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Ephesians 4:12-16, Corrected Trans and Exegetical Notes

Quicklinks to RightPT page:  [Synopsis]  [Don't Play Hookey] [Bible's Badly Mistranslated, so you need a Pastor] [RightPT, Meaning #1]  [Eph4:12-16, Outline]  [Eph4:12-16, Long Translation, YOU ARE HERE]  [Eph4:12-16, Working Translation]  [Eph4:12-16, Smooth Translation]  [Meaning #2]  [Meaning #3]  [Meaning #4]  [RightPT Bible keywords]  ['Pastors' to Avoid] 

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Greek text, pasted from BibleWorks' "BGT" compilation of LXX and (mostly) NA27:
Eph4:11 Kai. auvto.j e;dwken tou.j me.n avposto,louj( tou.j de. profh,taj( tou.j de. euvaggelista,j( tou.j de. poime,naj kai. didaska,louj(
12 pro.j to.n katartismo.n tw/n a`gi,wn eivj e;rgon diakoni,aj( eivj oivkodomh.n tou/ sw,matoj tou/ Cristou/(
13 me,cri katanth,swmen oi` pa,ntej eivj th.n e`no,thta th/j pi,stewj kai. th/j evpignw,sewj tou/ ui`ou/ tou/ qeou/( eivj a;ndra te,leion( eivj me,tron h`liki,aj tou/ plhrw,matoj tou/ Cristou/(
14 i[na mhke,ti w=men nh,pioi( kludwnizo,menoi kai. perifero,menoi panti. avne,mw| th/j didaskali,aj evn th/| kubei,a| tw/n avnqrw,pwn( evn panourgi,a| pro.j th.n meqodei,an th/j pla,nhj(
15 avlhqeu,ontej de. evn avga,ph| auvxh,swmen eivj auvto.n ta. pa,nta( o[j evstin h` kefalh,( Cristo,j(
16 evxou- pa/n to. sw/ma sunarmologou,menon kai. sumbibazo,menon dia. pa,shj a`fh/j th/j evpicorhgi,aj katV evne,rgeian evn me,trw| e`no.j e`ka,stou me,rouj th.n au;xhsin tou/ sw,matoj poiei/tai eivj oivkodomh.n e`autou/ evn avga,ph|┼


Long Translation of Eph4:12-16

  • (v.12) "EACH ONE PROVIDED" ["pros" is often used adjectivally or adverbally; so means "facing", because didaskalos means ONE teacher FACING a GROUP -- so Paul doesn't need a pronoun; "provided" is needed in English because the antecedent verb is in 4.7, "He gave". See, the last noun Paul uses in v.11, "pastor-teachers" (a hendiodys), designates the primary agent God gifted to accomplish all the activity which follows through v.16. Had Paul used a different last noun in v.11, then such other noun would instead be the primary agent. Also, you can tell from the functions listed in vv.12-16 that only the pastor's function, is in view. Doesn't mean the others aren't important, but they ARE background and ancillary to the pastoral role. Finally, Greek stress places LAST what is most important. Modern Russian still has that Greek-originating rule in its syntax, as well.]

  • "for the THOROUGH SPIRITUAL TRAINING" [ katartismos was originally a medical term of restoring to health -- perfect metaphor for the restoration work of the Spirit. Verb comes to mean total training, total kitting-out, since it's a compound of kata+artizw.]
  • "of 'the saints' [believers]" [Big Bible keyword, lit., sanctified ones, title for believers, referencing our position in Christ, 2Cor5:17 ties]
  • "TO RESULT FROM, his work of FEEDING WORD;" [Noun diakonia was covered above, before this translation began; is double-entendre, his feeding enables us to serve the Word, too. This first eis clause operates like a title: the eis clauses which follow, elaborate the meaning of "eis ergon diakonias". I have no idea how to show all that meaning in translation, without misleading the English reader. You got any ideas? Suppose one could translate "eis ergon diakonias" as "FOR THE PURPOSE of FEEDING", but "resulting from" fits better the other "eis" clauses, yet still reflects purpose. ERGON only means Divine Work, if anarthrous, as here; but generally first means Divine Work if not otherwise qualified as to agent and nature. It's in the singular which reinforces the pastor as the agent; but it's double-entendre for the Corporate Result as well, from so many singular actors on their singular congregations.]

  • "TO RESULT IN, the building of the Body of/belonging to CHRIST;"

  • (v.13) "until we all/EACH WOULD REACH/WALK INTO THE INTENDED OBJECTIVE/ DESTINATION OF LIFE:" [Verb katantaw means your walk of life, its ending destination, what you become: we have no English equivalent, so you have to add words to make clear what that one verb, means. It's a WALKING verb, so ties to all "walk" verses, so I used "walk" as part of the translation. Verb means many individuals each severally arriving at a Destination of Death, the question being did they MATURE by then, so is subjunctive aorist for purpose and contingency: maybe they will, maybe they won't. So "oi pantes" should not be rendered "all", but "each".]

  • "NAMELY, DUE TO the SYSTEM FROM DOCTRINE, EVEN BY MEANS OF the BELIEVED KNOWLEDGE of/belonging to the Son of God;" [ties to 2Pet3:18]
  • "INTO, 'COMPLETED/MATURED HERO';" [title: teleios/teleiow are big Bible keywords; andra means hero, not just 'man'];
  • "INTO, the Measure/ALLOTMENT" [metron, big Bible keyword, ties to Isa53:12's merizw in LXX]
  • "of SPIRITUAL Maturity of the Fullness" [PLEROMA, another title, big Bible keyword, refs Eph1:15ff and 3:15-21]
  • "of/belonging to Christ;"

    All the capped words differ from the translations, but are more accurate. This is not interpretation, but sheer translation. (Interpretation is the next step: you'd analyze meaning, not merely state the text.) See the difference? See the wordplay? See the connections better? Cause-and-effect, baby: Learn Him, Get His Fullness. Belonging to you! (Now THAT is interpretation, heh.) Bible translations chop out meaning in the original, yet claim to be literal or accurate. Not true. Hopefully as you compare the translation you use with this one, you'll see this one is better. Yet, never better enough. So translation and interpretation are the work of a pastor. So if you are under a pastor you know God means for you, go with what HE says, whether what's here is 'better' or not. My job here is merely to prove from Bible that this doctrine of 'right pastor' is Biblical; I can't use a recognized translation, to do that job. Further, my job is to show what you can learn under a pastor, viz., I only learned how to translate Bible, from decades of being under my own 'right pastor'. Who's right for me, isn't necessarily right for you. In all events, seminary only prepares the pastor for a lifetime of personal study. So the student of his own right pastor gets a better deal, than if the student himself went to seminary. For the pastor himself, is still studying...

