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Because of full stops/commas/capitals in the NASB, ESV, KJV, the first "In Him" (ἐν ᾧ) is written as though it's tied to verse 13. Because it seems to me that the first "In Him" could be tied to the end of verse 12, with the conjunction "And/Also" (καὶ) starting the next clause with its own "In Him" later in the same verse. Would tying it to verse 12 be grammatically correct in the greek text?

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  • theres only one antecedent there in the v12, in Christ, in him you....
    – Michael16
    Feb 26, 2022 at 15:23

3 Answers 3

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The first "in Him" in Ephesians chapter 1 is not verse 12 or 13, but is in verse 4.

It next appears in verse 10.

Yet in the translation I'm using to answer this question, it does not occur either in verse 12 or verse 13.

I'm using a literal translation, which is the closest possible to the actual Greek text. It was produced in 1862 and my edition is the final revised one of 1898. Most modern translation are somewhat removed from some of the Greek manuscripts used in this translation, so I suggest that if this translation is consulted, all the difficulties you mention will be cleared up. Square brackets denote words added for the sake of English language comprehension. Note also how verses 3 to the end of verse 14 comprise but one sentence, which is the way Paul had it. Further, note how a capitalised "He" or "Him" identifies the Father. Christ is written as "he". I now copy this one sentence from verses 3 to 14, which speak clearly about being "in" Christ (who is the 'him' you ask about).

"Blessed [is] the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who did bless us in every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, according as He did choose us in him before the foundation of the world, for our being holy and unblemished before Him, in love, having foreordained us to the adoption of sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, in which He did make us accepted in the beloved, in whom we have the redemption through his blood, the remission of the trespasses, according to the riches of His grace, in which He did abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence, having made known to us the secret of His will, according to His good pleasure, that He purposed in Himself, in regard to the dispensation of the fulness of the times, to bring into one the whole in the Christ, both the things in the heavens and the things upon the earth - in him; in whom also we did obtain an inheritance, being foreordained according to the purpose of Him who the all things is working according to the counsel of His will, for our being to the praise of His glory, [even] those who did first hope in the Christ, in whom ye also, having heard the word of the truth - the good news of your salvation - in whom also having believed, ye were sealed with the Holy Spirit of the promise, which is an earnest of our inheritance, to the redemption of the acquired possession, to the praise of His glory." (Young's Literal Translation)

Because the first "in Him" occurs in verse 4, then verse 10, this throws your question into disarray, from my point of view, and I cannot answer it as it stands. However, the point of your question (if I am not much mistaken) is to establish whether verses 12 and 13 speak of being "in" the same one - the Christ. Your idea is to put the conjunction 'and' at the end of verse 12. Then it would make more sense to you.

All I can say is that the Y.L.T. translation makes it perfectly clear that "the Christ" of verse 12 is exactly the same Christ of verse 13. This answers your query. Christians are found "in him", by the power of the Holy Spirit, who guarantees our inheritance in Christ (see Romans 8:1-39, which equates being "in Christ" with being "in the Spirit" who testifies with our spirit that we are children of God - and contrasts that with being "in the flesh" and so subject to corruption.) The theology of Romans 8 harmonizes perfectly with the theology of Ephesians chapter 1.

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Technically, Ἐν ᾧ is "in whom," but Paul's long Greek sentences are usually broken up in English translations. One of Paul's sentences is 14 verses; not a style we use in English. So, basic to your question is what does Ἐν ᾧ (dative masculine singular) refer to?

Notice ἐν Χριστῷ (v3), ἐν αὐτῷ (v5,9,10), Ἐν ᾧ (v7,11,13[x2]), ἐν τῷ Χριστῷ (v10,12). That along with "ἐν τῷ Χριστῷ.* 13 Ἐν ᾧ" (NA28) makes it clear that the relative pronoun refers to Christ. The connection includes 1:3-14, which is one sentence all tied together. However, the relative pronoun introduces a relative clause, Ἐν ᾧ καὶ ⸀ὑμεῖς ἀκούσαντες τὸν λόγον τῆς ἀληθείας,* τὸ εὐαγγέλιον τῆς σωτηρίας ⸁ὑμῶν (NA28), "in whom ye also, having heard the word of the truth, the gospel of your salvation" (ASV). Thus, in that sense, it is more closely tied to v13. Because Ἐν ᾧ is a preposition phrase with a relative pronoun, it would not be correct grammar to sever it from the rest of the relative clause.

The American Standard Version preserved Paul's sentence structure.

3Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ: 4even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blemish before him in love: 5having foreordained us unto adoption as sons through Jesus Christ unto himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, 6to the praise of the glory of his grace, which he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved: 7in whom we have our redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, 8which he made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence, 9making known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he purposed in him 10unto a dispensation of the fulness of the times, to sum up all things in Christ, the things in the heavens, and the things upon the earth; in him, I say, 11in whom also we were made a heritage, having been foreordained according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his will; 12to the end that we should be unto the praise of his glory, we who had before hoped in Christ: 13in whom ye also, having heard the word of the truth, the gospel of your salvation,—in whom, having also believed, ye were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14which is an earnest of our inheritance, unto the redemption of God’s own possession, unto the praise of his glory. (Eph. 1:3–14, ASV)

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Grammatically, the antecedent for the explicit and implicit pronouns in Eph 1:3-14 are found in V3 and are thus either "God the Father", or, "our Lord Jesus Christ".

Let me quote a larger section of Eph 1 with the antecedents inserted:

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who [the Father] has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms. 4 For He [the father] chose us

  • in Him [Christ] before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless in His presence. In love 5 He [the father] predestined us for adoption as His sons through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of His [the Father's] will, 6 to the praise of His [the Father's] glorious grace, which He [the Father] has freely given us in the Beloved One [the Son].
  • 7 In Him [Christ] we have redemption through His [Christ's] blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His [the Father's] grace 8 that He [the Father] lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. 9 And He [the father] has made known to us the mystery of His [the father's] will according to His [the Father's] good pleasure, which He purposed in Christ 10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to bring all things in heaven and on earth together in Christ.
  • 11 In Him [Christ] we were also chosen as God’s own, having been predestined according to the plan of Him [the father] who works out everything by the counsel of His [the father's] will, 12 in order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, would be for the praise of His [the Father's] glory.
  • 13 And in Him [Christ], having heard and believed the word of truth—the gospel of your salvation—you were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who [the Holy Spirit] is the pledge of our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession, to the praise of His [the Father's] glory.

Note the structure of this passage containing four "in him", namely, in Christ we receive all these promises.

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