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T. K. ABBOTT, B.D., D.Litt. 

The International Critical Commentary 





Rev. T. K. ABBOTT, B.D., D.Litt. 








First Impression 



MAY 1 8 1964 

The Rights of Translation and of Reproduction are Reserved 


THE following Commentary is primarily philological. Its 
aim is to ascertain with as great precision as possible the 
actual meaning of the writer's language. The Com- 
mentaries which have been regularly consulted are those 
of Chrysostom and Theodore of Mopsuestia, amongst the 
ancients ; and amongst the moderns, Alford, Barry, De 
Wette, Eadie, Ellicott, Meyer (W. Schmidt), Moule, von 
Soden, and the Speaker's ; also for Ephesians, Harless, 
Stier, and Macpherson ; and for Colossians, Lightfoot 
The Commentary of von Soden, though concise, is very 
acute and independent. Mr. Moule's also, although 
bearing a modest title, is of great value. Other writers 
have been occasionally consulted. Much use has been 
made of Fritzsche's occasional notes in his various com- 
mentaries, especially in connexion with the illustration 
of the language of the Epistles from classical and late 
Greek authors. Wetstein, of course, has not been over- 

The text adopted is that of the Revisers, except 
where otherwise stated. 










§ I. To what Readers Written . , « 
On the reading iv 'E<£e'<r<g» . . 
Not written to Ephesus . . 

Hypothesis of a circular letter • 
§ 2. Genuineness of the Epistle . . • 
External evidence . . • « 
Internal evidence .... 
Objections from the language 
Objections from the line of thought 
Paley on the internal evidence 
§ 3. Relation to the Epistle to the Colossians 
First Epistle of Peter . 
Epistle to the Hebrews 
Apocalypse . . . 
Gospel of St. John . 
§ 6. Time and Place of Writing . 
§ 7. Vocabulary of the Epistle . . » 

§ 8. Contents 

§ 9. Literature 

§ 10. On some Readings peculiar to one or two MSS 

On the maxim " The more difficult reading is ttf 

be preferred" 





















§ I. The Church at Colossae . . ■ . * . 

The Colossian heresy ...... 

% %. Genuineness 

Holtzmann's restoration of the supposed original 

Alleged un-Pauline vocabulary .... 

Alleged Gnostic colouring 







§ 3. Place and Date of Writing . 

§ 4. Relation to other N.T. Writings. 

§ 5. Vocabulary of the Epistle • ? 

§ 6. Contents of the Epistle < 

§ 7. Literature ■ « • * • 



Special Notes : On diroKirpaxris . « » • 

On flV(TTT)piOV a . • a 

On the angelic hierarchy . . 

On TfKva (pvaei opyrjs . * 1 

On Tdirtivocppoavvri * 1 • 
On'Ttsaith" , 

On sacrifice < > ■ * 

Special Notes : On irpuroroKos ndayjs kti(t«os % 
On trrot^6ta tov Koapov . • 

On direuBvaapevos ras ap^as, k.t.X. 
On the Epistle "from Laodicea" 
Text of the spurious " Epistle to the Laodiceans " 


1. Subjects and Names .■■•«■ 

2. Greek Words »••••••* 

3- Latin Words >>••«■ f a 





15, 174 



193-3 08 






This question cannot be treated apart from that of the genuine- 
ness of ev 'E^>€o-(i) in i. i. 

MSS. All extant MS. authority, with three exceptions, is in 
favour of the words. The three exceptions are K B 6f 2 . 

In N they are added by a later hand (X c ). 

In B they are also added by a corrector (B 3 ), although Hug 
was of opinion that the correction was by the first hand. 

In 67 they were written by the original scribe, but are expunged 
by the corrector. Possibly this correction is not independent of 
B. Lightfoot observes that a reading in St. Paul's Epistles sup- 
ported by N B 67 2 almost always represents the original text. 

In addition to these, however, we have the express testimony 
of Basil that the words were absent from the most ancient, or 
rather all the ancient, MSS. in his day. His words are : tois 
'Ec^ccriois 67r«rTeAA<Dj/, <!>s yvrjcriios ^I'oj/xevois to ovti St' tViyvwo'cios, 
ovtcis avTOvs iSia£ovTcos a>voyu.acrev, (Ittwv' tois dyiois tois ovci xai 
Tncrois ev Xpicrrw 'lrjcrov' ovtu) yap /ecu ol irpb fjfiwv TrapaoeowKacri. kou 
Tenets ev tois 7roAatots twv avriypatpcav €vpr]Kap.€v (Adv. Ennom. ii. 19). 
The hypothesis that he is referring, not to eV 'EcSeo-w, but either 
to tois or to ovcriv, is quite untenable. How strange it would be 
that he should go on to quote the words km. Tna-ToU iv Xp. 'I., 
which had no relation to the interpretation in question, and omit 
the intervening eV 'E^eo-w, the absence of which was no doubt 
what gave rise to it ! The ovtcd yap must surely refer to the whole 
quotation as he gives it Moreover, he distinguishes the MSS. 
from ol 7rp6 r)p.wv, by which he doubtless meant Origen, who 
omitted the words. Besides, his proof from this passage (against 
Eunomius), that Christ may be called 6 u>v, would have no founda- 
tion if he had read ev 'EoSeo-o) after ovcriv. 1 

1 It has been said that Basil's statement is not confirmed. The objection is 
doubly fallacious. His statement as to what he had himself seen does not need 


Versions. All the Versions have the words, but it must be 
borne in mind that we have no MSS. of any of these as old as 

Fathers, etc. Origen's commentary is quoted in Cramer's 
Catena as follows : 'fipiyeV^s Se <pr)<ri, *tti fx.6pwv 'Et/jccrtw €vpop,€v 
Keifxevov, to "rots dyiots tois ouoV" kcu ^rfrov/xev ei p.y TrapeXxei (i.e. is 
redundant) Trpocn<et[A€vov to " tois dyi'ois tois ovo-i " rt SuVaTai < 
vuV opa ovv £t p.7] wcnrep iv rrj 'E£o8u> ovop,d (prjcriv eavrov 6 
Xprj/AaTi^uiv Mcoo-ei rb wv, otrrws oi /xctc^ovtc"; tov ovtos, yi'j/ovTCu 
ovres, KaXovpievoi olovet e/c tow p.rj euai «t? to ei>/at " i£e\e£a.TO yap 6 
©cos to. /x^ ovTa" <j>r]<rlv o auros IlauXos " tva to. ovra Karapyrjo-rj" 
k.t.X. As tois ctyiot? tois ovcxLv occurs with Iv and the name of the 
place in other Epistles (2 Cor., Phil. ; cf. Rom. i. 7), it is clear that 
what Origen refers to as used of the Ephesians only is tois ouo-tv 
without iv 'E<p€o-w. 

Tertullian informs us that Marcion gave the Epistle the title 
"ad Laodicenos" (Adv. Marc. v. 17) : " Ecclesiae quidem veritate 
epistolam istam ad Ephesios habemus emissam, non ad Laodicenos, 
sed Marcion ei titulum aliquando interpolare (i.e. falsify) x gestiit, 
quasi et in isto diligentissimus explorator ; nihil autem de titulis in- 
terest, cum ad omnes apostolus scripserit, dum ad quosdam." Com- 
pare ibid, n," praetereo hie et de alia epistola, quam nos ad Ephesios 
praescriptum (i.e. superscribed) habemus, haeretici vero ad Laodice- 
nos." It is clear from this that Marcion had not the words eV 
'E(/>e'o-a> in his text. But it is also inferred with great probability that 
Tertullian himself had them not. For he does not charge Marcion 
with falsifying the text but the title, and he vindicates the title " ad 
Ephesios" by an appeal to the " Veritas ecclesiae," not to the actual 
words in the text, which would have been conclusive. Moreover, 
how strange the remark, " nihil autem de titulis interest," etc., if he 
had eV 'E^eVw in the text of the apostle ! It is clear that " titulus " 
here means the superscription, not the address in the text. 

Lightfoot points out that there are indications in the earlier 
Latin commentators that in the copies they used the word 
" Ephesi," if not absent, was in a different position, which would 
betray its later introduction. Thus in the middle of the fourth 
century, Victorinus Afer writes : " Sed haec cum dicit ' Sanctis 
qui sunt fidelibus Ephesi,' quid adjungitur ? ' In Christo Jesu ' " 
(Mai. Script. Vett. Nova Coll. iii. p. 87). 

Ambrosiaster, in his Commentary, ignores " Ephesi " : " Non 
solum fidelibus scribit, sed et Sanctis : ut tunc vere fideles sint, 
si fuerint sancti in Christo Jesu." 

confirmation, while as to the fact that the most ancient copies in his day did not 
contain the words, he is fully supported. 

1 " Interpolare " in Latin writers means usually to furbish up old articles so 
as to make them look new. 


Sedulius Scotus (eighth or ninth century) writes : " Sanctis 
Non omnibus Ephesiis, sed his qui credunt in Christo. Et 
fidelibus. Omnes sancti fideles sunt, non omnes fideles sancti, 
etc. Qui sunt in Christo Jesu. Plures fideles sunt, sed non in 
Christo," etc. The omission of " Ephesi " in the quotations from 
the text is of no importance ; but the position of " qui sunt " is 
remarkable. It would seem as if some transcriber, finding 
" Sanctis qui sunt et fidelibus in Christo Jesu," and stumbling 
at the order, transposed "qui sunt" into the position in which 
Sedulius, or some earlier writer whom he copies, appears to have 
found them. 

Jerome is doubtless referring to Origen when he says (in loc.) : 
" Quidam curiosius (i.e. with more refinement) quam necesse est, 
putant ex eo quod Moysi dictum sit ' Haec dices filiis Israel : qui 
est misit me,' etiam eos qui Ephesi sunt sancti et fideles, essentiae 
vocabulo nuncupatos. . . . Alii vero simpliciter non ad eos, qui 
sint, sed qui Ephesi sancti et fideles sint, scriptum arbitrantur." 
This is obscurely expressed, and it is not clear whether he means 
to refer to a difference of reading. But as we know that he had 
read Origen's commentary, he can hardly have been ignorant of 
the fact that the interpretation he quotes implied the omission of 
iv 'E$«rw, and the reader will observe that the word is "scriptum," 
not " scriptam," as some commentators have quoted it. If this is 
taken strictly it must refer to the reading. 

When we turn to the Epistle itself we find its whole tone and 
character out of keeping with the traditional designation. St. 
Paul had spent about three years at Ephesus "ceasing not to 
warn every one day and night with tears " (Acts xx. 3 1 ). On his 
last journey to Jerusalem he sent for the elders of Ephesus to 
meet him at Miletus. His address to them (Acts xx. 18 sqq.) is 
full of affectionate remembrance of his labours amongst them, and 
of earnest warnings. The parting is described in touching words : 
" They fell on his neck and kissed him, sorrowing most of all for 
the words which he spake, that they should see his face no more." 
There was no Church with which his relations were more close, 
nay, so close and affectionate, or in connexion with which he had 
such sacred and affecting memories. We might expect a letter 
written to Ephesus to be full of personal reminiscences, and 
allusions to his labours amongst them ; instead of which we have 
a composition more like a treatise than a letter, and so absolutely 
destitute of local or personal colouring that it might have been 
written to a Church which St. Paul had never even visited. We 
need not attach much importance to the absence of personal 
greetings. There are no special salutations in the Epp. to the 
Corinthians and to the Philippians, for example, perhaps because, 
as Lightfoot says : " Where all alike are known to us, it becomes 


irksome, if not invidious, to select any for special salutation." 
But there is not even a general friendly greeting as in those 
Epistles ; there is nothing but the impersonal clpy\vr\ rdl% dScAc/xH?, 
k.t.X., vi. 23. But in addition to the general greeting in Phil, 
"or example, dcnraaacrOi wai'-a dyiov . . . d<x7rd£ovTai ifxa 1 ; ol crvi' 

Ifiol a8tA.<f>ol, k.t.X., that Epistle abounds in personal reminis- 
-ences, to which there is no parallel here. Even the Epistle to 
tne Colossians, whom St. Paul had never seen, betrays a more 
lively personal interest 

It is impossible to explain this on the supposition that the 
Epistle was addressed to the Ephesian Church, so loving to the 
apostle and so beloved. 

But we may go farther than this, for there are expressions in 
the Epistle which seem impossible to reconcile with the supposition 
that it is addressed to that Church. Ch. i. 15, "Having heard of 
your faith," etc., may perhaps be explained, though not very 
naturally, as referring to the period since his departure from them. 
Not so the following : iii. 2, " For this cause, I Paul, the prisoner 
of Christ Jesus in behalf of you Gentiles, — if indeed ye have heard 
of (or ' were instructed in ') the dispensation of the grace of God 
which was given me to you-ward"; iv. 21, 22, "But ye did not 
so learn Christ, if indeed ye heard of Him, and were taught in 
Him," etc 

Dr. Hort thinks the usual reply to the argument from the two 
latter passages true and sufficient, namely, that eiye " is not in- 
frequently used with a rhetorical or appealing force where no real 
doubt is meant to be expressed," and St. Paul could not express 
any real doubt in either case about any Church of Proconsular 
Asia, any more than about the Ephesian Church. 

Let it be granted that elye does not imply the existence of a 
doubt, it certainly (as an intensified "if") implies that doubt is not 
inconceivable. It cannot mean more than " I am sure," " I do not 
doubt," "I know," "I am persuaded." But this is not the way in 
which a man expresses himself about a matter of his own experi- 
ence, or in which he has himself been the agent. A preacher 
occupying a friend's pulpit may say " I know," or " if indeed ye 
have been taught," but not when addressing those whom he has 
himself taught. 

Dr. Hort in confirmation of his remark about the appealing 
force of elye refers to Ellicott's note, which is a notable instance of 
petitio principii. Having said that eiye " does not in itself imply the 
rectitude of the assumption made," as Hermann's Canon implies 
("etye usurpatur de re quae jure sumpta creditur"), but that this must 
be gathered from the context, he proceeds : " In the present case 
there could be no real doubt ; ' neque enim ignorare quod hie dicitur 
(iii. 2) poterant Ephesii quibus Paulus ipse evangelium plusquam 


biennio praedicaverat,' Estius ; comp. ch. iv. 21; 2 Cor. v. 3; 
Col. i. 23. No argument, then, can be fairly deduced from these 
words against the inscription of this Ep. to the Ephesians." That 
is to say, if ei'ye implied doubt, the Epistle could not be addressed 
to the Ephesians ; but it was so addressed, therefore etye does not 
imply doubt, and therefore is not inconsistent with such an 
address. The three passages referred to in illustration are singu- 
larly unsuitable for the purpose. Ch. iv. 21 belongs to the very 

Epistle in question. In 2 Cor. V. 3, etye kcu evSvcra/Aevoi ov yv/xvol 
tvpeOrjao/JLtda, and in Col. i. 23, etye imfievcTe rfj iti<tt€i, k.t.X., it is 
the future that is spoken of, and the particle has its usual sense, 
"if, as I assume." Lightfoot, indeed (on Gal. iii. 4), expresses the 
opinion that in the N.T. etye is even less affirmative than enrep. 

Eph. iii. 4 also (whether we adopt Hort's view that dvayivw- 
o-kovtzs means " reading the O.T. Scriptures " or not) seems to imply 
that the author was not well known to his readers. The Ephesians 
had not now first to learn what St. Paul's knowledge of the 
mystery was. 

In the early Church the Epistle was universally regarded as 
addressed to the Ephesians. It is so referred to in the Muratorian 
Canon; by Irenaeus {Haer. i. 3. 1, 4; i. 8. 4; v. 2. 36); by 
Tertullian (quoted above) ; by Clement of Alexandria (Strom. 
iv. 65) ; and by Origen, who, as we saw above, had not ev 'E^cVw 
in his text (Comment, in loc, and Contra Celsum, iii. 20). 

There is one important exception to this general belief, namely, 
Marcion, who, as above mentioned, held the Epistle to be 
addressed to the Laodiceans. This fact has been generally put 
aside as of no importance, it being supposed that this was a mere 
critical conjecture of Marcion (as Tertullian assumes), and prob- 
ably suggested by Col. iv. 16. But considering the antiquity of 
Marcion, who was of earlier date than any of the Catholic writers 
cited, we are hardly justified in treating his evidence so lightly, 
seeing that he could have no theological motive for changing the 
title. Even if his " ad Laodicenos " was only a critical conjecture, 
this would justify the inference that the destination of the Epistle 
was at that time to some extent an open question. But it is 
unlikely that he should have been led to adopt this title merely by 
the fact that mention is made elsewhere of an Epistle (not to, but) 
from Laodicea. There is nothing in the Epistle itself to suggest 
Laodicea. It is, then, not improbable that he had seen a copy 
with iv AaoSiKei'a in the text. 

Passing by this, however, for the present, we have the following 
facts to account for : First, the early absence of eV 'E^eVw. As 
Lightfoot puts it : " We have no direct evidence that a single 
Greek manuscript during this period (second and third centuries) 
contained the words in question. The recent manuscripts to 


which Basil refers in the latter half of the fourth century, are the 
earliest of which this can be distinctly affirmed " {Biblical Essays, 
p. 381). Secondly, the early and universal recognition in the 
Church of the Epistle as written to the Ephesians. 

Writers who hold kv 'E^eVo) to have been an integral part of 
the original text suppose the words to have been omitted for 
critical reasons, namely, because they seemed not to agree with 
the character of the Epistle. This theory, to be plausible, would 
require the facts to be reversed, i.e. that the words should be 
omitted by the later not the earlier authorities, and that the 
opinion of the early Church should be vacillating. In fact, it 
explains the unanimity of early opinion by supposing that ev 
'E^ecro) was read without question, and explains the early omission 
of the words by supposing that opinion was not unanimous. 

Apart from this, the theory postulates a critical study of the 
relations between the apostle and the Churches which it would be 
a complete anachronism to ascribe to that early age. Much later, 
indeed, we find Theodore of Mopsuestia led by d/covVas in i. 15 to 
regard the Epistle as written by St. Paul before he had seen the 
Ephesians. " Numquam profecto dixisset se auditu de illis cognos- 
centem gratiarum pro illis facere actionem, si eos alicubi vel 
vidisset, vel ad notitiam ejus ilia ratione venire potuissent." So 
also Severianus and Oecumenius. But it did not occur to 
Theodore or the others to question the correctness of the text. 

An accidental omission of the words is out of the question. 
The only hypothesis that agrees with the facts is that the Epistle 
was in some sense an encyclical or circular letter. This seems to 
have been first suggested in a definite form by Ussher (Ann. V. et 
N. Test. a.d. 64) : " Ubi notandum, in antiquis nonnullis codicibus 
(ut ex Basilii libro ii. adversus Eunomium, et Hieronymi in hunc 
Apostoli locum commentario, apparet) generatim inscriptam fuisse 
hanc epistolam, tois dyiois tois overt kcu 77-10-7-015 iv Xpio-rJ) 'Irjcrov, vel 
(ut in litterarum encyclicarum descriptione fieri solebat) Sanctis 
qui sunt . . . et fidelibus in Christo Jesu, ac si Ephesum primo, 
ut praecipuam, Asiae metropolim missa ea fuisset ; transmittenda 
inde ad reliquas (intersertis singularum nominibus) ejusdem pro- 
vinciae ecclesias : ad quarum aliquot, quas Paulus ipse nunquam 
viderat, ilia ipsius verba potissimum spectaverint." 

There are two forms of this hypothesis. The first (agreeing 
with Ussher's view) supposes that a blank was originally left after 
tois owriv, which would be filled in with the names of the respective 
Churches for which the copies were intended, while in the Church 
at large some copies would be circulated with a vacant space, in 
which case, of course, in the copies made from these the blank 
would be disregarded. Or we might suppose, with Hort, that 
there was originally only one copy sent by the hand of Tychicus, 


the blank being filled orally when the Epistle was read in each 
place, and the name so supplied being naturally written in the 
copy or copies which would be made for preservation there. 

The objection most strongly urged against this view is that 
there is no trace of copies with any other name in the place of 
'E^ecrw in the text, and that it is highly improbable that none such 
should have been preserved. A little consideration will show that 
no weight is to be attached to this argument. The Epistle " from 
Laodicea " was either identical with the present Epistle or distinct 
from it. In the latter case, it has wholly perished, not a single 
copy having been preserved even to the time of Marcion. In the 
former case, only the copies bearing other names than that of 
Ephesus disappeared. Is not this quite natural? When copies 
were in demand, where would they be sought for but in the metro- 
politan city and commercial centre of Ephesus ? No interest would 
attach to any particular address. Why, then, should it be thought 
much more probable that all copies should have been allowed 
to perish than that only those with names of minor importance 
should fail to be multiplied ? Indeed, the fact itself is not certain, 
for it is not improbable that a transcript from the Laodicean copy 
was in Marcion's hands. In any case, we have a close parallel in 
the fact that the ancient copies which omitted lv 'E<^€o-w had 
already before Basil's day been superseded by those which inserted 
the words, and although X B remain (being on vellum), no suc- 
ceeding copyists have a trace of the reading until we come to the 
late corrector of 67. 

It must be admitted that this plan of leaving blanks savours 
more of modern than of ancient manner, and resembles the 
formality of a legal document more than the natural simplicity of 
St. Paul. Indeed, we have examples in 2 Cor. i. 1 and Gal. i. 2 
of the form of address which he would be likely to adopt in an 
encyclical letter. Besides, any hypothesis which makes Ephesus 
the chief of the Churches addressed, is open, though in a less 
degree, to the objections alleged above against the traditional 

A second form of the hypothesis supposes the sentence to be 
complete without anything corresponding to lv 'E</>£o-u>. Origen's 
view of the meaning of the passage when these words are not read 
has been quoted above, viz. " to the saints who are." 

This view has been recently espoused by Dr. Milligan (Encycl. 
Brit., art. " Ephesians "), who translates: "To the saints existing 
and faithful in Christ Jesus." But the passages to which he refers 
in justification of this are by no means sufficient for the purpose. 

They are — Col. ii. 3, lv (5 fieri 7ravTes 01 Orjaavpot . . . awoKpv<poi : 
ib. 10, ko.1 Icrre lv olvtw 7r£7rA.^/3w/x«Voi : iii. I, ov 6 X/jiotos Itrnv lv 
Sc^ta toS ©eou KaOy'jfxevos. 


In these the predicate is completed by eV <S, iv avrw, ov, and so 
the passages supply no parallel to the supposed absolute use of 
tois ovctl here as " those existing." Besides, koli ttlo-toU comes in 
very awkwardly and weakly after such an epithet. Bengel, again, 
interprets : " Sanctis et fidelibus qui sunt in omnibus iis locis, quo 
Tychicus cum hac epistola venit," so that rot? owiv= "qui praesto 
sunt," comparing Acts xiii. i, Kara ttjv ovcrav iKK^rjcrlav, and Rom. 
xiii. i, at Se ovaai e^owrtai. But in the former case iv 'Avno^eta 
had just preceded, so that only ckci has to be supplied ; in the 
latter the verb simply means " to be in existence." Not to dwell 
on the untenable suggestion that tois ovaiv should be taken with 
dytots (" the saints who are really such "), there remains the 
perfectly grammatical construction, " the saints who are also 
faithful" (see note in toe). The difficulty of the construction is 
actually diminished by the absence of iv 'K^eVw. 

The Epistle, then, is best regarded as addressed, not to a 
Church, but to the Gentile converts in Laodicea, Hierapolis, and 
Colossae, and elsewhere in Phrygia and the neighbourhood of 
that province. This is the view adopted by Reiche, Ewald, and 
(independently) by Prof. Milligan (who, however, supposes the 
Epistle addressed only to the Gentile converts of Laodicea and 
Colossae). It meets most of the difficulties. It explains the 
absence of local references combined with the local limitation 
implied in vi. 22. It also escapes the difficulty of supposing a 
blank space in i. 1. Further, it explains the remarkable expression, 
Col. iv. 16, "the Epistle from Laodicea." That the Epistle 
referred to was not written to Laodicea appears highly probable 
from the fact that a salutation is sent through Colossae to the 
Laodiceans, which would be inexplicable if they were receiving by 
the same messenger a letter addressed to themselves ; and the 
expression " from Laodicea " agrees with this, since Tychicus 
would reach Laodicea first, so that the Colossians would receive 
the letter from thence. Moreover, the hypothesis explains the 
remarkable fact that the Epistle contains no allusion to doctrinal 
errors such as had taken so great a hold in Colossae. Yet that 
such errors extended at least to Laodicea is not only probable, but 
is confirmed by the apostle's direction that the Epistle to Colossae 
should be read in Laodicea also. 

There is no difficulty in understanding how the title " to the 
Ephesians " would come to be attached to the Epistle, since it was 
from Ephesus that copies would reach the Christian world generally. 
A parallel case is the title of the Epistle to the Hebrews, 71730? 
~E/3pau>vs, which, though of doubtful appropriateness, was never 
questioned. Once accepted as addressed to the Ephesians, the 
analogy of other Epistles in which roh ovaiv is followed by the 
name of a place would naturally suggest the insertion of iv 'E^eo-u). 


The hypothesis that the Epistle is a "circular" letter has been 
adopted (with various modifications) by a very great number of 
scholars, including Bengel, Neander, Harless, Olshausen, Reuss, 
Arch. Robertson, Ellicott, Lightfoot, Hort, B. Weiss, Wold- 
Schmidt, Milligan. 


External Evidence. — The earliest express reference to the 
Epistle as St. Paul's is that of Irenaeus ; but inasmuch as, if not 
genuine, it must be much later than St. Paul, evidence of 
acquaintance with it on the part of early writers is important. 
When we add to this the fact that it professes to be St. Paul's, we 
are fairly justified in saying that evidence of its reception is 
evidence of its genuineness. We begin then with — 

Clement of Rome, C. 64, 6 eVAe^a'pevos rbv Kvpiov 'lrjcrovv 
Xpiorov «ai rj/xas oY avrov els Xabv irepiovaiov. Compare Eph. 1. 4, 
5, kclBwS i£eX4£aro r;pas eV airw . . . irpoopiVas r/pas . . . Sia Irjaov 
Xpicrrov. Still closer is C. 46, 17 ov^i eva ©eov e^o/xev Kai eva 
XpicrroV; ko.1 ev 7rvevpa rfj<; ^aptTos to eK^yOev i<p i^pa? Kai jxlo. 
K\f}<Tt<i iv Xpio-nS; compare Eph. iv. 4-6. Again, c. 36, r/reu'^^o-ar 

rj/uLwi' 01 6<p6aX/xol rr}<> /capSias J cf. Eph. i. 1 8. And C. 38, VTTOTaa 
aidOw l/<acrTOS tw TrXijcrtov avrov ; cf. Eph. V. 2 1. 

The part of the Didache called the Two Ways contains the 
following {Did. iv. io, n, also worked up by Barnabas, xix. 7): 
ovk eVira^cts 801'Ato crov rj irathiaK-rj rots iiri rbv avrov ©eov iXTri^ovcrw 
iv iriKpia aov ; and to servants : 1'peis Se 01 8ovXoi VTroray7]o~eo-6e. rot? 

Kvptots ifxwv ws tvttu) ®€ov iv alo-^vvrj Kai (pofiw. Compare Eph. 
vi. 9, 5. The coincidence is in substance rather than in words, 
but it is best accounted for by supposing a knowledge of our 

Ignatius, Ep. ad Eph, c. 12, UavXov av/xfivarat (e'crre), rov 
r]yiao-fA€vov, . . . OS iv wacrrj irno-roXfj p-vrj/xovevei v/jlwv iv XpioraS 

'I-^o-oij. Many writers (including Hefele, in loc, Alford, Harless, 
and, less decidedly, Westcott and Robertson) render this " in all 
his Epistle," viz. to ycu, or " in every part of his Epistle." But 
this is untenable. For, in the first place, it is ungrammatical ; 
certainly no example has been produced which is quite parallel. 
Hefele adduces -n-ao-a 'Iepoo-oAvpa, Matt. ii. 3 ; and 7rus 'Io-pa?/A, 
Rom. xi. 26 ; but these are proper names. Other supposed 
parallels are examined by Lightfoot, in loc. Two have been 
relied on by later writers, viz. Acts xvii. 26, iiri ttuvtos irpoaioTrov 
Trjs yf/9, and Aristot. Eth. Nic. i. 13. 7, irav o-wpa. But neither are 
these analogous. There is only one Trpoo-wn-ov rys y>/s, hence this 
term is used (not, indeed, with 7rav) without the article in the 


Sept. (Gen. iv. 14, vi. 7, xi. 8, irp. irdo-qs ttjs y>}s = Luke xxi. 35). 
It is easy to understand, then, how it should come to be so used 
even with -n-av preceding. 

At first sight irav crw/Aa in Aristotle, I.e., seems to present a 
closer parallel. The passage runs : Set rov itoXltlkov etSeVat 71-tos to 
irep\ ifrv)(r)<;' uxnrep kcu tov 6cf>6aXp.ovs $epa.TT€vovTa, kol ttcLv crCifxa ; i.e. 
he that heals the eyes must know the whole body. But o-wpxi in 
the abstract sense, i.e. as meaning, not this or that individual body, 
but the body as opposed to the soul, is used by Aristotle without 
the article, just as ^X 7 ? 1S a ^ s0 use d (see, for example, Eth. Nic. i. 8. 
2 ; 6. 12, etc.). In this particular instance the omission of the 
article was, in fact, necessary to precision ; for 7rav to o-u>p.a might 
mean the body of him whose eyes were to be healed, whereas 
what is intended is the human body generally. Since, therefore, 
ttSlv o-u>[mo. here does not mean the whole individual body, it 
furnishes no parallel to the alleged meaning of Trdarj i-mo-ToX-i), and 
we are compelled to abide by the rendering " in every Epistle." 

But, in the second place, the proposed rendering gives a 
wholly unsuitable sense. The fact of St. Paul devoting a letter to 
the Ephesians would deserve mention, but to what purpose to say, 
" in his whole letter to you he mentions you " ? We do not speak 
of making mention of a man to himself, nor did the Greeks so use 
/xvr]fj.oveveiv. But even if this were possible, it would be, as Light- 
foot says, "singularly unmeaning, if not untrue," of the present 
Epistle. Alford, indeed, thinks the expression fully justified, and 
quotes Pearson, who says : " Tota enim Epistola ad Ephesios 
scripta, ipsos Ephesios, eorumque honorem et curam, maxime 
spectat, et sumrae honorificam eorum memoriam ad posteros trans- 
mittit. In aliis epistolis apostolus eos ad quos scribit saepe 
acriter objurgat aut parce laudat. Hie omnibus modis perpetuo 
se Ephesiis applicat," etc. All this if said of the Ephesians in a 
letter addressed to others might be called pivrjfxoveveiv, although 
this would be a strangely weak word to use. Does not " acriter 
objurgare " involve fiv-q/jiovevuv as much as " laudare " ? But the 
peculiarity of the Epistle is that nothing is mentioned or even 
alluded to which is personal to the Ephesians. 

Kiene (Stud. u. Krit. 1869, p. 286) understands by irdo-rj 
iirco-ToXfj "an entire letter," but without attempting to show the 
possibility of this rendering. But can we say that St. Paul 
mentions the Ephesians " in every letter " ? Allowing for a 
natural hyperbole we may answer, Yes. Ephesus and the 
Christians there are referred to either alone or with others ir, Rom. 
xvi. 5 ; 1 Cor. xv. 32, xvi. 8, 19 ; 2 Cor. i. 8 sq. ; and 1 and 2 Tim. 

The longer recension of Ignatius has os iravrore iv Tats Se^o-co-iv 
avTou fivrjfxovevet ifj,C>v. The Armenian Version reads fxvqfxovevw, 
which would be true to fact, for in five out of the six other 


Epistles, Ignatius does mention the Ephesians. But the authority 
is insufficient. 

Accepting, then, the usual reading and the grammatical render- 
ing, we cannot infer from the words that Ignatius knew the Epistle 
as addressed to the Ephesians. Rather they would suggest the 
opposite conclusion. For, when Ignatius desired to remind his 
readers of St. Paul's regard for them, it would be strange that he 
should only refer to the mention of them in other Epistles, and 
not at all to that which had been specially addressed to them. 

The word o-u^juwtcu has been thought to have been suggested 
by Eph. i. 9, iii. 3, 4, 9, etc.; but this is very precarious, for St. 
Paul uses no expression there which would suggest Ignatius' word, 
and a-vfi/xva-TTj? is used by Origen (In Jes. Naue Horn. 7, ii. p. 
413), "ipse (Paulus) enim est symmystes Christi," and by Hip- 
polytus (in Dan. p. 1 74, Lagarde). 

The question as to Ignatius' knowledge and reception of the 
Epistle is quite a different one. In the address of his Epistle he 
has several expressions which may have been suggested by the early 
verses of our Epistle : rfj zv\oyr)p.{vr), irXrjpwixaTL, Trpowpiar/xevr) 7rpo 
al(Lv(jiV €LvaL . . . tts So£av, eKXeXey/xevrjv, ev dtXrjfxaTi toS Trarpos. 
More certain is cap. i., /ai/at/tcu ovtcs tov ®eov, borrowed apparently 
from Eph. V. I, and Polyc. 5, dya.7raV Tas <ru//./?<.ous (Ls 6 Kupios rrjv 
iKK\r}<TLav, a reminiscence of Eph. v. 29. In the following ch. vi. 
the reference to the Christian's 7ra.v07rA.1a was probably suggested 
by Eph. vi. 11, although the parts of the armour are differently 
assigned. Also Ign. Eph. c. 9, (Ls oVtcs Xffloi vaov iraTpos, fjToi/xacr- 
fievoi eis OLKo8op,7jv ©eou 7rar/309 (Eph. ii. 20—22). 

Contemporaneous with Ignatius is the Epistle of Polycarp to 
the Philippians. It contains two quotations from the present 
Epistle in cap. i., yapiTi core o-€o-a)o-/x.e'voi, ovk i£ epywv, from Eph. 
ii- 5> 8, 9 ; and c. 12 (of which the Greek is lost), " ut his scripturis 
dictum est, irascimini et nolite peccare et, sol non occidat super 
iracundiam vestram, from Eph. iv. 26. Some commentators, indeed, 
suppose that Ignatius here is, independently of our Epistle, making 
the same combination of two O.T. texts, or that both adopt 
a combination made by some earlier writer. That is to say, they 
regard " let not the sun go down on your wrath " as a quotation 
from Deut. xxiv. 13, 15, verses which have nothing in common 
with this but the reference to the sun going down, for what they 
deal with is the hire of a poor man and the pledge taken from the 
poor. That two writers should independently connect the words 
in Deut. with those in Ps. iv., changing in the former " his hire " 
into "your anger," is beyond the bounds of probability. As to 
the difficulty which is found in Polycarp citing the N.T. as 
Scripture, perhaps the explanation may be that, recognising the 
first sentence as a quotation from the O.T., he hastily concluded 


that the second was so also. For in the context immediately 
preceding he confesses that his acquaintance with the Scriptures 
was not equal to that of the Philippians. This is at least more 
probable than an accidental coincidence. 

HermaS, Aland. Xli. , has, aXrjOeiav dyaira nai Tracra dXrjOeia e/c 
rov (TTO/xaros arov iKiropeveo-Out, doubtless from Eph. iv. 25, 29. A 
little after we have, /xrjSk Xvirqv eVdyeiv tw TTvevfxaTL tw (Ttfxvu) /ca! 
aXfjOe'i ; cf. ib. ver. 30. Again, Sim. ix. 13, Iotovtcu eis Iv Trvevfxa kou 
tv crto/xa, and 17, fjLta ttlo-tis airwv iyevero, seem to be reminiscences 
of Eph. iv. 4, 5. 

The Valentinians also quoted the Epistle, iii. 4-18, as ypd<f>r) 
(Hipp. P kilos, vi. 34). 

By the close of the second century the Epistle was universally 
received as St. Paul's. Irenaeus, adv. haer, v. 2. 3, has, *a#w5 6 

fxaKapios IlauAos <prjcnv, ev rfj 7J-/DOS Ec^ccriovs eiria-ToXfj' on /meXr] 
io~fi.€v rov crw/xaTOS, ck T775 crapKOS ai'TOU /cat e/c tw 6o~Tewv avrov 

(Eph. v. 30). Also i. 8. 5, he similarly quotes Eph. v. 13. Clem. 
Alex. Strom, iv. § 65, having quoted 1 Cor. xi. 3 and Gal. v. 16 sqq., 

with (prjcriv 6 a7rocrroA.09, adds, 816 koli ev rfj Trpo<; 'E^ecrtov? ypdcpu 
inroTao-o-o/xevoi dAA.7jA.015 ev (po(3w ®eov, k.t.X., Eph. V. 21— 25. Also 
Paed. i. § 18, 6 aTrooroAo? €7rio"r€AAu)v 717305 Ko/Div#tou5 <^f](Tiv (2 Cor. 
xi. 2) . . . o-a<pto-Ta.Ta 8e 'E^)ecrtot5 ypdcptov . . . Xiywv fie^pi Karav- 

Trjo-oip-zv 01 TTavres, k.t.X., Eph. iv. 13—1 5. Tertullian and Marcion 
have already been quoted. 

From this evidence it is all but certain that the Epistle already 
existed about 95 a.d. (Clement), quite certain that it existed about 
no a.d. (Ignatius, Polycarp). 

Not to be overlooked as an item of evidence of the genuine- 
ness of the Epistle is the mention, in Col. iv. 16, of an Epistle 
"from Laodicea." This has been already referred to for a different 
purpose. We learn from it that St. Paul wrote at or about the 
same time, besides the Epistles to Philemon and to the Colossians, 
an Epistle of a more or less encyclical character, not addressed to the 
Laodiceans, else it would be called the Epistle "to Laodicea," or 
" to the Laodiceans," and, for a similar reason, not addressed by 
name to any particular Church or Churches. It must also be 
considered highly probable that it was conveyed by the same , 
messenger, Tychicus, for it was not every day that St. Paul would 
have the opportunity of a disciple travelling from Rome (or even 
from Caesarea) to Laodicea. It is hardly credible that a Church 
which carefully preserved and copied the unimportant private letter 
to Philemon, should allow this important encyclical to be lost. 
There was a further guarantee of its preservation in the fact that 
this did not depend on one single Church. Now, here we have 
an Epistle which satisfies these conditions ; it is in some sort at 
least an encyclical letter ; according to the best evidence, it was 


not addressed to a particular Church, and indiiectly it purports to 
have been written about the same time and conveyed by the same 
messenger, as the Epp. to the Colossians and to Philemon. This 
would amount to nothing if there were reason to suspect a forgery 
suggested by Col. iv. 16. But this is entirely out of the question, 
for there is not the slightest indication in the Epistle which could 
lead an ordinary reader to that identification. So effectually, 
Indeed, was it concealed, that with the exception of the heretic 
Marcion, it does not seem to have occurred to any ancient writer ; 
and on what ground Marcion judged that the Epistle was to the 
Laodiceans we do not know. We do know, however, that his 
adoption of that title did not lead others to think of Col. iv. 16, 
and even his own disciples seem not to have followed him. 1 

Whatever probability belongs to this identification (and the 
reasons alleged against it have little weight), goes directly to con- 
firm the genuineness of the Epistle, and must in all fairness be 
taken into account. As the Canon of Marcion must have been 
drawn up before the middle of the second century, there is 
evidence of the general reception of the Epistle as St. Paul's at 
that period. 

Many of the ablest opponents of the genuineness admit the 
early date of composition and reception of the Epistle. Ewald 
assigned it to about 75-80 a.d. Scholten also to 80. Holtzmann, 
Mangold, and others to about 100. The late date 140, assigned 
by some of the earlier critics, is irreconcilable with the evidence 
of its early recognition. 

Internal Evidence. — Objections. The genuineness of the Epistle 
appears to have been first questioned by Schleiermacher (who 
suggested that Tychicus was commissioned to write it) and Usteri ; 
but the first to examine the internal evidence in detail was De 
Wette. His conclusion was that it is a verbose amplification 
(" wortreiche Erweiterung ") of the Epistle to the Colossians, and 
in style shows a notable falling off from that of St. Paul. Against 
the subjective element of this estimate may be placed the judg- 
ment of Chrysostom, Erasmus, Grotius, and Coleridge. Chrysos- 
tom says : " The Epistle overflows with lofty thoughts and doctrines 
. . . Things which he scarcely anywhere else utters, he here ex- 
pounds." vif/r/Xwv cr<f>68pa ye'//.ci twv vorjjxdrwv a yap /xrjoa/xov 
i(f>6ey$a.To, ravra ivravOa SrjXol. Erasmus (although noting the 
difference in style, etc.) : " Idem in hac epistola Pauli fervor, 
eadem profunditas, idem omnino spiritus ac pectus." He adds : 

1 This is Lightfoot's explanation of the perplexing passage in Epiphanius 
(Haeres. xlii.). Epiphanius speaks of Marcion as recognising the Ep. to the 
Eph., and also portions of the so-called Ep. to the Laodiceans. He blames 
Marcion for citing Eph. iv. 5, not from Eph., but from the Ep. to the 
I^aodice^ns. See Lightfoot, Biblical Essays, p. 383. 


" Verum non alibi sermo hyperbatis, anapodotis, aliisque incom- 
moditatibus molestior, sive id interpretis fuit, quo fuit usus in hac, 
sive sensuum sublimitatem sermonis facultas non est assequnta. 
Certe stilus tantum dissonat a caeteris Pauli epistolis ut alterius 
videri possit nisi pectus atque indoles Paulinae mentis hanc prossus 
illi vindicaret." Grotius : " Rerum sublimitatem adaequam verbis 
sublimioribus quam ulla unquam habuit lingua humana." Coleridge 
( Table Talk) : " The Epistle to the Ephesians ... is one of the 
divinest compositions of man. It embraces every doctrine of 
Christianity ; — first, those doctrines peculiar to Christianity, and 
then those precepts common to it with natural religion." Others 
have also judged that, as compared with Colossians, it is in system 
" far deeper, and more recondite, and more exquisite " (Alford). 

De Wette was answered by Liinemann, Meyer, and others. 
Some of the critics who followed De Wette went beyond him, 
rejecting the Ep. to the Colossians also, which he fully accepted, 
and assigning to both a much later date. Schwegler and Baur, 
finding in the Epistle traces of Gnostic and Montanist language 
and ideas, ascribed both Epistles to the middle of the second 
century. Similarly Hilgenfeld, who, however, attributed the Epistles 
to distinct authors. The fallacy of these latter speculations has 
been shown by Holtzmann, who has devoted an entire volume to 
the criticism of the two Epistles (Kritik der Epheser und Kolosser- 
briefe auf Grund einer Analyse ihres Verwandtschaftsverhdltnisses, 
Leipz. 1872). His conclusion is that the writer of the present 
Epistle had before him a genuine, but much shorter, Epistle to 
the Colossians, on which he founded his encyclical, and that the 
same writer subsequently interpolated the Epistle to the Colossians. 
(This was first suggested by Hitzig, 1870.) Soden (in two articles 
in the Jahrb. f Prot. Theol. 1885, 1887) maintained the genuine- 
ness of Col. with the exception of nine verses, and in his Comm. 
he withdraws this exception, regarding only i. xdb, 1 7 as a gloss. 

Lastly, the most recent writer on the subject, Jiilicher (Ein- 
leitung in das Neue Testament, 1894), will only go so far as to say 
that our Epistle cannot with certainty be reckoned as St. Paul's, 
while neither can its genuineness be unconditionally denied. 

Objections from the Language of the Epistle. — Let us first notice 
the argument from the language of the Epistle. Holtzmann re- 
marks, as favourable to the Pauline authorship, that it contains 
eighteen words not found elsewhere in the N.T. except in St. 
Paul, apa ovv occurs eight times in Romans, and besides only in 
Gal. i. and 2 Thess. and Eph. each once ; §16, a favourite of St. 
Paul, occurs in Eph. five times (not in Col.). But the favourable 
impression created by this is outweighed by the peculiarities found 
in the Epistle. It is indeed admitted that the existence of a-n-ai 
\ey6fieva would be no argument against the genuineness, if only 


they were not so numerous. There are, in fact, 42 words which 
are a. A. (in the N.T.), not including at^iaXwTeuetv, which is in a 
quotation. (Holtzmann reckoned only 37, but Thayer gives 42. 1 ) 
This number, however, is not greater in proportion than that in 
admitted Epistles of St. Paul. Romans contains 100 (neglecting 
quotations); 1 Cor. 108; 2 Cor. 95; Gal. 33; Phil. 41 (Col. has 
38). The percentage is, in fact, rather less in our Epistle (see 
Robertson, Diet, of Bible, i. 954^, note). It is, indeed, fair in such 
a comparison to take account of St. Paul's vocabulary rather than 
that of the N.T. generally. Accordingly, Holtzmann notes that 
there are here 39 words which, though occurring elsewhere in the 
N.T., are not found in St. Paul (the Pastoral Epp. and Col. are, 
of course, not counted). In Col. there are 1 5. Some of these, 
indeed, are such common words, that it is somewhat surprising 
that St. Paul has not used them elsewhere, such as dyvoia, aTrardio, 
Swpov, <f>p6vrj(ri<;, vij/os, to which we may add, though not common, 
o-iDTrjpLov, ewT7rAayxvos. But then, each of these occurs only once, 
and hence they cannot be regarded as indications of a different 
writer. Of the other words that have been noted as peculiar, 
some belong to the description of the Christian's armour, and for 
these there would be no obvious place except in connexion with 
a similar figure ; while others, such as Karapriap.6?, 7r poo- KapT€pr]cns, 
60-101-17?, cannot properly be reckoned as peculiar, since in other 
Epistles we find KaraprL^oi, KaTapTiai?, irpoo-Kaprepeiv, ocriws. So also, 
although avoids does not occur elsewhere, avoids tov oTo'/aai-o?, 
vi. 19, is parallel to 2 Cor. vi. n, to oro/na rjp,wv (Wa>ye. Even 
without making these allowances, there is little difference between 
this Epistle and that to the Galatians, for example, in this respect. 
The latter Epistle, which is rather shorter, contains, in addition to 
32 aira$ Xeyofieva, 42 words which, though occurring elsewhere in 
the N.T., are not found in the other Epistles of St. Paul. Such 
calculations are, indeed, futile, except in connexion with words so 
frequently used as to be characteristic of the writer. 

More weight is to be given to the principle of the objection, 
that words are used here to express certain ideas which St. Paul is 
in the habit of expressing differently, and, again, that words used 
by him are here employed with a different meaning. But when 
we come to the instances we find them few, and for the most part 
unimportant. Of the first class, De Wette mentions ra i-n-ovpavia 
for " heaven " (five times) ; ra TrvevfiaTiKa. for " spirits " ; S«z/3oAo? 
twice (elsewhere only in 1 and 2 Tim.), koct/xok/dcitw/d, o-ayrrjpiov. 
Soden adds, as favourite words of the writer, fieOoSeia (twice), and 
Se'cr/xios (twice). These, with to. 1-n-ovpdvia and o"ta/3oAo?, he says, 
it is strange not to find slipping from St. Paul's pen elsewhere. As 
to Se'cr/uos, however, it actually occurs in Philemon, and Holtz- 
1 See list at end of the Introduction. 



niann had already pointed out that it was not to be expected 
except in Epistles written when St. Paul was a prisoner. As to 
Std/3oAos, of which much has been made because St. Paul elsewhere 
uses Saravas, if the writer of the Acts, or of the Fourth Gospel, 
and other N.T. writers, could use Saravas and SidfioXos indiffer- 
ently, why might not Paul use the former in his earlier Epistles, 
and the latter twice in this ? The difference is only that between 
the Hebrew and the Greek forms, and is analogous to that between 
rierpos and K?;<£as, of which the former is used twice and the latter 
four times in the Epistle to the Galatians. Again, although to. 
eTTovpdvLa (which is not = " the heavens ") is not found elsewhere in 
St. Paul, the adjective occurs with the meaning "heavenly" in 
i Cor. xv. 40, 48, 49, and in Phil. ii. 10. Other un-Pauline ex- 
pressions are found in rd 6eXt]fxaTa, at Stdvotat, irpb /cara/3o\^s 
Koa/xov, cf>(i>TLL,eLv as a function of the apostle, 6 ap^cov T *js c^oua-tds 
tov depos, 6 ©eos tov Kvptov rjfxiov Irjcrov Xpto~Tov (i. 17. 3) ', irvtvpa. 
tov voos, rj ayia eKKX-qaia (ver. 27, not, however, in this form); 01 

dytot a.Tr6aToXoL /cat TrpofprJTai, tore ytvwo-/covT£S, StSovat Ttva ti (i. 2 2, 
iv. Ii); dya#os 7rpos tl (iv. 29); dya7rav tov Kvpiov (Paul has dy. 
tov ©eov), aycnrdv ttjv tK/cA^triW, of Christ ; ets 7rdcras Tas yeveds tov 
ataivos twv alwvwv. 

It is, for the most part, only by their number that these and 
similar instances can be supposed to carry weight as an objection 
to the Pauline authorship ; two or three, however, are somewhat 
striking. On 6 0e6? tov Kvpt'ou y/xwv, see the note. It is certainly 
an unexpected expression, but it is one which no later imitator, 
holding such lofty views of Christ as are here expressed, would 
have ventured on without Pauline precedent. It has its parallel in 
John xx. 17. Again, although the expression 6 Xpio-Tos rjydmqo-e 
tt]v luKk-qo-iav taken by itself sounds peculiar, it is not so when we 
find that it is suggested by the preceding words, ot di'Spes, dya.7raT€ 

rds yuvat/cas KaOws /cat, k.t.A.. 

The phrase which seems to create the greatest difficulty is tois 
dyt'019 d7roo-ToAots Kal 7rpo(prJTaL<;. It is said that this, especially 
when compared with Col. i. 26, is strongly suggestive of a later 
generation which set the apostles and prophets (of the new dis- 
pensation) on a lofty pedestal as objects of veneration. Some of 
those critics who accept the Epistle as genuine have suggested that 
we have to do with a gloss (the whole or, at least, the latter half 
of ver. 5, Reuss ; the word dytots, Jiilicher), or a dislocation of 
the text (Robertson), dytots being the mediate or general (e^ave- 
puOr/, Col.), the d7r. k. 7rp. the immediate or special (aTrtKaXvifidr]) 
recipients of the revelation. Lachmann and Tregelles put a 
comma after dytots, so that air. k. irp. is in apposition with dytots. 
So far as the difficulty is in the writer's application of the term 
dytots, it appears to be due very much to the importation into 


dyt'ois of the modern notion of holiness (see note). However this 
may be, the objection to the genuineness drawn from this word is 
deprived of all force by the words which follow presently in ver. 8, 
ifioi tm e/\a^to-TOT£po) ttulvtwv aytwv. It is quite incredible that a 
writer otherwise so successful in assuming the character of St. 
Paul, should here in the same breath forget his part and (as it is 
thought) exaggerate it. The same consideration, in part at least, 
applies to the other difficulty found in the words, viz. that they 
represent the apostles as all recognising the principle of the calling 
of the Gentiles, — a principle which St. Paul elsewhere (and here 
also) claims as specially his gospel. The apostles are spoken of 
collectively also in i Cor. xv. 7 ; and as they had cordially assented 
to St. Paul's teaching as to the admission of the Gentiles (Gal. 
ii. 9), it is quite natural that he should speak of it here as revealed 
" to the apostles." 

As examples of Pauline words used in a new sense, are quoted 
lAvo-rqpLov, oIkovo/xiol, 7rcpuro«7cri9. As to the first, there is really no 
difference between its meaning here and elsewhere in St. Paul ; or 
if the sense in ver. 32 is thought to be different, that is a difference 
within this Epistle itself, in which the word occurs five times in its 
usual sense. olKovop-Ca is found (besides Col. i. 25) in 1 Cor. 
ix. 1 7 of St. Paul's own stewardship, while in Eph. it is used of the 
ordering of the fulness of the times (i. 10), or of the grace of God 
(iii. 2), or of the mystery, etc. (Hi. 9). Here, again, so little ground 
is there for assuming any serious difference in meaning, that in 
the last two passages the meaning "stewardship" (RV. marg.) 
is perfectly suitable. Again, 7re/H7roi?7cn.s in i. 14 is said to be 
concrete, whereas in 1 Thess. v. 9, 2 Thess. ii. 14, it is abstract. 
Admitting this (which is questioned), the difference is parallel to 
that, for example, in the meaning of d.TroK.a\v\pi<i in 1 Cor. xiv. 26 
and i. 7. 

In reference to these objections, and some others that have to 
be mentioned, it is important to remember that we are not dealing 
with an anonymous work. There are many points of difference 
which in such a case might be used with effect against the Pauline 
authorship, but which put on a different aspect when we consider 
that the Epistle makes a distinct claim to be the work of St. Paul, — 
so that, if not genuine, it is the work of a writer who designed that 
it should be mistaken for the work of that apostle, — and when we 
add to this the fact that it was received as such from the earliest 
times. For a writer of such ability as the author, and one so 
familiar with the writings of St. Paul, would take care to avoid, at 
least, obvious deviations from the style and language of the author 
whom he is imitating. From this point of view, not only aira£ 
Xcy6fj.eva, but still more the use of new expressions for Pauline 
ideas, instead of offering an argument against the Pauline author- 


ship, become arguments against forgery. If, indeed, actual contra- 
dictions or inconsistencies could be shown, it would be different ; 
but they cannot. 

There are, it is true, at first sight, differences in the point of view 
taken in this Epistle and in others of St. Paul ; but these have 
been exaggerated. For example, when in v. i the expression rUva 
ayaTrrjTa occurs, Holtzmann remarks that this is elsewhere used by 
St. Paul, not to urge his readers as beloved children to imitate 
their Father, God, but because they owed their conversion to 
himself, so that he was himself their father (i Cor. iv. 14, 17, cf. 
2 Tim. i. 2). Yet the expression is quite naturally led up to here. 
" Forgive, for God has forgiven ; therefore imitate God, whose 
children ye are." Addressing those to whom he was a stranger, 
he could not call on them to imitate himself (1 Cor. iv. 16, xi. 1), 
which, moreover, here, where the question is of forgiveness, would 
be an impossible bathos ; nor could he call them his own children. 
As to the expression "children of God," we have a parallel in 
Rom. viii. 16, on io-fxev renvoi ®eov. 

Again, rj Xiyo/xevr] aKpofSvcrria, rj \eyofxevrj irepiTOfxr} (ii. 1 1 ), taken 
by themselves, may seem to deny any real significance to circum- 
cision (contrary to Rom. iii. 1 ; Phil. iii. 5 ; Col. ii. 11, 13); yet a 
closer consideration will show that it is not so. "Ye who are 
contemptuously called uncircumcision by those who call themselves 
the circumcision, a circumcision in the flesh only (note the 
addition ev o-apxi), as if the mere fleshly circumcision had any 
spiritual value." Not only does the sense of the whole passage 
agree with Rom. ii. 26-29 (as Holtzmann allows), but the form of 
expression is natural as coming from the writer who in Phil. iii. 2 
uses the strong and scornful word Kararo/xTj, adding ^//.eis yap 
io-fjiev rj Trepiro/xy, 01 Trvevfxari ©eov Xarpevovrcs, k.t.X. : to which we 
may add, for those who accept Colossians, Col. ii. it. Holtzmann, 
indeed, thinks that Paul would not say, 17 Xeyop.evr) aKpofiva-ria, he 
being himself one of the Jews who so designated them (Rom. 
ii. 26, 27, iii. 30, iv. 9; Gal. ii. 7). But this corresponds to 
Col. iii. ii, ovk evi . . . irepiropir) kcu aKpofivo-ria.. (Compare the 
less forcible ovre irepirop-rj ri to^uei, /c.t.A.., Gal. V. 6, vi. 15.) 

Holtzmann considers this way of speaking of circumcision as 
belonging to the general view of the Law taken in this Epistle, as 
merely typical. It is not spoken of, says v. Soden, as having a 
religious or moral significance, as 7ratSaywyos ets Xptarrov, or as 
working Kardpa, but only in its formal character as the sum of 
ivrokal eV Soyp-acnv, its content being left out of view. Compare, 
on the contrary, Rom. ix. 4 ; Gal. v. 23 (where, however, we have 
i'o/i.09, not o vofios). Its significance consists in its causing a 
separation and even hostility between Jews and Gentiles. But 
this is not a greater difference than that between the ideas of a 


7ratSaywyo's and a source of, which we find within one 
epistle, that to the Galatians. 

Objections from the litie of thought in the Epistle. — It is said, 
further, that the whole view of the Church as regards the union of 
Jews and Gentiles is peculiar ; St. Paul never represents it as the 
object or even an object of Christ's work to bring into one Jews 
and Gentiles (ii. 13-18, 19-22, Hi. 5 sqq., iv. 7-16). This leads 
us further ; we notice that the writer never speaks of local Churches, 
but only of the (one) Church. This has been supposed to indicate 
that he wrote at a time when the several local Churches were 
drawing together in resistance to a common danger, and binding 
themselves together by a single organisation. But the Church 
here is not represented as made up of individual Churches, but of 
individual men ; nor is there any mention of external unity or 
common organisation. Nor is the conception of one " Church," 
which we find here, quite new. Not to mention passages where 
St. Paul speaks of himself as formerly persecuting " the Church of 
God" (1 Cor. xv. 9; Gal. i. 13; Phil. iii. 6), we have in 1 Cor. 

Xli. 28, €#€TO 6 ©60S €V T7) tKKXrjCrta. TTpWTOV aTTOCTToXoV?, K.T.A.. We 

may compare also Acts XX. 28, ttjv eKK\r)criav tov ©eoO rjv TrepuTroirj- 
o-aTo, k.t.X. In Col. we have f] e/c/cA^o-ia in the same sense, as the 
universal Church (i. 18, 24), although it is also used of local 
Churches (iv. 15, 16). The encyclical character of the present 
Epistle sufficiently accounts for the predominance of the former 
view here. There is, however, no inconsistency in this advance 
upon the earlier conception. It is, indeed, remarkable that in 
Eph. the thought of the unity of the Church is so dominant that 
Christ's work is represented as having immediate reference to it 
rather than to individuals (compare v. 25-27, 29, 32, with Gal. 
ii. 20) ; of this He is the Saviour (ver. 23) ; it is this that He has 
sanctified by His offering of Himself (ver. 26). But it is essential 
to observe that all this occurs, not in an exposition of the nature of 
Christ's work, but in illustration of the duties of husbands to their 
wives. Any reference to His work in relation to individual men 
would have been entirely irrelevant. That reference comes in 
naturally in i. 7, v. 2, ii. 16 ff. But the first two passages, it is 
said, appear to be only verbal reminiscences of St. Paul. It is, 
however, much easier to conceive St. Paul writing as in vv. 25-32, 
than to suppose it the work of another who wishes to be mistaken 
for him. It is no doubt very remarkable that the whole circle of 
thought which in St. Paul has its centre in the death of Christ, 
here falls into the background. In i. 1 5 — ii. 10, where the resurrec- 
tion is twice mentioned, and the whole work of redemption dwelt 
on, the death is not mentioned. So also i. n-14, iii. 1-2 1. In 
fact, with the exception of i. 7 (from Col. i. 14), it is only incident- 
ally referred to as a pattern, and then with remarkable differences 


from St. Paul, that being attributed to Christ which is elsewhere 
attributed to God. (Yet, on the other hand, in iv. 32 it is God in 
Christ who is said to forgive, while in Col. iii. 13 it is Christ who 
forgives.) The only place in which the death of Christ is dealt 
with in greater detail is ii. 14-16; and there the interest is not in 
the reconciliation of individuals and the forgiveness of their sins, 
but in this, that the Law, and with it the enmity between Jew and 
Gentile, are removed. These and other differences that have been 
pointed out are no doubt striking, but they involve no incon- 
sistencies ; they are only developments of ideas of which the germ 
is found in St. Paul's other writings. 

The representation of Christ as the Head of the Body, which 
is the Church, is common to Eph. and Col., and therefore cannot 
be alleged against the genuineness of the former by any who admit 
the latter. Elsewhere, when St. Paul uses the figure of the body, 
the whole body is said to be in Christ (Rom. xii. 4, 5), or to be 
Christ (1 Cor. xii. 12), and the head appears only as one member 
among many {ib. 21). But in those cases the point to be illus- 
trated was the mutual relation of the members of the Church, and 
there is nothing inconsistent in the modification of the figure which 
we find in these Epp. 

Again, as to the Person and Office of Christ, we have in both 
Epp. a notable advance beyond the earlier Epistles, as in Col. 
i. 16 ff., "in Him were all things created, in the heaven, and 
upon the earth ... all things have been created through Him, 
and unto Him ; and He is before all things, and in Him all 
things consist." But we have at least the germ of this in 1 Cor. 

viii. 6, els Kupios 'Irjcrovs Xpicrrd?, 81 01! to. Trdrra, Kai rjp.ti<; 

hi avrov. In Eph., however, we have added to this the further 
thought that things in heaven as well as on earth have part in the 
reconciliation effected by Him (Eph. i. 10) ; and all this is referred 
to a purpose of the Divine will directed towards Christ Himself 
from the beginning. 

Once more, the second coming of Christ has fallen into the 
background, and does not appear to have a part in bringing about 
the fulfilment of the promised blessings. Rather does the writer 
seem to anticipate a series of aiwves i-n-epxa^voL. But, as Hort 
observes, " nothing was more natural than that a change like this 
should come over St. Paul's mind, when year after year passed 
away, and still there was no sign of the Lord's coming, and when 
the spread of the faith through the Roman Empire, and the results 
which it was producing, would give force to all such ways of think- 
ing as are represented by the image of the leaven leavening the 
lump" (Prolegomena, p. 142). 

Paley on the Internal Evidence. — Paley in his Horae Paulinae 
has replied by anticipation to some, at least, of the objections to 


the genuineness of the Epistle, and has added some positive argu- 
ments which deserve attention. He remarks that " Whoever writes 
two letters or two discourses nearly upon the same subject and at 
no great distance of time, but without any express recollection of 
what he had written before, will find himself repeating some 
sentences in the very order of the words in which he had already 
used them ; but he will more frequently find himself employing 
some principal terms, with the order inadvertently changed, or 
with the order disturbed by the intermixture of other words and 
phrases expressive of ideas rising up at the time ; or in many 
instances repeating, not single words, nor yet whole sentences, but 
parts and fragments of sentences. Of all these varieties the exam- 
ination of our two Epistles will furnish plain examples ; and I 
should rely upon this class of instances more than upon the last ; 
because, although an impostor might transcribe into a forgery 
entire sentences and phrases, yet the dislocation of words, the 
partial recollection of phrases and sentences, the intermixture of 
new terms and new ideas with terms and ideas before used, which 
will appear in the examples that follow, and which are the natural 
properties of writings produced under the circumstances in which 
these Epistles are represented to have been composed, would not, 
I think, have occurred to the invention of a forger ; nor, if they 
had occurred, would they have been so easily executed. This 
studied variation was a refinement in forgery, which, I believe, did 
not exist ; or if we can suppose it to have been practised in the 
instances adduced below, why, it may be asked, was not the same 
art exercised upon those which we have collected in the preceding 
class? [viz. Eph. i. 7 = Col. i. 14; Eph. i. 10 = Col. i. 20; Eph. 
iii. 2 = Col. i. 25; Eph. v. 19 = Col. iii. 16; and Eph. vi. 22 = 
Col. iv. 8]." Of the second class he specifies Eph. i. 19, ii. 5, 
which, if we take away the parentheses, leaves a sentence almost 
the same in terms as Col. ii. 12, 13 ; but it is in Eph. twice inter- 
rupted by incidental thoughts which St. Paul, as his manner was, 
enlarges upon by the way, and then returns to the thread of his 

Amongst internal marks of genuineness, Paley specifies the 
frequent yet seemingly unaffected use of 71-Aoth-os used metaphoric- 
ally as an augmentative of the idea to which it happens to be sub- 
joined, — a figurative use familiar to St. Paul, but occurring in no 
other writer in the N.T., except once in Jas. ii. 5, " Hath not God 
chosen the poor of this world, rich in faith ? ", where it is manifestly 
suggested by the antithesis. (It occurs in 1 Tim. vi. 18.) 

" There is another singularity in St. Paul's style which, wherever 
it is found, may be deemed a badge of authenticity ; because, if it 
were noticed, it would not, I think, be imitated, inasmuch as it 
almost always produces embarrassment and interruption in the 


reasoning. This singularity is a species of digression which may 
properly, I think (says Paley), be denominated going off at a word. 
It is turning aside from the subject upon the occurrence of some 
particular word, forsaking the train of thought then in hand, and 
entering upon a parenthetic sentence in which that word is the pre- 
vailing term." An instance is 2 Cor. ii. 14, at the word 007*77 
(note vv. 15, 16). Another, 2 Cor. iii. 1, at IitkjtoXwv, which 
gives birth to the following sentence, vv. 2, 3. A third is 2 Cor. 
iii. 13, at the word Kakv/x/xa. The whole allegory, vv. 14-18, 
arises out of the occurrence of this word in v. 13, and in iv. 1 he 
resumes the proper subject of his discourse almost in the words 
with which he had left it. 

In Eph. we have two similar instances, viz. iv. 8-1 1, at the word 
avifi-q, and again, v. 13-15, at <£ws. 

Again, in Eph. iv. 2-4 and Col. iii. 12-15, we have the words 
TOLTreivocjipocrvvr), irpaoTrjs, Lia.Kpo$vfxia, dvc^d/xevoi a\\iq\u)v in the 
same order ; ayd-n-q is also in both, but in a different connexion ; 
owSco-yaos ttjs f.lprjvr]<i answers to o\ ttjs teAciottitos ; iKkrjd-qre iv evl 
cruypicLTi to (.v crwp.a KaOws xai iKkr]6rjre iv /xlcl ikiriSt ; yet is this 
similitude found in the midst of sentences otherwise very different. 

Eph. v. 6-8, Col. iii. 6-8, afford, says Paley, a specimen of that 
partial resemblance which is only to be met with where no imita- 
tion is designed, but where the mind, exercised upon the same 
subject, is left to the spontaneous return of such terms and phrases 
as, having been used before, may happen to present themselves 
again. The sentiment of both passages is throughout alike : half 
of that sentiment, the denunciation of God's wrath, is expressed in 
identical words ; the other half, viz. the admonition to quit their 
former conversation, in words entirely different. 

Eph. vi. 19, 20, furnishes, according to Paley's very just remark, 
a coincidence (with the Acts) of that minute and less obvious 
kind which is of all others the most to be relied upon. It is the 
coincidence of Trpea/3euoi iv akvaei with Acts xxviii. 16. From the 
latter passage we learn that at Rome Paul was allowed to dwell by 
himself with one soldier that kept him. In such cases it was 
customary for the prisoner to be bound to the soldier by a single 

Accordingly, in ver. 20 St. Paul says, rrjv akvcriv ravr-qv TrepiKeifxai. 
It is to be observed that in the parallel passage in Col. the word 
used is A real prisoner might use either the general words 
Seo/ or ev 8eo-/xots, or the specific term. Paley, however, omits 
to notice the irony of irpecrfievu) iv akvcrei, to which the choice of 
the word is undoubtedly due. " Am an ambassador in chains " 
does not exactly express the force of the original, which is rather 
"act as an ambassador in chains." As Hort well remarks (p. 156), 
" the writer has in mind, not the mere general thought of being in 



bonds, but the visual image of an ambassador standing up to plead 
his sovereign's cause, and wearing, strangest of contradictions, a 
fetter by way of official adornment." cV 8€o-/«hs would have meant 
"in prison." 


It is impossible even to glance over these two Epistles without 
being struck by the many similarities, and even verbal coincidences, 
between them. On the other hand, the Epistle to the Ephesians 
differs markedly from its twin Epistle in the absence of contro- 
versial matter such as forms so important an element in the other. 
De Wette, admitting the genuineness of Col., thought it possible 
to account for the likeness by supposing that the writer of Eph. 
borrowed from the other Epistle. He gave a list of parallel 
passages (Em/. § 146a) as follows : — 

Eph. i. 7 
i. 10 
i. 15-17 
i. 18 
i. 21 
i. 22 f. 
ii. 1, 12 

"• 5 
ii. 15 
ii. 16 
iii. 1 
iii. 2 

iii. 3 
iii. 7 
iii. 8 f. 
iv. 1 
iv. 2 
iv. 3 f. 
iv. 15 f. 
iv. 19 


Col. i. 14. 

„ i. 20. 

n i. 3. 4- 

» i- 27. 

„ i. 16. 

„ i. 18 f. 

,, I- 21. 

1, ii- 13- 

,, ii. 14. 

,, ii. 20. 

„ i. 24. 

„ i- 25. 

„ i. 26. 

„ i- 23, 25. 

„ i. 27. 

" !:. IO - 

,, iii. 12 f 

,, iii. 14 f. 

,, ii- 19- 

,, i". I. 5- 

Eph. iv. 22 f. 

» iv. 25 f. 

,, iv. 29 

11 iv. 31 

n iv. 3 2 

„ v. 3 

i) v. 4 

„ v. 5 

,, v. 6 

11 v. 15 

„ v. 19 f. 

„ V. 21 

,, v. 25 

,, vi. I 

,, vi. 4 

., vi. 5 ff. 

11 vi. 9 

„ vi. 18 ff. 

,, vi. 21 f. 

Col. iii. 8 ff. 

,, iii. 8 f. 

„ iii. 8, iv. 

" iii- 8 - 

,, iii. 12 f. 

ii iii. 5. 

,, iii. 8. 

11 iii- 5- 

,, iii. 6. 

,, iv. 5. 

,, iii. 16 f. 

,, iii. 18. 

" iii- I9- 

„ iii. 20. 

,, iii. 21. 

,, iii. 22 ff. 

,, iv. 1. 

„ iv. 2 ff. 

,, iv. 7f. 

in his Kritik der Epheser- u?id Kolosser-Briefe ex- 
amined the problem with great labour and minuteness. He 
argued strongly that in some of the parallels, the priority was on 
the side of Eph. The passages which he selected for detailed 
examination in support of this contention were, 1st, Eph. i. 4 ( = 
Col. i. 22); 2nd, Eph. i. 6, 7 ( = Col. i. 13, 14); 3rd, Eph. iii. 3, 
5, 9 ( = Col. i. 26, ii. 2); 4th, Eph. iii. 17, 18, iv. 16, ii. 20 ( = 
Col. i. 23, ii. 2, 7); 5th, Eph. iv. 16 ( = Col. ii. 19) ; 6th, Eph. iv. 
22-24 ( = Col. iii. 9, 10); and 7th, Eph. v. 19 ( = Col. iii. 16). 
(With respect to the last three he seems to have changed his 
mind before publishing his Einleitung.) His conclusion was that 
there existed an Epistle to the Colossians by St. Paul, which was 


taken by the writer of Eph. as the basis of his work, and that 
the same writer subsequently interpolated the Epistle to the 
Colossians. He conjectures that this writer was the same who 
added the final doxology to the Epistle to the Romans. 

In the introduction to the Epistle to the Colossians will be 
found a specimen of the result of his analysis of Colossians. The 
principal, indeed the only value of this part of his work is that 
it establishes the inadequacy of the more commonly accepted 
solution of the problem, namely, that Ephesians is simply a 
forgery based on Colossians. Some critics, however, such as 
Hausrath, Mangold, Pfleiderer, think that Holtzmann has at least 
indicated in what direction the solution is to be looked for. But 
all such attempts are attended with much greater difficulty than 
the traditional view. 

There is another difficulty in this theory, and one which, from 
a literary point of view, is really fatal. It is that the words and 
phrases supposed to be borrowed from Col. are introduced into 
different contexts, and yet so as to fit in quite naturally with their 
new surroundings. (See, above, the passages mentioned by 

It may be asked, moreover, how is it that a writer so well 
acquainted with Pauline thought should have confined his borrow- 
ings almost exclusively to the Epistle to the Colossians, and that 
although the most characteristic element of that Epistle, its special 
polemic against the heretical teachers, seems to have had no 
interest for him. Indeed, it is strange how he succeeds in steering 
clear of all allusions to that subject. In the author of Col. this 
would be done unconsciously ; it is not so easy to account for an 
imitator doing it. 


The parallelisms between these two Epistles are so numerous 
that the Epistles may almost be compared throughout. The 
following comparison is chiefly from Holtzmann. After the 
address they begin thus — 

1 Pet. i. Eph. i. 

3. evXoy-qrbs 6 Beds ko.1 irar^p tov 3. €v\oyt]Tbs 6 Oeds ical irarfyp rov 

Kvptov T)ixG>v 'Iij&ov Xpiarov, 6 avayevvfi- Kvplov rj/xwv 'Iijcrov XptcrroC, 6 evKoyi)- 
iras 71/ cas 77/ias. 

This commencement, however, is found also in 2 Cor. i. 3. 

Then follows in each a long passage (1 Pet. i. 5-13; Eph. i. 
5-15) in which the alternation of participles and relative pronouns 
is the same in both until the transition to the succeeding period 


is made in the one case by Sio, in the other by Sia tovto. The 
substance of the passage in i Pet. i. 3-5 corresponds with that of 
the following passage in Eph. (i. 18-20), the "hope" being 
emphasised in both, and its object being designated the KXrjpovofua, 
the connexion with the resurrection of Christ as its ground being 
the same, and in both the Smarts ©eov being put in relation to 

the 7TtCTTt?. 

1 Pet. ii. 4-6 has much resemblance to Eph. ii. 18-22 — 

1 Pet. ii. Eph. ii. 

4. irpbs 5v irpoaepxbp-evoi \L6ov 18. Si' avrov exop-ev ttjv vpo^ayuryfiv. 
fuivra ... 19. . . . oUtioi tov Qeov. 

5. Kal avrol <is \idoi ^Qvtss oIko5o- 20. iiroiKo5ofj.rj6ivT€S iirl t<J5 6ep.e\lcp 
fielade, oZkos Trvev/xaTiKos. . . . 6vtos aKpoywviaiov avrov XptcrroO 

6. . . . Xldov aKpoyuviatoP. 'lrjcrov, k.t.X. 

22. . . . <TvuoiKo5o/xe7a8e eh kotoi- 


1 Pet., however, is here citing Ps. cxviii. 22 and Isa. xxviii. 16, 
and the former passage may have been in St. Paul's mind also. 
It had been applied by our Lord to Himself (Matt. xxi. 42), and 
is cited in St. Peter's speech, Acts iv. n. Holtzmann thinks the 
citation of Isa. xxviii. 16 was suggested to 1 Pet. by the anpo- 

ywvicuov of Eph. 

1 Pet. iii. 18, Iva 17/ 7r/5oo-ayay77 tw 0ew, reminds us of Eph. 

ii. 18, St' airrov e^o/xev ttjv Trpocrayoyyrjv Trpos tov 7raTepa, while the 

verses immediately following exhibit the ancient explanation of 
Eph. iv. 8-10. Then follows in 1 Pet. a striking parallel to Eph. 
i. 20-22 — 

t Pet. iii. Eph. i. 

22. 5s iariv iv Set;la tov Qeov iropev- 20. iK&0io~ev iv 8e£la aiTov iv ro'ct 

6eh eh oipavbv, iirovpaviois. 

viroTayivTwv aiTtp dyyi\u>v Kal i£ov- 21. virepdvw irdaris dpxys Ka ^ i£ov- 

ffiwv Kal SvvapAwv. alas Kal 5vva/>s . . . 

22. Kal iravra virira^ev. 

Again, i Pet. i. 10-12 and Eph. iii. 5, 10 are strikingly parallel. 
They both contain the thought found here only in the N.T., that 
the meaning of the prophecies was not clearly known to the pro- 
phets themselves, but has first become so to us — 

1 Pet. i. Eph. iii. 

10. irpocprJTai ... 5. 5 eripait yeveah oi/tc iyvupi<r$r) 

1 1 . ipevvwvres eh rtva . . . Katpbv ... (is vvv aireKaXvcpdr) rots . . . 
eSrjXov rb iv avroh trvevfia. irpo(pT]Tais iv nvevp/XTi. 

12. oh dTreKa\v<pdr] Urn. ovx iairroh, IO. Iva yvupiadrj vvv . . . Si oiriKLPOiv aiVd, a vvv dvrjyyiXr]. 

Here i Pet. goes beyond Eph. in saying that the prophets 
themselves were made acquainted by revelation with their own 


ignorance. (But on irpo^rats in Eph. iii. 5 = New Test, prophets, 
see note.) 

1 Pet. i. 20 and Eph. iii. 9 correspond in the same reference 
to the mystery ordained irpb Ka.Ta(3o\f}<; /cooyxou, and hitherto hidden, 
but now revealed. And as in Eph. iii. 10 the wise purpose of 
God is now made known to angelic powers, so in 1 Pet. i. 1 2 they 
desire to search into these things. 

These are but a selection from the parallelisms that have been 
indicated by Holtzmann and others. Some critics have explained 
them by the supposition that the writer of Eph. borrowed from 
1 Pet. (Hilgenfeld, Weiss). But, in fact, the latter Epistle has 
affinities to other Epistles of St. Paul, and especially to that to the 
Romans, with which it has many striking coincidences (see Salmon, 
Introduction, Lect. xxii., and Seufert in Hilgenfeld's Zeitschrift, 
1874, p. 360). 

On the supposition that Eph. is genuine, and that St. Paul 
here borrowed from 1 Pet., we seem obliged to hold (as Weiss 
does) that in the other parallels the former was also the borrower. 
" Imagine," says Holtzmann, " the most original of all the N.T. 
writers, when composing the 12th chap, of his Ep. to the Romans, 
laboriously gleaning from 1 Pet. the exhortations which his own 
daily experience might have suggested to him, taking xii. 1 from 
1 Pet. ii. 5 stripped of its symbolic clothing, then xii. 2 borrowing 
<rucrx?7/«m£ecr#6 from 1 Pet. i. 14; next in xii. 3-8 expanding 
1 Pet. iv. 10, 11 ; taking xii. 9 out of 1 Pet. i. 22 ; xii. 10 from 
1 Pet. ii. 17," etc. 

Seufert, adopting an incidental suggestion of Holtzmann, has 
argued at length that Eph. and 1 Pet. are by the same author, 
possibly the same who wrote the third Gospel and the Acts 
(Hilgenfeld's Zeitschrift, 1881, pp. 179, 332). It is not necessary 
to discuss this theory in detail, since it appears to have gained no 
adherents. It may suffice to quote Salmon's remark, that the 
resemblances between 1 Pet. and Eph. are much less numerous 
and less striking than those between Ephesians and Colossians ; 
whereas, in order to establish Seufert's theory, they ought to be 
very much stronger : " For we clearly can more readily recognise 
resemblances as tokens of common authorship in the case of two 
documents which purport to come from the same author, and" 
which, from the very earliest times, have been accepted as so 
coming, than when the case is the reverse." 

There remains the supposition that 1 Pet. borrowed from 
Ephesians. If the former be not genuine, there is, of course, no 
difficulty in this supposition, whether Eph. be genuine or not. 
Nor is there any real difficulty (except to those who will insist on 
putting the two apostles in opposition) in supposing that the 
Apostle Peter when in Rome should become familiar with the 


Epistle to the Romans, and adopt some of its thoughts and 
language. It is difficult, however, to suppose him acquainted with 
Eph. and other Epistles. Salmon suggests another alternative, 
namely, that while Paul was in Rome, Peter may have arrived 
there, in which case there would be a good deal of viva voce inter- 
course between them, and Paul's discourses to the Christians at 
Rome may have been heard by Peter. This suggestion appears 
to have been made also by Schott (Der erste Brief Petri, 185 1). 1 
Holtzmann's objection to it is singularly weak, viz. first, that 
according to Gal. i. 18, ii. 1 sq., 11 sqq., we must regard the 
personal intercourse between the two apostles as limited to three 
widely separated moments, and broken off in some bitterness ; and, 
secondly, that St. Peter could not in this way have become 
familiar with Rom. xii. xiii. The latter remark has been replied to 
by anticipation ; as to the former, what sort of idea of the two 
apostles must Holtzmann have, to think that the incident at 
Antioch must have led to a permanent estrangement between 
them ! Finally, if 1 Pet. was composed by Silvanus under the 
direction of the apostle, which is possibly what is meant by v. 12, the 
use of St. Paul's thoughts and language is sufficiently accounted for. 


Epistle to the Hebrews. — Points of contact with the Ep. to the 
Hebrews have been noted. Lexically, e.g. alpua. kcu <rdp£ (elsewhere 
<rap£ kcu atfxa), aypvirvelv, Kpavyrj, VTrepdvoy, vrrepavco Travrtov twv 
ovpavwv, ets d7roAirr/)0Jcnv, aiwv [xeXXwv, 7rpocrcpopa ko.1 Ovcria, /80UA.77 
of God, Trapp7]<ria in the sense of spiritual assurance. There are 
also peculiar conceptions common to both Epistles : Eph. i. 20, 
6Aca0icrev iv Se£ta avrov, Heb. i. 3, viii. I, X. 12 : Eph. i. 7, airo\vTpu>cri<> 
Slot tot) ai/Aaro?, Heb. ix. 12 : Eph. V. 25, 26, iavrbv Trapi8wK€v wr\p 
avrrjs iva avrrjv ayidcrrj, Heb. xiii. 12, x. 10. St. Paul, it is said, 
does not represent dyiao-^tds as the object of Christ's atoning death, 
but rather justification. Eph. iii. 12, iv <L exop-ev ryv irapprjo-iav «a\ 
tt/v Trpocrayoiyrjv, Heb. iv. 1 6, Trpocrepx^p^Oa pera Trapprjcria?. The 
Christology, also, of the two Epp. is the same. Of course, if Eph. 
is genuine, there is no difficulty in admitting that the writer to the 
Hebrews used it. V. Soden, however, argues that the latter 
Epistle is the earlier. His reason is that 1 Pet. is dependent on 
Hebrews, and probably earlier than Eph. The former proposition 
is more than doubtful ; but we need not discuss it, since, as we 
have seen, it is probably 1 Pet. that has used Eph. 

1 " Peter possessed an eminently sympathetic nature. He was one who 
received impressions easily, and could not without an effort avoid reflecting the 
tone of the company in which he lived " (Salmon, Introd., 7th ed., p. 438). 


The Apocalypse. — There are also noted points of correspond- 
ence with the Apocalypse, e.g. Eph. ii. 20, "foundation of the 
apostles and prophets"; Rev. xxi. 14: Eph. iii. 5, (tw p-vo-r-qpi^) 8 
. . . vvv aTreKaXvcfiOr] tois dyi'019 a7roo"ToA.ois airov Kal 7rpo6rp-aL% y 
Rev. X. 7> T0 p-vcmqpwv tov ®eov, a>? evTjyyeXicre tovs iavrov SouAov? 
rov<i Trpo<prjra<i : Eph. V. 1 1 , p.7] cruyKOivwvciTe tois epyots tois aKapirois 
tov ctkotovs, Rev. XVlii. 4, iva yu.77 o-vyKOLVwvycrrp-e Teas ap.apTiai<; avrrjs : 

Eph. v. 25 ff., the comparison of the union of Christ and the 
Church to that of husband and wife ; cf. Rev. xix. 7, a/. 1 Many 
other coincidences are pointed out by Holtzmann, who concludes 
that the author of Eph. made use of the Apocalypse. V. Soden, 
however, judges that they do not prove any dependence either 
literary or spiritual on either side, but that they show that the 
author of Eph. stood much nearer than Paul to the modes of 
expression of Christianity which are attested in the Apocalypse ; 
and he passes a similar judgment on the relation between Eph. 
and the Gospel of John, except that in the latter case the affinity 
extends also to the ideas. 

As to the Apocalypse, it is hard to believe that the writer of 
Eph. v. 23 ff. had before him the fact that the Church had 
already by another writer been expressly designated the Bride of 
Christ. He seems, on the contrary, to have been led up to it step 
by step from the comparison of the headship of the man ( = 1 Cor. 
xi. 3) to the headship of Christ. Rather does the exposition in 
the Apocalypse appear to be a development of the figure first 
suggested in Eph. The figure of the Bridegroom appears, indeed, 
in the Gospel of St. John iii. 29, but it is used there merely to 
illustrate the superiority of Christ to the Baptist. In fact, the 
Parable of the Ten Virgins in the Synoptic Gospels is much closer 
to the figure here. 

Gospel of St. John. — Comparison with the Gospel of St. John 
gives results such as the following : — The Logos-idea is in substance 
indicated in i. 10, where Christ is represented as the point of union 
in which the divided universe is brought together. As to the 
special application of this fundamental thought to the relation of 
Jews and Gentiles (ii. 13-22, iii. 6), there are significant parallels 
in John (x. 16, xi. 52, xvii. 20, 21). Further, it is especially the 
ideas of yvwo-i? and dyd-n-q that in both Epistle and Gospel 
dominate everything, and in most of the (ten) places in Eph. in 
which ayd-n-T] occurs the thought is Johannine, as in i. 4, ii. 4. 
Christ is 6 rjyaTnfjfiivo^ (i. 6), the absolute object of Divine love, as 
in John iii. 35, x. 17, xv. 9, and especially xvii. 23, 24, 26. The 
words fjydirr]crd<i /xe irpb KarafSoXrjs Kocrp.ov in xvii. 24 particularly 

1 Compare also Eph. i. 17, Rev. xix. 10; Eph. i. 8, Rev. xiii. 18; Eph. 
ii. 13, Rev. v. 9; Eph. iii. 9, Rev. iv. II, x. 6; Eph. iii. 18, Rev. xi. I, 
xxi. 15-17 ; Eph. v. 32, Rev. i. 20. 


are in touch both with ?)yu7r?7yu.€i'os in i. 6, and with irpb Ka.Ta(3o\r)z 
koct/jlov in i. 4. The work of redemption is in John viewed especially 
as one of ayid'Ceir (xvii. 17, 19); so also Eph. v. 26. This dyia£eu/ 
is accomplished by Christ Ka.6api.cras . . . iv py/xaTi, to which 
corresponds Ka6apbs 81a tov Xoyov, John xv. 3. Moreover, the 
effect produced on those who are sanctified is described as a 
quickening of the dead (John v. 21, 25, 28; Eph. ii. 5, 6). The 
contrast between the light which Christ brings and the opposing 
power of darkness is expressed in both with striking similarity. 

Eph. v. John. 

8. (is TiKva. (piorbs irepiiraTeiTe. xii. 35. irepnra.Te'iTe els rb <pu% <?X er€ - 

11. fxoXKov ok Kal i\£yx eTe {ra ipya iii. 20. iras yap 6 (pav\a irpaaawv 

tov <tk6tovs). fiiffel rb (puis Kal ovk kpxerai irpbs rb 

(puis 'iva fxr) kXeyxOrj to. Zpya avrov' 

13. to. 8k wavra fkeyxbfJ-evo- virb tov iii. 21. 6 8k votuiv ttjv a\r]$ei.a.v 

(pwrbs (pavepovrai' tt3.v yap rb (pavepov- ipx^rai. irpbs rb (puis 'Iva (pavepudy 

aevov (puis iari.. avrov to. Hpya. 

Here what comes close together in Eph. appears in the Gospel 
of John in two separate places. The same thing occurs with Eph. 
iv. 8-10 compared with John iii. 31, vii. 39. Indeed, the parallels 
begin with Eph. iv. 7, 77 X^P' 5 Kara, rb fxerpov tt)s Swpeas tov Xptoroi). 
In the Gospel the one exception in which the Spirit is given ovk Ik 
fiirpov is expressed in iii. 34 in a form which becomes intelligible 
only by presupposing the general statement in Eph. " to each of 
us," etc. The expressions, too, in Eph. iv. 9, 10, and John iii. 13, 
suggest a literary dependence. Eph. : to Se avefir) ri lo-nv el fx-y on 

Kal KaTefir) ... 6 Kara/Sas auros icrTtv Kal 6 ava/3a<; VTrepdvw 7ravTwv 
tw ovpavijiv. 

John : ovSets avaftefirjKev cts tov oipavbv el fxr] 6 eK tov ovpavov 
Kara/ias. Here again, says Holtzmann, the passage in the Gospel 
becomes quite clear only on supposition of a reminiscence. 

The correspondence between Eph. and the Johannine writings 
is sufficiently accounted for by the supposition that " St. John read 
and valued St. Paul's writings," as Salmon remarks. This appears 
strongly confirmed by certain correspondences between the Apoca- 
lypse and the Ep. to the Colossians (see Introd. to Col.). 

Pastoral Epistles. — It is not necessary to dwell on the coinci- 
dences with the Pastoral Epistles, since, whether these are accepted 
as genuine or not, it cannot be imagined that the writer of Eph. 
borrowed from them. In fact, no one who questions Eph. accepts 
the Pastorals. 


The Epistle was written while St. Paul was a prisoner, iii. 1, 
iv. t, vi. 20. From the mention of Tychicus as the bearer of it, 


vi. 2 1 compared with Col. iv. 7 and Philemon 1 3, we may conclude 
that these three Epistles were written at the same time. Most com- 
mentators have supposed that they were written from Rome, but 
some moderns have advocated the claims of Caesarea (Acts 
xxiii. 35, xxiv. 27). The following reasons are adduced in favour 
of this view by Meyer. First, that it is more likely that the 
fugitive slave Onesimus would make his way from Colossae to 
Caesarea than by a long sea voyage to Rome. Wieseler's reply is 
sufficient, namely, that he would be safer from the pursuit of the 
fugitivarii in the great city. St. Paul, too, seems to have been 
under stricter guard at Caesarea, where only "his own" were 
allowed to attend him (Acts xxiv. 23), than at Rome, where he 
lived in his own hired house and received all that came to him. 
As to the circumstances of Onesimus' flight we know nothing. 
Secondly, if the Epistles were sent from Rome, Tychicus and his 
companion Onesimus would have arrived at Ephesus first, and we 
might therefore expect that, with Tychicus, Onesimus would be men- 
tioned, in order to ensure him a kindly reception. This argument 
falls to the ground if the Ep. was not written to Ephesus. 
v Thirdly, he argues from Eph. vi. 21, Iva. Se dSrjTe kou v/teis, that 
before Tychicus would arrive at Ephesus he would have previously 
fulfilled to others the commission here mentioned. But this is 
really to suppose that the readers of the Epistle had previously 
heard of the message to the Colossians. The meaning of Kal 
v/ACLs is quite different (see note). Fourthly, it is argued that in 
Philem. 22 Paul asks Philemon to prepare him a lodging, and that 
soon (afia 8k /cat). This presupposes, says Meyer, that his place of 
imprisonment was nearer to Colossae than Rome, and, which is 
the main point, that Paul intended on his expected release to go 
direct to Phrygia ; whereas from Phil. ii. 24 we see that he intended 
to proceed to Macedonia after his liberation (not to Spain, as he 
had at first thought of doing, Rom. xv. 24). And Weiss thinks 
this decisive. But he might well take Philippi on his way to 
Colossae, Philippi being on the great high road between Europe 
and Asia (Lightfoot, Philippians, p. 48 f.). On the other hand, as 
Mangold observes (Bleek, Einl. p. 507), the desire to visit Rome 
lay so near the apostle's heart during his imprisonment in Caesarea 
(Acts xxiii. n), that he would not think of making a journey thence 
to Phrygia for which he would order a lodging, even if Phrygia is 
looked on only as a station on the way to Rome. But the 
expression in Philem. implies more than a mere passing through. 
The fact is, however, that the argument treats the request too 
much in the light of a business arrangement instead of a friendly 
suggestion. When St. Paul says, " I hope that through your 
prayers I may be granted to you," without even adding "soon," it 
is clear that his hope was not definitely for a speedy release. Had 


it been so, he would doubtless have alluded to it in the Ep. to the 
Colossians. Jerome suggests the true explanation, viz. that he 
spoke " dispensatorie ut dum eum expectat Philemon ad se esse 
venturum, magis faciat quod rogatus est." As Hort puts it : " It 
is but a playful way of saying to Philemon, ' Remember that I 
mean to come and see with my own eyes whether you have really 
treated your Christian slave as I have been exhorting you ' ; and 
then giving the thought a serious turn by assuring him that, 
' coming is no mere jest, for he does indeed hope some day to be 
set free through their prayers, and then he will haste to visit 
them.' w 

Another argument has been founded on the absence from Col. u 
of any reference to the earthquakes which visited the cities of the 
Lycus about this time. Under the year 60 (which includes the 
last part of the Caesarean imprisonment) Tacitus mentions an 
earthquake which destroyed Laodicea {Ann. xiv. 27). Four years 
later Eusebius' Chronicle mentions the destruction of Laodicea, 
Hierapolis, and Colossae by an earthquake {01. 210). It is not 
certain that these notices refer to the same event, but, even 
granting that they do, there is good reason to believe that 
Eusebius is more likely to be right in the date than Tacitus. The 
latter appears to be in error about the date of another earthquake 
Df this reign (Schiller, Nero, 160, 172, referred to by Hort), whereas 
Eusebius appears to have followed unusually good authorities 
4bout these earthquakes ; for in the case of the great earthquake 
in the reign of Tiberius, he adds Ephesus to the list of ruined 
cities mentioned by Tacitus and Pliny ; and a monument at Naples 
proves his correctness. If Eusebius is right as to the date of the 
earthquake, it would be later than the Epistle. Or, again, if the 
earthquakes in question are not the same, there is no evidence that 
the earlier extended as far as Colossae. 

Lightfoot, in his essay on the " Order of the Epistles of the 
Captivity" {Comm. on Philippians), argues strongly from language 
and style that the Epistle to the Philippians preceded these three. 
If so, and if, as is generally believed, that Epistle was written from 
Rome, we have in this a further proof of the Roman origin of 
Ephesians and the other two. 


List of u.tto.£ Xeyo/xeva in the Epistle to the Ephesians. 

a#eos, ai(TXp6rr]<;, al^jxaXaiTeveiv (but Text. Rec. in 2 Tim. iii. 6), 
avaveou), avoids, aivaXyexv, acro<£os, /3e'Aos, iKTpe<fxo, cAa^icrrorfpo?, 
everts, e^tcr^vetv, iiri&vetv, lin^ava-KUv, erot/xacria, €woia (Text. Rec. 


has it in I Cor. vii. 3), cvrpaireXia, 6 ^ya7rr?peYos (of Christ), 8vpe6s, 
KaTapTio-pds, KartoTepos, nXrjpovv, KXvb(oVL^a9at, /coo-poKparajp, Kpvcpfj, 
Kv/3eia, paKpo;y/)dvios, pcyc^os, p.e#oSeia, ficcroroL^ov, punpoXoyta, TraXr], 
Trapopy '107x05, 7roAu7ro1.KiA.09, 7rpoeA7r<,£€U', irpoo-KapreprjaLS, puns, crvp.- 
p/roYO?, crvp.Tro\iTri<;, cwappoAoyeiv, cruvoLKooopeLv, o-ixro~(opos. 

Words found elsewhere, but not in St. Paul. 

The following words are found elsewhere in the N.T., but not 
in St. Paul : — ayvoia (Acts, 1 Pet.), aypvirveiv (Mark, Luke, Heb.), 

aKpoy wiatos (i Pet.), dp.<porepoi, dvcp.09, dvievai (Acts, Heb.), a7ras, 
a7r€iA.T7 (Acts), e£o-7rAayxros (i Pet.), p-a/cpaV, dpyi£ecr#ai, 60-10x779 
(Luke), oa-^ws, 7ravo7rAia (Luke), irdpoiKO 1 ; (Acts, I Pet.), Trcpt^wv- 

vu'vat, irXa.To<; (Apoc), iroip.y]v ( = pastor, only 1 Pet., which also has 
a.pyiTroipJ)v), 7roAiT£ta (Acts), o-a7rpds, <rmXo<;, crvyKaOt^ttv (Luke, but 
intrans.), o-wrr/piov (Luke, Acts), TjSwp, VTroheivOaL, v\j/o<;, </jpaypo9, 
<pp6vq<jL% (Luke), xapirovv (Luke), xeipo7roi77TOS. 

Holtzmann adds the following, which occur in the Pastorals, 
assuming, namely, that they are not genuine : — ai^paAwrtueiv 
(2 Tim. Rec), dXvais (2 Tim.), aTrarav (1 Tim.), dcrwTta (Tit., 1 Pet. 
only), 8td/3oAos(i and 2 Tim. and Tit.), eiayyeAto-r^s (Acts, 2 Tim. 
only), 7rcuSaa (2 Tim.), ripav (1 Tim.). 

Words common to the Epistles to the Ephesians and the Colossians, 
but not found elsewhere in JV. T. 

avOpttiTrdptcTKos, dtpy, aTTOKaraXXdcrcreiv, d.7raAAoTpioiJo-#ai, au£eu/, 
av£r]<Ti<;, ocpOaX/xoSovXeta, pi£ow, crv^utOTTOLeLV, (rvp./3iJ3d£eiv. 
Add the expression Ik rpvxrjs. 

Words which are common to Ephesians and the Pauline Epistles 
{excluding the Pastorals), but which are not found in other 
N.T. writers. 

aya0wcrvv7), aX-qOtvuv, di/cfi^vtaoros, €7ri^opr/yta, tvvoia (i Cor. 

vii. 3 Text. Rec, but not in the best texts), euwoYa, 6dX-7rf.Lv, 

<cdp7rr€iv, 7repiKe<£a.Aata, 7rAeoj/eKT7i9, 7rotV/pa, 7rpeo-/?eueii', TrpoeroL- 
f/.d£eiv, Trpoaaywyrj, 7rpoTi#€o"0ai, vlode<ria., {nrepfidXXeiv, {nrepeKTrepur- 


Ch. i. 1, 2. Salutation. 

3-8. Praise to God for the blessings of salvation. We were 
chosen in Christ as the recipients of these blessings before the 
Creation, and the object of this was that we should be holy and 


blameless, being admitted to the adoption of sons through Christ, 
in whom we received redemption. 

9-1 1. God hath made known to us His purpose to sum up 
all things, whether in heaven or on earth, in Christ. 

12-14. We Jews had even in former times been promised the 
Christ, and had fixed our hopes on Him ; but ye Gentiles have also 
received the same blessings, and have been sealed with the Holy 
Spirit as an earnest of the inheritance. 

15-19. Therefore having heard of your faith I always thank 
God for you, and pray that ye may attain the knowledge of the 
hope to which ye are called, the glory of your inheritance, and the 
greatness of the power of God, who gives this inheritance. 

20—23. A striking example of this power was shown in the 
raising of Christ from the dead, who has now been set above all 
authorities and powers, by whatever name they may be . called, 
whether earthly or heavenly, whether belonging to this world or to 
the next. To the Church, however, He stands in a closer relation, 
being the Head to which the Church is related as His Body. 

ii. 1-10. A further instance of His power is that when we 
were dead through our sins He gave us life and made us partakers 
of the resurrection of Christ, and of His exaltation. This was not 
for any merit of our own, but was the undeserved gift of God, who 
loved us even when we were dead through our sins. But although 
our salvation was thus not of works but of grace, our new creation 
had good works in view as its result. 

11-22. Ye Gentiles had formerly no share in the covenants 
of promise, but were aliens from the citizenship of Israel. Now, 
however, Christ, by His death, has done away with the barrier 
between you and the true Israel, and has reconciled both to God. 
So that equally with the Jews, and on the same terms, ye have 
access to the Father. All alike form part of the one holy temple 
in which God dwells. 

iii. 1-9. This truth that the Gentiles are equally with the 
Jews heirs of the inheritance, members of the body and partakers 
of the promise, was hidden from former generations, but has now 
been revealed to the apostles and prophets ; and to me, though 
unworthy, has been given the special privilege of preaching Christ 
to the Gentiles, and of making known to all men this mystery. 

10-13. Hereby God designs that even the angelic powers 
may learn through the Church to know the varied wisdom of God 
exemplified in His eternal purpose in Christ. 

14-19. Prayer that they may be given inward spiritual 
strength ; that Christ may dwell in them through faith ; and that 
being themselves well grounded in love they may learn to know 
the love of Christ, although, properly speaking, it surpasses know- 


20, 21. Doxology suggested by the thought of the great things 
which have been prayed for. 

iv. 1-3. Exhortation to live a life corresponding to their calling, 
in lowliness, patience, love, and unity. 

4-1 1. Essential unity of the Church as a spiritual organism, 
inspired by one Spirit, acknowledging one Master, into whose 
name they are all baptized, and all being children of the same 
Divine Father. Within this unity a diversity of gifts and offices is 
to be recognised. 

12-16. The object of all is to make the saints perfect in unity 
of faith and maturity of knowledge, so that they may be secured 
against the changing winds of false doctrine, and that the whole 
body, deriving its supply of nourishment from the Head, even 
Christ, may grow up and be perfected in love. 

17-24. Admonition that remembering the blessings of which 
they have been made partakers, they should put off their former 
life, their old man, and put on the new man. 

25-31. Exhortations against special sins, falsehood, anger, theft, 
idleness, foul speaking, malice, etc. 

32-v. 2. Exhortation to take the love of God in Christ as a 
pattern for imitation, especially in their forgiveness of one another. 

3-14. Special warning against sins of uncleanness. 

15-21. More general exhortation to regulate their conduct 
with wisdom, to make good use of opportunities, and, instead of 
indulging in riotous pleasure, to express their joy and thankfulness 
in spiritual songs. 

22-33. Special injunctions to husbands and wives, illustrated 
by the relation of Christ to the Church, which is compared to that 
of the husband to the wife, so that as the Church is subject to 
Christ, so should the wife be to her husband ; and, on the other 
hand, as Christ loved the Church even to the point of giving Him- 
self up for it, so should the husband love his wife. There is, 
indeed, one important point of difference, namely, that Christ is 
the Saviour of the Church of which He is the Head. 

vi. 1-9. Special injunction to children and fathers, slaves and 
masters ; slaves to remember that they are doing service to Christ, 
masters that they also have a Master before whom master and 
slave are alike. 

10-12. Exhortation to arm themselves with the whole armour 
of God in preparation for the conflict with the spiritual powers 
which are opposed to them. 

13-18. Detailed specification of the parts of the spiritual armour. 

19, 20. Request for their prayers for himself, that he may have 
freedom of speech to preach the mystery of the gospel. 

21-24. Personal commendation of his messenger Tychicus, 
and final benediction. 



Commentaries on the entire New Testament are not noticed 
here. For the older works, the lists in the English translation of 
Meyer, and in M'Clintock and Strong's Cyclopaedia, have been 

Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries. 

Althofer (Christ.), Animadversiones, etc. Alt. 1641. 

Annotationes in V.T. et in Ep. ad Ephesios (auctore incerto). 
Cantab. 1653; Amst. 1703. 

Battus (Bartholomaeus), Commetitarius in Epistolam ad 
Ephesios. Gryphisw. 161 9. 

Bayne or Baynes (Paul), Commentary on the Ep. to the 
Ephesians. Lond. 1643. 

Binemann, Expositio. Lond. 1581. 

Bodius or Boyd (Robert), In Ep. ad Ephesios Praelectiones. 
Lond. 1652. 

Bucer (Martin), Praelectiones in Ep. ad Ephesios (posthumous ; 
ed. by Im. Tremellius). Basil, 1562. 

Bugenhagen (Joh.), Adnotatt. in Epp. ad Gal. Eph. Phil. Col. 
etc. Basil, 1527. 

Calixtus (G.), Expositio litt. in. Epp. ad Eph. Col. etc. 
Helmst. 1664-66. 

Cocceius (Joh.), S. Apost. Pauli Ep. ad Ephesios cum Comm. 
Lugd. Bat. 1667. 

Crocius (Joh.), Comment, in Ep. ad Ephesios. Cassellis, 1642. 

Crellius (Joh.), Comment, et Paraphrasis in Ep. ad Ephesios. 
Eleutherop. 1656. 

Du Bose (Pierre Th.), Sermons sur PEpttre de St. Paul aux 
Ephesiens (chs. i.-iii. only). 3 torn. Rotterd. 1699. 

Ferguson (Jas.), A brief Exposition of the Epp. of Paul to 
the Gal. and Eph. London, 1659. 

Goodwin (Thos.), Exposition, etc. Lond. 1681. Condensed, 
Lond. 1842. Works: Edinb. 1861. 

Hanneken, Explicatio, etc. Marp. 1631 ; Lips. 17 18, al. 

Heminge or Hemmingius, Comment, in omnes Epp. Apostol- 
orum, etc. Argent, 1586. 

Lagus (Daniel), Commentatio quadripertita super Ep. ad 
Ephesios. Gryphisw. 1664. 

Luther (Martin), Die Ep. an die Epheser ausgelegt ; aus seinem 
Schriften herausgegeben von Chr. G. Eberle. Stuttg. 1878. 

Mayer or Major (Georg), Enarratio Ep. Pauli scriptae ad 
Ephesios. Vitemb. 1552. 

Meelfuhrer, Commentaries. Norimb. 1628. 


Megander, Commentarius. Basil, 1534. 

Nailant, Enarrationes. Ven. 1554; Lond. 1570. 

Olevianus (Gaspar), Notae ex [ejus] Concionibus, etc. Her- 
bosnae, 1588. 

Ridley (Launcelot), Comm. on Ephesians. Lond. 1540. 
Republ. in Legh Richmond's Selections of the Reformers, etc. 
Lond. 18 1 7. 

Rollock (Robert), In Ep. Pauli ad Ephesios Commentarius. 
Edinb. 1590. 

Schmid (Sebastian), Paraphrasis super Ep. ad Ephesios. 
Strassb. 1684. 

Steuart (Peter), Comment, in Ep. ad Ephesios. Ingolstad. 

x 593- 

Tarnovius, Commentarius. Rost. 1636. 

Wandalin, Paraphrasis. Slesw. 1650. 

Weinrich, Explicatio. Lips. 1613. 

Vellerus or Weller (Hieron.), Comment, in Ep. ad Ephesios. 
Noriberg. 1550. 

Woodhead (Abraham), Allestry (Rich), and Walker 
(Obadiah), Paraphrase and Annot. on all the Epistles of St. Paul. 
Oxford, 1682, etc.; republ. Oxford, 1852. 

Zanchius (Hieron.), Comm. in Ep. ad Ephesios. Neostad. 

Eighteenth Century. 

Baumgarten (Sigmund Jakob), Auslegung der Briefe Pauli an 

die Galater, Epheser, Philip. Col. Philemon u. Thess. Halle, 1767. 

Chandler (Sam.), Paraphrase and Notes on the Epp. of St. 

Paul to the Gal. and Eph. (with Comm. on Thess.). London, 


Cramer (Joh. Andr.), JVeue Uebersetzung des Briefs an die 

Epheser, nebst einer Auslegung desselben. Hamb. 1782. 

Dinant (Petrus), De Brief aan die van Efeze verklaart en toege- 
past. Rotterd. 171 1. (In Latin), Commentarii, etc. Rotterd. 
1 721, al. 

Esmarch (H. P. C), Brief an die Epheser ubersetzt. Altona, 


Fend, Erlauterungen. (s.l.) 1727. 

Gerbaden, Geopent Door. Traj. ad Rhen. 1707. 

Gude (Gottlob Friedr.), Griindliche Erlaiiterung des . . . Briefes 
an die Epheser. Lauban, 1735. 

Hazevoet, Verklaar. Leyden, 17 18. 

Krause (Friedr. Aug. Wilh.), Der Brief an die Epheser Uber- 
setzt u. mit Amnerkungen begleitet. Frankf. a M. 1789. 

Locke (John), Paraphrase and Notes on the Epp. of St. Paul 
to the Gal. Cor. Rom. Eph. London, 1707, al. 


Moldenhauer, Uebersetzung. Hamb. 1773. 

Michaelis (Joh. Dav.), Paraphrase u. Anmerkungen iiber die 
Briefe Pauli an die Galater, Eph. Phil. Col. Bremen u. Gotting. 
1750, 1769. 

Morus (S. F. N.), Acroases in Epp. Paulinas ad Gala/as et 
Ephesios. Leipz. 1795. 

Muller, Erklarung. Heidelb. 1793. 

Piconio (Bernardinus a, i.e. Bemardin de Picquigny), Epis- 
tolorum B. Pauli Apost. Triplex Expositio. Paris, 1703 ; Vesont. 
et Paris, 1853. 

Popp (G. C), Uebersetzung u. Erklarung der drei ersten Kapitel 
des Briefs an die Epheser. Rostock, 1799. 

Roell (Herm. Alex.), Commentarius in priticipium Ep. ad 
Ephesios. Traj. ad Rhen. 17 15. Comm. pars altera cum brevi 
Ep. ad Col. exegesis; ed. D. A. Roell. Traj. ad Rhen. 1731. 

Royaards (Albertus), Paulus' Brief aan de Ephesen schrift- 
matig verklaart. 3 deelen. Amsterd. 1735-38. 

Schmid (Sebastian), Paraphrasis super Ep. ad Ephesios. 
Strassb. 1684, al. 

Schnappinger (Bonif. Martin W.), Brief an die Epheser 
erklart. Heidelb. 1793. 

Schutze (Theodore Joh. Abr.), Comm. in Ep. Pauli ad 
Ephesios. Leipz. 1778. 

Spener (Philip Jak.), Erklarung der Episteln an die Epheser 
u. Colosser. Halae, 1706, al. 

Van Til (Solomon), Comm. in quatuor Pauli Epp. nempe 
priore7n ad Cor. Eph. Phil, ac Coloss. Amstel. 1726. 

Zachariae (Gotthilf Trangott), Paraphrastische Erklarung der 
Briefe Pauli an die Gal. Eph. Phil. Col. u. Thess. Gotting. 1 77 1, 

Nineteenth Century. 

Barry (Alfred, Bishop), " Commentary on Ephesians and 
Colossians" (Ellicott's New Test. Comm. for English Readers). 

Baumgarten-Crusius (L. F. O.), Comme?it. iiber d. Briefe 
Pauli an die Eph. u. Kol. Jena, 1847. 

Beet (J. A.), Comme?itary on the Epistles to the Ephesians, 
Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon. London, 1890. 

Beck (J. T.), Erklarung des Br. Pauli an die Epheser. 
Giiterslob, 1891. 

Blaikie (W. G.), "Ephesians, Exposition and Homiletics" 
{Pulpit Commentary). London, 1886. 

Bleek (Friedr.), Vorlesungen iiber die Briefe an d. Kol. d. 
Philemon und d. Epheser. Berlin, 1865. 

Braune (Karl) in Lange's Bibelwerk, 1867 and 1875. Trans 
lated by M. B. Riddle. New York, 1870. 


Dale (R. W.), Epistle to the Ephesians ; its Doctrine and 
Ethics. 3rd ed. 1884. 

Davies (J. Llewelyn), The Epistle to the Ephesians, Colossians, 
and Philemon. 2nd ed. London, 1884. 

Eadie (John), Commentary on the Greek Text of the Epistle of 
Paul to the Ephesians. 3rd ed. Edinb. 1883. 

Ellicott (C. J., Bishop of Gloucester and Bristol), Critical 
and Grammatical Commentary on Ephesians, with a Revised 
Translation. London, 1855, etc. (many editions). 

Ewald (G. H. A.), Die Sendschreiben des Ap. P. fibers, und 
erklart. Gottingen, 1856. 

Ditto, Sieben Se?idschreiben des JV. B. Gottingen, 1870. 

Findlay (G. G.), " Ephesians," in the Expositor's Bible. 1892. 

Flatt (J. F. v.), Vorlesungen uber d. Br. an die Gal. u. die 
Epheser. Tubingen, 1828. 

Graham (Wm.), Lectures, etc. Lond. [1870]. 

Harless, Commentar uber den Brief Pauli an die Epheser. 
2 Aufl. Stuttgart, 1858. 

Hodge (Chas.), Comm. on Ep. to the Ephesians. New York, 
1856, al. 

V. Hofmann (J. Chr. K.), Der Brief Pauli an die Epheser, 
Nordlingen, 1870. 

Holzhausen (F. A.), Der Br. an die Ephsser ubersetzt u. 
erklart. Hannov. 1833. 

Klopper (A.), Der Brief an die Epheser. Gottingen, 1891. 

Kahler, Predigten. Kiel, 1855. 

Lathrop (Joseph), Discourses. Philad. 1864. 

Lightfoot (J. B., Bishop of Durham), " Notes on Epistles of 
St. Paul, from unpublished Commentaries by [him]." London, 
1895. (Contains notes on the first 14 verses only.) 

MacEvilly (John, R.C. Bp. of Gal way), Exposition of the Epistles 
of St. Paul and of the Catholic Epistles. Lond. 1856; Dublin, i860. 

Macpherson (John), Comme?ilary on St. Paul's Epistle to the 
Ephesians. Edinb. 1892. 

M'Ghee (Rob. J.), Expository Lectures on the Ep. to the 
Ephesians. 4th ed. London, 1861. 

Meier (Fr. K.), Commentar uber d. Br. Pauli an d. Epheser. 
Berlin, 1834. 

Meyer (H. A. W.), Kritisch exegetisches Handbuch uber d. 
Pauli an die Epheser. 6te Aufl. Versorgt durch Dr. Woldemar 
Schmidt. Gottingen, 1886. 

Meyrick, " Ephesians," in the Speaker's Commentary. 

Moule (H. C. G.), " The Epistle to the Ephesians," in the 
Cambridge Bibl? for Schools and Colleges. Cambridge, 1895. 

Newland (Henry Garrett), New Catena on St. Paul's Epp., A 
Practical and Exegetical Commentary. Lond. i860. 


Oltramare (Hugues), Comm. sur les Epitres de S. Paul aux 
Coloss. aux Ephes. et a Philemon. 3 torn. Paris, 1891. 

Passavant (Theophilus), Versuch einer praktischen Auslegung 
des Brief es Pauli an die Epheser. Basel, 1836. 

Perceval (A. P.), Lectures, etc. Lond. 1846. 

Pridham (Arthur), Notes, etc. Lond. 1854. 

Pulsford (John), Christ and Bis Seed : Expository Discourses 
on PauPs Ep. to the Ephesians. Lond. 1872. 

Ruckert (Leopold J.), Der Br. Pauli an die Epheser erlautert 
u. Vertheidigt. Leipz. 1834. 

Sadler (M. F.), Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians. London, 

Schenkel (Dan.), " Die Briefe an die Epheser, Philipper, 
Colosser" (ite Aufl. in Lange's Bibelwerk, 1862; 2te Aufl. 1867, 
when Braune's Comm. replaced it in Lange). 

Schmidt (Woldemar). See Meyer. 

Schnedermann (G.), in Strack and Zockler's Kurzgef. Komm. 
Nordlingen, 1888. 

Simcoe (Henry A.), Ep. to Eph. with Texts gathered, etc. 
Lond. 1832. 

Von Soden (H.), " Die Briefe an die Kolosser, Epheser, 
Philemon; die Pastoralbriefe " (in Hand-Commentar zum N.T.; 
bearbeitet von H. T. Holtzmann, R. A. Lipsius, u. a.) 2te Aufl, 
Freiburg i. B., und Leipzig, 1893. 

Stier (Rudolph E.), Die Gemeinde in Christo ; Auslegung des 
Br. an die Epheser. Berlin, 1848, 1849. 

Turner (Samuel Hulbeart), The Ep. to the Ephesians in Greek 
and English, with an Analysis and Exegetical Commentary. New 
York, 1856. 

Weiss (Bernhard), Die Paulinischen Briefe in berichtigten 
Text, mit Kurzer Erlaiiterting. Leipz. 1 896. 

Wohlenberg (G.), " Die Briefe an die Epheser, an die 
Colosser, an Philem. u. an die Philipper ausgelegt (in Strack and 
Zockler's Kurzgef. Comm.). Miinchen, 1895. 

Critical Discussions. 
General works on Introduction are not noticed here. 

Alexander (W. L.), art. " Ephesians " in Kitto's Cyclopaedia 
of Biblical Literature. Lond. 1863. 

Baur (F. C.), Paulus der Apostel Jesu Christi. Tubing. 1845. 
English trans. St. Paul, His Life a?id Work. London, 1873-75. 

Bemmelen (Van), Epp. ad Eph. et Col. collatae. Lugd. Bat. 

Haenlein, De lectoribus Ep. ad Ephes ios. Erlang. 1797. 


Honig (W.), " Ueber das Verhaltniss des Briefes an die Epheser 
zum Br. an die Kolosser," in Hilgenfeld's Zeitschrift. 1872. 

Holtzmann (H. J.), Kritik der Epheser- und Kolosser-briefe. 

Hilgenfeld (Adolf), Review of the preceding, in his Zeit- 
schrift, 1873, p. 188. 

Hort (F. J. A.), Prolegomena to St. PauPs Epistle to the 
Romans and the Ephesians. (Posthumous.) Lond. 1895. 

Huth, "Ep. ad Laod. in encycl. ad Eph." Erlangen, 1751. 

Kiene (Adolf), " Der Epheserbrief ein Sendschreiben ... an 
die Heidenchristen der Sieben (?) Kleinasiat. Gemeinden," etc. 
Studien u. Kritiken, 1869, p. 285. 

Koster, De echtheid van de brieven aan de Kol. en aan de Eph. 
Utrecht, 1877. 

Kostlin (J.), Der Lehrbegriff des Evang. u. der verwandten 
N.T. Lehrbegriffe. Berlin, 1843. 

Lightfoot (J. B., Bishop of Durham), " Destination of the 
Epistle to the Ephesians" in Biblical Essays. (Posthumous.) 
London, 1893. 

Lunemann, De Ep. ad Ephesios authentia. Gotting. 1842. 

Milligan (W.), art. " Ephesians, Epistle to," in Encyclopaedia 
Britannica. 9th ed. 

Montet (L.), Introd. in Ep. ad Coloss. Mont. 1841. 

Robertson (Arch.), art. "Ephesians, Epistle to," in Smith's 
Dictionary of the Bible. 2nd ed. Lond. 1893. 

Rabiger (J. Ferd.), De Christologia Paulina contra Baurium 
Commentatio. 1852. 

Schenkel (Dan.), art. "Epheserbrief," in his Bibellexicon. 

Schneckenburger (Matth.), Ueber d. Alter d. judischen 
Proselyten Taitfe, etc. With Appendix, " Ueber d. Irrlehren zu 
Kolossae." 1828. 

Soden (H. v.), " Epheserbrief" in Jahrb. f Prot. Theol. 1887. 


Both Epistles are here taken together. 

The more important readings are discussed in their respective 
places. Here are brought together a few isolated or nearly isolated 
readings of particular MSS., several of which are probably errors 
of the respective copyists. 

N stands alone — 

Eph. i. 18, tt}s K\rjpovofjiLa<i rrj<i So^s for t^? S. tt/s kA. 

li. I, tan-rail' for v/jlwv, 

ii. 4, N* om. iv. 


ii 7, N* omits the whole verse (passing from eV Xpicn-<3 'Itjo-ov 
in ver. 6 to the same words in ver. 7), supplied by N a . 
ii. 10, N*, ®eov for avrov. 
V. 17, X*, <fip6vr)fjt.a for 8e\r]fJLa. 

v. 20 om. rj/xwv. 

Col. ii. 10, X*, T175 o-PXV 1 * eK/cXi/crias for dp^s Ka ^ e£owias. 

ii. 1 8, X*, before dyye'Awr add. p.eAA6Vru)i'. 

iii. 1, 6 ©eos for 6 Xpicn-ds. But the first scribe seems to have 
himself corrected it (Tisch.). 

In the following N is not quite alone : — 

Eph. i. 7, K* €a- X ofiev (exofiev, « c ) = D* Boh. Eth. 

iii. 9, N* om. iv. Expressly attributed to Marcion by Ter- 
tullian (Marc. v. 18), " rapuit haereticus in praepositionem, et ita 
legi fecit: occulti ab aeris deo," etc. So Dial. 870. 

iv. 24, N*, iv ocrioTrjTL /cat hiKaiocrvvg for iv 81/c. k. 6<r. = 

Col. i. 23, KTJpvi Kail CtTTOO-ToAoS (for SldfCOVOs) = P. 

A combines this and the genuine text ; Eth. has Kr)pv$ /cat 
Std/covos ; while Euthal. (cod.) has Std/covos /cat d7roaToAos. 

i. 24, rots iraOr)p.a<riv v/jlwv for tois tt. iiTrep vp.wv ( = L 37*)- 

A alone has — 

Eph. i. 10, Kara tt)v ot/covoptav for eis oik. 

iv. 14, 7771-101 for v^Ti-iot (v precedes). 

iv. 19, e[ts d/cajftapcrtav ttuo-t/s for ets ipyaaiai' d/ca#apo"ias 

vi. 23, cAeos for dydirrj. 

Col. i. 23, KTjpv^ /cat airocrroXo^ /cat Std/coi'os for Std/covos. See 
under X. 

In Eph. i. 3 A* reads tjucis for r/ueTs, with D*. 

In i. 1 1 A agrees with D G in reading eKXyjOiffxev for e/cA?ipa>- 


i. 20, vplv for 77/ = 3Q, 63. 

v. 15, after ovv A adds ade\cf>oi, with N c Vulg. Boh. 

B alone — 

Eph. i. 1 3, ia<ppayia6rj for ia-^tpayta-QyiT^ (tw follows ; the 
copyist's eye passed from r to t). 

i. 21, i£ovcrias Kal dp^rj'S for dp. /cat «'£. 

11. I, £7ri#v/xtdis for duapTtats. 

ii. 5, after 7rapa7rTojp.acnv B adds /cat Tats iiriOvfuais, thus repeat- 
ing the expression of ver. 1 with the erroneous reading. These 
can hardly be regarded otherwise than as serious errors. 

v. 1 7 after Kvptov add r/uwv. 


Col. i. 3 omits Xpio-rov. 

i. 4 omits fjv e^cTt. 

i. it, 12 after ^apSs adds a/xa. 

i. 1 2, Ka\(.<ravTi nal iKavixxravTL for iKavwcravrt, a complete 

ii. 15, after i£ov<rias add koL. 

In the following B is not without support : — 

Eph. i. 3 om. /ecu 7rar7/p = Hil. (semel), Victorinus. But Hil. 
has also (Ms) Trar-^p without 6 ®e6s kou. 

i. 1 8 om. vfjLtov = 17 Arm. 

i. 20, ovpavoZs for iTTovpavCoLs— 71, 213, Hil. Victorin. 

ii. 5 before tois adds «V = Arm (?). 

iii. 3 om. on, with d, Victorin. Ambrosiaster. But G, Goth, 
have Kara. txTroK. yap, which gives some probability to the omission 

of OTL. 

iii. 5 om. dVoo-ToAots, with Ambrosiaster. 

iii. 19, TrXrjpoiBfj for TrXrjpwOrjTt ek, with 17, 73, 116. 

iv. 7, v/jlwv for f]p.u>v = 38, 109, Theodoret. 

vi. 10, Swa/iovcr^e for h'8vvap.ovcr0e — 1 7. 

Col. i. 14, Icrxo/Aev, with Boh. Arab. (A non liquet). 

ii. 23 om. K.a.i before d<£«8ia, with m, Orig. (intp.) Ambrosiaster. 

iii. 15 om. evi = 67 2 Sah. 

iv. 3, 81' ov for fit' o = G (71 has St' ov). 

In D the following may be noted : — 
D alone (E not being reckoned). 
Eph. i. 6 adds 7% before oofr/s. 
i. 16, 7ra.vV0yu.a1 for ttavofxaL (but so Victorinus). 
ii. 15, D*, KaTapTtVas for Karapyr;o-as. (The Latin d has 
" destituens.") 

iii. 12, D*, iv T(3 cA-ev^cpw^vat for iv 7r£7roi#rycrei. 

Col. i. 14, D* om. tyjv acpecriv. 

i. 26, <pavep<i)6ev for icpavepwOr). 

ii. 10, iKK\r)(TLa<; for dp^s *at cfovcn'as (compare N*). 

iv. 6, D*, ^pwv for vp.u>i/. 

In the following it is supported by one or more : — 

Eph. i. 6, D* adds viu> avrov, with G and one cursive, but many 
versions. See note. 

i. 9 om. avrov = G, Goth. Boh. 

i. 12 om. avTov = G. 

ii. 5, D*, Tat? dpapri'ai? for Tots 7rapa7rroj/xacrti/. So appy. Vulg. 
Hier. etc. (G has rfj dp.apTia). 

id. after Xpto-T<S add ov rfj. G has ov. Some MSS. of the Vulg 
have " cujus," with Ambrosiaster. 

iii. 1 after idv&v adds 7rpto-/3cvu} = 10. 


iii. 21, iv X-picTTw 'Irjcrov /ecu 177 eKKXiycria = G, Victorin. Am- 

iv. 29, 7uo-tcws for xpeias = G, 46, some Verss. and FF. 

v. 14, D*, iTnij/avcrei<; rov Xpitrrov, a reading mentioned by 
Chrys. Hier. al. = Ambrosiaster, al. A " Western " reading, WH. 

vi. II, ets for 7rpo's = G. 

Col. i. 21, ttjs 8iavoias v/jlwv for Try Siarota = G. 

i. 22, a.7ro/<aTaAXayei'T€s = G. Goth. Ambrosiaster. 

ii. 1 9, after Ke</>aAr/v add Xptcn-o'v = Syr-Harcl. Arm. 

iii. 11, after eVt add dpo-ev /cat 9tj\v = G. 

iii. 14, €vott;to9 for TeAetoT^ros = G, Ambrosiaster. 

iv. 10, D*, Scfao-tfcu for 8e'£ao-#e = G, Theoph. Ambrosiaster. 

iv. i 2, D*, XpHTTov for ©eoi) (with one cursive). 

iv. 1 3, D*, KOWOV for TVOVOV = G. 

It is to be remembered that D G are independent witnesses 
of a " Western " text. 

From G we take the following : — 

G alone (F not being reckoned). 

Eph. i. 18, Iva oi'Sare for ei's to etSeVat ifias (looks like a trans- 
lation of the Latin "ut sciatis"). 

ii. 2, tovtov for rov before Trvevfiaroi (but Vulg. has "aeris 
hujus "). 

ii. 3 om. kcu i^pets. 

ii. 10, Kvptu) for Xptorw. 

ii. II, 81a tovto fAvrj/xovevovTcs for 810 pviypoveueTe otl ( = Vic- 

ii. 1 5, kolvov for KCLIVOV. 
iii. 8, after avrq add rov ®eov. 
iii. 11, om. T(3 Xp. 'Irjo-ov. 
iii. 1 2, rrjv 7rpoaaya>yr]v ets rr]v Trappr)<Tiav. 
V. 3, cVopa£eVw for ovop.a£e'o-0u). 
V. 5, ets T77V (3ao-i\eiav for eV tt? /3a<riAeta. 

v. 20, vpwv for irdvTwv (Theodoret combines both iwep -rrdvTwv 

Col. i. 6 om. 17s. 

i. 2 2 om. avrov. 

i. 26, after dyt'ots add a.7rocrToAotS. 

i. 29, ev o for ets o. Of course, no MS. but F agrees ; but the 
Latin has " in quo." 

iii. 8, Kara for ra, and add after vpwv, fir] iKiropeveo-dw. Some 
Vss. agree, but in them the preceding word may be the nomina- 
tive, e.g. " Stultiloquium." 

iii. 13, opyrfv for p,o[JL<f>r)v. 

iii. 24, tw Kupto) rj/xwv 'It/ctov Xpiorov u> SouAcvere. 


iv. 9, after to. Ǥe add 7rpaTTo/i.eva. This looks like a translation 
from the Latin " quae hie aguntur," which cannot be cited as 
supporting G, for it is a fitting rendering of to. wSe. 

In the following, G is not without support. (For the coinci- 
dences with D see above.) 

Eph. ii. 6, om. eV X/hcttw 'Irjcrov = Victorin. Hil. 

ii. 12, after e7ra.yyeA.1as add avrwv = Tert. Victorin. Ambrosiaster, 

ib. after Koo-fjuo add tovtw = Victorin. Ambr. Vulg. (some mss.). 

iii. 8, eAa^ticrTa) for eAa^icrroTepa) = 49. 

iii. 9, after alwvwv add xal d-n-6 tujv yevewv = Syr-Harcl. 

iii. 10 om. vw = Vulg. Syr-Pesh. 

iii. 21 om. tov alwvos, with cod. tol. (of Vulg.) Ambrosiaster. 

iv. 15, dXrjOtav Se 7roioiWes for dXrj8evovTe<s 8e= " veritatem 

autem facientes," Vulg. Victorin. Ambrosiaster, Hier. But the 
Latin is probably only an interpretation of dA^euovres, in which 
case the reading of G would have to be regarded as a translation 
of the Latin. Jerome in Quaest. 10 {A/gas.) has "veritatem autem 

iv. 16 om. koit eVepyeiav, with Arm. (Use.) Iren. (interp.) al. 

iv. 23, om. 8e'=Eth. 

