1tc Several early and important witnesses, chiefly of the Western text (א* D* F G [365]), lack ᾿Ιησοῦ (Ihsou, “Jesus”) here, while most Alexandrian and Byzantine mss (46 א1 A B [C] D1 Ψ 33 1739 [1881] ¤ lat sy bo) have the word. However, because of the Western text’s proclivities to add or delete to the text, seemingly at whim, serious doubts should be attached to the shorter reading. It is strengthened, however, by א’s support. Nevertheless, since both א and D were corrected with the addition of ᾿Ιησοῦ, their testimony might be questioned. Further, in uncial script the nomina sacra here could have led to missing a word by way of homoioteleuton (cMuiMu). At the same time, in light of the rarity of scribal omission of nomina sacra (see TCGNT 582, n. 1), a decision for inclusion of the word here must be tentative. NA27 rightly places ᾿Ιησοῦ in brackets.

2sn If indeed. The author is not doubting whether his audience has heard, but is rather using provocative language (if indeed) to engage his audience in thinking about the magnificence of God’s grace. However, in English translation, the apodosis (“then”-clause) does not come until v. 13, leaving the protasis (“if”-clause) dangling. Eph 3:2-7 constitute one sentence in Greek.

3tn Or “administration,” “dispensation,” “commission.”

4tn Or “namely, that is.”

5tn Or “mystery.”

6tn Or “as I wrote above briefly.”

sn As I wrote briefly may refer to the author’s brief discussion of the divine secret in 1:9.

7tn Grk “which, when reading.”

8tn Grk “you are able to.”

9tn Or “mystery.”

10tn Grk “which.” Verse 5 is technically a relative clause, subordinate to the thought of v. 4.

11tn Grk “the sons of men” (a Semitic idiom referring to human beings, hence, “people”).

12tn Grk “other.”

13tn Or “in.”

14sn The phrase through the gospel is placed last in the sentence in Greek for emphasis. It has been moved forward for clarity.

15tn Grk “and fellow members.”

16tn Grk “of which I was made a minister,” “of which I became a servant.”

17tn Grk “according to.”

18sn On the exercise of his power see 1:19-20.

19sn In Pauline writings saints means any true believer. Thus for Paul to view himself as less than the least of all the saints is to view himself as the most unworthy object of Christ’s redemption.

20sn The parallel phrases to proclaim and to enlighten which follow indicate why God’s grace was manifested to Paul. Grace was not something just to be received, but to be shared with others (cf. Acts 13:47).

21tn There is a possible causative nuance in the Greek verb, but this is difficult to convey in the translation.

22tn Grk “what is the plan of the divine secret.” Earlier the author had used οἰκονομία (oikonomia; here “plan”) to refer to his own “stewardship” (v. 2). But now he is speaking about the content of this secret, not his own activity in relation to it.

23tn Or “for eternity,” or perhaps “from the Aeons.” Cf. 2:2, 7.

24tn Or “by God.” It is possible that ἐν (en) plus the dative here indicates agency, that is, that God has performed the action of hiding the secret. However, this usage of the preposition ἐν is quite rare in the NT, and even though here it does follow a perfect passive verb as in the Classical idiom, it is more likely that a different nuance is intended.

25tn Grk “that.” Verse 10 is a subordinate clause to the verb “enlighten” in v. 9.

26tn Or “manifold wisdom,” “wisdom in its rich variety.”

27tn Grk “according to.” The verse is a prepositional phrase subordinate to v. 10.

28tn Grk “access in confidence.”

29tn The phrase “to God” is not in the text, but is clearly implied by the preceding, “access.”

30tn Grk “through,” “by way of.”

31tn Grk “his.”

