I was looking up an interlinear bible and what each word may mean in the concordance and wondered if it is possible that the end of Ephesians 5 v 33 could also be translated “let each of one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself IN ORDER THAT the wife reverence her husband” because of the word “hina” (Strongs G2443)in the greek instead of the common translation of “and the wife SEE TO IT that she reverence her husband”?
Let’s get the Greek in front of us:
πλὴν καὶ ὑμεῖς οἱ καθ’ ἕνα, ἕκαστος τὴν ἑαυτοῦ γυναῖκα οὕτως ἀγαπάτω ὡς ἑαυτόν, ἡ δὲ γυνὴ ἵνα φοβῆται τὸν ἄνδρα.
Rather literally: “And note this, you(pl) also, one by one, each his own wife thusly love as himself, and the wife that she respect the husband.”
Don’t let your cognitive underwear get into a knot, the nonEnglish is not meant to be understandable.
First, let me answer the question directly. “In order that” is not a possibility, but for the reasons why we must look beyond just the ἵνα.
At the time of the writing of the NT, clauses constructed with a ἵνα plus subjunctive were replacing infinitives. So here it works pretty much like an infinitive (English or Greek). A somewhat literal translation could be, “the wife [is] to respect her husband.” Also, given that ἵνα generally introduces a purpose or result, or even a purposed result, it’s an easy step for it to take on some imperatival force. And this is also not unusual. That “lite” imperatival force is captured in the translation with the use of English ‘is’ plus an infinitive.
Now, where this sentence gets interesting is how it fits into the larger discourse. It’s interesting because it appears to me that Paul explicitly turns off a misunderstanding by underscoring something. This misunderstanding is the one that an “in order that” would lead to. To show this explicitness we need to look at πλὴν and the idiom οἱ καθ’ ἕνα.
First what function does πλὴν do?
It occurs 31 times in the GNT, predominantly in the Lukan writings with 19 times. After looking at these 31 occurrences, it seems to me that πλὴν performs the following:
Πλὴν reinforces the already established topic and emphasizes the comment. The Pragmatic effect is the comment stands in bas relief to the topic. The topic and comment can be semantically conjunctive or adversative. If it’s conjunctive, the comment is an emphasized restatement of the topic. If it is adversative, then the comment stands as an emphasized contrast to the topic.
Phil. 1:18 provides an excellent example—“the important thing [NIV].” Matthew 11:22,24 also provide good examples where a translation such as “but, note this:” might be better than many of the translations’ choices. Translations tend to use a simple ‘but’. But, I think that loses the focusing force of πλὴν.
So, πλὴν does not introduce new information. It’s intent is to direct the mind to focus on the specific point which follows.
Notice I did not say, “the word means…” and then use an English gloss or two to complete that sentence. Such so-called definitions are not helpful and at worst, quite confusing. What I asked was, “What function does the word perform?” Answering the function question helps us, who hear and speak our own native tongue, to get closer to the Greek idiomatic understanding of the original text.
Here in Ephesians 5, Paul has been instructing husbands and wives how best to build their relationship. At the end of this instruction, Paul sums it up with a single sentence starting with the word πλὴν. So, the effect is for Paul to say, “concerning all that I’ve just said, here’s the important point” or “here’s the thing on which to focus.”
So, if Paul had already developed the idea that a wife’s respect is somehow dependent on her husband’s love, then he can restate that here. If he didn’t state it previously, then emphasis triggered by πλὴν in the mind would have sounded very odd.
The important point is Paul speaks with a French idiom.
See what I mean. 🙂
Now, the idiom οἱ καθ’ ἕνα underscores this even further; however, I’m less confident how to interpret the idiom. I’d love to have some references and other examples of its use.
Basically, from what I can glean, it’s very similar to the English, “one by one.” Its use here I take to mean “each of you considered individually but not uniquely.” So, it encompasses the group in its entirety—both men and women in this case— but considers each member of the group as single agents in the actions.
Also, it seems to me Paul could have simply said, πλὴν ἕκαστος τὴν ἑαυτοῦ…, dropping the additional phrase. This would have restated what was previously said. Why the “extra” words? I think Paul builds emphasis regarding the individuality. He strengthens it even more with the use of the plural pronoun ὑμεῖς and even further by the adverbial use of καὶ. I think it is strengthened even more in the husband’s case by the use of the adjective ἕκαστος as well as the reflexive pronoun ἑαυτοῦ. This is not additional information since in the sentences before he spoke to the woman and then the man in turn. He didn’t mix them.
In other words, Paul is very strongly emphasizing that the respective roles should individually remain in force no matter what. So, considering all these things, translating ἵνα with “in order that” would be quite inaccurate.
I think I would translate as:
And now every single one of you should note this: each husband is to love his wife the same as he does himself, and the wife is to respect her husband.
Lastly, on a practical note, I’ve been married for almost 30 years. I believe I can safely say that having my responsibility in our marriage be level set by whether or not I think my wife meets her responsibility would have never worked. Also, the same downward, spiraling disaster would have been created if she would have limited her responsibility by my lack of meeting mine. Neither respect or love is ever to be earned. And the free gift of the one enables the other.
 Topic and Comment are linguistic technical terms sometimes described as theme and rheme. Basically, Topic is what you’re talking about and Comment is what you’re saying about the Topic.