From: Mark Wilson (email@example.com)
Date: Fri Sep 22 2000 - 23:02:31 EDT
>I would like to get some input on the phrase EN AGAPEi at the
>end of Eph 1:4. It seems there is no real agreement among commentators
>as to whether or not this phrase belongs in vs 4 or vs 5. Would it be
>possible to get some thoughts on this?
When thinking through this, you might want to NOT think in terms of "at the
end of 1:4," since chapter and verse breaks were not an issue for the
original recipients of this epistle. It does indicate how some Greek
scholars see it though.
I would suppose that whenever a particular word or phrase can modify either
the clause before it or after it, and there is no conclusive evidence to
eliminate one clause or the other, then we "must" preserve that ambiguity.
If the original writer left it ambiguous, I would think a good rule of thumb
would be to not remove "his" ambiguity. In fact, just the opposite: I would
highlight this ambiguity, since it is not the norm.
Now, in this case, I think we are not confused as to whether or not AGAPH
was involved in BOTH our being presented as blameless AND our adoption.
If my suggested rule above is not objectionable, I would relate this
prepositional phrase, EN AGAPHi, to BOTH clauses surrounding it.
Here is a visual of this:
EINAI hHMAS hAGIOS KAI AMWMOUS KATENWPION AUTOU
PROORISAS hHMAS EIS hUIOQESIAN DIA IHSOU CRISTOU EIS AUTON
Absent of any conclusive grammatical rule that eliminates either clause, I
would think we are compelled to relate EN AGAPHi to BOTH, and unashamedly I
For some reason, I think our tendency is to "clear things up a bit." I
personally have not looked too intently into this, but I would assume that
it would not be too difficult to determine whether or not "conclusive"
evidence can be produced.
And, I would even venture to say that with the available computer aids
today, we should be able to demonstrate quite easily whether this phrase is
in fact ambiguous.
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