The "Sun" (With) Prefix Verb and Baptismal Analogy

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by 1jim, Sep 21, 2005.

  1. 1jim

    1jim
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    John McRay on Ephesians:

    There are a number of significant occurrences of the first-person plural pronouns used in this inclusive way after 2:3 [in Ephesians], which further clarify the theology of the letter [Ephesians].

    The first example and the most significant perhaps is in 2:5 where, following three compound verbs describing the uniting of Jews and Gentiles together in Christ ("made alive together, raised together, and made to sit together"—sunezoopoiesen, sunegeiren [sunegeivrw], and sunekathisen), Paul states (v. 7) that God's rich grace is manifested toward us, the first-person plural pronoun now meaning Jew and Gentile together, who are declared to be his workmanship (v. 10).

    These compound verbs furnish a key point in the theology of Ephesians. Most commentators on the Greek text argue that chapter 1 deals with what God has done for Christ and chapter 2 with what God has subsequently done for all believers. These three compound verbs in 2:5 are thus taken to indicate the twofold union of Christ and his believers.

    However, all of them express difficulty in dealing with the first five verses of chapter 2 and none of them deals with the passage in the context of the thematic consistency of pronoun use or sees the implausibility of his position due to the demands of the three compound verbs. The compounds themselves do not refer to any union including Christ—Christ and Jews, Christ and Gentiles, or Christ and Christians but to that of Jews and Gentiles. The Jews and Gentiles thus brought together, are then together, as an entity, united with Christ.

    John McRay, The Theology of Ephesians, Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology


    Romans 6:8, Colossians 2:20 and 2 Timothy 2:11-13 (How the Meaning of the Sun Prefix Compares with the Meaning of the Independent Sun Preposition):


    (ASV) Romans 6:8 But if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him;

    6:8 ei de apeqanomen sun cristw pisteuomen oti kai suzhsomen autw

    6:8 But if we died with Christ, we believe that also we shall live with Him.


    (ASV) Colossians 2:20 If ye died with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, do ye subject yourselves to ordinances,

    2:20 ei apeqanete sun cristw apo twn stoiceiwn tou kosmou ti wV zwnteV en kosmw dogmatizesqe

    2:20 If you died with Christ from the principles of the world, why, as living in the world, are you dogmatized?


    (ASV) 2 Timothy 2:11 Faithful is the saying: For if we died with him, we shall also live with him: 12 if we endure, we shall also reign with him: if we shall deny him, he also will deny us: 13 if we are faithless, he abideth faithful; for he cannot deny himself.

    2:11 pistoV o logoV ei gar sunapeqanomen kai suzhsomen 12 ei upomenomen kai sumbasileusomen ei arnhsomeqa KAKEINOV arnhsetai hmaV 13 ei apistoumen EKEINOV pistoV menei arnhsasqai gar eauton ou dunatai

    2:11 Faithful the word, For if we died with, also we shall live with. 12 If we endure, also we shall reign with. If we shall deny, HE ALSO will deny us. 13 If we are unfaithful, HE remains faithful, for He is not able to deny Himself.


    A comparison of “apeqanomen sun cristw (we died with Christ)” in Romans 6:8 and “sunapeqanomen (we died with)” in 2 Timothy 2:11, where the associative dative “autw” (Him) is implicit, shows that a “sun” (with) prefix verb with an associative dative means the same thing that the verb without the “sun” (with) prefix means when combined with a “sun” (with) prepositional phrase. There is no element in the meaning of the “sun” (with) prefix verb that the subject engages in the action of the verb “with” (sun) itself; in both forms, the associative idea is between the subject and the referent of the dative, not between the subject and itself.

    This is also seen by comparing “apeqanomen sun cristw (we died with Christ)” in Romans 6:8 with “suzhsomen autw (we shall live with Him)” in the same verse. Logic dictates that the same associative idea is expressed in both forms—(1) a verb without the “sun” (with) prefix combined with a “sun” (with) prepositional phrase and (2) a “sun” (with) prefix verb combined with an associative dative—in both forms, the associative idea being between the subject and the referent of the dative, not between the subject and itself.

