From: Carl W. Conrad (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Mon Oct 16 2000 - 10:35:57 EDT
At 9:52 AM -0400 10/16/00, Jim West wrote:
>At 03:20 PM 10/16/00 +0200, you wrote:
>>KAI hUMAS ONTAS NEKROUS TOIS PARAPTWMASIN KAI TAS hAMARTIAIS hUMWN.
>>Question: Why is hUMAS accussative? It seems to be the object of an implied
>verb, but what verb?
>at least thats how it functions in this clause.
>"you WERE dead in your trespasses and sins"
Actually I think that's putting the cart before the horse: ONTAS is
accusative only because hUMAS is already accusative, but the reason hUMAS
is accusative is that it is the object--ultimately--of SUNEZWOPOIHSEN TWi
CRISTWi, KAI SUNHGEIREN KAI SUNEKAQISEN EN TOIS EPOUANIOIS EN CRISTWi IHSOU
in 2:5-6. The problem is that the syntax is tortured here in an immense
anacoluthon--a syntactic non-sequitur (not the usual definition, but
perhaps as useful as any definition of anacoluthon)--wherein the author of
Ephesians adds a fistful of additional aspects of the dire straits in which
"you who were dead in your transgressions and sins" were also involved,
before eventually down in verse 5 he realizes that he's lost his original
object phrase and repeats it afresh with KAI ONTAS hHMAS NEKROUS TOIS
PARAPTWMASIN ..., thereby creating a new problem: that he'd first spoken of
"you" and now speaks of "us." The style of the opening of chapter 2 of
Ephesians is not quite so disconcerting as the style of the major part of
chapter 1, but it certainly is disconcerting. There have been other efforts
to explain the accusative of hUMAS in Eph 2:1, but I can't see any more
reasonable explanation than that the author started talking about what God
did for "you who were dead in your sins" and than when he'd finished saying
the other things about the dreadful condition people were in before God
acted, he broaded the "you" to make it an inclusive first-person plural, so
as to say: "we were ALL of us dead in our sins and God brought us to new
life with Christ ..."
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
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