The book commonly called Ephesians presents difficulties right from the start. These we will have opportunity to discuss in due course. Let it suffice for now that this is one of the most debated letters in the New Testament.
Many scholars suggest that Paul was not the author of this material, citing its similarity to Colossians; its lack of an addressee (cf. the discussion on 1:1); and its unpauline language. Others support Pauline authorship and suggest that these minor verbal “unpaulinisms” are suited to the occasion of the epistle.
Aside from the question of authorship the date and purpose of the letter are also highly debated. All of these issues are discussed at great length by Barth.
Our task will be not so much to rehash all these arguments as it will be to examine the Greek text and listen to its message. We will have to discuss some of these issues tangentially as we engage the text; but they will not be our primary focus.
ASSIGNMENT: Read both volumes of Barth’s Commentary. Then read the text and commentary which follow.
1 PauloV apostoloV Cristou Ihsou dia qelhmatoV qeou toiV agioiV toiV ousin (en Efesw) kai pistoiV en Cristw Ihsou:
Paul is named as the author and so he is. There is simply no compelling evidence to doubt this claim. The phrase toiV agioiV toiV ousin is explained by Origen to mean “to those who are genuine saints” (as opposed to non-genuine or false saints).
2 cariV umin kai eirhnh apo qeou patroV hmwn kai kuriou Ihsou Cristou. 3 EuloghtoV o qeoV kai pathr tou kuriou hmwn Ihsou Cristou, o euloghsaV hmaV en pash eulogia pneumatikh en toiV epouranioiV en Cristw,
“Blessed” comes from the verb “to bless” and is the same as the Hebrew Krb. In the New Testament this is used of God alone and describes God’s character.
The article o with qeoV kai pathr links them together. The en is instrumental. What this verse means is that heaven is the abode of the citizens of the kingdom; and that the people of God are merely pilgrims in this life making a journey to that place.
4 kaqwV exelexato hmaV en autw pro katabolhV kosmou, einai hmaV agiouV kai amwmouV katenwpion autou en agaph,
exelexato is a First Aorist middle indicative and means “to pick out”. This is a definitive statement of God’s election of believers in Christ.
katabolhV is an old word which meant to “fling down, to deposit seed”.
einai hmaV is an infinitive of purpose with the accusative of general reference.
5 proorisaV hmaV eiV uioqesian dia Ihsou Cristou eiV auton, kata thn eudokian tou qelhmatoV autou,
proorissaV hmaV is a first aorist active participle -- a late and rare compound which meant to “define or decide beforehand”.
eudokian means “purpose”.
6 eiV epainon doxhV thV caritoV autou hV ecaritwsen hmaV en tw hgaphmenw,
hV is a genitive case of the relative which has been attracted to the antecedent caritoV.
hgaphmenw is a perfect passive participle of agapaw.
7 en w ecomen thn apolutrwsin dia tou aimatoV autou, thn afesin twn paraptwmatwn, kata to ploutoV thV caritoV autou,
Paul makes the blood of Christ the cost of redemption; the money paid in order to ransom the lost.
8 hV eperisseusen eiV hmaV en pash sofia kai fronhsei
This is so like Paul that the belief that Paul is not the author of the epistle is proven false by its presence.
9 gnwrisaV hmin to musthrion tou qelhmatoV autou, kata thn eudokian autou hn proeqeto en autw
musterion is a word that means not “hidden” as in English -- but “something that was once unknown but now is clearly known by all”.
proeqeto is a second aorist middle verb.
10 eiV oikonomian tou plhrwmatoV twn kairwn, anakefalaiwsasqai ta panta en tw Cristw, ta epi toiV ouranoiV kai ta epi thV ghV: en autw,
anakefalawsasqai is a purpose clause describing result and means that Christ is the sum of all things.
11 en w kai eklhrwqhmen proorisqenteV kata proqesin tou ta panta energountoV kata thn boulhn tou qelhmatoV autou,
eklhrwqhmen is a first aorist passive indicative word which means to “assign by lot, to make a heritage”.
12 eiV to einai hmaV eiV epainon doxhV autou touV prohlpikotaV en tw Cristw:
The reference of pro is not clear at all. Perhaps it points to Christ; but the grammar is unclear.
13 en w kai umeiV akousanteV ton logon thV alhqeiaV, to euaggelion thV swthriaV umwn, en w kai pisteusanteV esfragisqhte tw pneumati thV epaggeliaV tw agiw,
esfragisist passive indicative meaning “to set a seal on one as a stamp; to mark as the owner; to denote as a worshipper”.
pneumati is instrumental.
