Eph. 2:1, 5 and ὄντας with the dative case of the clause

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Scott Myers
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Eph. 2:1, 5 and ὄντας with the dative case of the clause

Post by Scott Myers » January 17th, 2016, 11:23 am

Καὶ ὑμᾶς ὄντας νεκροὺς τοῖς παραπτώμασιν καὶ ταῖς ἁμαρτίαις (ὑμῶν),
In or to our sins. Both are possible translations to me, but my understanding of the grammar is limited. I am biased to the clause being translated "Being dead to offenses and the trespasses". The reason why other than the dative case, is Paul's use of the word ἐν in Col 2:13 υμας νεκρους οντας εν τοις παραπτωμασι . And of coarse Rom. 6;1-12 which support my view.

Here is a translation with the dative case being translated "to". See how the context flows.

And you, being dead to your offenses and sins, in which once you walked, in accord with the eon of this world, in accord with the chief of the jurisdiction of the air, the spirit now operating in the sons of stubbornness " (among whom we also all behaved ourselves once in the lusts of our flesh, doing the will of the flesh and of the comprehension, and were, in our nature, children of indignation, even as the rest), yet God, being rich in mercy, because of His vast love with which He loves us" (we also being dead to the offenses and the lusts), vivifies us together in Christ (in grace are you saved!)"
(Eph 2:1-5 CLV)
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Jonathan Robie
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Re: Eph. 2:1, 5 and ὄντας with the dative case of the clause

Post by Jonathan Robie » January 18th, 2016, 3:54 pm

lightbearer wrote:Καὶ ὑμᾶς ὄντας νεκροὺς τοῖς παραπτώμασιν καὶ ταῖς ἁμαρτίαις (ὑμῶν),
In or to our sins. Both are possible translations to me, but my understanding of the grammar is limited. I am biased to the clause being translated "Being dead to offenses and the trespasses". The reason why other than the dative case, is Paul's use of the word ἐν in Col 2:13 υμας νεκρους οντας εν τοις παραπτωμασι . And of coarse Rom. 6;1-12 which support my view.
A lot of this depends on the time to which ὄντας refers, whether this refers to the way they were "being" when they were dead, or the way that they were "being" at the time Paul wrote. You need to find the main verb to identify the time it refers to.

But in this case, that's not exactly easy, as the NET notes point out:
Chapter 2 starts off with a participle, although you were dead, that is left dangling. The syntax in Greek for vv. 1-3 constitutes one incomplete sentence, though it seems to have been done intentionally. The dangling participle leaves the readers in suspense while they wait for the solution (in v. 4) to their spiritual dilemma.
And there are a couple of candidates for the leading verb. In either case, though, I think this refers to the way they were "being" before they were saved, while they were still dead. The Expositor's Greek Testament covers this well.
Expositor's Greek Testament wrote:Ephesians 2:1. καὶ ὑμᾶς ὄντας νεκρούς: and you, being dead. The construction is broken, the writer turning off into two relative sentences (Ephesians 2:2-3) before he introduces his leading verb. His original statement is taken up again, as some think, at the καὶ ὄντας νεκρούς of Ephesians 2:5 (Griesb., Rück., etc.). But the resumption begins rather with the ὁ δὲ Θεὸς of Ephesians 2:4 (Mey., Ell., etc.). So the ὑμᾶς ὄντας here is under the regimen of the συνεζωοποίησε (Ephesians 2:5), and the καί has the force of “and you too,” “you, also, as well as Christ”. The ὄντας expresses the condition they were in when God’s power wrought in them. The νεκρούς means neither dying nor mortal, nor yet, again, condemned to death, but dead. Meyer, indeed, contends for the sense of “made liable to eternal death,” as he also takes the following συνεζώοποιησεν, συνήγειρεν, συνεκάθισεν as proleptic terms. But the whole series of terms is best understood to express things done then and states belonging to the actual present. The νεκρούς, therefore, means ethically or spiritually dead, and what had been said of the power of God in Christ’s case is now applied to the case of the readers themselves. The power that raised Christ from the dead and exalted Him is also the power that took them out of the state of spiritual death and gave them a new life and a new dignity with Christ.—τοῖς παραπτώμασιν καὶ ταῖς ἁμαρτίαις: through your trespasses and sins. On the authority of such uncials as [129] [130] [131] [132], such Versions as the Syr. and the Vulg., and such Fathers as Theod., ὑμῶν is to be inserted after ἁμαρτίαις. The dat. is the instrumental dat., “by trespasses,” not in them, nor even in respect of them (Moule). Etymologically, παράπτωμα points to sin as a fall, and ἁμαρτία to sin as failure. It is impossible to establish any clear distinction between the two nouns in the plural forms, as if the one expressed acts and the other states of sin, or as if the former meant single trespasses and the latter all kinds of sins. Here sin is that which makes dead—the cause of the death-state. In the kindred passage in Colossians 2:13 we have the same idea expressed by τοῖς παραπτώμασι καὶ ἀκροβυστίᾳ τῆς σαρκὸς ὑμῶν, if, with the best MSS. and critics, we omit ἐν. The TR inserts ἐν before παραπτώμασι, in which case sin would be presented there as itself the state of death.
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Barry Hofstetter
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Re: Eph. 2:1, 5 and ὄντας with the dative case of the clause

