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Peter’s Confession

13 When[a] Jesus came to the area of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples,[b] “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” 14 They answered, “Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah,[c] and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” 15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16 Simon Peter answered,[d] “You are the Christ,[e] the Son of the living God.” 17 And Jesus answered him,[f] “You are blessed, Simon son of Jonah, because flesh and blood[g] did not reveal this to you, but my Father in heaven! 18 And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades[h] will not overpower it.

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  1. Matthew 16:13 tn Here δέ (de) has not been translated.
  2. Matthew 16:13 tn Grk “he asked his disciples, saying.” The participle λέγων (legōn) is redundant and has been left untranslated.
  3. Matthew 16:14 sn The appearance of Elijah would mean that the end time had come. According to 2 Kgs 2:11, Elijah was still alive. In Mal 4:5 it is said that Elijah would be the precursor of Messiah.
  4. Matthew 16:16 tn Grk “And answering, Simon Peter said.”
  5. Matthew 16:16 tn Or “Messiah”; both “Christ” (Greek) and “Messiah” (Hebrew and Aramaic) mean “one who has been anointed.”sn See the note on Christ in 1:16.
  6. Matthew 16:17 tn Grk “answering, Jesus said to him.” The participle ἀποκριθείς (apokritheis) is redundant, but the syntax of this phrase has been modified for clarity.
  7. Matthew 16:17 tn The expression “flesh and blood” could refer to “any human being” (so TEV, NLT; cf. NIV “man”), but it could also refer to Peter himself (i.e., his own intuition; cf. CEV “You didn’t discover this on your own”). Because of the ambiguity of the referent, the phrase “flesh and blood” has been retained in the translation.
  8. Matthew 16:18 tn Or “and the power of death” (taking the reference to the gates of Hades as a metonymy).sn In the OT, Hades was known as Sheol. It is the place where the unrighteous will reside (Matt 11:23; Luke 16:23; Rev 20:13-14). Some translations render this by its modern equivalent, “hell”; others see it as a reference to the power of death.

Peter’s Address on the Day of Pentecost

14 But Peter stood up[a] with the eleven, raised his voice, and addressed them: “You men of Judea[b] and all you who live in Jerusalem, know this[c] and listen carefully to what I say. 15 In spite of what you think, these men are not drunk,[d] for it is only nine o’clock in the morning.[e] 16 But this is what was spoken about through the prophet Joel:[f]

17 And in the last days[g] it will be,God says,
that I will pour out my Spirit on all people,[h]
and your sons and your daughters will prophesy,
and your young men will see visions,
and your old men will dream dreams.
18 Even on my servants,[i] both men and women,
I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy.[j]
19 And I will perform wonders in the sky[k] above
and miraculous signs[l] on the earth below,
blood and fire and clouds of smoke.
20 The sun will be changed to darkness
and the moon to blood
before the great and glorious[m] day of the Lord comes.
21 And then[n] everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’[o]

22 “Men of Israel,[p] listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man clearly attested to you by God with powerful deeds,[q] wonders, and miraculous signs[r] that God performed among you through him, just as you yourselves know— 23 this man, who was handed over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you executed[s] by nailing him to a cross at the hands of Gentiles.[t] 24 But God raised him up,[u] having released[v] him from the pains[w] of death, because it was not possible for him to be held in its power.[x] 25 For David says about him,

I saw the Lord always in front of me,[y]
for he is at my right hand so that I will not be shaken.
26 Therefore my heart was glad and my tongue rejoiced;
my body[z] also will live in hope,
27 because you will not leave my soul in Hades,[aa]
nor permit your Holy One to experience[ab] decay.
28 You have made known to me the paths of life;
you will make me full of joy with your presence.’[ac]

29 “Brothers,[ad] I can speak confidently[ae] to you about our forefather[af] David, that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. 30 So then, because[ag] he was a prophet and knew that God had sworn to him with an oath to seat one of his descendants[ah] on his throne,[ai] 31 David by foreseeing this[aj] spoke about the resurrection of the Christ,[ak] that he was neither abandoned to Hades,[al] nor did his body[am] experience[an] decay.[ao] 32 This Jesus God raised up, and we are all witnesses of it.[ap] 33 So then, exalted[aq] to the right hand[ar] of God, and having received[as] the promise of the Holy Spirit[at] from the Father, he has poured out[au] what you both see and hear. 34 For David did not ascend into heaven, but he himself says,

The Lord said to my lord,
Sit[av] at my right hand
35 until I make your enemies a footstool[aw] for your feet.”’[ax]

