Ephesians - the so called “oldest and best manuscripts” in action.
Hi saints and Bible believers. This is the beginning of a series of comparative studies I will be doing on the small epistle of Ephesians.
There are numerous variant readings found among the so called “oldest and best” manuscripts (Sinaiticus and Vaticanus) that today’s modern Vatican Versions like the ESV, NIV, NASB are based on. They often disagree with each other; the oldest reading is not always followed, and the Nestle-Aland/UBS critical Greek text itself continues to change from one edition to the next. They are now in their 28th edition and you can bet there will soon be a 29th edition that will change many readings in the epistles. They are already working on it.
The purpose of the following comparative study of the small book of Ephesians is to show the true nature of these so called “oldest and best” manuscripts and the fickle nature of what they like to call the “science” of textual criticism.
We do not have to go far into this little epistle before we run into examples of confusion and contradiction. It begins in the very first verse.
Ephesians 1:1 “Paul, an apostle of JESUS CHRIST by the will of God, to the saints WHICH ARE AT EPHESUS, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus.”
The Majority of remaining Greek manuscripts as well as Sinaiticus and Alexandrinus (A) read JESUS CHRIST. However Vaticanus and P46 reverse the name order and have CHRIST JESUS, and so read the NIV, NASB, RSV, ESV and Holman Standard.
The reading of JESUS CHRIST is that found in Wycliffe 1395, Matthew's Bible 1549, Bishops’ Bible 1568, Geneva Bible 1587, the NKJV 1982 and of course the King James Bible.
This is obviously not a doctrinal problem, but it does show that the “oldest and best” (Sinaiticus and Vaticanus) are not in agreement even with each other. Among the Catholic versions the older Douay-Rheims 1610, Douay 1950 and even the St. Joseph NAB 1970 read JESUS CHRIST, while the New Jerusalem 1985 has CHRIST JESUS.
1:1 “to the saints WHICH ARE AT EPHESUS”. Here P46 omits the words “which are”; Sinaiticus correction and A add “to ALL the saints” (nobody followed that reading) and P46 and both the originals of Sinaiticus and Vaticanus omit the words IN EPHESUS, though the words “in Ephesus” are found in the Majority of all Greek manuscripts, A, D, the Old Latin, Syriac Peshitta, Harclean, Coptic Boharic and Sahidic, Gothic and Armenian ancient versions.
Even the NASB, NIV, ESV, RSV keep the reading of “in Ephesus” but the critical Greek text [brackets the words] indicating their doubts as to whether or not this is inspired Scripture. The RSV 1946-1973 actually OMITS these words reading: “to the saints who are faithful in Christ Jesus.”
Versions like the NIV, RV and Holman contain footnotes that tell us “Some early manuscripts do not have “in Ephesus” (NIV)
What is interesting about the Catholic versions is that the early Douay-Rheims 1610 and Douay of 1950 both read “to all the saints who are IN EPHESUS”, but then the St. Joseph NAB 1970 puts [in Ephesus] in brackets (like the UBS critical text) and so does Dan Wallace’s NET version, and the New Jerusalem bible of 1985 entirely OMITS the words “in Ephesus”. You never want to be too sure that you really have God’s infallible words in your hands, you know;-)
Oh, but wait. The Catholic versions are not done yet. Now in 2009 the Catholic Public Domain Version has come out and it reverts back to BOTH readings found so far in the King James Bible. It reads: “Paul, an Apostle of JESUS CHRIST through the will of God, to all the saints who are AT EPHESUS and to the faithful in Christ Jesus.”
Another subtle change is that the previous NIVs of 1973, 1978 and 1984 all followed the Greek word for saints (hagios) and said “to THE SAINTS in Ephesus”, but now the NIV 2011 has paraphrased this to read: “to GOD’S HOLY PEOPLE in Ephesus.”
None of those words are found in any text at all but it IS the same reading found in the Catholic New Jerusalem bible 1985 - “to God’s holy people”.
You see, for the Catholics a “saint” is some super Christian that only the Pope can canonize as a “saint”. They don’t like the idea that the Bible itself refers to ALL Christians, no matter how lowly their station in life, as “saints”, and the NIV wants to be popular with Catholics now that it is following the same UBS “interconfessional” Greek text by means of a formal agreement with the Vatican.
Don’t believe me? See their own words right out of the Nestle Aland critical Greek text.
Undeniable Proof the ESV, NIV, NASB, Holman Standard, NET etc. are the new "Vatican Versions"
As for the word “saints” you can verify this for yourself. Go to any Bible version site like Bible Gateway.com
and type in the word “saints”. The word saints occurs some 102 times in the King James Bible; 96 in the NKJV; 81 times in the ESV and 67 times in the NASB.
However when we come to the NIVs we find that the 1984 NIV edition had the word “saints” in it as a designation for all Christians or believers in the one true God of Israel some 69 times in both the Old and New Testaments. Forty five (45) of these were in the New Testament and 24 in the Old Testament, and 10 times it paraphrased the word “hagios” in the N.T. as “God’s holy people”.
However now look up how many times the word “saints” occurs in the NIV 2011 edition for both the Old and New Testaments. Can you take a guess? It is found ZERO times in both the Old and New Testaments. Nada, Zip, Zilch. Not at all. The word has completely disappeared from the NIV 2011. This is the true nature of what today’s scholars like to call “the science of textual criticism”.
Ephesians 1:6 KJB - To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein HE HATH MADE US ACCEPTED in the beloved.
ESV - to the praise of his glorious grace, with which HE HAS BLESSED US in the Beloved.
NIV - to the praise of his glorious grace, which HE HAS FREELY GIVEN us in the One he loves.
NASB - to the praise of the glory of His grace, which HE FREELY BESTOWED on us in the Beloved.
Holman Christian Standard Bible 2017 - to the praise of his glorious grace THAT HE LAVISHED on us in the Beloved One.
Darby 1890 - to the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein HE HAS TAKEN US INTO FAVOUR in the Beloved:
Some bible critics object to the reading of the King James Bible and tell us that it is not an accurate translation.
Yet there are many Bible translations that agree with the way the King James Bible translated this verse.
“HE HATH MADE US ACCEPTED in the beloved.”
Agreeing with the KJB are Tyndale 1525 - “his grace where with he hath made vs accepted in the beloved.”, Coverdale 1535, The Great Bible 1540, Matthew’s Bible 1549, the Bishops; Bible 1568, The Geneva Bible 1587 - “wherewith he hath made us freely accepted in his beloved.”, the Beza N.T. 1599k, Wesley N.T. 1755, Whiston N.T. 1745, Young’s literal 1898 “in which He did make us accepted in the beloved”, The Revised Translation 1815, Webster bible 1833, The Pickering N.T. 1840, the Longman Version 1841, The Commonly Received Version 1851, The Boothroyd Bible 1853, the Smith Bible 1876, The Revised English Bible 1877, The Clarke N.T. 1913, the NKJV 1982, the KJV 21st Century Version 1994, The Third Millennium Bible 1998, God’s First Truth Translation 1999, The Tomson N.T. 2002, The Revised Geneva Bible 2005, the Jubilee Bible 2010 - “he HAS MADE US ACCEPTED in the beloved.”, the New Matthew Bible 2016 “the grace with which HE HAS MADE US ACCEPTED in the Beloved.”z
Foreign Language Bibles = KJB
The Spanish Las Sagradas Escrituras 1569 - “con la cual nos hizo aceptos en el Amado;” = “by which he made us accepted in the Beloved.”, La Biblia Reina -Valera 1960, 1995, La Reina Valera Gomez Bible 2005, Spanish Jubilee bible, Reina Valera Contemporánea 2011 -“para alabanza de la gloria de su gracia, con la cual nos hizo aceptos en el Amado.”, the French Martin Bible 1744 - “par laquelle il nous a rendus agréables en son Bien-Aimé.”, the Portuguese Almeida Corrigida 2009 - “para louvor e glória da sua graça, pela qual nos fez agradáveis a si no Amado.” And the Romana Fidela Bible 2014 - “în care ne-a făcut acceptaţi în cel preaiubit.”
Other Bible Translations
Mace N.T. 1729 - which HAS RENDERED US ACCEPTABLE by his beloved son:
Worsley N.T. 1770, Haweis N.T. 1795 - to the praise of the glory of his grace, whereby HE HATH MADE US ACCEPTABLE in that beloved one
J. B. Phillips N.T. 1972 - that we might learn to praise that glorious generosity of his which HAS MADE US WELCOME in the everlasting love he bears towards the Son.
Worldwide English New Testament 1998 - WE HAVE BEEN ACCEPTED by God through Jesus Christ, whom he loves so much.
Ephesians 1:15-16 - “Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and LOVE unto all the saints, 16. Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention OF YOU in my prayers.”
Here in verse 15 the word “love” is omitted in P46, Sinaiticus original (but later put back in), Vaticanus and A, but the word is found in the Majority of all remaining Greek manuscripts, the Syriac Peshitta, Harclean, the Latin and the Coptic Sahidic and Boharic ancient versions.
