Ephesians 1:1-14

Ephesians 1:1-14
Ordinary B33 &
Narrative Lectionary


Paul,A an apostleB of ChristC JesusD by the willE of God,F

Notes on verse 1a

A “Paul” = Paulos. From Latin Paulus (small, litle). This is Paul or Paulos, meaning little.
B “apostle” = apostolos. From apostello (to send, send away, send forth as a messenger, to commission); {from apo (from, away from) + stello (to set, arrange, prepare, provide for)}. This is a messenger – someone sent out on a mission as an envoy or delegate. It can also refer to someone set at liberty. Generally, this is a messenger who is meant to be a representative of the one who sent them. They are thus, set apart on a mission literally or figuratively.
C “Christ” = Christos. From chrio (consecrate by anointing with oil; often done for prophets, priests, or kings). Literally, the anointed one, Christ. The Greek word for Messiah.
D “Jesus” = Iesous. From Hebrew Yehoshua (Joshua, the Lord is salvation); {from YHVH (proper name of the God of Israel; the self-existent and eternal one); {from havah (to become) or from hayah (to come to pass, become, be)} + yasha (to deliver, defend, help, preserve, rescue; properly, to be open, wide or free, which implies being safe. So, in a causative sense, this is to free someone)}. This is Jesus or Joshua in Greek – the Lord saves or the Lord is salvation.
E “will” = thelema. From thelo (to desire, wise, will, intend). This is the act of will, choice, purpose, or decree.
F “God” = Theos. From Proto-Indo-European origins, meaning do, put, place. This is God or a god in general.

To the saintsG who are in EphesusH and are faithfulI in Christ Jesus:

Notes on verse 1b

G “saints” = hagios. From hagnos (holy, sacred, pure ethically, ritually, or ceremonially; prepared for worship, chaste, unadulterated, pure to the core; undefiled by sin; figurative for innocent, modest, perfect). God is totally different from humanity and thus set apart. That which is consecrated to worship God (elements of worship) or to serve God (as the saints) are holy because they are now set apart for God’s purposes. Holy because important to God. This is sacred physically, pure. It can be morally blameless or ceremonially consecrated.
H “Ephesus” = Ephesos. 16x in NT. Perhaps from Luwian Apa-ša (“later-city”) OR from Hittite Apasa (capital of Arzawa – an allied group in western Anatolia); {from appa (behind, back, after)}. This is Ephesus, meaning the “later place,” which would perhaps have the sense of a city named Newtown or Lands End. See https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/%E1%BnC%9C%CF%86%CE%B5%CF%83%CE%BF%CF%82#Ancient_Greek & https://www.abarim-publications.com/Meaning/Ephesus.html#.XsrG5WhKhPY
I “faithful” = pistos. From peitho (to have confidence, urge, be persuaded, agree, assure, believe, have confidence, trust). This is faithful, trustworthy, reliable, sure, or true. It is a fullness of faith. This is the same root as the word “faith” in Greek.

GraceJ to you and peaceK from God our FatherL and the LordM Jesus Christ.

Notes on verse 2

J “grace” = charis. From chairo (to rejoice, be glad; used to say hello; properly, delighting in the grace of God or experiencing God’s favor); from char– (to extend favor, lean towards, be inclined to be favorable towards). This is grace, kindness, favor, gratitude, thanks. It is the sense of being inclined to or favorable towards – leaning towards someone to share some good or benefit. This can be literal, figurative, or spiritual. It is grace as abstract concept, manner, or action.
K “peace” = eirene. Perhaps from eiro (to join, tie together to form a whole). This is one, peace, quietness, rest, peace of mind, harmony. Peace was a common farewell among Jews (i.e. shalom) and this well-wishing included a blessing of health and wholeness for the individual. This word also indicates wholeness and well-being – when everything that is essential is joined together properly. This is peace literally or figuratively. By implication, it is prosperity (but not in the sense of excessive wealth. Prosperity would have meant having enough from day to day.)
L “Father” = Pater. This is father in a literal or figurative sense. Could be elder, senior, ancestor, originator, or patriarch.
M “Lord” = Kurios. From kuros (authority, supremacy). This is a respectful address meaning master or sir. It refers to one who has control or power greater than one’s own. So, it was also applied to God and Jesus as Master or Lord.