    Here's how v.14-16 play out. Let's have the Greek text, again:

    14 i[na mhke,ti w=men nh,pioi( kludwnizo,menoi kai. perifero,menoi panti. avne,mw| th/j didaskali,aj evn th/| kubei,a| tw/n avnqrw,pwn( evn panourgi,a| pro.j th.n meqodei,an th/j pla,nhj(
    15 avlhqeu,ontej de. evn avga,ph| auvxh,swmen eivj auvto.n ta. pa,nta( o[j evstin h` kefalh,( Cristo,j(
    16 evx ou- pa/n to. sw/ma sunarmologou,menon kai. sumbibazo,menon dia. pa,shj a`fh/j th/j evpicorhgi,aj katV evne,rgeian evn me,trw| e`no.j e`ka,stou me,rouj th.n au;xhsin tou/ sw,matoj poiei/tai eivj oivkodomh.n e`autou/ evn avga,ph|┼

  • (v.14) "in order that we BE no longer babies, wave-tossed, even thrown about by means of every tempestuous teaching" [Ionic meaning of nepios here should be used, since Paul's epistle is based on "Ion". Liddell-Scott lexicon says the Ionic meaning is for a Child Too Young To Yet Speak. Next, v.13 is parallelled: learning whirlwind/tornado/typhoon instead of learning God, which is why this v.14 plays in backwards order, denoting retrogression, teaching mentioned last, since it's the childish believer's last desire -- but also mentioned last, because in Greek that's how you stress source -- so he's only childish due to bad teaching he believes. You have to translate "by means of", especially since that parallels the "by means of the believed knowledge" in v.13.]
  • "[promulgated] by means of/in the SPHERE of men's cheating," [lit., loaded-dice-playing -- you have to add "promulgated" in English to convey the huckster nature of the phrase en tei kubeiai. When the verbs are passive voice followed by a personal agent, translate "en" as "by agency of". However, Paul does a clever thing here, making the 'cheating' and (below) the 'readiness' the agents, which are not human, actually -- the humans themselves are deceived! Wow. Shows satanic agency behind it all.]
  • "by means of/in the SPHERE of a do-anything readiness for any false-doctrine scheme;" [Translations use stock vocabulary here so you don't get what Paul means: Paul is using OT words, particularly here -- same deception as woman in Garden. So English words like 'evil, cunning and craftiness' don't help the English reader recognize what type of game is preyed on them. Paul's metaphors denote that anything will be used to entrap you in false teaching, to lead you astray, such that you end up broke, and those who fooled you run off with your money. Time is money, see, and the time you have should be spent getting RICH in Him, not investing in false teaching. Last word in Greek is planes, and it's got this connotation that the one deceiving is himself deceived and will also end up broke. So it lacks the taint of some human conspiracy to sell you false doctrine: though panourgiai pros ten methodeian does mean a continuing do-anything urge for an organized scheme. See a detailed lexicon. The connotation is more like a wandering sheep, stressing its own action, not the impetus for it. See Bauer, Danker lexicon meaning of planaw, meaning #2a, used in Ps118:176 of LXX, Matt18:12ab, 13. Paul seems to be saying first that the baby believer has a PROCLIVITY for these schemes, himself, because the word "planes" (as well as its cognate verb) more often references the what the buyer of the falsehood does, not so much the status of the seller. Hebraic orientation of Paul would argue for a SECOND clause to represent the one deceived, since the first one represented the deceiver. Translations don't pick up that fact.]
  • (v.15) "but instead TEACHING the Truth by means of/in the SPHERE of LOVE," [twinning "en" prepositions' parallel, but TEACHING the Truth is the idea, parallelism to Lord Becoming the Truth, versus the sphere of teaching cheating; in the sphere of Love references Bible Learning and Filling of the Spirit, see Rom5:5. Self-note: Thayer's lexicon picked up on the Teaching meaning, but the others didn't. T.449S.1 85 Eph tapes stressed the meaning as Teaching, which makes sense given the whole context of passage and esp. vv14-16. To just render it "speak the truth" is completely at a dissonance with the passage. Furthermore, every use of aletheuo in Bible is in the sense of teaching or testifying. So it's not merely being honest, as the lexicons (excepting Thayer's) insist.]
  • "we would grow up INTO Him, THE EVERYTHING, Who is THE Head, Christ;" ["ta panta" is another moniker for Christ in NT -- note the "into" parallel to v.13's "fullness" clause, which again Paul now begins to play in reverse, since the childish believer is now depicted as REVERSING his previous retrogression, and GROWING. Most translations treat "ta panta" as another object, as if in all things we had to grow up. Well it IS double-entendre, in that in All Things With Reference To Him we must grow up, meaning All Scripture. But the translation makes it look like something else. No way, josÚ. It's appositional.]

  • (v.16) "BORN from Whom" [Greek preposition "ek" is Hebraistically used to harken back to Isa53:11's first two words; Hebrew prep "min" always has a birthing connotation, SEPARATED FROM, BORN FROM: you're taught this in seminary and in standard Biblical Hebrew texts, so there's NO excuse for another translation. Same, for this use of ek. Bible often uses only the min preposition as a shorthand quipping style to mean "born out from": Gen3:22's is one of my favorites (verse is always mistranslated, because "min" is always reversed in translation when pregnancy is the idea).]

  • "all the Body, being-THOROUGHLY-joined-like-Temple-stones-BY-WORD and THOROUGHLY-held-by-WORD-INSTRUCTION" [sumarmologew and sumbibazw, great and common Bible keyverbs, with cognate nouns. They are about words, and each of these compound verbs unite Divine ("sum" prefix) and sexual act. These are God's words, k? Sum+harmologew, means Divine joining-by-words: Paul is playing on both "harmony" and "joining" and "logos" etymology by using this verb. The "joining" of harmozw, is marriage, so idea of fetal formation, fruit of the marriage, is here nested. Sum+bibazw is the similar, but even I can't type the crude sexual meaning of bibazw in a public site: closest euphemism is the ACT of SEED-WORD getting into you (your imagination will have to take over, now). Verb ties to 1Cor2, which is all about getting His Head into your own; see also Isa40:13 in LXX which uses the same verb. These two are making-pregnant and copulation verbs, respectively, -- tie to 1Cor12:19ff's 'unpresentable parts'. Idea to make like-minded, impregnate/ inculcate with INSTRUCTION, WORDS. Really dramatic way to say you must get systemic teaching of All Bible Doctrine, not just snippets or sermons]

  • "via each such [pastoral] 'joint' of 'Divine Finance', " ["haphe" -- means more truly, "ligament", idea that musclulature holds the body together, and without it, you atrophy. So "haphe" means pastor, parallelism harkening back to poimen in v.4:11, and to sundesmos in 4:3. Next, the term here epichoregia means UNDERWRITING THE COSTS for an entire Greek play -- the 'play', being the play of history, the Trial, the cost of Endowering the Bride (which is the theme of the play Paul introduced in Eph1); 'finance' meaning God-Provided Spiritual Assets, Circulating Doctrine -- which is how we know for sure that haphe means pastor, since he's the actor Paul started off with, at the end of v.11. Actors got paid, to deliver lines, get it?9]
  • "according to His ENABLING Standard" ["according to, "standard"=kat' -- referrent is v.7; DIVINE WORKING=energeia; noun and cognate verb are never used for human works, yet always mistranslated to look as if human works. So the word "His" needs to be inserted in English, since Greek "energeia" already would be known to mean God's working. Further, "doctrine" is always included within the term "kata", so "according to the doctrine of" or "doctrinal standard of" is always in the meaning, as well. Also, "according to", the normal translation of kata, not only designates conformance, but LIMITS: if not "kata", it doesn't work. I'm not sure what English word, if any, could be substituted for "according to", to convey that: "within the CONFINES" is really meant here, but "confines" makes it sound like God is limited, so I need another English term.]