14 o estin arrabwn thV klhronomiaV hmwn, eiV apolutrwsin thV peripoihsewV, eiV epainon thV doxhV autou.
arrabwn is a term that means “earnest; downpayment”. It is used in the papyri to describe a downpayment made to secure an item for later full purchase. Here it is used in the same sense to describe the Holy Spirit as the gurantee that believers will one day be fully redeemed.
15 Dia touto kagw, akousaV thn kaq umaV pistin en tw kuriw Ihsou kai thn agaphn thn eiV pantaV touV agiouV,
The Textus Receptus follows Beza, and Coridithi in reading “love” whereas Sinaiticus, Alexandrinus, and Vaticanus do not have thn agaphn before thn.
16 ou pauomai eucaristwn uper umwn mneian poioumenoV epi twn proseucwn mou,
pauomai is a singular present middle.
17 ina o qeoV tou kuriou hmwn Ihsou Cristou, o pathr thV doxhV, dwh umin pneuma sofiaV kai apokaluyewV en epignwsei autou,
God is generally described by Paul as “glorious” (which is another nail in the coffin for those who deny Pauline authorship of the epistle).
dwh is a very late Koine optative.
18 pefwtismenouV touV ofqalmouV thV kardiaV (umwn) eiV to eidenai umaV tiV estin h elpiV thV klhsewV autou, tiV o ploutoV thV doxhV thV klhronomiaV autou en toiV agioiV,
The entire beginning of the verse is an accusative absolute. When the Holy Spirit opens our eyes, they are really open! And beca the work of God.
19 kai ti to uperballon megeqoV thV dunamewV autou eiV hmaV touV pisteuontaV kata thn energeian tou kratouV thV iscuoV autou
And because they can see the work of God, they comprehend the greatness of God’s power!
20 hn enhrghsen en tw Cristw egeiraV auton ek nekrwn, kai kaqisaV en dexia autou en toiV epouranioiV
There is a significant textual variant here which we must briefly discuss. The aorist enhrghsen is found in ), D, F, G, Y, 0278, 33, 1739, 1881. The perfect enhrghken is read A, B, 81, pc. The majority of external witnesses support the aorist while a few support the perfect. Internally, either reading makes perfect sense. The point resolves itself when one asks the theological question -- is the work described the earthly work of Christ (thus requiring the historical tense -- the aorist); or is the work described the eternal work of Christ (requiring the perfect tense; since the perfect describes past action with present results). In my estimation the perfect tense is to be preferred.
21 uperanw pashV archV kai exousiaV kai dunamewV kai kuriothtoV kai pantoV onomatoV onomazomenou ou monon en tw aiwni toutw alla kai en tw mellonti: 22 kai panta upetaxen upo touV podaV autou, kai auton edwken kefalhn uper panta th ekklhsia,
upetaxen is a first aorist active indicative.
23 htiV estin to swma autou, to plhrwma tou ta panta en pasin plhroumenou.
htiV means “which in fact is” (the explanatory use). All things are summed up in Christ. Christ is the all in all of the world.
1 Kai umaV ontaV nekrouV toiV paraptwmasin kai taiV amartiaiV umwn,
kai umaV links this sentence to verse 5; the whole is an ellipsis or an anacoluthon.
ontaV nekrouV is a present participle! The meaning seems to be that the believer is still dead “of” sin.
2 en aiV pote periepathsate kata ton aiwna tou kosmou toutou, kata ton arconta thV exousiaV tou aeroV, tou pneumatoV tou nun energountoV en toiV uioiV thV apeiqeiaV:
This is a curious sentence combining “this age” and “this world”. The ancients viewed the aeroV as the atmosphere near the ground and the aiqhr as the rarefied air of Heaven. The phrase, “en toiV uioiV thV apeiqeiaV:” is common in first century Jewish documents -- especially those found at Qumran. It describes there the rebellious folk who do not adhere to the teachings of the community. There is little doubt that the meaning here is the same.
3 en oiV kai hmeiV panteV anestrafhmen pote en taiV epiqumiaiV thV sarkoV hmwn, poiounteV ta qelhmata thV sarkoV kai twn dianoiwn, kai hmeqa tekna fusei orghV wV kai oi loipoi:
anestrafhmen is a second aorist passive indicative meaning “to turn back and forth”.
The gentiles have no monopoly on sinful behavior -- for the Jews also sin.
fusei is in the instrumental case.
4 o de qeoV plousioV wn en eleei, dia thn pollhn agaphn autou hn hgaphsen hmaV,
God is more than merely rich in mercy -- he has a superabundance of it; enough, and to spare!