Westcott and Hort originally omitted the word from their new critical text and had "πίστιν ἐν τῷ κυρίῳ Ἰησοῦ καὶ τὴν **** εἰς πάντας τοὺς ἁγίους" = "faith in the Lord Jesus and to all the saints". In fact, the 1881 Revised Version read this way saying: "the faith in the Lord Jesus which is among you, and which [ye shew] toward all the saints".
You should notice once again that the previous NIVs read "all the SAINTS", but the NIV 2011 along with the Catholic New Jerusalem has changed this to now read "all GOD'S PEOPLE"
But the true reading contains the word "love -τὴν ἀγάπην" - πίστιν ἐν τῷ κυρίῳ Ἰησοῦ καὶ τὴν ἀγάπην τὴν εἰς πάντας τοὺς ἁγίους and the ASV of 1901 put it back in the text. The UBS now includes the word "love" but with little brackets around it and the ESV footnotes " Some manuscripts omit "your love".
In verse 16 where it says: "making mention OF YOU in my prayers" the word translated OF YOU is omitted in Sinaiticus and Vaticanus and in the UBS, Nestle-Aland critical Greek texts, but the word is included even in such critical text versions like the NIV, ESV, RSV and Holman in regular print, though the NASB puts "of you" in italics as did the Revised Version of 1881.
Ephesians 1:18 KJB - "The eyes of YOUR UNDERSTANDING being enlightened; that ye may know the hope of his calling"
ESV - "having the eyes of YOUR HEARTS enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you."
Besides the ESV's paraphrasing and adding of words not found in any text - i.e. "to which he has called you", the main difference is the word "hearts" instead of "understanding".
Here in Ephesians 1:18 there are a couple of very definite textual variations. The simple word "YOUR" is omitted by both P46 and Vaticanus, but it is found in the Majority of texts as well as Sinaiticus, A and D and the UBS text includes it [but in brackets] indicating doubt.
The biggest textual change is from "UNDERSTANDING" -της διανοιας - in the KJB and "HEART"- τῆς καρδίας- as found in the critical text versions like the ESV, NIV, NASB, NET, Catholic Douay-Rheims, Catholic New Jerusalem, Jehovah Witness New World Translation and Holman Standard 2003 edition.
Neither the UBS nor the Nestle-Aland/Vatican critical Greek text even mentions this variant reading which is found in the Reformation Bibles.
The Holman Standard is interesting in that the 2003 edition reads: "they eyes of your HEART may be enlightened" but the 2009 edition of the Holman now reads : "THE PERCEPTION OF YOUR MIND may be enlightened."
We see the same with the Catholic versions. The Douay Version 1950 actually reads: "the eyes of YOUR MIND being enlightened", but then the New Jerusalem bible 1985 changed this to "the eyes of your HEART being enlightened"
ALL these modern versions continue to change their own texts every few years. The NIV has been through 4 different editions (1973, 1978, 1984, 2011), the NASB about 10, and the ESV three in just 10 years. After all, you need to get the late$t in $cholar$hip, right?
Some modern Critical Text versions can't seem to make up their minds as to which text to follow so we see some like the Easy to Read Version 2001 reading: "I pray that God will open your MINDS to see his truth". This reads like Green's Literal 2005, which follows the TR that underlies the KJB and says: "the eyes of YOUR MIND having been enlightened"
The Last Days Bible 1999 has: "the eyes of both your MINDS AND HEARTS may be able to see"
The Easy English Bible 2010 - "I pray that God will open YOUR MINDS"
The New International Readers Version 2014 - "I pray that you will UNDERSTAND more clearly."
"the eyes of your UNDERSTANDING" is the reading of the Reformation Bibles and the Traditional Textus Receptus and is found in Psi, 056, 075, 0142, 0150, 0151 and in the Greek texts of Stephanus 1550, Beza 1598, Elziver 1624, Scrivener 1894 and is so quoted by Cyril of Jerusalem in 386 A.D, Theodoret of Cyrus in 466 and Oecumius of Thrace in the 6th century.
It is also the reading found in The Modern Greek Bible - οι οφθαλμοι του νοος σας = "your mind/understanding"
"The eyes of your UNDERSTANDING" is also the reading found in Tyndale 1525, Coverdale 1535, the Great Bible 1540, Matthew's Bible 1549, the Bishops' Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1587, Beza's N.T. 1599, the Bill Bible 1671, Mace N.T. 1729, John Wesley's N.T. 1755, the Worsley Version 1770, Thomas Haweis N.T. 1795, The Thomson Bible 1808, Improved N.T. 1809 "eyes of your mind", The Revised Translation 1815 - "the eyes of your UNDERSTANDING", The Thomson N.T. 1816, The Wakefield N.T. 1820, Kneeland N.T. 1823, Webster's Bible 1833, the Living Oracles 1835, The Longman Version 1841 - "eyes of your UNDERSTANDING", Hammond N.T. 1845, The Morgan N.T. 1848, The Commonly Received Version 1851, Boothroyd Bible 1853 "eyes of your mind", Sawyer N.T. 1858, the Calvin Translation 1856 - "the eyes of your mind", The Revised New Testament 1862 - "the eyes of your UNDERSTANDING", The Anderson N.T. 1865, Noyes Translation 1869, The Smith Bible 1876, The Dillard N.T. 1885, Young's 1898, Twentieth Century N.T. 1904, Weymouth 1912 - "the eyes of your UNDERSTANDING being enlightened", The Clarke N.T. 1913, Goodspeed 1923 "the eyes of your mind being enlightened", Lamsa's translation of the Syriac Peshitta - "the eyes of YOUR UNDERSTANDING may be enlightened", Douay 1950, the NKJV 1982, The Word of Yah 1993, The Interlinear Greek N.T. 1997 (Larry Pierce), the Third Millennium Bible 1998, The Lawrie Translation 1998, The Koster Scriptures 1998 - "the eyes of your UNDERSTANDING", God's First Truth 1999, The Tomson N.T. 2002, The Apostolic Polyglot Bible 2003, The Resurrection Life N.T. 2005 - "the eyes of your UNDERSTANDING" (Vince Garcia), The Positive Infinity N.T. 2005, The Revised Geneva Bible 2005, The Easy To Read Version 2006, Bond Slave Version 2009, The Christogenea N.T. 2009 - "the eyes of your MIND being enlightened", The Holy Scriptures VW Edition 2010, The Easy English Bible 2010, The New European Version 2010, Online Interlinear 2010 (André de Mol), Conservative Bible 2011 - "the eyes of your UNDERSTANDING", The Hebraic Roots Bible 2012, The New International Reader's Version 2014, and the Modern English Version 2014 - "the eyes of your UNDERSTANDING being enlightened".
http://unbound.biola.edu/ - οι οφθαλμοι του νοος σας = "your mind/understanding"
Foreign Language Bibles -
That read like the KJB are the French Martin 1744 and French Ostervald 1996 - "les yeux de votre ENTENDEMENT", Luther's German Bible 1545 and the 2000 German Schlachter Bible - "und erleuchtete Augen eures Verständnisses", Lamsa's translation of the Syriac Peshitta - "the eyes of your UNDERSTANDING may be enlightened", the Spanish Sagradas Escrituras 1569 and the Reina Valera 1602, 1909 - 1995 and the RV Gómez of 2010 - "los ojos de vuestro ENTENDIMIENTO", the Italian Diodati 1649, Conferenza Episcopale Italiana Bible and La Nuova Diodati of 1991 - "e illumini gli occhi della vostra MENTE", and the Portuguese Almeida Corrigida E Fiel 1681 and 2009 editions and A Biblia Sagrada em Portugués - "os olhos do vosso ENTENDIMIENTO."
Other Foreign Language Bibles that read like the KJB include the Afrikaans bible 1953, the Dutch Staten Vertaling Bible - "ogen uws verstands", The Czeck BKR Bible, Luther's German Bible 1545 and the German Schlachter Bible 2000 - "und erleuchtete Augen eures Verständnisses", the Hungarian Karoli Bible, the Updated Polish Gdansk Bible 2013 - "Ażeby oświecił oczy waszego umysłu, abyście wiedzieli" and the Romanian Fidela Bible 2014 - "Ochii înţelegerii voastre, fiind iluminaţi"
Ephesians 2:1 KJB - "And you HATH HE QUICKENED, who were dead in trespasses and sins"
A bible agnostic names Douglas W., who is also a typical unbeliever in the infallibility of ANY Bible in ANY language, posted the following criticism of the King James Bible and how it reads in Ephesians 2:1.
Douglas W. posts:
Ephesians 2:1, ESV: "And you were dead in the trespasses and sins."
Ephesians 2:1, KJV: "AND YOU HATH HE QUICKENED, who were dead in trespasses and sins;"
Ephesians 2:1, Textus Receptus: Και υμας οντας νεκρούς τοις παραπτωμασιν και ταις αμαρτιαις (And you who were dead in trespasses and sins...)
Whoa! Has the ESV deleted words from the Word of God?
Does the T/R (I generalize; there are more than a dozen editions) contain the phrase, "hath he quickened" in this verse?
So, why is it in the KJV?
Because (probably) the KJV translators, in this case, and for tradition's sake, wanted the KJV to match the Latin Vulgate.