    So the suggestion that “hmaV ... sunezwopoihsen tw cristw (us ... He made alive with Christ)” in Ephesians 2:5 means either “us ... He made alive with one another in Christ,” the “sun” (with) prefix applying to the direct object of the verb instead of applying to the dative, or “us ... He made alive with one another with Christ,” the “sun” (with) prefix having a double application, not only to the dative but also to the direct object, is not a legitimate suggestion. When a “sun” (with) prefix verb is combined with an associative dative, the associative idea is between the subject or direct object of the verb and the referent of the dative, not between the subject or direct object and itself.

    This is all the more clear when comparing Ephesians 2:5, where Paul says, “hmaV ... sunezwopoihsen tw cristw (us ... He made alive with Christ),” with Colossians 2:13, where Paul says, “umaV ... sunezwopoihsen umaV sun autw (you ... He made alive with, you with Him).” In the latter, the fact that the associative idea expressed by the “sun” (with) prefix of the verb is between the direct object of the verb and the referent of the dative, not between the direct object and itself, is explicitly clarified by the phrase “umaV sun autw (you with Him)” that immediately follows the “sun” (with) prefix verb in the text.

    To conclude, despite all this evidence to the contrary, that the associative idea expressed by the “sun” (with) prefix of the verb in Ephesians 2:5 applies to the direct object of the verb, God making “us” (hmaV) alive “with” (the “sun” prefix) ourselves, that is, with one another, is to force on this verse a meaning that it does not express.

    In the very next verse (Ephesians 2:6), the fact that the “sun” (with) prefix verbs “sunhgeiren (He raised with)” and “sunekaqisen (He caused to sit with)” are expressed without an explicit direct object or an explicit associative dative is the result of an ellipsis, the direct object (hmaV/us) and the associative dative (cristw/Christ) explicitly expressed in verse 2:5 being implicit in verse 2:6: “and He raised with (us with Christ, implicit) and He caused to sit with (us with Christ, implicit) in the heavens in Christ Jesus.”

    Paul’s baptismal analogy, which is expressed in Romans 6:1-11, Galatians 2:20 and 3:27-28, Ephesians 2:5-6 and Colossians 2:10 – 3:11, is that the believer, whether expressed in the singular (“I”), as in Galatians 2:20, or in the plural (“we/us/you”), as in Romans 6:1-11, Ephesians 2:5-6 and Colossians 2:10 – 3:11, is united “with” (sun) Christ in His crucifixion, death, burial, resurrection and ascension, not that the believer, whether expressed in the singular or plural, is united with himself in these things.

    Further, Paul makes it explicitly clear in Galatians 3:27-28 and in Colossians 3:1-11 that, in his baptismal analogy, there is neither Gentile/Greek nor Jew, but only Christ, the distinctions of the flesh having no part in his baptismal analogy. The central point in Paul’s baptismal analogy is that the believer is so completely identified with Christ that his or her own identity ceases to exist, the only identity that remains being Christ. Consequently, the suggestion that Paul is describing the union of Gentile and Jew “with” (sun) one another in Ephesians 2:5-6, thus focusing on the identity of the believer instead of focusing on the identity of Christ, is an idea which is completely alien to Paul’s baptismal analogy and which is forced on the passage.

    Paul does describe the union of Gentile and Jew into one new man, into one body, but that is expressed in Ephesians 2:14-16, where Paul describes the elimination of the Old-Covenant barrier (the law) between Gentile and Jew, the two/both thus being united into one new man in Christ on the cross. What Paul describes in this passage is not a part of his baptismal analogy. Paul’s baptismal analogy describes the believer being identified with and united with Christ in His crucifixion, death, burial, resurrection and ascension, not the elimination of the Old-Covenant law and the consequential uniting of Gentile and Jew into one new man (one body) in the New Covenant. Here, in Ephesians 2:14-16, Paul describes the creation of the Church, the body of Christ, on the cross, Christ creating the two in Himself into one new man and reconciling the both in one body to God through the cross. This occurred on the cross, not after the cross in the resurrection and ascension described in Ephesians 2:5-6, where there is no mention of the cross.