BlessedN be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessedO us in Christ with every spiritualP blessingQ in the heavenly places,R 

Notes on verse 3

N “blessed” = eulogetos. 8x in NT. From eulogeo (speaking well of – speaking so that the other is benefited; praise, bless, thank, or call for a blessing); {from eu (good, well, well done, rightly) + logos (word, statement, speech, analogy; a word that carries an idea or expresses a thought, a saying; a person with a message or reasoning laid out in words; by implication, a topic, line of reasoning, or a motive; can be used for a divine utterance or as Word – Christ); {from lego (to speak, tell, mention)}}. This is blessed, spoken well of, to be praiseworthy, or adorable. This is the root that “eulogy” comes from.
O “blessed” = eulogeo. Related to “blessed” in v3. See note N above.
P “spiritual” = pneumatikos. From pneuma (wind, breath, or ghost; a breeze or blast of air, a breath; figuratively, a spirit, the human soul or the part of us that is rational; also angels, demons, God, and the Holy Spirit); from pneo (to blow, breath, breathe hard). This is spiritual, spiritual people, or spiritual things – that which is ethereal or divine or religious.
Q “blessing” = eulogia. Related to “blessed” and “blessed” in v3. 16x in NT. From eulogeo (see note N above). This is praise, blessing, adoration, gift, bounty, elegance of language, benediction, consecration, largesse.
R “heavenly places” = epouranios. 19x in NT. From epi (on, upon, what is fitting) + ouranos (air, sky, the atmosphere, heaven; the sky that is visible; the spiritual heaven where God dwells; implies happiness, power, and eternity); {perhaps from oros (mountain, hill)}. This is heavenly, celestial, high, heavenly one, heavenly thins. It is the heavenly sphere in contrast to the earthly one, the place of spiritual activity. Figuratively, it can mean divine or spiritual. Properly, this describes that which is fitting from heaven’s perspective.

4 just as he choseS us in Christ before the foundationT of the worldU

Notes on verse 4a

S “chose” = eklego. Related to “blessed” and “blessed” and “blessing” in v3. From ek (from, from out of) + lego (see note N above). This is to choose, select, elect.
T “foundation” = katabole. 11x in NT. From kataballo (to cast down, lay prostate, set a foundation); {from kata (down, against, throughout, among) + ballo (to throw, cast, place, put, drop)}. This is a foundation or a plan for one – setting the foundation according to the plans. Figuratively, it can be the beginning of something, sowing, or conception.
U “world” = kosmos. Perhaps from the base of komizo (to carry, convey, recover); from komeo (to take care of). This is order, the world, the universe, including its inhabitants. Literally, this is something that is ordered so it can refer to all creation. It can also refer to decoration in the sense that something is better ordered and, thus, made more beautiful. This is where “cosmos” and “cosmetics” come from.

to be holyV and blamelessW beforeX him in love.Y 

Notes on verse 4b

V “holy” = hagios. Same as “saints” in v1. See note G above.
W “blameless” = amomos. 9x in NT. From a (not) + momos (literally a spot; figuratively blame, disgrace, flaw, censure); {perhaps from memphomai (to blame, be disgraceful; be rejected due to doing bad things); from mempteos (rejected because one has been condemned)}. This is literally without blemish. Figuratively it can mean blameless or without fault i.e. without sin. This word might also be related to a plant from India called amomum, which was used in ointment. It may be akin to black cardamom. See https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/%E1%BC%84%CE%BC%CF%89%CE%BC%CE%BF%CE%BD#Ancient_Greek
X “before” = katenopion. 3x in NT. From kata (down, against, throughout, among) + enopios (literally “in sight of”; before in a literal or figurative since); {from en (in, on, at, by, with) + ops (eye, face); {from optanomai (to appear, be seen)}}. This is literally, “down in the eye of.” So, it is before someone – within their direct eyeline.
Y “love” = agape. From agapao (to love, take pleasure in, esteem; to prefer). This is love, goodwill, benevolence. It is God’s divine love or human love that mirrors God’s love.

He destinedZ us for adoption as his childrenAA through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasureBB of his will, 

Notes on verse 5

Z “destined” = proorizo. 6x in NT. From pro (before, earlier than, ahead, prior) + horizo (to determine, set boundaries, appoint, designate, pre-determined; literally, this is setting horizons); {from the same as horion (boundary, territory); from horos (limit, boundary)}. This is to predetermine, to set limits or boundaries in advance. Figuratively, it is foreordain or predestine.
AA “adoption as his children” = huiothesia. 5x in NT. From huios (son, descendant; a son whether natural born or adopted; also used figuratively for other forms of kinship) + tithemi (to put, place, set, fix, establish in a literal or figurative sense; properly, this is placing something in a passive or horizontal position). This is making a son, adoption.
BB “good pleasure” = eudokia. Related to “blessed” and “blessed” and “blessing” in v3. 9x in NT. From eudokeo (to think well of, to be pleased or resolved; properly, what someone finds good or acceptable – approving of some action or generally thinking well of); {from eu (see note N above) + dokeo (to have an opinion, seem, appear, suppose; a personal judgment; to think); {from dokos (opinion)}}. This is goodwill, favor, happiness, delight, satisfaction, or desire. It is something that a person finds good or of benefit.

