Ephesians 1:11 - ένεργοῦντος

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rhutchin
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Joined: September 6th, 2011, 9:25 am

Ephesians 1:11 - ένεργοῦντος

Post by rhutchin » October 6th, 2015, 8:54 pm

Ephesians 1:11

ἐν ῷ και ἐκληρωθημεν προορισθεντες κατα προθεσιν τοῦ τα παντα ἐνεργοῦντος κατα την βουλην τοῦ θεληματος αυτοῦ

Someone has proposed this as a possible translation:

"by whom we have been called according to a plan of the one who is working with all things according to the intention of His desire."

Specifically the phrase, "...working with all things..."

Is this a possible translation of the text?

Roger Hutchinson
Last edited by Stephen Carlson on October 6th, 2015, 10:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Fixed misspelling of key term ἐνεργοῦντος, not ένεργοῦντες
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Roger Hutchinson

Stephen Hughes
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Re: Ephesians 1:11 - ένεργοῦντος

Post by Stephen Hughes » October 7th, 2015, 12:50 am

rhutchin wrote:Specifically the phrase, "...working with all things..."
Both of the elements of this translation "work with" and "all things" are very vague and open to a lot of interpretation.

Could you elaborate a lot(tle) on how you see both of those things as meaning? Is the "work" with the sense of God's action or a person's? Is it work to accomplish or to produce? Are the "all things" the tool that is used or the material that worked with? Are the "all things" external or internal to the person(s) involved? What does the English mean to you?

Are you asking whether the meaning of the Greek is more or less covered by that English (approximate rendering), whether the English and the Greek have just about, but not much more and not much less than each other the same meaning (equivalent rendering), whether the meaning of the Greek is much greater than that expressed than the English (selected rendering), or whether the English is much broader than the Greek - thereby losing the exactitude of the Greek (extended - inaccurate but not incorrect - rendering)?

To about 80% discussions on B-Greek discuss what the Greek means, rather than how it is best rendered. Despite an official policy, previous precedent and the general usage show there is scope for both (to a certain extent) on the forum - not all participants are able to work with Greek in the abstract, so some prefer to stay close to English. Would you like to stick with your question as worded (discuss that translation) or to discuss what the Greek means and what it doesn't mean? Do you have enough Greek to follow a more involved discussion?
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(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

rhutchin
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Joined: September 6th, 2011, 9:25 am

Re: Ephesians 1:11 - ένεργοῦντος

Post by rhutchin » October 7th, 2015, 7:55 am

You have answered my question in saying, "Both of the elements of this translation "work with" and "all things" are very vague and open to a lot of interpretation."

When you ask, "Are you asking whether the meaning of the Greek is more or less covered by that English (approximate rendering), whether the English and the Greek have just about, but not much more and not much less than each other the same meaning (equivalent rendering), whether the meaning of the Greek is much greater than that expressed than the English (selected rendering), or whether the English is much broader than the Greek - thereby losing the exactitude of the Greek (extended - inaccurate but not incorrect - rendering)?" I think I am asking what applies in this case. When I look at all of the translations of this verse, they seem to be giving an approximate rendering of the Greek and not an extended rendering. If true, then is a selected rendering possible to construct?

Very helpful. Thank you.
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Roger Hutchinson

Barry Hofstetter
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Re: Ephesians 1:11 - ένεργοῦντος

Post by Barry Hofstetter » October 7th, 2015, 10:18 am

rhutchin wrote:Ephesians 1:11

ἐν ῷ και ἐκληρωθημεν προορισθεντες κατα προθεσιν τοῦ τα παντα ἐνεργοῦντος κατα την βουλην τοῦ θεληματος αυτοῦ

Someone has proposed this as a possible translation:

"by whom we have been called according to a plan of the one who is working with all things according to the intention of His desire."

Specifically the phrase, "...working with all things..."

Is this a possible translation of the text?

Roger Hutchinson
You mean besides the fact that προορισθεντες is not represented in the proposed translation above? No. Not "a plan" -- English demands the article in such a context as this (it's omitted in Greek either because κατα προθεσιν is adverbial or because the dependent genitive is articular). Secondly, "works all things" and "works with all things" do not mean the same thing in English and would not be expressed the same way in Greek. Here we have τὰ πάντα as the direct object of ἐνεργοῦντος, so that it's used transitively, and so:
② trans. to bring someth. about through use of capability, work, produce, effect w. acc.

Arndt, W., Danker, F. W., & Bauer, W. (2000). A Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament and other early Christian literature (3rd ed., p. 335). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
"Intention of his desire" just sounds weird to me, like someone is trying to produce a literal sounding translation to support a theological agenda. I mean, it's possible, but not really the best.
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N.E. Barry Hofstetter
Instructor of Latin
Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
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Stephen Hughes
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Joined: February 26th, 2013, 7:12 am

Re: Ephesians 1:11 - ένεργοῦντος

Post by Stephen Hughes » October 7th, 2015, 3:55 pm

rhutchin wrote:When you ask,
Stephen Hughes wrote:Are you asking whether the meaning of the Greek is more or less covered by that English (approximate rendering), whether the English and the Greek have just about, but not much more and not much less than each other the same meaning (equivalent rendering), whether the meaning of the Greek is much greater than that expressed than the English (selected rendering), or whether the English is much broader than the Greek - thereby losing the exactitude of the Greek (extended - inaccurate but not incorrect - rendering)?
I think I am asking what applies in this case. When I look at all of the translations of this verse, they seem to be giving an approximate rendering of the Greek and not an extended rendering. If true, then is a selected rendering possible to construct?
Exact renderings are usually only possible in rigidly defined technical words and concepts.

To do all or any of these things, one needs to have a knowledge of the Greek. What dictionaries are you consulting?

The main difference to note is that the -εργεῖν family of words view the action "work", "accomplish" from the point of view of itself (the work in and as the work being done), while -εργάζειν family primarily as the action that is done to something else (the work as it affects something else). That is not to say that one or the other may or may not "overlap" with the usage of the other in certain circumstances. The other point to consider is that the word κατεργεῖν is generally about the process and ἐνεργεῖν is about the thing as it is being done - but the process is not without the ending and the ending won't be arrived at without the process, so in some circumstances ἐνεργεῖν could be used in the sense of "accomplish", as Barry has called your attention to in his post.
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Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

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