Col. i. 24, avawXypw for avTavairXiqpiji = 43, 46, al. 

ii. 15, rrjv a-dpKa for ra.5 dp^a? Kai = Hil. (bis) Novat. (Syr-Pesh. 
and Goth, seem to combine both). CAPKA may have originated 
from CAPXA, but this would not fully explain the change. It is 
more probable that the reading originated in an interpretation of 
d7re/cSi;crd/xej'os, the Syr. and Goth, having had our Greek text, but 
understanding a.Trei<8. to mean "putting off his flesh." Hil. else- 
where has " spolians se carne et principatus et potestates ostentui 
fecit" (204). This interpretation being mistaken by a Greek 
scribe for a various reading, he conformed his text thereto. 

ii. 23, after TaTmivcHppoo-vvri add tov voos = Syr-Harcl. Hil. Am- 
brosiaster. (Goth. Boh. add cordis.) This again looks like a 
rendering of a Latin expression. 

It has to be noted that C is defective from Eph. i. 1, IlauAos to 
tt poo-ay uiyr/v, ii. 18, and from iv. 17, tovto ovv to kou tl al in Phil. i. 22. 

As E is only a copy of D (after correction), it has not been 
thought necessary or useful to cite it amongst the witnesses to 
various readings. Similarly, as F, if not copied from G (as Hort 
thinks), is, at best, an inferior copy of the same exemplar, it has 
not been cited. To cite D E, or F G, or D E F G, is to give the 
reader the trouble of calling to mind on each occasion the known 
relationship of the respective pairs. 


It may not be out of place here to say a word on that much 
misapplied maxim : " The more difficult reading is to be pre- 
ferred " ; a maxim which, pressed to its logical conclusion, would 
oblige us to accept the unintelligible because of its unintelligibility ; 
and which, indeed, is sometimes urged in support of a reading 
which cannot be interpreted without violence. Bengel with his 
usual terseness and precision expressed in four words the true 
maxim of which this is a perversion : " Proclivi scriptioni praestat 
ardua." " Proclivis scriptio " is not a reading easy to understand, 
but one into which the scribe would easily fall ; and " scriptio 
ardua" is that which would come less naturally to him. The 
question is not of the interpreter, but of the scribe. This includes 
the former erroneous maxim so far as it is true ; but it may, and 
often does happen that the "proclivis scriptio" is a "difficilis 
lectio." Bengel's maxim includes a variety of cases which he 
discusses in detail. 





Bohairic. Cited by Tisch. as 
" Coptic," by Tregelles as 
" Memphitic," by WH. as 


It. or Ital. . 


Syr-Harcl. or Hcl. . 

Old Latin. 

The Sahidic or Thebaic ("the." 

The Peshitto Syriac. 
The Har clean Syriac. 

The following represent MSS. of the Vulgate : viz. am. =■ Cod. 
Amiatinus ; fuld. = Cod. Fuldensis ; tol. = Cod. Toletanus. 


. Tischendorf. 


. Tregelles. 


. Westcott and Hort. 


. Alford. 

De W. 

. De Wette. 


. Ellicott. 

W. Schmidt 

. Woldemar Schmidt, Editor of 

Meyer's Comm. on Ephesians. 

Theod. Mops. 

. Theodore of Mopsuestia. 

Other abbreviations will create no difficulty. 






Colossae (or Colassae, see i. 2) was situated in Phrygia, on the 
river Lycus, a tributary to the Maeander. Herodotus speaks of it 
3S 7roA-is /xeydX.1] (vii. 30) ; Xenophon, as 77-0A19 oiKOVfievrj koli evSaiynajv 
Kai peydXr) {Anab. i. 2. 6). Strabo, however (xii. 8), only reckons 
it as a TT-oXLa-jxa. Pliny's mention of it amongst the "oppida 
celeberrima" {H. N. v. 32, 41) is not inconsistent with this. It is 
after enumerating the considerable towns that he speaks of 
" oppida celeberrima, praeter jam dicta," thus introducing along 
with Colossae, other small and decayed places. Eusebius {Chron. 
Olymp. 210. 4) records its destruction (with that of Laodicea and 
Hierapolis) in the tenth year of Nero. Tacitus {Ann. xiv. 27) 
states that Laodicea, " ex illustribus Asiae urbibus," was destroyed 
by an earthquake in the seventh year of Nero. (See Introduction 
to Ephesians.) 

The Church at Colossae was not founded by St. Paul, nor had 
it been visited by him (i. 4, 7-9, ii. 1). These indications in the 
Epistle agree with the narrative in the Acts of the Apostles, which 
represents his journeys as following a route which would not bring 
him to Colossae. He is, indeed, related to have passed through 
Phrygia on his second and third missionary journeys ; but Phrygia 
was a very comprehensive term, and on neither occasion does the 
direction of his route or anything in the context point to this 
somewhat isolated corner of Phrygia. 

In his second missionary journey, after visiting the Churches 
of Pisidia and Lycaonia, he passes through 1-1)1/ Qpvyiav kcu 
Ta\ariKr]v x^P av (Acts xvi. 6), i.e. the Phrygian region of the 



province of Galatia, or the Phrygo-Galatic region. (The njv before 
YaXartKiqv in the Text. Pec. is not genuine.) Thence he travelled 
through Mysia (neglecting it, TrapeXdovres) to Troas. Thus on 
this journey he kept to the east of the valley of the Lycus. On 
his third journey, he founded no new Churches in Asia Minor, 
but confined himself to revisiting and confirming those already 
founded ^Acts xviii. 23). From the Galatic and Phrygian region 
he proceeded to Ephesus by the higher lying and more direct 
route, not the regular trade route down the valleys of the Lycus 
and the Maeander. On this Lightfoot and Ramsay are agreed, 
the former, however, thinking that Paul may have gone as far 
north as Pessinus before leaving Galatia ; the latter (consistently 
with his view of the meaning of " Galatian " in Acts) supposing 
him to have gone directly westward from Antioch to Ephesus. 
Renan supposes him to have traversed the valley of the Lycus, but 
without preaching there, which is hardly consistent with the form 
of expression in ii. 1. The founder of the Church at Colossae 
was apparently Epaphras ; at least it had been taught by him (see 
i. 7, where the correct reading is Ka#ws e/mfore, not ko.#ws ko.1 


The Church appears to have consisted of Gentile converts 
(i. 21, 27, ii. 13) ; certainly there is no hint that any of the readers 
were Jews, and the circumstance that the founder was a Gentile 
Christian would have been unfavourable to the reception of his 
preaching by Jews. But they were clearly exposed to Jewish 
influences, and, in fact, we know that there was an important 
Jewish settlement in the neighbourhood, Antiochus the Great 
having transplanted two thousand Jewish families from Babylonia 
and Mesopotamia into Lydia and Phrygia (Joseph. Antt. xii. 3. 4), 
thus forming a colony which rapidly increased in numbers. See 
Lightfoot, The Churches of the Lycus, in his Introduction. He 
gives reasons for estimating the number of Jewish adult freemen in 
the district of which Laodicea was the capital in B.C. 62 at not 
less than eleven thousand (p. 20). The Colossians were now in 
danger of being misled by certain false teachers, whose doctrines 
we gather from the counter-statements and warnings of the apostle. 
That there was a Judaic element appears from ii. 11, 14, 16. It 
does not appear, indeed, that circumcision was urged upon them 
as a necessity, or even as a means of perfection. There is nothing 
in the Epistle even remotely resembling the energetic protest 
against such teaching which we have in the Epistle to the Galatians. 
The ascetic precepts alluded to in the Epistle were not based on 
the Mosaic law, for St. Paul says they were derived from the 
tradition of men. The law, too, laid down no general precepts 
about drinks (ii. 1 6). These rules seem to have been connected 
with the worship of angels (ii. 16-21). The false teachers claimed 


an exclusive and profound insight into the world of intermediate 
spirits, whose favour it was desirable to obtain, and by means of 
whom new revelations and new spiritual powers might be attained. 
It was with a view to this that the body was to be treated with 

In the three points of exclusiveness, asceticism, and angelology, 
the Colossian heresy shows affinities with Essenism, which, as Light- 
foot remarks, had an affinity with Gnosticism, so that it might be 
called Gnostic Judaism. Historically, indeed, we do not know of 
any Essenism outside Palestine. But there is no need to assume 
an identity of origin of the Colossian heresy and Essenism ; the 
tendencies were not confined to Palestine. And Phrygia provided 
a congenial soil for the growth of such a type of religion. It was 
the home of the worship of Cybele, and Sabazius, and the Ephesian 
Artemis. In philosophy it had produced Thales and Heraclitus. 
The former declared tov Koo-fxov tfjuj/v^ov ko.1 Saifxovwv irX-qpr] (Diog. 
Laert. i. 27). 

The natural phenomena of the region about Hierapolis, 
Laodicea, and Colossae were well calculated to encourage a 
belief in demoniac or angelic powers controlling the elementary 
forces of nature. There was, for example, at Hierapolis (and still 
is) an opening, called the Plutonium, which emitted a vapour 
(sulphuretted hydrogen) fatal to animals which came within its 
range. Strabo relates that the eunuchs employed about the 
temple were able to approach and bend over the opening with 
impunity — holding in their breath {^\P l noo-ov a-vexovras ws im to 
irokv to irvevfjia), yet, as he adds, showing in their faces signs of a 
suffocating feeling. See Svoboda, The Seven Churches of Asia, 
1869, p. 29 sqq. ; Cockerell apud Leake, Journal of a Tour in 
Asia Minor, 1824, p. 342. A comparison of Cockerell and 
Svoboda's experiments shows that, as Lavorde also implies, the 
vapour is not always equally fatal. The region was noted for 

Notwithstanding its affinities with Gnosticism, the Colossian 
heresy must be regarded as belonging to an earlier stage than 
the developed Gnosticism usually understood by that name, even 
earlier, indeed, than Cerinthus. There is, for example, no 
allusion to the aeons of later Gnosticism, nor to the properly 
Gnostic conception of the relation of the demiurgic agency to the 
supreme God. "That relation (says Lightfoot) was represented, 
first, as imperfect appreciation ; next, as entire ignorance ; lastly, 
as direct antagonism. The second and third are the standing 
points of Cerinthus and of the later Gnostic teachers respectively. 
The first was probably the position of the Colossian false teachers. 
The imperfections of the natural world, they would urge, were due 
to the limited capacities of these angels to whom the demiurgic 


work was committed, and to their imperfect sympathy with the 
supreme God ; but, at the same time, they might fitly receive 
worship as mediators between God and man ; and, indeed, 
humanity seemed in its weakness to need the intervention of 
some such beings less remote from itself than the highest heaven." 
Hence the references in the Epistle to the TaireLvofypoo-vv-r] in con- 
nexion with this angel worship. 

St. Paul assures his readers, with an authority which he clearly 
expects them to accept, that the gospel they had learned from 
Epaphras required no such addition as the false teachers pressed 
upon them. He points out to them that they are members of a 
body of which the Head, Christ, was supreme above all these 
angelic powers of, whatever kind. 


There is no certain trace of the Epistle in Clemens Romanus 
or in Hermas. Barnabas, however, has a distinct allusion to Col. 

i. 1 6 in xii. 7, rr]v Sofav tov '1t](JOV, otl iv avrw 7rdvra, koX eis avroV. 

Ignatius, Eph. x. 3, has iSpaioL rrj 7n'<rrei, and so Polycarp, x. 1, 
doubtless from Col. i. 23. Probably also the division into oparol 
Kal dopaTOL, in combination with rd tTrovpdvia, in Ign. Smyrn. vi. 1, 
may be another allusion to i. 16. The connexion also of idolatry 
and covetousness in Polyc. xi. 2 may have been suggested by 
Col. i. 23, 20, iii. 5. Justin, Dial. p. 311 (lxxxv), calls Christ 
7rpa)ToroKos irdcrr]<; ktio-£o)?, after Col. i. 1 5 (cf. TrpwTOTOKov tov 7rdvrwv 
TroirjuaTCtiV, p. 310) ; also p. 326 (xcvi), rrpwroroKOV tov ®€ov ko.1 irpd 
■ndvTOiv twv KTLa-jxdrwv. Considering the frequent use of the Epistle 
to the Ephesians, it is remarkable that the traces of this Epistle 
previous to Irenaeus are so few and uncertain. Its shortness 
seems an inadequate explanation. Probably the true account is 
that, the Epistle being so largely controversial, its use would be less 
familiar to those who had no concern with the heresies with which 
it deals. About its early and uncontroverted reception as the 
work of St. Paul, there is no doubt. Irenaeus, iii. 14. 1, says: 
" Iterum in ea epistola quae est ad Colossenses ait : ' Salutat vos 
Lucas medicus dilectus.'" In the following section he quotes 
Col. i. 21, 22, and, indeed, he cites passages from every chapter."^ 

Clement of Alexandria, Strom, i. 1, says : kclv rrj 717365 K0A00-- 
(ja.€t5 iiTLo-ToXr]' vovOerovures, ypdtftei, tvdvra. avOpuyrrov, k.t.X.. ~ Col. 
i. 28, and again in several other places he cites the Epistle. 

Tertullian also cites passages from each chapter. Origen, 
contra Cels. v. 8, quotes ii. 18, 19, as from St. Paul to the 


Marcion received the Ep. as St. Paul's, and the school of 
Valentinus also recognised it. 

In the Muratorian Canon it has the same place as in our MSS. 
The external evidence for the genuineness is in no wise defective, 
nor was any question raised on the point until Mayerhoff {Der 
Brief an die Koiosser, u.s.w. 1838) contested it on the grounds of 
vocabulary, style, and differences from St. Paul in thought and 
expression ; and, in addition to these, its relation to the Epistle to 
the Ephesians, which he considered to be genuine, and its supposed 
reference to Cerinthus. Many critics followed his lead, including 
Baur, Hilgenfeld, Pfleiderer, etc., rejecting, however, the Epistle to 
the Ephesians also. Ewald, partly followed by Renan, explained 
what seemed un-Pauline in the Epistle by the supposition that 
Timothy wrote it under the apostle's direction, — an hypothesis 
excluded by i. 23, ii. 1, 5. De Wette replied to Mayerhoff 's argu 
ments, rejecting, however, the Epistle to the Ephesians. 

Holtzmann, as we have seen in the Introduction to the latter 
Epistle, regarded the present Epistle as an expansion by an inter- 
polator of a short, genuine Epistle, being led to this conclusion by 
a careful critical examination of certain parallel passages in the two 
Epistles, the result of which was to show conclusively that it was 
impossible to maintain either, with Mayerhoff, the priority in every 
case of Eph., or, with De Wette, that of Col. 1 

As a specimen of his restoration of the original nucleus of the 
latter Epistle, the following may suffice. Ch. i. 9-29 reads as 
follows : — 

Aia tovto kcu ov ira.vop.eda. iirep vp-w irpocrev)(op.evoi Trepnra- 
rrja-ai v/aSs d£tws tov ®eov, os ippvcraro 17/ €k rrj<; efoucrias tov 
ct/cotous kou p.eTecrT-qo~ev eh tt/v ySacriXeiav tov vlov olvtov otl iv avru) 
evooKr]o~ev KaraWd^ai, kcu vp-as iroTe ovtols i)(0pov<; iv tois epyots tois 
■jrovrjpoh, vvv\ Se KaTTjXXdyrjTe iv raJ crw^ian rijs crapKos airov Sia tov 
Oavdrov, etye e-m/xcveTe rrj Tilo-rei eSpatoi kou p.1] p.€TaKLvov/jLevot diro 
tov evayyeXiov ov iye.vop.-qv eya> IlauAos Sta/covos Kara tyjv oiKOVOp.tav 
tov &eov Tifv So8elo-dv p.01 eh vp.d<; 7r\r)pQ)o-ai tov Xoyov tov ®eov, eh 
o kcu kottlw dywvi£6p,evos kcito. ttjv ivepyeiav avrov ttjv ivepyop.evr]v iv 

Of ch. hi. Holtzmann regards as original only vv. 3, 12, 13, 17. 

This is a very ingenious abridgment, and supposes extreme 
ingenuity on the part of the interpolator, who so cleverly dove- 
tailed his own work into St. Paul's that, had Eph. not existed, no 
one would have suspected Col. of being interpolated. It would be 
strange, too, that the interpolated letter should so completely dis- 
place the Pauline original. It would seem, in fact, as if we were 
compelled to suppose it known only to this interpolator " who 

1 For a list of the principal passages compared, see Introduction to the Ep. 
to the Ephesians. 


rescued it from oblivion " (Kritik, p. 305) only to consign it 
thither again. Holtzmann's theory is, as Jiilicher says, too com- 
plicated to be accepted. In such a case, for example, as Col. i. 27 
compared with Eph. i. 9, 10, and iii. 8, 9, 16, 17 ; or, again, Col. 
iii. 12-15 with Eph. iv. 2-4, 32, it is involved in inextricable diffi- 
culties. And as this seems to be generally felt, it is not necessary 
to examine his instances in detail. 

Von Soden, in his article in \hejahrb. /. Protest. Theol. 1875, 
limited the interpolations to i. 15-20, ii. 10, 15, 18 (partly). In his 
Commentary he still further reduces the interpolation to i. i6£, 17, 
i.e. to. iravra to crwecrTrjKe, which he regards as a gloss (Einl. p. 12). 

Against the genuineness is alleged, first, the absence of St. 
Paul's favourite terms and turns of expression, together with the 
occurrence of others which are foreign to the acknowledged 
Epistles. For example, StVato? wuh its derivatives, aTroKaXvij/i<;, 

8oKifxd^€tv, viraKorj, awTrjpia, Kotvwvia, vo/aos, iricrTevew, are absent, 

as well as dpa, 8l6, 8l6tl, while it is noted that ydp occurs only five 
times (or six if it is read in iii. 24), as against thirty-six times in 
Gal. and some three hundred times in the three other great 
Epistles. But these phenomena are not without parallel in other 
Epistles or parts of Epistles of similar length. SiKaioo-vvrj occurs 
in 1 Cor. only once (i. 30), SiVaio? not at all. Both adjective and 
substantive are absent from 1 Thess., as well as the verb, o-wrr/pia 
is not used in 1 Cor. or Gal., while in 2 Cor. o-w£a> occurs but 
once ; aTroKaXvij/Ls is not used in Phil, or 1 Thess., and in 2 Cor. 
only in xii. 1, 7, so that the first eleven chs. are without it. 
7rtcrTevcu' is found in 2 Cor. only in a quotation, iv. 13 ; {manor} not 
in 1 Cor. Gal. Phil. 1 Thess. ; v6p.o<; not in 2 Cor. or Thess. Again, 
as to the conjunctions, dpa does not occur in Phil., while dpa ovv, 
frequent in Rom., is not used in 1 or 2 Cor., and only once in 
Gal. 816 occurs only once in Gal. (iv. 31, where Rec. has dpa), 
and Stem once in 1 Cor., not at all in 2 Cor. ydp is hardly more 
frequent (relatively) in Eph., which Mayerhoff accepted, than in 
Col. Its comparative infrequency in both as compared with Rom. 
and Cor. is clearly due to the more argumentative character of the 
latter Epistles. 

As to the <x7ra£ Xf.y6p.eva, they are not more numerous than was , 
to be expected in an Epistle dealing with novel questions. In 
addition to ten words found only here and in Eph., there are forty- 
eight which do not occur elsewhere in St. Paul. But as Soden 
remarks, Paul had for a considerable time been under the new 
linguistic influence of Rome. Salmon quotes a very pertinent 
remark of Dr. Mahaffy, who compares St. Paul to Xenophon in 
this matter of varying vocabulary. He says : " His (Xenophon's) 
later tracts are full of un-Attic words, picked up from his changing 
surroundings ; and, what is more curious, in each of them there 


are many words only used by him once ; so that on the ground ot 
variation in diction each single book might be, and, indeed, has 
been, rejected as non-Xenophontic. This variation not only applies 
to words which might not be required again, but to such terms as 
evav&pia (Comm. Hi. 3. 12), varied to evifrv^ia (Ven. 10. 2l), evToXfiia 
(quoted by Stobaeus), dvSpeioT^s {Anab. vi. 5. 14), all used only 
once. Every page in Sauppe's Lexilogus Xen. bristles with words 
only once used in this way. Now, of classical writers, Xenophon 
is perhaps (except Herodotus) the only man whose life corre- 
sponded to St. Paul's in its roving habits, which would bring him 
into contact with the spoken Greek of varying societies." 

The long sentences, such as i. 9-20, ii. 8-12, are not without 
analogy in other Epistles, e.g. Rom. i. 1-7, ii. 5-10, 14- 16, 
iii. 23-26; Gal. ii. 3-5, 6-9; Phil. iii. 8-1 1. The series of 
relatives in i. 13-22 and ii. 10-12 is remarkable, but not without 
parallel ; and in both cases the connexion shows that what is 
added in the relative clauses, though evident, had been overlooked 
by the heretical teachers. It was therefore properly connected by 
a relative. Anacolutha are particularly frequent in St. Paul. There 
are also many turns of expression which are strikingly Pauline, as : 
ii. 4, 8, 17, 18, 23, iii. 14, iv. 6, 17. In comparing the general 
tone of the Epistle with that of the other Epistles, it must be 
observed that St. Paul had not here to contend with any opposition 
directed against him or his teaching, nor had he to defend himself 
against objections, but was simply called on to express his judgment 
on the novel additions to the gospel teaching which were being 
pressed on the Colossians. This new teaching had not yet gained 
acceptance or led to factious divisions amongst them. Nor has he 
any longer occasion to argue that Gentiles are admitted to the 
Christian Church on equal terms with Jews ; this question is 
no longer agitated here ; St. Paul's own solution of the problem is 
assumed. Nor was he concerned here with the conditions of 
salvation, whether by faith or by the works of the law. If he does 
not adduce proof from the O.T., neither does he do this in Phil., 
where there might seem to be more occasion for doing so. 

The greater stress laid here on knowledge and wisdom is 
explained by the fact that the false teachers were endeavouring 
to dazzle their hearers by a show of profound wisdom to which the 
apostle opposes the true wisdom. Hence, also, his frequent use 
of such words as p.v(TTrjpiov, airoKpxnrTtiv, airoKpvcpos, yvwpt(,€ii', 

Mayerhoff notes the hunting after synonyms as an un-Pauline 
characteristic of this Epistle. Of his many examples it may suffice 
to give a few specimens : i. 6, Kapno(popovp.evov ko.1 av£av6p.evov ; 
ib. aKoveiv Kal iiriyivuxTKeiv ; 7, crvv8ov\o<; [t^/xwv], Sia/coro? [tou 
XpiaTov] ; 11, VTropLOvr) Kal p.aKpo6vp.La ; 23, TtGepekuDp-eioi «a» 


eSpaiot Kal /xr] fxeraKivovfjucvoL (see Eadie, p. xxvii). Many of the 
so-called synonyms are clearly not so ; and even where they are 
justly so called, the other Epistles supply parallels. See, for 
example, Phil. i. 3, 7, 9, 10, 11, 15, 20, 24, 25. 

An objection to the genuineness of the Epistle, which would be 
serious if well founded, is that the Epistle combats certain errors 
of a Gnostic character which cannot have existed at so early a date. 
It is not enough, however, to show that errors of an analogous 
kind, but more developed, existed in the middle of the second 
century ; it is necessary to show that they could not have existed 
in the time of St. Paul. But we have absolutely no materials 
for forming an opinion on this point, except in the New Testament 
itself. The earliest Gnostic writer of whom we have definite 
information is Cerinthus. 

Indeed, Mayerhoff supposed the writer's polemic to be directed 
against him. But although there is an affinity between the errors 
of Cerinthus and those of the Colossian teachers, a closer examina- 
tion shows that the latter belong to an earlier stage of development. 
There is no trace in the Epistle of the notion of creation by a 
demiurge ignorant of the supreme God, still less of that by one 
opposed to Him (as in the later Gnostics). Nor did the teaching 
of Cerinthus include asceticism. As to the view of Christ held by 
the Colossian false teachers, it was clearly derogatory, as we may 
infer from the emphatic assertions in i. 1 9, ii. 9 ; but the generality 
of the language there used shows that their opinions had not been 
stated with such precision as was the case when St. John wrote his 
Gospel, or, not to assume his authorship, when the Gospel bearing 
his name was written. 

Baur, on the other hand, regards the Epistle to the Colossians 
(as well as that to the Ephesians) as written from an early Gnostic 
point of view, at a time, namely, when Gnostic ideas first coming 
into vogue still appeared to be unobjectionable Christian specula- 
tion. The errors combated were, he thought, those of the 
Ebionites, who maintained circumcision, abstained from animal 
food, observed the Jewish Sabbath, and attached high importance 
to the doctrine of angels and religious worship of them, and, lastly, 
considered Christ to be only one of these : lurCo-dai ws ha twv 

dp^ayye'Awv yuei£ova Se avTtov ovra, avTov Se Kvpitvtiv twv dyye'Awv 
kcu TrdvToiv tS)V oltto toS TravTOKpaTOpos TreTroir}/jLevu)v (Epiph. Haer. 
XXX. 16). 

In which of St. Paul's Epistles, says Baur, do we find to. 
iTTovpdvia classified as they are in Eph. and Col. ? 

The reply is obvious ; the classification of the celestial hierarchy 
which we find in these Epistles is not Paul's at all (as will be shown 
in the exposition), but that of the false teachers. 

In reference, again, to the assertion in Col. and Eph., that 


Christ is the creative principle of everything existing, and therefore 
that to Him is attributed absolute pre-existence, Baur remarks 
that " it is true that we find certain hints of similar views in the 
homologoumena of the apostle, but they are no more than hints, 
the meaning of which is open to question ; while here, on the 
contrary, the absolute premundane existence is the dominating 
the pervading element within which the whole thought of these 
Epistles moves." For the idea that Christ's activity comprehends 
heavenly and earthly things at once and in the same degree, there 
is, he says, no analogy in Paul's writings, but we are here trans- 
ported to a circle of ideas which belongs to a different era, namely, 
the period of Gnosticism (Sf. Paul, Eng. tr. p. 7). The Gnostic 
systems, says Baur, rest on the root idea that all spiritual life which 
has proceeded from the supreme God has to return to its original 
unity, and to be taken back again into the absolute principle, so 
that every discord which has arisen shall be resolved into harmony. 
And so in these Epistles Christ's work is mainly that of restoring, 
bringing back, and making unity. His work is contemplated as 
a mediation and atonement whose effects extend to the whole 

Accepting Holtzmann's caution (p. 296), that when critics 
like Baur and himself speak of Gnostic colouring in the Epistle, 
they do not mean Gnosticism proper, we may reply, first, that 
according to the above statement of Baur, the root idea of 
Gnostic systems includes the emanation of inferior spiritual 
existences from the Supreme ; and this can hardly be separated 
from the idea of the creation of matter by the inferior spirits, 
since it was just to explain the evil of matter that the theory of 
emanations, etc., was devised. Of these ideas there is no trace 
in the Epistle except by way of opposition. The notion of succes- 
sive evolutions from the Divine nature, forming the links of a chain 
which binds the finite to the Infinite, is utterly opposed to the 
teaching of the Epistle; nor is it conceivable as a later development 
of anything that the writer himself says. It is, however, quite 
consistent with the teaching that he condemns. Secondly, the 
idea of reconciliation is wholly different from that of return to 
the unity of the Divine nature of that which has emanated or been 
evolved from it. 

Baur, indeed, admits the possibility that the conception of the 
work of Christ which is exhibited in these Epistles may be 
harmonised with the Pauline Christology and doctrine of atone- 
ment ; yet it is certain, he adds, that with Paul these ideas never 
assume the prominence which they have here. It is a transcen- 
dental region into which Paul looked now and then, but of which 
he had no definite views, and which he never introduced into his 
Epistles from a taste for metaphysical speculation. 


" As even the Christology of these Epistles bears unmistakably 
the impress of Gnosticism," says Baur, " we meet also with other 
Gnostic conceptions"; and he draws attention especially to TrXrjpwfxa. 
The Gnostic irXrjpaijxa is not the Absolute itself, but it is that in 
which the Absolute realises the conception of itself. According to 
the doctrine of the Valentinians, it is the sum of the aeons by 
which the original Divine source is filled. 

Now this, says Baur, is just the conception of the Pleroma 
which we find in both our Epistles ; the only difference being that 
there is no express mention here of a plurality of aeons as the 
complement of the Pleroma, and that not the supreme God Him- 
self, but Christ, is the Pleroma, since only in Christ does the 
self-existent God unfold Himself in the fulness of concrete life. 
He finds a further remarkable agreement with the Valentinians 
in the comparison of the relation of husband to wife with that 
of Christ to the Church, since, according to the Valentinians, 
the aeons were divided into male and female, united in pairs 
called syzygies. Hence he explains how as Christ is the irXrjpwfia, 
so also is the Church — that is to say, she is the -rrX^pw/xa of 
Christ ; since He is the TrXrjpwjxa in the highest sense, she is to 

TrXrjpwjxa tot) to. 7rdvTa iv 7racri TrXrjpov/xevov. 

The latter suggestion scarcely merits a serious refutation. To 
compare the position of Christ as viewed by the writer with that 
of one of the aeons of the Valentinians, is to contradict the 
fundamental thesis of the Epistles, namely, that Christ is exalted 
far above all existences, earthly and heavenly, by whatever name 
they may be called. Equally remote from the writer's thought, 
and irreconcilable with it, is the conception of eKKA^o-ia as an 
aeon co-ordinate with Christ. Indeed, the whole system of 
syzygies or duads was devised as a theory of successive generation. 
Nothing in the remotest degree resembling this appears in the 
Epistles. Throughout both, the relation of Christ to the Church 
is that of the head to the body ; the figure of marriage is 
introduced only incidentally, not with the view of illustrating or 
explaining the union of Christ and the Church by that of man 
and wife, but in order to set forth the love of Christ as the Head, 
for His Body, the Church, as a pattern for the Christian husband ; 
and it is the headship of Christ that is used to illustrate the 
headship of the man — " For we are members of His body." The 
idea of the thing illustrated reacts in the writer's mind on the 
conception of that with which it was compared, and so there grows 
up a new representation of the relation of Christ to the Church. 

As to the word TrXrjpw/xa, so far is the conception in our 
Epistles from being just the same as that of the Valentinians, that 
the difference which Baur himself mentions is a vital one. What 
the writer so emDhatically asserts is that the whole -n-X-^piofxa resides 


in Christ, not a mere fraction of it, not a single Divine power only, 
as the Gnostic use of the word would suggest. That some such 
view as this, of a part only of the TrA^pw/^a residing in Christ, was 
held by the Colossian false teachers, may be fairly inferred from 
the writer's insistence on -nav to 7rA^pa)/xa, k.t.X. It is simple and 
natural, then, to suppose that he purposely employs a term common 
to himself and them in such a way as to combat directly their 
erroneous views. How can such a fact be supposed to indicate 
a Gnostic tendency on the part of the writer ? 

In fact, once it is admitted that the thoughts expressed in this 
Epistle (or that to the Ephesians) are capable of being reconciled 
to those of St. Paul, it is no longer possible to use the (supposed) 
Gnostic colouring as an argument against the genuineness of a 
writing which bears the name of Paul, and which in addition has 
such strong external support. It is true these thoughts have more 
prominence and are more developed here than in the acknow- 
ledged Epistles, but this is fully accounted for by the nature of the 
errors with which the apostle had to contend. The circumstances 
of Rome, Corinth, and Galatia were not such as to call for such an 
exposition as we find here; indeed, in the Epistles to the last two 
Churches, at least, it would have been singularly out of place. It is 
not to a taste for indulging in metaphysical speculation that we are 
to trace its presence here, but to the exigencies of the case. But, 
then, it is said that although St. Paul did now and then look into 
this transcendental region, he had no definite views of it. What 
then ? If the Epistles are genuine, several years had elapsed 
since the writing of the four great Epistles. Was the apostle's 
mind so rigid that we cannot conceive his views becoming more 
developed and more distinct in the interval of five or six years? 
Nothing was more likely to further their development than the 
presence of erroneous teaching. Just as the articles of the 
Church's creed took form only gradually as errors sprang up, so in 
an individual mind, even in that of the apostle, a particular truth 
would be more distinctly recognised and more precisely formulated 
when the opposing error presented itself. 

It may be remarked that Baur found traces of Gnostic thought 
in the Epistle to the Philippians also, the genuineness of which has, 
however, been acknowledged by almost all subsequent critics, 
including Hausrath (who supposes it made up of two Epistles), 
Hilgenfeld, Holtzmann, Pfleiderer, Reuss, Renan, Schenkel. 
Indeed, it may be regarded as practically beyond question. This 
is not without importance for the Epistle to the Colossians, for it 
supplies an answer to the objections to the latter Ep. founded on 
the loftiness of the attributes assigned to Christ. For it contains 
nothing that goes beyond Phil. ii. 6— 1 1. On the other hand, the 
Epistle to the Colossians, as Renan observes, cannot be separated 


from the Epistle to Philemon. The coincidence in some of the 
names mentioned might be explained by the hypothesis that the 
forger of the longer Epistle made use of the shorter. But the 
differences exclude this supposition (see Salmon, Introduction, 
ch. xx.). Col. mentions Jesus, surnamed Justus, an otherwise 
unknown person, in addition to those mentioned in Philem., 
while Philemon is not mentioned at all. Again, while Aristarchus 
and Epaphras are mentioned in both Epp., it is the former that is 
called fellow-prisoner in Col., the latter in Philemon. But there 
is nothing in the Ep. to Philemon to suggest Colossae as the city of 
his residence. We learn his connexion with it only by finding his 
runaway slave Onesimus mentioned in Col. as "one of you." 
Having learned this we observe further that Archippus, who in the 
private Epistle appears as an intimate, perhaps son, of Philemon, is 
mentioned in Col. in such a way as to suggest that he held office 
either there or in Laodicea. Certainly the way in which his name 
is introduced there is as unlike as possible to the contrivance of a 
forger. That Onesimus alone should be mentioned as Paul's 
messenger in the letter to Philemon, but Tychicus with him in the 
public Epistle, is perfectly natural. 

Now the genuineness of the Epistle to Philemon is beyond 
question ; in fact, in the whole range of literature there is no piece 
which bears more unmistakably the stamp of originality and 
genuineness. To quote Renan : " Paul seul, autant qu'il semble, 
a pu Ccrire ce petit chef d'oeuvre." Baur, indeed, felt himself 
compelled to reject it in consequence of its intimate connexion 
with Col. and Eph., and then set himself to confirm his rejection 
by an examination of the diction of the Epistle and of the circum- 
stances supposed. His argument is valuable as a redudio ad 
absurdum of his whole method. 

V. Soden remarks that there is a striking correspondence both 
in language and thought between the Ep. to the Colossians and to 
the only other document which we possess from the apostle's hand 
during his Roman imprisonment, viz. the Ep. to the Philippians 
(as he does not accept Eph.). Thus as to language he compares 
■n-Xiqpovv in Col. three times, in Phil . four times : a-rrXdyxya 
olKTip[i.ov, Col. iii. 12, Phil. ii. i : Aoyos tov ®eov, Col. i. 25, 
Phil. i. 14: 7repiTOfxrj (figurative), Col. ii. 11, Phil. iii. 3: dywv, 

Col. ii. I, Phil. i. 30: airavat., Col. ii. 5, Phil. L 27 : Secrjxoi, 
Col. iv. 18, Phil. i. 7, 13 f., 17 : to k<xt i/mi, Col. iv. 7, Phil. i. 12 : 
Tcnreivocppocrvvr), Col. ii. 23, iii. 12, Phil. ii. 3 : Kapwo(popovvTe<;, 
Col. i. IO, TreirXrjpaifxivoL Kapirov, Phil. i. II : a/Mto/xos, Col. 1. 22, 
Phil. ii. 15: TtAeios, Col. i. 28, Phil. iii. 15: Kara ttjv eVe'pyeiav, 
k.t.X., Col. i. 29, Phil. iii. 21: dvw, Col. iii. 1, Phil. iii. 14: to. 
eVi T179 777s, Col. iii. 2, €7rty€ia, Phil. iii. 19: fipafielov, Phil. iii. 14, 
KaTaPpafievciv, Col. ii. 18. As to style, he compares the brevity of 


Col. iv. 1 7 and Phil. iv. 2 ; the introduction of a judgment by a 
relative, Col. ii. 23, Phil. i. 28, iii. 19: the sentences, Col. i. 9, 
Phil. i. 1 1 : the prayer for €7rtyva)o-6s, Col. i. 9 f. ; Phil. i. 9 : the 
wish Kai rj dp-qv-q, k.t.X., Col. iii. 1 5, Phil. iv. 7 : the similar ideas, 
Col. i. 24 and Phil. iii. 10; Col. ii. 18 and Phil. iii. 3; Col. i. 24 
and Phil. ii. 30 : the references to what the readers had heard, 
Col. i. 7, Phil. iv. 9 : and, lastly, the close correspondence of some 
peculiar dogmatic expressions ; see i. 1 9 ff. 


For these see Introduction to the Epistle to the Ephesians % 
where it is shown to be probable that the Epistle was written from 
Rome about a.d. 63. The occasion seems to have been the 
information furnished by Epaphras of the dangers to which the 
Church at Colossae was exposed from heretical teachers. 


For the relation to the Epistle to the Ephesians, see the 
Introduction to that Epistle. 

The relation to the Apocalypse deserves particular notice. It 
is especially in the Epistle to Laodicea, Rev. iii. 14-21, that we find 
resemblances. In that Epistle, St. John, speaking in the person of 
the Lord, declares almost in the language of St. Paul that He is 
the Amen, the faithful and true Witness, 17 a-pyj) tt)s ktictcws rov 
®eov, — an expression which does not occur (nor anything like it) 
in any of the other six Epistles. Compare Col. i. 15, 7rpti>TOTOKos 
7rao-^s KTurecos. Doubtless there still remained some trace of the 
heresy which St. Paul combated. Again, Rev. iii. 21, Swo-w airw 
KaOicrai per ifxov iv t<3 Opovw p.ov, k.t.X., is very parallel to Col. 
iii. 1 and Eph. ii. 6, and here again there is nothing similar in the 
other Epistles. " This double coincidence (says Lightfoot), affect- 
ing the two ideas which may be said to cover the whole ground in 
the Epistle to the Colossians, can hardly, I think, be fortuitous, 
and suggests an acquaintance with and recognition of the earlier 
apostle's teaching on the part of St. John " (p. 42). 

List of tt7ra£ Xcyd/xeva in tlie Epistle to the Colossians. 

aOv/jieiv, aiaxpoXoyia, dveij/ios, avTavcnrXrjpovv, avTairoooaiS, 
anreK8ve<r6ai, dirc/cSvo-is, airo^/a^ais, dpeV/ceia, d</>€i8ia, fipafifvetv, 


Soy/i.aTt£tcr0ai, 8vvap,ovv (see Eph. vi. io), iOeXodprjCTKiia, clprfvoTrouiv, 
ifx./3arev€Lv, evx ( ¥ ,to " ros > Oeorr]^, Kara/3 pafievetv, fieTOKiveiv, p.op<f>i], 
vov/jL-qvLa, oparos, Trapyyopia, -rnOavoXoyia, TrXrjcrp.ovr), Trpoaxoveiv, 
■n-pocrqXovv, -rrpwrevetv, o"Tcpe'w/ia, crvXaywyciv, o-wpariKuis, (f)iXoao(pia, 

X€tp6ypa<f)ov. More than half of these (18) are in ch. ii. only. 

Words which occur in other Writers of the N.T. % but not in 

St. Paul. 

aXas, airoKpivecrOai, a.TroKpvcf>os, aprveiv, yeveo-Qai, Say//.a.T('£av, 
i£aXeicf>eiv, irapaXoyilecrO at, iriKpaivf.iv, 7rovo?, cr/aa, crvvSovXos. The 

following are found in the Pastorals : aTroKelaOai, KpvTrreiv, 

Pauline Words. 

The following are found only in St. Paul : a7r€tvat, eSpcuos, <Xk% 
ipe$i£ei.v, Opiap.fieveiv, lkovovv, laorrjs, iraOos, <rvvaixjJ.aXu)TO<s, <Tvv8a.Tr- 
reiv, <pvaiovv. 


i. i, 2. Salutation, briefly specifying Paul's designation as an 
apostle, not by men, but by the will of God. 

Although the apostle's purpose in writing to the Colossians was 
to warn them against the errors that threatened to creep in amongst 
them, yet with admirable delicacy, as writing to those to whomhe 
was not personally known, he does not introduce his admonition 
until he has prepared the way for its favourable reception by a 
comparatively long introduction, which begins and ends with 

3-8. Thanksgiving for their faith and love, resting on the 
heavenly hope laid up for them. Mention of the hope leads 
naturally to the assurance that the gospel which they had been 
taught by Epaphras was the true gospel, universal and unchange- 
able, and proving its genuineness by the fruit which it was bearing, 
both amongst them and in all the world. 

9-12. Prayer that they may advance further in spiritual know- 
ledge, and that not speculative but practical, so that their life may 
be worthy of their profession. 

13 ff. The prayer passes insensibly into the positive instruction 
which will help to its fulfilment, and furnish a safeguard against the 
attempts that are made to mislead them. They have already been 
transferred into the kingdom of God's beloved Son. It is in Him 
that they have their redemption. 

15-17. The pre-eminence of Christ, in His nature and in His 
office. In His nature He is superior to all created things, being 


the visible image of the invisible God, and all things having been 
created through Him, and holding together by Him. 

18-20. In the spiritual order also He is first, the firstborn from 
the dead, and the Head of the Church, all the fulness of God 
dwelling in Him. The work of reconciliation wrought through 
Him extends even to things in the heavens. 

21-23. The Colossians have their share in this reconciliation, 
the object of which is that they may be without blemish and with- 
out reproof in the sight of God. But this depends on their continu- 
ing steadfast in the faith which they have been taught. 

24-29. The apostle's own qualifications as a minister of this 
gospel, privileged to know and make known the mystery hidden 
from preceding ages, namely, Christ dwelling in them. It is his 
business to proclaim this, and so to admonish and teach, that he 
may present every man perfect ; and this he strenuously labours to 
do through the power of Christ. 

ii. 1-7. This effort and anxiety of his extend even to those 
to whom he had not personally preached, that they may be con- 
firmed in the faith and united in love, and, further, may learn to 
know the mystery of God. What they have to aim at is to be 
established in the faith which they have already been taught, firmly 
rooted in Christ, and living accordingly. 

8-15. The apostle has learned (no doubt from Epaphras) that 
there are amongst them teachers who are endeavouring to propagate 
mischievous heresies which would undermine their faith. He does 
not, indeed, adopt this rude manner of expression, but cautions 
them against being led astray. The philosophy of which these 
false teachers make a display is mere deceit, and of human origin ; 
it is not a more advanced teaching, but, on the contrary, belongs 
to an elementary stage. Ye have already been made full in Christ, 
who is above all these angelic beings of whom they speak, since 
the whole fulness of the Godhead dwells in Him. Ye need no 
circumcision of the flesh, for ye have received in Him the true 
circumcision of the Spirit ; it is by Him that ye have been raised 
from death to life, and nothing, remains to be added to His 
work, for He has completely removed the bond that was against 

16-23. Application of these principles to the practices incul- 
cated by the false teachers. With their precepts about meat and 
drink and days they would have you rest in the shadow, as if you 
had not already the reality. The angel worship which they 
inculcate is not the outcome of true humility, but of carnal pride 
in the fancied possession of superior knowledge ; and it leads to 
a setting aside of the Head, through union with which alone can 
the body derive its nourishment and growth. 

iii. 1-4. Your aims and thoughts must be more lofty. Ye 


have been raised with Christ, and your life is now hid with Him. 
Seek therefore the things where He is, at God's right hand. 

5— ii. Sins to ba avoided : not only the grosser ones of appetite, 
but the more subtle sins of temper, etc. 

12-17. Virtues to be cultivated: kindness, love, forgiveness, 
of which we have such a lofty example in God's forgiveness of us, 
mutual teaching, and in everything thankfulness to God. Every- 
thing to be done in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. 

1 8-iv. 1 . Special precepts for the several relations of life : 
wives and husbands, children and parents, slaves and masters, 
the motive always being " in the Lord." 

2-6. Exhortation to constant prayer and thanksgiving, with 
request for prayer for the apostle himself in his work, to which 
he adds further practical hints as to wisdom in action and 

7-18. Personal commendations and salutations. 

Commentaries on the entire New Testament are not included. 
Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries. 

Alting (J.), Analysis exegetica in Ep. ad Coloss. Opp. AmsteL 

Aretius (Bened.), Comm. Morgis. 1580. 

Bayne (Paul), Comm. on Ep. to Colossians. Lond. 1634. 

Bugenhagen. See Ephesians. 

Byfield (Nicholas), An Exposition on the Ep. to the Col. 
Lond. 161 7, al. 

Calixtus. See Ephesians. 

Cartwright (Thos.), Comm. Lond. 1603. 

Crellius, Comm. et Paraphrasis in Col. 

Davenant (John, Bp. of Salisbury), Expositio Ep. Pauli ad 
Coloss. Cantab. 1627 ; transl. Lond. 1831. 

Daille or Dallaeus (Joannes), Sermons sur PEpistre aux 
Col. 3 torn. Gen. 1662 ; transl. Lond. 1672, again Lond. 

D'Outrein (Joh.), Sendbrief, etc. Amst. 1695. (In German) 
Frankf. 1696. 

Elton (Edw.), Exposition of the Ep. to the Colossians . . . in 
Sundry Sermons. Lond. 1615, al. 

Ferguson (Jas.), A brief Exposition of the Epp. to the Phil, 
and Col. Edinb. 1656, al. 

Grynaeus (Jo. Jac), Explicatio . . . Basil, 1585. 


Melanchthon (Phil.), Enarratio Epistolae Pauli ad Coloss. 
Witenb. 1559. 

Musculus (Wolfg.), Comm. in Epp. ad Philip. Colons, etc. 
Basil, 1565. 

Olevianus (Gaspar), Notae, etc. Gen. 1580. 

Quiros (Aug. de), Comment. Lugd. 1623. 

Rollock (Rob.), In Ep. Pauli ad Col. Comm. Edin 1600 

Slichtingius, Comm. in plerosque N.T. libros. Eleutherop. 

Schmid (Seb.), Paraphrasis super Ep. ad Col. Strassb. 
1696, al. 

Suicer (J. H.), In Ep. S. Pauli ad Col. Continent, cri.t. 
exeget. theolog. Tiguri, 1669. 

Woodhead. See Ephesians. 

Zanchius (Hier.), Comm. Opp. Gen. 16 19. 

Zuinglius (Ulr.), Comm. Opp. Tiguri [1545]. 

Eighteenth Century. 

Baumgarten. See Ephesians. 

Boysen, Erkldrung ) u.s.w. Quedlinb. 1766-81. 

Gleich, Predigten. Dresd. 1 7 1 7. 

Hazevoet, Verklaering. Leyden, 1720. 

Koning, Openlegging. Leyden, 1739. 

Lutken, Predigten. Gardel. 17 18, al. 

Michaelis. See Ephesians. 

Peirce (Jas.), A Paraphrase and Notes on the Epp. to the Col. 
Phil, and Heb. after the manner of Mr. Locke. Lond. 1727, al. 

Roell, Ep. Pauli ad Col. exegesis. Traj. 1731. 

Storr (Gottlob Chr.), Dissertatio exegetica in Epistolae ad 
Col. partem priorem [et poster]. Tubing. 1783-87; transl. Edinb. 

Streso, Meditationes. Amst. 1708. 

Til (Salomon v.). See Ephesians. 

Zachariae (G. T.). See Ephesians. 

Nineteenth Century. 

Alexander (Wm., Archbishop of Armagh), Commentary; in 
the " Speaker's Commentary." London 

Bahr (Felix), Comme?it. uber d. Brief Pauli au die Kol. mit 
stater Beriicksichtigung d. dltern u. neuern Ausleger. Basel, 1833. 

Barry. See Ephesians. 

Baumgarten-Crusius. See Ephesians. 

Beet. See Ephesians. 

Bisfing, Erkldrung. Minister, 1855 


Bleek. See Ephesians. 

Bohmer (W.), Theol. Auslegung des Paali Sendschreiben an die 
Col. Breslau, 1835. 

Braune. See Ephesians. 

Dalmer (Ed. Fr.), Auslegung, u.s.w. Gotha, 1855. 

Decker, Bearbeitung. Hamb. 1848. 

Eadie (John), Commentary on the Greek Text of the Ep. of 
Paul to the Colossians. Edinb. 1855, 1884. 

Ellicott (C. J., Bishop of Gloucester and Bristol), A Critical 
and Gra?nmatical Comm. on St. Pauls Epp. to the Philippians, 
Colossians, and to Philemon, with a Revised Translation. Lond. 
1857, al. 

Ewald. See Ephesians. 

Findlay (G. G.), " Colossians " in Pulpit Commentary. 

Flatt (J. F. v.), Vorlesung. iiber d. Br. Pauli an die Phil. Kol. 
etc. Tubing. 1829. 

Gisborne (Thos.), Exposition atid Application . , . in Eight 
Sermons. Lond. 1816. 

Heinrichs (J. H.), In Koppe's Nov. Test. Graec. etc. Getting. 
1803, al. 

Hofmann (J. Chr. v.), Die Briefe Pauli an die Col. u. an 
Phi lotion. Nordlingen, 1870. 

Huther (Joh. Ed.), Comm. u.s.w. Hamb. 1841. 

Junker (Friedr.), Histor. Krit. u. philolog. Comm. Miinchen, 

Kahler (C. R.), Auslegung. Eislehen, 1853. 

Klopper (A.), Der Brief an die Kolosser. Berlin, 1882. 

Lightfoot (J. B., Bishop of Durham), St. Paul's Epistles to 
the Colossians and to Philemon, A Revised Text with Litroductions, 
Notes, and Dissertations. Lond. 1875, al. 

Maclaren (Alex.), "Colossians" in The Expositor's Bible. 

Messner, Erkldrung. Brixen, 1863. 

Moule (H. C. G.), " The Epp. to Colossians and to Philemon " 
in the Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges. Camb. 1893. 

Schnedermann. See Ephesians. 

Steiger (W.), Der Brief Pauli an die Epheser ; l/ebersetzung,- 
Erkldrung, einleitende u. epikritische Abhandlungen. Erlangen, 


Thomasius (G.), Praktische Auslegung, u.s.w. Erlang. 1869. 

Watson (Thos.), Discourses. 3rd ed. Lond. 1838. 

Wilson (Dan., Bishop of Calcutta), Lectures, etc. Lond. 
1845, al - 

Wiesinger (J. C. Aug.), In Olshausen's Comm. Konigsb. 
1850; transl. Edinb. 185 1. 

Wohlenberg. See Ephesians. 

Weiss. See Ephesians. 




1, 2. Paul, a divinely appointed apostle, gives Christian greeting 
to the Church at Ephesus. May the heavenly Father, and the 
Lord Jesus Messiah grant you free grace and the peace which none 
else can bestow. 

1. riauXog. It is observable that he does not associate with 
himself Timothy as in Col. and Philemon ; perhaps because it was 
a circular letter without any personal allusions. 

dirooroXos Xpiorou 'Itjo-oG. Xp. 'It/, in this order with B D P 17, 
Syr-Harcl. Boh. 'Iiyo-oO Xp. XAGKL, Syr-Pesh. Arm. 

The genitive is not simply a genitive of possession (as with 
8o9Xos, Rom. i. 1), although from a purely grammatical point of 
view it may be so called. But the term aVdo-roXos gives it a further 
import. This word had not lost its proper signification, as we see 
in 2 Cor. viii. 23. Phil. ii. 25, "A commissioned messenger of — " 
clearly implies, not merely " belonging to," but " sent by," as 
" Ambassador of the King of France " obviously means one sent 
from him. The addition of kut irrtTayrjv ©eov in 1 Tim. i. 1 is no 
objection to this. See on Rom. i. 1. 

8id GeXrjfAaTos 0eoO. These words are also found in 1 Cor. i. 1 ; 
2 Cor. i. 1; Col. i. 1; 2 Tim. i. 1. Their occurrence in 2 Tim. 
sufficiently proves (to those who accept the Pauline authorship of 
that Ep.) that they are not added in order to enchance the writer's 
apostolic authority, or to justify his undertaking to instruct a 
Church to which he was a stranger (von Soden on Col.), nor yet 
because he has in his mind " the great subject of what he is about 
to treat, and himself as the authorised expositor of it " (Alford). 
It simply expresses what was always present to his mind, that his 
mission was due to the special and undeserved providence of God, 


not to any merit of his own. Compare 2 Cor. viii. 5. The same 
idea is expressed in 1 Tim. i. 1 by kclt lirnayrjv ®eou. 

toIs dytois ( = PhiL, Col.). In the earlier Epistles the address 
is 7-17 iKKXrjcria (Cor., Gal., Thess.). The substitution is not to be 
attributed to any incompleteness of organisation, for iKKXrjaia is 
used in Philem. 2, and ckkX. does not seem to include the idea 
of organisation. The use of dyioi certainly gives a more personal 
colouring to the Epistle as if addressed to the members of the 
Church as individuals rather than as a body. 

ol ayioi, frequent in the N.T., is always a substantive (except 
perhaps Heb. iii. 1). It was a term transferred from the Israel of 
the Old Testament to the Christians as the true people of God, 
its primary sense, like that of the corresponding Hebrew word, 
being " consecrated to God." The notion of inward personal 
holiness becomes attached to it from the thought of the obligation 
laid on those who are so set apart to a " holy " God ; and God 
Himself is so called as the object of supremest reverence. 

tois ouaiv [eV 'E<J>6<tw], k.t.X. The evidence for and against the 
bracketed words may be here summarily stated (for a fuller dis- 
cussion see Introduction). They are omitted in X B (but supplied 
in both by later hands). In cod. 67 they are expunged by the 
later corrector (who records many very ancient readings). To 
these we must add the MSS. mentioned by S. Basil (fourth cent.) 
and the text used by Origen. They are present in all other MSS., 
and Fathers and all versions. 

Their omission, if they are genuine, would be hard to account 
for. That they should be omitted in consequence of critical 
doubts as to the destination of the Epistle founded on its contents 
is beyond the bounds of probability. On the other hand, if the 
Epistle was addressed to a circle of Churches of which Ephesus 
was chief, the insertion of the words would be natural. 

If we have to interpret tois ovctiv koX 7tio-tois, k.t.X. the render- 
ing will be : " the saints who are also faithful." This would by 
no means imply that there might be dyioi who were not ttlo-tol, 
but would rather give prominence to the thought that the apostle 
did not recognise any as dyioi, in the technical sense, unless they 
were also -ma-TOL. The only difficulty is that tois ovcriv or t-q ovo-rj 
(with iKKkfja-ia) is elsewhere followed by the name of the place 
(Rom., Cor., Phil.). Of course, if we suppose a blank space to 
have been left in the original letter the difficulty does not arise. 
But it is observable that in Col. i. 1 the same thought is expressed, 

tois dyiois koX TriCTTols dSeA.(£ots iv XpicrTw, where tois dyi'ots IS to be 

taken as a substantive (see note there). 

Others connect ovaiv with dyiois, " who are truly saints " 
(Schneckenb.), or with both dy. and ttktt. in the same sense, or 
understand tois ovo-iv as = who are in every place where Tychicus 

I. 2, 3] SALUTATION 3 

comes with the Epistle (Bengel, comparing Acts xiii. 1). Origen's 
interpretation, " those who are," need only be alluded to here. 

ttiotois may mean either " believing " or " faithful, steadfast." 
The former sense is adopted by Ellicott, Eadie, Meyer, al., on the 
ground that here in the address tois dyiots alone would not 
adequately define the readers as Christians, and that if we adopt 
the other sense we must either suppose the apostle to distinguish 
the faithful from those who were not so, or to assume that all the 
professed dytot were faithful. It is alleged also that " faithful to 
Christ" would have required the single dative as in Heb. iii. 2. 
The phrase in 1 Cor. iv. 17, ayainqrov kol ttlo-tov iv Kvptw, being not 
parallel, since iv Kvpiu> belongs to both adjectives, Grotius, Stier, 
Lightfoot, al., adopt the other signification, which the word cer- 
tainly has in Eph. vi. 21 ; Col. iv. 9 ; 1 Tim. i. 12 ; 2 Tim. ii. 2 ; 
1 Pet. v. 12. If it meant here "believing," says Lightfoot, it 
would add nothing to what is contained in dyiots. The use of the 
word with dSeA<£ois in Col. i. 2 is in favour of the latter view, 
which agrees with the classical use ; but when used in such a con- 
nexion as here and in Col. i. 2, this presupposes " believing." 
Since all the dytot ought to be " faithful," it would be quite in St. 
Paul's manner to designate them as such, unless he had positive 
reason to the contrary. Whether we take the word as meaning 
" believing " or not, we are not to connect it directly with iv 
Xpio-T<3 as if = " believing in Christ Jesus " (itio-t6tovtcs ek), for 
the adjective is never so construed. 'Ev Xpio-Tw 'Irjo-ov is best 
taken with the whole conception dytot kcu ttuttoL Such they are, 
but only "in Christ." Compare vi. 21 ; 1 Cor. iv. 17 ; Col. i. 2. 

2. Kal Kuptou 'irjaou Xptcrrou. " And (from) the Lord Jesus 
Christ." The rendering of Erasmus, " Father of us and of the 
Lord," is sufficiently disproved by Tit. ii. 4, airb ®eov Trarpos kcu 
X/hctov 'Irj<rov tov crwTrjpos rjfxuiv. See on Rom. i. 7. 

3-8. Praise to God for the b/essings of salvation. Ths grant- 
ing of these was no new thing in God's purposes, but had been 
determined before the creation of the world. The object to be attained 
was that we should be holy and blameless, and with a view to this 
He has admitted us to the adoption of sons through Christ, in whom 
we have received our redemption. 

3. EuXoyriTos, according to the analogy of verbals in -to?, means 
properly, not " on whom blessing is pronounced " (evAoy^evo?), but 
" worthy of blessing," itraivCiadai kcu 6avp.d£,ecr6ai d£tos Theod. 
Mops. Cf. /te/x.7rTos, " blameworthy " ; opard?, " visible " ; 7rio-ro'?, 
"trustworthy." In the N.T. it is used exclusively of God, and 
so almost always in the Sept. In Mark xiv. 61, 6 cvXoyrjTos stands 
alone for " the Blessed One," i.e. God, this being a frequent Jewish 
mode of avoiding the needless utterance of the sacred name. 
Here, then, we supply, not Zcttw, but tern. See on Lk. i. 68 


6 0eos K<x! iraTrjp tou K. The natural rendering is " the God 
and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ," ©eds and Trarrjp being in 
apposition (so Jerome, Theophylact, Alford, Eadie, Olshausen, 
W. Schmidt, Stier). But Syr., Theodoret, Theod. Mops., followed 
by Harless, Meyer, Ellicott, take the genitive to depend on Trarrjp 
only. It is said, indeed, that the former rendering would require 
re before /ecu; but cf. iv. 6, els ©eos kcu irarrjp Trdvroiv ; I Pet. ii. 25, 
tov TroLfxeva teal €TTL(TKOTrov. The expression, " God of our Lord 
Jesus Christ," is used in ver. 1 7, and the fact that it does not occur 
oftener can be no objection. See also John xx. 17, "My God and 
your God." ©eos p.ev o)s crapKuiOevros, irarrip Be ojs ©eoC Xoyov, 
Theophylact. Chrysostom also prefers this view. We have the 
same combination, 6 ©eos kcu Trarrjp toO K., Rom. xv. 6 ; 2 Cor. 
i. 3, xi. 31 ; Col. i. 3 (v.t.) ; 1 Pet. i. 3. 

6 cuXoyiicras ifjfjias. " Who blessed us," viz. at the time of our 
becoming members of the Christian Church, or simply on sending 
His Son. Theodoret well remarks that men in blessing God can 
only offer Him words that cannot benefit Him, whereas God in 
blessing confirms His words by deed, and bestows manifold 
benefits upon us. Koppe strangely understands 17/ of Paul him- 
self. Besides the unsuitableness of this in the initial thanksgiving, 

Kayu), in ver. 15, is decisive against it. eV Trdo-r] evkoyla. Trvevp.ari.Kfj. 

Blessings belonging to the spiritual sphere to which the 7rvei)/Aa of 
man properly belongs. This is not quite the same as " referring 
to the mind or soul of man." Compare Rom. viii. 4, 9, 10, where 
nvevfia is contrasted with o-dp£, and 1 Cor. ii. 15, where it is 
opposed to y/vxtf. That these blessings proceed from the Holy 
Spirit is true, but that is not the signification of the word, which 
characterises the nature of the blessings, not their source. Nor is 
the meaning " blessings of the Spirit " made out by the passages 
usually alleged in support of it, such as Rom. i. n, " that I may 
impart some •^dptorp.a. Trvev/xaTiKov" ; 1 Cor. xii. 1, " About spiritual 
[gifts]"; xiv. 1, "desire spiritual [gifts]." Compare Rom. xv. 27, 
" The Gentiles have been made partakers of these spiritual things " ; 
1 Cor. ix. n, "We have sown t<x w." ; x. 3, 4; Eph. vi. 19, 
"spiritual songs," and 1 Cor. xv. 44, o-di/xa TrvevpariKov. Surely, if 
" from the Spirit " had been intended, it would have been more 
naturally expressed by tov 7rvevp.a.To<;. 

Chrysostom interprets the " spiritual blessings " as meant to be 
contrasted with the material and temporal blessings of the Old 
Covenant, in which he is followed by Grotius and others. But 
there is no hint of such antithesis in the context. 

These blessings are not to be limited to the extraordinary 
gifts of the Spirit, as Trdo-r} sufficiently shows. As Theodoret 
remarks, they include " the hope of the resurrection, the promises 
of immortality, the promise of the kingdom of heaven, the dignity 


of adoption," or more generally what St. Paul enumerates as the 
fruit of the Spirit in Gal. v. 22, love, joy, peace, and all Christian 

iv tois cTToupcm'ois. The adjective is found several times in the 
N.T. in the sense " belonging to or seated in heaven." Sometimes 
opposed to tci cmyeia, as in John iii. 12 ; 1 Cor. xv. 40, 48, 49; 
Phil. ii. 10; with kA^o-i?, Heb. iii. 1 ; Swped, ib. vi. 4 ; irarpU, ib. 
xi. 16 ; /3ao-i\€ta, 2 Tim. iv. 18. It will be seen that a local sense 
cannot be insisted on in all these places. The contrasted word 
eVtyeios also has a transferred sense in Phil. iii. 19, to. eViyeia 

tppovovvres, and Jas. iii. 15, (cro<pia) eVt'yetos, </ari(iKrj. 

In the present passage to. iirovp. appears to be interpreted by 
Theodoret as = heavenly things, iirovpdvia yap to. SoJpa ravra, and 
so Bengel, " declaratur to spirituali." But this would be to explain 
the clear and familiar term by one which is less clear. It might, 
however, be taken, not as an explanation, but as a further defini- 
tion of the nature of the blessings. The article is not against 
this view, since it may properly be used to mark a class. It is, 
however, an objection that the phrase iv rot? i-n-., not found 
elsewhere, occurs five times in this Epistle, and in three of these 
places has certainly a local signification, viz. i. 20, ii. 6, iii. 10. 
The fifth (vi. 12) cannot be quoted as certainly local, so that it is 
not correct to say, with some expositors, that everywhere else in 
this Epistle the signification is local. Those who adopt this 
interpretation, "in the heavenly regions," are not agreed as to 
the connexion. Beza and others refer the words to God (6 iv 
tchs ovpavol'; eiXoyrjaas), but this is against the order of the words. 
Meyer takes them as a local definition added to ev\. ttv., "with 
every spiritual blessing in heaven." The blessings of the Spirit 
are regarded as in heaven, and from thence brought down to us. 
Compare the description of the Spirit itself as 17 Swpea 17 eVov- 
pavtos. It seems more natural to connect the words with ev\6yrjo-as 
(Lightfoot), or rather with the whole clause ei\. iv. -rr. ev\. 
ttv. Not, however, taking the words as expressing literal locality, 
but as designating the heavenly region in which our citizenship is 
(Phil. iii. 20), where the believer has already been seated with 
Christ (ii. 6), "the heaven which lies within and about the 
true Christian " (Lightfoot). " Those spiritual blessings conferred 
on us create heaven within us, and the scenes of Divine bene- 
faction are ' heavenly places ' ; for wherever the light and love of 
God's presence are to be enjoyed, there is heaven." So substanti- 
ally Harless, but connecting the words (as does Eadie) with eu'Aoyia. 

iv Xpiorw. 1 By virtue of our union with Him, and as 
members of His body. But it must not be left out of sight that 

1 On iv Xparrf in St. Paul, see Weiss, Theol. Studien u. Kritiken, 1896, 
p. 7 ff. 


it is also in Christ that God confers the blessing (iv. 32). Not 
as if = <$ia Xpta-rov (Chrys.), as if Christ were merely the instrument. 

It answers the question, How ? as the preceding clauses 
answered the questions, With what? and Where? the participle 
answering When ? iv is omitted in a few cursive MSS., and in the 
edd. of Erasmus, Steph. 3, and Beza ; but the omission is too 
slightly supported to deserve notice, except as accounting for the 
explanations of some commentators. 

4. Ka0ws, frequent in later Greek (from Aristotle) for the more 
classical KaOdwep, " according as," expressing that the blessing was 
in harmony with what follows, so that it has a certain argumenta- 
tive force, but does not mean (as the word sometimes does) 
" because." The blessing realised the election. 

e£e\e'£aTo. Generally understood as implying, (1) the choosing 
out from the mass of mankind, (2) for Himself. As to (1), although 
the idea of choice from amongst others who are not chosen is 
involved in the form of the word, this is not always prominent. 
For example, in Luke ix. 35, 6 vio? fiov 6 cKXeAcy/xeVos (the true 
reading), we can hardly say, with Meyer, that it is as chosen out 
of all that is man that Christ is so called (cf. Luke xxiii. 35, 6 tou 
©cow ckAcktos). Here what is chiefly in view is not the fact of 
" selection " (Alford), but the end for which the choice was 
made, ctvai ^5?, k.t.X. Oltramare argues from the aorist being 
used, that tihe election is an act repeated whenever the call is 
heard. God, before the creation of the world, formed the plan of 
saving man (all sinners) in Christ. The condition of faith is 
implicitly contained. The plan is historically realised under the 
forms of KA.770-1S and ii<\oyr). Every man who by faith accepts the 
call is eVAcKTo's. The second element, for Himself, as implied in 
the middle voice, must not be pressed too far; cf. Acts vi. 5, 
"They chose Stephen" (i£e\i£avTo) ; xv. 22, 25, "to choose out 
men and send them." See Dale, On Eph., Lect. ii. p. 31. 

iv auTw, not ev avrw, as Morus, Holzh. (and G, which has 
eatn-w without iv), which would be quite superfluous, but iv 
XptcrTw, as the context also shows. In Christ as our Head, not 
merely Sia -njs eh avrbv ?rtcrr€a>s, as Chrysostom. Christ is the 
spiritual Head as Adam was the natural. Compare 1 Cor. xv. 22, 
" As in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive " ; 
and Gal. iii. 16, "thy seed os ccra Xpurros." Believers were 
viewed in God's purpose as being in Christ adopted as sons 
through Him, it being God's purpose to sum up all things in 
Him (ver. 10). Comp. 1 Cor. xi. 3. 

irpo KaTa.f3oX.Tjs Koajxou. The same expression occurs John 
xvii. 24 ; 1 Pet. i. 20. airb k<it. k. is found several times (twice in 
Heb.), but neither expression occurs elsewhere in St. Paul. It is 
= euro tw alwvwv, iii. 9, " from all eternity." 


drat T]p.a5. The infinitive completes the notion of the verb, 

expressing the purpose of the inXoyq = inl tou'tu) iva dyioi wfiev 
Kal d/xco/Aoi, Chrys. Cf. Col. i. 2 2, aTTOKaTrjWa^tv TrapaaTTJcrai 

ifxa<;, k.t.X. The usage is quite classical. 

fiyioi and dpjp.01 give the positive and negative sides of the 
idea. afxwp.o<; properly means " without blame." In the Sept. it 
is used of sacrificial victims, in the sense " without blemish " ; 
the word ju.wju.os having been adopted by the translators as the 
rendering of the Hebrew for " blemish," " spot," on account of its 
resemblance in sound to the Hebrew miim. In this sense /xw/aos 
occurs in 2 Pet. ii. 13, cm-iAoi nal p.wp.01. The adj. d/xco/xos is used 
in the signification "without blemish in Heb. ix. 14 ; 1 Pet. i. 19. 
St. Paul uses the word here and v. 27, also Phil. ii. 15 (true text) 
and Col. i. 22. In the last-mentioned place dreyKA^rous is added 
to dytovs Kal a/xw/xovs, and this favours the interpretation ''blame- 
less." In Phil. ii. 15, also, ap.wfia seems parallel to ap.ip.TnoL, and 
is the opposite of p.wp.rjTa in the passage Deut. xxxii. 5, which is 
there alluded to. On the other hand, in Eph. v. 27 the reference 
to cnriAov r) pvrCSa in the context favours the other sense. How- 
ever, as there is no reference to a victim in any of these three 
places, there seems to be no sufficient reason for departing from 
the proper Greek sense. In Jude 24 either sense would be 
suitable, but in Rev. xiv. 5 " blameless " is better, for the con- 
nexion is " in their mouth." The word is so understood here by 
Chrysostom and Theophylact, dyios 6 ri^s 7ricrrea>s /xer^wv a/xw/xos 
Bk 6 Kara, tov fiiov av€7riky]Trro<;, Theoph. ; ap.wp.0% o dve7ri'A?77rrov j3tov 
fi€TL(av (ix wv t Catena), Chrys. 

Is this dy. /cat afx. etvai to be understood of the actual spiritual 
and moral state (sanctification), or of righteousness imputed 
(justification) ? Harless and Meyer strongly maintain the latter 
view, which is also adopted by Moule on the ground of the 
context, while Harless even thinks that this alone agrees with 
apostolic teaching. The fact appears to be the very opposite. 
The ultimate end of God's choice, as of Christ's work, is sancti- 
fication. Compare Phil. ii. 14, "Do all things without mur- 
murings and disputings, that ye may be blameless and harmless 
children of God a/xuiixa (true text), . . . among whom ye are seen 
as lights in the world." In v. 27 words similar to the present are 
used of a future ideal not yet attained. So Col. i. 22 compared 
with 21, 23, 28, 29; 1 Thess. iv. 7, "God hath called us, not eVi 
aKaOaparia, but iv dyiaoyxw." Compare the same Ep. v. 23; 2 Thess. 
ii. 13, " God chose you from the beginning eis a-wr-qptav iv dytacr/xw 
7rv€vp.aTos." And very distinctly Tit. ii. 14, "Gave Himself for us, 
that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself 
a people. . . . zealous of good works." Indeed, as Eadie 
observes, "the phrase 'holy and without tyame' is never once 


applied to our complete justification before God. . . . Men are 
not regarded by God as innocent or sinless, for the fact of their 
sin remains unaltered ; but they are treated as righteous." It is 
no objection to this that this perfection is not attained here, nor 
need we modify the meaning by understanding " as far as can be." 
What is here specified as the purpose of the iKXeyeaOai must be 
the ultimate purpose to be achieved, and that is perfect holiness. 
This is the view adopted by Chrysostom, Theophylact, Calvin, 
and, amongst recent expositors, Alford, Ellicott, Eadie, Mac- 
pherson, Oltramare, Stier. It is confirmed by the following words; 
nor is it really against the subsequent context ; see on vloOeo-ia. 
icaT€vo)7rtov airov, i.e. not merely before men, says Chrysostom ; 

dyiwcrvvrjv ^tci rjv o tov ®eov 6(f>8aXpLOS opa. 

iv &ydwr\ has been variously joined with iieXi^aro, with dy. *at 
dp,., and with Trpoopicras. It is, however, too far removed from 
($e\€$aTo (although Macpherson regards this as no objection) ; 
but it is less easy to decide between the other possible connexions. 
In support of the connexion with the preceding words it is 
alleged that the words iv dydirrj stand after the clause to which 
they belong in iv. 2, 15, 16, v. 2; Col. ii. 2; 1 Thess. v. 13 
(Lightfoot). But in all these cases the words preceding are verbs, 
or express a verbal notion (iv. 16), and are such that they could 
not be placed after iv dyd^. Alford strenuously maintains that, 
" in the whole construction of this long sentence, the verbs and 
participles . . . precede their qualifying clauses," e.g. vv. 3, 4, 6, 
8, 9, 10. But this is no reason why the qualifying clause should 
not be placed before its verb here, if the writer's purpose so 
required. Alford adds that this qualification of the preceding 
words is in the highest degree appropriate, love being the element 
in which all Christian graces subsist, and in which all perfection 
before God must be found. Nevertheless, the connexion with the 
adjectives "holy and blameless (or without blemish) in love," 
appears less natural than with the verb, "having in love fore- 
ordained us." It is fitting, too, at the beginning of the Epistle that 
God's love should be the first to be mentioned, and very fitting that 
emphasis should be given to the love which moved Him so to 
preordain, by placing iv dyd-n-r] first. So Chrysostom and the other 
Greek comm., Jerome, and, among moderns, Bengel, Harless, 
Meyer, Stier, Eadie, Ellicott, Soden, al. 

5. irpoopiVas gives the reason of e£eA.e£a.To, it is logically prior ; 
but in the counsels of God there is no priority or order in time. 
Compare Rom. viii. 30, ou? Trpoupicrev tovtovs kcu iKaXeaev. The 
verb appears not to be found in any writer before St. Paul. The 
prefix irpo has reference only to the future realisation, and does not 
of itself indicate that the act was 71730 KaTaf3oXrj<; Kocrp.ov. 

els u!o0€<riav 8td *l. X. €15 ciut6V. These words belong closely 


together, " unto adoption through Jesus Christ unto Him as His 
sons." Christ is vtos yvr/crto?, Son by His nature; we are sons only 
by adoption through Him. Cf. Gal. iv. 5, " God sent forth His 
Son . . . that we might receive the adoption of sons " ; also 
Gal. iii. 26, "Ye are sons of God, through faith, in Christ Jesus"; 
and Heb. ii. 10 f. But this viodeo-ta is not yet complete; we are 
still looking forward to its completion, vloOeo-Lav aira<8€x6p-evoi r-qv 
airoXvTpiiicnv rov crai/m-ros r)p.wv, Rom. viii. 23. The figure of 
adoption is borrowed from Roman law ; the practice was unknown 
to the Jews. ets avrov most simply and naturally joined with 
vloOecria, " adoption unto Him," viz. as His sons. It is putting too 
much into the preposition to find in it the idea of inward union, 
or to compare with 2 Pet. i. 4, " partakers of the Divine nature." 
avrov is obviously the Father, not Christ, through whom the adop- 
tion is. V. Soden, however, argues strongly that thus ets avrov would 
be superfluous, as vloO. is a fixed terminus for the relation to God. 
The prominence of iv ai™ in vv. 3-14 makes the reference to 
Christ more natural. The avaxtfyaXaiwo-ao-dai iv Xp., ver. 10, is the 
realisation of the -n-poopi^uv ds avrov. Col. i. 16 is a close parallel. 
KctT& -n\v euSoKiai'. According to Jerome the word ciSoKLa was 
coined by the Sept. " rebus novis nova verba fingentes." It means 
either "good pleasure, purpose," ev Sokuv, "as it seems good to"; 
or "good will," according as the satisfaction is conceived as in 
the action, or as felt towards a person. The latter is the common 
signification in the Sept., but it also occurs there in the sense of 
"purpose," Eccles. xi. 17, 17 evSoKia avrov evobwOqcrerai. Where 
the context does not point to a person towards whom the satis- 
faction is felt, the former meaning must be adopted ; cf. Matt, 
xi. 26, outojs eyevero eiSoKia (.jxirpoo-div aov. Here, then, it corre- 
sponds to 7) /3ov\i) rov deXrjp.aro'i avrov, ver. II. 

In the Sept. evdoida. is used frequently in the Psalms to render the Hebrew 
rdtsdn, and, with the exception of a passage in Canticles (where it corre- 
sponds to Tirzah), it is not found in the other canonical books at all. 
Their usual rendering of the Hebrew word is Sckto's. 1 It cannot, then, be 
fairly said that " the translators" exhibit "purpose" or " discrimination " 
in their employment of the word. One translator often uses it, and some- 
times uses 04\r]fji.a when euSoida would have been more correct ; the others 
never. In Ecclus. , however, eudotda occurs fourteen times. 

Fritzsche (on Rom. x. 1) has discussed the meaning of the word at length. 
The verb eu8oKeii> (which is an exception to Scaliger's rule about the com- 
position of verbs) is found only in later Greek writers, Polybius, Diodorus, 
Dionys. Hal., in the signification "to choose or think fit (to do a thing)," 
sometimes with the idea of being glad to do it, as 1 Thess. ii. 8. Greek 
writers also said ev5oKu> rivi or iirl tlvi, "to be content with something, or 
pleased with some person." The construction evdoKetv Iv rivi originated with 
the Alexandrian writers (1 Mace. x. 47 ; cf. Matt. iii. 17 ; I Cor. x. 5, etc.). 

1 The word is rendered dfKrj/xa several times in the Psalms, including xxx. 
5, 7. In the latter place Symmachus substitutes eiido/cla. 


They also said evdoKeTv n, a usage not followed in the N.T., and efs rtva 
(2 Pet. i. 17); but in the meaning of the verb the Biblical writers do not 
differ from the later Greek. The significations of the substantive follow 
those of the text. It means first voluntas, as in Matt. xi. 26, then " content- 
ment," Ecclus. xxix. 23, "delight," and as in Sept. most frequently "good 
will." See on Lk. ii. 14 and on Rom. x. 1. 

6. els titaivov -rfjs So^rj? ttjs xapiTog auTou. With a view to the 
praise of the glory (glorious manifestation) of His grace. The 
interpretations which make oo£y/s a mere adjectival attribute, either 
of CTaivo? (Grotius) or of x"/ 01 ? (Beza), are weak and inadmissible. 
Chrysostom gives the truer view, tva 17 t?}s x ( */ htos o-vtov So£a 
8ei X 0rj. 

" His grace." We are so accustomed to use the word " grace " 
in a technical religious sense, that we are prone to forget the 
simple meaning which it so often has, " undeserved bounty," " free 

gift," Swpeav rrj avrov ^dpiTL, Rom. iii. 24 ; kolt £i<\oyr]v x<*piTOS, 

Rom. xi. 5 ; x°-P lT *- *°" TC (reraxr/AeVoi, Eph. ii. 5. " Herein lies the 
magnificence, the glory, of God's work of redemption, that it has 
not the character of a contract, but of a largess" (Lightfoot). 
This glorious manifestation (cf. Col. i. 27) fills the mind of the 
apostle. He repeats in ver. 7 " wealth of His grace," and in ver. 
12 "praise of His glory," and again in ii. 7, more emphatically 
still, "the exceeding wealth of His grace." Hence the verb 
Xapi£o/iai has its signification " to grant of free favour." 

Tjs €x a P l ' TWOr£l ' W^ V* is tne reading of K A B Aeth. Syr., and is 
adopted by Lachm. Tisch. 8 Treg. Westcott and Hort. eV rj is 
the reading of D G K L and most cursives with the Vulg. It was 
probably a resolution of the somewhat difficult attraction. The 
substitution of 17s for eV $, especially when eV is so frequent in the 
context, is very unlikely. 

The attraction is accounted for by the construction x°-P LV 
Xapirovv, like aydTrrjv dyairdv, ii. 4. Compare x^piTas yapitfiada^ 
Dem. 306. 28. 

XapiTow, by the analogy of verbs in o'w, means " gratia afficere." 
Cf. xpv(x6iji, Trvpyou), davaToo), /xop<p6u). Admitting this, two mean- 
ings are possible, according as the x^i° is bestowed is taken sub- 
jectively or objectively, that is to say, as expressing the state of 
the individual or the grace of God. Chrysostom takes the former 

view, oi p.6vov dfjLapTr)p.oiT<iiv aTrrjX.\a£ev, dAAa Kal e7repao"rovs iiroi-qaev, 

"rendered us loveable," followed by Theodoret, Corn, a Lapide, 
" gratiosos nos reddidit," and most Roman Catholic interpreters, 
some of whom even use this as an argument for " justitia inhaerens." 
Chrysostom says, it is as if one were to take a leper and change 
him into a lovely youth. Thus God has adorned our soul and 
made it an object of beauty and love. The partic. Kexapn-wpeVo9 
has this sense in Ecclus. xviii. 17. Clem. Alex., loosely quoting 
Ecclus. ix. 8, substitutes it for eip.6p<pov of the original (Paed. iii. 11). 


But both the prevailing meaning of x»P ts m St. Paul, and 
more particularly the context, seem decisive for the other sense, 
for ver. 7 states in what respect God iv to r)yair., ZxapLrwaev being 
joined to this by iv w. And the leading idea of the passage is 
the undeserved goodness of God. With the reading ^s there can 
hardly be any question that this latter meaning is alone possible. 
It resumes the evAd-y^o-as ^u,as iv to Xp. of ver. 3. 

iv to riya.Trrui.evu. The MSS. D* G with the Vulgate add vi$ 
avrov, a manifest gloss. The expression is not found elsewhere 
in the N.T. of Christ, but in the Apostolic Fathers it is used of our 

Lord, e.g. Ep. Barn. 3, ov rjTOL/xacrev iv to TyyaTrry/xevo) (zvtov. 

7. iv u ( = Col. i. 14), not = Sia or per quern ; it has a certain 
argumentative force, and can hardly be given a different meaning 
from the eV before to r)y. " In him, in whom." Rom. iii. 24, Sta 
t?}s olttoX-vt. rr}s iv Xpiarw 'Itjctov, though parallel in substance is not 
parallel in construction, since here Zv is closely connected with 
exo/xev. It is not apart from Him, but in Him alone, that we have 
our redemption. 

(Xofj.ev. D, Boh. read tcrxopev, which B, Boh. have in Col. i. 14. 

ttjc dTToXuTpwcrii'. The article appears to indicate that which 
you know of, rr)v Trpoo-aywyyv, ii. 1 8 (but see Heb. xi. 35). 

On &iro\(JTpw<ns Meyer remarks, "the redemption, namely, from God's 
wrath and penalties." . . . "The purchase price was His (Christ's) blood." 
Other commentators also say that the word "does not mean simply deliver- 
ance, but deliverance effected by the special means of purchase. Even where 
the term is used in the New Testament, without any accompanying statement 
of the price paid, the idea of a ransom price is still present " (Macpherson). 
The usage of the word and of its cognates by no means bears out this statement. 

First, as to the simple verb Xvrpovv. In the active it means primarily 
"to release on receipt of a ransom." The idea "redeem by payment of 
a price," is expressed by the middle. Quite similarly, when Homer speaks of 
the ransom of Hector's body, it is Achilles who is always said Xvetv, while 
Priam is said \vea6ai. In the Sept. the middle \wpova6at is of very frequent 
occurrence, but not always with the idea of a price paid. On the contrary, 
it often means simply " to deliver." Thus it is used of the deliverance from 
Egypt, for which no price was paid. Isaiah (xliii. 3) says, " I give Egypt 
for thee." Compare 2 Sam. iv. 9, "As the LORD liveth, who hath redeemed 
my soul out of all adversity "; Ps. cvii. (cvi.) 2, " Whom He hath redeemed 
from the hand of the enemy." 

So the English word " redeem " sometimes means " deliver," as in 
Romeo and Juliet, "Before the time that Romeo come to redeem me." 

In the N.T. Xvrpovcdai occurs thrice: Luke xxiv. 21 ("to deliver 
Israel"); Tit. ii. 14, "... from all iniquity"; I Pet. i. 18, "... from 
our vain conversation." 

The substantive Xvrpwcris occurs in Plut. Aral. xi. in the sense of " redemp- 
tion " (of captives). In the Sept. it is used Lev. xxv. 48 of the "right of 
redemption," and Num. xviii. 16. In the Psalms it occurs thrice in the 
sense of " deliverance," viz. cxi. (ex.) 9, and exxx. (exxix.) 7. In the N.T. 
it occurs three times : Luke i. 68, iirol-qaev Xfrrpcoffiv r<j5 XacD ainov ; ii. 38, 
rots irpoaSex ^" ^ Mrpuaiv 'laparjk ; Heb. ix. 12, aiwviav Xurpuffiv eiipd- 


XvTpurrJjs is used Acts vii. 35 of Moses simply in the sense of 
" deliverer." 

The verb diroXvrpovv signifies properly, not "to redeem" (Xvrpodcr6ai), 
but to release on receiving a ransom. Epist. [Phil.~\ aft. Demosth. p. 159, 
' AfjL<pi\oxov . . . ffvXXapuv Kal rds icrxdras dvdyKas iiriOels direXiirpuae 
TaXdvrwv ivvia. Plutarch, Pomp. xxiv. 4, p. 631 D, tfXu bk Kal dvyarrip 
'AvtwvLov . . . Kal iroXXQv xP r lt J - aT<J}V dweXvrpwOrj. Plato, Legg. xi. 919 A, 
UnroTav wx ix^P°^ s alxp-aXuirovs Kexftpujuivovs aTroXvrpwcrri. Polyb. xxii. 
21. 8, Kal xputn'oi/ cvxvov 6iofj.oXoyr)dtvTos irntp tt)s yvvaiKbs, Tjyev aurTjv 
diroXuTpwcrwv (vid. also ii. 6. 6). Lucian, of Achilles, xPVfJ-drcov bXlyuv rbv 
"Ekto/)Os veKpbv airoXiJTpwcras. The verb occurs twice in the Sept. viz. 
Ex. xxi, 8, of a master parting with a female slave (E.V. "he shall let 
her be redeemed "), and Zeph. iii. 1 (where the Hebrew word means 
"licentious," but was mistaken for one similarly written, which means 
" ransomed "). 

The substantive airoXuTpucris is rare. Rost and Pahn give only one 
leference in Greek writers, viz. Plutarch, Pomp. xxiv. 2, p. 631 B (speaking 
of the pirates), aufidruiv -qye/xoviKuiv apwayal Kal irbXewv aixp-aXuiTwv cLtto- 
Xvrpdi<Teis ("holding to ransom") 6vei8os r\aav ttjs 'Poo/xaluv riyep-ovias. 
Thayer adds other references, Joseph. Antt. xii. 2. 3, itXtibvuv Si 7) rerpa- 
Koaloiv to.X6.vtuv 7-77S aTroXvTpwaews yewr]<re<Tdai (pafiivuiv, Tavra re awexwpei 
(of Aristaeus paying the soldiers for their prisoners). Philo, Quod omnii 
probus liber, § 17, p. 882, airoyvovs aTroXurpucriv dcr/J-evos iavrbv biexp^ffaTO. 
Diod. Fragm. lib. 37. 5. 3 (Didot's ed. ii. p. 564, of a slave who had agreed 
with his masters for the purchase of his freedom) ; Scaevola, <p9daas ttjv 
diroXvTpucrLv . . . avecrTaupucrev. In the Sept. it occurs only in Dan. iv. 30, 
6 x/>6»<os /j.ov ttjs air oXvTpibcrews r)X0e, i.e. of Nebuchadnezzar's recovery. 

As far as usage goes, then, it would seem that if we are to attach to 
airoXvTpwcris the idea of ransom, the word will mean "holding to ransom" 
or " release on receipt of ransom," not " payment of ransom." In the New 
Testament the word occurs ten times, and in some of these instances it is 
only by a forced explanation that the idea of payment of a price can be 
brought in. In Heb. xi. 35, "were beaten, not accepting ttjv diroXvTpw<nv," 
the meaning connects itself easily with the classical use. It is "not accept- 
ing release." If the idea of price is brought in, it can only be apostasy ; 
but those who offer the d,7roX. are the captors. Again in Heb. ix. 15, diro- 
XvTpuxris twv irapapdcrewv is nearly equivalent to tQiv dfj.aprt.Qv in 
i. 3. The transgressions were put away ; there was deliverance from them. 
In Luke xxi. 28, "lift up your heads, for your d7roX. draweth nigh," there 
is no suggestion of a price. The opinion that the price is the destruction of 
Jerusalem is very forced. 

In Rom. viii. 23, vlodealav dirtKdexdp-evoi tt\v diroXvrpw<rt,v tov ffdip-aros, 
whatever interpretation is given of the latter words, they do not suggest 
the idea of a price paid. Nor does Tj/xtpa diroXvTptbaews, Eph. iv. 30, 
lend itself readily to this view. There are no doubt other passages in • 
which it is easy to introduce the idea of payment of a price, but as 
the only ground for insisting on introducing this in every case is 
an erroneous view of the primary meaning of the word, further proof 
is required in each instance. 1 Certainly, however, the word implies 
deliverance from a state of slavery. The slavery from which we are 
delivered is a slavery to sin, Rom. vii. 23. " Captive to the law of 
sin"; it is not death as a punishment, but spiritual death as a state. 
Christ gave Himself for us, to redeem us from all iniquity, Tit. ii. 14. We 
were redeemed by the blood of Christ "from our vain conversation," 

1 On diroXvTpwcris compare Westcott, Heb. pp. 295, 296 ; Ritschl, Rechtf. 
u. Versbhn. ii. 222 ff. ; and Oltramare, in loc. 


I Pet. i. 18. Release from punishment is so far from being the chief idea, 
that it sinks into insignificance in comparison with that of deliverance from 
sin, without which it could not be. Here there is an insuperable difficulty 
in applying the idea of ransom by payment of a price. To whom is the 
ransom paid ? We were not in slavery to God, nor is release from punish- 
ment to be obtained by any sort of payment of ransom. Hence the notion 
of early writers, that the ransom was paid to Satan. So Origen : diroXii- 
rpwcrts is ransom of those who are captives and in the power of the enemies ; 
we were subject to the enemies, the ruler of this world and the evil powers 
under him ; the Saviour therefore gave the ransom for us. This was at 
least logical. 

Grotesque as this conception may seem to us, it kept in view the truth 
that it is release from the power of evil that is the main thing ; and this was 
rather put out of sight by the later view, which gave most prominence to the 
release from punishment. But this, apart from deliverance from sin, is 
what is truly impossible ; whereas given deliverance from sin, though suffer- 
ing may remain, one ground for it has ceased, and it will be felt more as 
chastisement than as punishment. 

For the notion of purchase, cf. I Cor. vi. 20, vii. 23, Christ, whose 
slaves we are there called because He bought us with a price, surely did not 
purchase us from God. So in the O.T. God is said to have purchased His 
people (Ex. xv. 16, etc.). See Dale, Lect. v. 

81a toG cujjiaTos auTou. This suggests a different figure, that of 
sacrifice. On the idea of Christ's blood in the N.T., see Westcott, 
Epistles of St. John, p. 34 sq. He argues that " in accordance with 
the typical teaching of the Levitical ordinances, the Blood of Christ 
represents Christ's Life (1) as rendered in free self-sacrifice to God 
for man, and (2) as brought into perfect fellowship with God, 
having oeen set free by death. The Blood of Christ is, as shed, 
the Life of Christ given for man ; and, as offered, the Life of Christ 
now given to man, the Life which is the spring of their life." The 
thought of Christ's Blood (as shed) includes all that is involved in 
His Death, and more, for it " always includes the thought of the 
life preserved and active beyond death." See especially John vi. 


It is observable that in the parallel passage Col. i. 14, the 
words Sid tov at/jtaros airov are not added (in the genuine text). 

tt]V a$e<rit> tCjv dp.apTTjp.dTOJi' (a/xapriCiv, Col.). Why was this 

further definition of the dTroAvVpwo-is so carefully added both here 
and in Col. ? Lightfoot (on Col. i. 14) suggests that this points to 
some false conception of the a-n-oX. put forward by heretical 
teachers, as we know was the case with the later Gnostics, who 
applied the term to their own formularies of initiation. Thus 
Irenaeus (i. 13. 6) relates of the Marcosians, Sid rrjv aTroXvTpoxnv 

d/<paTr/TOVS kcll aopdrov; ytvcaOaL tw Kpirrj, and (i. 21. 4) eivai Si 
TcAeiav aTToXvTpwaiv avTr/v rrjv €7riyva>o"iv tov appr/rov peyWovs. 

Not that any direct historical connexion between the Colossian 
heretics and the later Gnostics is likely, but the passages (and 
others cited by Lightfoot) " show how a false idea of d7roAvTpwo-is 


would naturally be associated with an esoteric doctrine of angelic 

Kcn-a to irXouTog, k.t.X. A term of which St. Paul is particularly 
fond. Paley calls it one of his " cant " words ; " wealth of grace," 
"wealth of glory," "wealth of wisdom." Not to be resolved into 
" His rich grace " ; but " the great fulness of His bounty." The 
wealth of His grace, i.e. bounty, is shown by the great price paid for 
our ransom ; cf. ii. 7, and Rom. ii. 4, tov ttXovtov tt}s xPV°" r ° Tr ] TO '> 

8. tjs c-rrepio-o-eucrei'. The verb is transitive, for the attraction of 
the dative, very rare in classical writers, is not found in the N.T. 
(not Rom. iv. 17). For the transitive use of TrepLa-a-evw, cf. 2 Cor. 
ix. 8, Swarel 6 ©cos -rraa-av X^P tv ""epicro-cucrai (2 Cor. iv. 15 is un- 
certain) ; 1 Thess. iii. 12. The meaning then is, "which He made 
to abound " (overflow) ; a<p66vw<; i$ex €e > Theoph. The AV. with 
Calvin, al., takes the verb intransitively, and therefore 17s as 
attraction for 77, " in which He hath abounded." A third construc- 
tion is possible, viz. that 17s depends directly on irepwra-cvziv, since 
ir. tivos may mean "to abound in." Cf. Luke xv. 17 (77-cpio-- 
(T€vov(tlv apT<DV, some texts ; but WH TrepicrcrevovTaL) ; Xva . . . iravTos 
Xapur/xaros 7repi<r(r(vr]';, Ignat. Pol. 2 ; so Beza, " qua redundavit " ; 
or, as has been suggested (Ellicott, p. 164), 7repio-o-cu'eii/ might mean 
" to make an abundance of." The first-mentioned rendering best 
agrees with the context. 

iv irao-rj aofyia kcu 4>pofYjo-ei. The distinction between these 
two words is clearly and pretty unanimously stated by several 
Greek writers. Aristotle {Eth. Nic. vi. 7) says that a-ocpca is tS>v 

Tl/AlCOTClTtoV, While <^>pOV7JO"tS is 7T€pi TO. avOpWTTLVO. KOLL TTCpl U>V €0"TI 

fSovke6aaa-$aL ; and in Magna Moralia, i. 35, </>pov. is irepl to <tvijl<$>£- 
povra. Philo {De Prom, et Poen. 14) says a-ocpta is 7rpos Oepcnreiav 
©eou, <f>povr]<Ti<;, 7rpos avOpoyrrivov fiiov SioiK-qaiv. So Plutarch 

(Mor. p. 443 F) says that <£pov. is deliberative and practical in 
matters which concern us; and Cicero {Off. i. 43) states that it is 
"rerum expetendarum fugiendarumque scientia," while cro<pia is 
" rerum divinarum atque humanarum scientia," which last is the 
common definition of crocpm, i.e. in Sextus Empir. and [Plato] De/. 
411. (ppovrjcris in the same place is defined {inter alia) 8ia#eo-is ko.0* 
rjv Kpivop.ev ri TrpaKTeov kcu ti ov 7rpa/cT6ov. It is clear from this that 
(pp6vr](TL<i cannot be predicated of God ; nor is this refuted by the 
fact that in Prov. iii. 19 and Jer. x. 12 it is so used. It is very 
fallacious to call each individual translator of an O.T. book " the 
Seventy," and to regard such an occasional use as any evidence as 
to what was possible to an original author like St. Paul. With 
more reason might it be alleged that "discretion" might be pro- 
perly predicated of God, because it is so used in the English Version 
in Jer. x. 12. In both instances a word was wanted to balance 

I. 9] GOD'S PURPOSE 1 5 

o-o(f>La in the parallel clause (in the parallel passage in Jer. li. the 
word used is crwco-is). i Kings iii. 28 is irrelevant. Solomon is 
there said to have possessed cppovrja-is ©eov. This is a literal 
rendering of the Hebrew idiom, expressive of the highest degree of 

Nor is 7racra cro^'ia applicable to God, for iraa-a is not " Summa " 
(Wahl, al.) ; it expresses, as Harless remarks, never intension, but 
extension ; -n-aaa 8uVa/xis = " every power there is," Col. i. 1 1. irao-a 
viroixovri, "all possible patience" \ib.). This is not invalidated by 
7racra i$ovcria, Matt, xxviii. 1 8 ; Tracra do-<paAeia, Acts V. 23; or 
irao-a airoSo^-q, I Tim. i. 1 5 ) or the classical ir. avayK-q 7T. kiVSvvos, 
etc. In all these 71-as is extensive not intensive. To say of God 
that He has done something Trdarj aocpia, would imply that, con- 
ceivably, the wisdom might have been only partial, rj 7roA.v7rotKiA.os 
o-o(£ta, iii. 10, is wholly different, being the very varied manifesta- 
tion or exercise of His wisdom. 

Hence, whether we connect the words with cVep. or with yvu>picra<; 
they are to be understood of believers. This is confirmed by the 
parallel, Col. i. 9, iva 7r\r]p(o6rJT€ r-qv iTTLyv(j)(TLV tov dtXruxaTOS airov 
kv irda-r] <ro<pia kcu crweo-ei. Moreover, the main idea in the context 
is the knowledge of the Christian. The connexion with iirep. seems 
decidedly to be preferred to that with yvwpio-a?, against which is the 
consideration that the making known of the " mystery " is not the 
proof of the abundance of grace, but of its abounding in the 
particular matter of crocpta kcu (pp. Meyer notes the climax from 
the Simple 77s l\apl.T(jicT€v 77/ to 17s eTrcpLcrcrevcrev eis rjp.a<;. 

9-11. God hath made known to us His purpose to sum up all 
things in Christ, whether they be things in heaven or on earth. 

9. yycopio-as, i.e. " In that He made known," cf. Col. ii. 3. 

to fAuaTrjpioy. We must be on our guard against importing 
into this word (as is done by some expositors) the meaning of the 
English " mystery," as in Shakespeare's " Mysteries which heaven 
will not have earth to know." It signifies simply "a truth once 
hidden but now revealed." The truth may be " mysterious," in the 
modern sense, but that is not implied in the word (so Lightfoot 
also, who, however, refers to 1 Cor. xv. 51 and Eph. v. 32 as 
instances of this accidental idea ; but see post). Lightfoot thinks 
the term was borrowed from the ancient mysteries, with an inten- 
tional paradox, as the Christian " mysteries " are freely communi- 
cated to all, and so the idea of secrecy or reserve disappears. (Note 
on Col. i. 26.) In fact, it is almost always placed in connexion 
with words expressing revelation or publication. But there is no 
need to suppose that St. Paul had the heathen mysteries in his 
mind when he used the word. It appears to have been much 
more frequent colloquially than we should have supposed from the 
extant works of classical writers. In these the singular is found 


once only, and that in a fragment of Menander, " Do not tell thy 
secret (p-va-r-qpiov) to thy friend." In Plato, Theaet. 156 A, the 
plural is used of secrets, " will tell you the secrets of these," but 
with allusion to the p-va-T-qpta in the context. There are, however, 
other sources from which we may infer that it was not an 
uncommon word in the sense "secret," viz. the Apocrypha, the 
Hexaplar translators, and Cicero. In the Apocrypha we find it in 
Tob. xii. 7, 11, "It is good to conceal the p.. of a king"; 
Judith ii. 2, "He (Nebuchadnezzar) communicated to them the 
secret (/xvcrTrjpiov) of his counsel"; 2 Mace. xiii. 21, "disclosed 
the ' secrets ' to the enemies " ; frequently in Ecclus., and, as in 
Menander, in connexion with warnings against revealing a friend's 
secret, e.g. xxii. 22, xxvii. 16, 17, 21. In Wisd. xiv. 15, 23 the 
word is used of heathen "mysteries," E.V. "ceremonies," but in 
vi. 22, "I will tell you, and will not hide 'mysteries' from you." 

In two places in Proverbs the Hexaplar translators have 
fivcrrt]piov, "A talebearer revealeth secrets," /xva-njpia ; xi. 13 Sym., 
xx. 19 Theod. So in Ps. xxv. 14, p.. nvpwv ; Theod. "secret of 
the Lord." It occurs several times in Daniel, where the AV. has 
"secret," as ii. 18, 19, 27, 29. Cicero is fond of using Greek 
words in his letters, and no doubt the words he uses were familiar. 
Writing to Atticus he says, " Our letters contain so much ' mysteri- 
orum ' that we usually do not trust them even to secretaries" (iv. 18). 
And in another place he writes a short passage entirely in Greek, 
because it is about some private domestic matter, saying, " illud ad 
te p.v<TTiKu>Tepov scribam," i.e. more privately (vi. 4). Ausonius again 
has "Accipe congestas, mysteria frivola, nugas " (Ep. iv. 67). 1 
From all this we may conclude that p,varijpLov was an ordinary, or 
rather the ordinary, word for " a secret." In the N.T. the same 
meaning holds, only that there it is always (except in the Apocalypse) 
"a secret revealed," and hence is applied to doctrines of revelation. 
Indeed, Rom. xvi. 25 might almost be taken as a definition p.. 
Xpovots aiwviois <re<riyr]p.evov <pavep<i)9evTO<i Se vvv ( = Col. i. 26). 
Such doctrines are the " mysteries of the kingdom of heaven," 
Matt. xiii. 11 (cf. ver. 35), which were communicated by the Lord 
in parables, Luke viii. 10. There is not one passage in which 
this meaning is not suitable. Lightfoot mentions two in which, 
although the signification of the word is the same, there comes in 
from the special circumstances of the case the accidental idea of 
mysteriousness. They are 1 Cor. xv. 51 and Eph. v. 32. In 
neither place is this contained in the word. There is, indeed, one 
place in which other writers suppose this idea to be contained in 
the word itself, viz. 1 Cor. xiv. 2. But the true interpretation of 
that passage is, " He is indeed telling secrets, but to no purpose, 

1 In the Liturgies, when the priest is directed to pray " secretly," hvjtikws is 
the word used. 


for no one understands." It is not because no one understands 
that they are fxvarrjpia. This is, on the contrary, a polite conces- 
sion, as in ver. 17. In the Apocalypse the meaning "secret" still 
holds good, " the secret of the seven stars," " the secret of the 

The one doctrine which St. Paul frequently calls the mystery 
of the gospel was the admission of the Gentiles. It was for this 
that he was in bonds. 

toG GeXi^fiaros auTou. Gen. of the object, the secret concerning 
His will. 

Ka-ra rr\v euSotaae auTou. Not to be joined to [XV(TT., which 
would be tautologous with tov 6e\. air., but with yvwptVas. It 
qualifies yvwpio-as here as 7rpoopio-as in ver. 5. ei8. = purpose 
(ver. 5). Compare Book of Enoch xlix. 4, "according to His 
good pleasure." 

10. irpo«$€To. The prefix in 7rpoTi#£o-#ai is local, not temporal. 
" Set before oneself = to purpose " (Rom. i. 13), or " before others " 
(Rom. iii. 25). These three are the only places where the verb 
occurs in the N.T., but the substantive Trpodecrts is frequent = 
purpose, either Divine or human (Acts xi. 23, xxvii. 1352 Tim. 
iii. 10. Cf. 7rpox€ipi£«r#ai, Acts iii. 20; irpoatpiZa-Qai, 2 Cor. ix. 7). 

els oiKoeopicu', k.t.X. " With a view to a dispensation belonging 
to the fulness of the seasons." oikovo/xio. means either actual 
administration of a household, etc., or the office of an administra- 
tor. In the latter sense the English " stewardship " correctly 
represents it ; in the former, which is the meaning here, though 
" dispensation " in its original sense well corresponds, it does not 
suggest to the reader the idea of " house management," which is 
contained in oiA-ovopia. This is founded on the conception of the 
Church as God's household, 1 Tim. iii. 5 ; Heb. x. 2 1 ; 1 Pet. iv. 
17 ; hence in this Epistle believers are called oiKeioi tov ©eou, ii. 19. 
In the Gospels in five parables God is figured as oiKoSeo-TroTr)*;, e.g. 
Matt. xx. 1, ir. In classical writers the word oIkovo/xm extended 
its meaning from the management of a household to that of a 
state. Thus Aristotle says that as household management is a 
sort of kingdom of a house, so a kingdom is oiKovofMia. It was also 
applied to systematic arrangement or management generally, as 
of the topics of a speech, of the parts of a building, etc. The 
kingdom of God had its own oiKovop.ia, it involved a place or 
system of administration, the officers or ot/cwopoi of which were 
the apostles and the ministers, 1 Cor. iv. 1 ; Tit. i. 7. For the 
later use of the term as specifically = the Incarnation, see Light- 
foot's note, Eph. i. 10; Col. i. 25. 

V. Soden maintains that oIk. here has the same meaning as elsewhere, 
viz. stew .rdship. The thought is that the oliject of the Divine purpose 
shou'd come to its achievement through an oIkov6(j.o$. Until the olKovofxla 



began the plan rested in God. Who the oIkovS/aos is, is not said in the text ; 
probably, in the first place, God Himself (iii. i). Moule more suitably 
regards the Son as the oIkovo/j.os, the " purpose " being that He should be 
the manifested Dispenser of the period of grace. 

t. irXYjpajfiaTos rdv Kcupwe. In substance equivalent to tt\. tov 
Xpovov, as in Gal. iv. 4, but includes the conception of a series of 
KaipoL, or seasons, the last of which is marked by the mission and 
work of the Messiah, so that now the series is closed. Cf. Mark 
i. 15, ir^u-Xrjpwrai 6 /<aipos. Katpo's includes the notion of fitness or 
propriety. The Kaipot are conceived as spaces filled with events. 
Since a k. is not properly the object of an oUovo/xia the genitive 
7rA.77pwp.aT0s is not gen. of object but of nearer definition ; cf. /cpuns 
peyaA.77? r/pepas, Jude 6. 

&yaKe<|>a\ai.wo-ao-0ai, " to gather up into one," seems to be an 
explanatory infinitive supplying at once the content of the 
Ixvo-Trjptov, the object of the eiSoKia, and the object reserved for the 
oik. But as a matter of construction most easily connected with 
the nearest, viz. oiKovop,ia. Some commentators prefer connecting 
it with -n-poWero, others with p.vo-Trjpiov. In classical writers 
KecpaXmov means " chief point," cf. Heb. viii. 1 ; and both 
KecpaXaioo) and di'aKe<paA.aioa> mean to sum up, summarise. So 
Rom. xiii. 9, to yap ov p.oix€ucreis . . . ev toutu> tw Aoyu> ara- 
KecpaXaiovToa. So in a fragment of Aristotle, dyaKtcpaXaiwo-acrOai 
xpos avdp.vr)o-iv. And so Quintilian defines the substantive 
dvaKccpaAcuWis, " Rerum repetitio et congregatio quae Graece dicitur 
dv. . . . et totam simul causam ponit ante oculos" (Inst. vi. 1. 1). 
Compare the late Latin recapitido, formed in imitation of the 
Greek. Thus there is no ground for assigning to the prefix the 
signification " again," as if there was in the word a reference to a 
bringing back to a former state, " in Christo omnia revocantur ad 
initium" (Tert. Monog. 5) (Meyer, al). The Vulgate, indeed, 
expresses this idea to the exclusion of K^dXaiov, " instaurare." 
But as it has the same rendering in Rom. xiii. 9, we cannot con- 
sider it as meant for anything but a verbal equivalent, dva- here 

has the same force as in dvayivwo-Ketv, dvakoyi^o-Oai, dvap-erpetv, 

viz. the idea " one by one." So Lightfoot, who remarks that in 
the interpretation alluded to Tertullian found a serviceable weapon 
against Marcion, who maintained a direct opposition between the 
work of the Demiurge and the work of Christ. Chrysostom asks, 
T6 ia-Tiv dvaK€(paXanoo-aa6ai ; and replies, crvvdij/ai. When he after- 
wards says, irdvTas vtto fxiav r/yaye xe(f>a\r]v, we may suppose that 

he only meant a rhetorical play on words, since the verb is not 
derived from Kc^aA?;, but from KetpdXaiov. 

The middle voice is appropriate as implying the interest 
which God Himself has herein ; cf. eis avrov in 1 Cor. viii. 6 ; 
Rom. xi. 36. 


to. Iirl tois ovpavois Kal to. iir\ ttjs YHS. This is the reading of 
N* B D L, Theodoret, 1 Oec. and some cursives, and is adopted by Lachm. 
Tisch. Treg. WH. But A G K, most cursives, have iv rots ovp., with Chrys. 
Theodoret, 1 Theophyl. The variation in case after the same preposition 
has frequent parallels in classical writers. 

On the other hand, the usual contrast is iv rots ovpavoh and eirl rrjs 7^5 
(iii. 15 ; Col. i. 20, in which latter place there is a poorly attested reading 
iirl. perhaps from this passage). It must be admitted also (with Harless) 
that there is something strange in the use of iirl, "upon," with rots ovpavaiis, 
for the nature of the case as well as the antithesis forbid us to understand it 
as "above the heavens." 

to, irdrra shows that it is not the uniting of things in heaven 
with things on earth that is expressed. These are named in order 
to express the greatest universality. Hence also here, as with iraa-a 
17 /mo-is, Rom. viii. 19 sqq., there is no occasion to introduce any 
limitation except such as the context demands. To the spiritual 
as to the poetic eye all nature seems to share in what strictly and 
literally belongs only to intelligent beings ; nor is it hard to see 
that there is a profound truth in such a view. The introduction 
here of this view (new in St. Paul) of the extension of Christ's 
work to things in heaven, is accounted for by his having in his 
mind the teaching derogatory to Christ, which is more distinctly 
referred to in the Ep. to the Colossians. 

The things in the heavens were understood by Locke to mean 
the Jews (those on earth being the Gentiles), in support of which 
interpretation he refers to Matt. xxiv. 29. He is followed by 
Schoettgen, Ernesti, and others. Chrysostom understands the 
angels, while others interpret the words of the spirits of the just 
of the O.T. (Beza and many others). 

11. £K\T)pco0Tjp.ev, XB cursives generally, Vulg., Chrys. etc. 

ck\ii9t|(i€v, A D G, probably not a gloss but a result of " parablepsy," 
assisted by the greater familiarity of the latter word. The converse substitu- 
tion would be wholly unaccountable. 

iv w Kal eK\Y]pw6r)U€i\ Km obviously is joined with the verb 
"for whom also," not "we also," as if it were kol rj/xeis. The 
purpose was " also " carried out. kA%>o?, properly a lot, 
then, like the English "lot," "a portion allotted," or "portion" 
generally. It is common in both senses in the Sept. as well as in 
classical Greek. It is not = " inheritance." The verb K\r]p6w = 
" to choose by lot " or " assign by lot," hence in the passive, to 
be assigned, as " iKXrjpwOrjv SovXrj" In this sense Chrysostom, 

Estius, etc., understand it here, xXrjpov yevop,evov e£e\e£a.TO, 

the word being chosen, according to Estius, to indicate that the 
election was not by our merit, and then irpoopLcrOivTts being 
added to exclude the idea of chance (Chrys.). 

The Vulgate agrees, "sorte vocati sumus," and many modern 
interpreters. But this would be entirely without parallel in the 


language of St. Paul, with whom it is God's gracious will that is 
the determining source of the ii<Xoyr}, not any $eta tvxV- 

Many interpreters adopt the rendering, "we were chosen as 
His lot or heritage," deriving the meaning of the verb from the 
second sense of xXrjpos. So Bengel, Alford, Ellicott. The sense 
is good, but this meaning of KXrjpouy, in which the idea of chance 
is lost, is not sufficiently supported, and the idea of " heritage " is 
without justification. On the other hand, the interpretation, " we 
have obtained kA%>os" (kA.?)/)o? tw dytW, Col. i. 12), is unobjec- 
tionable in point of language ; for KXrjpow nvi is classical, e.g. 
tv e/cao-Tu iKXrjpuxrav, Thuc. vi. 42, and it would be quite in 
accordance with analogy that K\r)pova6at. should be used in the 
sense " to be assigned a portion," cf. (,, Matt. 
xx. 28 ; TTLo-T€, Gal. ii. 7. It is probably in this way that we 
are to explain the usage in later Greek writers, exemplified in 
Aelian, Nat. Hist. v. 31, and Hippocrates, 1287. 15. In the 
former passage the serpent is said to have his heart near his 
throat, rrjv Kap8£av Kc/cAifpcorai, k.t.X. In the latter, Hippocrates 
says, TrXeiova /xc/xi/u/Aoipi^v 77 Tip.rjv Kei<Xr]pQ)0-6ai rr]v tc^viiv. In 
both cases the verb seems to mean, not simply " to have," but " to 
have as one's portion or xXrjpos." The sense suits well, as it 
corresponds to the notions K\rjpovop.ia and ir*pnroir)o-i<; in ver. 14, 
as well as to the iv rots iirovpavioi.<;, ver. 3, and coincides with 
that of Col. i. 12 above referred to ; we may compare also 
Acts xxvi. 18, toC Xa^eiv . . . KXrjpov iv Tots ^yiaoyie'vois, and 
xvii. 4, Trpoo-eK\rjp<i>9rjo-av ra IIavA.a). The selection of the word 
is explained by the O.T. use of KXrjpos, which made it appropriate 
for the possession allotted to the Jewish Christians (so Meyer, 
Soden, Eadie). That these are intended here, although ^eis 
is not expressed before ver. 12, seems probable from the close 
logical connexion with ver. 12. Besides, if v/xets be included here, 
vv. 13^, 14 would be a weak repetition. 

Kcvra Tr\v $o\s\r\v tot) 6e\iq|xaTos auTou. This specification seems 
meant to exclude all idea of any merit of the Jews in their 
K\rjpovo-6ai. As to the distinction between fiovXrj and 6i\rjp.a, 
and between the respective verbs, scholars are at issue. The best ' 
supported opinion is that (3ov\r] involves the idea of purpose 
and deliberation, OeXeiv and 6iXrjp.a denoting simply will. So 
Ammonius states that /3. is used only of rational beings, 6. also 
of irrational. Thus, as Grimm says, BiXm would express the will 
that proceeds from inclination, that from deliberation. 
Cf. Matt. i. 19, "not willing (OeXuv) to make her a public example, 
was minded, ifiovXr/Or]," etc. ; 1 Cor. vii. 36, o deXti. TroietVo) ; ib. 39, 
xiv. 35, ei 8e tl p.a9elv OtXovaiv. 6£\u> as the less definite may be 
used there, but / would be quite suitable. Some scholars, 
however, reverse this distinction. Here the combination " counsel 


of His will" seems intended to express emphatically the absolute 
self-determination of God. Compare i Pet. iii. 17, d 64Xoi to 
64Xrjp.a tov ©eou. 

12-14. We Jews had even in former times the promise of the 
Christ, which has now been fulfilled ; but the same blessings are now 
extended to you the Gentiles, and as the earnest of your inheritance, 
ye have been sealed tvith the Holy Spirit. 

12. els to etkcu, k.t.X. It seems best to take rovs 7rpo??A.7riKOTas 
as the predicate, according to the analogy of eis l-rr. in ver. 6 and 
ver. 14, and cis (.naivov 86$rjs airov parenthetically. The article 
is necessary, since what has to be expressed is not that the ^/xet? 
were to have had the attribute of having previously hoped, but 
that it was their special privilege to be those amongst the Chris- 
tians who had had a previous hope. And if irporjX-n-. is the subject, 
what reason can be given why irpoopio-Q. cts eir. 8. should be con- 
fined to them, seeing it applies equally to the v/acis d/coucravTcs ? 
Besides, this would be only a repetition of vv. 4, 5. The chief 
objection made to this interpretation is that the distinction be- 
tween Jewish and Gentile Christians does not come in before 
ver. 13; but this is only an assumption, as the exposition of 
ver. 11, just given, shows. We translate, therefore (with Harless, 
Olsh. Soden), "That we, to the praise of His glory, should be 
those who have before had hopes in Christ." 

Meyer's interpretation of tovs irpo-qX. as " quippe qui " is incon- 
sistent with the article. 

To what does the -n-po. refer? irpoeXTri^w might, of course, 
mean simply hope before the event, as irpoopit,oi implies an opio-- 
p.6s before the object of it appeared ; and so Ellicott, Meyer, 
understand the word here, explaining the perfect as indicating 
that the action still continues ; but this seems fallacious ; (.XttL&iv 
continues, but not 7rpoeA.7ri£tiv. 

It seems better then, with Beza, Bengel, v. Soden, to under- 
stand the 7rpo. as referring to the time prior to the conversion of 
the heathen. Whether it be understood thus or as " before the 
coming of Christ," it is appropriate to the Jewish Christians as 
distinguished from the Gentile. But some expositors deny that 
there is any such distinction here (De Wette), and understand 
71730. as "before the Parousia." But the kou v/xas of ver. 13, 
together with the dKoiWrres which is antithetical to irpo-qX-n:, seems 
decisive. Compare Rom. xv. 8, 9, Xeyto 84, Xpiarbv 8l<ikovov 
yeyevr)(r6a.i irepiTop.f}<; VTrep dA/>7#«as ©eov, eU to (3e(3aiwo-ai ras 
€7rayy«Xtas twv 7raT€pwv* ra Sic <&vr\ viv\p, k\4ov% (i.e. not virep 
aX-qOeias) 8o|do-at tov ©eov (not might glorify, as AV. and RV.). 

13. iv w Kal ujicis. " In whom ye also." There is much 
difference of opinion as to the connexion. Beza, Calvin, al., 
supply rjXTriKdTe. But if 7rpoT}Xir. is to suggest the supplement, 


it would be TrpoiqXiriKare, which is inadmissible. Meyer and 
Alford supply the substantive in accordance with the current 
expression iv Xpiarw eTwu, " in whom ye also are." Not only is 
this extremely tame, but, considering the pregnant meaning of 
eivcu. in this phrase, it is hardly possible that it should be omitted, 
not having occurred in the previous clause. Erasmus, a Lapide, 
Harless, a/., supply eKXrjpw&rjre. The objection of Meyer and 
Ellicott, that eVA-^p. would thus be limited to Gentile Christians, 
though it formerly referred to both Jews and Gentiles, loses its 
force if the interpretation of ver. 1 1 above given be adopted. But 
it is awkward to go back so far, and a much simpler solution is 
that iv <S is connected with ecr<ppayicr#?iTe, the second iv <S being a 
resumption of the first, as in RV. with Theodore Mops., Bengel, 
Eadie, Ellicott, Soden. Thus the thought ev Xpia-Tw, which 
governs the whole section 3 to 14, is with the second iv <S once 
more emphatically brought forward, while mcrrevcravre^, as the 
necessary antecedent of io-cppay., is given its proper prominence as 
distinguished from the prior condition a.Kovo-avre<;. The repetition 
of w/xet9 before 7no-revo-avre<; is so far from being necessary that it 
would obscure the importance of that word. 

toc \6yov rfjs d\if]9eias. Cf. Col. i. 5. The word whose content 
is truth, i.e. the gospel, /car' e^o^r/v sermo veritatis quasi extra 
ipsum nulla esset proprie Veritas (Calvin), in apposition with to 
tvayyeAiov ttJs <ra>T?7pias vjxwv, the gospel, or good tidings, whose 
subject-matter was salvation. 

" In whom I say, when ye also believed, ye were sealed." iv w, 
not to be taken with wio-r., for which there is no parallel in St. Paul, 
but with io-fpp. Meyer, however, with Calvin, Beza, a/., refers 

iv w to to eiayy., comparing Mark i. 15, Trio-revere iv tw ciayyeAi'o), 

and Gal. iii. 26, 71-10-™? ev Xp. 'I. But it is much more natural to 
understand it as = iv Xpto-rw ; and, of course, if the account just 
given of the first iv w be adopted, this alone is possible. Compare 
Acts xix. 2, ci 7rvei5p.a ayiov iXd/3er€ mo-revo-avre'i = " when ye 

ea^payiaG^TC. Compare 2 Cor. i. 2 2, 6 kcu acppayio-dp.evo'; i^pas 
koX Sous rbv dppa/?wva tou 7rvevp.aTos. The figure is such an obvious 
one that it is needless to seek for its origin in any allusion to 
circumcision, called a seal in Rom. iv. 11, or in the 0-riyp.ara 
of certain worshippers of heathen deities. In later writers o-0payts 
is used simply for " baptism " ; but there is no reason to suppose 
such a reference here, which would be too obscure. 

tw ■n-i'. TTi9 eir. " The spirit of promise," i.e. which had been 
promised, oti Kara iirayy. avro iXdfiofxev, Chrys., who, however, also 

gives a different view, as does Theoph. rj on i£ iirayyeXia<; i866r] rj 
oti t^v rwv /xeXXovrwv aya6u>v i-TvayyeXiav to ttv. /Je/Jaioi. The 

latter interpretation must be rejected, because the word irvcv^a 


does not contain the idea of /?e/3cuW(.s. " The Spirit which brings 
a promise " would be a possible interpretation ; but it is not the 
Spirit that is the immediate bringer of the promise, and, moreover, 
the other view agrees better with the connexion, ra dytw added 
with emphasis, "even the Holy Spirit." 

14. dppaPwi', a Semitic word (Heb. |to"ty), which probably (we 
may say certainly) passed from the Phoenicians to the Greeks, and 
from them to the Romans in the sense of our word " earnest," a 
portion of the purchase money given to ratify the contract, and so as 
a pledge of full payment. In the N.T. it is found only here and 
2 Cor. i. 22, ver. 5 (in both places app. tov 7rv€vfia.To<s). It is to 
be noted, first, that the earnest is of the same kind as the full pay- 
ment. Compare Clem. Alex., Ed. Profih. xii. p. 982, ovtc yap 
rrav KeK0p.10~p.e6a ovtc 7ravros vcrTepovp.ev, aW oiov appapwva. . . . 
Trpoa-etXy](pap.€v. So Irenaeus, "hoc est, pars ejus honoris qui a 
Deo nobis promissus est," v. 8. 1. To this corresponds rj d-rapxy) 
tov ttv. Rom. viii. 23. "The actual spiritual life of the Christian is 
the same in kind as his future glorified life ; the kingdom of heaven 
is a present kingdom ; the believer is already seated at the right 
hand of God," Lightfoot, who adds that the metaphor suggests 
and doubtless was intended to convey another idea, namely, that 
the recipient of the earnest money pledges himself to accomplish 
his side of the contract, os is attracted into the gender of dpp. 
according to a usual idiom ; cf. Mark xv. 1 6, rfjs auA/i/s o Ian -rpai- 
TiapLov, and Gal. iii. 16, t<3 cr-repp.aTi aov os tern Xptoros ; also, 
perhaps, 1 Tim. iii. 16; Col. i. 27. o is, however, found in 
ABGL, Athan. Cyril, Chrys., and is adopted by Lachm., 

els diroXuTpwo-ii' tt)s •jrepnnHi] crews. vepL-roie'tv means properly 
" to cause to remain over, to preserve alive, save." It is so used 
both in classical writers and in the Sept. In the middle voice it 
means to acquire for oneself. So in N.T. Acts xx. 28, fjv 
irepieTTOirja-aTO 8td tov ai/xaTos tov iSiov. The substantive -rept-TOLTjai'; 
occurs once in the Sept. in the sense of survival, 2 Chron. xiv. 13, 
/cat e7reo-ov At#t07res ti)o~Te p.r] etvai iv auTots irepLTroLrjo'LV. This 
appears to be the sense intended here by the Sept. "for the 
redemption of those who live." 

Most commentators compare the expression Xaos et? Trepnro(,-qo-iv, 
1 Pet. ii. 9, which is taken from Mai. iii. 17, eo-ovrat fioi . . . ets 
ir., where eis ir. represents the Hebrew that is elsewhere rendered 
irepiovo-ios ; so RV. " God's own possession." It is a serious 
objection to this that ir. by itself has not the meaning " people for 
a possession," or " God's possession." In 1 Pet. it is Aads, and 
in Malachi p.01, that determines the meaning ; indeed, as St. Peter 
is quoting from Malachi, his words do not supply a second instance 
of even this limited use of the word, nor any at all of N.T. usage 


Meyer attempts to evade this objection by making atrov refer to 
irepiir. as well as Sof^s, which is very forced. Another very strong 
objection is from the context. It is our inheritance that is in 
question ; it is of it that the earnest is received, and we should 
naturally expect that what follows cis would have reference to the 
complete reception of it. Instead of this, the interpretation quoted 
supposes the figure entirely changed, so that, instead of receiving 
an inheritance, it is we that are the possession ; a figure proper in 
its place, but here involving a confusion of thought which we can 
hardly attribute to St. Paul. Augustine seems to have understood 
the word as = " haereditas acquisita," perhaps only following the 
Latin version, " acquisitionis." So Calovius, " plena fruitio 
redemtionis haereditatis nobis acquisitae," a meaning of tt. which is 

Beza remarks that we have to distinguish two deliverances or 
aTroXvTpwo-eis ; the one which is past and finished, the other, the 
complete deliverance to which we have to look forward in the 
hereafter. The former, he says, might be called " docendi causa," 
d7roAirr/3a>aas iXevOepwaew^, and, correspondingly, the latter air. 
Trepnroirjrrew;, " liberatio vindicationis or assertionis." His explana- 
tion of the construction, not the meaning of tt., seems to be essen- 
tially the same as that of Theodore Mops., Theodoret, and 
Severianus. They, however, understand w. as 17 7rpos tov ®eo'v 
oiKeiwcris. Thus Sever, says we are redeemed fva TrepnroirjOwp.ev 
K<u olKeia>Owp.ev T<3 ®ew, so that the meaning is, " With a view to 
our full recovery of our privileges as sons of God." But this is 
open to the objection just now brought against the RV., that t<3 
©ew required to be expressed. We are compelled, therefore, by 
the necessity of the context, to understand irepnroiiqcn'i of our 
acquisition ; only it is not a thing possessed, the object of d-rroX., 
but possession or acquisition, the result of the complete diroX. 
(so Soden, and, in substance, Macpherson), "With a view to a 
complete redemption which will give possession." In the three 
other passages in which -k. occurs in the N.T. it means acquisition 
or saving, in accordance with the classical usage, viz. 1 Thess. 
v. 9, crcoTij/Dtas ; 2 Thess. ii. 14, So^s; Heb. x. 39, ij/vxys (cf. Luke 

xxi. 19, KT^aecrOe Tas if/v^as vp,C)v). 

15-19. Therefore having heard of your faith, I thank God, and 
I pray that ye may attain a deeper knowledge of the glory of the 
inheritance, and of the mighty power of God who confers it upon 

15. Aia touto. Connected by some with vv. 13, 14, only, i.e., 
" Because ye also are in Christ, and have been sealed," etc., since it 
is only in ver. 13 that the writer turns to the Ephesians. But better 
connected with the whole paragraph, vv. 3-14, " because this blessing 
which we share is so mighty." So Oecum., Sia to. a7roKcip.eva dyaOa 


tois 6p6a><; TTLcrTevovcri koll /3tovcri koli 01a to. iv Tots cru>6r]cro/j.€voi<; 
T€T<ixOai ifj.a<;. This is to be preferred, if only because Sid tovto is 
too emphatic for so limited a reference as the former. It is used 
in transition to a new paragraph in Rom. v. 12; 2 Cor. iv. 1 ; 
Col. i. 9. The last passage is closely parallel to the present. 

K&yw. " I also," does not express co-operation with the readers 
in their prayers, or with others, of whom there is no hint ; nor is 
it " I who first preached to you " ; but it simply notes the transition 
from v/ It is exactly parallel to ko.1 rj/j.ei<s in Col. i. 9, where 
the plural is used because Timothy is associated with Paul in the 

dKoucras is certainly in favour of the view that the Epistle was 
written, not to the Ephesians, but to readers to whom Paul had 
not personally preached ; and this appears to be confirmed by the 
similar expression in Col. i. 4. On the other hand, it must be 
observed that the same expression occurs in the Epistle to 
Philemon (ver. 5), Paul's beloved fellow-worker, except that the 
participle is present tense. But this makes all the difference. 
Theodoret explains d/coucms here as referring to the progress the 
Ephesians had made more recently ; and so many moderns. But 
against this is the fact that in vv. 1 7 ff. this is prayed for. A frequen- 
tative force of the participle cannot be admitted. The frequentative 
force of the aor. ind. is only the result of its indefiniteness (Luke i. 
55 ff.). The time of the participle is defined by the principal verb. 

