Dale M. Wheeler, Ph.D.
Research Professor in Biblical Languages Multnomah Bible College
8435 NE Glisan Street Portland, OR 97220
Voice: 503-251-6416 FAX:503-251-6478 E-Mail:

B-Greek home page:
You are currently subscribed to b-greek as: []
To unsubscribe, forward this message to
To subscribe, send a message to


This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.4 : Sat Apr 20 2002 - 15:41:04 EDT