Yes, really.” (End of comments from this Bible critic)
First of all, if you look carefully at the King James Bible you will notice that the three words “hath he quickened” are in italics. This means that the KJB translators are right up front about the fact that they have “added” these three extra words to the sentence. And there are some very good reasons why they added them as we shall see in a moment.
Secondly, our Bible critic asks if the ESV has deleted words from the Word of God? One of the sure signs you are dealing with a bible agnostic is that they frequently capitalize the word Word of God, when in fact they are referring to the word of God. The Word of God (capital W) refers to the Son of God, while the word of God (small w) refers to His written revelation. Does Douglas believe the ESV is God’s infallible words? Of course not. The man is just another Bible rummager who picks a verse here and a phrase over there that he happens to like and pastes his “bible” together as he goes along.
This man’s ESV IS guilty of omitting literally hundreds and hundreds of words from the Traditional Reformation text, rejecting numerous Hebrew readings and adding hundreds of words to the Hebrew texts from the so called Greek Septuagint and other sources. And it also adds hundreds more words to the text but it doesn’t ITALICIZE them, like the KJB does.
See The Ever Changing ESVs 2001, 2007 and 2011 = just another Vatican Version
The ESV just puts all these hundreds of extra words to smooth out the English text into regular print, so you don’t know when they added things to make the sentences flow more easily or to fill in the gaps that are often there because of the elliptical nature of both Greek and Hebrew. Greek and Hebrew are both elliptical languages. This means that they sometimes omit the subject, or the verb or direct objects and indirect objects, because they are IMPLIED, and they need to be “added” to the English translation.
Thirdly, the King James Bible does NOT follow the Latin Vulgate at all here. Douglas finally came to realize that he was wrong about this and was forced to admit that he made a mistake.
The Latin Vulgate and the Clementine Vulgate both read in Ephesians 2:1-2
V. 1 et vos cum essetis mortui delictis et peccatis vestris = and you WERE dead in your trespasses and your sins.
There is nothing here about "hath he quickened". The irony is the it is the ESV that follows the Latin Vulgate here, and not the KJB, by MISTRANSLATING the Greek present participle οντας (being) as though it were an imperfect (past) tense (ημεν = ye were, as in verse 3 “were by nature children of wrath) without first having a main verb in the past tense - like “hath he quickened”, for example.
The KJB supplied the verb "hath he quickened" because there is no main verb in the long sentence that extends from verse 1 through verse 3. In Greek this is just one sentence. The verb "hath he quickened" is supplied to make sense of the passage. The literal Greek is not a complete sentence and some Bible commentators have pointed this out. As written literally, you end up with an incomplete sentence. It would be “And you BEING dead in trespasses and sins; wherein ye walked…and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.” We are left asking What happened when we were in that state?
Go ahead and read Ephesians 2:1-3 with the literal “BEING dead” and see if it makes sense. It doesn’t. The only way you can translate the present participle “BEING dead” οντας νεκρους as “WERE dead” is if the previous main verb is in a past tense. And this is exactly what the KJB translators did when they added in italics the three words “hath he quickened”.
Not only does the KJB “add” the three words “HATH HE QUICKENED” to Ephesians 2:1 but so also do the following Bible translations: Tyndale 1525, Coverdale 1535, the Great Bible 1540, Matthew's Bible 1549, the Geneva bible 1587, The Beza N.T. 1599, The Bill Bible 1671, John Wesley’s N.T. 1755, Worsley Version 1770, Thomas Haweis N.T. 1795, The Clarke N.T. 1795, The Revised Translation 1815, Webster’s translation 1833, The Pickering N.T. 1840, The Longman Version 1841, The Commonly Received Version 1851, Noyes Translation 1869, the Revised Version 1881, the ASV 1901, The Clarke N.T. 1913, Riverside N.T. 1923, Montgomery N.T. 1924, Lamsa’s 1933 translation of the Syriac Peshitta - “And HE HAS QUICKENED YOU ALSO who were dead because of your sins and trespasses.”, Bible in Basic English 1961, J.B. Phillips Translation 1962, the RSV 1952-1971 “ And YOU HE MADE ALIVE, when you were dead through the trespasses and sins”, the NKJV 1982, the Amplified 1987, World English Bible, Complete Apostle’s Bible 2005, Third Millennium Bible 1998, God's First Truth 1999, World English Bible 2000, The Tomson N.T. 2002, The Pickering N.T. 2005, The Resurrection Life N.T. 2005, The Mebust Bible 2007, English Jubilee Bible 2010 - “And HE HAS MADE YOU ALIVE who were dead in trespasses and sins”, the 2010 New Heart English Bible, The Bond Slave Version 2012, the 2012 Natural Israelite Bible, The Hebrew Names Version 2014 and The Hebraic Roots Bible 2015.
Among foreign language Bible that also “add” the words “hath he quickened” are the Spanish Sagradas Escrituras 1569, La Biblia de las Américas 1997, the 2005 Nueva Biblia Latinoamericana de Hoy and Reina Valeras 1909 - 2011 - “Y él os dio vida a vosotros, estando muertos en vuestros delitos y pecados”, the Italian Diodati 1649, La Nuova Riveduta 2006 - “Dio ha vivificato anche voi, voi che eravate morti nelle vostre colpe e nei vostri peccati”, the Portuguese Almeida Actualizada - “Ele vos vivificou, estando vós mortos nos vossos delitos e pecados”, the Afrikaans Bible 1953 - “En julle het Hy lewend gemaak”, the Dutch Staten Vertaling Bible - “En u heeft Hij mede levend gemaakt”, the Tagalog Ang Biblia 1905 - “At kayo'y binuhay niya, nang kayo'y mga patay dahil sa inyong mga pagsalangsang at mga kasalanan”, the 2014 Romanian Fidela Bible - "ȘI v-a dat viață , vouă care eraţi morţi în fărădelegi şi păcate", AND the Modern Greek Bible - - “Και εσας οντας νεκρους δια τας παραβασεις και τας αμαρτιας εζωοποιησεν” = “He has quickened”
The NASB says: “And you WERE dead in your trespasses and sins” but it footnotes that the literal reading is BEING.
The Bible Commentators
Several Bible commentators tell us about the unusually long sentence found here in Ephesians 2:1-3 and of the elliptical nature of the Greek language and how the words are “added” to make the thought of the passage clear in a smoothly flowing manner.
Charles Hodge’s Commentary on Ephesians - “The first seven verses of this chapter form one sentence, which is so long and complicated that the apostle is forced, before getting to the end of it, slightly to vary the construction; a thing of very frequent occurrence in his writings. He dwells so long in Ephesians 2:2-4, on the natural state of the Ephesians, that he is obliged in verse 5, to repeat substantially the beginning of verse l, in order to complete the sentence there commenced. ‘You dead on account of sin, — wherein ye walked according to the course of the world, subject to Satan, associated with the children of disobedience, among whom we also had our conversation, and were the children of wrath even as others — us, dead on account of trespasses HATH GOD QUICKENED. This is the way the passage stands. It is plain, therefore, that the sentence begun in the first verse, is resumed with slight variation in the fifth. This is the view taken by our translators, who borrow from the fifth verse the verb ἐζωοποίησε (TO QUICKEN, or make alive) necessary to complete the sense of the first.”
David Guzik - a. And you He made alive: The words He made alive are in italics, which indicates that they are added to the text but implied from the context. Paul wrote to believers who were made alive by God’s work.
The Expositor’s Greek New Testament - Ephesians 2:1. καὶ ὑμᾶς ὄντας νεκρούς: and you, being dead. The construction is broken, the writer turning off into two relative sentences (Ephesians 2:2-3) before he introduces his leading verb. His original statement is taken up again, as some think, at the καὶ ὄντας νεκρούς of Ephesians 2:5(Griesb., Rück., etc.). So the ὑμᾶς ὄντας here is under the regimen of the συνεζωοποίησε (Ephesians 2:5), and the καί has the force of “and you too,” “you, also, as well as Christ”. The ὄντας expresses the condition they were in when God’s power wrought in them.”
Albert Barnes’ Notes on the Whole Bible - “And you hath he quickened - The words “hath he quickened,” or “made to live,” are supplied, but not improperly, by our translators.
Jamieson, Faussett and Brown - “hath he quickened - supplied from the Greek (Ephesians 2:5)
Ellicott’s Commentary - “And you hath he quickened.—And you also. St. Paul here begins the particular application to the Ephesians, which is the main subject of this chapter, broken off in Ephesians 2:3-10, and resumed in Ephesians 2:11. The words “hath He quickened” (or, properly, did He quicken) are supplied here from Ephesians 2:5—rightly, as expressing the true sense and tending to greater clearness”
John Gill - “And you hath he quickened,.... The design of the apostle in this and some following verses, is to show the exceeding sinfulness of sin, and to set forth the sad estate and condition of man by nature, and to magnify the riches of the grace of God, and represent the exceeding greatness of his power in conversion: the phrase hath he quickened, is not in the original text, but is supplied from Ephesians 2:5, where it will be met with and explained: here those who are quickened with Christ, and by the power and grace of God, are described in their natural and unregenerate estate”
Kretzmann’s Popular Commentary - This is really only a part of a long and involved period, the verb having been supplied by the translators from the next section; but the thought is clear and may be followed without difficulty. Addressing himself principally to the Gentiles, or speaking of his readers from the standpoint of the majority, Paul writes: And you, when you were dead by reason of your trespasses and sins, God has made alive with Christ. “
Harry Ironside - In the King James version we read, “And you hath he quickened.” You will notice that the words, “hath he quickened,” are in italics. That means that they do not appear in the original Greek text, but were added here to make the sentence read smoothly. The verb hath quickened appears in the fifth verse in the original manuscripts. To be quickened is to be made alive. Because we were dead we needed to receive divine life. “You hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins: Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world.”