TT)f Ka0' upas many. " Apud vos " = " among you," but in sense 
equivalent to r. tt. ifxwv, Col. i. 4. Compare Acts xvii. 28, tujv 
KaO' {i/aSs 7tol7]to}v ; xviii. 15, vofiov tov kolO' vfj.a<i = " the law that 
obtains among you " ; xxvi. 3, twv Kara 'IouSaiovs i8£>v. This 
periphrasis for the genitive seems to have been frequent in later 
Greek; cf. Aelian, V. H. ii. 12, 17 tear avTov aperr/, Diod. S. i. 65. 
17 Kara T7/v dpy^v a-TroOeac; (laying down the government). There 
seems, therefore, no good reason to say, with Harless and Ellicott, 
that the phrase here denotes the faith of the community viewed 
objectively (the thing in itself), in contradistinction to rj 77-. i/xwv, 
which expresses the subjective faith of individuals ; or with 
Alford, that it implies the possibility of some not having this faith 
(whereas all are addressed as ttlo-tol). At most, perhaps, we may 
say that the form of expression was suggested by a view of the 
different classes of believers. That rj it. ifj.wv could have been used 
is shown by Col. i. 4. 

moTie iv ra Kupi'w '\x]<to!j. iv indicates that in which the faith 
rests, as tts expresses that to which it is directed, " fidem in Christo 
repositam." The absence of the article before iv marks the bind- 
ing of 7rio-ns iv t. Kvpiw into one conception. 

Kai ttjv a-yair-Tiv ttjv cU irdvTas tovs o-yiovs. tV cLyAwrfv is omitted by 
N* A B P, Orig. Hier., inserted by K'DGKL, Syr. Boh., Chrys. The 


insertion is supported by the parallel, Col. i. 4. Internal evidence is strongly 
in its favour, as irlanv els tous ayiovs would be an unexampled expression 
(Philem. 6 is not an instance). The omission, too, is very easily accounted for 
by the passing of a copyist's eye from the first to the second rrjv. Lachm. 
and Westcott and Hort and RV. omit the words, but Tisch. Treg (not mg. ) 
retain them. 

16. ou -irauojacu euxapio-iw, k.t.X. ivyapia-TeZv, in the sense 
" giving thanks, being thankful," belongs to the later Greek (from 
Polybius onward). Its earlier meaning was " to do a good turn 
to," and hence to " return a favour," to be grateful. 

ou irauojiai is usually joined directly with ev^., while //.veiav ir. 
is made subordinate, as specifying the further direction of the 
evxapuTTLa.. But the following iva seems to require us to take 
fiv. ir. as the principal notion, " I cease not while giving thanks 
for you to make mention," etc. It is not clear whether uveiav 
7roLeL(r6aL, which also occurs ver. 16, Rom. i. 9, Philem. 4, means 
" to remember " or " to mention." It is used in the latter sense 
by Plato {Protag. 317 E; Phaed. 254 A) and other writers. Cf. 
Ps. CXI. 4 ; Sept. p.v. Itt. twv 6avp,acriwv avTov. 

For iirl twv rrpoo-ev)((l)v cf. Rom. i. io ; 1 Thess. i. 2. 

11/j.cov (after fivetav) of the Text. Rec. is om. by {<{ A B D*, added by 
DcKLP; Vulg. Syr. (both) Boh., Orig. Chrys. G have iftwv after 
roioifievos. Compare the readings in 1 Thess. i. 2, where i/i&v is om. by 

17. tea. If this passage were to be considered without 
reference to the parallel in Col. i. 9, the rendering " in order 
that " would be tenable (though it would be strange to say, " I 
mention you in order that "). But in Col. the preceding verb is 
alTov/xcvoi. A verb of asking must be followed by words express- 
ing the content of the request. And there is an abundance of 
examples to show that in this and similar cases iva has almost or 
rather entirely lost its final sense. Thus we have h&crdai iva in 
Dion. Hal. ei7T€ iva, KeXeveiv, eiriTp&irtiv Iva. 

Also with 6e\eiv, e.g. Matt. vii. 12, ocra av 8eXt]T€ Iva 
Troiwcrtv : Mark vi. 25, ©e'Aw Iva p.01 Sws tt)v Ke^aA^v 'Iwavvou : 
ix. 30, ovk TjfeA.ev Iva tis yva> : x. 37, 80s Iva : Matt. x. 25, 
dp/c€Tov t<3 p.a0r)T{j iva ye'v^rai : xviii. 6, <>£peL avrw iva Kpe/jiaa-Orj : 
cf. ISei iva €7ri £vkov irdOrj, Barn. Ep. V. 13: eAa^icrTov p.0L 
eo-riv iva, I Cor. iv. 3 : ecrriv crvvrjOe'ia iva . . . aTro\vo-(t>, John 
xviii. 39 : p-io-Oos iva, 1 Cor. ix. 18. 

In modern Greek va is used as a sign of the infinitive = " to." 
Winer quotes from the Confessio Orthod. Trpeirei va, Xeyerat, va. 
The usage above illustrated indicates the transition to this 
complete weakening of the original force of the word. 

6 ©cos tou Kupiou, k.t.A. Many of the early commentators in 
order to avoid the obvious sense of these words, of which the 


Arians made use against the Divinity of Christ, interpreted o"d£a 
as signifying the Divine nature, Kvptos the human. Thus 

Theodoret, ©eov fX€V o>s dvOpoiirov, tvarkpa. Se (1)9 ©eo£i, $6£av yap 
rrjv Oetav tpvo-iv wj/d/xacrev. Similarly Athanasius, 86$av tov 
/xovoyevrj KaXet But this would surely require airov to be added, 
and the distinction would be out of place in this context. The 
apostle refers to the relation of God to the Lord Jesus Christ as 
an encouragement to hope for the fulfilment of his prayer. More 
inadmissible, and only worthy of note as a singularity of interpreta- 
tion, is the view of Menochius, who takes tov k. r). 'I. X. as a 
parenthesis, or that of Estius, " Deus, qui est Domini nostri 
Jesu Christi pater gloriosus." These devices are unnecessary, 
since the Lord Himself calls God "My God," John xx. 17; 
Matt, xxvii. 46. The expression is neither more nor less express- 
ive of subordination than this, "the Father is greater than I," 
which, as Pearson shows, was understood by the Fathers as spoken 
of the Divine nature of Christ. They did not hesitate to call the 
Father the Source, Fountain, Author, etc., of the Son or the whole 

6 TraTrjp rfjs 8o£t]s. "The Father to whom belongs glory," 
cf. Acts vii. 2 ; " the God of glory," 1 Cor. ii. 8 ; " the Lord of 
glory," cf. Jas. ii. 1 ; and iraTrjp twv oikti/3/x.uJv, 2 Cor. i. 3 ; also 
Xepovfilp. So^tjs, Heb. ix. 5. 

The interpretation "author or source of glory," if it were 
tenable, would give a good sense. So Chrys. 6 p^ydXa ripuv 
SeooiKoi? ayaOd. 

But trie possibility of the interpretation is not proved. Poetical 
expressions, such as Pindar's doi&av -n-aTrjp (of Orpheus, which, 
moreover, is not = " creator," but " inventor "), are not to the 
point, nor "hath the rain a father"? in Job xxxviii. 28; cf. xvii. 
14. "Father of spirits," Heb. xii. 9, proves nothing, for the term 
there is introduced only as an antithesis to "fathers of our flesh," 
and besides with the word " spirits," " father " preserves the double 
notion of "creator" and "ruler," as indeed the context there 
implies. The nearest parallel is Jas. i. 1 7, Tra.Tr)p twc cpwruv, where 
" the lights " are personified, and the notion of control is not 
absent. But there is no parallel to this in St. Paul, whose usage 
is shown by the passages above referred to. Alford's view is that as 
God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, God is the Father of the 
glory of the Godhead which shone forth in the manhood of the Son. 

8u)Tj by Lachm. pointed 5o% as an Ionic conjunctive. The sense points 
to a conjunctive, but the form appears to be known only as epic. WH. 
give it in the margin, but in the text adopt dtfij, a later form for the 
opt. 5o(tj. B has 5y, to which WH. give the second place in the margin. 
If the 'Iva. were truly final, the optative would create a difficulty, being pro- 
perly used after the present, when the attainment of the object is doubtfu) 
(Rost and Palm). 


TTceGfjia aortas, k.t.X. According to Eadie, Ellicott, Meyer, 
definitely the Holy Spirit, characterised here suitably to the subject. 
On the absence of the article cf. Gal. v. 5, 16. But these instances, 
where irv. is used as a proper name without a genitive following, are 
not parallel. 

It is better to understand with RV. after Chrys. Theodoret, 
al., "a spirit of wisdom," etc.; cf. 2 Tim. i. 7, "God did not give 

you 7tt. SeiXi'as, dXAd Swix/acoj? Kal dydV^s Kal (7U)</>poviayxou " • Rom. 
viii. 15, irv. SovXeias ; Gal. vi. I, irv. TrpaorrjTos ; Rom. xi. 8, irv. 
Karavvlzem (Sept.). That the spirit of wisdom here is the effect of 
the Holy Spirit, is naturally understood but not expressed. 

crocpla appears to be the more general term, d7roKaAui/as having 
reference specially to the " mysteries " revealed to believers, not to 
the gift of prophecy, to which there is no reference in what follows, 
and to which the apostle did not attach so much importance (see 
1 Cor. xiii., xiv.). Harless, followed in substance by Eadie, re- 
gards clttok. as the medium by which o-oe/ua is communicated. 
This relation would be more naturally expressed by a-n-oKaXviJ/ews 
Kal <ro(/>ias. 

iv emykwcrci auToG, i.e. of God, as appears from airov in vv. 18, 19, 
Christ being first referred to in ver. 20. iiriyvwo-is, "full know- 
ledge," "major exactiorque cognitio," Grot.; see 1 Cor. xiii. 12, 

apTL yivuHTKut €K fiipovs, tot€ 0€ €Triyv wcr o fiat Kadu><; KOL iTT€yV(l)CrOr)V. 

This is generally joined with the preceding, some taking iv for 
eis (a Lapide, Bengel, al.), or as = "by," which reverses the 
relation of the knowledge of God with the gift of <ro<pia. Meyer 
and Ellicott understand it as marking the sphere or element in 
which they were to receive wisdom and revelation ; Stier and 
Eadie, connecting the words especially with diro/c., suppose them, 
while formally denoting the sphere, to indicate virtually the 
material of the revelation. If this punctuation be adopted, the 
latter view seems preferable. But all difficulty disappears if, with 
Lachm. WH. (after Chrysostom and Theoph.), we connect the 
words with what follows. The abruptness of Trc<pwTi(r/xivov<; is 
much softened by the previous mention of the means. Indeed, 
the bold figure of enlightenment of the eyes of the heart seems 
to require some such definition as iv i-n-Lyvwaei, which then 
naturally precedes, because of its connexion in sense with airoKa- 

18. Tr€<J><imo-|xeVous tou§ 6(j>0a\|uiou9, k.t.X. A difficult construc- 
tion. The most probable explanation appears to be that the 
words are in apposition with 7rvev/Aa as the immediate effect, and 
so dependent on Swt?, in which case, however, according to the 
sound observation of Bengel, " articulus praesupponit oculos jam 
praesentes," we must render "the eyes of your heart enlightened," 
7re<£. being a tertiary predicate (so Harless, Olsh. Wold. Schmidt, 


Soden). It is also possible to regard 7T£(£. as by anacoluthon 
referring to ifjuv, tovs 6<{>8. being the accusative of nearer definition. 
Somewhat similar examples of the accusative being used where 
the dative has preceded, and might be expected to be repeated, 
are found in classical writers, e.g. v-n-earL p.01 $pdaos a8virv6wv 
xXvovaav dprt'ws ovetparatv, Soph. El. 479. The sense would be 
'enlightened as to the eyes of your heart," i.e. "so that ye 
may be enlightened." Such an irregularity of construction is 
intelligible where it makes the sentence run more simply, not 
where it makes it obscure. 

A third construction is adopted by Bengel, Eadie, a!., accord- 
ing to whom the 7r£<£. agrees with 6<p6., the three words together 
being an accus. absolute, "the eyes, etc., being enlightened." 
That is, the words are taken as equivalent to 7re<£wTio-p,£vajv twv 
6<f>da\fxwv. The possibility of this is questionable. Bernhardy 
(p. 133) maintains that absolute accusatives of participles should 
be banished from Greek grammars (cf. Jelf, § 581. 1). Acts 
xxvi. 3, cited by L'engel, is not in point, being a case of anacolu- 
thon (Winer). 

KapSias. This reading rests on decisive authority. It is that of X 
ABDGKLP, Vulg. Syr., Orig. Chrys. etc. The T.R. diavoias is sup- 
ported only by a few cursives, Theodoret and Oecum. 

64>Ga\|j.ous TTJ? KapSias, "eyes of the heart"; cf. Plato, Rep. 
p. 533 A, to ttJs i/'u^s 5/xfia. Aristotle in Eth. Nic. calls SeivoVqs, 
to op.p.a t^s i/^v^s (vi. 12. 10). Clement's ^vew^Orjaav rj/xuv ol 
6<p8. Tr)s KapStas may be an allusion to this passage. It is to be 
observed that KapoYa, with the ancients, was not only the seat of 
emotion, but of thought and moral perception. Here clearly it is 
as the seat of knowledge that it is referred to, hence " eyes of 
the heart." See the contrary state, the darkening of the heart, 
Rom. i. 21. 

tis ivriv rj eXiu's. Not " of what nature," nor " quanta," but 
simply " quae," which includes " qualis, quanta et quam certa." 
iXirU t?7s kX., the hope which belongs to or is implied in our calling, 
i.e. not merely the subjective emotion produced by our calling 
(taking t^s k\. as gen. of efficient cause, Meyer, Ell.), the know- 
ledge of which does not require a special grace, but certainly 
including the content of this hope, not the object in itself, but as 
a conception (compare the use of our word " ambition," " what is 
his ambition ? " i.e. the object of it as a mental conception). 
From the nature of the case the certainty is assumed. Compare 
Col. i. 5, "the hope laid up for you in the heavens ( = Tit. ii. 13), 

Heb. vi. 18, Trpoo-^e^op-evoi ttjv p.aKapiav iX-iriSa. The kXtjctis gives 

the guarantee for this, and includes it ; it is, in fact, to this hope 
that believers are called ; eVl 7rotcus eA.7ruri K€KXy]p.eOa, Theodoret. 


tis 6 ttXoutos tt)s 8o£t}s ttjs KX^poTOiAias auTOu. Not to be 
weakened into "rich glory" or "glorious inheritance." "What a 
full grandiose cumulation, picturing, as it were, the weightiness of 
the matter ! " Meyer. Glory is the essential attribute of the 
inheritance to be received, and the apostle wishes the readers to 
know how great the rich fulness of this glory is; cf. Col. i. 27, 
" riches of the glory of this mystery." 

iv tois dyiois. "Among the saints." This is by most com- 
mentators connected with K\-qpovop.ia, a connexion which is 
naturally suggested by Acts xx. 32, Sowai KX.-qpovop.iav iv roll 

r)yiao-p.ivoL<; irao~iv : cf. lb. xxvi. 1 8, KXrjpov iv tois f)yiaap.ivoLS. It 

is a serious if not fatal objection to this that it would require the 
article r-qv to be repeated before iv r. dy., not simply because 
avrov comes between, but because rj KX-qpovofita ®eov is completely 
defined by this avrov. In fact, with this connexion the words 
would mean, " the inheritance which God has in the saints," which 
is actually the meaning adopted by Stier, conjoining ii<Xr]pw6r]p.ev, 
ver. 11, which he interprets, "were made an inheritance." This, 
however, would be out of harmony with the use of the word 
in the N.T. (cf. ver. 14; ch. v. 5; Acts xx. 32, above), as 
well as with the context. Such phrases as rwv o-vyyevwv p.ov Kara 
crdpKa (where o\ is an adj., Rom. ix. 3) ; rbv 'lo-parjX Kara. crdpKa, 
I Cor. x. 18; to. <L6vr) iv crapKi, Eph. ii. II ; rbv vp.C)v ZfiXov VTrep 
i/Aov, 2 Cor. vii. 7, are not analogous. 

The construction then is, " What the riches of the glory of His 
inheritance is among the saints." The community of believers is 
the sphere in which alone this 7rXo{5ros, K.r.X., is found. This 
does not require the repetition of 6 before ev r. ay., nor does it 
give too great emphasis to the latter words. The object of the 
K\r)povop.La is, of course, the future kingdom of God; but this 
future glory is treated by St. Paul as if present. 

19. Kal t£ to uirepPdWoc fieyeSog, k.t.X. Supply, as in the 
previous clause, icrri, to which then we are to attach ets 17/Aas, not 
Suvdynews, "And what the exceeding greatness of His power is to 
usward." Thus the two clauses are symmetrical, d<s 17/xas corre- 
sponding in position to iv tois dytot?. 

The three objects of eiSeVcu are in reality one and the same 
under different points of view ; the content of the " hope of the 
calling" is the inheritance of Heb. ix. 15, and this again in its 
realisation is an effect and proof of the Swages of God. Thus the 
object of the eVi'yvwo-is is the blessing to be obtained in the future 
kingdom of God. 

icard rr\v ivipyeiav, k.t.X. Many commentators connect these 
words with rovs ino-r., understanding them as expressing the fact 
that faith itself is the result of God's eVepyeia. But this would 
make the whole solemn exposition in ver. 20 subservient to mar., 


which is only incidental in the sentence. The connexion would 
be interrupted by a reference to the origin of faith. Besides, this 
would require us to give to Kara some such meaning as " by virtue 
of," since our faith is not according to the measure of His power. 
The three objects of etSe'vai are so closely connected in themselves 
that it matters little whether we refer the words Kara t. e. to the 
last only or to all three ; naturally, however, the ivepyeia is 
immediately connected with the last. This lv. supplies the 
measure by which to estimate the power of God 

As to the three words io-x^s, Kpdros, ivepyeta, the distinction 
appears to be that term's is inherent power, Kpdros power expressing 
itself in overcoming resistance, and Ivipyua the actual exercise of 
power. The Vulgate has "secundum operationem potentiae 
virtutis ejus." Each term has here its appropriate meaning, and 
there is no occasion to have recourse to a Hebraism, or to such a 
resolution as Kparos ta-yvpov. 

20-23. This power of God was shown in His raising Christ 
from the dead, and setting Him above all created powers by what- 
ever name they may be called, whether on earth or in heaven. His 
relation to the Church, however, is more intimate. It is the Body 
of which He is the Head. 

20. r\v Iv-qp-yrjo-ev or Iviipyriicev. The latter is read by AB, Cyr., the 
former by X D G K L P. The versions naturally do not help. Lachm. Tisch. 
WH. adopt the perfect, WH. placing the aorist in the margin. Tregelles 
puts the perfect in the margin. The neighbouring aorist might readily lead 
to the substitution of the aorist for the perfect. The counter change would 
not be so easily accounted for. The perfect is properly employed, because 
the effect continues while the separate acts in which this ivepyelv realised 
itself follow in aorists. 

cyeipas. The time is contemporaneous with that of the 
principal verb ; not " having raised him " ; but as AV. " when 
He raised him " ; or " in that He raised Him." 

21. teal KaOio-as. This is the reading of X A B, Vulg. The Rec. ko\ 
tK&dicrev is found in D G K L P, Chrys. etc. ; avrbv is added in N A, Boh. Syr. 
(both), but not in B D G K L P, Vulg. Tischendorf, who reads ko.1 Ka.$l<ra.s 
airrbv with N A, thinks a difficulty was found in this reading for two reasons, 
first, that although the verb occurs frequently in the N.T. it is transitive only 
in I Cor. vi. 4 (compare avveKdOurev, Eph. ii. 6) ; and, secondly, because 
nowhere else is God said to have placed Christ at His right hand, but Christ 
is said to have sat down at God's right hand. 

Those who adopt the reading inadicrev think that more emphasis is thereby 
given to iyelpas as the principal illustration of the Divine power. The words 
seem to be an indirect quotation of Ps. ex. I. Compare Ps. xvi. II, and the 
request of the sons of Zebedee, Mark x. 37 ; and for the ground of the figure, 
1 Sam. xx. 25 ; I Kings ii. 19. Harless quotes from Pindar (of Minerva), 
de£id.v /card x«'P a ^o-Tpbs yfeai {Fragm. xi. 9). The words express participa- 
tion in the highest honour and power. So Stephen beholds Jesus standing 
iK 8e£i.w)> rod OeoO, Acts vii. 56. 

iv tois eiroupafiois has, of course, primarily a local signification 


But so also have KaQio-as and Se£id. It is said that these " distinctly 
local expressions " " tend to invalidate the vague and idealistic 
'status coelestis ' urged by Harless" (Ellicott). But these expres- 
sions tell rather the other way. For surely no one will interpret 
the right hand of God locally, or the " sitting." These words are 
but figurative expressions of honour and dignity. Some writers, 
indeed, lay stress on Stephen's beholding of Jesus at the right 
hand of God. " As Stephen saw Him, so He veritably is," says 
Alford ; and Stier holds fast the " cerium ttov of heaven, yea of the 
throne of God in it." With so literal a view as this to. eirovpdvia can 
be nothing but extra-terrestrial space, or more properly (considering 
the earth's motion), space in general. " The distressed mind 
instinctively looks upward (says Eadie) to the throne of God." 
And Stier calls a similar observation of Passavant decisive. 
(How about the Antipodes, or ourselves at a later hour?) We 
look upward in order to look away from visible things. 

B reads iv rots ovpavols, which is adopted by Lachmann. 
21. uivepdvu), "over above," is not intensive, tva to aKporarov 

vij/os 8r]\(i)crr), "far above," AV. See Heb. ix. 5, VTrepdvu) avrrjs 
X€pov(3ifJL ; Ezek. xliii. 15, vir. r&v Kepdrotv Trf)xy<; ; also ib. viii. 2, 
x. 19. 

Compare also wo/cd™, Mark vi. 11, v. twv iroSwv v/awv, and Heb. 
ii. 8. There was a tendency to such compounds in later Greek. 

irdo-Tjs apx^S kcu e^oucias Kal Suedpews Kai KupioTT]T05. These 
words cannot be considered apart from the parallel enumeration 

in Col. i. 16, Ta 7rdvra Iv tois ovpavols Kal 67rt ttJs y>}s rd opard Kal 
Ta dopara erre dpovoi £it£ KvpioTr)TZ<; €tre dp^ai eirc l£ovo~iai. In Col. 

the abstracts are obviously used for the concrete ; it does not, 
however, follow that the same is the case here where the nouns 
are singular. There St. Paul is contending definitely against the 
doctrine of angelic mediators ; here he is only alluding to it. 
Vitringa takes the words here as abstract, understanding them as 
titles which belonged to the Messiah. In either case there is 
probably a reference to the use of the words as names of classes 
of angelic powers. The view that limits the meaning of the words 
to earthly powers may be set aside, as this would have little point 
in connexion with such a lofty expression of Christ's exaltation. 
But the questions remain, Are the powers referred to only 
heavenly, or both earthly and heavenly? Are these heavenly 
powers good or bad, or both ? and what conclusion, if any, can we 
draw as to the ranks and subordination of the angels ? It will be 
convenient to answer the last question first, which we do without 
hesitation in the words of Lightfoot (on Col.), "In this catalogue 
St. Paul does not profess to describe objective realities, but 
contents himself with repeating subjective opinions." First, neither 


here not elsewhere does he make any positive statement about 
the orders of angelic powers. To do so here would be, not to 
assist, but to interrupt his exposition of the doctrine of Christ's 
exaltation. Nor, indeed, is it likely that here and in Col., writing 
to those who were in danger of giving too much prominence to 
angelology, and priding themselves on their knowledge of the 
unseen (Col. ii. 18), St. Paul should enlighten them by "an 
incidental revelation " (Ellicott), which could have no effect but 
to assist them in their futile speculations. The very manner in 
which he expresses himself here, ko.1 7ravTos ovo^aros 6vo/xa^ofievov, 
k.t.X., indicates the contrary. As Lightfoot well remarks, " He 
brushes away all these speculations without inquiring how much 
or how little truth there may be in them, because they are 
altogether beside the question." It is as if he said, " It matters not 
by what title they are called, or whether real or imaginary, Christ 
is elevated above them all." The elre . . . etre in Col. gives a 
similar indication. He is impatient with this elaborate angelology. 

No doubt St. Paul took these names from the speculations to which he 
refers in Col. ii. 18, with which the Asiatic readers of this Epistle also were 
familiar. This is not mere conjecture. In the Testaments of the Twelve 
Patriarchs, an early Jewish-Christian work (probably before A.D. 131), seven 
orders of spirits are named, the two highest, which are in the seventh heaven, 
being called dpbvoi and i^ovclai. The others are described by their offices 
(Levi 3). Origen enumerates five classes, called in the Latin in an ascend- 
ing series, "sancti angeli, principatus ( = dpxai), potentates ( = ^£owicu), sedes 
01 throni ( = 6p6voi), dominationes ( = KvpidTTjTes)," Opp. 1733, pp. 66, 70. 
But this cannot be regarded as independent of St. Paul. Ephrem Syrus, 
commenting on Deut. i. 15, gives three great divisions, subdivided thus: 

(1) Qeol, dpbvoi, KvpioTTjTes ; (2) dpxdyyeXoi, dpxat, ii-ovcrlai ; (3) &yye\oi, 
dw&fieis, x € P ov ^^f l > <repa<f>lfi (Opp. Syr. i. p. 270). (Compare Milton's 
"thrones, dominations, princedoms, virtues, powers.") 

The treatise of the pseudo - Dionysius "on the Celestial Hierarchy," 
written about A.D. 500, and very popular in the Middle Ages, gives three 
classes each with three subdivisions, viz. : ( 1 ) 6p6voi, x e P 0V P^f l t vepcuplp ; 

(2) ti-ovcrlai, Kvpi6n]T€$, dvvd/xeis ; (3) &yye\ot, dpxdyyeXoi., dpxo.1. Perhaps 
too much importance has been attached in this connexion to these quotations 
by some expositors, as if it might be assumed that they were derived from 
independent sources. Origen seems wholly dependent on St. Paul, saying 
that he does not know whence the apostle took the names. 

It follows from what has been said that it is to no purpose to inquire 
whether the names are arranged in ascending or descending order, especially 
as the order in Colossians is not the same as in Ephesians, nor the reverse ; 
whence Alford supposes that here the first two descend, the next two ascend. 
More wisely Chrysostom calls the names 6.0-yjp.a kclI ov yvwpi£6fj.eva, and 
Augustine, " dicant, qui possunt, si tamen possunt probare quod dicunt ; ego 
me ista ignorare fateor." 

The universality of expression both here and in Colossians, where the 
enumeration is preceded by the words "in heaven and on earth, visible and 
invisible," leads us to infer that earthly powers as well as heavenly are 
included. The terms dpxa-L, ti-ovo-lat are used of earthly powers in Tit. iii. I, 
and in this Epistle in vi. 12 of evil powers. Kvpidrys occurs in 2 Pet. ii. 10 ; 
Jude 8. Compare the Book of Enoch lxi. 10, "angels of power and angels 
of principality " (ed. Charles, p. 46). 



Kal Tran-09 oi/o/xaTos, k.t.X. /cat here = and in general, cf. Demosth. 

De Conirib. xxxi. 4, koX TL/xrj<; Kal dp^??? *<ai dyaOov Ttvos /xeTaXa/x- 

ftdvav, and Aeschin. adv. Tim., 2oXa>v IkCwos, 6 TraAaios vo/xo^e'r^? 
koX o £pa.KO)v Kal ol /caret, tous xpoVous £K€tVov? vofxadirai (Fritzsche, 
Matth. pp. 786, 870). ovo/ia ovo/AaCo/Aevov is understood by many 
(including Lightfoot) to mean " every dignity or title (whether real 
or imaginary) which is reverenced." But ovojxa never of itself 
contains the idea of dignity ; in such phrases as " the name of 
God," it is because of the word with which it is joined that it 
acquires this sense ; so again in such phrases as iroulv oV., ex €LV ° v -> 
iv 6v6jxaTi elvai, the idea of dignity does not reside in the word 
ovojxa any more than in our word " name," which is similarly used 
when we say "to make a name," etc. The participle 6vo/xaCo[X€vov 
also shows that the word is to be taken in its simple meaning. 
Nor is it " every such name," which is quite arbitrary. 

ou fioi/oc, k.t.X. Chrysostom and Theodoret suppose these words 
to refer to our possible knowledge in the future life ; but it is not our 
knowledge that is in question, but the exaltation of Christ, which is 
thus declared to be, not temporary, but eternal. The form of ex- 
pression is common in Jewish writers, who, however, by " the world 
to come" understand the time of the Messiah. Cf. Matt. xii. 32. 

22. Kal irdrra, k.t.X., a reminiscence (not a citation as in 1 Cor. 
xv. 27) of Ps. viii. 7, where the words are spoken of man. Here 
the apostle adopts them as typically applicable to Christ, in whom 
they received a higher and more complete fulfilment. The context 
in the psalm itself, "all sheep and oxen," etc., shows that this is 
not to be regarded as an interpretation of the psalm, but an 
application of its language in a manner familiar with Jewish 
writers. In Christ, humility was raised to a dignity far surpassing 
that which was assigned to it at its first creation. 

Kal e8wKef auToy Ke^aXT)!' uirep irdi'Ta tt) ckkXtjo-ici. The verb 
eSwKcv is not for ZOrjKev, but with its proper sense, "gave," is 
directly connected with rfj Ikk\. The order of the words is not 
against this, for not only is the position of Kc<paXr;i/ i. w. most 
appropriate to the general sense of the passage, which concerns, 
not the giving, but the giving as Head, but it is also necessary to 
clearness, in order that t)tis may follow IkkX. directly. Ke^akrjv 
v-n-ep TrdvTa. is not = summum caput, as if there were more heads 
than one, but simply " Head over all." 

23. tjtis = not the simple relative, but " which, in fact, is," " ut 
quae." In order, says Oecumenius, that hearing of the head you 
may not think merely of rule and authority, o-w/xaTiKws rjfiwv eon 
K€<paX-q. There is an organic connexion ; the life of the Church 
springs from its union with Christ as its Head. 

to irX^pwfxa tou to. irdrra iv Traaii' irXi^poufAeVou. A much vexed 
passage, which is ably discussed by Soden, to the following effect. 


We find in iv. 10 that it is the function of Christ to fill all things, >^ 
having ascended to heaven and thence descending with the gifts J 
communicated to the Church. He is here, therefore, called 6 -^ 
TrXrjpovp.€vo<; ra iravra. -^ 

This He is able to do by virtue of His being the head over j 
all. How this is to be understood is suggested by Rom. xiii. 9 sq., 
where that by which the law is fulfilled, namely, ayd-m], is also 
that in which the law with all its parts avaK€<p*XatovTai. If we 
transfer this to the present passage, it gives the result that the 
fact that -ra TravTa are filled by Christ coincides with this ; but t<i 
7rai/Ta avaKecf>a\aiovT<u in Christ, ch. i. 10. And this expression 
corresponds with the conception that the Church, whose function 
is to be the means of this irX-qpovcrOai, is so because Christ is given 
to her as Head. 

If Christ is to fill all thin gsjhroug h the medium of the Churc h, 
He mu st first fill the CTm rrh A nrfwi rh this the figure of crw/ta 
agrees, since m a man the head fills the body with its thoughts 
and purposes, so that each member is determined by it and filled 
by it, and that the more, the maturer the man is : comp. iv. 
13, 16, where the irX-qpnifxa tov Xp. is attained in proportion as 
the o-w/m is, so to speak, full grown. In this view TrA^w/^a tov 
Xp. is understood to mean that which is filled with Christ, and 
with some modifications this is the view adopted by most moderns. 

The difficulty is in the genitive relation, -n-X. tov Xp. The word 
irXTJpwpa has been very fully discussed, from a lexical point of 
view, by Fritzsche (Rom. vii. p. 469), to whom later com- 
mentators are indebted for their references ; also by Lightfoot in 
an excursus on Col., and by others. The ve rb Tr Xrjpow means 
either to fill or to fulfil, complete. The meanings of the sub- 
stantive have been generally derived" from the former signification, 
but it is important to keep the latter in mind. Like_alLyerbals 
in -jx a, the substantive ha s a passive significa tion. There are, 
indeed, one or two passages cited by Fritzsche and the lexicons 
as examples of an active sense, e.g. Eur. Troad. 824, Z^vos €x«is 
KvkiKotv irX-qpuip-a KaXXicrrav Xarptcav, i.e. filling the cups of Zeus, 
and Philo, de Abr. (ii. p. 39), tticttis t\ 7rpos tov ©co'v, iraprjyopr]fj.a 
yStov, TrXrjpup.0. xpw™ v eA.7rioW = bonae spei ad eventum adductio 
(for faith is not the fulfilment of hope). These are not admitted 
by Lightfoot, but they are cited as examples of what would 
be properly called an " active " sense of 7rX^pwpa. That which is 
usually so called is really passive ; for since the action of the verb 
has an indirect as well as a direct object, the substantive may 
mean either, " id quo res impletur s. impleta est," or " id quod 
completur." vavs -n-Xrjpovv is a familiar phrase for "to man 
ships," and hence to 7rA.T/pwp.a and tol rrX^pwpaTa of ships are the 
full complement of their crews or fighters, or both, cf. Xen 


Hell. i. 6. l6, Ik ttoXXwv irXr/poyp-dToyv ii<XeXe)(9a.L tous dpicrrovs 
epeVas. It is also used of the cargo, as by Philo, de vita Mosis 
(ii. 144), who speaks of to irX. of the ark. Suidas, too, gives 
irX-qptxijxaTa 6 twv vrjihv <$>6pTo<s. The passive force in these cases 
will be more clear if we compare Xen. Hell. vi. 2. 14, where 
Iphicrates ras vaSs i-n-X-qpov. The action was that of Iphicrates, 
but neither he nor his action was nXr/pup-a. The word is also 
used of the ship itself, as in Lucian, Ver. Hist. ii. 37, du-6 Svo 
irXrjpwfxaTOiv ep^d^ovTO ; 38, irevre yap ci^ov TrXr)p<i)p.a.Ta, — a usage 
explained by Fritzsche from the sense "id quod completur," 
but more simply as a figure of the same kind as that by which 
in naval histories the admiral's ship is called " the admiral." 

But we want to know the meaning of ttX. with a genitive. 
There appears to be no example of a ship being called nX. 
e7ri/?a.To>v or the like. irX-fjpwpLa t?}s 7toA.€ws occurs pretty often, of 
the full population of the city, or of a combination of artisans, etc. 
complete enough to form a city (Arist. Pol. iv. 4, p. 1291, Taura 
7rdvTa, i.e. all these workmen, yivcTai TrXrjpwfxa tt}<s 7r/3WT7?9>s. 
In the Sept. we have ttX. tt}s y^s, r>}? OaXdo-o-qs, etc., and in 
Eccles. iv. 6, ttX. Speeds, a handful. In the N.T., still in the same 
sense, Mk. viii. 20, enrvpihwv 7rA.17pwp.aTa. The sense "abundance," 
often found, does not concern us here. The only example quoted 
to justify the interpretation of ttX. with a genitive, as = 7re7rA.7ipa>- 
pevov, is from Philo, De Praem. et Poen. (ii. p. 418), "The soul 
by these three excellent things, nature, learning, exercise, yzvop.ivr\ 
TrXrjpoi[xa aptTuiv, leaving in itself no empty space for the entry of 
other things." But the plural dperwi/ here prevents our accepting 
the passage as a satisfactory parallel to irX. Xpiorou (or ©cov). 
The article also forms an objection to this interpretation. Since 
Christ, in the same sentence, is said to fill all things, how can the 
Church be defined as to 7rA.^pwpa, " that which is filled by Him " ? 
Moreover, there is on this view no such parallelism between <rwp.a 
and irX. as the supposition would lead us to expect. The idea of 
the head filling the body is too remote from common notions to 
be left to the reader to supply. 

Fritzsche suggests two alternatives, either " those who are filled 
by Christ, namely, with blessings," or taking 7r\. = " multitudo," 
" plenum Christi agmen," the paronomasia in the latter case being 
verbal. Eadie and Ellicott as well as some others do not seem to 
distinguish the two notions " filled with " and " filled by," calling 
the Church " the filled-up receptacle of spiritual blessing from 
Him " (Eadie, adopted by Ell.). If this is their view it is irrele- 
vant to quote ttX. apertov or, as Fritzsche, irX-qpovo- 6 ai ©eou (from 
Pollux). If they understand "filled with Christ's presence or 
life " (as we surely must if this signification of irX. is adopted), the 
words just quoted are inadequate. 


Lightfoot's view is that " all the divine graces which reside in 
Him are imparted to her ; His fulness is communicated to her ; 
and thus she may be said to be His pleroma." But this thought 
is not suggested by the connexion, and, besides, the interpretation 
makes awp-a and TrX-qpwfxa convey quite heterogeneous ideas. 

There is, however, another meaning of irXrjpoyfxa which would 
give an excellent sense, and which has been adopted by Chrysostom, 
Oecumenius, Thomas Aquinas, and many others, namely, "com- 
plement " in the second sense of that word, viz. that which makes 
complete. This appears to be the signification in which the word 
occurs in Matt. ix. 16, Mark ii. 21, where to eTrL{3Xr)p.a, the patch 
put on the old garment, is called to 7rXr]poifxa (although Lightfoot 
interprets the word otherwise). This agrees with the use of the 
verb in connexion with xpeiav = to supply (Thucyd.). The ex- 
pression is then seen to be easy and natural ; th e Church as t he 
body_o f Christ is the irXripwixa or complement of T?im ; itsTTea H. 
"He says TrX-^poi/xa" observes Chrysostom, "just as the head is com- 
pleted by the body, for the body is composed of all the parts and 
has need of each one. See how he brings Him in as needing all. 
For unless we be many, and one a hand, another a foot, and 
another some other part, the whole body is not completed. By 
all then is His body completed. Then the head is completed, 
then the body becomes perfect when we are all joined and united 
together." To this it is objected that it supposes that Christ without 
the Church would be deficient, since TrX-qpwp.a implies a previous 
rjTT7}p.a. The objection leaves the figure out of account. When 
Christ is called Head, the figure implies that however complete He 
is in Himself, yet as Head He is not complete without His body. 
As Beza well remarks, " Such is Christ's love for the Church, that 
He, as it were, regards Himself as incomplete unless He has the 
Church united to Him as a body " ; to which the apostle then adds, 
tov to. 7ravTa, k.t.X., to express that Christ does not of Himself 
need this complement, but that, on the contrary, all our complete- 
ness is from Him. There is here no inconsistency in thought, 
although a superficial inconsistency in words, in fact an oxymoron. 
Amongst recent expositors this view is adopted by Barry. 

Oltramare ably maintains the signification "perfection " for wXripw/xa. rb 
irXrjpw/xd tivos means "that by which a person or thing is filled," and hence, 
in speaking of persons, he says it signifies that by which a person is filled, 
perfected. John i. 16, 4k tov ttXtjpw/mtos avrov 4\&(3o/j.ev, i.e. of that with 
which he is filled, — an allusion to irX^p-rji x^P tros Ka ^ aXr/deia*, ver. 14. 
Usually it refers to qualities with which a person is filled, and which render 
him perfect, from irXrjpovv, "to render perfect (things)," as in Phil. ii. 2, 
TrXripuffari p.ov rr\v x a P& v '• Eph. iv. IO, tva wX-rjpJxjrj to. wavra : 2 Thess. i. II, 
Iva . . . 6 0e6s ijpLwv . . . TrXrjpwo-r) iraaav evSoKiav a.yaOcoo'vvqs. So irXypovo- 
6ai, John iii. 29, rj x a P°- V ^A"? 7re7r\r?porrat : xv. II, tva . . . i] x a P a v/jlup 
•wXypwd-Q : 2 Cor. x. 6, 6rav wX-qpwdr) vp.Civ ij vircLKorj : cf. Eph. iii. 19, v. 18; 
Col. i. 9. Hence ireir\7)pwp.4vo^, "made complete, perfect," John xvi. 24, 


xvii. 13; Phil. i. II, 7re7rX. Kapirbv SiKaioa-vvrjs, "perfect as regards the 
fruit," etc., not as in Rec. Kapirdv, "filled with"; Col. ii. 10, tore iv ai/rtj/ 
irerXrjpu/j.ivoi. : Apoc. iii. 2, oti yap evpriKa <rov ra Zpya ireir\r)puix£va, k.t.X. 
Hence wX-qpwpia, "perfection," 1 Eph. iii. 19, tva TrXripi.odrjTe ei's 7ra> rb irX. 
rod Qeov : Col. i. 19, irav rb -n-X^pu/j-a : ii. 9, 7raV rb 7rX. rrjs 8(6tt]tos : Eph. 
iv. 13, rb xX. rod Xpiarov. Hence Oltramare renders here "the perfection 
(objectively, = the perfect work) of Him who makes all perfect." The 
difficulty in this interpretation is just in the equation " perfection = perfect 
work." This requires further justification. 

We must decidedly reject the exposition which makes irXr/pojfia to be in 
apposition with avrbv. This would make t^tis {<ttiv rb adifia. avrov a useless 
insertion, and worse than useless, as serving only to separate irX. from tdwev. 
Moreover, if the words were to mean "even Him who is," etc., they should 
come after ai/riv ; as they stand they could only depend on aurbv tbuicev, 
"gave Him to be irX.," which does not yield a possible sense. 

irXTjpoufi^cou, not passive, as Chrys. (see above) and Vulg. 
(adimpletur), which would make to. rravra iv -rraa-i a solecism, but 
middle. We might interpret the middle here as = " for Himself," 
but the instance quoted above from Xen. Hell. vi. 2. 14, shows 
that the middle may be used simply in an active signification. 
The participle refers not to God, as Theodoret suggests, saying tov 
fiev Xpio-Tou (rwfxa, tov Se 7rarp6s Tr\t]p<DfJLa, but to Christ, as the 
parallelism shows as well as iv. 12, where Xva TrXrjpwa-r) ra TrdvTa is 
said of Christ, iv ttSo-i " in all " rather than " with all." 

II. 1-10. This exhibition of God's power has not stopped there. 
He has made us partakers of Chrisfs resurrection and exaltation, 
having given us life when we were dead through our sins. Not for 
any merit of our own, but of His own free grace, for it was when 
we were dead in our sins that He thus loved us. But though our 
salvation was not on account of any works of ours, it was Gods 
purpose in His new creation of us that we should walk in the path 
of holiness which He designed. 

1. icai ujias from its position means " and you, too." Resumed 
in ver. 5, where first the verb o-vve&oTroLrjo-e is expressed. Some 
commentators, indeed, have closely connected this with the pre- 
ceding verse, so as to make fyias depend on TrXrjpovfxivov. But 
the relation between i/«/cpovs and o-we£. is decisive against this. 
Lachmann, while taking v/xa<s to be dependent on crw££., puts only 
a comma after i. 23, so as to co-ordinate kcu (o-vvc^.) vyaas with 
aurov €8wk€. But in this case we should certainly expect ^Ss 
here, since the apostle would be passing from what God has done 
with respect to Christ, to what He has done to Christians ; cf. 
i. 19, d<s ■fj/j.d's tovs 7rio-T. Moreover, i. 23 has the character of a 
solemn close, not of a parenthetical insertion ; while the exposi- 
tion which begins in ii. 1 is too important to be regarded as a 

1 Compare Plutarch, De Plac. Phil. i. 7. 9, tfroi. ivdXeiirev ds evdai/xovlav fj 
iwenX-fipwro iv iMKapibrrjTi, "either he lacked something for happiness, or he was 
complete in happiness." 


mere appendage to the foregoing. Hence, also, it is not a mere 
exemplification of the general act of grace referred to in i. 23. 
Rather are we to understand that the apostle, having spoken of 
the exceeding power of God towards those that believe, which 
might be recognised by reflection on what He had done in raising 
and exalting Christ, now, applying this to his readers, reminds 
them that in them also God had shown that exceeding power 
(Meyer). The grammatical structure is interrupted before the 
subject or the verb is expressed. It is taken up again with 8« in 
ver. 4, where the subject is expressed, and in ver. 5 the object is 
repeated, which, however, is now changed to the first person in 
consequence of the kou ^//.eis introduced in ver. 3. 

orra.9 ycKpous toi$ Trapcurrwp,aoriv tea! tcus ajxapTiais ujxuc. v/xwv 
is added with sBDG, Syr. (both) Vulg., Theodoret, etc. It is 
omitted by K L, most cursives, Chrys. Oec. A has iavrwv ovras v., 
" dead as ye were through your trespasses and sins." Many 
attempts have been made to distinguish between afiapriai and 
irapaTTTwfiaTa. Tittmann, following Augustine's distinction {ad Lev. 
qu. 20), supposes the former to be deliberate sins, the latter sins 
of thoughtlessness. Augustine himself in the same place suggests 
a different view, viz. that tt. meant "desertio boni," and dp., "per- 
petratio mali." He seems then to have been guessing. Certainly 
these distinctions are both untenable. Jerome takes irap. to refer 
to the beginnings of sin in thought, dp., to the actual deeds, which 
is not admissible. Many understand dp.., which is the more 
general term, as meant to include the sinful disposition, Trap, being 
only concrete acts. However reasonable this may be with the 
singular dp-aprta, it can hardly be maintained of the plural. Ety- 
mology gives no help, for 7rapa7nVTU) means to fall or go aside from, 
to miss, e.g. t?]s ooov, Polyb. iii. 54. 5 ; r>}? ak-qOuas, ib. xii. 7. 2, 
also without a genitive, to err. So that etymologically irap. is the 
same as d/AapWa. St. Paul appears to use the words as synonymous, 
see Rom. V. 20, tva irXi.ova.a-ri to 7rapdnT(op.a ; ov Se e7rAeoVao"€v f] 
d/xapTta, k.t.X. Comp. also Rom. iv. 25 with 1 Cor. xv. 3. 

NeKpou's is here taken by Meyer to mean liable to eternal death. 
That vtKpoi may be used proleptically appears from Rom. viii. 10. 
In that case the dative is instrumental. But this is hard to re- 
concile with the tense of <rwe£a>o7roi?7cr£. And surely it is very 
improbable that the apostle in speaking of the working of God's 
power towards them, would mention only their future deliverance 
from death, and not their actual deliverance from spiritual death. 
Nor could the readers fail to think of spiritual death. This sense 
is sufficiently indicated by rots irap. k.t.X., as well as by the follow- 
ing verse. So Chrysostom, £is Zo~\aTov Ka/aas rjXdo-aTe (tovto yap 
eo-Ti veKpu)6r}vai). This figure of spiritual (or moral) death is fre- 
quent amongst the ancients. Clement of Alexandria says that h> 


rf\ fiapfidpov <pt\oo-ocpia ve/cpous KaXovat tovs €K7recrovTas twv Soyp.dru)V 
ko.I KadvTroTa.^ arras tov vovv tois irdOeaL tois v/v^lkol?. The Jewish 
Rabbis have similar expressions. But Christianity has given a 
much deeper meaning to " death " in this connexion. We have 
tne same phrase in Col. ii. 13, where iv is not part of the genuine 
text, and rfj aKpof3vo~TLa 7-775 crap/cos v/xwv is against the mere in- 
strumental sense of the dative. It expresses that in which the 
death consisted. 

2. iv ats refers to both substantives, though agreeing in gender 
with the nearer. ircptTraTftv in this sense is a Hebraism. The 
figure has disappeared, so that we are not to press the preposition 
as if marking "the walk which they trod"; see Rom. xiii. 13, 
TrepnraTq(T(afji€v, p.r] kw/aois koX pe#ais, k.t.A., and the parallel use of 
TTopevecrOat, Acts ix. 31, ir. tw <p6($u> tov Kvpiov. It is of frequent 
occurrence in St. Paul and St. John, but is not found in St. James 
or St. Peter, who use avao-Tpefao-dai (a classical word, though not 
before Polybius) ; cf. 1 Pet. i. 17. 

koto, toi> altom tou koctjji.ou toutou. " In accordance with the 
course of this world." This combination of alu>v and KoVpos creates 
some difficulty. Elsewhere we have 6 alibv outos (i Cor. i. 20, 
ii. 6, iii. 18, etc.), or 6 Koayxos outos, 1 Cor. iii. 19. ^ o~o<p!.a. tov k. 
tovtov in the latter passage being synonymous with f] o-o<pia tov al. 
tovtov in 1 Cor. ii. 6. But the two substantives are not syn 
onymous ; aiwv means a period of time ; koo-ixos, the world existing 
in that period. Thus Antoninus (ii. 12) says that all things 

quickly vanish, to p.ev Koapuo aura t<x o-w/xaTGL, T(3 Se aidvt al fjLvf) 

avT<jjv. The signification "life," frequent in classical Greek, especi- 
ally in the tragic poets, is never found in the N.T. As a para- 
phrase, however, " spirit of the age " fairly represents the sense, 
except that " age " refers to the whole period of this Ko'oyx.05. 
Comp. Tacitus, "corrumpere et corrumpi saeculum vocatur" {Germ. 
i. 9). alwv being a technical word with the Gnostics, it was to be 
expected that some expositors would adopt a similar meaning here. 
Accordingly, this has been done by Michaelis, who supposes the 
words aloiv tov k. t. to mean " the devil," with a polemic reference 
to the Gnostic aeons ; and by Baur, who regards the expression 
itself as Gnostic, and equivalent to Koo-fioKpaTiop, vi. 12, meaning 
"the devil." Holtzmann regards it as representing a transition 
stage between Paulinism and Gnosticism. As the ordinary signifi- 
cation of alwv yields a perfectly good and Pauline sense, there is 
no ground for such hypotheses. If the devil were intended to be 
designated here as ruler of this world, we might expect some such 
expression as 6 #«6s tov alwvos tovtov, as in 2 Cor. iv. 4. 

kcit& Toy apxorra rfjs e^ouat'as tou de'pos. Most expositors take 
e£. here collectively = ai i£ovaiai, understanding tou de'pos as ex- 
pressing the sphere of their existence. Such words as avft/xa^a 


for (rv/x/xaxoi, 8ouA.eia for SovXol, irpto-fieia for 7rpe'cr/?eis, etc., ex- 
emplify this collective use of abstract for concrete terms. So 
occasionally in English, as " embassy," " flight " (of arrows). The 
present case, however, is not quite parallel, since the distribution 
for which i£. is supposed to stand is the plural of this word itself, 
viz. at igovaiai. This implies that the singular might be used of 
one of the i£ovo-Lat ; cf. Rom. xiii. 2, 3, where, however, 77 Z$. does 
not mean a ruling person. To use it collectively for al i£. is, 
therefore, very different from using 17 o-vppax<a for 01 cruppaxoi. 
Besides, we must not assume that the word can be treated apart 
from the following genitive. 6 ap-^wv is defined, not by t^s ef., but 
by ttj<; e£. tot) depo?. For this reason, too, we cannot take t. e. as 
a genitive of apposition = " princeps potentissimus." Now, the 
genitive following i£ovaia is elsewhere either subjective, as rj i£. 
tov aaTava, Acts xxvi. 1 8; tov ^yepovos, Lk. XX. 20 ; vfxwv, I Cor. 
viii. 9 ; or objective, 71-010-775 o-ap/cos, John xvii. 2 ; TTveup-cn-wv, Matt. 
x. 1 ; v/jlwv, 1 Cor. ix. 1 2. It is possible, therefore, to understand 
the words as meaning " the ruler to whom belongs the power over 
the region of the air " ; but this would create a difficulty in con- 
nexion with TrvevfiaTos. It is therefore perhaps best to take 
rj e£. tov d. as the power whose seat is in the air. Some com- 
mentators take a-qp here as = cncoTog ; and if this were possible we 
should have obvious parallels in vi. 12, K0ap.oKpa.T0pa? tov o-kotovs 
toutov, and Col. i. 13, tt}s cfowi'as tou 0-kotous. But although a-qp 
is used in Homer and elsewhere of " thick air " in contrast to 
aW-qp, as in Plutarch (of the first creation), Iti pXv ovpavov e/cpv7TTev 
a-qp (Z)e esu cam. Or. I. § 2), it does not appear that it can be used 
simply for o-koto?, nor again that if so used figuratively, it could 
by another figure be used of spiritual darkness. What, then, does 
the expression mean ? Oecumenius' view is that as the rule of 
Satan is under heaven, not above, it must be either in the earth or 
the air ; but, being a spirit, it must be in the air, (pvats yap tois 
Trvevp,ao-Lv t] oWpios SiaTpL^i] ; and this is adopted by Harless and 
others. The air being understood to mean, not merely the region 
of the atmosphere, but " all that supra-terrestrial, but sub-celestial, 
region, which seems to be, if not the abode, yet the haunt of evil 
spirits," Ellicott, who compares Job i. 7 LXX, lp.TV(.pnraTT]o-av ttjv 
vtt ovpavov, which surely is not to be appealed to as giving any 
light. Eadie ingeniously suggests that " the drjp and k6o-/ao<; 
must correspond in relation. As there is an atmosphere round 
the physical globe, so air, arjp, envelops this spiritual Koo-pos," — an 
atmosphere " in which it breathes and moves." Compare our own 
phrases in which " atmosphere " is used figuratively, " an atmo- 
sphere of flattery," etc. But if such a figure were intended, some 
word must be added which would indicate the figure, such as the 
words " breathes and moves " in Eadie's explanation. Indeed, he 


admits that it is perhaps too ingenious to be true, and falls back 
on the alternative that either the apostle used current language, 
which did not convey error, as Satan is called Beelzebub, without 
reference to the meaning of the term " Lord of flies," or that he 
means to convey the idea of " near propinquity," or alludes 
to what he had more fully explained during his residence at 
Ephesus. That the notion of the air being the dwelling-place of 
spirits, and specially of evil spirits, was current, appears to be 
beyond doubt. Thus Pythagoras held dvat. -n-avra tov dipa if/vx^v 
e/jiTr\e(Dv (Diog. L. viii. 32). Philo says, ovs dAAoi (piXoaocpoi 

Sat/Aovas, dyye'Aovs Mauris eiu)6ev ovo/xd^av' \j/v)(ai S' eicrt Kara tov 

de'pa 7r€TOfjL€vai. In the Te st. XII Patr. it is said of 6 SevTcpos 
ovpavos that it has fire, snow, ice ready for the day of the Lord's 
command, iv avT<2 elal irdvTa to. Trvevfiara tuv c7raywyo»v €ts 
inSiKrjo-iv twv avofxtjv (Levi, ap. Fabric. Cod. Apoc. V.T. p. 547), 
and in Test. Benj. p. 729, BeXidp is called to depiov Trvev/xa. 
Drusius cites from the commentary on Aboth, " sciendum, a 
terra usque ad expansum omnia plena esse turmis et praefectis et 
infra plurimas esse creaturas credentes et accusantes, omnesque 
stare ac volitare in aere . . . quorum alii ad bonum, alii ad 
malum incitant." There is no difficulty in supposing that St. 
Paul is here alluding to such current notions. Nor are we to 
suppose that he is conveying any special revelation about the 
matter. Harless' objection, that according to the views referred 
to, the air was inhabited by good spirits as well as bad, is by no 
means fatal, since it is on the bad spirits that men's thoughts 
would chiefly dwell, and to them would be referred evil sugges- 
tions and desires. 

tou -nveufAaTos is understood by some (including Rvickert and 
De Wette) as in apposition with tov dp^ovra. Winer, while 
rejecting this view, admits that in this case the apostle might most 
easily have wandered from the right construction, namely, on 
account of the preceding genitives. It is, however, unnecessary to 
suppose this, although it must be conceded that the only admis- 
sible alternative, viz. that ttv. depends on dpxovra, is more harsh 
as to sense, although the harshness is lessened by the distance 
from apxovTa. Adopting this, the sense is, " the ruler of the 
spirit," etc. Here Trvev/j-a is not to be understood collectively, 
which it cannot be ; it is what in 1 Cor. ii. 1 2 is called t6 Trviv/xa 
tov K007ACW, the spiritual influence which works in the disobedient. 
It seems to be a sort of explanation of the preceding i$ovo-ia. 

vuv. Not "even now," which would require *ai vw, but in 
contrast to -n-ori, when this spirit operated in the readers also. 

kv tois ulois ttjs direiSeias. A Hebrew form of expression. We 
have "son of misery," Prov. xxxi. 5; "sons of iniquity," 2 Sam. 
vii. 10; "sons of Belial ( = worthlessness)." Compare ch. v. 6; 


Col. Hi. 6; 1 Thess. v. 5 ("sons of light"); 2 Thess. ii. 3 ("son 
of perdition "). Greek authors used the expression iralSe? £wypa'<jWr 
and the like, but not with abstracts. The opposite to viol air. is 
Teuva vTraKorjs, 1 Pet. i. 14. airetOeia is not unbelief, but disobedi- 
ence ; compare Rom. xi. 30, kcu ip.el<; 77-01-6 rjTreiOrjo-aTe t<3 ©cw. 
Chrysostom very curiously says, opas on oi fita ovSe Tvpavn'St dXAa 
rret^ot TrpocrdyeraL ; aTrudeiav yap eiirev, 10? av tis tnroi, aira.Tr) kcu 
■rreiOoL tovs Trdvras ecpe'AKerai. But on Col. Hi. 6 he says, SeiKvis ort 
7rapa to /at) TreicrBrjvai cv totjtois cicnv. The former remark looks 
more like a rhetorical play on words than a serious comment. 

3. eV ols kcu ridels. Kai ^/xeis, " we also, we too." Having 
spoken specially of the Gentiles in the preceding verses, the 
apostle now passes to the Jews. The 7rdvTes is certainly no objec- 
tion to this. " Even amongst us (the chosen people) there was no 
exception." What more natural than to say "all of us also." If 
7rdi/T€s included both Jews and Gentiles, r^eis would be quite 
superfluous ; and the emphatic /cat r)p.el<; would be unintelligible if 
it included v/tets of vv. 1 and 2. lv 019 is connected by Stier with 
Trapa7TTwfxao-Lv (which he thinks appropriate to Jews, as ap-apTiais to 
Gentiles). His reasons are, first, that as viol ttJs air. are the 
heathen, not all the unbelieving, it would not be suitable to reckon 
the Jews amongst them ; secondly, that the harshness of supposing 
that eV just now used with evepyowros is immediately used with the 
same object in a different signification ; and thirdly, that the 
parallelism of 2 and 3 compels us to take cV ats and lv oh as 
parallel. With the reading vp.wv adopted above in ver. 1 it is 
impossible thus to separate nap. from d/A. It might more plausibly 
be maintained that oU refers to both substantives, the feminine 
having been adopted only because ap.. was the nearest substantive, 
and the neuter being used where that reason does not exist. But 
we cannot well avoid referring the relative to the nearest ante- 
cedent when that gives a suitable sense, and the change of verb 
from irepLTraTelv to avaarpicpeo-OaL, which is more suitable if ols be 
persons, is in favour of this; "amongst whom we also," belonging 
to the same class of the disobedient. 

di/€o-Tpdc})T]jjLei/. " Versabamur," "lived our life"; "speciosius 
quam ambulare," Bengel, but rather perhaps adopted because 
TrepnraTeiv lv tois viols could not be said. 

eV Tcu? emGujjucHs ttjs crapKos. crdp£, though primarily signifying 
the matter of the body, and hence the appetites arising from the 
body, is not to be limited to these, but includes the whole of the 
lower or psychical nature. In Rom. vii. it appears in the natural 
man as opposed to vovs or cyw in the higher sense ; in Rom. viii. 
in the regenerate it is opposed to Trv€vp.a. Amongst the works of 
o-dp$ are "strifes," etc., Gal. v. 19, 22. Compare Col. ii. 18, 
puffed up by the vovs of his adp£." The htiOvfiiax of the flesh 


are therefore not merely the bodily appetites, but in general what 
Butler calls "particular propensions." So here it includes crdp£ 
proper and Sidvoiai. 

■jroioueTes t& 0e\T)(xaTa, k.t.X., expresses the result in act of the 
iTTtOv/xlai ; there is no tautology. Aiavotai is not found elsewhere 
with a bad signification. In classical authors Sidvoia means the 
understanding, or a thought or purpose. In Aristotle virtue is 
7r/)oaipeo-is fxera \6yov Kai Si'ai'oias. The plural also is used by 
Plutarch in a good sense. In the N.T. it occurs frequently in a 
good sense, i Pet. i. 13, "girding up the loins of your 8." ; 2 Pet. 
iii. 1, "I stir up your pure 8."; 1 John v. 20, "hath given us a 
8"; cf. also ch. i. 18. Harless conjectures that the plural here 
is used in the sense common in Greek writers, viz. purpose, the 
plural suggesting vacillation ; and he compares the use of a-cxpiat in 
Aristoph. Ran., and "sapientiae" in Cic. Tusc. iii. 18. But this is 
too refined. It deserves notice that in ch. iv. 18 and Col. i. 20, 
St. Paul speaks of his readers having been "darkened in their 
Stavoia" and "enemies in their &." Here, while by no means 
admitting a hendiadys, " cogitationes carnales," we must at least 
allow that Btavotwu acquires its bad significance from the preceding 
crap/cos, so that it nearly = " the <rdp$ and its SiWoiai." 

Kal Y](xe8a T&ra <£u'(r€i opyri?. This order, which is that of 
the Text. Rec, is established by X B K etc., Chrys. Lachmann 
adopted <pvcn.i tIkvo., with A D G L P, Vulg. Syr-Harcl. 

The change from the participle to the finite verb need occasion 
no difficulty ; it is, in fact, required by the sense. Had wtc? been 
written it would be co-ordinate with TroiovvTes and subordinate to 
dv€o-rpd4>7]fjL£v, and explanatory of it, " doing the desires . . . and 
being the children ..." Whatever view is taken of the latter 
clause, these two are not co-ordinate. Not merely, therefore, for 
emphasis, but because the latter is a distinct predication, co-ordinate 
with €v ots dvecrrp., or, more exactly, expressing a consequence of 
that, the verb is in the indicative, — "and so we were." 

Te'icra opyfjs is understood by many as = actual objects of God's 
wrath, reKva being used as suitable to Israel, and then by a sort of 
irony is added, not "of Abraham" or "of God," but "by nature 
of wrath." There could be no objection to such an interpretation 
if it corresponded with the context ; but here, if the actual wrath of 
God were intended, we should expect it to be defined by ©eov or 
the article, or otherwise. But how strange, if not impossible, would 
be the expression " children of God's wrath " ; and especially so 
here, where in the same breath they are described as at the same 
time objects of God's love, without anything to soften the apparent 
opposition ! Nor can it be said that this is at all implied in the 
word TeVva. On the contrary, we have several instances in the 
Old Testament in which "son of" followed by a word denoting 


punishment cannot reasonably be given any other meaning than 
either "worthy of," or "in danger of." Thus Deut. xxv. 2, "If 
the wicked man be a son of stripes, the judge shall . . . cause him 
to be beaten before his face," etc.; rightly rendered in the Sept. iav 
<i£ios 77 -rrXrjywv. i Sam. xxvi. 16 (David to Abner), "Ye are sons 
of death, because ye have not kept watch over your lord." 2 Sam. 
xii. 5 (David to Nathan), "The man that hath done this is a son of 
death." In these two passages the RV. has correctly "worthy to 
die," and in the former no other interpretation is possible. In 
1 Sam. xx. 31, RV. has in the text (with AV.) "shall surely die," 
but in the margin " is worthy to die." In Ps. lxxix. 1 1 and cii. 20, 
" sons of death " are " those who are in danger of death." 

These instances, together with the indefiniteness of 6pyrj<;, justify 
us in understanding the words to mean " objects, i.e. fit objects of 
wrath," "deserving of wrath." And so they are interpreted by 
Chrysostom, "We have provoked God to wrath, rovTeWiv, 
opyrj rjfxev Kal ovSkv erepov " (explaining that he who is dvOpw-jTov 
tckvov is av8p<i>Tro<;). " iravT€s eTrpaTTOfxtv d£ia opyrjs." Similarly 
Oecumenius, " As those who do things worthy of perdition or of 
hell are called reKva d7rcoA.a'as Kal ye£vvr}<i [e.g. 2 Thess. ii. 3 ; 
Matt, xxiii. 15] ovrto Kal rewa 6pyrj<i 01 d£ia opy^s." 

Why is (pucreL inserted ? This question does not seem hard to 
answer. It must first be remarked that (pvais is opposed some- 
times to vo/Aos, sometimes to #e'<m, dvdyK-q, etc., but does not 
necessarily mean "by birth." Rom. ii. 14, the Gentiles do <pvo-ei 
to. tov v6p.ov ; 1 Cor. xi. 14, 7] <pvcn<; teaches that if a man have long 
hair it is a shame. Josephus says of David that he was <pvcr<u 
Stxatos Kal 6eoo-e/3ri<; (Ant. vii. 7. 1), and of the Pharisees 0w« 
i-n-ieiKtoS l^oucriv (xiii. IO. 6). We have <pv<rei <pi\oyeo)pyoTaTO<i in 
Xen. Oec. xx. 25. Compare also Philo, De Conf. Ling. p. 327 E, 
dAA' ovk dvTiXoyiKoi ycydvacriv ocroi ttJs ^iri(XTrfp.7] i i Kal dpeTrjs £fj^-ov 
ecrxov. It is, in fact, used like our word " naturally." Here the 
opposition suggested might be to x° i P lTl \ Dut as the Jews are in 
question, it is more probably to fo'crei, their covenant position as 
the people of God, by which they were holy branches of a holy 
root, to whom belonged the vlodea-ia (Rom. xi. 16, 21). "We 
Jews, too, just as the heathen, were, apart from the covenant, 
Tcwa opyrjs." 

From the time of Augustine these words have been supposed by many to 
contain a direct assertion of original sin. Thus Calvin, " Paulus nos cum 
peccato gigni testatur, quemadmodum serpentes suum venenum ex utero 

But, first, this gives a very great emphasis to <f>6<rei, which its position 
forbids. Secondly, it supposes Kal rffxeOa to refer to, or at least include, a 
time prior to iv oh av., which seems not possible. Thirdly, it does not 
harmonise with the context. That treats of actual sin (including, of course, 
character), and the immediate context of the Jews only. It would be natural 


and intelligible that this description should be followed by mention of the 
wrath thereby incurred ; it would also be intelligible, though less natural, 
that it should be followed by a statement that in addition to this we inherited 
a sinful and guilty nature. The interpretation in question supposes that 
neither of these is mentioned ; the wrath incurred by actual sin is omitted, 
while that incurred by birth sin is mentioned without mention of its cause, 
which is left to be inferred. And fourthly, even this is stated expressly only 
of the Jews ; it is assumed as self-evident of the Gentiles, ol Xonrot. The 
reader has to fill up the sentence somewhat in this way, "We fulfilled the 
desires of the flesh [and thus became objects of God's wrath ; and, in 
addition to this, we were even before committing any actual sin inheritors of a 
sinful nature, and so] already by nature objects of His wrath." 

It is true, indeed, that men are born with a sinful and corrupt nature ; but 
to say this is not to say that the infant who has committed no actual sin is an 
actual object of God's wrath ; still less does it prove that the apostle's words 
here imply it. Chrysostom has no trace of such an interpretation ; in fact he 
seems even to regard these words as guarding against a similar interpretation 
of OeX-qfiara aapicbs. "That is [he says], ovSiv Trvev/xaTtKOv Qpovovvres. But 
that he may not be suspected of saying this in disparagement of the flesh, 
and lest one should think the offence not great, see how he guards himself. 
Fulfilling the desires, etc. ; he (the apostle) says, we provoked God " ; adding 
what has been quoted above. Jerome gives as alternatives, "Vel propter 
corpus humilitatis corpusque mortis et quod ab adolescentia mens hominum 
apposita sit ad malum." "Vel quod ex eo tempore quo possumus habere 
notitiam Dei, et ad pubertatem venimus, omnes aut opere aut lingua aut 
cogitatione peccemus. " He mentions some who took <pv<rei here to mean 
"prorsus"; cf. dXtjOQs or yp-qulws, Oecum. ; but the word never has this 

ol Xonroi, the heathen, cf. i Thess. iv. 13. 

4. 6 8e ©eos resumes from ver. 1 after the interruption, and now 
with the subject ; ovv is more usual in such a resumption ; but 
Se is more suitable here, on account of the contrast of what is 
now to be said with what precedes. Jerome's comment is charac- 
teristic, " Conjunctionem causalem in eo loco in quo ait : Deus 
autem etc. arbitramur aut ab indoctis scriptoribus additum et 
vitium inolevisse paulatim, aut ab ipso Paulo, qui erat imperitus 
sermone et non scientia, superflue usurpatum." Erasmus' remark 
is more correct, " Hyperbati longioris ambitum ipse correxit 

irXou'crios &v iv VkUi, " being as He is " (the participle assigning 
the reason), not simply iXe^oiv, but "rich in mercy " (Chrys.).' 
Compare Rom. ix. 23, "make known the riches of His glory on 
crxevr] eAeous." In classical writers 7rAoucrios is construed with 
a genitive of the thing, but in the N.T. with iv, see Jas. ii. 5, iv 
ttio-tu ; and similarly the verbs 7rkovTelv, TrXovrifccrOai (1 Cor. i. 5). 
Compare the correspondence of efAeos and d7r€i#£i'a in Rom. xi. 31. 
aydirrj is not a particular form of eAcos, but is the cause from 
which, or by reason of which, eAeos was exercised. 

Sid tt)c iro\\r)i> 6.ydtn\v, "propter," Vulg. "for His great love"; 
cf. Philem. 8, "for love's sake." fy, cognate accusative, a very 
common usage, both in classical and N.T. Greek. Here the 


addition rjv r/y. rjp.a<;, being not necessary to the sense, gives 
great emphasis to the expression of the Divine love. Nor is 
avTov to be neglected, " His love " marking more distinctly that 
it is from Him alone and His attitude of love that this mercy 

rjfjias now includes both the v/*eis of ver. i and the rjfxa^ of ver. 3, 
and includes therefore both Jews and Gentiles. 

5. Kal (Was f\pas ycKpous. The ko.L does not signify "us also 
altogether," which is forbidden by the position of 17//.S9 (not #cai 
17/xas), and for the same reason it does not resume the kcu of ver. 1. 
It is best taken as " Even," " Even when we were dead," etc. 
It is objected, indeed, that it is only the dead who can be 
" brought to life," and for this reason Meyer takes kcu as the 
copula, " on account of His great love, and when we were dead " ; 
but these two ideas are not co-ordinate. Soden, for the same 
reason, joins the words with the preceding, " loved us even when," 
etc. This, no doubt, gives a good sense, although the antithesis 
between " loved " and " when dead " is not very natural, whereas 
that between vexpovs and i£,woiroi7](re is striking. Besides, the 
proposed construction would require 17/xas to be expressed with 
crwe£. not with oVras, since rjyaTrrjcrev already has its object ex- 
pressed. But the objection is hypercritical. The answer to it is, 
not that vex. is qualified by tois Trapa-n-T. which has no emphasis, 
nor that o-we£. is defined by iv Xpia-n3. The true answer is 
found in the position of the verb. " Gave life even to the dead " 
would not be a natural mode of expression, but " Even the dead 
He restored to life" is perfectly natural. The Kal ovtcis, k.t.X., 
attracts the reader's attention to some striking instance of God's 
love about to be mentioned. Comp. Col. ii. 13, where the 
connexion is unambiguous. Indeed, it is not quite true that 
faoiroidv can be only of the dead. See John vi. 63 compared 
with ver. 54 ; also 1 Cor. xv. 36 ; 2 Cor. iii. 6. 

tois TrapaTrTcJfxaCTii' = our trespasses, the trespasses already men- 
tioned in ver. 1. 

CTU^e^woiroiTjCTe tw Xpiorw. 

B adds iv after the verb with 17 Arm. and some other authorities, — a 
reading admitted to the margin by Westcott and Hort, and in brackets by 
Lachmarm. It might, with equal ease, be omitted or inserted accidentally. 
There comd be no reason for intentional omission, but it might be added 
intentionally from the construction being mistaken. It is observable that 
B, Arm. also insert iv after vtKpoh, if, indeed, a version can be safely cited 
in such a case. Internal evidence is against iv, as we get a better sense by 
taking Xpurrf as dependent on aw. 

Meyer, having understood vtKpovs to refer to future eternal 
death, of course understands awc£. as referring to the eternal life 
which begins with the resurrection. This view he regards as alone 


consistent with the context in which the translation into heaven is 
expressed, and again in ver. 7 the times after the Parousia are 
referred to. His view then is, that God has made believers alive 
with Christ ; that is, that by virtue of the dynamic connexion of 
Christ with His believers as the Head with its body, their re- 
vivification is objectively included in His ; " quum autem fides 
suscipitur ea omnia a Deo applicantur homini et ab homine rata 
habentur," Bengel. The apostle therefore views this as having 
already taken place, although the subjective individual participa- 
tion remains future, and he might have used the future as in 
1 Cor. xv. 22. The peculiar use of the aorist here he refers to 
the principle thus stated by Fritzsche (on Rom. viii. 30, ii. p. 206), 
"Ponitur Aoristus de re, quae, quanivis futura sit, tamen pro 
peracta recte censeatur, quum vel alia re jam facta contineatur, 
ut h. L, vel a conditione suspensa cogitetur, quam jam obtinuisse 
finxeris, v. Horn. 77. iv. 161 ; John xv. 6." This usage was first ex- 
plained by Hermann, " De emend, ratione graecae gr." pp. 190 ff., 
but, as stated by him, does not apply here. 

Of the two passages to which Fritzsche after Hermann refers, 
that from Homer is, says Hermann, the only instance known to 
me in which it may be reasonably questioned whether the aorist 
has not the signification of the future, viz. Horn. //. iv. 160-162. 
It is as follows : — 

enrep yap re kcu airiK 'OAu/i.7rto§ ovk eTe'Aecrcrej', 
ck re /cat 6[f/k reXel, crvv t£ p,eyaAa> a.7r€Ti<rav, 
crvv (r<pfjcnv KC<f>a\rjcri yvvai^i re kcu TeKeecrcriv. 

Here the poet throws himself forward into the time of the verb 
T6\et, and sees the instantaneous carrying out of this vindication 
of oaths ; as if he said, " And, lo ! at once they have paid the 
penalty." " Rem futuram non ut futuram sed ut praeteritam 
narrat : nimirum post quam Troianos punierit Iuppiter turn illi 
poenas dederunt " (Hermann). The other example is from John 

XV. 6, iav fJLrj Tt? fJ-twrj Iv ifj.01, i(3\r)0r] e£o) <I>s to KXyjfia, kcu i£r]pdvOr). 

Here also a condition is expressed from which the consequence 
necessarily follows. Similarly Epictetus, cap. 59, av v-n-ep Svva/xiv 
dvaA.a/3ijs ti Trpocroyirov, kol iv tovtw rjcr)(r}fx6yrj(ra<;, ko.1 o r)$vva<ro 
€Kir\rjpw(rai, 7rape'Ai7res (see Jelf, § 403). In the present passage, if 
o-we£. is referred to the future, there is no resemblance to these 
instances. We have already seen, however, that vc/cpovs includes 
present spiritual death, and that indeed as its primary notion, 
although it cannot be limited to that, since the consequence, 
natural and eternal death, is necessarily suggested with it. Accord- 
ingly, the vivification, though primarily spiritual, includes in it our 
share in the resurrection and exaltation of Christ. In i. 20, 21 
the writer has pointed to the resurrection and exaltation of Christ 


as an exhibition of Divine power ; here he declares that by virtue 
of our union with Him as of members with the head, we participate 
in the same. " Quamvis salus nostra in spe sit adhuc abscondita 
quantum ad nos spectat : in Christo nihilominus beatam im- 
mortalitatem possidemus," Calvin. Col. ii. 13 is closely parallel. 
The fact that baptism is there referred to as the means by which 
the individual entered subjectively into fellowship with Christ, and 
is not mentioned here, does not justify the adoption of a different 
meaning for <xwe£. here, such as that of Harless, whose view is 
that the risen life and glorification of Christ are here spoken of as 
ours, because they are the glory of " our " Redeemer. 

Chrysostom's comment is : el-fj d-n-ap\i] £fj, ko.1 i^eis - e^oioiroLrjcre 
KaKetvov /ecu ry/xas, to which Theophylact adds : ckclvov evepyeia., 
17/xas Svvd/xet vvv, /xer' oXiyov 8e kgu ivepyeia. <rvv- clearly " with 
Christ," Col. ii. 13. 

xdpi-ri core creo-worfieVoi. " It is by grace that ye have been 
saved," — a lively parenthetical reminder suggested by the preced- 
ing words, and vindicating the expression " vivified when dead." 
Being dead, ye could do nothing of yourselves, so that it must 
needs be all by grace, i.e. simply by God's free gift. We are so 
accustomed to use " grace " in a technical theological sense, that 
we are prone to think of that sense where it does not really come 
in. This technical sense of "grace" as something conferred is 
not in question here, and any reference to the distinction between 
prevenient and co-operating grace, etc., is out of place. The 
word is used just as in royal letters the words " by our special 
grace and mere motion." 

D G, Vulg. al. prefix oC (D oC rf}) to x&pm- 

The perfect iare a-ea-wa-fxevoi here is in striking contrast with 
the aorist ea-<I)6rjp.ev in Rom. viii. 24, 777 yap i\Tri8i ear. But the 
perfect is as suitable here as it would have been unsuitable there, 
where it would contradict IXttlZi. Then, what was to be said had 
reference to the definite moment of the readers' introduction into 
the Christian Church, and the point was that the o-oiT-qpia obtained 
at that definite moment was in part a matter of hope. Here it is 
not a past moment that is in question, as if x<*pis was over and done 
with, but the readers' present condition as the continuing result of 
their conversion. In one sense their awr-qpca was complete, viz. 
regarded with respect to that from which they were delivered ; 
in another incomplete, viz. with respect to that which was 
reserved for them. So to persons rescued from a wreck, but not 
yet arrived in port, we might say either eo-w^re or crco-woyxevoi iare. 

6. o-un^yeipe is nearly synonymous with crwelwoTroirjo-e, but sug- 
gests more distinctly physical resurrection. In Col. iii. r, as here, 
the iyepOrjvat crvv XpiaTio is treated as past, and is made the motive 


for seeking those things which are above, "... for ye died, and 
your life is hid with Christ in God." The present passage ex- 
presses this more vividly and strikingly, avi>a<d0Lcrev ev rot? cttov- 
paWois. " Non dicit in dextra ; Christo sua manet excellentia," 
Bengel (and so Estius less tersely), tv tois ct. denotes the true or 
ideal locality of the Church as the " kingdom of heaven." Comp. 
Heb. xii. 22, vpocreXrjXvOaTe . . . ttoXci Oeov £o>vtos, 'lepovaaXrjfJi. 

iv XpiaTw after <rvv- has caused some perplexity, and led some 
commentators to understand the aw- in ver. 6 (not in ver. 5) as 
joining v/xeis and ^ets together. But it seems better to under- 
stand iv X. as completing and defining with more precision what was 
intended by avv, for it is not simply together with Christ that this 
vivification and exaltation takes place, but also in Him, by virtue 
of union with Him as the Head. 

7. Xva eVSei^YjTai. The middle does not mean "for His own 
glory," nor does the language of the verse suggest the idea of 
showing as a sample or specimen. The verb seldom occurs in 
the active voice except as a legal expression, never in N.T. The 
middle involves no more than is already contained in airov, as the 
instances show : Rom. ii. 1 5, " show the work of the law written 
in their hearts " ; 2 Cor. viii. 24, " showing the 2vSet£is of your 
love and of our boasting" ; 2 Tim. iv. 14, " Alexander the copper- 
smith 7roXA.a fxoi xaxa ci'eSei^aTo." See also Tit. ii. io, iii. 2 ; Heb. 
vi. 10, 11. These instances also show that the word means, not 
" make known," but " exhibit in fact or act." 

eV toIs alwcn tois cTrepxofi^ois. " In the coming ages." It 
seems more suitable to the context, as well as to the use of 
parallel expressions, to understand this of the future life, 6 alwv 
6 /xeXXwv, in which the state described in the preceding words will 
be actually realised and made manifest. The present participle is 
not against this, for in Mark x. 30 we have 6 atwv 6 ep^o/xcvos m this 
sense. The plural may at first sight seem against it, but is not 
really so ; it only indicates that the apostle viewed the future age 
as involving stages of development in which the exceeding riches 
of God's grace will be more and more clearly manifested, and that 
becomes actual, the knowledge of which is mentioned as the 
object of desire in i. 18. Compare the frequent expression eis tous 
atweas Tiov (xlwvidv, also Jude 25, eis 7TOVTaS toi>s atwvas ; and the 
remarkable expression, 1 Tim. i. 17, tw fiaa-LXel tQv aiu>v<Av. These 
alwva may be regarded as constituting a whole in contrast to the 
present life, and so be named in the singular u at. 6 /xiXXutv. 

to uircpPdMoy ttXoutos tv]s x^P lTO s auTou. The neuter ttAoutos 
is best supported here. In modern Greek the word is indifferently 
masculine or neuter. 

iv xpiotottjti £(J)' Tjpas. These words are to be so connected, 


not vTrepfidWov iff)' rjixas. To exhibit x"P ts m XP 7 ? "™ 1 " 7 ? 5 would be 
tautological. Nor is the absence of the article any objection, for 
XP^cttott;? implies, not merely an inherent quality, but one which 
involves in its idea exercise towards another, so that it requires 
to be completely defined by the expression of this object. 

iv Xpio-xw 'ItjctoG. The ground of this kindness shown towards 
us is in Christ, not in us. As Calvin remarks, " Notanda repetitio 
nominis Christi quia nihil gratiae neque amoris a Deo sperari 
vult, nisi ipso intercedente." 

8. tt) yap x^P lTl > k.t.\. How justly I say " the exceeding riches 
of His grace," for, etc. The apostle now speaks in more detail 
about the truth of which his mind was so full. x<*P m nas the 
article, because it is the grace already mentioned. 

8i& irlorews without the article, K A B D* G P 17, Chrys. Rec. has the 
article, with D c K L and most cursives. 

This is the subjective condition, the "causa apprehendens," the necessary 
medium on the side of man, "the living capacity for receiving the powers of 
the higher world," Olshausen. The whole emphasis is on rp x<£piTi. The 
article before irtaTews would imply that its possession was presupposed : 
"your faith." 

icai toCto, " and that " (for which /mi ravra is more frequent in 
classical writers), is referred by the Fathers, Chrysostom, Theodoret, 
and Jerome, to " faith." Thus Chrysostom says : ovSe 7} 7r«rri? i£ 
77/xw, €i yap ovk rjX6(.v, el yap pJrj €KaAeo~€, 7ra>s rj8vvdfM€$a Tncrrevcrai ; 
7raJ; yap, (farjcri, TriaTevo-ovatv eav firj d/covo-wcrtv. He proceeds to 
interpret the words ©eov to Swpov as applying, not to faith, but to 
the grant of salvation on condition of faith, orei 7ru>s o-w£ei rj ttlo-tl<;, 
ei7re pot, avev tpyuiv ; tovto avrb ®eov 8wpov ccttiv. This is not 
very different from what Theophylact says : ou ttjv ttivtiv Xe'yct 

owpov ®€ov f dWa to 8ta 7rio"T£<us <rm6ijvaL, tovto Swpov eo~Ti 6(.ov. 

Modern commentators (Erasmus, Beza, Bengel, etc.) who have 
adopted the view that touto refers to 7rto-Ti§, understand the mean- 
ing to be that the power or exercise of faith (faith subjectively 
considered) is the gift of God (as Phil. i. 29), in which case nal 
tovto to Swpov must be parenthetical, since to say that faith is not 
c£ cpywv would be trivial in the extreme. 

The gender of tovto is not fatal to the reference to 7rto-Tts, but 
to separate Z£ vp.wv in this way from e£ Ipywv does violence to the 
connexion. The latter is a nearer definition of the former. 
Recent commentators refer koL tovto to o-eo-wo-p-eroi lent, or, better, 
to the whole clause ; for after xapiTi had been expressed with o-eo-., 
the emphatic *al tovto would be out of place. In fact, the apostle 
emphasises and defines tyj x- more closely by denying the 
opposites ; first, of the objective source x^P 1 ? °y OVK *£ ip.wv ; and, 
secondly, of the subjective element by ovk i£, Zpywv (Meyer). 

0cou to oCtpov. God's is the gift = ©eoD Bwpov to 8wpov tori, 


®eov being placed first for the sake of the emphatic contrast with 


9. ouk e£ epY&)i\ He does not say epyoyv vofjiov, because not writ- 
ing to Jewish believers. De Wette (who does not accept the Pauline 
authorship) thinks the opposition in ovk e£ Zpyu>v has no meaning, 
since the writer is not thinking of Jews, and heathen believers did 
not need to be warned against taking pride in the righteousness of 
works, especially after what had preceded in vv. i and 5. But the 
ovk c£ Ipywv was such an essential principle of St. Paul's teaching 
that no doubt he must have often repeated it amongst both Jews and 
Gentiles ; nor is there any force in the reference to the past condition 
of the readers. Might not Gentile converts be tempted to regard 
their salvation as secured by their new holiness of life ? and not 
the less because their former sins were when they were in darkness. 

Iva pi tis KauxrjcrT]Tai. Some commentators insist on giving 
Iva its full final force, " in order that " ; so that to prevent boasting 
was God's purpose, or one of His purposes, in appointing that men 
should not be justified by works. Are we then to say that, in 
order that men should not boast, He has refused to allow salvation 
or justification by works ? Nay ; but no man can be justified by 
his works, and " when they have been betrayed by these," God 
appointed that He should save them x"-P lTl $ La leurr&as. So 
in substance Chrysostom and Theophylact, whose words are : to 
yap iva ovk alrtoXoyiKOv coti, aXX' e* rr)<; d7ro/3a<recos tov irpa.yfjLa.Tos. 
Yet the clause is not to be reduced to a mere statement of result, 
since it is a result inseparable from God's purpose. Stier suggests 
that iva, k.t.X., may be viewed as the expression of the writer's 
purpose: "This I say in order that," etc. This cannot fairly be 
called unnatural, but it would require the verb to be present. 

10. auTou yap iar\iev ■no'ir]\ia KTicrSeWes iv XpioTai eirl epyois dyaGots. 
Proof of the foregoing clauses from ovk e£ fyiwv, not of iva n? . . . 
only, which is only a secondary thought. If we are God's work- 
manship, our salvation is not our own work, but the gift of God ; 
and if we are created in Christ for good works, there could be no 
works preceding this creation from which any merit could arise. 
The argument turns on avVov, which is emphatic, " His workman- 
ship we are," and on ktlctOIvtzs ; and the following words still more 
distinctly express the impossibility of any merit preceding this 


iToiT)(xa, found again only Rom. i. 20 of the works of creation. 
Here, too, it is referred by Tert. Greg. Naz. and Basil to physical 
creation. This is refuted by the nearer definition given in 
KTio-Oevres, k.t.X. Pelagius includes both the physical and the 
spiritual, "quod vivimus, quod spiramus, quod intelligimus, quod 
credere possumus, ipsius est, quia ipse conditor nostri est." The 
word can hardly of itself be used simply of the new or spiritual 


creation ; it may perhaps be chosen to suggest strongly the analogy 
of this to the first creation, the nature of this iroi-qp.a being left to 
be defined by the following words. Perhaps we may better say 
that the apostle's mind was so full of the idea of the "new man," 
that he writes as if this new creation might be regarded as the 
first " making " of u?. 

K-naSeVTes. " Created " ; for if anyone is in Christ, he is naivy 
kti'cti?, 2 Cor. v. 17; compare also Gal. vi. 15. ktl&iv is appro- 
priately used of the kguvos avOpunros, the coming into being of 
which is called 7raXiyyeveo-ia, Tit. iii. 5. We are not, then, to 
weaken it into " efficere." 

iv Xpiorw 'I. Cf. ver. 15 and 2 Cor. v. 17, above. lv expresses 
the fellowship in which that new creation takes place. 

em Ipyois dyaOoI?. kir'i, with the dative, is used to express the 
condition upon which a thing happens or is done ; for instance, 

the conditions of a treaty iir uroi?, £7ri iracn Sikcu'ois, €7ri p?7T0i?, iir 
apyvptw, ori rrj rov dvSpos ^v^rj (Plato, Rep. ix. p. 590 A) ; Savei£eii/ 

€7ri vTToOrjKrj (Dem. p. 908, 21). Hence the expression «</>' aire. 
Many, if not most, of the instances adduced in support of the 
meaning, "with a view to such and such an end," are better 
explained by this usage, e.g. Swpw eVi /xeydAw in Horn. //. x. 304, 
tj's kcv fioL roSe epyov V7ro<T^o/xevos TeAe'creiev Swpw €ttl p.., certainly not 
"with a view to," but "on the terms of receiving"; //. ix. 482, 
p.ovvov, TTjjXvyerov, ttoWoictiv lir\ KTcdrecrortv ; and V. 154, "he begat 
no other son," Itt\ KTedreacn XnricrOai, the possessions being an 
accompanying condition of the sonship. So also in such phrases 
as €7rt £evta 8e)(£cr6a,i or KaAetv ; <pdcrKOVT€<; lir iXevOepia, irpoecrTavai 
t<2v EAAtJvcdv (Dem. p. 661, 16); C7r eXevOepia (rtvos KarariOevai 
Xprjp.a.Ta) {lb. p. 1355, 18). /ecu icp' w iv KopiV^a) firj £pya£ecr6ai. 
Where the condition is (as in the last instance, not in that preced- 
ing) that something be granted, the meaning amounts to the same 
as " with a view to " ; but this does not seem to be contained in the 
preposition. Indeed, the following words, nal Ifi <5, k.t.A., appear 
to decide the signification of eart here. 

Similarly in Gal. v. 13, eV IXtvOtpia cVA^^re means, not 
that freedom was the end or object, but the condition of their 
calling, the terms on which they were called, viz. so as to be free. 

Again, I Thess. iv. y, ov ydp ixaXecrev i]p.d<; 6 ©eos Ztti aKaOapcriq.. 

Not on such terms were we called, not so that we should be 
impure. In the following words, dAAd iv dyiacr/xw, iv appears to 
be preferred, because dyiaoyxds did not express any outward con- 
dition. 2 Tim. ii. 14, eVi KaracrTpocprj toiv o.kov6vt<dv "with a view 
to," would be clearly out of place; " to the subverting" gives the 
sense correctly. It is the inevitable concomitant. Here Ipya 
dyafld are not the object of the new creation, but are involved in 
it as an inseparable condition 


ots TrpoT]Toifia<T6i' 6 06os Iva iv auTois TrepnraT^o-wfxei'. The 
construction here is much disputed. The most obvious explana 
tion is that oh is in the dative by attraction, " which God before 
prepared." Then we ask in what sense can works be said to have 
been prepared, since they have no existence previous to their being 
done. An easy answer appears to be, that they are appointed, 
and so, though not realised in fact, are realised in the divine 
thought or purpose. This is the view taken after Augustine by 
Harless, who thinks this the only possible sense here, since the 
apostle expressly adds that the actual realisation is expected from 
the believers. Thus St. Paul uses 7rpoeToi/Aa£eiv here of things, in 
the same sense as he had used Trpoopi^tiv in i. 1 1 of persons. De 
Wette and Braune, etc., agree. The difficulty in this view is that 
eToi/xd£,eiv is not = opi^ttv. " Aliud est enim, parare kroipAt^w, aliud 
definire opi£eiv" (Fritzsche, Rom. iii. 339). The instance which 
Harless cites from Matt. xxv. 34, " the kingdom prepared," is not 
parallel, nor Gen. xxiv. 14. 

For this reason Ellicott, Eadie, Meyer, etc., reject this view, 
but fail to give a satisfactory interpretation. " God (says Ellicott) 
made ready for us, prearranged, prepared a sphere of moral action, 
or (to use the simile of Chrys.) a road, with the intent that we 
should walk in it and not leave it : this sphere, this road, was 
epya ayaOd." Similarly Eadie, who suggests that 7rpoopi£eiv marks 
the destination, Trpoeroifji. the means : " they have been prescribed, 
defined, adapted to us," " by prearranging the works in their 
sphere, character, and suitability, and also by preordaining the 
law which commands, the inducement or appliances which impel, 
and the creation in Christ which qualifies and empowers us," etc. 
But he does not explain how things non-existent can be arranged 
except by ordaining. These interpretations do not essentially 
differ from the first. 

The similes of a sphere or a road (used by Chrysostom foi 
homiletical purposes) are inappropriate. A road exists objectively 
before one walks in it. A truer simile would be a path through 
the seas. Perhaps we might say that the word Trpocr. is chosen, not 
as being logically accurate, but in order to express in the most 
striking manner the truth that the good works do not proceed 
from ourselves ; they are, as it were, received from the Creator as 
out of a treasure, which is thus figuratively conceived as being 
prepared before. But this hardly meets the difficulty. Olshausen 
understands that the circumstances and conditions under which it 
becomes possible to do good works are ordered by God, 7rpoer. 
differing from -rrpoopi^iv only as relating more to details (compare 
Eadie, above). 

Stier suggests taking the verb intransitively, 01s being the 
dative of reference. " For which God made previous prepara- 


tion." The simple verb eToi/xd^civ is used intransitively in Luke 
ix. 5 2, ware erot/xacrat avrw. This, however, is not entirely 
parallel. The object to be understood there is readily supplied, 
" parare paranda " ; just as in English we may say " prepare," 
" make ready," viz. " things." But here we should have to ask, 
Prepare what? The answer would perhaps be "us." And as 
Fritzsche points out, this ijpas as the object did not require to be 
expressed, since it is sufficiently indicated by the following words, 
Iva iv avi-ois irepLTraTrja-wixev. This seems, after all, the most un- 
objectionable interpretation, and is adopted by Reuss, v. Soden, 
Oltramare, etc. Eadie also expresses himself as inclined to adopt 
it, if it could be fully justified, but he does not refer to the sug- 
gestion of 17/Aas contained in the following words. This interpreta- 
tion cannot fairly be charged with making Iva iv avToh Trepnra.Tr)- 
a-w/xev a mere tautology. These words strongly accentuate the 
moral purpose of the preparation. The supposition of a Hebraism, 
as if oh . . . iv airols were = iv oh, is inadmissible. 

7r/oo has its proper force, not, however, as if it meant before the 
KTiais, as ex. expresses an act, not a purpose ; and, of course, not 
after, because of rrpo-, therefore at the time of the ktio-is, so that 
eTOL/xa^eiv repeats KTi'£eiv iir\ ip. ay., only with the addition of irpo 
to express that the new creation is the primary thing but has this 
end in view, the works being only a result. It must be observed 
that epya ayaOd is general ; not -rots dy. Ipyots, the definite good 
works, etc. 

There is no ground for saying that the weight here assigned 
to good works goes beyond what is elsewhere expressed by St. 
Paul, as Baur insists, or that the importance of faith is lessened. 
Here, as elsewhere, works have their ground in faith. Bengel 
well says : " ut ambularemus, non salvaremur, aut viveremus." 

11-22. Ye Gentiles were formerly aliens from the commonivealth 
of Israel, and had no share in the covenants of promise ; but Christ 
by His death has cast down the barrier which separated you frotn 
the City of God, and has reconciled you both to God. Now, there- 
fore, all alike have access to Him, the Father^ and all alike form 
part of the holy temple which He inhabits. 

11. A16 fAfTinoveu'eTe. These blessings should move them to 
think more of their former state, so that they should be the more 
thankful. "Talis recordatio gratum animum acuit, et fidem 
roborat." Aio is best taken as referring to the whole section, 
w. 1 to 10. 

on ttotc ujjieis in this order N*ABD* Vulg. Rec. has vp.d% 
7roTc, with K c L) c G (prefixes ol to -nori), Syr. Hard. But Syr. Pesh. 
Boh. and some other versions have ttotc. after Wvrj. on is resumed 
by on, ver. 12, and ttotc by t<3 Kaipw eV Hence we need not 
supply either ovres or ^tc, but i-a I6vr) is in simple apposition to v/ms. 


■ret ZQvr\, with the article as indicating a class. Since Wvq Iv 
aapKi expresses one single idea, the article does not require re- 
petition before iv. iv o-apKi must have the same sense here as in 
the following clause, since the former is explained by ol \ey6p.evoi 
aKpofivo-TLd, and this has its antithesis in 777s 7reptT0ju,^s. It 
therefore refers to their uncircumcision, not to their fbrmer carnal 
state, nor to their descent. Chrysostom and other Fathers take 
iv aapKi as opposed to iv irveviian. Thus Jerome : " Ephesios in 
carne vocans ostendit in spiritu esse non gentes." This contra- 
dicts 7tot€ and ver. 12. The apostle is not exalting them, but 
calling attention to their previous inferiority to the Jews. 

" Remember that formerly ye Gentiles in the flesh called (in 
contempt) Uncircumcision by the so-called Circumcision in the 
flesh, a circumcision merely physical, made with hands." He 
reminds them of the ignominy which in the mind of the Jews 
attached to the name of heathen and of the uncircumcised. This 
contempt is already predicated in the words 01 Xeyo/x.cvoi S.Kp. ; and 
the lowness of their condition is further shown by the following 
description of those who so despised them, those, namely, who 
prided themselves on a mere fleshly distinction made with hands. 
Why, in fact, does he say X(.yop.ivq<i 7T£/hto/a?7?, and why x €l P 07r0L V- 
tov ? There was no need to give the readers information on the 
name or the fact. The latter word is clearly depreciatory, "a 
merely external and artificial thing-" But he is far from depreciat- 
ing circumcision, in its true significance, as the sign of member- 
ship of the commonwealth of the people of God. Hence the use 
of \cyop.£vr]<;, which by its adjectival connexion with TrepiTop.r}<; gets 
the signification " so called." This is readily explained from the 
apostle's use of irtpiTop.r) elsewhere in a spiritual, as contrasted 
with a merely physical sense, as in Rom. ii. 28, 29, "Neither is 
that circumcision which is outward in the flesh . . . circumcision 
is that of the heart, in the spirit, not in the letter." Phil. ii. 2, 
he calls the physical circumcision KajaropJ], a. term more con- 
temptuous than x €l P 07roL V TOV nere : adding in ver. 3, " We are the 
circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ 
Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh"; and in Col. ii. 11,' 
which is strikingly illustrative of the present passage, " in whom 
ye were circumcised with a circumcision not made with hands." 
Soden thinks that x €L P 07roi -V TOV here is superfluous, because there 
is no reference (as in Col.) to a spiritual circumcision, and ev o-ap/a 
sufficiently emphasises the merely external character of the sign ; 
and hence he thinks the word introduced out of imitation of Col. 
ii. 11. But it seems, on the contrary, to give emphasis and com- 
pleteness to the thought, and would naturally occur to the writer 
who about the same time wrote ax^ipoiroLrjTov in Col. 

Although " circumcision " is not used figuratively in the O.T., 


" uncircumcision " is. Even in Lev. xxvi. 41 we have "their un- 
circumcised heart." Jeremiah speaks of the uncircumcised ear of 
those who will not hearken (vi. 10), and calls the house of Israel 
"uncircumcised in heart" (ix. 26). Comp. Ezek. xliv. 7, "un- 
circumcised in heart and uncircumcised in flesh," and Acts 
vii. 51. 

12. on tjt6 tw Kcupw cKcico) x w P ts XpioToG. Rec. has eV before 
ru /caipw. It is omitted by K A B D G. 

on resumes the former on. " Remember, I say, that." 

Xwpls Xpiorou is taken by De Wette and Bleek as, not a 
predicate, but a circumstantial addition, " being at that time with- 
out Christ." It would thus correspond with iv Xpio-Tw, ver. 13, 
and would give the reason of their alienation from the common- 
wealth of Israel. But, considering the position of the words, this 
is a harsh construction, and would deprive the words of the 
emphasis which belongs to them as the opposite of the frequent 
iv Xp. in this Epistle. x w P ts -^p. is, as Meyer says, the first tragic 
predicate. x^P' 5 * s distinguished from avev by Tittmann as 
follows: "x«jpts ad subjectum quod ab objecto sejunctum est 
refertur, avev ad objectum quod a subjecto abesse cogitandum 
est." According to this, x°>P^ Xp. would mean " ye were far from 
Christ " ; avev Xp. would be " Christ was not with you." But this 
must be received with hesitation, seeing that x^P 1 '? occurs in the 
N.T. forty times, and avev only thrice (Ellicott), viz. Matt. x. 29; 
1 Pet. iii. 1, iv. 9. In the last quoted passage avev yoyy vo-p.ov is 
equivalent to x w P L<i yoyyvo-p.u>v, Phil. ii. 14. 

Schwegler sees here a concession to Judaism which is unlike 
St. Paul ; but without reason, since the concession only relates to 
pre-Christian times, and the advantage possessed by the Jews in this 
respect is, as it must be, fully admitted by St. Paul (Rom. iii. 1 ff.). 

What is meant by x^pis Xpio-rov is explained in the following 
words : — 

dirTjWoTptwpecoi rr)S TroX1.Te1.a5 tou 'lapar|\. The verb anaXko- 
Tpiooi occurs also in iv. 18, a-n-. tt}s £wi)s rov ®eov, and Col. i. 21, 
without a genitive. In Ezek. xiv. 5, 7 we have a-n-. air' ip.ov; in 
3 Mace. i. 4, toiv irarpiwv 8oypa.Twv. The active verb occurs in 
Eccles. xi. 34, oltt. ae twv ISlidv crov. 

The verb always means to estrange ; here therefore " estranged 
from " as opposed to " being at home in." 

■rroXiTeia was interpreted by the ancients in the sense " manner 
of life," " conversatio," Vulg., a meaning which the word frequently 
has in Christian writers, and not in these alone; see Athen. i. p. 19 A. 
But to take it so here would be contrary to ver. 19, where the 
opposite of a.7r. k.t.A. is o-v/x7roXtTai. It may mean either citizen- 
ship, or state, commonwealth. Many commentators have taken 
it in the former sense. It is questionable whether it could be so 


used with a genitive of the nation or city. Nor does the verb 
aTT-qW.. suggest such a meaning. Besides, the Greek and Roman 
conception of citizenship would not be appropriate here, and, 
further, we should have to explain the exclusion from citizenship 
as arising from exclusion from the commonwealth. Naturally it 
is the theocratic constitution from which they were excluded ; and 
the name Israel implies this, since this was the name of the people 
in their theocratic relation. Yet Chrysostom refers the words to 
the exclusion of the Gentiles from the temporal glories of Israel, 
enre irepl twv ovpaviwv irpayp.aTUiv, Aeyct /cat nept tw iirl 777? yrjs, 
e7mS?7 fxeydX-qv 8o£av ct^ov 7repi avrwv ot 'IovSaiot, in which he was 
followed by some moderns (as by Grotius). As if any Roman 
citizen or subject could regard as a misfortune the exclusion from 
a State which was an object of contempt ! 

Many commentators suppose that d^AX. implies a previous 
unity. Thus Bengel : "Abalienati, non alieni ; participia praesup- 
ponunt gentes ante defectionem suam a fide patrum imo potius 
ante lapsum Adami fuisse participes lucis et vitae." However 
attractive this view may be in itself, the conception is too new and 
important to be introduced here on so slight a ground. If it had 
been in the apostle's mind, he would doubtless have referred to it 
more explicitly in some part of his writings. It is not hinted at 
in ver. 14, where we might have expected "again made" or the 
like. For an instance of the verb being used without reference to 
a previous state, see Ps. lvii. (lviii.) 3, aTrrjWoTpLuOrjaav ol d/xaprwXot 
d,7ro //.77-rpa?. Olshausen's view is that the exclusion referred to 
is that which resulted from God's restriction of His peculiar 
operations of grace to Israel. As far as alienation from God is 
referred to, however, it is true that men are regarded as originally, 
and from an ideal point of view, at one with God. 

Kai %ivoi twv StaG^Kuf rfjs eirayycXias. A further specification 
of what is meant by the preceding clause. £evos is followed 
by a genitive, not of " the point of view " (" extraneos quod ad 
pactorum promissiones attinet," Beza), but simply of separation 
o r privation. So Soph. Oed. R. 219, ^c'vos Xoyov tovK ££epw, 
£ej/os Be tov irpa.-)(6evTO<i. Plato, Apol. i., feVcos (ex eiv ) r V s ^OaSf 

"The covenants of the promise." lirayy. is connected with 
8ta077KwV, not with eXmSa, as the position of the word shows. The 
covenants were characterised by the promise of the Messiah (cf. 
Acts xiii. 32). The plural is used with reference to the covenants 
with the patriarchs, but the Mosaic covenant is not excluded, 
although it was primarily vop.oOeaca. 

eXirtSa |xtj exoi'Tes. The absence of the article shows that it is 
not the definite hope of the Messiah that is meant, but hope in 
the widest sense, so that the expression is so much the stronger, 


"having no hope." p-rj is used, not because the thought is 
dependent on what precedes, but because it is their own con- 
sciousness that is referred to. ovk l^ovres would express only 
the writer's judgment of their state. Cf. ovk siSdYes ©«dv, Gal. 
iv. 8. 

Kal a0eoi. "The deepest stage of heathen misery," Meyer. The 
word aOeos is not found in the Sept. or Apocrypha, and only here 
in the N.T. In Greek writers it occurs in three senses, "not 
believing in God, atheist " (Plato, Apol. p. 26 C). Secondly, 
" impious, godless " (Plato, Legg. p. 966 E), or " without God, 
without God's help," Soph. Oed. R., en-el a#eos a<piAos o n ttv/xcltov 
oXoifxav. To understand it here as " forsaken by God " would be 
to introduce a conception not warranted by the expressions in the 
text. They were truly "without God," as not knowing Him. 
Notwithstanding their many gods, they had no conception of a 
Creator and Governor to be loved and trusted. So far as their 
consciousness was concerned, they had no God. But God had 
not left Himself without a witness amongst them. The description 
is general, of the class to which the readers belonged. This was 
not the occasion for referring to the noble exceptions to the moral 
degradation of heathenism. It was, indeed, in Asia Minor that 
this degradation was lowest, so that the Romans traced to it the 
corruption which spread to the whole empire. 

iv to koc7|j.w, to be joined both with cAm'Sa p.rj fy- and with 
aOeoi, " in the world," with all its troubles, trials, and uncertainties, 
ye were without Divine help ; generally understood as contrasted 
with 7ro\n-eia. 

13. vuvl 8e eV Xpiarw 'Itjctou, up,eis 01 iroTe orrcs fAaKpae iyevf\Qr\T€ 
eyyu's. vvvi opposed to tu> Kaipw ckciVo). iv Xp. 1. opposed to 
Xwpls Xpio-Tov. We are not to supply either lore or oVrcs. Since 
the being in Christ was not prior to the being brought near, the 
interpretation, "postquam in Christo estis recepti" (Calvin, Har- 
less), is not admissible. Nor can we understand " cum in Christo 
sitis recepti," which would not only make these words a superfluous 
addition, but would be hard to reconcile with the aorist. 

'Itjo-oC is suitably added to Xptarw here, and indeed was 
almost necessary to the distinct expression of the thought. In 
ver. 12 it could not have been added, since that included times 
preceding the incarnation, and x w P l<s -^P- 'I- would imply the 
existence of the historical Jesus then ; whereas here, not only the 
Messiah as such is referred to, but the personal Jesus as the Christ 
and the Saviour. 

ttotc on-es pa/cpaf corresponds to the expressions a7ry]\\oTpiu)- 
p.ivoi, k.t.A. p.a.Kpdv and eyyvs, then, have reference both to the 
7roAiT€ta Toi5 'I<r. with its SiaOrJKai, and to the cA7rts with God 
Himself. Accordinglj in the following verses we have two points 


of view combined, viz. the reconciliation of the Gentiles to God, 
and their admission to the TroXireia of Israel, namely, the true 
Israel — the Christian Church. 

The terms /xaKpdv and eyyus were suggested by Isa. lvii. 19, 
"Peace, peace to him that is far off, and to him that is nigh." There, 
indeed, as in Acts ii. 39, the words have a local meaning, and 
have no reference to the admission of Gentiles to the theocracy ; 
but they easily lend themselves to this conception, and, in fact, 
were frequently used by Rabbinic writers with reference to pro- 
selytes, who were said to be " brought near." Many passages may 
be seen in Schoettgen and Wetstein. One may be quoted. " A 
woman came to R. Eliezer confessing certain gross sins, and asked 
to be made a proselyte, saying, ' Rabbi, propinquam me fac ' ; on 
hearing her sin he rejected her. She went to R. Joshua, who re- 
ceived her. His disciples said, ' R. Eliezer illam removit, tu vero 
earn propinquam facis ? ' " 

eyyus ylveoBai, frequent in classical writers, but not found else- 
where in the N.T. 

The order iyev-qd-qre iyyfo is that of tf A B, 17. Rec. has iyy. tyev., with 
D G K L P. Ellicott thinks the Rec. genuine, the order here adopted being 
due to a mistaken correction of the emphatic juxtaposition of naKpav and 
iyyvs. Harless is of the same opinion. But why should copyists correct 
this emphatic juxtaposition? It is just what would strike an ordinary reader. 
Looking closer, we see that the opposition is not merely between these two, 
but between o^res /j.aKpdv and 4yevrjdr]T€ £yyvs, and that the verb is properly 
placed in the most emphatic position. 

iv tw atfian tou XpioroG more particularly defines the instru- 
mentality. It is not possible to draw any satisfactory distinction 
between this and Sia rov at. i. 7. 

14. auTos yap earif rj eiprjer) Tjp.wi', " He Himself is our peace " ; 
He has not brought about peace by a mere external action or 
arrangement ; it is in His own person that He gives it. " Non 
modo pacificator nam sui impensa pacem peperit et ipse vinculum 
est utrorumque," Bengel. The context shows that what is primarily 
intended is the union of Jews and Gentiles ; but as it was not this 
union of itself that was of importance, but the essential basis of 
it, as the union of both in one body of Christ, it is manifest that 
the idea of peace with God could not be absent from the mind of 
the apostle in writing 17 dprjv-q rj/xwv. Comp. ver. 17. 

Schoettgen quotes a Rabbinic writer who calls the Messiah 
" Peace," in allusion to Isa. ix. 6. 

6 Troujcras. " Quippe qui." 

Ta &p,<J>6Tepa Z\>. Both, i.e. both Jews and Gentiles. There is 
no ellipsis (as of ye'i'17, Wvrj, or the like). It is simply an instance 
of the neuter being used of persons in a general sense; cf. Heb. 

VU. 7, TO eAaTTOV VTTO TOV K/361TTOVOS €uAoy€lTCU ', I Cor. \. 2"}, 28, 


ra fjiwpa. tov koct/j-ov . . . ra acrOevf) (opposed to ver. 26, 01 o-ocpoi). 
So in classical Greek, e.g. Xen. A?iab. vii. 3. 11, ra favyovTa IkclvoI 
icrofieOa Slwkhv. 

iv. Comp. Gal. iii. 28, iravrcs u/xei? Iv core iv X/dicttw 'I^ctot). 
Not, says Chrysostom, that He has brought us to that nobility of 
theirs, but both us and them to a greater ; as if one should melt 
down a statue of silver and one of lead, and the two should 
come out gold. 

kcu, exegetical = inasmuch as, He, to p.eo-6Toixoe tou <J>payjjLou 
XuVas, " brake down the partition wall of the fence." 

fieo-oToixoy is a rare word, found, besides the Fathers, only in 
Eratosth. ap. Atken. vii. 281 D (masc), and Hesychius. The 
genitive has been variously explained, as of quality = " the separating 
partition " (against which is the fact that this adjectival notion 
belongs to p.eo-oTotxov itself) ; or of possession, " the wall which 
belonged to the fence " ; or better, of apposition, " the partition 
which consisted in the fence." <ppa.yp.6s means a fence, hedge, or 
enclosure, not a separation. 

It seems probable that the figure was suggested by the partition 
which separated the Court of the Gentiles from the temple proper, 
and on which there was an inscription threatening death to any 
alien who passed it. That the Ephesian readers can hardly be 
supposed to be familiar with the arrangements of the temple, is no 
proof that these may not have been in the apostle's mind. But 
it is worth noticing that it was an Ephesian, Trophimus, that 
St. Paul was charged with bringing into the temple. A more 
serious objection seems to be, that when the Epistle was written 
the wall referred to was still standing. But the apostle is not 
speaking of the literal wall, but using it as an illustration. Any 
reference to the vail which was rent at the time of the crucifixion 
would be out of harmony with the context. That vail did not 
separate Jews and Gentiles. 

Xu'o-as is suitable to the figure; cf. John ii. 19, Xvo-are tov vaov 
tovtov. It is equally suitable to the following l-^Opav, since Xvetv 
IxOpav is of frequent occurrence in classical writers. 

Here it is questioned whether e^Opav is to be connected with 
the words preceding or those following, and if with the preceding, 
whether iv tjj a-apKi avrov is to be taken with Was or with 
Karapy^cras. Another alternative will be mentioned presently. 
We have to choose, then, between the following renderings : — 

Having done away with the middle wall, namely, the enmity ; 
having in His flesh annulled the law. 

Having in His flesh done away with the middle wall, namely, 
the enmity, etc. 

Having done away with the middle wall, having in His flesh 
annulled the enmity, namely, the law, etc. 


The view which connects iv rrj crap/a airov with ex@P av as = 
the enmity in his flesh, whether " his flesh " be understood to mean 
humanity in general (Chrys.) or the Jews (cf. Rom. xi. 14), must 
be set aside as inconsistent with the absence of the article before 
ev rrj aapKL. The first-mentioned interpretation gives an awkward 
isolation to e^pav, and adds the harshness of making the specifica- 
tion of manner, ev r-fi a-., precede the object and its verb. 

The third construction is objectionable, first, because the law 
cannot itself be called Zx@P a ( tne designation of it as Swa/u? tt/s 
d/AapTi'as, 1 Cor. xv. 56, is not analogous) ; and, secondly, because 
the position of iv rfj <r. airov would be inexplicable, coming, as it 
does on that supposition, between the two nouns in apposition, 
although it has no relation to either. Indeed, it may be added 
that Kardpyqo-a<i is not a verb appropriate to fyOpav > ^ does not 
properly mean to destroy, but "to make of none effect," "to 
deprive of power " ; of the faith of God, Rom. iii. 3 ; of the law, 
Rom. iii. 31 ; the promise, iv. 14 ; persons from the law, vii. 2, 6. 
It is, indeed, used of things coming to an end, as knowledge 
and prophecy, but coming to an end by being superseded. 

The second construction mentioned above seems to have the 
advantage of these two, although it must be admitted that it is not 
without difficulty. For the enmity was not the wall of partition. 
It was not the law only, although that was the ultimate cause, 
but the separation, religious, moral, and social, which forbade fellow- 
ship between Jew and Gentile. This partition was broken down 
by the annulling of the law. 

V. Soden has proposed a view of the passage which, if admis- 
sible, would meet the difficulties. It is that ryv ex@pav is the 
beginning of the participial clause, which, having been interrupted 
by the statement of the process by which the effect was produced, 
is taken up again in ver. 16, where e^Opav is repeated. If the text 
had run thus, rrjv txPp av i T0V vop,ov Ttov ivr. iv Soy. Kardpyrjcras, 
d.7T€KT€iv€, there would have been nothing harsh in the order of the 
words. As it is, the parenthesis is enlarged, as in the manner of 
this Epistle, ii. 1 and 4, 11 and 12, iii. 1 and 12, and the inter- 
rupted thought is resumed in ver. 16. The two participles, 
Kardpyijo-a*;, a7ro/<TeiVas, in their relation to one another, correspond 
exactly with the two in ver. 14. Soden connects iv rfj o-. airov 
with the following clause. The parenthetic digressions, however, 
with which Soden compares this, are not quite parallel. In each 
of them, while the train of thought is interrupted, it is easy to 
account for the interruption by the influence of some particular 
word ; they are, in fact, instances of what Paley well calls St. 
Paul's habit of "going off at a word." Thus in ii. 1 he goes off at 
d/napncus, ev ats ; in ii. 1 1 at (.Ovrj iv crapKi ; in iii. I at virep v/jl&v 
twv IQvt&v. 


The verbal connexion is in each instance easy. But here 
there is no similar connexion between the words which precede 
the digression and tov vopiov, k.t.X. 

The €x#pa is obviously that of Jews and Gentiles. This natur- 
ally loomed much larger in the apostle's eyes than it does in ours, 
or than it did in those of Chrysostom and his successors. With 
us as with them, the more pressing thought is of the enmity of 
both Jew and Gentile to God. So Oecumenius : /aeo-oVoixov 
<ppayp,ov <fir)(Ti tt)v l\Sp av tt)v 7rpos ©£ov, 17/xaiv T€ ko.1 'IouSaiwv, 77ns €*c 
to>v rjfxerepiov 7rapa?rroj//.aTa>v. And SO Chrysostom interprets tt)v 
e)(0pav iv rfj o-ap/a as being the juecroToi^ovT w koivov eivcu 8id<ppayp.a 
airo ®€ov Siareix^ov ^pas, rejecting the interpretation which makes 
the law the lx®P a ' But even though 17 lx®P a xs not = ° v6p.os, it 
is the annulling of the law that removes the Zx@P a > an d tne l aw * s 
characterised in terms which exclude the natural law. Moreover, 
the reconciling of both to God is stated as a further object of the 
removal of the enmity and the creating of both into one new man. 

TW vop.o\> tuv ivTok&v iv Soyjuiacric Ka-rdpyTjoxis. tov v. twv ivT. iv 
8. belong together; "the law of commandments expressed in 
decrees." The law consisted of ivToXat, and the definite form in 
which these were expressed was that of Soy/xara, authoritative 
decrees ("legem imperiosam," Erasm.). This connexion does not 
require the article to be repeated after ivroXtov. For we might 
with propriety say ivTokyv SiSoVai iv So'ypan, and therefore ivToXr) 
iv 8. may form a single conception. So Winer in his later editions. 
Compare tov v/iwc £t)Aov vVep ip.ov f 2 Cor. vii. 7. In fact, twv 
Ivt. twv iv 8. would denote the ivroXai as a particular class, "com- 
mandments, even those expressed in decrees." 

Aoypa in classical Greek means, first, an opinion or resolution. 
In the plural it is used of the " placita philosophorum," whence 
the use of the word in Christian writers in the sense of "dogma." 
But it also means a decree (Xen. Demosth. Plato), and this is the 
meaning which alone it has in the N.T. We have i£r)X6e 86yp.a 
■n-apa Kcucrapos, Luke H. I ; SoypaTa. Kaiaapos, Acts xvii. 7 ; ra 8. 
K(Kptpiva v7ro tw clttoo-t., ib. xvi. 4. The word occurs also in 
Lachmann's text, Heb. xi. 23, 8. tou /3ao-iAeu)s. The remaining 
passages are the present and Col. ii. 14. Chrysostom does not 
seem to have contemplated this meaning. He suggests that what 
is meant is either faith, 80'yp.a avTyv ko.\(ov, for by faith alone 
He saved us, or the precept tt)v 7ra.payyeA.1av, as Christ said, 
eyw 8k Xiyoi ipiv. He is followed by Theophylact, Theodoret 

(86yp.ara ryv evayyeXiKrjv 8i8a<TKaXiav indXeo-ev), and Oecumenius. 

Theodore Mops, also connects the word with KaTapyqc-os, but 
interprets differently, understanding 86yp.ara of the facts and 
hopes of the Gospel, " 81a twv i8(W 8oyp.dTu>v' Iva €171-77, tt}s 

dvao-Tao-cws, tt}s a.<p6ap(Tia.<;, tt)s a6avacria<i' 86ypara KaXicras Tavra a>s 


iv Trpdyfxacnv ovra, the Divine grace working in us so that we do 
not need commandments and precepts." This interpretation, as 
well as Chrysostom's, would clearly require rots 86yp.acnv avrov or 
the like. Against Chrysostom's view, indeed, it is decisive that it 
was not by doctrines or precepts that Christ annulled the law. 
Theodore's view avoids this error, but gives 86yp,a an impossible 
sense. Of course, when once these commentators connected iv. 8. 
with the following, taking iv as instrumental, they were driven to 
some such interpretation. 

Harless also connects iv 8. with Kardpyrjcras, thinking that the 
absence of the article forbids the connexion with ivroXwv. But 
his interpretation is that Christ annulled the law only in respect of 
Soyfi-ara, comparing Cic. Phil. i. 7, " In maximis vero rebus, id est 
legibus, acta Caesaris dissolvi ferendum non puto," and such phrases 
as iv rrj ttlcttl wveiSure (Arrian, Exp. iii. 30 ; Bernhardy, p. 2 1 2). 
St. Paul has already indicated by tQ>v ivr. that he is not speaking 
of the law so far as it belonged to the covenants of promise, and 
now, to avoid all misconception, he adds iv 86yp.aa-t. Olshausen 
follows Harless, who had, indeed, been preceded in this interpreta- 
tion by Crellius. But this would require the article before 86y- 
Iaolo-lv. Moreover, while it is true that the law as <x/aa twv p,eXX6v- 
Twv or as 7ratSaya)yos ek X/noroV was not annulled, it was superseded. 
Such a limitation of the statement as to the abolition of the law 
would be out of place here, and would require more explicit state- 
ment, since it is not elsewhere referred to. The Mosaic law as 
such, not merely in certain aspects of it, has come to an end in 
Christ. He is the "end of the law," Rom. x. 4. Faith having 
come, we are no longer vtto iraiSayoiyov (Gal. iii. 25). 

If eV 8. be connected with Kardpyrja-a^, then, considering the 
absence of the article, the only grammatical interpretation seems 
to be Hofmann's, viz. that Christ deprived the O.T. law of validity, 
by putting an end to all precepts, "Satzungen." He compares 
the construction in 1 Cor. ii. 7, Xa.Xovp.ev crocpiav ®eov iv p.vo-rr]pL<a, 
i.e. AaAowres crocpiav XaXov/iev'ipiov. But surely the N.T. con- 
tains many specific precepts which may be properly called SoytiaTa. 
Comp. also rbv vop.ov tov Xpcorov, Gal. vi. 2 ; evvoitos Xpicn-oi), 
1 Cor. ix. 21 ; and the parallel to the present passage in Col. ii. 14. 
As Meyer observes, the 86yp.ara of Christianity are the true del 
irapovra Soy/xaTa, Plato, Theaet. p. i ;8 D. Had the intention 
been what Hofmann supposes, St. Paul would doubtless have 
added some qualification, such as iv 86ypaa-i SoiAeias. vo//.o? here 
is not to be limited to the ceremonial law ; there is nothing in the 
connexion to show such a limitation, which, on the contrary, 
would make the statement very weak. No reader would fail to 
see that, as Theodoret says, ovk dvelXe to ov tiot^cvo-ei?, k.t.X. 
The moral law retains its obligation, not, however, because the 


Jewish law is only partially annulled, but because its obligation was 
independent of the law and universal (Rom. ii. 14). If a Moham- 
medan becomes a Christian, we do not say that the Koran retains 
its obligation for him in its moral part, although he still acknow- 
ledges the obligation of many moral precepts contained in it. 
The Christian now fulfils the moral law, not because of external 
precepts, but because conformity with it is the natural fruit of the 
Spirit. Hence the contrast between the expressions, " works of 
the law," "fruits of the Spirit." 

Iva tous Su'o kti'ctt] ee auTw els eva Kaivbv ai/Gpanroe. The neuter 
was used in ver. 14 to express the general characteristics of the 
two classes ; but here, where the Jews and Gentiles are conceived 
as concrete persons, the masculine was necessary. 

Kaiv6\> is necessary because the one is neither Jew nor Greek. 
Both have put off their former religious condition, and have received 
the same new nature. Chrysostom says : opSs ot^i tov "EAA^va 
yevop.evov 'Iov8alov, dAAd nai tovtov kclkclvov €ts Iripav KardaTacnv 
rjKoi'Tas. ov)( iva tovtov tTepov ipydo~r]Tat tov vojxov KaT7]pyr)0-€v, dAA' 

Iva tows 8vo KTio-y. k.t.X. On KTt^etv, cf. ver. 10. It is specially 
appropriate here with kcuvos dvO. ovk 6i7T£, MeTa/?dA?7, iva 8et$r] to 
evepyes tov yevop.evou, says Chrysostom. 

kv avrQ. Rec. has lav™, with S c D G K L and most cursives, 
Chrys. Jerome, airrw is the reading of X A B P, 17. Lachmann, 
Tischendorf, and Tregelles write o.vt<2, but Westcott and Hort 
ovtw. The sense here is certainly reflexive. 

" In Himself." Not Si' cavTov, as Chrys., but, Christ is Him- 
self the principle and ground of the unity; "ne alibi quam in 
Christo unitatem quaerant," Calv. Cf. Gal. iii. 28, 7rdvT€s v/xcis cts 
6o-t€ h> Xpio-T<2 'lrjo-ov. Chrysostom, indeed, gives another inter- 
pretation, as if it were only a development of the former. " Fusing 
both this and that, he produced one, an admirable one, Himself 
having first become this ; which is a greater thing than the former 
creation. For this is the meaning of iv iavrw, Himself first 
affording the type and pattern." Oecumenius states the two inter- 
pretations as alternatives, explaining the first as oi oY dyye'Acov 17 

dAAtov tivwv Suva/Acajv. 

ttoiwi/ eiprjcTjK, present participle, "making peace," i.e. so that by 
this new creation He makes (not "made") peace. The words 
explain avros lamv rj elpr/vr) 7//i.a>v of ver. 14. The peace is, from 
the context, that between Jews and Gentiles ; but as the basis of 
that is peace with God, the latter thought underlies the former, and 
to it the apostle now turns. 

16. Kal dTroKaTaMdfr]. The /cai is not the mere copula, but 
indicates a logical sequence, " and consequently reconcile both, 
now one body, to God by the Cross, having on it slain the enmity 
previously existing between them." 


airoKaTaWdcro-eiv is found only here and Col. i. 20. It seems 
to be only an intensified form of the usual Greek word dAAacro-eiv. 
d.7ro in composition frequently has this intensive meaning ; cf. 

anrexBexecrdai, aTroKapaSoKelv, to await patiently ; SO a7ro9appelv, awo- 

6avjxdt,(.iv, airoOeao-Oai, etc. In a few instances, indeed, it seems to 
be equivalent to re- and to mean " again," as in airo&tSw/xi, d-n-o- 
Xafx(3dv<j), dTroKaOla-TrjfjLL, a7roKarop(9dw. In the first two of these the 
idea is rather to give or take what belongs of right to the receiver, 
as <x7roS. x^P tv ) vtroa-x^o-iv. Here it is the idea of remotion from, 
that explains the meaning of the verb. In the other two examples 
also this local idea is involved 

In any case, as this use of euro- is much less common than the 
intensive use, we are not justified in assuming it in a compound 
that does not elsewhere occur. 

iv Id o-wfiaTi is interpreted by Chrysostom as referring to the 
human body of Christ. So Bengel : " in uno corpore cruci affixo." 
But in that case we should expect " His body." Nor is it easy to 
see why that should be designated ev aw/xa. The order of the 
words indicates the correct interpretation, " both now united in 
one body." The Iv a-wp.a is the els kouvo? dv9p«yn-o<$. So most 
commentators. It is not the Church, for it is only as reconciled 
that Jews and Greeks belong to the Church. But when reconciled 
they become the body of Christ, and so, the Church. 

Sid tou oraupou is joined by Soden with the following, ai™ 
being read for airto (so G, Vulg. and some Latin codices with 
other authorities). The connexion with the two notions, ct7ro- 
KxeiVas and Zx@P a i gives it a subtle point. " By His death He was 
slain ; by death on the Cross, in which the e'x#P a showed itself, 
He has overcome the 2x$P a -" ^ e have a parallel in Col. i. 20, 
only that there, instead of the negative a-n-o/cretVetv rrjv c., we have 
the positive dp-qvo-rroutv ; also in connexion with Sta tov a-ravpov. 
iv avruJ, then, as in 15^, echoes with emphasis the fundamental 
thought : " He Himself is our peace." If we read iv ai™, it 
could not be referred to o-w/xa, because this <r. was just mentioned 
as the medium of reconciliation to God, whereas here it is the 
enmity between Jews and Gentiles that is in question. 