5 kai ontaV hmaV nekrouV toiV paraptwmasin sunezwopoieswsmenoi _
sunezwopoihsen tw Cristw is first aorist active indicative of the double compound verb. “by grace” is in the instrumental case and is attached to the perfect passive periphrastic indicative of “to save”.
6 kai sunhgeiren kai sunekaqisen en toiV epouranioiV en Cristw Ihsou,
“raised together” is a first aorist active indicative from an old verb which describes, in the main, “cause”.
7 ina endeixhtai en toiV aiwsin toiV epercomenoiV to uperballon ploutoV thV caritoV autou en crhstothti ef hmaV en Cristw Ihsou.
ina endeixhtai is a final clause.
In this verse the goodness and mercy of God are once again displayed. He demonstrates love by what He does in Christ.
8 th gar cariti este seswsmenoi dia pistewV: kai touto ouk ex umwn, qeou to dwron:
th gar is used here to describe the reason for what follows.
Grace is God’s act and faith is our response to His act. kai touto is a neuter and not a feminine, which means that “that” is not making reference to “faith” (which is feminine) or “grace” (which is also feminine); but must refer to “gift” which is neuter. In other words, the common explanation that “faith” too is the gift of God is a misreading of the text. God gives grace and our response saves us.
9 ouk ex ergwn, ina mh tiV kauchshtai.
ina mh is a final clause in the negative.
10 autou gar esmen poihma, ktisqenteV en Cristw Ihsou epi ergoiV agaqoiV oiV prohtoimasen o qeoV ina en autoiV peripathswmen.
poihma is “workmanship, craftsmanship”. dative of purpose. That is, the purpose of being a new creature is that one do the work assigned by Christ.
11 Dio mnhmoneuete oti pote umeiV ta eqnh en sarki, oi legomenoi akrobustia upo thV legomenhV peritomhV en sarki ceiropoihtou,
dio is a transition which makes vv 1-10 apply to the Gentiles.
12 oti hte tw kairw ekeinw cwriV Cristou, aphllotriwmenoi thV politeiaV tou Israhl kai xenoi twn diaqhkwn thV epaggeliaV, elpida mh econteV kai aqeoi en tw kosmw.
“Separate from Christ” describes their former condition as heathen.
aqeoi in the original sense of being without God and also in the sense of hostility to God from failure to worship him.
13 nuni de en Cristw Ihsou umeiV oi pote onteV makran egenhqhte egguV en tw aimati tou Cristou.
ginomai is a sort of “timeless” aorist.
14 AutoV gar estin h eirhnh hmwn, o poihsaV ta amfotera en kai to mesotoicon tou fragmou lusaV, thn ecqran, en th sarki autou,
He himself, not just what he did, brings us peace with God and with each other. “One” means that if all men were in Christ, really, war and strife would come to an end.
fragmou is a word that means “fence”. In the Temple courts a partition wall divided the court of the Gentiles from the court of Israel.
15 ton nomon twn entolwn en dogmasin katarghsaV, ina touV duo ktish en autw eiV ena kainon anqrwpon poiwn eirhnhn,
katarghsaV means “to make null and void”. Christ is the real bringer of peace and the only source of peace.
16 kai apokatawmati tw qew dia tou staurou, apokteinaV thn ecqran en autw.
kai apaokatallaxh is a final clause with ina understood with the first aorist active subjunctive. Paul piles up the metaphors to make the point that Jesus is the sum of everything.
17 kai elqwn euhggelisato eirhnhn umin toiV makran kai eirhnhn toiV egguV: 18 oti di autou ecomen thn prosagwghn oi amfoteroi en eni pneumati proV ton patera.
Through Him we, both Jews and Gentiles, share in the blessings of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
19 ara oun ouketi este xenoi kai paroikoi, alla este sumpolitai twn agiwn kai oikeioi tou qeou,
ara oun is two inferential particles.
paroikoi is a word that means “dweller by but not in”. The implication is that one is an outsider wherever one lives.
20 epoikodomhqenteV epi tw qemeliw twn apostolwn kai profhtwn, ontoV akrogwniaiou autou Cristou Ihsou,
epoikodomhqenteV is a first aorist passive participle.
twn apostolwn kai profhtwn is a genitive of apposition.
The last phrase of the verse is a genitive absolute and must be translated accordingly. Christ is described as the “cornerstone”; but the word means “the primary foundation stone at the angle of the structure by which the architect fixed a standard for the bearings of the walls and cross walls for the entire building”.
