O.T. antecedant to ois in Ephesians 2:3

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Daniel R. Smith | Forum Activity | Posted: Mon, Sep 27 2010 10:19 AM

Most, practically all, translations translate the pronoun as "whom", with its apparent antecedent being "sons of disobedience" in verse 2. However, when I look at the sentence analysis resources, it seems that its antecedent is "trespasses" in verse 1, making the proper translation to be "which".  The resource "Kairos: a begging Greek Grammar" agrees that it should be "which". This is on page 90, point 9.

Anyway, if there are any Greek scholars here that has the time to comment, I would really appreciate it! I know that this is off topic, but I have few that I trust so much in these matters for direct correspondence. And with so many translations and commentaries not considering that it might be "which", I just wanted to be sure before I develop the study lesson for our church's men's group.

 

Thanks.

 

May the Lord bless you and keep you.

Posts 5630
Todd Phillips | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Sep 27 2010 10:34 AM

Daniel R. Smith:
Anyway, if there are any Greek scholars here that has the time to comment, I would really appreciate it!

I'm not a scholar, but the authors of the UBS Handbook on Ephesians are, and here's what they say:

Ephesians 2:3.
Actually all of us were like them: here the writer says that all people were in that same sinful condition: “among whom also we all used to live.” In the Greek prepositional phrase “among whom,” the relative pronoun seems to be masculine, so the meaning would be (as RSV translates) “among these (people)”; Robinson, however, takes it to be neuter “among which” (the two forms in Greek are identical), referring to “the transgressions” in verse 1. This seems a bit forced, however, and it is better to take the prepositional phrase as joining “also we all” (that is, Christians of Jewish origin) to the readers (Christians of Gentile origin) spoken of in verses 1–2; the moral condition of both groups had been the same. Some translations have taken “among these (people)” to mean that “we” (that is, the Christians) lived in their midst, surrounded by them; rather, the meaning is that “we” were like them, living as they did.

In a number of languages the equivalent of Actually is “The truth is … .” In other instances Actually all of us were like them may be rendered as “All of us were really like them.” It is important that the reference to them should point clearly to the people who disobey God and not to the powers and rulers in the sky.

It may, however, be important to indicate that the likeness between those who disobey God and all people before they came to a knowledge of Jesus Christ is in terms of behavior, and therefore all of us were like them may be best rendered as “all of us acted like them” or “all of us behaved just like they did” or “… like they do.”

Bratcher, R. G., & Nida, E. A. (1993). A handbook on Paul's letter to the Ephesians. UBS handbook series; Helps for translators (42). New York: United Bible Societies.

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Posts 81
Daniel R. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Sep 27 2010 11:03 AM

Thanks Todd.

I was tempted to post the article from Kairos:A Begginning Greek Grammer as noted above, but it is large, and I don't think this is the proper forum for what would become a debate. But I really appreciate your post.

Still, strange how ALL the analysis resources have that pronoun's antecedant in verse 1.

 

May the Lord bless you and keep you.

Posts 5630
Todd Phillips | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Sep 27 2010 12:15 PM

Daniel R. Smith:
Still, strange how ALL the analysis resources have that pronoun's antecedant in verse 1.

Which ones are you referring to?

The Lexham Syntactic Greek NT does seem to show that...

but OpenText.org Syntactically Analyzed Greek NT shows verse 3 as syntactically dependent on verse 2, not verse 1.  

Also, Cascadia Syntax Graphs of the New Testament doesn't show any direct dependence (no lines) for verse 3 (probably because it has verse 3 as a sentence instead of a clause), but verse 3 is indented further than verse 2 which I think shows dependence.

The Lexham High Def. NT and the Lexham Discourse Greek NT both show verse 2 and verse 3 as equal sub points for verse 1, but I'm not sure that necessarily means that all antecedents for verse 3 are in verse 1.

Still, I'm not sure how much the interpretation differs depending on which view you take.  Whether the antecedent is sins (v1) or sinners ("sons of disobedience", v2), I think it could mean the same thing.

 

(BTW, every time I look at the thread title, I think you're looking for an "Old Testament antecedent" Big Smile)

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Posts 81
Daniel R. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Sep 27 2010 1:06 PM

I see your point about the OpenText.org Syntactically Analyzed Greet NT.

There are two other resources that do link it to verse 1. "Opentext.org syntactically analyzed Greek new testament clause analysis" and the "Lexham clausal outline of the Greek new testament".

There is actually an affect on the interpretation. The Kairos author maintains that Paul is talking to the Gentile in verse 2, and that the influence of Satan is restricted to the Gentile here. Then he makes a group argument that we all, Jew and Gentile, walked in trespasses and sin. Did the Jew conform to the world? Were they under the influence of Satan? The Kairos author gives some relevant scripture references.

Alas, I think I have stretched the bounds already for this forum. Thanks Team Logos for your forbearance.

(I get caught with that OT title all the time Big Smile

 

May the Lord bless you and keep you.

Posts 4625
RIP
Milford Charles Murray | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Sep 27 2010 4:27 PM

Peace to you!  *smile*

If this post is "off topic," as mentioned in the first post -- I would think it really shouldn't be.  In the Old Logos Newsgroups (Bless the Memory!), there was a newsgroup entitled "Greek."

     I and others really appreciated that newsgroup, and we supported one another and we learned from one another as we shared our insights as we were using these magnificent Logos resources.

     Would love to see the Greek and Hebrew Newsgroups converted to Forum Greek and Forum Hebrew!   *smile*

Philippians 4:  4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. 5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand..........

Posts 323
Doug | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Sep 27 2010 6:09 PM

I learn a lot from off-topic conversations like this one.  I too would like a Greek user group.  Very helpful.

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