The Berean Expositor
Volume 38 - Page 226 of 249
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book", we actually mean "give TO me the book". "The fundamental conception of the
dative is juxtaposition . . . . . hence the dative is diametrically opposed to the genitive"
(Farrar). So, the dative is employed with en "in" whereas the genitive would be used
with ek "out".
When Paul wanted to say "to the saints" he wrote tois hagiois (Eph. 1: 1) and when he
wanted to say "in the saints" he wrote en tois hagiois (Eph. 1: 18). We therefore believe
that the omission of en from Eph. 2: 1 and 5 is intentional, that the Apostle did not
speak of the unbeliever's dreadful condition of being "dead IN trespasses and sins" but
rather of the believer's blessed liberation "being dead TO trespasses and sins". This
however is by no means proof, so we continue.
In I Pet. 2: 24 we read "that we being dead to sins should live unto righteousness".
Here the Greek reads tais hamartiais, which the reader can compare with the last two
words of the Greek of Eph. 2: 1 set out on page 236. It would be monstrous to translate
this blessed passage in Peter "that you being dead IN sins, should live unto
righteousness". This is not all. The same grammatical form meets us in Rom. 6: with
the one difference that the word is in the singular "sin" and not in the plural "sins".
"We that are dead TO sin" te hamartia (Rom. 6: 2).
"He died UNTO sin once" te hamartia (Rom. 6: 10).
"Dead indeed UNTO sin" te hamartia (Rom. 6: 11).
It is absolutely impossible to use the words "IN sin" in these passages; to attempt it in
verse two would be nonsense, and in verse 10 blasphemy.
The Apostle in Eph. 2: 1 and 5 is building upon the great teaching of Rom. 6:
There "sin" and "the old man" are in view, whereas in Ephesians "trespasses and sins"
are in view. The "old man" together with his "former conversation" as Eph. 4: 22 puts
it, thereby carrying the teaching one stage further from the doctrinal, into the practical
realm along the path of complete emancipation. Before we leave Eph. 2:, we must
notice the verb that is translated "were" in verses one and five. There is no possibility of
a difference of opinion here. The word ontas is the present participle of the verb eimi,
and in English reads "being".  One error is productive of others.  When once the
translation has been adopted "dead IN sins" it was manifestly impossible to put into the
epistle of Paul "And you BEING dead IN sins" without complicating the argument and
distorting the doctrine, consequently the present participle is translated "were", yet two
wrongs do not make a right, and the only translation that abides by the language of
inspiration is that offered "and you being dead to" indicating the present condition of the
believer by grace.
We must now turn to the parallel passage in Col. 2:  In the Received Text the
preposition en "in" is found in verse thirteen which justifies the translation "dead IN your
sins". Lightfoot's comment is: "the en of the received text, though highly supported, is
doubtless an interpolation for the sake of grammatical clearness." En is not found in
either the Vatican or the Sinaitic manuscripts, and the Numeric New Testament omits it.