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Bible Gem 607 - Moving the pieces around (Eph 1:4)

March 27, 2018


Remember this:


just as he chose us [kathos (Grk) is a very interesting preposition which introduces the manner and timing of His choosing us – more when we handle this one]


        in Him  [this refers to the place or instrument of the choosing, the way or means in which we were chosen]


            before the creation of the world [a temporal relative phrase indicating when this choosing occurred] 


                     to be holy and without blame [an infinitive clause of purpose, the purpose of it all]


                           before Him (in his presence) [a locational or positional phrase refering back to being without blame in relation to who]


                                 in love (because of his love)[this relative phrase goes all the way back to "the choosing" - no other link makes sense]



I trust you will use the Propositional Analysis notes to find your way around the parts of the text. Our main task is to work out what goes with what. 


Notice how the NLT puts it: "Even before He made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in His eyes." 


Translations will do this. They move the pieces around. There is no problem doing this because the Greek elements are tagged to where they belong. So if moving the elements around helps express the thought better then so be it.  


There are essentially 6 propositions I have itemised in the propositional analysis.

  1. He chose us  

  2.  In Him (meaning Christ)

  3. Before the creation of the world

  4. To be holy and blameless

  5. Before Him (God)

  6. Because of His love for us. 

The NLT has simply reordered the propositions #3, #6, #1, #2, #4 #5. They are all there, just in a different order. Notice my notes which said "being without blame in relation to who",

the NLT has made it explicit – God. A good translation will keep all the pieces and not lose any. Freer translations tend to lose some of the elements from time to time. There are times when we read a translation and think it is too different, but in fact the essential meaning is still there. The pieces have just been reordered and often times the meaning is clearer. 


Greek tags the pieces according to their function in the sentence and then moves them around for emphasis. The Greek language reserves the first and last spot in sentence for the parts to be highlighted or emphasized. Sometimes also the middle slot. Often the elements are sandwiched in some way. Notice in this sentence how "in Him" and "in love" sandwich the parts between them, thus in Him and in love relate to the choosing in an emphatic way. It is both poetic in a way and structured. A Great piece of writing. 


We will leave grammar behind tomorrow and examine the thoughts expressed. There are some astounding concepts expressed here, worthy of our attention. I will leave you to ponder some more. Let it stew overnight. Should be nice and tender by morning. A little like "taking every verse and sucking it like a sweetie".    



"Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn." Benjamin Franklin


Your understanding of a thing is dependant upon the degree to which you are willing to ask the hard questions. Ian


Jesus taught profound truth in simple ways. We do the opposite. Many "deep" teachers are actually just muddy! Rick Warren



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