17. Kal i\Quv euriyyeXio-aTo eifyf\rt\v. "And He came and 
preached good tidings of peace." The preceding verses showed 
how Christ secured peace ; this, how He proclaimed it. This, 
therefore, is posterior, and hence cannot refer to His life on earth, 
as Harless, following Chrysostom, understands it. Bengel interprets 
the " coming and preaching," as that of Christ personally after the 
resurrection, " veniens a morte, profectione ad inferos, resurrectione 
victor laetus ipse ultro nuntiavit." But it is much better to understand 
the words of Christ preaching by His Spirit in the apostles and other 
messengers of His. Not that evr/yy. means " caused to be preached " 


(as Harless objects), for what is thus done by Christ's Spirit is 
properly said to be done by Him ; nor is cAi9oV superfluous, but, 
on the contrary, important as expressing the spiritual coming 
referred to in John xiv. 18, epxop-at irpos tp.a<s, ar >d in Acts xxvi. 23, 
(Xpto-Tos) 7rpuJTOS e£ dvacrrdcreajs vexpwv <pu>s p.€AAei /carayyeAAciv tw 
t€ Aaw /cat tois Z9ve<ri. 

ujjliw tois p.aKpai' Kal cipher] y rots cyyu's. The second dprjvrjv 
has preponderant authority in its favour, X ABDGP, 17, Vulg. 
and other versions except Syr. Contra, K L, most cursives, Syr. 
The repetition is highly emphatic. 

The datives depend on ed^yyeAuraTo. tois fiaKpdv comes first, 
because it is these that are addressed, and are chiefly in view in 
the whole passage. This also agrees with the view that it is not 
Christ's personal preaching that is intended, since that would 
have required tois e'yyvs to come first. The repetition of dp-qv^v 
excludes the interpretation of tois e'yyv's as in apposition with, and so = the Jewish Christians in Ephesus. 

18. oti Si' auToO e' tt]^ TTpoo-aYioy^K 01 dp;J>6Tepoi iv iv\ 

n^upaTi irpo? t6c iraTe'pa. "For through Him we both have our 
access (or introduction) in one Spirit unto the Father." 

Proof of what precedes. The emphasis, therefore, is not on 
St' auTov, but on ol ap.cp. iv evl Uv. Since both have their 7rpoo\ 
in one Spirit to the Father, it follows that the same good tidings 
of peace have been brought to both by Him. oti is "for," not 
"that," as if the verse contained the substance of the passage 
which has been already expressed in dp-qviq. And it is not the 
common access as such that is in question, but the peace therein 
assured (between Jews and Gentiles). 

exop.€V. Compare Rom. V. 2, " St' ov Kal ryv irpocrayoiyrjv 
i(r^r'jKap.€v . . . ets ttjv X"-P lv Ta ^ T V v * v V eon/Ka/Acv. There, the 
7rp. is into the present condition, and accordingly the perfect is 
suitable ; here, it is the 7rp. to the Father, which is a present 

IIpocraywyT? in classical writers is usually transitive, but is also 
found fairly frequently in an intransitive sense. 

The word is understood transitively here by Ellicott, Fadie, 

Meyer, after ChrysOStom, ovk dirtv 7rpoo-oSov dAAd 7rpoo-aywyTp', ov 
yap d<f> lavrwv ■Kpoo-yjXQop.i.v, dAA. vir airov irpoo-r'jyQyifxev ; cf. 

i Pet. iii. 18, tea ^/xas Tvpoa-aydyrj t<3 ®e<2, and it is supposed that 
there may be an allusion to the 7rpoo-aywya;'s at Oriental courts. 
Such an allusion would not be in harmony with the context. The 
iv Trvf.vp.aTt is decidedly against the supposition that the apostle 
intended this ceremonial figure. Apart from this, the transitive 
sense is not suitable in iii. 12, where the word is used absolutely, 
and here also the intransitive agrees better with lx°l Jiev i especially 
as the tense is present. 7rpoo-aywyT; is something we possess. 


Trjv Trpocr. " Our access." 

iv hi Hvevfxari is understood by Anselm (and some moderns) 
of the human spirit (op.o9vp.a86v), against the clear reference to 
Father, Son, and Spirit, St' auVou, iv ivl II., 71-pos tov Harepa. 

19. apa oue oukc'ti ccttc £eeoi Kal irdpoiKoi. " So then ye are 
no more strangers and sojourners." apa ovv, a favourite combina- 
tion with St. Paul, is not found in classical writers except in the 
interrogative form, ap ovv. £ Lvoi kol irdpoiKoi, equivalent to arrrjXXo- 
rpL(i>p.€voi, ver. 1 2. £cvos is " foreigner " in general ; ndpoiKos, a 
foreigner dwelling in a state, and not having rights of citizenship. 
In classical Greek, indeed, it seems to be found only in the 
sense of neighbour. Rost and Palm name the Pandects (without 
reference) as having the word in the sense " inquilinus." In the 
Sept. it occurs eleven times as the rendering of 13, which is usually 

rendered Trpoo-ijXvTos. None of these instances are in Leviticus or 
Numbers. Ten times it occurs as the rendering of 2V'Sf\ } " a foreign 

sojourner." Of this it is the usual rendering. The verb 7rapoiKeoj 
occurs in Philo with the corresponding verbal meaning ; see on 
Luke xxiv. 18. The noun seems to be equivalent to /jutoikos, 
which the Sept. have only once (Jer. xx. 3). In 1 Pet. ii. 1 1 it 
is used of Christians in the world, and so TrapoiKta, ib. i. 17. 

The meaning " proselyte " (Anselm, Whitby) is clearly excluded 
by the context, vv. 1 1 to 13; the other sense is pressed thus by 
Estius : " accolas fuisse dicit Gentiles quatenus multi ex illis 
morabantur inter Judaeos . . . non tamen iisdem legibus aut 
moribus aut religione utentes." But such a reference to local 
settlement would be too trivial, and quite out of place in writing to 
Ephesians. Nor had the Gentiles in a figurative sense been 
sojourners in the commonwealth of Israel. The word is simply 
used as contrasted with 71-oAiTai. Bengel, followed by Harless, 
Eadie, al., supposed rrdpotKOL here to be specially opposed to 
otKelot, and t c"ot to o-vpLTroXlrai, the metaphors being respectively 
from the house and the State. o-vp.Tr., says Harless, is sufficient 
to show in what sense £eVos is used, so that TrdpoiKos is not required 
as a nearer definition. Accordingly, he interprets the word here, 
by Lev. xxii. 10, where the irap. of the priest is mentioned, i.e. 
" the guest in the priest's house," and thinks there may be even 
an allusion to that passage where the 7rapotKos of the priest is not 
allowed to eat of the holy things, but the otKoyevets avrov are 
permitted. But this passage is quite insufficient to establish such 
an otherwise unknown sense of the Hebrew, and still less of the 
Greek word. The irdpoiKo<; of the priest is simply the 71-. who 
dwells in his house. Nor would the figure be suitable, for the 
Gentiles could not be called guests in the house of God. 

d\\<£ €<rre crup.Tro\iTai tS>v dyuny Kal oixeioi tou Oeou. " But 


ye are fellow-citizens of the saints, and of the household of God." 
The second core is added on preponderant authority. It gives 
greater independence to the clause, an independence befitting 
its importance. Cf. Rom. viii. 1 5. 

'Zv/nro\lTT]s is condemned by Phrynichus, and said by grammarians to be a 
word of later Greek (Josephus, Aelian). It seems strange that they over- 
looked its occurrence in Euripides {Heracl. 826), now noted in the Lexicons. 
(In Aesch. Sept. c. Thet. 601, the true reading is %i>v voXlrais.) 

t£>\> aylw. The clear reference to the 7roXtTeta of Israel shows 
decisively that the dyioi are those who constitute the people of 
God. Such formerly had been the Jews, but now are all Christians. 
These are now the Israel of God, Gal. vi. 16, the true seed of 
Abraham, ib. iii. 7, 16 ; Rom. iv. 16. 

The aytot, then, are not the Jews, nor specially the patriarchs or 
Old Testament saints, twv irepl 'A/?paa/xa Kal Mu>vorf)v Kal 'HAiav, as 
Chrysostom says, nor the angels, as some other commentators. 
Nor, again, does the word mean " holy men of all times and 
places." The word does not refer to personal holiness, but to 
membership of the spiritual commonwealth to which Jewish and 
Gentile Christians alike belong. Hence in ch. i. 1 the apostle 
addresses his readers as dyioi. 

oiKeioi tou ©eou, " belonging to the oTkos or household of God," 
the theocracy regarded as a family ; cf. 1 Tim. iii. 1 5, " to conduct 
thyself iv oucw ®eov, r/ris icrrlv iKKXrjcrca ©eou £,<2vto<; " ; Heb. X. 20 ; 
i Pet. iv. 17. In Gal. vi. 10 we have the adjective as here, rpos 
tous oiKciovs -n/s 7r«rTeoj5, " those that are of the household of 
faith." But as oiKtios was common with such words as <f)iXocro(f>ia<;, 
yewypa^t'as, etc., the reference to an oTkos cannot be pressed there. 

Harless, while supposing the word to be specially contrasted 
with irdpoiKoi, remarks that the house is itself nothing but the 
community of the faithful, they being themselves the stones of 
which is built the house in which God dwells. They are oi/cetot as 
iTTOLKo8oiAr)6evTe<;. But this would be to confound two figures 
founded on two different senses of 01/co?. It is, however, safe 
to say that the idea of oikos in one sense suggested to the apostle 
the kindred figure. This is quite in accordance with St. Paul's 
mobility of thought. 

20. €iroiKo8o|ir)0eVTes. The aorist refers to the time when they 
became Christians. The further building of which they were the 
subjects is referred to in ver. 22. The compound verb does 
not stand merely for the simple, but expresses " superaedificati." 
Comp. Col. ii. 7 and 1 Cor. iii. 10. As regards the use of the 
dative case, iirl tw Oe/x., it is easy to see why the accusative is 
not used, as that would suggest the idea of motion towards ; cf. 
1 Cor. iii. 12, Rom. xv. 20. It is less easy to give a reason for 
the preference of the dative to the genitive. It can hardly be 


maintained that the genitive expresses separable superposition 
(Ellicott), for in Luke iv. 29 we have the genitive used of the 
building of a city on a hill, i<f> ov rj 7rdAis av-wv wko8o/xt/to. What 
that passage suggests is that l-rvi with the genitive expresses locality ; 
cf. Matt. x. 27, IttI t<3v 8o)fxd,T(j)v ; xxi. 19, £7ri t. 68ov ; xxiv. 30, 
ip^ofxtvov eVt t. vefaXuv ; hence it is used loosely of proximity, like 
our " on the river," i-n-1 t. daXdcrcrrjs, either " on the sea " or " on 
the seashore." Yet the dative is similarly used, e7ri Srpv^dvi 
(Herod, vii. 75). But, in general, the dative seems to imply more 
close and exact superposition. 

tw cnrocrroXuv «ai Trpo<j)T]Twc. The genitive has been understood 
in four ways : first, as the genitive of possession, " the foundation 
on which the apostles and prophets have built " ; secondly, as the 
genitive auctoris, " the foundation they laid " ; thirdly, as genitive 
of apposition, " the foundation which consists of the apostles and 
prophets " ; fourthly, " the foundation on which they themselves 
have been built." 

The first view is adopted by Anselm and Beza. Beza's para- 
phrase is, "Supra Christum qui est apostolicae et propheticae 
structurae fundamentum." But this interpretation mixes up the 
^e/xc'Aio? and the aKpoywv. \ Christ here is spoken of as the corner- v 
stone, not the foundation. The same objection applies to the 
fourth view (Bucer, Alford). The second view is very generally 
adopted, and is supported by reference to 1 Cor. iii. 10. In 
Bengel's words : " Testimonium apostolorum et prophetarum 
substructum est fidei credentium omnium." Eadie interprets 
the foundation as elpyjvr], — not so much Christ in person as Christ 
" our peace " ; others more generally of the doctrine preached by 
the apostles and prophets. 

But nowhere is the gospel or any doctrine called the foundation 
of the Church. Moreover, it would be rather incongruous to 
assume as the foundation the system of teaching about Christ, 
and as the corner-stone, Christ's person. If, in order to preserve 
the congruity of the figure, we identify " Christ preached " with 
" the preaching about Christ," we identify the corner-stone with , 
the foundation. Moreover, the building consists of persons. In 
1 Cor. iii. 10 the figure is different ; the building there is of 
doctrine, and naturally the foundation is doctrinal, " Christ," i.e. 
teaching about Christ. Still further, if this view be adopted, the 
point that is brought out is an incidental one, quite unessential to 
the connexion. The important point was that the Gentiles were 
now along with Jewish believers members of one and the same 
theocracy, or, adopting the apostle's figure, were stones in the same 
building as the uyioi. This would by no means be expressed by 
saying that they were built on a foundation laid by the apostles 
and prophets. 


Hence the interpretation of Chrysostom, Oecumenius, etc., is 
preferable, viz. that the apostles and prophets are themselves the 
foundation. It is true that elsewhere, with the exception of Rev. 
xxi. 14, Christ is the foundation, not the apostles ; but here Christ 
is the corner-stone, and the passage in Rev., although not precisely 
parallel, quite justifies our interpretation here. The fact that the 
words there are taken from a vision is surely no objection to this. 
What seems a graver objection is that Christ seems thus to be 
named only as " primus inter pares." The answer to this is that 
by Orientals the corner-stone was reckoned of greater importance 
than the foundation, and as connecting and concentrating on 
itself the weight of the building. Hence the expression in Isa. 
xxviii. 16, alluded to here, and 2 Pet. ii. 6; cf. Ps. cxviii. 22 ; Acts 
iv. 11 ; Matt. xxi. 42. 

Amongst recent commentators, Soden and Macpherson have 
adopted this view. The latter further defends the reference to the 
apostles as the foundation by 2 Tim. ii. 19, "The firm founda- 
tion of God standeth," "where undoubtedly the true elect of God 
are intended, who resist all temptations to unfaithfulness." He 
adds, " In the building up a special rank is given to those who 
have been by immediate Divine calling and inspiration His wit- 
nesses unto all besides. They, in fellowship with Christ, as form- 
ing the first layer, are called the foundation." 

orros aKpoyomaiou (xutou XpiaTou 'It)ctou. Showing, as Chry- 
sostom says, that it is Christ that holds the whole together ; for 
the corner-stone holds together both the walls and the founda- 
tions. " Participium 6W05 initio commatis hujus, valde demonstrat 
in praesenti tempore," Bengel. d/<poy. (\c80v understood, which is 
added in D* G). The figure of the corner-stone as uniting the 
two walls is pressed by Theodoret as referring to the union of 
Jews and Gentiles ; and many expositors have followed him. 
But this is not only to press the figure unduly, it is also unsuitable. 
For the point is that Jews and Gentiles now indifferently are built 
into the one building, not as if the Jews were one wall and the 
Gentiles another. 

avrov is referred to fle/AeAios by Bengel, Soden, Macpherson. 
Bengel urges the absence of the article before Xpiaruv '\tjo-ov. 
But, in fact, the article would imply the previous mention of 
Christ Jesus, and the sense would be " He Himself, even Christ 
Jesus " ; see Fritzsche on Matt. iii. 4, where airo? 8k 6 'IwuVvt;? 
and airos 'Iwawr/s (as in D) are equally possible. Similarly John 
iv. 44, where the best texts have airros 'I^o-oCs ; but the article (as 
inserted in R, 69, al. ) is admissible. Also Luke xx. 42, airos 
Aauao\ It is better to connect avrov with Xp. 'I., since it is more 
to the purpose that Christ should be called the corner-stone of 
the building than of the foundation; and in this connexion the 


emphatic pronoun is by no means superfluous, but fittingly dis- 
tinguishes Christ from the apostles and prophets. 

Who are these apostles and prophets? According to Chry- 
sostom they are the Old Testament prophets. The absence of 
the article before -n-pocfirjTwv is against this, though not decisive, 
since the O.T. prophets and the apostles might possibly be regarded 
as constituting one class, though this would hardly be natural. The 
order of the words is also against it, and is not satisfactorily 
accounted for by the superior dignity of the apostles as having 
seen and heard Christ (Estius). Again, we have the analogy of 
Hi. 5 and iv. n, in both of which passages apostles and prophets 
are named together, and the prophets are New Testament prophets. 
These passages also disprove the suggestion that the apostles 
themselves are here called prophets. The absence of the article 
before irpcxprjTwv is natural, since the apostles and prophets 
formed one class as teachers of the Church. The objection, that 
the prophets themselves were built on the foundation of the 
apostles (in whichever sense we take the genitive), loses all force 
when we consider, first, the high value which St. Paul sets on the 
gift of prophesying (i Cor. xiv. iff.); and, secondly, that with him 
" apostles " does not mean the Twelve only (see hereafter on 
iv. n). Nor does there appear any reason here why the apostles 
should be called by this additional title. 

21. Iv w, i.e. iv Xp. 'lr]crov, not dKpoywviai'w, as Theophylact, 
Beza, al. 

irao-a oIkoSojjl^. Rec. iracra rj oik. 

The reading is difficult. 

iraaa oIko8o(it), K* B D G K L and most others, Chrys. (Comment.), 

iraaa i) olKoSofj.^, N c A C P, Arm., Chrys. (text; but this is probably a 
copyist's error or correction). Thus the balance of documentary evidence is 
strongly against the insertion of the article. Before deciding in favour of this 
reading, we must consider the comparative likelihood of the article being 
either omitted or inserted in error. Reiche, for instance, thinks it probable 
that copyists either neglected the article from lack of exact knowledge of 
Greek, " quod in codicibus, qui articulo hie carent, saepe observatur," or 
misinterpreted the words of the apostle as referring to individual churches, 
or (as Chrysostom) to the various parts of each edifice (Comment. Crit. in 
loc.). He thinks ^ might more easily be omitted because of the homoeo- 
teleuton olKodofxrj, and because in iv. 12, 16 the same word is without the 
article. But this is not a case of possible omission from homoeoteleuton ; if 
the scribe's eye leaped from 77 to r), oiko8o/xt] would be the word omitted. 
Itacism would be a more plausible explanation. In fact, the accidental 
omission of the article in cases where it is grammatically required is extremely 
rare, even in single MSS. Even where homoeoteleuton or other sources of 
parablepsy might have been expected to cause omission in one or two MSS., 
we find no variation, as in Matt. xxv. 7, Traaat. al, or 6 before words beginning 
with 0, as ttSs 6 $x^° s > Matt. xiii. 2 ; Luke vi. 19. Intentional variation in the 
addition or omission of the article is pretty frequent, especially with such 
words as Ge6s, Xpicr7-6s, irlcrrts. That the variation is intentional appears 


further from the grouping of the MSS. on each side, those to which the 
preference is given by recent critics being usually on the side of omission 
(not Rom. xv. 14 or Col. iii. 16). Nor does any reason appear for the 
intentional omission of the article in these cases. Where the article was 
omitted by the first scribe of ^ and D (Epp. ), it is generally supplied by 
a corrector. A remarkable instance of (probably) erroneous omission is in 
Eph. vi. 16, rd before TreTrvpu/xiva (om. B D* G). On the other hand, a 
striking example of the article (probably) added erroneously after 7ray occurs 
Rom. xv. 14, ir&ffrjs rrjs yvuvtuis (N B P, but om. ACD and most). In 
Matt. iii. 5, ndcra i] 'lovSala, i] is om. by M V A and about twenty others, 
It is unnecessary before the proper name. In the present case, intentional 
addition is much more likely than intentional omission, since with the 
article the meaning is obvious, and without it there is a difficulty. Such 
a consideration as Reiche suggests does not seem sufficiently obtrusive to 
influence the scribes. 

The word oiKoSofxrj belongs to later Greek, and is condemned by 
Phrynichus. It is used both for olKoSo/x^/xa and oi/coSd/^o-is. For 
the former see 1 Chron. xxix. 1 ; for the latter, Ezek. xvi. 6 1 , 
xvii. 17, where it represents the Hebrew infinitive. In the N.T. 
it seems to have a sort of intermediate sense, like the English 
"building." Thus in 1 Cor. iii. 9, "ye are God's husbandry 
(yewpyioj/), ye are God's building (oikoSo/a?/)," the word is not 
equivalent either to oiKoSo/r^/xa or to oikoSo'ju^o-is. As yewpyiov 
there is that which is cultivated by God, so oik. is that which is 
builded up by God. In Matt. xxiv. 1 and Mark xiii. 1, 2, it is 
used of the buildings of the temple : TroTa-n-ol XiOoi koX -noTa-iral 
oiKo&ofxaL . . . /3A.€7reig ravras tols /xeyaAas oiKoSoyaas. Here it does 
not appear to mean "edifices," for the temple could not properly 
be said to consist of several edifices. The separate Xidoi were 
not oiKoSoLiat, but every combination of them might be called an 
oik. Just so we might say, "what carvings," "what outlines," or 
of a picture, " what harmonies." The Vulgate has in Matt. xxiv. 1 
and Mk. xiii. 2, " aedificationes" ; in Mk. xiii. 1, " structurae." 
In 2 Cor. v. 1, "we have a building from God," the word is nearly 
equivalent to " structure," yet it is plain that olKo86fx7jfj.a would not 
have been so suitable. It is " a house that God builds," not " has 
built." The English words "building, construction, structure" 
all have a similar ambiguity. The most common meaning of the 
word in the N.T. is the figurative one, " edification " ; that sense it 
has in this Ep., iv. 12, 16. The meaning in iv. 29 is analogous. 

Now let us turn to the text ; and first, if the reading with the 
article is adopted, there is no obvious difficulty, "the whole 
building," that is, the whole organised body of believers. When 
we look closer, indeed, we find something strange in the expres- 
sions. crwapfxo\oyovfjL(i'r) is present. It seems strange that the 
whole building should be spoken of thus as in course of being 
framed together. Still more unexpected is a^«. The whole 
building is growing into a temple. The ambiguity of the English 


" building " disguises this strangeness, which is apparent when we 
substitute " edifice." " The whole edifice is growing into a temple." 
The words, " the whole building or edifice," express the conception 
of a thing completed. If the reading were well established, we 
might explain this as due to a want of precision in the metaphor ; 
but, as we have seen, this reading is not so well supported as the 
other, to which we now turn. 

Many expositors, including Eadie, Ellicott (more doubtfully), 
Barry, Moule, Meyrick, not Findlay, Macpherson, nor the Revisers, 
hold that 77-acra oLKo&o/xrj may be rendered as if it were -irao-a rj oIk., 
and they refer especially to Luke iv. 13, Trdvra Tre.ipao-p.6v. Acts 
ii. 36, 7ras oIkos \aparjX : vii. 22, iraaa crcxpLa AlyvTTTLujv : Homer, 
//. xxiv. 407, irao-av aXrjdeLrjv. None of these passages bear out 
the assertion. -n-avTa 7rupa.0-p.6v is not "all the temptation," but 
" every temptation," as RV., i.e. " every form of temptation." See 
on Luke iv. 13. So in Acts vii. 22, although the English version 
sufficiently expresses the sense, what is meant is not the totality 
of the wisdom of Egypt, but the wisdom in all its branches. In 

Hom. II. xxiv. 407, aye S?7 fioi Tvadav aXyjOeirjv /caraAefov, the 

meaning clearly is : " Come, tell me the exact truth, nothing but 
the truth." The article here would not be appropriate. Similarly 

in Josephus, Atltiq. iv. 5. I, TTOTap.6<; old Trdcrrj? ipyp.ov peojv is a 
river flowing through a country which is all desert. 

oTkos 'lo-par'jX. in Acts ii. 36 is an expression borrowed from 
the O.T., where it occurs with 71-as in Jer. ix. 26, Ezek. xxxvi. 10, 
xxxvii. 11, and is treated as a proper name, as it is without 77-as in 
xxxix. 12, 22, 23, etc. So, too, oIkos KupiW So in classical writers 
yrj, for example, is treated as a proper name. The general rule is 
that a word cannot be used with was without the article when the 
sense is " the whole," unless it is such that without 71-as it can be 
employed definitely, or does not require the article to give it 
definiteness. A somewhat similar rule holds good in English, 
where we can say, not only "all England," but "all town," "all 
school," " all college," " all parliament " ; but by no means " all 
house." It is, no doubt, immemorial use that has enabled such 
words to dispense with the article, when the thing meant, though 
only one of many, is marked out by its familiarity. We can also say 
" all night, " all day," as the Greeks did. Nor does it appear that 
ir. oIk. would, to a reader of St. Paul's time, be any more likely to 
suggest "the whole building" than would "all building" to an 
English reader. We must therefore acquiesce in some such 
rendering as "every building," or "each several building," RV., 
modified, perhaps, as will be presently mentioned. 

But what is meant by " every building " ? Hardly " every 
church " ; for to speak of the several local churches, or of the Jews 
and Gentiles as so many several buildings, would not be in accord- 


ance with the figure in ver. 20, or with St. Paul's language else- 
where. Moreover, he has just used a forcible figure to express 
the unity of the whole Church, and it would be strange if he now 
weakened it by speaking of several buildings. The individual 
believer, again, is spoken of in 1 Cor. iii. 16 as vaos ©e<n); but there 
the figure is explained by the context, as founded on the conception 
of the indwelling of the Spirit. This is very different from calling 
each believer an oikoSo/at/. The passages above referred to in 
Matthew and Mark suggest that what is intended is "everything that 
from time to time is builded in," " every constituent element of the 
building." The English words " all the building " would admit of 
being understood in this way, but are ambiguous. The image is that 
of an extensive pile of buildings in process of construction at differ- 
ent points on a common plan. The several parts are adjusted to 
each other so as to preserve the unity of design. So Findlay, who 
remarks that an author of the second century, writing in the 
interests of Catholic unity, would scarcely have omitted the article. 

Hofmann compares ird<jy]<; ktio-cw?, Col. i. 15, which he says 
does not mean "the whole creation," nor "every creature," but 
" all that is created," as irao-a. crofyia ko.1 cppoV^cris in i. 8 is " all 
that is wisdom " ; irdv diX-q/xa rov ®eov, Col. iv. 1 2, " all God's 
will," to which we may add Traaa ypacprj, 2 Tim. iii. 16; 71-. 
avaarpofyr), 1 Pet. i. 15. Soden's view is similar. Comp. iv. 16. 
vX aumpfjioXoyoufxevT], "fitly joined together," present participle, 
because this harmonious framing together is a process still going on. 
The compound verb occurs only here and iv. 16. The simple 
verb apfj.o\oyio> seems to be equally rare. The classical word is 
owap/i.d£cj. None of these is found in the Sept. 
*/ au£ei, " groweth," the present, as in the former word, indicating 
the perpetual growth. The verb is neither rare nor poetical, as is 
sometimes stated ; on the contrary, it is more frequent than avfayw 
in the best Attic prose (Thuc. Xen. Plato), but the use of the 
active in an intransitive sense is later (Aristot. Polyb. Diod.). It 
occurs also in Col. ii. 19. 

eis vo.hv aytoe e v Kupiw. " Unto a holy temple (or sanctuary) in 
the Lord." Ki;pio9, according to the Pauline usage, must be 
Christ, iv K. seems best connected with dyios, "holy in the 
Lord " ; to join it with av£« alone would be a tautology. 

22. iv J takes up the eV w of ver. 21; cf. ch. i. 1 1 and 1 2. 

kcu ufxels, "ye also"; cf. ver. 13. 

owotKoSojjielcrGe, not imperative, as Calvin : " Ephesios hortatur 
ut crescant in fide Christi magis et magis postquam in ea semel 
fuerunt fundati," but indicative, as is proved by vv. 19, 20, in which 
the apostle describes what the readers are, not what they ought to 
be. Note the present tense, because the building is still going on; 
cf. 1 Pet. ii. 5, " are being builded in together," i.e. together with 



the others ; aw- as in o-vp-TroXiTai. The irao-a before oik. looks 
forward to this kcu v/j,(.is ctvvoik., and this is a fitting conclusion to 
the paragraph which commenced with " ye are no more strangers 
and foreigners." Meyer and Ellicott understand the aw- differ- 
ently, viz. as referring to the putting together the single parts of 
the building; Meyer quoting Philo, De Proem. § 20, p. 928 E 
(ed. Mang. ii. p. 427), oikIo.v ev o-vvwKo8op,T]p.lvr]v kcu avvqpfjLoajxlvrjv. 
But the whole context favours the interpretation "you together 
with others," and there is no reason to give any other sense to the 
aw- in awapixoXoyov/xevrj. 

els Ka-roi.KT]Tr)pi.oi' too 0€ou. KaToiK-qTTjpiov only in Rev. xviii. 2 in 
N.T., but freq. in the Sept. " Into a habitation of God," the same 
which was expressed by va6s dyios, only further specifying the 
essential nature of this vaos. Harless, who reads rraaa f] oik., sup- 
poses koltolk. here to be used of each individual Christian in whom 
God dwells, the whole forming a vaos aytos. Griesbach places lv <S 
kcu ifxel? o-vvoLK. in a parenthesis, which is awkward and unnecessary. 

eV in'eufjiaTi., " in the Spirit." It is interpreted by Chrysostom 
as = spiritually, oTkos Trv<Lvp.a.TiK.6<;, and so Theophyl. Oecum. 
Olshausen also thinks there is a glance at the va6s x ei P 07roi V T ^' 
But there is no suggestion of this in the context ; and as the whole 
is so distinctly figurative, it would be worse than superfluous to add 
this definition. Moreover, it does not appear that lv -rrvev/xaTL 
could be used with a substantive as = spiritual, except so far as the 
substantive involves a verbal notion, as TTcpiTop,^ lv tvv. = to irepL- 

TefJU'eadcu, lv tvv., Sot/xio? zv Xpio"T(3 = Se8e/xeVos lv Xo. 

But lv here is not merely instrumental, as if=8ta. The Spirit 
is not the means or instrument only, but the medium by virtue of 
which God dwells in the Church. The lv refers to the act of 
KaroiK-qo-is. He by or in His Spirit dwells in this temple. The 
article is not required, as Trvevfxa is frequently treated as a proper 
name where no ambiguity is caused thereby. 

III. 1-7. This truth, that the Gentiles are felloiv-heirs with the 
Jews, was hidden from former generations, but has now been revealed 
to the apostles and prophets ; and unworthy though I am, yet to me. 
has been given the privilege of making it known, and of preaching 
Christ to the Gentiles. 

1. toutou X"P l " ^Y" riauXog 6 8eo-jxios tou Xpidrou 'Ik]ctou uirep 
viiCtv two iQv&v. (Tischendorf omits 'Irja-ov, with N* D* G.) " For 
this reason, I Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus in behalf of you 
Gentiles." " For this reason," " hujus rei gratia," Vulg., i.e., as 
Theodoret says, " Knowing well both what ye were and how ye 
were called and on what conditions, I pray God to establish you in 
the faith." 

Chrysostom supplies elfii. I am the prisoner of Christ Jesus, 
etc. So the Peshitto and many moderns, including Baza, Meyer, 


Macpherson, " in order that ye may be built up to the habitation 
of God — in this behoof, that your Christian development may 
advance to that goal." But this is to give too great prominence to 
the assertion of his imprisonment, as if it were a main point in the 
discourse, instead of being incidental. Besides, we should expect 
in that case SeV^to? without the article. St. Paul was not likely 
thus to designate himself as " the prisoner of Christ Jesus," even 
with the addition " for you Gentiles." The notoriety of the fact 
does not explain this. Moreover, this view makes tovtov x°-P lv 
and v7rlp ifjLwv rather tautologous. The analogy of ch. iv. i is in 
favour of taking 6 8. in apposition with iyot IlavAos. 

Calvin's "legatione fungor" is a rendering of 7rpeo-y8eva), the 
reading of D (from vi. 20). Three cursives add K€Kavxq/ 

Origen ( Catena) supposes a solecism ; that, in fact, what St. Paul 
ought to have written was t. x a P- • • • iyvupio-a to fxvcrr. Jerome 
also, following Origen, declares that after diligent search he could 
not find the continuation of the sense. But the true key was given 
by Theodore Mops., followed by Theodoret, viz. that w. 2-13 is a 

parenthesis. ravra irdvTa iv /xecrw T€#eiKws dmAa/x/3ai'ei tov irepl 

7rpoo-€v^s Xoyov, Theodoret. The apostle having described him- 
self as a prisoner for the Gentiles, is quite characteristically drawn 
off into a digression on the grace granted to him in connexion with 
this ministry to the Gentiles. Oecumenius regards the sentence as 
resumed in ver. 8 with the change of the nominative to the dative, 
a change not without parallels, as he observes, in Thucydides and 
Demosthenes. On that view tovtov x°-P lv would mean " for this 
purpose," as in Tit. i. 5. But then 6 Sea-p-ios would have no point, 
and, besides, ver. 8 is closely connected with 6 and 7. It is much 
more satisfactory to assume, with Theodore and Theodoret, that the 
sense is resumed with the same words, tovtov x°-P tv i m ver - I 4- 
The supposition of a resumption in ch. iv. 1, adopted in the AV., 
rests apparently only on the repetition of 6 8eo-/Aios, and unneces- 
sarily lengthens the parenthesis. 

" The prisoner of Christ Jesus," so he calls himself in 2 Tim. 
i. 8 and Philem. 9, and in this Ep. iv. 1, "prisoner in the Lord." 
He looks on his imprisonment, not merely as suffered in the service 
of the Lord, but as part of the lot assigned to him by Christ, so 
that he was Christ's prisoner. Somewhat similarly in ch. vi. 20, 

VTrip ov Trpeo-ftevo) iv akvaeL. 

" In behalf of you Gentiles." Since it was his preaching the 
free admission of the Gentiles that led to his persecution at the 
hands of the Jews and to his present imprisonment, Acts xxi. 21. 
28, xxii. 22. 

2. etye T)Koucra.T€ rfiv oiKoi'oji.iai'. "If, indeed, ye have heard of 
the dispensation." This seems decisive against the supposition 
that the Epistle was addressed to a Church which had been 


personally instructed by the writer. The utmost force that can 
be claimed for elye is that, in Hermann's words, it is used "de re 
quae jure sumpta creditur," " if, as I take for granted," being less 
hypothetical than direp. According to Lightfoot on Gal. iii. 4, this 
rule requires modification when applied to the N.T., where elye is 
less directly affirmative than elirep. 

Eadie says it is " undeniable " that eiye is used in the N.T. of 
things that are certain, quoting iv. 21 and Col. i. 23. The former 
passage is in the same case with the present ; in the latter, hope 
only is expressed, not certainty. The only other places where etye 
occurs in the N.T. are Gal. iii. 4 and in the Received Text 2 Cor. 
v. 3 (cixep, B D). It is found also in Rom. v. 6 in B. But 
allowing that the particle implies certainty as strongly as Her- 
mann's rule asserts, it could not be used of a fact in the writer's 
own experience. A preacher addressing a strange congregation 
might say " I am sure," or even " I know that you have been 
taught so and so," but no preacher addressing those whom he 
himself had taught would ordinarily express himself in this way. 1 

It is said, indeed, that this argument proves too much, since 
" what was known of Paul in the Ephesian Church would practi- 
cally be known of him throughout the missions of Asia " (Moule). 
But this is just the kind of case in which the particle may be 
properly used, viz. where the writer may be " practically " certain, 
but doubt is conceivable. Besides, the details which follow might 
be but imperfectly known to those who had not heard them from 
St. Paul's own lips. And again, would he, in writing to the 
Ephesians, refer them to what he has just now written, that they 
may appreciate his knowledge in the mystery of Christ? Had 
they not had much more full proof of this during his long ministry? 
Every other attempt to evade this conclusion is equally unsuc- 
cessful. Thus rjKova-are has been rendered " intellexistis " (Anselm, 
Grotius), a meaning which the verb can have only when " hearing " 
is included; or, again, "hearing" the Epistle read (alluding to earlier 
passages in this Epistle) ; but cf. avayivwa kovt£<;, ver. 4. Calvin 
says : " Credibile est, quum ageret Ephesi, eum tacuisse de his. 
rebus." Ellicott reasons in a circle, "There could be no real 
doubt ; ' neque enim ignorare quod hie dicitur poterant Ephesii 
quibus Paulus ipse evangelium plusquam biennio praedicaverat,' 
Estius. . . . No argument, then, can be fairly deduced," etc. He 
supposes the apostle to convey the hope that his words had not 
been forgotten. Similarly Eadie, Alford, Macpherson, Meyer, 
(contra, W. Schmidt in last ed. of Meyer). But the words are not 
" if ye remember," or " if ye know " ; but " if ye have heard " ; and 
that, if written to the Ephesians, would be = " if I told you." 

1 On eXye and direp compare Sanday and Headlam, Comm. on Romans, 
iii. 30, with the quotation there from Monro's Homeric Grammar. 


" The dispensation of the grace of God, the grace given me to you- 

As the explanation which follows is " that by revelation," 
etc., it is best to understand t. ^aptro? as the genitive of the object, 
viz. the dispensation or plan or arrangement (namely, God's 
arrangement) with respect to the grace," etc. Chrysostom, 
followed by Oecum., takes the genitive as that of the subject. 

olk. X a P- T V V a-iroKaXvif/LV <pr)o~Lv, otl ov 7rapd ai'Opw-rrov epa#ei/, dXA.' 
ovtws wKOv6fJ.rjcrev rj X<*P ts ware poi i£ ovpavov aTTOKaXvcfiOrjvat, Oec. 

But this does not agree so well with the following words, which 
define the x"-P L<s as V Sofoio-a eis v/ids. Alford, understanding the 
genitive as objective, takes olk. as = " munus dispensandi." But 
it is not easy to see in what sense St. Paul could dispense the 
grace given to him. Many commentators suppose SoOeicrrjs to be 
attracted into the genitive by xdp""os, either understanding that it 
is in and with the grace that the oik. is entrusted to him (for which 
reason the participle has the case of x-» v. Soden), or taking t. oIk. 
t. x a P- as = the gospel dispensation. But, while St. Paul might 
speak of the gospel dispensation as entrusted to him (oikovo/xluv 
TT'zTrLo-Tevfxai, 1 Cor. ix. 17), he could hardly speak of it as "given 
to him." Nor does this interpretation agree with the circum- 
stance that the following words take the form of an explanation. 
The explanation of olk., as the apostolic office or stewardship, is 
also not consistent with the explanation, in which it is the act of 
God that is spoken of, not any conduct of the apostle. It is 
tempting to suppose, with some expositors, that the writer, in 
using the word oiKovop.ia, has in his mind the building just re- 
ferred to. But although oiko? might suggest the idea of an 
oiVovo/xos, olKoZofirj and oiKTjTypLov do not ; and the figurative use 
of oIkovoixlcl was so common, that if the apostle had intended such 
an allusion, he would have made it more distinct. 

3. on KaTa &Troi<d\ui|ui' ey(opia0T] jaoi to |auottJpioi\ " That it 

was by way of revelation that the mystery was made known to 
me." Explanation of ver. 2 ; hence the emphasis is on koto air., 
which is not really different from 81' diroKaXvipeb)?, Gal. i. 1 2. In 
the latter passage, Kara could not have been used on account of 

'lrjcrov Xptcrrov following. 

lyvwpio-B-q is the reading of X A B C D* G P, Vulg. Boh. Arm., 
Chrys. The Rec. has eyvwpurc, with D c K L, Theoph. Oec. 
For to /xuo-Tr/piov see on ch. i. 9. Here, not the " mystery " of 
redemption in general is meant, but the particular "mystery" of 
the inclusion of the heathen, for it is thus explained in ver. 6. 

KaGcjs Trpoe'Ypa\J/a eV dXiyw. "As I have just written in brief." 
7rpo- is local, not temporal (cf. Gal. iii. 1, 7rpoeypd<pr;), and the 
reference is to the present Epistle, not to an earlier one, as supposed 


by Chrysostom, Calvin, a/., contrary to the present participle 
dj/aytvtoo-Kovres. Theodoret and Theophylact have the right view. 
Comp. I Cor. V. 9, eypaxj/a ev T17 cVicttoX^ ; and i Pet. v. 1 2, 
Zypaif/a 8l oAtycuv. The reference is doubtless to the whole pre- 
ceding exposition about the Gentiles. 

iv oXtyw, equivalent to ev /Spa^ei, used by Demosthenes. 
Theodoret, indeed, and some moderns connect this with the irpo- 
in Trpoiypa\j/a, as if it meant "paulo ante," which would be Trpb 
oXtyov. iv 6A. in a temporal sense would mean, "in a short 
time " (Acts xxvi. 28). Wetstein correctly, " pauca tantum attigi 
cum multa dici possent." Oecumenius gives a peculiar turn, ovk 
typaxj/ev ocra i\PV v dAA' ocra £x ( * ) P 0VV voeiv, as if the following 
71-pos o were = " prout," which would make dvayivtocncovTes un- 

4. Trpos o is, "according to which, or looking to which," namely, 
to what I have said. Comp. "7rpo? & Zirpa&v" 2 Cor. v. 10; 

7rpos Ti]V dkrjdeLav tov eiayy., Gal. ii. 14; 7rpos to OeXr]p.a avTOV, 

Luke xii. 47. But the usage is quite classical. 

drayn'cSo-KoiTes, present, because it is " while reading," or " as 
ye read." 

yoTJcrai. Where it is indifferent whether the aorist or present 
infinitive is used, the aorist is more frequent (Winer, § 44. 7), 
especially after such verbs as SlW/acu, 0e'Aw, etc. Hort thinks this 
avay. refers to reading the O.T. prophecies, comparing Matt. xxiv. 
15. But there the passage "read" is distinctly specified, and 
although in Mark xiii. 14 Daniel is not named, he is quoted. 

ttji' auvetriv jjlou iv tw fiuoTTjpiw tou XpioToC. " My understanding 
in the mystery of Christ." The article is not required before ev 
-no p.., because cnWvai iv is a frequent expression (Josh. i. 7 ; 
2 Chron. xxxiv. 12). 

p-vcrr. tov Xp. We have the same expression in Col. iv. 3, 
where it clearly means the doctrine of the free admission of the 
Gentiles (St' o ko.1 It is the same here, as explained in 
ver. 6. Similarly, in Col. i. 27 we have tov p.. tovtov o io-Tiv Xpio-ros 
iv ipuv. That passage has been used (by Alford, Ellicott, Meyer) 
to prove that the genitive here is one of apposition or identity ; 
but it fails in this, since there it is not Xpio-Tos, but Xpto-ros iv, 
that constitutes the p.. It is better, therefore, to understand " the 
mystery (or doctrine) relating to the Christ " ; the genitive being 
that of the object. 

Critics who question the genuineness of the Epistle regard this 
verse as the expression of a boastfulness not in accordance with 
the dignity of an apostle, and only a clumsy imitation of 2 Cor. 
xi. 5, 6, where St. Paul is merely claiming for himself that in which 
his opponents claim to surpass him. But there is no self-laudation 
in this assertion of o-weo-is (see, on the contrary, ver. 8) ; nor even 


as high a claim to exceptional knowledge as is involved in Kara 
aTTOKakvij/Lv, which it only serves to illustrate. Is it not quite 
natural that in writing to Churches where he was not personally 
known, and where there were teachers whose teaching was of a 
corrupt and paganising tendency (v. 11-14), and threatened to 
cause a schism between the Jewish and the Gentile members of 
the Church, the apostle, who was, in fact, combating these errors, 
and expounding the true nature of the privileges to which the 
Gentiles were admitted, should remind them in some such way 
that the subject was one on which he could speak with authority, 
and thus guard against objections which might possibly be urged 
by these unsound teachers ? From this point of view it will be 
seen that this indirect and delicate way of meeting possible opposi- 
tion is thoroughly Pauline. On the other hand, a writer who 
merely assumed the name of Paul, especially one of such power as 
the writer of this Epistle, would hardly put into his mouth an 
expression of such seeming self-complacency, without any hint of 
opposition. Still less would such a writer forthwith add so strik- 
ing an expression of self-depreciation as is contained in ver. 8. 

5. o eTepcus yeyecus °" K iyvoipiaQr] tois ulois T&v dvGpojTrwi'. 
" Which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men." 
iv, which in the Received Text precedes trepan, rests on slight 
authority, but it expresses the right construction of It. yev. Meyer, 
in his earlier editions, adopted the view that the meaning was " to 
other generations," -rots mots, k.t.X., being epexegetical. (So also 
v. Soden.) But the usual interpretation is simpler, and corre- 
sponds better with the antithetical vvv. For yevea in this sense, cf. 
Acts xiv. 1 6, iv Tais -n-apwY^/Aei'cus y. ; and for the dative of time, 
ii. 12, eTepais, i.e. other than the present. 

"The sons of men," an expression frequent in the O.T. and 
simply = " men." Comp. Mark iii. 28 (the only N.T. parallel) 
with Matt. xii. 31. It is needless, therefore, to adopt Bengel's 
remark, " latissima appellatio, causam exprimens ignorantiae, ortum 
naturalem cui opponitur Spiritus." Bengel, indeed, thinks that the 
prophets are especially referred to, because Ezekiel, who writes 
largely of the temple, as St. Paul does here, calls himself the son 
of man ; but this is peculiar to him. It seems equally erroneous 
to find in the words a marked contrast with " His holy apostles," 
namely, because these were ®eov avOpuyn-oi (2 Pet. i. 21) (Ellicott). 
This is far-fetched. The apostles and prophets were not the less 
sons of men ; and we might, with as much reason, follow Jerome, 
who would exclude the O.T. patriarchs and prophets because they 
were " sons of God." 

<I>S cue direKaXu<j)9Y) T019 ayiois aTTOoroXois auTou kcu TrpcxJjrJTCus iv 
rifcufxa-n.. "As it has now been revealed to His holy apostles and 
prophets in the Spirit." 


ws is comparative, with such clearness as now. ovtw; dKpt/3u><; 

ovk r"8etcrav ot 7raA.atot to fxvcrrrjpiov, Theoph. j " fuit illis hoc mys- 

terium quasi procul et cum involucris ostensum," Beza. 

aTT€KaXv(j>9r], not now iyvwpLo-Or), because the special manner in 
which the knowledge was given is to be brought out. 

" His holy apostles." How can the writer, if himself an 
apostle, use such an expression ? Some critics answer unhesitat- 
ingly that it is incredible that an apostle should do so, and that 
the expression betrays the view which belonged to a later age. 
Baur thinks the dyiots an oversight. And the writer who was so 
unskilful as to be guilty of this palpable oversight, is so mindful 
of his assumed character that in the same breath he says, i^ol to) 
e'A.a^to-To-repa) TrdvTwv aytiov. The difficulty seems to arise from the 
use of the word "holy," and the corresponding words in other 
modern languages, to express the personal character of " holiness." 
But aytos is used of any thing that is set apart for a sacred pur- 
pose. So we have "holy prophets," Luke i. 70; Acts iii. 21. All 
Christians are by their calling dytot, and St. Paul frequently uses 
the word where he himself is included {e.g. 1 Cor. vi. 2 and Col. 
i. 26). When he calls all believers aytot, what delicacy should 
prevent him from calling the apostles by the same word? A 
clergyman is not expected to be prevented, by a feeling of delicacy, 
from speaking of his "reverend brethren," or a bishop of his "right 
reveiend brethren." 

Lachmann and Tregelles place a comma after aytot?, the follow- 
ing words being in apposition : " to the saints, His apostles and 
prophets," or rather "apostles and prophets of His." But such 
a separation of the adjective from the following substantive is 
harsh, although it must be admitted that it is suggested by the 
parallel in Col. i. 26. 

A more considerable difficulty seems to arise from the state- 
ment that the mystery of the free admission of the Gentiles had 
been revealed to " the apostles and prophets," viz. as a body. For 
this is precisely the special doctrine which St. Paul seems else- 
where, and here in ver. 3, to claim as his own, and which, at least . 
at first, was not accepted by the other apostles (Gal. ii.). In ver. 
8, also, this is recognised as the distinctive characteristic of St. 
Paul's apostleship. For this reason Reuss makes the suggestion 
that the second half of ver. 5 is a gloss. In favour of this sug- 
gestion, it may also be observed that avrov has no expressed 
antecedent, unless, indeed, in opposition to most expositors, we 
take it to be Xpicn-01). In the parallel in Col. i. 26, tois dytots 
avrov, the antecedent ©eoS occurs just before. But the authority 
of the MSS. is too strong for this suggestion to be accepted. B, 
indeed, omits d7roo-ToA.ois (with ps. Ambr.), while D G place the 
word after avrov. 


The difficulty, however, is met by the consideration that, not- 
withstanding the doubts which the other apostles at first enter- 
tained, they afterwards fully accepted the doctrine as taught by 
St. Paul, Acts xv., Gal. ii. 7 ff., and that long before the present 
Epistle was written. The " prophets " are manifestly Christian 
prophets. eV Trvcuitcm must be joined with the verb, not with -n-po- 
($>rjTai<;, to which it would be a superfluous addition, or dyiois, or 
the following eTvcu. 

6. elvai Ta eQvr] <ruyK\r|poi/6|Jia, kcu au<T<rw|j.a . . . (namely) " that 
the Gentiles are fellow-heirs (or joint possessors) and fellow-mem- 
bers of the body." Epexegetical ; stating, not the purpose, but 
the content of the fxva-Trfpiov. The " should be " of AV. is not 
grammatically tenable. <rvyi<\r]pov6fj.a, fellow-heirs, not with Christ, 
as in Rom. viii. 17 (and Jerome here), for it is "in Christ," but 
with the believing Jews. The word crvyK\rfpov6fxo<; is found four 
times in the N.T. and once in Philo, but not elsewhere. cruWwpa, 
incorporated with them into the body of which Christ is the Head. 
The word is not found elsewhere (except in the Fathers), and is 
supposed to have been perhaps formed by St. Paul. But as 
Aristotle has the compound tTva-a-wfxaroTroidv (De Mundo, iv. 30), 
it is more probable that the adjective was in use. 

Kal o-up,p,£TO)(a rfjs CTrayyeXias iv Xpiorw 'Itjctou. 

The Received Text has avrou after iwayy., with D bc GKL, al.\ but the 
word is absent from X A B C D* P 17, al. XpiaTi^ of the Text Rec. rests on 
nearly the same MS. authority, with the addition of D ; while Xpitrrf 
'Irjffod has the authority of N A B C P 17. 

"And joint-partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus." The 
accumulation of epithets is due to the importance of the matter ; 
there is no climax, for avfj-fj-er. is not stronger than owo-w/xa. The 
former word is found outside this Epistle only in Josephus, but 
the verb o-u//./xeT<fxa> occurs in Xen. and Plato. Jerome renders 
the words "cohaeredes et concorporales et comparticipes pro- 
missionis," defending the inelegance of the Latin by the import- 
ance of correctly representing the Greek. The genitive cVayy. 
depends only on 0-vp.fxtT. The promise is the promise of salva- 
tion, of a part in the kingdom of the Messiah ; and to be partakers 
of the promise is to be joined with those to whom the promise is 
given. There is no need, then, to take 77 iiray. as = the thing pro- 
mised, still less to understand this specially of the Holy Spirit. 
In the passages to which Eadie and others refer in support of such 
a restriction, the Spirit is expressly named, e.g. Gal. iii. 14; ch. 

iy XpurnS 'lv/a-oi) and S(a tow cvayycXtov refer to all three epithets. 
" In Christ Jesus through the gospel." In Christ, not Sui, for He 
was not simply the means ; it was in His person that this effect 


was produced. Cf. i. 7 ; and for an analogous distinction between 
iv and Sid, even where both substantives are impersonal, 1 Pet. 
i. 5> €" Swa/i,ct ®eov (ppovpovpLtvovs Sid 7tio-t€<ds, and Heb. X. IO, iv 
o) Oe\r]fjLarL ijyiacrp.evoL icrre S(d tt?s 7rpocr<£opas, k.t.X. 

7. ou iyevf]Qr)v hidn.ovos. "Of which I became a minister" 
(lywrjO-qv, NAB D* G ; but iyev6fir)v, CD C K L). The use of 
yevrjOrjvai instead of the Attic yevia-Oai is condemned by Phrynichus, 
who calls it Doric ; but it is frequent in later Greek writers (Poly- 
bius, Diodorus, Dion. Hal. etc.), as is shown by Lobeck {ad 
Phryn. p. 109). There is no ground, then, for assigning to the 
word here a passive shade of meaning, as is done by Oecum., ov8lv 

yap iyio epyov ipubv cruveicrrjvey/ca rrj ^aptrt Tavrr). Compare, On 
the contrary, Col. iv. 11, iywrjOrjaav p.01 Traprfyopla ; 1 Thess. ii. 14, 
p.Lp.t]TaL iyevtjOrjTe. 

Sid/covos. Harless maintains that S. denotes the servant in his 
activity for that service, while v-n-rjpiT-q^ denotes him in his activity 
for the Master, apparently on the ground that Sia/coveu/ ti or rtvt 
tl is said, and he compares 1 Cor. iv. 1 with Col. i. 7. But 
vTrypeTelv nvt ti is also said (Xen. Anab. vii. 7. 46 ; Soph. Phil. 
1012), and the distinction cannot be maintained; see 2 Cor. 
xi. 23, Sklkovol Xpicrrov eiVt ; i Tim. iv. 6; and for wnypenys, Acts 
xxvi. 1 6 ; Luke i. 2. 

KaT<i TT)i' Swpeac tt]s x^P lT °S T0 ^ ©eou rfjs 8o0eicn]s fioi KaTa tx]v 
ivipymav ttjs 8uKdp,ea)9 auTou. According to the gift of that grace 
of God which was given to me " by virtue of the exercise of His 
power." t?}? So0eto-??s is the reading of NABC D* G, Vulg. Boh. 
The accusative is read by D c K L, Syr., Chrys. The genitive is 
one of apposition, the gift being the grace given, so that the two 
readings do not differ in sense ; but logically the genitive has the 
advantage, as the grace required this further definition more than 
the gift. 

icon-a. TTif iv. auTou. These words, which are to be connected 
with SoOeio-rjs, are by no means superfluous, but express the ever- 
present consciousness of St. Paul that his mission as an apostle 
was not due to anything in himself, it was the grace of God given ' 
with Divine power that alone changed the persecutor into the 
apostle. Hence the accumulation Swpea, x ^"-?, So^ciin/s, evepyeta, 
Swa/Ats, proceeding from the feeling of his own unworthiness, 
suggested by ou Sta«. iyevrjOrjv. " Nolite respicere quid sim 
meritus, quia dominus ultro mihi sua liberalitate hoc contulit ut 
sim apostolus gentium ; non mea dignitate sed ejus gratia. Nolite 
etiam respicere qualis fuerim ; nam domini est homines nihili 
extollere. Haec est potentiae ejus efficacia, ex nihilo grande aliquid 
efficere." See Dale, Lect. xiii. p. 235. 

8. ejAo! tw e\a.)(iOTOTepw irdrr&H' dyiwc eSoGr] r\ X^. ot 5 oiuttj. raiv 

is added before dyiW in the Received Text, against a great pre- 


ponderance of authority, dyiW is used as a substantive. "To 
me who am less than the least of all saints " {i.e. all Christians) 
" was this grace given." Closely connected in thought with the 
preceding, as expressing his own unworthiness in contrast with 
God's grace. 'EXaxioroTepos. Double forms of comparatives and 
superlatives are frequent in the poets. Wetstein quotes Eustathius, 
who has collected numerous instances. But they also occur in the 
later prose writers, e.g. pci^o-repos (Malalas, 490. 9 ; also 3 John 4) ; 
cAa^to-roVaTos (Sextus Empir.; also Matt. iii. 54, ix. 406), 
apparently without any increase of meaning. The instances in 
earlier prose writers (Xen. Aristot.) seem to be invented by the 
respective writers. The present instance is remarkable as a com- 
bination of superlative and comparative. It has a curiously 
parallel form in Aristotle, Me tap h. x. 4. 7 (Bekker), ovtc yap tov 
iaxaTov ccr^aTWTepov eirj dv ti ; but there the form is introduced 
only as expressing an impossible conception, and is construed as a 
comparative ; here, on the contrary, eAa^tcrrdrepos appears to 
express a definite idea, not only least of all saints, but even less 
than this implies. It may therefore be considered a unique 
formation. The expression can hardly be interpreted, with some 
eminent expositors, as referring to his consciousness of enduring 
sinfulness, as to which he could not place himself lower than all 
saints. True it is, no doubt, that every Christian, when he looks 
into his own heart, and is conscious of the sin that still dwells 
there, and knows that he cannot see what is in the heart of others, 
may be ready to exclaim, iyw eAa^to-TOTepos ttolvtidv dytcov ; but this 
does not express a deliberate comparison, and whatever such a 
one may feel at such moments, he would act unwisely if, when 
instructing and exhorting others, he should thus proclaim his own 
inferiority to them. Such a confession would be likely to be mis- 
understood, and either called hypocritical or made the ground of 
the retort, Why, then, take upon you to instruct and reprove your 
betters ? Certainly St. Paul gives us little reason to think that he 
would take such a view. He declares that he has " lived in all 
good conscience toward God " ; that if any one might have confi- 
dence in the flesh, he might, being blameless as touching the 
righteousness which is in the law. And as one of the dyioi, he 
does not reckon himself amongst the babes in Christ, but the 
mature, reXtioi (Phil. iii. 15). He affirms that in nothing is he 
behind the vnepXlav diroa-roXoi ; nay, he does not hesitate to call 
on his readers to be imitators of him, as he is of Christ. While 
never for a moment forgetting his own nothingness, and that it is 
only by the grace of God that he was what he was, he likewise 
never forgets his true position in Christ's service. And he was too 
much taken up with his work in that service to have time for 
indulging in that kind of self-examination which consists in analys- 


ing one's state of mind or one's feelings. In Rom. vii. 17, to 
which Harless refers, he is describing the state from which he has 
been delivered (ib. ver. 25, viii. 2). 

His recollection, ever vivid, of his former career as a persecutor 
is quite sufficient explanation of the expression here used. 

The same writers who hold that the dyioi cl.7r0crT0A.0t, ver. 5, 
could proceed only from an imitator who forgot his part, are of 
opinion that the expression now before us is an exaggerated imita- 
tion of 1 Cor. xv. 9, " I am the least of the apostles, that am not 
meet to be called an apostle." But there was no occasion there 
for any comparison with believers in general ; he is only speaking 
of himself as one of the apostles ; here he speaks of a grace that 
distinguished him above other believers, and, " now undeservedly," 
is his natural feeling. Indeed, we may with more justice say that 
this striking and unique expression could not proceed from calcu- 
lated imitation ; it has the stamp of a spontaneous outflow of an 
intense feeling of unworthiness. Nor does it really go beyond the 
passage in 1 Cor.; for there he declares himself not only the least of 
the apostles, but not meet to be called an apostle ; here he does 
not say that he is not meet to be reckoned amongst the dyioi. 
For the reader will not fail to note that notwithstanding the depth 
of his self-depreciation he still counts himself (or is represented as 
counting himself), and that not with hesitation, amongst the dyioi, 
the very term which when joined with d7ro'o-ToAoi is thought to 
be unapostolic. Yet no one supposes that dyiW here is incon- 
sistent with humility. 

toIs eOveaiv eucvyyeXicracTOcu to^i\vla(nov ttXootos tou Xpiorou. 
The Rec. Text has eV before rots 16., with D G K L. It is absent 
from X A B C P. 

" To preach unto the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of 
Christ." This is what 17 x^P ts a ^ T V consisted in. avrr; refers to 
what follows. Harless regards the words as an exposition of Scoped, 
ifjioi to avTT] being treated as a parenthesis in order to avoid what 
he thinks would be unnatural, the close of a period within the 
long parenthesis, whose unusual length is only explained by the 
uninterrupted flow of thought. In that case axmq would refer 
backward to ver. 7. But it is very awkward to separate evay- 
ycAuracrtfai from the immediately preceding rj x°-P L ^ <*-vtt]. As to 
vti. 2-13, this is not grammatically a parenthesis, for the sentence in 
ver. 1 is completely broken off, and a new sentence begins in 
ver. 14. 

ave£i)Q>[a.<rTOV. Theodoret well remarks : kcu iruis Kr/puTTeis 
€LTT€p 6 ttXovtos ctvefi;(i'tacrTOS ; rovro yap avro, c/iijca, KiypuTTW, 
on dve£ixviao-Tos. The neuter ttXovtos, however, is the best 
supported reading in the text, being in N*ABCD*G 17 
67**, while N c D c K L P have the masculine, " the riches of 


Christ " ; all the inexhaustible blessings contained in Him. 
Comp. Rom. xi. 33 (where the same word dve^x- occurs), and 
1 Cor. xiii. 9-12, " We know in part," etc., and Phil. iii. 10. 

9. Kol (Jhotictow firdvTos]. The reading is doubtful, (purlcrai without 
T&vras is read by X* A 6j 2 , Cyr. Hil. and apparently Jerome, iravras is 
added by N°BCDGKLP, Ital., Vulg. Syr., Chrys. a/.; Tisch. Treg. 
Westcott and Hort leave out the word. The insertion seems easy to account 
for, as the verb seemed to require an accusative, which it usually has in the 
N.T. As to the sense, the advantage seems to be on the side of the 
omission. The general meaning is, indeed, pretty much the same with either 
reading, since the result of bringing the oIk. to light is that all men are enabled 
to see it. But tt&vtcls would seem to represent this result as attained by 
opening the eyes of men, whereas, since it was by revelation that the apostle 
learned it, opening men's eyes would not be sufficient ; the mystery itself had 
to be brought to light. Besides, the meaning given to (pwricrai with the 
reading iravraj, viz. to enlighten by way of instruction, has no parallel in the 
N.T., although it is so used in a few passages in the Sept. (Judg. xiii. 8; 
2 Kings xii. 2, xvii. 27, 28). Moreover, if vavras is read, although it is 
not emphatic, it cannot be limited to the Gentiles, and it would hardly be in 
St. Paul's manner to claim as his the office of enlightening all men as to the 

tis *] oiKoyofiia tou fAucrrr|ptou. The Rec. Text has /coivwvia, 
a remarkable variation, but found in few MSS. oiKovojxia is in all 
the uncials, most cursives, and the versions and Fathers. 

" What is the arrangement, or administration, of the mystery ? " 
The mystery is that indicated in ver. 6, and that which was ordered 
or arranged as to the carrying out of this is the oik. t. /xvar. This 
was entrusted to St. Paul ; cf. ver. 2. This seems more natural 
than to interpret oik. as the arrangement which consisted in 
hitherto concealing the mystery and now revealing it. Comp. 

Col. i. 25, T7jv oIk. tov ®eov Ti]V oodetcrdv fxoi eis ifxa.'S TrXrjpwcrai 
tov Xoyov tou ©cow to fxv(TTqpiov to airoKeKpv[xp.evov anr6 twv 


tou dTroK€Kpu(jLu.eVoo, " which was hidden " = o-e.aiyijfj.evov, Rom. 
XVI. 25. Comp. also I Cor. ii. 7, KaXovjxev ®eov aofyiav iv /xvo-T^piw 

T7)V aTTOKeKpVfJLfAevrjV. 

&tt6 tuk aiuvwv, equivalent to xP" vots atwviot?, Rom. xvi. 25, 
" from the beginning." The expression occurs only here and Col. 
i. 26 in the N.T. air alwvos (used also by Longinus) occurs in 
Luke i. 70; Acts iii. 21, xv. 18. «c tov at., which is used by 
St John, ix. 32, is also found in Greek writers. Comp. irpo 
twv aiaii/wv, 1 Cor. ii. 7. 

iv tw ®€w tw to, Trdrra KTiaarn. " In God who created all 


things." The Rec. Text adds, ota I^o-ou Xpio-rov, with U c K L, 
Chrys. Theodoret, Oec. But the words are omitted by KABC 
D* G P, Vulg. Syr. Pesh. and Hard, (text) and other versions, 
Tert. Jerome, Augustine, al. 

It is not quite clear what is the point here of the words ™ ra 


ir. KTicravTi. When the words 6\d 'I. Xp. were read, a reference to 
the spiritual or new creation was naturally thought of ; but these 
words being omitted, such a reference is excluded. But, in fact, it 
is remote from the context, and unsuitable to the emphatic and 
unrestricted irdvTa, as well as to the simple ktio-clvti. 

It is clear that kti&iv cannot be applied to the ^v<nripwv, which 
is not a thing created. The simplest explanation seems to be that 
the Creator of all was free to make what arrangement He pleased 
as to the concealment and revelation of His purpose. As Bengel 
remarks : " Rerum omnium creatio fundamentum est omnis reliquae 
oeconomiae pro potestate Dei universali liberrime dispensatae." 
Harless connects the words with the following : " Created all 
things in order to reveal in the Church His varied wisdom." But 
so important an assertion as this would hardly be made in so 
incidental a manner in a subordinate clause, especially as it has no 
analogy elsewhere in the N.T. Moreover, vvv in the following 
clause is against this view; see on ver. 10. 

10-13. It is God's purpose, that even the angelic powers should 
learn through the Church the varied wisdom of God as shown in 
His eternal purpose in Christ. 

10. tea yvu)pi(j6f\ \>uv tous apneas k&! tchs e^oucriais iv Tots 
eiroupcmois 8id tt]S eKKXirjcnas f\ iroXuTroiKiXos ao<j>ia tou 0eou. 
" To the end that now might be made known to the princi- 
palities and the powers in the heavenly places the much varied 
wisdom of God." <W is supposed by some to be connected with 
the whole of the preceding, or specially with i86$r), k.t.X. This 
would make St. Paul ascribe to his own preaching a result in 
which the other apostles had their share. But as yvmpirdrj is 
directly opposed to aVoKeKp., and vvv to ano rwv aiwvw, the most 
natural interpretation is that the secret or mystery was concealed 
in former times in order that now the wisdom of God might be 
manifested in its fulfilment. Braune, however, connects Tva with 
Tis rj oik. tou p.. " The arrangement is directed to this end, that 
the wisdom of God," etc. 

Tats dpxais Kal tch? e£ou<7i<us. Understood by some of the 
older expositors of earthly powers in general, or of Jewish rulers in 
particular (so Locke), or again of heathen priests, or of Church 
authorities ; all from unwillingness to admit the sublime thought of 
the apostle, that God's wisdom in the scheme of redemption is an 
object of contemplation to heavenly intelligences. Comp., on the 
contrary, i Pet. i. 12, "which things angels desire to look into." 

V. Soden, comparing Col. ii. 10-15, understands the words of 
the angelic powers which ministered the law on the one hand, and 
on the other hand the elemental spirits which claimed the venera- 
tion of the heathen. To both was it now made manifest that the 
enmity was at an end. 


ec T019 eiroupavioig, local, cf. i. 3, 20. It qualifies the preceding 
substantive notwithstanding the absence of the article, which is 
not necessary in the case of local definitions. Cf. Demosth. c. 
Pantaen, p. 967, toIs epyois iv Mapuvcta : Aeschines, Fals. Leg. 42, 
tyjv rpir-qv Trpecrfieiav iirl to koivov toic 'A/x^iktuoVwv (Bernhardy, 
p. 322 f.). 

81a ttjs eKKXrjcrias, i.e. as Theodoret expresses it, Sta tt)s irepi 
tj]v ZKKXrjo-iav oli<ovop.ia<;. The Church is the phenomenon, which 
by its existence is a proof and exhibition of the Divine wisdom as 
manifested in a scheme of redemption which is world wide. 

ttoXutuhkiXos does not mean " very wise," as has been hastily 
inferred from the use of ttolkiXos in Aesch. Prom. Vinct. 315, where, 
however, the word means "crafty." 7roA.u7rouaA.os is used by 
Eurip. Iph. Taur. 1149, of cloth; by Eubulus, ap. Athen. 15, 
p. 679^, of flowers. In a figurative sense, as here, it occurs in 
the Orphica (lxi. 4, of discourse), and in Theophilus. The Latin 
here has " multiformis." The word probably refers to the variety 
of God's dealings with Jews and Gentiles in former times, which 
are now seen to have worked to one end. Gregory of Nyssa 
{Horn. viii. in Cant. Cant, followed by Theoph. and Oecum.) 
gives a striking interpretation. " Before the incarnation of our 
Saviour the heavenly powers knew the wisdom of God only as 
simple and uniform, effecting wonders in a manner consonant 
with the nature of each thing. There was nothing ttoUlXov. But 
now by means of the olKovop-ta, with reference to the Church 
and the human race, the wisdom of God is known no longer 
as simple, but as iroXviroiiaXos, producing contraries by con- 
traries ; by death, life ; by dishonour, glory ; by sin, righteous- 
ness ; by a curse, blessing ; by weakness, power. The invisible is 
manifested in flesh. He redeems captives, Himself the purchaser, 
and Himself the price." The thought is no doubt striking, but the 
adjective 7roAv7r. does not suggest Trapd§o£ov. Perhaps, indeed, the 
word has been too much pressed by some expositors, and is only 
suggested by the thought of the great apparent difference and 
real harmony between the Christian dispensation and that which 
preceded it. 

11. Kcn-d Trp68e<ni' tw cuwewv. " According to the purpose of the 
ages." The genitive does not seem to be correctly taken as that of 
the object, the purpose concerning the ages, the foreordering of the 
ages (Whitby), since the writer is speaking of the one purpose 
carried out in Christ. Nor can Trp66<Lcn<; be taken as = fore- 
knowledge (Chrys.). Modern commentators generally take it as 
= eternal. Ellicott compares TrpaOta-Lv . . . irph xpoVcjv aiWiW, 
2 Tim. i. 9 ; but then the latter words are connected with BoOelcrav, 
not with trpoO. A better sense is obtained by taking the genitive 
is one of possession, " the purpose that runs through the 


ages." Cf. Tennyson, " through the ages one increasing purpose 


f\V €TT01T]<T€I' iv TW XpiOTW '|T](T0U TU> KuptU) r\\i.biV. " Which He 

purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord." It is questioned whether 
(.TroL-qaev means "formed" or "executed" the purpose. The 
immediate connexion favours the former view ; but it is urged by 
Meyer, Ellicott, al., that what follows belongs to the execution, 
not the formation of the purpose ; and this has been thought also 
to account for 'Irjaov being added, since it was not the formation 
of the purpose, but its accomplishment that took place in the 
historical Jesus. For the use of Troietv in this sense we are referred 
to ch. ii. 3; Matt. xxi. 31 ; John vi. 38, and in the Sept. 
1 Kings v. 8 ; Isa. xliv. 28. But in all these passages the object 
of the verb is 6iXrjp,a, which primarily means that which is willed, 
so that the exact meaning of ir. 6<z\r]p.a is to perform that which 
God, e.g., has willed. It could not mean to form a purpose. With 
7rp69eat<; it is otherwise. This properly means the purpose as an 
act, although by a natural figure it may also be used of that 
which is purposed. The natural meaning of 7roieiv irp., therefore, 
is to form a purpose, and the passages cited do not prove that 
any other sense is possible. Meyer also compares ttoulv yviofxrjv, 
Rev. xvii. 17; but even if this were quite parallel, we cannot 
explain St. Paul's Greek by that of the Apocalypse. In any 
case, when it is a 7rpo#eo-is w aiwvoiv that is in question, iroulv 
would be a very weak verb to use. The addition of 'lrjaov is 
sufficiently accounted for by this, that the apostle desired to 
bring to the mind of his readers the thought that He whom 
they know as Jesus their Lord is none other than the Christ in 
whom God had from eternity formed His purpose. So likewise 
ch. i. 4. 

12. eV w e^ofxef ttjc Trapprjaiai/ Kal TrpooraywyTjf c'v -n-eTroiOrjo-ei 


So X AB 17 80, Greg-Nyss. The Rec. Text, has -H\v before irpoaayuyn", 
with CD'KLP, Ath. Chrys. al. 

D*° have ri)v irpoaaywyriv Kal ttjv wapprjaiav. 

G : TrpocraywyTjv els ttjv wapp-qcrlav. The article seems more likely to have 
been inserted for grammatical reasons than omitted either accidentally or 

" In whom we have our boldness and access in confidence 
through our faith in Him." irappriaia is primarily freedom of 
speech, and is frequently found in that sense in the N.T., as well 
as in that of "plainness of speech," John xvi. 25, 26. It occurs 
in the sense of "confidence" in the Apocrypha and in Josephus, 

e.g. I MaCC. iv. 18, Xrnpere ra. cr/cCAa p-era rr.j Wisd. V. I, <TTr)(reTai 

iv tt. TroWrj 6 St/catos ; so Phil. i. 20 ; 1 Tim. iii. 13 ; Heb. x. 19: 
cf. 1 John ii. 28, iii. 21, iv. 17, v. 14. The transition of 


meaning seems not to be by way of generalisation from confidence 
in speaking to confidence generally ; for the primary meaning is 
not "confidence," but "freedom, openness" of speech. But 
freedom of speech (in the active sense) implies the absence of 
fear or shame ; see the passages just referred to in x John ii. 28, 
"have 7r., and not be ashamed"; iv. 17, "ir. in the day of 
judgment." In John iii. 21 and iv. 12, tt. is connected with 

On 7rpoo-ay(j>yq see ii. 1 8. The intransitive sense is obviously 
the more suitable here. If the article is not read we must either 
suppose irapp^o-ia. and tv poa ay uiyrj to form parts of one conception, 
or we must connect the following words with the latter only. What 
has just been said of Trapprjaia shows that the former alternative 
is quite possible, Trapprjaia Kal 7r poo-ay u>yr) being nearly equivalent 
to Trpoo-aywyr) fxera Trappr/crcas, and the idea would be the same that 
is expressed in Heb. iv. 1 6, Trpoo-epxwp.e6a p.era Tvapprjo-ia<i tu> 6povw 
r>}s x"P tros - The other alternative would leave Trapp-qoria very 

How grandly is this confidence expressed in Rom. viii. 38, 39 ! 

ir£Troi6r}o-i<; is a word of the later Greek. It occurs several 
times in Josephus, also in Sextus Empiricus and in Philo, but only 
once in the Sept. 2 Kings xviii. 19. 

81a ttjs Trio-Tews auTou. The genitive is that of the object, the 
ttlo-tls is denned by its object. So in Mark xi. 22, exere tt. ©eou ; 
Rom. iii. 22, 26; James ii. I, /at) iv Trpoo-wrroXrjif/Lai^ c^ere ttjv 
ttlo-tiv tov Kvptov i)p.wv, and elsewhere. The words are to be 
connected with ex°H- €V i n °t w ^ n TrtTroidrjo-ei. 

13. Aio aiToufxai (it) eyxaKelV iv Tats 8\i\|/ecTi jaou oirep ujxwi'. Aid, 
viz. because I am the minister of so great a matter ; connected, not 
with the preceding verse only, but with 8-12. The greater the 
office, the less becoming would it be to lose heart. 

The following words, however, admit of two interpretations. 
Either, I pray that I may not lose heart, or, I entreat you, not to 
lose heart. The latter view is adopted by the Syr., Theodoret, 
Jerome, Bengel, Harless, Olshausen, Braune. In its favour it is 
alleged that it is much more natural to supply the subject of the 
infinitive from that of the substantive verb ; and, secondly, that it is 
difficult to understand iv on the other view. But the chief objec- 
tion to the first-mentioned interpretation, according to Harless, is 
from the structure of the whole passage. Either St. Paul resumes 
in these words the course of thought begun in ver. 1, or he does not. 
Now it is the thought of supplication for his readers that separates 
the subsequent context from the parenthesis. If, then, he does not 
here resume ver. 1, how can we suppose that he could express the 
same thought in the parenthesis itself without observing that the 


parenthesis was thereby removed? If he does here resume ver. i, 
the tovtov x°-P iV a ft er ^ t0 > instead of kcli, is inexplicable, or rather 
intolerable. The argument assumes that ahov/xaL means, I pray 
(God), and is set aside by taking that word as = I entreat you. 
The difficulties in Theodoret's interpretation are greater. First, if 
ahovfjiau is, I pray God, ®eoV could hardly be omitted. The passages 
cited as parallel, viz. Col. i. 9 and Jas. i. 6, are not really so. In 
the former, alrov/jievoi only expresses the content of the prayer 
mentioned in 77-poo-euxo/x.evot, which, of course, means prayer to 
God. In the latter, cutcitw repeats the airetTw of the previous 
verse, which is defined by Trapa rov <h'Sovtos ©eoG irao-iv. Moreover, 
the words r/ns ecm 86£a v/xwv supply much more naturally a motive 
for the readers than for the apostle. The p.ov after 6\.i\p€<ji, too, 
would be superfluous if the apostle were praying for himself. And 
we may add that the implied apprehension lest he should be 
disheartened by persecution is not in harmony with the apostle's 
character or with his other utterances. He gloried in tribulation, 
and took pleasure in persecution (Rom. v. 3 ; 2 Cor. xii. 10; Col. 
i. 24). Compare also the passage just referred to in Rom. viii. 38, 
39. But he might have reason to fear that some of the Gentile 
converts might be tempted to lose heart when they saw the per- 
secution to which the apostle was subjected just because of his 
proclaiming the doctrine, here insisted on, of the free and equal 
participation of the Gentiles in the blessings of the Messiah's 

iv toils OXtyecri p>u uirep ujxuv. " In my tribulations on your 
behalf." Namely, those which came upon him by reason of his 
being the Apostle of the Gentiles. Compare his touching words, 
Phil. ii. 17, "Even if I am offered on the sacrifice of your faith, I 
rejoice." ev denotes the circumstances in which, etc.; iirep vp.wv is 
clearly to be joined to QXtyeo-L /xov, not to airou/xat (as Harless). 
The article is not required, since 6\.ifiecr6ai v-n-ip ti^os is possible 
(2 Cor. i. 6) ; cf. Gal. iv. 14. 

■fJTis ecri 86£a ujuuue. t}™? introduces a reason ; it is not simply 
equivalent to rj, but implies that what is predicated belongs to the 
nature of the thing, " quippe qui," "inasmuch as this." It is 
referred to /at) iyxaKeiv by Theodoret, followed by Harless, 
Olshausen, Braune, al. This, of course, supposes the preceding 
prayer to be for the apostle himself. On this view it would be his 
personal fortitude that is the glory of the Ephesians, which would 
be a strange expression. If it be asked how his afflictions could 
be their glory, Chrysostom replies, " Because God so loved them 
as to give His Son for them, and to afflict His servants ; for in 
order that they should obtain so great blessings Paul was im- 

14-19. Prayer for the readers, that they may be given spiritual 


strength ; that Christ may dwell in their hearts ; and that they may 
lear?i to know His love, which surpasses knozv ledge. 

14. toutou x^P 1 ^ K£ £fj.TrTGj to, yoraTci fiou. Resumes ver. i, " On 
this account," referring to the train of thought in the latter part of 
ch. ii. Although the construction was broken off in ver. 2, the 
thought has continued to turn on the same ideas. " I bend my 
knees," this expresses the earnestness of the prayer, ryv Kara- 
vtvvyjxivqv hlqaiv iSrjXwcrev, Chrys. "A signo rem denotat," 
Calvin. Some, as Calv., have with strange literality supposed that 
the apostle actually knelt while writing ; (against 7rpos, see below). 
The usual posture in praying was standing : " when ye stand 
praying," Mark xi. 25; "stood and prayed," Luke xviii. 11 ; "the 
publican standing afar off," ib. 13. But kneeling is mentioned, 
1 Kings viii. 54 (Solomon); Dan. vi. 10; and, in the N.T., Luke 
xxii. 41 ; Acts vii. 60, xx. 36, xxi. 5. Eusebius mentions it as the 
custom proper to the Christians : to oik^ov tois xP lo " rtavo ^ ™v 
eixuv Wos (H.E. v. 5). Justin Martyr and Basil represent 
kneeling as a symbol of our fall by sin. See on Luke xxii. 41. 

Trpos t6i> riaTepa. Kd/xTrreiv yow in the literal sense takes the 
dative (Rom. xi. 4, xiv. 1 1 ; both places, however, being quotations). 
Here as the words were equivalent to irpoo-evxop-ai, 717305 is used as 
indicating the direction of the prayer. 

After Ular^pa the Rec. Text has rod Kvplov tj/jluv T^croO XpicrroO, with 
8 e DGK L, Syr. Vulg., Chrys. al. 

The words are wanting in K*ABCP 17 67**, Boh. Aeth., Jerome 
(expressly), and many others. The insertion of the words is easily accounted 
for ; there would be no reason for their omission. Although Jerome expressly 
states, "quod sequitur . . . non ut in Latinis Codicibus additum est, ad 
patrem domini nostri Jesu Christi, sed simpliciter ad patrem legendum ut dei 
patris nomen non domino nostro Jesu Christo sed omnibus creaturis ration- 
abilibus coaptetur" (vii. 599), yet a little before he had himself written, "ad 
patrem domini nostri Jesu Christi." Whether the reading there is due to him 
or to a copyist, it serves as an illustration of the fact that the evidence of 
readings furnished by quotations in the Fathers as distinguished from express 
statements must be used with caution. 

15. e£ ou iracra TraTpia, iv oupayoig kcu em y^S 6eop.d£eTai. 
"From whom every family in heaven and on earth is named." 
We meet here with a perplexity similar to that in ii. 21 (waa-a 
ot/coSo/xr;), except that here no MSS. appear to have the article. 
We should rather have expected the apostle to say " the whole 
family," which would require 7racra rj Trarpid. Indeed, many 
commentators and translators have so taken the words as they 
stand. This was perhaps even more natural in the case of those 
who read the addition tot) Kvptov rj/iwv Tt/o-oC Xpio-rov, since it 
appeared easy to take these words as the antecedent to ov, the 
sense thus yielded being that " the whole family " was named from 
Christ. Whether that addition be accepted or not, if 7ruo-a tt. is 


rendered " every family," the antecedent must be tov Tlaripa. But 
if those words are omitted, the rendering " the whole family " loses 
much of its plausibility. Grammatically it cannot be maintained. 

IlaT/Dia is a quite classical word (although in classical writers 
irarpd is more common). It occurs in Herodot. in the sense 
" race " or " tribe," as when he says there are three iraTpiai of the 
Babylonians (i. 200). In the Sept. it occurs in a similar sense of 
those descended from a common ancestor, narrower, however, 
than <pv\rj, and wider than ot/cos ; see Ex. xii. 3 ; Num. xxxii. 28 ; 
but also in a wider sense, as in Ps. xxi. (xxii.) 28, iraa-ai al 

irarpial toiv iOviov. So in Acts iii. 25, Trdaai al irarpiai rrj<i yijs, for 

which we have in Gen. xii. 3 and xxviii. 14 <j>v\a.L, and in xxii. 18 
and xxvi. 4 Wv-q. In Luke ii. 4 we have i£ olkov kcu irarpid'i 
Aa/3t'S. See note ad loc. 

Some of the ancients take 77-. in the present passage as = father- 
hood, TraTpoTTjs. Thus Theodoret says : os dAr^w? vTrdpx^ -rraryp, 
09 ov 7ra/a' aWov tovto Aa/?a>v «X €t > d\\' auro? toi? aAAois /xeraSeSw/ce 

tovto. And Athanasius : " God as Father of the Son is the only 
true Father, and all created paternity is a shadow of the true " 
(Orat. in Avian, i. 24). But, not to insist on the consideration 
that this conception is of a kind foreign to St. Paul's mode of 
thought, the word itself does not admit such a meaning ; and 
those who have adopted it are involved in a difficulty with respect 
to the -rrarpiai in heaven, — a difficulty which Theodoret solves by 
understanding spiritual fathers to be called heavenly fathers ; 
Jerome, by supposing the archangels to be alluded to as fathers. 

Setting aside this interpretation, we take the words as = 
" every family." This cannot be understood of " the family on 
earth " and " the family in heaven," in whatever way these 
respectively are interpreted, for -n-dcra implies a plurality. By 
the iraTpiaL on earth are doubtless meant the nations, with the 
fundamental division into Jews and Gentiles ; by those in heaven, 
angels regarded as belonging to certain groups or " tribes." 

6yojAd£eTcu, i.e. gets the name Trarpid, not, are called " sons of 
God," which is not in the words. Nor is it merely the fact of 
creation that is referred to ; for the relation of intelligent beings 
to their author is something deeper than that of things to their 
creator. Of things merely material God is the creator ; of per- 
sonal intelligences He is the Father. Hence the words suggest a 
motive for the prayer, and a reason for expecting its fulfilment, 
for those addressed were also irarpid, of whom God was the 
Father. The rendering " every family " is therefore not only 
more grammatical, but more to the purpose than " the whole 
family," and the addition of the words tov Kvptov, k.t.X., injures the 

ovofjid^rai. has been taken by some to mean " exists," or " is 


called into existence " ; but the verb never has this meaning, 
certainly not in i. 21 or v. 3. Even were it true that K-aAetv meant 
" to call into existence," this would prove nothing as to oVo/xd^eiv, 
for K-a/W means to call in the sense " bid one come," which in 
certain circumstances might signify to call into existence ; whereas 
oV. is simply to give a name to a thing. Nor is it true that KaAeiV 
of itself has the alleged meaning : it is certainly not proved by 

Philo's words, " to fxi] 6i>tcl eKaAecrev eis to etVcu." For 6vofid(ea8ai 
Ik tivos, cf. Soph. Oed. Tyr. 1036, war wvo^dtr^s e« tvxV^ 
TavTrjs, os ei. 

IVa Sw up.iV KaTot to ttXoutos tt}s oo£r)S auTOu, " That He would 
grant you according to the riches of His glory." &<Z is the reading 
of X A B C G, whilst owt; is read by D K L and most MSS. The 
Iva depends on the idea of Trpoaevx°l Jiai implied in the preceding, 
so that this and the following verses express the content of the 
prayer. For Iva cf. Col. i. 9. "Riches of His glory," Rom. 
ix. 23. Not to be limited to power or to grace, but in accordance 
with His whole glorious perfection. The term ttXovtos is par- 
ticularly suitable when the thought is of God as a giver. 

Sumjxei KpaTaito6f|i'ai 81a. tou riyeup-aTOS auTou eis TOf eo-w 

6V0pwTroi'. " To be strengthened with power through His Spirit in 
the inward man." Swd/xei is instrumental, "ut virtute seu fortitudine 
ab eo accepta corroboremini," Estius. Harless understands it as 
denoting the form in which the strengthening takes place, viz. a 
strengthening in power, not in knowledge or the like, comparing 
Acts iv. 33, " with great power gave the apostles witness " ; but 
this does not seem parallel. In the present case this would be 
a tautology, " be strengthened with strength." 

Kparaiow, from the poetic Kparaios (used also in later prose and 
in Sept.), is a later form for Kparvvw. 

«ts indicates the direction of the gift. The meaning of 6 eo-w 
av6pwTro<; appears to be decided by Rom. vii. 22, "I delight in the 
law of God," Kara tov ctrw avOpwirov. It is not therefore the /cairos 
avOp., but is the higher moral and rational nature, the Reason, 
which, by its constitution, is in harmony with the Divine Law, but 
in the unregenerate is enslaved to the power of sin in the flesh, that 
is, to the appetites and desires which constitute man's lower nature 
(compare Butler's Sermons on Human Nature). 6 e<ru> dvO. 
requires renewal, and undergoes renewal from day to day, dra/ccu- 

vovtoll rjp.epa /cat tjfjiipa, 2 Cor. IV. 1 6. 

It has been maintained, not without plausibility, that the expressions d 
taw &vOp. and 6 ££w ti.vdp. are derived from the school of Plato, not directly, 
but through Plato's use having influenced common speech. We find in Plato, 
rod dvdpivirov 6 ivrbs (LvOpwiros {Rep. ix. p. 5S9) ; in Plotinus, 6 eCcroj &vdp. 
(Enn. v. I. 10) and 6 ^w tLvOp. The threefold division, irvtO/xa, povs, aCifia, 
in 1 Thess. v. 23, points in the same direction. With St. Paul, however, the 
contrast between the inward man and the outward man is not that between 


the pure and the impure. The inward man includes not only the Reason, 
which accepts the law of God and approves of it, and the Conscience, which 
pronounces the obligation and condemns the violation of it, but also the Will 
from which action proceeds ; see Rom. vii. 17, 18, where iyui is used of both 
parts. St. Paul's view of the relation of the man to virtue and vice is much 
more like that of Aristotle. The man knows the right, but at the moment of 
action appetite blinds him. 

It deserves notice also that St. Paul does not use irvedfia of the unre- 
generate. In them the higher principle is vovs, which ineffectively protests 
against the crdp!-, while in the regenerate irveOfia is superior (Rom. vii. 25, 
viii. 4, 9). That he does not mean irvev/ja and 4' V X^ to De a complete 
division of the human faculties, would appear from I Cor. xiv. 14, 15. 

17. KaToiKTJffai Toy Xpi(rrdi> 8ia tt)s itiotcus ec tcu9 KapSiais v\lG>v. 
" That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith." Aca-rot^o-ai is, by 
many expositors, taken as the end or result of KpaTatwOrjvaL on 
account of, 1st, the asyndeton ; 2nd, the emphatic position of the 
verb ; and 3rd, the difference in the construction of the two 
clauses, which otherwise must be taken as co-ordinate. But 
although the use of the infinitive of end or result is often very lax, 
none of the instances cited in the grammars are parallel to this. 
Setting aside the cases in which the principal verb is one which 
means " to will, order," etc., or which otherwise involves the notion 
of purpose, in those which remain the subject of the infinitive is the 
same as that of the verb on which it depends. The emphatic 
position of KaroiKrja-ai seems sufficiently accounted for by the import- 
ance of the idea it expresses, and the rhetorical advantage of giving 
it a position parallel to that of KparaL^Orjvai. The asyndeton need 
cause no difficulty, considering the structure of the whole sentence. 
koltoik. is not something added to Kparai., but is a further definition 
of it. Karoi/ceiv is found in N.T. only here and Col. i. 19, ii. 9 
(but iyKaTOLKeiv, 2 Pet. ii. 8). It is very frequent in Sept. (as in 
classical authors also), and is opposed to -n-apotKelv as the per- 
manent to the transitory ; cf. Gen. xxxvii. I, Karo'/m 'Ia/caj/3 eV rrj yfj 
ov 7rapa)K?7o-ev 6 Trarrjp avrov ; and Philo, de Sacrif. Ab. et Cain, 
§ IO, 6 yap Tots cyKv/cXiot? p.ovoi% e7rave^a>v irapoiKti cro(f>ia, c. 

Karoi/cei (Thayer). It is hardly probable that there is any allusion 
to the figure in ii. 21, 22, for the indwelling here spoken of is not 
in the Church, but in the individual hearts. " How does Christ 
dwell in the hearts ? " says Chrysostom. Listen to Christ Himself 
saying, " I and the Father will come and make our abode with 
him." " In your hearts," " ut sciamus non satis esse si in lingua 
versetur aut in cerebro volitet," Calvin. 

18. iv dydTTT] eppi^wp-eVoi Kal TeOep.eXiajp.ei'ot. " Rooted and 
grounded in love." These words seem best taken as an irregular 
nominative, a construction of which there are frequent examples, 
especially with participles. Thus iv. 2, -rrapaKaXw v/xS? TrepiiraTrjo-ai 

. . . avt)(op.(.voi • Col. ii. 2, Iva 7rapaK\r)9wcriv at KapSiai avrwv, 
irv/xy8iy8ao-#ei/T€s ; ib. iii. 1 6, 6 Aoyos tov Xp. ivoiK€LTui iv vplv. . . . 


SiSao-KovTcs ; 2 Cor. ix. io, n, and 12, 13. Examples in classical 
authors are frequent. 

More prominence is thus given to the thought, and the transi- 
tion to the following clause is made more easy. The result of 
Christ dwelling in their hearts is that they are firmly rooted in 
love, and the consequence is that they are enabled to comprehend, 
etc. This is the view adopted by Origen, Chrysostom, the ancient 
versions (except the Gothic) ; and amongst moderns, Harless, Olsh. 
De Wette, Ellicott, Eadie, Alford. The principal objection made 
to it is founded on the tense of the participles, which, being the 
perfect, would express, not the condition into which the readers 
are to come, but that in which they are already assumed to be. 
This, it is said, would be very illogical in connexion with the wish 
that they should be strengthened, and that Christ might dwell in 
their hearts. The perfect lppit,mp.ivoi in Col. ii. 7 is, it is alleged, 
not parallel, since there the reception of Christ is represented as 
preceding TrapeXd^ere tov Xpurrov. To this it may be replied, first, 
that in ch. ii. 20 the readers are said to be eVoiKoSo/^eVTcs, and 
yet in ver. 22 there is still a o-vvoLKoSop.elo'Oe necessary; secondly, 
that the participles here express their complete fixedness on the 
foundation, which does not imply that their building up is com- 
plete ; and accordingly in Col. ii. 7 we have e'ppi^ayxeVoi koX eVoi- 
K080p.ovp.evo1, the former perfect, the latter present. The fixedness, 
too, is clearly the result of /caToi/070-ai. The present participle 
would be here quite out of place, " ye being in process of being 
rooted and grounded." What follows depends, not on the progress, 
but on the completion of their grounding. 

The alternative construction adopted by Photius (ap. Oecum.), 
also Meyer, Braune, Oltram., the English Versions (Authorised 
and Revised), is to take the participles with the following clause : 
"to the end that ye, being rooted," etc. This construction is 
hardly justified by the passages cited in support of it. In Rom. 
xi. 3 1 we have to vp.cTepip eAe'ei iva . . . ; in 2 Cor. ii. 4, T-qv 

dyuTrrjv iva yvorre : I Cor. IX. 1 5, rj to Kav^y]p.d p.ov Iva tis K€vu>0~r] 

(but here the best texts read ouoYis Kcvwo-a) : Gal. ii. 10, p.6vov 
twv tttw^wv Iva p.vr)p.ovevwp.ev : John xiil. 29, toi§ 7TTw^ots iva ti 8(5 : 
Acts xix. 4, Aeywv et9 tov ip)(op.evov avrov iva 7ricrT£i'o-a>o"i. In 
all these instances there is a particular emphasis on the words 
which precede iva, here there is none; the emphasis is on the 
words that follow it. 

That there is a mixture of metaphors here, as in Col. ii. 7 and 
1 Cor. iii. 9, is not to be denied ; nor is this disproved by show- 
ing that pi£o'a> was often used without reference to its primitive 
meaning as simply = " to establish firmly," e.g. a tyranny, Herodot. 
i. 64, or the city (Plutarch), or even a road (Soph. Oed. Col. 1591). 
All that this proves is that there is no reason to suppose that the 


apostle had two images present to his mind. The best ancient 
writers were less critical in this matter than the moderns. Cicero, 
for example, has sometimes a strange mixture of metaphors (see 
In Cat. i. 12). Lucian has pi£<u koX Oefiekioi r*)? op^ijcrcws (De 
Salt at. 34). 

It may be inferred from the use of the two words that St. Paul 
(like Lucian in the place cited) did not intend the reader to think 
definitely of either image, but used the words in their applied 
sense. This seems the true answer to the difficulty that has 
been raised as to the designation of love as the foundation, — a 
position elsewhere ascribed to faith (Col. i. 23, ii. 7), from which 
love springs (1 Tim. i. 6). Beza asks : " Radicis et fundamenti 
nomen quomodo fructibus tribuas ? " Harless meets the difficulty 
by supplying the missing object of the participles from the clause 
to which they belong, viz. iv Xpicrria; for which there is no sufficient 
reason, especially as we have already a definition by iv, so that 
the readers could not think of applying another iv. Love is, as 
it were, the soil in which they are firmly fixed. This is not to be 
understood of Christ's love or God's love, either of which would 
require some defining genitive, but the grace of love in general as 
the "fundamental" principle of the Christian character. Faith 
retains its usual position (Sio. ti?s it.), but it is love that is the 
working principle. 1 

There is no difficulty about the absence of the article before 
ayd-ny. Such omission before names of virtues, vices, etc., is 
frequent in classical writers and in N.T. For dyd.7rrj, cf. 2 Cor. 
ii. 8 ; Gal. v. 6. 

Westcott and Hort connect iv aydwy with the foregoing (so 
also Holzhausen), but this overweights that clause. Besides, to 
say that Christ dwells in the heart in love is a strange expression. 
We might, at least, expect " by faith and love " rather than " by 
faith in love." Further, this construction leaves ipp. koX red. with- 
out any modal definition, which they seem to demand. 

Iva c£urxuo"»]Te. "That ye maybe fully able." KaroXafiio-Oai,. 
" to comprehend." The active alone seems to occur in classical 
writers in this signification (Plato, Phaedr. 250 D), but the middle 
is interpreted by Hesychius as = Karavoe'LcrOa.i. It occurs in this 
sense in Acts iv. 13, "perceiving that they were unlearned"; 
x. 34, "of a truth I perceive"; and xxv. 25, "finding that he had 
committed nothing," etc. The first and last of these instances 
are sufficient to show that there is no need to call in the idea of 
"the earnestness or spiritual energy with which the action is 
performed " ; the voice simply implies, " to grasp for oneself." 
Kypke (Obs. vol. ii. p. 294) takes the word to mean "occupare," 

• A somewhat analogous difficulty has been raised in connexion with 
Luke vii. 47 : see note ad loc. 


"ut possitis occupare . . . latitudinem quandam," etc., compar- 
ing the sense to that in ver. 19, as if (" mutato accentu ") rl to 
irA-aros stood fot to 7rAaTos Tt, as by a similar transposition we 
have in Acts viii. 36, htl tl vSwp. Apart from other objections, 
the article is fatal to this. 

ti to ttXcitos Kal (jiyjkos Kal uvj/os Kal {3d0os. "What is the 
breadth, and length, and height, and depth." As to the order of 
the words, tyo? precedes /3d6»os in BCDG 17, Vulg. Boh. a/.; 
the contrary, «AKL, Syr. al. 

The four words seem intended to indicate, not so much the 
thoroughness of the comprehension as the vastness of the thing 
to be comprehended ; hardly, however, " metaphysically con- 
sidered by the ordinary dimensions of space," which has only 
three dimensions. 

But what is it of which the readers are to learn the dimen- 
sions? Chrysostom replies, "the mystery," rovr Icttl to pw- 

• ripiov to VTrep rjfJLWV oIkovo/xtjOIv fxera aKpif3€La<; eloevai. So 

Theodoret and Theophylact, Beza, Harless, Olshausen, Barry. 
In support of this, Harless remarks that the article shows that 
the substantives refer to something already mentioned. This is 
fallacious, the words being names of attributes, and the article is 
necessary to define them as the breadth, etc., of a definite thing, 
whether that is expressed or implied. Against the interpretation 
is the consideration that a new section of the discourse began in 
ver. 14, after which jxva-Trjpiov is not mentioned; and, besides, the 
(jLvo-TrjpLov of vv. 4-10 is the admission of the Gentiles, not the 
whole scheme of grace, as some of these expositors interpret. 

Bengel understands the words as referring to the dimensions 
of the Christian temple. Eadie remarks, "The figure of a temple 
still loomed before the writer's fancy, and naturally supplied the 
distinctive imagery of the prayer." This has much plausibility ; 
but the image has not been dwelt on since the first introduction 
of it, nor is it St. Paul's habit to work out a figure at such length 
If the remoteness of the substantive was a good reason for not 
adding a pronoun in the genitive, it made it the more necessary 
to repeat the noun. The preceding TtOe/xeXiw/jievoL is so far from 
keeping up the figure, or showing that it was still in the apostle's 
mind, that it rather tells the opposite way, unless, indeed, with 
Harless, we suppose ev Xpiarw to be understood. Indeed, in 
any case it is not the foundation of the corporate body that is 
there alluded to, but that of individuals. It may, perhaps, be 
replied that in ver. 14 the writer has resumed the thought inter- 
rupted at ver. 2, and that the figure of the temple had immediately 
preceded. But a more serious objection is that the substantives 
simply express magnitude, and the mere magnitude of the temple 
was not likely to be dwelt on with such emphasis. Especially is 


the mention of the fourth dimension, "depth," adverse to this 
view, considering that the " depth " of the temple would be that 
of its foundation, and the foundation is either Christ or the 
apostles. This difficulty cannot be surmounted except by intro- 
ducing ideas of which the text gives no hint, if, indeed, they are 
not inconsistent with the figure. Thus an old commentator 
(quoted by Wolf, ap. Eadie) says, "In its depth it descends to 
Christ." Bengel understands the depth as " profundi 'fas, nulli 
creaturae percontanda"; the length, " longitudo per omnia secula." 
V. Soden combines these two views, regarding the /ruo-T^piov as 
the principal conception, the description of which, however, is 
finally summed up in the figure of the temple. De Wette finds 
the object in Col. ii. 3, which he supposes to have been before 
the writer's mind ; thus taking it to be the wisdom of God ; cf. 
Job xi. 8. Alford supposes the genitive to be left indefinite, " of 
all that God has revealed or done in and for us " ; and this yields 
a very good sense. However, we need not travel beyond the 
immediate context to find a suitable object; it is given us in 
ayairrjv tov XptoToO in the following verse. The thought comes to a 
climax ; having spoken of apprehending the vastness of this, he 
checks himself before adding the genitive to advance a step further 
and declare that the dydirr) tov Xpio-Tov is too vast to be compre- 
hended. It has been objected to this, that the simple yvwvai 
would be a weakening, not a strengthening, of ver. 18. But, first, 
yvwvat is much stronger than Ka.Ta\afi£cr6ai, which only means 
to come to know a fact (see the passages cited above) ; and, 
secondly, it is not simply -yvajvat ttjv dydirrjv, but yvwvai rrjv 
VTrepf$d\.\ovcra.v rrji yvwcreojs dydwqv. The particle tc IS not 
opposed to this view of the connexion. t4 expresses more an 
internal (logical) relation, xaC an external (Winer, § 53. 2). Oltra- 
mare understands simply avTrj<;, i.e. dya^s. 

Some of the ancients sought to find a special meaning in each of the four 
dimensions, and to such the Cross naturally suggested itself. We find this 
idea already in Origen, "All these the cross of Jesus has, by which He 
ascended on high and took captive a captivity, and descended to the lowest 
parts of the earth . . . and has Himself run to all the earth, reaching to the 
breadth and length of it. And he that is crucified with Christ comprehends 
the breadth," etc. (Catena, p. 162). Gregory Nyssen also says that St. Paul 
describes the power which controls the whole by the figure of the Cross, rcj; 
(7XWcn"t rod o-ravpov (Cont. Eunom. Orat. iv. p. 582). By the height he 
understands the portion above the crossbeam, by the depth that below ; and 
so St. Augustine, who explains the mystery of the Cross, "sacramentum 
crucis," as signifying love in its breadth, hope in its height, patience in its 
length, and humility in its depth. But he was not writing as a commentator. 
According to Severianus, the height alludes to the Lord's divinity, the depth 
to His humanity, the length and breadth to the extent of the apostolic 
preaching. Jerome is still more fanciful, and finds in the height an allusion 
to the good angels, in the depth to the bad, in the length to men who are on 
the upward path, and in the breadth those on the broad way that leadeth to 


destruction. There are other varieties. Such fancies (not altogether extinct 
even in our own days) only deserve notice as a warning of the unprofitable- 
ness of such fanciful methods of interpretation. As Calvin well observes, 
" Haec subtilitate sua placent, sed quid ad mentem Pauli?" Nothing, in- 
deed, could be more un- Pauline. 

19. yv&val tc rr\v uirepPdMoucrai' ttjs yvrixrews dyd-mr] v tou Xpurrou. 
M And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge." 

A 74, Syr. Vulg. read or interpret T-qv dyd-n-qv ttjs yvwo-cws, 
" supereminentem scientiae charitatem," a reading interpreted by 
Grotius as meaning the love which flows from the knowledge 
of Christ. Both external and internal evidence are decisive against 
the reading, which may have originated from misunderstanding of 
the oxymoron. The genitive depends on the notion of comparison 

in virepfi. Comp. Aesch. Prom. 923, fipovTrjs vTrep(3d\\ovTa KTV7rov. 

" Suavissima haec quasi correctio est," Bengel. As if the very 
word " know " at once suggested the thought that such knowledge 
was beyond human capacity. " But even though the love of 
Christ surpasses human knowledge, yet ye shall know it if ye have 
Christ dwelling in you," Theophylact. There is a relative know- 
ledge which increases in proportion as the believer is filled with the 
spirit of Christ and thereby " rooted and grounded in love," for by 
love only is love known, yvwvcu, then, is used in a pregnant sense. 
t6 yvwvai, says Theodore Mops., dv/i tov aTroXavo-ai Ae'yei (referring 
to Ps. XV. II). So also Theodoret, Svvarov rjp.d<; Sid rrjs 7rio-Tew? 
kcu aydirr)<i tt}s irvevfjLaTtKfjs ^dpiros a7roA.avcrat kcu Sid Tairrr/s 
KaTafLaOeiv. . . . For a similar oxymoron in St. Paul, see Rom. 

i. 20, Ta aopard avrov . . . Ka.6opa.Tai. 

A quite different interpretation is adopted by Luther in his 
edition of 1545 (not the earlier), viz. " to love Christ is better than 
knowledge." Holzhausen defends a similar view, on the ground 
(amongst others) that to express the other meaning St. Paul would 
have said, as in Phil. ii. 4, virepi-^ovcra irdv-ra. vow. But he desired 
to express the thought as an oxymoron, thus making it more 
striking. Dobree renders, " the exceeding love of God in bestow- 
ing on us the knowledge of Christ" (Advers. i. p. 573). He gives 
no reason, and it is hard to see how the rendering can be 

" The love of Christ," i.e. Christ's love to us. But knowledge 
of whatever kind is not the ultimate end, therefore he adds, not as 
a parallel clause, but as the end of the whole, Iva. irXrjpwOrJTe cis trdv 
to nXr/pup-a. toO ©eou, " that ye may be filled up to all the fulness 
of God." 

This is not of easy interpretation. Chrysostom gives two 
alternatives, either the 7rA.. tov ®eov is the knowledge that God is 
worshipped in the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, or he 

Urges them to Strive wo-tc trXrjpovadai irdarj<i dperrj^ r/s Tr\r]pr)<; iarw 


6 ®eos. This is rendered by Newman, " of which God is the 
fountain-head," but has been usually taken to mean " be filled, 
even as God is full " (Alford, Olshausen, Ellicott, Eadie). It 
is indeed added, " each in your degree, but all to your utmost 
capacity " ; or, again, " the difference between God and the saint 
will be, not in kind, but in degree and extent." But there is no 
such restriction in the text ; it is not, " filled up to your capacity " 
(note Tvav), and the expression is one of degree, not of kind. On 
the same principle of interpretation we might defend such an 
expression as " wise with all the wisdom of God " ; yet the impro- 
priety of this is obvious. Matt. v. 48, " ye shall be re'Acioi as (ws) 
your heavenly Father is Tt'Xeto?," is not in point, for what is there 
referred to is the single virtue of iove, which is to be as all- 
embracing as that of God. " They who love those that love them 
are incomplete in love ; they who love their enemies are rtAeioi," 
Euthymius, cf 1 Pet. i. 15. To be filled as God is full, could at 
most be set forth as the ideal to be attained or rather approached 
in a future state. When it is urged (by Olsh. and EUic.) that where 
Christ dwells there -rrav to irXrjp. tov ©eoD is already (Col. ii. 9), 
this is really to confound two distinct interpretations. Oltramare, 
taking TrXrjpwp.a to mean " perfection," and irX-qpovaOai " to be 
perfected," understands the words to mean, " that ye may be 
perfect even to the possession of all the perfection of God." 
" The highest moral ideal that can be presented to him in whose 
heart Christ dwells, who has comprehended the greatness of love, 
and has known the love of God." 

Theodore Mops, appears to interpret the words of the Church, 
" ita ut et ipsi in portione communis corporis videamini in quod 
vel maxime inhabitat Deus " ; and so some moderns, but does 
violence to the language. 

Theodoret interprets : Xva reXctws avrbv Ivoikov Si^rjarOe ; and this 
has much in its favour, cis, then, would be as in ii. 21, 22, so that 
ye become the rrXrjp. (as the result of loading a ship is that it 
becomes a TrXr/pw/xa.). God, then, is that with which they are filled, 
as in i. 23 and iv. 13 it is Christ. So KaroiKrjTrjpiov tov ®€oD, ii. 22, 
is parallel to KaToiKrjo-ai tov Xp. iv rats KapStat?, iii. 17 (v. Soden). 
But " to be filled with God " is an expression which, though 
capable of defence, would be open to misconception, and has 
no distinct parallel in the N.T. It appears more consonant with 
St. Paul's language generally to understand 7rA. tov ®€ov as the 
fulness of the riches of God, all that is " spiritually communicable 
to the saints, [who are] the ' partakers of Divine nature,' 2 Pet. i. 4 " 
(Moule). This is substantially Meyer's view. 

B has a peculiar reading : Iva irXrjpuOy trav, which is also that of 1 7, 73, 
116, of which, however, 17 reads els v/j.S.s instead of tov Qeov. Westcott and 
Hort admit the reading of B to their margin, "that all the fulness of God 

III. 20, 21] DOXOLOGY 103 

may be filled up." Comp. , however, the loss of -re of i<r<ppayl<r6i)Te in B, cap. 
i. 13- 
20, 21. Doxology suggested by the thought of the glorious things 
prayed for. 

20. tu) Se 8ufCip.eVa> uirep TrdcTa iroi^o-at uTTepeKirepurcrou Jjf 
aiTou|ji60a' r\ vooufjief. " Now to Him who is able to do more than 
all abundantly beyond what we ask or think." 

The object of the prayer was a lofty one ; but, lofty as it is, God 
is able to give more than we ask, and even more than we under- 
stand. Neither the narrowness of our knowledge nor the feeble- 
ness of our prayer will limit the richness of His gifts. Surely 
a ground for this ascription of praise, which gives a solemn close to 
the first portion of the Epistle. 

virip is not adverbial ; coming as it does close to -jravra, no 
reader could take it otherwise than as a preposition ; besides, as an 
adverb it would be tautological. i-n-epeKTrepLa-aov, which occurs again 
1 Thess. iii. 10, v. 13, is one of those compounds with v-n-ip 
of which St. Paul was fond, cf. v-rrepXiav, 2 Cor. xi. 5 ; v-n-epirepLo-- 
o-euco, Rom. v. 20 ; 2 Cor. vii. 4. Indeed, St. Mark also has 
vTrepirepiao-Qx;, vii. 37. Ellicott notes that of the twenty-eight words 
compounded with vn-ep, twenty-two are found in St. Paul's Epistles 
and Heb., and twenty of these are found there alone. 

wv is not to be connected with irdrra, as there is no difficulty 
about joining it with virepeKTrepiaaov, which by the idea of compari- 
son can govern the genitive (i.e. = tovtiov a). 

KctT& tV ouVap-if tt)i/ eeepyoujjieVYp £vf\idv. " According to (or by 
virtue of) the power that worketh in us." eVepy. is clearly middle, 
not passive (as Estius). Onthovius, indeed, defends the latter view, 
maintaining that eVepyeirat is always passive in the N.T., even 
Rom. vii. 5; 1 Thess. ii. 13; Jas. v. 16 (Bibliotheca Bremensis, Classis 
#tci, p. 474). According to Winer, St. Paul uses the active of 
personal action, the middle of non-personal. Comp. Col. i. 29. 

21. au™ 1^ oo£a ee tt} eKKXrjcria kcu ev Xpioru> 'Irjaou. " To 
Him be glory in the Church and in Christ Jesus." So N A B C 17, 
a/., Vulg. Boh., Jerome. But kcu is omitted by D b KL P, Syr. 
(both) Arm. Eth. Goth., Chrys. Theodoret, Theoph. Oecum. 
I )* G transpose, and read : iv Xpio-rw 'Irjo-ov ko.1 rfj tK/cA.rycrta. 
This transposition is perhaps due to the thought that " Christ " 
should precede " the Church." It is not very easy to see why kcu 
should have been omitted if genuine ; on the other hand, it is easy 
to see a reason for its insertion. It is, however, hard to resist the 
documentary evidence for the insertion. If ko.1 is omitted we 
understand " in the Church," in which thanks and praise are 
given, " in Christ Jesus," not simply " through" ; but as St. Paul so 
often uses this expression, and " in the Lord " ; He is not the 
medium merely, but by virtue of His union with the Church it is 


in Him that it gives glory to God. Olshausen and Braune, 
with some older commentators, connect iv Xpio-rw 'Itjo-ov with ttJ 
iKKX-qaia. The absence of the article is not inconsistent with this, 
but the addition would be superfluous, since the ekkX. can only be 
that which is in Christ Jesus. 

If /cat, however, is read, we must apparently interpret iv similarly 
in both cases. The Church, then, is that by whose greatness and 
perfection the Sofa of God is exhibited, as it is also exhibited in 
Christ Jesus (v. Soden and Moule). 

€is irdcras tois yeyeas T0 " aiwyos twv alcu^wc djxi^c. "To all genera- 
tions, for ever and ever. Amen." There seems to be a blending 

of the two formulae yeveai yeveuiv and ataiv€9, or alwv, twv alwvwv. 

eis tovs aiwvas twv at. occurs Gal. i. 5 ; Phil. iv. 10; i Tim. i. 17 ; 

2 Tim. iv. 18, besides the Apocalypse; «ts toi/ alwva twv aiwvwv in 

3 Esdr. iv. 38; and Iws tov at. twv at., Dan. vii. 18 (Theodot.). 
There seems to be no difference in the meaning. The phrase is 
understood by Meyer and others as designating the future alwv, 
which begins with the Parousia, as the superlative age of all 
ages. It seems much more natural to explain it as the atwv which 
includes many atwves, "in omnes generationes quas complectitur 
6 alwv, qui terminatur in tovs atwvas perpetuos," Bengel. But 
when we consider the difficulty of giving a logical analysis which 
shall be also grammatical of our own " world without end," we 
may be content to accept the meaning without seeking to analyse 
the expression. 

IV. 1 ff. He now passes, as usually in his Epistles, after the 
doctrinal exposition to the practical exhortation, in the course of 
which, however, he is presently drawn back (ver. 4) to doctrinal 
teaching to support his exhortation to unity. 

1—4. Exhortation to live in a manner worthy of their calling, in 
lowliness, patience, love, and unity. 

1. TrapaicaXw oZv eyw 6 Secrjjuos iv Kupiw. " I therefore, 
the prisoner in the Lord, entreat you." ovv may indicate inference 
from the immediately preceding verse, or more probably (since it. 
is the transition between two sections of the Epistle) from the 
whole former part, 6 Se'cr/uos iv K. This is not to excite their 
sympathy, or as desiring that they should cheer him in his 
troubles by their obedience ; for, as Theodoret remarks, " he 
exults in his bonds for Christ's sake more than a king in his 
diadem " ; but rather to add force to his exhortation. " In the 
Lord" for "in Domini vinculis constrictus est qui iv Kvptw wv 
vinctus est," Fritzsche {Rom. ii. p. 84). It does not signify " for 
Christ's sake " ; compare o-wcpyos iv Xpto-Tw, Rom. xvi. 3, 9 ; 
a.yairqTo<i iv Kvpuw, id. 8. It assigns rather the special character 
which distinguished this captivity from others. 

■n-apaKoXw may be either " exhort " or " entreat, beseech " ; 


and in both senses it is used either with an infinitive or with a 
conjunction (IVa or oVajs). Either sense would suit here, but 
" exhort " seems too weak for the connexion ; comp. Rom. xii. 1, 
where it is followed by " by the mercies of God," a strong form of 
appeal. More than exhortation is implied, especially as it is an 
absolute duty to which he calls them. 

d|iws Trepi-nraTT]CTai tyjs nXrjaews rjs 6K\Y)0Y]Te. " To walk worthily 
of the calling wherewith ye were called." 17s attracted for tjv the 
cognate accusative ; cf. i. 6 ; 2 Cor. i. 4. True, the dative might be 
used with KoAeiv (see 2 Tim. i. 9) ; but the attraction of the dative 
would not be in accordance with N.T. practice. 

2. fAe-ra irdCTTjs Ta.TT£iP'o4>poowT)s kcu TrpaoTT]TOS. " With all lowli- 
ness and meekness." /xerd is used of accompanying actions or 
dispositions (see Acts xvii. 11 ; 2 Cor. vii. 15); irdcr^ belongs to 
both substantives. What is T<nrm'Q<j>pocrvvr) ? Chrysostom says it 

is orav Tts //.eyas wv iavrov Ta7T€ivoi ; and elsewhere, 6Vav /LteydXa tis 
eairrw crwciSws, p.r]8ev /xeya Trepl avrov cpavTd^yjTou. Trench says it is 
rather esteeming ourselves small, inasmuch as we are so, the 
thinking truly, and therefore lowlily of ourselves ; adding that 
Chrysostom is bringing in pride again under the disguise of 
humility. In this he is followed by Alford and other English com- 
mentators. Yet surely this is not right. A man may be small, 
and know himself to be so, and yet not be humble. But every 
man cannot truly think himself smaller than his fellows ; nor can 
this be the meaning of Phil. ii. 3. If a man is really greater than 
others in any quality or attainment, moral, intellectual, or spiritual, 
does the obligation of humility bind him to think falsely that he 
is less than they? It is no doubt true that the more a man 
advances in knowledge or in spiritual insight, the higher his ideal 
becomes, and so the more sensibly he feels how far he comes 
short of it. This is one aspect of humility, but it is not Tcnrci- 
vo(f>poo"6vr). And St. Paul is speaking of humility as a Christian 
social virtue. St. Paul declares himself to be not a whit inferior to 01 
vTrepktav o.tt6(ttoXoi, and in the same breath says that he humbled 
himself; he even exhorts his readers to imitate him, and yet he 
attributes this very virtue to himself, Acts xx. 19. And what 
of our Lord Himself, who was meek and lowly, 7rpaos kcu tolttuvos, 
in heart ? One who knows himself greater in relation to others, 
but who is contented to be treated as if he were less, such a 
one is certainly entitled to be called humble-minded ; he exhibits 
TaTreivofjipocrvvr}. Chrysostom's definition, then, is far truer than 
Trench's ; it only errs by limiting the possibility of the virtue to 
those who are great. 

This is a peculiarly Christian virtue. The word occurs in 
Josephus and Epictetus, but only in a bad sense as = "meanness of 
spirit." 7rpaoT77? is understood by some expositors as meekness 


toward God and toward men ; the spirit " which never rises in in 
subordination against God, nor in resentment against man " (Eadie); 
but its use in the N.T. does not justify the introduction of the 
former idea; compare i Cor. iv. 21, "Shall I come to you with a 
rod, or in the spirit of irp."l 2 Tim. ii. 25, "correcting in irp." ; 
Tit. iii. 2, " showing all irp. towards all men." Resignation toward 
God and meekness toward man are distinct though allied virtues. 
The same virtues are mentioned in Col. iii. 12. 

fie-rot jiaKpo0up.ia9, " with long-suffering," connected by some 
expositors with the following ; but av^opavoi is already denned by 
iv ayairrj, which is best connected with that word. The repetition 
of /Acra is rather in favour of than adverse to the parallelism with 
the preceding, ran. and trpa. being taken more closely together as 
being nearly allied virtues. 

p.a.KpoOvp.ia has two senses : steadfastness, especially in endur- 
ing suffering, as in Plutarch, " Never ask from God freedom from 
trouble, but [xa.Kp06vp.La " (Luc 32) cf. Jas. v. 10; Heb. vi. 12; 
but generally in N.T. slowness in avenging wrongs, forbearance, 
explained, in fact, in the following words. Fritzsche defines it, 
" C/ementia, qua irae temperans delictum non statim vindices, 
sed ei qui peccaverit poenitendi locum relinquas " (Rom. i. p. 
98). Compare 1 Cor. xiii. 4, 17 dyd-mr) p,aKpoOvp,et, xPV°" r€ ^ CTai - 
In his comment on that passage, Chrysostom rather curiously 

Says : p.aKpodvp.o<; Sid tovto Ae'yerac €7T€i8t) p,aKpdv Ttva koI p.€yd\rjv 

deexofAevoi dXXriXcjj' iv a.ydirr\. " Forbearing one another in love." 
This mutual forbearance is the expression in action of p.axpoBvp.ia. 
It involves bearing with one another's weaknesses, not ceasing to 
love our neighbour or friend because of those faults in him which 
perhaps offend or displease us. 

The participles fall into the nominative by a common idiom, 
vjneis being the logical subject of d£to>s irepiiraT.; cf. ch. iii. 18 and 
Col. i. 10. There is no need, then, with some commentators, to 
supply io-T€ or yweo-Oe. 

3. cnrou8d£orres TT)peii/ tt)c e^TTjTa tou weu|j.aTos iv tw aut'8e<7(xw 
ttjs €iprjeT)s, "giving diligence to keep the unity of the Spirit in the 
bond of peace." " Endeavouring," as in the AV., would imply the 
possibility, if not likelihood, of the endeavour failing. Trench (On 
the Authorised Version, p. 44) says that in the time of the trans- 
lators "endeavouring" meant "giving all diligence." But in Acts 
xvi. 10 the word is used to render e^r^o-a/xei/, and except in this 
and two other passages it is not used for o-7rouSd£eu/, which, in 
Tit. iii. 12 and 2 Pet. iii. 14, is rendered "be diligent"; in 2 Tim. 
iv. 9, 21, "do thy diligence"; 2 Tim. ii. 15, "study." The other 
passages where the rendering is " endeavour " are 1 Thess. ii. 1 7, 
where the endeavour did fail, and 2 Pet. i. 15, where failure might 


have appeared possible. Theophylact well expresses the force 
of the word here : ovk aTrovuvs la-^vao/xev elp-qveveiv. The clause 
expresses the end to be attained by the exercise of the virtues 
mentioned in ver. 2. 

Tnjpciv, " to preserve," for it is supposed already to exist. 
" Etiam ubi nulla fissura est, monitis opus est," Bengel. The 
existence of divisions, therefore, is not suggested. " The unity of 
the Spirit," i.e. the unity which the Spirit has given us. "The 
Spirit unites those who are separated by race and customs," Chrys., 
and so most recent commentators ; and this seems to be proved 
by tv Tivivixa in the following verse. But Calvin, Estius, and 
others, following Anselm and ps-Ambrose, understand irv. here of 
the human spirit, " animorum concordia." De Wette, again, thinks 
that the analogy of Ivottj^ r^s -n-ia-rew?, in ver. 13, is against the 
received interpretation, and accordingly interprets " the unity of 
the spirit of the Christian community," taking ttv. in ver. 4 
similarly. Comp. Grotius, " unitatem ecclesiae quae est corpus 
spirituale." (Theodore Mops, agrees with Chrys. The quotation 
in Ellicott belongs to the next verse.) 

iv tw o-okSe'cTfjiu tt]s elprjit|s. Genitive of apposition ; peace is 
the bond in which the unity is kept ; cf. crvv&co-fxov dSi/aas, Acts 
viii. 23, and o-wSeoyAos tivoias, Plut. Num. 6. The fact that love 
is called the bond of peace in Col. iii. 14 does not justify us in 
taking the words here as meaning " love," an interpretation adopted, 
probably, in consequence of iv being taken instrumentally ; in 
which case, as peace could not be the instrument by which the 
unity of the Spirit is maintained, but is itself maintained thereby, 
the genitive could not be one of apposition. But the iv is parallel 
to the iv before aydVT/, and in any case it is not by the bond of 
peace that the unity of the Spirit is kept. 

4—11. Essential unity of the Church. It is one Body, animated 
by one Spirit, baptized into the name of the one Lord, and all being 
children of the same Father. But the members have their different 
gifts and offices. 

4. %v CTWfxa Kal tv nveujxa Ka0u>s kcu ef<\rj9ir]T€ iv jxia eXiriSi t?]S 
KXjycreus ujiiv. " One Body, and one Spirit, even as ye were called 
in one hope of your catling." This and the two following verses 
express the objective unity belonging to the Christian dispensa- 
tion in all its aspects. First, the oneness of the Church itself: 
one Body, one Spirit, one Hope. Next, the source and instru- 
ments of that unity, one Lord, one Faith, one Baptism ; and 
lastly, the unity of the Divine Author, who is defined, in a three- 
fold manner, as over all, through all, and in all. 

Although there is no connecting particle, and yap is certainly 
not to be supplied, the declaration is introduced as supplying a 
motive for the exhortation, but the absence of any such particle 


makes it more vivid and impressive. We need not even supply 
karri ; it is rather to be viewed as an abrupt and emphatic reminder 
of what the readers well knew, as if the writer were addressing them 
in person. Still less are we to supply, with Theophylact and 
Oecumenius, " Be ye," or with others, " Ye are," neither of which 
would agree with vv. 5 and 6. 

One Body ; namely, the Church itself, so often thus described ; 
one Spirit, the Holy Spirit, which dwells in and is the vivifying 
Spirit of that body ; cf. 1 Cor. xii. 1 3. The parallelism «ts Kvpios, 
cts 0eo« seems to require this. Comp. 1 Cor. xii. 4-6, where to 
avrb TLvevfjia, 6 avros Kupios, 6 avros ®eos. Chrysostom, however, 
interprets differently ; indeed, he gives choice of several interpreta- 
tions, none of them agreeing with this. " Showing (he says) that 
from one body there will be one spirit ; or that there may be one 
body but not one spirit, as if one should be a friend of heretics ; 
or that he shames them from that, that is, ye who have received 
one spirit and been made to drink from one fountain ought not to be 
differently minded ; or by spirit here he means readiness, irpodvfxia." 

KaOm is not used by Attic writers, who employ KaOdirep or 
ko.66. It is called Alexandrian, but is not confined to Alexandrian 
or biblical writers. 

iv fxia eAm'Si. eV is not instrumental, as Meyer holds. Comp. 
/caActv iv xapiTi, Gal. i. 6 ; ev elprjvrj, I Cor. vii. 1 5 ; iv ayiao-/j.w, 
1 Thess. iv. 7 ; nor is it = eis or «rt, as Chrysostom. 

It is frequently said in this and similar cases that it indicates 
the " element " in which something takes place. But this is no 
explanation, it merely suggests an indefinite figure, which itself 
requires explanation. Indeed, the word " element " or " sphere " 
seems to imply something previously existing. What iv indicates 
is that the hope was an essential accompaniment of their calling, 
a " conditio " (not " condition " in the English sense). It differs 
from ets in this, that the latter preposition would suggest that the 
" hope," " peace," etc., followed the calling in time. In fact, the 
expression €ts tl involves a figure taken from motion ; he who is • 
called is conceived as leaving the place in which the call reached 
him. But kX^o-is as applied to the Christian calling is pregnant, 
it includes the idea of the state into which the calling brings those 
who are called. " iv exprimit indolem rei," Bengel on r Thess. 
iv. 7 ; so also the verb. Hence such an expression as kXtjtol ayiot. 
They are so called as to be iv iX-iriSi, iv dp-qvri, by the very fact of 
their calling, not merely as a result of it. Hence, also, we are not 
to interpret "hope of your calling," or "the hope arising from 
your calling," which is hardly consistent, by the way, with the idea 
that hope is the " element." It is rather the hope belonging to 
your calling. 

5. els Kupios, p.ia maris, %v |3curTi.o-p.a. "One Lord, one Faith, 


one Baptism." One Lord, Christ ; one faith, of which He is the 
object, one in its nature and essence ; and one baptism, by which 
we are brought into the profession of this faith. 

The question has been asked, Why is the other sacrament not 
mentioned ? and various answers have been given, of which the 
one that is most to the point, perhaps, is that it is not a ground or 
antecedent condition of unity, but an expression of it. Yet it 
must be admitted that it would supply a strong motive for pre- 
serving unity, as in 1 Cor. x. 17. Probably, as it was not essential 
to mention it, the omission is due in part to the rhythmical 
arrangement of three triads. 

6. els 0eos kcu iraTrjp irdnw. " One God and Father of all." 
Observe the climax: first, the Church, then Christ, then God; also the 
order of the three Persons — Spirit, Lord, Father. Ellicott quotes 
from Cocceius : "Etiamsi baptizamur in nomen Patris Filii et Spiritus 
Sancti, et filium unum Dominum nominamus, tamen non credimus 
nisi in unum Deum." It is arbitrary to limit ttolvtuv to the faith- 
ful. It is true the context speaks only of Christians, but then 
71-avTes has not been used. The writer advances from the Lord of 
the Church to the God and Father of all. For this notion of 
Fatherhood see Pearson, On the Creed, Art. 1. 

6 em TrdvTwc kcu 8toi TtavTuv kcu Av tvclctiv. " Who is over all, and 
through all, and in all." The Received Text adds ifxiv, with a few 
cursives, and Chrys. (Comm. not text) Theoph. Oec. rjfjuv is added 
in D G K L, Vulg. Syr. (both) Arm. Goth., Iren. 

There is no pronoun in XABCP 17 67 2 , Ign. Orig. al. It was, 
no doubt, added as a gloss, -n-da-iv seeming to require a limitation. 