21 en w pasa oikodomh sunarmologoumenh auxei eiV naon agion en kuriw,
Paul continues the architectural metaphor here as well.
22 en w kai umeiV sunoikodomeisqe eiV kati.
sunoikodomeisqe is a present passive indicative which describes a continuous process.
1 Toutou carin egw PauloV o desmioV tou Cristou ( Ihsou) uper umwn twn eqnwn
“Grace” is in the accusative case and refers to the electing grace of God which has already been discussed.
2 ei ge hkousate thn oikonomian thV caritoV tou qeou thV doqeishV moi eiV umaV,
This is a first class conditional sentence. This class of sentence denotes the reality of the statement made.
3 (oti) kata apokaluyin egnwrisqh moi to musthrion, kaqwV proegraya en oligw,
Paul was authorized to preach because God has revealed the truth to him personally. This is the only qualification for preaching -- a personal encounter with God and a commission to speak His word.
The word “wrote” is an epistolary aorist.
en oligw means “in brief space of time” rather than “shortly before”.
4 proV o dunasqe anaginwskonteV nohsai thn sunesin mou en tw musthriw tou Cristou,
This epistle is to be read aloud to the assembled Church. Like all early New Testament writings (including Timothy and Philemon!), this letter was written to be read publicly and not as a private note.
5 o eteraiV geneaiV ouk egnwrisqh toiV uioiV twn anqrwpwn wV nun apekalufqh toiV agioiV apostoloiV autou kai profhtaiV en pneumati, 6 einai ta eqnh sugklhronoma kai susswma kai summetoca thV epaggeliaV en Cristw Ihsou dia tou euaggeliou,
einai is epexegetical and describes the content of the revelation wsed on to them. ta eqnh is an accusative of general reference.
7 ou egenhqhn diakonoV kata thn dwrean thV caritoV tou qeou thV doqeishV moi kata thn energeian thV dunamewV autou. 8 emoi tw elacistoterw pantwn agiwn edoqh h cariV auth, toiV eqnesin euaggelisasqai to anexicniaston ploutoV tou Cristou,
The humility described here is no sham; it is a genuine effort to exalt Christ while humbling oneself. Though Paul is often accused (especially today) of being manipulative, he certainly was not so. He was genuinely interested in bringing glory to God.
The interesting word anexicniaston is derived from a verb which means “to track down”. The riches of Christ cannot be tracked down and hunted; they must be given freely!
9 kai fwtisai (pantaV) tiV h oikonomia tou musthriou tou apokekrummenou apo twn aiwnwn en tw qew tw ta panta ktisanti, 10 ina gnwrisqh nun taiV arcaiV kai taiV exousiaiV en toiV epouranioiV dia thV ekklhsiaV h polupoikiloV sofia tou qeou,
ina denotes here a final or result clause.
11 kata proqesin twn aiwnwn hn epoihsen en tw Cristw Ihsou tw kuriw hmwn,
God’s one purpose is played out through time and eternity.
12 en w ecomen thn parrhsian kai prosagwghn en pepoiqhsei dia thV pistewV autou.
autou is apparently an objective genitive. It is faith in him (rather than his faith) which gives us boldness.
13 dio aitoumai mh egkakein en taiV qliyesin mou uper umwn, htiV estin doxa umwn.
enkakein is a fun little word which melain
14 Toutou carin kamptw ta gonata mou proV ton patera,
Paul prays not like a Jew (who stands to pray) but like a Greek (who bows to pray).
15 ex ou pasa patria en ouranoiV kai epi ghV onomazetai, 16 ina dw umin kata to ploutoV thV doxhV autou dunamei krataiwqhnai dia tou pneumatoV autou eiV ton esw anqrwpon, 17 katoikhsai ton Criston dia thV pistewV en taiV kardiaiV umwn, en agaph errizwmenoi kai teqemeliwmenoi, 18 ina exiscushte katalabesqai sun pasin toiV agioiV ti to platoV kai mhkoV kai uyoV kai baqoV, 19 gnwnai te thn uperballousan thV gnwsewV agaphn tou Cristou, ina plhrwqhte eiV pan to plhrwma tou qeou.
20 Tw de dunamenw uper panta poihsai uperekperissou wn aitoumeqa h nooumen kata thn dunamin thn energoumenhn en hmin, 21 autw h doxa en th ekklhsia kai en Cristw Ihsou eiV pasaV taV geneaV tou aiwnoV twn aiwnwn: amhn.
These verses contain Paul’s prayer for the Church. There are a great number of theological statements contained herein -- all introduced by a ina clause and all described using the aorist indicative. No need exists to explain these self explanatory sentences.