to the praiseCC of his gloriousDD graceEE that he freely bestowedFF on us in the Beloved.GG 

Notes on verse 6

CC “praise” = epainos. 11x in NT. From epi (on, upon, to, what is fitting) + ainos (praise, saying, story, proverb). This is fitting praise, fame, approval. It is recognizing something or someone that is deserving of praise.
DD “glorious” = doxa. Related to “good pleasure” in v5. From dokeo (see note BB above). This is literally something that evokes a good opinion – something that connects to our understanding of intrinsic worth. The ultimate expression of this is, of course, God and God’s manifestation. So, this is opinion, honor, and dignity, but also praise, glory, renown, and worship.
EE Literally “to praise of glory of the grace of him.”
FF “freely bestowed” = charitoo. Related to “grace” in v2. 2x in NT. From charis (see note J above). This is to make graceful or grant grace to, to freely bestow or favor highly. This refers to one’s honor because of receiving grace from God.
GG “Beloved” = agapao. Related to “love” in v4. See note Y above.

In him we have redemptionHH through his blood,II the forgivenessJJ of our trespasses,KK according to the richesLL of his grace 

Notes on verse 7

HH “redemption” = apolutrosis. 10x in NT. From apo (from, away from) + lutroo (to redeem, liberate, release because ransom was paid in full; figuratively, returning something or someone to their rightful owner) [from lutron (ransom, the money used to free slaves; also a sacrifice of expiation; figurative for atonement); from luo (to loose, release, untie; figuratively, to break, destroy, or annul; releasing what had been withheld)]. This is redemption, deliverance, or release particularly with the notion of ransom paid – a buying back what had been lost.
II “blood” = haima. This is blood in a literal sense as bloodshed. Figuratively, it can also be used to refer to wine or to kinship (being related).
JJ “forgiveness” = aphesis. From aphiemi (to send away, release, abandon, lay aside, forgive); {from apo (from, away from) + hiemi (to send, to go)}. This is sending away – a release or letting go. So, it can be releasing someone from debt, slavery, or some other obligation – thus, freedom or liberty. Figuratively it can mean to pardon as releasing from the debt of sin.
KK “trespasses” = paraptoma. From para (by, beside, in the presence of) + pipto (to fall in a literal or figurative sense). This is properly, falling away after having been devout or faithful. So, this is a lapse, sin, slip, transgression, offense. It is a deviation from what is true – it could be accidental or unconscious.
LL “riches” = ploutos. From polus (much, many, abundant) OR pleo (to sail, voyage); {probably from pluno (to plunge – so to wash); from pluo (to flow)} OR pletho (to fill, accomplish, supply; to fill to maximum capacity). This is abundance, wealth, or riches. It could refer to money/possessions or spiritual abundance. It can also be used for a valuable bestowment.

that he lavishedMM on us. With all wisdomNN and insightOO 

Notes on verse 8

MM “lavished” = perisseuo. From perissos (abundant, more, excessive, advantage, vehemently); from peri (all-around, encompassing, excess). This is more than what is ordinary or necessary. It is abounding, overflowing, being leftover, going above and beyond. It is super-abounding in number or quality.
NN “wisdom” = sophia. From sophos (wise, clever, skilled, learned, cultivated); related to saphes (clear). This is skill, wisdom, insight, intelligence, clarity. It is wisdom as applied through a practical skill or shrewdness. It is not thoughtfulness or the mere gaining of intelligence for its own sake. Sophia is wisdom in action for everyday living.
OO “insight” = phronesis. 2x in NT. From phroneo (to have understanding, think, care for, have a predisposition to a notion); from phren (literally the diaphragm; used figuratively for heart, thought, or understanding; personal outlook we use to decide our actions, general outlook); may be from phrao (to rein in, curb). This is understanding, practical wisdom, insight. This word implies moral insight.

he has made knownPP to us the mysteryQQ of his will, according to his good pleasure that he set forthRR in Christ, 