  • "for/in THE SPHERE OF MEASURE/ALLOCATION of/BELONGING TO ONE PASTOR-TEACHER FOR EACH PART [congregation]," [This is a very pregnant use of metron..merous construction. Phrase points directly at Isa53:12 via 53:11 in the LXX; in this kind of usage INHERITANCE and 'group of people' (who are also part of the inheritance of Christ in Isa53:12) is meant. So it's the pastor's inheritance (hence the gift), to have a congregation. Hence the use of heautou. Note the parallel again to "measure" (metron, again) in v.13 -- it's causal, His Head getting into your own. Italic segment is my pastor's trans of henos, which is parallel to haphe and poimen kai didaskalos: his 1985 Ephesians (half-speed) Tape.452s2; from notes in my notebook E. You can tell in Bible's Greek that the referrent (thus proving meaning of henos here) is eni..eskastoi in v.7, and Yes! How awesome! kata to metron tes doreas is also in v.7, Paul concatenates to show HOW v.7&10 are accomplished, here in v.16! Kill me now! Attic men.de construction is in v.11, so PROS in v.11 stands for EACH ONE of them 'facing' his congregation, hence the use of henos in SINGULAR, here.]

  • "he himself causes the growth of the Body;" [the PASTOR, mediately, poietai in middle voice, so heautou goes it, NOT oikodome, T.452s2 in cahier E.]

  • "RESULTING IN, its edification by means of/in the SPHERE of his own Love." [the PASTOR, heautou is masculine gender. Bible translations here are truly weird. Pronoun heautou is not neuter; and if it were, it couldn't go with oikodomen (which is acted upon by something else, so passive), which is in the feminine (see Hebrew banah for woman's body-creation in Genesis); heautou is too far removed from somatos to modify it, though technically word order in Greek is fluid; for, poietai is used in middle voice, so takes heautou: Bauer, Danker meaning #7 of poiew confirms.

      By the way, "Love" is often a metaphor for Doctrine, see again Rom5:5, and all of 1Cor13, John4:24 (Christ's Own Definition of the System); Love=Bible, when the term is systemically used, as here in Eph4: especially, given the parallelism in v14-15. Water is always a metaphor for Bible, so was pejoratively used to designate the seasick, stormy life of believing false doctrine in v.14. If "agape" is the Greek word (which is typical), Love also means in God's Power, but VIA Bible -- given "en" as the preposition here and in v.14 -- again, given Eph4:3, and the far-earlier concepts as expressed in John 4:24, and Gal5:22. Gotta always track agape ("Love") to see the different ways it's used.

      Agape and its cognate verb never ever mean human love, only Divine, so really should be translated "Divine Love" in English, for sense -- it's a specialized term; therefore comes to mean Being In Doctrine to the point of It Producing Divine Love In You; also, it's the Operating System of the Spirit, which has no programming errors; see also Gal5:22ff, and especially Greek of Eph3:16-17, which likewise defines "agape" for Eph4:15-16. Look: you just try to get Windows XP or Vista, to operate in Dos 3.3. See the analogy? People are busying themselves with works and rituals but NOT on God's Operating System. That's the point Paul stresses, in verse 14. They FOOL themselves that they are on the GOS, but notice how these people can't even get the GOSPEL right, so whose operating system are they on? 2Tim2:26's!

      You must have a compatible Operating System Spiritually, and your OS Operator, is the Holy Spirit. Substitutes make your spiritual life CRASH. Viral, even. Heh: God won't let you just pull any ol' idea from the text, but Defines The TermS. So, never gloss over Bible metaphors, or interpret them humanly: they always highlight some aspect of effect or nature of the Right Operating System. Here, the pastor's grown enough in Scripture to Be Operating In The System, and/or himself is at the Rom5:5 stage. Note also the many subjective-objective genitives used as spheres in the many "Love of God" clauses. Even James Joyce quipped about this Bible Greek irony, in the first short story of Ulysses, so it's not as though the meaning of this Love as a system, is unknown.

      Divine Love doesn't often feel good, so forget emotion. It just is there, strongly motivating you: see 2Cor5. People who chirp how they love God or someone else, don't. Real love is very uncomfortable admitting it loves, because it never thinks it loves enough to warrant the term. And it only 'feels' something like 'good' when it pours itself out.]

    Important Exegetical Keys to Interpretation

    Some exegetical notes of general import follow. The notes are still too chatty, will be improved later.

    1. This bullet repeats the small font note about v.12's "Resulting from his work of feeding WORD" clause to stress importance. Noun diakonia was explained in the RightPt.htm "Eph4:12-16 Outline" link; is double-entendre, his feeding enables us to serve the Word, too. This first eis clause operates like a title: the eis clauses which follow, elaborate the meaning of "eis ergon diakonias". I have no idea how to show all that meaning in translation, without misleading the English reader. You can't translate it "work of service", either. Maybe "work of Divine Feeding Service", followed by a "namely" before "resulting in" (next eis clause, to show the clauses following are elaborative). You decide. See, this is why a pastor's job is critical. There is no way to properly translate all the many layers of meaning in God's Word, they'd have to be exposited. This, just to teach what the text says, before even beginning to interpret it. A pastor ideally spends all his time studying; then maybe an hour a day at most, teaching what he's learned. Worth a bizillion dollars, to us. Pastoral teaching is like college. You become a student of the Word, all your life. Same, for the student under a pastor. That's how it ought to work. God's Word is too rich, for a lesser-quality level of studying it. Pity so few are interested.

        As this passage makes clear, it's FEEDING INFORMATION which the pastor does. Not telling you how to use the Doctrine taught, but just teaching it. Teach the congregation how to fish, not merely give them fish. Yes, it's regurgitated food, from which the congregation learn how to EAT, themselves. For, the pastor is not around them 24/7. Fledglings grow up. Can't grow up, if only given applications of Doctrine, rather than the Bible Doctrine, itself. Biggest failure in teaching, to not simply teach what the Word says. From the original languages, or from translations the pastor crafts which he knows best suit the understanding of his own congregation. Lots of Bible layers in a verse, so you can accurately teach yet not shoot past the flock's needs. It's not that we lack qualified pastors; We lack interest, so they settle for what they can motivate us to hear. Very sad. At a wedding years ago I had a conversation with one such pastor who was of a major denomination, who himself studied in the original languages -- but his congregation, didn't want that.