1 Parakalw oun umaV egw o desmioV en kuriw axiwV peripathsai thV klhsewV hV eklhqhte,
See Col 3:12 on this verse.
2 meta pashV tapeinofrosunhV kai prauthtoV, meta makroqumiaV, anecomenoi allhlwn en agaph, 3 spoudazonteV threin thn enothta tou pneumatoV en tw sundesmw thV eirhnhV:
Regardless of how people may try to live otherwise, there simply is no peace without real love; the kind of love which comes from God alone.
4 en swma kai en pneuma, kaqwV kai eklhqhte en mia elpidi thV klhsewV umwn: 5 eiV kurioV, mia pistiV, en baptisma: 6 eiV qeoV kai pathr pantwn, o epi pantwn kai dia pantwn kai en pasin.
The string of “one”’s here are all modified by the o of verse 6. God is the source of unity and desires unity in love above and beyond anything else which humans may do.
7 Eni de ekastw hmwn edoqh h cariV kata to metron thV dwreaV tou Cristou.
Every person is given a gift by God; not for their own benefit or pleasure, but for the benefit of the Church. Gifts are not for the individual but for the whole body of Christ.
8 dio legei, AnabaV eiV uyoV hcmalwteusen aicmalwsian, edwken domata toiV anqrwpoiV.
legei is a quotation formula and indicates that what follows is quoted from the Old Testament (Ps 68:18, to be exact). The whole subject of the Old Testament in the New is discussed in the course of that name available from this institution of higher learning: B310 The Old Testament in the New.
9 (to de Anebh ti estin ei mh oti kai katebh eiV ta katwtera (merh) thV ghV;
The descent of Christ is the incarnation and the ascent is the resurrection.
10 o katabaV autoV estin kai o anabaV uperanw pantwn twn ouranwn, ina plhrwsh ta panta.)
ina is a purpose clause. This purpose i is exalted above every other thing or name.
11 kai autoV edwken touV men apostolouV, touV de profhtaV, touV de euaggelistaV, touV de poimenaV kai didaskalouV,
poimenaV kai didaskalouV is a singular term; “teaching pastors”. A shepherd or pastor is one who, originally, protected the flock.
12 proV ton katartismon twn agiwn eiV ergon diakoniaV, eiV oikodomhn tou swmatoV tou Cristou,
katartismon is used by the physician Galen to mean “to mend” of broken bones or skin. The ultimate goal of the spiritual gifts described above is to build up the Church; those who use their gifts to tear down or “put others in their place” misuse them.
13 mecri katanthswmen oi panteV eiV thn enothta thV pistewV kai thV epignwsewV tou uiou tou qeou, eiV andra teleion, eiV metron hlikiaV tou plhrwmatoV tou Cristou,
katanthswmen means “to come down to the goal”.
No pastor has finished his or her job until every Christian is mature in the faith! This evidently means that there will always be pastors in this world and none in the next!
14 ina mhketi wmen nhpioi, kludwnizomenoi kai periferomenoi panti anemw thV didaskaliaV en th kubeia twn anqrwpwn en panourgia proV thn meqodeian thV planhV,
This is a negative final clause using the present subjunctive. It means that some Christians are quite happy to remain victims of every fool who comes along.
meqodia is “to practice deceit”.
15 alhqeuonteV de en agaph auxhswmen eiV auton ta panta, oV estin h kefalh, CristoV, 16 ex ou pan to swma sunarmologo umenon kai sumbibazomegiaV kat energeian en metrw enoV ekastou merouV thn auxhsin tou swmatoV poieitai eiV oikodomhn eautou en agaph.
When every part of the body functions correctly then all is well.
17 Touto oun legw kai marturomai en kuriw, mhketi umaV peripatein kaqwV kai ta eqnh peripatei en mataiothti tou nooV autwn,
Thus, they are encouraged to abandon their old lives and live the new life given them by God.
18 eskotwmenoi th dianoia onteV, aphllotriwmenoi thV zwhV tou qeou, dia thn agnoian thn ousan en autoiV, dia thn pwrwsin thV kardiaV autwn,
pwrwsin is a medical term that means “to become a callous; to harden”.
19 oitineV aphlghkoteV eautouV paredwkan th aselgeia eiV ergasian akaqarsiaV pashV en pleonexia.
aphlghkoteVlain means “to cease to feel pain”. en pleonexia describes one who always wants more of something, be it money, or sex, or power, or whatever. There are some pagans who are never satisfied with their lives; and in fact a pagan is a person who is not satisfied or satisfiable.
