Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Discovery about Ephesians 1:4-6 — real, or imagined?

Hi gang! Long time, no Greek.

I'm preaching through Ephesians, which is to say I'm racking my brains in the exegesis of the Greek text. Most recently Ephesians 1:4 has been punishing me. Looking for patterns to help in exegesis, I think I may have struck on something. Tell me what you think.

If that's a legitimate parallel, it's actually very helpful both in exegesis and translation.

For instance, it adds weight to the suggestion that "selected in him" in v. 4 is elliptical for "selected us to be in Him." It affirms that "before the foundation of a world" is meant to highlight the sovereign-grace nature of the election ("according to the kind intent of His will"). It affirms that being "holy and without blemish before Him" is a matter of gracious standing, not behavior ("to the praise of the glory of His grace with which He graced us"). And it further suggests that "in love" in v. 4 — a notoriously difficult exegetical call — modifies "holy and blameless," not in the sense of our holiness and blamelessness being a loving holiness and blamelessness, but rather in the sense that this holy, blameless standing is a manifestation of God's love in Christ.