[b-greek] "You" and "we" in Eph 2:1 - 22 (To Daniel Buck)[ignore the first message)

From: Moon-Ryul Jung (moon@saint.soongsil.ac.kr)
Date: Sun Oct 22 2000 - 05:18:21 EDT


Dear Bgreekers,

in recent discussions on Eph 2:1, Daniel Buck wrote:

-------
If you note the parallel structure between verse 1 and verse 5 I would
suggest that the initial thought of verse 1 is resumed in verse 5. Also
the
structure of KAI hUMAS ... KAI hHMAS may be read as both you (Gentiles
believers) ... and we (Jewish believers). Both are dead in trespasses,
though the former situation of the Gentile believers receives further
expansion. But finally verse 5 gives us the verbal thought of this entire
unit, SUNEZWOPOIHSEN TWi XRISTWi both hUMAS and hHMAS. ONTAS being a
temporal and parenthetical comment setting up the situation of the
believers
in contrast with the mercy of God (v. 4) and His above and beyond grace
(v.8)

-------------------

This interpretation is interesting because
this theme of Christ making both Jews and Gentiles one body is
quite visible in the letter, e.g. 2:11-22. The most important verses in
this regard seem to be 17-18:

he came and preached peace to you [Gentiles] who were far off and peace to
those [Jews] who were near, 2:18 so that31 through him we both have access
in one Spirit to the Father.

But before I consider your interpretation seriously, I would like to solve
two problems.

Q1: According to your reading, it seems natural to take "KAI hHMEIS
PANTES" in to refer to Jews in 2:3:
"among whom all of us also formerly lived out our lives in the cravings
of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and the mind, and were by
nature children of wrath even as the rest"

But, it would have been natural for Paul to identify with his flock as
its leader, and would have naturally use "we" when he
referred to his flock, the Gentile believers. Moreover, "were
by nature children of wrath like the rest [of the Gentiles]"
fits well to 2:12
 "you were at that time without the Messiah, alienated from the
 citizenship of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise,
 having no hope and without God in the world."

So, the fact that Paul uses "us" in 2:5 does not seem to imply that
he has in mind a different group than in 2:1.

Q2: In verse 2:4, "God, .... because of the great love with which he loved
US", the "US" would refer to the same group as "you".

Q3: In 2:5, Paul says: "
US being dead in trespasses, (God), made alive together with Christóby
grace you are saved!16ó 2:6 and raised up [with him] and seated [with
him] in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus".

"By Grace YOU are saved" is a remark in parenthesis. There seems to be
no way to make "you" and "us" refer to different groups.

Q4: I wonder if the syntactic structure
O1 S KAI Q2 V, which is implied by your interpretation,
is permitted in Greek.

Q5: How would you translate both hUMAS and hHMAS SUNEZWOPOIHSEN TWi
XRISTWi? Can we translate it as "co-enlivened both you and us in Christ"?
This is suggested by the parallel sentence in verse 2:6:
"co-raised ..EN CRISTWi"

In summary, while Paul indeed has a deep concern about the issue of
Jews and Gentiles being one body, he seems to talk about it starting at
2:13, not befor it.

What do you think?

Moon
Moon-Ryul Jung
Sogang Univ, Seoul, Korea


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