    2. The translation might not be clear with respect to the subjunctive use of katantaw, the "reach/walk" clause of v.13. See, two kinds of time objectives are in view: Corporate, which terminates with the Rapture, and Personal, which terminates with the earlier of death or Pleroma. Of course, 'death' for the person Raptured up, is the Rapture itself. So to reflect the dual Time objectives, oi pantes is rendered "all/each". If you use only one of those words, the English reader will not understand readily either the time limit or the importance of his individual 'walk' as part of the whole. "All" in English, swallows the individual. "Each" alone, implies we'll all reach Pleroma. "Would" is used to show that might not happen, individually. ("Might" seemed too tame and iffy, in English, "should" again belies the fact individuals won't get there by death. But I'm not satisfied with "would", either.)

        So I couldn't figure out how to better translate the effect of the AGGREGATE on the individual. The aggregate is the real goal, that of Body Completion, and if individuals within the group don't grow up by that point, too bad. Idea that we have an ALLOTED "measure" of who should be our pastors, and how long we will live here; if the Corporate Goal is completed, that's the litmus. It's inherent in the Rapture criteria, which indeed has always been God's criteria, of Set Appointment Occurring Within A Planned Time. By the end of that time, you make it or you do not. You are loved, but not coddled: you will be given enough time -- subjunctive mood of verb kantantaw, "would reach/walk into" in v.13 references that fact; but there is a time limit, and once past 'enough', you're like Pharaoh, alive for the sake of someone else, self being too far gone.

        It's a running theme in Bible, accounting for the Temple's destruction, our getting the Bridal contract Israel refused, etc. But I don't know how to convey all that meaning which Paul is actually saying by the subjunctive tenses of katantaw and auxanw, especially in context. (LordvSatan4.htm has four subpages which explain this structure of our Corporate Role as Church, hence the undefinable date of the Rapture.)

    3. Verb katantaw tells you how to handle the "eis" prepositions; they are all parallelled (hence the use of "to" and underlining), as well as directional prepositions, and END at a destination, Pleroma.. or, death. Usually you can't translate "eis" as "to" or "unto" when it's used in parallelism. A cause and effect is denoted. But "eis" after katanaw means what the Destination is, so not only is cause and effect denoted, but the MEANS of 'walking' there. Paul is linking cause and effect, Journey To The Destination, and the means is ALSO the Destination. Fabulous. How to indicate this? Well, I put "NAMELY" in the translation, so the reader would know where the walking, leads. Paul is bluntly saying that if you don't get fed, you won't be in the first 'destination', the "System..Son of God". So obviously the other destination of "Completed..of Christ", isn't ever reached. Dunno how to better translate that meaning, though. Gotta always track your "eis" prepositions when they are paired or >2. I'm not satisfied yet that I've reflected all the many parallelisms, but this translation is still better than found in the published Bibles. Underlines highlight the main parallelisms, but virtually every noun is in parallel also.

    4. Italicized phrase "System from Doctrine..God" is from my pastor's translation on Lesson 1603 of 92SD (parallels his Ephesians tapes' translations), though the whole translation is much like his. My pastor translates katantaw "obtain the objective" or "arrive at the objective", which is fine if you know what "objective" Paul means -- which he next states, in v.13. To make it clearer BEFORE the reader sees v.13, I used "intended destination", and substituted "obtained" with "walk" so the reader won't think human works are involved. The ability to walk does not depend on morality, no more than eating does: NONmeritorious!

      Why didn't I use my pastor's translation except for v.13's and 16's italic clauses? To show how even BibleWorks' basic lexicons allow one to craft a better translation than the ones published. So we need pastors who will do the arduous legwork we laymen cannot do because we are not gifted, and because we have other roles in life, other slots on the Divine Team. (NB: if I didn't have a language talent, and especially if I hadn't already been under my pastor for decades, I couldn't do the translation above. I have to continually breathe 1Jn1:9 to do it, and even so it took four solid days of doing nothing else, just to get this relatively-BASIC translation of vv12-16, typed into this page. We need pastors to do this, our spiritual lives depend on it!)

    5. "INTO, the Measure/Allotment of SPIRITUAL Maturity" -- eis always means a threshold is crossed, and Greek "metron hlikias" is that threshold, lit., "measure of maturity"; so the latter word is always followed by the genitive of WHAT KIND of maturity; His Own FULLNESS, one of the biggest Bible keywords; so I didn't make it adjectival. In English, "of the..of the" conveys drama and majesty, which the Greek intends. "Spiritual" thus had to be inserted, since Eph1's "every spiritual blessing..in Christ" is referred, by the "Fullness..of Christ". In English, a reader might not remember or know that, so "Spiritual" was added to "Maturity", show what Paul SAYS. It's NOT an interpretation, since the entire passage is about spiritual growth from Eph4:5 onward; indeed, the entire epistle. Paul spends Chapters 2-6 explaining Chap1. Greek drama tells you first the plot backdrop, then plays it, and Ephesians is an Answering Greek Drama to the then-famous Greek play, Euripides' "Ion", very popular, about the founding of the Greek peoples by Phoebus Apollo ("Satan", to us).

    6. V. 13's meros is a special allusion to merizw in Isa53:12, because context began in Eph4:5; vv.5-10 are FIRST about, the spoils of victory due to the Cross, because Eph4:8-9 quotes denote Triumphal Procession. Which spoils, of course, included the captured people (wordplay in Eph4:8). At the Ascension, captivity was led captive to heaven, the OT believers following en train behind Him. So now, we believers are captives too, thank God. And all these Spoils Are In Him, as those verses foretold. Isa53:12 is written after Psalms verse quoted, and is referencing the same thing. So in v.13 via meros Paul is referencing both passages, tieing them to Body (he does the same thing in 1Cor12).

      It's awesome how Isa53:12's merizw tracks to meros. It's easy to see it track to v.13's "eis metron..Xpistou". But look: Greek "en metroi henos hekastou merous" in 4:16 means in [Divine Enabling Standard of] measure, one [pastor, the subject of poietai] per Distribution Group. So "hekastos" is the "per", each; but "meros" means DISTRIBUTION GROUP, which itself is part of a larger WHOLE. So "meros" means an ASSIGNED PORTION, really. But "hekastos" also and generally means "each one", each person. So the PORTION of the spoils assigned to the pastor includes an ASSIGNED ALLOTMENT of PARTICULAR individuals, as well as, the Pastor's own 'spoil' of spiritual gift of Word given him. But look: this Word from him is DISTRIBUTED via Word Teaching to those in his congregation. Heh. That's what Eph4:16 is about: the "one" (henos) pastor getting his own assigned portion (meros) of which EACH (hekastos) person in the congregation, partakes. Fabulous double-entendre on hekastos. He's the Plunder, Our Lord! and pastor gets his share: and we are thus part of the 'spoil' for him, so he DESPOILS himself for us, through whom we get the Pleroma Plunder of Christ! Kill me now!