Preacher’s Complete Homiletical Commentary - “And you did He quicken.—The italics in A.V. and R.V. show a broken construction of St. Paul's meaning, the verb being supplied from Eph 2:5, where the broken thread is taken up again.”
Whedon’s Commentary - “Hath he quickened—As the italics indicate, these words are supplied by the translators to furnish a verb to govern the objective you. The words are in sense borrowed from Ephesians 2:5, where the verb is introduced with the objective changed to us.”
Vincent’s Word Studies - “And you - Taking up the closing thought of the preceding chapter, the magnitude of God's power toward believers as exhibited in Christ's resurrection. He now shows that the same power is applied to his readers. Hence the connection is: “When He raised Him from the dead, etc., AND YOU DID HE QUICKEN, even as He quickened Christ.” The structure of the passage is broken. Paul having prominently in mind the thought God quickened you as He did Christ, begins with you also. Then the connection is interrupted by Ephesians 2:2, Ephesians 2:3, which describe their previous condition. Then Ephesians 2:1 is taken up in Ephesians 2:4, by but God, God introducing a new sentence.”
John Eadie’s Commentary on Ephesians - “The governing verb is συνεζωοποίησε in Ephesians 2:5, as Jerome and OEcumenius rightly affirm, though the former blames Paul for a loose construction there. The thought is again interrupted between Ephesians 2:1; Ephesians 2:4. The apostle's mind was eminently suggestive, influenced by powerful laws of mental association, and prone to interpolate subsidiary ideas - but he resumes by δέ in Ephesians 2:4.
The King James Bible is always right.
KJB - "And to make ALL MEN see what is THE FELLOWSHIP of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things BY JESUS CHRIST."
NASB - "and to bring to light what is THE ADMINISTRATION of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God who created all things."
ESV - "and to bring to light FOR EVERYONE what is THE PLAN of the mystery hidden for all ages in God who created all things."
Revised Version, ASV 1901 - "and to make ALL MEN see what is THE DISPENSATION of the mystery which from all ages hath been hid in God who created all things"
In this single verse there are three significant textual variations and the critical text versions keep changing from one edition to another.
One Bible critic, James Snapp says: “In Ephesians 3:9, the KJV follows the Textus Receptus’ reading “koinonia” and thus says “fellowship,” but massive and ancient evidence supports the reading “oikonomia” which refers to God’s administration, or dispensation.”
One thing you should know about James Snapp. He is writing his own New Testament bible version. The whole thing in not in print yet, but he is still working on it. He does not believe that any Bible in any language IS the complete and 100% true words of God. He rejects both the Traditional Textus Receptus of the Protestant Reformation Bibles in most languages and he rejects the UBS/Nestle-Aland/Vatican Critical text as well.
Does he always follow the so called "Majority" texts? Of course not. Does James sometimes himself favor "minority readings", including an entire verse? Yes, he does. In his own words, James Snapp tells us: "I am in the process of compiling a NT text that is not 100% identical to any printed text currently in existence."
It is true of James Snapp and others like him today who have NO infallible Bible in any language to believe in or to give to anybody else - "In those days there was no king in Israel; EVERY MAN DID THAT WHICH WAS RIGHT IN HIS OWN EYES." Judges 21:25
The text behind Ephesians 3:9 in the King James Bible and the Reformation Bibles in general is -
και φωτισαι παντας τις η κοινωνια του μυστηριου του αποκεκρυμμενου απο των αιωνων εν τω θεω τω τα παντα κτισαντι δια ιησου χριστου =
"And to make ALL MEN see what is THE FELLOWSHIP of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things BY JESUS CHRIST."
The present Nestle-Aland/USB/Vatican critical text 28th edition now puts the word for "all men" [παντας] in brackets, indicating doubt, even though this is the reading in the Majority of all text including P46, Sinaitic correction, Vaticanus, C and D.
The previous Westcott-Hort 1881 and Nestle critical Greek texts 4th edition 1935 and 21st edition 1975 omitted the word for "all men" [παντας]. Yet the inconsistency is seen in that though the earlier WH/Nestle texts omitted the word completely from the text, yet it was retained in the RV 1881 and the ASV 1901.
The Westcott-Hort text used to read: "και φωτισαι τις η οικονομια του μυστηριου του αποκεκρυμμενου απο των αιωνων εν τω θεω τω τα παντα κτισαντι"
But Tischendorf's 8th edition (another critical text scholar) had a different text from that of Westcott and Hort. His text read - "καί φωτίζω τίς ὁ οἰκονομία ὁ μυστήριον ὁ ἀποκρύπτω ἀπό ὁ αἰών ἐν ὁ θεός ὁ ὁ πᾶς κτίζω" = which isn't even grammatically correct.
But now that the word παντας IS in the [text] the NASB 1995 STILL omits it, but it is found in the ESV, RSV, NIV and Holman.
The second major variant is the word "fellowship" or communion (η κοινωνια) versus "dispensation/plan /administration" (η οικονομια) of the critical text versions. "Fellowship" is admittedly a minority reading in the King James Bible, but for every 1 minority reading in the Reformation bibles, there are at least 20 of them in the critical text versions.
Wilbur Pickering in his 2005 translation says "Instead of “program”, perhaps 10% of the Greek manuscripts have ‘fellowship’ (as in AV and NKJV)."
The reading of "fellowship" or "sharing" is the very common New Testament word Koinonia, and it is the reading of most Reformation Bibles, and the Greek texts of Erasmus 1516,
Stephanus 1550 - http://www.textusreceptusbibles.com/Stephanus/49/3
Beza 1598 - και φωτισαι παντας τις η κοινωνια του μυστηριου του αποκεκρυμμενου απο των αιωνων εν τω θεω τω τα παντα κτισαντι δια ιησου χριστου
Elzevir Textus Receptus 1624 -
και φωτισαι παντας τις η κοινωνια του μυστηριου του αποκεκρυμμενου απο των αιωνων εν τω θεω τω τα παντα κτισαντι δια ιησου χριστου
Scrivener Textus Receptus 1894 -
It is also the reading of the Apostolic Polyglot Greek N.T. 2003 -
and the Modern Greek Bible - "και να φωτισω παντας, ποια ειναι η κοινωνια του μυστηριου του αποκεκρυμμενου απο των αιωνων εν τω Θεω οστις εκτισε τα παντα δια του Ιησου Χριστου"
The words "by Jesus Christ" are found in the Majority of all remaining Greek manuscripts in existence. In his book, Early Manuscripts and the Authorized Version, A Closer Look!, Jack Moorman notes that this is the reading found in the Majority of all remaining Greek manuscripts plus D correction, Dabs, K, L, 049, 056, 078, 0142, 0150 and 0151.
"And to make ALL MEN see what is the FELLOWSHIP of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things BY JESUS CHRIST." - Ephesians 3:9
"FELLOWSHIP" (communion) along with "ALL MEN" and "BY JESUS CHRIST" is also the reading found in Tyndale 1525 - "to make all men se what THE FELYSHIPPE of the mistery is which from the begynnynge of the worlde hath bene hid in God which made all thynges thorow Iesus Christ", Coverdale 1535, the Great Bible 1540, Matthew's Bible 1549, the Bishops' Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1587, Beza's N.T. 1599, The Bill Bible 1671, Whiston's N.T. 1745, John Wesley's N.T. 1755, the Worsley Version 1770, the Haweis N.T. 1795, The Revised Translation 1815, Webster 1833, The Longman Version 1841, The Hammond N.T. 1845, The Morgan N.T. 1848, The Commonly Received Version 1851, The Calvin Version 1856, The Revised N.T. 1862, The Dillard N.T. 1885, Young's 1898, the NKJV 1982, The Revised Webster Bible 1995, the Third Millennium Bible 1998, The Lawrie Translation 1998, The Tomson New Testament 2002, the Apostolic Polyglot Greek-English Bible 2003 - "και φωτίσαι πάντας τις η κοινωνία του μυστηρίου" = "and to enlighten all as to what is the FELLOWSHIP of the mystery", The Resurrection Life New Testament 2005, Green's Literal 2005, The Revised Geneva Bible 2005, The Bond Slave Version 2009, the English Jubilee Bible 2010, The Conservative Bible 2010, The Hebrew Transliteration Scripture 2010 - “And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world has been hid in Elohim, who created all things by Yehoshua (יהושע) Mashiach", The Holy Scriptures VW Edition 2010, the 2012 Natural Israelite Bible - "and to make ALL see what is THE FELLOWSHIP of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in Yahweh who created all things THROUGH YAH'SHUA THE MESSIAH.", The Hebraic Roots Bible 2012 - “what is the fellowship of the mystery having been hidden from eternity in Elohim, the One creating all things through Yahshua Messiah”, The Far Above All Translation 2014 and The Modern English Version 2014.
