From: James S. Murray (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Sat Feb 03 2001 - 15:07:46 EST
Iver Larsen wrote:
> > I would appreciate some help in understanding the function EN in Eph.
> > 1:17. The text reads:
> > hINA hO QEOS TOU KURIOU hHMWN IHSOU CRISTOU, hO PATHR THS DOXHS, DWHi
> > hUMIN PNEUMA SOFIAS KAI APOKALUPSEWS EN EPIGNWSEI AUTOU
> > While a number of options seem possible to me (e.g. reference: "with
> > regards to knowing him", reason: "because you know him"), I was suprised
> > to find two translations that treat this as indicating purpose or
> > result.
> > NIV: "so that you might know him better"
> > TEV: "so that you will know him"
> > I was not aware that EN could indicate purpose or result. Is this
> > possible?
> > Thanks.
> > Jim Murray
> > Racine, WI
> More than two translations have taken that option, but I find it hard to justify
> from a syntactical point of view. I would offer three reasons.
> 1) The normal purpose/result preposition is EIS and this even occurs in the
> following verse:
> Eph 1:18 EIS TO EIDENAI hUMAS TIS ESTIN hH ELPIS.
> 2) The phrase EN EPIGNWSEI occurs several other places (Rom 1:28, Phil 1:9,
> Philemon 6, 2 Pet 1:2, 2:20) but in none of these places is a purpose/result
> 3) The word EPIGNWSIS suggests a growing knowledge like a process from basic
> knowledge to deeper knowledge as well as experience. In that process wisdom and
> revelation from the Holy Spirit is vital. It therefore makes good sense to me if
> Paul is praying that in their quest for deeper knowledge God will give them both
> wisdom and revelation from the Spirit.
> I would therefore suggest that something like the NRSV rendering would be
> I pray that [God] may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to
> know him.
> My guess is that the result option comes in not so much through the EN but
> through the EPIGNWSIS and the whole context. Since arriving at EPIGNWSIS is a
> process, one could justify a focus on the end result rather than the process.
> The goal and purpose of Paul's prayer is that the wisdom and revelation they
> receive from the Spirit will result in a deeper knowledge of God. So NIV is not
> as far away from the intended meaning as it looks at first sight:
> "I keep asking that [God] may give you (the) Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so
> that you may know him better."
> I will not recommend the NIV here, but I can half-heartedly defend it.
> Among those translations that indicate a result relationship I prefer the New
> Living Translation:
> "give you spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you might grow in your
> knowledge of God."
> Iver Larsen
> Kolding, Denmark
Thanks for your thoughtful reply. I honestly had not considered how the lexical
semantics of EPIGNWSIS might come into play here. Though, as I mentioned in my
reponse to Maurice's suggestion, I think there is a question whether the intended
goal is that they grow in a deepr knowledge of God or whether the purpose is set up
with the articular infinitive clause in vs. 18; that they might know the hope of his
calling, etc. As I suggested, perhaps we need to determine first the funtion of the
accusative participial phrase PEPHWTISMENOUS TOUS OPHQALMOUS in vs.18 (no easy
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