New American Bible (Revised Edition)
11 [a]And he gave some as apostles, others as prophets, others as evangelists, others as pastors and teachers,(A) 12 to equip the holy ones for the work of ministry,[b] 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,[c] to the extent of the full stature of Christ,(B) 14 so that we may no longer be infants, tossed by waves and swept along by every wind of teaching arising from human trickery, from their cunning in the interests of deceitful scheming.(C) 15 Rather, living the truth in love, we should grow in every way into him who is the head,(D) Christ,[d] 16 from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, with the proper functioning of each part, brings about the body’s growth and builds itself up in love.(E)
Renewal in Christ.[e]Read full chapter
- 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.
- 4:12 The ministerial leaders in Eph 4:11 are to equip the whole people of God for their work of ministry.
- 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.
- 4:15–16 The head, Christ: cf. Col 1:18 and contrast 1 Cor 12:12–27 and Rom 12:4–5 where Christ is identified with the whole body, including the head. The imagery may derive from ancient views in medicine, the head coordinating and caring for the body, each ligament (perhaps the ministers of Eph 4:11) supporting the whole. But as at Eph 2:19–22, where the temple is depicted as a growing organism, there may also be the idea here of growing toward the capstone, Christ.
- 4:17–24 Paul begins to indicate how the new life in Christ contrasts with the Gentiles’ old way of existence. Literally, the old self (Eph 4:22) and the new self (Eph 4:24) are “the old man” and “the new man” (anthrōpos, person), as at Eph 2:15; cf. note on Eph 4:13.