Foreign Language Bibles
Luthers' German bible 1545 and German Schlachter Bible 2000 - "und zu erleuchten jedermann, welche da sei die Gemeinschaft des Geheimnisses, das von der Welt her in Gott verborgen gewesen ist, der alle Dinge geschaffen hat durch Jesum Christum", the French Martin 1744, the Spanish Sagradas Escrituras 1569, Cipriano de Valera 1602, Spanish Jubilee Bible 2000 and Reina Valera Gómez 2010 - " y de aclarar a todos cuál es LA COMUNION del misterio escondido desde el principio del mundo en Dios, que creó todas las cosas por Jesucristo", the Russian Synodal Bible - "и открыть всем, в чем состоит домостроительство тайны, сокрывавшейся от вечности в Боге, создавшем все Иисусом Христом" = "the FELLOWSHIP of the mystery...created all things by Jesus Christ", the Finnish Bible 1776, The Czech Kralicka Bible - “A vysvětlil všechněm, kteraké by bylo obcování tajemství skrytého od věků v Bohu, kterýž všecko stvořil skrze Ježíše Krista” = “the FELLOWSHIP of the mystery…created all things BY JESUS CHRIST.”, the Dutch Staten Vertaling Bible - “En allen te verlichten, dat zij mogen verstaan, welke de gemeenschap der verborgenheid zij” = “the FELLOWSHIP of the mystery”.
"FELLOWSHIP" and "created all things BY JESUS CHRIST" are also found in the Italian Nuova Diodati 1991 - "e di manifest are A TUTTI LA PARTECIPAZIONE del mistero che dalle piú antiche età è stato nascosto in Dio, il quale ha creato tutte le cose per mezzo di Gesù Cristo", the Tagalog Ang Salita ng Diyos Bible 1998 - "Ito ay upang malinaw na makita ng lahat kung ano ang pakikipag-isa ng hiwaga, na sa panahong nakalipas, ay dating nakatago sa Diyos na lumikha ng lahat ng mga bagay sa pamamagitan ni Jesucristo." = "the FELLOWSHIP of the mystery...created all things BY JESUS CHRIST.", the Ukranian N.T., the Basque Navarro-Labourdin N.T., the 2014 Romanian Fidela Bible - "părtăşia misterului" = "fellowship of the mystery", the Polish Updated Gdansk Bible 2013 - " I żebym ujawnił wszystkim, jaka jest wspólnota tej tajemnicy ukrytej od wieków w Bogu, który wszystko stworzył przez Jezusa Chrystusa", and the Smith and van Dyke Arabic Bible -وانير الجميع في ما هو شركة السر المكتوم منذ الدهور في الله خالق الجميع بيسوع المسيح.,
and the Modern Greek Bible - "και να φωτισω παντας, ποια ειναι η κοινωνια του μυστηριου του αποκεκρυμμενου απο των αιωνων εν τω Θεω οστις εκτισε τα παντα δια του Ιησου Χριστου"
Bible commentators are usually spread all over the board on what different verses mean or how they should read. What some affirm, others deny. But there are those who side with the reading "THE FELLOWSHIP of the mystery" found not only in the King James Bible but in the Reformation Bibles in many languages all over the world. Here are some of them.
John Calvin (1509-1564) made his own translation from Greek into the Latin and his Latin translation reads just like the King James Bible. He did not use the Latin Vulgate, because the Latin Vulgate does not read "fellowship" but rather "dispensatio sacramenti"
Calvin's translation was: "Et omnibus conspicuum faciam, quae sit COMMUNIO mysterii, quod absconditum fuit a saeculis in Deo, qui omnia creavit per Iesum Christum". And he comments - "What is the FELLOWSHIP of the mystery. The publication of the gospel is called a fellowship, because it is the will of God that his purpose, which had formerly been hidden, shall now be shared by men."
David Guzik Commentary - "To make all see what is THE FELLOWSHIP of the mystery: Having been entrusted with such riches, Paul’s passion was to make this gospel known to all people. He wants everybody to see and share in THE FELLOWSHIP of this mystery - which is a mystery precisely because it was unknown and unknowable until God revealed it.
FELLOWSHIP of the mystery: We should carefully consider what this phrase means. It demonstrates that these are not only facts to know but also a life to live, united in Jesus with other believers, without any separation such as existed between Jew and Gentile."
Robert Hawker Commentary - "Paul calls it a mystery, and THE FELLOWSHIP of the mystery. And what a mystery, indeed, the whole forms? Great is the mystery of godliness. God, manifest in the flesh, is the first chapter. And what an endless subject, of the unsearchable riches of Christ, doth this one open ? It contains depths of wisdom, and depths of love, which, like an ocean without bottom or shore, affords infinite scope for all God's intelligent creatures, to exercise their faculties, in sailing over, but never fully to explore, for it passeth all knowledge. Nevertheless, the Lord encourageth his people to enter upon the discovery, in that we are told, that though from the beginning of the world it was hid in God, who created all things BY JESUS CHRIST."
Matthew Henry - "With respect to all men, Ephesians 3:9. His business and employment were to make all men see what is THE FELLOWSHIP of the mystery (that the Gentiles who have hitherto been strangers to the church, shall be admitted into communion with it) which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God (kept secret in his purpose), who created all things by Jesus Christ"
Matthew Poole's Commentary - "What is THE FELLOWSHIP of the mystery; or communication of the mystery, viz. concerning the salvation of the Gentiles without circumcision, or the works of the law which God now made known by Paul’s ministry, contrary to what the Jews believed."
John Wesley Commentary - "What is THE FELLOWSHIP of the mystery - What those mysterious blessings are whereof all believers jointly partake. Which was, in a great measure, hidden from eternity by God, who, to make way for the free exercise of his love, created all things - This is the foundation of all his dispensations."
Henry Ironside Commentary - "Paul wanted all men to enjoy the blessings and reality of THE FELLOWSHIP of this mystery. Men form their secret societies and delight to meet in hidden places to enjoy together mysteries that others cannot share. The Christian is through grace already a member of the society of the redeemed, A FELLOWSHIP divinely formed by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. And as a member of that society he can enjoy with fellow believers the marvelous secret that God has now made known."
From the beginning of the world this mystery was hidden in God “who created all things by Jesus Christ”
The Catholic Connection
Yet the modern Westcott-Hort/UBS/Nestle-Aland/Vatican critical text versions like the RV, ASV, NASB, NIV, RSV, ESV, NET, Holman and ALL Catholic versions like the Douay-Rheims 1582, Douay 1950, St. Joseph NAB 1970, New Jerusalem bible 1985 and the 2009 Catholic Public Domain Version and the Jehovah Witness New World Translation ALL omit these important words - “God who created all things BY JESUS CHRIST”.
Sinaiticus originally omitted them, but a later scribe put them back in, but the Vaticanus copy omits them.
The teaching that God created all things by Jesus Christ is taught in such Scriptures as John 1:3, Colossians 1:15-16 and Hebrews 1:2 and here in Ephesians 3:9 - "God, who created all things BY JESUS CHRIST"."
Some early church writers made reference to this verse.
"Our God, who hast created all things BY CHRIST..." Constitutions of the Holy Apostles (200 - 400 AD), 8.3
"In God, he continues, who created all things BY JESUS CHRIST. And he does well to say BY JESUS CHRIST; forasmuch as He who created all things by Him, revealeth also this by Him; for He hath made nothing without Him; for without Him, it is said, was not any thing made." Chrysostom (347 - 407 AD), Ephesians, Homily 7
"I pray you, this view from the midst of the churches, and really believe that all things were made BY JESUS CHRIST, and that without Him nothing was made."Augustine (354-430 AD), Anti-Pelagian 2.57
"Really believe that all things were made BY JESUS CHRIST, and that without Him nothing was made." Augustine (354-430 AD), Anti-Pelagian 2.60
The King James Bible is always right and it exalts the Lord Jesus Christ to His rightful place as the Lord God Jehovah, our Creator God manifest in the flesh, like no other.
By His grace, believing the Book,
Ephesians 3:14 - "For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST"
In this verse the words "of our Lord Jesus Christ" have been omitted by most modern critical text Vatican Versions like the ESV, NIV, NASB, RSV, NET, The Voice, Common English Bible and Holman versions. Among the Catholic versions we see the usual pattern. The older Douay-Rheims 1610 and the 1950 Douay both contained the words "of our Lord Jesus Christ." But the more modern ones like the St. Joseph New American Bible 1970, the New Jerusalem bible 1985 and the 2008 Catholic Public Domain Version (which are all based on the same "interconfessional" UBS/Nestle-Aland critical text editions like the ESV, NIV, NASB) OMIT these 5 words from their text.
The words "of our Lord Jesus Christ" are found in the Majority of remaining Greek manuscripts we have as well as Sinaitic correction, D, F, G, K, L, Psi, the Old Latin copies ar, c, d, e, f, g, t, x and z, as well as the Syriac Peshitta, Harclean, Gothic, Armenian and Latin Vulgate ancient versions. It is also so quoted by numerous early church writers like Origen, Ambrosiaster, Victorinus (Rome), Ephraem, Basil, Chrysostom, Theodore, Theodoret, John-Damascus and Photius.
