New English Translation
Exhortations to Households
22 [a] Wives, submit[b] to your husbands as to the Lord, 23 because the husband is the head of the wife as also Christ is the head of the church (he himself being the savior of the body). 24 But as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. 25 Husbands, love your[c] wives just as Christ loved the church and gave himself for her 26 to sanctify her by cleansing her[d] with the washing of the water by the word, 27 so that he[e] may present the church to himself as glorious—not having a stain or wrinkle, or any such blemish, but holy and blameless.[f] 28 In the same way[g] husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one has ever hated his own body,[h] but he feeds it and takes care of it, just as Christ also does the church, 30 because we are members of his body.[i] 31 For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and will be joined to his wife, and the two will become[j] one flesh.[k] 32 This mystery is great—but I am actually[l] speaking with reference to Christ and the church. 33 Nevertheless,[m] each one of you must also love his own wife as he loves himself,[n] and the wife must[o] respect[p] her husband.Read full chapter
- Ephesians 5:22 tn Many scholars regard Eph 5:21 as the verse which introduces this section, rather than 5:22. This is due in part to the lack of a main verb in this verse (see tc note which follows). This connection is not likely, however, because it requires the participle ὑποτασσόμενοι (hupotassomenoi, “submitting”) in 5:21 to act as the main verb of the section, and this participle more likely is linked to the command “be filled by the Spirit” in 5:18 as a participle of result (see sn above). In any case, 5:21 does form a strong link between 5:18-21 and what follows, so the paragraph division which has been placed between 5:21 and 22 should not be viewed as a complete break in the author’s thought.
- Ephesians 5:22 tc The witnesses for the shorter reading (in which the verb “submit” is only implied) are minimal (P46 B Cl Hiermss), but significant and early. The rest of the witnesses add one of two verb forms as required by the sense of the passage (picking up the verb from v. 21). Several of these witnesses have ὑποτασσέσθωσαν (hupotassesthōsan), the third person imperative (so א A I P Ψ 0278 33 81 1175 1505 1739 1881 2464 al lat co), while other witnesses, especially the later Byzantine cursives, read ὑποτάσσεσθε (hupotassesthe), the second person imperative (D F G M sy). The text virtually begs for one of these two verb forms, but the often cryptic style of Paul’s letters argues for the shorter reading. The chronology of development seems to have been no verb—third person imperative—second person imperative. It is not insignificant that early lectionaries began a new day’s reading with v. 22; these may have caused copyists to add the verb at this juncture.
- Ephesians 5:25 tn The Greek article has been translated as a possessive pronoun (ExSyn 215).
- Ephesians 5:26 tn The direct object “her” is implied, but not found in the Greek text. It has been supplied in the English translation to clarify the sense of the passage.
- Ephesians 5:27 tn The use of the pronoun αὐτός (autos) is intensive and focuses attention on Christ as the one who has made the church glorious.
- Ephesians 5:27 tn Grk “but in order that it may be holy and blameless.”
- Ephesians 5:28 tn Grk “So also.”
- Ephesians 5:29 tn Grk “flesh.”
- Ephesians 5:30 tc Most Western witnesses, as well as the majority of Byzantine mss and a few others (א2 D F G Ψ 0278 0285vid 1175 1505 1739mg M lat), add the following words to the end of the verse: ἐκ τῆς σαρκὸς αὐτοῦ καὶ ἐκ τῶν ὀστέων αὐτοῦ (ek tēs sarkos autou kai ek tōn osteōn autou, “of his flesh and of his bones”). This is a (slightly modified) quotation from Gen 2:23a (LXX). The Alexandrian text is solidly behind the shorter reading (P46 א* A B 048 33 81 1739* 1881 co). Although it is possible that an early scribe’s eye skipped over the final αὐτοῦ, there is a much greater likelihood that a scribe added the Genesis quotation in order to fill out and make explicit the author’s incomplete reference to Gen 2:23. Further, on intrinsic grounds, it seems unlikely that the author would refer to the physical nature of creation when speaking of the “body of Christ” which is spiritual or mystical. Hence, as is often the case with OT quotations, the scribal clarification missed the point the author was making; the shorter reading stands as autographic.
- Ephesians 5:31 tn Grk “the two shall be as one flesh.”
- Ephesians 5:31 sn A quotation from Gen 2:24.
- Ephesians 5:32 tn The term “actually” is not in the Greek text, but is supplied in the English translation to bring out the heightened sense of the statement.
- Ephesians 5:33 tn The translation of πλήν (plēn) is somewhat difficult in this context, though the overall thrust of the argument is clear. It could be an adversative idea such as “but,” “nevertheless,” or “however” (see NIV, NASB, NRSV), or it could simply be intended to round out and bring to conclusion the author’s discussion. In this latter case it could be translated with the use of “now” (so A. T. Lincoln, Ephesians [WBC], 384).
- Ephesians 5:33 tn Grk “Nevertheless, you also, one by one, each his own wife so let him love as himself.” This statement is cumbersome and was cleaned up to reflect better English style.
- Ephesians 5:33 tn The ἵνα (hina) clause was taken as imperatival, i.e., “let the wife respect….”
- Ephesians 5:33 tn The Greek verb φοβέομαι (phobeomai) here has been translated “respect” and the noun form of the word, i.e., φόβος (phobos), has been translated as “reverence” in 5:21.