Be Angry and Do Not Sin (1 of 2)

Eph 4 26-27 a

Q. What’s your comment on my un-traditional interpretation of Eph 4:26 “In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry.”
Normally, most people would say when you get angry, do not sin and don’t get angry for too long. When I read the whole passage and especially verse 31 “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice,” Paul was asking us to get rid of anger in this verse. So it sounds like it would be contradictory to verse 26 (getting angry is Okay as long as we don’t sin and not for too long).

I compared a few English translations, most say “Be angry” instead of “when you are angry”. It seems like the NET translation makes more sense.
“Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on the cause of your anger. Do not give the devil an opportunity.”

My interpretation would be: We should be angry on unrighteousness AND do not sin. When you see unrighteousness, deal with it right away and don’t wait until sunset.

A. You have an interesting interpretation. I will give you my opinion after an analysis of the grammar, context, and theology of this verse.

Grammar
Eph 4:26 is a quotation from Ps 4:4 in the Septuagint (LXX), which in the
NASB says, “Tremble, and do not sin;” The footnotes besides “tremble” & “and” say “with anger or fear” and “or but”. In other words, “be angry, but do not sin”.

If you check Eph 4:26 in an interlinear NT you will find a word-for-word equivalence as follows:
ὀργίζεσθε BE ANGRY
καὶ AND
μὴ DO NOT
ἁμαρτάνετε SIN
ὁ the
ἥλιος sun
μὴ do not
ἐπιδυέτω let go down
ἐπὶ on
τῷ .
παροργισμῷ anger
ὑμῶν your

Translators struggled over how to translate this verse. The challenge is in the verb ” ὀργίζεσθε “, second person, plural, present tense, middle voice. Should it be in the imperative mood, as a command, or in the indicative mood, as a statement?

Most word-for-word (literal) translations took it as an imperative and simply rearranged the words so that they flow smoothly in English:
ESV: Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger,
HCSB: Be angry and do not sin. Don’t let the sun go down on your anger,
NASB: BE ANGRY, AND yet DO NOT SIN; do not let the sun go down on your anger,
NKJV: “Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath,

However, thought-for-thought (dynamic equivalence) versions like the NIV took it in the indicative sense:
NIV: “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry,

Based on grammar alone, both are possible translations. Neither can be ruled out.

(To be continued)

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