36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know beyond a doubt[ay] that God has made this Jesus whom you crucified[az] both Lord[ba] and Christ.”[bb]

The Response to Peter’s Address

37 Now when they heard this,[bc] they were acutely distressed[bd] and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “What should we do, brothers?” 38 Peter said to them, “Repent, and each one of you be baptized[be] in the name of Jesus Christ[bf] for[bg] the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.[bh] 39 For the promise[bi] is for you and your children, and for all who are far away, as many as the Lord our God will call to himself.” 40 With many other words he testified[bj] and exhorted them saying, “Save yourselves from this perverse[bk] generation!” 41 So those who accepted[bl] his message[bm] were baptized, and that day about 3,000 people[bn] were added.[bo]

The Fellowship of the Early Believers

42 They were devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship,[bp] to the breaking of bread and to prayer.[bq] 43 Reverential awe[br] came over everyone,[bs] and many wonders and miraculous signs[bt] came about by the apostles. 44 All who believed were together and held[bu] everything in common, 45 and they began selling[bv] their property[bw] and possessions and distributing the proceeds[bx] to everyone, as anyone had need. 46 Every day[by] they continued to gather together by common consent in the temple courts,[bz] breaking bread from[ca] house to house, sharing their food with glad[cb] and humble hearts,[cc] 47 praising God and having the good will[cd] of all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number every day[ce] those who were being saved.