Post by Barry Hofstetter » January 18th, 2016, 4:06 pm

lightbearer wrote:Καὶ ὑμᾶς ὄντας νεκροὺς τοῖς παραπτώμασιν καὶ ταῖς ἁμαρτίαις (ὑμῶν),
In or to our sins. Both are possible translations to me, but my understanding of the grammar is limited. I am biased to the clause being translated "Being dead to offenses and the trespasses". The reason why other than the dative case, is Paul's use of the word ἐν in Col 2:13 υμας νεκρους οντας εν τοις παραπτωμασι . And of coarse Rom. 6;1-12 which support my view.

Here is a translation with the dative case being translated "to". See how the context flows.

And you, being dead to your offenses and sins, in which once you walked, in accord with the eon of this world, in accord with the chief of the jurisdiction of the air, the spirit now operating in the sons of stubbornness " (among whom we also all behaved ourselves once in the lusts of our flesh, doing the will of the flesh and of the comprehension, and were, in our nature, children of indignation, even as the rest), yet God, being rich in mercy, because of His vast love with which He loves us" (we also being dead to the offenses and the lusts), vivifies us together in Christ (in grace are you saved!)"
(Eph 2:1-5 CLV)
No, "in" would be better. It's either an associative dative or a dative of cause. "Dead to" sounds like sin has ended, and Paul here is saying that while we were dead in our sins God had mercy on us, it was while we were dead in our sins that God raised us up... Remember that the present participle denotes that the action or state is current to that of the main verb.
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Re: Eph. 2:1, 5 and ὄντας with the dative case of the clause

Post by Jonathan Robie » January 18th, 2016, 4:32 pm

Barry Hofstetter wrote:No, "in" would be better. It's either an associative dative or a dative of cause. "Dead to" sounds like sin has ended, and Paul here is saying that while we were dead in our sins God had mercy on us, it was while we were dead in our sins that God raised us up... Remember that the present participle denotes that the action or state is current to that of the main verb.
I agree ... but I'm not sure which of the two verbs marked in red should be considered the main verb here. In either case, this refers to a time before they were saved or the exact moment at which God saved them. And the phrases marked in blue also help locate the time.
Καὶ ὑμᾶς ὄντας νεκροὺς τοῖς παραπτώμασιν καὶ ταῖς ἁμαρτίαις ὑμῶν, ἐν αἷς ποτε περιεπατήσατε κατὰ τὸν αἰῶνα τοῦ κόσμου τούτου, κατὰ τὸν ἄρχοντα τῆς ἐξουσίας τοῦ ἀέρος, τοῦ πνεύματος τοῦ νῦν ἐνεργοῦντος ἐν τοῖς υἱοῖς τῆς ἀπειθείας· ἐν οἷς καὶ ἡμεῖς πάντες ἀνεστράφημέν ποτε ἐν ταῖς ἐπιθυμίαις τῆς σαρκὸς ἡμῶν, ποιοῦντες τὰ θελήματα τῆς σαρκὸς καὶ τῶν διανοιῶν, καὶ ἤμεθα τέκνα φύσει ὀργῆς ὡς καὶ οἱ λοιποί· ὁ δὲ θεὸς πλούσιος ὢν ἐν ἐλέει, διὰ τὴν πολλὴν ἀγάπην αὐτοῦ ἣν ἠγάπησεν ἡμᾶς, καὶ ὄντας ἡμᾶς νεκροὺς τοῖς παραπτώμασιν συνεζωοποίησεν τῷ Χριστῷ— χάριτί ἐστε σεσῳσμένοι—
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Re: Eph. 2:1, 5 and ὄντας with the dative case of the clause

