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Ephesians 5:19-21

Context
5:19 speaking to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making music 1  in 2  your hearts to the Lord, 5:20 always giving thanks to God the Father for each other 3  in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 5:21 and submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ. 4 

1 tn See BDAG 1096 s.v. ψάλλω.

2 tn Or “with.”

3 tn Grk “for all.” The form “all” can be either neuter or masculine.

4 sn Eph 5:19-21. In Eph 5:18 the author gives the command to be filled by means of the Holy Spirit. In 5:19-21 there follows five participles: (1) speaking; (2) singing; (3) making music; (4) giving thanks; (5) submitting. These participles have been variously interpreted, but perhaps the two most likely interpretations are (1) the participles indicate the means by which one is filled by the Spirit; (2) the participles indicate the result of being filled by the Spirit. The fact that the participles are present tense and follow the command (i.e., “be filled”) would tend to support both of these options. But it seems out of Paul’s character to reduce the filling of the Spirit to a formula of some kind. To the extent that this is true, it is unlikely then that the author is here stating the means for being filled by the Spirit. Because it is in keeping with Pauline theology and has good grammatical support, it is better to take the participles as indicating certain results of being filled by the Spirit. See ExSyn 639.



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