Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Ephesians 1:7

I have a question on Ephesians 1:7 - It says in the Greek "en hoe exomen..." I notice most translations (andyou) put "In Christ" or "In him." Isn't "hoe" a relative pronoun? So could (or should) we say "in whom we have redemption..."? I notice the same phrase "en hoe..." in verses 11 and 13. Why not just leave it "in whom"?

(sorry, no Greek fonts, just approx transliterations...)

I emailed Mike about this but figured I'd just put it up on the blog and open it up.



At 11:13 PM, Blogger mike said...

tomorrow...I'm exhausted and tired. Both. right now...tomorrow...(just got your e-mail too...)

At 11:15 PM, Blogger Brian said...

no problem

At 12:45 AM, Blogger Nathan Stitt said...

I think it is the difference between acceptable pronoun and noun usage in Greek and English. In English the pronouns need to be very close to the antecedent to retain the sense. While I believe that Greek is able to point back to a noun much, much earlier in a passage. Not sure if that is right, but that should give you some instant gratification until Mike recovers.

At 8:06 AM, Blogger Peter Kirk said...

In Greek hos is certainly used as a relative pronoun. But from my observation especially of Paul's allegedly extremely long sentences, it is very often used in the New Testament more as a linking pronoun between separate sentences. Paul prefers to write en ho at the start of a new sentence rather than en auto, but the meaning is the same. But confusion has arisen because people have insisted on over-literal matching of Greek and English grammatical categories, and so of making Ephesians 1 into an almost interminable sentence with deeply nested relative clauses. It makes much more sense to put sentence breaks before each relative pronoun of this type, and I think this gets us back to how Paul would have divided the passage into sentences.

At 12:51 PM, Blogger Brian said...

I see your points.

At 4:38 PM, Blogger tc said...

Good observation, Peter! I think we all need to chew on that one.


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