    (ASV) Romans 6:1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? 2 God forbid. We who died to sin, how shall we any longer live therein? 3 Or are ye ignorant that all we who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were buried therefore with him through baptism unto death: that like as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we also might walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have become united with [him] in the likeness of his death, we shall be also [in the likeness] of his resurrection; 6 knowing this, that our old man was crucified with [him], that the body of sin might be done away, that so we should no longer be in bondage to sin; 7 for he that hath died is justified from sin. 8 But if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him; 9 knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death no more hath dominion over him. 10 For the death that he died, he died unto sin once: but the life that he liveth, he liveth unto God. 11 Even so reckon ye also yourselves to be dead unto sin, but alive unto God in Christ Jesus.

    (ASV) Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I that live, but Christ living in me: and that [life] which I now live in the flesh I live in faith, [the faith] which is in the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself up for me.

    (ASV) Galatians 3:27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ did put on Christ. 28 There can be neither Jew nor Greek, there can be neither bond nor free, there can be no male and female; for ye all are one [man] in Christ Jesus.

    (ASV) Ephesians 2:5 even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace have ye been saved), 6 and raised us up with him, and made us to sit with him in the heavenly [places], in Christ Jesus:

    (ASV) Colossians 2:10 and in him ye are made full, who is the head of all principality and power: 11 in whom ye were also circumcised with a circumcision not made with hands, in the putting off of the body of the flesh, in the circumcision of Christ; 12 having been buried with him in baptism, wherein ye were also raised with him through faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead. 13 And you, being dead through your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, you, [I say], did he make alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses; ... 20 If ye died with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, do ye subject yourselves to ordinances ... 3:1 If then ye were raised together with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated on the right hand of God. 2 Set your mind on the things that are above, not on the things that are upon the earth. 3 For ye died, and your life is hid with Christ in God. ... 9 lie not one to another; seeing that ye have put off the old man with his doings, 10 and have put on the new man, that is being renewed unto knowledge after the image of him that created him: 11 where there cannot be Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, bondman, freeman; but Christ is all, and in all.


    Jim
     
  2. ascund

    ascund
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    Hey 1jim

    That is an interesting article. The three compound verbs in eph 2:5
    All we have to do to test his statement is consult CONTEXT - Eph 2:6. The three compound verbs are all linked to the prepositional phrase “in Christ Jesus.” Thus, McRay has missed the boat.

    Union with Christ is the fundamental concept of justification (Immersed into Christ by the Spirit in I Cor 12:13). Sanctification is the experience of the joy of this union (I John 1:3-5).

    Everything in Christ is Yes - to the Glory of God
    Lloyd
     
  3. 1jim

    1jim
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    John McRay:

    Israel as God's Elect. It is in the context of the role of Israel as the elect, the chosen, descended from Abraham to propagate the Messiah, rather than in the context of individual predestination to salvation, that Paul speaks of election. The first chapter asserts that the Jews, God's saints or holy ones, were "chosen" to bring the blessing of redemption to all nations in fulfillment of the promise to Abraham. It was the Jews who were foreordained unto adoption for this purpose (v. 5), chosen in the beloved (Messiah) for God's glory, that is, to declare the sovereignty of monotheism, (v. 6), chosen before the foundation of the world to be "holy and blameless" (v. 4). They were the first to hope in the Messiah (v. 12). ... the first-person plural pronouns, like the second-person pronouns, are used in a specialized way. In the first part of the letter, down to 2:3, they refer to Jews or Jewish Christians. At this point, following Paul's declaration of the inclusion of the Gentiles with the Jews, the first-person pronouns henceforth refer to Jews and Gentiles combined. ... The significance of this pronoun use can be seen in the following example. After the epistolary greeting in 1:1-2, the Gentiles are not referred to until verse 13, where they are said to have been added to God's redemptive work among the Jews, who thus far have been designated by first-person plural pronouns. Paul then addresses the Gentile readers in verse 13 by saying "you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation … marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance." Thus, the Jew and Gentile are differentiated by these pronouns down to the second chapter.

