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in heavenly things,

in heavenly places, or among the heavenly ones? The prepositional phrase occurs only on five occasions in the Scriptures, and all of these are in the Epistle to the Ephesians (cf. Eph. 1:3; 1:20; 2:6; 3:10; 6:12). As we have seen in the preceding article, since the publication of The Bishops Bible (1568) in heavenly places, has become the predominant interpretation, but even this has not been consistently pressed. Given that the phrase is used exclusively in this Epistle, one might ponder as to whether a consistent and concordant rendering might not merely be desirable, but might indeed be extremely useful for establishing a true doctrinal standpoint. Certainly the popular English translations, in their general inconsistency of rendition, can be accused of perhaps clouding any perspective the verses might have to offer. As we have established, the translation tradition in general has understood the phrase as being locative of sphere with the spatial notion of places taken as the key intention. This idea presides until the present, as exemplified by the NIV (1984) translation in the heavenly realms. The NIV is consistent in its application, but the word realm introduces the notion of kingdom which is not specifically implied in the Greek and should be recognised as a discrete interpolation embellishing the spatial theme developed in the older translations. The purpose of this present essay is to carefully assess the legitimacy of the translations offered, and in the study which follows this we will proceed to examine in more detail the theological implications of their acceptance or replacement. First it may be helpful to remind ourselves of a little basic grammar. Our main focus has to be on the word which is an adjective. An adjective is a describing word which qualifies (or modifies) a noun (or noun phrase), giving additional information about the object signified. However, context can dictate that an adjective assumes a substantive role, and functions in place of a noun, or a pronominal role and functions in place of a pronoun, depending on the nature of the object it is used to represent. This functional shift is achieved in two ways, (1) by

placing an article before the adjective, thus reifying its reference (2) by omitting the noun after the adjective, where reference is established by identifying its antecedent. Both of these methods we will encounter in the course of our present study.

A grammatical analysis of the lexical elements that constitute the phrase

when addressing plurality this can be translated either as in or among depending upon the nature of the object. This establishes the phrase as being locative. The thought of location raises the question where? But as we shall argue, perhaps we should also be considering it as being locative of something? The question then is of what? i.e., it is not only locative of space, but also locative of company.
[Preposition: dative]

[Article: dative, neuter, plural] =

the/those (echoing and enforcing the plurality of its


preceding article determines that the adjective serves as a substantive or pronominal (i.e., it functions as a noun or pronoun). The word is a compound of the preposition (upon) and (heavenlies). W.E. Vine in his Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words gives the
following definition:

[Adjective: dative, neuter, plural] the

"heavenly," what pertains to, or is in, heaven (epi, in the sense of "pertaining to," not here, "above") It is quite logical to assume that the prefixing preposition has a function which adds meaning to the word, above and beyond that contained in alone. If not, then its presence would be obsolete. Here, the presence of the prefix - seems to suggest content of some kind, rather than merely places, which is conveyed by the term itself. So from a simple etymological perspective, the common translation in heavenly places is problematic insofar as it completely ignores the semantic modification advanced by the preposition. Thayer in his Greek Lexicon offers the following definition:

STRONGS NT 2032: , (),

heavenly; properly, existing in or above heaven,

1. existing in heaven: , i. e. God, Matthew 18:35 Rec. (, , Homer, Odyssey 17, 484; Iliad 6, 131, etc.; 3Macc. 6:28 3Macc. 7:6); the heavenly beings, the inhabitants of heaven, (Lucian, dial. deor. 4, 3; of

the gods, in Theocritus, 25, 5): of angels, in opposition to and , Philippians 2:10; Ignat. ad Trall. 9 [ET], (cf. Polycarp, ad Philipp. 2 [ET]); , the bodies of the stars (which the apostle, according to the universal ancient conception, seems to have regarded as animate (cf. Lightfoot on Colossians, p. 376; Gfrorer, Philo etc. 2te Aufl., p. 349f; Siegfried, Philo von Alex., p. 306; yet cf. Meyer ed. Heinrici, at the passage), cf. Job 38:7; Enoch 18:14ff) and of the angels, 1Corinthians 15:40;

(on which see p. 97), 2 Timothy 4:18; substantially the same as Hebrews 11:16 and , Hebrews 12:22; , a calling made (by God) in heaven, Hebrews 3:1 (others would include a
reference to its end as well as to its origin; cf. Lunem. at the passage), cf. Philippians 3:14 (Lightfoot cites Philo, plant. Noe 6). The neut. denotes (cf. Winers Grammar, 34, 2)

a. the things that take place in heaven, i. e. the purposes of God to grant salvation to men through the death of Christ: John 3:12 (see ). b. the heavenly regions, i. e. heaven itself, the abode of God and angels: Ephesians 1:3, 20 (where Lachmann text ); Ephesians 2:6; Ephesians 3:10; the lower heavens,
or the heaven of the clouds, Ephesians 6:12 (cf. B. D. American edition, under the word ).

c. the heavenly temple or sanctuary: Hebrews 8:5; Hebrews 9:23.