As ttolo-lv is undoubtedly masculine, it is most natural to take 
•n-avTojv in both places as masculine also. Ver. 7 individualises the 
7rai'Tes by evl eKacrrw ijfxwv. Erasmus and some later commentators, 
however, have taken the first and second ttovtuv as neuter, whilst 
the Vulg. so takes the second. 

6 iirl irdvTdiv ; cf. Rom. ix. 5, 6 uv €7rt 7ravTwv ®eos evXoyrjTOS €ts 

tov<; ataii/a?. " Over all," as a sovereign ruler. It is less easy to 
say what are the distinct ideas meant to be expressed by Sid and 
iv respectively. The latter is more individualising, the indwelling 
is an indwelling in each ; whereas <Ha TrdvTwv expresses a relation 
to the whole body, through the whole of which the influence and 
power of God are diffused. It is a sustaining and working 
presence. This does not involve the supplying of ivepywv. 

We are not to suppose a direct reference to the Trinity in these 
three prepositional clauses, for here it is the Father that is specially 
mentioned in parallelism to the Spirit and the Son, previously 
spoken of. 

7. eel 8e €Kdar<i> r\^Q)v eooGrj t) X^P 1 ? KCtT0 - to peTpoe rfjs Swpeds 

tou XpioroG. " But to each one of us the grace was given according 


to the measure of the gift of Christ." He passes from the relation 
to the whole to the relation to the individual. In the oneness of 
the body, etc., there is room for diversity, and no one is overlooked ; 
each has his own position. Compare Rom. xii. 4-6 : 1 Cor. 
xii. 4 ff., where the conception is carried out in detail. " The 
grace," i.e. the grace which he has. The article is omitted in 
B D* G L P* but is present in K A C D c K P corr , most others. The 
omission is easy to account for from the adjoining -q in iS66rj. 
" According to the measure," etc., i.e. according to what Christ has 
given ; cf. Rom. xii. 6, " gifts differing according to the grace that 
is given to us." 

8. A16 Xe'yei. "Wherefore it saith" = "it is said." If any 
substantive is to be supplied it is 77 ypa-4>y ', but the verb may well 
be taken impersonally, just as in colloquial English one may often 
hear: "it says," or the like. Many expositors, however, supply 6 
®eos. Meyer even says, " Who says it is obvious of itself, namely, 
God, whose word the Scripture is." Similarly Alford and Ellicott. 
If it were St. Paul's habit to introduce quotations from the O.T., 
by whomsoever spoken in the original text, with the formula 6 ©eos 
Ae'yei, then this supplement here might be defended. But it is not. 
In quoting he sometimes says Ae'yei, frequently 77 ypafpV Ae'yei, at 
other times Aaj3l8 Ae'yei, 'Hernias Ae'yei. There is not a single 
instance in which 6 ©eds is either expressed or implied as the 
subject, except where in the original context God is the speaker, 
as in Rom. ix. 15. Even when that is the case he does not 
hesitate to use a different subject, as in Rom. x. 19, 20, "Moses 
saith," "Isaiah is very bold, and saith"; Rom. ix. 17, "The 
Scripture saith to Pharaoh." 

This being the case, we are certainly not justified in forcing 
upon the apostle here and in ch. v. 14 a form of expression con- 
sistent only with the extreme view of verbal inspiration. When 
Meyer (followed by Alford and Ellicott) says that 77 ypa<f>rj must 
not be supplied unless it is given by the context, the reply is 
obvious, namely, that, as above stated, 77 ypa<t>y Ae'yei does, in fact,, 
often occur, and therefore the apostle might have used it here, 
whereas 6 ©eos Aeyei does not occur (except in cases unlike this), 
and we have reason to believe could not be used by St. Paul here. 
It is some additional confirmation of this that both here and in 
ch. v. 14 (if that is a biblical quotation) he does not hesitate to 
make important alterations. This is the view taken by Braune, 
Macpherson, Moule ; the latter, however, adding that for St. Paul 
" the word of the Scripture and the word of its Author are con- 
vertible terms." 

It is objected that although (£770-1 is used impersonally, Ae'yet is 
not. The present passage and ver. 14 are sufficient to prove the 
usage for St. Paul, and there are other passages in his Epistles 


whore this sense is at least applicable ; cf. Rom. xv. 10, where Ae'yci 
is parallel to yeypawTai in ver. 9 ; Gal. iii. 16, where it corresponds 
to ippy'/drjaav. But, in fact, the impersonal use of cprjat in Greek 
authors is quite different, namely = </>u<xi', " they say " (so 1 Cor. 
x. 10). Classical authors had no opportunity of using Ae'yei as it is 
used here, as they did not possess any collection of writings which 
could be referred to as rj ypacp-q, or by any like word. They could 
say : 6 vo/xos Acyei, and to \eyo/x€vov. 

'Aea.j3as C15 uvj/os T]x|i.aX6jTeuCTev aixp.aXwcriai' Kai eSwKe 8ojj.aTa 
tois 6.vQp(oTToi<s. " When he ascended on high He led a captivity 
captive, and gave gifts unto men." The words appear to be taken 
from Ps. lxviii. 18 (where the verbs are in the second person) ; but 
there is an important divergence in the latter clause, which in the 
Hebrew is, " Thou has received gifts among men," the meaning 
being, received tributary gifts amongst the vanquished, or according 
to another interpretation, gifts consisting in the persons of the 
surrendered enemies (Ibn Ezra, Ewald). The Septuagint also 
has eXafies 86/xara h> av6pu>Tr<p, or, according to another reading, 
avOpw-rroLs. Various attempts have been made to account for the 
divergence. Chrysostom simply says the one is the same as the 
other, tovto tclvtov icrTiv eK€tVw ; and so Theophylact, adding, " for 
God giving the gifts receives in return the service." Meyer, 
followed by Alford and Eadie, maintains that the Hebrew verb 
often has a proleptic signification, " to fetch," i.e. to take in order 
to give. The apostle, says Eadie, seizes on the latter portion of 
the sense, and renders — t8oj«e. Most of the passages cited for 
this are irrelevant to the present purpose, the verb being followed 
by what we may call the dative of a pronoun, e.g. Gen. xv. 9, 
"Take for me" ; xxvii. 13, " Fetch me them." In such cases it is 
plain that the notion of subsequent giving is in the " mihi," not in 
the verb, or rather the dative is simply analogous to the dativus 
commodi. This use is quite parallel to that of the English "get." 
In xviii. 5, " I will get a piece of bread and comfort ye your 
hearts," the pronoun is omitted as needless, the words that follow 
expressing the purpose for which the bread was to be fetched. In 
xlii. 1 6, " Send one of you and let him fetch your brother," there is 
no idea of giving. In no case is giving any part of the idea of the 
Hebrew verb any more than of the English "get" or "fetch." 
But whatever may be thought of this " proleptic use," this is not 
the sense of the verb in the psalm, so that it would not really help. 
The psalm speaks of receiving (material) gifts from men ; the 
apostle, of giving (spiritual) gifts to men. Macpherson says, "The 
modification is quite justifiable, on the ground that Christ, to 
whom the words are applied, receives gifts among men only that 
He may bestow them upon men." But Christ did not receive 
amongst men the gifts which He is here said to bestow. The 


Pulpit Commentary states : " Whereas in the psalm it is said gave 
gifts to men " [which is not in the psalm, but in the Epistle], as 
modified by the apostle it is said "received gifts for men," which is 
neither one nor the other, but a particular interpretation of the 
psalm adopted in the English version. Ellicott, admitting that the 
difference is not diminished by any of the proposed reconciliations, 
takes refuge in the apostolic authority of St. Paul. " The inspired 
apostle, by a slight (?) change of language and substitution of cSwkc 

for the more dubious Dip?, succinctly, suggestively, and authorita- 
tively unfolds." But he does not profess to be interpreting (as in 
Rom. x. 6, 7, 8), but quoting. Such a view, indeed, would open 
the door to the wildest freaks of interpretation ; they might not, 
indeed, command assent as inspired, but they could never be 
rejected as unreasonable. The change here, far from being slight, 
is just in that point in which alone the quotation is connected 
either with what precedes or with what follows. 

The supposition that St. Paul does not intend either to 
quote exactly or to interpret, but in the familiar Jewish fashion 
adapts the passage to his own use, knowing that those of 
his readers who were familiar with the psalm would recognise 
the alteration and see the purpose of it, namely, that instead 
of receiving gifts of homage Christ gives His gifts to men, 
is not open to any serious objection, since he does not found 
any argument on the passage. So Theodore Mops., who re- 
marks that VTra\\d£as to k\a/3e Sofxara outws iv ™ i]/aX/ji<2 /cet/xevov, 
eSco/ce So/xara clire, T17 VTraXXayfj irepl ttjv oiKei'av xp^o-aitevos 
a.KoXov8tav' exec pikv yap 7rpos ttjv VTro$€cnv to eAa/?ev fjpfjLOTTev, iv- 
ravOa Se t<3 TrpoKeifxivta to cScokcv 6.k6\ov$ov r]V. As Oltramare 

observes : Paul wishes to speak of the spiritual gifts granted to the 
Christian in the measure of the gift of Christ, exalted to heaven. 
An expression of Scripture occurs to him, which strikes him as 
being "le mot de la situation." Depicting originally the triumph 
of God, it strikes him as expressing well (mutatis mutandis) the 
triumph of Christ, but he does not identify either the facts or the 
persons. It is, however, remarkable that the same interpretation 
of the words of the psalm is given in the Syriac Version and in the 
Targum. The former may have followed St. Paul, as the Arabic 
and Ethiopic, although made from the Septuagint, have done; 
and it has been suggested that the Targumist, finding a difficulty, 
followed the Syriac, — an improbable supposition. In his expansion 
he interprets the words of Moses, "Thou didst ascend to the 
firmament, Moses the prophet, thou didst take a captivity 
captive, thou didst teach the words of the law, thou gavest gifts 
to the sons of men." This Targum as we have it is of compara- 
tively late date. But if we may assume, as no doubt we may, that 


it is giving us here an ancient interpretation, we have a solution of 
the difficulty so far as St. Paul is concerned ; he simply made use 
of the Rabbinical interpretation as being suitable to his purpose. 
Compare 1 Cor. x. 4. No doubt the question remains, What led 
the Targumist to take this view of the passage ? Hitzig suggests 
that as the receiving of gifts seemed not consonant with the 
majesty of God, the paraphrast mentally substituted for np? the 
verb p^n, which has the same letters in a different order, and 
means "to divide, give a portion," etc. This verb is rendered 
StSwcriv by the Sept. in Gen. xlix. 27 (EV. "divide"), while in 
2 Chron. xxviii. 21, where it occurs in an otherwise unexampled 
sense "plunder" (EV. "took a portion out of"), the Sept. has 
eXafiev (to. iv). The feeling that prompted the paraphrast here 
shows itself also in Rashi's comment, " took, that thou mightest 

This renders needless a recourse to the supposition that the 
quotation is from a Christian hymn, which borrowed from the 
psalm. The objection raised to this and to the preceding view 
from the use of Ac'yet, has no force except on the assumption that 
©eds is to be supplied; and, in fact, in ver. 14 many expositors 
suppose that it is a hymn that is quoted in the same manner. 
Nor can it be truly alleged that St. Paul here treats the words as 
belonging to canonical Scripture, for he draws no inference from 
them, as we shall see. Indeed, if he himself had altered them, 
instead of adopting an existing alteration, it would be equally 
impossible for him to argue from the altered text as if it were 

r})(lj.a\u)Tev<T€v al\ixaXia(xiav. " Took captive a body of captives," 
the cognate accusative, abstract for concrete, as the same word is 
used in 1 Esdr. v. 45 and Judith ii. 9. We have the same expression 
in the song of Deborah : " Arise, Barak, and lead thy captivity 
captive, thou son of Abinoam," Judg. v. 12, which is perhaps the 
source of the expression in the psalm. The interpretation adopted 
in a popular hymn, " captivity is captive led," as if " captivity " 
meant the power that took captive, is quite untenable, and such a 
use of the abstract is foreign to Hebrew thought. 

Who are these captives ? Chrysostom replies : The enemies 
of Christ, viz. Satan, sin, and death. In substance this interpreta- 
tion is no doubt correct, but it is unnecessary to define the 
enemies ; the figure is general, that of a triumphant conqueror 
leading his conquered enemies in his train. Compare Col. ii. 15. 
To press the figure further would lead us into difficulties. These 
enemies are not yet finally destroyed, eo-^aros ixOpos Karapyctrai 6 

6dva.TO<; (1 Cor. XV. 25). 

Theodoret interprets the "captives" as the redeemed (as 
Justin had already done), namely, as having been captives of the 


devil, ov yap iXevdepovs ovras ^/xas Tj^/xaXwreucrev, d/W vtto tov 
OLaf36\ov ytyeinjpivov 1 ; ai'Tr]^p.a\wT€va€v, «at tt/v ZXevdepiav rjplv 
i8wpri<TaTo ; and so many moderns. But this does not agree 
with the construction by which the alxp-aXwa-La must be the 
result of the action of the verb. Besides, the captives are 
distinguished from avOpwiroi. The same objections hold against 
the view that the captives are the souls of the righteous 
whom Christ delivered from Hades (Lyra, Estius). 

" And gave gifts." km is omitted in N* A C 2 D* G 17, al. ; 
but inserted in N c B C* and c D c K L P, al. Syr. A tendency to 
assimilate to the passage in the psalm appears in the reading 
Tj^aAwTcucrats in A L and several MSS., which nevertheless read 
<i8<j)Kev. For the gifts compare Acts ii. 33. 

9. to oe Avefir\ ti idTiv ei p.r\ on Kal Ka-repT] els to, KaTWTepa 
jxe'pT] tt^s yr\<s. " Now that He ascended, what is it but that He 
also descended into the lower parts of the earth ? " 

There is here a very important variety of reading — 

Kar^i] without wpQirov is the reading of N* AC* D G 17 67 s , Boh. Sahid- 
Eth. Amiat. , Iren. Orig. Chrys. (Comm. ) Aug. Jerome. 

KaW/377 irpurrov is read in K e B C° K L P, most mss. Vulg. Goth. Syr. 
(both) Arm., Theodoret. 

The weight of authority is decidedly on the side of omission. Transcrip- 
tional evidence points the same way. The meaning which presented itself 
on the surface was that Christ who ascended had had His original seat in 
heaven, and that what the apostle intended, therefore, was that He descended 
before He ascended ; hence irpGirov would naturally suggest itself to the mind 
of a reader. On the other hand, it is not easy to see why it should be 
omitted. Reiche, indeed, takes the opposite view. The word, he says, 
might seem superfluous, since both in ver. 8 and ver. 10 we have avafias dt 
Ci/'os without wpwTov ; or, again, unsuitable, since Christ descended but once, 
supposing, namely, that the reference to avapas was missed. He thinks 
irpwrov all but necessary to the argument of the apostle. This is just what 
some early copyists thought, and it is a consideration much more likely to 
have affected them than the opposite one, that the word was superfluous. It 
is rejected by most critics, but Westcott and Hort admit it to a place in the 

fitprj after Kardrrepa has the authority of X ABCD'KLP, while it is 
omitted by D* G (not f). The versions and Fathers are divided. The word 
is read in Vulg. Boh. Arm. Syr-Pesh., Chrys. Theodoret, Aug., but omitted 
by Goth. Syr. (Sch.) Eth., Iren. Theodotus. The insertion or omission makes 
no difference in the sense. Most recent critical editors retain the word. 
Tischendorf rejected it in his seventh, but restored it in his eighth edition. 
Alford, Ellicott, and Meyer pronounce against it ; the last-mentioned 
suggesting that it is a gloss due to the old explanation of the descent into 
hell, in order to mark the place as subterranean. 

to 8e 'Aveflr], i.e. not the word avefir], which had not occurred, 
but that which is implied in dva/3as. tL io-riv d p.rj, k.t.X., i.e. " what 
does this mean but," etc. Ta xaTwrepa t?}s y^s. The genitive 
may be either partitive, the lower as distinguished from the higher 
parts of the earth, or of apposition, the lower regions, i.e. those of 


the earth. With the former interpretation we may understand either 
death simply, as Chrysostom and the other Greeks, ra /cdrw /xeprj 

T779 yi]<; tov Odvarov (frr/cnv, airb ttjs twv avOpwmav VTrovoias, quoting 

Gen. xliv. 29 ; Ps. cxlii. 7 ; or Hades, as the place where departed 
spirits live, which is the view of Tertullian, Irenaeus, Jerome, and 
many moderns, including Bengel, Olshausen, Meyer (later editions), 
Alford, Ellicott, Barry. 

But there are serious objections to this. First, if the apostle had 
meant to say that Christ descended to a depth below which there 
was no deeper, as He ascended to a height above which was none 
higher, he would doubtless have used the superlative. to /an-wi-epa 
fiepr] rrjs yrjs, if the genitive is partitive, could mean " the low-lying 
regions of the earth," in opposition to to avwrepiKa /xeprj (Acts 
xix. 1). Meyer, indeed, takes the genitive as depending on the 
comparative ; but this would be an awkward way of expressing 
what would more naturally have been expressed by an adverb. 
to KaTWTOTa Tr)<i yr)s occurs in the Sept. Ps. lxiii. 9, cxxxix. 15 
(KararT-aTw) ; but in the former place the words mean death and 
destruction ; in the latter they figuratively denote what is hidden, 
the place of formation of the embryo. The corresponding Hebrew 
phrase is found in Ezek. xxxii. 18, 24, referring to death and 
destruction, but rendered (3d8o<; rr)<; yrjs. Cf. Matt. xi. 23, where 
aSou is used similarly. Such passages would support Chrysostom's 
view rather than that under consideration. But, secondly, all 
these Old Testament expressions are poetic figures, and in a mere 
statement of fact like the present, St. Paul would hardly have given 
such a material local designation to the place of departed spirits, 
especially in connexion with the idea of Christ filling all things. 
Thirdly, the antithesis is between earth and heaven, between an 
ascent from earth to heaven, and a descent which is therefore 
probably from heaven to earth. Some, indeed, who adopt this 
view understand the descent as from heaven, some as from earth. 
For the argument from the connexion, see what follows. 

For these reasons it seems preferable to take " the lower 
parts of the earth" as = " this lower earth." Those who adopt 
this view generally assume that the descent preceded the ascent, 
and therefore understand by the descent, the Incarnation. This 
view, however, is not free from difficulty. St. Paul is speaking of 
the unity of the whole on the one hand, and of the diversity of 
individual gifts on the other. The latter is the topic in ver. 7 
and again in ver. 11. To what purpose would be an interpolation 
such as this? It is not brought in to prove the heavenly pre- 
existence of Christ; that is assumed as known; for ascent to heaven 
does not imply descent thence, except on that assumption. And 
why the emphatic assertion of the identity of Him who ascended 
with Him who had previously descended, which was self-evident? 


But, in fact, this ascension is not what is in question, but the 
giving of gifts ; what had to be shown was, that a descent was 
necessary, in order that He who ascended should give gifts. The 
descent, then, was contemporaneous with the giving, and, therefore, 
subsequent to the ascent. This seems to be indicated by the *cai 
before Ka.Tt/3-q. It seems hardly possible to take koL KarifS-q 
otherwise than as expressing something subsequent to dvc'/fy. 
The meaning then is, that the ascent would be without an object, 
unless it were followed by a descent. This is the descent of 
Christ to His Church alluded to in ii. 17, "came and preached"; 
in iii. 17, "that Christ may dwell in your hearts"; and which we 
also find in John xiv. 23, "we will come to Him "; also ib. 3 and 
xvi. 22. It is now clear why it was necessary to assert that 6 
Ka.Tafia.<i was the same as 6 a.vafia.%. This interpretation is ably 
maintained by v. Soden. 

10. 6 KaTaPds auTos eony ica! 6 &ya(3as uirepdVu ir&vrtov tcjp 
oupaiw Xva Tr\t]pwat] t& tt&vtcl. " He Himself that descended 
is also He that ascended high above all the heavens, that He 
might fill all things." 

avVos is not " the same," which would be 6 airo?, but emphatic. 

oi yap aAAos KareXrjXvde kcu dAAos aveXrjXvOev, Theodoret. 

"All the heavens" is probably an allusion to the seven 
heavens of the Jews. Cf. 2 Cor. xii. 2, rptVos ovpavo% and 
Heb. iv. 14, SieX-qXvOora tous ovpavovs, "that He might fill all 

This has sometimes been understood to mean " that He might 
fill the universe," as when we read in Jer. xxiii. 24, p.rj ovxj. tw 
ovpavbv Kal ttjv yfy eyw TrXrjpu) ; But how can the occupation of a 
special place in heaven have for its object presence throughout 
the universe? Moreover, this does not agree with the context, 
which refers to the gifts to men. In fact, in order to explain this 
connexion, the omnipresence is resolved by some commentators 
into the presence everywhere of His gifts (Harless), or else of His 
government (Chrys, a/.). A similar result is reached by others, who 
take irXrjpwarj as meaning directly " fill with His gifts " (De Wette, 
Bleek, a/.), rd iravra being either the universe, or men, or members 
of the Church. But irX-qpovv by itself can hardly mean " fill with 
gifts." Riickert explains, " accomplish all," viz. all that He had to 
accomplish. But the words must clearly be interpreted in accord- 
ance with i. 23, Ta Tvavra iv 7racnv TrXrjpovjxivov, which they obviously 
repeat. Oltramare interprets, " that He might render all perfect, 
and (in conformity with this purpose), He gave," etc. 

11. Kal auTos e'SajKcy tous pkv d-iroaroXous, tous 8e 7rpoc|>TJTa.s, tous 
8e euayyeXio-Tds, tous 8e iroipieVas Kal SiSaaKaXous. " And He Him- 
self gave some as apostles, some as prophets, some as evangelists, 
some as pastors and teachers." 


cScdkcv is not a Hebraism for (i Cor. xii. 28); it is 
obviously chosen because of c'Swkcv 86/xara in the quotation, as if 
the apostle had said, "the gifts He gave were," etc. It is not 
merely the fact of the institution of the offices that he wishes to 
bring into view, but the fact that they were gifts to the Church. 
Christ gave the persons ; the Church appointed to the office (Acts 
xiii. 2, xiv. 23). The enumeration here must be compared with 
that in 1 Cor. xii. 28, " God hath set some in the Church, first, 
apostles ; secondly, prophets ; thirdly, teachers ; then miraculous 
powers, then gifts of healing, helps, governments, divers kinds of 
tongues." There the order of the first three is expressly defined ; 
the latter gifts are not mentioned here, perhaps, as not expressing 
offices, but special gifts which were only occasional ; and, besides, 
they did not necessarily belong to distinct persons from the 

" Apostles." This word is not to be limited to the Twelve, as 
Lightfoot has shown in detail in his excursus on Gal. i. 17. 
Besides St. Paul himself, Barnabas is certainly so called (Acts 
xiv. 4, 14); apparently also James the Lord's brother (1 Cor. 
xv. 7 ; Gal. i. 19), and Silvanus (1 Thess. ii. 6, "we might have been 
burdensome to you, being apostles of Christ "). In Irenaeus and 
Tertullian the Seventy are called apostles (Iren. ii. 21. 1 ; Tert. 
adv. Marc. iv. 24). According to the Greek Fathers, followed by 
Lightfoot, Andronicus and Junia are called apostles in Rom. xvi. 7. 
In 2 Cor. viii. 23 and Phil. ii. 25 the messengers of the Churches 
are called "apostles of the Churches." But to be an apostle of 
Christ it seems to have been a condition that he should have seen 
Christ, 1 Cor. ix. 1, 2, and have, moreover, been a witness of 
the resurrection (Acts i. 8, 21-23). Their office was not limited 
to any particular locality. Prophets are mentioned along with 
apostles in ii. 20, iii. 5. Chrysostom distinguishes them from 
" teachers " by this, that he who prophesies utters everything from 
the spirit, while he who teaches sometimes discourses from his 
own understanding. " Foretelling " is not implied in the word 
either etymologically or in classical or N.T. usage. In classical 
writers it is used of interpreters of the gods. For N.T. usage, com- 
pare Matt. xxvi. 68, " Prophesy, who is it that smote thee " ; 
Tit. i. 12, "a prophet of their own," where it is used in the sense 
of the Latin " vates " ; Matt. xv. 7, " well hath Isaiah prophesied 
of you " ; and especially 1 Cor. xiv. 3, " He that prophesieth 
speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort." 
Also Acts xv. 32, "Judas and Silas, being themselves also prophets, 
exhorted the brethren . . . and confirmed them." The function 
of the prophet has its modern parallel in that of the Christian 
preacher, who discourses " to edification, exhortation, and com- 
fort " to those who are already members of the Church. " Preach- 


ing," in the English Version of the N.T., means proclaiming the 
gospel to those who have not yet known it (icqpvTTeiv, cuayyeAi- 

By " evangelists " we are doubtless to understand those whose 
special function it was to preach the gospel to the heathen in sub- 
ordination to the apostles. They did not possess the qualifications 
or the authority of the latter (wepuovrci iKrjpvrrov, says Theodoret). 
One of the deacons is specially called an evangelist (Acts xxi. 8). 
Timothy is told by St. Paul to do the work of an evangelist, but 
his office included other functions. 

tous Sc iroifjieVas kcu SiScutkciXou?. The first question is whether 
these words express distinct offices or two characters of the same 
office. Many commentators — both ancient and modern — adopt 
the former view, differing, however, greatly in their definitions. 
Theophylact understands by "pastors," bishops and presbyters, 
and by "teachers," deacons. But there is no ground for suppos- 
ing that deacons would be called SiSaovcaAoi. On the other hand, 
the circumstance that rows Se is not repeated before SioW/caAous is in 
favour of the view that the words express two aspects of the same 
office. So Jerome : " Non enim ait : alios autem pastores et alios 
magistros, sed alios pastores et magistros, ut qui pastor est, esse 
debeat et magister." This, indeed, is not quite decisive, since it 
might only mark that the gifts of pastors and of teachers are not 
so sharply distinguished from one another as from those that 
precede ; and it must be admitted that in a concise enumeration 
such as the present, it is in some degree improbable that this 
particular class should have a double designation. This much is 
clear, that " pastors and teachers " differ from the preceding classes 
in being attached to particular Churches. The name "pastors" 
implies this, and this term no doubt includes iirio-Koiroi and 
Trpeo-fivrepoi. Compare i Pet. v. 2 (addressing the Trpeo-fivrepoi), 

iroijj.dva.Te to iv vplv ttoi/xvlov tov ®eo9, €7rio-/<07rowTes (om. RV. 
mg.) : I Pet. ii. 25, tov iroip.iva. koI eirio-KOTrov twv ij/v^oiv vp.(2v, 

where iirio-KOTrov seems to explain iroip.rjv : Acts xx. 28, raJ 7roip.viio 

ev a) v/xa? to Uvcvp.a to dyiov zOcto €7rtcrK07rovs, Troip.aive.iv Tr]v IkkX, 

■Ko\.p.r]v was used in the earliest classical writers of rulers of the 
people. Even in Homer we have Agamemnon, for instance, 
called Troi/AT/v Aacov. The iroip.rjv of a Christian Church would, of 
course, be a teacher as well as a governor ; it was his business to 
guide the sheep of the flock ; cf. 1 Tim. iii. 2, bd tov i-n-io-Kotrov 
. . . 8i8aKTiK.ov (elvai) : also Tit. i. 9. But there would naturally be 
other teachers not invested with the same authority and not form- 
ing a distinct class, much less co-ordinate with the c7r«rK07roi. 
Had tous oV been repeated, it might have seemed to separate 
sharpiy the function of teaching from the office of Troip.r'jv. It is 
easy to see that €7rio-K07ros would have been a much less suitable 


word here, since it does not suggest the idea of a moral and 
spiritual relation. 

12-16. The object of all is the perfection of the saints, that they 
may be one in the faith, and mature in knowledge, so as not to be 
carried away by the winds of false doctrine ; but that the whole body, 
as one organism deriving its nourishment from the Head, may be 
perfected in love. 

12. irpos toc Ka.TapTio-p.oy t&v dyiwv, eis Ipyoc oiaKoyias, els 
oUoSopn' tou o-ojfxaTos too Xpio-ToG. "With a view to the perfecting 
of the saints unto the work of ministering, unto the building up of 
the body of Christ." The KaTaprio-fjilx; tov ay. is the ultimate 
purpose, with a view to which the teachers, etc., have been given 
cts tpyov oYa*. cts oik. k.t.A. The Authorised Version follows 
Chrysostom in treating the three clauses as co-ordinate, exac-Tos 

oiKoSo/xei, 6K-ao-ros Karapri^ei, tKacrros Sia/eovei. The change in the 

prepositions is not decisive against this, for St. Paul is rather fond 
of such variety. But if the three members were parallel, Zpyov 
SiaKovtas should certainly come first as the more indefinite and the 
mediate object. In fact, Grotius and others suppose the thoughts 
transposed. A plausible view is that adopted by De Wette and 
many others, that the two latter members depend on the first. 
" With a view to the perfecting of the saints, so that they may be 
able to work in every way to the building up," etc. But in a 
connexion like this, where offices in the Church are in question, 
oWoi/ia can only mean official service ; and this does not belong to 
the saints in general. 

Olshausen supposes the two latter members to be a subdivision 
of the first, thus : " for the perfecting of the saints, namely, on the 
one hand, of those who are endowed with gifts of teaching for the 
fulfilment of their office ; and, on the other hand, as regards the 
hearers, for the building up of the Church." But it is impossible 
to read into the words this distinction, " on the one hand," " on 
the other hand " ; and the oikoSo/at/ tov o-aj/Acn-os describes the 
function of teachers rather than of hearers. Besides, we cannot 
suppose the teachers themselves to be included among those who 
are the objects of the functions enumerated in ver. 1 1. 

The word /carapTio>i6s does not occur elsewhere in the N.T. Galen uses 
it of setting a dislocated joint. The verb Karaprl^u by its etymology means 
to restore or bring to the condition Aprios, and is used Matt. v. 21 of 
" mending " nets ; in Heb. xi. 3 of the " framing " of the world. It occurs 
Gal. vi. 1 in the figurative sense, "restore such one." In Luke vi. 40 the 
sense is as here, " to perfect," /caTTj/jTiati^eos 7ras farm wj 6 5i5d<r/caAoj 
avroO. Also in 2 Cor. xiii. II, Karaprl^eade. Comp. ib. 9, r-qv vpuv 
KardpTiaiv. /caTa/m<r/i6s is the completed result of KardpTuns. 

olKoSop.r]v tov o-iofxaTos. The confusion of metaphors is excused 
by the fact that olKoSofirj had for the apostle ceased to suggest its 
primary meaning; cf. 1 Cor. viii. 10: 1 Thess. v. 11, and below, 


ver. 1 6. The fact that both olxoSofxi] and o-wfxa tov XpLo-Tov have a 
distinct metaphorical sense accounts for the confusion, but does 
not prove it non-existent. The ancients were less exacting ir 
such matters than the moderns ; even Cicero has some strange 
examples. See on iii. 18. 

It is useful to bear this in mind when attempts are made else- 
where to press too far the figure involved in some word. 

13. pexP 1 KaTacT^CTwjiee ot irdrres eis ttjc eeoTTjTa tt]$ iuoteus Kai 
tt]s emy^wo-ews tou ulou tou ©eou cis d^Spa reXcioi', eis peTpoy ^XiKias 
tou TrXT)pwpaTos tou Xpcorou. "Till we all (we as a whole) attain 
to the oneness of the faith, and of the thorough knowledge of the 
Son of God, to a full-grown man, to the measure of the stature (or 
maturity) of the fulness of Christ." ^XP L 1S without dv because 
the result is not uncertain, ol irdvTes, " we, the whole body of us," 
namely, all believers, not all men (as Jerome), which is against the 
preceding context (twv dyiW). The oneness of the faith is opposed 
to the KXv8(Dvit,6/x€i/oi Kal 7rept.<f>ep6fx€voi, k.t.X., ver. 14. " Contranus 
unitati est omnis ventus," Bengel. cViyvwo-ts is not merely explana- 
tory of 71-io-Tis, which is indeed a condition of it, but a distinct 
notion, tov vlov tou ®eoS belongs to both substantives. The Son 
of God is the specific object of Christian faith as well as know- 

cts aVSpa TeAeiov, a perfect, mature man, to which the following 
vrjinoL is opposed. Comp. Polyb. p. 523, IXttlo-ovt^ ws 7rcuoYo> 

vrjirLU) xprjO-ao~6ai tw ^lXltttvw, Sid Te ttjv rjXiKiav Kai tt/v aTretpLav 

tov $. evpov Te'Aeiov av8pa. The singular is used because it 
refers to the Church as a whole ; it corresponds to the eh kouvos 
di#paj7ro9. It is doubtful whether we are to take r/XiKla as " age " 
or " stature " ; not only rjXiKLa itself but p.irpov rjXiKtas occurs in 
both senses, the ripeness of full age, and the measure of stature. 
In the N.T. ^AWa has the meaning " stature " in Luke xix. 3, 
rjXLKLa p.iKp6<; 7]v, and "age" in John ix. 21, rjXiKiav «x et - 
" Mature age " is the most common signification in Greek writers, 
whereas the adjective ^Aiko's most frequently refers to magnitude. 
It would appear, therefore, that to a Greek reader it is only the 
connexion in which it stands that would decide. There is nothing 
here to decide for " stature " ; jxerpov, indeed, might at first sight 
seem to favour this, but we have in Philostratus, Vit. Soph. p. 543, 

to fxeTpov ttjs i]XiKia<; Tat? fxkv dAAais €7rio-T^/xats yrjpw; apxV- 

On the other hand, what the context refers to is the idea of 
" maturity " ; if " stature " were unambiguously expressed, it could 
only be understood as a mark of maturity ; any comparison with 
physical magnitude would be out of the question. See on Lk. ii. 52. 

" Of the fulness of Christ," i.e. to which the fulness of Christ 

Some expositors take -rrXrjp^fxa here as if used by a Hebraism 


for 7re7rA?7pa)/xei'os = perfect, complete, either agreeing with Xpiaroi 
(TreirXrjpwfxevov) or with ^Ai/a'a? (Tre-n-Xrjpaifj.ivrj'i), thus interpreting 
either " the measure of the perfect (mature) Christ," or " of the 
perfect stature of Christ," which again may be explained as that 
which Christ produces. But this supposition is inadmissible. We 
cannot separate to -rrXrjpoifxa tov Xpio-rou. Or, again, to -rrXijpwaa 
tov Xpia-Tov is understood to mean, " what is filled by Christ," 
i.e. the Church, which is so called in i. 23. But apart from the 
wrong sense thus given to TrXrfpwfj.0., there is a wide difference 
between predicating to 7tX. of the Church, and using the term as 
synonymous with eKKX-qo-Ca. We may ask, too, How can we all 
arrive at the maturity of the Church ? A better interpretation 
is that which makes to ttX. tov Xp. = the fulness of Christ, i.e. 
the maturity is that to which belongs the full possession of the 
gifts of Christ. Oltramare objects that this interpretation rests on 
an erroneous view of the sense of -n-XripwpLa. tov Xp., which does not 
mean the full possession of Christ, nor the full gracious presence 
of Christ. Moreover, it makes p.iTpov superfluous, and makes the 
whole clause a mere repetition of eh aVSpa TeXeiov. With his view 
of TrXrjpwfxa — perfection (see i. 23), there is a distinct advance, 
" to the measure of the stature (i.e. to the height) of the perfection 
of Christ." This is also Riickert's view. 

It is questioned whether St. Paul here conceives this ideal as one 
to be realised in the present life or only in the future. Amongst the 
ancients, Chrysostom, Theoph., Oecum., Jerome, took the former 
view, Theodoret the latter. It would probably be an error to 
suppose that the apostle meant definitely either one or the other. 
He speaks of an ideal which may be approximated to. But 
though it may not be perfectly attainable it must be aimed at, and 
this supposes that its attainment is not to be represented as 
impossible. See Dale, Lect. xv. p. 283. 

14. Iva p,T)K€Ti <5uev vr\irioi, icXuSwri^ofieeoi tea! ir€pi<f>€p6p.6i'oi 
iraim dce'pw rfjs StoaaxaXias. " That we may be no longer 
children tossed and borne to and fro by every wind of teaching." 
This does not depend on ver. 13, for one does not become a mature 
man in order to grow. Ver. 1 2 states the final goal of the work of 
the teachers ; ver. 13, that which must take place in the meantime 
in order to the attainment of that end. KXv8a>vi,£6p.evoi from 
kXv8<dv, a billow or surge, may mean either tossed by the waves or 
tossed like waves, as in Josephus, Ant. ix. n. 3, 6 c%ios Tapaa- 
o-6/j.evo<; Kal /cAv8o)vi^op.£vo5. Here, as dve/xw is most naturally 
connected with it as well as with -rrepup., the latter seems best; 
and this corresponds with Jas. i. 8, StaKpivo/xcvos eoi/cc kXv8o>vi 
6a\6.o~o™q<i dve/xi^op-cVw. A similar figure occurs in Jude 12, v€<peXai 

avv8poL iir6 av€p.<i>v irapacpepojAtvoi : cf. Heb. xiii. 9, SiSa^als Troi/a'Aais 
fxr) Trapafpipto-Qt. 


dee/Aw does not refer to " emptiness " nor to " impulsive power," 
but rather is chosen as suitable to the idea of changeableness. So 
Theophylact : rrj rpoTrrj ip.p,evwv kcu dve/xovs e/cdA.€(re tois 8ia<popovs 
Si8ao-/<aA.tas. The article before StS. does not " give definitive 
prominence to the teaching " (Eadie), but marks teaching in 
the abstract. 

iv rf\ KuPeia t&v dvGpwirwi'. "Through the sleight of men." 
KvfieLa, from Kvfios, is properly " dice-playing," and hence " trickery, 
deceit." Soden prefers to take it as expressing conduct void of 
seriousness ; these persons play with the conscience and the 
soul's health of the Christians. But this is not the ordinary sense 
of the word, iv is instrumental, the words expressing the means 
by which the -n-tpKp. k.t.A. is attained. There is no objection to 
this on the ground that it would thus be pleonastic after iv dve/xw 
(Ell.), since iv tjj k. is not connected with irepi<p€p6p.zvoi, but 
with the whole clause. Ellicott himself says the preposition 
"appears rather to denote the element, the evil atmosphere as it 
were, in which the varying currents of doctrine exert their force." 
" Element " is itself figurative, and requires explanation ; and if 
"evil atmosphere," etc., is intended as an explanation, it is clear 
that no such idea is implied in the Greek, nor would it be at all 
in St. Paul's way to carry out the figure in such detail, or to 
expect the reader to compare Ku/3eia to the atmosphere; see on v. 5. 

iv Trayoupyia 717)65 Ti)v jieOoSetaf tt}s TrXdrr]?. " By craftiness, 
tending to the scheming of error." iravovpyos and iravovpyia are 
used in the Sept. generally, if not invariably, in a good or an 
indifferent sense, "prudent," Prov. xiii. 1 ; "prudence," Prov. i. 4, 
viii. 5; "shrewdness," Ecclus. xxi. 12; Josh. ix. 4 (though this 
latter may be thought an instance of a bad sense). Polybius also 
uses -n-avovpyos in the sense of Seu/ds, " clever, shrewd." In classical 
writers the words have almost invariably a bad sense, the substan- 
tive meaning " knavery, unscrupulous conduct." 

In the N.T. the substantive occurs five times, always in a bad 
sense (Luke xx. 23; 1 Cor. iii. 19; 2 Cor. iv. 2, xi. 3, and here), 
the adjective once, 2 Cor. xii. 16, in the sense "crafty." 

p.e0o8eia is found only here and ch. vi. n. The verb 
fiiOoSevu) is used, however, by Polybius, Diodorus, and the Sept., 
and means to deal craftily (cf. 2 Sam. xix. 27, where Mephibosheth 
says of Ziba, p^OwSeva-ev iv t<3 8ov\<p crov) ; the substantive /Ae#oSos, 
from which it is derived, being used by later authors in the mean- 
ing " cunning device." -rrXavy) has its usual meaning " error," not 
" seduction " (a meaning which it never has, not even in 2 Thess. 
ii. 11), and the genitive is subjective, thus personifying error. In 
the Revised Version 717)05 is taken as = according to, "after the 
wiles of error," a comma being placed after -navovpy'ta. This 
seems to leave the latter word too isolated. Moreover, this sense 


of 7rpos, though appropriate after verbs of action, being founded on 
the idea of "looking to," or the like, does not agree with the 
participles kXvS. and Trepicp. Codex A adds after TrXdvrjs, tov 
8ta/3oAou, an addition suggested probably by vi. 11. 

15. d\T)9eu'orr€s 8e iv dydirT]. " But cherishing truth in love." 
RV. has "speaking truth in love," only differing from AV. by 
the omission of the article before "truth," but with "dealing 
truly" in the margin. Meyer insists that aXrjOevetv always means 
"to speak the truth." But the verb cannot be separated from 
aX-qOeia. Verbs in -euco express the doing of the action which is 
signified by the corresponding substantive in -eta. Of this we 
have two examples in ver. 14, Kv(3ela, which is the action of 
Ki'/Seveiv, fjLe8o8eia of [JLe$o8eveiv. Comp. KoXaKela, koXclk€vu> ; (Spa- 
/3euw, apLo-Tcvo), dyyapeu'w with their substantives in -eta, and many 
others. Now dX-rjOeia is not limited to spoken truth, least of all 
in the N.T. In this Epistle observe iv. 24, Sikclwo-vvt] /cat 60-10- 
777™ tt}s dA?7#eta<;, also iv. 2 1 and v. 9 ; and compare the expres- 
sions "walking in truth," "the way of truth," "not obeying the 
truth, but obeying unrighteousness, dSt/a'a." Here, where the 
warning is not to the false teachers, but to those who were in 
danger of being misled like children by them, "speaking truth" 
appears out of place. As to the connexion of iv dydwrj, it seems 
most natural to join it with dAr/^evorres, not only because other- 
wise the latter word would be harshly isolated, but because the 
" growth " is so fully defined by the following words. If, indeed, 
love were not mentioned, as it is, at the end of ver. 16, there 
might be more reason to adopt the connexion with aij^o-w/xev, on 
the ground that considering the frequent references to it, as in 
iv. 2, iii. 18, 19, it was not likely to have been omitted in 
speaking of growth. Connected with aXijOzveiv, iv dyd-n-rj is not 
a limitation, but a general characteristic of the Christian walk ; 
" Not breaking up, but cementing brotherly love by walking in 
truth" (Alford). Probably, however, the apostle intended e'v 
dydirr] to be connected both with the preceding and the following ; 
his ideas progressing from dXrjOeia to dydirr], and thence to 


au£rjcrw|j.€y eis au-rok Ta ir-aira os eoric r\ Ke^aX^, Xpioros. " May 
grow up unto Him in all things, who is the Head, even Christ." 

aii^T/crw/xei' is not transitive as in 1 Cor. iii. 6 ; 2 Cor. ix. 10, 
etc., and in the older classical writers and the Septuagint, but in- 
transitive as in later Creek writers and Matt. vi. 28 ; Luke 
i. 80, ii. 40, and elsewhere; cf. here also ii. 21. 

ets auToV. Meyer understands this to mean "in relation to 
Him," with the explanation that Christ is the head of the body, 
the growth of whose members is therefore in constant relation to 
Him as determining and regulating it. The commentary on ets 


avrov is, he says, given by i$ ov, k.t.X., the one expressing the 
ascending, the other the descending direction of the relation of 
the growth to the head, He being thus the goal and the source 
of the development of the life of the Church. However correct 
this explanation may be in itself, it can hardly be extracted from 
the interpretation of eis as " in relation to," which is vague and 
feeble. Nor does it even appear that eis au-roV admits of such a 
rendering at all. Such expressions as es o = " in regard to which," 
et? TavTa="quod attinet ad . . ." etc., are not parallel. Inter- 
preted according to these analogies, the words would only mean 
" with respect to Him, that we should grow," and the order would 
be €i? avrov av£. Meyer has adopted this view from his reluctance 
to admit any interpretation which does not agree with the figure 
of the head. But that figure is not suggested until after this. 
We have first the Church as itself becoming dvrjp i-e'Aeios, then 
this figure is departed from, and the readers individually are 
represented as possible vJjvim. The subjects of av^aw/xev, then, 
are not yet conceived as members of a body, but as separate 
persons. But as soon as the pronoun introduces Christ, the idea 
that He is the head suggests itself, and leads to the further 
development in ver. 16. 

We can hardly fail to see in ait «s airov a variation of 
KaravTrjo-uy/xev eis dvSpa reXetov, cts p-irpov rj\iKia<; rov tt\. tov 
Xp. " Unto Him." This would seem to mean at once " unto 
Him as a standard," and "so as to become incorporated with 
Him " ; not that eh avrov by itself could combine both meanings, 
but that the thought of the apostle is passing on to the idea 
contained in the words that follow. He begins with the idea of 
children growing up to a certain standard of maturity, and with 
the word avrov passes by a rapid transition to a deeper view of 
the relation of this growth to Christ the Head. 

Harless, to escape the difficulty of ait «« avrov, connects the 
latter words with eV aya-wr), " in love to Him." The order of the 
words is certainly not decisive against this view ; instances of such' 
a hyperbaton are sufficiently frequent, but there seems no reason 
for it here, and it would make the introduction of "Who is the 
Head " very abrupt. 

to. Travra, the ordinary accusative of definition, "in all the parts 
of our growth." 

Xpurros. This use of the nominative in apposition with the 
relative, where we might have expected the accusative Xpio-rov, is a 
usual Greek construction. Compare Plato, Apol. p. 41 A, cvprjo-ei 

rows d>? a\r)0w<; Si/cacrTas, olwep Kal Xeyovrai e/cei Si/ca£eii> MtVws T€ 

/ecu 'PaSa//.av0os /cal Aia/cos. The Received Text has 6 Xjotcrro?, with 
DGKL, Chrys. Theod. The article is wanting in K A B C, Bas. 


16. e£ 01 irav to crwp,a auvapadkoyouixevov Kal au|ij3i|3a£6fi.ei'Oi'. 

" From whom the whole body fitly framed and put together." c£ 
ov goes with avfycrtv TroulTai. The present participles indicate 
that the process is still going on. On crwap/x. cf. ii. 21. The use 
of the word there forbids the supposition that the derivation from 
ap/xos, a joint, was before the mind of the writer. o-vp.fiifid(w is 
used by classical writers in the sense of bringing together, either 
persons figuratively (especially by way of reconciliation) or things. 
Compare Col. ii. 2, avpi/3. lv aydirrj. As to the difference between 
the two verbs here, Bengel says : " awap/x. pertinet ad to regulare, 
ut partes omnes in situ suo et relatione mutua recte aptentur, 
o-vfxfi. notat simul firmitudinem et consolidationem." So Alford 
and Eadie. Ellicott thinks the more exact view is that <rvp.(3. 
refers to the aggregation, awapp.. to the interadaptation of the 
component parts. This would seem to require that crvp.j3., as the 
condition of a-wapp.., should precede. Perhaps it might be more 
correct to say that crwap/x. corresponds to the figure <rup.a., the 
apostle then, in the consciousness that he is speaking of persons, 
adding o-vpLfiift. (so Harless and, substantially, Meyer). In the 
parallel, Col. ii. 19, we have liri)(opf}yovp.z\'ov nal avp.fti^a^6p.evov. 
In that Epistle the main theme is " the vital connexion with the 
Head ; in the Ephesians, the unity in diversity among the mem- 
bers" (Lightfoot). Hence the substitution here of a-wapp.. for 
€7rixop. But the idea involved in the latter is here expressed in 
the corresponding substantive. 

8i<x Trdo-T]9 d<|>f]s tt)s emxopYjYLas. " Through every contact with 
the supply." The parallel in Col. ii. 19 seems to decide that these 
words are to be connected with the participles. 

dcprj has some difficulty. It has been given the meaning 
"joint," "sensation," "contact." If by "joint" is understood 
those parts of two connected limbs which are close to the touching 
surfaces (which is no doubt the common use of the word), then 
dcprj cannot be so understood; it means "touching" or "contact," 
and can no more mean " joint " in this sense than these English 
words can have that meaning. And what would be the meaning 
of " every joint of supply " ? Eadie answers : " Every joint whose 
function it is to afford such aid." But this is not the function of 
a joint, and this notion of the supply being through joints would 
be a very strange one and strangely expressed. Besides, it would not 
be consistent with the fact that it is from Christ that the hnxopnqyla 
proceeds. Theodoret takes dcprj to mean " sense " or " sensation." 

dcpr/v Ttjv aiaOrjCTLV Trpocrrjyopevcrev, CTreior) Kal avrrj tu'a rwv irevrt 

alaOyaewv, that is, "the apostle calls sensation 'touch,' because 
this is one of the five senses, and he names the whole from the 
part." Chrysostom is more obscure, and seems to make, not dc/>^s 
alone, but d<pr)<; -Hj? *t<-x- ~ ato-^rycrcws ; for when he proceeds to 


expound, he says : to vvevp^a e/ccivo to iTri^oprjyovpievov tois /xeXeaiv 
oltto ttJs K(.tf>a\.r)<; eKacrrov ueAous aTTTop.evov ovtws ivepyci. Theo- 
doret's interpretation is adopted by Meyer, " every feeling in which 
the supply (namely, that which is given by Christ) is perceived." 
But although the singular a<f>rj, which sometimes means the sense 
of touch, might naturally be used to signify "feeling" in general; 
yet we cannot separate this passage from that in Col. where we 
have the plural ; and, as Lightfoot observes, until more cogent 
examples are forthcoming, "we are justified in saying that al 
acpai could no more be used for at alo-drjo-eLs, than in English ' the 
touches ' could be taken as a synonym for ' the senses.' " Meyer, 
indeed, takes the. word there as " the feelings, sensations " ; but 
there is no evidence that acpai could have this meaning either. 
Besides, " the conjunction of such incongruous things as twv a<pCov 
Kal <jvv8icrp.(Dv, under the vinculum of the same article and preposi- 
tion, would be unnatural." It remains that we take dcprj in the 
sense of " contact," which suits both this passage and that in Col. 
Lightfoot, on Col. ii. 19, gives several passages from Galen and 
Aristotle in illustration of this signification. Here we need only 
notice the distinction which Aristotle makes between avpLcpvcns and 
a<prj, the latter signifying only "contact," the former "cohesion." 
17 d</>?) t>7s 67rixop?7yta?, then, is the touching of, i.e. contact with, the 
supply. airTecrdaL rrj<; evrix- would mean " to take hold of, or get 
in touch with," the £ttix. ', hence Sid iraa-r]^ d<pr;s 1-77? lirtx may 
well mean " through each part being in touch with the ministra- 
tion." So OecumeniuS : 17 airo rov Xpio-Tov KaTiovcra irrevpaTiKT) 
Swauis evos iKaarov p.e\ov<; avrov airTop-ivq. Oltramare under- 
stands the gen. as gen. auctoris = e* ttj% e^t^op. = tt^s d<p?/s ^s 
liriX°PVy r l cr€ i "par toute sorte de jointures provenant de sa 
largesse." iTrixoprjyia occurs again Phil. i. 19 ; it is found nowhere 
else except in ecclesiastical writers. But the verb eTrL^oprjyeu} 
(which occurs five times in the N.T.) is also found, though rarely, 
in later Greek writers. 

kcit eeepyeiae iv fjieTpw ccos eKdarou pe'pous. 

/itpovs is the reading of X B D G K L P, Arm., Theodoret, etc. ; but A C, 
Vulg. Syr. Boh., Chrys. have fifKovs. This is so naturally suggested by the 
figure of <r<2/j.a that we can hardly doubt that it came in either by a natural 
mistake or as an intentional emendation. But /xtpovs is really much more 
suitable, as more general. 

" According to the proportionate working of each several part." 
eve'pycta does not mean " power," but " acting power," " activity," 
" working," so that the interpretation of xar ivipyeiav as adverbial = 
" powerfully," is excluded. As to the connexion of the following 
words, lv p-irpu may be taken either with kcit ivepy. or as govern- 
ing ei'6s £k. p.ip. The latter is the view adopted by many com- 
mentators, with so little hesitation that they do not mention the 


other. Thus Eadie and Ellicott render "according to energy in 
the measure of each individual part." This is not very lucid, and 
Ellicott therefore explains " in the measure of (sc commensurate 
with)." Alford's rendering is similar. If this is understood to 
mean " the energy which is distributed to every part," etc., as it 
apparently must be, we miss some word which should suggest the 
idea of distribution, which iv certainly does not. Moreover, 
ivipyeia, from its signification, requires to be followed by some 
defining word, and elsewhere in the N.T. always is so. 

It is preferable, therefore, to join iv p-irpu closely with ivcpyeia, 
which it qualifies, and which is then defined by the genitive 
following. It is as if the writer had been about to say /car ivepy. 
evos e/c., and then recalling the thought of ver. 7 inserted iv /*,erpa>. 
If this view (which is Bengel's) is correct, the reason assigned by 
Meyer for connecting these words with av$. iroiCnat instead of with 
the participles falls to the ground, viz. that /*erp<j> suits the idea of 
growth better than that of joining together. The RV. appears to 
agree with the view here taken. 

tt)v au^crii' tou awjxaTos iroieiTai. " Carries on the growth of 
the body." In Col. ii. 19 we have a££€i ttjv avgyo-iv ; here the 
active participation of the body as a living organism in promoting 
its own growth is brought out, and this especially in order to 
introduce iv ayd-irQ. The middle 7roietrai is not " intensive," but 
is appropriately used of the body promoting its own growth ; irout 
would imply that crajpa. and o-oi/Aaros had a different reference. 
o-w/Aa-ros is used instead of eavrov, no doubt because of the remote- 
ness of a-wfia, as well as because cav-rov was required presently. 
Compare Luke iii. 19. 

els oiKoSopjk eauTou iv ayd-rrr\. On the mixture of metaphors 
cf. ver. 12. oii<o§op.r) is not suitable to the figure of a body, but is 
suggested by the idea of the thing signified to which the figure in 
oik. is so familiarly applied. It would be awkward to separate eV 
aydirr) from oik. and join it with av^iqcriv TrotetTai, as Meyer does on 
account of the correspondence with ver. 15. Through the work 
of the several parts the building up of the whole is accomplished 
by means of love. Observe that it is the growth of the whole that 
is dwelt on, not that of the individual parts. 

17-24. Admonition, that knozaing how great the blessings oj 
which they have been made partakers, they should fashion their lives 
accordingly, putting off all that belongs to their old life, and putting 
on the new man. 

17. touto ouv \iyu> kcu fjiapTupofxai iv Kupiw. Resumes from w. 
1-3. As Theodoret observes : 7raA.1v aviXafie t^s 7rapaiv€o-€ws to 
-rpooLfiLov. ovv, as often, has simply this resumptive force, and does 
not indicate any inference from what precedes ; for the exhorta- 
tion begun vv. 1-3 was interrupted, and the d£iws TrepnraTeiv of 


ver. i is repeated in the negative form in ver. 17. The tovto looks 

fxapTvpofxai,"! protest, conjure" = Polyb. p. 1403, 

o~vvopap.6vTu>v tZ>v ly^toptwv kcll p.apTvpop.€vwv tovs aVopas liravdyziv 
IttI Ti)v apxrjv. Thucydides, viii. 53, p.aprvpop.lvtov /cat eVi^eia^o'i'Tcov 

[xr] KardycLv. The notion of exhortation and precept is involved 
in this and Xlyto by the nature of the following context, p^kItl 
Trepnr., as in the passage of Thucydides, so that there is no ellipsis 
of 8civ. 

lv KuptV Not either " per Dominum " or " calling the Lord 
to witness." p.dprvpa tov Kvptov KaXw, Chrys. Theodoret, etc. 
Some expositors have defended this on the ground that N.T. 
writers, following the Hebrew idiom, wrote 6/x6crai lv run ; but it by 
no means follows that lv nvi without 6^00-ai could be used in this 
sense any more than Kara Aio's could be used without 6/j.ocrai 
instead of 717305 A 10?. 

Ellicott says : " As usual, defining the element or sphere in 
which the declaration is made " ; and so Eadie and Alford. This 
is not explanation. Meyer is a little clearer: "Paul does not 
speak in his own individuality, but Christ is the element in which 
his thought and will move." elvai lv tlvl is a classical phrase 
expressing complete dependence on a person. Soph. Oed Col. 
247, ev ws ©ew Ket/xeOa : Oed. Tyr. 314, lv trot yap e'oyxev : 
Eurip. Ale. 277, ev croi K la-pikv ko\ t,rjv /cat p,rj. Compare Acts 
xvii. 28, lv avrw £wp.ev ko.l Kivovp.c6a kcu icrp-ev. In the N.T., 
indeed, the expression acquires a new significance from the idea 
of fellowship and union with Christ and with God. Whatever the 
believer does, is done with a sense of dependence on Him and 
union with Him. For example, " speaking the truth " " marrying " 
(1 Cor. vii. 39). 

Here, where an apostolic precept is concerned, it is implied 
that the apostle speaks with authority. But the expression would 
hardly have been suitable had he not been addressing those who, 
like himself, had fellowship with the Lord. This interpretation is 
so far from being " jejune," that it implies a personal and spiritual 
relation which is put out of sight by the impersonal figure of an 

fjLT]K€Ti ufiSs TrepiTraTetc KaOws kcu to. eQvr\ TrepuTaTei. For the 
infinitive present compare the passages above cited from Thucyd. 
and Polyb. Also Acts xxi. 2, Xiywv /jlt] Tvzpnkp.v<.iv : xxi. 4, IXeyov 
jxr} avaftaiveiv, where the imperative would be used in oratio directa. 
Demosth. xxvii. 7, Xlyco TrdvTa<; i£i£vai. Aesch. Agam. 898, Aeyto 

KO.T avSpa, pi-q ®eov, cre/^etv e/xe. 

Text. Rec. adds \oiird before e^, with N 4 D bc K L, Syr., Chrys. etc. 
The word is wanting in X A B D* G, Vulg. Boh. 


The Aoi7ra is more likely to have been added in error than 
emitted. Assuming that it is not genuine, this is an instance of St. 
Paul's habitual regard for the feelings of his readers. It suggests 
that they are no longer to be classed with the Wvq. They were 
Wvt] only iv o-ap/a, but were members of the true commonwealth 
of Israel. 

iv jxaTaioTTjn tou ^oos auiw. Although in the O.T. idols are 
frequently called 1xa.Ta.1a (compare Acts xiv. 15), the substantive is 
not to be limited to idolatry, to which there is no special reference 
here. It is the falseness and emptiness of their thoughts that are 
in question (cf. Rom. i. 2l f i/xaTaLwOrjaav iv tois S1aA.oy107i.ots airwv). 
Nor, again, are we, with Grotius, to suppose any special reference to 
the philosophers, merely because in 1 Cor. iii. 20 it is said of the 
SiaXoyio-poi twv <To<f>wv that they are pdYaioi. Rather, it refers to 
the whole moral and intellectual character of heathenism ; theii 
powers were wasted without fruit. As Photius (quoted by Harless) 
remarks : ov to. t^s aXrj6eLa<; <ppovowT€s /cat 7rio"T€i;ovT€S kcu a7ro- 
Se^o/xcvoi aXX aVep av 6 vovs avrwv p,a.Ti]v avairXdcrrj koli Xoyia-qrai. 
vovs includes both the intellectual and the practical side of reason, 
except where there is some ground for giving prominence to one 
or the other in particular. Here we have both sides, co-kotw/xc'voi 
referring to the intellectual, dirr)XXoTpiu)p.e.vot to the practical. 

18. eCTKOTWjieVoi tt) Siafoia orrcs, dirnXXoTpiGJU.^oi Tfjs £w*]S tou 

iffKOTuijxivoi is the form in X A B, while D G K L P have iaKoricrfxivot. 
The former appears to be the more classical. 

oVtes is better joined with the preceding than with the 
following. If 6Vtcs d7njXX. be taken together, this would have to 
be regarded as assigning the ground of ia-Kor. But the darkness 
was not the effect of the alienation, which, on the contrary, was 
the result of the ayvoia. The position of 6Vres is not against this, 
since co-kot. ttj 8. express a single notion. Meyer illustrates from 
Herod, i. 35, oi Ka6ap6<; ^ctpas cwv, and Xen. Ages. xi. 10, 7rpaoTaros 
(pi'Xois &v. The two participles thus stand in an emphatic position 
at the beginning, and this emphasis is lost by joining ovtcs with 
the following. The change of gender from Wv-q to ia-KOToy/Mevoi 
ovres corresponds to a change from the class to the person. 

eo-KOTwpeVoi is opposed to 7r£(/>tDTio-peVoi (i. 18). We have the 

same expression Rom. i. 21, io-KOTicrdr] r) do-W€TOS airwv KapSta, 

and a remarkable parallel in Josephus, rrjv Stdi/otav iTreo-KOTio-p.evow;, 
Ant. ix. 4. 3. AtaVota strictly means the understanding, but is not 
so limited in the N.T. Compare Col. i. 21, ixOpovs rri Siavoia: 
2 Pet. iii. 1, Sieyc/poj . . . tt^ dXiKpivrj Sidvoiav. Here, however, 
the connexion decides for the meaning "understanding." On 
a7r>;XX. cf. ii. 12. 


t?5? £wr}s tou ©cox). Explained by Theodoret as = rijs cv apery 
£ojr)?, i.e. as = the life approved by God, or "godly life." But £,wrj 
in N.T. does not mean "course of life," /3ios, but true life as 
opposed to Odvaros. In Gal. v. 25 we have it expressly dis- 
tinguished from "course of conduct"; el (wpcev irvevp.aTi, tTvevjxari 
kcll o-rot^w/xcv. Moreover, aTn/jWoTpiw/xevoL implies separation from 
something real. Erasmus' explanation of the genitive as one of 
apposition, " vera vita qui est Deus," is untenable. The analogy 

of 17 elprjvrj tov ®eov, Phil. iv. 7 J av£r)(ri<; tov ®eov, Col. ii. 1 9, 

suggests that the words mean " the life which proceeds from God " ; 
" tota vita spiritualis quae in hoc seculo per fidem et justitiam 
inchoatur et in futura beatitudine perficitur, quae tota peculiariter 
vita Dei est, quatenus a Deo per gratiam datur," Estius. But 
something deeper than this is surely intended by the genitive, 
which naturally conveys the idea of a character or quality. It is 
the life "qua Deus vivit in suis," Beza (who, however, wrongly 
adds to this " quamque praecipit et approbat "). Somewhat 
similarly Bengel : " Vita spiritualis accenditur in credentibus ex 
ipsa Dei vita." Harless, indeed, argues that the life of regenera- 
tion is not here referred to, since what is in question is not the 
opposition of the heathen to Christianity, but to God ; so that £o)t) 
t. ®eov is to be compared to John i. 3, where the Aoyos is said to be 
(from the beginning) the £o>»7 and $o>s of the world, and thus there 
was an original fellowship of man with God. So in part many 
expositors, regarding the perfect participles as indicating " gentes 
ante defectionem suam a fide patrum, imo potius ante lapsum 
Adami, fuisse participes lucis et vitae" Bengel. But St. Paul is 
here speaking of the contemporary heathen in contrast to those 
who had become Christians (ver. 17) ; and it is hard to think that if 
he meant to refer to this original divine life in man, he would not 
have expressed himself more fully and precisely. The idea is one 
which he nowhere states explicitly, and it is by no means involved 
of necessity in the tense of the participles, which is sufficiently 
explained as expressing a state. Indeed, the aorist dirr/WoTpiwOevTes 
would more suitably suggest the idea of a time when they were not 

SO ; cf. I Pet. ii. IO, ol ovk r]Xer]/xevoL vvv 8e iXer]8 eyres. And how 

can we think the Gentiles as at a prehistoric time rrj Siavoia not 
iaKOTOifiivot. ? 

8iot r$)v Sycoiac tJjv ouaaf iv ciutoIs Sta rr\v iroipQicriv rfjs KapSias 
auTwi/. The cause of their alienation from the Divine life is their 
ignorance, and this again results from their hardness of heart. 
Most expositors regard Std . . . Sid as co-ordinate, some con- 
necting both clauses with dm/AA. only (Origen, Alford, Eadie, 
Ellicott), others with both participles (Bengel, Harless, Olsh. De 
Wette). Bengel, followed by Olsh. and De Wette, refers Sta ttjv 
dyv. to ia-K. and Sta ryv tt. to dirrjXX. But this is rather too artificial 


foi a letter. Nor does it yield a satisfactory sense ; for ayvota is not 
the cause of the darkness, but its effect. De Wette evades this by 
saying that ayvota refers to speculative knowledge, Io-kot. to practi- 
cal. But there is no sufficient ground for this. The substantive 
ayvota does not elsewhere occur in St. Paul's Epistles (it is in his 
speech, Acts xvii. 30, " the times of this ignorance " ; and in 
1 Pet. i. 14, besides Acts iii. 17); but the verb is of frequent 
occurrence, and always of ignorance only, not of the absence of a 
higher faculty of knowledge. Such ignorance was not inaccessible 
to light, as is shown by the instances of the converted Gentiles ; but 
so far as it was due to the hardness of their hearts, it was culp- 
able. It is only by the subordination of the latter clause to the 
former that the use of rrjv ovo-av ev aurots instead of the simple 
avrdv finds a satisfactory explanation. Compare Rom. i. 18-33. 
Ellicott, following Harless, explains these words as pointing out 
the indwelling deep-seated nature of the ayvota, and forming a 
sort of parallelism to r-J^s /capStas aurwv, and so, as Harless adds, 
opposed to mere external occasions. But there is nothing of this 
in the context, nor in the words ovo-av ev avrols. The ignorance 
must be in them ; and, unless we take the connexion as above 
(with Meyer), the words express nothing more than ai/rdJv. 

7rw/)wo-ts is "hardness," not "blindness," as most of the ancient 
versions interpret. Indeed, it is so explained also by Suidas and 
Hesychius, as if derived from an adjective Trwpos, " blind " ; which 
seems, however, to be only an invention of the grammarians 
(perhaps from confusion with ■n-rjpo'i, with which it is often 
confounded by copyists). It is really derived (through 7ra>po'w) 
from Trwpos, which originally meant "tufa," and then "callus," a 
callosity or hardening of the skin. (It is also used by medical 
writers of the " callus " formed at the end of fractured bones, and 
of " chalkstones " in the joints.) Hence, from the insensibility of 
the parts covered with hard skin, the verb means to make dull or 
insensible. It is thus correctly explained by Theodoret, 7rwpwo-tv 
ttjv (.(j-^aTqv avaXyrjcnav Aeyet' /cat yap at tw aw/xaTL eyyivo/-tevai 
7rwpojo-eis ovSe/xiav ai<r6i}o-iv l^ovo-i. Cicero frequently uses "cal- 
lum " in a similar figurative sense, e.g. "ipse labor quasi callum 
quoddam obducit dolori," Tusc. Disp. ii. 15. 

19. om^s, " quippe qui," " being persons who." ain]\YT)Kc>Tes, 
" being past feeling," a word appropriate to the figure in 7rw/Dwo-ts ; 
it properly means to give over feeling pain, and is used by 
Thucydides with an accusative of the thing, aimXyovvr^ ra TSia, 
ii. 61 ; hence it comes to mean "to be without feeling." The AV. 
"past feeling" expresses the sense very accurately. Polybius, 
however, has the expression arraXyovvTes Tat? eA.7rto-t, and, indeed, 
elsewhere uses the verb in the sense "giving up," as Hesychius 
interprets, ft^/ceri OiXovrts irovctv. This may be "giving up in 


despair," as in i. 58 of the Romans and Carthaginians, Ka^vovTcs 

17017 Tots 7r6Vois Sid ttjv (rvvi^eiav rwv kiv8vvwv, €is reAos airrjXyovv. 

Hence some commentators have adopted " desperantes " here, 
which is the rendering of the Vulgate. Bengel cites from Cicero 
(Epp. ad fa mil. ii. 16) what looks like a paraphrase of the word : 
"diuturna desperatione serum obduruisse animum ad dolorem 
novum." " Dolor, says Bengel, " urget ad medicinam : dolore autem 
amisso, non modo spes sed etiam studium et cogitatio rerum 
bonarum amittitur, ut homo sit excors, effrons, exspes." Theophy- 
lact gives a similar interpretation : Kareppatfu/x^KOTcs, kcu prj OIXovtzs 

Kafxeiv irpos ttjv cvpccriv tov kclXov, koll dvaXyr^rws S(,a.T€#ei/Tes. The 

reading of D G is aw-qXTriKOTes (d<p- G) ; but evidence for the 
textual reading is predominant, and, moreover, d7r^X7rtKorfs would 
give a very poor sense. Jerome appears to regard " desperantes " 
of the old Latin as an incorrect rendering of a.TrrjXTriKOTe';, for 
which he suggests " indolentes sive indolorios." But he did not 
alter the text of the translation. Probably the other versions 
which express the same meaning had not a different reading ; and, 
on the other hand, the reading of D G may have arisen either from 
the influence of the versions or as a gloss. 

lauTou'g. What is ascribed in Rom. i. 24 to God is ascribed 
here to themselves, in accordance with the hortatory purpose of 
the present passage, so as to fix attention on the part which they 
themselves had in the result. 

&<Te\yTJs and dcr^Xyeia were used by earlier writers (Plato, 
Isaeus, Dem.) in the sense of " insolent, insolence, outrageous " ; 
Later writers apply them in the sense "lasciviousness." The 
substantive has that meaning in 2 Cor. xii. 21 ; Gal. v. 19 ; 
2 Pet. ii. 7, 18; Rom. xiii. 13. In Mark vii. 22; jude 4; 1 Pet. 
iv. 3 ; 2 Pet. ii. 2, the meaning is less clearly defined. In the 
LXX it occurs only Wisd. xiv. 22 and 2 Mace. ii. 26. The 
derivation is probably from o-eXyu>, a form of diXyu. 

ciS epyaorcn' dtcaGapcrias 7rdcrr]s. epyacrta suggests the idea that 
they made a business of a.Ka6ap<ria. So Chrysostom : ov Trapairt- 

crovres, (prjcTLV, r)p.apTOV, dAA' clpyd^ovTO avra rd Scivd, kcli pLeXerr/ to! 

irpdyparL ii<£)(prjvTo. It is not, however, to be understood of literal 
trading in impurity, which could not be asserted with such 
generality of the Gentiles. Compare Luke xii. 58, iv rfj 6Su> 80s 
epyaaiav, " give diligence " : see note ad loc. 

iv irXeoi'es'ia. 7rA.eoi'e£ia originally meant (like 7r\eoveKTT/s, 
irXeovtKTa'iv) only advantage over another, for example, superiority 
in battle, hence it passed to the idea of unfair advantage, and then 
to that of the desire to take unfair advantage, " covetousness." 
The verb occurs five times in 2 Cor. in the sense " take advantage 
of." The substantive irXeoveKTr)<; is found (besides Eph. v. 5) in 
i Cor. v. 10, 11, vi. 16. 7rXeove£ia occurs in all ten times in N.T. 


In Luke xii. 15 it is clearly " covetousness," and so in 2 Cor. ix. 5 ; 

1 Thess. ii. 5. But all three words are so frequently associated 
with words relating to sins of the flesh, that many expositors, 
ancient and modern, have assigned to them some such special 
signification. Thus 7rAeoi/€Vrr/s, 1 Cor. v. 10, 11; irXeove$La, Col. 
iii. 5, iropveiav, aKa6apcriav, 7ra#os, €Tri6vp.Lav Ka/cr/v, /cat tt/v 
7r/\.€ovefiW, 7ns €cttiv €iSa>AoA.aT/)eia : besides the present passage 
and Eph. V. 3, 7racra anadapcrLa 77 irXeove^ia, cf. also V. 5. In 

2 Pet. ii. 14, KapStav yeyvp.vacrp.evrjv 7rA.€ov€£i'as €^ovtc5, " COVetOUS- 
ness " does not suit the connexion as well as some more general 
term. But the most striking passage is 1 Thess. iv. 6, to jut/ 
VTrepfiaLvetv /ecu 7rAeoveKT£tv iv tw irpa.yp.ari tov a.8i\<f>bv avrov, where 
the verb is undoubtedly applied to adultery, viewed as an injustice 
to one's neighbour. And this suggests that possibly in Mark vii. 
21, where the right order is /cAo7rai, <j>6voi, /xoi^etat, 7rAeove£un, there 
is a similiar idea. In Rom. i. 29 also, something grosser than covet- 
ousness seems to be intended. In Polycarp, Phil, vi., which exists 
only in the Latin, " avaritia " undoubtedly represents the original 
7rA.eov€^ta. Polycarp is lamenting the sin of Valens, and says : 
" moneo itaque vos ut abstineatis ab avaritia, et sitis casti et 
veraces," and a little after : " si quis non abstinuerit se ab avaritia, 
ab idololatria coinquinabitur ; et tanquam inter gentes judicabitur." 
In the present passage Theodoret says the word is used for 
d/zeTpia : " Ylacrav dp.apTtav ToXp.Cjcri, virep Kopov t<5 $u<pdapp.£vu) 
Kara)(pu>p.evoL /3ici> ir\eove£iav yap tt)v apa.Tpl.av eKaAecrc." The asso- 
ciation with idolatry in Eph. v. 5 and Col. iii. 5 favours the same 
view. Hammond on Rom. i. 29 has a learned note in support of 
this signification of 7rAeove£ta, which, however, he pushes too far. 
Of course it is not alleged that the word of itself had this special 
sense, but that it was with some degree of euphemism so applied, 
and in such a connexion as the present would be so understood. 

It is alleged, on the other side, that covetousness and impurity 
are named together as the two leading sins of the Gentile world ; 
that they even proceed from the same source ; that covetousness 
especially is idolatry, as being the worship of Mammon. 

Covetousness was not a peculiarly Gentile sin. The Pharisees 
were covetous ((piXapyvpoi). Our Lord warns His own disciples 
against 7rAeove£ia, in the sense of covetousness, in Luke xii. 15 
above referred to. And the form of the warning there shows that 
covetousness and impurity were not on the same level in respect of 
grossness. This may also be inferred from St. Paul's 6 kAcWwi' 
p.r]K€TL KXeirreTw. Can we conceive him saying 6 p^ot-^xnnv /xt/kc'ti 

p.Ol)(eV€Tlx) ? 

That covetousness and impurity proceed from the same source, 
and that " the fierce longing of the creature which has turned from 
God to fill itself with the lower things of sense " (Trench, Syn. } after 


Bengel), is psychologically false. Lust and impurity are excesses 
of a purely animal and bodily passion ; covetousness is a secondary 
desire, seeking as an end in itself that which was originally desired 
only as a means. 

The explanation of ver. 5 by the observation that the covetous 
serve Mammon, not God, is due to Theodoret, who derives it from 
Matt. vi. 24. But that passage does not make it probable that the 
covetous man would be called an idolator without some explanation 
added. St. Paul himself speaks of persons who serve, not the Lord 
Christ, but their own belly (Rom. xvi. 18), and of others "whose 
god is their belly " ; yet he probably would not call them, without 
qualification, " idolators." Indeed, other Greek commentators 
devised various explanations. Chrysostom, for instance, as one 
explanation, suggests that the covetous man treats his gold as 
sacred, because he does not touch it. 

We may ask, further, why should covetousness be specified with 
impurity and filthy speaking as not to be even named ? (Eph. v. 3). 
Impure words suggest impure thoughts, words about covetousness 
have no tendency to suggest covetous thoughts. It is said, indeed, 
that the tj there between aKaOapcrLa iracra and TrXeove&a implies 
that the two words cannot refer to sins of the same kind ; but this 
argument seems to be answered by the immediately following pnopo- 
Aoy/a rj tvTpaireXia. In ver. 5, also, we have 7rdpvos r) aKd0apTO% 
r) 7rAeoveKTr/s. In the present passage we have, not kcu ttX., but 
h> tt\. To take this as eV " covetousness," or the like, after the 
strong words that have preceded, would be an incredible weakening 
of the charge. 

20. ujjteis 8e oux 0UTW9 e(jid0€Te to^ Xpicn-oe. " But ye, not SO 
did ye learn Christ." Beza, followed by Braune, places a stop 
after ourws, " But not so ye. Ye have learned Christ." This, how- 
ever, makes the second clause too abrupt. We should expect vp.<u% 
to be repeated, or dAAd inserted, as in Luke xxii. 26, vp.d% Se ovx 
otrrw?' dAA' 6 ;u.ei£wv iv vfiiv, k.t.X. Besides, the connexion with ver. 2 1. 
is impaired, " ye learned Christ " is first stated absolutely, and then 
with a qualification. 

ov% ovt(ds, a litotes ; cf. Deut. xviii. 14. ip-dOere, " did learn," 
viz. when they became Christians. This use of piavOdvu) with an 
accus. of a person seems to be without parallel. The instance 
cited by Raphelius from Xenophon, <W dAA.ijA.ovs p-dOotev ottoctol 
el-rjcrav, is clearly not parallel, the object of the verb there being 
67rocroi, k.t.X. Hence the ancients and many moderns have taken 
Xpurrov as — " doctrinam Christi," which is feeble and unsupported. 
Others, as Riickert and Harless, understand ip-dOere as " learned 
to know," viz. " what He is and what He desires." But the key 
to the expression is supplied by the passages which speak of 
"preaching Christ," Gal. i. 16 ; 1 Cor. i. 23; 2 Cor. i. 19; 

IV. 21] THE NEW MAN 135 

Phil. i. 15; indeed the following verse (21) speaks of "hearing 
Him." As Christ was the content of the preaching, He might 
properly be said to be learned. So Phil. iii. 10, toO yvwvat avrdv. 
Col. ii. 6, 7rap€A.a/?€T6 tov Xp., is similar. 

21. cfye, "turn certe si," see on iii. 2. Here also the 
conjunction is unfavourable to the view that St. Paul is addressing 
those whom he had himself instructed, avrov with emphasis 
placed first, " if Him, indeed, ye heard." iv avrw, not " by Him," 
as AV., a construction not admissible with a personal author, 
nor "illius nomine, quod ad ilium attinet" (Bengel). But as those 
who believe are said to be iv Xpicn-w, so here they are said to have 
been taught in Him, i.e. as in fellowship with Him. There is a 
progress, as Meyer observes, from the first announcement of the 
gospel (r/KovcraTe) to the further instruction which then as converts 
they would have received (iv avT<2 cSiS.), both being included 
in ifjidOere tov Xpicrrov. John x. 27 is not parallel, since 6.kovziv in 
the sense " hearken to " would take the genitive. 

Ka#ws io-TLV aXrjOeia iv to ^Irjaov. The AV. " as the truth is in 
Jesus " is incompatible with the absence of the article, but admits 
of being understood in the true sense of the Greek, which is not 
the case with the form in which the words are so often quoted, 
" the truth as it is in Jesus," which would be ttjv dA^etav KaOots 
io-TLv, k.t.A. Nor do the words mean, as Jerome interprets : 
" quomodo est Veritas in Jesu, sic erit in vobis qui didicistis 
Christ-urn," — an interpretation which is followed by Estius and 
many others, and which makes Jesus be set forth as the pattern 
of truth, i.e. holiness. In addition to the difficulty of so under- 
standing a\rj8eia, this supposes v/xas to be emphatic, which its 
position forbids ; the antithesis would also require that iv ™ 
I?7croC should come after nadm. Moreover, any interpretation 
which makes airo6io-6ai depend on t'StSa^^rc is open to the 
objection that in that case is superfluous. Ellicott, who adopts 
this construction, suggests that vpas is introduced to mark their 
contrast, not only with other Gentiles, but with their own former 
state as implied in ttjv irpoTepav avacrTpocprjv. But it is not clear 
how v/xas can mark such a contrast. Nor is e'SiS. suitable to 
avaveovcrOai. It seems better to take a.Tro6io-$ai vp,a.<; as the subject 
of the clause, aXr]6eia being understood in the sense " true 
teaching," opposed to aird.Tr). Compare the use of dXr')$eta in 
John iii. 21, "he that doeth the truth," and here, ver. 24. The 
sense will then be, " as is right teaching in Jesus : that ye put off." 
The change from Xpio-Tov to 'I^rrov is appropriate. Their introduc- 
tion to Christianity or to the iroXtTeia of Israel instructed them in 
the hope centred in the Messiah as a Redeemer. But when 
obedience to the practical teaching of a historical person is referred 
to, the historical name is used. 


A very different view of the construction is taken by Credner, 
v. Soden, and Westcott and Hort mg., viz. that Xpio-ro? is the 
subject of io-Tii', in which case dkrjOeia may be either nom. 
(Credner, Soden) or dative (WH. mg.). Soden remarks that 
considering the emphatic repetition of airov, iv aural, which takes 
up tov Xp. from the clause with ovtws, the subject of this clause 
can only be Christ, viz. " as He is truth in Jesus," so that the 
thought is that they must not only believe in a Christ, but 
recognise Him in Jesus ; and if they are to live in truth in Christ, 
they must live in Jesus. The thought is parallel to Heb. xiii. 18. 
The dative dXrjOda, as in WH. mg., seems preferable, " have been 
taught in Him, as He is in truth, in Jesus." On aXrj&tLa in this 

sense, COmp. Phil. i. 18, ei/re npocpdaeL elre a\r]6eia. 

22. diroSe'aOai, a figure from putting off clothes = a.TriK8vadp.evoL, 
Col. iii. 9, as iv8vo-ao-8ai from putting them on. The frequency of 
the figure in Greek writers puts out of the question any reference 
to change of dress in baptism (Grotius). 

It is rightly rendered in the Vulg. " deponere," not " deposu- 
isse," which would require the perfect inf. The aorist expresses 
the singleness of the act, whereas avaveovaOai expresses a continu- 
ing process. 1 The infin. is not for the imperative (as in Phil, 
iii. 16), which is inconsistent with vp.a<;. 

Kara ttjv irporipay dyaorpo^e. "As concerns your former 
manner of life," defining the particular respect in which the old 
man was to be put off. dvacrTpo<pij in this sense belongs to later 
Greek. The word originally meant a turning back, thence dwell- 
ing in a place ; hence Aeschylus uses it of a " haunt." We find it 
in Polybius in the sense of " behaviour." /card re T-qv Xoltttjv 

avao-Tpocprjv /cat rds rrpafeis Te0aup.ucryu.ei/os virep ttjv r/XiKiav (iv. 82. 

1) ; so also Epict. i. 9. 5. In the Sept. it occurs only in the 
Apocrypha, Tobit iv. 19; 2 Mace. v. 8; both times in this sense. 

tov iraXaioi' avQpuizov. The eyw crap/a/eds of Rom. vii. 14 ; eyw 
crdp£, ib. 18, opposed to dv#pa>7ros 6 Kara ®eov /encr^et'?. The 
adoption of the expression the old and the new dV0pa>7ros, indicates 
that the change affects, not some particulars only, but the whole 
personality or iyw. 

rbv <|>0€ip6fjiekoi\ " Which waxeth corrupt." This supplies a 
motive for the putting off. The present tense indicates a process 
that is going on. Compare Rom. viii. 21, "bondage of (f>6opd." 
Meyer thinks the reference is to eternal destruction, the present 
expressing either the future vividly conceived as perfect, or rather 
what already exists in tendency, "qui tendit ad exitium," Grot. 

1 " Except after verbs of saying, thinking, etc., the aorist in the infinitive has 
no preterite signification, and differs from the present only in this, that it 
expresses a single transient action ; and even this bye-signification often falls 
away." — Madvig. 

IV. 23] THE NEW MAN 1 37 

His reason is that the moral corruption of the old man is already 
existing, not " becoming." But though the corruption exists it is 
progressive. The tendency to perdition is expressed by St. Paul 
elsewhere by the term d7roXXv/ji€vov koto, tols zTn0vp.ia.<; rrjs aira.Trjs. 
Mark the contrast with aXyOeias, ver. 24 ; -7-779 o.7ra.Trj<;, not as in 
AV. a genitive of quality, but a subjective genitive, a7r0.Tr) being 
almost personified, not, indeed, by the article alone, but by the 
attributing to it of bnOvfiiai. It is the deceitful power of sin. Cf. 

a7raT7/ tt}s a/xapr6'as, Heb. iii. 1 3, and Rom. vii. II, r) d/xapTLa 
i$a7ra.Trj<re p.e. Hence the imOvfiiaL derive their power 77 d/xapria 
. . . KareipydcraTo iraaav i7ri6vp.iav, ib. 8. It is quite against N.T. 
usage to understand airaT-q here as " error." Compare aTTa.Tr] tov 
ttXovtov, Matt. xiii. 2 2 ; oltt. dSiKids, 2 Thess. ii. 1 o. 

Kcn-d, " in accordance with," i.e. as their nature implies. 

23. dfa^eooaflai. Passive, not middle, for the middle of this 
verb is always used transitively, in an active signification. Nor 
would it be Pauline to represent the renewal as springing from the 
man himself. Compare also dva.Kaivovp.zvov, Col. iii. 10. 

It may be questioned whether dVa- here implies restoration to 
a former state, as is generally assumed. In classical writers 
dvaveovar8ai means " to restore " ; but then the object expresses the 
original state, etc., which is thus brought into force or existence 
again, dv. op/cows, cptXiav, etc. That is not the sense here, or in 
Col. iii. 10, of avaKaivovo-Oai. Here the object is tj/xS?, and the 
meaning is, not that ye are to be brought out of a state of sus- 
pended existence, but that ye are to be changed so as to become veoi. 
What dva- implies, therefore, is simply change, and the meaning of 
the verb is to be illustrated by that of similar compounds of verbs 
derived from adjectives, where these adjectives would express the 
result of the action of the verbs. Such are : dvcaou), " to equalise " ; 
dvaTrXr/poa), " to fill"; dvaKOivow, " to communicate"; dvLepow, "to 
consecrate," i.e. to make uros, TrX-qpr)^ kolv6<;, Upos. 

to weu|i,aTi toC vobs This is understood of the Holy 
Spirit by Oecumenius and Theophylact, followed by Fritzsche, 
Ellicott, and others (the genitive being thus possessive), the 
" (Divine) Spirit united with the human irv(.vp.a, with which the voOs 
as subject is endued, and of which it is the receptaculum." But 
this would be entirely without parallel. The Holy Spirit is never 
called to 7rvevp.a vp.wv or tov voo? vp.wv, nor, indeed, does it seem 
possible that it should be so designated. The spirit of the vovs of 
a man must be the man's spirit. TTyeO/xa, in the sense of the Holy 
Spirit, is sometimes followed by a characterising genitive " of holi- 
ness," " of adoption," or, again, " of Christ," " of God " ; never " of 
us," or " of you." This interpretation is particularly out of place 
if dvaveova-Oai is taken as depending on eStSd^^Tc Bengel's in- 
terpretation is doubtless the correct one, "spiritus est intimum 


mentis," the higher principle of life. In Rom. vii. we see vovs pro- 
nouncing approval of the law, but unable to resist the motions of sin, 
for it has no motive power. In ch. viii. we see the -n-vevp-a inspired 
by God, and we have a description of the man who is di'av€ov/x.evos 
tw 7rvevfxaTL tov voos avrov. For the distinction between vovs and 
Trvevfxa compare, further, 1 Cor. xiv. 14, to 7rv€v/A<z p.ov wpoo-tv- 
X€tcu, 6 Se vovs /jlov a/ca/>iros Ictti. The expression here used is 
thus quite in harmony with St. Paul's usage elsewhere. But in 
Rom. xii. 2 the vovs is said to be renewed, p.cTap.op(f>ovcr6e rrj 
ava/caivwcrei tov voos. 

24. Kal €cSuo-ao-0cu rby Kenedy avQpwnov, Note the correctness 
of the tenses : a-Trodio-Oai and iv8vo-ao~6ai aorists, because a single 
act is meant ; dvavcovcr&u present, because a continuing process. 
So in the parallel Col. iii. 9, 10, Kaivo's differs from veos in that the 
latter refers only to time, new, not long in existence, the former to 
quality also, as opposed to effeteness : cf. Heb. viii. 13. The kcuvos 
av8p., like the Kaiv?) haQrjK-q, is always Kaivo's, but not always veos. 

k<xt& 0e6V. Compare Col. iii. IO, tov vc'ov tov dva.Kai.vovp.evov 
cis iTTtyvwcriv ko,t eiKOva tov KTio-avros avrov. From the parallel, 
Meyer and Ellicott conclude that /on-a ©edv = " ad exemplum Dei," 
there being an allusion to Gen. i. 27. Meyer compares Gal. iv. 28, 
xara 'Io-aaK. But in Col. it is just the word dxova that expresses 
the idea sought to be introduced here. That xar ciKo'va means 
"after the likeness of," is no proof that Kara =" after the likeness 
of." Kara in that phrase means "after the manner of," and if so 
taken here it would imply that the parallelism was in the action of 
the verb, i.e. that God was ktio-QzU. For a similar reason 1 Pet. 

i. 15 is not parallel, Kara, tov KaXecravTa v/xas aytov, Kai avrot ayioi. 

Kara, ©eov occurs 2 Cor. vii. 9, 10, 11 = "in a godly manner," 
and this suggests the true interpretation, viz. "according to the 
will of God." It may be said that this is flat compared with the 
other view ; but if so, that does not justify us in giving Kara an 
unexampled sense. 

kv 8iKaioo-ucT] Kal oohottjti tt]s d\T]9etas. The AV. "righteousness 
and true holiness " is doubly wrong ; in connecting the genitive 
with the latter substantive only, and in resolving it adjectivally. 
The Bishops' Bible was correct, " in righteousness and holiness of 
truth." Yet Chrysostom understood the words as meaning true 
as opposed to false, 8lk. and 60-. The usual distinction between 
these substantives is that oo-co'rr/s has reference to God, StKaioo-vvr/ to 
men ; so Plato, Philo, and other Greek writers distinctively state ; 
but Plato tells us in one place that StKaioo-vvr} was a general term 
including oo-to'rr/s ; in fact, it meant righteousness or propriety of 
conduct in itself. In the N.T. the adjectives are combined in Tit. 
i. 8, the adverbs in 1 Thess. ii. 10, and the substantives in Luke 
i. 75 and Clem. Rom. Cor. 48. In 1 Tim. ii. 8, eVai'povras 60-iovs 


^ctpas x w P ts opyvs Kal SiaXoyic/Awv, the added words do not define 
the oo-io'ttj?. The hands are oo-ioi when not unfitted to be lifted 
up in prayer. Nor is the use of oo-ios with apxicpcvs, Heb. vii. 26, 
at all peculiar, ocrios occurs thrice in the Acts in quotations from 
the O.T. which do not concern St. Paul's usage. Here, as in 
Luke i. 75 and Wisd. ix. 5, the words seem used in a way which 
had become familiar as a summary of human virtue. The sugges- 
tion that StKaioavvrj is in contrast to irkeovetjta, and 60-10V77S to 
aKaOapo-ia (Olsh. Alf. Ell.), has against it, not only the distance 
from ver. 19, and the eV there (not Kat), but also the fact that these 
are not the proper opposites. The opposite of d.Ka.6. is not ootiott/s 
but dyvoT?7s; and SixaLoo-vvr] is very much more than the opposite 
of ir\eovc£ia in any sense of that word. 

Trjs dXrjOetas. D 1 G, It., Cypr. Hil. read kcu d\r)6eia. 

25-32. Warning against special sins. 

25. A16 d-n-oSe'fj.ei'oi to v|/eu8os. There is no need to render 
" having put away," which would seem to imply a separation in 
time between the two actions. The aorist suits the Greek idiom, 
as falsehood is to be put away once for all ; but " putting away " 
agrees better with the English. 

ij/ev8os, " falsehood," is, of course, suggested by aX-qOua ; it is 
more general than "lying," which is mentioned immediately after as 
the most obvious example of it. So Col. iii. 8, p.r] if/ivSicrOe. But to 
t//evSos is falsehood in all its forms ; cf. Rom. i. 25 ; Rev. xxii. 15. 

(jierd is more forcible than -n-pos (Zech. viii. 16), implying "in 
your mutual intercourse." 

oTt co-fAey dMrfXwi/ fieXt). Chrysostom carries out the figure in a 
striking manner, e.g. if the eye sees a serpent, does it deceive the 
foot? if the tongue tastes what is bitter, does it deceive the 
stomach ? etc. This is passable in a homily, but in the text the 
argument is not at all founded on the figure, but on the fact that 
we are members of the body of Christ : " est enim monstrum si 
membra inter se non consentiant, imo se fraudulenter inter se 
agant," Calvin ; cf. Rom. xii. 5, to Se ko.6' eis dAAr/Awv p.ekr). As 
each member belongs to the rest, they may be called members 
one of the other. Comp. 1 Cor. xii. 15. 

26. 6pyLle<j8e kcu jit] a^aprdvere. These words are a quotation 
from Ps. iv. 5 (EV. 4), LXX., "Stand in awe, and sin not." 
But expositors so diverse in their views as Hitzig and Delitzsch 
agree with the rendering of the LXX. The Hebrew verb primarily 
means "to tremble," and unless it were followed by "before me," 
or the like, could not mean definitely "stand in awe." It occurs 
in Prov. xxix. 9 and Isa. xxviii. 21 in the sense "to be angry." 
It is, however, superfluous, as far as the present passage is con- 
cerned, to inquire what the meaning of the original is. St. Paul 
is not arguing from the words, but adopting them as well known, 


and as expressing the precept he wishes to inculcate. The sense 
here is sufficiently intelligible, "ita irascamini ut ne peccetis." 
The key is Bengel's remark, " saepe vis modi cadit super partem 
duntaxat sermonis." Thus Matt. xi. 25, " I thank Thee that Thou 
hast hid these things," etc.; Rom. vi. 17, "Thanks be to God 
that ye were the servants of sin, but," etc. Had St. Paul not 
been quoting from the O.T., he would probably have expressed 
himself differently, e.g. 6pyi£o/j.evoi /xrj dpaprdvere, or the like. The 
phrase is frequently explained by reference to what is called the 
Hebrew idiom (which is by no means peculiarly Hebrew) of com- 
bining two imperatives, so that the former expresses the condition, 
the latter the result, as in Amos v. 4, " Seek Me and live." But 
this would make the words mean, " Be angry, and so ye shall not 
sin." Olshausen takes the first imperative hypothetically, " If ye 
are angry, as it is to be foreseen that it will happen, do not sin 
in anger." For, he says, " man's anger is never in itself just and 
permissible." God's alone is holy and just. This is fallacious, 
for anger is only in a figure attributed to God, and would not be 
so if all human anger were wrong. Besides, such a meaning 
would require dAAa, or the like, instead of koJL Indeed, no one 
acquainted with Butler's classical discourse on Resentment would 
accept Olshausen's statement. Apart from sudden (or instinctive) 
anger, which was intended to prevent sudden harm, deliberate 
anger is lawfully aroused by injustice. " It is in us connected 
with a sense of virtue and vice, and in the form of indignation on 
behalf of others is one of the common bonds by which society is 
held together " (cf. Rom. xiii. 4). Nor can the fact that the injury 
is done to ourselves make it unlawful. It becomes so when in- 
dulged where no injustice was intended, or when it is out of pro- 
portion, or when harm is inflicted merely to gratify it. Our Lord was 
angry, Mark iii. 5. Beza, Grotius, and others have taken 6pyi(t<rde 
interrogatively, which is inconsistent with its being a quotation. 

6 ^Xios fir] emSueTcj em irapopyicrfAw u/xci^. 

tw is added before irapopyicrp,^ in Rec, with most MSS. and 
Fathers, but is absent from N* A B. Alford thinks it may have been 
omitted to give indefiniteness. But it is much more likely to have 
been added for grammatical reasons. 

Ilapopyi.ff/j.6s is not found in profane authors ; it occurs several times in 
the LXX. , but usually of the sins by which Israel ' ' provoked " the Lord, 
e.g. 1 Kings xv. 30. In Jer. xxi. 5, in Cod. Alex., it occurs in the sense 
"anger." The verb is found (in the passive) in Demosth. 805. 19; in the 
active, in this Epistle, vi. 4. irapopyia/j.6s appears to be distinguished from 
6pyr) as implying a less permanent state, " irritation." 

There is no reason to suppose a reference to the night as 
tending to nourish anger (" affectus noctu retentus alte insidet," 
Bengel after Chrys.). The precept simply means, as Estius 


observes, " let the day of your anger be the day of your recon- 
ciliation," for the new day began at sunset. The Pythagoreans, 
as Plutarch informs us, observed the same rule, €17tot€ -n-pocraxOeuv 
eis AoiSopias vw opy?}?, 7rptv r\ tov r)\iov ovvai, ras oefi'as ip.j3dXXovr€<; 
aWr/Xois Kal aa-Traa-d/xevoi 8uXvovto (Plut. De Am. Frat. 488 B). 

Eadie quotes a quaint comment from Fuller, " Let us take the 
apostle's meaning rather than his words — with all possible speed 
to depose our passion, not understanding him so literally that we 
may take leave to be angry till sunset, then might our wrath 
lengthen with the days ; and men in Greenland, where days last 
above a quarter of a year, have plentiful scope of revenge." 

27. fi,T)8€ 8i8ot€ TOTrof Tu> SiafJoXw. The Rec. has /at/tc, with 
most cursives ; all the uncials apparently have fxr)8i. p.rjre. would 
imply that St. Paul might have said fj-rjre . . . p-jre, but wrote 
li.y\ in the first clause, because not then thinking of the second. 
Such a usage, pr} . . . fofre, is so rare in classical authors that 
some scholars have denied its existence, and it is not elsewhere 
found in St. Paul. The distinction between fx-qre . . . p.r)T<- and 
fir)8£ . . . /x^Se, according to Hermann and others, is that the 
former divide a single negation into parts which are mutually 
exclusive ; and neither negation gives a complete whole ; thus 
corresponding to " neither . . . neither." Comp. Matt. vi. 26, 
ov o"ireipov(rw ov&k OepL^ovaiv ovSl crviayov<riv, "they SOW not, and 
they reap not, and gather not"; Matt. xii. 32, ovre iv tovtw tw 
alwvi ovre iv ra jxiXXovn, " neither in this world nor in the future," 
these being the two divisions of ovk apeOrjo-eTai. 

BiSore toVov, i.e. room to act, since indulgence in angry feelings 
leads to hatred, malice, and all uncharitableness. Comp. Rom. 
xii. 19, Sore tottov Tr) opyfj. 

to 8iaf36Xu>. 6 Sia/JoAos is used by St. Paul only in this and 
the Pastorals. Erasmus, Luther, and others understand the word 
here as simply " calumniator," and so the Syriac. But elsewhere 
in N.T. 6 Sia^oAos always means "the devil." In 1 Tim. iii. 11 ; 
2 Tim. iii. 3 ; Tit. ii. 3, the word is used as an adjective. 

28. 6 KXeTTTwc pjkc'ti KXeTrreToj. Not "qui furabatur," as Vulg., 
an attempt to soften the proper force of the word. Jerome miti- 
gates the word in a different way, interpreting it of everything 
" quod alterius damno quaeritur," and favours the application to 
the " furtum spirituale " of the false prophets. The present parti- 
ciple seems intermediate between 6 KAei/za? and 6 kActtt^?. 

jiaXXo*' 8e Koiridra, rather, on the contrary, let him labour, 
epyaj^ofxckos tcus [I8iai$] ^epalc to aya-Goy. 

There is a considerable variety of reading here — 

rats I5la.ii x*pd v r ?> ayo.06v, K*ADG, Vulg. Clarom. Goth. Ann. 

Tats x f P cr ^ t ' T ?> a.yad6v, X 4 B, Amiat., Ambrosiaster. 

rb dyaOdv reus ISLais x e P< r f' / > K IO mss., Theodoret 


rb dyaObv reus xepcrfe, L most mss., Chrys. Theoph. Oecum. 

The chief question is as to the genuineness of Ibiais. On the one hand, it is 
suggested that it may have been intentionally omitted because its force was 
not perceived, and so it was thought to be superfluous ; on the other hand, 
that it may be an interpolation from I Cor. iv. 12. Against the former 
suggestion is the circumstance that in the passage in Cor., where the word 
might with even more reason be thought superfluous, no copyist has omitted 
it. The insertion, on the other hand, was very natural. The case of rb 
dyadbv is very different. The variation in its position is, indeed, suspicious, 
and a nearer definition of ipya^bfj-evoi. might have seemed necessary (since, as 
Chrys. observes, 6 k\£wtuv ipydferai, dXXd xanbv), and Gal. vi. io would then 
suggest rb dyadbv ; but the only authority for its omission is Tertullian (J?es. 
Cam. 45). 

to aya66v. " Antitheton ad furtum prius maau piceata male 
commissum," Bengel. 

Xva exfl peTaSiooyai tu \pelav e'xoKn. The motive here alleged 
is striking and characteristic, although surely we cannot say, with 
Olshausen and Ellicott, that this is the true specific object of all 
Christian labour; unless by "Christian labour" is meant labour 
over and above what is necessary for the labourer's own subsistence. 
That, by the law of nature, is the first object, unless we include 
with it the support of his own family. 

Schoettgen infers from this clause that there were some who 
thought their thefts might be atoned for by almsgiving ; and he 
quotes passages from Jewish writers which refer to such a delu- 
sion (Yalkut Rubeni, f. no. 4; Vayyiqra Rabba, f. 147. 1). Not, 
indeed, that there was any such " Jewish opinion," as some writers 
assert. But the precept here is too general to be so understood, 
it simply (as Meyer remarks) opposes to unlawful taking, dutiful 

29. iras Xoyos crairpos ck tou orojxaTos up.wi' jit] CKiropeue'cr0a». 
The negative belongs to the verb; cf. Rom. iii. 20; Gal. ii. 16, 

ov BiKaitoOrjcreTai. 77-acra crap£ : I Cor. i. 29, oVcos p-r] Kav^aTjTai Tracra. 

ardp$. The expression is quite logical ; whereas in English, if we 
say " all flesh shall not be justified," the negative really belongs to 
" all," not to the verb. 

o-a77-po9 is primarily " rotten, diseased," hence in classical writers 
" disgusting." In the N.T. it is used of a " worthless " tree, Matt. 
vii. 17, xii. 33; fish, Matt. xiii. 48. It is clear, therefore, that the 
word does not of itself mean " filthy," and Chrys. interprets it as 
meaning o firj ttjv toYav xP^ av irX-qpol {Horn. iv. on Tim.), and 
Theodoret makes it include ala^poXoyta, XoiSopia, crvKocpavTia, 

/3\a<T(p7]iJLia, (//■euSoA.oyi'a, /cai Ta TOirroi? irpocrojxoLa. With this we 

might compare irav p-^aa apyoV, Matt. xii. 36. But although 
o-a7rpo9, used of material things, may mean simply what is only fit 
to be thrown away, just as " rotten " is colloquially used by English 
schoolboys, it may be questioned whether in connexion with 
Xo'yos it must not have a more specific meaning, something. 


perhaps, like our word " foul " used of language, including, like it, 
not merely " filthy," but scurrilous language. So Arrian opposes 
a-a-n-pol Ao'yoi to Kop.\poi {Diss. Epict. iii. 16, p. 298, ap. Kypke) 

dXXa el Tis aya#os 7rpos oiKo8ofx.r]v tt}s ^pet'a?. For xpetas there 

is a remarkable variant, 7rio-Tews, in D* G, Vulg-Clem. (but Amiat 
has xP €tas ) Goth. Jerome expressly says : " pro eo quod nos 
posuimus ad aedificationem opportunitatis, hoc est quod dicitur 
Graece 1-77? Xi° aas > m Latinis codicibus propter euphoniam mutavit 
interpres et posuit ad aedificationem fidei." 

Xpet-a-s is the reading of S A B K L P and nearly all mss. and versions. 
It is somewhat curious that in Rom. xii. 13, D* G substitute fiveiais for 

els oiko8o|j.t)v rfjs xp £ ^ a $> by no means for et? xP> Tr ls oik., as 
AV. xP a ' as is tne objective genitive ; the actual "need" or 
" occasion " is that which is to be affected by the edifying influence 
of the discourse. In Acts vi. 3 the word seems to mean " occa- 
sion " or " matter in hand " (" whom we may set over this XP-")- 
Field aptly cites Plutarch, Vit. Perid. viii., fxr/Se prjfj.a p/^Sev eKireaelv 
(ikovtos avrov 7rpos ttjv TrpoKei/xevqv xpuav avdpp.ocrrov. Thus the 
sense is "for the improvement of the occasion." So in substance 

Theophylact : 6Vep otKo8op.ei tov ttXtjo-lov dvayKalov ov rrj TrpOK(.tfxivrj 

Xpeia, and Jerome : " juxta opportunitatem loci temporis et 
personae aedificare audientes." Olshausen and Riickert take 
Xpeta as abstract for concrete = those that have need, which would 
make tt}? xP etas superfluous. 

Iva. 8u x&P lv T0 ^5 dKoo'ouaic. "That it may give benefit to 
them that hear." 

8w x a V tl/ has been variously interpreted. Chrysostom somewhat 
strangely understands it to mean " make the hearer grateful," Iva 
Xapiv (rot tlSfj 6 olkovwv, but adding as an alternative, Iva Kex a P tT( »- 
uevovs avrous ipydarjrai. Theodoret observes, x° L P LV T W Ov/xr}Siav 
€Ka\e(T€' Tovreariv Iva <pavjj Scktos toi? olk. But edifying discourse 
cannot always be acceptable, nor should this be the object aimed 
at ; nor, again, does BiBovai x° L P tv ever have this meaning. Said of 
persons, it means to grant a favour. But Plutarch has the phrase 
with reference to food given to invalids : ovScpiav fjSovrjv ouS« x°-P LV 
a7roStoWi, " it confers neither pleasure nor benefit." And in N.T. 
X»pi? is similarly used, as in 2 Cor. i. 15, "that ye might have a 
second x" > Vl11 - 6, " that he would complete in you this x- also." 
But as x^p's has a specially spiritual meaning in the N.T. generally, 
there is no reason to deny such a reference here. 

30. Kal jat] XuTr€iT€ to rii'euu.a to 'Ayioy too ©too. The con- 
nexion with the foregoing is well expressed by Theophylact : iav 

€t7TT/5 prjp-a crairpov Kal avdtjiov tov xptcrriai/ov o-TopaTO?, ovk avOpwirov 
e'A.v7n;o-a?, dkXa to irvcvp.a tov ®eov. The warning assumes the 


indwelling of the Spirit, and vividly expresses the offence done to 
that Spirit by such sins of the tongue. Aquinas weakens it by 
referring it to grieving the Spirit of God in others. 

iv u> ecr4)paYia-0T]Te. This supplies the ground of the motive, 
eira /cat rj TrpocrOrjKr) tt}<> euepyecnas, Iva /A€t£wv ytVr/rai r) Karr/yopia, 
Chrys. Some of the older as well as later commentators see in 
the words a suggestion that the Spirit may thus be led to depart, 
and the seal be lost. Had this been intended, p.r) rrapoivvere would 
have been more suitable. But there is no suggestion of a possible 
departure of the Spirit ; even the tense of iacppayLo-Orjre, referring 
as it does to a sealing once for all, is against this. But it would 
be equally erroneous to say that the doctrine of " final persever- 
ance " is contained or implied. When a son is warned that if he 
acts in such and such a manner he will grieve his father, this does 
not suggest that his father may cast him off. 

els Tjp.^pai' diroXuTpwo-ews, i.e. for, or with a view to, the day of 
complete redemption. On d-n-oX. cf. i. 14. 

31. iracra micpia, "every kind of bitterness," the temper which 
cherishes resentful feelings. Aristotle defines the TnxpoL as " hard 
to be reconciled" (Suo-SiaAvroi), and retaining their anger for a 
long time. 

k<u 0up,o9 Kal opyti. These flow from the temper of -mKpia, pi£u 
8v/xov Kal opyrjs irtKpia, Chrys. Of these two, 6vp.6<; expresses 
rather the temporary excitement of passion ; opyrj, the more settled 
anger. Thus Greg. Naz. Carm. 34, 0vfxb<; tieV eo-nv dOpoos £«cri5 
(ppevos, opyrj Se e/x/xeVwv. Hence Ecclus. xlviii. 10, Ko-rrdcraL 
opyrjv irpo 6vp,ov, before it bursts out. The Stoics defined 6v/x6s as 
opyrj dpxofJ-evr/ (Diog. Laert. vii. 114). 

Kal KpauyT) Kal {3\a<Tc|>T]p.La. Chrysostom well observes : T^tt-os 
yap icrTLv avafidrriv (pipwv r) Kpavyr] Tr)v opyr/v' crv/X7rooicrov tov lttttov, 
Kal Kareo-Tpei/'as rbv avafidT-qv. Kpavyrj leads to f3\ao-(f>7)/Aia, which 

is clearly "reviling," not "blasphemy." 

(tuv Trdarr\ KaKia. Associated also in Col. iii. 8 with opyrj,- 
6vfx6<;, and fi\ao-$r)ixCa, to which is there added aicrxpoAoyia. It is 
not badness in general, but " malice," " animi pravitas, quae 
humanitati et aequitati est opposita." So Suidas : 77 tov KaKwo-cu 
rbv 7T€'Aas o-7rovSr;. It is the very opposite of what follows. 

32. -V. 2. Exhortation to be tender-hearted afid forgiving, follow- 
ing as a pattern God's forgiveness in Christ. 

32. yifccrGe Be", " become, show yourselves." Corresponding to 
dpOrjTO) defy v/awv on the other side. xPV°~ TO h " kind." This is the 
only place in the Epistles where the adjective occurs ; it is used of 
God in Luke vi. 35 ; so the substantive, ch. ii. 7 ; Tit. iii. 4, etc. 

euairXayxfoi, "tender-hearted," in this sense only in biblical 
and ecclesiastical writers. Hippocrates has it in the physical 
sense, " having healthy bowels." Euripides uses the substantive 


euo-TrXayxvia in the sense " firmness of heart." The adjective 
occurs in the same sense as here in the Prayer of Manasses, 7, 
and in Test. XII Patr., of God. Comp. the parallel Col. iii. 1 2, 
(T7rAay^va olKTip/xov. 

xapi£6fiei>cH iauTois = Col. iii. 13. Origen presses iavTols as 
indicating that what was done to another was really done to them- 
selves, Sia to o-vo-awfj-ovs 77/xas cTvai ; Meyer and Alford think it 
implies that the forgiveness they are to show to others has as its 
pattern that which was shown to them as a body in Christ, iavrols 
being thus emphatic. In Col. iii. 12, also, we have dvexop-^voi 
dAArpW Kdl xapi&pwoi eavTois, and again, 1 Pet. iv. 8-IO, T77V eis 
iavTOvs aydir-qv iKrevrj t^ovres . . . <piAo£evoi eis aWrjXovs . . . eis 

eavrovs [to x° L P l(T [ Jia ] oWovotWes. We are not justified in putting 
so much into the word as Meyer's explanation supposes ; but so 
much is true, that iavrol? suggests, more than aAA?;A.oi?, that they 
are addressed as members of one corporate body. This use of 
the word is quite classical. Demosthenes has /3ouAeo-#e . . . 
7repu'ovTes avrwv irvvOdveaOai (p. 43, 10). Comp. also Xen. Mem. iii. 
5. 16 (quoted by Lightfoot on Col.), dvri p.ev toO crwepyeiv eauTOis 
to. cru/xcpepovTa, iirr]ped£ov(ri.v d\\r]\oi<;, kclI <p0ovovcnv eavrols /xdXXov 
rj Tots aAXois dvOpwTrois . . . koll irpoaipovvrcu p.aWov ovro) Kepoaiveiv 
air' dWr/Xwv r/ arvvoxpeXovvres avTovs. Also Dem. Mid. 10 1, p. 547. 

The Vulgate has erroneously "donantes," and Erasmus, "lar- 
gientes," but the following context shows that the word must 
mean "forgiving." 

kciGws kcu, the same motive that is appealed to in the Parable 
of the Unforgiving Servant 

6 0eos iv Xpio-Tw. " In Christ," not " for Christ's sake," as AV., 
for which there is no justification. The sense is the same as in 
2 Cor. v. 19, "God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto 
Himself." Not "per Christum" (Calvin), nor even fxerd tov kivSvvov 
tov vlov airov kcu t?)? cTcpayrjs avrov (Theoph.), of which there is no 
hint in the iv ; but, as in the passage in 2 Cor., God manifesting 
Himself in, acting in (not " through "), Christ. Hence in Col. iii. 
13 it is 6 Ku/hos ixo-pta-aro vpuv. 

IxapicaTO vfiiv. The readings here and in ch. v. 2 vary between the 
second and the first person. 

In iv. 32 bfuv is read by SAGP 37, Vulg. (Clem.) Goth. Sah. Boh. 
Eth. yixiv by D K L 17, 47, both Syr. Arm. 

In v. 2 iiuas by X A B P 37, Sah. Eth. ^uas by X c D G K L 17 47, Vulg. 
Syr. (both) Boh. Goth. Arm. 

lb. v/xu" by B 37, Sah. Eth. vfiQv by tfADGKLP 17 47, Vulg. 
Syr. (both) Boh. Goth. Arm. 

Or, to put it otherwise, we have — 

71/jl. in all three places, D K L 17 47, Syr. Arm. 
vfi. in all three, Sah. Eth. 
vfi. 11/x. ijfj.. , X A P. 


ifi. i)fi. i)fi., X"Vulg. Goth. 
ijfj.. vfi. b/j.., B. 
Critics differ in their judgment. Lachmann (judging in the absence of 
X) reads rj/x. in all three places. Tischendorf (8th ed. ) and Tregelles adopt 
vfi. v/jl. i]fx. (Treg., however, in iv. 32, giving thj.Iv a place in the margin). So 
WH. (who place r)fi. in the margin in the first and third places). So v. Soden 
and RV. (with rax. in the mg. in the first place and v/m. in the third). Alford, 
Ellicott, and Eadie prefer v/m. tj/jl. ij/x. The confusion of the two pronouns 
is very frequent. As far as documentary evidence is concerned, the reading 
adopted in RV. seems to have the advantage. The evidence for iifxcov in the 
third place is comparatively small, and it is very natural that St. Paul, while 
using the second person in close connexion with the precepts x a P l f<fytei'oi, 
7re/H7raretTe iv dydirrj, should pass from that to the more general statement in 
the first person. Indeed, it is perhaps not going too far to say that while 
"God forgave you," "Christ loved you," are perfectly natural, it would not 
seem so natural to say, " Christ gave Himself for you," although the individual 
believer may say, " He gave Himself for me," Gal. ii. 20. 

e'xapLo-aTo, " forgave," as referring to a past historical fact. Note 
that in Col. iii. 13 it is 6 Ku'pios, with 6 Xpto-ros in some texts. 

V. 1. yiveade ouv jjufinTcu tou 0eoG. " Become therefore imitators 
of God." yiVeo-#€ resumes the yiVeo-0e of iv. 32. The words of 
that verse, "forgiving ... as God forgave you," show that the 
imitation inculcated is in respect of this particular virtue, and the 
ovv, therefore, connects this verse with that immediately preced- 
ing, not with the whole foregoing subject. Imitators of God ! 
The idea is a grand and ennobling one ; and our Lord Himself sets 
it before us, and in the same aspect, when He says, " Ye there- 
fore shall be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect," namely, 
in that " He maketh His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, 
and sendeth rain on the just and the unjust" (Matt. v. 45, 48). 
So that we also should love our enemies. 

The forgiveness inculcated is obviously free forgiveness, as in 
the passage just cited and in the Lord's Prayer. That this is here 
placed on the ground of imitation of God's forgiveness is a decisive 
proof that St. Paul did not view the Atonement in the light of 
payment of a debt or endurance of a penalty demanded by Divine- 
justice. The most unforgiving of men, if not actually vindictive, 
might say, I am quite ready to forgive on the same terms on 
which you say that God forgives, viz. that the debt be fully paid, 
the offence fully atoned for. Chrysostom has a fine comment on 
this " forgiving one another." There is a great difference, he says, 
between God's forgiveness and ours, "for, if thou forgivest, the 
other will in turn forgive thee ; but to God thou hast forgiven 
nought. And thou to thy fellow-servant, but God to His servant, 
and His enemy, and him that hateth Him. And He did not for- 
give simply without peril, but with the peril of His Son. For that 
He might forgive thee He sacrificed the Son, — top Ylov Wvcre, — 
but thou, although often seeing forgiveness to be without peril or 
expense, dost not exercise it." 


ws Teici/a &Y<nnr]T<{, i.e. as children beloved of God. He adds, 
says Chrys., another obligation of imitating God, not only because 
He has conferred benefits on us, but because we are His children, 
nay, His beloved children. " If God so loved us, we also ought 
to love one another." 

2. Kai -n-€pi7raTeiTe cV dyaTTT), specifying, further, wherein the 
imitation of God is to be shown. Love is to be the rule of our 

KaGws kcu 6 Xpioros T)Y^ 7rT l <7ei ', Kat irapeSuKgi' caui-or uirep 
vjawc Compare John xiii. 34, " as I have loved you, that ye also 
love one another." Kai Trap&wKev expresses wherein this love was 
shown. So ver. 25, "loved the Church, and gave Himself for 
it" ; Gal. ii. 20, " loved me, and gave Himself for me." The verb 
requires no supplement, such as ets Q6.vo.tov or ™ ©eo3 ; see Rom. 
viii. 32 ; Gal. ii. 20, and ver. 25. v-n-ep, "on behalf of." 

Trpoo-<|>opdi' Kat Quo-Lav to 0eu. tw ©eu> is best connected with 
these words for the reason just mentioned ; not with the follow- 
ing, since this would suppose the words placed emphatically 
before ei? 00-/J.77V, as if to exclude the idea of human pleasure, 
which is out of the question, irpoa-^opd and dvala are sometimes 
said to specify respectively an unbloody and a bloody offering ; but 
such a distinction cannot be maintained either in classical or 
biblical Greek. The idea of " sacrifice " in Ovw is not derived 
from that of slaying, but of " smoking," " burning incense." This 
was, according to Aristarchus, the meaning of the verb in Homer ; 
cf. Latin " fumus," " subfio," which are from the same root. For 
biblical usage see Gen. iv. 3 ; Num. vii. 49, 73, etc. The alleged 
sense would be especially out of harmony with the figurative use of 
Bvo-'ia. in St. Paul, Qvaia. £okra, Rom. xii. 1 ; cf. Phil. ii. 17, iv. 18. 
Ellicott supposes that -n-poo-cpopd is used as the more general term, 
relating, not to the death only, but to the life of obedience of our 
blessed Lord, His Ovo-ia £ukra ; while 8vo-ia refers more particularly 
to His atoning death. The words appear, however, to be borrowed 
from Ps. xl. 6 (quoted Heb. x. 5), where they are used simply as 
together including all kinds of ceremonial offering. 

eis octuy)!/ euwSias. " For a sweet-smelling savour." The figure 
was founded originally on the heathen idea that the smell of the 
burnt sacrifice did literally ascend to the gods, who thereby 
participated with the worshipper in the sacred feast. So in 
Homer often ; see especially //. xxiv. 69, 70, oi yap /xoi ttotc 

f3o)p.6<; i?)€V(TO Oairos €1(7779, Aot/3r;9 re KVLO"r)<; tC to yap Xd^o/xev ycpas 
fjfxels. It is appropriate only to a burnt-offering. 

That St. Paul here speaks of Christ as a sacrifice cannot, of 
course, be denied. But does he do so by way of stating the 
nature or manner of the atonement ? Surely not. There is not 
one word to hint at the relation of this sacrifice to God's forgive 


ness. On the contrary, God in Christ forgiving us, and Christ 
showing His love by His offering of Himself, are put forward as 
exactly parallel examples ; indeed, in view of the parallel in Col., 
6 Kvpws ixa-pto-aTo, we might say as one and the same. It is this 
single aspect of Christ's sacrifice as a supreme exhibition of love on 
the part both of the Father and of the Son that is here presented. 
Indeed, in Rom. viii. 32 the very same word xape'SwKe is used of 
the Father that is here used of the Son. And if we cannot argue 
as if the apostle were here stating the essential nature of the 
atonement, still less are we justified in assuming that he had in 
his mind the " substitutionary " view of sacrifice. Whatever the 
original idea of sacrifice may have been (and certainly the substi- 
tutionary view is not the only one possible), neither psalmists nor 
apostles seem to have had this idea present to their minds whenever 
they spoke of sacrifice. The psalmist speaks of sacrificing thanks- 
giving and praise (Ps. 1. 14); St. Paul, of his offering of the Gentiles 
(Rom. xv. 16). In Rom. xii. 1, already quoted, he calls on his readers 
to present their bodies as a sacrifice. In Phil. ii. 17 he represents 
himself as offering their faith as a sacrifice ; and in the same Ep., 
iv. 18, he calls their present to him a sacrifice, an odour of a 
sweet savour. With the exception of 1 Cor. x. 18 (" they that eat 
of the sacrifices "), these are the only passages beside the present 
in which he uses the words. This gives little support to the 
notion that we are to interpret his words here as if we were 
dealing with a treatise on scientific theology. 

Chrysostom certainly does not err in this way. He observes : 

opa?, to vwlp i)(6pQ)V Tra$clv, on oafxr] ewwSt'as eort, kcu Ovaia 
evTrpoo-ScKTOs ; kolv aTroOdvys, Tore lay Ovaia' tovto piprjo-ao-Oai 
cctti tov ®eov. 

3-11. Special warnings against sins of impurity. 
3. Tfopveia 8e icai &Ka0ap<r£a irao-a rj Tr\eofe£ia p.T)8e oyofiateVGw 
iv op-iv. 

Tropveia is mentioned as being a sin of little account- 
amongst the Gentiles. On TrAeovc^ia see iv. 19. This passage, 
says Moule, more perhaps than any other, suggests that the word 
(TrAeovefta) had acquired by usage, in St. Paul's time, a familiar 
though not fixed connexion with sensual greed, just such as our 
word " covetousness " has acquired with the greed of material 
property. It is urged here that ry indicates that the two words 
between which it stands belong to different classes. But in the 
following verse we have y between p-wpoXoyla and evrpcnreXia, 
which do not belong to different classes. 

[jlt)81 oVop.a££o-0w. Herodotus says of the Persians : do-o-a Se o-$t 

TTOiieiv ovk e^eo-Ti, ravra oiSl Ae'yeiv efeoTi (i. 1 38). But St. Paul's 

precept refers to particular classes of sin only. Compare ver. 12. 

ol yap XoyoL twv Trpayp-aiw elcrlv 0801, Chrys. Bengel suggests 


for ovo/x. " mentioned as committed," " ut facta " ; cf. aKovYrcu iv iropvua, 1 Cor. v. 1. But, besides that ovop.. can hardly mean 
this, p-rjSe, " not even," is decisive against it. 

4. kcu aiffxpoTTis Kal jiupoXoyia r\ euTpaireXia. 

The MSS. and Vss. vary between Kal and ij in the first and second 

A D* G, It. Vulg. Sah. have ij . . . ij. 

K a B D c K, Boh. Eth. have Kal . . . Kal. 

N* P, Syr-Harcl. Arm. have Kal . . . ij. 

Lachmann writes ij . . . ij, Tischendorf, RV. Kal . . . ij, WH. Kal . . . Kal. 

ala-xporrj's is not merely " foolish talking," which w r ould be 
aiVxpoAoyia, but "shameful conduct." Plato has (of Rhada- 
manthus inspecting the souls of the dead) : do-vyu./xerpids t« Kal 
aurxpoV^TOs ye/xovcrav tt]v ifrux^ 1 ' e ^ ev {Gorg. 525 A); but there the 
word means the hideousness stamped on the soul by the vices of 
the living man. 

yuwpoAoyta, " stultiloquium," only here in bibl. Grk. It is a rare 
word also in classical writers, but occurs in Arist. {Hist. An. i. n) 
and Plutarch (Mor. 504 B). Plautus uses " morologus," " Amoris 
vitio non meo nunc tibi morologus fio " (Pers. i. 1. 50). 

evrpaireXia. Aristotle defines evrp. as Tre-n-aiSevp-evrj v/Spis. ol 
rppeXCiS 7rai'£ovT£S evrpdireXoi Trpocrayopeuovrat. But he adds that, 

since most persons are pleased with excessive jesting, ol ^Sw^oXo'^ot 
(.vrpoiTreXoi TrpocrayopevovTai {Eth. Nic. iv. 14), i.e., as in many other 
cases, the extreme usurps the name of the near. This would 
justify St. Paul's usage, were there nothing else. But for the 
adjective compare also Pindar, Pyth. i. 178, pi] 8oXw6rj<; ivrpa- 
7reXoi? KtpSto-o-', and iv. 104, where Jason boasts that he has never 
spoken eiros evTpa-rrtXov. According to Dissen, the word was used 
"cum levitatis et assentationis, simulationis notatione"; but this 
does not seem to be the meaning here, where the context clearly 
points to licentious speech ; see ver. 5. Trench compares the 
history of the Latin " urbanitas " and the English " facetious." 
He notes that in the Miles Gloriosus of Plautus, the old man who 
describes himself as " cavillator facetus " says : " Ephesi sum natus ; 
non enim in Apulis, non Animulae." 

a ovk dv-qKev. So X A B P. Rec. has ra ovk avrjKOvra, with D G K L and 

dXXa p.aXXoy cuxaptcTTia. Clement of Alex, understands ei>x. 
here of " gracious speech " ; and so Jerome (but with a " foisitan ") : 
" juxta quam grati sive gratiosi et salsi apud homines appellamur," 
— an opinion followed by Calvin, Hammond, and many others, 
" gracious, pious, religious discourse in general," Hammond ; 
who points to the Tva 8w x<*P iV T0 ' s "*• m lv - 2 9> an< ^ " ^ et y° ur 
speech be always iv x"P LTt " m ^°1- ^ v - ^- ^ n l 3rov - x i- l & we 
have ywr) ct'xapicrrds, " a gracious, pious woman." The adjective is 


sometimes so used in classical authors : evxapMrroraToi Aoyoi, Xen. 
Cyr. ii. 2. 1. This would suit the context very well; but as it is 
not only against St. Paul's use of the word elsewhere, but, more- 
over, there is no example of the substantive in this sense, it would 
be too bold to adopt it. We have to understand a suitable verb 
from ovojxa^io-Ow, both for this and the preceding substantives. 
The sense is not : " let not foolish speech be mentioned but 
thanksgiving," but : " let there not be," etc. Bengel understands 
avrjKti to cvxa-pt-vTia ; and so Braune ; which with the reading a ovk 
avrJKev is not unnatural, but more harsh. In these cases of 
brachylogy there is really no need to look for a verb, the sense 
is obvious to the reader. 

5. touto yap tore yiywa-Koeres. fore is the reading of X A B 
D* G P, It. Vulg. Goth. Sah. Boh. Arm., Chrys. 

eo-re, that of D c K L, Theodoret, Theoph. Internal as well as 
external evidence favours the former, co-re yu/. would be a feeble 
periphrasis for olSare or yivwo-Kere, since there is no hint here of an 
emphasis on the present tense. 

The combination of the two verbs is not to be explained by 
reference to the Hebrew idiom, which combines a finite verb with 
the infinitive absolute (imitated in Greek by the participle with 
the finite verb), since the verbs here are different. Xenophon's 
bpwv kcu olkovwv ol8a (Cyr. iv. 1. 14) is nearer, but not exactly 
parallel, since there the participles define the kind of knowledge : 
" I know by observation and hearsay." The meaning is clear : 
"ye know full well, of your own knowledge." lore is not im- 
perative, as in the Vulgate and Bengel, etc., which does not at all 
agree with the addition yiv wo- Koikes. Hofmann puts a stop after 
icrre, so as to make tovto refer to the preceding. 

On 7rSs ovk cf. iv. 29. 

o i<niv ei8w\o\(iTpr]s. 

There are three readings — 

6 ianv eldcoXokdrpris, X B 6j 2 , Jerome. 

6s icxTtv eLdwXoXdrprjs, ADKLP, Syr-Harcl. Boh. Arm., Chrys. 

6 lariv fl8w\o\aTpela, G, It. Vulg. Goth.; Syr-Pesh. (printed text) has 
" or," which points to 6. 

