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Ephesians 3:1

Context
Paul's Relationship to the Divine Mystery

3:1 For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus 1  for the sake of you Gentiles –

Ephesians 3:13

Context
3:13 For this reason I ask you 2  not to lose heart because of what I am suffering for you, 3  which 4  is your glory. 5 

1 tc Several early and important witnesses, chiefly of the Western text (א* D* F G [365]), lack ᾿Ιησοῦ (Ihsou, “Jesus”) here, while most Alexandrian and Byzantine mss (Ì46 א1 A B [C] D1 Ψ 33 1739 [1881] Ï lat sy bo) have the word. However, because of the Western text’s proclivities to add or delete to the text, seemingly at whim, serious doubts should be attached to the shorter reading. It is strengthened, however, by א’s support. Nevertheless, since both א and D were corrected with the addition of ᾿Ιησοῦ, their testimony might be questioned. Further, in uncial script the nomina sacra here could have led to missing a word by way of homoioteleuton (cMuiMu). At the same time, in light of the rarity of scribal omission of nomina sacra (see TCGNT 582, n. 1), a decision for inclusion of the word here must be tentative. NA27 rightly places ᾿Ιησοῦ in brackets.

2 tn Grk “I ask.” No direct object is given in Greek, leaving room for the possibility that either “God” (since the verb is often associated with prayer) or “you” is in view.

3 tn Grk “my trials on your behalf.”

4 sn Which. The antecedent (i.e., the word or concept to which this clause refers back) may be either “what I am suffering for you” or the larger concept of the recipients not losing heart over Paul’s suffering for them. The relative pronoun “which” is attracted to the predicate nominative “glory” in its gender and number (feminine singular), making the antecedent ambiguous. Paul’s suffering for them could be viewed as their glory (cf. Col 1:24 for a parallel) in that his suffering has brought about their salvation, but if so his suffering must be viewed as more than his present imprisonment in Rome; it would be a general description of his ministry overall (cf. 2 Cor 11:23-27). The other option is that the author is implicitly arguing that the believers have continued to have courage in the midst of his trials (as not to lose heart suggests) and that this is their glory. Philippians 1:27-28 offers an interesting parallel: The believers’ courage in the face of adversity is a sign of their salvation.

5 tn Or “Or who is your glory?” The relative pronoun ἥτις (Jhti"), if divided differently, would become ἤ τίς (h ti"). Since there were no word breaks in the original mss, either word division is possible. The force of the question would be that for the readers to become discouraged over Paul’s imprisonment would mean that they were no longer trusting in God’s sovereignty.



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