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  1. Acts 2:14 tn Grk “standing up.” The participle σταθείς (statheis) has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.
  2. Acts 2:14 tn Or “You Jewish men.” “Judea” is preferred here because it is paired with “Jerusalem,” a location. This suggests locality rather than ethnic background is the primary emphasis in the context. As for “men,” the Greek term here is ἀνήρ (anēr), which only exceptionally is used in a generic sense of both males and females. In this context, where “all” who live in Jerusalem are addressed, it is conceivable that this is a generic usage, although it can also be argued that Peter’s remarks were addressed primarily to the men present, even if women were there.
  3. Acts 2:14 tn Grk “let this be known to you.”
  4. Acts 2:15 tn Grk “These men are not drunk, as you suppose.”
  5. Acts 2:15 tn Grk “only the third hour.”
  6. Acts 2:16 sn Note how in the quotation that follows all genders, ages, and classes are included. The event is like a hope Moses expressed in Num 11:29.
  7. Acts 2:17 sn The phrase in the last days is not quoted from Joel, but represents Peter’s interpretive explanation of the current events as falling “in the last days.”
  8. Acts 2:17 tn Grk “on all flesh.”
  9. Acts 2:18 tn Grk “slaves.” Although this translation frequently renders δοῦλος (doulos) as “slave,” the connotation is often of one who has sold himself into slavery; in a spiritual sense, the idea is that of becoming a slave of God or of Jesus Christ voluntarily. The voluntary notion is conspicuous here; hence the translation “servants.” In any case, the word does not bear the connotation of a free individual serving another. BDAG notes that “‘servant’ for ‘slave’ is largely confined to Biblical transl. and early American times…in normal usage at the present time the two words are carefully distinguished” (BDAG 260 s.v.). One good translation is “bondservant” (sometimes found in the ASV for δοῦλος) in that it often indicates one who sells himself into slavery to another. But as this is archaic, few today understand its force.
  10. Acts 2:18 sn The words and they will prophesy in Acts 2:18 are not quoted from Joel 2:29 at this point but are repeated from earlier in the quotation (Acts 2:17) for emphasis. Tongues speaking is described as prophecy, just like intelligible tongues are described in 1 Cor 14:26-33.
  11. Acts 2:19 tn Or “in the heaven.” The Greek word οὐρανός (ouranos) may be translated “sky” or “heaven” depending on the context. Here, in contrast to “the earth below,” a reference to the sky is more likely.
  12. Acts 2:19 tn Here the context indicates the miraculous nature of the signs mentioned; this is made explicit in the translation.
  13. Acts 2:20 tn Or “and wonderful.”
  14. Acts 2:21 tn Grk “And it will be that.”
  15. Acts 2:21 sn A quotation from Joel 2:28-32.
  16. Acts 2:22 tn Or “Israelite men,” although this is less natural English. The Greek term here is ἀνήρ (anēr), which only exceptionally is used in a generic sense of both males and females. In this context, it is conceivable that this is a generic usage, although it can also be argued that Peter’s remarks were addressed primarily to the men present, even if women were there.
  17. Acts 2:22 tn Or “miraculous deeds.”
  18. Acts 2:22 tn Again, the context indicates the miraculous nature of these signs, and this is specified in the translation.
  19. Acts 2:23 tn Or “you killed.”
  20. Acts 2:23 tn Grk “at the hands of lawless men.” At this point the term ἄνομος (anomos) refers to non-Jews who live outside the Jewish (Mosaic) law, rather than people who broke any or all laws including secular laws. Specifically it is a reference to the Roman soldiers who carried out Jesus’ crucifixion.
  21. Acts 2:24 tn Grk “Whom God raised up.”
  22. Acts 2:24 tn Or “having freed.”
  23. Acts 2:24 sn The term translated pains is frequently used to describe pains associated with giving birth (see Rev 12:2). So there is irony here in the mixed metaphor.
  24. Acts 2:24 tn Or “for him to be held by it” (in either case, “it” refers to death’s power).
  25. Acts 2:25 tn Or “always before me.”
  26. Acts 2:26 tn Grk “my flesh.”
  27. Acts 2:27 tn Or “will not abandon my soul to Hades.” Often “Hades” is the equivalent of the Hebrew term Sheol, the place of the dead.
  28. Acts 2:27 tn Grk “to see,” but the literal translation of the phrase “to see decay” could be misunderstood to mean simply “to look at decay,” while here “see decay” is really figurative for “experience decay.”
  29. Acts 2:28 sn A quotation from Ps 16:8-11.
  30. Acts 2:29 tn Since this represents a continuation of the address beginning in v.14 and continued in v. 22, “brothers” has been used here rather than a generic expression like “brothers and sisters.”
  31. Acts 2:29 sn Peter’s certainty is based on well-known facts.
  32. Acts 2:29 tn Or “about our noted ancestor,” “about the patriarch.”
  33. Acts 2:30 tn The participles ὑπάρχων (huparchōn) and εἰδώς (eidōs) are translated as causal adverbial participles.