Notes on verse 9

PP “made known” = gnorizo. From ginosko (to know, recognize, realize, perceive, learn; gaining knowledge through personal experience). This is to declare, know, discover, make known.
QQ “mystery” = musterion. From mustes (an initiate); from mueo (to initiate someone into the secrets or mysteries of an order; to instruct learn, be disciples; properly, shutting your mouth and eyes to experience mystery); from muo (shutting eyes or mouth). This is a mystery or a secret doctrine that requires initiation to learn. In the New Testament, the plans of God were hidden until they were revealed in Christ through the Gospel. It is also used of Christian revelation in a broad sense rather than referring to something that cannot be known. This is the root of the word “mystery.”
RR “set forth” = protithemi. Related to “adoption as his children” in v5. 3x in NT. From pro (before, earlier than, ahead, prior) + tithemi (see note AA above). This is to set before, purpose, plan, determine, put in a public display.

10 as a planSS for the fullnessTT of time,UU to gather upVV all things in him, things in heavenWW and things on earth.XX 

Notes on verse 10

SS “plan” = oikonomia. 9x in NT. From oikonomeo (a steward, manager, or guardian; someone whose job it is to oversee a house; a treasurer or other fiscal agent; figuratively, someone who preaches the good news); {oiokos (house – the building, the household, the family, descendants; the temple) + nemo (to parcel out)} OR {from oikos (see above) + the base of nomos (what is assigned – usage, law, custom, principle; used for the law in general or of God’s law; sometimes used to refer to the first five books of the Bible or the entire Old Testament; also used to refer to theology or the practice and tradition of interpreting and implementing the law of God); {from nemo (to parcel out)}}. This is stewardship, management, or administration. It is one who looks after the resources or household affairs for someone else (their house or estate). It can also refer to a religious economy.
TT “fullness” = pleroma. 18x in NT. From pleroo (to fill, make full or complete; properly, filling something up to the maximum extent or induvial capacity; used figuratively for furnish, influence, satisfy, finish, preach, perfect, and fulfill); from pleres (to be full, complete, abounding in, occupied with). This is fullness, supply, completion, superabundance, or multitude.
UU “time” = kairos. This is season, opportunity, occasion. The word chronos is used for chronological time. Kairos is used for spiritually significant time – the right time or appointed time.
VV “gather up” = anakephalaioo. 2x in NT. From ana (up, again, back, among, between, anew) + kephalaioo (to hit or wound the head, summarize); {from kephalaion (relating to the head, the principle matter, an amount of money); from kephale (head or chief; literal head or, figuratively, a ruler or lord, corner stone); from kapto (to seize)}. This is to summarize, gather up as one, comprehend. It could also be organizing something into a comprehensive whole.
WW “heaven” = ouranos. Related to “heavenly places” in v3. See note R above.
XX “earth” = ge. This is earth, land, soil, region, country, the inhabitants of an area.

11 In Christ we have also obtained an inheritance,YY having been destined according to the purposeZZ of him who accomplishesAAA all things according to his counselBBB and will, 12 so that we, who were the first to set our hopeCCC on Christ, might live for the praise of his glory.DDD 

Notes on verses 11-12

YY “obtained an inheritance” = kleroo. 1x in NT. From kleros (lot, portion, heritage; that share assigned to you; also a lot used to determine something by fate, chance, or divine will); perhaps from klero (casting a lot) or from klao (to break in pieces as one breaks bread). This is to cast lot – use lots to apportion, gain an inheritance or share.
ZZ “purpose” = prothesis. Related to “adoption as children” in v5 & “set forth” in v9. 12x in NT. From protithemi (to set before, purpose, plan, determine, put in a public display); {from pro (before, earlier than, ahead, prior) + tithemi (see note AA above)}. This is a setting forth – a proposal, predetermination, purpose. It can also mean something that is sacred or consecrated so it can be used for the showbread or sacred bread.
AAA “accomplishes” = energeo. From energes (active, effective, operative, energized, powerful); {from en (in, at, by, with, among) + ergon (word, task, action, employment); {from ergo (to work, accomplish) or from erdo (to do)}}. This is to be at work, accomplish, be mighty or effectual. This is where “energy” comes from.
BBB “counsel” = boule. 12x in NT. From boulomai (to wish, desire, intend; to plan with great determination). This is counsel, plan, purpose, decision. It refers to wisdom that comes from deliberation.
CCC “first to set our hope” = proelpizo. 1x in NT. From pro (before, above, ahead, earlier than) + elpizo (to expect, hope, trust; hope as active waiting); {from elpis (expectation, hope, trust, confidence, faith); from elpomai (to anticipate, expect, welcome; generally anticipating with pleasure; can refer to expectation in the abstract or be used concretely for confidence)}. Literally to hope before or be the first to hope. It is hoping before there are confirming signs.
DDD “glory” = doxa. Same as “glorious” in v6. See note DD above.