"I bow my knees unto the Father OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST" is the text of the following English Bibles: Wycliffe 1395 - "Y bowe my knees to the fadir of oure Lord Jhesu Crist", Tyndale 1525, Coverdale 1535, the Great Bible (Cranmer) 1540, Matthew's Bible 1549, the Bishops' Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1587 - "I bowe my knees vnto the Father of our Lord Iesus Christ", Whiston's Primitive N.T. 1745, John Wesley's translation 1755, Worsley Version 1770, the Living Oracles 1835, Murdock's translation of the Syriac 1852, Lamsa's translation, Young's, Darby, Hebrew Names Version - "I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord, Yeshua the Messiah", the Amplified Bible 1987, NKJV 1982, Green's interlinear, the ISV 2012 (International Standard Version) and the Aramaic Bible in Plain English 2010 - "I bow my knees to The Father of our Lord Yeshua The Messiah"
Among foreign language Bibles the words "of our Lord Jesus Christ" and found in the Portuguese A Biblia Sagrada and the Almeida Corrigida E Fiel - "o Pai de nosso Senhor Jesus Cristo", the Spanish Sagradas Escrituras 1569 - "Por esta causa doblo mis rodillas al Padre del Señor nuestro Jesús, el Cristo", the Cipriano de Valera 1602, the Reina Valera 1909-1995 and R.V. Gómez 2010 - "el Padre de nuestro Señor Jesucristo", the French Martin 1744, the 1996 French Ostervald and Louis Segond 2007 - "le Père de notre Seigneur Jésus-Christ", the Italian Diodati 1649, La Nuova Diodati 1991 and the 2008 La Nuova Riveduta - "al Padre del Signor nostro Ges Cristo", Afrikaans Bible 1953 - "die Vader van onse Here Jesus Christus", Dutch Staten Vertaling Bible - "den Vader van onzen Heere Jezus Christus", Luther's German bible 1545 and the 2000 German Schlachter Bible - "dem Vater unsers HERRN Jesu Christi", Polish Gdanska Bible - "Pana naszego Jezusa Chrystusa", Hungarian Karoli Bible - "Jézus Krisztusnak Atyja elõtt", Czech BKR - "Otcem Pána našeho Jezukrista", the Russian Synodal - "Господанашего Иисуса Христа",the Modern Greek Bible - "Δια τουτο καμπτω τα γονατα μου προς τον Πατερα του Κυριου ημων Ιησου Χριστου" and the Modern Hebrew Bible - על כן אכרעה על ברכי לאבי אדנינו ישוע המשיח׃
The phrase "the Father OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST" has been in virtually every Bible in every language of the world until Westcott-Hort came out with their new Vatican friendly , ever changing critical text and it was first removed from the Revised Version in 1881 and then the ASV in 1901, and now by the ESV, NIV, NASB and the modern Roman Catholic versions as well as the Jehovah Witness New World Translation. "He that hath ears to hear, let him hear." Luke 8:8
Ephesians 5:1 KJB - "Be ye therefore FOLLOWERS of God, as dear children."
ESV - "Therefore be IMITATORS of God, as beloved children."
A fellow bible believer wrote to me saying: "I have another one for you if you have time. My daughter said the pastor was quoting Eph 5:1, and he said the translation "followers" in KJV is wrong, and it should be "imitators." Any thoughts would be appreciated. God bless, Ron."
Hi Ron. First of all, this pastor is just another Bible corrector who knows far less than he thinks, and has NO complete and inerrant Bible to believe in himself or to give to anyone else. He has made his own mind his "final authority" and unfortunately, has made himself the "final authority" for those whom he is supposedly pastoring. You have to come to him to find out what God REALLY said. Let's take a closer look at this word and see if this Bible correcting "pastor" is right or not.
The underlying Greek text of Ephesians 5:1 reads: "γινεσθε ουν μιμηται του θεου ως τεκνα αγαπητα" The particular word this Bible rummager thinks should be translated as "imitators" is the noun μιμηται (mimeetai).
It is found 7 times in the underlying Greek text of the KJB and is always translated as "FOLLOWERS" in the KJB and in many other translations, as we shall soon see. It is used in 1 Cor. 4:16; 11:1 "Be ye FOLLOWERS of me", Ephesians 5:1, 1 Thes. 1:6 "ye became followers of us", 2:14, Hebrews 6:12 and 1 Peter 3:13 "if ye be followers of that which is good?"
It comes from the verb form mimeomai which is used 4 times and is always translated in the KJB as TO FOLLOW. It is used in 2 Thes. 3:7 and 9; Hebrews 13:7 "whose faith FOLLOW" and 3 John 11 "FOLLOW not that which is evil."
When several modern versions translate this word as "imitate" it can lead to a wrong interpretation. To imitate can mean to try to follow the example of another. After all, that IS how the English dictionaries define the word - To Imitate = "to take or FOLLOW as an example", but the end result produces an "IMITATION" which also has the secondary meaning of "not real; a sham and bogus; counterfeit, not genuine."
In fact, that is precisely what these modern Vatican Versions like the ESV, NIV, NASB are. They are fake bibles imitating the true one, and not doing a very good job of it.
The Greek English Lexicon of the New Testament, by Bauer, Arndt and Gingrich defines the verb mimeomai as meaning "to imitate, to emulate, TO FOLLOW with the accusative of the person" one is following.
Kittel's massive work, the Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, discusses the meaning of the words mimeomai and mimeitai (μιμηται ) and says in Volume IV pages 668-671 such things as "it is obvious here that to be a μιμηται of Paul is TO FOLLOW his ways, accept his teaching" (1 Cor. 4:16). Discussing 1 Cor. 11:1 Kittel says: "To this degree the μιμηται (be ye followers of me) is a summons TO FOLLOW his example."
And regarding both the examples in 2 Thessalonians and Ephesians 5:1 he says: "The thought may be that of FOLLOWING an example which Paul and the Lord have given." And "Logically Ephesians 5:2 must be referred to FOLLOWING the example of Christ." (page 671)
Not only does the King James Bible correctly translate μιμηται and the verb form mimeomai as FOLLOWERS and "TO FOLLOW" but so too do the following English Bible translations: Wycliffe 1395, Tyndale 1525, Coverdale 1535, the Great Bible 1540, Matthew's Bible 1549, Douay-Rheims 1582, the Geneva Bible 1587 - "Bee yee therefore FOLLOWERS of God, as deare children", Whiston's N.T. 1745, John Wesley's N.T. 1755, Webster's translation 1833, Sawyer's N.T. 1858, Young's literal 1898 - "Become, then, followers of God, as children beloved", Goodspeed N.T. 1923, Williams N.T. 1937 - "So you must keep on following God's example", Lamsa's translation of the Syriac Peshitta - "you became FOLLOWERS of us" (1 Thes. 1:6) "FOLLOWERS of those who through faith" (Hebrews 6:12), "FOLLOWERS of that which is good?" (1 Peter 3:13 etc.), the NKJV 1982, the Third Millennium Bible 1998, and the NIV 1982-2011 - "FOLLOW God's example, therefore, as dearly loved children."
Among the modern versions that translate the noun as "IMITATORS" and the verb as IMITATE" are the ESV, Holman, NET and the modern Catholic bible versions like the St. Joseph New American bible 1970 and the Jerusalem bible as well as the Jehovah Witness New World translation.
The Catholic Connection
The 1582 Douay Rheims said “Be ye therefore FOLLOWERS of God, as dear children.” But then the Douay of 1950, the Jerusalem bible of 1968 and the St. Joseph NAB 1970 all changed this to “BE IMITATORS of God, as children he loves.” But the New Jerusalem bible 1985 toned it down a bit with: “take him as your pattern”. but then the 2009 Catholic Public Domain version went back to “be IMITATORS of God”. The Latin Vulgate and the Clementine Vulgate both read BE IMITATORS” - Estote ergo imitatores Dei”
The NASB goes back and forth. It translated the verb as "TO IMITATE" 2 times, but also as TO FOLLOW as in "FOLLOW our example" in both 2 Thessalonians 3:7 and 9.
The NKJV also goes back and forth both with the verb and the noun. It has "FOLLOW" in 2 Thes. 3:7 and 9 and in 1 Thes. 1:6 and 1 Peter 3:13 "Be FOLLOWERS of that which is good", but IMITATE in 3 John 11 and IMITATORS in 1 Cor. 4:16, 11:1, 1 Thes. 2:14 and in Hebrews 6:12.
Dan Wallace's NET version usually translate the noun and verb as "IMITATE" or IMITATORS, but in 1 Peter 3:13 is has "who is going to harm you if you are DEVOTED to what is good?"
There is absolutely nothing wrong with the King James Bible and many others in translating the verb and the noun as "TO FOLLOW our example" or "Be ye FOLLOWERS of that which is good". That is what the word means, and to "imitate" itself means "to FOLLOW the example of another". And "to follow" is better than "to imitate" because we avoid the confusion and contradiction of the additional meanings of the word "imitation" which often carries the direct implication of something that is "not real; a sham, bogus; counterfeit, not genuine."