        My pastor spent seven years exegeting Ephesians verse by verse for us; classes were seven times per week, one hour per class; notetaking was prodigious -- he spent over a month of classes on these four verses. Back then (1985-1992), we restarted the exegesis of Chapters 1-3 three times. When he got to Eph4:16, he spent a lot of time explaining how the PASTOR's own spiritual growth limits the congregation's, so it's a really big deal for the pastor to keep on growing.

        Now, I remember the Lord's statement that no student is greater than his teacher, and that we are all part of the VINE -- so now, you see how The Vine Branches His Word; the 'joints' of Him made from PASTORS, TEACHING. Clever analogy, huh. Just like it was, in the Old Testament, only max level, now. No more paint-by-numbers Mosaic Law ("child" in 1Cor13, ALSO references the Mosaic Law -- see also "veil" and "unveil" verses in Pauline letters and Hebrews). Hopefully you will really see how important it is to find the pastor who is right for you.

      Nor is this the only passage of same shocking import: in 1Cor12, Paul uses the word "meros" similarly, dividing up the Body, as it were, into categories of spiritual gifts, each person having whatever gifts the Spirit gave him at salvation. But each person, like each group of gifts, is a Part of the Body -- Christ being the Head; so, we all get the "greater gift" of the Head in our heads (1Cor12:31, pointing ahead to wordplay in 1Cor13:9-10), and the partial, passes away. "Partial" in the immediate context of 1Cor13:9-10 means those temporary spiritual gifts, in favor of the booty of His Head being in our heads. So the SPOIL we share in through our pastors' feeding, is His Thinking. Awesome. So it doesn't matter what spiritual gift you have, where you are in the church totem pole; You Fully Can Get Him. That's the import of 4:16, because of the tie of meros to the Isaiah passage and to 4:13.

      Very strong, very shocking, this interplay of Isaiah 53:12, Ps68:18, Eph4:13, and 4:16. Most translations of Eph4:13 convey some of that meaning, too. Can you imagine, we can grow to HIS Own Maturity Level? There's no doubt Paul means this, because the parallel individual believer verse of Eph3:19 uses "eis" the selfsame way, and the first use of the phrase is in the last half of Eph1. Parallel verses are all over the NT, and Isa53-55 is an OT forecast of the Fullness being Born to Pay for our sins. "Fullness" is a euphemism for PREGNANT by a god, culturally. Hard to find that in the lexicons. Paul means to stress that, as he always does, lol. Galatians 3+Col1:25-27, WORDSeed is Christ, in you? Get it? Kill me now! No, wait! I haven't yet finished the course! Ohhhhhh!

    7. "ALL THINGS", "LOVE", are monikers for Christ and particularly, His Thinking= Scripture, so track those keywords (ta panta, and, he agape, respectively) to see where ELSE in Bible these terms are used (esp. in Romans). John uses Love to also stress the Spirit's Power. Paul, too. "MEASURE" is another Bible keyword (root idea is a measuring CUP, as noted earlier -- CAPACITY, ALLOTMENT): you'll want to search that word also. When Bible uses an abstract word metaphorically, it's telling you a relationship between the metaphor itself, and the item it's used to signify; usually, in some causal formula. So, being-filled-with-Spirit=getting-filled-with-Christ due to getting-filled-with-Bible, so you're getting-filled-with-Love. It's very marital, frankly.

    So, now that you see this translation, you can tell this entire passage deliberately parallels Isa53:11 in the climactic Eph4:16 (Paul ties to Isa53 often in his writings): here, to show its fulfillment, how Isa53:12's 'spoils' are apportioned. Incredible genius. You can't see that fact in any translation, no matter how well done; because the keyword is not English, and neither are its referrents. But from the originals of Isa53 and this Eph4:11-16 compared, it's blatant, because
    • First -- duh -- he's talking about BODY, so naturally Body words will be used, just as Isaiah is bluntly talking about body and pregancy and hence OFFSPRING, throughout Isa53-55 (which you don't see in translation, except in Isa53:8, vaguely in v.11, and bluntly 54:1 -- the latter seeming to come from nowhere, given translation). So much wealth is missed when translations TRUNCATE the original words' meanings! For what -- to avoid reader squeamishness about pregnancy? We all were born. Needn't tiptoe around the process...
    • Bible has repeatedly used this analogy from Genesis onward -- note that the first couple were MARRIED, analogous to God 'marrying' creation by Decreeing it -- so Body analogy is the most common analogy language in Bible. It's downright funny, in Gen3:11 and 22. Former key clause usu. translated, "Who told you" maligns the Lord as if He wouldn't TELL them they were naked (see 2:23ff); should be translated, "Who DENOUNCED you" -- meaning Satan did, hence the figleaf-sewing, Satan now 'husbanding' the couple. Latter key clause usu. mistranslated "is one of Us", really says, "born out ["min", birthing shorthand] from among Us" -- yeah, born independent of God, knowing good-and-evil, so wise now! Very sanctified sarcasm.

    • So it's no surprise that "out from" is Hebrew "min", the first word in the Masoretic text of Isa53:11, a quintessential birthing preposition: Isaiah says there that OUT FROM His LABOR PAINS (pregnancy word) He will SEE SATISFACTION. [Great wordplay here on Trinity. Father 'sees' propitiation; Spirit 'sees the RESTORATION satisfaction, paralleling "and He saw that it was good" clauses in Genesis 1, and also references 7th Day when He rested. Son sees the satisfaction of -- heh -- GIVING BIRTH to propitiation, hence to us (2nd clause in Isa53:11). What GOD! What Wit!]

    • Greek counterpart of min, is always ek. So Paul also uses "ek" as his first word in v.16 to parallel Isa 53:11. It gets even better, for v.11 is the CAUSE of Isa 53:12. So Paul uses ek in Eph4:16, to play on the BIRTHING PLUNDER of Isa53:10-12. (As mentioned under the first red text of this page, some of these words are missing from OUR Masoretic text, but were not then missing, from Paul's; our LXX has half of the words, our Masoretic the other half, but Paul's text didn't have any missing words. So via Eph4:3-16's wordplay, you know where the LXX words fit into the Masoretic, as Isa53.htm's endpage translation, illustrates. Published OT translations don't translate or amalgamate the LXX with the Masoretic, instead using only the latter.) Paul thus concatenates all of Isa53:11-12, into Eph4:16 -- it's a NESTING, sewn up in Him, raphah of Isa53:5, also! because His Thinking on the Cross is to be NESTED in us. Kill me now, such rhetorical genius can only be from the Spirit...

