All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ. Even before He made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in His eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into His own family by bringing us to Himself through Jesus Christ. This is what He wanted to do, and it gave Him great pleasure. So we praise God for the glorious grace He has poured out on us who belong to His dear Son. He is so rich in kindness and grace that He purchased our freedom with the blood of His Son and forgave our sins. He has showered His kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding. God has now revealed to us His mysterious plan regarding Christ, a plan to fulfill His own good pleasure. And this is the plan: At the right time He will bring everything together under the authority of Christ—everything in heaven and on earth. Furthermore, because we are united with Christ, we have received an inheritance from God, for He chose us in advance, and He makes everything work out according to His plan. God’s purpose was that we Jews who were the first to trust in Christ would bring praise and glory to God. And now you Gentiles have also heard the truth, the Good News that God saves you. And when you believed in Christ, He identified you as His own by giving you the Holy Spirit, whom He promised long ago. The Spirit is God’s guarantee that He will give us the inheritance He promised and that He has purchased us to be His own people. He did this so we would praise and glorify Him.Ephesians 1:3-14
I suggested you look at how the different versions handle this single sentence.
Here is a break down of all the versions I have loaded in E-Sword
- GNT – 1 sentence
- ASV – 1 sentence
- BBE – 1 sentence
- LITV – 1 sentence
- RV – 1 sentence
- YLT – 1 sentence
- MKJV – 2 sentences
- Webster – 2 sentences
- EMTV – 3 sentences
- KJV – 3 sentences
- Murdock 4 sentences
- ESV – 5 sentences
- NASB – 6 sentences
- AMP – 8 sentences
- ISV – 8 sentences
- CEV – 13 sentences
- MSG – 14 sentences
- GNB – 15 sentences
- NLT – 15 sentences
- GW – 17 sentences
Now what? What do we do with this information? You can see from the list above that translations either try to follow the Greek example and express the thoughts in one sentence or divide up the thoughts into separate sentences. The difficulty with sticking to the Greek pattern is that it does not produce a natural translation. Similarly to divide it up piece by piece and translate it as separate ideas loses the connectedness.
If you have E-Sword at your disposal with some, if not all, of these above versions available, then read them through to compare how they have handled this one Greek sentence. How do the versions handle it? Many just put a colon between the concepts, stringing unconnected ideas together. Some versions attempt to maintain the logical flow between the ideas. Which is the best version for us to use to dig into this? It’s the little words that go between the ideas that are important to us. We need to know how the thoughts are layered and connected together. How each thought connects to the next. If you are able and have several of these (or other) versions at your disposal then investigate which are the best translations that help you to see the glue between the pieces.
The words you want to pay attention to in this case are “the little words”. It’s the prepositions and conjunctions that go between the pieces that help us to determine the flow and the connectedness. Paul’s thoughts are tumbling out here, one connected to another. We must investigate the connections. Sorry to use words like “prepositions” and “conjunctions”. I know that takes some of you back to high school English and turns some of you off. But to really understand this “one paragraph sentence” you need to see how it is connected.
To add to our discussion in earlier gems, this sentence interrupts the opening (in my opinion). Notice that with verses 15-20 Paul does pick up on a similar opening which he wrote in Romans. His affection for the recipients, how they are always in his prayers. How he longs to see them completed spiritually. Maybe there is some affection there for the Ephesians after all. But equally it could be read as evidencing Paul’s affection for all believers from all churches. You decide what you think. I know what I think.
Be prepared for some serious digging as we look at this passage over the next days. But do some of your own work first. This is enough for one Gem already. I will add more suggestions of what to do and how to get started in the next Gem. In essence we need to pull this sentence apart and STUDY IT. The question is: what to use in order to do that?
Sometimes our greatest weakness is not being able to admit we are weak.Louie Giglio
Stop giving someone else the job of making you happy.Joyce Meyer
Success is not a success without a successor.