Thayer shows that the secular use of the word, as seen in the extant literature, does not support the idea that space or place conveys the full intent, though the idea of place does remain an intrinsic element of the words definition. However, secular literature should never be taken as a principal source of evidence when considering Scriptural issues, observations from the pagan world offer only information to guide our investigation; the truly valuable evidence comes from the Scriptures themselves. Thus, to determine the Scriptural use of the term, we have to refer to our inspired source, the Scriptures. The act of determining the correct reference and meaning of the term cannot be properly established on the basis of the phrase alone as used in the Epistle to the Ephesians, evidence has to be sought from other quarters, namely the other occasions in Scripture where is used as a substantive/pronominal, and those occasions where it operates as a common adjective. From this collective evidence, we will then be able to assess the possible range of meaning that the term expresses, and gauge the Apostles original intent.

Other occasions where is used as an adjective and more commonly as a substantive or as a pronominal outside the Epistle to the Ephesians As we shall demonstrate, on all these occasions (as listed below), always denotes beings or objects, and never merely denotes places: Matthew 18:35

[Pronominal] literally, the

Father of me the Heavenly One, this is more succinctly rendered into English by a common adjective My Heavenly Father with no information loss. John 3:12 [Article + Adjective: accusative, neuter plural] [Substantive] = things heavenly contrasted with [Article + Adjective: accusative, neuter

= things earthly Notice the contrast between earthly and heavenly

material as opposed to spiritual. This distinction is repeated in a series of verses in 1 Corinthians 15. 1 Corinthians 15;40 the word is used twice, once as a simple adjective and once as a substantive.

[Adjective] ' [Substantive]

There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. (KJV) English is a language rich in synonyms, words closely related in meaning but sometimes differentiated by nuance. Here the rhythm between celestial and terrestrial governed the choice, but since celestial has a distinctly more sidereal aspect to its voice, perhaps heavenly and earthly would have been the better choice. The verse does not refer to the material of the stars, but contrasts earthly and spiritual bodies. 1 Corinthians 15:48 the word is used twice, both cases are pronominals.

As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. (KJV)

1 Corinthians 15:49

And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. (KJV) Philippians 2:10 [Adjective: genitive, masculine

[Substantive knee being the antecedent]

every knee should bow, heavenly and earthly and

subterranean (three categories of knees or rather, the location of those who possess them, but notice the possessors are most clearly implied.) 2 Timothy 4:18 [Article + Noun: accusative, feminine singular]
[Personal pronoun: genitive, masculine 3rd person singular] Adjective: accusative, feminine singular]

[Article +

the Kingdom of Him the Heavenly His

Heavenly Kingdom [Substantive] gender indicates reference is to the Kingdom. Hebrews 3:1 [Noun: genitive, feminine, singular] [Adjective:
genitive [of source], feminine, singular]

[Adjective: nominative, masculine, plural]

[Adjective] partners of the heavenly calling Hebrews 6:4 [Article: genitive, feminine singular] [Noun: genitive, feminine
singular] singular]

[Article: genitive, feminine singular] [Adjective: genitive, feminine

[Pronominal] of the gift of the heavenly Having tasted of the

Heavenly Gift does not necessarily imply that those to whom the Epistle is addressed are or were believers, in every age there have been those who have witnessed the reality of the faith without committing themselves to it. An element of Regeneration is that it involves an active acknowledgement a confession. There is a difference between tasting the gift and receiving the gift! Hebrews 8:5 [Noun: dative, neuter singular] [Conjunction]
[Noun: dative, feminine singular] plural]

[Verb: present active indicative, 3rd person [Adjective: genitive, neuter plural]

[Article: genitive, neuter plural]

[Substantive] a copy and shadow serve of the heavenlies [reference to the Tabernacle and its furnishings]. Hebrews 9:23

[Article: accusative, neuter


[Adjective: accusative, neuter plural]


the heavenlies (same reference as above (Heb 8:5),

i.e., the heavenly archetypes of the Tabernacle and its furnishings) Hebrews 11:16

But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city. (KJV) Hebrews 12:22 [Adjective: dative, feminine singular] [Adjective] Heavenly Jerusalem

From the evidence in Scripture of the use of the word outside the Epistle to the Ephesians, we note that in every instance something more than space or place is being referenced. Sometimes this is personal as in God or the angels, sometimes impersonal as in the New Jerusalem (Heb 12:22), the bended knees of creatures whatever their estate (Phil 2:10) or the Tabernacle and its furnishings (Heb 8:5; 9:23). Given this evidence, in our next study we will return to examine the five occasions is used in Ephesians, and seek to determine the Apostle Pauls precise intention, mapping the theological implications that divide the translation alternatives.