    • Paul makes sure you don't miss that PREGNANT reference to Isaiah, by also using participles (not merely finite verbs, lol) with strong sexual etymologies: sunarmologew -- i.e., knitting of body parts in marriage, hence harmony, hence in wife's womb; it's also a verb used with ARCHITECTURAL counterparts; Hebrew verb for the woman's BODY creation is "banah", lit., "to build", so Paul cleverly relates ALL the etymological building-construction and MARRIAGE roots of sunarmologew, plus the Hebrew banah into the BUILDING (same verb used in Eph2:21) of the WIFE-TEMPLE, get it? Spiritual Marital Intimacy, baby -- forget about any hint of 'inscrutable' (yeah, inscrutable in translation)!

    • As if that sunarmologew wordplay weren't enough, he also adds a very crude copulation verb, "sumbibazw" -- but the "sum" (pronounced SOOM) is always a Divine-origin prefix! Remember, his rhetorical framework is also Euripides' play "Ion". See, bibazw is about 'mounting' and 'covering' and 'holding' you together via Knowledge (euphemisms, especially in context of both Isaiah and the play!) -- so is likewise a play on Hebrew 'yadah' famously used for Adam 'knowing' his wife. Isaiah ALSO uses sumbibazw in LXX of Isa 40:13. There are Lots of clever OT commands to "cling" or "cleave" with/to the Lord via Learning the Word (lit., copulate, Heb:davaq, see Gen2:24 and 2Ki18:6 for samples); and of course everyone knows the many verses on spiritual fornication. Now you know what is meant -- what you think is what 'unites' a couple, see. But joining together the Body of Christ in such developing (participles!) wedded bliss, is the pastor (haphe), Eph4:16! Kill me now: God the Holy Spirit inspired Paul, remember: He EXPLOITS every synonymal nuance! [Nerd note: hope you realize the Holy Spirit is saying it's a Marital Act To Learn Word. Isa 53:11's aphairew means "to plunder, carry off spoils" in the context of cities being plundered in the ancient world; so when plundering a person, it's .. well, you know. So for man to go after this world, to be religious, is exactly like non-marital sex or idolatry, since the human's proper 'mate', is God, get it? That's why Rev17 is a religio-political HARLOT.]

    • The pregnancy metaphor Paul always sketches in each epistle God gave him to write, is here depicted as well: congregation is in the 'womb' of the pastor, so to speak. See, "heautou" is very clever wordplay on the first two Greek words, "ek hou", which accounts for the position of heautou in the sentence: he's in the Spirit, so they are in him, growing up to become spiritually married off to Christ. See, marriage is form, but also substance, and our married position in him won't lead to being 'very married', absent Shared Thinking. So the womb-of-the-pastor depiction, is appropriate, since Isaiah 53:11's first two Masoretic words show us being in the 'womb' of Christ (the Cross).

      Romans 8:11ff is likewise all pregnancy metaphor, caused by Rom8:1-10's spiritual seeding; hence the 'labor pains of God the Holy Spirit in His always-quintessential role of Mothering since Gen1:2; of growing believers, and of even non-souled creation, in this Greek drama we call "life"; groaning, so to give birth to eternity. NESTED. Just the way God NESTS time to give birth to eternity, á la Daniel 9's 'map' of time (link at pagetop). So now you know why, by the end of Eph4, Paul is still on the topic of marriage (translations make it look like a sudden shift). What we miss in translation, due to our misplaced asceticisms... [Note to self: research the etymological difference between apo and ek, because it looks like LXX of Isa53:11 picked apo since He wasn't born yet. For, ek koilias is used in context of out from EXISTING wombs -- but He hadn't yet come in the flesh; plus, while this is a birthing, it's His Immaterial Soul's Labor. Paul, of course, would still use "ek" because His Soul Exists, and COMPLETED the course, so a Body of Thinking Can Be 'Born' From Him. John really makes a lot of puns out of siring. Proper meaning of Greek gennaw is "to sire", FATHERING: the verb is quasi-mistranslated "to be born" in English, how tragic. So you miss all the humor in 1Jn's many "gennaw" references to the Holy Spirit siring you due to the Lord's Sacrifice birthing you!! Oh, what wordplay! The real Bible is enjoyable, never dull!]

    • There's another meaning layer in which is Angelic-Trial related: epichoregia, "finance" in the translation, referencing also the fact that we are all in a play, the Angelic Appeal Trial; plus, sumbibazw, which also has the connotation of proof or demonstration. EVIDENCE, ties to Heb11:1's statement (which wasn't yet written, but always known -- Paul references the same meaning throughout his epistles). So, it's a quasi-childbearing idea also, since the Proof of a Unity In Marriage, Is Children. The Word in you bears the fruit; Vine and Branches, apart from Whom we can 'do' nothing (John 15). No end of wordplay, here...

      Wow, with just two verbs, sumarmologew and sumbibazw,
      Paul unites (heh) all key Relationship-to-Him verses in the OT!

    • Note the reverse order in the Greek of v.16: His pregnancy and our birthing is mentioned first -- in Greek, you stress origin by placing the originating verb, last, and normally the most important clause is likewise mentioned last. So Paul's playing on both of these grammar rules: by stressing the BIRTHING first, it's out-of-order, which emphasizes source; but likewise emphasizes source, by putting the pastor's role, LAST in the sentence. Trés cool. Wouldn't it be nice if ALL we needed to do in a day, was play with Bible? So we are Joined Stones due to the instruction of our several 'haphes', our God-appointed-for-us pastors.

    • Word is SEED, remember (see Galatians 3). Ok, so the "sum" prefix in Greek compound verbs means Divine Seeding Origin. See, it's phallic language, was in common use since Mycanean Greeks (really, is sourced in the time of Gen6); and if you don't know that, you miss entirely what God is saying through the writer. And HOW do you translate that? Should I have replaced "Word" with 'Divine-Seed' in the multi-hyphenated 'joined' and 'held' verbs of 4:16? Then someone would either MISunderstand the verbs, mistaking them for some cheapo Rosemary's Baby idea.. or would holler 'heretic'! LOL you can't please anyone.

    • Ephesians is entirely patterned on a very famous Greek play, Euripides' "Ion", to show God's Superior Begetting. So there are LOTS of sexual words in it: actually, in all Paul's writings, which is why many scholars find him crude. Would that they could write such verses. If ever I were to crusade on a topic, it would be for accurate Bible teaching (spun however desired, but What It Says is accurately stated), and translations which at least put into English the basic meanings in the original languages. After that, people can believe whatever they want, interpret whatever they want, but we'd at least have a common text with more accuracy than the insipid stuff we have now. Even pagan Homer gets better translation treatment, than Bible! Brilliant renditions in Homer, but the same brilliant translator looks at Gospels, and poof! All that expertise goes down to .. well, never mind. And brainouts wouldn't have to write webpages with peppered complaints, either. Heh.