Ephesians 5:9 KJB - "(For the fruit of THE SPIRIT is in all goodness and righteousness and truth.)"
ESV, NIV, NASB, Jehovah Witness NWT, NET, Catholic versions - "(For the fruit OF LIGHT is found in all that is good and right and true.)" ESV 2001-2016.
This is one of the numerous verses in the New Testament where the textual evidence is quite massive for both readings, and yet the obvious truth is that God did NOT inspire both of them. Either one reading is right and the other one is a corruption, but they cannot both be the one God originally inspired.
The reading of "light" is found in many manuscripts, several Old Latin manuscripts and in several ancient versions like the Syriac Peshitta, the Coptic, Gothic, Armenian and Ethiopic.
However the reading of "the Spirit" is that of the Majority of remaining manuscripts including P46 (a papyrus manuscript) which is the oldest Greek manuscript in existence. It is dated at 200 A.D. and thus predates both Sinaiticus and Vaticanus by about 150 years. "the Spirit" is also the reading found in D2, K, L, Psi and in the Syriac Harclean, Georgian and Slavonic ancient versions, the Byzantine Lectionaries, and is so quoted by early church writers as Chrysostom (407), Theodore (428), Theodoret (466) and John Damascus.
The Catholic Versions
All the Catholic Versions read "the fruit of LIGHT". These would be the Douay-Rheims 1610, Douay 1950, St Joseph NAB 1970, New Jerusalem bible 1985 and the 2009 Catholic Public Domain Version.
The reading of "fruit of THE SPIRIT" is that of the Reformation Bibles in virtually every language of the world. It is the reading of the Greek texts of Erasmus, Stephanus 1550, Beza 1598, Elzevir 1624 and the modern Greek Bible followed by the Greek Orthodox churches all over the world.
However, since the days of the Westcott-Hort critical text in 1881 the critical text versions like the ASV, RSV, NRSV, ESV, NIV, NASB, NET, Jehovah Witness NWT, Catholic bibles and Holman likewise read "LIGHT".
So, it basically comes down to either following the reading of the Reformation Bibles or the Catholic bibles and the new Vatican Versions like the ESV, NIV, NASB, ISV, NET, Holman etc. whose underlying "interconfessional" text is based on and formed by a formal agreement with the Vatican.
"The fruit of THE SPIRIT"
Bibles that follow the Traditional Greek reading of "SPIRIT" are Tyndale 1525 - "For the frute of the sprete is in all goodnes rightewesnes and trueth.", the Great Bible 1540, Matthew's Bible 1549, the Bishops' Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1587 - "(For the fruit of the Spirit is in al goodnes, and righteousnes, and trueth)", the Beza N.T. 1599, Whiston's Primitive N.T. 1745, Worsley N.T. 1770, Haweis N.T. 1795, Webster's translation 1833, The Commonly Received Version 1851, Julia Smith Translation 1855, The Revised N.T. 1862, The Smith Bible 1876, Young's literal 1898, World English Version 2000, the Hebrew Names Version 2014- "the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth", the NKJV 1982, J.P. Green's literal version 2005, The Koster Scriptures 1998, The Laurie N.T. 1998, the Third Millennium Bible 1998, God's First Truth 1999, The Last Days N.T. 1999, The Tomson N.T. 2002, The Apostolic Polyglot bible 2003, The Pickering N.T. 2005, A Conservative Version 2005, Complete Apostle's Bible 2005, Jubilee Bible 2010, The Conservative Bible 2010, The Hebrew Transliteration Bible 2010 - "For the fruit of the Ruach is in all goodness and righteousness and truth", The English Majority Text 2013, The Far Above All Translation 2014, The Hebrew Names Version 2014, The Modern English Version 2014, The Modern Literal N.T. 2014, and The New Matthew Bible 2016 - "For the fruit of the SPIRIT is in all goodness..."
Foreign Language Bibles
Among foreign language Bible that say "the fruit of THE SPIRIT" are the Spanish Sagradas Escrituras 1569, Cipriano de Valera 1602, the Reina Valeras 1909-2011 and the R.V. Gómez of 2010 - "(porque el fruto del Espíritu es en toda bondad, y justicia, y verdad, the French Martin 1744, the French Ostervald 1996 and the French Louis Segond of 2007 - "Car le fruit de l'Esprit consiste en toute sorte de bonté, de justice et de vérité", the Italian Diodati 1649 and La Nuova Diodati 1991 - "il frutto dello Spirito", Martin Luther's German Bible 1545 and the 2000 German Schlachter bible - "Die Frucht des Geistes", the Dutch Staten Vertaling Bible - "Want de vrucht des Geestes", the Portuguese A Biblia Sagrada and the 1681 Almeida Corrigida E Fiel - "Porque o fruto do Esprito est em toda a bondade", the Afrikaans Bible 1953 - "Want die vrug van die Gees ", the Russian Synodal Bible 1876 and the Russian Victor Zhuromsky N.T. - "потому что плод Духа",
the Greek Orthodox Church N.T. text and the Modern Greek Bible - "ὁ γὰρ καρπὸς τοῦ Πνεύματος"
and the Modern Hebrew Bible - כי פרי הרוח כל מעשי חסד וצדק ואמת׃
Both the Modern Greek Bible and the Modern Hebrew Bible can be seen at the Biola University site here -
To repeat, it basically comes down to either following the reading of the Reformation Bibles or the Catholic bibles and the new Vatican Versions like the ESV, NIV, NASB, ISV, NET, Holman etc. whose underlying "interconfessional" text is based on and formed by a formal agreement with the Vatican.
Ephesians 5:30 KJB - "For we are members of his body, OF HIS FLESH, AND OF HIS BONES."
Ephesians 5:30 ESV, NIV, NASB, NET - "Because we are members of his body." (ESV 2001)
The obvious difference between these two verses is the omission of the words "of his flesh, and of his bones." The evidence for these additional inspired words of God is simply massive and overwhelming. They are found in the Majority of all remaining manuscripts including Sinaiticus correction, D, F, G, K, L, P, as well as the Old Latin copies of ar, b, c, d, dem, e, f, g, mon , x and z.
They are found in the Latin Vulgate, the Syriac Peshitta, Harclean, Armenian, Georgian and Slavonic ancient versions and so quoted by numerous early Christian writers including Irenaeus, Chrysostom, Theodore, Victorinus, Ambrosiaster, Ambrose and Pelagius. However Vaticanus, A and a few others omit these words.
The Catholic Connection
As usual, we see the same typical pattern with the Catholic versions. The older Douay-Rheims 1610 as well as the Catholic Douay of 1950 both contained these words in full - "Because we are members of him, body, OF HIS FLESH AND OF HIS BONES."
But now the 1970 St. Joseph NAB and the 1985 New Jerusalem bible omit the words and read like the ESV, NIV, NASB, RV, ASV, RSV, NET, Holman, ISV and Common English Version - "For we are members of his body." (St. Joseph New American Bible 1970)
BUT, once again the Catholics have come out with a new version in 2009 called The Catholic Public Domain Version, and it now puts the words back into the text. It reads: "For we are a part of his body, OF HIS FLESH AND OF HIS BONES."
The entire verse as it stands in the Traditional Reformation text followed by the King James Bible is found in the following Bible translations: Wycliffe 1395 - "And we ben membris of his bodi, of his fleisch, and of his boonys.", Tyndale 1525, Coverdale 1535, the Great Bible (Cranmer) 1540 - "For we are members of his body, of his flesshe, and of hys bones.", Matthew's Bible 1549, Whiston's Primitive N.T. 1745, Living Oracles 1835, Murdock's Translation of the Syriac 1852 and Lamsa's translation of the Syriac Peshitta, Noyes Translation 1869, The New Testament Translated from the Sinaitic Manuscript 1918 by Henry Anderson - "for we are members of his body, of his flesh and of his bones.", Wesley's translation 1755, Youngs 1898, Darby 1890, World English Bible, NKJV 1982, the Jubilee Bible 2000, the Aramaic Bible in Plain English 2010 - "Because we are members of his body and we are of his flesh and of his bones.", the Knox Bible of 2012 and the Natural Israelite Bible 2012.
Among foreign language Bible that contain "of his flesh and of his bones." are the Spanish Sagradas Escrituras 1569, Cipriano de Valera 1602, the Spanish Reina Valeras 1909 - 1995, R.V. Contemporánea 2011 and the R.V. Gómez 2010 - "porque somos miembros de su cuerpo, de su carne y de sus huesos.", the Portuguese Almeida Corregida E Fiel of 1681 - "Porque somos membros do seu corpo, da sua carne, e dos seus ossos.", the French Martin 1744, French Ostervald 1996 and the French Louis Segond 2007 - "Car nous sommes membres de son corps, étant de sa chair, et de ses os.", the Italian Diodati 1649, La Nuova Diodati 1991 and La Nueva Riveduta of 2006 - "poich noi siamo membra del suo corpo, della sua carne e delle sue ossa.", Luther's German Bible 1545 and the 2000 German Schlachter Bible - "Denn wir sind die Glieder seines Leibes, von seinem Fleisch und von seinem Gebein."