The last is supposed by Meyer to have been an explanation of the second, 
which he thinks genuine, the first being produced from this by restoring 
eidcoXoX&Tprjs. But it is quite as easy to account for the third variety as 
arising from the first, because dSwXokdTprjs was thought unsuitable to 8. If 
the second reading had been the original, it is not easy to see why it should 
have been changed ; but 6 would readily be changed to fis for grammatical 

With the reading os some commentators (Harless, Braune, 
etc.) refer the relative to all three antecedents ; but this is not so 
natural as the reference to Tr\covei<Tr)<;, which also corresponds 
with Col. iii. 5, 7rA€0V£^tav, ^tis ecrrlv eiSwAoAarpeia, although there 


also Harless regards ps as by attraction for anva, as Eph. iii. 13. 
With the reading 6, the latter reference must, of course, be 
adopted. On the designation of ttX. as idolatry, see above on 
iv. 19. The passages from Rabbinical writers, quoted by Schottgen 
and Wetstein, do not throw much light on the matter. They 
represent all kinds of wickedness and vice as idolatry ; pride, anger, 
refusal to give alms. If -n-Xeove^ia is simply " covetousness," the 
question is, why should this, any more than fornication and im- 
purity, be singled out to be called idolatry? Meyer says that 
iropvzia and SiKadapo-ia are also subtle idolatry (certainly not " more 
subtle forms," Ellicott), but that it was natural for St. Paul, whose 
own self-sacrificing spirit was so opposed to this self-seeking, to 
brand this especially as idolatry in order to make it kclt e^o^v 
abominable. There is nothing in his language elsewhere to sup- 
port this idea. One of Chrysostom's explanations shows how 
difficult he found it to answer the question. Wouldst thou learn, 
says he, how tt\. is idolatry, and worse than idolatry ? Idolaters 
worship God's creatures, but thou worshippest thy own creature, 
for God did not create 7rA.eov££ia. 

If we give 7r\eove$La and irXeovcVnys the wider sense advocated 
on iv. 19, there is no difficulty. 

ouk e'xei KXrjpot'ojj.taf. As KXrjpovo/xLa does not necessarily imply 
actual possession, but the title to possession, it is not necessary to say 
that the present is used to express the certainty of future possession. 

iv tt) (3ao-i.\e£a tou XpioToG kcu 0eou. Many expositors (Bengel, 
Harless, etc.) argue from the absence of the article before ®eov 
that the words mean "the kingdom of Him who is Christ and 
God." But ®eos is one of the words that do not require an 
article; comp. 1 Cor. vi. 9, 10, /3acri\cia.v ©eov: also ib. xv. 50 and 
Gal. V. 21. See also Gal. i. I, Sia 'Itjctov Xpta-Tov kcu ©eoC 7rarpos : 
Rom. xv. 8, vTrkp <i\r)6ua<; ®eov : xiii. 4, ®eov Skikovos, etc. There 
is in the context no dogmatic assertion about Christ, and to in- 
troduce such a prediction in this incidental way would be out of 
place. Nor does the apostle's language elsewhere lead us to sup- 
pose that he would thus absolutely designate Christ, God. Comp. 
iv. 6, "one Lord, one God." The absence of the article gives 
more unity to the conception ; it is not " the kingdom of Christ, 
and also the kingdom of God," but being the kingdom of Christ 
it is the kingdom of God. 

6. jxrjSeis ujjtds airaraTO} kc^oTs \6yois. Xoyoi kcvoi, " sermones a 
veritate alieni." Aeschines speaks of a decree written by Demos- 
thenes as KevMTepov rwv Xuywv ous €iw#e Aeyeiv ko.1 tov /3tou bv 
/3€/St'a»/ce (Con/. Ctes. p. 288) ; and Plato says : ris iv £vvov<riq. rotaSc 

p.a.Tijv Kevoiq Aoyoi? auros avrov KO<rp.oi; (Lac/ies. 169 B). 

To what persons do these words refer? Grotius thinks, partly 
heathen philosophers, partly Jews, who thought that all Jews would 


have part in the world to come. Meyer sees in them the un- 
believing heathen, which view he supports by reference to the 
following words ; and so Eadie. But the Christians, as such, weie 
separate from the unbelieving heathen, and the Epistle gives no 
reason to suppose that they would need to be warned against 
immoral teaching proceeding from them. Rather, we must under- 
stand persons amongst themselves who made light of sins 
of impurity, as too many in Christian communities still do. 
As Bullinger (ap. Harless) says : " Erant apud Ephesios homines 
corrupti, ut hodie apud nos plurimi sunt, qui haec salutaria Dei 
praecepta cachinno excipientes obstrepunt ; humanum esse quod 
faciant amatores, utile quod foeneratores, facetum quod jaculatores, 
et idcirco Deum non usque adeo graviter animadvertere in istius- 
modi lapsus." The context perfectly harmonises with this : " Be 
not ye Christians misled into such vices, for it is just these, etc., 
and by falling into them ye would be o-u/^e'-roxoi with those who 
are in the darkness from which ye have been delivered." 

8id TauTa ydp, " for it is on account of these things " ; not this 
teaching, but these sins. 

IpxeTai tj opyrj tou ©eou. opyq is not to be limited to the ordinary 
judgments of this life, " quorum exempla sunt ante oculos " 
(Calv.) ; nor is there reason to limit it to the wrath of God in the 
day of judgment (Meyer). The wrath of God will be manifested 
then, but it exists now. 

eiri tous utous rfjs dirciOeias, see ii. 2. 

7. p.T) ouv yifecrGe o-up,p.eToxoi auiw. " Do not therefore become 
partakers with them." avrwv refers to the persons, not the sins 
(as Braune). This sharing is by some understood of sharing in 
their punishment, but by most expositors of sharing in their sins ; 
Stier combines both, and not unreasonably, since it has just been 
said that these sins bring punishment, and the sense naturally is : 
Have nothing in common with them, for ye surely do not desire 
to share the wrath with them. 

8. rJTe ydp ttotc ctkotos. fiev is quite properly absent. To 
quote Fritzsche : " Recte ibi non ponitur, ubi aut non sequitur 
membrum oppositum, aut scriptores oppositionem addere nondum 
constituerant, aut loquentes alterius membri oppositionem qua- 
cunque de causa lectoribus non indixerunt" (Rom. x. 19, vol. ii. 
p. 423). 

rjTt. The emphasis is on the time past ; cf. " Troja fuit, 
fuimus Troes." o-kotos. Stronger than " were in darkness." They 
were not only in darkness ; darkness was also in them. So vuv 8e 
<J)ws iv Kuptw. The whole nature of light was to belong to them 
as formerly the whole nature of darkness ; they were not only in the 
light, but penetrated by it, so that they themselves became " the 
light of the world," Matt. v. 14. 


cv Kvpia, " in fellowship with the Lord." 

ws TeKva <j>(jjt6s TrepnraTeiTe. With TeVva <pa>Tos cf. viol (nru6eia<;, 
ver. 6 and ii. 3. Alford argues from the absence of the article 
before <£wtos (in contrast with tov <pwTos, ver. 9 and Luke xvi. 8), 
that " it is light as light that is spoken of." But the absence of the 
article is in accordance with the settled rule stated by Apollonius, 
that (subject to certain qualifications) nouns in regimen must have 
the article prefixed to both or to neither (see Middleton, On the 
Greek Article, iii. 1, 7 ; 3, 6). 

9. 6 yap Kap-n-os tou <|>wt6s. The walk to which I exhort you 
is that which becomes children of the light, for etc. 

The Rec. Text, has irvev/juTos for <pwr6s, with D° K L, Syr-Pesh., Chrys. 
and most cursives. 

0wt6s is the reading of «ABD*GP 67 2 , It. Vulg. Goth. Boh. Arm., 
Origen, Jerome. 

It might be thought possible that <pwr6s had come in from recollection of 
the same word just preceding, but the figure of "light" governs the whole 
passage, and Zpya &Kapwa <tk6tovs, ver. IO, corresponds to Kapirbs <pur6s 
here. Kapvbs wvevpiaTos undoubtedly came in from the parallel, Gal. v. 22, 
where the contrast is with Zpya aapubs, ver. 19 ; cf. 17, 18. The variation is 
an important one for the estimate of the character of the authorities that 
support the two readings respectively. 

iv tvdat] dyaGwo-unf] Kal 8iKaioo-unr] ica! a\r\Qeia. " In all (i.e. every 
kind of) goodness and righteousness and truth," the opposites of 
KaKia, aSiKia, i//£t)8os. dyadwavvq is not found in classical Greek, 
but is used by St. Paul in three other places, viz. Rom. xvi. 14; 
Gal. v. 22 ; 2 Thess. i. n. The use of it in the Sept. gives us 
little help. In Eccles., where it occurs several times, it is used for 
"enjoyment." In Neh. ix. 25, 35, it is used of the goodness of God. 
In Ps. Iii. 3 (li. Sept.) it is " good " in general as opposed to " evil " ; 
and so in xxxviii. (xxxvii.) 20. In St. Paul it would seem to mean 
" goodness " in the special sense of benevolence ; and thus the 
threefold enumeration here would correspond to that in the 
Gospels: "justice, mercy, and truth," and to Butler's "justice, 
truth, and regard to common good" (comp. Rom. v. 7). 

As a metaphor the expression " fruit of the light " cannot be 
called " strictly correct," as if it referred to the necessity of light for 
the production of fruit, etc. The words "children of light" 
convey no intimation of such a figure. 

10. ooKiudj^orres ri ottiv eudpfOToe to Kupiu>. Compare Rom. 
xii. 2, eis to SoKi/xd^eiv v//.as Ti to $t\r]fx.a tov ®eov, to ayauov /ecu 
€va.p€CTToy Kal TtXeiov. 

Putting to the proof, partly by thought and partly by experience. 
Stier and some others take the words imperatively, supplying co-rc, 
as Rom. xii. 9-13 and vv. 19, 20; but here between two impera- 
tives this is less natural. 

11. Kal ut) auyKoivaJi'eiTe tois epyois aKapirois tou ctkotous. " Have 


no fellowship with." The thought joins on to ver. 7. The verb 
with the dative means (like the simple KoivwveTv) to have fellowship 
or partnership with. In the sense, " to have part in a thing," it 
takes the genitive. aVap7roi?, for vice has no Kapiros. Thus 
Jerome : " Vitia in semet ipsa finiuntur et pereunt, virtutes 
frugibus pullulant et redundant." 

11, 12. jAaWoy 8e Kal eXe'yxcTe, to, yap icpu<}>TJ yieoaei'a utt' auTwc 
alcrxpoc eon Kal \iyeiv. Kpvcprj yivo/xeva cannot be merely syn- 
onymous with cpya (tkotovs, as Harless and Olshausen hold ; 
ctkotos and Kpvcprj are distinct notions, and epya o-kotovs might 
be open offences. Besides, this would make Kpvcprj quite super- 
fluous. Kal Xe'yeij/, " even to mention." 

iXeyxere is usually taken to mean " reprove." This seems to 
imply reproof by words ; but then the reason assigned seems 
strange ; they are to be reproved, because even to speak of them 
is shameful. If the conjunction had been " although " and not 
" for," it would be intelligible. Hence some expositors have 
actually supposed that yap here means "although," which is, of 
course, impossible. Another view that has been taken is " rebuke 
them openly, for to speak of them otherwise is shameful " ; but 
this puts too much into keyeiv. Bengel's view is that the words 
assign, not the reason for IX., but the reason of the apostle's 
speaking indefinitely of the vices, whilst he enumerates the virtues. 
This is forced, and against the emphatic position of Kpvcprj. Stier's 
view is that the reproof is to be by the life, not by words : " Ye 
would yourselves be sinning if ye were to name the secret vices " ; 
hence the necessity for walking in the light, that so these deeds 
may be reproved. But St. Paul is not deterred by such scruples 
from speaking plainly of heathen vices when occasion required. 
Harless' view, that the words are connected with p.r) ctvjk., " Do 
not commit these sins, for they are too bad even to mention," 
assumes that to. Kpvcprj ywo/xeva simply = to. epya tov o-kotovs, which 
we have seen is untenable. 

Meyer and Eadie assign as the connexion, " By all means 
reprove them ; and there is the more need of this, for it is a shame 
even to speak of their secret sins." This seems to leave the 
difficulty unsolved. Barry says : " In such reproof it should be 
remembered that it would be disgraceful 'even to speak' in 
detail of the actual ' things done in secret.' " This again 
supposes that yap assigns a reason for what is not expressed, 
namely, for some qualification of iXeyx^re, not at all for IXeyxere 

There is, however, another meaning of i\eyx<a very common, 
especially when the object is a thing, not a person, and more 
particularly in connexion with derivatives of Kp-vm-w, viz. to expose 
or bring to light. Artemidorus, in his interpretations of dreams, 


when speaking of those dreams which forebode the revealing of 
secrets, always speaks of to. Kpvmb. iXiyx^o-Oai, e.g. ii. 36, ^Aios 
otto SiKrewS e^avareXAwv to. KpvTrra. eAey^ei twv \e\r]6evau Sokovvtwv. 
Polybius says : i\£yxea6ai <£a<r<.v Tas <pvcr€LS vtto twv TrepLarda-euiv 
(p. 1382). He opposes to it Siao-KOTeio-tfai (p. 1383). And 

Phavorinus defines eAeyxou. to KeKpy/x/xevov aTOTnjfxa. twos eis <£ws ayo>. 

Cf. Aristoph. Eccles. 483. 

So the substantive 6 tAeyxos = proof. The connexion of this 
signification with that of "convict" is obvious. The Etym. M. 

has tAey^ds eo-Tiv 6 to. tt pay /xara aatprjvi^wv . . . o yap tA. els <£ais 
ayei to. Trpa.yfj.aTa. 

This appears to be the meaning of the verb in John iii. 20, ovk 
ep^eTai 7rpos to <pws, Iva p.?/ i\ey^6rj to. «pya aurov. Compare in the 
following verse, ep^erat ?rpos to <£a>s, iva ^avepuiBfj a&TOv to. Ipya. 
Compare also I Cor. xiv. 2 2, e'AeyxeTcu vtto irdvTwv ... to. KpvTTTa 
Trjs KapSt'as auToC cfravepd yiverat. The occurrence of xpvcpf} here in 
the immediate context suggests that this meaning was present to 
the apostle's mind. Adopting it, we obtain as the interpretation : 
Have no participation with the works of darkness, nay, rather 
expose them, for the things they do secretly it is a shame even to 
mention ; but all these things when exposed by the light are made 
manifest in their true character. Then follows the reason, not for 
13a, but for the whole exhortation. This iXeyx^-v is not useless, 
for it leads to cpavepovo-Bai, and so turns o-koto? into <£uJs. This is 
Soden's interpretation. A remarkable parallel is John iii. 20, just 
quoted. There also epya are the object, Ipya whose nature is 
o-KoVos (ver. 19) ; and it is the <f>ws which effects cAey^etv, ver. 20, 
and <f>avepovi>, ver. 21. 

13. Tct 8e Trdrra eXeyxoucva "to tou 4>wt6s ^avepouTCu* irak yap 
to ^ai'epou'fjiei'o^ <f><Ls eon. The difficulty in tracing the connexion 
continues to be felt here. Meyer interprets : But everything 
( = those secret sins) when it is reproved is made manifest by the 
light ; that is, by the light of Christian truth which operates in your 
reproof, it is brought to the light of day in its true moral character ; 
I say, by the light, for — to prove that it can only be by the light — 
whatever is made manifest is light ; it has ceased to have the nature 
of darkness. Assuming, namely, " quod est in effectu ($ws Io-tl) 
id debet esse in causa (wo tou (J>wt6s)." This is adopted by 
Ellicott. But it is open to serious objection : first, vtto tov <£<dtos 
is not emphatic ; on the contrary, its position is as unemphatic as 
possible ; secondly, tAey\op,£va is on this view not only super- 
fluous but disturbing ; thirdly, the assumption that what is in the 
effect must be in the cause, is much too recondite a principle to be 
silently assumed in such a discourse as this ; and, lastly, this treats 
<f>avepovp.€vov as if it were Trafiavepw/xevov. Meyer, in fact, endeavours 
to obtain, by the help of a hidden metaphysical assumption, the 


same sense which Eadie and others obtain by taking <pavepovp.evov 
as middle ( = AV.). 

Ellicott adds, " whatever is illumined is light." But (pavepow 
does not mean "to illumine," but to make <pavepo<;. It occurs 
nearly fifty times in the N.T. and never = tpwifciv. True, it is 
allied to <£<3s, but not closely, for its nearest connexion is with the 
stem of <f>aivu), viz. <pdv, which is already far from <£a>s. Again, 
when it is said by Alford (in reply to Eadie's objection that the 
transformation does not always take place) that, "objectively 
taken, it is universally true : everything shone upon is Light " 
(whether this tends to condemnation or not depending on 
whether the transformation takes place or not), this surely is just 
what is not true. A dark object shone upon does not become lux 
(the English word is ambiguous). He adds that the key text is 
John iii. 20, but in order to fit this in he interprets " brought into 
light " as " made light." 

Bengel, followed by Stier, takes cpavepovpavov as middle, " quod 
manifestari non refugit ; confer mox, eyeipai ko.1 dvdcna " [the 
correct reading is eyetpe] ; and on irdv, " Abstractum pro concreto 
nam hie sermo jam est de homine ipso, coll. v. seq. propterea." 

We seem almost driven (with Eadie, after Beza, Calvin, 
Grotius, etc.) to take cpa.vepovp.evov as middle, in this sense, " what- 
ever makes manifest is light." The examples, indeed, of cpavepovv 
6ai as middle, adduced by Eadie, are not quite to the point, viz. 
such as icpavepwdr) in Mark xvi. 12, where the medial sense is 
much more marked than in the present passage. Bleek thinks it 
necessary to suppose an active sense here, but he proposes to read 
cftavepovv to. Oltramare interprets : " All the things done in secret, 
when reproved, are brought into open day by the light [which is 
salutary], for whatever is so brought out is light." 

14. Aid \4yei. " Wherefore it is said." It is generally held that 
this formula introduces a quotation from canonical Scripture. 
Here the difficulty arises that this is not a quotation from canon- 
ical Scripture. Jerome admits this, saying, "omnes editiones 
veterum scripturarum ipsaque Hebraeorum volumina eventilans 
nunquam hoc scriptum reperi." He therefore suggests that it is 
from an apocryphal writing ; not that the apostle accepted such a 
writing as authoritative, but that he quoted it as he has quoted 
Aratus, etc. He, at the same time, mentions others who supposed 
the words to be spoken by the apostle himself under inspiration. 
Many moderns, however, think that the original text is Isa. lx. 1, 
" Arise, shine, for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is 
risen upon thee," the words being, it is said, quoted, not verbally, 
but in essence. It would be more correct to say that the resem- 
blance is verbal rather than in essence ; for the differences are 
important. The very word 6 X/ho-tos is fatal to the idea of a 


quotation. Alford, indeed, says that it is a necessary inference 
from the form of the citation (viz. 6 Xp.) that St. Paul is citing 
the language of prophecy in the light of the fulfilment of prophecy, 
which obviously assumes the point in question. It is said, more- 
over, that no surprise can be felt at finding Christ substituted for 
the Lord (Jehovah) of the O.T., and the true Israel for Jerusalem. 
True : if the question were of the application of words from the 
O.T., as in i Pet. iii. 15, or of interpretation added to the quota- 
tion, as in Rom. xi. 6-8. Moreover, the words here are not 
addressed to the Church (6 KaOtvSwv), they seem rather addressed 
either to recent converts or to those who do not yet believe. And, 
further, there is nothing in Isaiah about awaking from sleep or 
arising from the dead (though Alford asserts the contrary) ; nor is 
the idea, " shall give thee light," at all the same as Isaiah's, " the 
glory of the Lord has risen upon thee." 

Hence other commentators find it necessary to suppose a 
reference to other passages either separately or combined with 
this, viz. Isa. ix. 2, xxvi. 19, Hi. 1. Such conjectures, in fact, 
refute themselves ; for when the words of a prophet are so com- 
pletely changed, we can no longer speak of a quotation, and Xe'ytt 
would be quite out of place. Nor can we overlook the fact that 
the point of the connexion seems to lie in the word eVi^au'o-ci. 

Others have adopted Jerome's suggestion as to an apocryphal 
source, some even going so far as to suggest the actual name of 
the book, Epiphanius naming the Prophecy of Elijah ; George 
Syncellus, a book of Jeremiah ; the margin of Codex G, the Book 
of Enoch. It is hardly sufficient to allege against this view that 
Xc'yet always introduces a quotation from canonical Scripture. But 
6 Xpio-To? is inconsistent with the idea of an O.T. apocryphon, 
and apart from that the whole expression has a Christian 

Meyer endeavours to reconcile the assertion that Ae'yci intro- 
duces a citation from canonical Scripture with the fact that this is 
not such a citation, by the supposition that by a lapse of memory 
the apostle cites an apocryphon as if it were canonical. But was 
St. Paul's knowledge of the Scriptures so imperfect that he 
did not know, for example, that the promised deliverer is never 
in the O.T. distinctly called 6 Xpio-ro's? 

Others conjecture that it may be a saying of Christ Himself 
that is quoted. The use of 6 Xpioro? in the third person is not 
inconsistent with this; nor, again, the fact that St. Paul does not 
elsewhere quote the sayings of Christ. Why might he not do it 
once? But it is impossible to supply o Xpio-ro? or 'I^o-cv,- as a 
subject without something to suggest it. It is too forced to meet 
this by taking <£o>s as the subject. 

The difficulties disappear when we recognise that Aeyei need 


not be taken to mean 6 ©eo? Xeyei, — an assertion which has been 
shown in iv. 8 to be untenable. It means " it says," or " it 
is said," and the quotation may probably be from some liturgical 
formula or hymn, — a supposition with which its rhythmical char- 
acter agrees very well. That the words were suggested originally 
by Isa. lx. 1 may be admitted. Theodoret mentions this opinion : 

Tivcs Se twv epjX7]v€VTiJi>v tfpaaav TrvevfJLa.TiKrj'i ^aptro? d$no6 tvras Ttvas 

if/a\fj.ovs <rvyypd\pa.i, referring to 1 Cor. xiv. 26. He seems to 
have taken this from Severianus {Cramer, vi. 197), who concludes : 

SrjXov ovv otl (.v lv\ tovtwv twv TTvevfJiaTLKwv if/aX/xwu tjtoi Trpocrev)(wv 

6K6ito tovto o ifjLvrjfjbovevaev (compare also Origen in the Catena, 
ib.). Stier adopts a similar view, but endeavours to save the sup- 
posed limitation of the use of Atyei by saying that in the Church 
the Spirit speaks. As there are in the Church prophets and pro- 
phetic speakers and poets, so there are liturgical expressions and 
hymns which are holy words. Comparing vv. 18, 19, Col. iii. 16, 
it may be said that the apostle is here giving us an example of this 
self-admonition by new spiritual songs. 

The view that the words are from a liturgical source is adopted 
by Barry, Ewald, Braune, v. Soden, the last-mentioned suggesting 
(after some older writers) that they may have been used in the 
reception after baptism. Compare 1 Tim. iii. 16, which is not 
improbably supposed to have a similar source. 

2-yeipe is the reading of a decisive preponderance of authorities, SABD 
GKLP, apparently all uncials, Zyetpai being found only in cursives. In the 
other places where the word occurs (Matt. ix. 5; Mark ii. 9, II, iii. 3, 
v. 41 ; Luke v. 23 ; John v. S), tyeipe is likewise supported by preponderant 
authority, a third variation eyelpov occurring in some places. Fritzsche on 
Mark ii. 9 has ably defended the propriety of Zyeipe, which is not to be 
understood either as active for middle or as if o-eavrdv were understood, but 
as a "formula excitandi," "Up!" like dye, tireiye (Eurip. Orest. 789). So 
in Eurip. Iph. Aul. 624, Zyeip' dSeX^JJs e<p' vfitvaiov eurvxws ', and Aristoph. 
Ran. 340, tyeipe <p\oy£as \a/j.Trd8as ev x e P a 'l • • • rivdaawv. This use 
is limited to the single form i-yeipe. tyeipai, says Fritzsche, would mean 
"excita mihi aliquem." 

avao-To for avaar-qOi = Acts xii. 7. This short form is also found in 
Theocritus and Menander. Compare Kardjla, Mark xv. 30 (in some MSS. 
including A C), and dvd^a, Apoc. iv. 1. 

tea! €iricj)au(T€i ctoi 6 XpioTOs. £7ric£aixrei from iirnpava-Kui, which 
is found several times in Job (Sept.) ; D* d e and MSS. mentioned 
by Chrysostom and by Jerome read eTruj/avo-eis tov Xpto-rov. 
Jerome (quoted by Tisch.) relates that he heard some one disput- 
ing in the church, in order to please the people with something 
new, saying that this was said with reference to Adam, who was 
buried on Calvary, and that when the Lord on the Cross hung 
above his grave, the prophecy was fulfilled, "Rise Adam, who 
sleepest, and rise from the dead and Christ shall touch thee, 
cTrupavo-fi" i.e. that by the touch of Christ's body and blood he 


should be brought to life. This story probably indicates how this 
reading arose. 

15-21. General exhortation to regulate their conduct with wis- 
dom, to make their market of the opportunity, and, avoiding riotous 
indulgence, to express their joy and thankfulness in spiritual songs. 

15. p\eTT€T€ ouv &Kpi(3ws ttus TrepnrciTeiTe. 

This is the reading of K* B '7 and some other mss., Origen, and prob- 
ably Chrys. But trGis dtcpipui, N e A D G K L P, with most mss., Vulg. 
Syr. (both) Arm., Theodoret, Jerome, etc. Chrysostom has d.Kpij3Qs 7rd5s in 
text and comment, but in the latter irus d/c/)t/3u>s occurs presently after, also 
/3\^7rere 7ro5s irepiiraTeiTe. As Truis d.Kp. is the common later reading, it is 
probable that its occurrence in the second place in the comm. is due to a 
copyist of Chrys. The variation in the original text may have arisen from an 
accidental omission of irws after -/3u5s (it is actually om. in Eth.), it being 
there inserted in the wrong place. In Eadie's comment, ed. 2, 7twj is 
similarly om. 

ovv is resumptive, " to return to our exhortation." Some, how- 
ever, regard this as an inference from what immediately precedes, 
viz. "since ye are enlightened by Christ" (Ewald, Braune) ; but as 
the substance of the exhortation is clearly the same as in vv. 8-io, 
it is unnecessary to look on this as an inference from ver. 14. 
Harless follows Calvin, who says: "Si aliorum discutere tenebras 
fideles debent fulgore suo, quanto minus caecutire debent in pro- 
prio vitae instituto?" But this would seem to require an 
emphatic airoi. 

On aK0i/3a>s compare Acts xxvi. 5, Kara rqv aKpifteaTaT-qv 

aipeo-iv. As TrepnraT€LT€ is a fact, the indicative is correctly used, 
and is exactly parallel to 1 Cor. iii. n, eKao-ros /3Xe7reVw 7rws 
eVoiKoSo/Aet. Most commentators expound the other reading. 
Fritzsche's view of this has been generally adopted {Opuscula, p. 
209 n.), viz. that a.Kp. 7rep. = " tanquam ad regulam et amussim vitam 
dirigere," the whole meaning 71-019 to ai<ptf3w<; ipyd&aOe = " videte 
quomodo circumspecte vivatis h. e. quomodo illud efficiatis, ut 
provide vivatis." He exposes the fallacy of Winer's contention 
(subsequently abandoned), that the words were a concise expression 

for /3\tTr€T€ 7roJ<? 7rept7raT€tre, 8ei 8e v/xa? a/<pi/3ajs TrepnraTelv. He 

thinks the reading a/cpi/^w? ttuj? was a correction on the part of 
those who, being familiar with d*. fiXiweiv, ei'ScVai, etc., were 
offended with aVp. 7repi7raTea', which is, he says, most suitable to 
this place. 

pi a»s aerosol, explaining 71-oJs, and so dependent, like it, on 
pXtTrere, hence the subjective negation (Winer, § 55. 1). Then 
TepnraTowTes need not be supplied. 

16. e^ayopa^opeKK t6c Kaipoi/. " Seizing the opportunity," 
"making your market to the full from the opportunity of" this life" 
(Ramsay, St. Paul as Traveller, etc., p. 149). The same expres- 
sion is used in Col. iv. 5 with special reference to conduct 


towards those outside the Church, iv aofpLa. irepnraTCLTe irpbs tovs 
Z£u). tov k. i£ay. Lit. " buying up for yourselves," i£ being intens- 
ive, and corresponding to our " up." Kaipbv v/xets dyopd^ere occurs 
Dan. ii. 8, but in a different sense, viz. " wish to gain time." More 
parallel as to sense is KepSavTe'ov to irapov, Antonin. vi. 26. 
e£ayopd£a), in the sense " buy up," is found in Polyb. iii. 42. 2, 
i^rjyopcure Trap' auraiv to. re p.ovo£vXa TrXdla irdvTa, k.t.X. In Mart. 
Polyc. 2 it has the wholly different sense : " buy off," Sid /uds wpa? 
r-qv alwviov koXolctlv i^ayopat,6p.€voi. Chrysostom says the expres- 
sion is obscure, and he illustrates it by the case of robbers entering 
a rich man's house to kill him, and when he gives much to purchase 
his life, we say that he ifyyopaaev kavrov. So, he proceeds, " thou 
hast a great house, and true faith ; they come on thee to take all ; 
give whatever one asks, only save to KtcpdXaiov, that is ttjv ttlcttiv." 
This completely ignores tov Kaipov. Oecum. is more to the point : 

6 k. ovk io~Tiv (3e/3aios . . . dyopacrov ovv avrbv ko1 ttolijctov 

iSiov. So Theodore Mops., and so Severianus in Catena, adding 
that "the present opportunity SovXevei tois 7rov7/pot5, buy it up, 
therefore, so as to use it for piety." But it is futile to press the 
idea of "purchasing," or the force of i£, so as to inquire from 
whom the opportunity is to be bought, as " from evil men " 
(Bengel, cf. Severianus, above), " the devil," Calvin ; or what price 
is to be paid (to. Trdvra, Chrys.). The price is the pains and effort 

oti at Tj/iepai izovr\pal tlaiv. So that it is the more necessary tov 
Kaipbv i£ay. The moments for sowing on receptive soil in such 
evil days being few, seize them when they offer themselves. 
irovr/pai is "morally evil," not "distressful" (Beza, Hammond, 
etc.), — an idea foreign to the context, which contrasts the walk of 
the Christians with that of the heathen. 

17. Sid touto. Viz. because it is necessary to walk aK/n/3w;. 

el yap Zo-eaBe d4)pove<; a.Kptj3C)<; ov TrtpnraTrjatTe, Schol. ap. Cat. Not 

" because the days are evil," which was only mentioned in support 
of i£ay. tov Kaipov. 

P) yiveaQe a^po^es. " Do not show yourselves senseless." 
u<ppiov differs from ao-0^05 as referring rather to imprudence or folly 
in action. 

dXXa ctuci€t€. So X ABP 17, 67 s , etc. Rec. has o-wtevTes, 
with D c E K L and most mss., It. Vulg. Syr-Pesh. ; while D* G 
have o-wtovTes, which Meyer, with little reason, prefers as the less 
usual form. 

Somewhat stronger than ytvcio-KCTc, " understand." ti t6 
Oe'Xrjfia, cf. ver. 10. 

18. Kai fit] jjieGuo-Keo-Ge o?va>. kcu marks a transition from the 
general to the particular, as in eiTrare tois p,a8r)Tal<; avrov Kat T<3 
lleTpw, Mark xvi. 7 J 7rao-a r) 'IovSata X^P a > Kai °' '^pocroXvpuTai, 


Mark i. 5. Fritzsche, in the latter place, remarks that <aC in these 
instances is not = "imprimis," but "scriptores rem singularem jam 
comprehensam communiori propterea insuper adjiciunt copulae 
adjumento, quod illam tanquam gravem impensius inculcatam 
volunt lectori." 

It is out of the question to suppose any reference here to such 
abuses as are mentioned in 1 Cor. xi., which would have called for 
a more explicit censure. 

iv W CCTTIC dcTWTia. iv to, not OLVto, but fJL£6v<TK€Cr6aL OLVto. 

do-toTia, " a word in which heathen ethics said much more than 
they intended or knew," Trench. It is the character of the 
aatoTos "perditus," thus denned by Aristotle: tous ax/Dareis kol ek 

aKoXaaiav hairavrjpov<; acrwTOVS KaXovfiev {Eth. JVlC. IV. i). In 

classical authors the adjective varies in sense between " lost " and 
"prodigal," the latter, "qui servare nequit," being the more 
common. The substantive occurs also Tit. i. 6 ; 1 Pet. iv. 4 ; 
and the adverb Luke xv. 13, where see note. The Vulg. renders 
by "luxuria, luxuriose," words which in later Latin acquired the 
sense of profligate living. In mediaeval Latin " luxuria "= "lascivi- 
ousness." But the meaning in the N.T. is clearly " dissoluteness." 
The remark of Clem. Alex., to aercoo-Tov tt)? p.i6r}<; 81a 7775 ao-wn'as 
alvL^afxevos, was natural to a Christian writer accustomed to the 
technical use of o-toteiv, but no such idea seems implied in the use 
of the word in N.T. ao-wros is not derived from o-ai£w, but from 
(row (Horn. 77. ix. 393, 424, 681). 

d\Xa ir\T]pouo-0e iv weufxaTi. The antithesis is not directly 
between oivos and irvf.vfxa, as the order of the words shows, but 
between the two states. Meyer remarks that the imperative 
passive is explained by the possibility of resistance ; but what other 
form could be employed? The signification is middle, for they 
must co-operate. The present tense cannot very well be expressed 
in the English rendering; "be filled" is after all better than 
" become filled," which would suggest that the filling had yet to 
begin. eV irvevfjLdTi is usually understood of the Holy Spirit, iv 
being instrumental (Meyer), or both instrumental and expressing 
the content of the filling (Ellicott, Macpherson, a/.). But the use 
of iv with vX-qpou) to express the content with which a thing is filled 
would be quite unexampled. Phil. iv. 19 is not parallel (Ellicott 
admits it to be doubtful) ; still less Col. ii. 10, iv. 12 (where, more- 
over, the true reading is ■n-eTrXrjpo^oprjfxevoL). Plutarch's eVe^A^/Douro 
iv /jLCLKapioT-qTi (Piece. Phil. i. 7. 9) is not parallel ; the words there 
(which are used of the Deity) mean " is complete in blessedness," 
the alternative being " something is wanting to Him." Meyer, 
indeed, says that as St. Paul uses genitive, dative, and accusative 
(Col. i. 9) with TrXy/pow, we cannot be surprised at his using iv, — a 
singular argument. The genitive and dative are both classical ; the 
1 1 


accusative in Col. i. 9 is not accusative of material. But such 
variety in no way justifies the use of eV, the meaning of which is 
wholly unsuitable to the idea " filled with." The nearest approach 
to this would be the instrumental sense (adopted by Meyer, a/., in 
i. 23). Where the material is only regarded as the means of 
making full, it may conceivably be spoken of as an instrument ; but 
this would require the agent to be expressed, and, besides, would 
be quite inappropriate to the Holy Spirit. For these reasons the 
rendering mentioned in the margin RV. (Braune's also) is not to 
be hastily rejected. " Be filled in spirit," not in your carnal part, 
but in your spiritual. Alford attempts to combine both ideas, 
" let this be the region in, and the ingredient with which you are 
filled," TTvev/jLa being the Christian's " own spirit dwelt in and 
informed by the Holy Spirit of God." This seems an impossible 
combination, or rather confusion of two distinct ideas. Macpher- 
son, in order to secure a contrast between the "stimulation of 
much wine and the stimulation of a large measure of the Spirit," 
represents the apostle as saying, " conduct yourselves like those 
that are possessed, but see to it that the influence constraining 
you is that of the Holy Spirit." It is hardly too much to say that 
this is a reductio ad absurdum of the supposed antithesis. There 
is nothing about excitement, nor does St. Paul anywhere sanction 
such conduct. 

19. XaXouyTes cauTots. On cai/rots = dAA-t^ois, see iv. 32. Not 
"to yourselves," AV. ; " meditantes vobiscum," Michaelis. Com- 
pare Pliny's description, " carmen Christo quasi Deo dicere secum 
invicem " (ecurrois) (Epp. x. 97). But the reference cannot be 
specially to religious services, as the context shows ; cf. Col. 
hi. 16. 

i|/a\jj,ois Kal ufivois kcu wSals weufJiaTiKals = Col. ill. 16, except 
that the copulas are there wanting. The distinction between these 
words is not quite agreed upon. i/'aAjuos from i^dAAeiv, primarily 
the plucking of the strings, is used by classical authors to mean 
the sound of the harp, and hence any strain of music. The Schol. 
on Aristoph. Aves, 218, says: \pa\p.b<; Kvpiws, 6 rr}s Kt6dpas ^x os - 
Cyrilli Lex. and Basil on Ps. xxix. define it : Aoyos /aovctikos, orav 

evpvdfjuns Kara tovs apfiovixovs Xoyovs Trpbs to opyavov Kpoverai. And 

to the same effect Greg. Nyss. It occurs frequently in the Sept., 
not always of sacred music, e.g. 1 Sam. xvi. 18 of young David, 
eiSora rbv if/aXfAov, i.e. playing on the harp. 

vp.vos is properly a song of praise of some god or hero. 
Arrian says : vp,voi pikv es toi>s Oeovs ttoiovvtcil, eirawoi be es avOpw- 
ttovs (Exped. Alex. iv. ir. 3). Augustine's definition is well 
known : " Oportet ut, si sit hymnus, habeat haec tria, et laudem, 
et Dei, et canticum." Hence vp.velv, to praise by a hymn. 

wSry, from dei'Sw, a8w, seems to have originally meant any kind 


of song, but was specially used of lyric poetry. It is frequently 
used in Sept. (Ex. xv. 1 ; Deut. xxxi. 19-22; Judg. v. 1, 12, etc.). 

Trvev/xaTLKah is omitted by B d e, and bracketed by Lachmann. Not only 
is it attested by superabundant authority, but it seems essential as a furthei 
definition of the preceding word or words. Probably it is to be taken (as by 
Hofmann and Soden) with all three, iv is prefixed to \j/a\fiois in B P 17 
67-, Vulg., Jerome, and admitted to the margin by WH. After vvevpu A 
adds iv x^p'", clearly from Col. iii. 16. 

a&orres icai iJ/dMon-es Ttj Kap&i'a upon/ tw Kupiw. 

Rec. has iv before t-q k., with KL most mss., Syr-Harcl. Arm., while 
Lachm. reads ev reus Kapdiais, with S'ADGP, It. Vulg. Boh. Syr-Pesh. 
Hard. mg. But N* B have the singular without ev, and so Origen. In 
Col. iii. 16 all MSS. have iv, and most MSS. and Vss. the plural, D° K L 
reading the singular. 

Chrysostom interprets ev rfj Kap8[a as meaning " heartily or 
sincerely " ; jnera cmve'o-ews 7rpoo-€^ovT£?, i.e. from the heart, not 
merely with the mouth. But this would be e* rfjs KapSias without 


20. euxapiorout'Tes irdcTOTe uirep irdrrwi'. "Even," says Chrysos- 
tom, " if it be disease or poverty. It is nothing great or wonderful 
if when prosperous you give thanks. What is sought is that when 
in affliction you do so. Nay, why speak of afflictions here ? we 
must thank God for hell," explaining that we who attend are much 
benefited by the fear of hell, which is placed as a bridle upon us : 
a profoundly selfish view, to which he was no doubt led only by 
the wish to give .the fullest meaning to 7rdvTwv. Jerome is more 
sober : " Christianorum virtus est, etiam in his quae adversa 
putantur, referre gratias creatori." But St. Paul is not specially 
referring to adversity ; on the contrary, the context shows that 
what he had particularly in his mind was occasion of rejoicing. 
Theodoret, however, takes -rravruw as masc, that we must thank 
God for others who have received Divine blessing. But there is 
nothing in the context to favour this. 

lv oyopan tou Kupiou ripwc 'irjcrou Xpio-Tou. When 1 speak of 

doing something in the name of another, this may mean either 
that I do it as representing him, that is, by his authority, or if the 
action is entirely my own, that I place its significance only in its 
reference to him. When an apostle commands in the name of 
Christ, this is in the former sense ; when I pray or give thanks in 
the same name, it is as His disciple and dependent on Him. 

tw 0€u> Kal riaTpi, see i. 3. There is no need to refer rrarpi 
here to Christ ; the article rather leads to the sense, " God, who is 
also the Father," namely, of us. 

21. uTroTacrao|xeeoi d\Xi]Xois ee <f>6f3u> XpiaToG. 

XpiffTov with X A B L P, Vulg. Syr. (both) Boh. etc. Qeou of Rec. is in 
most cursives, and I) has XptcrTou 'Irjcrov; G,' Itjcov Xpurrov. As </>6/3os Xpicrrov 


is not found elsewhere, copyists naturally wrote </>6/3os Qcov, which was 

" In the fear of Christ," i.e. with reference for Him as the 
guiding motive. 

"Submitting yourselves." The connexion of this with the preced- 
ing seems rather loose. Ellicott says : " the first three [clauses] 
name three duties, more or less specially in regard to God, the 
last a comprehensive moral duty in regard to ?nan," suggested by 
the thought of the humble and loving spirit which is the principle 
of evxapLo-Tia. This does not meet the difficulty of the connexion. 
Alford refers back to /A7? /acOvo-k., " not blustering, but being sub- 
ject," and Eadie is inclined to the same view ; but this is forced, 
and requires us to interpolate something which is not indicated by 
anything in the text. Much the same may be said of Findlay's 
view. He illustrates by reference to the confusion in the Church 
meetings in the Corinthian Church (1 Cor. xiv. 26-34), "when he 
urges the Asian Christians to seek the full inspiration of the 
Spirit, and to give free utterance in song to the impulses of their 
new life, he adds this word of caution." This supplies too much, 
and besides, v-rroraaa-ofjievot would be an unsuitable word to express 
such readiness to give way in the matter of prophesying as St. 
Paul directs in 1 Cor. Bloomfield, taking a similar view, supposes 
that what is insisted on is subordination to a leading authority. 
This preserves the sense of vttot., but not of dAA^Aois. Blaikie 
refers back to ver. 15. 

In considering the connexion it must be borne in mind that 
inrordo-o-eo-Oe in the next verse is in all probability not genuine, so 
that the verb has to be supplied from vTroTaaaofxtvoi. There is 
therefore no break between vv. 21 and 22. Further, the whole 
following section, which is not a mere digression, depends on the 
thought expressed in this clause of which it is a development. To 
suppose a direct connexion with -jrXrjpovn-Oe Zv tw. does not yield a 
suitable sense. The connexion with the preceding context is, in 
fact, only in form, that with what follows is in substance. From 
iv. 32 we have a series of precepts expressed in imperatives and 
participles depending on yiverrOe, irepiiraTtiTe ; SoKt/xd£ovr£S, Z^ayopa- 
^ofxevoi, Aa/WvT€s. Ver. 18 interrupts the series by a direct im- 
perative, as in vv. 3 ff., 12 ff. St. Paul elsewhere (Rom. xii. 9) 
carries on in participles a series of precepts begun in a different 
construction, airoo-Tvyovvres to Trovqpov, k.t.X. It is therefore 
quite natural that here, where the participles AoAowtcs, ew^ap., 
though not put for imperatives, yet from their connexion involve 
a command, he should make the transition to the new section 
easy by continuing to use the participle. Comp. 1 Pet. ii. 18, 
iii. 1. Meyer admits that it is no objection to this that in what 
follows we have only the vtt6tcl$ is of the wives, while the v-jraKorj of 


the children and servants in ch. vi. cannot be connected with 
vTToraao: ; for in classical writers also, after the prefixing of such 
absolute nominatives which refer collectively to the whole, often 
the discourse passes over to one part only. But he thinks that 
in that case at ywaiKcs would necessarily have a special verb cor- 
relative with vttot. It is not easy to see the force of this. 

22-33. Special injunctions to husbands and wives. Wives to be 
subject to their husbands, husbands to love their wives. This rela- 
tionship is illustrated by that of Christ and the Church. As Christ 
is the Head of the Church, which is subject to Christ, so the husband 
is the head of the wife, who is to be subject to the husband ; and 
Christ's love for the Church is to be the pattern of the marl's love 
for his wife. The analogy, indeed, is not perfect, for Christ is not 
only the Head of the Church which is His body, but is also the 
Saviour of it ; but this does not affect the purpose of the comparison 

22. a! yumiKes tois LSiols di'Spatnc <I>s tw Kupiw. So without a 
verb B, Clement (when citing vv. 21-25), Jerome's Greek MSS. His 
note is, " Hoc quod in Latinis exemplaribus additum est : subditae 
shit, in Graecis Codd. non habetur." vTroTaao-eo-Owaav is added 
after dvSpdaiv in NAP 17 al Vulg. Goth. Arm. Boh. etc., and 
Clement (when citing ver. 22 only), virordaaea-de in K L most 
mss., Syr. (both), Chrys. D G also have i>7roTdWecri9e, but after 
ywaiKes. Lachmann adopted viroTao-a-ia-Oayaav, but later critical 
editors read without the verb. The testimony of Jerome, who 
knew of no Greek MSS. with the verb, is very important. No 
reason can be imagined for its omission if it had been in the text 
originally, whereas the reason for its insertion is obvious, and was 
stated even by Erasmus: "adjectum, ut apparet, quo et sensus 
sit lucidior, et capitulum hoc separatim legi queat, si res ita 
postulet." The latter reason is particularly to be noted. The 
diversity in the MSS. which have the verb is also of weight. The 
shorter reading agrees well with the succinct style of St. Paul in 
his practical admonitions. 

iSiois is more than a mere possessive, yet does not imply an 
antithesis to " other men " ; it seems rather to emphasise the rela- 
tionship, as in the passage quoted from Stobaeus by Harless (Floril. 
p. 22 ) : ©cavw r/ llvdayopiKT] cjnk6cro(po<; ipwrrjOelcra ri 7rpwTOv €tT) 
ywai/a to tw ioYw, t</>?7, apiaKeiv av8pi. Compare also Acta Thomae, 

p. 24 (ed. Thilo) : outojs ei ws ttoXvv yjiovov (TV/x(3iw(ra(ra toj ioYw avSpi. 

That the word was not required to prevent misconception of 
av^pd'Ti is shown by its absence in the parallel, Col. iii. 18. 

d>s tw Kvpiy, not " as to their lord," which would have been 
expressed in the plural, but "as to the Lord Christ," "as" not 
meaning in the same manner as, but expressing the view they are 
to take of their submission ; compare vi. 6, 7. " Subjectio quae ab 


uxore praestatur viro simul praestatur ipsi Domino, Christo," 

Bengel. So Chrysostom : orav {i7reuc?;5 rw avSpi, <Ls T<3 Kupi'ui 
SovXevovaa rjyov TreWecrOaL. 

23. on drrjp eciTt KecfsaXr] rr\<s Y u,,aiK °s- Assigns the reason of 
u)5 Tw Kuptw. The article before avrjp in Rec. has no uncial 
authority in its favour. "A husband is head of his wife." 

<os kcu, " as also." Compare i Cor. xi. 3, 7ravros dvSpo? ?) 
kc^oAt) o Xpto-Tos eon, Kc<f>a\y] Se ywaiKos 6 avrjp, Kecf>a\r) Se toS 
XptfTToi) 6 ©eos. 

6 XpiaTOs K€<f>aX.T] rqs €KK\if](Tias auTos <r(i)Tr]p tou aaJu,aTOS. 

Rec. has Kal aiV6s eVrt (r., with K c D k K L P most mss., Syr. (both) 
Arm. But the shorter reading is that of X* A B D* G, Vulg. The added 
words are an obvious gloss. Boh. has ecm without kcli, and Aeth. Kal with- 
out 4 art. 

The apostle having compared the headship of the husband to 
that of Christ, could not fail to think how imperfect the analogy 
was ; he therefore emphatically calls attention to the point of 
difference ; as if he would say : " A man is the head of his wife, even 
as Christ also is head of the Church, although there is a vast 
difference, since He is Himself the Saviour of the body, of which 
He is the head ; but notwithstanding this difference," etc. Calvin 
already proposed this view : " Habet quidem id peculiare Christus, 
quod estservatorecclesiae; nihilominus sciant mulieres, sibi maritos 
praeesse, Christi exemplo, utcunque pari gratia non polleant." So 
Bengel concisely : " Vir autem non est servator uxoris ; in eo 
Christus excellit ; hinc sed sequitur." Chrys. Theoph. and 
Oecum., however, interpret this clause as equally applicable to 

the husband. kou yap i) Kt<fra\r] tov crw/xaro? (TUiTrjpia Zcttlv, Chrys. 

And more fully Theoph. : uxnrep ko1 6 Xpio-ros t^s cKKA^o-ias <W 

Ke<f>a\r], irpovoz trai atirijs Kal (rw^fi' ovru> tolvvv kox 6 a.vy)p, crwTTjp tov 
(rw/AaTos avrov, TOVTea-ri rrjs yvvaiKos. 7rais ovv ovk 60eiAei vTroracr- 
crecrOai Trj K€(f)a\rj to crw/xa, rfj irpovoovpLCvij nal o~w£ovo~r). So 

Hammond and many others. But avr6<; cannot refer to any 
subject but that which immediately precedes, viz. 6 Xpto-To'?. 
Moreover, to use crui/m without some qualification for the wife 
would be unintelligible; nor is crum//> ever used in the N.T. 
except of Christ or God. 

24. dXXd ws t) eKKXrjCTia UTrordcraeTai tw Xpiorw, outws Kal ai 
yufcuiccs tois avop&o-iv. There is much difference of opinion as to 
the force to be assigned to dAAd. Olshausen takes it as intro- 
ducing the proof drawn from what precedes ; and similarly De 
Wette, " But (aber) if the man is your head," a sense which dAAd 
(which is not = St) never has. Eadie gives the word "an anti- 
thetic reference," such as dAAd sometimes has after an implied 
negative. He interprets : " do not disallow the marital headship, 
for it is a divine institution, — dAAd, — but," etc. He refers for 


this use of aXXd to Luke vii. 7 ; John vii. 49 ; Rom. iii. 31, viii. 37; 
1 Cor. vi. 8, ix. 12. The fact that in most of these cases we might 
not incorrectly render " Nay," or " Nay, on the contrary," shows 
how unlike the present passage they are. Nor are 2 Cor. viii. 7, 
xiii. 4; 1 Tim. i. 15, 16, or the other passages which he cites, at 
all parallel ; and the negative to which he supposes dXXd to refer 
(" do not disallow," etc.) is not even hinted at in the text. His 
objection to the interpretation here adopted is that it sounds like 
a truism. Harless and others take dXXd to be simply resumptive ; 
but the main thought has not been interrupted, and there is no 
reason for rejecting its adversative force. Hofmann, like Eadie, 
reads into the text an objection which dXXd repels, " but even 
where the husband is not this (namely, a crun-r/p tov o\, making 
happy his wife, as Christ the Church), yet," etc. The view here 
preferred is adopted by Meyer, Alford, Ellicott, Braune, Moule, etc. 
iv -n-am'. It is presupposed that the authority of the husband 
is in accordance with their relation as corresponding to that of 
Christ to the Church. u <Ls evaefiecri vo/xoOerwv irpocrTiOeiKe to iv 
7rdvTi" Theodoret. 

ibairep of the Rec. is the reading of D c K L and most mss. ; but ws, 
NAD*GP 17 67 2 etc. (B omits.) 

Idiots is prefixed to dvdpdcnv by A D c K L P, Vss., but om. by fc$BD*G 
17 6j 2 . It has clearly been introduced from ver. 22. 

25. 01 dVSpes, dya-iraTe Ta? yuraiKas. 

Rec. adds eavrwv, with D K L, Syr. etc.; but NAB 17, Clem, (when 
giving the whole passage) omit. G adds v/xui>. 

Ka0a>9 koI 6 Xpicn-os, k.t.X. " Si omnia rhetorum argumenta in 
unum conjicias, non tarn persuaseris conjugibus dilectionem 
mutuam quam hie Paulus " (Bugenhagen). Meyer also well 
observes : " It is impossible to conceive a more lofty, more ideal 
regulation of married life, and yet flowing immediately from the 
living depth of the Christian consciousness, and, therefore, capable 
of practicable application to all concrete relations." Chrysostom's 
comment is very fine : " Hast thou seen the measure of obedience? 
hear also the measure of love. Wouldst thou that thy wife should 
obey thee as the Church doth Christ ? have care thyself for her, as 
Christ for the Church ; and if it should be needful that thou 
shouldest give thy life for her, or be cut to pieces a thousand times, 
or endure anything whatever, refuse it not ; yea, if thou hast 
suffered this thou hast not done what Christ did, for thou doest 
this for one to whom thou wert already united, but He for her who 
rejected Him and hated Him . . . He brought her to His feet by 
His great care, not by threats nor fear nor any such thing ; so do 
thou conduct thyself towards thy wife." 

26. IVa auTrp' &Yicio-r] KaOapiaas tw XouTpw tou u'8o.tos iv pf}p.a,Ti,. 


The immediate purpose of eavrdv 7rapeoWev, ver. 25. dyiao-77 is 
clearly not to be limited to " consecration " ; it includes the actual 
sanctification or infusion of holiness. It is the positive side, 
KaOapta-as expressing the negative, the purification from her former 
sins. But as the remoter object is fra Trapao-Trjarr), the ceremonial 
idea of dyid^eiv appears to be the prominent one here. Logically, 
Ka6api£,eiv precedes dyid^eiv, chronologically they are coincident ; 

cf. I Cor. vi. II, dXXd direXovo-aaQe, dXXd rjyido-6r]Te. The tense 

of KaOapia-a'i by no means requires the translation " after He had 
purified " (cf. i. 9), which would probably have been expressed by 
a passive participle agreeing with aunjv, indeed /ca#api£tuv would 
have been quite inappropriate. 

t<3 Xovrpip t. v. " By the bath of water," distinctly referring to 
baptism, and probably with an allusion in Xovrpw to the usual bath 
of the bride before the marriage ; the figure in the immediate 
context being that of marriage. 

iv The first question is as to the connexion. By 
Augustine the phrase is supposed to qualify tw Xovrpw tov v8., 
"accedit verbum ad elementum et fit sacramentum." 

But as the combination is strange, and neither to Xovrpov nor 
to v8wp can form with iv popart a single notion (like y 7tio-tis ev 
Xp.), this would require the article to be repeated. The interpre- 
tation, "the bath resting on a command" (Storr, Peile, Klopperj, 
would require ev p. Xpio-rov. Meyer, following Jerome, connects 
the words with dytdo-rj, " having purified with the bath of water, 
may sanctify her by the word." The order of the words is strongly 
against this, and, besides, we should expect some addition to 
KaOap., which should suggest the spiritual signification of " purify- 
ing with water." 

It is therefore best connected with Kadap(.o-a<;. But as to the 
meaning ? Alford, Eadie, Ellicott, Meyer take prjp.a to mean the 
gospel or preached word taught preliminary to baptism, p?/p.a is, 
no doubt, used in this sense (not in Acts x. 37 but) Rom. x. 17, 
prjp.a Xpto-Tov ; but there it is defined by XpLo-rov, as in ver. 8 by' 
•J-77S mo-Tew; ; indeed, prj/xa is there used, not because of any special 
appropriateness, but for the sake of the quotation. Elsewhere we 
have pf}p.a ®eov, Eph. vi. 1 7. It is far, indeed, from being correct 
to say that "the gospel" is "the usual meaning of the Greek 
term," as Eadie states, referring, in addition to the passages 
mentioned above, to Heb. vi. 5 (where the words are Qeov prjpa) : 

Acts X. 44, rd prjjxaTa ravra: xi. 14, AaA^crei pyjfxara rrpos ere. In 

these last two places it is obvious that pr/para means simply 
"words" or "sayings," as in Acts xxvi. 25, where St. Paul says of 

his speech before FestUS, dXrjOeias xal o-axppoo-vvt/S p-qp-ara dwo^Oey- 

yop.*u. See also Acts ii. 14, evwrio-ao-Qe rd prjpard p,ov. Needless 
to say that prjp,a is used of single sayings very frequently. There 


may be even -n-ovrjpov prjixa or apybv prj/xa (not to mention cases where 
prjfxa is used for " a thing mentioned " : see on Luke i. 65). That 
the word is most frequently used, not to signify a Divine or sacred 
saying, but where the connexion implies such a saying, is simply a 
result of the fact that there was little occasion (in the Epp. none) 
to refer to other p-q/xaTa. There is no example of pfjfia by itself 
meaning " the gospel " or anything like this. Had it the article 
here, indeed, there would be good reason for maintaining this 

The Greek commentators understand prjfj.a of the formula of 
baptism, ttoiw ; says Chrysostom, iv 6v6jjuo.ti tov Haxpos koX tov 
Ylov Kal tov dytov rivei'/xaros. It is true, as Estius remarks, that 
if this were the sense we should expect Kal pharos ; and Harless 
adds that these definite words could hardly be referred to except 
with the article, t<3 pyj/xan. But although " of water and prjfxa " 
might, perhaps, have been expected, cv is quite admissible ; com- 
pare ev eVayycAta, vi. 2. The objections from the absence of the 
article, and from the fact that p^/xa has not elsewhere this meaning, 
fall to the ground when we consider that it is not alleged or sup- 
posed that privet, of itself means the formula of baptism ; it retains 
its indefinite meaning, and it is only the connexion with the refer- 
ence to baptism in the preceding words that defines what prjpxi is 
intended. So Soden. Moule renders, "attended by, or condi- 
tioned by, an utterance," which would agree well with this inter- 
pretation. He explains it as " the revelation of salvation embodied 
in the name of the Father, the Son, and Holy Ghost." Macpher- 
son denies the reference to baptism, and thinks it more natural to 
speak of the cleansing as effected by the bathing ("washing," AV.) 
rather than in the bath, especially as "of water" is added. "The 
reference is most probably to the bath of the bride before mar- 
riage." Yes, such a reference there is ; but what is it which the 
reader is expected to compare with the bridal bath ? As there is 
no particle of comparison, the words imply that there is a Xovrpov<;, which is compared to the bath. And surely baptism could 
not fail to be suggested by these words to the original readers. 
As to Xovrpov, besides the meaning " water for bathing," it has the 
two senses of the English " bath," viz. the place for bathing and 
the action ; but it does not mean " washing." 

27. Xva Trap<xcrrr|(TT] auTos eauTai, k.t.X. The remoter object of 
TrapiSuiKcv depending on dyido-17, etc The verb is used, as in 
2 Cor. xi. 2, of the presentation of the bride to the bridegroom, 
irapQkvov dyvr/v Trapao-Trjaai toj XpicrTw. The interpretation, " present 
as an offering" (Harless), is opposed to the context as well as 
inconsistent with eavrw. arrds is the correct reading, and 
emphasises the fact that it is Christ who, as He gave Himself to 
sanctify the Church, also presents her to Himself. This presenta- 


tion is not complete in this life, yet Bengel correctly says : " id 
valet suo modo jam de hac vita." 

aurbs is the reading of K A B D* G L, Vulg. Syr-Harcl. etc. The Rec. 
has avrfy, with D c K most mss., Syr-Pesh. , Chrys. The latter is the read- 
ing which would most readily occur to the copyist ; no copyist would be 
likely to depart from it if he had it before him, but avrds has a peculiar 

€f8o|o»' rr)v eKKXrjCTiai'. The tertiary predicate cvSo^ov is placed 
with emphasis before its substantive. Not "a glorious Church," 
but " the Church, glorious," " that He might present the Church 
to Himself, glorious." 

jat) €x ouo " a|/ o"iriW. 0-77-tAos, which also occurs 2 Pet. ii. 13, is a 
word of later Greek (Plutarch, etc.) for kt/Ai'sj aWiA-os occurs four 
times in N.T. 

dXX' iVa t]. Changed structure, as if ha fir] $xv had preceded ; 
compare ver. 33. 

28. outws is connected by Estius and Alford with ws following : 
" So . . . as." This is not forbidden by grammatical considera- 
tions ; for in spite of Hermann's rule, that the force of ovtids is " ut 
eo confirmentur praecedentia" it is used with reference to what 
follows, introduced by <!>s or u>cnrep, both in classical writers and in 
N.T. Compare tous ovtw; e7ricrra/xo'oi;s elirelv <Ls ovSels u.v aAAos 
Svvcuto (Isocr. ap. Post and Palm, luriv yap ovtw; waTrep ovros 

ewe-n-ei, Soph. Track. 475, is not a good instance, for ovtus may 
very well be referred to what precedes). And in N.T. 1 Cor. 
iii. 15, ovtu) 8k <Ls 81a. TTvpos : cf. iv. 1. But in such cases ovtws has 
some emphasis on it, and apart from that it yields a better sense 
here to take ovtids as referring to the preceding statement of 
Christ's love for the Church. " Even so ought husbands . . ." 
If «ai is read before 01 avSpes, as Treg. WH. and RV., the latter 
view is alone possible. 

The position of 6<pel\ov<riv varies in the MSS. S b K L 17 and most have 
it before ol dvdpes, A D G P after. The latter group add Kal before ol &v5pet, 
and of the former group B 17. As the position of the verb would hardly be' 
a reason for inserting Kal, it may be presumed to be genuine. 

o>s t& eauTwv <rwp,aTa. The sense just ascertained for ovrws 
determines this to mean " as being their own bodies " ; and this 
agrees perfectly with what follows : " he that loveth his own wife 
loveth himself." Moreover, although we speak of a man's love 
for himself, we do not speak of him as loving his body or having 
an " affection " for it (Alford) ; and to compare a man's love for his 
wife to his love (?) for his " body," would be to suggest a degrad- 
ing view of the wife, as, indeed, Grotius does, saying : " sicut 
corpus instrumentum animi, ita uxor instrumentum viri ad res 
domesticos, ad quaerendos liberos." Plutarch comes nearer to the 

apostle's view : Kparelv Sei tov avSpa tt}s ywaiKos, ov^ wS oeo-iroTrjv 


KT?;//a.Tos, dAA' d)9 ijsvxV v (rutfiaros, (rvfiTraOovvra koX oruyx7re</>uKOTa rjj 
evvoui. (!)<TTrep ovv aoj/xaros eori KrjSecrdau fxyj oovXevovra rais ^Soiais 
avruxj /cat rais IrnOv /xi'ais" o^tco ywaiKOS ap^ttv tvfypaivovTa *cat 

Xapi£o'yu.evcN/ (Conj. Praec. p. 422, quoted by Harless). The mean- 
ing is, Even as Christ loved the Church as that which is His 
body, so also should husbands regard their wives as their own 
bodies, and love them as Christ did the Church. 

6 &Y<nrwv ttjc eauTou yumiKa eauToy dycura. This is neither 
identical with the preceding nor an inference from it, but rather 
an explanation of ws rd eav7w crw/xaTa. If the latter words meant, 
" as they do their own bodies," they would fall immeasurably 
short of this. It is, however, going beyond the bounds of 
psychological truth to say that a man's love for his wife is but 
" complying with the universal law of nature by which we all love 
ourselves," or that it " is in fact self-love," whether " a hallowed 
phasis " of it or not. If it were so, there would be no need to 
enforce it by precept. Although the husband's love for his wife 
may be compared to what is called his love for himself, inasmuch 
as it leads him to regard her welfare as his own, and to feel all 
that concerns her as if it concerned himself, the two mental facts 
are entirely different in their essence. There is no emotion in 
self-love ; it is the product of reason, not of feeling ; and it is a 
"law" of man's nature, not in the sense of obligation (although there 
is a certain obligation belonging to it), but in the sense that it 
necessarily belongs to a rational nature. The basis of conjugal 
love is wholly different, and is to be found, not in the rational 
part of man's nature, but in the affections. The love is reinforced 
by reflection, and made firm by the sense of duty ; but it can 
never become a merely rational regard for another's happiness, as 
" self-love " is for one's own. 

To refer to the stirring remarks of Chrysostom above cited, 
when a man gives his life for his wife, is that an exercise of 
" self-love " ? Surely no more than when a mother gives her life 
for her child. There is none of this false philosophy in the 
language of St. Paul. 

29. tt)c eauTou o-dpi<a. The word is, no doubt, chosen with 
reference to the aap£ pia, quoted ver. 31. It is not perhaps 
correct, however, to say that it is so chosen instead of awp.a, for 
it is hardly probable that the apostle would have used o-w/xa in 
this connexion in any case. Rather, the whole sentence is sug- 
gested by the thought of aap£ p.ia. 

30. on fxe'Xr] iu\kkv tou aco|i.aTos auTOO. Rec. adds Ik tiJs 
aapK(><; avrov ko.1 ck tojv dcrTCojv avrov. 

For the insertion are N C DGLP(K has tou aw/xaTo<s for twi- 
ocrreW) nearly all cursive mss., It. Vulg. Syr. (both) Arm., Iren. 
Jerome, etc. 


For the omission K* A B 17 67 s , Boh. Eth., Method. Euthal. 
Ambrst. and apparently Origen. 

It will be seen that the MSS. which omit decidedly outweigh those that 
insert. Ellicott speaks of the testimony of X as "divided," which seems 
a singular way of neutralising the evidence of the earlier scribe by that of a 
seventh-century corrector. 

It is an obvious suggestion that the words might have been omitted by 
homoeoteleuton. Reiche, who accepted the words (writing before the dis- 
covery of H), rightly observes that this can hardly be admitted in the case of 
so many witnesses. He prefers to suppose that they were omitted in con- 
sequence of offence being taken at the apparently material conception 
presented ; and some other critics have adopted the same view. The 
objection must have been very strong which would lead to such a deliberate 
omission. But there is no reason to suppose that the words would have 
given offence, especially considering such words as "a spirit hath not flesh 
and bones as ye see Me have," not to mention " eating My flesh and drinking 
My blood." Nor do the ancient commentators indicate that any such 
difficulty was felt. Irenaeus, after quoting the words, adds: " non de 
spirituali aliquo et invisibili homine dicens haec ; spiritus enim neque ossa 
neque carnes habet," etc. Indeed, an ancient reader would be much more 
likely to regard the words as a natural expansion of fj.t\ri tov o-wfiaros clvtov. 
On the other hand, nothing was more likely than that the words should be 
added from recollection of the passage in Genesis, quoted in ver. 31. It is 
objected to this, that the words are not quoted with exactness, "bone" 
preceding "flesh" in Gen. This is to assume an exactness of memory 
which is at least questionable. Once added, the ordinary copyist would, of 
course, prefer the longer text. 

As to the internal evidence, on careful consideration it will be found 
strongly in favour of the shorter text. When Christ is called the Head or 
Foundation, and the Church the Body or House, the language is that of 
analogy, i.e. it suggests, not resemblance of the objects, but of relations ; 
Christ in Himself does not resemble a Head or a Foundation-stone, but His 
relation to the Church resembles the relation of the head to the body and of 
the foundation-stone to the building. But what relation is suggested by the 
bones of Christ ? Or if o-ci/xaros be understood of the figurative or mystical 
body, what conceivable meaning can be attached to the bones thereof? 
This fundamental difficulty is not faced by any commentator. While trying 
to attach some meaning to the clause, they do not attempt to show any 
appropriateness in the language. The utmost that could be said is that the 
words express an intimate connexion ; but unless this was a proverbial form of, 
expression, of which there is no evidence, this, besides losing the force of 4k, 
would leave the difficulty unsolved. Moreover, the clause is so far from 
carrying out the n£k-r) tov <t., that it introduces an entirely different figure. 
This is disguised in the AV. 

Had the words been "of His flesh and of His blood," we might have 
understood them as alluding to the Eucharist ; and it is worth noting that 
several expositors have supposed that there is such an allusion ; but the 
mention of "flesh and bones" instead of "flesh and blood" is fatal to 

The reader may desire to know how the omitted clause has 
been interpreted. Chrysostom, in the first instance, explains it 
of the incarnation, by which, however, Christ might rather be said 
to be " from our flesh." It is no answer to this to say, with Estius, 
"in hac natura ipse caput est," which is to change the figure. 


Besides, it is true of all men, not only of Christians, that in this 
sense they are of the same flesh as Christ ; but this again is not 
the meaning of e*. Alford says : " As the woman owed her 
natural being to the man, her source and head, so we owe our 
spiritual being to Christ, our Source and Head " ; and similarly 
Ellicott, Meyer, etc. Surely a strange way of saying that our 
spiritual being is derived from Christ, to say that we are from 
His bones ! Others, as above mentioned, interpret of communion 
in the Eucharist (so in part Theodoret and Theophylact, also 
Harless and Olshausen). 

Not without reason did Riickert come to the conclusion that it 
was doubtful whether St. Paul had any definite meaning in the 
words at all. 

31. &ru toutou = h/€Kev tovtov. Compare the use of dvri in 
dv$' &y. Then the sense will be : because a man is to love his 
wife as Christ the Church. V. Soden, however, takes avrl tovtov 
to mean "instead of this," viz. instead of hating (ver. 29), observ- 
ing that the conclusion of this verse returns to the main idea there, 
i.e. 7} iavrov o~dp£. See on Lk. xii. 3. 

KaTaX€ii|/€i aySpwn-os, k.t.X. A quotation from Gen. ii. 24, 
which might have been introduced by " as it is written " ; but with 
words so familiar this was needless. 

Most commentators interpret this verse of Christ, either 
primarily or secondarily. So Jerome : " primus vates Adam hoc 
de Christo et ecclesia prophetavit ; quod reliquerit Dominus noster 
atque Salvator patrem suum Deum et matrem suam coelestem 
Jerusalem." So many moderns, including Alford, Ellicott, Meyer, 
the last mentioned, however, referring the words to the Second 
Coming, the tense being future. Ellicott thinks this is pressing 
the tense unnecessarily, whereas it may have the ethical force of 
the future, for which he refers to Winer, § 40. 6, whose examples 
are wholly irrelevant to Ellicott's purpose. If the passage is inter- 
preted of Christ it refers to a definite fact, and the future must have 
its future sense. Understood of Christ, the expressions dv#/xo7ros 
for Christ, and "leave his father and mother," for "leave His seat 
in heaven," are so strange and so unlike anything else in St. Paul, 
that without an express intimation by the writer it is highly un- 
reasonable so to interpret them. Can we imagine St. Paul writing, 
" Christ will leave His father and His mother and will cleave to 
His wife, the Church"? We might not be surprised at such an 
expression in a mystical writer of the Middle Ages, but we should 
certainly not recognise it as Pauline. It is, if possible, less likely 
that he should say the same thing, using ilvOpwiros instead of 
Xpio-To?, and expect his readers to understand him. If the future 
is given its proper meaning, the expression " leaving His seat at the 
right hand of God " is inappropriate. 


On the other hand, the whole passage treats of the duty of 
husbands, the reference to Christ and the Church being introduced 
only incidentally for the purpose of enforcing the practical lesson. 
It was, indeed, almost inevitable that where St. Paul was so full on 
the duty of the husband, he should refer to these words in Genesis 
in their proper original meaning. This meaning being so exactly 
adapted to enforce the practical precept, to take them otherwise, 
and to suppose that they are introduced allegorically, is to break 
the connexion, not to improve it. 

There are some differences of reading. The articles before 
TraTepa and fxrjrepa are absent in B D* G, and are omitted by 
Lachm. and Treg., and bracketed by WH. Tischendorf omitted 
them in his 7th ed., but restored them in the 8th in consequence 
of the added evidence of X. avrov is added after Traripa in 
X c A D c K L P, Syr-Pesh. Boh. from LXX ; not in X* B D* G 17, 
Vulg. Arm. airov is added after p^ripa in P 47, Vss. 

For vrpbs rr\v yvvaiica, which is in X° B D c K L, Orig. , rrj ywaticl is read 
by X* A D* G. The readings in the Sept. also vary. 

32. to fj.uo-TTJpiof touto p-eya iarriv, tya> 8e Xe'yu* els Xpioroe kcu 
els ttji' CKKX-rjo'iai'. 

The second els is om. by B K and some other authorities. 

We must first determine the meaning of p.vo-Trjpiov and of fxeya. 
On the former word see on i. 9. It does not mean " a mysterious 
thing or saying," "a saying of which the meaning is hidden or 
unfathomable." As Sanday and Headlam observe (Rom. xi. 25), 
with St. Paul it is a mystery revealed. Again, as to /u.e'ya, the 
English versions — not only the incorrect AV., "this is a great 
mystery," but the grammatically correct RV., " this mystery is 
great " — convey the idea that what is said is, that the mysteriousness 
is great, or, that the mystery is in a high degree a mystery. This is 
not only inconsistent with the meaning of ixvo-rr/piov, assuming, as 
it does, that "hiddenness" is the whole of its meaning (for to 
speak of a thing as in a high degree a revealed secret would be 
unintelligible), but it assigns to /xe'ya a meaning which does not 
belong to it. In English we may speak of great facility, great 
folly, simplicity, (77-0A.A?/ /xwpi'a, evrjdeia) ; great ignorance (-n-oAAr) 
ayvoia) ; great perplexity (ttoAA?) 6.Tropia) : but /xe'yas is not so 
used, for it properly expresses magnitude, not intensity. These 
linguistic facts are sufficient to set aside a large number, perhaps 
the majority, of interpretations of the clause. The sense must be 
of this kind : " This doctrine of revelation is an important or 
profound one." 

What, then, is the /xurrrr/piov of which St. Paul thus speaks ? 
Some suppose it to be this statement about marriage, which to the 
heathen would be new. But this requires us to take Aeya> in the 


sense " I interpret," or the like, which it does not admit. It is 
better to understand it as referring to the comparison of marriage 
with union of Christ with the Church. The latter clause, then, 
expressly points out that the former does not refer to marriage in 
itself, and Xeyw has the same which it frequently has in St. Paul, 
" I mean." 

V. Soden takes tovto to refer to what follows : " this secret, i.e. 
that which I am about to say as the secret sense of this sentence, is 
great, but I say it in reference to Christ and the Church," comparing 
i Cor. xv. 51, fjLvo-rrjpiov vfilvXeyw. This would be very elliptical. 

Hatch translates : " this symbol (sc. of the joining of husband 
and wife into one flesh) is a great one. I interpret it as referring 
to Christ and to the Church " (Essays, p. 61). 

The rendering of the Vulgate is : " Sacramentum hoc magnum 
est ; ego autem dico in Christo et in ecclesia." There are several 
other places in which fjivar-qpLov is rendered "sacramentum," viz. 
Eph. i. 9, iii. 3, 9 ; Col. i. 27 ; 1 Tim. iii. 16 ; Rev. i. 20. 

It was, however, no doubt, the rendering in this passage which 
led to marriage being entitled a sacrament. In an encyclical 
of 1832 (quoted by Eadie) occurs the statement, "Marriage is, 
according to St. Paul's expression, a great sacrament in Christ and 
in the Church." But the greatest scholars of the Church of Rome 
have rejected this view of the present passage. Cardinal Caietan 
says : " Non habes ex hoc loco, prudens lector, a Paulo conjugium 
esse sacramentum. Non enim dixit esse sacramentum, sed mys- 
terium." And to the same effect Estius. Erasmus also says : 
" Neque nego matrimonium esse sacramentum, sed an ex hoc 
loco doceri possit proprie dici sacramentum quemadmodum 
baptismus dicitur, excuti volo." As to the question whether 
marriage is properly to be reckoned a sacrament or not, this is 
very much a matter of definition. If sacrament is defined as in 
the Catechism of the Churches of England and Ireland and by 
other Reformed Churches, it is not, for it was not instituted by 
Christ. Even if we take Augustine's definition, "a visible sign of 
an invisible grace," there would be a difficulty. But if every rite 
or ceremony which either is, or includes in it, a sign of something 
spiritual, is to be called a sacrament, then marriage is well entitled 
to the name, especially in view of the apostle's exposition here. 
But to draw any inference of this kind from the present passage is 
doubly fallacious, for this is not the meaning of fivaTrjpiov ; and, 
secondly, St. Paul expressly states that it is not to marriage that 
he applies the term, but to his teaching about Christ and the 
Church ; or, according to the interpretation first mentioned, to the 
meaning of the verse from Genesis. 

33. Ti\y]V Kdi ujAets 01 kcxG' eva €Kaoros tt)c eauTOu y ut/ ^ Ka outws 
dvaTraTco gjs eauTtW. 


irXrjv. " Howbeit — not to dwell on this matter of Christ and the 
Church, but to return to what I am treating of — ." 

koI vfjctis, ye also, viz. after the pattern of Christ. AV. drops 
the koJl, which is important. The precept is individualised by the 
eKacrros, so as to bring more home its force for each man. <bs 
iavTov, as being himself, ver. 28. 

1^ Se yu^], tva- <j>oPt}tcu tov acSpa. fj ywrj is best taken as a 
nom. abs. and " the wife — let her see," etc. On <f>o(3rjTai, Oecum. 
rightly remarks : ws Trptirei yvvatKa <po/8eTo-#ai, fir] 8ouXo7T/0€7raJs. 
" Nunquam enim erit voluntaria subjectio nisi praecedat rever- 
entia," Calvin. 

VI. 1-9. Special injunctions to children and fathers, slaves and 
masters. Slaves are called on to regard their service as a service 
done to Christ ; masters are reminded that they, too, are subject to the 
same Master, who has no respect of persons. 

1. to. TeKya, uiraKoueTe tois yoyeuoav fijauv iv Kupiw. iv Kupiw is 
omitted by B D* G, but added in x A D bc K L P, Vulg. Syr. etc. 
Origen expressly, who mentions the ambiguity of the construction, 
i.e. that it may be either tois iv Kupia> yovevo~iv or vTraxovcTe iv K. 
If the words had been added from Col. iii. 20 they would probably 
have come after SiWov. Assuming that the words are genuine, as 
seems probable, the latter is the right construction. " In the 
Lord," not as defining the limits of the obedience, iv oh av //.?) 
irpoo-Kpovo-r)*; (t<3 Kupiw), Chrys., but rather showing the spirit in 
which the obedience is to be yielded. It is assumed that the 
parents exercise their authority as Christian parents should, and 
we cannot suppose that the apostle meant to suggest to the 
children the possibility of the contrary. 

touto yap ianv Sikcuoi', I.e. kcu <£wcrei oikcliov kcli vtto tov vop.ov 
7rpoo-Tao-o-€rat, Theoph. Compare Col. iii. 20. From the children 
being addressed as members of the Church, Hofmann infers that 
they must have been baptized, since without baptism no one could 
be a member of the Church (Schriflen, ii. 2, p. 192). Meyer's 
reply, that the children of Christian parents were aytoi by virtue of 
their fellowship with their parents (1 Cor. vii. 14), loses much of its 
point in the case of children who were past infancy when their 
parents became Christians. But no conclusion as to infant 
baptism can be deduced. 

2. ^tis ccttIc en-oXr) -n-pwTT) iv eirayycXta. %ti<s, " for such is," 
Alf. To translate "seeing it is" would be to throw the motive to 
obedience too much on the fact of the promise. 

TrpwTT] iv €7r. has caused difficulty to expositors. The second 
commandment has something which resembles a promise attached. 
Origen, who mentions this difficulty, replies, first, that all the com- 
mandments of the Decalogue were Trpwrai, being given first after the 
coming out of Egypt ; or. ; f this be not admitted, that the promise 


in the second commandment was a general one, not specially 
attached to the observance of that precept. The latter reply has 
been adopted by most modern commentators. Others have 
supposed "first" to mean "first in the second table"; but the 
Jews assigned five commandments to each table, as we learn 
from Philo and Josephus. See also Lev. xix. 3 and Rom. xiii. 9. 
The position of the precept in the former passage and its omission 
in the latter agree with this arrangement. In either case this 
would be the only commandment with promise. Meyer and 
Ellicott suppose, therefore, that it is not the Decalogue alone that 
is referred to. Braune and Stier understand Trponr} as first in point 
of time, namely, the first which has to be learned. Compare Bengel 
(not adopting this view) : " honor parentibus per obedientiam 
praesertim praestitus initio aetatis omnium praeceptorum obedi- 
entiam continet." 

iv eirayyeXta. Ellicott, Meyer, and others take this to mean 
"in regard of, or, in point of, promise." "The first command we 
meet with which involves a promise" (Ell.). Meyer compares 
Diod. Sic. xiii. 37, iv 8e evyeveia. Kal ttXovtw 7rpaiT09. But to make 
this parallel we should understand the words here : " foremost in 
promise," i.e. having the greatest promise attached, or, at least, 
"having the advantage in point of promise," which is not their 
interpretation. Chrysostom says : ov rfj to^ci ztirzv avrrjv Trpwrrjv, 
dAAa rfj cVayyeXta. But it is precisely rfj rd$ et that Ell. and Mey. 
make it first, only not of all the commandments. It is better, then, 
to take iv (with Alford) as = characterised by, accompanied with, 
so that we might translate "with a promise." But to what 
purpose is it to state that this is the first command in order 
accompanied with a promise, especially when it would be equally 
true, and much to the purpose, to say that it is the only command 
with a promise ? On the whole, therefore, remembering that it is 
children who are addressed, the interpretation of Stier and Braune 
seems preferable. Westcott and Hort give a place in their margin 
to a different punctuation, viz. placing the comma after Trpiorr/, and 
Connecting iirayyeXia. with Iva. 

3. Iva eu ctoi yeVrjTai, k.t.X. The text in the Sept. proceeds : 
kol iva fj.aKpoxpovio<; yivrj im rrjs y?/s 17? Kupios 6 ©eos crov SiScucri croi. 
The latter words are probably omitted purposely as unsuitable to 
those addressed. The future ear] is to be regarded as dependent 
on Iva, — a construction which is found elsewhere in St. Paul, as 

I Cor. ix. 18, Iva aBd.Travov (h'/cro) to evayy. : Gal. ii. 4, Iva ?///.£$ 

KaraEovXwaovcnv. In Rev. xxii. 14 we have future and conjunctive, 
just as in classical writers future and conjunctive are used after 
07rws. It is possible that tar) is used here because there was no 
aor. conj. of the verb. In the passage referred to in Rev. the 
future is cotou. 


4. Kal 01 im-r^pcs. kcu marks that the obligation was not all 
on the side of the children. So ko.1 ol Kvptoi, ver. 9. irarepe^, 
" patres potissimum alloquitur, nam hos facilius aufert iracundia," 
Bengel. firf Trapopyi^ere, Col. iii. 21, p.rj epe#i£eT€, " Do not 

iv iraiScia Kal pouSeaia Kupiou. ircuSeia occurs only in one 
other place in St. Paul, viz. 2 Tim. iii. 16, irdaa ypacprj . . . 
wcpeXip-os . . . 7rpos TratSetav tyjv iv SiKaiocrvvj). The verb TraiSevw 
also, although used of chastening in 1 Cor. xi. 32 ; 2 Cor. vi. 9, is 
employed in a wider sense in 2 Tim. ii. 25 ; Tit. ii. 12. There is 
no sufficient reason, then, for supposing that the two substantives 
here are distinguished, as Grotius thinks : " 7ratSeia hie significare 
videtur institutionem per poenas : vovdeo-ia autem est ea institutio 
quae fit verbis," followed by Ellicott and Alford. Rather, 7raiSeta 
is, as in classical writers, the more general, vovdecrLa more specific, 
of instruction and admonition. vovOea-ia is a later form for 
vov6eTr)<ri<;. Kvpiov is not " concerning the Lord," as Theodoret, 
etc., — a meaning which the genitive after such a word as vov6. can 
hardly have, but the subjective genitive ; the Lord is regarded as 
the guiding principle of the education. 

5. Ol OOuXoi, UTTClKOUETe TOIS KO.T& CTCipKCl KUpiOl?. This is the 

order in X A B P, etc. Rec. has rots Kvpiois Kara. a-dpKa. 

Bengel thinks that k. o-dpKa is added, because after the mention 
of the true Kvptos it was not fitting to use Kvpioi without qualifica- 
tion. In Col. iii. 22 a sentence intervenes, but still the reason 
holds good, for 6 Kupios was their Kupio? also Kara Trvevfm. 
SecnroTrjs is the word used for the master of slaves in the Pastorals 
and 1 Peter. 

fie-ra <j)6pou Kal Tpouou. These words are similarly associated 
in 1 Cor. ii. 3 ; 2 Cor. vii. 15 ; Phil. ii. 12, expressing only anxious 
solicitude about the performance of duty, so that there is no 
allusion to the hardness of the service. In Col. iii. 22 it is <poftov- 
p.evoi rov Kvpiov. 

iv <xtt-\6tt]ti rf]s Kapoiag. The word d.TrXoTr}<; is used several 
times by St. Paul (by him only in the N.T.), and always indicates 
singleness and honesty of purpose, sometimes showing itself in 
liberality. (See Fritzsche's note on Rom. xii. 8, vol. iii. p. 62.) 
Here the meaning is the obvious one, there was to be no double- 
heartedness in their obedience, no feeling of reluctance, but 
genuine heartiness and goodwill, hri yap Kal /Aero. <po/?ou Kal rpop-ov 

SoiAeikiv, dXX ovk €fe ewota?, dAAa KaKovpyws, Oecum. 

a>9 tu> Xpia-ruS, as <I>s tw Kvptw, v. 2 2, " so that your service to 
your master is regarded as a service to Christ." 

6. p.Tj Ka-r' 64>0a\p.oSou\£ai'. "Not in the way of 64>0." The 
word is not found elsewhere except in Col. iii. 22, and may have 
been coined by St. Paul. The adjective 6<p6a\p,68ovXo'i is found 


in the Apost. Constit, but with reference to this passage (i. p. 
299 A, ed. Cotel.). The meaning is obvious. 

ws dwGpwn-dpeaicoi. This word is not found in classical writers ; 
it occurs in the Sept., Ps. lii. (liii.) 6 ; not as a rendering of our 
Hebrew text. It is also found in Psalt. Sol. iv. 8, 10. This is the 
opposite of is t<3 Xp«rru> as well as of the following words. 

d\\' d>s 800X01 Xpiorou TroioocTes to GeXTjjia tou ©sou. tov before 
Xpicrrov rests on insufficient authority, D c K L, etc., against N D* 
G L P, etc. Not subordinate to the following clause, as if it were 
"as servants who are doing," etc., for the words are clearly in 
contrast to the preceding, and 7roiowTes to 6e.\. has much more 
force if taken as a separate character. 

6, 7. €K vJ/u)(T]s (1€t' euVoias SouXeuoeres w§ tw Kupiw. ex ifrvx*)* 
may be connected either with what precedes or with what follows. 
The latter connexion (adopted by Syr. Chrys. Jerome, Lachm. Alf. 
WH.) seems preferable, for 7toiowt€s to 6£kr)(xa tov ©eou does not 
require such a qualification, nor is there any tautology in taking 
£K i/r. with the following, for these words express the source in the 
feeling of the servant towards his work ; /act' cvvoias his feeling 
towards his master (Harless). Compare Raphel's apt quotation 
from Xen. : ovkovv evvoiav irpCmov, Z<pr]v cyw, Serjaet avrov [tov €7ti- 
Tpoirov] ^X €LV °~ ot KaL T0 '- s °"°i5 €i fJiiWot apKeaeiv olvtI aov Trapwv. (Oecon. 
xii. 5). Treg. puts a comma after ewoid?, WH. after SovXevovres. 

ws before t<5 Kupiw rests on preponderant evidence, 8AB D* 
G P, Vulg. Syr. It is omitted by D c K L. Internal evidence is 
in its favour, since SovA. tw k. would be tautologous with hovXoi 


8. c18ot€S oti eKaffTos o &•> ttoi^o-jj dyaOoV, touto Kop.ureTcu Trapd 

There is gTeat uncertainty as to the reading. 

fl-ri Macros 6 hv (or ikv) irorfffy, A D G P 1 7 37, Vulg. Arm. 

Art ?/ca<TTos edv ti, B, Petr. Alex. 

8rt 46.v Tt ?KacrTos, L* 46 II 5. 

& i&p ti ?Ka<rroj TroL^a-g, L** and most cursives. This is the Rec. Text. 

&ti (probably to be read S ti) div iroirjffj], tf*, corrected by fc<° by the 
insertion of 6 before £6.v. 

There are minor variations. 

The best supported reading is that first mentioned, which is adopted by 
Treg. and Tisch. 8 ; but Meyer and Ellicott think the Rec. better explains 
the others. WH. adopt the reading of B. 

In the reading of Rec. the relative is to be understood as separated from 
ti by tmesis. Cf. Plato, Legg. ix. 864 E, f\v 5.v Tiva /cara/SXdi/'T;. 

KOfuloerai, X A B D* G, is better attested than the Rec. KO/xeeiTeu. tov 
also of Rec. before Kvplov is rejected on the authority of all the chief 

Ko/j.i£eo-#ai is to receive back, as, for example, a deposit, hence 
here it implies an adequate return. Compare 2 Cor. v. 10, Iva 
KOfxIo-qTai Ixacrros Ta Sid tov awfiaTos, and Col. iii. 25. 


This lesson to slaves is equally a lesson for all kinds of service, 
as the following for all masters. 

9. K<xi oi Kupioi. See on /cat, ver. 4. 

tA auTci iroiciTe. I.e. act in a similar manner, in the same 
spirit. De Wette refers it to aya66v. The Greek comm. pressed 
to. avrd as if it meant SovXevere ainrois. 

<WvT€STT]Kd7rci\TJi'- " Giving up your threatening." The article 
indicates the well known and familiar threatening, " quemadmodum 
vulgus dominorum solet," Erasmus. 

€i86tcs, k.t.\. Wetstein cites a remarkable parallel from Seneca, 
Thyest. 607, "Vos, quibus rector maris atque terrae Jus dedit 
magnum necis atque vitae, Ponite inflatos tumidosque vultus. 
Quicquid a vobis minor extimescit, Major hoc vobis dominus 
minatur ! Omne sub regno graviore regnum est." 

Kal avTwv Kal vfiw* is supported by preponderant authority, K* {kayrCsv) 
ABD*, Vulg. Boh. Arm., Petr. Alex. etc. D° G have koX avruv v/iQv: K 
and most cursives, Kal vfiQiv airrQv. Meyer thinks the mention of slaves 
(airrwv) here appeared unsuitable, partly in itself and partly in comparison 
with Col. iv. I. Whether this be a correct account of the causes of the 
variation, it cannot be doubted that the reading attested by the best MSS. 
here is the more forcible, expressing, not merely the fact that "ye also 
have a Master," but that both you and they are subjects of the same Master. 

irpoo-a)Tro\nu,v|/La, like Trpo<TWTro\r]ix7rT^<;, and the verb Trpocr<o- 
Tro\r)fnrre<>», is found only in N.T. and ecclesiastical writers. The 
expression ttpoo-wttov Xa/u,/3a'veiv has a different meaning in the N.T. 
from that which it had in the O.T. In the latter it only meant to 
show favour, in the former it is to show partiality, especially on 
account of external advantages. 

10-12. Exhortation to prepare for the spiritual combat by 
arming themselves with the panoply of God, remembering that they 
have to do with no mere mortal foes, but with spiritual powers. 

10. toG XoittoG. So X* A B 17. 

to XoittoV. S'DGKLP, Chrys. etc 

Meyer points out that B 17 have dwafiovade instead of ivS., a variation 
which Meyer thinks may have arisen from a confusion of the N of Xoivov^ 
with the N of ei>8vv., thus pointing to the reading \otirov. Properly, rod 
\011rov means "henceforth, for the future," Gal. vi. 17, in which sense rb 
\oiirbv may also be used ; but the latter alone is used in the sense " for the 
rest," Phil. iii. I, iv. 8 ; 2 Thess. hi. I. As the latter is the meaning here, 
we should expect rb \011r6v, 

d8e\<|)oi p,ou is added in Rec. before h>8w., with « C KLP, most 
cursives, Syr. (both) Boh., but om. by X* B D 17, Arm. Aeth. 
A G, Vulg. Theodoret have dScA^ot without fx.ov. It has probably 
come in by assimilation to other passages in which to XoittoV 
occurs (see above). St. Paul does not address his readers thus in 
this Epistle. 

cyoumiAouo-ee. "Be strengthened." Cf. Rom. iv. 20. Not 

VI. 11, 12] THE PANOPLY OF GOD l8l 

middle but passive, as elsewhere in N.T. (Acts ix. 22 ; Rom. iv. 20 ; 
2 Tim. ii. 1 ; Heb. xi. 34). The active occurs Phil. iv. 23 ; 1 Tim. 
i. 12 ; 2 Tim. iv. 17. The simple verb<±>, which B 17 have 
here, is used in Col. i. 1 1 ,and according to N* A D* in Heb. xi. 34. 
evSwa/xovcrOai occurs once in the Sept. Ps. Ii. (lii.) 7 rather in a bad 
sense. There is no reason why a verb which occurs once in the 
Sept. and several times in the N.T. should be said to be " peculiar 
to the Alexandrian Greek." 

Kal iv tu KpaTei ttjs io-x"°s auTou. Not a hendiadys. Compare 
i. 19. 

11. ekSucmo-Oe t$\v -navorrKiav too 0eou. "Put on the panoply of 
God." 7ravo7rAta occurs also in Luke xi. 22. The emphasis is 
clearly on irav. not on tov ®eou. Observe the repetition in ver. 13, 
" of God," i.e. provided by God, crn-ao-iv Siave/m rrjv fiao-iXiKrjv irav- 
revxiav, Theodoret. There is no contrast with other armour, nor 
is iravoTrXia to be taken as merely = " armatura." The complete- 
ness of the armament is the point insisted on. St. Paul was, no 
doubt, thinking of the Roman soldiery, as his readers also would, 
although the Jewish armour was essentially the same. Polybius 
enumerates as belonging to the Roman 7ravoirXia, shield, sword, 
greaves, spear, breastplate, helmet. St. Paul omits the spears, and 
adds girdle and shoes, which, though not armour, were an essential 
part of the soldier's dress. 

irpos t6 8uVao-0cu. " To the end that ye may be able." o-njvai 
7rpos, " to hold your ground against," an expression suited to the 
military figure. 

Tds p.e0o8e£as. Cf. iv. 14. The plural expresses the concrete 
workings of the /xeOo&eia. We can hardly press it as specially 
appropriate to the military metaphor and = " stratagems." 

12. on ouk eartv r]\ilv f\ irdXrj 7rp6$ aljjia Kal crdpKa. 

rjfuv, with X A D° K L P and most mss. and Vss. 

i/fxtv, BD'G, Goth. Aeth., adopted by Lach., and admitted to the 
margin by Treg. and WH. The second person would very readily occur to 
a scribe, the whole context being in the second person. 

rj TrdXr}. " Our wrestling." The word is suitable to xpos at/xa 
Kal o-., but not to the struggle in which the iravoTrXia is required. 
The word is indeed found in a more general sense (see Ellicott), 
but only in poetry, as " wrestling " also might be used in our own 
tongue. But as the word is here used to describe what the 
struggle is not, it is most natural to supply a more general word, 
such as 17 fj-axv or ftax €T€0,/ > m tne following clause, according to 
an idiom frequent in Greek writers. 

cupa Kal adpKa, in this order here only. Jerome understands 
this of our own passions ; but that would be 7rpos r»?i/ cra'pKa without 
al/xa. Moreover, the contrast is clearly not between foes within 
and foes without, but between human and superhuman powers. 


irpos t&s ipx^S, irpos tols e'£oucrias. See on i. 21. 
irpos tous KocrjxoKpdTopas. " World-rulers." The word /<oo-p.o/cpa- 
Toyp occurs in the Orphica (viii. n, xi. u), and is used by the 

Schol. On Aristoph. Nub. 397, Secray^wo-ts 6 /SacriAcvs twv Atyi)7TTtwp 

Koo-fjLOKpaTwp yeyovws. It frequently occurs in Rabbinical writers 
(transliterated), sometimes of kings whose rule was world-wide, as 
"tres reges Koo-p-oKpaTop^, dominatores ab extremitate mundi ad 
extremitatem ejus, Nebucadnesar, Evilmerodach, Belsazar " (Shir 
Rab. iii. 4, ap. Wetst. ) ; also of the four kings whom Abraham 
pursued (Bereshith Rabba, fol. 57. 1). These are so called to add 
glory to Abraham's victory. Also the angel of death is so called, 
and by the Gnostics the Devil (Iren. i. 1). In the Test. XII Patr., 
Test. Sol. the demons say : r\p.Ci% iap.ev Ta Aeydp.eva crTOi^aa, ol 
/cocr/AOKpaTopes tow Koa-fiov tovtov. It appears, therefore, that it 
diners from " rulers " in implying that their rule extends over the 
koct/aos. Schoettgen supposes that St. Paul means the Rabbis and 
Doctors of the Jews, and he cites a passage from the Talmud 
where it is argued that the Rabbis are to be called kings ; he also 
compares Acts iv. 26. But the context appears to be decisive 
against such a view. The contest is clearly a spiritual one. Com- 
pare the designation of Satan as 6 ©cos tov aiwvos tovtov, 2 Cor. 
iv. 4 ; 6 apx^v tov k6o-/jlov tovtov, John xiv. 30. 


So, without tov cuwvo?, N* AB D* G 17 6f, Vulg. Boh. Syr- 
Pesh. and Hard, (text), etc 

After ffK&rovs, tov alGivos is added by K°* D'KLP most mss. The 
words were not likely to be omitted because they seemed superfluous or diffi- 
cult to explain ; and an omission from homoeoteleuton is not to be supposed 
in the face of so many documents. They might, on the contrary, have been 
added as a gloss, the phrase <tk6tovs tovtov being rare. 

irpos t& -nveuu-aTiica tt)s iroiajpias. " Against the spirit forces of 
wickedness," which belong to or are characterised by 7rovr/pta. 
RV. has "hosts of wickedness." So Alford, Ellicott, Meyer, com- 
paring to hnriKov, "the cavalry," Rev. ix. 16 ; to ttoXltikov, Herod, 
vii. 103 ; tol Xyo-rpiKa, Polyaen. v. 14. 141. But these are not 
really parallel ; 'unriKov, primarily meaning " appertaining to l-mroi," 
hence " equestrian," was naturally used for brevity to designate the 
cavalry of an army, as 7re£iKa the infantry, just like our " horse and 
foot." Thus Polyb. xv. 3. 5, 'Awifias eAAeMrwv tois mtu-i/cois, " in 
the matter of cavalry " ; id. xviii. 5. 5, An-wAoi . . . ko.0' oo-ov ev 
tois 7rc£iKots eAAi7rets eicrt . . . Kara too~ovtov tois iirirLKo'is Sia<pe- 
pova-i irpos to (ScXtlov twv aAAuv 'EAA^vw : ib. iii. 114. 5, to twv 
iinriKtov tr\r\Qo% to orvfnrav tois Kap^iySoviots eis [ivpiovs. ... In 
Rev ix. 16 we have 6 dpt^/ios twv o-rpaT^vfx.a.Tu>v tov 'nrmKov. But 
irvcu/wiTiKov never had such a signification, nor would its etymology 
lead us to expect that it could be so used ; for it does not mean 


what relates to irvev/xara, but to to Trvev/xa. It would be almost as 
reasonable to conclude from the use of the English " horse " 
and "foot," that "spirit" could be used for a host of spirits, as to 
draw a like conclusion about Trvev/MTiKa from the use of 'nnriKa, etc. 
Moreover, to. 'nrn-iKa does not mean " hosts or armies " of horses or 
of horsemen ; and, if we were to follow the analogy of its meaning, 
we should interpret ra irv. rr)s ttov. as = the TrvevjiariKov constituent 
of TTovrjpia. to. Ar/crT/H/ca, too, does not mean " bands of robbers," 
but of "pirate ships," which are themselves called kyoTptictu, 
Polyaenus, v. 14. 141 ; and to ttoXltlkov, in Herod, vii. 103, means 
that part of the population which consists of TroXirau This word, 
like LTnriKov, used in such a connexion as it has there, at once 
conveys this meaning. But to give nrivjiarLKa. here the meaning 
" spiritual armies, or hosts," is to depart wholly from the ordinary 
use of the word. 

Giving up, therefore, this rendering as untenable, we may trans- 
late " the spiritual forces, or elements of wickedness." 

iv tois eiroupaciois is connected by Chrysostom with rj irdXrj 
eoriv. Thus : iv tois iir. rj /aclxV Kurai . . . a>? av ei cAeyei', r) 
(rvvOrjKrj iv tlvi KeiTat : iv xpvcrw, i.e. our contest is for the heavenly 
blessings, and so Theodoret, Oecum. al. But in the illustration 
cited it is the connexion with kcitou that makes this sense possible ; 
the idea is "rests in, or depends on," which does not suit rj irdkr) 


The view generally adopted by modern expositors is that ra iir. 
means the seat of the evil spirits or spiritual hosts referred to, 
corresponding to the tov dcpos of ii. 2. As Alford expresses it, 
that habitation which in ii. 2, when speaking of mere matters of 
fact, was said to be in the drjp, is, now that the difficulty and im- 
portance of the Christian conflict is being set forth, represented as 
iv tois €7r. — over us and too strong for us without the panoply of 
God. He compares to. 7reT€iva tou ovpavov, Matt. vi. 26. This 
comment seems to amount to this, that these spiritual hosts dwell 
in the air ; but to impress us the more with the difficulty of the 
combat, the air is called "heaven." There is, however, no proof 
that to. iirovpavia meant the atmosphere, and this is not the mean- 
ing of the word elsewhere, e.g. i. 3, 20, ii. 6. 

The view of Eadie, a/., is that tol eV. means the celestial spots 
occupied by the Church, and in them this combat is to be 
maintained, "These evil spirits have invaded the Church, are 
attempting to pollute, divide, and overthrow it." Barry, while 
adopting the former view of toi £7t., yet adds that the meaning 
points to the power of evil as directly spiritual, not acting through 
physical and human agency, but attacking the spirit in that higher 
aspect in which it contemplates heavenly things and ascends to the 
communion with God. 


In the Book of the Secrets of Enoch, which is pre-Christian, and 
perhaps as early as B.C. 30, we have "a scheme of the seven 
heavens which, in some of its prominent features, agrees with that 
conceived by St. Paul. Paradise is situated in the third heaven 
as in 2 Cor. xii. 2, 3, whereas, according to later Judaism, it be- 
longed to the fourth heaven. In the next place the presence of 
evil in some part of the heavens is recognised. Thus, in Eph. 
vi. 12, we meet with the peculiar statement, Against the spiritual 
hosts of wickedness in the heavens " (Morfill and Charles, p. xl). 
Charles points out other parallels between the Epistle and the 
Book of the Secrets of Enoch ; e.g. Eph. hi. 10, iv. 10, 25 (pp. xxii, 
xli) ; and the possibility that the present passage has been in- 
fluenced by these speculations must be admitted. 

13-18. Detailed description of the spiritual armour. 

13. iv ttj Tjfie'pa -H] irovr]pa. "The evil day," the day of the 
power of evil, when the conflict is most severe, " any day of which 
it may be said, ' this is your hour, and the power of darkness,' " 
Barry. Meyer understands it as referring to the great outbreak of 
Satanic power expected to occur before the second coming. 
airavra Ka.Tepyaadp.evoL ; Oecum. and Theoph. take this to mean 
" having overcome all," AV. marg. ; but although the verb has this 
sense occasionally in classical writers, or rather " to despatch, to 
finish," " conficere," it never has it in St. Paul, who uses it twenty 
times. This would not be decisive if this meaning were more 
suitable here. But the conflict is perpetual in this world, it is 
ever being renewed. On the other hand, we cannot without 
tautology understand this clause as merely expressing preparation 
for the combat. Ka.Tepyd£,eo-0ai, too, means to accomplish a 
difficult work : " notat rem arduam," Fritzsche, and could hardly be 
used of mere arming for the fight. It appears, then, to mean 
having done all that duty requires, viz. from time to time. The 
Vulgate (not Jerome) has " omnibus perfecti," or, in some MSS., 
" in omnibus perfecti," following, as some think, the reading 
KaTeipyaa-fxevot. A has KaTepyaa-fievoi, doubtless a mistake for 
Karepyao-d/xevot, not meant for KareipyacrfxeroL. crrrjvai, opposed to 
cpevyav, " hold your ground." 

14. a-rr\T€ oui/. This crr^re cannot be taken in the same sense 
as the preceding, otherwise we should have the end there aimed at, 
here assumed as already attained when the arming begins. 

In the following details of the figure, each part of the equip- 
ment has its appropriate interpretation, which, however, must not 
be pressed too minutely. In the case of the breastplate and the 
helmet, St. Paul follows Isa. lix. 17, eveSwaro SiKaioo-vvrjv ws 
6wpa.Ka, kclI TrepieOero TrepwetydXaiov cr<i>Tr)piOV C7rt t^s KefpaAf) 1 ;, but 
the remainder of Isaiah's description was unsuitable, viz. koi 
jrepie/JaAeTO Ip-drLOv ckSik^ccos ko.1 to TrepifioXatov £,r)\ov. The 


figure of Isaiah is more fully carried out in Wisd. v. 18, ao, 
X-q^/erai iravoirXiav tov £f)\ov avrov . . . evSvo-erai 8wpa.Ka Sikcuo- 
crvvrjv, kou irepiOrjcreTai nopvOa. Kpicnv avwroKpiTOv. Xrji]/€Tat dcr7ri8a 
a.KaTap.d-^r]Tov ocrtoTrjTa, o£vvei Be airoTopiOv opyrjv 619 pop.<paiav. In 
Isa. xi. 5, Si/caiocnV>7 and akrjOeia are both girdles. 

ircpi^'ot tx\v oofyuv up,uc iv dXirjGeia. The aorists are 
properly used, since the arming was complete before the o-T^re. 
The present would mean that they were to be arming themselves 
when they took up their position, which would be rather a mark of 
unpreparedness. The girdle was a necessary part of the equipment 
of a soldier to make rapid movement possible ; and, indeed, was 
commonly used to support the sword, though not in Homeric 
times. But there is no reference to that use here, the sword being 
not referred to until ver. 17. iv aX-qOda, iv, instrumental, "with" ; 
"truth," not the objective truth of the gospel, which is the sword, 
ver. 17, but truth in its widest sense as an element of character. 
Compare ch. v. 9. 

TOk OwpaKa ttjs 8(,K<uoauni$, genitive of apposition. Blk., as in 
ch. v. 9, Christian uprightness of character, which like a breast- 
plate defends the heart from the assaults of evil. Eadie (with 
Harless, a/.) understands it of the righteousness of faith, i.e. 
Christ's justifying righteousness, remarking that the article has a 
special prominence. But the article is used in accordance with 
the ordinary rule, dwpaKa having the article. The faith by which 
this justification is attained is mentioned in ver. 16. That no 
Christian possesses entire rectitude is not an objection, the breast- 
plate is not faultlessness, which would, in fact, be inconsistent with 
the figure, but the actual Tightness of character wrought by Christ. 

15. uTro8T]crdifi6i'oi tous ir68as, no doubt referring to the " cal- 
igae " of the Roman soldier. 

iv The more classical form is ctoi/aot?/?, but 
Hippocr. has eroi/uio-ia. The word occurs in the Sept. in the 
sense of "preparedness" (Ps. ix. 41, x. 17), but more frequently 
as representing the Hebrew Jtoro, which they rendered according 

to their view of its etymology, not its meaning. It is quite 
erroneous to interpret it here by this use, or rather misuse, of it, as 
some expositors have done, taking it, for example, to mean " vel 
constantiam in tuenda religione Christi, vel religionem adeo ipsam 
certam illam quidem et fundamento cui insistere possis, similem," 
Koppe. This is also against the figure. Shoes are not the firm 
foundation on which one stands, but we may compare with them 
the readiness of mind with which one advances to the conflict, and 
which is wrought by the gospel tov eiay. It is not preparation to 
preach the gospel that is meant, for the apostle is addressing all 
Christians ; and, moreover, this interpretation does not agree with 
the figure. 


ttjs eip^s, peace with God and amongst men, see ch. ii. 17 j 
an oxymoron, av tw Sia/?oA.u> 7roAe/>ia>/Aei/ elprjvevofiev 7rpos tov ©edV, 

16. eV vaaiv. SoNBP 17, a/., Cat. text, Vulg. Boh. Syr-Harcl. 

iirl iraa-iv, A D G K L most cursives, Syr-Pesh. Arm. etc. 

There is a similar variety in Luke xvi. 26, where X B L Boh. read &v t 
but A D X A al. iirl. This alone is sufficient to set aside Ellicott's suggestion 
that 4v here was a correction for the ambiguous itrl. Meyer thinks it was 
substituted as the more common. 

If i-n-i is read it is not to be rendered " above all," AV. Beza, 
nor "over all," but "in addition to all"; cf. Luke iii. 20, Trpoo-iO-qKt. 

KCU TOVTO €7Tt 7rSo-l. 

roy Oupcoc. flvpeos is used in Homer of a great stone placed 
against a door to keep it shut. In later writers, Plutarch, Polybius, 
etc., it means a large oblong shield, " scutum," according to Polyb. 
4 ft. by 2 1, differing from the ao-iris, which was small and round. 
But in Wisdom, quoted above, 6o-iot?;s is the da-n-cs or " clypeus." 
St. Paul's purpose, however, is different, and he is describing a 
heavy armed warrior well furnished for defence. 

ttjs morews, genitive of apposition. Only where faith is weak 
does the enemy gain access. In 1 Thess. v. 8 faith and love are 
the breastplate. 

iv <5 SuWjo-ecrGe. The future is properly used, not because the 
combat does not begin until the day of the great future conflict 
with evil, but because the whole duration of the fight is contem- 
plated. At all times ye shall be able, etc. 

tgl PAt] toC iron'jpou t& TTeTrupwfi^i'a ctj3^ctoi. The figure alludes 
to the darts or arrows tipped with tow dipped in pitch and set on 
fire, mentioned, for example, in Herod, viii. 52. Some of the 
older interpreters (Hammond, al.) understood the word to mean 
poisoned, the word "fiery" being used with reference to the 
sensation produced ; but this is contrary to the grammatical mean- 
ing of the word. " Fiery darts " is a suitable figure for fierce 
temptations ; beyond this there is no need to go. 

crfteo-ai is appropriate, since the shields alluded to were of wood 
covered with leather, in which when the arrow fixed itself the fire 
would go out. So Thucydides tells us of hides being used for this 
very purpose (ii. 75). 

r<£ is omitted by B D* G, and bracketed by Treg. and WH.; omitted by 
Lachm. If omitted, the interpretation would be "fire tipped as they are." 
The authority for omission is small ; but the insertion would be more easily 
accounted for than the accidental omission. 

17. Kal tt]i> 7repiKe4>a\cuaf toO cramjpiou 8e'£aa0e. This verse is 

separated from ver. 16 by a full stop in RV. as well as by Lachm. 
Tisch., not Treg. WH. But though the construction is changed, 


as in i. 22, this is only a result of the rapidity of thought for which 
a strict adherence to the participial construction might be a 
hindrance. The same vividness of conception leads the writer to 

put rrjv irepiK. first. 

2wT7/ptov is not used elsewhere by St. Paul ; here it is taken 
with the preceding word from the Sept. Theodoret understands 
it as masculine, referring to Christ; and so Bengel, "salutaris, i.e. 
Christi " ; but this is refuted by the parallel, 1 Thess. v. 8, where 
the -n-epiK. is the hope of salvation. Soden thinks that in that 
passage the apostle purposely corrects the crom/piov of the Sept. 

kcu TTjf fidxaipaK tou weufxcrros. This cannot well be a genitive 
of apposition, since the following clause explains the sword as prj/xa 
®eov. Olshausen, indeed, and Soden, take the relative o as refer- 
ring to 77-veupaTos. They understand the writer as speaking of the 
Holy Spirit in relation to man, as finding expression in the word 
of God. But there is no parallel for thus calling the Spirit prjpn 
®eov. It is much more natural to interpret tov irv. as " which is 
given by the Spirit " ; nor is there any difficulty in taking this 
genitive differently from the others, since this alone is a genitive 
of a personal name. Chrysostom suggests the alternative : 771-01 t6 
TJv€vp,d (prjaiv, t/toi ev ry 77-vev fiaTLK-fj /xa^atpa (or rjTOL to ^apto-/a.a to 
vrvevfjiaTiKor, 8ta yap irveu/xa-n/ojs pa^cupa?, k.t.A.). 

o i<mv prjfia 0eou. Compare Heb. IV. 1 2, 6 Aoyos tou ®eov . . . 
Top.coTepo? V7rep TTOLcrav fid^aipav Sicrropov. 

Se£ao-#€. " Accipite, oblatum a Domino," Bengel. 

A D° K L, etc. , read 8££a<r6ai, perhaps only by itacism. The verb is 
omitted by D* G, al. 

18. 81a irdo-Tjs irpoCTeuxTjS kch Se^crcwSj k.t.X. These words 
are best taken with the principal imperative or^Te, not simply with 
the previous clause, for 7racrr/s and ev ttolvtI Kaipw would not agree 
with the momentary act Se£ao-0e, which is itself subordinate to 
o-t^tc. " With all prayer, i.e. prayer of every form." 

■jrpoa-evxf) and Se'770-is differ in this respect, that the former is 
used only of prayer, whether supplication or not, to God, while 
Se^o-is means " request," and may be addressed to either God or 
man. Here, then, we may say that 7rp. expresses that the prayer 
is addressed to God, and 8., that it involves a request. Compare 
Phil. iv. 6, ev 7ravTi tt} 7rpoo-€Dxf7 Kcu Trj 8ei]o*i } and see on Lk. i. 13. 

iv irarn. Kcupui corresponds with the do'iaA.etinruJS Trpoaev^eaOaL of 
1 Thess. v. 17. 

iv nccu'jxaTi. "In the Spirit" (cf. Jude 21) not = « i/'vx^?, for 
which interpretation St. Paul's usage supplies no justification, 
besides which it was not necessary to say that the prayer was to be 
from the heart. Chrysostom supposes cv ttv. to be in contrast to 
/SarroAoyiais, which is also open to the objection that he who has put 
on the specified armour must be assumed not to pray iv /3aTroXoyi^.. 


Kal eis auTo. " Thereunto," i.e. to the irpoa-f.vxop.evoi iv ir. k. 
iv irv. 

Rec. has tovto after avr6, with D° J K, etc. ; but o.vt6 alone, X A B (D* 
G, axirbv). The frequent occurrence of ai/rd tovto in St. Paul accounts for 
the insertion. 

dypu-nvouires iv Trd<rr| Trpoo-icapTepT]o-€i. Compare Col. iv. 2, ttj 
Trpocrevxfj irpoaKaprepeLTe, ypr/yopovvTes iv airy iv ev^aptaTia, " keeping 
watch," or " being watchful " ; cf. Mark xiii. 33, aypvirvelre ko1 
TrpocrevxecrBe : ib. 35, yprjyopevre : Luke xxi. 36, aypvirveire iv 7rair« 
KaipoZ 8e.6/xevoi f k.t.A.. 

flpo(TKapTeprjcn<s is not found elsewhere, but the verb irpoo-Kap- 
Tepeu) is frequent both in classical writers and N.T. always with the 
sense of continued waiting on, attention to, adherence, etc. Cf. 
Acts ii. 42, Trj8t.8a.xf): ib. 46, iv t<5 lep<o: viii. 13, tw 4><Ai7r7rw ; 
Mark iii. 9, iva 7rAoiapiov irpocrKaprepfj avTw : Rom. xh. 12, irpoo-evxj} '• 
ib. xiii. 6, eis awro tovto. It is clear, then, that Alford is not justi- 
fied in rendering it " importunity " in order to avoid a hendiadys. 
Practically, there is a hendiadys. 

irepl ■navTcav t&v ayiw, Kal uirep €p.ou. Kat, introducing a special 
case, see ch. v. 18. Harless and Eadie distinguish irepC here from 
virip, regarding the latter as more vague. " They could not know 
much about all saints, and they were to pray about them." Eadie 
admits, however, that such a distinction cannot be uniformly 
carried out. Meyer, to prove the prepositions synonymous, quotes 
Dem. Phil. ii. p. 74, pjr\ irepl tu>v Sikciuov p,r]8' virep twv e£a> irpayp.a.T(jiv 
clvat rrjv fiovXrjv, dAA' virlp rutv iv rrj x°V a : but this passage rather 
indicates the contrary ; " not about a question of justice, but in 
defence of." So also the similar one, ov 86irj<s 0I8' virlp fiipovs 
Xwpas iroXep.ovo-i, i.e. " not about a matter of glory, but in defence 
of," etc. virip 80'^s might have been used, but the idea would not 
be quite the same. Here, too, virip expresses with more precision 
" on behalf of" ; but the reason of the difference is probably not to 
be found in the difference between iravTUiv w dyiW and ip.ov, but 
in the fact that the special object of the latter prayer is stated : 
"and on behalf of me, that," etc. See Dale, Lect. xxiv. p. 437. 

19, 20. The apostle's request for their prayers for himself that 
he may have freedom to proclaim the mystery of the gospel for which 
he is an ambassador. 

Xva. p.01 8o0|j Xoyos iv &yoi£ei tou <rrop,aTos p.00. Aoyos, in the 
sense of utterance, as 2 Cor. xi. 2, iSiwt^s t<3 Aoyw. The words 
iv avoi£ei tov <tt. are by some connected with the following. Thus 
Grotius : " ut ab hac custodia militari liber per omnem urbem 
perferre possem sermonem," etc., but irappyo-La never refers to 
external freedom, and its meaning here is further determined by 
irapprja-Lda-oifxai, ver. 20. To take irapprjo-ia as merely epexegetical 
of dvoi£ei t. or would be very flat. 


Taken with the preceding, the words may mean the opening of 
the mouth by God, as in Ps. li. 1 7. Or they may mean, " when I 
open my mouth." The latter is the interpretation adopted by 
Alford, Ellicott, Eadie, Meyer. But so understood, the words are 
superfluous, not to say trivial. 

On the other hand, with the former interpretation they give a 
fulness of expression to the idea in 8o8f) Aoyos, which is in harmony 
with the gravity of the thought ; they complete from the subjective 
side what is expressed on the objective side in 8odrj Aoyos. This 
is the view of Harless, Olsh. Soden. The absence of the article 
is also in its favour. Compare Col. iv. 3, although there it is iva 
6 ©eo5 avoCEy 77/wv dvpav tou Xoyov. " Opening the mouth " is an 
expression used only where some grave utterance is in question. 

iv irappno-ia yvwpicrai.. "To make known with openness of 
speech " ; cf. Phil. i. 20. The margin of RV. connects iv Trappr)<ria 
with the preceding words, as the AV. had done. This involves a 
tautology with 

dodelt) of Rec. rests on very slight evidence. 

to fiuo-Ti]piov tou euayy. See ch. 1. 9. 

20. uirep ou irpeo-peuw iv dXuaei. ou refers to to fxvcrT., for this is 
the object of yvwpio-cu, and yvwpia-ai is in substance connected with 
7rpeo-/?evw Compare Col. iv. 3, XaXrjcrai to p.v(TT. tov XpicrTOv oY o 
ical St'Se/wu. The simplest view is probably the best : "I am an 
ambassador in chains"; but Grotius understands the words to 
mean : " nunc quoque non desino legationem " ; but this would 
require some emphasis on aAvo-«, as, for example, ko.1 iv aX. 
7rpeo-/3€v'a) : and there is no reference here, as in Phil. i. 12 ff., to the 
good effects of his imprisonment. The oxymoron is noted by 
Bengel and Wetstein : " alias legati, jure gentium sancti et 
inviolabiles, in vinculis haberi non poterant." So, indeed, 
Theoph., tovs 7rpeo-/3eis vo/^tos p.r)8ev 7rdcr)(civ ko.kov. iv aXvaet is in 
distinct opposition to iv irapp-qcria.. 

Paley and others have drawn attention to the use of aXvo-is 
here as referring to the "custodia militaris" in which St. Paul 
was kept at Rome, Acts xxviii. 16, 20; cf. 2 Tim. i. 16. It is true 
the singular might possibly be used in a general sense, although 
the instances cited from Polyb. of ei9 ttjv dXvaiv €^.7rt7rreiv (xxi. 3. 
3, iv. 76. 5) are not parallel, since the article there is generic. 
Still it can hardly be denied that the term has a special suitability 
to the circumstances of this imprisonment, or rather custody. Of 
course, Sea/xoi as the general term might also be used, and therefore 
the fact that it is used, Col. iv. 18, is no objection. 

Iva iv aoTw Trappno-idawpai. Co-ordinate with the preceding 
Iva. Soden, however, takes the clause as depending on the 
Trpe<r(3evu> iv aX., the meaning according to him being that St. Paul 


might have been set at liberty on condition that he did not preach 
the gospel, but remained in custody in hope that the result of the 
trial would be that he would be at liberty to preach. This, he adds, 
corresponds to ws Set /j.e XaXfjaai, and escapes the tautology involved 
in the other interpretations. 

21-24. Personal commendation of Tychicus, who carries the 
letter, and final benediction. 

21. if a 8c clSiiTe koi ujiets. /cat is probably simply " ye as well 
as others." Meyer and others suppose a reference to the Epistle 
to the Colossians, " ye as well as the Colossians"; cf. Col. iv. 7. But 
this seems forced, for this significance of kolL could hardly occur to 
the readers. But it may mean, " although there are no personal 
relations between us." Alford understands : " as 7" have been 
going at length into the matters concerning you, so if you also, on 
your part, wish," etc. 

-rd K<rr' l\ii — Col. iv. 7. 

t! irpcWu), nearer definition of to, ko.t* i/xe, "how I do," not 
"what I am doing," which they knew was the one thing that 
always engaged his thoughts. 

Tuxikos o dyaTTTjTos dSeX^os Kal ttiotos SidKOfos. Tychicus is 

mentioned, Acts xx. 4, as accompanying St. Paul from Macedonia 

to Asia. His services as 8kxkovo<s are alluded to 2 Tim. iv. 12; 

Tit. iii. 1 2. It was only iv Kvpio> that he was Paul's Sicikovos. In 

|ol. iv. 7 <rvv8ov\o<i is added. 

22. ov iircplra els au-ro touto ( = Col. iv.), i.e. for the very 
purpose now to be mentioned : <W yvwre ra nepl r^wy, k.t.X. = Col. 
iv. 8 (where, however, there is a difference of reading). 

23. Eiprjnfj tols d8eX<f>ols, k.t.X. A truly apostolic benediction 
as to substance, but differing in form from St. Paul's final benedic- 
tions. First, it is in the third person, not the second, rot? dSeX^ois 
instead of ifuv, p-tra. iravTwv iw dy. instead of fxe$' vfxwv. The 
whole form, too, is markedly general. This agrees well with the 
view that the Epistle was addressed to a circle of Churches-. 
Secondly, the benediction is in two parts, not, as elsewhere, one ; 
and, thirdly, x^P ts > which elsewhere comes first, here concludes, 
and elprjvrj, elsewhere last, is here first. These points all speak for 
the genuineness of the Epistle, and against the hypothesis of 

dydirrj fie-rd uicrTews. 7rto-Tis is presupposed, therefore it is not 
ay d-rrq ko.1 tt. Love is the characteristic of a true faith. 

For iyd-n-t] A has tfAeos, suggested probably by recollection of 1 Tim. i. I ; 
2 Tim. i. 1. 

24. *H X^P l S P c ™ irdi/TUf t&v dyaTTcirrwi' tov Kupioc ^paie '\r\aouv 
XpicrTOf iv d<J>9apcna. 

a^Oapa-ia elsewhere means the incorruptibility of future im- 


mortality ; see, for example, Rom. ii. 7 ; 2 Tim. L 10. The 
adjective dfpOapros has a corresponding meaning. God is a<f>0apro<;, 
Rom. i. 23 ; 1 Tim. i. 17; the dead are raised d<p9a.proi, 1 Cor. 
xv. 5 2 ; the Christian's crown is a<f>6apTo<;. So 1 Pet. iii. 4, the 
ornament of women is to be iv to d<f>8dpT<i> rov irpaios koI ^o-u^iou 
TrvevfiaTos. The word, then, does not point merely to time but to 
character, and that suits very well here as an attribute of love. It 
is more than "sincerity" (d^Oopia, Tit. ii. 7); it is "imperish- 
ableness, incorruptibility." It is a "spiritual, eternal love, and 
thus only is the word worthy to stand as the crown and 
climax of this glorious Epistle," Alford. Some connect the word 
with x*P ts - Soden defends the connexion on the following 
grounds : first, that if connected with dyainLvTwv, iv a<f>6. must 
express a character of the dydirt), in which case dya-n-dv iv d<f>0. 
would be an unsuitable form of expression for dycnrdv iv aydinj 
a<f>6dpT(i) ; and, secondly, that d^Oapata almost always contains a 
point of contrast with the transitory nature which belongs to the 
creature in this world ; it belongs to the sphere of heavenly exist- 
ence, serving to designate eternal life as the highest blessing of 
salvation ; and this is the gift of x°-P 1 ^ which culminates in the 
bestowal of it. Bengel, who connects dcf>8. with x a P ls > remarks, 
however, well : " Congruit cum tota summa epistolae : et inde 
redundat etiam dcpOapo-ia in amorem fidelium erga Jesum 
Christum." The writer, in fact, returns to the fundamental 
thought of i. 3-14. 

There is no analogy for the connexion with tov Kvpiov fjfuwv, 
adopted by some expositors. 

'Apiv is added in X C DKLP most mss., Amiat** Syr. (both) Boh., not 
in N* ABG 17, Arm. Amiat.* 




The spelling of the name is uncertain. In the title the spelling KoXoo-craeis 
is given by N B°DGL 17 (KoXocraeis), while A B* K P have Ko\a<r<raets, 
which X also has twice at the top of the page, and so G once (once also 
KoXocroaeis). In the subscription X A B* C K 17 agree in KoXatTvaeis, while 
B 2 D G L P have KoXocrcraeis. 

In ver. 2 $< B D G L have KoXocnrcuj, K P 17, a.1. Kokaacrcus (A non liquet'). 

The versions also vary. Syr. (both) have a, with Boh., but Vulg. and 
Arm. o. 

Coins give the spelling with 0, and for the name of the people KoXoarjvwv 
or KoXoacrrivwv. But the form with a appears in Polyaenus and in some 
MSS. of Herodotus and Xenophon. The latter may have been a provincial 
pronunciation and spelling. WH. and Lightfoot adopt a in the title, in 
ver. 2 ; Tregelles has a in both places, as well as in the subscription (which 
WH. omit). Tischendorf preserves the correct spelling with o, remarking, 
"videtur KoXaaaai scriptura sensim in usum abisse. At inde non sequitur 
iam Paulum ita scripsisse." As the heading did not proceed from the pen of 
St. Paul, this conclusion agrees practically with that of WH. and Lightfoot as 
to the spelling here. 

1. 1. Salutation. HaGXos dirocrroXos, k.t.X. See Eph. i. 1. 
Kal Tip.60eo9. Timothy's name is joined with that of Paul 

also in 2 Cor. Phil. 1 Thess. 2 Thess. Philemon. In Phil, and 
Philemon, however, the apostle proceeds in the singular, whereas 
here the plural is maintained throughout the thanksgiving. 

6 d8e\<}>6s. This does not imply any official position (ovkow 
kol a7rdo--roAos, Chrys.) ; it is the simplest title that could be 
employed to express Christian brotherhood. So it is used of 
Quartus, Rom. xvi. 23 ; of Sosthenes, 1 Cor. i. 1 ; and of Apollos, 
1 Cor. xvi. 12 ; and of an unnamed brother, 2 Cor. viii. 18, xii. 18 
Compare 2 Cor. ix. 3, 5. 

2. -rots iv K. dytois Kal ma-rots a&cX^ois. dyt'ots, as in all similar 
salutations, must be taken as a substantive. De Wette, however, 



and apparently Syr. and Vulg., connect it as an adjective with 
dSeXc^ois. 7rto-rots is more than " believing," which would add 
nothing to dyiots and dSeX^ots. It is " true, steadfast." Cf. Acts 
xvi. 15. 

£\> Xpiorw. Closely connected with 77-io-tois d8., but refers 
chiefly to ttlo-tol^. Cf. ttuttos Skxkovos iv Kvpiio, Eph. vi. 21. Only 
in Christ were they " faithful brethren " j the article, therefore, is not 
required, iv Xp. might, indeed, have been dispensed with ; but it 
suits the formality of the introductory greeting. 

After iv Xpurry, 'l-qaov is added in A D* G 17, Vulg. Boh., not in N B D* 
K L P, Syr-Harcl. Arm. etc. (Syr-Pesh. has 'Irjffov before Xpurry). 

