Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Markus Barth and Ephesians 5:23 (KEFALH)

The meaning "ruler over" for KEFALH does not mean that the husband could not "nourish" and cherish his wife as Christ does the congregation. The husband in his role as "head" is not supposed to be an autocrat or totalitarian ruler.

BGAD says that KEFALH, when applied metaphorically to Christ and others, denotes "one of superior rank." Louw-Nida makes similar observations. So if we are going to contravene the wisdom of the major lexica in this regard, I think we will need some powerful evidence to maintain such a contravention. Yet I am not so sure that any passage from Ephesians serve the purpose.

For instance, Markus Barth (Anchor Bible Commentary on Ephesians) makes this observation:

"In our translation [of Eph. 5:23], these words are marked as a parenthesis which complements the Messiah's title 'head' with a more specific and extensive description. To use a paraphrase again, the parenthesis says in effect, 'He, and he alone, is not only Head but also Savior'; or, 'He proves Himself Head by saying'; or 'His work of salvation includes his dominion over the church.' However, this interpretation and its variations have always been and still are challenged by a sizable group of commentators who believe that Christ is not the only one predicated as 'savior.' They hold that in a subordinate way the husband, too, is the 'savior of his wife'" (Barth, Volume 34A, pages 614-15).

While I will let others haggle over the idea of the husband being a "savior" of his wife, the main point I want to make with the quotation from Barth is that the parenthesis in Eph. 5:23 functions as a clarification of Christ's position as KEFALH of his own body, the Christian EKKLHSIA. He is KEFALH (according to this passage) insofar as he's Lord and Savior.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Monday, June 18, 2018

Translating Romans 1:11-12 (τοῦτο δέ ἐστιν)

Greek: ἐπιποθῶ γὰρ ἰδεῖν ὑμᾶς, ἵνα τι μεταδῶ χάρισμα ὑμῖν πνευματικὸν εἰς τὸ στηριχθῆναι ὑμᾶς, τοῦτο δέ ἐστιν συνπαρακληθῆναι ἐν ὑμῖν διὰ τῆς ἐν ἀλλήλοις πίστεως ὑμῶν τε καὶ ἐμοῦ. (Romans 1:11-12 WH)

NWT 2013: "For I am longing to see you, that I may impart some spiritual gift to you for you to be made firm; or, rather, that we may have an interchange of encouragement by one another's faith, both yours and mine."

ESV: "For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you—that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other's faith, both yours and mine."

For Romans 1:12, the Weymouth New Testament states: "in other words that while I am among you we may be mutually encouraged by one another's faith, yours and mine."

The Expositor's Greek Testament calls τοῦτο δέ ἐστιν, "an explanatory correction." The Cambridge Bible observes that Paul is using tact at 1:11-12 in order to combine sympathy with judgment: he wants to clarify that he will not only encourage the holy ones in Rome (1:7), but they will strengthen him too.

From Richard Longenecker's Romans commentary: The second statement of 1:11-12 begins with the expression τοῦτο ἔστιν (“that is”) and the postpositive connective δέ (a mildly adversative “but,” though here probably best translated simply “and”), which together signal an explication. So this second statement is meant to clarify and expand on the immediately preceding statement.

Robertson's Word Pictures: That is (τουτο δε εστιν). "An explanatory correction" (Denney). The δε should not be ignored. Instead of saying that he had a spiritual gift for them, he wishes to add that they also have one for him.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Brief Comment on Mark 12:41-44 and Widows in Kings

Jesus speaks of the widow from Zarephath at Luke 4:25-26 (In fact, he insists there were many widows in Israel at the time). See 1 Kings 17:7-24; Proverbs 19:17.

I cannot help but surmise that the Zarephath widow and the widow in 2 Kings 4:1-7 possibly background (influence/provide a setting for) Luke 21:1-4 and, by extension, Mark 12:41-44. I'm only making a suggestion: it could be wrong. However, I've read similar ideas in commentaries or journal articles that deal with the unnamed Markan/Lukan widow. It certainly would not be a stretch to discern similarities between Kings and Mark/Luke--particularly the example in 1 Kings.

Friday, June 15, 2018

More Notes on the Widow Who Gave Two Mites (Mark 12:41-44)

Jehovah's righteousness is partly reflected when he shows appreciation for the little things that we do (Hebrews 6:10). Yes, even those with few material possessions can still honor Jehovah with their valuable things (Proverbs 3:9-10) and he will appreciate what they do in his behalf. Mark 12:41-44 bears out this point.