Other Foreign language Bibles that contain these words are the Afrikaans Bible 1953 "van sy vlees en van sy bene.", the Finnish Bible 1776 - "Sillä me olemme hänen ruumiinsa jäsenet, hänen lihastansa ja luistansa.", the Hungarian Károli - "Mert az Õ testének tagjai vagyunk, az Õ testébõl és az Õ csontjaiból valók.", the Romanian Cornilescu and the 2009 Romanian Fidela Bible - "pentrucă noi sîntem mădulare ale trupului Lui, carne din carnea Lui şi os din oasele Lui.", the Russian Synodal Version - "потому что мы члены тела Его, от плоти Его и от костей Его.", the Ukranian N.T. - "тим що ми члени тіла Його, від тіла Його і від костей Його.", the Chinese Union Traditional Bible, the Polish Gdanska Bible - "Gdyżeśmy członkami ciała jego, z ciała jego i z kości jego.", the Tagalog Ang Dating Biblia 1905 - "Sapagka't tayo ay mga sangkap ng kaniyang katawan.", the Greek N.T. used by the Greek Orthodox Church all over the world and the Modern Greek Bible - "ὅτι μέλη ἐσμὲν τοῦ σώματος αὐτοῦ, ἐκ τῆς σαρκὸς αὐτοῦ καὶ ἐκ τῶν ὀστέων αὐτοῦ·
Just a few of the Bible commentators who believed these words are inspired Scripture are John Calvin, John Wesley, Matthew Poole, David Guzik, Matthew Henry, Charles Spurgeon and John Gill - "Of his flesh and of his bones: for so the church may be called, his own flesh, his flesh and bones, on account of the marriage relation she stands in to him, and that spiritual union there is between them, which these phrases are expressive of; and which the near relation of man and wife is an emblem of; these words are wanting in the Alexandrian copy."
130-202 A.D. Early Church Fathers - Ante-Nicene Fathers - Volume 1 - Apostolic Fathers, Irenaeus - Against Heresies: Book 5 - Chapter 2. When Christ visited us in His grace, He did not come to what did not belong to Him: also, by shedding His true blood for us, and exhibiting to us His true flesh in the Eucharist, He conferred upon our flesh the capacity of salvation.
From which things the substance of our flesh is increased and supported, how can they affirm that the flesh is incapable of receiving the gift of God, which is life eternal, which [flesh] is nourished from the body and blood of the Lord, and is a member of Him?-even as THE BLESSED PAUL DECLARES IN HIS EPISTLE TO THE EPHESIANS, THAT "WE ARE MEMBERS OF HIS BODY, OF HIS FLESH, AND OF HIS BONES." EPH 5:30.
312 A.D. Early Church Fathers - Ante-Nicene Fathers - Volume 6 - Methodius - The Banquet of the Ten Virgins - Discourse 2. Theophila. - Chapter 2. Generation Something Akin to the First Formation of Eve from the Side and Nature of Adam; God the Creator of Men in Ordinary Generation.
When thirsting for children a man falls into a kind of trance, Remark the connection, ἒκστασις and εξίσταται. softened and subdued by the pleasures of generation as by sleep, so that again something drawn from HIS FLESH AND FROM HIS BONES is, as I said, fashioned into another
312 A.D. Early Church Fathers - Ante-Nicene Fathers - Volume 6 - Methodius - The Banquet of the Ten Virgins - Discourse 3. Thaleia. - Chapter 1. Passages of Holy Scripture Compared.
But he, more spiritually referring the passage to Christ, thus teaches: “He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh, but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the Church: FOR WE ARE MEMBERS OF HIS BODY, OF HIS FLESH, AND OF HIS BONES. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the Church.” EPH 5:28-32.
312 A.D. Early Church Fathers - Ante-Nicene Fathers - Volume 6 - Methodius - The Banquet of the Ten Virgins - Discourse 3. Thaleia. - Chapter 8. The Bones and Flesh of Wisdom; The Side Out of Which the Spiritual Eve is Formed, the Holy Spirit; The Woman the Help-Meet of Adam; Virgins Betrothed to Christ.
Whence it was that THE APOSTLE DIRECTLY REFERRED TO CHRIST the words which had been spoken of Adam. For thus will it be most certainly agreed that the Church is formed OUT OF HIS BONES AND FLESH; EPH 5:30and it was for this cause that the Word, leaving His Father in heaven, came down to be “joined to His wife; ” EPH 5:31…for otherwise the Church could not conceive believers, and give them new birth by the laver of regeneration, unless Christ, emptying Himself for their sake, that He might be contained by them, as I said, through the recapitulation of His passion, should die again, coming down from heaven, and being “joined to His wife,” the Church, should provide for a certain power being taken from His own side, so that all who are built up in Him should grow up, even those who are born again by the laver, receiving OF HIS BONES AND OF HIS FLESH, EPH 5:30 that is, of His holiness and of His glory. For he who says that THE BONES AND FLESH of Wisdom are understanding and virtue, says most rightly; and that the side Rib. is the Spirit of truth, the Paraclete, of whom the illuminated Commonly used by the Greek Fathers for the Baptized. ...
347-407 A.D. Early Church Fathers - Nicene & Post-Nicene Fathers - First Series - Volume 13 - Saint Chrysostom: - The Commentary and Homilies of St. John Chrysostom on Galatians and Ephesians. - Homilies on Ephesians. - Ephesians 5:22-33
Ver 29. “For no man ever hated his own flesh, but nourisheth and cherisheth it.”
That is, tends it with exceeding care. And how is she his flesh? Hearken; “This now is bone of my bones,” saith Adam, “and flesh of my flesh.” (Gen 2:23.) For she is made of matter taken from us. And not only so, but also, “they shall be,” saith God, “one flesh.” (Gen 2:24.)
“Even as Christ also the Church.” Here he returns to the former example.
VER 30. “BECAUSE WE ARE MEMBERS OF HIS BODY, OF HIS FLESH AND OF HIS BONES.”
Ver 31. “For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife, and the twain shall become one flesh.”
347-407 A.D. Early Church Fathers - Nicene & Post-Nicene Fathers - First Series - Volume 14 - Saint Chrysostom: Homilies on the Gospel of St. John, Hebrews - The Homilies of St. John Chrysostom on the Gospel of St. John. - Homily 46 - John 6:41,42
[3.] ...Wherefore it is necessary to understand the marvel of the Mysteries, what it is, why it was given, and what is the profit of the action. We become one Body, and “MEMBERS OF HIS FLESH AND OF HIS BONES.” ( EPH 5:30 .)
347-407 A.D. Early Church Fathers - Nicene & Post-Nicene Fathers - First Series - Volume 14 - Saint Chrysostom: Homilies on the Gospel of St. John, Hebrews - The Homilies of St. John Chrysostom on the Epistle to the Hebrews. - Homily VI - Hebrews 3.7-11
Then he adds ( ver 14 ), “For we have been made partakers of Christ.” What is this, “We have been made partakers of Christ”? We partake of Him (he means); we were made One, we and He—since He is the Head and we the body, “fellow-heirs and of the same body; we are one body, OF HIS FLESH AND OF HIS BONES.” ( Eph 3:6; Rom 12:5; EPH 5:30 .)
313-386 A.D. Early Church Fathers - Nicene & Post-Nicene Fathers - Second Series - Volume 7 - Cyril of Jerusalem - The Catechetical Lectures of S. Cyril. - Introduction. - Eucharistic Doctrine.
However much this view of the Sacramental mystery may differ from later theories, it was certainly held by many of the Greek Fathers. Irenæus, for example, in addition to those already mentioned, thus writes: “When therefore both the mingled cup and the created bread receive the Word of God, and the Eucharist becomes the Body of Christ, and from these the substance of our flesh increaseth and consisteth, how say they that the flesh is incapable of the gift of God which is eternal life, that flesh which is nourished from the Body and Blood of the Lord, and is already (ὑπάρχουσα) a member of Him?—even as THE BLESSED PAUL SAITH, THAT WE ARE MEMBERS OF HIS BODY, OF HIS FLESH, AND OF HIS BONES.”
400-461 A.D. Early Church Fathers - Nicene & Post-Nicene Fathers - Second Series - Volume 12 - Leo the Great - The Letters and Sermons of Leo the Great. - Letters. - To the Clergy and People of the City of Constantinople.
Hence whosoever confesses not the human body in Christ, must know that he is unworthy of the mystery of the Incarnation, and has no share in that sacred union of which THE APOSTLE SPEAKS, SAYING, “FOR WE ARE HIS MEMBERS, OF HIS FLESH AND OF HIS BONES. For this cause a man shall leave father and mother and shall cleave to his wife, and there shall be two in one flesh EPH 5:30-31, 32..” And explaining what was meant by this, he added, “This mystery is great, but I speak in respect of Christ and the Church.”
So, once again it comes down to either you are going to follow and believe the Biblical text of the Reformation Bibles or you are going to follow the new Vatican Versions like the modern Catholic versions, the ESV, NIV, NASB, Holman, ISV etc.
“Mystery, Babylon the Great, The Mother of Harlots and Abominations of the Earth..is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit...and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication...Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins” Revelation 17:2-5; 18:2-4
Undeniable Proof the ESV, NIV, NASB, Holman Standard, NET etc. are the new "Vatican Versions"
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