32tn Or “faith in him.” A decision is difficult here. Though traditionally translated “faith in Jesus Christ,” an increasing number of NT scholars are arguing that πίστις Χριστοῦ (pisti" Cristou) and similar phrases in Paul (here and in Rom 3:22, 26; Gal 2:16, 20; 3:22; Phil 3:9) involve a subjective genitive and mean “Christ’s faith” or “Christ’s faithfulness” (cf., e.g., G. Howard, “The ‘Faith of Christ’,” ExpTim 85 [1974]: 212-15; R. B. Hays, The Faith of Jesus Christ [SBLDS]; Morna D. Hooker, “Πίστις Χριστοῦ,” NTS 35 [1989]: 321-42). Noteworthy among the arguments for the subjective genitive view is that when πίστις takes a personal genitive it is almost never an objective genitive (cf. Matt 9:2, 22, 29; Mark 2:5; 5:34; 10:52; Luke 5:20; 7:50; 8:25, 48; 17:19; 18:42; 22:32; Rom 1:8; 12; 3:3; 4:5, 12, 16; 1 Cor 2:5; 15:14, 17; 2 Cor 10:15; Phil 2:17; Col 1:4; 2:5; 1 Thess 1:8; 3:2, 5, 10; 2 Thess 1:3; Titus 1:1; Phlm 6; 1 Pet 1:9, 21; 2 Pet 1:5). On the other hand, the objective genitive view has its adherents: A. Hultgren, “The Pistis Christou Formulations in Paul,” NovT 22 (1980): 248-63; J. D. G. Dunn, “Once More, ΠΙΣΤΙΣ ΧΡΙΣΤΟΥ,” SBL Seminar Papers, 1991, 730-44. Most commentaries on Romans and Galatians usually side with the objective view.

sn Because of Christ’s faithfulness. Though Paul elsewhere teaches justification by faith, this presupposes that the object of our faith is reliable and worthy of such faith.

33tn Grk “I ask.” No direct object is given in Greek, leaving room for the possibility that either “God” (since the verb is often associated with prayer) or “you” is in view.

34tn Grk “my trials on your behalf.”

35sn Which. The antecedent (i.e., the word or concept to which this clause refers back) may be either “what I am suffering for you” or the larger concept of the recipients not losing heart over Paul’s suffering for them. The relative pronoun “which” is attracted to the predicate nominative “glory” in its gender and number (feminine singular), making the antecedent ambiguous. Paul’s suffering for them could be viewed as their glory (cf. Col 1:24 for a parallel) in that his suffering has brought about their salvation, but if so his suffering must be viewed as more than his present imprisonment in Rome; it would be a general description of his ministry overall (cf. 2 Cor 11:23-27). The other option is that the author is implicitly arguing that the believers have continued to have courage in the midst of his trials (as not to lose heart suggests) and that this is their glory. Philippians 1:27-28 offers an interesting parallel: The believers’ courage in the face of adversity is a sign of their salvation.

36tn Or “Or who is your glory?” The relative pronoun ἥτις (Jhti"), if divided differently, would become ἤ τίς (h ti"). Since there were no word breaks in the original mss, either word division is possible. The force of the question would be that for the readers to become discouraged over Paul’s imprisonment would mean that they were no longer trusting in God’s sovereignty.

37sn For this reason resumes the point begun in v. 1, after a long parenthesis.

38tn Grk “I bend my knees.”

39tc Most Western and Byzantine witnesses, along with a few others (א2 D F G Ψ 0278 1881 ¤ lat sy), have “of our Lord Jesus Christ” after “Father,” but such an edifying phrase cannot explain the rise of the reading that lacks it, especially when the shorter reading is attested by early and important witnesses such as 46 א* A B C P 6 33 81 365 1175 1739 co Or Hier.

40tn Or “by.”

41tn Or “the whole family.”

42tn Grk “that.” In Greek v. 16 is a subordinate clause to vv. 14-15.

43sn The object of these dimensions is not stated in the text. Interpreters have suggested a variety of referents for this unstated object, including the cross of Christ, the heavenly Jerusalem (which is then sometimes linked to the Church), God’s power, the fullness of salvation given in Christ, the Wisdom of God, and the love of Christ. Of these interpretations, the last two are the most plausible. Associations from Wisdom literature favor the Wisdom of God, but the immediate context favors the love of Christ. For detailed discussion of these interpretive options, see A. T. Lincoln, Ephesians (WBC), 207-13, who ultimately favors the love of Christ.

44tn Or “with.”

45sn On the power that is working within us see 1:19-20.

46tn Or “infinitely beyond,” “far more abundantly than.”