It is remarkable that St. Paul's earlier Epistles are addressed 
rfj iKKkrjo-ia, tous eK/cA^o-icu? ; whereas here, as in Rom. and Eph., 
the address is to the saints and brethren. This can hardly be 
accidental. It certainly gives the address a more personal and 
less official aspect, and may have been adopted because the 
apostle had no personal relations with the heads of these Churches, 
to which he was personally unknown. It has been objected to 
this, that in iv. 1 6 the Church of the Laodiceans is mentioned ; 
and, again, that the Epistle to the Philippians, to whom St. Paul 
was personally known, is similarly addressed. As to the former 
objection, it may be fairly replied that to speak of his Epistle 
being read in the Church is very different from addressing it to the 
Church ; and as to the second, although the word eKKXrjma is not 
used in the address to the Phil., we have what may be regarded as 
an equivalent, crvv e7rto-K07rots /ecu Sia/coVois. It is hardly satisfactory 
to say that the disuse of ckk^o-io. in the address is characteristic of 
the later Epistles ; for, first, this is not an explanation ; and, 
secondly, the word is used in Philemon, rfj kolt oTkov aov ckkA^o-io.. 

X<£pis uptk kcu eipVji'T] &tt6 06ou TraTpos ^p-we = Eph. i. 2, where 
there follows ko.1 Kvptov *Ir)(rov Xpto-Tov. 

These words are added here also in X A C G and most MSS. Boh. 
Arm., also P in a different order, 'Irjcrov Xp. rod Kvpiov tjh&v. The words 
are absent from BDKL 17, al. Amiat. Fuld. Syr-Pesh. (text). Origen and 
Chrysostom both expressly attest the absence of the words. The latter, after 
quoting the preceding words, observes : rbv vlbv ial-yqaev ical ov irpoatdriKtv 
wj iv 7rdcrcus rah £irt<TTo\cus' ical Kvpiov 'Irjcrov Xpiarov. The addition has 
plainly come in by assimilation to Eph. 

3-8. Thanksgiving for their faith and love, passing on into the 
assurance that the gospel they were taught by Epaphras was the true 
universal gospel, which proved its genuineness by the fruit it produced, 
both among them and in all the world. 

3. euxapiCTToupec. In all St. Paul's Epistles to Churches, with 
the exception of that to the Galatians, the Salutation is followed by 
thanksgiving. In Eph. as in 2 Cor. this is in the form evXoyr/ros 6 


©eos, elsewhere in some form of eixo-pt-crTw. On the verb, see 
Eph. i. 15. 

tu 0ew iron-pi. We have the same form of words in iii. 15; 
elsewhere, however, always 6 ©eos ko.1 iraT-qp. 

Here also ko.1 is inserted by X A C 2 D° K L P, and apparently all other 
mss. except those mentioned below ; Vulg. Arm. Theodoret, al. 

It is wanting in B C* D* G, Chrys. (D* G Chrys. have r£ irarpi). Old 
Latin, Syr. (both) Boh. Eth. 

Tisch. 8th ed. (in deference to N), restores koL, which he had omitted in 
7th ed. (WH. and RV. omit). Lachm. also omits, but reads T<p with D* 
F G. Meyer thinks ko.1 was omitted in a mechanical way after the preceding 
Qeov irarpos. 

It is observable that in iii. 17, K A agree with B C in omitting ko.1, while 
D F G, with K L and nearly all others, as well as Syr-Pesh., insert it. The 
evidence for the omission there is decidedly preponderant. It is less so here, 
yet perhaps decisive enough when we consider how certainly the scribes 
would stumble at the unusual form. The reading ry warpl appears to be 
another attempt to get rid of it. Compare i. 12 below, where N 37, with 
other authorities, have 9e$ before irarpl. 

f.uya.p\.aro\}\i.€.v . . . irdvroTe irepl ufiwi' Trpoaeuxofiecoi. It is 
questioned whether Travrore is to be joined with tvxapicrTovp.ev or 
with 71-poo-evx. The latter connexion is adopted by the Greek 
commentators, also by Bengel, Olshausen, Alford, Ellicott, etc. 
But Eph. i. 16 is almost decisive for the other connexion, ov 
iravofxai. tu^aptcTcov virkp vjx(ov fJLVuav v/jlwv irotovjuevos iiri twv 
Trpocrev^wv /xov. Compare 1 Cor. i. 4 ; 1 Thess. i. 2. wpocrevx. is, 
in fact, a nearer definition of 7ravTore. "We give thanks on your 
account always in our prayers," or (as Meyer), " always when we 
pray for you." "Always praying for you" would require the 
addition of words specifying the object of the prayer. 

The reading varies between irepi and virip. The latter is read by B D* G 
17, al., but AC D C J K, with most mss., have irepl. virtp would readily be 
introduced from ver. 9, where there is no variant. 

4. &Kou'o-arr€S ttji' tuotii' ujawi' iv XpioTw 'irjaou. Assigns the 
ground of his thanksgiving. He had heard from Epaphras, ver. 8. 
The addition of iv Xp. 'I770-. as a more precise definition of 7rto-Tts, 
which of itself expresses only a psychological conception, is quite 
natural here, where St. Paul is addressing for the first time those 
who were unknown to him. So in Eph. i. 15. In Rom. i. 8 the 
specification of ttio-tis had preceded vv. 2, 3. The article is un- 
necessary, as 7rib-Tis iv Xp. is one notion. See Eph. I.e. 

KCU TTJI' &YCtTnf]C T]K €)(€Te CIS TTCll'TaS TOU9 &yiou$. 

f)v ex fTC is rea d in NACD*GP 17 37 47, al. Old Latin, Vulg. Boh. 
Syr-Harcl. Arm. But D c K L and most mss. Chrys. Thcod. Syr-Pesh. have 
tt)v ayaTrr]i> rr\v eis, while B has rrjp dydwrju els. The reading with t)v ?X €Te 
might be a conformation to I'hilcm. 5> while tt]v 6.y6.irrjv rr\v might be a con- 
formation to Eph. i. 15. 

5. 81a t(\v eXiri'Sou The Greek comm. and most moderns 


connect this with the words immediately preceding, "the love 
which ye have to all the saints." ayairdre, (pr/ai, tovs dyious ov 
Sid tl avOpwTnvov dXXa Sid to iXm^eiv to. pieWovra ayaOd, Theoph. 
The reasons alleged are — (1) the remoteness of eu^apio-ToiJ^ev ; (2) 
the following clause, r)v 7rpo7]Kovo-are, suggests that the words Sid 
■rijv eA.7ri'Sa describe the motives of the Colossians for welldoing, 
rather than the reasons of the apostle for thanksgiving ; (3) in 
other Epistles the ground of thanksgiving is the spiritual state of 
the persons addressed ; (4) €i>x a / wo " r€ » / is never used with Sid in 
the N.T. ; and (5) the connexion with ei^. would break up the 
triad of graces which St. Paul delights in associating together. (So 
Meyer, Soden, Alford, Ellicott, Lightfoot.) (1), (2), (5) are con- 
sidered by Lightfoot decisive. Yet surely there is something 
strange in assigning the future hope as the motive of Christian 
love. As Eadie observes, if the apostle had said that they loved 
one another because of the common hope which they had in 
heaven, or that this prospect of a joint inheritance deepened their 
attachments, the meaning might have been easily apprehended ; 
but why the hope in itself should be selected as the prop of such 
love, we know not. Of all the graces, love has the least of self in 
its nature. Such passages as 2 Cor. ix. 6, Gal. vi. 9 f. are not 
analogous ; for what creates a difficulty is not the mention of 
expected reward as a motive for action, but as a motive for love. 
As eA.7ris here is not the grace of hope, but the object (ttjv diroKei- 
jxiv-qv), reason (5) loses its force ; as e'/taris does not mean the same 
thing as in 1 Thess. i. 3, for example, it is quite natural that it 
should fall into a different connexion. Nor does there seem to be 
much weight in the second reason. The words r)v TrporjKovo-are, 
k.t.X., involve an appeal to the first teaching they had received, 
which was sound and full. This goes very well with evxapto-Tovfjav ; 
but if the hope were described as the motive of their love, what 
appropriateness would there be in referring to their former instruc- 
tion in it ? As to (3) and (4), the clause aKovo-avres does imply , 
that the ground of his thanksgiving was their faith and love ; but 
it is consistent with this that what prompted him to feel thankful 
for these graces was the thought of the hope laid up for them, and 
hence with this connexion Sid is not only admissible, but is alone 
suitable. The signification of evxapio-relv iirep (1 Cor. x. 30 ; Eph. 
v. 20) is not that required here. There is good reason, then, for 
Bengel's interpretation : "ex spe patet, quanta sit causa gratia s 
agendi pro dono fidei et amoris." If r)v Zx eT * be omitted the con- 
nexion with dydTrrjv is grammatically harsh. 

Estius, De Wette, Olshausen, and others connect Sid rrjv Ikir. 
with both ttio-tiv and aydV^v. This connexion is certainly awkward, 
and the sentiment not Pauline. Theodore Mops, connects the 
words with Trpo<r€vxop.€voi. 


ekirk is clearly objective, as in Rom. viii. 24 ; Gal. v. 5. 

tt)v dTTOKeifjieVr]!'. The thought of the "hope," i.e. the bless- 
ing hoped for, being already prepared is not expressed in this 
form by St. Paul elsewhere, except perhaps 1 Tim. vi. 19, but is 

clearly put in I Pet. i. 4, KXrjpovo/jiiav . . . T€Trjpy]/xevr]v iv ovpavoU. 

In substance it is involved in Phil. iii. 20, and, indeed, in Matt. 
vi. 20. 

fje -n-poTjKou'craTe. The irpo- has reference, according to Meyer, 
to the future fulfilment. Bengel understands it simply as " ante- 
quam scriberem," but the context rather suggests that the 
reference is to their early teaching in contrast to the later errors. 
The apostle now is not teaching them anything new, but desires 
to confirm them in the true doctrine which they had already learned. 
Compare vv. 7, 23 and v. 6. Hence also the mention of the truth 
of the gospel in the following words : — 

eV tw Xdyw ttjs d\T)6eias tou euayyeXiou. That euayyeXiou IS the 
principal notion here is shown by the participle 7rapdvTos, which 
agrees with it, and not with aA^^etas. And this is confirmed by 
the connexion of cXttis and cua.yyeA.iov in ver. 23. The genitive 
dArjOtias then qualifies Xdyos, and this compound notion is 
explained by evayy. rj dX. tou euayy., Gal. ii. 5, 14, is not exactly 
parallel, because there the formula has a direct polemical purpose. 
Here the point is that 6 Xdyos tou evayy. is a Xdyos Trjs a'X??#eids in 
opposition to those false teachers who would fain complete it by 
their 7rapaooo-eis, ii. 8, which were Kevr] d.Tra.T-q. 

6. toG irapoi'TOS eis 6fi,as. A quite classical use of 7rapeiVai as 
implying " has come and remains." oi -n-apeyevero kolI oVcc-t^, a'XX' 
e/Actve kcu (.cttlv ckci, Chrys.; cf. Acts xii. 20. It needs, then, no 
further addition. 

KaGws Kal iv TrafTi tw koct/xw early Kapiro<})Opou(j.ei'oc. 7ravTi ™ 
koV/xw here is not an insignificant hyperbole, but intimates the 
catholicity of the true gospel in opposition to the merely local 
character of false gospels ; compare ver. 23. 

Tischendorf, ed. 8, places a comma after hrcLv. This con- 
struction escapes the irregularity involved in the doubling back 
of the comparison by the second Ka^ws. The comparison then 
may be either as to the mere fact of the presence of the gospel, so 
that eo-TtV= "exists," or as to the contents of it, which agrees 
better with the designation of the gospel as Xdyos t^s d\r)0eta<;. 
The readers then are assured that the gospel which has come to 
and remains with them is the same as in the whole world ; they 
need have no fear that it was imperfect ; it is the false teachers 
that are not in agreement with the universal gospel. So Soden. 
But most comm. connect e'crc with KapTro<j>opov/xevov ko.1 av£. 

Kal is prefixed to iariv in D b0 GKL, etc. Old Lat. Vulg. Syr. (both) 


It is absent from X A B C D* 17, a/. Boh. Arm. Eth. The evidence 
against it, therefore, is quite decisive. It was doubtless added to simplify 
the construction, and is defended on the ground of this simplicity by Ols- 
hausen and Eadie. Ellicott, who had previously hesitated, thinking that it 
might have been omitted to modify the hyperbole, omitted the word in his 
5th ed. 

KapTro<f>opovfjL€vov. The middle voice is not elsewhere found ; 
its force here is probably intensive, denoting the inherent energy, 
while the active (which is used below, ver. 10) would rather denote 
external diffusion (Lightfoot). Verbs like cnor]po<popeio-6ai, Tvparavo- 
(popeio-Oai are not parallel, since in them <popelo-6ai. means " to 

Those comm. .who connect iarlv with the participles explain 
this periphrastic present as expressing continuity of action, as in 
2 Cor. ix. 12, ov p.6vov £(ttlv TrpoaavaTrXrjpovcra, k.t.A., and Phil, 
ii. 26, iirnroOiov rjv. 

kcu abiavoptvov rests on preponderant evidence, KABC D* 
G I, Vss. Rec. omits, with D bc K, etc. 

av£av6p.zvov doubtless refers to the outward expansion, as Kapwocp. 
to the personal, inner working. "The gospel is not like those 
plants which exhaust themselves in bearing fruit and wither away. 
The external growth keeps pace with the reproductive energy," 
Lightfoot. Observe the order ; first the preservation of the gospel 
amongst those who received it, and after that its extension to 
new circles. Both are to the Colossians a proof of its ti ith and 

Ka0£>s Kal Iv ojjui/, so that they did not come behind their 
brethren in this respect. 

If we connect the participles with iarlv, the comparison is 
very curiously doubled back on itself. Moreover, as Olshausen 
observes (defending the addition of nai after Kocrp-w), the words 
kolOws koL iv do not fit the beginning of the proposition, Ka#ws 
Kal iv -n-avrl ra Koapno, since the Colossians are, of course, included- 
with the rest in the whole world. Lightfoot explains the irregu- 
larity thus : " The clause reciprocating the comparison is an after- 
thought springing out of the apostle's anxiety not to withhold 
praise where praise can be given," and he compares 1 Thess. iv. 1 

(not Rec), TrapaKa\ovp.€V iv Kupuo 'Irjaov Iva, Ka$tos Trape\df3eTe Trap 
r)p,£)v to 7rco5 oet vp.a<; irepnraTiLV koI apio-xeiv ®ew, ko.0ujs Kal 77 epnra- 
retTf, <W irepL<ro~evr]Te p.a\Xov. But that passage is not really 
parallel ; for KaOws ko.1 TrepnraTexTe is entirely distinct from Ka6ws 
Trape\d/3eTe, and is a courteous admission that they were actually 
walking as they had been taught. Here there is nothing of the 
kind, and the difficulty (apart from that mentioned by Olshausen) 
is that we have the mere repetition, "in you as also in all the 
world, as also in you." The difficulty, of course, disappears in the 


Rec. Text with the insertion of kcu ; or, since we are compelled to 
omit teat, with the adoption of the construction above referred to, 
as then the comparison in KaOws kcu iv vp.iv is with Kap-n-ocp. 

kcu av£. 

d<|> J tjs TjfAe'pas, k.t.X. To be closely joined with Ka8w<; kcu iv 
vfjuv; the fruitfulness and growth began at once, so that it was 
independent of these later TrapaSocreis. 

TJKou'o-aTe kcu i-neyvure ttjc x^P 1 ^ There is no occasion to regard 
ttjv x°-P lv as tne object of the latter verb only (as Meyer, Alford, 
Ellicott, Eadie understanding " it," i.e. the gospel, as the object of 
■fjKovcrare). x°-P LS was ^ e content of the gospel message, which is 
called to cvayyeAtov -njs ^a/stros rov &eov (Acts xx. 24), and as such 
may be said to be heard. We can hardly, indeed, say, with Light- 
foot, that St. Paul uses x^P ts as a " synonyme for the gospel," of 
which use he gives as instances 2 Cor. vi. 1, viii. 9, yivwaKere 
r*)v X^-P LV T °v Kuptov rjfxwv 'Irjcrov Xpio"Tou, on 81' i>/xas €7TTco>(et>o-e 
7rAoT;o-tos wv. Here the word suggests a contrast with the false 
gospel, which was one of Soy/xara (ii. 14). Compare Gal. ii. 21, ovk 

d0€T<2> T7]V X®-P lV T0 ^ ® eo ^- 

eweyvcoTt implies not so much developed knowledge as active 
conscious recognition, or taking knowledge of; cf. Acts hi. 10, 
iv. 13, xxii. 24, 29, xxvii. 39, xxviii. 1 ; 1 Cor. xiv. 37 ; 2 Cor. 
i. 14 (tTreyj'WTe 17/xas airb fxipovs). 

iv d\T)0eia. Even although the gospel was itself Xoyos tt}s 
akrjOeias, there was the possibility that as known by them it was 
imperfect ; hence this is added to guard them against the error of 
the false teachers, who insisted on supplementing it by their philo- 
sophy (ii. 8, 28). 

7. KaGojs ep.d06Te dir6 'Eira<J>pa. This gives them a further 
assurance as to the source of their Christianity ; the apostle gives 
his seal to the teaching of Epaphras, which conveyed the full 
gospel of the grace of God, so that having received this in truth as 
they did, they had no need to listen to strange teachers. 

Epaphras appears from iv. 12 to have been a Colossian ; either 
a native, or now reckoned as an inhabitant of Colossae. From the 
present passage we gather that he was the founder of the Church 
there (compare the kuOws and d</>' rj<; rjixepas.) He was at this time 
a fellow-prisoner of St. Paul (Philemon 23): or perhaps o-wai^a- 
Acdtos there only means that he was so constantly with St. Paul as 
practically to share his captivity. As the name is a shortened form 
of Epaphroditus, it was natural to conjecture that the Epaphroditus 
of Phil. ii. 25 was the same person. But the names were common, 
occurring frequently in inscriptions ; and as Epaphroditus appears 
to be in close connexion with the Philippians (whose d7ro'crToXos he 
was), there is no sufficient ground for the identification. 

toO dyaTTTjToo auk8ou\ou i;pk. So Tychicus (iv. 7) is called 


crwSouAos, the servitude being, of course, to Christ. This designa- 
tion appears intended to command high respect for Epaphras, who 
is thus placed as near as possible to the apostle. 

os eori irioros uirep f\ix£>v SiaKoeos tou Xpitrrou. See note On the 

reading. The reading rjp.wv makes Epaphras a representative of 
St. Paul in preaching the gospel at Colossae ; probably at the time 
when the apostle was dwelling for two years at Ephesus, at which 
time " all that dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus " 
(Acts xix. i o). This would explain the attitude of authority which 
St. Paul assumes in this Epistle towards a Church which he had 
not himself seen. 

Skxkovos has clearly its general meaning " minister," not the 
special sense " deacon," as the genitive tov Xpiarov shows. This 
designation of him as tticttos v-rrtp -r)p,H>v, k.t.X., serves still further to 
confirm the confidence of the Colossians in their first teacher. If 
vfj.wv is read, v-n-ep ipv would mean " for your benefit," not 
" instead of you," for there is no personal reference here, as in 
Philemon 13, <W virep croS /x.01 SiaKovfj. The genitive tov Xoio-toS 
is, indeed, decisive of this, for this implies that his ministry wj.s 
one of spiritual benefit, which would not be suitable to a messenger 
from the Colossians to St. Paul. 

There are two rather important varieties of reading in ver. 7. The Rec. 
Text has ical after /caddis on comparatively weak authority, viz. D c 37 47 K L 
Syr-Harcl Arm., against KABCD*Gi7P Vulg. Syr. Pesh. and other 
Vers. ical was doubtless added from assimilation to the two preceding 
KadCos ical. icadus ip-dOere without ical can only mean that Epaphras was their 
first teacher. 

The other important variation is between virtp i]fj.wv and virtp iifiCiv, and 
with respect to this there is a remarkable conflict between MSS. and versions. 
tj/j-Qv is read by tf * A B D *G. 

Ambrosiaster (Comm. " qui eis ministravit gratiam Christi vice Apostoli"). 

ip&v by X c C D b = K L P and most MSS. 

The versions, however, are nearly all on the side of v/iQv, Vulg. Syr. 
(both) Boh. Arm. Eth. Goth. Chrys. also interprets vfiwv. The other 
Greek comm. are silent as to the word in their comments, and the reading in. 
their texts, which is v/xQv, may be due to editors. Of the old Latin, d (and e) 
with f have " vobis " (against the Greek D F), while g has "nobis" (agree- 
ing with G). 

Internal evidence favours tj/jluv. First, " for your benefit " would hardly 
be expressed by virtp v/jlu>i>, but either by v/xuv, cf. SlAkovov irepiTOfi,rjs, Rom. 
xv. 8, or iifuv, as in 1 Pet. i. 12. The form of expression does not indicate 
that any emphasis on " for your benefit " is intended, as if the apostle meant 
to impress on the Col. that whatever Epaphras had done was for their good. 
Secondly, it is easy to understand how v/j.wp might be substituted for riixdv, 
partly on account of the recurrence of vwtp vfidv in the neighbouring context 
( vv - 3> 9) an d in connexion with this, from the significance of T)fj.(bv not being 
understood. The two words being pronounced alike, these circumstancey 
would naturally lead to vp.Civ being written by mistake in the first instance, and 
the second to its preference when both readings were deliberately compared. 
On the other hand, Meyer thinks that ijfiuv is due to the influence of the 
preceding ifp&r and the following ij/nQv. Editors differ in their judgment ; 


Lachm, Treg. WH. Lightfoot, RV. Barry, Moule adopt t)hu>v, v/jlwv being 
given a place in the margin by WH. RV. 

On the other hand, Tisch. Meyer, Ell. Eadie, Soden prefer v/xwv. Eadie 
in support of this points out that ^uiv would include Timothy. But there is 
no reason why Timothy should be so pointedly excluded, as would have been 
the case had ifj.ov been used, any more than with awdovXov and S^Awcras. 

8. 6 tea! 8T]Xwo-as v\\iiv tt\v ofAwc dydTrrji' iv 7reeup.aTi, viz. their 
love to St. Paul in particular. This appears clear from fjplv rrjv 
v/xwv, as well as from the subsequent Std tovto ko.1 ^ets. The 
words may be regarded as a courteous justification of the didactic 
tone which the apostle adopts, and perhaps also as an indication 
that Epaphras had not made any complaint of the Colossians. 
Meyer (reading vp.wv) understands love to Epaphras ; Ellicott, 
brotherly love. 

iv irviVfxaTi expresses the ground of their love, which was not 
individual sympathy, personal acquaintance, or the like, but 
belonged to the sphere of the Holy Spirit's influence. It was ov 
arapKLKT], dAAd 7rv€vp.aTLKy, Oecum. Compare ocrot ov^ iwpaLKacn to 
TrpocrwTrov p.ov iv crapKL (il. 7)* 

9-12. Prayer for their advancement in spiritual k?wzvledge, not 
speculative, but practical. 

9. Aid touto. On account, namely, of all that has preceded 
from ver. 4 ; cf. 1 Thess. ii. 4. Chrys. strikingly observes : xaOd-rrep 
iv 7-019 dywtriv Ikcivovs p.a.Xto'Ta Sieyei'po/i-ev rous eyyi>? oVtcis ttJs 
viktJ<;' ovToi 8rj ko.1 6 TlavXns roirrous p-aXiara irapaKaXel tous to 
■wXiov Karwp^coKoVa?. Cf. Eph. i. 15. kcll<;, "we also," by 

its position emphasises the transition from the conduct of the 
Colossians to its effect on the apostle and his friends. 

d4>' rjs rjjAe'pas rjKouaap.ei' echoes the similar expression in ver. 6. 
So the apostle's prayer was, as it were, an echo of their faith. 
An encouragement to them to proceed as they had begun. 

ou Tra^ofxeGa Trpocreuxo/J-efOi. Cf. Eph. i. 16. Called by Ellicott 
an " affectionate hyperbole " ; yet it is hardly to be called a hyper- 
bole, for it would at no moment be true to say that he had ceased 
to pray for them. It is not asserted that the expression of the 
prayer was uninterrupted. As they did not cease to grow and 
bear fruit, so he did not cease to pray. Cf. Acts v. 42, oix 
iiravovro SiSdcrKovTes, k.t.X., and contra, Acts xiii. 10, ov 7ravo~t] 
8iao-Tpi<pwv, and 1 Sam. xii. 23. ko.1 cu.Tovp.evoi, k.t.X., adds the 
special request to the more general Trpoo-^v)(6p.evoi. Compare Mk. 

XI. 24, otra 7rpoo"euvecr#e Kat a'tTeicrOe. 

Xva after words like 6£Xw, alTelo-Oai, signifies merely the purport 
of the wish or prayer ; cf. Phil. i. 9, where tovto as object of 
irpoo-tv)( is explained by Iva irXrjpwOrjTe ttjv eViyvwo-tv. For the 
accusative, Compare Phil. i. II, 7re7rXr)p(x)p.ivot Kapirov 8iKatocrvvrj<s, 

" that ye may be perfected in," Oltramare. imyvatcriv, stronger 


than yyokris : see i Cor. xiii. 12. The difference, however, seems 
to be rather that the former word implies a more active exercise of 
a faculty, and hence lends itself better to the expression of practical 
knowledge. This distinction agrees well with Rom. i. 21, 28. 
Compare on the verb, ver. 6. Lightfoot remarks that €7riyvwcris 
is a favourite word in the later Epistles of St. Paul ; but, in fact, 
although it occurs four times in this Epistle and twice in Eph., 
it is used only once in Phil. (i. 9), whereas it is thrice used in 
Rom. In the later Epistles, however, it is always used in refer- 
ence to spiritual knowledge. See Trench, Syn. lxxv. 

toG OeXrifia-ros auTou. The following context, vv. 10-12, shows 
that what is meant is the Divine will as to their conduct, as in 
iv. 12 ; 1 Thess. iv. 3, v. 18 ; Rom. xii. 2 ; not the x°-P L<i mentioned 
as the object of their knowledge in ver. 6 (Sia rov vlov 7rpoo-dye<rdai 
T7/xas aurai, ovkIti cY dy-ye'Awv, Chrys. etc.). The knowledge which 
is here meant is, in fact, the consequence of that which is there 
attributed to them. Knowing the x^P 1 ^ tnev should know also 
that what God required of them was nothing but conduct corre- 
sponding thereto. This in opposition to the false teachers and the 
doctrines of their <pL\ocro<pia. 

iv TT&(xr\ tro<J>ia kcu owe'aei TrceojiaTiKT]. " In all spiritual wisdom 
and understanding," iv introducing the manner in which the 
irXr}p(a6rjvai is carried out, and Trd<ry and TrvcvfjLaTiK-rj being taken 
with both substantives. To connect 71-v. with o-weo-ei alone would 
be to give the inappropriate meaning, " wisdom of all kinds and 
spiritual understanding." 

On aocpia see Eph. i. 8, where the words are iv irdcrr} ovtptq. kcu 
(f>povt]<T€L. These three, crotpta, (ppovrju-is, crwecris, are reckoned by 
Aristotle as the three intellectual dperaC or excellences (Eth. JV. 
i. 13), the first being the most general and thorough, embracing 
the knowledge of first principles as well as that of particulars ; 
while he distinguishes <pp6vrjcrL% as the practical knowledge of par- 
ticulars from cnjvecris, which is critical ; rj <pp6vr}cn<; eVn-aKTiKr/ iarut 
. . . rj Se o-wccas KpiriK-q {Eth. JV. vi. 7. II). Demosth. (269. 24) 
defines (ruvccris, 77 to. KaXa Kal ato-^pa StayvwcrKeTat, which agrees 
with Aristotle's KpiTiKy. It would appear, therefore, that crvveais 
was the faculty of deciding what was right or wrong in particular 
cases, while crocSta apprehended the general principles. But 
o-wecris is used by St. Paul in a more general sense ; see Eph. 
iii. 4 ; cf. Luke ii. 47. The two words frequently occur together 
in the O.T., e.g. Ex. xxxi. 3 ; Isa. xxix. 14 ; Eccles. xiv. 20 ; 
(1 Cor. i. 19 is a quotation), and the corresponding adjectives in 
Matt. xi. 25. 

irvevfiariKy, given by the Spirit. Compare 1 Cor. xii. 8, w 
fikv 81a tov 7n/€u/Aa.TOS SiSorai Xoyos o"o</>tas. 

The word is emphatic in this position, marking the contrast 


with the false teaching, which had Xdyov o-o<pi'a9, a pretence of 
wisdom (ii. 23) which really proceeded from 6 vovs rrjs o-ap/<ds 
(ii. 18). We have the apostle's o-ocpta o-ap/a/<?7, 2 Cor. i. 12 ; avOpumvr], 
1 Cor. ii. 5, 13 ; tov koV/xov tovtov, i Cor. ii. 6, etc. 

10. Trepnva,Tf)o-ai ojxas d£iws tou Kupiou. A similar expression 
occurs 1 Thess. ii. 12, d£uos tov ©cov: and Eph. iv. 1, t?)s kAtJo-cws, 
"in a manner worthy of," i.e. befitting your connexion with Him. 
The infinitive expresses the consequence (and proof) of Tr\r)pu)6r}vai, 
dei rrj 7riCT€i crv^evyvvcri ttjv 7roXiTetdv, Chrys. 

If v/Mas after irepuraTTJirai were genuine (Text. Rec), the infinitive might 
conceivably be regarded as dependent on wpoa-evx^fj-evoi ; but it is certainly 
spurious, being omitted by X* A B C D* G 17, al. Clem., Boh. It is added 
in S° D c K L P, most mss. Chrys. Theodoret, Arm. 

els -n-ao-ai/ dpeo-Kciae. I.e. " so as to please God in every way." 
Compare I Thess. iv. 5, 7rais Sel v//.as TrepLTrareiv kcu dpeV/ceiv ®e<3. 
In classical authors dpecrxeta has generally an unfavourable sense, 
" obsequiousness," and it is so defined both in Eth. Eudetn. (to 
\iav irpbs rjSovqv, ii. 3) and by Theophrastus {Char. 5). Polybius 
uses it especially of trying to gain the favour of a sovereign. 
Similarly Philo, iravra kou Acyeiv kcu rrpaTTUv i<nrov8a£ev €is apecrKeiav 
tov 7rarpos Kai /3ao-tXecos (i. p. 34), but he also uses it of pleasing 
God. The avOpwwoLs dpeo-Ketv is disavowed by the apostle in Gal. 
i. 10; 1 Thess. ii. 4; compare ch. iii. 22. The verb is used, how- 
ever, without any unfavourable connotation, in Rom. xv. 2 (t<3 
ttXtio-iov dpeo-KeVw) and elsewhere. 

iv irarrl epyw dyaOw qualifies the following, as €v Trdo-i; Swdfxei 
qualifies the following participle. Most commentators separate 
Kap7ro(popovvre<; and av$av6p.evoi ; but then av$. rrj eViyvwcrei becomes 
tautologous with TrXrjpwOyre rrjv eirtyvwrW) ver. 9. Moreover, the 
combination Ka.p7rocpopovp.evov kcu av£. in ver. 6 seems to require 
that the two participles here also should be taken together. What 
is true of the gospel in the world and amongst the Colossians is 
also to hold good of those whose lives are inspired by its teaching. 
The participles refer to the logical subject of TrepnraTrjo-ai, not to 
7rXy]pcoOrJT€ (Beza, Bengel). Cf. Eph. iv. 2. rfj i7riyv<i>o-e ltov ©eov, 
" by the knowledge of God," instrumental dative, a frequent use of 
the dative with ai$av. (So Alford, Eadie, Ellicott, Lightfoot, 
Soden, The fruitfulness and growth are wrought through 
the cViyvwcris tov ©eov, and this again results from the practice of 
his will, ver. 9. 

Some commentators take the dative as one of reference, as in 
Rom. iv. 20 (?), "increasing in the knowledge of God" (Moule, 
RV. text), which, after TrkrjpwOrJTe ttjv eViyv., ver. 9, would be 
somewhat of a tautology. 

Tj7 ciriyvwcrei is the reading of K A B C D* G P 17, al. Amiat. Arm. al. 
iv is prefixed in N° 47, and a few others, Chrys. Old Lat. and Vulg-Clem. 


have " in scientia Dei," which is doubtful. Text. Rec. has eh tt)v tirlyvuxriv, 
with D c K L most mss., Theodoret, Theoph. Oec. This appears to be an 
attempt to simplify the construction. Meyer, on the contrary, regards the 
dative as an explanation of the more difficult (?) eh rty 4w., which, he thinks, 
is also confirmed by the parallelism in structure of the other participial clauses, 
which conclude with a definition introduced by eh. He understands it as " in 
respect of," that is, always more fully attaining to a knowledge of God, eh 
indicating the final reference, or direction of the growth, comparing Eph. 
iv. 15 and 2 Pet. i. 8. As to the comparative difficulty of the readings, 
Alford's judgment, that the simple dative "is by far the most difficult of the 
three readings," is surely more correct than Meyer's. eh rty iirlyv. would, 
in fact, present no difficulty to the ordinary reader. 

11. iv Tf<£(rr| Wdfiei Sui'ajjLou'fxei/oi. Theodoret takes this kv as 
instrumental, ttj Qua. po-n-fj KpaTwo/xevot., and so Eadie, Ellicott, and 
Meyer. " Strengthened with all (every form of) strength," Ell. (a 
translation which is itself ambiguous). 

It is simpler and more natural to understand iv tt. 8. as " in 
(t'.e. in the matter of) all strength " (Alford, Lightfoot). It thus 
corresponds with iv Traa-r) <ro<pia and iv iravrl epyw, which are both 
subjective. 8vva.ixovfi.evoi, present, "becoming strengthened." The 
simple verb is not used elsewhere by St. Paul, who, however, 
employs iv8vvafxovo-6ai several times. But 8wafxovo-6ai is in Heb. 
xi. 34, and B has it in Eph. vi. 10. It is frequently used by the 
Greek translators of the O.T., but is not a classical word. The 
connected virtues here, iwo/xovr) and fxaKpoOvfxia, indicate that what 
is referred to in this clause is steadfastness under trial, as the former 
referred to active conduct. 

Ka-ra to KpaVos tt)s 86£t]s auTou. " According to the might of 
His glory." Strength is supplied in a manner correspondent with 
the power which belongs to the glory of God, i.e. His majesty as 
manifested to men. Compare Eph. i. 19. The rendering of AV. 
(Beza, etc.), " His glorious power," is sufficiently refuted by avrov. 
Thomas Aquinas understands by " His glory," " His Son Christ 
Jesus." But although the Son may be called airavyaaixa -n}? So'^r/s 
avrov, it would not be intelligible to use 17 Sofa airov as a sub- 
stitute for His name. Lightfoot remarks that KpdVos in N.T. is' 
"applied solely to God" ; but see Heb. ii. 14, tov to Kparos ZyovTa. 

tov Oavarov, tovt fcrri tov 8id/3o\ov. 

els iretow uiro|j,oi'T]i' kou fAaKpoOufuaf. "To all endurance and 
longsuffering." " Patience " is a very inadequate rendering of 
inro/xovt], which includes perseverance or steadfast continuance in a 
course of action. Thus we have Kapirocpopovcrtv iv virofjiovrj, Luke 

viii. 1 5 ; viro/xovr) 'ipyov ayaOov, Rom. ii. 7 ; 81' VTT0fX0vrj<; Tpe'^w/xev, 

Heb. xii. 1. Even the virop,ovri of Job, to which James refers, was 
by no means the uncomplaining endurance of suffering to which 
we give the name of " patience." Job was, in fact, the very 
reverse of " patient " ; but he maintained his faith in God and his 
uprightness in spite of his sore trials. fiaKpo6vfx[a comes much 


nearer to our notion of " patience " (cf. i Cor. xiii. 4) ; not so much, 
however, patience under suffering, but " the self-restraint which 
does not hastily retaliate a wrong." It is the opposite of 6£vdvp.ia. 
Chrysostom distinguishes the two words thus : fj.aKpo8vfj.el tis 
7rp6s cKctVovs ovs 8vvar6v /ecu dfxvvao-Qai' virofxivti Se ovs ov Svvarai 
a.fLvva.o-6 at ; but this, though correct as to fjua.Kpodvfj.eL, is clearly 
inadequate for vTrop.ivei. 

11, 12. p,€Tct x a p<*s euxapiorouvTcs. fxera. ^apas is joined by many 
comm. to the preceding (Theodoret, Olsh. De W. Alf. Eadie, 
Lightfoot, RV.). In defence of this it is said that evxapLcrrelv of 
itself implies joyfulness, so that fxera x- if attached to it would be 
flat and unmeaning ; also that by joining the words with evx- we 
lose the essential idea of joyful endurance. Lightfoot, quoting 
Jas. i. 2, 3, irao-av x a P av vfyffO~ao-6c . . . orav ireipacrfLols ireptTricrrfTe 
7toiklXois, ytvwcTKOVTes on to Soki/jliov vfxwv Ttjs 7rto"Tews Karepya^erat 
vwopLovrfv, remarks that this parallel points to the connexion with 
the preceding, and adds that the emphatic position of the words if 
connected with ev^. cannot be explained. It may be replied that 
evxapio-reiv does not necessarily imply joy. See, for example, 
1 Cor. xiv. 18, "I thank God, I speak with tongues more than you 
all," x. 30 ; Col. iii. 17. x a P" s 1S so ^ ar fr° m being fiat or unmean- 
ing, that without it c^apicr-row-res would be too weak. The idea of 
joyful endurance is not lost when the prayer passes from endur- 
ance to joyful thanksgiving ; and the emphatic position of the 
words is sufficiently explained by the writer's desire to emphasise 
this characteristic of their thanksgiving with special reference to 
the trials, implied in inrofjovrj and fxaKpoOvfjia. The words thus 
acquire greater significance than if they slipped in as it were after 
fj.aKpo6vfxiav. The connexion with cii^apio-TowTts is also favoured 
by the structure of the preceding clauses, each of which com- 
mences with a defining adjunct. This connexion is adopted by 
Chrys. Theoph. Oecum., also Ellicott, Meyer, Soden, Lachm. Tisch. 

In any case tvx- is not to be connected with oi irav6fxe$a, as 
Chrys. Theoph. al., which unnaturally separates this clause from 
the preceding, making them parenthetical. This interpretation was 
suggested by the reading ^pas : but even if that is correct, the 
transition from the second person to the first is quite in St. Paul's 
manner ; cf. ii. 12, 13. 

to riaTpu The designation of God thus absolutely as 6 IlaT^p, 
when Christ has not been named immediately before (as in Rom. 
vi. 5; Eph. ii. 18; Acts i. 4, 7, ii. 33), is remarkable. But we 
have tov Kvptov in ver. 10, and, what is perhaps more to the point, 

toC vlov Tr)<; aydirrfi avrov in ver. 1 3. 

N 37 (G, 9ew ™ irarpi), Vulg-Clem. Boh. al. prefix 9e<j3 irarpl. 

to iKavojo-an-i ujxas. " Who qualified you," or " made you com- 


petent," i.e. given you a title. The same verb occurs 2 Cor. iii. 6 

(only), os kcu i/cavwcrev ^ Slolkovov; Kcuvrjs Sia^K^s, " qualified US 

to be ministers," cf. ib. ver. 5. The adjective [koto's is of frequent 
occurrence in the N.T., always with the idea of reaching to a 
certain standard, " sufficient," and so when time or quantity is in 
question, "considerable." See Mark xv. 15 ; Luke xxii. 38, \ko.v6v 
iari : Acts xxii. 6, <pws Ikovov : 2 Cor. ii. 1 6, 7rpo? ravra ti's i/<avos : 
2 Tim. ii. 2, omves i/cavoi lo-ovrat nal erepous SiSa£ai. It does not 
mean "dignus," "worthy," although with a negative that transla- 
tion is not unsuitable in Matt. iii. 11, viii. 8. Here, then, tKavcoo-cv 
is not " dignos fecit," Vulg., but " idoneos fecit." 

There is an important variety of reading. For UavibaavTi (which is read 
by «ACD C KLP most mss., Vulg. Boh. Syr. (both), Chrys. etc.) we have 
KaXtaavri in D* G 17 80, Goth. Arm. Eth., also Didymus (once), Am- 
brosiaster ; while B has KaXtaavTi Kal iKavdiaavri, which is adopted by 
Lachm., but appears to be a combination of both readings. The confusion 
between TOIIKANOCANTI and TOIKAAECANTI would be easy, and the 
latter word would naturally occur to a copyist. 

v/ias is the reading of K B 4 23 80 115, Amiat. Syr-Pesh. marg. Eth. 
Didymus, Theoph. Ambrosiaster. 

i}, ACDGKLP most mss., Vulg-Clem. Fuld. Syr-Pesh. and Hard, 
text, Chrys. Theodoret, etc. 

Internal evidence seems rather to favour v/j.S.s. The natural tendency of 
scribes would be to generalise such a statement, and this would be assisted by 
il/ias which presently follows. On the other hand, it would be quite natural 
for St. Paul to enforce the exhortation involved in his prayer by such a 
personal application. In the next sentence, where he passes tc a direct 
dogmatic statement, he naturally and of course uses r;/xai. (Yet P, al. Amiat. 
Goth, have v/jlUs there also.) Compare Eph. iv. 32, v. 2. v/xois is adopted 
here by Tisch. WH. Soden, and is given a place in the margin by Tregelles, 
Lightfoot, RV. 

els tV (XEpioa tou KXrjpou, "for, i.e. to obtain, the portion of 
the lot." Compare Ps. xv. 5, Kvpios //.cpts t»)s KX-qpovopLias p.ov. 
KXrjpos (pp. "a lot ") is not synonymous with KXrjpovojxia, it does 
not designate the whole, but the allotted part; cf. Acts viii. 2r, ovk 
Z<tti (rot pvcpts ouSe /o^pos : xxvi. 18, Kkrjpov ev tois rjyiaa-/xevoL<;. 
What is a p.epts in reference to the whole is a KA^pos in reference - 
to the possessor. The genitive, then, is one of apposition, " the 
portion which consists in the lot" (Lightfoot, Soden). It is, how- 
ever, possible to understand it as partitive, "to have a share in 
the KA>}pos," and so most comm. Chrysostom observes : Sia Tt 

nXrjpov /caXct; Sei/cvus on oiSeis a.7ro KaropOwpidTwv oikcuov /^acriAcias 

Tuyxava, referring to Luke xvii. 10. Compare also Luke xii. 32, 
evSoKrjcrev 6 Tra.T7)p vfxC>v Sovvai v/xtv tyjv fiacriXeiav. 

iv tw <f>am. Chrys. Oec. Theoph. followed by Meyer, al., 
connect with t/cavwo-avn, " by the light," ikovovv iv t<3 </>a>Tt being 
nothing else but KaAetv eis to <£a>s (1 Pet. ii. 9) regarded in its 
moral efficacy, the result of which is that men are </>ws iv Kuptw 
(Eph. v. 8). This light has power, it is the light of life (John 


viii. 12); has its weapons (Rom. xiii. 12); produces fruit (Eph. 
v. 9), etc. ; and without it men were incapable of partaking in the 
kingdom of Christ. But <£u>s is not the means, but the result ; and, 
moreover, the distance of ev to <£wti from iko.v. forbids the con- 
nexion, for there is no such emphasis on the words as to account for 
their position. It is the deliverance that is the thought dwelt on, not 
the means. It is better to connect the word with tt)v /xepi'Sa, k.t.X. 
(Alf. Lightfoot), or, if with one of the three substantives, with 
KXrjpov, which has a local sense (Ellicott, Soden). Thus ev to <£wti 
= "in the kingdom of light." Compare 2 Cor. xi. 14; 1 Tim. 
vi. 16; 1 John i. 7; Rev. xxi. 24. K\r}po<; ev to <£wti, then, is 
equivalent to the eA.7ns a.TroKUfj.evr] ev tois oipavots, <pQ)<s being here 
chosen because the apostle had already in his thoughts the repre- 
sentation of the natural condition of men as o-kotos. There is 
nothing, therefore, in the objection, that if this were the sense in- 
tended ev Tot? ovpavois would have been used, or eV tt? fafj, or the 
like. Eadie's interpretation, "the inheritance which consists in 
light," is untenable, and is certainly not supported by his examples 
of icXfjpos eV from Acts viii. 21, xxvi. 18. 

13 ff. From the prayer for their increase in knowledge, St. Paul 
goes on to give them positive instruction which will be a safeguard 
against the false teaching which threatens them. They have already 
been translated from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of 
God's beloved Son, and it is in Him only that they have redemption. 

13. 09 eppu'o-o/ro (ipvaaro, B* G P Lightf.) eic ttjs 
e£ou<r£as tou ctkotous. " Who rescued us from the power of dark- 
ness." ippvcraro, oeiKvis on u>s al^jxaXwroi €TaA.ai7r<ijpov/xf#a. 
Theoph. e'^ouo-ta (from e£ecm), properly means " liberty of action," 
as in 1 Cor. ix. 5 ; hence in relation to others, " authority," 
generally "delegated authority" (but not always; see Jude 25). 
Lightfoot, following Wetstein, maintains that the word here means 
"arbitrary power, tyranny." But the instances he cites seem quite 
insufficient to support this. In Demosth., for example, De Falsa 
Leg. p. 428, ti]v dyav ravTrjv e'fovo-tav, it is the word ayav that 
introduces the idea of excess, just as we might speak of the 
"excessive exercise of authority." From the etymology of the 
word it is applicable, whether the e'^eu-at is assumed or rightfully 
derived. Whatever its use, however, in Plutarch or other wrters, 
the usage of the N.T. gives no support to Lightfoot's view. It is 
a word of very frequent occurrence (being found nearly one 
hundred times), and always in the simple sense of "authority" 
(abstract or concrete). If the " idea of disorder is involved " in 
rj iiovala rov ctkotov; here and in Luke xxii. 53, it is suggested by 
0-K0T0U5, not by i£ovaia. When Chrysostom, after explaining 
T77S e£ovo-uzs by TT7S TvpavviSos, adds : ^aAe7rov' kcu to a7rXd)S etvai 
biro to 8iaySoXa>* to Se teal fi€T e£ov(ria<;, tovto xaA.€7rojTepov, his 


meaning seems to be : " It is hard to be simply under the power 
of the devil ; but that he should also have authority is still harder." 
This gives much more force to his words. That l^ovo-ia is not 
opposed to fiao-ikeia, as an arbitrary tyranny to a well-ordered 
sovereignty, see Rev. xii. 10, f] /SacrtXeta tov ©eow rj/xuiv koX f] 
l^ovuia tov XpLo-rov olvtoii. The whole passage is strikingly 
parallel to Acts xxvi. 18, tov i-Trto-Tpiif/ai airo o-kotovs ets <£o>s kclI 
ttjs efovcrids tov Sarava £7ri tov ©edv, tov Xafieiv olvtovs acpecriv 
afxapTiwv Kai Kkr/pov eV rots fjyuio- pivots, ctkotos here is not to be 

regarded as personified, as if it were equivalent to " the devil " 
(Augustine) ; it is rather the characteristic and ruling principle of 
the region in which they dwelt before conversion to Christ. 

Kai fAeWo-TTjo-ef. The verb is appropriate, being that which is 
employed by classical writers to signify the removal of whole 
bodies of men. Yet it is doubtful whether such an idea is 
present here; cf. Plato, Rep. vii. p. 518 A, Ik tc <£wtos e£s o-kotos 

pLeOicrTa/xiviov Kai eK ctkotovs ets <£ws. 

tou utoo rqs dyd-n-ns auTou. Not of angels, as the false teachers 
would have it. vtto tov KXrjpovo/JLOv io-p.ev, ov^ vwo tovs oiKeras, 

t??s dydVi/s olvtov. Augustine understands this as a genitive 
"auctoris." " Caritas quippe Patris . . . nihil est quam ejus 
ipsa natura atque substantia . . . ac per hoc filius caritatis 
ejus nullus est alius quam qui de ejus substantia est genitus " 
(De Trin. xv. 19). He is followed by Olshausen and Lightfoot. 
But such a form of expression has no analogy in the N.T. Love 
is not the " substantia " or " natura " of God, but an essential 
attribute. An action might be ascribed to it, but not the genera- 
tion of a person. 

Theodore of Mopsuestia interpreted the expression in an 

opposite way : vlov dydV^s aurov CKaAecrev ws oi <jiVO-ei tov IlaTpos 
ovTa vlbv dAA' dyd7rr; tt)s vlo9ecria<; a£iw6evTa tovtwv. But an 
explanation of the nature of the Sonship would be alien to the 
context. The simplest interpretation is, "the Son who is the 
object of His love." It corresponds exactly with Eph. i. 6, eV 
t(3 rjyairrj/xivo) iv w e^o/xev, k.t.A.., only that it gives more pro- 
minence to the attribute. Love is not merely bestowed upon 
Him, but makes Him its own. mos oSw^s /xov in Gen. xxxv. 18 
(Meyer, Ellicott) is not parallel. 

Lightfoot thinks this interpretation destroys the whole force of 
the expression ; but it is not so. It is because Christ is the 
central object of God's love that those who have been translated 
into His kingdom are assured of the promised blessings thereof. 

14. eV w e'xop.ef, k.t.X. — Eph. i. 7. 

The words 5ih tov alpLaros avrov of the Rec. Text are an interpolation 
from Eph. i. 7. They are found in many minuscules, and in Vulg-Clem. 


Demid. Syr-Pesh. Arm., Theodoret, Oec. ; but apparently not in any uncial 
nor in the other versions. 

For '4xoiJ-ev B, Boh. Arab. (Lips. Bedwell) read faxo^er. In the 
parallel passage, Eph. i. 7, X* D* (not the Latin d) Boh. Eth., Iren. 
(transl. ) have Z<rxo/J.ei>. Lightfoot thinks that this reading in Eph. was a 
harmonistic change to conform to the text which these authorities or their 
predecessors found in Col., and judges that 'iaxopev is possibly the correct 
reading here. WH. also give it a place in the margin. Yet it is hard to 
suppose that St. Paul wrote different tenses in the two places. Moreover, 
iuxo^ev does not appear to be a suitable tense ; if past time were to be 
expressed, we should expect £(tx'h Ka l Jiev (cf- Rom. v, 2). Weiss rejects it. 

ri]v a^eo-iK tw djaap-nwi'. This expression does not occur in 
the Epistles of St. Paul elsewhere, but twice in his speeches in 
Acts (xiii. 38, xxvi. 18). In Eph. i. 7 we have the equivalent, 
afao-iv twv TrapawTOifxaTiav ; generally in the Epp. he prefers the 
more positive oiKatoa-vvq. Lightfoot suggests that the studied 
precision in the definition of dyroAin-paxm points to some false 
conception of u7roA. put forward by the heretical teachers. Later 
Gnostics certainly did pervert the meaning of the term. Irenaeus 
relates of the Marcosians that they held eTrai tcAciW d7roAirrpcoo-iv 

airrjv rr)V eTTiyvoxrtv tov apprjTov /xeye^ovs (i. 21. 4). HippolytUS 
Says : Xeyovat ti <pun'fj appy]T(o c7Ttrt^evT£s X e 'P a T( ? T V V a7r0 ^- WT P w0 " 11 ' 
\aj36vTt, k.t.X. (Haer. vi. 41). In the baptismal formula of the 
Marcosians are the words : £19 eVcociv koX airoXvTpwo-tv kol kolviovhlv 
t5>v oWd/xecov (Iren. i. 21. 3), where the last words "surely mean 
communion with the (spiritual) powers." In an alternative 
formula, also given by Irenaeus, the words are eh Xyrpwcru 
ayyeXiKrjv, which is explained by Clem. Alex. (Exc. Theod. 
p. 974) as r/v kol d-yyeAoi c^ouo-iv. It is not likely that there was 
any historical connexion between these later Gnostics and the 
Colossian heretics; but, as Lightfoot observes, "the passages quoted 
will serve to show how a false idea of a7roAi)rpcucris would naturally 
be associated with an esoteric doctrine of angelic powers." 

15-17. The pre-eminence of Christ. In His essential nature He 
is above all created things, being the image of the invisible God; and 
more than that, all things have been created through Him and held 
together by Him. 

15. os cctth', k.t.X. On this verse Lightfoot has a valuable 
excursus. The arrangement of the passage 15-20 is twofold. 
We have, first, the relation of Christ to God and the world, 15-17 ; 
and, secondly, His relation to the Church, 18 ff. This division is 
indicated in the construction of the passage by the repeated on cV 
airiT), 16, 19, introducing in each case the reason of the preceding 
statement. The relation to the Church begins with koX ain-o's, ver. 18. 

Some commentators regard 15-17 as descriptive of the Word 
before the Incarnation, the Adyo? ao-apKos; and 18-20, of the 
Incarnate Word, Ao'yos «WapKos. But this is inconsistent with eo-nv, 


" is," which shows that St. Paul is speaking of Christ in His present 
glorified state. Compare 2 Cor. iv. 4, tov ^amoyiov tov dayyeXiov 
ttjs So£?7s tov XpuTTov, os €(ttlv cIkwv tov ©eov. The exalted Christ 
is now and continues to be what He was in His own nature as 
the Word before He became incarnate, John xvii. 5. 

elKtiv is primarily an image (so in Rev. often, comp. Matt. xxii. 20). 
It differs from b/xolw/jLa, which expresses mere resemblance, whereas (Ikuiv 
implies representation of an archetype, atirri yap eUbvos <pvais fil^fia elvai 
tov ipxerfarov (Greg. Naz. Orat. 30). It may be used, therefore, to express 
resemblance in some essential character. So in Heb. x. 1, ehibv is con- 
trasted with (TKid. Compare I Cor. xv. 49, Ti]v elicdva tov xpticov . . . t^v 
(Ik. tov iwovpavlov : Rom. viii. 29, o~vixfibp(pov% 7-775 eUbvos tov vlov avrov, an 
idea expressed again 2 Cor. hi. 18, tt)v avrr\v elKbva fAerafxopfiov/Ae&a : and 
Col. iii. 10, top avaKaivovfievop /car' ehbva tov ktIgclvtos avrbv. An allusion 
to Gen. i. 26, 28. With the same allusion in 1 Cor. xi. 7 the apostle calls 
the man eiKwv ko.1 56£<z Qeov. This last passage, in particular, forbids our 
adopting the view of some commentators, that the expression denotes "the 
eternal Son's perfect equality with the Father in respect of His substance, 
nature, and eternity " (Ellicott, quoting Hil. De Syn. § 73 : " perfectae 
aequalitatis significantiam habet similitudo."). As Lightfoot remarks : "The 
idea of perfection does not lie in the word itself, but must be sought from 
the context, e.g. trdv rb irXripuna, ver. 19." 

The expression is frequently used by Philo in reference to the Logos, 
e.g. Tbv dbparov Kal vorjrbv deiov \byov eUbva \eyei Qeov (De Miaid. Op. 8, 
Opp. I. p. 6) ; \byos Si icrTiv elKwv Qeov St' oO aii/Mira* 6 Kbafios ib-qfiiovpyeiTo 
(De Monarch, ii. 5, II. p. 225) ; and notably De Somniis, I. p. 656, Kaddirep 
tt)v dv9rj\iov avyrjv clij t)\iov ol /u.77 Swi/ievot rbv tf\tov avrbv Idelv bpwcri . . . 
oCtws Kal tt)v tov Qeov eUbva, rbv &yye\ov avTOv \byov, ws avrbv KaTavoovai. 
Compare with this John xiv. 9, b ewpatcws ifie iwpaKev Tbv ware'pa.. 

Closely allied to elK&v is x a P aKT VP> similarly applied to Christ in Heb. 
i. 3, G)v diravyacrfjia 7-775 56f 17s Kal x&p&KTVP t t?s viroardaews aiTOv. 

tou dopd-rou. This word, which by its position also is emphatic, 
makes prominent the contrast with the a/can', the visibility of which 
is therefore implied. Compare Rom. i. 20, ra ddpaTa avTov . . . 
tois ■'i voovjxtva Ka.6opa.Tai. Here Christ is the visible mani- 
festation of the invisible. Chrysostom, indeed, and the Nicene 
and post-Nicene Fathers, argued that, as the archetype is invisible, 

SO must the image be, f) tov aopdrov elxtbv Kal avTrj ddparos Kat 

6/xoi'ws aopaTOV. But, as Lightfoot says, "the underlying idea of 
the dxwv, and, indeed, of the Ao'yos generally, is the manifestation 
of the hidden." Compare John i. 18, ®eov ovSeis ewpa/ce ttu>ttot€' 6 
p-ovoyevyj 1 ! vids (v./. /xovoyevrys ©eds), 6 wv cis tov koA.7tov tov 7raTpos, 
eKctvos i^rjyyjo-aTo, and xiv. 9, quoted above. 

irpcoTOTOKos irdCTYjs ktictcws. 7rpa}TOTOKos seems to have been a 
recognised title of the Messiah (see Heb. i. 6), perhaps derived 
from Ps. lxxxix. 28, eyw 7rpwTOTo/cov avrov, which is inter- 
preted of the Messiah by R. Nathan in Shemoth Rabba, 19, fol. 
118. 4. Israel is called God's firstborn (Ex. iv. 22 ; Jer. xxxi. 9), 
and hence the term was readily transferred to the Messiah, as the 
ideal representative of the race. 


The genitive here is not partitive, as the following context 
clearly shows, for ev avr<2 lKTio-6-q to. iravra. Setting this aside, 
commentators are not agreed as to the interpretation of irpwTOTOKos. 
Eadie, Hofmann, a/., understand it of sovereignty. Alford and 
Lightfoot, while giving the first place to the idea of priority to all 
creation, admit sovereignty over all creation as part of the connota- 
tion. So Theodore Of Mops., ovk iirl xpovov Xiyerai fxovov dAAa 
yap kcu iirl 7rport/x^creaJS (but he interprets kti'ctcws of the new 
creation). In defence of this interpretation of the word Ps. 
lxxxviii. 28 is quoted, where after irpwroroKov avrov the 
explanation is added, vif/rjXbv irapa tois fiao-iXevo-i t^s y^s : also what 
appears as a paraphrase of this, Wtjkzv K\rjp6vo/xov iravruv, Heb. 
1. 2 : also Ex. iv. 22 ; Rom. viii. 29, cis to euai avrbv irpwroTOKov 
iv 7roXXots dSeA(£ot5. Job xviii. 13, "the firstborn of death," for 
" a fatal malady " ; and Isa. xiv. 30, " the firstborn of the poor," 
for "the very poor," are also referred to. Lightfoot quotes R. 
Bechai, who calls God Himself the firstborn of the world, and he 
concludes that the words signify " He stands in the relation of irp. 
to all creation," i.e. " He is the Firstborn, and as the Firstborn trie 
absolute Heir and Sovereign Lord of all creation." 

The passages cited do not justify this interpretation. In Ex. 
iv. 22 the word does not at all mean "sovereign," which would be 
quite out of place even apart from the prefixed "my," but "object 
of favour." In Ps. lxxxviii. 28, again, the added words, if taken 
as an explanation of irpur. simply, would go too far ; but it is the 
7rpuTOTOKo? of God, who is said to be "higher than the kings of the 
earth." 6r) avrbv irp. is, " I will put him in the position of a 
firstborn," and the following words are not an explanation of 7173., 
but state the result of God's regarding him as such. Compare the 
English phrase, " making one an eldest son by will." By no means 
would the words of the psalm justify such an expression as irpoiro- 
tokos twv /SacriAeW, unless it were intended to include the irp 
amongst the /Sao-iAa?. As the context forbids our including the 
irpiDTOTOKos here amongst the ktictis, the interpretation leaves the 
genitive inexplicable. It is called " the genitive of reference " ; but 
this is too vague to explain anything, as will appear by substituting 
either Kocrpou for ktio-€ws, Or peyas for TrpcoT. Thus 7rpa)T6roKOs tov 
Koap.ov for " sovereign in relation to the world," and pc'ya? 7rdo-^s 
KTto-ews are equally impossible. If by " genitive of reference " is 
meant "genitive of comparison," then we come back to the relation 
of priority in 7rpan-os. In fact, the genitive after irp. must be 1st, 
genitive of possession, as " my firstborn," 2nd, partitive, " firstborn " 
of the class, or 3rd, of comparison, as in John i. 15, irpwros p.ov tjv. 
A moment's reflection will show that Isa. xiv. 30 is not parallel, 
for there "the firstborn of the poor" is included in the class. In 
Job xviii. 13 (which, moreover, is poetical) the genitive is posses- 


sive, ' death's chief instrument." Rom. viii. 29, there is no 
genitive, but rep. is included iv 7roAAots dSeA<£ois. 

Rabbi Bechai's designation of God as " firstborn of the world " 
is a fanciful interpretation of Ex. xiii. 2. R. Bechai probably 
meant by the expression " priority," not " supremacy." The first- 
born were to be consecrated to God because He was the First of 
all. But it must be remembered that the Hebrew word is not 
etymologically parallel to 7rpwTOTo/cos. 

Hence the only tenable interpretation of the words before us is 
" begotten before 71-ao-a /mem," the genitive being like that in 
John i. 15, 7rpwTOTOKOv rov ®eov koli 7rpb irdvTdiv tCjv KTia/xaToyv, 
Justin M. Dial. § 100. The only ideas involved are priority in 
time and distinction from the genus ktutis. ovx w? d8e\<prjv e^wv 
T-qv ktictii', dAA. <I)s irpb Tracr^s KTtcrews y€vv?/#eis, Theodoret ', and SO 
Chrysostom : ou^t. d£ids k. TLp,f)s xAAd xpovov p,6vov iari 0-qp.avTLKov. 
Compare Rev. hi. 14, 17 apxv T ^s KTiVecos tov ®eov. 7rpwroKTio-TOS 
or 7r/DO) would have implied that Christ was created like 
7racra ktkxis. 

Isidore of Pelusium, in the interests of orthodoxy, assigns an 
active meaning to 7rpwToroKos (to be in that case thus accented), 
not, however, a meaning corresponding to the signification of 
7r/DO)roTOKos in classical writers, which is " primipara," and could 
yield no tolerable sense, but as " primus auctor." His words are : 

OV TTpwTOV TT]<i KTtO'€0)S . . . dAAd TTpwTOV OLVTOV T€TO/<eVai TOVT icTTi. 

Trerroi' rrjv ktlctiv Iva rj TpLTrjs o-v\\a/3r}<; 6£vp.£vr)<;, a>s Trpwro/crtcrTos 
(Ep. iii. 31). Basil seems to adopt the same view, for, comparing 
ver. 1 9, he says : el 8e TrpwroVoKOS veKpwv ctpryrai, Sid to atnos elvai 
Trjt iv veKpiov dvao-rdo-ews, ovtu> kou 7rpa)TOTO/<os ktictcws, Sid to aiTios 
civai tov i£ ovk ovtwv €ts to elvat 7rapayayelv ttjv ktlo-lv {Contra 
Eunom. lib. iv. p. 292 D). (The true reading in ver. 19 is vp. £k 
twv veKpwv, but irp. rwv v. is in Rev. i. 5.) 

This interpretation is followed by Michaelis and some others. 
In addition, however, to the unsuitableness of rUreiv in this 
connexion, 7rpwTos is unsuitable, since there would be no possibility, 
of a SevrepoTOKos. 

irdo-r]<; ktio-cco?. ktiVis in N.T. has three meanings: 1st, the 
act of creation (the primary meaning of ktmtis as of " creation "), 
Rom. i. 20, a™ KTto-ews Koo-p,ov : 2nd, " creation " as the universe 
of created things, Rom. viii. 22, irdaa f] ktio-is o-vo-Tevd^ei : 3rd, "a 
creation," a single created thing, Rom. viii. 39, ovtc tis kti'o-is hipa. 
Here it may be questioned whether irdo-qs ktio-cws means "all 
creation" (RV. Alford, Lightfoot, al.) or "every creature" (AV. 
Meyer, Ellicott, al.). In favour of the latter rendering is the 
absence of the article, which we should expect after 7rSs in the 
former sense. It may be replied that ktio-is belongs to the class 
of nouns which from their meaning may sometimes dispense with 


the article, such as yrj (Luke ii. 14 ; Heb. viii. 4), ovpavos (Acts 
iii. 21, a/.), Koo-fios (Rom. v. 13, xi. 12, 15, a/.). Yet it is very 
rarely, and only in particular combinations, that these words are 
without the article. As an instance of KTio-i? = the aggregate of 
created things being without the article, is cited Mark xiii. 19, airo 
apxqs KTto-eco?, the parallel in Matt. xxiv. 2 1 having 0.71-' ap^s Koa/xov. 
So also Matt. x. 6 ; 2 Pet. iii. 4. 

But granting that ktio-is here = Koo-pos (which might be ques- 
tioned) the point to be noted is the anarthrous use, not of ktio-is, 
but of the compound term dpxrj KTiicrecos, like dpxv Koo-fiov ; and 
this is precisely parallel to the similar use of Kara/JoAr) koo-ju.ou, 
which we have several times with 0.71-0 and npo, always without the 
article. So we have frequently aV ap^s, iv dpxf}, ££ «PX^ S - 
Similarly, €is Te'Aos, ?ws TeAous, p-^xP 1 tIXov<s. air ap^s being regu- 
larly used without the article, it is in accordance with rule that in 
dirb dpxrj'i Kricrews the latter word should also be anarthrous. 
Moreover, even KoVpos and yr), which are cited as examples of 
words occasionally anarthrous, do not dispense with the article 
when 7ras precedes, probably because of the possible ambiguity 
which would result. There appears, therefore, no sufficient 
justification for departing from the natural rendering, "every 
created thing." This furnishes an additional reason against the 
interpretation which would include the ^coto'tokos in ■zracra 


This exposition of the unique and supreme position of Christ is 
plainly directed against the errors of the false teachers, who denied 
this supremacy. 

The history of the ancient interpretation of the expression 
irpwTOTOKos t. kt., is interesting and instructive. The Fathers of 
the second and third centuries understand it correctly of the 
Eternal Word (Justin, Clem. Alex., Tert., Origen, etc.). But when 
the Arians made use of the expression to prove that the Son was 
a created being, many of the orthodox were led to adopt the view 
that the words relate to the Incarnate Christ, understanding, there- 
fore, ktio-is and KTi£eo-#ai of the new spiritual creation, the Kaivrj 
KTto-t?. (Athanasius, Greg. Nyss., Cyril, Theodore Mops.) As 
Lightfoot observes, this interpretation " shatters the context," for, 
as a logical consequence, we must understand iv avrw Iktio-Bti to. 
Trdvra iv tois oipavols Kal e7rt t^? yrys and ver. 1 7 of the work of the 
Incarnation ; and to do this is " to strain language in a way which 
would reduce all theological exegesis to chaos." In addition to this, 
the interpretation disregards the history of the terms, and " takes 
no account of the cosmogomy and angelology of the false teachers 
against which the apostle's exposition here is directed." Basil 
prefers the interpretation which refers the expression to the Eternal 
Word, and so Theodoret ;ind Severianus, and the later Greek 


writers generally (Theoph. Oecumenius, etc.). Chrysostom's view 
is not clear. 

16. on introduces the proof of the designation, 7rptoroTOKos 
Tracn/s kt. It leaves, therefore, no doubt as to the meaning of that 
expression, and shows that the ttpu>t6toko<s is not included in 7rScra 
KTtcrts, for to. iravra is equivalent to iraara ktictis. 

if auTw is not simply = Si' airov, i Cor. viii. 6 (Chrys. etc.). 
The latter designates Christ as the mediate instrument, the former 
goes further, and seems to express that the conditioning cause of 
the act of creation resided in Him. The Eternal Word stood in 
the same relation to the created Universe as the Incarnate Christ 
to the Church. The latter relation is constantly expressed by iv, 
which is also used by classical writers to express that the cause of 
a relation exists in some person. Comp. ver. 17, iv aurw o-vv- 
£<mr]K€v, and for the preposition, Acts xvii. 28, iv airw £w/x«v ko.1 
Kivov/uiiOa ko.1 io-fjiev. The originating cause i£ ov ra. iravra is God 
the Father, Rom. xi. 36 ; 1 Cor. viii. 6. 

The Schoolmen, following, indeed, Origen and Athanasius, inter- 
preted the words of the causa exemp/aris, viz. that the idea omnium 
rerum was in Christ. So that He was, as it were, the Archetypal Uni- 
verse, the summary of finite being as it existed in the Eternal Mind. 
This view has been adopted by Neander, Schleiermacher, Olshausen, 
and others. Olshausen says : " The Son of God is the intelligible 
world, the Koo-p.0% vo-qros, that is, things in their Idea. In the 
creation they come forth from Him to an independent existence." 

This would correspond to Philo's view of the Logos (which to 
him, however, was a philosophical abstraction), oiSe. 6 ck tw iSew 
K007XOS aXXov av e^oi totov rj rov 6tlov Xoyov tov ravra SictKOoyA^- 
cravra (De Mundi Op. iv. § 4, torn. i. p. 4), and again : ocra av 
iv6vp.rjix.ara reKy, wcnrtp iv olkio tw \6yw 8ia$ei<; (Z?e Mlgr. Abr. i. 
torn. i. p. 437). Lightfoot regards the apostle's teaching as "an 
enlargement of this conception, inasmuch as the Logos is no 
longer a philosophical abstraction, but a Divine Person," and he 
quotes, seemingly with assent, the words of Hippolytus : ex €l €K 
iavTui rots iv tw irarpl irpoevvorjOtLcras iSeas oOev kcAcuovtos 7raT/)6s 
ywtcrOai koct/xov to Kara iv Adyos airzTtkziTO dpecKuv ©£<3 {Haer. 

x - 33)- 

But, however attractive this interpretation may be, it is incon- 
sistent with iKTto-Ofj, which expresses the historical act of creation, 
not a preceding dvat. iv airQ. Nor has it any support elsewhere 
in the N.T. 

6ktict0t], " were created." Schleiermacher (Studien u. Kritiken, 
1832) alleges that the verb is never used in Hellenistic Greek of 
creation proper, and therefore understands it here of constitution 
and arrangement ; and he interprets the statement as referring to 
the foundation of the Church. The word is often so used in classical 


writers. But in the N.T. kt%u>, ktictls, KTi'oym are always used of 
original creation or production. See for the verb Mark xiii. 19; 
Rom. i. 25 ; 1 Cor. xi. 9 ; 1 Tim. iv. 3; Apoc. iv. n, x. 6. Its 
use in Eph. ii. 10, 15, iv. 24 is not an exception, the kcllvos avOpu- 
Tj-os being regarded as a new creation. 

The tenses of iKrio-O-q, tKrio-rai are to be noted ; the former is 
suitable to the historical fact of creation, the latter to the per- 
manent relations of the creation to the Creator ; comp. o-weo-TrjKev, 
ver. 17. 

t& irdn-a, all things collectively, presently specified as to place 
awd nature, iv tois ovpavots Kal c-tti tt}? y^s, an expression desig- 
nating all created things, the heaven and earth themselves not 
excluded, as Wetstein would have it, who infers that not the 
physical creation is meant, but "habitatores . . . qui recon- 
ciliantur." The compendious expression is adopted because the 
apostle has chiefly in view the heavenly beings ; but rd iravra 
shows that the statement is meant to be universal. 

The ret of Text. Rec. before iv rots ovp. is omitted by fc$* B D* G P 17, al. 

Inserted by N c A D° K L and most mss. 

t<£ before lirl rfjs 777s is omitted by N* B, d f g Vulg. 

Inserted by K* A C D G K L P. 

It will be observed that the authority for omission is much greater in the 
first clause than in the second, although the one cannot be inserted or omitted 
without the other. It is possible, therefore, that rd was accidentally omitted 
in the first clause after irdvra, and then omitted from the second for the sake 
of uniformity. On the other hand, it may have been inserted in both places 
from the parallels in ver. 20 and in Eph. i. 10. 

to. opaTa, Kal t& dcSpcn-a, a Platonic division ; Ow/xev ovv, d 
(3ov\ei, !</>77, Bvo tiSr/ twv ovrutv, to fikv bparov, to Se deiSe's. The 
latter term here refers to the spirit world, as the following context 
indicates. Chrys. Theoph. Lightfoot, etc., suppose human souls 
to be included, but it is more probable that man as a whole is 
included among the opard. 

eiT£ Gpoeoi, k.t.X. In the parallel, Eph. i, 21, we have inrepdva} 
7rdo-7/s dp^fjs Kal i$ov(Tia<i Kal ?>vvdp.€w<; Kal KvpiorrjTo<;. It will be 
noted that both the names and the order are different. Moreover, 
the addition in Eph., Kal 7ravTo? 6v6p.aro<;,op.ivov, shows that 
St. Paul is only adopting current terms, not communicating any 
incidental revelation about objective facts (see on Eph. i. 21). 
The gist of the passage is to make light of the speculations about 
the orders of angels, but to insist on the supremacy of Christ. 

" His language here shows the same spirit of impatience with 
this elaborate angelology as in ii. 18," Lightfoot. It is said, 
indeed, that St. Paul " is glorifying the Son of God by a view of 
His relation to created being ; and assuredly this would not be 
best done by alluding to phases of created being which might all 


the while be figments of the imagination " (Moule). But it is 
sufficient for the purpose that the existence of angelic beings in 
general should be a reality. If St. Paul accepts as true the funda- 
mental assumption of the heretical angelology, it seems to follow 
that revelations about heavenly existences may be found elsewhere 
than in the Scriptures, for this system of the angelic hierarchy 
could not be derived either from the O.T. or from reason. 

Opovoi are not mentioned elsewhere in the N.T., but in Test. 
XII. Patr. (Levi 3) they are placed in the highest (seventh) heaM^n. 
Probably the name was meant as a designation of spirits who 
occupied thrones surrounding the throne of God. Comp. Rev. 
iv. 4. Clement of Alex, seems to regard them as so called because 
supporting or forming the throne of God (Proph. Ed. 57), as the 
cherubim are represented in Ezek. ix. 3, x. 1, xi. 22 ; Ps. lxxx. 2, 
xcix. 1. For a summary of Jewish and Christian speculations as 
to the angelic hierarchy, Lightfoot's note may be consulted. 

tA irdrra k.t.X. This is properly separated from the foregoing 
by a colon after i^ovariai. The sentence emphatically restates in a 
form applied to the present what had already been said of the 
relation of Christ to the creation. Thus what was described in 
16 as a historical act by Uric-dr], is here repeated, regarded as a 
completed and continuing fact ; so iv airw a-wio-rrjK^v expresses 
what for the present existence of things is the logical consequence 

of their origin iv ai™; and, lastly, kcu auros ecrrev rrpo rravruv 

repeats rrpwroroKos ■n-do-rj'i KTto-eco?. e£s avrov introduces a new idea. 
els auToe. The conditions of existence of the created universe 
are so ordered that without Christ it cannot attain its perfection. 
This cts avrov is nearly equivalent to Si ov in Heb. ii. 10. He is 
Alpha and Omega, the apxy kol tcAo? (Apoc. xxii. 13). This ets 
airov tKTio-Tai is the antecedent condition of the subjection of all 
things to Christ, 1 Cor. xv. 24, 28. There is no inconsistency, then (as 
Holtzmann and others maintain), between this passage and 1 Cor. 
viii. 6 (where the subject of ets airov is not to. rrdvra, but 17/Aets), or 
Rom. xi. 36, where it is said of God, e£ avrov ko\ 8l avrov /ecu eis 
avrov to. travra. Had i£ avrov been used, there would have been 
an inconsistency ; but as the passage stands, the subordination to 
the Father is fully indicated by the form of expression, 6Y avrov 
Kal els avrov eKno-rai, implying that it was by the Father that He was 
appointed the tc'Aos. This double use of eis avrov to express the 
immediate end and the final end, is parallel to the double use of 
81' avrov with reference to Christ in 1 Cor. viii. 6, and to God in 
Rom. xi. 36. 

The thought in Eph. i. IO, avaK€<pa\aiwo-aa6ai ra. irdvra iv 

Xpio-T<2, is very similar to the present ; but, of course, we cannot 
quote Eph. in a question touching the genuineness of the present 


17. icai aoTos earif 7rp6 -k&vtuv. avros is emphatic, as always 
in the nom. " He himself," in contrast, namely, to the created 
things, irpb iravTwv, like 7rpwToroK05, is of priority in time not in 
rank (which would be eVi ttolvtwv, v-n-ep irdvra, or the like). In 
Jas. v. 12; 1 Pet. iv. 8, irpb ttcivtoiv is adverbial, "above all," 
" especially," and if so taken here, we should render " He especially 
exists." The words repeat with emphasis the assertion of pre- 
existence. ?jv might have been used, but Icttiv is more suitable to 
express immutability of existence. As we might say, " His existence 
is before all things " ; compare John viii. 58, irplv 'Afipaap. yiveaOai, 
eyw ej/u. Lightfoot accentuates the verb avros eo-riv ; but as the 
predicate is irpo 7rdvTo>j>, luriv appears to be only the copula. 

The Latin takes volvtwv as masculine, " ante omnes," i.e. 
thronos, etc.; but the following to. TravTa is decisive against this. 

auvicrrr\Ke. " Consist," " maintain their coherence." " Corpus 
unum, integrum, perfectum, secum consentiens esse et permanere" 
(Reiske, Index Demos th.). ck rov ©eov to, irdvTa, kcu Sid ©eov r\plv 
avvecrTrjKev (Aristot. De Afundo, vi. 471) : ^vveo-rdvai rw rov ovpavov 
8r]p.iovpy<2 avrov n kcu to. iv airw (Plato, Rep. 530 A). Compare 
also Philo, 6 IVai/u.os oyKos, i$ eavrov SiaAvrds a>v /cat ve/cpos, 
crv^e'crT7/K€ kcu ^a)7rvpeiTac irpovoia. ©eov {Quis Rer. Div. haeres. p. 489). 
The Logos is called by Philo the 8eo-p.6<; of the universe. 

18-20. Transition to Chrisfs relation to the Church, drro Trjs 
#eoA.oyias eis rrjv oiKovofjiiav, Theodoret. Here also He is first, the 
firstborn from the dead, and the Head of the Church, all the fulness 
of God dwelling in Him. So that even the angelic powers are included 
in the work of reconciliation which has been wrought through Him. 

18. Kal auTos, and He and none other, "ipse in quo omnia 
consistunt est caput. 

f\ Ke<f>a\}j tou o-ojp.a-1-09, ttjs €KK\T]CTias. tt)s «/</cXr/o-tas in apposition 
with crcu/xaTos ; compare ver. 24, o eVtiv 17 iKKXrjcria, and Eph. i. 23, 
rfj £kk\. rjTt<; eo-ri to crw/xa avrov. crw/xaTos is added in order to 
define more precisely the meaning of the figure, KecpaXrj rrj<s 
EK/cA^cnas. It shows that the writer is not using Ke<pa\rj vaguely, 
but with the definite figure of the relation of head to body in his 

os cCTTif apxT = " in that He is." In classical Greek yc would 
probably be added, apxrj has special but not exclusive reference to 
the following words, which express the aspect in which clpxrj is 
here viewed. 7rpwTOTOKos implies that other veKpot follow j dpxrj, that 
He it was who made possible that others should follow. He 
was the Principle and the first example, &pxv> <pw^ v > c '°" rt "fc 

dvacn-ao-ews, 7rpd ttoVtcdi/ di'ao-ras, Theoph. Thus He was the 

'wrapX 7 ?' 1 Cor. xv. 20, 23; and the a'p^^yos tt}<s £u>r}<;, Acts iii. 14. 
His resurrection is His title to the headship of the Church : cf 
Rom. i. 4. 


cic iw feKpue. Not " amongst," which would be irp. iw ve*p. 
as in Rev. i. 5, but " from among." That others were raised 
before Him is not regarded as an objection to this. Theophy- 
lact observes : £i yap /ecu aAAoi 7rpo tovtov aviarrjo-av, a'AAa 7raAiv 
airidavov" au-ros Se r-qv reXetav avacrraaiv avicrrrj. 

w yivr\rai. "That He may become," not "be," as Vulg. As 
con' is used to express what He is, so yivrjrai. of what as a con- 
sequence He is to become, viz. iv iraa-iv, k.t.A.. " Himself in all 
things pre-eminent." Tracnv is not masculine, "inter omnes," as 
Beza and others take it, but neuter, as the following to n-cura 
makes certain. trpuirtvcLv does not occur elsewhere in the N.T., 
but is found in classical writers and in the Sept. Thus in a 
connexion similar to the present, Plutarch (Mor. p. 9), o-Trev'Son-cs 
rows 7raiSas iv Tracn tol^lov 7rpo)rev€tv. Demosthenes also has 
irpwTeveiv iv aircuri, but with airacri, masc. (p. 1416). Chrysostom's 
explanation here is : Travra^ov 7rpu)Tos* avw rrpwros, iv rfj tKKXrjaiq 
7rpa)Tos, iv tt) dvaaTacreL -n-pcoTOS. This irpiDTevtiv is the final result 
of the state to which the irpoiToroKov zlvai «k t<ov veKpwv was the 
introduction, but is not involved in the word TrpwTo'roKos itself. 

19. Sti. The correspondence with on in ver. 16, following os 
ia-rtv of ver. 15, shows that this assigns a reason, not for iva yevrprai, 
but for os icrTLv, ver. 18. The indwelling of the Godhead explains 
the headship of the Church as well as that of the Universe. 

€u86ior]o-€y. The subject may be either 6 ©eos or irav to 
ir\rjpwp.a. The former view is adopted by most comm., including 
Meyer, Alford, Lightfoot, De Wette, Winer. In favour of it, the 
ellipsis of 6 0eo? in Jas. i. 1 2, iv. 6, is quoted, and it is remarked 
that the omission here is the more easy, because " cvSokU, evSoKtxv, 
etc. (like OiXypui), are used absolutely of God's good purpose, e.g. 
Luke ii. 14; Phil. ii. 13." But the verb ev'So/ceiv is used by St. 
Paul even more frequently of men than of God (seven times to 
three). It cannot, therefore, be said that it was in any sense a 
technical term for the Divine counsel, so as to render the express 
mention of 6 ©cos as the subject unnecessary; nor is there any 
instance of its being used absolutely in this sense ; see 1 Cor. i; 
21 ; Gal. i. 15, where 6 ©eo's is expressed with the verb. Indeed, 
except in Luke ii. 14, even the substantive evSo/aa, when it refers 
to God, is always defined either by a genitive (Eph. i. 5, 9) or by 
6 ©eos being the subject of the sentence, as in Phil. ii. 13, where 
the article with an abstract noun after a preposition " necessarily 
brings in a reflexive sense, — to be referred to the subject of the 
sentence," Alford. 

Here there is nothing in the context from which 6 ©eos can be 
supplied, and clearness, especially in such an important passage, 
would require it to be expressed. 

Further, although an example is cited from 2 Mace. xiv. 35 in 


which the subject of the infinitive after evSoKelv is different from the 

subject of the finite verb (o-v, Kvpte, euSd/i^cra? vabv tt}s (rrj<i KaTa- 

arK-qvwo-eois iv rjpxv yevicrOai), yet in every instance in the N.T. (six) 
in which euSoKeiv is followed by an infinitive, the subject of both is 
the same. The assumed change of subject to the two infinitives 
KaroiK. and awoKaT. is also harsh. Lastly, the words seem to be an 
echo of Ps. lxviii. 17,6 ®eo? cuSoK^cre KaroiKetv iv avTw, while in ii. 9 
we have a close parallel in on iv avrQ KaroiKel 77-av to TrXrjpiofjLa tt)s 

For these reasons it seems best to take irav to ttX. as the 
subject. So Ewald, Ellicott, Scholefield, Soden, RV. marg. 

A third interpretation, which has little to recommend it, is that 
of Tertullian {adv. Marc. v. 19), according to which the subject of 
evSoVqo-ev is 6 Xpia-To's ; and this is adopted by Conybeare and 
Hofmann. ek avrov then would be " to Himself." But it was 
not to Christ but to the Father that all things were reconciled 
by Him; compare 2 Cor. v. 19. As Lightfoot observes, the 
interpretation " confuses the theology of the passage hopelessly." 

Although the tense is the aorist, " hath been pleased to dwell " 
represents the sense better than " was pleased to dwell." For as 
the good pleasure must accompany the dwelling, instead of being 
a transient act, antecedent to it, the latter expression would be 
equivalent to " dwelt," and so would only refer to past time. 

irav to ir\TJpw(j.a. If this is the subject of ev8. it, of course, 
means " all the fulness of the Godhead," r!}s ^edriyros, as in ii. 9, 
"omnes divitiae divinae naturae" (Fritz.), -rrav rb ttX. being 
personified. But even if 6 ©ed? is taken as the subject, it is most 
natural to interpret this expression by that in ii. 9, where Karot/cet 
is also used. It is, indeed, objected by Meyer and Eadie that the 
Divine essence dwelt in Christ " necessarily " (" nothwendig," 
Meyer) and "unchangeably" (Eadie), not by the Father's good 
pleasure and purpose. Hence they understand with Beza, " cumu- 
latissima omnium divinarum rerum copia ... ex qua in Christo 
tanquam inexhausto fonte, omnes gratiae in nos . . . deriventur." 
Alford, while adopting the interpretation, rightly sets aside the 
objection of Meyer and Eadie to the former view, saying that " all 
that is His own right is His Father's pleasure, and is ever referred 
to that pleasure by Himself." 

Severianus and Theodoret interpret TrXrjpwfxa of the Church, 
following Eph. i. 23. The latter says : irX-qp. ryv iKKX-qo-iav iv 

T7] 7T/DOS 'E<^€CTtOUS CKaAeCTCV, <I)S TOIl/ 6iLU)V Xapi<TfA(iTWV TT€Tr\r]pwfX€Vr]V. 

Tavrrjv tcpr) evSoKrjcrai rbv ®ebv iv tw Xpicrrw KaToiKrjo-ai, toutcVtiv 
avT<3 o-wrjcpOai. ; and so many moderns. Similarly Schleiermacher, 
who, referring to Tr\rjpwp.a rwv iOvwv in Rom. xi. 12, 25, 26, 
explains the word here of the fulness of the Gentiles and the 
whole of Israel, whose indwelling in Christ is the permanent state 


which is necessarily preceded by the complete reconciliation of 
which the peacemaking was the condition. But there is nothing 
to support this either in the absolute use of irX. or in the context 
here. It is clear that the Karoi/ojo-cu is stated as the antecedent, 
not the consequent of olttokclt., " haec inhabitatio est fundamentum 
reconciliationis," Bengel. Other interpretations may be found in 
De Wette and Meyer. 

KaToiKT]o-ai implies permanent, or rather " settled " residence, 
not a mere irapoiKia. Cf. Gen. xxxvi. 44 (xxxvii. 1), Karwxei 8k 
'laKw/3 iv rfj yfj ov TrapwKrjcrev 6 irarrjp avrov iv yfj Xaradv. That 
the word of itself does not always imply " permanent residence," see 
Acts vii. 4, Ka.TWK7]<T€v iv Xappdv' kolkcWcv fxirwKio-ev avrov eis rrjv 
yrjv tclvttjv : see on Lk. xi. 26. The aorist seems to be usually 
employed in the sense, " take up one's abode in." Compare Matt. 
ii. 23, iv. 13; Acts vii. 2, 4 ; Eph. iii. 17. This, however, cannot 
be insisted on here, where the infinitive is dependent on an aorist. 

It is probable, as Lightfoot remarks, that the false teachers 
maintained only a partial and transient connexion of the TrX-qpwfx-a 
with the Lord. 

20. diroKaTaXXdfai. The a-rro may be intensive, " prorsus 
reconciliare," or, as in airoKa8iardvai, may mean " again " (so 
Alford, Ell, Lightfoot, Soden). " Conciliari extraneo possent, 
reconciliari vero non alii quam suo," Tertull. adv. Marc. v. 19 
But KaraXXdaaav is the word always used by St. Paul in Rom. 
and Cor. of reconciliation to God ; and of a wife to her husband, 
1 Cor. vii. n. See on Eph. ii. 16. 

to, irdvra, defined as it is presently after by tire rd im 1-779 y^s, 
k.t.X., cannot be limited to the Church (as Beza), nor to men 
(especially the heathen, Olshausen), nor yet to intelligent beings 
generally. " How far this restoration of universal nature may be 
subjective, as involved in the changed perceptions of man thus 
brought into harmony with God, and how far it may have an 
objective and independent existence, it were vain to speculate," 
Lightfoot. Compare aTTOKarao-rdo-em iravruiv, Acts iii. 21 ; also 
Rom. viii. 21. 

els auToi/. If our interpretation of this were to be determined 
solely by considerations of language, we should have no hesitation 
in referring avrov to the same antecedent as iv avT(5, 6Y avrov, and 
avrov after aravpov, that is Christ, and that, whatever subject we 
adopt for ev8oK7jo-e, but especially if rrdv rb tt\. is not taken as the 
subject. On this interpretation the aTroKaraXXd^at rd rrdvra £is 
avrov would refer back to ra rrdvra £is avrov . . . eKricrrai. If 
iavrip was necessary in 2 Cor. v. 19, was it not more necessary 
here in order to avoid ambiguity ? 

It is, however, a serious objection to this view that we nowhere 
read of reconciliation to Christ, but only through Him to God. 


This objection is, indeed, somewhat weakened by the consideration, 
first, that this is the only place in which the reconciliation of to 
iravra is mentioned. In 2 Cor. v. 19 the words which follow iavrw, 
viz. pr) A.oyi£oyu.ei'os aurois ra 7rap(nrrw[JLara. avrwv, k.t.X., show that 
KoV/Aos has not the wide significance of to. -n-avra here. Secondly, 
that already in ver. 1 7 there is predicated of Christ what elsewhere is 
predicated of God, viz. 81 avrov /cat eis avrov rd 7rdvTa (Rom. xi. 35). 
Thirdly, here only is eis used instead of the dative after (otto) 
KOLTaXXdao-eLv. The difference is slight, and only in the point of 
view; but the change would be accounted for by the reference 
to ver. 17 

It deserves notice that some expositors who reject this view use 
language which at least approximates to the idea of reconciliation 
to Christ. Thus Alford, speaking of the " sinless creation," says it 
" is lifted into nearer participation and higher glorification of Him, 
and is thus reconciled, though not in the strictest yet in a very 
intelligible and allowable sense." 

If Tray to 7rAi7pw//.a is the subject, and avrov be viewed as 
= tov ©eoV, this antecedent would be supplied from rrdv to tt\. 
in which, on this view, it is involved. On the other hand, if 
the subject of eiSoKrjcre is 6 ©eo's understood, this, of course, is the 
antecedent. But the reference of avrov (reflexive) to an unexpressed 
subject is harsh, notwithstanding Jas. i. 12. 

elpY]voiroir|o-as belongs to the subject of the verb, the masc. 
being adopted Kara a-vveaiv, as in ii. 19. This was inevitable, 
since the personal character of 6 €tpr/vo7rotT;cras could not be lost 
sight of. 

As it is Christ who is specified in Eph. ii. 15 as ttoiuv dp-qvrjv, 
Chrysostom, Theodoret, Oecum. and many moderns, although 
making 6 ©co'? the subject of evSoK-rjcre, have so understood elpujvo- 
TrotT/o-as here " by the common participial anacoluthon " ; but this 
is a very harsh separation of the participial clause from the finite 
verb, and introduces confusion amongst the pronouns. 

81' auroG, repeated for the sake of emphasis, "by Him, I say." 
This repetition, especially in so pointed a connexion with ra eVi 
T7/s yrjs and to. iv tois oipavoh, still further emphasises the fact that 
angelic mediators have no share in the work of reconciliation, nay, 
that these heavenly beings themselves are included amongst those 
to whom the benefit of Christ's work extends. 

The second 5t' avrov is read by X A C D bc K P and most mss., Syr. (both) 
Boh., Chrys. Theodoret. It is omitted by BD*GL, Old Lat. Vulg. Arm. 
Eth., Theophyl. Ambrosiaster, al. There would be a tendency to omit them 
as superfluous. 

cite to. em ttjs yrjs, €iT6 t& iv tois oupai/ois. There is much 
diversity of opinion as to the interpretation of this passage ; 
"torquet interpretes," says Davenant, "et vicissim ab illis tor- 


quetur." First, are we to understand Ta 77-an-a as limited to 
intelligent creatures, or as including also unreasoning and lifeless 
things ? Alford, Meyer, and many others adopt the latter view, 
which, indeed, Alford says is " clearly " the apostle's meaning. 
Rom. viii. 19-22 is compared, where it is said that the /cruris has 
been made subject to fj.araioTrj's. But it is not easy to see how the 
reversal of this /xaTaior^s or the delivery from the SovXeia 7-775 
<f>6opa<; can be called "reconciliation to God." Reconciliation 
implies enmity, and this cannot be predicated of unreasoning and 
lifeless things. The neuter to -n-avra does not bind us to this 
interpretation, it is simply the most concise and striking expression 
of universality. But, further, what is meant by the reconciliation 
of heavenly beings? Many commentators suppose the meaning 
to be that even good angels have need to be in some sense 
" reconciled." Calvin observes : " duabus de causis Angelos 
quoque oportuit cum Deo pacificari : nam quum creaturae sint, 
extra lapsus periculum non erant, nisi Christi gratia fuissent con- 
firmati . . . Deinde in hac ipsa obedientia quam praestant Deo, 
non est tarn exquisita perfectio ut Deo omni exparte et citra 
veniam satisfaciat. Atque hue procul dubio spectat sententia ista 
ex libro Job (iv. 18). 'In Angelis suis reperiet iniquitatem ' ; 
nam si de diabolo exponitur, quid magnam ? pronuntiat autem illic 
Spiritus Summam puritatem sordere, si ad Dei iustitiam exigatur." 
Similarly De Wette, Bleek, Huther, Alford, Moule. The last 
named adopts Alford's statement : " No reconciliation must be 
thought of which shall resemble ours in its process, for Christ took 
not upon Him the seed of angels, nor paid any propitiatory penalty 
in the root of their nature. . . . But forasmuch as He is their 
Head as well as ours ... it cannot be but that the great event in 
which He was glorified through suffering should also bring them 
nearer to God. . . . That such increase [of blessedness] might be 
described as a reconciliation is manifest : we know from Job xv. 1 5 
that 'the heavens are not clean in His sight'; and ib. iv. 18, 'His 
angels He charged [charges] with folly.' " The general -truth may 
be admitted without accepting Eliphaz the Temanite as a final 
authority. But imperfection is not enmity, and the difficulty is in 
the application of the term " reconciled " in the sense of " lifted 
into nearer participation and higher glorification " of God. Dave- 
nant, followed by Alexander, says that Christ has reconciled 
angels " analogically, by taking away from them the possibility of 

It is hardly necessary to dwell on the opinion of Origen, that 
the devil and his angels are referred to ; or on that of Beza, van 
Til, a/. } that to. iv tchs oupavois are the souls of those who died in 
the Lord before the coming of Christ, and who are supposed to 
have been admitted into heaven by virtue of His work which was 


to come. Neither opinion has any support in Scripture. (Bengel 
notes that Trdvra " continet etiam defunctos," but does not suppose 
them referred to as in heaven.) 

A better view is that of Harless (adopted also by Reuss, 
Oltramare, «/.), according to which the reconciliation proper 
applies only to to. iirl rr)s yrj<s t but the apostle adds to. «/ rots oip., 
" not as if there were in heaven any real need of redemption, nor 
as if heaven were only added as a rhetorical figure, but because 
the Lord and Creator of the whole body, whose members are 
heaven and earth, in restoring one member has restored the whole 
body ; and herein consists the greatest significance of the reconcilia- 
tion, that it is not only the restoration of the earthly life, but the 
restoration of the harmony of the universe" (Harless, Eph. p. 53). 

Ritschl thinks that St. Paul refers to the angels concerned in 
the giving of the law, to whom he believes the apostle here and 
elsewhere attributes a certain lack of harmony with the Divine 
plan of redemption (Jahrb. /. Deutsche Theol. 1863, p. 522 f.). 
Compare ii. 15. 

Meyer's solution is that the reference is to angels as a category, 
not as individuals. The original normal relation between God 
and these higher spirits no longer subsists so long as the hostile 
realm of demons still exists ; whose power has indeed been 
broken by the death of the Lord, but which shall be fully destroyed 
at the Parousia. 

Hammond argues at considerable length that "heaven and 
earth " was a Hebrew expression for " this lower earth." Chry- 
sostom takes the accusatives to depend on elpt]voirocr]ora.<;. This 
is clear from his question, to. Se iv -rots oupavots 7rws eip-qvo- 
Troirjcre ; His reply is that the angels had been made hostile to 
men, seeing their Lord insulted (or as Theodoret more generally 
says, on account of the wickedness of the many). God, then, not 
only made things on earth to be at peace, but brought man to the 
angels, him who was their enemy. This was profound peace. 
Why then, says the apostle, have ye confidence in the angels? 
So far are they from bringing you near, that had not God Himself 
reconciled you to them, ye would not have been at peace. So 
Augustine {Enchir. 62) : " pacificantur coelestia cum terrestribus, 
et terrestria cum coelestibus." Erasmus adopts the same con- 
struction, amending the Latin version thus : " pacificatis et iis quae 
in terra sunt, et quae in coelis." Bengel's interpretation is similar, 
and he appears to adopt the same construction, for he compares 
Luke xix. 38, dprjvr] iv ovpavCo : and comparing this again with 
Luke ii. 14, e7rt y-^s (.Iprjvrj, he remarks that what those in heaven 
call peace on earth, those on earth call peace in heaven. This 
construction does not seem to be open to any grammatical objec- 
tion. Only two instances of etp7?j/o7roieu' are cited in the Lexicons, 


one from the Sept., Prov. x. 10, where it is intransitive; the other 
from Hermes, ap. Stob. Eel. Phys. p. 984, where the middle is 
used transitively, tots kcu avrr) tov iSiov Spopiov elp-qvoTTOLUTai. As 

to the form of the compound, Aristotle uses oSo-n-oietv with an 
accusative, Rhet. i. I. 2, SrjXov on elrj av avra kol bSoTroulv. So 
XoyowouLv takes an accus., e.g. o-vfA<f>opds, Lys. p. 165, 26; cf. 
Thuc. vi. 38, al. It is singular that this construction which yields 
an excellent sense has been entirely overlooked, and the interpreta- 
tion of Chrys., etc., met with the objection that d7roKa.TaAA.afa1 
. . . eire ra . . . en-6 to. cannot mean to reconcile these two 
with one another. 

May it not be that the difficulty arises from attempting to turn 
what is practically a hypothetical statement into a categorical 
assertion ? St. Paul has in his mind throughout this part of the 
Epistle the teaching of the false teachers at Colossae, who knew, 
forsooth, all about the celestial hierarchy, with its various orders, 
some of which were doubtless regarded as not entirely in harmony 
with the Divine will. The apostle no more adopts their view here 
than he adopts their hierarchical system. The point on which he 
insists is that all must be brought into harmony, and that this is 
effected through Christ. 

Are we, however, justified in assuming that all to. lv tois 
ovpavols (which is not necessarily equivalent to " in heaven ") are 
holy angels, or were so conceived by St. Paul? If there are 
" other worlds than ours," would not their inhabitants be reckoned 
as lv tois owpavois ? 

21-23. The Colossians are reminded that this reconciliation 
applies to them also, and that the object in view is that they may be 
blameless in the sight of God. But this depends on their holding fast 
by the truth which they have been taught. 

21. We must first note the difference of reading in the last word of the 
verse. diroKaraWdyriTe is read by B, 17 (&iroKa.TirfK\&KT)Tai) ; diroKaraXKa- 
ytvres, by D* G, the Latin dgm Goth., Iren. (transl.) al.; but all other 
authorities have d7roK<xT??\\a£ ev. Lachm. , Meyer, Lightfoot, Weiss adopt diro- 
KaT-qWdy-qre, which is given a place in the margin by Treg. WH. and Rev. 
It is argued that diroKaraWayivTes is an emendation, for grammatical reasons, 
of &TroKa.T7)W<iy7}Te (though a careless one, for it should be accus.). These two 
sets of authorities, then, may be taken together as attesting the passive. As 
between diroKaTr)\\dyr]Te and diroKarriWa^ev, there is in favour of the former 
the consideration that, if the latter had been the original reading, the con- 
struction would be plain, and no reason would exist for altering it. Lightfoot 
regards this reading of B as perhaps the highest testimony of all to the great 
value of that MS. 

With the reading diroKarriWa^ev there is a slight anacoluthon, there being 
no direct protasis. Examples, however, are not infrequent of a clause with 
84 following a participle which indirectly supplies the protasis. The anaco- 
luthon might indeed be avoided by making v/xas depend on dwoKaraWd^ai. ; 
but this would be more awkward ; and, besides, ver. 2 1 obviously begins a new 
paragraph, resuming the thought from which the apostle had digressed in 15. 


With the reading iiroKarriKK&yqre it is possible to regard the clause vvvl 
Si — Oavarov as parenthetical. " And you who once were estranged (but now 
ye have been reconciled) to present you, I say," the second v/j-as repeating 
the first ; and so Lachmann, Lightfoot, Moule. But, considering the im- 
portance of the clause, it is perhaps better (with Meyer) to understand the 
construction as an anacoluthon, the apostle having begun the sentence with 
the active in his mind, and, in a manner not unusual with him, passing to a 
more independent form of statement. This, too, seems much more in St. 
Paul's manner than the parenthesis supposed by Lachmann. 

Kal upas, " and you also," ttotc orras dirr|\XoTpi(i)u.eVous, " who 
were once in a state of estrangement." ovTas expresses more 
forcibly the settledness of the alienation. For d7raAAoTpio'a) see on 
Eph. ii. 12. Here the remote object must be God, as of its opposite 
aTTOKaTaXXaa-a-iiv, and the word implies that they belonged to another 
(dAAoYpios) (they were, in fact, subject to the l^ova-ia tov o-kotovs), 
and that this was the consequence of movement away from Him 
(ci7ro-). Alford understands the verb here objectively, " banished " ; 
but it seems more congruous to the whole context (d7roKaTaA., 
ixOpovs) to understand it subjectively, " estranged (in mind)." 

ex^pous -rtj Siacoia. ixOpovs is taken passively by Meyer, 
" invisos Deo." But such a meaning is not justified either by the 
context here or by the use of the word elsewhere ; cf. Rom. viii. 7, 
to (ppovrjfia ttJs o"apKOS ^x^P a € ' s ® e °v. Even in Rom. v. 10, €i yap 
ixOpol oVt€s KaT7]WayT)fj.ev t<2 ®e<2, k.t.A., it is best understood 
actively ; there, as here, the sinner is spoken of as reconciled to 
God, not God to the sinner. Indeed, nowhere in the N.T. is the 
latter expression used. The fact that it occurs in Clement, in the 
Const. Apost., and in the Apocrypha (Meyer), only makes its absence 
from the N.T. the more noticeable. As Lightfoot observes, " it is 
the mind of man, not the mind of God, which must undergo a 
change, that a reunion may be effected." It was not because God 
hated the world, but because He loved it, that He sent His Son. 
In Rom. xi. 28, where the Jews are said to be e^poi in a passive 
sense, this is not absolute, but Kara to evayye'Aiov, and they are at 
the same time dyair^Tot. Here, jn particular, the active sense is 
required by the following 77) 6Wo6a, which Meyer indeed interprets 
as a " causal dative " (as if it were = Sid ttjv Siavoiav). But in 
cx^pos TV Siavoi'a the two notions must have the same subject 
(vp.wv not being added). Besides, if so intended, SiaWa would 
surely be qualified by Trov^pS. or the like. 177 Stavota, then, is the 
dative of the part affected, as in cctkotoj/xcvoi tt} Stavot'a, Eph. iv. 18 ; 

KaOapoi rfj KapSla, Matt. V. 8. 

iv toZs epyois tois Troerjpols, the practical sphere in which the 
preceding characteristics exhibited themselves. A striking contrast 
to the description of the Christian walk in vet. 10. 

22. Kuid oe, "now," i.e. in the present order of things, not "at 
the present moment." The aorist marks that the state of things 


followed a given event. It is correctly rendered by the English 
perfect. So ver. 26; also Eph. ii. 13, iii. 5; Rom. v. 11, vii. 6, 
xi- 3°> 3 1 . xy i- 2 6; 2 Tim. i. 10; 1 Pet. i. 10, ii. 10, 25. We have 
the aorist similarly used in Plato, Symp. 193 A, -n-po tov, wo-rrep 

Aeyw, kv r)' vwl 8k Sid Trjv dSiKiaj/ 8twKLo-$rjp.€v vtto tov ®eov, and 

in Isaeus, De Cleon. her. 20, totc p.kv ! . . vwl 8k . . . e/3ov\rj6r). 

diroKaTTjXXdyTjTe or diroKaTT/\\a£ei'. For reading and construc- 
tion, see above. 

iv ry oxojxaTi Trjs crapicos auTou, iv pointing to the medium of the 
reconciliation. The addition of Trjs crap/cos avTov, " consisting in 
His flesh," has been variously accounted for. Beza, Huther, Barry, 
a/., suppose the expression directed against Docetism ; but there is 
no direct evidence of this form of error so early, nor does there 
appear to be any allusion to it in this Epistle. Others, as Bengel, 
Olshausen, Lightfoot, supposed the words added to distinguish 
between the physical and the spiritual o-w/xa, i.e. the Church. But 
this would be irrelevant. Marcion, however, omitted tt}s o-ap/co's 
as inconsistent with his views, and explained iv ™ o-wpiaTi of the 
Church. Tertullian, referring to this, says : " in eo corpore in quo 
mori potuit per carnem mortuus est, non per ecclesiam sed propter 
ecclesiam" (Adv. Marc. v. 19). The most probable explanation 
is that the words have reference to the opinion of the false teachers, 
that angels who were without a 0-wp.a t?)s (rap/co'9 assisted in the 
work of reconciliation (so Alford, Ellicott, Meyer, Soden). Sid tov expresses the manner in which the reconciliation was 

After dav&Tov, avrov is added in NAPa/., Boh. Arm. al. 

Trapa(TTr]o-ai up.ds. With the reading ciTro/carTyAXa^v this in- 
finitive expresses the final purpose ; comp. 2 Cor. xi. 2, rjpp.oo-ap.-qv 

vp.a.'i hi dv8pl, irapQkvov ayvrjv irapao-Trjo-ai tw Xpio"r<3. Here, how- 
ever, the verb has its judicial sense; comp. 2 Cor. iv. 14, 6 eycipas 
tov KvpLov 'Irjcrovv Kal r)p.a.<i crvv 'lyo-ov iyepel /cat Trapao-Trjcrei o-vv 
iplv. As this Trapao-Trjo-ai is thus included by God Himself in His 
work as the consequence of the reconciliation which He has 
accomplished, it follows that there is no room for anything to" 
be contributed to this end by man himself. 

With the reading aVo/caTr;XXdy^Te two constructions are possible. 
First, it may be taken as dependent on evSoK-qaev, vwl 8£ — OavaTov 
being parenthetical (Lightfoot). This makes the sentence rather 
involved. Or, secondly, the subject of irapao-Trjo-ai and that of 
d-n-oKaT. ^ may be the same, viz. ty^eis, " ut sisteretis vos." Comp. 
Rom. VI. 13, 7rapao-Trjo-aT€ eavrovs T<i ©cw; 2 Tim. ii. 15, o-7rov8ao-ov 
o-eavTov 86kl/xov -rrapacrTrjo-ai to ©ecp. There is here no emphasis on 
the reflexive sense (the words being nearly equivalent to " that ye 
may stand "), so that eWroik is not required. 


Lightfoot regards irapaarrjo-ai here as sacrificial, paraphrasing 
thus : " He will present you a living sacrifice, an acceptable offer- 
ing to Himself." But this is reading into the words something 
which is not suggested, nor even favoured, by the context. Though 
dytoix? Ken d/jLu/xovs may seem to be borrowed from the vocabulary of 
sacrifice, the combination does not carry any such connotation 
with it. Comp. Eph. i. 4 (i^eXeljaro rjfxas) ctvcu 17/xas aytovs kcu 
a/xw/xous Ka.Teva>7rioj> airov • ib. ver. 2 7 (in connexion with the same 
verb Trapacn-rjvat., where the figure is that of a bride) ; Jude 24, 
(TTrjcrau KarevwTnov rr}<; So£??s airov a/xw/Aous. av€yi<\r]TOv<;, moreover, 
is not suitable to sacrifice. It is a judicial term, and thus deter- 
mines the sense of the other two, Trapao-rrjaai, being quite as much 
a judicial as a sacrificial word ; cf. Acts xxiii. 33. May we not add 
that the thought expressed in Lightfoot's paraphrase has no parallel 
in the N.T. ? For Rom. xii. 1 does not support the idea of God pre- 
senting believers to Himself as a sacrifice. Accordingly, this view 
is rejected by most commentators. The adjectives, then, are best 
understood of moral and spiritual character, the first expressing 
the positive aspect, the others the negative ; and Karevw-n-iov airov 
being connected with the verb, which requires such an addition, 
not with the adjectives, nor with the last only. 

23. ei ye, " assuming that." See Eph. iii. 2. 

emfieVeTe, "ye abide, continue in," a figurative use of hn/Uvfiv, 
occurring several times in St. Paul (only), and always with the 
simple dative; cf. Rom. vi. 1, xi. 22, 23; 1 Tim. iv. 16. (In Acts 
xiii. 43 the genuine reading is trpoap-ivuv.) The eVi- is not 
intensive, as if cVuteVeiv were stronger than p-iveiv (cf. 2 Cor. ix. 9 ; 
2 Tim. ii. 13; 1 Tim. ii. 15; Acts xviii. 20, ix. 43, xxviii. 12, 14). 
It adds the idea of locality. 

tt) TTio-Tei, i.e. vp.u)v, referring to i. 4. 

Te0€fi€\ia>|u.eVoi kcu eSpcuoi, the former word referring to the sure 
foundation (Eph. iii. 17), the latter to the firmness of the structure. 
iSpoLLOs occurs also in I Cor. vii. 37, os Se eo-rqKev iv rfj KapSca. airov 
iSpaios, and in I Cor. XV. 58, eSpcuoi yiv€o~6e, ap.craKivr]TOL. 

fir] u,eraKtvouu.evoi. expresses the same idea on the negative side, 
but defined more precisely by the following words. It seems 
better taken as middle than passive, especially considering the 
present tense, "not constantly shifting." The use of fxrj implies 
that this clause is conditioned by the preceding (Winer, § 55. ia). 

d-n-6 t*]s eXiriSos. As the three preceding expressions involve 
the same figure, Soden regards these words as connected (by 
zeugma) with the first two as well as with the third. 

tou euayyeXtou, subjective genitive, the hope that belongs to 
the gospel. Comp. r) iX-n-U 1-779 KAr/o-ew?, Eph. i. 18, iv. 4. 

oil! T|Kouo-aT6, k.t.X. Three points to enforce the duly of not 
being moved, etc. They had heard this gospel ; the same had 


been universally preached, and the apostle himself was a minister 
of it. 7raA.1v avrous <f>£pei fxaprvpas, €ira rrjv OLKOVfiiviqv airaaav . . . 
koX tovto ets to d^LOTTLCTTOv trvvTeXei. . . . /^eya yap avrov t\v to 
d^iw/xa A.oi7rov 7ravTa^ov a8ofx.€vov, /cat t?}s oucov/Aev^s 6Vtos SiSacrKaXou, 

iv lrdo-Tj KTio-ei, "in all creation," RV., or "among every 
creature," Coverdale, Lightfoot ; cf. Mark xvi. 15 (where, however, 
KTtVts has the article), K-qpv^are. to cvayyiXiov irao~r) rfj KTicrei. In 
both places the thought is of proclamation and of reception by 
faith ; and therefore we can hardly (with Lightfoot) bring in " all 
creation, animate and inanimate." 

The expression KrjpvxOevTos is probably not to be regarded as 
hyperbolical, but ideal, "it 'was' done when the Saviour . . . bade 
it be done " (Moule). 

After Trdo-Q, rjj is added in S° D° K L P and most. It is absent from 
N*ABCD*G 17, etc. 

ou iyev6fir\v iyui flauXos SidKocos. Returning to his introduction 
of himself in ver. 1, the apostle prepares to say some further words 
of introduction of himself and his calling, before entering on the 
main topic of the Epistle. It is not for the purpose of magnifying 
his office that he thus names himself, but to impress on his readers 
that the gospel which they had heard, and which was proclaimed 
in all the world, was the very gospel that he preached. 

For SiaKoj/os, N* P read Krjpv$ ko.1 d7rdoToAos. A combines 
both readings. 

24—29. The apostle's own qualification as a minister of this 
gospel. To him has been given the privilege of knowing and pro- 
claiming this mystery which was hidden from former ages, namely, 
that of Christ dwelling in them. It is his mission to make this 
known, and so to admonish and teach that he may present every man 
perfect. This he earnestly labours to do through the power of Christ. 

24. vuv xai'pw. vvv is not transitional (" quae cum ita sint," 
Liicke), which would require ovv, or the like, but refers to present 
time. Now as a prisoner "with a chain upon my wrist" (Eadie).. 
His active service as Sta'/covos is at present suspended, but the 
sufferings which it had brought upon him are a source of joy. 
Lightfoot understands it thus : " Now, when I contemplate the 
lavish wealth of God's mercy, now when I see all the glory of 
bearing a part in this magnificent work, my sorrow is turned into 
joy." But there is no indication of such a connexion of thought 
in the text. 

8s is prefixed to vvv in D* G, Vulg. al. ( AV. ). It is, doubtless, a repeti- 
tion of the first syllable of Skxkovos, assisted by the desire to supply a connect- 
ing link between the sentences. For examples of similar abruptness compare 
2 Cor. vii. 9 ; I Tim. i. 12. 


iv. Compare Phil. i. 1 8, cv tovtw x<upo> ; Rom. v. 3, Kavx^^Oa 

CV TCUS 8Xtlf/€(TlV. 

After vad-fuxaoiv, p.ov is added in Text. Rec. with N° and many cursives, 
Syr-Pesh. Arm. Eth. al. % 

uiT€p ufiwi/, to be connected with ira.6rip.acnv. His sufferings had 
been brought on him by his labours on behalf of the Gentiles, 
" propter vestrum gentium salutem," Estius, and so with a kindly 
personal reference he represents them as endured on behalf of the 
Colossians, who shared in the benefit of his ministry. The article 
is not required before virlp v/twv, tois Tra6r) being = ots 7rao-^o). 

dn-ai/aiTXnpa). This double compound is not found elsewhere 
in LXX or N.T. dvairX-qpovv is found six times in N.T., twice in 
connexion with ia-reprjixa, 1 Cor. xvi. 1 7 ; Phil. ii. 30. Trpoaava- 
irX-qpow also occurs twice with ia-Tiprjfxa, but in a different sense, 
the former verb referring to a deficiency left by, the latter to one 
felt by, the persons mentioned. What modification is introduced 
in the meaning of dvairX-qpovv by the addition of dvn- is disputed, 
dvn in composition with a verb does not imply " instead of 
another," as Photius here takes it (tovtc'otiv, 'Avti Scottotou koX 
hihao-Kakov 6 SovXos eyw, k.t.X.), but " over against," which may be 
either in opposition, as dvi-iAeyw, di/riKa/xai, or in correspondence, in 
turn, as avT<.p.€Tpe'u>, avTiKaXiu (Luke xiv. 12),, etc. 
Here the dv-n- has been understood by some as referring to 
8ta«ovia, the suffering now taking the place of the former active 
service, or as indicating that the apostle's afflictions were in 
response to what Christ had done for him. It is, perhaps, 
sufficient to say, with Wetstein, that it indicates the correspond- 
ence with the i(TT€pr]p.a, " avrl vo-Tep-q/xaTOS SUCCedit a.vairXr]ptap.a" 

(So Meyer, Alford, Ellicott, Eadie, Soden.) Lightfoot objects that 
this practically deprives dvn of any meaning, for avairXyjpovv alone 
would denote as much. He adopts Winer's view, that avrava- 
irXrjpow is used of one who " alterius va-ripr}p.a de suo explet," 
or, as Lightfoot puts it, " that the supply comes from an opposite 
quarter to the deficiency." Instances are cited in which this idea 
(or rather that of " a different quarter ") is expressed in the context, 
for example, Dion Cass. xliv. 48, lv oaov . . . eVc'Sei, tovto Ik ttJs 
7rapd roiv dAAwv trwrcAt/a? avTav(nrXr)pu)9fj. The requirements of 
this passage seem to be fully met by the idea of correspondence, 
as will appear if we translate : " in order that ... as much as was 
wanting . . . this might be correspondingly supplied." And in 
the two instances in which avairXrjpovv is used with va-Teprj/xa, the 
supply is from a different quarter from the deficiency, so that there 
is no more reason for including this idea in avTavairX. than in 

In Demosth. {De Symm. p. 182), tovtwv twv (rv/^/xwptciv tKa'o-Tr/v 


SteXeiV KeXei'w irevTi pepr; Kara 8wSe/<a aVSpas, avTavaTr\r]povvTa<; 
7rpo? tov evTTopwTOLTov del tovs aTropwraTovs, the idea is that the 
poorer members should balance the rich in each /xe'po?, so as to 
equalise the ixip-q. It is this idea of balance that is expressed 
by the dvri-. 

Similarly the substantive di'TavairXifcwo-is in Diog. Laert. x. 48, 
koX yap pevcns airo tt}? twv o-wpaTwv e7ri7roX^s irwc^s (rvfxfiatvei, 
OVK iirL$7]\os alcrOrjcret. Sia ttjv avravairXrjpuxrLV, i.e. on account of 

the counter-supply, i.e. the supply which " meets " the deficiency. 

It is not, perhaps, an over-refinement to suggest that avrava- 
irX-qpui is more unassuming than avaTrXrjpC), since part of the force 
of the word is thrown on the idea of correspondence. 

to uo-T€pr|jiaTa. The plural is used because the afflictions are 
not regarded as a unity from which there is a definite shortcoming. 
Compare I Thess. iii. IO, ra vcrTepyj/xaTa rfjs 7rtcrTea)S ifiwv, where 
the singular would suggest that their faith, as faith, was defective, 
while the plural suggests that there were points in which it needed 
to be made perfect. 

■rw OXtyeojf tou XpioroG. By two classes of commentators these 
words are understood to mean the afflictions which Christ endured. 
First, many Roman Catholic expositors, including Caietan, Bellar 
mine, and more recently Bisping, find in the passage a support for 
the theory that the merits of the saints constitute a treasure of the 
Church from which indulgences may be granted. Estius, with his 
usual candour, while holding the doctrine to be Catholic and 
apostolic, yet judges that " ex hoc Ap. loco non videtur admodum 
solide statui posse. Non enim sermo iste, quo dicit Ap. se pati 
pro ecclesia, necessario sic accipiendus est, quod pro redimendis 
peccatorum poenis quas fidelis debent, patiatur, quod forte 
nonnihil haberet arrogantiae ; sed percommode sic accipitur, 
quomodo proxime dixerat 'gaudeo in passionibus meis pro 
vobis ' ut nimirum utraque parte significet afnictiones et perse- 
cutiones pro salute fidelium ipsiusque ecclesiae promovendae 
toleratas." It has been more fully replied (e.g. by Lightfoot) 
that the sufferings of Christ may be regarded from two different 
points of view, either as satisfactoriae or aedificatoriae. In the' 
former sense there can be no ia-Tiprj/xa, Christ's sufferings and 
those of His servants are different in kind, and therefore in- 
commensurable. But in this sense OXfyis would be an unsuitable 
word, and, in fact, it is never applied in any sense to Christ's 
sufferings. In the second point of view, however, that of minis- 
terial utility, "it is a simple matter of fact that the afflictions 
of every saint and martyr do supplement the afflictions of Christ. 
The Church is built up by repeated acts of self-denial in successive 
individuals and successive generations " (Lightfoot). 

It is no doubt true that these " continue the work which Christ 


began" (compare 2 Cor. i. 5 ; 1 Pet. iv. 13). But to say this is 
not to say that there was any " shortcoming " in the afflictions of 
Christ. His work, including His sufferings, was absolutely com- 
plete ; and so far as others carry it on, their work is included in 
His (Phil. iv. 13). To say that He left something "behind" is to 
slur over the meaning of va-reprjfxa, which does not mean some- 
thing left behind, but a want of sufficiency. Nowhere in the N.T. 
is anything of the kind suggested. And the Colossians were the 
last to whom St. Paul would use, without explanation, a phrase 
which would be so open to misconception, as tending to foster the 
delusion that either saints or angels could add anything to Christ's 
work. If affliction could do so, why not (it might be said) self- 
imposed suffering, asceticism, or gratuitous self-denial ? Moreover, 
can it be supposed that St. Paul, who calls himself the least of 
saints, and not meet to be called an apostle, would express him- 
self thus without some qualification? Lightfoot would mitigate 
the apparent arrogance by the remark that "the present tense, 
avravairX-qpS), denotes an inchoate, not a complete act." The 
term " inchoate " does not seem to be justified. The present, 
indeed, denotes an act continuing and therefore not finished, but 
not incomplete as far as the present moment is concerned. Com- 
pare the instances of avairXrjpu) itself: Matt. xiii. 14, ava-TrXrjpovTai 
aiirois rj 7rpocprjT€La, k.t.X. : I Cor. xiv. 16, 6 avairXr^puiv tov toitov 
tov tStwTOv : 2 Cor. ix. 1 2, ov puovov eo-ri trpocravaTrX-qpovcra. to. 
v(TT€prjp,aTa rwv dyuuv, dAAa kou Trepurcrevovo-a., k.t.X. Compare 
also the present of TrXrjpovv, Gal. v. 14; Eph. v. 18; Col. iv. 17. 

A third view is adopted by Chrysostom, Theophylact, 
Augustine, and most expositors, ancient and modern. According 
to this, " the afflictions of Christ " are the sufferings of His Body, 
the Church, so called because " He really felt them." So 
Augustine on Ps. lxi. says of Christ, "qui passus est in capite 
nostro et patitur in membris suis, id est, nobis ipsis." And Leo, 
quoted by Bohmer (ap. Eadie), "passio Christi perducitur ad 
finem mundi," etc. This view is adopted amongst late com- 
mentators by Alford, Ellicott, De Wette, Olshausen. But the 
notion that Christ suffers affliction in His people is nowhere 
found in the N.T. Acts ix. 4, " Why persecutest thou Me ? " is not 
an instance. There the persecution of His saints is represented as 
directed against Him, but He is not represented as suffering from 
it. The idea that the glorified Christ continues to suffer, and that 
" His tribulations will not be complete till the last pang shall have 
past" (Alf.) (an idea which, as Meyer observes, would seem to 
imply even the thought of Christ's dying in the martyrs), is incon- 
sistent with the scriptural representations of His exalted state. It 
is true that He sympathises with the afflictions of His people ; but 
sympathy is not affliction, nor can the fact of this sympathy justify 


the use of the term " afflictions of Christ," without explanation, to 
mean the afflictions of His Church. This would be particularly 
unsuitable in the present connexion, for it would make St. Paul 
say that he rejoiced in His sufferings because they went to 
increase the afflictions of Christ. 

It remains that (with Meyer, Soden, al.) we take the expression 
to signify the apostle's own afflictions ; and to this interpretation 
the readers are naturally led, first, by the word 6\ii]/ls, which is 
never used of Christ's sufferings, but often of the apostle's ; and, 
secondly, by the defining words iv rfj o-apKi p.ov, which are best 
connected with twv OXtftoiv. For if the writer had intended them 
to be taken with the verb, he would doubtless have written avrava- 
irXrjpu) iv rfj crapKL fxov. It is said, indeed, that the words are 
placed here for the sake of the antithesis to tov o-w/mTos airov. 
But there would be no purpose served by emphasising this 
antithesis here, and to do so would only distract the attention of 
the reader. 

Meyer, however, while adopting this view of 6X. tov Xp., 
connects iv rfj a-. p,ov with the verb. On the other hand, Steiger, 
joining these words with 6X. tov Xp., connects both with the follow- 
ing : " the sufferings which Christ endures in my flesh for His 

That St. Paul should call his own sufferings in the service of 
Christ the afflictions of Christ in his flesh, is quite in accordance 
with other expressions of his. For instance, in 2 Cor. i. 5 he 
speaks of the sufferings of Christ overflowing to him, Trepio-o-evet. 
to. ira6r)p.a.Ta. tov Xpio~Tov ets rip-as. In Phil. iii. io he speaks of 

knowing Koivwvia twv iraO-qp-aTdiv avrov crvp.p.opcpi^6p.evo<; t<3 OavaTW 
avTov. Again, 2 Cor. iv. IO, 7ravTOTe ttjv veKpwo-LV tov 'Irjcrov iv t<5 
crwp.aTi TrepicpepovTes. 

The form of expression, then, need not cause any difficulty. 
The question what St. Paul means by calling his own troubles the 
afflictions of Christ in his flesh is a different one, and may be 
answered by saying that Christ's afflictions are regarded as the 
type of all those that are endured by His followers on behalf of 
the Church. So Theodoret : Xpio-ros tov virkp tt}s e^A^o-ias ko.t£- 
Sefaro Qo.vo.tov . . . kox to. aAAa ocra VTri/xeLve, /cat o #et05 a,7roo"roAos 
£)0-avTw; VTrep avrf)*; VTreo~Tr] ra 7roi/aA.a Tra6r)p,a.Ta. Compare Matt. 
XX. 23, to fxev TTOT-qpiov p.ov irUo-Qi. 

6-irep too 0-wu.aTos auTou. The use of this designation was prob- 
ably suggested by the mention of o-apf . virep is clearly not " in 
the place of," but "on behalf of" ; cf. ver. 7. 

o ia-Tiv -q eK/c\i(]o-ia. The antithesis of o-wjaa and o-dp£ rendered 
necessary this explanation of the words o-wpaTos avTov. Besides, 
iKKkrjo-Ca was required by the following iyevofvqv Sia/covos. 

o io-Tiv has not the same shade of meaning as ^tis ioriv 


(1 Tim. iii. 15, iv oiko) ®eov . . . 17TIS iarlv cK/cX^o-ia). The former 
is equivalent to id est ; the latter to " and such is." 

25. Tjs cyei'ojiTjj' Si^KOkos resumes the ov eyev. Slolk. of ver. 23, 
carrying out now the active side of the ministry, as ver. 24 the 

Kd-ra TT)f otKoyofjua*'. "According to the stewardship in the 
house of God." On oik. cf. Eph. i. 10. Here = the office or 
function of a steward, so that he is an oUovofjios ®eov, cf. 1 Cor. ix. 
17, oLKovo/xlav 7r€7rto-T€u/xai, and Luke xvi. 2. So the apostles and 
other ministers of the Church are called oikovo/aoi, i Cor. iv. 1, 7 ; 
Tit. i. 7 ; see also 1 Pet. iv. 10. The Church is oTkos tov ®eov, 
1 Tim. iii. 15. Chrysostom, a/., take oik. in the sense "dispensa- 
tion," which is inconsistent with tt)v hoOelo-dv /xoi. 

eis upas, cf. ver. 24. Connected by Scholefield and Hofmann 
with the following TrX-qpwo-ai. But compare Eph. iii. 2, ttjv 

OLKOVOjXiaV TT/S X<xpiTOS TOV ®eOV T?)? SopWoTfS p-OL €IS V/AUS '. and Rom. 

XV. 16, rrjv X^P LV T V V &o6eicrdv jxol iirb tov ®eov eh to etvat fj.e 
XtiTOvpybv Xptcrrov €ts to. Wvq. 

irXripuaai, not infin. of design, but explanatory of oik. t-^v 
B06. k.t.A. The verb is found in a similar connexion Rom. xv. 19, 
u)o~Te //.€... fA-^xpl tov lWvptKov TreTrXr]pwK€vat. to evayyeAiov tov 
Xpto-Tov. 6 Ao'yos tov ®eov is frequently used by St. Paul for the 
gospel (1 Cor. xiv. 36; 2 Cor. ii. 17, iv. 2 ; 1 Thess. ii. 13; 
compare also Acts iv. 31, at.). The sense then is: "to carry out 
to the full the preaching of the gospel " ; " ad summa perducere : 
Paulus ubique ad summa tendit," Bengel. There is doubtless a 
reference to St. Paul's special office as the apostle of the Gentiles, 
by virtue of which he gave full development to the " word of 
God." This is suggested by hoOdo-av p.01 eh i/xas. 

Beza takes the phrase to mean "to fulfil the promise of God" 
(cf. 2 Chron. xxxvi. 21), which does not suit the context. Fritzsche 
understands it as meaning "to complete the teaching begun by 
Epaphras." See on Lk. viii. 11. 

