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Diversity of Gifts. But grace was given to each of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift.(A) Therefore, it says:

“He ascended[a] on high and took prisoners captive;
    he gave gifts to men.”(B)

What does “he ascended” mean except that he also descended into the lower [regions] of the earth? 10 The one who descended is also the one who ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.

11 [b]And he gave some as apostles, others as prophets, others as evangelists, others as pastors and teachers,(C) 12 to equip the holy ones for the work of ministry,[c] for building up the body of Christ, 13 until we all attain to the unity of faith and knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood,[d] to the extent of the full stature of Christ,(D)

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Footnotes

  1. 4:8–10 While the emphasis is on an ascension and gift-giving by Christ, there is also a reference in taking prisoners captive to the aeons and powers mentioned at Eph 1:21; 2:2; 3:10; 6:12.
  2. 4:11 Concerning this list of ministers, cf. 1 Cor 12:28 and Rom 12:6–8. Evangelists: missionary preachers (cf. Acts 21:8; 2 Tm 4:5), not those who wrote gospels. Pastors and teachers: a single group in the Greek, shepherding congregations.
  3. 4:12 The ministerial leaders in Eph 4:11 are to equip the whole people of God for their work of ministry.
  4. 4:13 Mature manhood: literally, “a perfect man” (cf. Col 1:28), possibly the “one new person” of Eph 2:15, though there anthrōpos suggests humanity, while here anēr is the term for male. This personage becomes visible in the church’s growing to its fullness in the unity of those who believe in Christ.