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Ephesians 3:13-15

Context
3:13 For this reason I ask you 1  not to lose heart because of what I am suffering for you, 2  which 3  is your glory. 4 

Prayer for Strengthened Love

3:14 For this reason 5  I kneel 6  before the Father, 7  3:15 from 8  whom every family 9  in heaven and on the earth is named.

1 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.

2 tn Grk “my trials on your behalf.”

3 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.

4 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.

5 sn For this reason resumes the point begun in v. 1, after a long parenthesis.

6 tn Grk “I bend my knees.”

7 tc Most Western and Byzantine witnesses, along with a few others (א2 D F G Ψ 0278 1881 Ï lat sy), have “of our Lord Jesus Christ” after “Father,” but such an edifying phrase cannot explain the rise of the reading that lacks it, especially when the shorter reading is attested by early and important witnesses such as Ì46 א* A B C P 6 33 81 365 1175 1739 co Or Hier.

8 tn Or “by.”

9 tn Or “the whole family.”



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