In that account, we discover that Jesus observed numerous wealthy individuals dropping money into the treasury chests for the Jewish temple--these receptacles apparently were shaped like trumpets or horns and they contained small openings at the top. Many sources confirm this understanding of the matter including Alfred Edersheim's research on the ancient Jewish temple.

Worshipers of Jehovah (YHWH) would put various offerings into these treasury chests; some rabbinical sources report that thirteen treasury chests might have been distributed around the walls of the Court of the Women. These smaller treasury chests likely were distinct from a larger receptacle into which money from the other treasury chests was put (NWT Study Bible Notes).

While the wealthy were contributing what appeared to be grandiose valuable things, since they were giving many copper coins, an unnamed widow of scanty means just contributed "two small coins of very little value," literally two lepta (the plural form of the Greek word, lepton).

The lepton's value was 1/128th the value of a denarius, which amounted to a day's wage in the first century CE: lepta were apparently the smallest copper or bronze coins used in ancient Israel. Some Bible translations render Mark 12:42 with the word "mites" to describe her contribution. Imagine that! The widow gave currency that amounted to 1/128th the value of a day's wage--an amount which was monetarily insignificant since two coins would have been 1/64th the value of a denarius.

To emphasize the small amount given by the widow, Mark not only reports that she contributed two little coins, but he stresses that the money was of "very little value."

The NWT study Bible note explains that the expression, "of very little value" derived from the Greek means, "which is a quadrans." The Greek word that's equivalent to the Latin term, quadrans, refers to a Roman copper or bronze coin valued at 1/64th the value of a denarius. In other words, two lepta equal a quadrans. So Mark used currency terminology familiar to the Romans, but these words would have been familiar to his Jewish readers too.

It is evident that the widow's contribution was extremely small in monetary value. Nevertheless, how did Jehovah and Jesus view her small gift?

Read Mark 12:43.

It's interesting that the widow put more money in the treasury chests than all the coins placed there by the wealthy. Why was her contribution more valuable? Some wealthy people likely offered contributions in order to be viewed as righteous and some possibly were ostentatious. Although the widow offered money of little value in a material sense, note how Jehovah considered her gift, according to Mark 12:44:

"For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on" (ESV).

The wealthy contributed funds out of their surplus, but the widow gave to Jehovah from her "want" (poverty). She completely relied on God by going out of her way to give. Hence, the widow's contribution was priceless in Jehovah's eyes: it was more valuable than all the contributions of the wealthy combined.

In his Mark commentary, Eckhard J. Schnabel writes: "The concluding phrase all she had to live on (lit. 'her entire life') may mean that after she had donated two perutot, she was without the ability to pay for her next meal. She is an example of what it means to fulfil the greatest commandment: loving God with one's entire self (12:29–32)".

This account of the unnamed widow helps us to see that whether we're able to give little or much, Jehovah God does not forget our work and the love we demonstrate for his beauteous name.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Daniel Lloyd's "Ontological Subordination in Novatian" (Link)

Please see

Lloyd references my book "Angelomorphic Christology" a few times and, more importantly, he interacts with some of its contents. Aside from these points, his dissertation is important for patristic studies.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Terms of Rhetoric for Greek (Hypallage)

1) Hypallage-"reversal of the syntactic relation of two words (as in 'her beauty's face')." See

This syntactic reversal is a form of hyperbaton and known by another name, transferred epithet.

Syntax is concerned with word order or what one book calls, "sentence construction."

E.W. Bullinger gives these two examples of hypallage and many others:

Galatians 6:1.-"The spirit of meekness": i.e., meekness of spirit.

Ephesians 1:9.-"The mystery of His will."

For the second example, Bullinger explains:

The word μυστήριον (musteerion) rendered mystery always means a secret. And here it is the Secret pertaining to God's purpose: i.e., the Secret which He hath purposed; or, by the figure Hypallage, His Secret purpose, because the noun in regimen is the word qualified instead of the word which qualifies.

On the other hand, Georg Benedikt Winer strenuously attempts to refute the notion that any genuine examples of hypallage appear in the Greek New Testament. He thinks no example normally offered by commentators is unquestionable including Ephesians 2:2; 3:2.