20 umeiV de ouc outwV emaqete ton Criston, 21 ei ge auton hkousate kai en autw edidacqhte, kaqwV estin alhqeia en tw Ihsou,
Verse 21 is a first class conditional sentence. Life in Jesus is the exact opposite of life without him. One who knows him cannot live as though they do not.
22 apoqesqai umaV kata thn proteran anastrofhn ton palaion anqrwpon ton fqeiromenon kata taV epiqumiaV thV apathV,
apoqesqai means “to put off clothing or habits”.
23 pneumati tou nooV umwn,
ananeow means “to make young again”.
24 kai endusasqai ton kainon anqrwpon ton kata qeon ktisqenta en dikaiosunh kai osiothti thV alhqeiaV. 25 Dio apoqemenoi to yeudoV laleite alhqeian ekastoV meta tou plhsion autou, oti esmen allhlwn melh. 26 orgizesqe kai mh amartanete: o hlioV mh epiduetw epi (tw) parorgismw umwn,
Verse 26 is a permissive imperative and certainly not a command to be angry!
27 mhde didote topon tw diabolw. 28 o kleptwn mhketi kleptetw, mallon de kopiatw ergazomenoV taiV (idiaiV) cersin to agaqon, ina ech metadidonai tw creian econti.
Cease stealing! Not even unemployment is an excuse for it.
29 paV logoV saproV ek tou stomatoV umwn mh ekporeuesqw, alla ei tiV agaqoV proV oikodomhn thV creiaV, ina dw carin toiV akouousin.
saproV means “rotten, putrid” of fish or fruit. One gets the impression that wrong speech is sickening.
30 kai mh lupeite to pneuma to agion tou qeou, en w esfragisqhte eiV hmeran apolutrwsewV. 31 pasa pikria kai qumoV kai orgh kai kraugh kai blasfhmia arqhtw af umwn sun pash kakia. 32 ginesqe (de) eiV allhlouV crhstoi, eusplagcnoi, carizomenoi eautoiV kaqwV kai o qeoV en Cristw ecarisato umin.
The Christians are encouraged to live in the Spirit and not abandon it.
1 ginesqe oun mimhtai tou qeou, wV tekna agaphta,
Since we are children of God, we must imitate His behavior.
2 kai peripateite en agaph, kaqwV kai o CristoV hgaphsen hmaV kai paredwken eauton uper hmwn prosforan kai qusian tw qew eiV osmhn euwdiaV.
Jesus’ life was an offering to God, not the devil, as some (since Anselm) have incorrectly believed.
3 porneia de kai akaqarsia pasa h pleonexia mhde onomazesqw en umin, kaqwV prepei agioiV,
It is quite inappropriate for the believer to be ruled by the senses!
4 kai aiscrothV kai mwrologia h eutrapelia, a ouk anhken, alla mallon eucaristia.
aiscrothV means “base”. eutrapelia means “to turn with nimbleness of wit; quickness in making reply” in the sense of ribaldry or black humor. Wit is not denounced, only negative use of wit in an effort to tear down another or put another down.
5 touto gar iste ginwskonteV oti paV pornoV h akaqartoV h pleonekthV, o estin eidwlolatrhV, ouk ecei klhronomian en th basileia tou Cristou kai qeou.
iste is the correct text rather than este. o estin is read by the superior manuscripts a and B. A, D, K and L have oV. There is no doubt that o is correct.
6 MhdeiV umaV apatatw kenoiV logoiV, dia tauta gar ercetai h orgh tou qeou epi touV uiouV thV apeiqeiaV.
kenoiV logoiV is intrumental case.
7 mh oun ginesqe summetocoi autwn: 8 hte gar pote skotoV, nun de fwV en kuriw: wV tekna fwtoV peripateite ain
9 _ o gar karpoV tou fwtoV en pash agaqwsunh kai dikaiosunh kai alhqeia _
The majority (Byzantine) text has “fruit of the Spirit” instead of “fruit of the light”. This is clearly a case of harmonization with Galatians 5:22. Clearly the superior reading is “light”.
10 dokimazonteV ti estin euareston tw kuriw:
dokimazw means “ to test and thereby prove the worth”.
11 kai mh sugkoinwneite toiV ergoiV toiV akarpoiV tou skotouV, mallon de kai elegcete, 12 ta gar krufh ginomena up autwn aiscron estin kai legein:
Sometimes one must speak the truth, turn on the light, in the greatest of darkness. Those especially must speak the truth who are called to preach or teach.
