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Volume 33 - Page 55 of 253 Index | Zoom | |
He (she or it) is.
Now while all this is intensely interesting and of great importance to the point at issue,
we have not arrived at the actual word used in Eph. 1: 1. Ousin is a participle, derived
from eimi, "to be". What then is a "participle"? As the name implies, a participle is so
called because it partakes at once of the nature of a noun and of a verb. It is really a
particular kind of adjective derived immediately from a verb, expressing both an attribute
or property of a person or thing, and a time to which it relates.
Ousin is the present participle of eimi, and means "being". It is plural and agrees with
Tois hagiois, "To the saints", and so is in the dative case. Tois ousin, therefore, is "To
the being", but this needs to be re-cast to make English, and so we may say, "To the ones
being", or better still, "To those which are (at Ephesus, etc.)".
To those unacquainted with the foundation of language all this may look formidable,
but grammatical interpretation is the very backbone of truth, and no pains must therefore
be spared if we value the testimony of Holy Scripture.
"At Ephesus." Notes on the preposition en.
pp. 24, 25
On the last occasion we occupied the available space in arriving at the meaning of the
participle ousin, "being". This must be read with en Epheso, "at Ephesus".
We must now consider the preposition en. The reader will remember that the meaning
of the name "preposition" and some features common to prepositions, were discussed in
Volume XXXII, pp. 29 and 30.
We come immediately, therefore, to en. This
preposition corresponds with the English "in" but is not quite so restricted in its use,
being translated "among", "at", "by" and "with".
Every preposition is associated with the idea of place, and where the dative case is
used, as with en, something fixed or stationary is intended, and en denotes the space
within, in, upon, at, or near, which anything is.
En is used of place . . .
"In their synagogue" (Matt. 9: 35).
"On my throne" (Rev. 3: 21).
"At the right hand" (Rom. 8: 34).
En is used time . . .
"In the days of" (Matt. 2: 1).
"Upon (or during) the Sabbath" (Matt. 12: 2).
"At the last trump" (I Cor. 15: 52).