    • It's a common Greek grammar rule that The Action Of The Participle Precedes Or Is Coterminous With The Main Verb. There are four main verbs in Eph4:12-16: katantaw (v.12: "actor" is the individuals in Body); eimi (v.14, actor is "spiritual babies"); auxanw (v.15, "actor" is erstwhile babies); and poiew (v.16, "actor" is pastor-teacher). Verb katantaw was translated above as walk into the intended destination of life, with "reach" and "objective" as alternate (equally-valid) meanings; verb katantaw literally means "to journey to "x" through life", your whole life span being a WALK to a DESTINATION, how you end up as a person. Greek grammar demands that, following katantaw, must be listed the DESTINATION: Paul lists three, and they are causally linked. First Destination is getting that System from Doctrine..ABOUT HIM (not "unity of faith", please); if you don't get to the first place, you'll never grow so to even possibly enter into the other two. Again, this is the grammar, not an interpretation. Eis prepositions indicate precise cause-and-effect when they are repeated.

      In Ephesians 4:13, those other two are of the same coin: "Completed/Matured Hero" (your status at the Bema), and "Spiritual Maturity of the Fullness of Christ" (what YOU actually became down here). So notice, all the action elaborated in vv.15-16, are participles, to show That's How You Get There. Which they also mean, because the second main verb, also in the subjunctive, "auxanw" -- means "to grow". Again, auxanw 'accesses' the same participles in v.15-16; so does poiew, the fourth main verb, but it's in the indicative mood, so there's no wiggle room for how one grows -- learn the Word under him-God-appointed-for-you-personally, or kiss your spiritual life good-bye. The contingency element within the subjunctive, may or may not be present, when purpose is expressed: here, the contingency is Whether You Will Do This Growing Under Your Own Right Pastor; no one can force you.

      Which we know, because interposed between katantaw and auxanw, is the third main verb, eimi (v.14), as the alternative: being a Spiritual Baby Still In Diapers; so young you can't even talk (spiritually), because you didn't get into the henotes of v.13. (=Ionic meaning, from Liddell-Scott lexicon, since Paul's epistle is based on "Ion" -- wonder where this is where England's word for diapers, "nappies", derives -- Greek word for babies here is ne(y)pioi) So v.14 has it has its own alternative participles: equalling, being seasick your whole life. fourth main verb (Greeks like fours, as in four plays, and "four" is Biblical numerical metaphor of Completion) is pastor's own spiritual growth and teaching causing the growth of the Body portion assigned to him: note how the three verbal nouns of v.16, are all 'assigned' to him by God (all nested within and results of, the dia clause). Participles precede or are coterminous, so the preceding means cause, and the coterminous, means still causing. These are grammar rules, not 'interpretation'. You'd flunk a first-year Greek seminary course test, if you didn't read the passage this way. Same for the eis prepositions, though I'm not sure if you learn those until second-year (seminaries usually won't require more than two years, what a tragedy).

    • Then there's the stress on verbal nouns in the passage. This is how Greeks dramatize. So in v.12, first noun is katartismos; so, unlike the translations, the second noun clause, eis ergon diakonias, should not be translated with its purpose, but with the cause. Preposition eis has both meanings, especially here; but the timing being stressed, is BEGINNING point. We know that, because other eis clauses FOLLOW. So to translate the phrase "for the equipping of the saints for the work of service for the building of the Body of Christ" is misleading, and tells you nothing about the pastor's real role: he feeds you, so you grow. The translation as is, makes it look like the congregation do the work, in English. Sorry, but a body can't make itself grow, but needs outside FOOD; notwithstanding the gaffe in translations of v.16's heautou, as "of itself".

      See Paul's whole point is the building of the people THEMSELVES, not what they do. He stresses that so much in Chapter 2, it's out of context to in translation, suddenly switch to what the Body does via the misleadingly-lame "work of service" rendering for eis ergon diakonias; worse, that translation goes against the 2nd prong of v.12, For The Building Of The Body Itself. Gotta be BUILT first, before you can do, anything, duh. Of course, once you yourself are nourished yourself, you too will be feeding others (not as a pastor, maybe, but in some other Divine Team capacity). Especially since v.13 stresses cause, and v.12 is two-pronged (last prong is another eis clause, the building of the Body), the "eis ergon diakonia" must first show cause, to best tie to katartismos. Noun katartismos isn't simply equipping, but first FIXING what's wrong and then Thorough Training In What's Right. Obviously only God can do that. The main meaning of diakonia in Bible, whether OT or NT, is living on the Word, Matt4:4.

      The noun phrase "building of the Body of Christ" ("building" being a verbal noun, not a static edifice) is stressed, the goal. In verse 13, you have the same stress in eis henoteta..Theou, mistranslated "to a unity of faith..God". That's not what it says at all. This is a classic case of "the Maserati sped down the Autobahn" being limply rendered "the vehicle moved on the path".

      Noun "henotes" is a very famous Classical Greek word used by the playwrights and philosophers. If you get into classical Greek, you'll run across it. If memory serves, it's a big linchpin in the Philebus, but maybe somewhere else in Plato. Henotes=the Divine Order of Things, with which you should be in harmony. So, not at all "unity of faith", the mistranslation in Eph4:13; not at all related to whether people agree with some denomination or even each other, for crying out loud. Lexicons don't help much here. They are truncated, telling you only that Aristotle and Plutarch use the term. It's a cosmic with-the-gods System, which one does well to learn and harmonize WITH. Harmony with people is a desirable by-product, but is not at all what henotes really means. Nor is Paul using it that way, for if you look at the Greek from Eph4:1 onward, every Greek word is chock-full of Divine Orchestration concepts. Bible translations truncate, as usual, so you get man-centered ideas from translation. However, notice even in any translation that this so-called 'unity of faith' is with respect to Knowledge Of The Son Of God. Not, people. The use of His Divinity here, stresses the Greek cultural meaning -- but with reference to (eis..Theou) the Real God!

      This point cannot be stressed enough: if you reject being under your right pastor, you are NOT in God's Divine System. Like it or lump it, Sharing The Spiritual Plunder Of Christ (Isa53:10-12, LXX) comes from God TO the pastor who's right for you: and you will never share in it, if you reject him. You will never grow spiritually, but will lie to yourself that you are. The way Paul links the use of henotes in Eph4:3 and here in v.13 is so shocking and strong, especially because of the culturally-loaded word that "henotes" is in Greek -- tells you in no uncertain terms that even using 1Jn1:9 will get you nowhere -- if you reject being under whom HE has appointed for you, as your right pastor. Expect a great deal of Divinely-appointed misery! if you reject the doctrine of Right Pastor. Wow. I knew this doctrine all my life, and I've seen people totally destroyed by rejecting it; but until seeing how Paul links henotes to Isa53:10-12 in LXX (using merizw, metron, and meros, plus henotes), I didn't know it was mission-critical. Now, I do. Hope these words help you to get it, because being boiled in oil is better than rejecting this doctrine.

