[b-greek] Re: Eph 5:18, EN PNEUMATI

From: Dale M. Wheeler (dalemw@teleport.com)
Date: Mon Jul 24 2000 - 11:49:25 EDT

<x-flowed>At 09:56 AM 7/24/00 -0700, dixonps@juno.com wrote:
>Thanks. I will enjoy the journey indeed.
>Any idea how often the definite article occurs in a prepositional
>phrase versus its absence? I could probably run it on my
>Logos software, but you could probably do it easier on your
>Gramcord (that is what you have, isn't it?).
>I'm not sure what that would tell us, but it might be interesting
>to compare it to the percentage of articular nouns in non-prepositional
>phrases to anarthrous nouns in the same construct. Hmm.

I ran just EN followed immediately by singular nouns and the results were:

1) with article: 705x
2) w/o article: 781x

My own impression in reading the GNT is that the article with all
prepositions is omitted between 2/3 and 3/4 of the time, depending on the
author. Its one of the things with the article that I *constantly* make
sure that my Greek students see when reading so that they get use to it,
since its very "un-English".

I ran EN followed immediately by PNEUMA and:

1) w/o article: 36x
2) w/ article: 7x

Mark 12:36 (GNT)
Luke 2:27
Luke 4:1
Luke 10:21
Acts 19:21
Roma 1:9
1Cor 6:11

>By the way, I just checked the first passage, Mt 3:11, and found
>"with water ... with the Holy Spirit and fire."
>I am not denying the baptismal work of the Holy Spirit, but
>why can't we take PNEUMATI hAGIWI consistently with the other
>two, since they too are anarthrous nouns in prepositional phrases
>and are not translated as referring to a specific water or fire
>(note the lack of definite articles in the translations).
>That is, why not just take it consistently throughout as: I baptize
>with water ... but He will baptize with holy spirit and fire?

This certainly is an interesting one. There's two things I'd observe:

1) I follow the rule of thumb that the absence of the article after a
preposition isn't proof of anything, and so in the case of PURI it could be
definite (the [eschatological ?] fire), or generic (which in Greek which
probably still have an article; "fire" as most translate, which I suppose
could refer to general trials upon believers or unbelievers), or indefinite
(most unlikely, "a fire"). However, the fact that there is one preposition
governing both nouns would probably indicate that they are to be treated
the same, ie., definite (which is why I'm inclined towards "eschatological"
fire myself). Here's the places where you have EN NounDat KAI NounDat in
GNT; the patterns are pretty obvious; parallels and some hendiadys.

Matt 4:16
Matt 11:21
Luke 1:17
Luke 1:75
Luke 1:79
Luke 4:36
Luke 10:13
Luke 21:25
Luke 21:34
Luke 24:19
John 4:23, 24
Acts 2:46
Acts 7:22
Acts 16:2
2Cor 1:12
2Cor 11:27
2Cor 12:10
Ephe 4:24
Ephe 5:19
Ephe 6:4
Colo 2:18
Colo 2:23
1The 4:4
2The 3:8
1Tim 2:7
1Tim 2:9
1Tim 2:15
1Tim 5:17
2Tim 1:13
Titu 3:3
Hebr 12:23
2Pet 3:18
1Joh 3:18
2Joh 1:3
Reve 14:10
Reve 18:16

2) I'm not sure what "with holy spirit..." would mean?? Are you referring
this to something other than the person/deity The Holy Spirit? If it
refers to the person, it would seem to me that this is an English issue,
not a Greek one at all, and English demands the article for a specific
individual in such a phrase.

BTW, in the "my $0.02" department", what you're suggesting is actually not
that far from what I think Paul is referring to (though I'm constrained to
see the person of the HS here because of the use of the EN PNEUMATI phrase
in Eph); ie., this is not referring to a specific individual "filling", but
rather the corporate "infusion" of the character of God into the local
assembly, which results in certain observable characteristics, 4 of which
are detailed in the following participles (just so they would know what to
look for as an external objective way to be sure that they were a
"Spirit-filled church"). This is what Wallace is trying to get at in his
explanation of this in his grammar.

Keep thinking outside the box and chasing all the data and the rabbit

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: dalemw@teleport.com

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