13 ta de panta elegcomena upo tou fwtoV faneroutai,
Indeed, sometimes it is only the preacher who is bold enough to shed light on evil situations.
14 pan gar to faneroumenon fwV estin. dio legei, Egeire, o kaqeudwn, kai anasta ek twn nekrwn, kai epifausei soi o CristoV.
dio legei is a quotation formula. It denotes that what follows will be a quotation from the Old Testament. This is, however, not a quotation but a free adaptation of Is 26:19 and 60:1.
15 Blepete oun akribwV pwV peripateite, mh wV asofoi all wV sofoi, 16 exagorazomenoi ton kairon, oti ai hmerai ponhrai eisin.
One “redeems the time” by simply making the best of it. One should let no opportunity slip by.
17 to mh ginesqe afroneV, alla suniete ti to qelhma tou kuriou.
mh ginesqe afroneV means “stop being foolish”.
18 kai mh mequskesqe oinw, en w estin aswtia, alla plhrousqe en pneumati,
One should be filled with the Spirit instead of being filled with wine to the point of stupor. One should be guided by the Spirit rather than by alcohol. In short, one should surrender to God and not the bottle.
19 lalounteV eautoiV (en) yalmoiV kai umnoiV kai wdaiV pneumatikaiV, adonteV kai yallonteV th kardia umwn tw kuriw, 20 eucaristounteV pantote uper pantwn en onomati tou kuriou hmwn Ihsou Cristou tw qew kai patri,
21 upotassomenoi allhloiV en fobw Cristou.
upotassomenoi means “to line up”. In this context it is best translated “cooperate”. This sense of cooperation governs the following verses where the relationships of christians to one another are described. All should cooperate! Husbands and wives, children and parents, and employers and employees. Cooperate rather than fight!!
22 Ai gunaikeV toiV idioiV andrasin wV tw kuriw,
Wives are urged, for their part, to cooperate with their husbands. Note that the verb is missing and is thus understood from the proceding verse. Note also that the wife is to cooperate with her own husband (and not with just anyone!).
23 oti anhr estin kefalh thV gunaikoV wV kai o CristoV kefalh thV ekklhsiaV, autoV swthr tou swmatoV. 24 alla wV h ekklhsia upotassetai tw Cristw, outwV kai ai gunaikeV toiV andrasin en panti.
The wife is urged to cooperate with her husband who is to cooperate with Christ; by following his guidance.
25 Oi andreV, agapate taV gunaikaV, kaqwV kai o CristoV hgaphsen thn ekklhsian kai eauton paredwken uper authV, 26 ina authn agiash kaqarisaV tw loutrw tou udatoV en rhmati, 27 ina parasthsh autoV eautw endoxon thn ekklhsian, mh ecousan spilon h rutida h ti twn toioutwn, all ina h agia kai amwmoV. 28 outwV ofeilousin (kai) oi andreV agapan taV eautwn gunaikaV wV ta eautwn swmata. o agapwn thn eautou gunaika eauton agapa, 29 oudeiV gar pote thn eautou sarka emishsen, alla ektrefei kai qalpei authn, kaqwV kai o CristoV thn ekklhsian, 30 oti melh esmen tou swmatoV autou. 31 anti toutou kataleiyei anqrwpoV (ton) patera kai (thn) mhtera kai proskollhqhsetai proV thn gunaika autou, kai esontai oi duo eiV sarka mian. 32 to musthrion touto mega estin, egw de legw eiV Criston kai eiV thn ekklhsian. 33 plhn kai umeiV oi kaq ena ekastoV thn eautou gunaika outwV agapatw wV eauton, h de gunh ina fobhtai ton andra.
Paul goes into considerable detail here and can’t help himself from wandering into a digression concerning the church and Christ. The gist is that the husband must be as loving to his wife as Christ is to the Church. This is how the husband cooperates with his wife. It is apparently easier for women to cooperate than it is for men; as Paul spends quite a bit more time explaining how the husband is to act than he does with explaining how the wife is to act!
1 Ta tekna, upakouete toiV goneusintin dikaion. 2 tima ton patera sou kai thn mhtera, htiV estin entolh prwth en epaggelia,
en here means “accompanied by”.
3 ina eu soi genhtai kai esh makrocronioV epi thV ghV. 4 Kai oi patereV, mh parorgizete ta tekna umwn, alla ektrefete auta en paideia kai nouqesia kuriou.
en here describes the sphere in which all of this takes place. nouqesia carries the idea of correction.
