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Ephesians 4:11-16

Context
4:11 It was he 1  who gave some as apostles, some as prophets, some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, 2  4:12 to equip 3  the saints for the work of ministry, that is, 4  to build up the body of Christ, 4:13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God – a mature person, attaining to 5  the measure of Christ’s full stature. 6  4:14 So 7  we are no longer to be children, tossed back and forth by waves and carried about by every wind of teaching by the trickery of people who craftily carry out their deceitful schemes. 8  4:15 But practicing the truth in love, 9  we will in all things grow up into Christ, who is the head. 4:16 From him the whole body grows, fitted and held together 10  through every supporting ligament. 11  As each one does its part, the body grows in love.

1 tn The emphasis on Christ is continued through the use of the intensive pronoun, αὐτός (autos), and is rendered in English as “it was he” as this seems to lay emphasis on the “he.”

2 sn Some interpreters have understood the phrase pastors and teachers to refer to one and the same group. This would mean that all pastors are teachers and that all teachers are pastors. This position is often taken because it is recognized that both nouns (i.e., pastors and teachers) are governed by one article in Greek. But because the nouns are plural, it is extremely unlikely that they refer to the same group, but only that the author is linking them closely together. It is better to regard the pastors as a subset of teachers. In other words, all pastors are teachers, but not all teachers are pastors. See ExSyn 284.

3 tn On the translation of πρὸς τὸν καταρτισμὸν τῶν ἁγίων (pro" ton katartismon twn Jagiwn) as “to equip the saints” see BDAG 526 s.v. καταρτισμός. In this case the genitive is taken as objective and the direct object of the verbal idea implied in καταρτισμός (katartismo").

4 tn The εἰς (eis) clause is taken as epexegetical to the previous εἰς clause, namely, εἰς ἔργον διακονίας (ei" ergon diakonia").

5 tn The words “attaining to” were supplied in the translation to pick up the καταντήσωμεν (katanthswmen) mentioned earlier in the sentence and the εἰς (eis) which heads up this clause.

6 tn Grk “the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.” On this translation of ἡλικία (Jhlikia, “stature”) see BDAG 436 s.v. 3.

7 tn Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was started here in the translation.

8 tn While the sense of the passage is clear enough, translation in English is somewhat difficult. The Greek says: “by the trickery of men, by craftiness with the scheme of deceit.” The point is that the author is concerned about Christians growing into maturity. He is fearful that certain kinds of very cunning people, who are skilled at deceitful scheming, should come in and teach false doctrines which would in turn stunt the growth of the believers.

9 tn The meaning of the participle ἀληθεύοντες (alhqeuonte"; from the verb ἀληθεύω [alhqeuw]) is debated. In classical times the verb could mean “to speak the truth,” or “to be true, to prove true.” In the LXX it appears five times (Gen 20:16; 42:16; Prov 21:3; Isa 44:26; Sir 34:4) and translates four different Hebrew words; there it is an ethical term used of proving or being true, not with the idea of speaking the truth. In the NT the only other place the verb appears is in Gal 4:16 where it means “to speak the truth.” However, in Ephesians the concept of “being truthful” is the best sense of the word. In contrast to the preceding verse, where there are three prepositional phrases to denote falsehood and deceit, the present word speaks of being real or truthful in both conduct and speech. Their deceit was not only in their words but also in their conduct. In other words, the believers’ conduct should be transparent, revealing the real state of affairs, as opposed to hiding or suppressing the truth through cunning and deceit. See H. W. Hoehner, Ephesians, 564-65, and R. Bultmann, TDNT 1:251.

10 tn The Greek participle συμβιβαζόμενον (sumbibazomenon) translated “held together” also has in different contexts, the idea of teaching implied in it.

11 tn Grk “joint of supply.”



TIP #08: Use the Strong Number links to learn about the original Hebrew and Greek text. [ALL]
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