  34. Acts 2:30 tn Grk “one from the fruit of his loins.” “Loins” is the traditional translation of ὀσφῦς (osphus), referring to the male genital organs. A literal rendering like “one who came from his genital organs” would be regarded as too specific and perhaps even vulgar by many contemporary readers. Most modern translations thus render the phrase “one of his descendants.”
  35. Acts 2:30 sn An allusion to Ps 132:11 and 2 Sam 7:12-13, the promise in the Davidic covenant.
  36. Acts 2:31 tn Grk “David foreseeing spoke.” The participle προϊδών (proidōn) is taken as indicating means. It could also be translated as a participle of attendant circumstance: “David foresaw [this] and spoke.” The word “this” is supplied in either case as an understood direct object (direct objects in Greek were often omitted, but must be supplied for the modern English reader).
  37. Acts 2:31 tn Or “the Messiah”; both “Christ” (Greek) and “Messiah” (Hebrew and Aramaic) mean “one who has been anointed.”sn The term χριστός (christos) was originally an adjective (“anointed”), developing in LXX into a substantive (“an anointed one”), then developing still further into a technical generic term (“the anointed one”). In the intertestamental period it developed further into a technical term referring to the hoped-for anointed one, that is, a specific individual. In the NT the development starts there (technical-specific), is so used in the gospels, and then develops in Paul’s letters to mean virtually Jesus’ last name.
  38. Acts 2:31 tn Or “abandoned in the world of the dead.” The translation “world of the dead” for Hades is suggested by L&N 1.19. The phrase is an allusion to Ps 16:10.
  39. Acts 2:31 tn Grk “flesh.” See vv. 26b-27. The reference to “body” in this verse picks up the reference to “body” in v. 26. The Greek term σάρξ (sarx) in both verses literally means “flesh”; however, the translation “body” stresses the lack of decay of his physical body. The point of the verse is not merely the lack of decay of his flesh alone, but the resurrection of his entire person, as indicated by the previous parallel line “he was not abandoned to Hades.”
  40. Acts 2:31 tn Grk “see,” but the literal translation of the phrase “see decay” could be misunderstood to mean simply “look at decay,” while here “see decay” is really figurative for “experience decay.”
  41. Acts 2:31 sn An allusion to Ps 16:10.
  42. Acts 2:32 tn Or “of him”; Grk “of which [or whom] we are all witnesses” (Acts 1:8).
  43. Acts 2:33 tn The aorist participle ὑψωθείς (hupsōtheis) could be taken temporally: “So then, after he was exalted…” In the translation the more neutral “exalted” (a shorter form of “having been exalted”) was used to preserve the ambiguity of the original Greek.
  44. Acts 2:33 sn The expression the right hand of God represents supreme power and authority. Its use here sets up the quotation of Ps 110:1 in v. 34.
  45. Acts 2:33 tn The aorist participle λαβών (labōn) could be taken temporally: “So then, after he was exalted…and received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit.” In the translation the more neutral “having received” was used to preserve the ambiguity of the original Greek.
  46. Acts 2:33 tn Here the genitive τοῦ πνεύματος (tou pneumatos) is a genitive of apposition; the promise consists of the Holy Spirit.
  47. Acts 2:33 sn The use of the verb poured out looks back to 2:17-18, where the same verb occurs twice.
  48. Acts 2:34 sn Sit at my right hand. The word “sit” alludes back to the promise of “seating one on his throne” in v. 30.
  49. Acts 2:35 sn The metaphor make your enemies a footstool portrays the complete subjugation of the enemies.
  50. Acts 2:35 sn A quotation from Ps 110:1, one of the most often-cited OT passages in the NT, pointing to the exaltation of Jesus.
  51. Acts 2:36 tn Or “know for certain.” This term is in an emphatic position in the clause.
  52. Acts 2:36 tn Grk “has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.” The clause has been simplified in the translation by replacing the pronoun “him” with the explanatory clause “this Jesus whom you crucified” which comes at the end of the sentence.
  53. Acts 2:36 sn Lord. This looks back to the quotation of Ps 110:1 and the mention of “calling on the Lord” in 2:21. Peter’s point is that the Lord on whom one calls for salvation is Jesus, because he is the one mediating God’s blessing of the Spirit as a sign of the presence of salvation and the last days.
  54. Acts 2:36 tn Or “and Messiah”; both “Christ” (Greek) and “Messiah” (Hebrew and Aramaic) mean “one who has been anointed.”sn See the note on Christ in 2:31.
  55. Acts 2:37 tn The word “this” is not in the Greek text. Direct objects were often omitted in Greek, but must be supplied for the modern English reader.
  56. Acts 2:37 tn Grk “they were pierced to the heart” (an idiom for acute emotional distress).
  57. Acts 2:38 tn The verb is a third person imperative, but the common translation “let each of you be baptized” obscures the imperative force in English, since it sounds more like a permissive (“each of you may be baptized”) to the average English reader.
  58. Acts 2:38 tn Or “Messiah”; both “Christ” (Greek) and “Messiah” (Hebrew and Aramaic) mean “one who has been anointed.”sn In the name of Jesus Christ. Baptism in Messiah Jesus’ name shows how much authority he possesses.