26. t6 fjiucn-rjpioi'. Lightfoot observes : " This is not the only 
term borrowed from the ancient mysteries, which St. Paul employs 
to describe the teaching of the gospel," and he mentions TeXeiov, 
ver. 28; /xefAvr), Phil. iv. 12; and (perhaps) o-<ppayiC,eo-6ai in 
Eph. i. 14. There is, he says, an intentional paradox in the 
employment of the image by St. Paul, since the Christian mysteries 
are not, like the heathen, confined to a narrow circle, but are freely 
communicated to all. But as fivcm/jpiov in the singular is never 
used by Greek writers in connexion with the ancient mysteries, 
and on the other hand appears to have been an ordinary word for 
" secret " (see note on Eph. i. 9), there seems to be no ground 
for the assumption that the term is borrowed from the " mysteries." 
The plural is used thrice only by St. Paul, viz. 1 Cor. iv. i : 


xiii. 2, xiv. 2 ; but occurs in the Gospels, Matt. xiii. 1 1 ; Luke viii. 
i o. As to fie/ivT}[iai, although the verb may have been originally 
borrowed from the mysteries, St. Paul found it already in use in 
the sense in which he employs it ; cf. Alciphron, ii. 4, Kvfiepvav 
fivrjOrja-ofxaL. For reAeios, see on ver. 28. 

to dTroKCKpup.jxei'oi' . . . vQv 06 €<j>avepco0T|. These are the two 
characteristics of a p.vo-rrjpiov in the N.T. Compare Rom. xvi. 25, 
fxvcrTrjpiov xpovois cuwviois <r€<Tiyy]fj.evov, (pavepwOevros Se vvv. irpb 
twv atwi/wv, used in 1 Cor. ii. 7 of God's purpose, could not properly 
have been said of its concealment. d™ twi/ aluvwv, k.t.X. airo here 
is of time, being opposed to vvv. So dV alwvos, Acts iii. 21, xv. 
18. An aldiv includes many yevecu; compare Eph. iii. 21. The 
fact of the long concealment and recent disclosure of the mystery 
is not without point here ; it explains the acceptance of the errors 
which the apostle is combating. 

27. e<|>ai/epw6T]. The anacoluthon gives more emphasis to the 
mention of the <pavip<j>o-L<; ; cf. ver. 22. 

tols dyiois aurou ; i.e. Christians in general, not only the 
apostles and prophets of the N.T., as many both of the older 
and later commentators take it, in agreement with Eph. iii. 5. 
Cod. G even adds u7roo-To'Aots (and F, of course, agrees). 

ols, "quippe quibus." r^diXiqo-ev 6 ©eo's. It was God's free 
choice, so that the yvwpi^av was only to those to whom He chose 
to make it known. 

t£ to ttXoGtos ttjs 86|r)s. Compare Rom. ix. 23, Iva yvtapiag 
tov irkoirrov rfjs 86$rj<; avrov : and Eph. i. 18, iii. 16. ri joined to 
a substantive of quantity signifies "how great." ttXovtos (in- 
differently masculine and neuter in St. Paul) is a favourite term in 
these Epistles as applied to the dispensation of grace. 

86£a is not a mere attribute of 7tAoi;tos (Erasmus), nor of 
fj.v<TTr)piov (Beza), but is the principal idea ; it is of the 86£a tov 
p.vo-T7]pl.ov that it is said that it has shown itself in rich measure. 
It is the glorious manifestation of God's dealings contained in this 
p,vo-Tr)pLov, " magniloquus est in extollenda evangelii dignitate," 
Calvin. o-epvws et^e ko.1 oyKOv liridrjKtv airb iroX\rj<; Sia^ecrews, 
eViracreig ^rwv eVn-dcrecov, Chrys. The latter, however, understands 
the words of the glorious results of the gospel amongst the 

eV toIs eGceo-ii'. It was amongst these especially that this 

7rA.ovros was displayed J cpaLverai iv crepots, 7roAAw Se jrXeov iv 

TovTois f] 7roXXrj toD p.vaTr]piov S6£a, Chrys. For the construction 
cf. Eph. i. 18. 

o io-riv Xpio-Tos eV up.ic. The antecedent may be either 
p:vo-Tripiov or TrXovTos. The former (Vulg. Chrys.) is that generally 
favoured by expositors : " the mystery consists in this, that Christ 
is iv " ; and this seems on the whole the most natural. 


Mv(ttt//hov is the principal idea in the context (ver. 26, ii. 2), to 
ttXovtos tt?s 86$t]s being subsidiary to it. Again, the " mystery " is 
not something distinct from the riches of the glory of it ; those to 
whom the former is revealed are made acquainted with the latter. 
This view also agrees with Eph. iii. 6, where the p.vcnripiov rov 
Xpcarov is defined as elvcu to. tOvrj <Tvyi<Xr]pov6p,a, k.t.X. The 
strongest objection to this view is that it seems to make o eo~riv, 
k.t.X., a merely parenthetical definition, whereas it carries on the 
thread of the discourse. But this is more apparent than real ; it is 
the thought of the p.v(rrrjpiov that runs through the whole, and the 
clause is not parenthetical, but carries on the description of the 
p.v<rrripiov begun in ver. 26, iv vluv. The parallelism with iv rots 
edvea-Lv favours the interpretation "among you," rather than "in you." 

t} €\tus -ri]s S6£t|s. This §6£rj<; is an echo of the former, but 
this does not require us to give both the same signification. 
Oltramare regards this, not as an apposition to 6 Xp., but as a 
second thought succeeding the former in a lively manner, and 
joining on to it, " It is Christ in the midst of you ! the hope of 
glory ! " 

ti to 7tA.ovtos is read by A B D bc K L (to -ttXovtos without ti, G), 
while sCP have the masc. tis 6 ttX. 

o iaTiv is read by ABGP17 47 67 s , probably Lat. Vulg. 
{quod est) ; 09 e'crriv by K C D K L and most, Chrys. Theodoret, al. 
With the latter reading, 09 is attracted to the gender of Xpto-Tos. 
But this interferes with the sense, for whether the antecedent be 
ttXovtos or /Auo-Tr/jOiov, it is not Xpio-Tos that is predicated, but 
Xpicrros eV 

28. ov rj|j.€is KaTaYyAXofAcc " And Him we proclaim." Him, 
i.e. not X/Dto-rov only, but Xp. eV vp.iv. rjp.els, emphatic, in opposition 
to the heretical as well as to the Judaising teachers ; " we," himself 
and Timothy in particular. 

you8eToun-€s . . . Kal SiSdo-Korres . . . "admonishing . . . 
and teaching." These, as Meyer observes, correspond to the 
p.£TavoeiTe Kal iricrT€V€T€ of the gospel message. vovOtfxia. p,\v £7rt 
Ttj<; 7rpa^€tt)5, SiSacrKaA.i'a S« inl Soyparwv. 

irdcTa avQpumov, thrice repeated, emphasises the universality of 
the gospel as taught by St. Paul (iii. n), in opposition to the 
doctrine of an intellectual exclusiveness taught by the false 
teachers ; probably also it points to the fact that each man 
individually was an object of the apostle's care, tl Ae'yeis ; iravra 
avOpwirov ; vat, <prj(rt t tovto cnrovod^, el 8k p.r) yeVryTai, ovSkv 7rpos 
17/aas, Theophylact. 

iv ttcIctt] aotyia, i.e. /xira. ird<rr;<; cro^t'as icai crvveVeius, Chrys. al., 
expressing the manner of the teaching. The Latin Fathers 
understand the words as denoting the object of the teaching ; so 
Moule : " in the whole field of that holy wisdom," etc. But in 


the N.T. the object of SiSdo-Kciv is put in the accusative, not in the 
dative with iv. 

There is no contradiction to 1 Cor. i. 17, ii. 1-16, for there is 
a ®eov o~o<p(.a (1 Cor. ii. 7), a divine philosophy, the source of 
which is indicated in ch. ii. 3 ; cf. Eph. i. 8, r*}? x<*P lT0S a vrov ?;s 
€7repto-<jeucrcv eis 17/xas ev Trdcry o~ocpia. Compare ver. 9 and iii. 16. 

tea Trapaor^awfjiei', as in ver. 22, refers to presentation before a 
tribunal, not as a sacrifice. 

rikeiov. This is one of the words noted by Lightfoot as 
" probably borrowed from the ancient mysteries, where it seems 
to have been applied to the fully instructed, as opposed to the 
novices," and in 1 Cor. ii. 6, 7 he finds the same allusion. This 
technical sense of Te'Aeios as applied to persons does not seem 
sufficiently made out ; in the passages cited by Lightfoot, with one 
exception, it is not to the persons, but to the mysteries, rekerai, 
that the term is applied. The one exception is Plato, Phaedr. 
249 C, reAeous dei reAeTas Te\ovp.evos TeAeos ovrws /xovos ytyverai, 
which cannot be regarded as proving the usage. But even if this 
be granted, there seems no sufficient reason for introducing this 
sense here, where what is in question is not complete initiation, or 
knowledge, but maturity of faith and spiritual life. In this sense 
the word is used by St. Paul, Eph. iv. 13, fie'xpt KaravTrjaoj/xev eh 
avSpa reAeiov : Phil. iii. 1 5, ocrot ovv reActot, tovto <f>povwp.ev : 1 Cor. 
xiv. 20, rat? (jtpso-i TeAetot ylvecrOe. Compare Heb. v. 14 ; Matt, 
v. 48, xix. 21. And in the present Epistle, iv. 12, Iva araJdrfrt 

reAeioi kou TrtTrXr] po(pr)p,evo(. iv iravrX 6t.Xrjp.aTi tov ®€OV. Observe 

also here the defining addition re'Aeiov iv Xpicn-a). For the use of 
the term in early Christian writers to denote the baptized as 
opposed to the catechumens, see Lightfoot's note. 

29. els o, viz. to present every man, etc. 

Kal Komw. I not only KaTayye'AAw, k.t.A., but carry this to the 
point of toiling. Hofmann understands it as meaning, " I become 
weary," comparing John iv. 6 ; Apoc. ii. 3, where, however, the 
verb is perfect. The sense, moreover, would be quite unsuitable 
here in connexion with the a.ywvi&o-Qa.i in the power of Christ. 
The verb is frequently used by St. Paul of his toilsome labours in 
the Churches; e.g. 1 Cor. xv. 10; Gal. iv. 11; Phil. ii. 16; also of 
the labours of others; Rom. xvi. 12; 1 Cor. xvi. 16; 1 Thess. 
v. 12. But he also uses it of the labour of the hands; 1 Cor. 
iv. 12 ; Eph. iv. 28. The change to the singular has its ground in 
the personal experience described. 

dywi'i^ofj.ei'os. Compare 1 Tim. iv. 10, eis tovto Koiriwp.ev 
Kal ay<tivi£6p.e0a. The reference here is to an inward dyoV, as is 
shown by the following context ; cf. iv. 12. 

Kcu-d tt)c ivipyeiav ciutou. Not by his own strength, but by that 
which Christ supplies. toy avTov kottov Kal aywva t<3 Xpioru 


AvaruBek, Oecum. But Chrys. Theoph. understand the avrou of 
God, against the immediate context, evepyov/xevrjv, middle, as always 
in St. Paul. Fritzsche on Rom. vii. 5 observes : " ivepyeiv, vim 
exercere de personis, ivepytio-Oai ex se (aut suam) vim exercere de 
rebus collocavit, Gal. v. 6; Col. i. 29; 1 Thess. ii. 13; al. ut h.l. 
Passivo . . . nunquam Paulus usus est." 

kv Sin/djAei, "in power"; cf. Rom. i. 8 ; 2 Thess. i. 11. Some 
understand this of the power of working miracles, which is quite 
inappropriate to the context, according to which the reference is to 

kottlQ) dya>vi£o/Aevos. 

II. 1-7. The apostle's care and anxiety are not limited to those 
Churches which he had himself founded, or to which he had person- 
ally preached, but extended to those whom he had never seen. He is 
anxious that they should be confirmed in the faith and united in love, 
and, moreover, may learn to know the mystery, that is, the revealed 
will of God. It is no new doctrine they are to look for, but to seek 
to be established in the faith which they have already been taught, and 
to live in conformity thereto. 

1. rdp. "Striving, I say, for," etc. The general statement 
kottlw dywvi£o/A£vos is supported by this special instance of his 
anxiety for the Colossian Church ; and thus although ydp is not 
merely transitional, the transition to the personal application is 
naturally effected. 

6e\w yap upas eloVeai. So 1 Cor. xi. 3. More frequently ov 
6e\(n v/xas dyvoe?v. That either phrase does not necessarily com- 
mence a new section is clear from 1 Cor. xi. 3 ; Rom. xi. 25. 

rjXUov, a classical word, not found in Sept. or Apocrypha, and 
in the N.T. only here and Jas. iii. 5. 

dywKa exw. As he was now a prisoner this dywi/ can only be 
an inward one. It is not to be limited to prayer (iv. 12), but 
includes anxiety, etc. 

uirep vjiC)v. Here, as often, the reading varies between virzp 
and Trepi. The former is that of NABCD b P; the latter of 
D* c G K L. 

•cat ruv iv Aaoouaa (^NAB*CD*GKL P). 
The Laodiceans were probably exposed to the influence of the 
same heretical teaching as the Colossians. Hierapolis is probably 
alluded to in the words «ai 00-01, k.t.X., see iv. 13. *ai twv iv 
'JepawoXei is actually added in some mss. (10 31 73 118) and 
in Syr-Harcl.* It is clearly a gloss from iv. 13. 

kcu 80-01, k.t.X. Kai here introduces the general after the 
particular, as in Acts iv. 6 and often. It is only the context that 
decides whether this is the case or whether a new class is intro- 
duced. Here there would be no meaning in mentioning two 
particular Churches which had known him personally, and then in 
general all who had not known him. The inference is therefore 


certain that he had never visited Colossae, and this agrees with the 
incidental references in the Epistle as well as with the narrative in 
the Acts. See on avrwv, ver. 2. 

ewpciKae (Alexandrian) is better supported than the Attic 
evipaKCLcrL. The spelling with w is rather better supported here 
than that with o. 

iv aapKi does not qualify the verb, as if " seeing in the flesh " 
were contrasted with " seeing in the spirit " (Sclkwo-iv ivravda on 
edopwv cruve^ws iv TrvevfjiaTi, Chrys.), but goes with irpoawTrov p,ov, 
giving vividness to the expression. Naturally it is implied that 
they had a knowledge of him, though not personal. 

2. Era irapaKX-nGakm' at /capoiai auTwi'. "That their hearts may 
be strengthened." It can hardly be doubted that this is the 
meaning of TrapaKaXeiv here, where there is no mention of, or 
allusion to, troubles or persecutions. The sense "comforted, 
consoled" is, indeed, defended by Meyer, Ellicott, Eadie, al. 
Ellicott observes : " surely those exposed to the sad trial of 
erroneous teachings need consolation " ; but there is no trace of 
this view in the Epistle, nor would such consolation be the prime 
object of the apostle's prayer and anxiety. No ; what made him 
anxious was the danger they were in of being carried away by this 
erroneous teaching. It was not consolation that was required, but 
confirmation in the right faith. For this sense of TrapaKaXeiv cf. 
1 Cor. xiv. 31 (RV. marg.). 

airjw. We might have expected ip.wv, but airwv was suggested 
by the preceding 00-01. This is decisive as to the Colossians being 
included in the 00-01 ; for if excluded there, they are excluded here, 
and the writer returns to the Colossians in ver. 4 (fyias) in a most 
illogical manner : " This I say about others who do not know me, 
in order that no man may deceive you." 

CTU(jLPiPaa0£i/T€s. " United, knit together," the common meaning 
of the verb, and that which it has elsewhere in this Epistle (ver. 19) 
and in Eph. iv. 16, q.v. In the Sept. it always means to " instruct," 
cf. 1 Cor. ii. 16 (quotation) and Acts xix. 33. It is so rendered 
here by the Vulg. " instructi." The nominative agrees with the 
logical subject of the preceding. 

It is read by K A B C D* P a!., Vulg. Syr. (both). The genitive trv/x^- 
aadivTuv is read in X c D c K L and most mss., but is obviously a grammatical 

Iv dyd-n-r]. "In love," which is the "bond of perfection " (iii. 14). 

Kal els expresses the object of the o-v/x{3i[3. ; connected by xat', 
because the verb contains the idea of motion. 

irav ttXoGtos rfjs TrX^po^opias rfjs owe'crews. "All riches of full 
assurance of the understanding." "Full assurance" seems the 
most suitable sense for ir\rjpo<popia, and it is also suitable in every 


other place in the N.T. where the word occurs (1 Thess. i. 5 ; 
Heb. vi. 11, x. 22). "Fulness" would also be suitable, except in 
1 Thess. i. 5. The word does not occur in Sept. or Apocr., nor in 
classical authors. On avvecns cf. i. 9. It has an intransitive sense, 
and hence never takes a genitive of the object ; here it appears to 
mean the faculty of judging. He desires their judgment to be 
exercised with full certainty. De Wette observes that 7rAoi>ros 
expresses a quantitative, -n-X^pofpopta a qualitative, characteristic. 

ets emyi'WCTii', k.t.X., seems best taken as parallel to the preceding 
eis, so that it emphatically points out the special object on which 
the o-weo-is is to be exercised. Some, however, connect this with 
7rapa.K\r]6£)(riv, on the ground that l7Ryva)o-is implies as an ante- 
cedent condition the o-up./?i/3. k.t.X. For eVtyvwcrt?, "full know- 
ledge," see Eph. i. 17. 

tou ©eoG Xpiorou. If this reading is adopted, there are three 
conceivable constructions : (a) Xpiarov in apposition to ®cov, 
(&) Xpio-ToS dependent on ©eou, (c) XpLarov in apposition to 
p.vcrrrjpLov. The first (adopted by Hilary of Poitiers, also by 
Steiger and Bisping) is generally rejected, either on account of 
the context (Ell.) or because the phrase is destitute of Pauline 
analogy (Meyer, Moule, Lightfoot). But it appears to be inad- 
missible on other grounds. To point tou ©eoO, Xpicrrov, taking 
these in apposition and thus identifying 6 ©cos and Xpto-ros, is 
obviously impossible, as it would mean, not that 0€os could be 
predicated of Xpio-ros, but that Xpurros could be predicated of 
6 ©eos, thus ignoring the distinction of Persons. On the other 
hand, if we point toO ®eov Xpiarov, and understand "the God 
Christ" (according to the rendering suggested, though not ac- 
cepted, by Moule), the expression seems inconsistent with strict 
Monotheism. It defines ©eov by the addition Xpivrov, and 
therefore suggests that other definitions are possible. 6 ©eos 
■n-aTrjp is not analogous, for two reasons ; first, iraT-qp only suggests 
v6o'?, and, secondly, -rrar^p expresses a relation proper to the Deity. 
Ellicott, who considers the construction not indefensible, takes it 
to mean "of God, even of Christ." This is rather to suppose 
p.vo-TTt]piov supplied before Xpio-Tou, which is certainly untenable. 
But this is clearly not what he means, and it suggests that he 
hesitated to accept either of the other renderings. 

According to the third view, Xpto-rov is in apposition to 
fivaTijpLov, so that Christ personally is the mystery of God 
(Ellicott, Lightfoot, Moule, a/.). If this is the apostle's meaning, 
he has expressed himself very obscurely. As fiva-T-qpiov is an 
abstract name, when it is explained as a person, we should expect 
o ia-riv as in i. 24, 27 ; 1 Cor. iii. 11. Lightfoot understands the 
" mystery " not as " Christ," but " Christ as containing in Himself 
all the treasures of wisdom," and in illustration of the form of 


the sentence compares Eph. iv. 15, eis avTov . . . os io-nv rj 
Ke<f>a\rj, Xpio-Tos, i£ ov ttolv to awfia, k.t.X. This passage, it is 
obvious, adds another example of the use of os io-nv in such 
sentences, and it can hardly be said to furnish a parallel to 
Lightfoot's interpretation of iv <«, for in Eph. iv. 15 a full stop 
might have been placed after Xpio-To's without impairing the 
figure. Moreover, the apostle has given a different definition of 
the {Avar, in i. 27 (to which he again alludes in iv. 3), and it is 
hard to suppose that he would give a different definition within a 
few lines, for different this certainly is. The second translation 
mentioned above, "the God of Christ," has its parallel in the 
phrase, 6 ®€09 Kal -n-ar-qp 'Irjo-ov XpuxTov, and in Eph. i. 17, o ©eos 
tov Kvpiov r}fj.wv 'Irjo-ov Xpio-rov. This construction is adopted by 
Meyer and v. Soden. The addition of Xpio-rov is explained by 
the consideration that it is only through Christ that God's plan in 
this mystery is carried out ; it is only because and in so far as 
God is the God of Christ that this p.vo-r-qpiov could exist and be 
revealed. Meyer adds, " He that has recognised God as the God 
of Christ, to him is the Divine p-vo-rypiov revealed." This, after 
all, is not quite satisfactory, and requires us to read into the text 
more than is expressed. 

If the shorter reading rov ®eov (omitting Xpio-Tov) is adopted, 
the difficulty disappears ; but the difficulty is not so obvious as to 
tempt the ordinary copyist to omit the word. 

The different readings are as follow : — 

(1) rov Qeov. Without any addition. D b P 37 67** 71 80 1 16. 
Adopted by Griesbach, Tisch. 2, Olsh., De Wette, Alford. 

(2) tov Qeov Xpicrrov. B, Hilary of Poitiers (De Trin. ix. 62, "in 
agnitionem sacramenti dei Christi," adding, " Deus Christus sacramentum 
est"). Adopted by Lachmann, Tregelles, and Lightfoot without a comma 
after Qeov ; by Tisch. 8, RV. with a comma, also by Harless (Eph. p. 458), 
Ellicott, Meyer, and v. Soden. 

(3) tov Qeov, 6 io-Tiv Xpurrbt. D* "Dei quod est Christus," d e, 
Vigilius Thaps. So Augustine, De Trin. xiii. 24, ' ' Dei quod est Christus 

(4) tov Qeov irarphs (add tov, A C 4) Xpiarov, X * A C 4, Vulg. in Codd. 
Amiat. Fuld. f. Boh. (add 'ItjctoO, Lagarde). 

(5) tov Qeov Kal narpbs tov Xptcrrou, N c two of Scrivener's MSS. and a 
corrector in the Harclean Syriac. 

(6) tov 9eou iraTpbs Kal tov XpturoC, 47 73> Syr-Pesh. (ed. princeps and 

(7) tov Qeov Kal iraTpbs koX tov Xpio-rov (Rec. Text), D* K L most 
cursives, Syr-Harcl. (text), Theodoret, etc. 

Isolated readings are— - 

(8) tov 0eoO Kal Xpio-rov, Cyril. Thes. p. 287. 

(9) tov Qeov e"v XptaTy, Clem. Alex. v. IO. 12, and with tov before iv, 
17. So Ambrosiaster, "Dei in Christo." tov Xpicrrov is given by Tisch. 
from his MS. of Euthalius, but with the remark, "sed non satis apparet." 

As far as documentary evidence goes (4) seems the best attested, and is 
probably the source of (5) (6) (7). But it is most probably an attempt to 


remove the difficulty of the simpler reading (1) or (2). Of these (2) is pre- 
ferred by the critics above named, as accounting for all the rest, (1) the 
witnesses for which are later, being supposed to have originated from an 
attempt to remove the difficulty of the former reading. Meyer thinks that the 
original reading must have involved some dogmatic difficulty, which (4) does not. 
The short reading, rod Qeou (1), would account for the others, but the 
attestation of it is not sufficiently early. Wescott and Hort suspect some 

3. eV J. The antecedent is probably fjLvo-rrjptov, not Xpio-rov. 
What the apostle is dwelling on is the greatness of the "mystery" 
(i. 27), and the importance of the knowledge of it, in opposition 
to the supposed wisdom of the false teachers ; hence the statement 
that " all the treasures," etc., are contained in it. This is con- 
firmed by the use of a-n-oKpycpoi, which corresponds to p-var-qpiov. 
So Alford, Eadie, Meyer, Soden, De Wette, etc. ; but Ellicott, 
Lightfoot, and many comm. refer the <2 to Christ. With this 
latter reference, the wisdom and knowledge are those possessed 
by Christ as a treasure which He communicates. With the 
reference to fxva-r. the terms have an objective sense, these being 
characteristics of the Divine plan. These treasures St. Paul 
calls airoKpvcfroi, probably in allusion to the pretended hidden 
wisdom of the false teachers, which nevertheless was merely 
superficial and concerned external observances, whereas the true 
Christian wisdom was inward and profound. These treasures of 
wisdom are not " kept concealed," aTroK€Kpvp.p.aoi, they are 
" hidden, laid up," air6i<pv<f)ot ; but capable of being discovered. 
For this reason, as well as on account of the position of the 
word, aTroKpvrfxu is not to be construed with elaiv as the 
direct predicate, — a construction which would require it to come 
next to eio-tv. Meyer and Alford take the word as attributive, 
"all the secret treasures." The absence of the article is against 
this, although not perhaps fatal ; since, as Alford observes, 01 
a.TroKpv<f>oi would imply that there were other treasures, only those 
that are secret being contained, etc. The position of the word, 
however, suggests that it is a secondary predicate (Ellicott, Light- 
foot, v. Soden, a/.), "all the treasures, etc., as hidden treasures," 
i.e. " hiddenly," ware irap' avrov 8el iravTa aiTtiv. Chrys. " quo 
verbo innuitur quod pretiosum et magnificum est in Christo non 
prominere, aut protinus in oculos incurrere hominum camalium, 
sed ita latere ut conspiciatur tantummodo ab illis quibus Deus 
oculos dedit aquilinos, id est, spirituales ad videndum," Uavenant, 
quoted by Ellicott. The word occurs in connexion with Oyaavpoi in 
Isa. xlv. 3, Sojcto} croi Orjaavpovs o-kot€ivoi>s airoKpv<f>ov<; : also I Mace, 
i. 23, cAaySc tous 6r](ravpov<; tou? a.7roKpv(f>ovs. On the Gnostic use of 
the word to designate their esoteric writings, see Lightfoot's note. 1 

1 Mr. Charles compares Book of Enoch, 46. 3, " the Son of Man who 
^veals all the treasures of that which is hidden." 


The expression Orjo-avpbs o-o<pias is used by Plato, Phileb. 1 5 E, 
ws nva o-o<pias evprjKws Oyaavpov, and by Xen. Mem. iv. 2. g, 
ayafiai trov Slotl ovk dpyvpiov /cat ^pvaiov TrpociXov Orjcravpovs 
KCK-rrjcrOai p,dXXov r) cro<pias. 

aortas Kal yvwews. These terms occur together, Rom. xi. 33, 
and several times in Eccles. Sept. " While yvwo-is is simply in- 
tuitive, a-ocpla is ratiocinative also. While yvwo-is applies chiefly 
to the apprehension of truths, o-o<pia superadds the power of 
reasoning about them and tracing their relations," Lightfoot. 
Augustine's distinction is that o-o<pia is " intellectualis cognitio 
aeternarum rerum " ; yywo-is, " rationalis temporalium," so that 
the former pertains to contemplation, the latter to action (De 
Trin. xii. 20, 25). This, however, is quite opposed to usage. 
Aristotle, Eth. Nic. i. 1, opposed yvwcris to irpd^ts. And in 1 Cor. 
xiii. 2, St. Paul connects yvwo-is with the apprehension of eternal 


4. tovto Xe'yw. In this expression tovto often refers to what 
follows, but with tva it refers to what precedes ; cf. John v. 34. 
tovto is not to be limited to ver. 3. Ver. 5 shows that 1-3 are 
included, if, indeed, the reference does not extend further back. 

Si is omitted in N* A* (apparently) B, but added in N c A corT - CDKLP, 
and apparently all other authorities. Weiss considers it certainly genuine. 
tva (ATjSete. SoK*ABCDPa/. tva /rf) t«, N c K L, most MSS. 

TrapaXoyi^-riTai. In N.T. only here and Jas. i. 22 ; frequent in 
Sept. and later Greek writers. It applies primarily to false reckon- 
ing, and thence to fallacious reasoning ; hence, 7rapaXoyiafj.6<;, 
a fallacy or paralogism ; cf. dira.Tr} tivl irapaXoyio-dfxevo<i v(xa<;, 
Aeschines, p. 16, 33. 

iv TriGa^oXoyia. " By persuasive speech," " a persuasive style," 
Moule. The word occurs in Plato, Theaet. p. 162 E {-rviQavoXoyia. 
t€ koI ctKoo-i) ; the verb TrtOavoXoyetv in Arist. Eth. Nic. i. 1 ; also 
Diog. Laert. x. 87, al. In classical writers the sense is only that of 
probable reasoning as opposed to demonstration ; but see Demosth. 

928, 14, Aoyous<; TnOavovs, and 17 7ri0avoAoyiK?; = " the art 

of persuasion," Arrian, Epict. i. 8. 7. 

Compare St. Paul, 1 Cor. ii. 4, ovk iv irei6ol<s o-o<pia<; Aoyois; 
dAX' iv d7roSeifei irvevfxaTos. iriOavoXoyCa expresses the subjective 
means of persuasion, the personal influence; irapaXoy. the objective, 
the appearance of logic. 

5. el yap kcu. The *ai after et does not belong to the whole 
clause introduced by d, but emphasises the word immediately 
following ; cf. 2 Cor. iv. 1 6, xi. 6. 

ttj (rapid a-rreifii. It has been inferred from this that St. Paul 
had been at Colossae ; but without reason. The same expression, 
indeed, occurs 1 Cor. v. 3 ; but this proves nothing, yap. 


dXXd introduces the apodosis, when it is contrasted with a 
hypothetical protasis; cf. Rom. vi. 5 ; 1 Cor. viii. 6 ; 2 Cor. v. 16, 
al. t<3 TTvevfiaTi, " in spirit," not " by the spirit," as Ambrosiaster 
and Grotius, " Deus Paulo revelat quae Colossis fierent." The 
antithesis is the common one of body and spirit ; cf. 1 Cor. v. 3, 

d7rwv tgj ctwluiti, Trapihv 0€ tw ■Kvevp.a.TL. 

<ruv initv. Stronger than Iv ifuv, expressing union in a common 

X<n'pcot/ koI pXe'-n-ui'. There is no need to suppose a logical 
transposition, or to separate the participles as if x a ^P 0iV meant 
" rejoicing at being with you in the spirit " (Meyer, Alford). The 
apostle's joy may have been due to many circumstances, and this 
joy led him to contemplate further their orderly array. 

u/jluk tx]v Td£ie. The pronoun is placed emphatically first, not 
so much to accentuate this Ta£is as an advantage which they 
possessed over others, as because the apostle's interest was in 
them personally and in the Ta£ts only as belonging to them. 

tt)v T&iiv kcu to aT€pe'w(xa. Both terms are supposed by 
Hofmann, Lightfoot, Soden, al., to contain a military metaphor, 
perhaps suggested by St. Paul's enforced companionship with the 
praetorian guard, o-repew/xa being rendered by Lightfoot " solid 
front, close phalanx " ; by Soden, " bulwark," " Bollwerk." rd£is is 
frequently used of military array, e.g. Xen. Anab. i. 2. 18, iSova-a 
T-qv XafMTTpoTTjTa xa.1 tijv rd^iv tov (TTparev/xaTos i6avp.a.crev : Plut. Vlt. 
Pyrrh. 16, kcitiSgjv rd£iv re kcu cpuAaKcts kolI koc/xov avrwv /cat to 
crxfjfxa t^s crTpaT07reSet'as iOavfiacre. crrepewfia is found in the Sept. 
Ps. xviii. 2 ; Gen. i. 6, al. 1 Mace. ix. 14 is quoted in support of 
the military sense, eTScv 6 'IovSas oti BaK^i'S^s kou to crxeptw/xa 
ttjs 7rap€p./3o\7J<i iv Tots Seftois. 

But neither word has this military sense of itself, but from the 
context, and here the context suggests nothing of the kind, tu^is 
is used equally of the organisation of a state or a household, e.g. 
Demosth. p. 200, 4, ravr-qv ttjv to£iv alpeio-Qai ti}s 7roAiT€tds. 
Compare also Plato, Gorgias, p. 504 A, Td£ews . . . /cat koct/xou 
rvxovcra oIkiol. St. Paul has it again, 1 Cor. xiv. 40, iravTa . . . 
Kara rdiiv yLviaOoi. Here the idea of a well-ordered state lies 
much nearer than that of an army. The apostle rejoices in the 
orderly arrangement of the Colossian Church. The opposite state 
would be dTa£td, and of this he finds some instances in Thessalonica, 
where some walked dTaKTw?, and he reminds them oti ovk r/raKTy- 
(rap.ev iv ifuv (2 Thess. iii. 6, 8, 11). 

With o-Tepeoj/Ao. tt}s 7rt'crT€ws compare Acts xvi. 5, ecn-epcowTo rfj 
7ri'oT€i, and I Pet. V. 9, w dvTto-T>;T€ o-Tcpeoi t$ 7rt'crT«. It is most 
natural to take the word here as = the firm structure of your faith, 
i.e. the solidity of your faith. ot€ 7roXAd o-wayaycuv o-vyKoA.A7jo-«s 

vvkvw<; kcu d8tao"7rao"Ta)5, tot€ o-Teotoj/xa yivcTat, Chrys. 


We gather from this that the Church at Colossae was still 
substantially sound in the faith, and it is instructive to observe 
how here as in other Epistles St. Paul is careful to commend what 
he finds deserving of commendation. 

It is worthy of notice that d e translate as if they read vo-repr}fia 
for o-repew/xa " quod deest necessitatibus fidei vestrae." Augustine 
agrees, quoting, "id quod deest fidei vestrae" (Ep. \^,Joh. 98). 
So also Ambrosiaster. 

6. d>s oui/ irapeXcipeTe. " As, then, ye received, i.e. from 

your teachers " = kol8w<; ip-dOere d.7ro E7ra(ppa, i. 7 ', Ka#u)S i8i8d)^8rjT€, 
ver. 7. Compare 1 Thess. iv. 1, Ka0ws irapeAaySeTf 7rap' rjp-wv to 
7TW5 Sei, k.t.X. ; 1 Cor. xv. 1, 2, xi. 23; Gal. i. 9, 12; Phil. iv. 9 

(epa#6T€ ko\ Trape\af3eTc). 

Ellicott, however, and Moule understand it as meaning that 
they received " Christ Himself, the sum and substance of all 
teaching." The sense is good, but does not agree so well with the 
usage of 7rapa\afji/3(xv€Lv or with the context, in which we have the 
contrast between true and false teaching in relation to the Christian 

walk (ko.6w<; i8i8d^0r]T€ f Kara tt/v Trapd8oo~iv to>v dv6p.). 

toc Xpicnw '\y\<jouv tov Kupioy. As St. Paul does not use the 
phrase 6 Xpio-ros 'Iricrovs, this is naturally divided into tov Xpicn-dV 
and 'Itjo-ow tov Kvptov, so that tov Xp. is the immediate object of 
7rapaX. This is confirmed by the frequency of 6 Xpto-Tos in this 
Epistle, and by the designation of the object of the Christian 
preaching as 6 Xpioro's in Phil. i. 15, 17. Further, it will be 
observed that in what follows up to iii. 4 it is not the notion 
of '1770-ovs or of Kv'pio? that is prominent, but that of Xpto-Tos. 
The Christ, rather than the gospel, is specified as the object 
of the instruction, because " the central point of the Colossian 
heresy was the subversion of the true idea of the Christ," Lightfoot. 
'I^o-ow tov Kupiov adds to the official designation the name of Him 
to whom it belongs, " even Jesus the Lord." Compare Eph. iv. 
20, 21. The position of tov Kvpiov after 'It/o-ouv (instead of the 
usual tov Kvptov 'Irjo-ow) points to the two elements of which the 
true doctrine of the Christ consists, viz. first, the recognition of the 
historical person, Jesus ; and, secondly, the acceptance of Him as 
the Lord. 

iv auTw 7repnraT€iT€. This phrase does not occur elsewhere, but 
it corresponds to the idea of tcls oSou's pou cv Xpto-Tw, 1 Cor. iv. 1 7 ; 
£<2>vTas ev Xpio-T<3, Rom. vi. n, etc. 

7. eppi^wp.^01 Kol €-n-oiKo8o(i,oujiecoi. The propriety of the tenses 
is to be observed ; the settled state, which is the antecedent condi- 
tion of Trepnnxreiv iv airy, is expressed by the perfect ; the continual 
development which is always advancing, by the present. The three 
figures are disparate, the apostle's thoughts being occupied with 
the lesson to be enforced, without regard to the consistency of his 


metaphor; see Eph. iii. 18. Some commentators put a stop at 
7repnra.T€LTe, connecting the participles with the following ver. 8 
a construction which leaves iv airw jr. very isolated. 

The iin- in iiroiKoS. probably does not convey " the accessory 
idea of the foundation," which would not agree well with eV; 
besides, it is clear from 7repi7ra.Teu-e and ippi£. that the apostle has 
not before him the distinct figure of a building, but is using the 

word as St. Jude does, ver. 20, eVoiKoSo/AoiWcs iavjovs ry a.ynx>Ta.Trf 

vp.wv 7rurr€i, in the derived ethical sense " being built up." Light- 
foot remarks that in this Epistle and that to the Ephesians, Christ 
is represented rather as the binding element than as the foundation 
of the building ; see Eph. ii. 20. 

PePaiou'ixeycn qualifies the idea of both the preceding participles. 
The present gives the idea " being more and more stablished." 

tt] morel is taken by Meyer and Lightfoot as an instrumental 
dative, " by your faith." " Faith," says the latter, " is, as it were, 
the cement of the building." But this is to press unduly the 
metaphor in cVoikoS., which, as we have seen, is not intended any 
more than the other two verbs to convey a definite picture. There 
is no question here of the instrument, and rrj ttiutu is better taken 
as a dative of reference, as in Jude 20. There tvlcttls was that 
which needed /3e/?a<Wis. ko.8ws iSiSdxdrjre, " even as ye were 
taught," i.e. so that ye continue firm and true to the lessons which 
ye were taught by Epaphras ; cf. i. 7, not " taught to be established 
by or in your faith." 

■irepio-creuoeTes iv euxapiori'a. "Abounding in thanksgiving." 
If iv airy is read after irepiaa., then iv ei)(. is "with thanksgiving," 
although even with this reading some expositors interpret " in your 
faith abounding in thanksgiving." 

Tfl ttL<tth without iv, B D* 17 al., Vulg., Ambrosiaster, Theoph. iv ry 
rhrret, X D c K L P, most mss. , Chrys. al. iv irtcrrei, A C 6j 2 . iv would 
readily come in from the impression made by the repeated iv in the context. 

iv avTy is added after vepiaffeiovres in BD'KL most mss., Syr-Pesh. 
Arm., Chrys. Also S c D* 1 d e f , Vulg. Syr. mg. have iv avr$. The words 
are absent from X* A C 17 and some other mss., Amiat. Fuld. Eth. The 
words are omitted in the text of RV. but retained in the marginal reading. 
They may have been added originally from a recollection of iv. 2, where we 
have iv ai/rj) iv evxapiariq.. This is rather more probable than that they 
were omitted because wepuaeiJovTes was thought to be sufficiently defined by 
iv ei>xa-pi<TTl<j.. So Weiss. 

8-15. The apostle has reason to know (having, no doubt, been 
so informed by Epaphras) that there are amongst the Colossians 
teachers who are propagating mischievous heresies, dangerous to the 
faith, and inculcating precepts not consistent with their position as 
members of Christ's kingdom. These teachers make a professsion of 
philosophy, but it is a mere system of deceit and of human origin, 
and so far is it from being an advance on what they have been 


taught that it really belongs to a more elementary stage of progress. 
Ye, he tells them, have been already made full in Christ, in whom 
dwells the whole fulness of the Godhead, and who is therefore far 
above all these angelic beings of whom they speak. Ye need, no cir- 
cumcision of the flesh, for ye have received in Christ the true circum- 
cision of the spirit. By Him ye have been raised from death to life, 
and His work is complete; He has wholly done away with the 
bond that was against you. 

8. p\«£ireT€ p] tis u|ifis eorai. " Beware lest there be anyone," 
etc. For w with the participle and article, cf. Gal. i. 7, ei p.r\ -rive's 
dcriv ot Tapacro-ovres v/xas. As it gives prominence to the person 
and his action, it appears to point to some particular person whom 
the apostle has in view but does not wish to name. Compare 
Ignat. Smyrn. 5, ov tivcs ayvoovvre; apvovvTai . . . ra Se oro/xaTa 
avTwv . . . ovk eSo^i fj.01 iyypdxf/ai. The future indie, eorai indi- 
cates the reality of the danger, cf. Mark xiv. 2, /x-qwore «rrai dopvfios, 
and Heb. iii. 12, /JAcVeTC p.r]7roTe «rrai lv tivi ifiwv, k.t.X. vp.a<; 
before ecrrai is somewhat emphatic : " you who are such persons 
as I have thus commended." 

This order, vfids eVrcu, is that of B C K L P ; but K A D have tarai v/iat, 
which, as the more obvious order, was more likely to be written in error. 

6 o-uXaywyoiv. A later Greek word (not indeed found till after 
St. Paul) used by Aristaenetus (ii. 22) with oTkov in the sense 
" plunder," in which sense it is understood here by Chrys. 
Theodoret, and some moderns. Theodoret supplies rrjv irumv, 
Theophyl. tov vovv. If this were the sense here, the object could 
hardly be omitted. But the proper meaning of the word seems to 
be "to carry off as spoil." So Heliodorus, Aetk. x. 35, 6 tt)v i/ity 
OvyaTepa o-vAaycoyrycras. And this meaning corresponds with that 

of the analogous compounds, SovXayayyeiv, <rK€vayu)y€iv, \a<jivpay<j)- 

yetv. Von Soden remarks that it also corresponds better with 
the idea of a destroyed bond in ver. 1 4 to suggest that they might 
again be brought into bondage; cf. Gal. v. 1. The Vulgate 
" decipiat " is very inadequate. 

8id rrjs <|>iXocro4>ta.s- A term not occurring elsewhere in the, 
N.T., and no doubt adopted here because it was used by the false 
teachers themselves. The combination of it here with kcvi) aTra.Tr] 
indicates that the sense is nearly " his philosophy, so called, which 
is a vain deceit." Compare rj/tvSwvv/xos yvwcm, 1 Tim. vi. 20. 
Chrysostom remarks : eVaSr) Sokci aep.vbv eti/ai to " rrjs cpiXocrocfiLas " 
TrpoaiQ-qKE Kal kcv^s a7ra.Tr]?. That the word (piXoaocpia was in use 
in Jewish circles appears from Philo and Josephus. The former 
applies the word to the religion of the Jews and the law of Moses, 
perhaps for the purpose of giving dignity to them in the eyes of 
Gentile readers. He speaks of i) /cai-a Mwi3o-^v </><Aoo-o<£ia (He Mut. 


Notn. 39), 17 7raTpios <f»\ocro<f)ia {Leg. ad Cat. 23), f) IovSoXkt) 
(f>i\o<ro<f)ia (ib. 33). Josephus calls the three Jewish sects 
rpeis (piXoaocpiai (Ant. xviii. 1. 2). It is clear from the 
connexion with kev^s a.7ra.Tr]<; that St. Paul is not condemning 
philosophy in general, which, indeed, would be quite beside his 

ica! Ken^s dirdTTjs. The absence of the article shows that this 
is not a different thing from rj <£<Aocro<£ta, but is a characteristic of 
it. airar-q is opposed to A.oyos ttJs aXrjOeLas, i. 5, and to cro<pia. /ecu 
yvuJcris, ii. 3. 

KaTa TT)f TrapdSoaii' tS>v dvOpwirui'. Probably to be connected 
with the immediately preceding words rather than with o-iAaywyojv. 
The teaching of the Colossian false teachers was essentially tradi- 
tional and esoteric. The Essenes, their spiritual predecessors, as 
well as the Gnostics, subsequently claimed to possess such a 
source of knowledge. The oath taken by the full members of the 
former sect bound them not to communicate any of their doctrines 
to anyone otherwise than as he himself had received them, and, 
further, to guard carefully the books of their sect and the names 
of the angels (Josephus, Bell. Jud. ii. 8. 7 ; Lightfoot, pp. 89, 90). 
Compare the designation Kabbala, "tradition," applied by the 
Jews to their later mystic theology. 

KaTa Ta orcaxeta toO koctjaou. "According to the rudiments 
of the world " (?). This Kara with the following Kara Xpio-r6V may 
perhaps be best connected with avXaywywv, as the ideas they 
introduce have a different logical relation to the main idea, and 
oi Kara Xpicrrov is too brief to form the antithesis to the other two 
Kara clauses. 

to. a-Toixeia ( = Gal. iv. 3) (originally = " letters of the alphabet ") 
is generally understood by modern commentators as meaning 
" elementary teaching," " the ABC of religious instruction " ; 
compare 7raiSayojyos in Gal. Then tov koV/aou would mean having 
reference to mundane, or material, not spiritual things (Alford, 
Lightfoot, al.). But De Wette takes koV/xos as = " humanity," as 
the subject of this instruction (John iii. 16 ; 2 Cor. v. 19). So 
Oltramare. Meyer, on the other hand, understands by it "the 
non-Christian world," " rudiments with which the world concerns 
itself" (= Bleek, Weiss, al.). 

Neander judges that a comparison of all the Pauline passages 
and the Pauline association of ideas favour our understanding the 
phrase as denoting the earthly, elsewhere termed i-d aapKiKa. 
Hence, ii. 20, o-Toi^eta tov /coc/aou and ko'ct/aos may, he thinks, be 
considered as synonymous. 

An entirely different interpretation has been adopted by several recent 
commentators. According to this, ret (rroixeTa tov kIct/jlov are the personal 
elemental spirits. According to Jewish ideas, not only were the stars 


conceived as animated by spiritual beings, 1 but all things had their special 
angels. In the Book of Enoch, 82. ioff., it is said with reference to the 
angels of the stars that they keep watch, that they may appear at their appointed 
times, in their proper orders, etc. There are, first, the four leaders who divide 
the seasons, then the twelve leaders of the orders (taxiarchs), who divide 
the months ; and for the 360 days there are heads over thousands (chiliarchs), 
who divide the days. Anyone who is curious about the matter may learn 
the principal names in the book itself. In 18. 15 we read of stars which 
suffer punishment because they have transgressed the commandment of God 
as to their appearing. In the Book of Jubilees, cap. 2, amongst the 
creations of the first day are the Angels of the Presence, but also the angels of 
the winds, of clouds, of cold and heat, of hail, hoarfrost, thunder, etc. 
Perhaps Ps. civ. 4 may have some relation to this conception ; certainly it 
seems to be illustrated by the Apocalypse, vii. 1, 2, xiv. 18, xvi. 5 (tov 
ayytXov tCov v8&tu)v), xix. 17 ; and by the interpolation in John v. 4. It is 
obvious that the term properly used of the elements ruled by these spirits 
might readily be applied to the spirits themselves, especially as there was no 
other convenient term. It agrees with this that in Gal. iv. 1 ff. those who 
were 5e5ouAw,ueVot vvd ra (ttoix^o. tov k6o~(iov are compared to those who are 
under itrlTpoiroi kclI olKovbfioi, — a comparison which suggests personality in 
the former. And again, ib. 8, 9, SovXeueiv rots <pu<rei /xtj ovcriv deoh appears to 
be equivalent to dovXeueiv rots (Ttolx^ois, k.t.X. 

In the present passage the observance of times and seasons, etc., is Kara ra 
cr. t. k., not Kara Xp., a contrast which does not agree well with the concep- 
tion of err. as elements of instruction. This view of ret cttoix^o. gives special 
pertinence tz cne proposition which follows, 8ti iv avr$, k.t.X., and ver. IO, 
5s iuTiv 7} Ke(paXj] tt&o-tjs apxv* Ka l i^ovalas. Ritschl defends this personal 
interpretation of GToixeia. at length (Rechtfertigung u. Versohnung, 3rd ed. 
ii. p. 252), but needlessly limits the meaning to the angels of the lawgiving. 
Spitta adopts the more general reference (Der Zweite Brief des Petras u. 
der Brief des Judas, 1885, 263 ff.). He quotes from the Test. Levi, c. 4, a 
passage which speaks of the burning up of ri ddpara irvev/j.ara, just as 
2 Pet. iii. 10 speaks of the burning up of crroix«a. This view is unreservedly 
adopted by Ktihl, the recent editor of the Epistles of Peter and Jude in 
Meyer's Komtnentar, and by v. Soden in his comment on the present 
passage. 2 

9. on kv auTco kotoikci rcav to irXr^pufia. See i. 19; and on 

7r\rjpu>fAa, Lightfoot's dissertation, Colossians, p. 323 ff. 

ttjs ScornTos, "of the Godhead," i.e. of the Divine nature. 
6eoT7]s, the abstract of $eos, must not be confounded with Quotas, 
which is used with propriety in Rom. i. 20, and which means, not 
the essence, but the quality of divinity. 6e6rrj<s is found in Lucian, 
Icarom. ix., tov fxiv nva irpwrov ®ebv €7T€kciAow, Tots Se to. Sevrepa 
kol to. TptVa evepov Trjs 6eoTr)To<; ; and in Plutarch, Mor. p. 415 C, 
Ik 8k SaL/xovwv oAi'yai fx\v en xpoVa) 7roAAu5 81 ape-nji KaOapOeLvai 
TravTairacri OeoTrjTos /AeTecr^ov. The Satynove? were always 6eloi, but a 
few became in course of time Oeoi. The same author, Mor. p. 857 A, 
says, Tvaatv Atyv7TTtois OuoT-qra. iroXk^v kcll 8ikolio(tvi>7]v fxapTvprjcras, 

1 A notion which, it may be remembered, was shared by the great 
astronomer Kepler. 

2 In Test. Solomonis (Fabricius, Cod. Pseadep. Vet. Test. i. 1047) we read : 
i^uels iafiiv ra Xey6fJ.ei>a aroixeia., ol KoafioKparopes tov Kdfffiov tovtov, air&TT], epu, 
KXdidwv, t&X7],irXavri, Svvafxis, k.t.X. This, however, is a very late document. 


i.e. a Divine faculty. The Versions generally, including the Vulgate, 
fail to mark the distinction, doubtless for want of a word to express 
6e6rr}<:. The word deltas was a later coinage (not quite according 
to Latin analogy). Trench quotes from Augustine, De Civ. Dei, 
vii. § 1, " Hanc divinitatem, vel, ut sic dixerim deitatem : nam et 
hoc verbo uti jam nostras non piget, ut de Graeco expressius 
transferant id quod illi OeoTrjra appellant." 

awjuaTtKws, " bodily wise, corporeally." Not da-w/xdrw^ as in the 
Xo'yos before the Incarnation, but in His glorified body aw/j.a 
rr/s 80^775 avrov, Phil. hi. 21. Chrysostom draws attention to the 
accuracy of the expression, p.r} vo/uo-ys ®eov o-vyKeKXelo-Oai, <i>s ev 


This interpretation, which is that adopted by most modern 
commentators, is the only one tenable, but many others have been 
suggested. Theophylact and Oecumenius took the word to mean 
"essentially," oucriwSuJs, i.e. not merely as an influence, as in the 
saints or as in the prophets. So Calvin, Beza, and, more recently, 
Olshausen and Usteri. But the word cannot have this meaning. 

Augustine (Epist. 149) understands it to mean "really" not 
"typically," "vere non umbratice," not " umbratiliter," as in the 
temple made with hands ; and so many moderns (including Bengel 
and Bleek), comparing ver. 17, where o-wp.a is contrasted with 
a-Kid, But there the idea is that of a body which cast a shadow, 
and the passage does not justify our rendering the adverb " really." 

Others, again, understanding -n-Xrjpwfjia of the Church, take 
crw/AaTtKco? to mean, " so that the Church is related to Him as His 
body " (Baumgarten-Crusius, a/.), thus making the body of Christ 
dwell in Christ, instead of Christ in the body. 

10. kcu e'tf-re iv aurui TreiT\T]pw(jieVoi. "And ye are in Him 
made full." Alford, Ellicott, and Lightfoot render, "ye are in 
Him, made full," regarding the clause as containing two predica- 
tions. But the connexion seems to require the fact to be 
emphasised, that it is " in Him " that the TrewX-qpwfjLevov elvai rests ; 
for on this depends the inference that nothing more is lacking 
in our relation to God. The TreTrXrjpw/xevoL obviously corresponds 
with the TrXr/pw/jia. Christ is ■n-eTrXrjpwp.evo'; : ye being in Him 
share in His irX^puifia, and are therefore yourselves TreTrXr)pw/j.evoi. 
Compare John i. 16, ix tov irXrjpuyfxaTO'i avTov ^as irdvT€<i 
iXdfiojxev : Eph. hi. 9, Iva TrX-qpmOrjTf. eis irdv to 7rXrjpu)fia tov ©eov, 
also ibid. iv. 13 and i. 23. 

os eo-riv. So X A C K L P and nearly all mss. with the Latin e f g 
Vulg. and Chrys. Theodoret, al. But B D G 47* with d have 6 ianv, 
perhaps a correction made on the supposition that awry referred to irXtfpwpia, 
or by oversight c was lost before e c. Lachmann adopts it, placing xa.1 
to 4v oi>r(J5 in a parenthesis. The image, however, would be quite confused 
if the Tr\r)pu}/j.a were represented as the head ; rj ice<pa\-/i is always Christ. 
Besides, we should be obliged to refer iv u> also to wX^pu/ta, and this would 


not yield any tolerable sense. Ewald, adopting 8 icrriv, takes it as= " scilicet," 
comparing i. 24, 27 and iii. 17 ; but this would require r§ K«pa~Ky. 

i\ Ke^a^T irdonrjs dpx^S Ka ^ «£ovo-ias. He is the head of all those angelic 
powers to whose mediation the false teachers would teach you to seek. As 
they are subordinate to Christ, ye have nothing to expect from them which is 
not given you in full completeness in Christ. 

11. iv <L kcu TT€pieTfj.Yj9r]T6. "In whom also ye were (not 'are,' 
as AV.) circumcised." " Ye have received the circumcision of the 
heart, by which ye have put off the whole body of the flesh, and 
therefore ye have no need of the symbolical circumcision of the 

The aorists point to the time of their reception into the 
Christian Church by baptism. 

irepiTojifj, " with a circumcision," not " the circumcision." 

dxeipoiroi^Tw, " not wrought by hands," not physical : cf. Mark 
xiv. 5852 Cor. v. 1 ; and Eph. ii. 11, where we have the other side of 
the contrast, oiAeyo/xevot d/cpo/JucrTia vtto 1-775 Aeyo/xevris TrepLro/xr) iv 
vapid x^poTroL-qTov. The idea of spiritual circumcision is frequent 
in the O.T. ; see note on the passage in Eph. In St. Paul, 
compare Rom. ii. 28 ; Phil. iii. 3. At first sight it might appear 
from this clause that the Colossians had been tempted like the 
Galatians to submit to circumcision. But in that case we should 
find, as in the Epistle to the Galatians, some direct condemnation 
of the practice; whereas in 16-23 there is no reference to it. 
Possibly the allusion here is to some claim to superiority on the 
part of the false teachers. 

iv T»j dircKSu'o-ei. eV specifies that in which the ■mpnop.ri con- 
sisted. The substantive d7reK(W<.s has not been found in any 
earlier writer (for the verb, see ver. 15). It expresses a complete 
putting off and laying aside, and was probably chosen with refer- 
ence to the figure of circumcision. The connexion requires it to 
be understood passively, not " ye have put off," but " was put off 
from you." 

too o-<ou.aTos ttJ9 o-apic6s, i.e. " the body which consists in the 
flesh," " the fleshly body," so that we are no more iv rrj o-ap/a 
(Rom. vii. 5, viii. 8, 9). The change is ideally represented as 
complete, which it is in principle. 

Some expositors take o-wp.a in the sense of " mass, totality " 
(Calvin, Grotius, a/.) ; but this is against N.T. usage, and does not 
agree so well with the context, the images in which are connected 
with the body, " buried, raised." The expression 0-oJ/x.a rrjs crap/cos, 
i. 22, has a different meaning. 

The Rec. Text after a&fiaros adds tw afJt.apTiQt>, with X° D bc K L and 
most mss., Syr., Chrys. etc. 

The words are absent from X'ABCD" GP some good cursives, Old 
Lat. Vulg. Boh. etc. They are clearly a gloss. 

iv tt) tou Xpiorou. The simplest and most natural 


interpretation is : " the circumcision which belongs to Christ, and 
is brought about by union with Him," in contrast to the circum- 
cision of Moses and of the patriarchs. Thus it is nearly equivalent 
to " Christian circumcision," but expresses the idea that the source 
of this circumcision is in Christ. 

Some commentators have taken Xpicrrov as the genitive of the 
object, the thought being supposed to be that in the circumcision 
of Christ we are circumcised. So Schottgen : " Circumcisio Christi 
qui se nostri causa sponte legi subjecit, tarn efficax fuit in omnes 
homines, ut nulla amplius circumcisione carnis opus sit, praecipue 
quum in locum illius baptismus a Christo surrogatus sit." This is 
not only without support from Scripture analogy, but is foreign to 
the context, in which the circumcision spoken of is axeipo7rol.r]Tos. 
The baptism mentioned in ver. 12, in which we are buried with 
Him, is our baptism. Soden also takes Xpicrrov as an objective 
genitive, understanding, however, irepiTOfx-q in the sense of d^e/cSvo-is 
toC awp.a.To<s ttjs o-apKos just specified, which echoes i. 22. 

Chrysostom and Theophylact understand the genitive as sub- 
jective, 6 Xpioros 1rept.Tep.ve1 iv t<3 j3a.7TTio-p.aTL S.TreK8vwv ^ tov 
iraXatov fitov, Theoph. This does not harmonise with the following 
cruvTa^evTCS avT<3. 

12. CTurra^eVres au-rw, k.t.X. We have the same figure in Rom. 
vi. 3, 4, which may almost be regarded as a commentary on this 
passage. The figure was naturally suggested by the immersion in 
baptism, which St. Paul interprets as symbolical of burial, the 
emersion similarly symbolising the rising again to newness of life. 

o-uircN^rres is to be connected with 7re pieT p.-q6r]Te, and specifies 
when and how this was brought about. 

iv t<3 PaTrrCo-fKiTi. So most authorities, K* A C D° K L P, etc. But 
N c BD*FG47 67 2 71 have pairTurfup, which Lightfoot prefers on the 
ground that it is the less usual word in this sense. That it might be so used is 
shown by its occurrence in Josephus, Ant. xviii. 5. 2, of the baptism of John. 
But in two of the other three passages in which it occurs in the N.T., it means 
lustration or washing, e.g. of vessels : Mark vii. 4 (in Rec. also 8); Heb. ix. 10. 
The third passage, Heb. vi. 2, is doubtful. In the Latin version as well as in 
the Latin Fathers, "baptisma" and " baptismus" are used indifferently. St. 
Paul uses the substantive "baptism " in only two other places (Rom. vi. 4 ; 
Eph. iv. 5), and this is not sufficient to supply any basis for inference as to his 
usage. Etymological ly fanner fids would signify rather the act of dipping, 
j3d.iTTi<r/xa the act as complete. Weiss thinks the former more suitable here. 

ev w, viz. f3a7TTicrp.aTi. This seems clearly required by the 
analogy between o-vvTa</>e'vT€s iv and awrjyip6r]Te. Chrysostom, 
however, and most comm. understand iv Xpio-rw. Meyer defends 
this on the ground, first, of the parallelism of iv u> kcu — eV <S /cat ; 
secondly, because, if baptism were intended, iv would not be suit- 
able to the rising again, and we should expect «'£, or at least the 
non-local Sta ; and, lastly, because as <rwTa<f>evTes is defined by 


ev ra /?a7TT., SO is crvvrjyip6r]Te by Sia. tt}? ttl(tt£w<; ; and, therefore, 
the text suggests no reason for continuing to it the former 
definition also. To the second objection (adopted also by Eadie), 
it may be replied that /3dVTio-pa (/?a7rTicrp.09) includes the whole 
act. It is only when we take in the two things signified, the 
" death unto sin " and the " new birth unto righteousness," or 
the putting off of the old man and the putting on of the new, 
that Paimcr/Ma can be identified with 7repiTop,7/ d^eipoTrot^Tos ; for 
irepiTOfjL-q also signified the entrance into a holy state as well as the 
separation from the state of nature. The first objection has 
really no weight, for it is much more natural to connect o-vvrjyepOrjTe 
with (TvvTa.<j>£vT€% than with Tre.puTp.rj6r)Te. ; and this is strongly 
confirmed by the passage in Rom. just referred to : crvvcTd^pev 
avr<2 8ia tov /3a7rT«rp.aTos . . . tva w<nrep rjyipOrj Xpioros . . . oirru)? 
#ccu 17/ ev KaivorrjTi £a>f}s TrepnraTrjawpLev, k.t.X. Further, as 
Lightfoot observes, the idea of Xpicn-a> must be reserved for 
<rvvr]yep6r]T€, where it is wanted : " ye were raised together with Him." 
(So Alford, Beza, De Wette, Ellicott, Lightfoot, Soden, a/.) 

ai)vi]yipQj]Te. Compare Gal. iiL 27, 00-01 eh Xpicrrov ifiairri(r- 
Orjre Xpicrrov eirevZxxraarde. The Xpurrbv eVcvSvo-acr&n presupposes 
the d7T€/cSl)0-lS TOV CTt6p,aTOS tJJs crap/cos. 

81a ttjs TriCTTeojs ttjs ivepy^ias tou ©eou. " Through your faith in 
the working of God." Bengel, De Wette, al., understand evepyctds 
as a genitive of cause, "faith produced by the operation of God." 
But the genitive after irwms, when not that of the person, is always 
that of the object. Cf. Mark xi. 22; Acts iii. 16; Rom. iii. 22; 
Gal. ii. 16, 20; Eph. iii. 12; Phil. i. 27, etc. Eph. i. 19 is cited 
in favour of this interpretation, but Kara t^v ivepyeiav there is not 
to be joined to tous 7rio-TewTas ; see note on the passage. The 
former interpretation is also more suitable to the context. The 
77-io-Tis here is specified as faith in the resurrection, 7no-T«ruovTes yap 
Tj7 tov ©eov Swdpei Trpocr/xevofx-cv tt/v avao-Taaiv, ivexypov e^ovTes tov 
Sco-ttotov XptcrTov tt)v dvdo"Tao*iv, Theodoret. 7rio"T€aj9 oXov i(TTlV' 
£7rio"T€vo"aT« OTi SvVarai 6 ©cos eyeipai, Kal ovtws rjy€p6r)T€, Chrys. 
Faith is the subjective means by which the grace is received ; 
only by a belief in the resurrection can the rising again with Christ 
be appropriated by the individual. By belief in the resurrection 
of Christ we believe in the power of God, of which it is an 
evidence ; and this belief, again, is the means by which that power 
works in the life and produces an effect analogous to that resurrec- 
tion. Compare Rom. iv. 24, vi. 8, x. 9. 

B D G 1 7 and most mss. have twv before venpuv ; SACKLP 
and several cursives omit it. In most instances of this or similar 
phrases eV veKpwv is used without twv, and with no variety in codd. 
(In Eph. i. 20 L and some twenty-five mss. prefix twv.) But in 
1 Thess. i. io^BDGLP and many mss., with Chrys. Theodoret 


al., have tcov, A C K and many mss. omitting it. It seems, there- 
fore, more probable that tw was omitted here in conformity with 
usage than that it was wrongly added. See on Lk. xx. 35. 

13. kcu ujiSs, eeKpous orras tois TrapcnrTaSjxao-i . . . up,we. See 
Eph. ii. 1. 

ica! rfj dKpoPuo-Tia -rfjs crapKog up.Q)v. Some commentators 
understand aapKos as a genitive of apposition, or " epexegetical," 
"the uncircumcision which consisted in your carnal, sinful nature " ; 
" exquisita appellatio peccati originalis," Bengel. But the apostle 
could hardly have said vtKpovs ry crap/a ifxwv without some further 
definition. If, indeed, he were addressing Jews, the expression in 
this sense would be intelligible, since it would be at once obvious 
that axpofi. was figuratively used, and therefore <rapKos also. But 
though intelligible it would be very strange, as it would imply a 
hidden contrast between the literal and figurative meanings of <rdp£. 
As addressed to Gentiles, who had the literal aKpofivo-Tia t^s 
crap/cos, the words can hardly be understood otherwise than as 
referring to the external fact. But it is referred to only on account 
of its symbolical significance. Dead in your trespasses and your 
alienation from God, of which the uncircumcision of your flesh 
was a symbol. ttJs crap/cos appears to be added in contrast to the 
n-epiropLT] dxetpo7roir/Tos, and at the same time to suggest the 
symbolical sense. Hence the apostle does not say ^/twv, although 
presently after he introduces the first person. 

The Rec. Text has iv before rots irapairTui/jtainv, with K a A C D F G K P 
and most mss. It is omitted by Tisch. Lightfoot, with X* B L 17 and some 
other mss. Chrys. D* G and a few others, with the Latin d e g, prefix iv to 
Tjj aKpofivcrrla also. 

<juvet,u)oiro'n]crev up.&9. v/aSs is repeated for emphasis. 

So S'ACKL and about fifty cursives, Syr. Eth. etc. B 17 37 and 
more than twenty other cursives read 7)/, conforming to the following ijfj.'iv. 
X c D G P and many mss. Old Lat. Vulg. Boh., Chrys. etc. omit. The 
reasons for omission may have been the desire to simplify the grammar, and 
to avoid the proximity of v/t2s and rj/iiv. 

As B reads Tj/tuis here for vfids, so X c L P and many others, with Vulg. 
Eth., Theodoret, al., have vfuv for rnuv. 

On crvve(o}07roir)(re, see Eph. ii. 5. What is the subject ? 
Ellicott, following Chrysostom, replies : Christ ; partly on account, 
first, of " the logical difficulty of supplying a nom. from the sub- 
ordinate gen. Qeov " ; secondly, of the prominence given to Christ 
throughout the preceding context, the acts described in the 
participles (e£a\. k.t.X., compared with Eph. ii. 15, and x a P icr - 
with Col. iii. 13) ; and, lastly, the difficulty of referring vv. 14 
and 15 to God the Father. On the other hand, the reasons for 
adopting 6 ©eo's as the subject seem decisive. (1) There is really 
less logical difficulty in supplying 6 ©eo's from tow ®tov tov iyct- 


pavros than in supplying 6 Xpicn-os from auT<3 or avrov, where it is 
the object, or from tov Xpiarov. (2) /cai ifxas makes it almost 
necessary to understand the same subject to avve^woTroi^a-e as to 
cyei'pavTos. (3) This is further confirmed by the aw in crwe£oj- 
o7roty](rei', and by o-vv avT(2. He that quickened you along with 
Him must surely be the same who is said to have raised Him. 
(4) In St. Paul it is always God, not Christ, who is the subject of 
eyeipei, o-vveyeipei, £a)07roiet, o"uv£<oo7ro<.et. (5) Lastly, in Eph. 11. 4, 
which is so closely parallel, 6 ©eos is the subject of crvve^oTrotrjae. 
Hence we seem compelled to take 6 ©eos here as the subject, 
whatever the difficulty of vv. 14, 15. And so Meyer, Alford, 
Lightfoot, v. Soden. 

Xapio-djxei'os, "having forgiven." Moule prefers "forgiving," 
i.e. in the act of quickening. There is no grammatical objection 
to this ; but logically, at least, the x a P% €<T Q ai must precede the 
£u)OTroielv. The verb xapt^ardai properly means "to grant as a 
favour" (see on Eph. iv. 32). Compare in the N.T. Luke vii. 21, 
i)(api(raTO fiXiirtiv : Acts hi. 14, cj>ovea x a P l(T ^V vaL '• xxv - l T > o^Sei's 
p.e Swarcu aureus x a PL (Tao '@ aL '• $• x 6, xxvii. 24, Ke^aptcrrat croi 6 ©e6s 
TTa.vTo.% toiis 7rXeovTas /Ae-ra <jov. Phil. i. 29 ; Philem. 22. 

It does not seem necessary to suppose that its use in the 
sense " forgive an offence " is derived from that of " forgiving a 
debt " ; but even if so, there is no reason to think that it continued 
to suggest the latter idea. Here at all events, notwithstanding 
X^-poypa<pov, it would appear not to have been so intended, else 
xapa7TTc6/i,ara would hardly be used, which would interfere with the 
figure. See on Lk. vii. 21, 42. 

7)fuv is here the right reading, with S*ABCDGK and most mss. , d e g 
Goth. Syr. (both), Boh. Arm., Chrys. al. 

vixiv is read by S c L P and many mss. f, Vulg. Eth. The apostle at the 
earliest moment, as we may say, includes himself, claiming his share in the 
transgression and in the forgiveness. Such transition is frequent with him ; 
cf. i. 10-13, iii. 3, 4; Eph. ii. 2, 3, 1 3, 14, iv. 31, 32, v. 2. For the 
converse transition see Gal. iii. 25, 26, iv. 5, 6. If x a P L(T °-t J - €VOi were simul- 
taneous with <Tvve$woirol-q<rev, St. Paul must have used u/xlv here. 

14. e£a\€i\|ms, " blotting out " (because simultaneous with 
Xapicra/xevos, and specifying the act by which the x a P- was carried 
out). Strictly, it means "wiping out or away," "cera obducta 
delere." It is used of "sins," Acts iii. 19; of a "name," Rev. 
iii. 5; of "tears," Rev. vii. 17, xxi. 4. It is used also in classical 
writers of blotting out or wiping out a writing, e.g. Plato, Rep. p. 
386 C, p. 501 B, and hence of abolishing a law, Dem. p. 468, 1, 

to Ka0' r|pie x £t P°YP a 4 >0,/ - "The bond that was against us." 
Xeip6ypa<pov, properly an autograph, was in later Greek a technical 
term for a written acknowledgment of debt, for which the older 


term was a~vyypa<p-q or ypafifxaTeiov. " Chirographum " became 
the usual Roman legal term; cf. Cic. Fam. vii. 18; Juvenal, Sat. 
xvi. 41. 

Here the x €l P°yp af P° v 1S tne Mosaic Law, which being unfulfilled 
is analogous to an unpaid " note of hand." But the figure must 
not be pressed too far, for in this case the x eL P°YP a( P 0V was n °t 
written by the debtor. Nor is it necessary to suppose that the 
apostle had in view the assent of the Jewish people ; Deut. xxvii. 
14-26 ; Ex. xxiv. 3 (Chrys. Oecum. Theoph. Lightfoot, etc.), or 
in the case of the Gentiles the assent of conscience to the moral 
law. The fact of obligation is sufficient to justify the use of the 
figure. Hence it is to ko.6' rjfxwv x eL P°yp° L 4' ov ) but not rjp.wv x €t P°~ 
ypatpov. Although the Gentiles had not the written law, they had 
" the work of the law written in their hearts," and therefore come 
under the same obligation. 

For a detailed account of other views of x ei P°yp a 4 ,0V > see Eadie. 

SfyfAaoni', " consisting in Soy^ara, i.e. ordinances," compare 
Eph. ii. 15, rbv vo/jlov twv ivroXwv iv Soy/xacrt, where see note on 
the meaning of Soy/ta, which in the N.T. is always " a decree." 

The dative is best regarded as closely connected with x €L P°' 
ypa<pov only, being dependent on the idea of yeypap,p.ivov involved 
in the word. Compare Plato, Ep. vii. p. 243 A, o S?) irdcrxei ra tvttols. So Meyer, Alford, Eadie, Lightfoot, Soden. 
The explanation is not without difficulty, as x et P°7- 1S a synthetic 
compound; and Lightfoot thinks it possible that iv may have 
dropped out after the similar termination -ov. If so, it must 
have been in the earliest ages that the error occurred, since no 
trace remains of the reading iv. 

Two or three other explanations deserve notice ; first, that 
of Winer, a/., followed by Ellicott, according to which Soyuaon is a 
nearer definition of the whole, to xa6' r)p.G>v x^poypacpov expressing 
at the same time what the x eL P°7P a< P ov was > an< 3 in what respect it 
was against us. For this we should expect to tois hoyp.aaiv naff 
T)p.wv x-> or to Ka8' rjp.uiv x- T "V Soy/iarwv, or the like. 

Erasmus, Olshausen, Conybeare, and others connect tois Soy- 
/Kao-ii/ with the following clause : " the handwriting, which by its 
ordinances, was against us," a very unnatural construction, for 
which Acts i. 2 affords no parallel. 

The Greek commentators (Chrysostom, Severianus, Theodore 
Mops., Theodoret, Oec, Theoph.) connect with e£aAeu/'as, 
understanding the word to mean the doctrines or precepts of the 
gospel, as the instrument by which the blotting out was effected. 
Jerome adopts this view; and so, amongst moderns, Grotius, Estius, 
Bengel, Fritzsche. 

But this is not only opposed to the use of h6yp.a in the N T., 
but, what is of more importance, it is inconsistent with fact. 


For it is not by precepts or doctrines (17 evayye\a<r] 8i8a<TKa\ia, 
Theoph.), nor by faith (Theodoret), that the handwriting, i.e. the 
Mosaic Law, is abrogated. Moreover, the cognate verb 8oyp.ari- 
£ecr#e in ver. 29 has obvious reference to the 86yp.ara here, and it is 
implied that such 86yp.ara are obsolete. It is remarkable that the 
Greek commentators named above do not even allude to the 
correct interpretation, adopting without question that construction 
which was grammatically simplest. Irenaeus, however (quoted by 
Lightfoot), appears to have taken the more correct view. 

The term 86yp.ara is used here instead of vo/aos, doubtless in 
order to fix attention on the formal element, the plurality of 
precepts, — an element which was common to it and the 8oyp.ari£eiv 
of the false teachers. It thus prepares for the ti Soy/xaTi^eo-^c 
of ver. 20. See on Lk. ii. r. 

6 r\v tnrevonrLov r|fi.iV. "Which was directly opposed to us." 
Here first the idea of the hostility of the x ei P^yP ac P 0V is expressed, 
the Kaff vfj.wv only asserting its validity with reference to us. 

v7r€vavTLo<; occurs again Heb. x. 27. The viro does not in this 
word imply either secrecy (Beza, a/.) or mitigation, as = " subcon- 
trarius," a signification which vtto in composition often has, but which 
does not belong to vwevavrios either in the Sept. or in classical writers. 
For the Sept. cf. Gen. xxii. 27; Ex. xxiii. 27; and for classical 
usage, two passages cited by Lightfoot, viz. Arist. De Gen. et Corr 
i. 7, ZoiKOLcri ol tovtov Toy Tpowov AeyovTes vrrtvavTia <j>a.Lvecr0aL Aeyeiv, 
where it means "self-contradictory," and [Plato] Akib. Sec. 138 C, 
SO. To fx.aivf.a9ai apa VTrevavriov o~oi So/cei tc3 (ppovetv ; AA. Ilavu p.\v 
ovv . . . 139 B, 2fi. Kai p.rjv 8vo ye virtvavria ivl 7rpd.yp.aTi mos av 
€L7], where the argument turns on the sense of direct opposition 
involved in the word. 

leal auTo TJpKey e« tou fAeaou. " And it (emphatic) He hath 
taken out of the way." The x ei P°yP a< f> 0V > tne writing on which had 
been blotted out, has now been itself removed out of the way. atpav 
e/c toS p-ia-ov or Ik p.ccrov was a classical expression for removing 
out of the way, as, on the contrary, eV //.eo-w elvax meant " to be in 
the way." For the former, compare Dem. De Corona, p. 354, to 
KaTavj/ev8ecr8ai kol Si' i^Opdv ti Xcyeiv dveXo'vTas ek pecrov ; also Acts 
xvii. 33 and 2 Thess. ii. 7, p.6vov 6 Karexyxv apn ews av e/c p.i<fov 
yev-qrai. The idea " from between us and God " is not implied, 
but only that of an obstacle, as these and other passages show. 
The change of structure from the participles to the finite verb is to 
be noted, as well as the perfect rjpKev. The perfect fixes attention 
on the present state of freedom resulting from the action which 
was especially before the apostle's mind. " It is suggested," says 
Lightfoot, " by the feeling of relief and thanksgiving which rises up 
in the apostle's mind at this point." This is quite sufficient to 
account for the change of construction ; but there was another and 


more imperative reason in the necessity for adding a further parti- 
cipial definition to the " taking away." It is clear that apas . . . 
TrpocrqAwcras would not have conveyed the same idea. 

Lightfoot and others suppose a change of subject at JjpKev, viz. from 6 0e6s 
to 6 Xpicrrbs. A new subject, it is thought, must be introduced somewhere, 
because " no grammatical meaning can be assigned to direKdvad/xevos by which 
it could be understood of God the Father," and the severance created here 
by the change of construction suggests this as the best point of transition, the 
alternative point being at dweKSvadfievos. Barry observes that such gramma- 
tical anomalies are not uncommon in St. Paul. But certainly this cannot be 
said of such a misleading confusion or hidden change of subject as this would 
be. Lightfoot compares the transition in i. 17-19. If the interpretation 
given in the note there is correct, there is no hidden transition, the subject of 
ev86KT]a€v being expressed. But even if 6 Qe6s is the subject of eiiSbicqaev in 
i. 19, there is no analogy. For the change of subject there is not concealed, 
and the only peculiarity is that 6 9e6s is not expressed ; and the very ground 
on which commentators defend this view of the construction is that the verb 
evSoKelv and the substantive etdoida are so often used absolutely of God's good 
pleasure that the verb itself suggests "God" as its subject. Here, on the 
contrary, there is nothing in the words to indicate or suggest a new subject. 
On the contrary, ^pKev 4k tou /x4<rov only expresses a different aspect of the 
same idea that is presented in i!-a\el\pas. No intelligible reason has been 
alleged why St. Paul should say, "God blotted out the handwriting, Christ 
removed it out of the way." Indeed, had this been stated with the subjects 
expressed, it would have created a difficulty. 

Further, this view is open to the fatal objection, that it dissociates x a P L <*&- 
/j-evos and i^a\el\(/ai from the Cross. It inevitably suggests that the forgive- 
ness and the blotting out of the x €l pbyp a< P 0V ascribed to God are one thing, 
and the removal, etc., ascribed to Christ a distinct and subsequent work. 
V. Soden, indeed (who, however, does not suppose any change of subject), 
suggests such a distinction as possible. He remarks that in the figure itself 
atpeiv irpoarfKiJxravTa denotes a step beyond H-akelipGW, so that we might 
regard the ^£aA. as accomplished in the sending of Christ, the aipeiv £k tov 
ixiaov in His death. He considers it more probable, however, that both 
expressions are figures for one and the same thing, the x a pLfca6ai to irapa- 
Trrdifj.aTa, the former applying to it in its effect, the latter adding the means by 
which the effect is accomplished. 

•n-poo-TiXwo-as auTo tu oraupw. The aorist expresses the historical 
fact. The verb does not occur elsewhere in the N.T., but is found 
in classical writers, and with a-ravpQ in 3 Mace. iv. 9, and Joseph. 
Bell. Jud. ii. 14. 9. The thought expressed is similar to that in 
Gal. iii. 13. As Meyer observes, "since by the death of Christ on 
the Cross the law which condemned men lost its penal authority, 
inasmuch as Christ by His death endured for men the curse of the 
Law and became the end of the Law, hence in the fact that Christ 
as a IXaa-Trjpiov was nailed to the Cross, the Law itself was nailed 
thereon, whereby it ceased to be Iv peo-w." The figure in irpocrr)- 
Awo-as is suggested simply by the idea of the crucifixion ; there is 
no reason to suppose, with Grotius, any allusion to a custom of 
driving a nail through obsolete laws or decrees, and so hanging 
them up in public, a custom which seems to be unproved. 

15. c.TT€KOucjdfJi€vos Tas dp)(ds Kai TC19 e£ou<nas, eSciyjAdTiaey, 


k.t.X. The verb aircn&veo-dat appears not to occur in any writer 
before St. Paul ; its occurrence, therefore, here and in iii. g, as 
well as that of direKSuo-is in ver. n, is remarkable. It is, no doubt, 
chosen in order to express more emphatically the completeness 
of the action. Both a-n-oSveiv and ckSuciv occur in classical authors 
in the sense " strip," hence of enemies, " strip of arms, spoliare." 
For IkSvclv in the sense "strip," see Matt, xxvii. 28, 31; Mark 
xv. 20 ; Luke x. 30. The middle occurs 2 Cor. v. 4 of putting off 
the mortal body. In this Epistle, iii. 19, aTr^va-d^vot occurs 
again in the sense " strip off and put away," viz., w TraXaibv 
av$p(Mirov. It is very difficult to decide in what sense the word is 
used here. 

First, it has been taken absolutely, " having put off from himself 
his body, he made a show," etc., as RV. marg. This, which 
supposes 6 Xpicrros to be the subject, is the interpretation adopted 
by Hilary, Ambrose, Augustine, and some other Latins. Probably, 
however, they had before them a Latin counterpart of the reading 
found in G, viz. T-qv <rdpKa nal ras e£ovcria<;. The Latin of G has 
the same. Thus Hilary has twice, " exutus carnem et potestates 
ostentui fecit" (773, 990); once, however, he has " spolians se 
carne et principatus et potestates ostentui fecit " (204). 

Novat. also has " exutus carnem potestates dehonestavit " 
{De Trin. 16). It will be observed that these quotations, except 
the third from Hilary, agree with G in omitting to.? dpya.%. This 
reading may have originated from the eye or ear error of a copyist, 
aided by the suggestion of a.irtK&. ; but more probably was a gloss, 
which was supposed to be a correction, and so substituted for the 
correct text. There is a trace either of the reading or the inter- 
pretation in a Docetic work quoted by Hippolytus, Haer. viii. 10, 
p. 267, tyvyy\ ^Keivrj iv t<3 crw/xan TpcKpelaa, cnrcKSvo-afilvr] to crw/m 
kolI Trpocrr]X.(i)aa(ra 7rpos to £v\ov koX 0piap,f3evcra<ra oY avrov tols 
dpx°k, k.t.X. The Syriac Peshitto has the same interpretation, 
" by the putting off of his body " ; and so the Gothic also. 

In support of this interpretation 2 Cor. v. 4 is referred to, 
where the cognate verb e^Suo-ao-flai is used absolutely of putting off 
the body. But there the metaphor is not abruptly introduced, 
the verb only carrying out the figure introduced with its explanation 
in vv. 2, 3. Here it would be quite isolated, being neither explained 
nor suggested by anything in the context, with which, indeed, the 
idea would have no apparent connexion. Some expositors, indeed, 
have found an allusion to the metaphorical use of d7roSi;ecr0ai, " to 
prepare for a contest," as in Plut. Mor. 811 E, 77-pos 7r5o-av AttoSvo- 
yaevot ttjv 7roXiTiKrjv irpa^iv. This explanation is very far-fetched, 
and entirely unsuitable. 

2. Ellicott, Lightfoot, a/., adopt the interpretation of the Greek 
commentators, Chrysostom, Severianus, Theodore Mops., and 


Theodoret, viz. taking T<is apx^, k.t.X., as governed by SlttckS., the 
sense being, " having stripped off from himself the hostile powers of 
evil." " Our Lord by His death stripped away from Himself all 
the opposing Powers of Evil (observe the article) that sought in 
the nature which He had condescended to assume to win for 
themselves a victory," Ell. Similarly Lightfoot, " Christ took upon 
Himself our human nature with all its temptations (Heb. iv. 15). 
The powers of evil gathered about Him. Again and again they 
assailed Him ; but each fresh assault ended in a new defeat." 
" The final act in the conflict began with the agony of Gethsemane ; 
it ended with the Cross of Calvary. The victory was complete. 
The enemy of man was defeated. The powers of evil, which had 
clung like a Nessus robe about His humanity, were torn off and 
cast aside for ever. And the victory of mankind is involved in the 
victory of Christ. In His Cross we too are divested of the poisonous 
clinging garments of temptation and sin and death ; tw airoOe-o-OaL 
tt]v 8vr]T0Tr]Ta, says Theodore, rjv VTrtp t?)s koivtJs d<peiA.ev cvepycouas, 
oiTreSvcraTO /caKet'vwv (i.e. tuv dvTiKeipevtoF>v) rrjv ai6evT€Lav rJTrtp 
iKe^prjVTO k<x#' ■tjp.wv." 

But this interpretation is open to serious if not fatal objections. 
In the first place, as the verb means to divest of clothing, it requires 
as to regard these hostile powers in the light of a clothing of God 
or Christ, a " Nessus robe," as Lightfoot expresses it. 

If the interpretation, " putting off the body," is to be rejected 
on the ground that the metaphor, though a natural one, is not 
suggested or explained by the context, the objection applies more 
strongly to the view in question, which supposes a metaphor by no 
means easy to understand and not elsewhere paralleled. The putting 
off the old man, ch. iii. 9, is not at all parallel. Lightfoot compares 
Philo, Quod det. pot. ins. 13 (i. p. 199), where the image in the 
context is that of a wrestling bout, e£a.vao-rdvTes Se koL Siepeia-dpevoi 
ras evre^vous avTOiV 7T€pnr\oKas eupapws €/<St>crop.e#a ; but there the 

figure is sufficiently explained by the context. Here (and this is 
the second objection) the figure would be irrelevant to the context. 
As Alford observes, " is it in any way relevant to the fact of the 
law being antiquated by God in the Great Sacrifice of the atone- 
ment, to say that He in that act (or, according to others, Christ in 
that act) spoiled and triumphed over the infernal potentates ? " 
Lastly, there is another very strong objection. If it was only by 
putting off His human body on the Cross that He could put off 
from Himself the powers of evil that beset His humanity, this 
would not be victory, but retreat. 

3. Alford observes, and apparently with justice, that the terms 
dpxcu and e^owtcu are general ; and a specific reference to " infernal 
powers " is not to be assumed unless it is determined by the 
context, as in Eph. vi. 12. " Now the words have occurred before 


in this very passage, ver. 10, where Christ is exalted as xecpaXr) 
irdo-rjs apxrj'i Kal e£owtas, and it is hardly possible to avoid 
connecting our present expression with that, seeing that in ras 
ap^as koI Tas e£oi>cria? the articles seem to contain a manifest 
reference to it." Taking the words, then, in a more general sense, 
he explains the whole by reference to passages in which the Law is 
said to have been administered by angels, Gal. iii. 19, Siaraycis 
8l dyyeAwv : Heb. ii. 2, 6 St' dyye'Awv AaA^eis Aoyos : Acts vii. 53, 
ikdfieTe tov vofiov cis Siaraya? dyye'Awv. Compare Jos. Ant. 
XV. 5. 3, rj[Jt.wv Ta /cdAAtcrra twv Soy/xdrwv, k<u to. oo-iioraTa Taiv iv 
tois vo/AOts Si dyyeAwv Trapa. tov ®eov fiadovroiv, u they were the 
promulgators of the x €l P°yP a 4 >0V T0 ^ s Soy/too-iv." That writing was 
first wiped out, and then nailed to the Cross — abrogated and 
suspended there. " Thus God aire£e8vo-a.To tois d/a^ds Kal Tas 
c£owias — divested Himself of, put off from Himself, that dyyc'Awv 
SiaTayrj, manifesting Himself henceforward without a veil in the 
exalted Person of Jesus." It is no objection to this "that thus 
more prominence would be given to angelic agency in the law than 
was really the fact ; the answer is, that the prominence which is 
given is owing to the errors of the false teachers, who had evidently 
associated the Jewish observances in some way with the worship of 
angels" With reference to this, the statement of Theodoret quoted 
below on ver. 18 is important, rovs dyye'Aovs o-e'/Jeiv darjyovvTO, 
Sia rovToiv Aeyovres SeScV#ai tov v6\iov. " St. Paul's argument will 
go only to this, — that whatever part the angelic powers may have 
had, or be supposed to have had in the previous dispensation, 
all such interposition was now at an end, that dispensation itself 
being once for all antiquated and put away." Ritschl's view is 
similar. Ellicott's objection to this view is that it rests on the 
assumption that the verse refers to ®eo's, not Xpicrros. But, in fact, 
it only assumes that the contrary is not proved. The principal 
objection to taking 6 ©cos as the subject throughout is the supposed 
difficulty or impossibility of interpreting aTreKSwo-d^evos, k.t.A., of 
God the Father. It is not logical to adopt this argument, and 
then to reject an interpretation which meets this difficulty on the 
ground that the subject must be 6 Xpio-Tos. 

4. The foregoing interpretations assume that d7r€KSvo-d/x.evos,' 
being in the middle voice, must mean " stripping from himself." 
But the middle often only expresses a personal interest, and the 
cognate verb d7reSvo-d//.e#a occurs in Plato, Rep. p. 612 A (quoted 
by Meyer), in the sense " nudavimus." Nor does the fact that in 
iii. 9 the same verb in the same voice means " strip from oneself," 
decide the question as to its meaning here. As Bp. Perowne observes 
(apud Moule), there are classical parallels to such a varying use 
of the middle in neighbouring contexts See Soph. Ajax, 245, 
647. It is allowable, therefore, to take the verb here in the sense 


" spoil, disarm," the middle conveying the idea " sibi exspoliare." 
This sense, accordingly, is adopted by Bengel, De Wette, Meyer, 
Moule, Eadie, Soden. Most of these, however, understand as in 
(i) (2) by the dp^ou ko.1 i^ovatai the infernal powers. Some of the 
objections made to (2) apply to this view also. First, that if these 
were intended we should expect this to be specified ; and, secondly, 
that it does not harmonise with the context. What had the dis- 
arming of the infernal powers to do with the abolition of the 
ooyua-ru ? or what connexion had the assertion of it with the warn- 
ing against the Op-qo-Keia twv ayyikuv ? Meyer's explanation is that 
it was in sin that these powers had their strength in their hostility 
to God, and " the power of sin was in the Law" (1 Cor. xv. 56) ; 
hence with the law " the infernal power stands and falls." Surely 
a faulty argument. The abolition of the law does not do away with 
sin. Moule, again, says, " He who is King of all orders of good 
angels is here presented as Conqueror of their evil counterpart." 
This supposes that i-ds ap^ds, k.t.X., here are actually contrasted with 
ira.o-q<; apx^, k.t.X., in ver. io, of which contrast there is no indication. 

5. V. Soden adopts the translation "spoiled," i.e. "disarmed," 
but adopts a view of apxal kou igovaiai similar to that of Alford 
and Ritschl, viz. that they are the angelic powers in so far as they 
represent the Law, and thereby have power over men, and doubly 
over those who do not fulfil it, that is (since ideally the law was 
valid for all men), not Jews only, but Gentiles also (Gal. iv. 3, 9, 
iii. 19; 1 Cor. viii. 5 sqq.). The fact, which in ver. 14 was 
described on the side of men, is now carried out in its significance 
for the angelic powers who represented those Soyp-ara, having in 
view the fact that the Soyaa-ri^eii/ taught in Colossae, which the 
apostle is combating, was ultimately a OprjaKeta tS>v dyytAwv 
(18, 23). 

This view is equally tenable whether the subject is taken to be 
5 ®eos or 6 Xpi<rro9, and it seems less open to objection than the 
former. The remark quoted above from Alford as to the promi- 
nence given to angelic action is equally applicable to this interpre- 

cSeiyyaaTio-ev. A rare word, which, perhaps, is also to be read in 
Matt. i. 19, p.r] OeXwv olvttjv 8ety/AaTt'crai : x and Lightfoot also quotes 
a passage from Acta Pauli et Petri, in which it occurs, <W p.rj p.6vov 

oltto tt}s tot) Si/U-wvo? a.7rdrr/s (fivywcriv, dAAd kcll Seiyp-dTLcrovcriv avrov, 

where it is explained in the context as "to proclaim." The sub- 
stantive 8eiy/xarto-/i.os occurs in the Rosetta inscription. The idea 
involved in Se<y/u.aTi'£eiv is only that of public exhibition, not of 

shame (Tvapaouyp.a.TL^f.iv). 

iv Trapprjata. The rendering " openly," as in AV. and retained 

1 The Text. Rec. there has irapa5et.ytJi.a.Tl(ra.t, — a word which frequently occurs 
in Folyb. etc. ; also Num. xxv. 4; Isa. iv. 17; Jer. xiii. 22 ; Ez. xxviii. 17. 


in RV., is approved by Bengel, De Wette, Olsh., Wordsworth, and 
Eadie. 817/x.ocria, Trdvrwv opwvTwv, Theoph., Alford would preserve 
the idea of " openness of speech," " declaring and revealing by the 
Cross that there is none other but Christ the Head 7rao-7/s dpx^s 
Hal itjovcTLas." " Openness of speech," however, seems unsuitable 
to the connexion. As to the sense " openly, publicly," it seems to 
be supported by John vii. 4, where €v irapprjcria ehac is opposed to 
iv KpvTTTio Troielv, and xi. 54, Irjo-ovs ovkIti TrapprjcTLa. -TrepieTr&Tet iv 
Tots 'IouSat'ots aAXa. aTrfjXOev e/cei^ev, k.t.X. In St. Paul, however, it 
always means "with boldness, or confidence" (an idea which is 
also present in the places cited), and so it is understood here by 
Meyer, Ellicott, Lightfoot, Soden. Hofmann connects iv irapp-qvLa. 
in the sense " openly " with #piap./3evo-as, which, however, already 
contains that idea. 

0piajj,peu(ras <xutous. avrovs, masc. of the dpy/it kol i$., because 
they are treated as personal existences, not with any reference to 
their possible designation as dyye'Aous. 

6piap.f3eva-a<;, " triumphing over them," or, rather, " leading them 
in triumph," as in 2 Cor. ii. 14. This is the usual signification of 
the verb with accus. of person. E.g. Plut. Thes. et Ro?n. 4, 
/?ao-iAeis i6pidp.(3ev(T€ /cat ^yep-ovas. Wetstein, on Cor. I.e., gives 
other examples. 

Iv ciutul Bengel, De Wette, a/., take this as = ev Xpio-rw. 
But Christ is not mentioned in ver. 14. Most commentators 
understand it as = iv o-ravpw. To this Soden objects that crravpos 
in ver. 14 is only a secondary idea ; and he refers the pronoun to 
X^t-poypacpov. In doing away with the x ei P°yP a( P ov God triumphed 
over those who administered it. (Meyer, ed. 4 (1874), does not 
mention this view, which is attributed to him by Ellicott (1857) 
and Eadie (1855).) The Vulgate has "in semetipso," and so RV. 
margin. G reads iv eaura). 

The metaphor is a very bold one whether understood of God 
or of Christ. If aur<3 refers to o-TaupaJ, the words would certainly 
be more suitable to Christ, and in that case the antithesis between 
0pidp,(3evcra<; and iv crraypw would be extremely striking. "The 
violence of the metaphor," says Lightfoot, "is its justification. 
The paradox of the Crucifixion is thus placed in the strongest light' 
— triumph in helplessness and glory in shame. The convict's 
gibbet is the victor's car." No doubt this way of putting the 
thought is very striking ; but if this had been the meaning of the 
apostle, might we not expect that he would express it more dis- 
tinctly, instead of almost hiding it, as we may . say, in an un- 
emphatic pronoun with an ambiguous preposition iv ? We might 
have expected some such expression, for instance, as cn-aupwtfeis 
i6ptdp./3eva-e. But, in fact, the contrast suggested would be quite 
irrelevant to the apostle's purpose, and the more striking it is the 


less likely is it that he would introduce it in this way as a side- 
thought, thus tending to draw the reader's attention from the argu- 

For ev avTw Origen (in several places) reads iv t<3 £v\<t>. So 
also his translator (Inf. ii. 416), commenting on "in ligno crucis," 
says : " licet in aliis exemplaribus habeatur triumphans in semetipso, 
sed apud Graecos habetur in ligno." 

16-23. Practical application of these principles to the ascetic 
precepts and the angel-worship of the false teachers. With their 
precepts about eating and drinking and observance of days, they 
would have you attach yourselves to the shadow, whereas you are in 
possession of the reality. The cult of angels is inculcated as a becom- 
ing exercise of humility ; but this is a false humility, and is really the 
fruit of carnal pride, vaunting itself in the pretended knowledge of 
these angelic powers, and is derogatory to Christ the Head, on whom 
alone we depend for spiritual health and grozvth. 

16. Mtj ouc tis u/ji&s KpieeTw. " Therefore," seeing that the law of 
ordinances has been done away with, " let not any one," not /x^Sci?, 
but firj tis, as in ver. 8, pointing to some definite persons ; Kpivero), 
not "condemn," but "judge you, take you to task." Compare 
Rom. xiv. 3, 4; 1 Cor. x. 29. 

eV ppwcrei r\ iv irocrei. " In eating or in drinking," i.e. in the 
matter of eating or drinking. Compare Rom. xiv. 17, ov yap icrnv 
■q fiacnXtia tov ®eov (Spwcris kcu 7rdcrts. ySpcocris in St. Paul is always 
the action of eating (1 Cor. viii. 4; 2 Cor. ix. 10), not the thing 
eaten (fipwp-a, 1 Cor. vi. 13, viii. 8, x. 3, al.; Heb. ix. 10). In 
Homer, indeed, /3paJcns is used for "food" (//. i. 210, al.) ; and so 
in St. John iv. 32 ; cf. 34, vi. 27, 55. There is a similar difference 
between 7toctis and ir6p,a. 

The Mosaic Law contained no prohibition respecting drinks 
except in special cases, namely, those of Nazirite vows and of 
priests ministering in the tabernacle (Num. vi. 3 ; Lev. x. 9). 
There was also a prohibition of drinking from vessels rendered 
unclean by the dead bodies of unclean animals (Lev. xi. 34). We 
know, however, that the Essenes, the prototypes of the Colossian 
false teachers, went far beyond the Mosaic code, abstaining wholly 
from wine and from animal food (see Lightfoot, p. 86). 

Lightfoot reads kcu iv irocrei, with B, Syr-Pesh. Boh., Tertull. 
Origen. Tertullian, however, reads et in all four places, therefore 
his evidence in this instance is valueless. The Syriac also has 
"and" in three of the four places, "or" only in the second; its 
evidence also, therefore, counts for nothing. The apostle might 
have written /cat not 17, because ^pwcrts and 7roo-is naturally belong 
together (but so, indeed, do the following three), and the occur- 
rence of rj in the other three clauses would easily lead a copyist to 
substitute it here. But the authority for kcu is too slight. 


Compare I Cor. xi. 27, io-$irj tov apTOv rj ttlvt) to TTOTypiov, k.t.X., 
where A, some cursives, Syr-Pesh. Boh. Eth., Origen, al. have kcu. 

f\ iv pipei, "in the matter of"; compare iv toutw t<2 p.£pei, 
2 Cor. iii. 10, ix. 3; pipos often denotes the class or category, 
especially with verbs like nOevai, as in Plato, Rep. i. 348 E, iv 
ap£Tr)<; /cat (ro<pia<s tlOtjs /xepet tt]v d8t/ct'av. Chrys. and Theodoret 
take it here in the sense " part," oi yap 8rj irdvTa Ka.T€Lx 0V Ta 
irporepa, Chrys. 

coprfjs t| koufiTji'ias r\ cra|3j3ciTa)K. The words specify the annual, 
monthly, and weekly celebrations; cf. Gal. iv. 10. 

cra/3/3aTa, though plural, means "a Sabbath day," being, in fact, 
a Greek transliteration of the Aramaic, and from its form mistaken 
for a plural. Thus Josephus distinctly, Ant. iii. 10. 1, ifi86p.r)v 
rj/jiepav rjTis ad/3/3aTa KaActrai ; also ib. i. 1. 1. Compare Hor. Sat 
i. 9. 69, "hodie tricesima Sabbata." See on Lk. iv. 31. 

B G have the spelling vco/npias, and so the Vulg. 

17. a io~T\.v cricta. Toll' jxeXXotTwc, to 8e aaijxa Xpiorou. mud does 
not mean an outline or sketch (as understood by Calvin and 
many others), which would be o-Kiaypac/ua or o-Kiaypd<f>7]p,a, and 
is excluded by the antithesis of <rls>p.a. A sketch would be con- 
trasted with the complete picture. It is simply " shadow," having 
in itself no substance, but indicating the existence of a body which 
casts the shadow, awfxa accordingly retains its proper signification 
" body," not "substance." Compare Philo, De Con/. Ling. p. 434, 
to. pXv pyjTa. twv xprjcr fiwv c/ads Ttvas waavel o-cop.dY(ov eivcu: opposed 
to to. vcpeaTwTa dXrjOeia Trpa.yp.aTa. Josephus, Bell. Jud. ii. 2. 5> 
ovadv aiT7/crdp.€Vos /3acriA.eias, ?)s r)p7ra<rev iavrw to o~wp.a. Compare 
also Heb. X. I, ovadv e^wv 6 vd//.os twv p,eAAdvT<ov ayaOuv, ovk 
avTrjv tyjv (.iKova twv 7rpaypa.Twv : ib. viii. 5, o~Kia XaTpevovcrt twv 

eTrovpavtwv. The figure expresses both the unsubstantiality and 
the supersession of the Mosaic ritual. But the thought found in 
it by some Greek commentators, and adopted by Meyer and 
Lightfoot, that the shadow comes before the substance (17 o-klo. 
•n-poTpc'^ct tov o-cop,aTos), is not contained in the text ; for it is no 
part of the idea of a shadow that it goes before the body, or is 
seen before it. Theodoret presses the figure still further : irpo- 

Xap.fidvei fj cjKia. to (rwp.a di'tV^ovTos toS c/jwtoV ws eivcu cr/aav p.ev 

TOV VOp.OV (Twpa 0€ TTjV ^dpLV, </>WS 81 TOV SeO"7TOT?7V XptO"TOV. 

Meyer again presses the tense of cVti so far as to infer that to. 
p.iXXovTa are not the already then existing Christian relations, the 
Katvi] SiadrjKT) (rather to. tt/s kcuv^s SiadrjKrjs), but belong " wholly " 
to the aicbv p.eXXu)v. The present, however, is sufficiently ex- 
plained by the remark of Davenant (apud Ellicott), "loquitur 
de illis ut considerantur in sud natura, abstractae a circumstantiis 
temporis." Yet it may be used in its temporal sense quite as well 
as the presents in Heb. x. 1. sqq. For the observance of these 


times and seasons had not ceased, although that of which they 
were the shadow had come. Meyer's interpretation would vitiate 
the apostle's reasoning, for if to. peWovra were still wholly future, 
the enact would not be superseded, and the observances referred to 
would retain their importance. 

V. Soden regards o-w^a as denoting to. fiikkovra in their con- 
crete organisation, i.e. the Church (cf. ver. 19). 

toC XpioroG, i.e. belongs to Christ; the blessings typified by 
these observances are found in Him. The article is prefixed in 
K* A C P 17 a/., Oec; omitted in N C DGKL most mss., Chrys. 
etc. Chrysostom mentions a strange punctuation : ol p,ev ovv 
tovto OTi^owri' to Be craJ/i.a, XpicrToO, rj Be dXrjOeia cVt XpiaTov 
yeyovev' ol Be, to Be o~wjxa XpiaTOv p.rjBe\% v/xas KaTa(3pa/3eveTw, 
Tovreo-Tiv, iirrjpea^eTw. So Augustine, Ep. 59, "Corpus autem 
Christi nemo vos convincat," confessing that he does not 
understand it. This connexion is also supported by A B P 
(apparently N also) al., Eth. 

18. MtjScIs ujias KaTaPpaPcucTw. KarafipaBevetv is an extremely 
rare word. Jerome reckoned it as one of St. Paul's Cilicisms, but 
it has been found in two other places. First in Demosth. Mid. 
p. 544 (not as used by the orator, but in a statement of witnesses), 

Bta TavTTjv ttjv air lav eirio'Ta.p.eOa SrpaTWva vtto Meioiou KaTafipafiev- 
6evra /ecu iraph. TrdvTa to. St/cata a.Tip.u6evTa. StratO had been 
arbitrator in a cause between Demosthenes and Meidias, and as 
the latter did not appear, gave judgment against him. On this 
account Meidias contrived to have Strato condemned to drip-ia. 
The other passage quoted in the Lexicons and commentators is 
in Eustathius on Horn. //. A. 402 sqq. Speaking of the assistance 
which Briareus, son of Poseidon, rendered to Zeus, when Poseidon, 
with two other deities, conspired against him, Eustathius observes 
that as amongst men sons often differ from their fathers, outco? 

ovBe 6 /mvOlkos Bpiapcws <£i'Aa (ppovei tw irarpt, dXka Ka.Taf3pafievei 
avrov, <5s cpacriv ol iraXawi, tov <$>vctikov Oecrp.ov irpo6ep.evo<i to 
BiKaLov. Here the word clearly means "decides, or takes part, 
against," and from the words ws <pao-iv ol -n-aXawi, may be regarded 
as almost a definition of the word by a scholar to whom it was 
familiar. It will be observed that neither in this passage nor in 
the former is there any question of a prize. 

This meaning of the verb is confirmed by its etymology. The 
simple verb ftpafSevetv, which, of course, signifies primarily " to act 
as fipafievs or umpire," awarding the prize, /?pa/3e!ov (1 Cor. ix. 24 ; 
Phil. iii. 14), seems, in all the examples that we have of its use, to 
have dropped all reference to a prize, and to mean only "to 
decide." For instance, Isocr. Areop. p. 144 B, iv ttj K\rjpwo-ei ttjv 
Tvxqv Ppafievo-eiv. The same writer, Phil. c. 29, uses to. irapd 
(t«vos) Ppafievo/Aeva to express regulations made by a person. In 


Demosthenes, again, 01. p. 36, 7, to w oAAw ZUaia Ppafievtiv is 
"to arbitrate or decide on the rights of others." So p. 1231, 11, 
of the unequal treatment of rich and poor, roxnov tov t/ooVov ifiwv 
ravra fipafievovTwv. Josephus, Ant. ix. I. I, has : irapeKeXevaaTO 
/xt/Scvos ovtws o)S tov Slkoliov 7rpovoovp.ivov<s Kpwew tois 0^X015 . . . 
fipafieveiv Se aVao"i to Icrov ; and Ant. xiv. 9. 5, ws el kgli voXe/xov 
po-iras ftpafievet. to delov. Compare also Col. iii. 15, rj elpr]vq tov 
Xpto-Tov fipafieviTO} iv Tais KapStats u/xwv. In accordance with this 
meaning of fSpa/Sevetv, KaTafip. would mean "to decide or give 
judgment against " ; and it is so interpreted by Photius (ap. Oec.) 
and Hesychius, KaTaKpiveTw. So also the Syriac Versions. 

This gives an excellent sense here, the phrase being stronger 
than the similar one in ver. 16, KptveVo). It is adopted instead 
of KaTaKpLveTO), probably in order to suggest the idea of assump- 
tion of authority. This is the interpretation adopted by Reiche, 
Bleek, Field (Otium Norvicense), and many others. Bengel's inter- 
pretation is : " ne quis brabeutae potestatem usurpans, atque adeo 
abutens, vos currentes moderetur, perperamque praescribat quid 
sequi quid fugere debeatis praemium accepturi " ; and similarly 
a-Lapide and Beza. This seems to put too much into the word. 

The Greek commentators, who seem to have had no independent 
knowledge of the word, take it to be equivalent to TrapafipaPeveiv, 
which occurs in Polybius and Plutarch, and means to assign the 
prize unfairly. Zonaras {ap. Suicer) says : KaTafipa/3eveiv Io-ti to 
p.r] viKrjaavTa a^iovv tov fipafitiov, dXX' eTepa> SiSoVcu avTO. This 
implies that 6 KaTafipafievuiv is the judge. Suidas' words are : rb 

aAAou ay wvL^ofiivov aAA.01/ o~Te<p<xvovcrBai Ae'yet 6 a7roo-ToXas Kara- 

fipafieveaOai. Meyer, adopting this view, supposes the apostle 
to mean " willing (OeXuv) to bring it about that the prize may be 
withheld from you and given to him and his." As their obtaining 
the prize would not involve others losing it, this would imply 
folly as well as malice. The meaning assigned by recent com- 
mentators generally, viz. " rob or beguile you of your prize," i.e. 
" cause you to lose your reward by defeat," or the like, does not 
agree either with Suidas or Zonaras, and it increases the difficulty 
of Oe\i»v. It results from the desire to retain a reference to a 
fipafietov, which, as we have seen, is not generally retained in the 
simple verb, nor, as far as we can judge, in the compound. 

Oikutv iv Tairei^o^poo-u'i'Yi. These words are very difficult. 
Many commentators (including Augustine, Estius, Olshausen, 
Bleek, Lightfoot) explain them as a Hebraism in imitation of 
the Hebrew "2 f^n, " taking delight in," or rather (since the 
Hebrew verb does not mean BiXeiv, but eiSoKeiv), of the occasional 
Septuagint rendering of that expression (1 Sam. xviii. 22; 2 Sam. 
xv. 26; 1 Kings, x. 9; 2 Chron. ix. 8; Ps. cxi. 1, cxlvii. 10). 
In 1 Chron. xxviii. 4, the same words occur as a rendering 


of "2 nn. Lightfoot also quotes from the Test. XII. Patr. Asher 
i., iav ovv rj i/n^r) 8e\r) iv kolXw. 

The main objection to this, and it is a fatal one, is that St. 
Paul does not use Hebraisms which so violate Greek grammar. 
The fact of such an expression occurring in the Sept., especially in 
Sam. Kings and Chron., is not a reason for attributing it to 
St. Paul. Indeed, except in Ps. cxlvii. 10, the object in the 
Sept. is always a person. In the Apocrypha, OiXeiv iv is not found. 
The expression OfX-qra^ v6p.ov t i Mace. iv. 42, is not parallel. Nor is 
this interpretation relevant to the context, for it is not the pleasure 
which the false teacher takes in his humility, etc., that is in 

Alford connects OiXuv with the participle, translating " of 
purpose," and comparing 2 Pet. iii. 5, XavOavti yap airovs tovto 
OikovTas. He also quotes Theophylact as apparently supporting 
this view, OiXovatv ip-as KaTa/3pa(3eveiv Sia Taireivocpp. But both 
this comment and the passage in 2 Pet. are equally, if not more, 
applicable to the following interpretation. 

Other expositors connect diXwv with the following words, 
supplying naTafipafievuv. So Theodoret : tovto tolvvv o~vve- 
fiovXevov e/ceivot yiveo-#ai, Tcnreiv o<ppoo~vvr) SrjOev Kexp^p-ivoi (compare 
Theoph. above) ; and so Photius, Buttmann, Eadie, Ellicott, and 
many others. Theodoret, indeed, presses OiXtov too far ; the 
purpose of the false teachers was not directly, but indirectly hostile 
to the Colossians. 

RV. marg. has : " of his own mere will, by humility," etc. 
This agrees nearly with Beza : " hoc munus sibi a nullo tributum 
exercens," Reiche, Tittmann, al. It also corresponds well with 
i6e\o6pr)o-Keia below, and, on the whole, appears to deserve the 
preference. The construction (which is the same as Alford's) is 
simpler grammatically than that last mentioned, and the sense 
obtained is more satisfactory. Luther (followed by Ewald and 
Tyndale) gives a similar sense to 0eAw, but connects it with 


Lightfoot quotes two conjectural emendations, viz. OiXywv, 
suggested by Leclerc (ad loc.) and Bentley (Crit. Sacr. p. 59), 
and more plausibly iX6wv, suggested by Toup (Emend, in Suidam, 
ii. p. 63). We can hardly suppose, however, that if i\6av had 
stood here originally it could be corrupted into 6e\<nv. Hort 
conjectures iv £9e\oTaTreivo<ppoo-vvr]. The last word is actually 
employed by Basil, and compounds of iOeXo- were used freely 
when St. Paul wrote. Compare Aug. Ep. 149, § 27 : "Sic enim et 
vulgo dicitur qui divitem affectat thelodives, et qui sapientem 
thelosapiens, et cetera hujusmodi. Ergo et hie thelohumilis, 
quod plenius dicitur thelon humilis, id est volens humilis, quod 
intelligitur 'volens videri humilis,' ' affectans humilitatem."' 


ev TCur€i.i'0(|>poowT] «ai Gprjo-Keia tQ>v ayyikw. is elsewhere 
(except ver. 23) treated as a virtue, and so in this Ep. iii. 12. 
But there is false as well as true humility, and here it is defined 
by the following Oprjo-Keia toiv dyy., which again is illustrated by it. 
What is referred to, then, is the humility which finds expression 
in the worship of angels, and this worship again is that which is 
inspired by this false humility. Perhaps the false teachers made 
much of humility in inculcating this tfp^cr/ceia, chiefly from false 
notions as to the power of the angels ; but partly, it may be, from 
an idea that God Himself was too high and unapproachable for 
men, who must therefore use the mediation of angels. This is 
the explanation given by Theodoret : AeyovTe? is doparos 6 twv 
oXwv ©eos, dvecpt/cros re /cat d/caTdAryirros, /cat irpoanfjKu 8td tu>v 
dyye'Awv ttjv Oeiav evp.€V€iav Trpayp-arevzarOai. Compare Augustine, 

Con/, x. 42, "Quern invenirem qui me reconciliaret tibi? Am- 
biendum mihi fuit ad angelos ? Multi conantes ad te redire, 
neque per se ipsos valentes, sicut audio, tentaverunt haec, et 
inciderunt in desiderium curiosarum visionum, et digni habiti sunt 
illusionibus." Zonaras, again, in commenting on the 35th Canon 
of the Council of Laodicaea, says there was an ancient heresy of 
some who said that we should not call on Christ for help or 
access to God, but on the angels, u>s rd^a tov tov Xpicrov 
eVt/caXettr^ai 7rpos Ta elpr]p.eva. p.€i'£ovos ovros T7/5 ^uercpas d£tas 
(Suicer, i. p. 45). So also Chrysostom and Theophylact. This 
latter view, however, would place Christ high above the angels, 
and therefore cannot have been that of the Colossians, who re- 
quired to be taught the superiority of Christ. Nor can Theodoret's 
explanation be adopted without hesitation, since there is nothing 
in the context about the mediation of angels or of Christ ; nor 
does this view of Tcnruvocpp. agree with the following d ewpanev, 
k.t.X. Theodoret, however, throws light on the passage when he 
States that 01 t<3 voptw o~vvr)yopovvT€<; /cat tous dyyiXovs aifieiv 
avrots el(T7]yovvTO, Sid tovtwv AcyovTts SeSocr#ai tov vojxov, for which 
reason, he adds, the Council at Laodicaea forbade praying to 

angels : Kal p-^XP 1 ^ T °v v ^ v zvKTrjpia tov dyiov Mi^a^/A 7rap* €K€tVoiS 
/cat rots 6p.opots ecrrtv tSetj/. 

a eajpaKey eufSaTeuen' Or a p.T] ewpaKee €p.j3aT€u<oi\ ip./3a.Teveiv is 

properly to step or stand on (as an oltt]?). So with gen. Soph. 
Oed. Tyr. 845, IpfSanveiv iraTpiSos. Hence "to dwell in," Eurip. 
Heracl. 875, KXypovs 8' ip.fia.Tevo-eo-6e x$ 01/ os: and similarly of a god, 
to "haunt" a place. Soph. Oed. Col. 671, lv 6 /3a/cx«twTas atVt 
Aiowo-os ip.(3a.Tevei. It also means to " enter upon " a country, 
" to invade." Later, it is found in a figurative sense of " entering 
into" a subject of inquiry. So Philo, De Plaut. Noe. ii. 19, 
"As some of those who open up wells often fail to find the 
SOUght-for water," ovrcos 01 -rrpoo-wTipoy ^wpoSvTes tw iTno-rrjp.wv Kal 


£7ri7rAeov €/u./?aT€vovT€? aureus, aSwarovcrL tov reXov; iTruf/avcrai : and 
SO perhaps 2 Mace. ii. 30, to p.\v i/xfiaTevcLV kglI irepl iravTOiV 
TTOitio-QaL koyov . . . t<3 ttJs Urropias apxqyirri KaO^Kei, (but RV. 
"to occupy the ground"). Athanas. on Matt. xi. 27, roXfxrjpbv 
ififiareveLv rrjv a.Trtpiv6r)Tov (pvcriv. Nemes. De Nat. Horn. (p. 64, 
ed. Matth.), ovpavov ipfiaTevet. rfj dewpia. 

If we read cwpaxev the sense will be, " dwelling in," as RV. 
"taking his stand upon," as RV. marg. or "poring over, busying 
himself with," or with the idea of pride in his possession, " making 
parade with." " What he hath seen " is then to be understood 
ironically, his "visions." 

Hilgenfeld (quoted by Meyer) understands the words to mean, 
without irony, " taking his stand on the ground of sense " ; but 
against this is the perfect cwpaKev as well as the expressive ip-fta- 
reiW. Besides, the error in question was based on a supposed 
knowledge of angels. 

The Rec. Text a p.rj ewpa/<ev conveys the idea, " intruding into 
things which he hath not seen." At first sight this is easier. But, 
as Alford remarks, it " would be a strange and incongruous ex- 
pression for one who was advocating a religion of faith — whose 
very charter is<dpioi ol p.rj iScWts ko1 7r€77-«rr£u/<6Tes — to blame 
a man or a teacher for a pjq cwpaKev ipfiarevuv." We should rather 
expect it to be regarded as a fault in a teacher that he took his 
stand in the realm of sight. 

If, however, the negative was written from the apostle's point 
of view, we should expect the objective otx to be used ; if, on the 
other hand, it is from the false teacher's point of view, "intruding" 
would not be a suitable translation, but "searching," or the like. 

As to the reading, the evidence is as follows : — 

Without the negative : 

MSS.: N*ABD* 17 28 67 s codd. mentioned by Jerome (Ep. 121 ad 
Alg. i. p. 880) ; codd. mentioned by Augustine {Ep. 149, ii. p. 514). 

Versions: Old Latin dem Boh. Arab. (Leipz. ) Eth. 

Fathers, etc.: Tertullian (cont. Marc. v. 19, "ex visionibus angelicis," 
and apparently Marcion himself also) ; Origen once (in the Latin translation. 
In Cant. iii. p. 63, "in his quae videt"). Also, cont. Cels. i. p. 583 
(Greek, the editions prior to De la Rue) ; Lucifer's De non conv. c. haer. 
p. 782, Migne ; Ambrosiaster (explaining thus : " inflantur motum pervidentes 
stellarum, quas angelos vocat." In the citation of the text editions differ). 
Pseudo- Augustine, Quaest. ex N. T. ii. 62, iii. App. p. 156. 

With the negative f*.r) : 

MSS.: CKLP and all cursives except those above mentioned. 

Versions : Old Latin f g Vulg. Goth. Syr. (both) Arm. 

Fathers, etc.: Origen once (in the Latin transl. In Rom. ix. § 42, iv. p. 
665). Also, cont. Celsum, as above (Greek as edited by De la Rue, who, 
however, says nothing about MSS., but remarks : " at Gelenius legit." & fiij 
iwpaicev, Tisch.); Ambrose. In Ps. 118, Exp. 20 (i. p. 1222), Pelagius, 
Chrysostom, Theodore Mops., Theodoret, John Dam. 

With 06, X° C D 1 * G. 


It will be observed that no MS. older than the ninth century reads y.-i), 
and with the exception of C none older than the seventh has a negative in 
either form. It is open to question whether otf, inserted by way of correction 
in X and D, was derived from MS. authority or was merely a conjecture. 

The "deliberate preference" of Jerome and Augustine cannot rightly be 
reckoned as "evidence" in favour of \ii\. The words of the former are: 
" Quae nee ipse vidit qui vos superare desiderat, sive vidit (utrumque enim 
habetur in Graeco)." The words of Augustine are : "Quae non vidit inculcares, 
vel sicut quidam codices habent, quae vidit inculcares." Their evidence 
amounts simply to this, that some of the MSS. they consulted or were 
acquainted with had the negative and some had not. As to their judgment, 
that is a different thing. Jerome's "utrumque habetur in Graeco" expresses 
none. Even Augustine's do not contain any direct or decided expression of 
preference, nor does he say anything as to the respective value of the MSS. 
which he quotes. 

The reading which omits the negative is preferred by Tisch. Treg. WH. 
(see post), Alford, Meyer, Soden, Lightfoot (but see post). Burgon thinks 
the Rec. Text "cannot seriously be suspected of error" {Revision Revised, 

P- 356). 

Lightfoot concludes from a review of the evidence that the negative is a 
later insertion ; but as the combination "invading what he has seen" is so 
hard and incongruous as to be hardly possible, he suspects a corruption of the 
text prior to all existing authorities ; and in this Hort and Taylor agree with 
him. He conjectures alwpa (or iwpa) KevepLparevwu, "raised aloft, treading 
on empty air," the existing text, aewpaKevefi^arevuiv, being "explained 
partly by an attempt to correct the form iwpa into alwpa, or conversely, and 
partly by the perplexity of transcribers when confronted with such unusual 
words. " KepepL^areieiv does not itself occur, but Kevefx^areZv is not infrequent. 
It is used by Plutarch, Basil, and others in a figurative sense, e.g. Basil, i. p. 
135, top povv . . . fivpla TrXavijOivra teal iroXXd KevefApaTTjcravTa ; i. p. 596, 
<rov Si n$i Kevefi^areirw 6 vovs. The other word, alwpa, which is used in a 
literal sense, either of the instrument for suspending or of the position of sus- 
pension, as the floating of a boat, the balancing on a rope, the poising 
of a bird, etc., is used figuratively by Philo, De Somn. ii. 6 (i. p. 665), 
vTTOTv<po>jfievos inr' alwpas (ppevwv teal Kevov (pvcryjfiaTos ; Quod Deus Immut. 
§ 36 (L p. 298), wcrirep iir' alwpas nvos ^evSous Kal a(3e(3alov S6|tjs (popeTaOai 
Kara Kevov (ialvovra. 

Dr. C. Taylor (Journal of Philology, 1876, xiii. 130), followed by West- 
cott and Hort, prefers aipa Kevep.fiaTei>wv. There is an earlier conjecture 
which involves even less change, or none, in the text, viz. a iwpa (or a 
iwpaKev) Keve/x^arevwv. iwpaKev is better than iwpa, and the emendation only 
supposes the common error of omission of a repeated syllable. Ingenious, 
however, as these conjectures are, it does not seem necessary to depart from the 
text of the best MSS. (Blass thinks Kevefx^arevwv fairly certain, Gram. p. 67.) 

eiKTj <|>ucrioufj.£i'09. ei/07 is by some comm. connected with the 
preceding clause (De W., Conybeare, al.) in the sense "rashly, 
uselessly." But eUrj in St. Paul precedes the words it qualifies 
(Rom. xiii. 4; 1 Cor. xv. 2 ; Gal. iv. n), except Gal. iii. 4, where 
there is a special reason for placing it after kira.6e.Te. Its usual 
meaning in St. Paul is " to no purpose, fruitlessly " ; and so it is 
understood here by v. Soden ; but it equally admits the other 
sense, "without reason," which it has in Matt. v. 22, and this is 
more suitable to cfavcnovfievos. The false teachers were without 
reason puffed up with the idea of their superior knowledge. There 


is a sharp irony in the contrast between raireivocfipoo-vvr] and <pvo-tov- 
fievos. to 8e ye cpvo~iovp.evos Trj raTreivocppoo'vvy ivavrtov ovk ecrri' rrjv 
fiev yap io-K-qirrovTO, tou Se rvcpov to 7ra0os aKpi/?a>s 7rept€K€ivTO, 

u-n-6 tou vobs ttjs o-apKos auToO. "By the mind of his flesh." 
The vovs as a natural faculty is in itself indifferent, and may be 
under the influence either of o~dp£ or irvf.vp.a-, cf. Rom. i. 28, xii. 2 ; 
1 Tim. vi. 5; Tit. i. 15, and Rom. vii. 25; 1 Cor. xiv. 14, 15. 
The expression here used, " mind of, or belonging to, the flesh " 
(possessive genitive), seems to continue the irony. The false 
teachers claimed a higher intelligence, perhaps a deeper spiritual 
insight ; whereas the apostle declares that it was carnal, not 
spiritual. Compare Rev. ii. 24, "which know not the deep things 
of Satan, as they say," where "as they say" refers to "deep 
things," which are then bitterly characterised as "of Satan." 

19. k<x! ou Kpcnw. " And not holding fast." For this sense of 
Kparciv with accus., compare Mark vii. 3, 4, 8, up. ttjv irapdSoo-Lv : 
Acts ii. 24, ovk yjv Svvarbv KpareZo-Oai avrov vtt avrov : iii. II, 
KpaTowTos Se avrov rbv Uerpov koX 'Iwavv^v : 2 Thess. ii. 15; Rev. 
ii. 1, 13, 14, 15, 25, iii. 11, vii. 1. Frequently, however, it means 
" to seize " ; but that sense is inapplicable here. 

■n\v Kt$a.\-t)v, ii ou. The relative is masculine, because it is a 
person that is referred to as the Head ; not because Xpio-Tov is 
implied; cf. ver. 15. Meyer, however, followed by Eadie, regards ov 
as neuter, referring to the Head, not personally, but in an abstract 
sense "from which source." To understand it as referring to 
Christ, Eadie thinks, would destroy the harmony of the figure. 
The objection does not apply to the explanation just given. It is 
to be noted that D* Syr-Harcl. Arm. add X/hotoV. 

i£ is causal, " from whom as the source," and the relative 
clause expresses the perverseness of the oi Kparwv, k.t.X., as much 
as to say " whereas from this," etc. 

8ia twi/ d4>we icai o-ueSeo-pje. For the meaning of these words 
see note on Eph. iv. 1 6. o-wSeo-yxos means in general any of the 
connecting bands in the body, whether ligaments proper, or tendons, 
or muscles ; but in its special sense is limited to the " ligaments," 
as appears from a passage in Galen quoted by Lightfoot. But in 
a passage like the present this technical sense is not to be pressed ; 
the purpose of the figure is to express the complete dependence of 
the Church as a whole, and of all its members as parts of an 
organised body, on Christ directly, angels not intervening. 

emxop'nYouu.ei'oy kcu o-up.pij3a£6u.eyoi'. Compare Eph. iv. 16, 
o-vvapp.oXoyovp.evov kcu o-vp.(3ifia£,6pevov. There, the main purpose 
was to insist on the vital cohesion and union of the parts with 
each other ; here, on dependence on the Head. Here as there the 
present participles are to be noted ; the process is a continuing 


one. For i-n-i-^op. cf. 2 Cor. ix. 10; Gal. iii. 5; 2 Pet. i. 5, 11. 
liri indicates rather direction than intensity, i-H-i^op. seems to be 
the function of the d<pai, o-u/a/3i/3. of the o-wSecr/xoi. For the passive 
of £7ri^o/)., compare Polyb. iv. 77. 2, 77-oAAcus d<£op/xaTs ck (pucrews 
K€)(opr)yr}fi€vo<;. Arist. -A>/. IV. I, (rw/xa KdAAurra 7r€<pv/<os /cai 

au|ei Trif au^Tjo-ii/, cognate accusative ; not a periphrasis, nor 
added " to give force to the meaning of the verb," but because it 
was desired to define the nature of the aw^cris as tov ®eoS, a 
growth having its root in God, belonging to God ; cf. 1 Cor. iii. 6, 
6 ©cos rjv$avev. In Eph. iv. 16 also "growth" is the result 
aimed at ; but there, in accordance with the difference in the points 
of view just referred to, it is to o-wfia itself which 1-771/ av^-qaiv tov 
orw/xaTos TTOieiTat ets oiKoSo/r^v iavTov iv dydirr]. Lightfoot remarks 
that the discoveries of modern physiology have invested the 
apostle's language with far greater distinctness and force than it 
can have worn to his own contemporaries. "The volition com- 
municated from the brain to the limbs, the sensations of the 
extremities telegraphed back to the brain, the absolute mutual 
sympathy between the head and the members, the instantaneous 
paralysis ensuing on the interruption of continuity, — all these add 
to the completeness and life of the image." He quotes several 
very interesting passages from Hippocrates, Galen, and others as 
illustrating ancient speculation on the subject, and he reminds us 
that Dne of the apostle's most intimate companions at this time 
was "the beloved physician" (iv. 14). It may be remarked, 
however, that the apostle is speaking of supply and binding 
together rather than of volition and sensation (unless we adopt 
Meyer's view of dcf>ai (see on Eph.)). Theophylact also remarks : 
dirb Trj<: Ke<paA?}s 7rao~a aur^r/cris kcu iracra kiVt/ctis. 

20. el dTreOdccTe aw XpioTw. " If ye died with Christ " (not 
"if ye be dead," as AV.). They had died with Christ in baptism, 
vv. 11, 12, and had risen again with Him. Comp. Jn. vi. 49, 58. 

dir6 twv aroi\ei<i)v tou koo-jxou. aTroO