        It's popular to reject this doctrine, today. People are anti-authority today. Don't emulate them, if you value breathing, at all. Do whatever it takes to vet the proof you need that this doctrine is true. I'm not a pastor, but only a reporter, a witness, who here reports WITHOUT using my pastor's interpretation; but only, from the text itself. So, then: use 1Jn1:9, ask Father in Son's Name to show you the proof you need.

        For some (very few) readers, what's in my websites will be of material importance, for they all independently test in the same manner, as here (I'm first doing it for myself, as due diligence before the Lord) -- though, usually without displaying much in the way of exegesis or translation (which is a pastor's job, not mine). For others, they shouldn't even be reading this page, right though it is. Ask God, always, using the protocol in italics just mentioned. He WILL answer. Since truth is attested to by the Holy Spirit, any believer attestation can be secure, and is not really OF himself. A reader then gets attestation again from the Holy Spirit if 1Jn1:9 is being breathed; so the reader need not rely on an inferior witness.

      The verbal nouns are very dramatic, in the Greek. Paul 'specializes' in verbal nouns in vv.12-13 (no participles), but in participles, in vv.15-16, mingling them with verbal nouns to end with rousing climactic force on the pastor's role, "in his own Love". He did the same mingling in Eph3:15-21, so Eph4:12-16 is a deliberate parallel to show how Eph3:15-21, OCCUR. [Infinitive katoikew in 3:17 is used like a circle, wow! Idea of us 'living' in Him even as He lives in us: both the intransitive and transitive uses of the verb. Blows me away. See how katoikew takes the accusative of place, but HE is the (Dramatic accusative) ACTOR-subject of the infinitive, too! 3:15-19, like much of Ephesians, is fuzzed over, so it's not clear in translation, what's being said. Enclitic particle te in v.18 tells you that the breadth..depth of v.17, is SPIRITUAL KNOWING DIMENSIONS. Which, when built (v.18) cause you to come to know the surpassing greatness of the love of/for Christ (another circle, subjective/objective genitive).]

      Again, all this is just the text and its grammar. No interpretation, yet, though you've no room to otherwise conclude -- but what the pastor is the link between your growth in Christ via Word Teaching, by Divine Design. He's a priest, so are you, but.. relative to Word Teaching, he's THE authority. Now I understand why my pastor kept on stressing that apart from being under your own right pastor, whoever he is.. you'll never grow up in Christ. (Col 2:19 parallels to Eph4:16, though correct trans of 2:19 should be "over whom The Head not ruling" -- wordplay on the idiot in 2:18. Obviously if there IS no right pastor, then the Holy Spirit will give the interested individual what he needs. But that would be SO rare an exception, probably true for isolated individuals during the Middle Ages, or something. Very rare today, if at all.)

    • So the entire tone is that of an epic play, which of course we already know from the noun epichoregia being used to describe the "joint", the pastor. He's the Actor, so he is financed by God. Note how there is no one else being mentioned as heading him, but Christ. Notice also how all the 'play' runs through him. It also helps to know that Greek plays, like Greek warring, often had ONE actor playing multiple parts. In the beginning, there was only one actor, and always there is one hero in any Greek play. So look: all those nouns of measure -- and a direct parallel of the measure of Christ is made between v.13, and v.16. So the Gift Of Christ, Goes Through The Pastor. Who feeds us Word. Dunno how God could make it clearer. Dunno how the translations of v.12 and v.16 can be so screwed up about the actor, and the prepositional meanings. Everything in 'my' translation above won't be right either, but the ACTOR and ACTION and prepositional ties are entirely mandated by the way the text is written: basic Greek grammar rules mandate those connections. I didn't invent them: LOL, i had to look them up in Bibleworks! That software program is commonly used by exegeting pastors of all denominations and no denomination, which is why I bought it (at a nearby seminary); so it can't be accused of sectarianism.

    • Clarifying words needed in English which are IN the Greek words, aren't used in published translation, but should be -- which is why they are added, here. They're rather important words, i.e., "WORD", "FEEDING", "Divine", "OF LIFE" "Spiritual" "Believed Knowledge" (epignosis is a specialized word Paul coined) "pastor" (to show Who "henos" designates). All of them are embedded within the very Greek words themselves, so should have been included in translation. "In the Sphere of" is likewise critical, because God's Power (or other power) is what enables either the spiritual growth, or its retrogression. English "in" won't convey that, but Greek "en" always conveys Being In Something/Someone Else. Question is, in WHAT are you? That's what this passage's "en" prepositions (well, with the eis prepositions), helps you to understand: WHERE your Intended Destination, determines WHERE you should be "in". Your map of God's Plan for your life, in other words. Two choices: God's appointed teacher, or .. someone or something else.

      Without these clarifying words whose meanings are in the Greek words (not 'interpreted' from them), all you have in English, is fuzz. Yet, cut out in translations? Why? Which accounts for why the translations don't render "henos" as referring to the pastor, when in the Greek that's the ONLY meaning you can get. Especially, with poietai heautou, being in v.16; yet the translations instead mistake "henos" as each believer, in the translations. Moreover, "heautou" goes with poietai in v.16, meaning the PASTOR HIMSELF is used to cause the Body to grow -- you can't match "heautou" with "oikodome", but all translations, do; making it look like YOU do something (body builds itself? LOL not without FOOD it won't grow). No brains turned on, even though lexicons will tell you that heautou goes with a verb in the middle voice, which of course poietai (he makes), is. Oh well. The middle voice has many meanings: agency, the person isn't doing it on his own (i.e., God does it THROUGH him); can be reflexive; also indicates in whose interest an activity is undertaken. Paul neatly concatenates all those meanings in "poietai" because of the APPORTIONED MEASURE the pastor gets from GOD. No genius like that of the Holy Spirit. Wow.

    Again, I didn't but follow common translation rules they teach you in seminary to translate this passage, except the stupid one-English-word-for-one-Greek-word was intentionally disobeyed. Again, any translator who follows that uniquely-Bible-translation rule would be fired from his secular job (shot, in ancient times). It's an insane rule, and no one should translate Our King's Word that way. Above all, this translation rule always governs any translation, whether secular or spiritual: "context context context." Context is everything. When you translate, you must look at the entire context of the passage, since every word has multiple meanings, and context will highlight or select which meanings you should use. Never gloss over Bible reading or translation. It's precise. Which is why it's impossible to properly translate! Uh-oh. Then I should be shot. Heh: yet another reason why pastors should be paid a bizillion dollars, left alone to study and teach!