  59. Acts 2:38 tn There is debate over the meaning of εἰς in the prepositional phrase εἰς ἄφεσιν τῶν ἁμαρτιῶν ὑμῶν (eis aphesin tōn hamartiōn humōn, “for/because of/with reference to the forgiveness of your sins”). Although a causal sense has been argued, it is difficult to maintain here. ExSyn 369-71 discusses at least four other ways of dealing with the passage: (1) The baptism referred to here is physical only, and εἰς has the meaning of “for” or “unto.” Such a view suggests that salvation is based on works—an idea that runs counter to the theology of Acts, namely: (a) repentance often precedes baptism (cf. Acts 3:19; 26:20), and (b) salvation is entirely a gift of God, not procured via water baptism (Acts 10:43 [cf. v. 47]; 13:38-39, 48; 15:11; 16:30-31; 20:21; 26:18); (2) The baptism referred to here is spiritual only. Although such a view fits well with the theology of Acts, it does not fit well with the obvious meaning of “baptism” in Acts—especially in this text (cf. 2:41); (3) The text should be repunctuated in light of the shift from second person plural to third person singular back to second person plural again. The idea then would be, “Repent for/with reference to your sins, and let each one of you be baptized…” Such a view is an acceptable way of handling εἰς, but its subtlety and awkwardness count against it; (4) Finally, it is possible that to a first-century Jewish audience (as well as to Peter), the idea of baptism might incorporate both the spiritual reality and the physical symbol. That Peter connects both closely in his thinking is clear from other passages such as Acts 10:47 and 11:15-16. If this interpretation is correct, then Acts 2:38 is saying very little about the specific theological relationship between the symbol and the reality, only that historically they were viewed together. One must look in other places for a theological analysis. For further discussion see R. N. Longenecker, “Acts,” EBC 9:283-85; B. Witherington, Acts, 154-55; F. F. Bruce, The Acts of the Apostles: The Greek Text with Introduction and Commentary, 129-30; BDAG 290 s.v. εἰς 4.f.
  60. Acts 2:38 tn Here the genitive τοῦ ἁγίου πνεύματος (tou hagiou pneumatos) is a genitive of apposition; the gift consists of the Holy Spirit.
  61. Acts 2:39 sn The promise refers to the promise of the Holy Spirit that Jesus received from the Father in 2:33 and which he now pours out on others. The promise consists of the Holy Spirit (see note in 2:33). Jesus is the active mediator of God’s blessing.
  62. Acts 2:40 tn Or “warned.”
  63. Acts 2:40 tn Or “crooked” (in a moral or ethical sense). See Luke 3:5.
  64. Acts 2:41 tn Or “who acknowledged the truth of.”
  65. Acts 2:41 tn Grk “word.”
  66. Acts 2:41 tn Grk “souls” (here an idiom for the whole person).
  67. Acts 2:41 tn Or “were won over.”
  68. Acts 2:42 sn Fellowship refers here to close association involving mutual involvement and relationships.
  69. Acts 2:42 tn Grk “prayers.” This word was translated as a collective singular in keeping with English style.
  70. Acts 2:43 tn Or “Fear.”
  71. Acts 2:43 tn Grk “on every soul” (here “soul” is an idiom for the whole person).
  72. Acts 2:43 tn In this context the miraculous nature of these signs is implied. Cf. BDAG 920 s.v. σημεῖον 2.a.
  73. Acts 2:44 tn Grk “had.”
  74. Acts 2:45 tn The imperfect verb has been translated as an ingressive (“began…”). Since in context this is a description of the beginning of the community of believers, it is more likely that these statements refer to the start of various activities and practices that the early church continued for some time.
  75. Acts 2:45 tn It is possible that the first term for property (κτήματα, ktēmata) refers to real estate (as later usage seems to indicate) while the second term (ὑπάρξεις, huparxeis) refers to possessions in general, but it may also be that the two terms are used together for emphasis, simply indicating that all kinds of possessions were being sold. However, if the first term is more specifically a reference to real estate, it foreshadows the incident with Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5:1-11.
  76. Acts 2:45 tn Grk “distributing them” (αὐτά, auta). The referent (the proceeds of the sales) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  77. Acts 2:46 tn BDAG 437 s.v. ἡμέρα 2.c has “every day” for this phrase.
  78. Acts 2:46 tn Grk “in the temple.” This is actually a reference to the courts surrounding the temple proper, and has been translated accordingly.
  79. Acts 2:46 tn Here κατά (kata) is used as a distributive (BDAG 512 s.v. B.1.d).
  80. Acts 2:46 sn The term glad (Grk “gladness”) often refers to joy brought about by God’s saving acts (Luke 1:14, 44; also the related verb in 1:47; 10:21).
  81. Acts 2:46 tn Grk “with gladness and humbleness of hearts.” It is best to understand καρδίας (kardias) as an attributed genitive, with the two nouns it modifies actually listing attributes of the genitive noun which is related to them.
  82. Acts 2:47 tn Or “the favor.”
  83. Acts 2:47 tn BDAG 437 s.v. ἡμέρα 2.c has “every day” for this phrase.

