Eph 5:18

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jeidsath
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Eph 5:18

Post by jeidsath »

καὶ μὴ μεθύσκεσθε οἴνῳ, ἐν ᾧ ἐστιν ἀσωτία, ἀλλὰ πληροῦσθε ἐν πνεύματι

That second ἐν makes me unhappy. Not only is it bad usage, but it unbalances the exhortation.
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Re: Eph 5:18

Post by persequor »

Why do you consider it bad usage?
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Re: Eph 5:18

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jeidsath wrote: Tue Aug 09, 2022 4:08 pm καὶ μὴ μεθύσκεσθε οἴνῳ, ἐν ᾧ ἐστιν ἀσωτία, ἀλλὰ πληροῦσθε ἐν πνεύματι

That second ἐν makes me unhappy. Not only is it bad usage, but it unbalances the exhortation.
A while back, I was trying to understand better how to tag the agent in passive constructions, and I came across this book: George, Expressions of agency in ancient Greek. I think the issue here is that we want to express this as a passive, but we want it not to sound like the spirit is the agent.

If it was an active construction, then we'd say that X fills Y with Z, but it's passive so that it becomes Y is filled with Z. The agent X is not stated and may be impersonal or deemphasized. If you leave out the preposition, then I think it would tend to be parsed as Y is filled, and the agent doing the filling is the holy spirit. The reaction on the part of the listener then might be, "OK, what is the holy spirit supposed to be filling me *with*? Happiness? Zeal?" The way George presents it is that the dative (whether or not ὐπό is explicit) is common with verbs like δάμνημι, κτείνω, and ἀνάσσω that express subjugation of the patient. So over all, it might tend to come off like the holy spirit is dominating or subjugating me (something negative), and it's doing that by pumping me full of something (what?).

LSJ's entry for πληρόω seems to be saying that to express X fills Y with Z, you use the genitive of Z. So I guess this could have been expressed as ἀλλὰ πληροῦσθε πνεύματος. However, I think this usage in Greek may have connotations of satiety, which again is a negative.

Ἐν πνεύματι, by itself, would imply something like surrounded, clothed, or enveloped in the holy spirit. I can't speak as to style, but it does seem to project more of the right picture. The spirit is inside you (πληροῦσθε), but you're also inside it (ἐν), which is kind of what you'd expect from an immaterial substance that interpenetrates with people's bodies.
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Re: Eph 5:18

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But the language you suggest *isn't* avoided:

Ex.
Acts 13:52 οἵ τε μαθηταὶ ἐπληροῦντο χαρᾶς καὶ πνεύματος ἁγίου
2 Cor 7:4 πεπλήρωμαι τῇ παρακλήσει

Cmp. (πίμπλημι)
Luke 1:15 πνεύματος ἁγίου πλησθήσεται
Luke 1:41 ἐπλήσθη πνεύματος ἁγίου ἡ Ἐλισάβετ
Luke 1:67 Ζαχαρίας ὁ πατὴρ αὐτοῦ ἐπλήσθη πνεύματος ἁγίου
Acts 2:4 ἐπλήσθησαν πάντες πνεύματος ἁγίου
Acts 9:17 πλησθῇς πνεύματος ἁγίου

What does seems absolutely unique is to express "to be filled by X" with "πληροῦσθαι ἐν X". When you do see ἐν with the verb, it's there to represent circumstance, not object, "be filled in union with Christ", etc. Maybe you have to trust me on this, but "πληροῦσθαι ἐν X" just isn't how they said "to be filled by X." It doesn't communicate that.

Further, you can see examples all over Paul (and in this same chapter of Ephesians), where copyists are adding gratuitous "ἐν" left and right, with actual manuscript/text evidence for the additions.

I should probably mention the possibility that this was originally "ἐμπληροῦσθε πνεύματι" -- "don't be drunk by wine, but be full up on spirit". But that's far too cutesy. Much better, "don't be drunk with wine, but be filled with spirit". (And whether this is specifically holy spirit or not would be a matter of interpretation, as Paul doesn't specify.)
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Re: Eph 5:18

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jeidsath wrote: Thu Aug 11, 2022 12:26 am Maybe you have to trust me on this, but "πληροῦσθαι ἐν X" just isn't how they said "to be filled by X." It doesn't communicate that.
No, I was never disputing that the genitive was the normal way to express what substance something is being filled with. That's why I referred to LSJ.

From your examples, it seems like the author of Luke-Acts consistently uses the normal genitive with "holy spirit." But of course they're writing decades after Paul. Paul is the one who has to invent all the terminology from scratch and worry about being misunderstood by people who have never heard this language before. He doesn't have language like "Christian" yet, so he has to use ἀδελφός, and so on.

In Ephesians 5:18, Paul is using πνεύματι alone, without "holy." If he used the genitive, I would think it would come off like "Don't be drunk with wine, just take a deep breath."

Your other example from Paul is πεπλήρωμαι τῇ παρακλήσει, which is dative like his the original example and unlike the Luke-Acts examples. Why the article, and why the dative? I would have imagined it would just be πεπλήρωμαι παρακλήσεως. Since he follows up with a metaphor about overflowing, any connotation of "too much" or "can't take any more" isn't a problem as it could have been with πληροῦσθε πνεύματος.
jeidsath wrote: Thu Aug 11, 2022 12:26 am Further, you can see examples all over Paul (and in this same chapter of Ephesians), where copyists are adding gratuitous "ἐν" left and right, with actual manuscript/text evidence for the additions.
That's interesting. So are you figuring that πληρόω+dat. is a weird Pauline quirk, the copyists aren't sure how to handle it, so they add the preposition?
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Re: Eph 5:18

Post by jeidsath »

You did say the genitive would not be used. You said, if you recall, that it had "connotations of satiety", My examples show that never seems to bother anyone. They talk about being "filled with the holy spirit" frequently using the genitive, no satiety meant. I don't think it's a likely argument.

You also brought up possible agent concerns. Again, not something that bothers Paul or anyone else elsewhere.
bcrowell wrote: Thu Aug 11, 2022 1:52 am So are you figuring that πληρόω+dat. is a weird Pauline quirk, the copyists aren't sure how to handle it, so they add the preposition?
No. The dative is less usual than the genitive, but not at all limited to Paul. And it wouldn't be "the copyists", but a single copyist, once, who carelessly added it in while working fast, sometime around the dawn of transmission.

Your speculations on Paul inventing Christian vocabulary from scratch seem unlikely to me. He was writing to decades-old communities of a cult that had already spread across much of the Empire. These communities had existing structure and language. He even quotes a hymn or two. You should read Didache and Shepherd and 1st Peter for a glimpse of the very early non-Pauline Christianity (perhaps all pseudo-graphical or not, but they're all wild and wooly and non-Pauline,)
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