Dividing Ephesians 5:21 & 22

Honestly, the division of these two verses, in my opinion, is a perfect example of Biblical scholars knowing little to nothing about how language functions holistically, particularly at the level of pragmatics and discourse – this is one occasion where my always seeking to give the benefit of the doubt really struggles.

I cannot tell you how many times I’ve been irritated with the explanation,

“The imperative mood is implied in verse 22.”

That’s not an explanation. That’s a cop out.

5 thoughts on “Dividing Ephesians 5:21 & 22

  1. Well, you admirably raise the question, “Just what is it that really constitutes a Biblical scholar?” I certainly don’t claim to be one. Evidently you think it’s one who “knows little to nothing about how language functions holitically … ” — which may indeed be the case. It would appear that all those readers out there who don’t know Greek and must rely upon translations are totally helpless. Do we then turn to the academic linguists to relieve us of our ἀπορία? I think the old Latin saw of Juvenal applies here: “Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?” One consideration worth bearing in mind here is that the author of Ephesians has not formulated his thoughts in what could be called a perspicuous structure. One gets the impression that even the editors of our printed Greek texts are at something of a loss to know how to punctuate them, whether in terms of how they are actually structured in the Greek or alternatively how they (the editors) think they would best translate into English or another target language.

  2. Carl – I’ll admit to being intentionally hyperbolic. I’m hoping that when Max Turner’s NIGTC volume is published we’ll see a helpful discussion. His article in a one volume commentary on Ephesians makes some encouraging comments in what I think is the right direction.

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