Live in Unity

I, therefore, the prisoner for the Lord,[a] urge you to live[b] worthily of the calling with which you have been called,[c] with all humility and gentleness,[d] with patience, putting up with[e] one another in love, making every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you too were called to the one hope of your calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift. Therefore it says, “When he ascended on high he captured[f] captives; he gave gifts to men.”[g] Now what is the meaning of “he ascended,” except that he also descended[h] to the lower regions,[i] namely, the earth?[j] 10 He, the very one[k] who descended, is also the one who ascended above all the heavens, in order to fill all things. 11 And he himself[l] gave some as apostles, some as prophets, some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers,[m] 12 to equip[n] the saints for the work of ministry, that is,[o] to build up the body of Christ, 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God—a mature person, attaining to[p] the measure of Christ’s full stature.[q] 14 So[r] we are no longer to be children, tossed back and forth by waves and carried about by every wind of teaching by the trickery of people who craftily carry out their deceitful schemes.[s] 15 But practicing the truth in love,[t] we will in all things grow up into Christ, who is the head. 16 From him the whole body grows, fitted and held together[u] through every supporting ligament.[v] As each one does its part, the body builds itself up in love.

Live in Holiness

17 So I say this, and insist[w] in the Lord, that you no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility[x] of their thinking.[y] 18 They are darkened in their understanding,[z] being alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardness of their hearts. 19 Because they are callous, they have given themselves over to indecency for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness.[aa] 20 But you did not learn about Christ like this, 21 if indeed you heard about him and were taught in him, just as the truth is in Jesus. 22 You were taught with reference to your former way of life to lay aside[ab] the old man who is being corrupted in accordance with deceitful desires, 23 to be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and to put on the new man who has been created in God’s image[ac]—in righteousness and holiness that comes from truth.[ad]

25 Therefore, having laid aside falsehood, each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor,[ae] because we are members of one another. 26 Be angry and do not sin;[af] do not let the sun go down on the cause of your anger.[ag] 27 Do not give the devil an opportunity. 28 The one who steals must steal no longer; instead he must labor, doing good with his own hands, so that he will have something to share with the one who has need. 29 You must let no unwholesome word come out of your mouth, but only what is beneficial for the building up of the one in need,[ah] that it would give grace to those who hear. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 You must put away all bitterness, anger, wrath, quarreling, and slanderous talk—indeed all malice.[ai] 32 Instead,[aj] be kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ also forgave you.


