Introduction to "In Christ" series

The Greek word for the English word “in” is “ἐν (en)” it appears 2694 times in the NASB New Testament.

The Greek Word for the English word “Christ” is “Χριστός (Christós)” and it appears 528 times in the NASB New Testament.
The combination of “ἐν” with “Χριστός” seems to be the way that English readers understand the Greek words for the phrase “in Christ.” The Greek and English languages are not similar in the way that the two languages work and form sentences, so running a search for “ἐν Χριστός” in that order does not bear many results. Also, what tends to happen is that other Greek pronouns and acronyms  for Jesus are also used. 
So what will work for this type of study will be to evaluate the Greek at each occurrence of the English phrase “In Christ” in Ephesians. That is what I am set out to do.
The first one is in verse one of chapter one:
Ephesians 1:1 (NASB)
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To the saints who are at Ephesus and who are faithful in Christ Jesus:

The Nestle-Aland Greek New Testament 28th Edition reads like this:

1  Παῦλος ἀπόστολος Χριστοῦ Ἰησοῦ διὰ θελήματος θεοῦ τοῖς ἁγίοις τοῖς οὖσιν [ἐν Ἐφέσῳ] καὶ πιστοῖς ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ,
This is actually one of the times where it reads very closely to the English text. The last word there “Ἰησοῦ” translates to “Jesus.”
So the Greek to English translation reads literally as the NASB has it “in Christ Jesus.”
So what does this phrase actually mean? Are we to physically be inside of Jesus Christ? Of course not!
A good understanding would be “in union with Christ Jesus.” Some translation have tried some phrasing that just do not seem to convey enough meaning:  “faithful in Christ Jesus” (RSV), “loyal Christians” (Barclay [Brc]) or “faithful Christians” (Phps). The French common language translation (FrCL) “who are faithful in union with Jesus Christ” offers a better meaning of the Greek phrase (Bratcher & Nida, 1993).
                                                                   References:
Bratcher, R. G., & Nida, E. A. (1993). A handbook on Paul’s letter to the Ephesians. UBS Handbook Series (5). New York: United Bible Societies.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s