    John McRay, The Theology of Ephesians, Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary of Theology


    What Paul Is Saying In Ephesians One:


    (ASV) 2 Corinthians 4:13 But having the same spirit of faith, according to that which is written, I believed, and therefore did I speak; we also believe, and therefore also we speak; 14 knowing that he that raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also with Jesus, and shall present us with you (at the resurrection).

    (ASV) Ephesians 1:3 Blessed [be] the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us (all believers) with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly [places] in Christ: 4 even as he chose us (all believers) in him before the foundation of the world, that we (all believers) should be holy and without blemish before him in love (at the resurrection):

    (ASV) Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church (all believers), and gave himself up for it; 26 that he might sanctify it, having cleansed it by the washing of water with the word, 27 that he might present the church (all believers) to himself a glorious [church] (at the resurrection), not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that it (all believers) should be holy and without blemish (at the resurrection).

    (ASV) Colossians 1:21 And you, being in time past alienated and enemies in your mind in your evil works, 22 yet now hath he reconciled in the body of his flesh through death, to present you (the believers to whom the epistle is written) holy and without blemish and unreproveable before him (at the resurrection): 23 if so be that ye continue in the faith, grounded and stedfast, and not moved away from the hope of the gospel which ye heard, which was preached in all creation under heaven; whereof I Paul was made a minister.


    (ASV) Romans 5:1 Being therefore justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ; 2 through whom also we have had our access by faith into this grace wherein we stand; and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

    (ASV) Romans 8:23 And not only so, but ourselves also, who have the first-fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for [our] adoption (the resurrection), [to wit], the redemption of our body (the resurrection). 24 For in hope were we saved: but hope that is seen is not hope: for who hopeth for that which he seeth? 25 But if we hope for that which we see not, [then] do we with patience wait for it (the resurrection).

    (ASV) Romans 9:23 and that he might make known the riches of his glory upon vessels of mercy (all believers), which he afore prepared unto glory, 24 [even] us (all believers), whom he also called, not from the Jews only, but also from the Gentiles?

    (ASV) 1 Corinthians 15:19 If we (all believers) have only hoped in Christ in this life, we are of all men most pitiable. 20 But now hath Christ been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of them that are asleep. 21 For since by man [came] death, by man [came] also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all (all believers) be made alive (at the resurrection). 23 But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; then they that are Christ's (all believers), at his coming.

    (ASV) Ephesians 1:5 having foreordained us (all believers) unto adoption as sons (the resurrection) through Jesus Christ unto himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, 6 to the praise of the glory of his grace (at the resurrection), which he freely bestowed on us (all believers) in the Beloved: ... 11 in whom also we (all believers) were made [an inheritance], having been foreordained according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his will; 12 to the end that we (all believers) should be unto the praise of his glory (at the resurrection), [ ] who had before hoped in Christ (all believers hope in Christ in this life before and until being to/for the praise of God’s glory at the resurrection): 13 in whom [also ye (the believers to whom the epistle is written)], having heard the word of the truth, the gospel of your (that of the believers to whom the epistle is written) salvation, [in whom also having] believed, [ ] were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 which is [a guarantee] of our (that of all believers) inheritance, unto the redemption (the resurrection) of [the] possession (all believers), unto the praise of his glory (at the resurrection). ... 18 ... that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints (all believers), 19 and what the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe (literally: “eiV hmaV touV pisteuontaV [to us, the ones who believe, that is, to us, the believers (all believers)]) ...

    (ASV) Ephesians 4:30 And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, in whom ye (the believers to whom the epistle is written) were sealed unto the day of redemption (the resurrection).


    Jim
     

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