13 In him you also, when you had heardEEE the wordFFF of truth,GGG the gospelHHH of your salvation,III

Notes on verse 13a

EEE “heard” = akouo. This is hear or listen, but it also means to understand by hearing. This is where the word “acoustics” comes from.
FFF “word” = logos. Related to “blessed” and “blessed” and “blessing in v3 & “chose” in v4. See note N above.
GGG “truth” = aletheia. From alethes (true, unconcealed; true because it is in concert with fact and reality – attested; literally, what cannot be hidden; truth stands up to test and scrutiny and is undeniable, authentic). {from a (not, without) + lanthano (unnoticed, concealed)}. Truth is literally that which is not or cannot be concealed. This word covers more than the sense of true versus false. It spoke of truth as that which corresponds to reality – reality as opposed to illusion. Thus, it includes, sincerity, straightforwardness, and reality itself.
HHH “gospel” = euaggelion. Related to “blessed” and “blessed” and “blessing” in v3 & “good pleasure” in v5. From eu (see note N above) + aggelos (angel, messenger; a messenger from God bringing news – whether a prophet or an angel); {from aggellos (to bring tidings); probably from ago (to bring, lead, carry, guide)}. This is literally “the good news,” used for the gospel. This is also where “evangelism” comes from.
III “salvation” = soteria. From soter (a savior, deliverer); from sozo (to save, heal, preserve, or rescue; taking someone from danger to safety; delivering or protecting literally or figuratively); from sos (safe, rescued, well). This is deliverance, salvation, preservation, welfare, prosperity, safety.

and had believedJJJ in him, were marked with the sealKKK of the promisedLLL Holy Spirit;MMM 

Notes on verse 13b

JJJ “believed” = pisteuo. Related to “faithful” in v1. From pistis (faith, faithfulness, belief, trust, confidence; to be persuaded or come to trust); from peitho (see note I above). This is to believe, entrust, have faith it, affirm, have confidence in. This is less to do with a series of beliefs or doctrines that one believes and more to do with faithfulness, loyalty, and fidelity. It is trusting and then acting based on that trust.
KKK “marked with the seal” = sphragizo. 15x in NT. From sphragis (a seal, signet, or signet ring; also the impression of that seal; so, the thing attested to by that seal – proof or a signifier of privacy); perhaps from phrasso (to stop, fence in). Properly, this is sealing something with some kind of stamp that tells who the owner is, gives it authorization or validity. It shows that the owner lends their full authority or backing to the matter in question. This was the ancient world’s equivalent of a signature on a legal document to guarantee the commitments made in the document. There were also tattoos that were given to show who someone belonged to in a religious sense.
LLL “promised” = epaggelia. Related to “gospel” in v13. From epi (on, upon, against, what is fitting) + aggello (to announce, report); {from aggelos (see note HHH above)}. This is a summons, promise, or message. It is a formal promise that is officially sanctioned. In the New Testament, this usually refers to a promise made in the Old Testament.
MMM “Spirit” = Pneuma. Related to “spiritual” in v3. See note P above.

14 this is the pledgeNNN of our inheritanceOOO toward redemption as God’s own people,PPP to the praise of his glory.

Notes on verse 14

NNN “pledge” = arrabon. 3x in NT. From Hebrew erabon (a pledge – something given to be a surety); from arab (to bargain, barter, give or take in pledge; to braid or intermingle). This is a deposit or down payment – a security as a guarantee.
OOO “inheritance” = kleronomia. Related to “obtained an inheritance” in v11 & “plan” in v10. 14x in NT. From kleronomos (heir); {from kleros (see note YY above) + the same as nomos (what is assigned – usage, law, custom, principle; used for the law in general or of God’s law; sometimes used to refer to the first five books of the Bible or the entire Old Testament; also used to refer to theology or the practice and tradition of interpreting and implementing the law of God); {from nemo (to parcel out, assign)}}. This is inheritance, heritage, or possession.
PPP “own people” = peripoiesis. 5x in NT. From peripoieo (to acquire, earn, preserve, make one’s own); {from peri (about, concerning, all around, encompassing) + poieo (to make, do, construct, cause)}. This is acquisition, possession, preservation.

Image credit: “Landscape with Stars” by Henri Edmond Cross, ca. 1905-1908.

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