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Sunday, March 4, 2012

Ephesians 1.7-10

Ephesians 1.7-10 Translation and Footnotes

1.7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiving of wrongdoings [1], according to the his gracious riches [2] 8 which was more than enough for us, in all wisdom and insight, 9 who made known [3] to us his mysterious will [4], according to his purpose which he put forward in him, 10 in a plan for the fulfillment [5] of the times [6], to unite [7] all things in Christ, those in the heavens and those on on earth united in him.
  1. τῶν παραπτωμάτων, Gen.: Objective (if ἄφεσιν is a verbal head noun from ἀφίημι)
  2. τῆς χάριτος, Gen.: Attributed
  3. γνωρίσας, Ptc.: Attributive (parallel to προορίσας in 1.5: 'blessed be the God who chose us . . . who has made known to us . . .')
  4. τοῦ θελήματος, Gen.: Attributive
  5. τοῦ πληρώματος, Gen.: Purpose? According to Wallace, the Genitive of Purpose is somewhat rare. Unfortunately, his 'Key to Identification' is about as helpful as this kind of genitive is rare. Even so, that this plan is destined for the fulfillment of the times appears to work syntactically.
  6. τῶν καιρῶν, Gen.: Objective (verbal head noun from πληρόω).
    On an interpretive/grammatical note, the phrase εἰς οἰκονομίαν τοῦ πληρώματος τῶν καιρῶν is rather intriguing. What exactly does this mean? Is this a plan that is fulfilled at the end of time, or does this plan create that fulfillment? And what are τῶν καιρῶν, 'the times'? Would this be different from τῶν αἰωνιῶν? All sorts of fun questions here.
  7. ἀνακεφαλαιώσασθαι, Inf.: Epexegetical (insofar as it explains the οἰκονομίαν), possibly Purpose.
Interpretive Notes

1.7 – Something interesting to note is that in 1.7, English fails to represent the Greek more grandly and less obviously than usual. The translation says "we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of wrongdoings"; this gives the impression that the blood and forgiveness are one and the same, that they are appositional. While it is difficult to separate them in English due to the lack of a definite case system, the Greek seems to suggest that redemption and forgiveness are the two things the author and listener have in Christ, rather than the blood being equated with forgiveness: ἐν ᾧ ἔχομεν τὴν ἀπολύτρωσιν (accusative) διὰ τοῦ αἵματος αὐτοῦ (genitive), τὴν ἄφεσιν (accusative) τῶν παραπτωμάτων (genitive) . . . 

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