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Ephesians 1:10

Context
1:10 toward the administration of the fullness of the times, to head up 1  all things in Christ – the things in heaven 2  and the things on earth. 3 

Ephesians 1:22-23

Context
1:22 And God 4  put 5  all things under Christ’s 6  feet, 7  and he gave him to the church as head over all things. 8  1:23 Now the church is 9  his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all. 10 

1 tn The precise meaning of the infinitive ἀνακεφαλαιώσασθαι (anakefalaiwsasqai) in v. 10 is difficult to determine since it was used relatively infrequently in Greek literature and only twice in the NT (here and Rom 13:9). While there have been several suggestions, three deserve mention: (1) “To sum up.” In Rom 13:9, using the same term, the author there says that the law may be “summarized in one command, to love your neighbor as yourself.” The idea then in Eph 1:10 would be that all things in heaven and on earth can be summed up and made sense out of in relation to Christ. (2) “To renew.” If this is the nuance of the verb then all things in heaven and earth, after their plunge into sin and ruin, are renewed by the coming of Christ and his redemption. (3) “To head up.” In this translation the idea is that Christ, in the fullness of the times, has been exalted so as to be appointed as the ruler (i.e., “head”) over all things in heaven and earth (including the church). That this is perhaps the best understanding of the verb is evidenced by the repeated theme of Christ’s exaltation and reign in Ephesians and by the connection to the κεφαλή- (kefalh-) language of 1:22 (cf. Schlier, TDNT 3:682; L&N 63.8; M. Barth, Ephesians [AB 34], 1:89-92; contra A. T. Lincoln, Ephesians [WBC], 32-33).

2 tn Grk “the heavens.”

3 sn And the things on earth. Verse 10 ends with “in him.” The redundancy keeps the focus on Christ at the expense of good Greek style. Verse 11 repeats the reference with a relative pronoun (“in whom”) – again, at the expense of good Greek style. Although the syntax is awkward, the theology is rich. This is not the first time that a NT writer was so overcome with awe for his Lord that he seems to have lost control of his pen. Indeed, it happened frequently enough that some have labeled their christologically motivated solecisms an “apostolic disease.”

4 tn Grk “he”; the referent (God) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

5 tn Grk “subjected.”

6 tn Grk “his”; the referent (Christ) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

7 sn An allusion to Ps 8:6.

8 tn Grk “and he gave him as head over all things to the church.”

9 tn Grk “which is.” The antecedent of “which” is easily lost in English, though in Greek it is quite clear. In the translation “church” is repeated to clarify the referent.

10 tn Or perhaps, “who is filled entirely.”

sn The idea of all in all is either related to the universe (hence, he fills the whole universe entirely) or the church universal (hence, Christ fills the church entirely with his presence and power).



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