3

I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened so that you may know what is the hope of his calling, what is the wealth of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the mighty working of his strength. Ephesians 1:18‭-‬19

Here the author has three 'whats':

  • what is the hope of his calling
  • what is the wealth of his glorious inheritance in the saints
  • and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power

In English, we would commonly separate a list of three items in this way - 1, 2 and 3. But in Greek, I'm not sure whether it's three separated items, or two items where the first is:

what is the hope of his calling, what is the wealth of his glorious inheritance in the saints

Considering that the hope is an expectation (much like the inheritance), these ideas are so close that they could be the same idea.

When I read it aloud (the letters were initially designed for oral delivery), it does almost sound more naturally like one idea, but I'm not sure. Given how liberally koine typically uses and to separate and join ideas, is the lack of an and a sign that this is one thought, or is the what sufficient to break these ideas in two?

2

Three

This explanation is going to be simple because sometimes seeing it in Greek makes it simple and there is no need to make things more complicated than they need to be.

Each "what" is translated from a "τίς" (tis), three total

The third is "τί" (ti), but it's a neuter form of the same word.

Greek has so many words for these kinds of things, when it uses the same word three times like this, there isn't much room for speculation.

So, "three".


Note to non-Greek students and the BH topic: This is not a "question about Greek", asking someone to do someone else's Greek homework. This is a legitimate question about how to understand a passage. A "Greek question" would be, "Why is τίς in a different form in the third occurrance?" Since the Bible is in Hebrew and Greek, we need to be able to discuss those original languages at some point, but the scope of BH is to avoid making original language the main content of the question. This question is more along the lines of, "Hey, 'Greek' gurus, does the Greek show two or three?" That's helpful for all Bible students, not boring people with details of Greek. So, this is a great and very on-topic question.

1
  • 1
    Really appreciate this - thanks for your succinct explanation. – Steve Taylor Feb 25 at 11:27

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