  1. Ephesians 4:1 tn Grk “prisoner in the Lord.”
  2. Ephesians 4:1 tn Grk “walk.” The verb “walk” in the NT letters refers to the conduct of one’s life, not to physical walking.
  3. Ephesians 4:1 sn With which you have been called. The calling refers to the Holy Spirit’s prompting that caused them to believe. The author is thus urging his readers to live a life that conforms to their saved status before God.
  4. Ephesians 4:2 tn Or “meekness.” The word is often used in Hellenistic Greek of the merciful execution of justice on behalf of those who have no voice by those who are in a position of authority (Matt 11:29; 21:5).
  5. Ephesians 4:2 tn Or “bearing with” (NRSV, NIV); or “forbearing” (KJV, ASV).
  6. Ephesians 4:8 tn Grk “he led captive captivity.”
  7. Ephesians 4:8 sn A quotation which is perhaps ultimately derived from Ps 68:18. However, the wording here differs from that of Ps 68 in both the Hebrew text and the LXX in a few places, the most significant of which is reading “gave gifts to” in place of “received gifts from” as in HT and LXX. It has sometimes been suggested that the author of Ephesians modified the text he was citing in order to better support what he wanted to say here. Such modifications are sometimes found in rabbinic exegesis from this and later periods, but it is also possible that the author was simply citing a variant of Ps 68 known to him but which has not survived outside its quotation here (W. H. Harris, The Descent of Christ [AGJU 32], 104). Another possibility is that the words here, which strongly resemble Ps 68:19 HT and LXX (68:18 ET), are actually part of an early Christian hymn quoted by the author.
  8. Ephesians 4:9 tc The majority of mss (א2 B C3 Ψ 1175 1505 2464 M) read πρῶτον (prōton, “first”) here in conjunction with this verb: “he first descended.” The shorter reading, which lacks πρῶτον, should be considered autographic on the basis of both external and internal evidence: It has strong external support from the Alexandrian and Western witnesses (P46 א* A C* D F G Ivid 082 6 33 81 1739 1881 it); internally, the inclusion of πρῶτον is most likely an addition to clarify the sense of the passage.
  9. Ephesians 4:9 tc The Western text (D* F G it) lacks the plural noun μέρη (merē, “regions”); the shorter reading cannot be dismissed out of hand since it is also supported by P46 (which often has strong affinities, however, with the Western witnesses). The inclusion of the word has strong external support from significant, early mss as well as the majority of Byzantine cursives (א A B C D2 I Ψ 33 1175 1505 1739 1881 2464 M). Certain scribes may have deleted the word, thinking it superfluous; in addition, if the shorter reading were original one would expect to see at least a little variation in clarifying additions to the text. For these reasons the inclusion of μέρη should be regarded as original.
  10. Ephesians 4:9 tn Grk “to the lower parts of the earth.” This phrase has been variously interpreted: (1) The traditional view understands it as a reference to the underworld (hell), where Jesus is thought to have descended in the three days between his death and resurrection. In this case, “of the earth” would be a partitive genitive. (2) A second option is to translate the phrase “of the earth” as a genitive of apposition: “to the lower parts, namely, the earth” (as in the present translation). Many recent scholars hold this view and argue that it is a reference to the incarnation. (3) A third option, which also sees the phrase “of the earth” as a genitive of apposition, is that the descent in the passage occurs after the ascent rather than before it, and refers to the descent of the Spirit at Pentecost (cf. Acts 4:11-16). Support for this latter view is found in the intertestamental and rabbinic use of Ps 68:18 (quoted in v. 8), which is consistently and solely interpreted as a reference to Moses’ ascent of Mt. Sinai to “capture” the words of the law. The probability, therefore, is that the comments here in v. 9 reflect a polemic against the interpretation of Ps 68:18 in certain circles as a reference to Moses. See W. H. Harris, The Descent of Christ (AGJU 32), 46-54; 171-204.
  11. Ephesians 4:10 tn The Greek text lays specific emphasis on “He” through the use of the intensive pronoun, αὐτός (autos). This is reflected in the English translation through the use of “the very one.”
  12. Ephesians 4:11 tn The emphasis on Christ is continued through the use of the intensive pronoun, αὐτός (autos), and is rendered in English as “he himself” as this seems to lay emphasis on the “he.”
  13. Ephesians 4:11 sn Some interpreters have understood the phrase pastors and teachers to refer to one and the same group. This would mean that all pastors are teachers and that all teachers are pastors. This position is often taken because it is recognized that both nouns (i.e., pastors and teachers) are governed by one article in Greek. But because the nouns are plural, it is extremely unlikely that they refer to the same group, but only that the author is linking them closely together. It is better to regard the pastors as a subset of teachers. In other words, all pastors are teachers, but not all teachers are pastors. See ExSyn 284.
  14. Ephesians 4:12 tn On the translation of πρὸς τὸν καταρτισμὸν τῶν ἁγίων (pros ton katartismon tōn hagiōn) as “to equip the saints” see BDAG 526 s.v. καταρτισμός. In this case the genitive is taken as objective and the direct object of the verbal idea implied in καταρτισμός (katartismos).
  15. Ephesians 4:12 tn The εἰς (eis) clause is taken as epexegetical to the previous εἰς clause, namely, εἰς ἔργον διακονίας (eis ergon diakonias).
  16. Ephesians 4:13 tn The words “attaining to” were supplied in the translation to pick up the καταντήσωμεν (katantēsōmen) mentioned earlier in the sentence and the εἰς (eis) which heads up this clause.
  17. Ephesians 4:13 tn Grk “the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.” On this translation of ἡλικία (hēlikia, “stature”) see BDAG 436 s.v. 3.
  18. Ephesians 4:14 tn Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was started here in the translation.
  19. Ephesians 4:14 tn While the sense of the passage is clear enough, translation in English is somewhat difficult. The Greek says: “by the trickery of men, by craftiness with the scheme of deceit.” The point is that the author is concerned about Christians growing into maturity. He is fearful that certain kinds of very cunning people, who are skilled at deceitful scheming, should come in and teach false doctrines which would in turn stunt the growth of the believers.
