9.11.09

Oh glorious exegetical explanations or Pondering the infinitive ἀνακεφαλαιώσασθαι

I'm working on a textual analysis of Ephesians 1. I am making slow progress but finding it fascinating and the Koine Greek lessons are starting to pay off. I am currently exploring the word  ἀνακεφαλαιώσασθαι which is the equivalent, I think, of 'recapitulation', and once again it is causing me to consider that little word lurking in the middle of  ἀνακεφαλαιώσασθαι, look hard and you'll see it: κεφαλ.

Hodge at CCEL describes it thus: The infinitive ἀνακεφαλαιώσασθαι, to bring together in one. 


This is what I understand to be God's wisdom in Ephesians 1. He will recapitulate everything to Christ.


So that would make it quite possible for kephale to communicate something much more profound than simple 'authority over'.

Hodge goes on to explore how:
In the New Testament it means either: 1. To reduce to one sum, i. e. to sum up, to recapitulate. Rom. 13, 9: ‘All the commands are summed up in, or under, one precept.’ 2. To unite under one head; or, 3. To renew. Many of the Fathers adopt the last signification in this place, and consider this passage as parallel with Rom. 8, 19-22. Through Christ God purposes to restore or renovate all things; to effect a παλιγγενεσία or regeneration of the universe, i. e. of the whole creation which now groans under the burden of corruption. This sense of the word however is remote. The first and second meanings just mentioned differ but little. They both include the idea expressed in our version, that of regathering together in one, the force of ἀνά, iterum, being retained. Beza explains the word: partes disjectas et divulsas in unum, corpus conjungere.—The purpose of God, which he has been pleased to reveal, and which was hidden for ages, is his intention to reunite all things as one harmonious whole under Jesus Christ.

Anyway, what I need to communicate really is what Paul is telling the Ephesians here and not get too side-tracked but if you can throw any more light on my ponderings, I would be grateful.

Fenton John Anthony Hort also describes how:
God “gave Him as Head over all things to the Ecclesia which is His body, the fulfilment of Him who is fulfilled all things in all”; or as in Col.(i. 18) “Himself is the Head of the body, the Ecclesia.” The relation thus set forth under a figure is mutual. The work which Christ came to do on earth was not completed when He passed from the sight of men: He the Head, needed a body of members for its full working out through the ages: part by part He was, as St Paul says, to be fulfilled in the community of His disciples, whose office in the world was the outflow of His own. And on the other hand His disciples had no intelligible unity apart from their ascended Head, who was also to them the present central fountain of life and power.


Notice particularly here the emphasis on 'the central fountain of life and power.'

2 comments:

DDD III said...

Rachel, I hope you have read your Kittle (TDNT) on kephale, if not you might find it helpful. For Ephesians you might want to look at F F Bruce or Andy Lincoln. I know Hodge is easily available on line but he does come from a rigid perspective. The Greek has not changed but perhaps the way we interact with the text has. The TDNT will cover you, pardon the pun, for your I Cor 11.3 and Ephesians.

Rachel Marszalek said...

Thank you - sorted on the Lincoln and FF Bruce. But will look again and thanks for the link to Kittle.

Bless u
X
nice pun

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