Post by Barry Hofstetter » January 18th, 2016, 4:44 pm

Jonathan Robie wrote:
Barry Hofstetter wrote:No, "in" would be better. It's either an associative dative or a dative of cause. "Dead to" sounds like sin has ended, and Paul here is saying that while we were dead in our sins God had mercy on us, it was while we were dead in our sins that God raised us up... Remember that the present participle denotes that the action or state is current to that of the main verb.
I agree ... but I'm not sure which of the two verbs marked in red should be considered the main verb here. In either case, this refers to a time before they were saved or the exact moment at which God saved them. And the phrases marked in blue also help locate the time.
Exactly. All the candidates for "main" verb in Paul's somewhat tortured syntax here are secondary. and the participle is present, so it really doesn't matter which verb we decide is the "actual" main verb.
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Re: Eph. 2:1, 5 and ὄντας with the dative case of the clause

Post by Jonathan Robie » January 18th, 2016, 5:57 pm

To me, the two phrases in blue echo each other, and are linked to the verb in red. And the two phrases in green also echo each other:
Καὶ ὑμᾶς ὄντας νεκροὺς τοῖς παραπτώμασιν καὶ ταῖς ἁμαρτίαις ὑμῶν, ἐν αἷς ποτε περιεπατήσατε κατὰ τὸν αἰῶνα τοῦ κόσμου τούτου, κατὰ τὸν ἄρχοντα τῆς ἐξουσίας τοῦ ἀέρος, τοῦ πνεύματος τοῦ νῦν ἐνεργοῦντος ἐν τοῖς υἱοῖς τῆς ἀπειθείας· ἐν οἷς καὶ ἡμεῖς πάντες ἀνεστράφημέν ποτε ἐν ταῖς ἐπιθυμίαις τῆς σαρκὸς ἡμῶν, ποιοῦντες τὰ θελήματα τῆς σαρκὸς καὶ τῶν διανοιῶν, καὶ ἤμεθα τέκνα φύσει ὀργῆς ὡς καὶ οἱ λοιποί· ὁ δὲ θεὸς πλούσιος ὢν ἐν ἐλέει, διὰ τὴν πολλὴν ἀγάπην αὐτοῦ ἣν ἠγάπησεν ἡμᾶς, καὶ ὄντας ἡμᾶς νεκροὺς τοῖς παραπτώμασιν συνεζωοποίησεν τῷ Χριστῷ— χάριτί ἐστε σεσῳσμένοι—
So it feels like the organization may be along these lines:
Καὶ ὑμᾶς ὄντας νεκροὺς τοῖς παραπτώμασιν
... ἐν αἷς ποτε περιεπατήσατε

... ἐν οἷς καὶ ἡμεῖς πάντες ἀνεστράφημέν ποτε
καὶ ὄντας ἡμᾶς νεκροὺς τοῖς παραπτώμασιν
At this point, the tension has built, and we're still waiting for that main verb ... then it hits:

συνεζωοποίησεν τῷ Χριστῷ— χάριτί ἐστε σεσῳσμένοι—
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Re: Eph. 2:1, 5 and ὄντας with the dative case of the clause

Post by Wes Wood » January 18th, 2016, 6:03 pm

Barry Hofstetter wrote:Paul's somewhat tortured syntax
Παῦλε, Παῦλε, τί με διώκεις; (Doubts about authorship aside.) Edited: I just noticed our newest member is named Paul :lol:. No offense to him is intended.
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Re: Eph. 2:1, 5 and ὄντας with the dative case of the clause

Post by George F Somsel » January 19th, 2016, 2:20 am

In these verses, I (and apparently the translators of the NRSV) would understand the dative as an instrumental usage — they were dead "through the trespasses and sins." See Smyth
1503. The Greek dative, as the representative of the lost instrumental case, denotes that by which or with which an action is done or accompanied. It is of two kinds: (1) The instrumental dative proper; (2) The comitative dative.

1504. When the idea denoted by the noun in the dative is the instrument or means, it falls under (1); if it is a person (not regarded as the instrument or means) or any other living being, or a thing regarded as a person, it belongs under (2); if an action, under (2).
Herbert Weir Smyth, A Greek Grammar for Colleges (New York; Cincinnati; Chicago; Boston; Atlanta: American Book Company, 1920), 346.
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Re: Eph. 2:1, 5 and ὄντας with the dative case of the clause

Post by ed krentz » January 19th, 2016, 12:58 pm

Please note that Ephesians 1:3-12 is one sentence. The main verb is implied n the Blessed be the God etc in v. 3. You are discussing the verb in a relative clause.
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Re: Eph. 2:1, 5 and ὄντας with the dative case of the clause

Post by Jonathan Robie » January 19th, 2016, 1:13 pm

ed krentz wrote:Please note that Ephesians 1:3-12 is one sentence. The main verb is implied n the Blessed be the God etc in v. 3. You are discussing the verb in a relative clause.
Good to see you again, Ed!

I think this thread is about Ephesians 2:1-5 rather than Ephesians 1:3-12.
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