Lectionary Year B
April 2, 2000
Ephesians 2:1-10

Initial Acquaintance


A. COMPARISON OF TRANSLATIONS

(LLE)
Revised Standard (RSV), the New Revised Standard , and the New International (NIV) Versions.

verse 1: Of most interest, is the introductory phrase "and you he made alive," found in the RSV; this appears to theologically, if you will, set the stage for the discourse that is about to be laid out in the rest of the pericope.

verse 2: Although the words are different, the content appears to be identical except for the end of the verse. The NRSV and the NIV both read "those who are disobedient" while the RSV reads "the sons (children) of disobedience;" does this possibility allude to the idea of responsibility for vs. allegiance to something other then God? There may be a distinction to be made as to what exactly is meant by "in" (NIV) and "among" (NRSV) "those who are disobedient" -- for instance does "in" refer to what is going on in the inner life while "among" indicates the outer life?

verse 3: Are the listeners, or those that this is being written to, "by nature children of wrath" (RSV and NRSV) or "objects of wrath?" (NIV) It would seem that if they were "children of" this implies some level of responsibility and if they were "objects of" then, in some way that I am not able to articulate very well, "wrath" would seem to be the party that bears responsibility.

verse 4: I think it interesting that the RSV and the NRSV both use love in the past tense in referring to God, "with which he loved us," while the NIV has worded it (by not using a verb) in such a way to preserve the sense of on-going action.

verse 5: This is not a translation issue per se, but I find it interesting that the RSV puts "by grace you have been saved" in parenthesis as if it is parenthetical information not vital to the content.

verse 10: This may seem like a non sensible distinction, but the RSV and NRSV both read "created in Christ Jesus for good works" while the NIV reads "to do good works;" I understand that both carry the same meaning, at least, on the surface; however, could I read "for good works" in a way that could imply my not actually doing good works, but making possible that others have the opportunity for good works or is this a stretch? Finally, the NRSV uses the phrase "to be our way of life" which implies to me something different -- perhaps a change of how one lives in totality -- that is lost or obscured with the wording of "we should walk in them" (RSV) or "For us to do" (NIV).

C. ROUGH TRANSLATION

(v. 1) And you being dead ones with respect to your stumblings and sins (v. 2) in which once you walked along according to the age (Gr. "aeon") of this cosmos, according to the chief magistrate of the authority of the air (Gr. "aer") - the spirit, the one [even] now working in [in] the sons of disobedience (v. 3) among whom we all also were once busy in the passions of our flesh performing the intentions of the flesh and of the mental faculties, and we were by [human] nature children of wrath, as are also the masses of humanity. (v. 4) But God being rich in mercy through his much love [with] which he loved us, (v. 5) indeed [cf. v. 1] us being dead ones with respect to stumblings he made us alive together with Christ - by means of grace you are being saved - (v. 6) and he raised [us] together and seated [us] together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus (v. 7) in order that may be shown in the ages the ones coming the extravagant richness of his grace in kindness upon us in Christ Jesus. (v. 8) For by means of grace you are being saved through faith; and this thing is not out of you (plural); of God [is] the gift; (v. 9) not out of works, in order that not anyone may boast. (v. 10) For we are his creation having been shaped in Christ Jesus upon the good works to which God prepared beforehand in order that in them we may walk about.
ALTERNATE ROUGH TRANSLATION

(JH)
v.1 - And you being dead (perhaps numb) to your trespasses and to your sins,
v.2 - in which you once walked according to the age of this cosmos according to the ruler of the authority of the air, of the spirit of the now working in the sons of disobedience
v.3 - among whom also we all conducted ourselves once in the lusts of our flesh, performing the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and we were by nature of wrath, as are also the rest.
v.4 - But God rich being in mercy because of his great love (with) which he loved us,
v.5 - even being dead ones in the trespasses he made us alive with Christ -- (in) grace you are being saved
v.6 - and he raised (us) and seated (us) in the heavenlies in Christ Jesus,
v.7 - (in order) that he might display in the ages to the ones coming of surpassing wealth of his grace in (his) kindness towards us in Christ Jesus.
v.8 - For by grace you have been saved through faith and this (is) not of you all, of God is the gift.
v.9 - Not of works, lest one should boast.
v.10 - For we are his masterpiece having been created in Christ Jesus for good works which prepared God in order that in them we should walk.



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