Is Ὀργίζεσθε in Eph. 4:26 a concesion or command?

Stephen Hughes
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Is Ὀργίζεσθε in Eph. 4:26 a concesion or command?

Post by Stephen Hughes » January 24th, 2014, 10:17 pm

Ephesians 4:26, 27 (RP) (Translation includes paraphrase) wrote:Ὀργίζεσθε καὶ μὴ ἁμαρτάνετε· ὁ ἥλιος μὴ ἐπιδυέτω ἐπὶ τῷ παροργισμῷ ὑμῶν·μηδὲ δίδοτε τόπον τῷ διαβόλῳ.
"Be angry with one another if you must and be careful not to sin. Don't let another day start while you are still angry, and do not let the slanderer have a space to cause a division between you and others"
Could this imperative Ὀργίζεσθε be taken as concession, "okay / alright be angry if you must / in the weakness of your humanity" as something that the apostle can bear with with a time in that congregation, but then he puts two limits on the anger; don't sin and don't let it go on till the next day (= after dark), and a warning about what might happen if the anger goes on for too long.

I think it is something like, "Okay, go to "the other side of the tracks" if I can't stop you, and be careful, keep safe, and don't do drugs when you go there."
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Wes Wood
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Re: Is Ὀργίζεσθε in Eph. 4:26 a concesion or command?

Post by Wes Wood » January 25th, 2014, 11:25 am

I hadn't thought about it that way before. I agree with your statement about placing limits on anger, but I read this passage as establishing the pressing need to address disagreements. Basically, is this issue something that should make a Christian angry? If it is it should be addressed promptly. In summary, I guess I have defined anger as directed to sin. Maybe a very loose paraphrase poorly worded: "Be opposed to sin and don't do it. Don't let the sun go down on your battle against it in yourself or others, but carefully consider who is actually sinning before you take action." I appreciate your different perspective.
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Stephen Hughes
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Re: Is Ὀργίζεσθε in Eph. 4:26 a concesion or command?

Post by Stephen Hughes » January 25th, 2014, 6:15 pm

Wes Wood wrote:I hadn't thought about it that way before. ... I appreciate your different perspective.
In your experience / opinion, is a Greek imperative capable of expressing the type of meaning that I have proposed? Is the imperative capable of expressing a "Go on well, do it, but I don't really want you to..." meaning?
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Wes Wood
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Re: Is Ὀργίζεσθε in Eph. 4:26 a concesion or command?

Post by Wes Wood » January 25th, 2014, 7:25 pm

I am afraid you would be in a better position to answer that question than I. You seem to have a much better handle on the language than I do. That being said, I believe I have read at least one text outside of the New Testament that seemed to have that type of meaning, though specifically what that passage was now eludes me. It seems like it was similar to what an English speaker might say when he or she is exasperated with someone refusing good advice. "Fine, drive your car 10,000 miles without changing the oil." But it was much more clear in context than this passage in Ephesians. On the other hand, I believe one could argue that Paul's use of sarcasm in other passages is enough to allow at least the possibility of this type of meaning. I realize this isn't very helpful, but I hope someone else will be able to adequately take up your query.
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Stephen Hughes
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Re: Is Ὀργίζεσθε in Eph. 4:26 a concesion or command?

Post by Stephen Hughes » January 25th, 2014, 10:18 pm

Wes Wood wrote:I am afraid you would be in a better position to answer that question than I. You seem to have a much better handle on the language than I do. .
The outside perspective is the best position to be in to answer that question, it is not really appropriate for me to confirm the rightness of my own opinion; ( :o "I believe that my opinion / suspicion is right." :roll: )

I "have a handle on" many of the expressions of the language, and I'd like to know more of its expressiveness. From what you have said in the Romans 5:20 thread, we are probably at a broadly-speaking similar level with NT vocabulary - perhaps I have a wider overall "Greek" vocabulary because I did the 5 years of Modern Greek and 4 years of Classical Greek besides the NT stuff. But as you would, I'm sure, realise, knowing vocabulary is like catching raindrops in the cusp of your hands - the hands are full only for a short time after the rains tops falling.
Wes Wood wrote:I don't really have much trouble reading greek with fluidity at this point, as long as I know the vocabulary. Right now I have a vocabulary of about 3500 words. I would say about 95% of the time I can use context clues or prior knowledge to get through what I don't know, but I always stop and look the items up.
Wes Wood wrote: clear ... context
The immediate context in this final "quarter" of chapter four is care for one another (to preserve unity and prevent factionalism). We can see that the παροργισμός "anger" (either the inner churning that could give give expression to "anger" ("rage" ὀργή) or the outside provocation or annoyance that could give rise to an angry reaction ("angry reaction to provocation" ὀργή). Looking at pastorally, it is unfortunatel that we see all too commonly in the life of our church congregations that somebody's getting angry with another person and leaving for a while is often very difficult, even impossible to fix up, or even just very uncomfortable to confront -and then there is a schism or people go to another parish or denomination. People are sometimes "justified" for righteous anger in what they say - usually they are so in their own minds, but the result of the expression of anger is the same anyway. in a call for not schisming it is probable that there is schism and in the call for anger to be put away from us (ὀργὴ ... ἀρθήτω ἀφ᾿ ὑμῶν), that might be one of the causes for it. The wider context of the Ephesisans fourth chapter of is unity and avoiding schism. So at two levels there is clear possible context for this way of reading it. I'm wondering if the langauge allows the imperative to express that type of direction.
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Wes Wood
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Re: Is Ὀργίζεσθε in Eph. 4:26 a concesion or command?

