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Ephesians 2:1-3 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 2[a]

Generosity of God’s Plan.[b] You were dead in your transgressions and sins[c] in which you once lived following the age of this world,[d] following the ruler of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the disobedient. All of us once lived among them in the desires of our flesh, following the wishes of the flesh and the impulses, and we were by nature children of wrath, like the rest.


  1. 2:1–22 The gospel of salvation (Eph 1:13) that God worked in Christ (Eph 1:20) is reiterated in terms of what God’s great love (Eph 2:4), expressed in Christ, means for us. The passage sometimes addresses you, Gentiles (Eph 2:1–2, 8, 11–13, 19, 22), but other times speaks of all of us who believe (Eph 2:3–7, 10, 14, 18). In urging people to remember their grim past when they were dead in sins (Eph 2:1–3, 11–12) and what they are now in Christ (Eph 2:4–10, 13), the author sees both Jew and Gentile reconciled with God, now one new person, a new humanity, one body, the household of God, a temple and dwelling place of God’s Spirit (Eph 2:15–16, 19–22). The presentation falls into two parts, the second stressing more the meaning for the church.
  2. 2:1–10 The recipients of Paul’s letter have experienced, in their redemption from transgressions and sins, the effect of Christ’s supremacy over the power of the devil (Eph 2:1–2; cf. Eph 6:11–12), who rules not from the netherworld but from the air between God in heaven and human beings on earth. Both Jew and Gentile have experienced, through Christ, God’s free gift of salvation that already marks them for a future heavenly destiny (Eph 2:3–7). The language dead, raised us up, and seated us…in the heavens closely parallels Jesus’ own passion and Easter experience. The terms in Eph 2:8–9 describe salvation in the way Paul elsewhere speaks of justification: by grace, through faith, the gift of God, not from works; cf. Gal 2:16–21; Rom 3:24–28. Christians are a newly created people in Christ, fashioned by God for a life of goodness (Eph 2:10).
  3. 2:1–7 These verses comprise one long sentence in Greek, the main verb coming in Eph 2:5, God brought us to life, the object you/us dead in…transgressions being repeated in Eph 2:1, 5; cf. Col 2:13.
  4. 2:2 Age of this world: or “aeon,” a term found in gnostic thought, possibly synonymous with the rulers of this world, but also reflecting the Jewish idea of “two ages,” this present evil age and “the age to come”; cf. 1 Cor 3:19; 5:10; 7:31; Gal 1:4; Ti 2:12. The disobedient: literally, “the sons of disobedience,” a Semitism as at Is 30:9.
New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Scripture texts, prefaces, introductions, footnotes and cross references used in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC All Rights Reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.


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