5 Oi douloi, upakouete toiV kata sarka kurioiV meta fobou kai tromou en aplothti thV kardiaV umwn wV tw Cristw, 6 mh kat ofqalmodoulian wV anqrwpareskoi all wV douloi Cristou poiounteV to qelhma tou qeou ek yuchV,
Doing the will of God even while the employee (slave) of men. It is the will of God which takes precedence and God must be obeyed above all else.
7 met eunoiaV douleuonteV, wV tw kuriw kai ouk anqrwpoiV, 8 eidoteV oti ekastoV, ean ti poihsh agaqon, touto komisetai para kuriou, eite douloV eite eleuqeroV.
Verse 8 contains a third class conditional sentence which means that the fact is undetermined but with the prospect of reality.
9 Kai oi kurioi, ta auta poieite proV autouV, anienteV thn apeilhn, eidoteV oti kai autwn kai umwn o kurioV estin en ouranoiV, kai proswpolhmyia ouk estin par autw.
anienteV is an old verb that means “to loosen up, to relax”. Let up on the threatening! Don’t be overbearing or cruel to those who work for you!
10 Tou loipou endunamoushV iscuoV autou. 11 endusasqe thn panoplian tou qeou proV to dunasqai umaV sthnai proV taV meqodeiaV tou diabolou:
panoplian describes one who is wholly armed. In Roman times the soldier wore the following: shield, sword, lance, helmet, greaves and breastplate. Paul omits mention of the lance. And then he adds the shoes. Too much should not be made of these omissions or additions.
The devil is described as a crafty adversary who knows the weak spots of Christians and attacks those spots.
12 oti ouk estin hmin h palh proV aima kai sarka, alla proV taV arcaV, proV taV exousiaV, proV touV kosmokratoraV tou skotouV toutou, proV ta pneumatika thV ponhriaV en toiV epouranioiV.
palh means “to swing, to toss, to throw” and was used to describe wrestling holds in the Isthmian games. In those matches the contest went on until one wrestler hurled the other to the ground and pinned him down.
Of particular importance is the notice that our wrestling is not with flesh and blood, but with spirtual forces. People are not our enemies! they may be used by the enemy; but in and of themselves they are not our opponents!
13 dia touto analabete thn panoplian tou qeou, ina dunhqhte antisthnai en th hmera th ponhra kai apanta katergasamenoi sthnai.
We are called to stand face to face with evil and not back down in fear or hesitation.
14 sthte oun perizwsamenoi thn osfun umwn en alhqeia, kai endusamenoi ton qwraka thV dikaiosunhV, 15 kai upodhsamenoi touV podaV en etoimasia tou euaggeliou thV eirhnhV,
Readiness of mind comes when we are filled with the Gospel of peace; we are thereby empowered to resist temptation.
16 en pasin analabonteV ton qureon thV pistewV, en w dunhsesqe panta ta belh tou ponhrou (ta) pepurwmena sbesai:
qureon is a large rectangular shield as contrasted with the smaller, round shield used by some Roman soldiers.
The darts described here were used by the Romans to set clothing and material on fire and thus burn the enemy out!
17 kai thn perikefalaian tou swthriou dexasqe, kai thn macairan tou pneumatoV, o estin rhma qeou,
o is an explanatory relative.
The sword given by the Spirit is the only offensive weapon in the Christians armor. This is the word of God and not any kind of real material sword with which to kill. The word of God brings life, not death!
18 dia pashV proseuchV kai dehsewV proseucomenoi en panti kairw en pneumati, kai eiV auto agrupnounteV en pash proskarterhsei kai dehsei peri pantwn twn agiwn,
en panti kairw means “on every occasion”.
19 kai uper emou, ina moi doqh logoV en anoixei tou stomatoV mou, en parrhsia gnwrisai to musthrion tou euaggeliou
Paul wishes them to pray for him. This is one need every Christian shares!
20 uper ou presbeuw en alusei, ina en autw parrhsiaswmai wV dei me lalhsai.
presbeuw is an old word for “ambassador”.
21 Ina de eidhte kai umeiV ta kat eme, ti prassw, panta gnwrisei umin TucikoV o agaphtoV adelfoV kai pistoV diakonoV en kuriw, 22 on epemya proV umaV eiV auto touto ina gnwte ta peri hmwn kai parakalesh taV kardiaV umwn.
23 Eirhnh toiV adelfoiV kai agaph meta pistewhsou Cristou.
Love of the fellow Christian is exercised as is faith. These attributes are never passive but always active.
24 h cariV meta pantwn twn agapwntwn ton kurion hmwn Ihsoun Criston en afqarsia.
afqarsia describes a never diminishing love. This is a very appropriate conclusion to this Epistle.
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