  20. Ephesians 4:15 tn The meaning of the participle ἀληθεύοντες (alētheuontes; from the verb ἀληθεύω [alētheuō]) is debated. In classical times the verb could mean “to speak the truth,” or “to be true, to prove true.” In the LXX it appears five times (Gen 20:16; 42:16; Prov 21:3; Isa 44:26; Sir 34:4) and translates four different Hebrew words; there it is an ethical term used of proving or being true, not with the idea of speaking the truth. In the NT the only other place the verb appears is in Gal 4:16 where it means “to speak the truth.” However, in Ephesians the concept of “being truthful” is the best sense of the word. In contrast to the preceding verse, where there are three prepositional phrases to denote falsehood and deceit, the present word speaks of being real or truthful in both conduct and speech. Their deceit was not only in their words but also in their conduct. In other words, the believers’ conduct should be transparent, revealing the real state of affairs, as opposed to hiding or suppressing the truth through cunning and deceit. See H. W. Hoehner, Ephesians, 564-65, and R. Bultmann, TDNT 1:251.
  21. Ephesians 4:16 tn The Greek participle συμβιβαζόμενον (sumbibazomenon) translated “held together” also has in different contexts, the idea of teaching implied in it.
  22. Ephesians 4:16 tn Grk “joint of supply.”
  23. Ephesians 4:17 tn On the translation of μαρτύρομαι (marturomai) as “insist” see BDAG 619 s.v. 2.
  24. Ephesians 4:17 tn On the translation of ματαιότης (mataiotēs) as “futility” see BDAG 621 s.v.
  25. Ephesians 4:17 tn Or “thoughts,” “mind.”
  26. Ephesians 4:18 tn In the Greek text this clause is actually subordinate to περιπατεῖ (peripatei) in v. 17. It was broken up in the English translation so as to avoid an unnecessarily long and cumbersome statement.
  27. Ephesians 4:19 sn Greediness refers to an increasing desire for more and more. The point is that sinful passions and desires are never satisfied.
  28. Ephesians 4:22 tn An alternative rendering for the infinitives in vv. 22-24 (“to lay aside…to be renewed…to put on”) is “that you have laid aside…that you are being renewed…that you have put on.” The three infinitives of vv. 22 (ἀποθέσθαι, apothesthai), 23 (ἀνανεοῦσθαι, ananeousthai), and 24 (ἐνδύσασθαι, endusasthai), form part of an indirect discourse clause; they constitute the teaching given to the believers addressed in the letter. The problem in translation is that one cannot be absolutely certain whether they go back to indicatives in the original statement (i.e., “you have put off”) or imperatives (i.e., “put off!”). Every other occurrence of an aorist infinitive in indirect discourse in the NT goes back to an imperative, but in all of these examples the indirect discourse is introduced by a verb that implies a command. The verb διδάσκω (didaskō) in the corpus Paulinum may be used to relate the indicatives of the faith as well as the imperatives. This translation implies that the infinitives go back to imperatives, though the alternate view that they refer back to indicatives is also a plausible interpretation. For further discussion, see ExSyn 605.
  29. Ephesians 4:24 tn Or “in God’s likeness.” Grk “according to God.” The preposition κατά used here denotes a measure of similarity or equality (BDAG 513 s.v. B.5.b.α).
  30. Ephesians 4:24 tn Or “in righteousness and holiness which is based on truth” or “originated from truth.”
  31. Ephesians 4:25 sn A quotation from Zech 8:16.
  32. Ephesians 4:26 sn A quotation from Ps 4:4. Although several translations render the phrase Be angry and do not sin as “If you are angry, do not sin” such is unlikely on a grammatical, lexical, and historical level (see D. B. Wallace, “᾿Οργίζεσθε in Ephesians 4:26: Command or Condition?” CTR 3 [1989]: 352-72). The idea of vv. 26-27 is as follows: Christians are to exercise a righteous indignation over sin in the midst of the believing community (v. 26a; note that v. 25 is restricting the discussion to those in the body of Christ). When other believers sin, such people should be gently and quickly confronted (v. 26b), for if the body of Christ does not address sin in its midst, the devil gains a foothold (v. 27). “Entirely opposite of the ‘introspective conscience’ view, this text seems to be a shorthand expression for church discipline, suggesting that there is a biblical warrant for δικαία ὀργή [dikaia orgē] (as the Greeks put it)—righteous indignation” (ExSyn 492).
  33. Ephesians 4:26 tn The word παροργισμός (parorgismos), typically translated “anger” in most versions is used almost exclusively of the source of anger rather than the results in Greek literature (thus, it refers to an external cause or provocation rather than an internal reaction). The notion of “cause of your anger” is both lexically and historically justified. The apparently proverbial nature of the statement (“Do not let the sun go down on the cause of your anger”) finds several remarkable parallels in Pss. Sol. 8:8-9: “(8) God laid bare their sins in the full light of day; All the earth came to know the righteous judgments of God. (9) In secret places underground their iniquities (were committed) to provoke (Him) to anger” (R. H. Charles’ translation). Not only is παροργισμός used, but righteous indignation against God’s own people and the laying bare of their sins in broad daylight are also seen.
  34. Ephesians 4:29 tn Grk “but if something good for the building up of the need.” The final genitive τῆς χρείας (tēs chreias) may refer to “the need of the moment” or it may refer to the need of a particular person or group of people as the next phrase “give grace to those who hear” indicates.
  35. Ephesians 4:31 tn Grk “with all malice.” This final phrase provides a cumulative point of focus for this list and presents a summary vice encompassing all the others. The translation attempts to make this nuance clear.
  36. Ephesians 4:32 tc ‡ Although most witnesses have either δέ (de; P49 א A D2 Ψ 33 1505 1739mg 2464 M lat) or οὖν (oun; D* F G 1175) here, a few significant mss lack a conjunction (P46 B 0278 6 1739* 1881). If either conjunction were originally in the text, it is difficult to explain how the asyndetic construction could have arisen (although the dropping of δέ could have occurred via homoioteleuton). Further, although Hellenistic Greek rarely joined sentences without a conjunction, such does occur in the corpus Paulinum on occasion, especially to underscore a somber point. “Instead” has been supplied in the translation because of stylistic requirements, not textual basis. NA28 places δέ in brackets, indicating some doubt as to its authenticity.