Post by Wes Wood » January 25th, 2014, 11:51 pm

Stephen Hughes:
The outside perspective is the best position to be in to answer that question, it is not really appropriate for me to confirm the rightness of my own opinion; ( "I believe that my opinion / suspicion is right." )
Ha Ha. I concede your point. What I meant by that statement was that my exposure to Greek outside of the New Testament is limited and that you probably have more to base your observation on than I. (A very fuzzy memory of a text read long ago and an appeal to sarcasm is hardly strong evidence for any point of view.)

Stephen Hughes:
I have a wider overall "Greek" vocabulary because I did the 5 years of Modern Greek and 4 years of Classical Greek besides the NT stuff.
Without the perhaps that is perfectly true :)

Stephen Hughes:
knowing vocabulary is like catching raindrops in the cusp of your hands - the hands are full only for a short time after the rains tops falling.
Fully understand. Sometimes I get the feeling I am playing scrabble. I can add another word, but I have to put one down first.

Stephen Hughes:
So at two levels there is clear possible context for this way of reading it. I'm wondering if the langauge allows the imperative to express that type of direction.
I could not agree more on the matter of context. I simply meant that the context isn't clear enough for me to reach a "firm" conclusion on how this verse relates to this topic. I was intrigued by your observation on the imperative precisely because I see no reason why it wouldn't be possible. It gives me something else to think about, but i would think my interest does little to help you feel more confident in your conclusion.
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Stephen Hughes
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Re: Is Ὀργίζεσθε in Eph. 4:26 a concession or command?

Post by Stephen Hughes » January 26th, 2014, 1:23 am

Wes Wood wrote:
Stephen Hughes wrote:[Perhaps] I have a wider overall "Greek" vocabulary because I did the 5 years of Modern Greek and 4 years of Classical Greek besides the NT stuff.
Without the "perhaps" that is perfectly true :)
By "perhaps", I mean that there is a skill in vocabulary learnig that can be developed in any given context - words, how they relate together, what is used with what etc.
Wes Wood wrote:Sometimes I get the feeling I am playing scrabble. I can add another word, but I have to put one down first.
Ha ha. Are you are quizing me on my understanding of vocabulary with the scrabble analogy. Of course, with the number of words of vocabulary that you have, you must be at a good level of skill in vocabulary acquisition by now. That vocabulary learning skill that is developed in one context is quite easily transferable to different contexts. You are right in saying that it is not possible to keep all the words in our minds for all contexts at the same time. "Forgetting" the words of other contexts as we look at a context with its own words is a normal / expected thing. The words that we remember in all contexts - without forgetting in other contexts - are those that we come to expect in all contexts - the basic section of the language.

Have you begun noticing and looking for the "missing" things in contextual sets of vocabulary yet? Do you suppliment them in your compositions and imaginings by analogy from other contexts, or do you go looking for them in other passages / texts with the same context? Has that started to become "routine" yet?

I say "perhaps" because I have one and the same skill in Greek vocabulary. Of course, I have read in a wider number of contexts than someone who has only read the NT, but these skills can can be developed just as well in a corpus of texts as variant and diverse as the NT.
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Stephen Hughes
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Re: Is Ὀργίζεσθε in Eph. 4:26 a concession or command?

Post by Stephen Hughes » January 26th, 2014, 1:55 am

Wes Wood wrote:my interest does little to help you feel more confident in your conclusion
It is easy to "feel" confident about things ;) , but I was aiming at having a reasonable confidence / being resonably confident. :geek: Obviously, for that, I need reasons. :lol:

It is actually only a question.
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Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
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Wes Wood
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Re: Is Ὀργίζεσθε in Eph. 4:26 a concesion or command?

Post by Wes Wood » January 26th, 2014, 2:26 am

I wasn't testing you. I believe your approach gives you a significant advantage. Unfortunately, I don't have time to study any subject in a comparable way as I would like to. I have more interests than I can pursue, too many demands on my time, and no means to make a major change. My gains have been meager, and I have often had to recover lost ground. When I made the scrabble reference, I was thinking of the game itself. I have to decide what to put down so that I can take up something else.
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Stephen Hughes
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Re: Is Ὀργίζεσθε in Eph. 4:26 a concesion or command?

Post by Stephen Hughes » January 26th, 2014, 2:29 am

Wes Wood wrote:I wasn't testing you. I believe your approach gives you a significant advantage. Unfortunately, I don't have time to study any subject in a comparable way as I would like to. I have more interests than I can pursue, too many demands on my time, and no means to make a major change. My gains have been meager, and I have often had to recover lost ground. When I made the scrabble reference, I was thinking of the game itself. I have to decide what to put down so that I can take up something else.
Ha ha. I see.

Which approach do you believe gives me an advantage?
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Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

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