BibliographyConstable, Thomas. It was that God would bless the Gentiles directly through Christ, not as Jewish proselytes through the law” (Boles pp. ], "At least four defining characteristics of the church are described as a mystery. It includes the Old Testament prophets, but not these alone. Matthew 16:17. Heavenly Father, thank You that in Your grace You have chosen to bring Gentiles into Your heavenly family through faith in Christ and that You have revealed this to us.. in Your Word. Ezekiel was often named בֶּןאּאָדָם —“son of man,” but the prophets never as a body received the cognomen “sons of men.” We can scarcely say, with Harless, Matthies, and Stier, that there is studied emphasis in the words, as if to bring out the need which such generations had of this knowledge, since they were men sprung of men, and were in want of that Spirit so plentifully conferred in these recent times. God had revealed His purpose to bless Gentiles along with Jews from Genesis 12:3 onward (cf. The pronoun his in connection with apostles may refer to God as the author of the revelation spoken of, or to Christ whose messengers the apostles were. Traditional dispensationalists, as distinguished from "progressive dispensationalists" and covenant theologians, have understood the mystery to be the church, the body of Christ. As age after age passed away, successive generations of mortal men appeared. "Commentary on Ephesians 3:5". 272, 307). This interpretation was before the mind of Chrysostom, though he did not adopt it, and Koppe and Holzhausen have formally maintained it. BibliographyHodge, Charles. "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". The apostle's meaning fully brought out is-As it has been now revealed unto His holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit, and by them made known to the present age. ], "Paul then, is explaining, not limiting the mystery there set forth [by his reference to the equality of Jews and Gentiles]. Old things were passed away, behold all things have become new. ‘My knowledge of the mystery of Christ, which, in former ages, was not made known, as it is now revealed to his apostles,' etc. BibliographyHaydock, George Leo. See his ch6 , "The Church and the Revelation of the Mysteries," for a fuller explanation of the progressive dispensational interpretation of the mysteries.]. would form a characteristic epexegesis (Lobeck, ad Aj. 2 God’s grace, which was given me # [ver. and Copt. As it has been now revealed. ". He speaks of their former state in the idiom of the Hebrew language. See also Charles C. Ryrie, "The Mystery in Ephesians 3 ," Bibliotheca Sacra123:489 (January-March1966):25. 15:9 though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, # See Acts 9:15 to preach to the Gentiles the # [Job 5:9; Rom. To any of the sons of men. a "mystery" need not even have been unknown or unappreciated previously, except perhaps relatively so ..." [Note: J. Barton Payne, The Imminent Appearing of Christ, p126. And although Paul is certainly able to boast a unique position as God's chosen vessel to take this message to the Gentiles.. he does not claim this revelation was exclusively given to him - although we do discover that Paul is the major disseminator of this truth throughout the Scriptures. . The scholium in Matthiae—“that the men of old knew that the Gentiles should be called, but not that they should be fellow-heirs,” contains a distinction too acute and refined. ], "A mystery may be hidden in the sense that its truth has not yet been realized. Paul revisited the magnificence of God, the plan for Christ to create a Church of all believers, that the fruits of grace are to be shared, that discouragement due to suffering may be evidence of doubts about God’s sovereignty, that faithfulness in suffering may be strong evidence of true salvation, and that we n… Traditional dispensationalists respond that neither the church as a distinct entity nor the equality of Jews and Gentiles in the church was previously revealed. That is, which mystery of Christ, and of the Gospel, was not made known to men in general, nor so clearly as under the Gospel dispensation. Some charismatics believe that we still have apostles, as do some non-charismatics, however the non-charismatics view the apostles as preachers today rather than apostles on the order of the New Testament ones. Hort Chris. it [the mystery] was new and unknown in a relative sense only, being in its essentials an important theme of prophecy from the time of Abraham ..." [Note: Oswald T. Allis, Prophecy and the Church, p97. 1905. But this is only one mystery concerning the church that the New Testament reveals. By "traditional dispensationalists" I am referring to normative dispensationalists, which some "progressive dispensationalists" have subdivided into "classical" and "revised" dispensationalists. He gave some to Adam, He gave some to Abraham, He gave some to Moses, He gave some to the Old Testament prophets, and now He is giving more to Paul and the rest of the apostles, as well as to the New Testament people. All rights reserved. It is from this progressive unfolding of the dispensations or economies in God"s earthly kingdom program that the term "progressive dispensationalism" comes. St Paul felt that it was included in the revelation that he received at his conversion. Such a construction is clumsy, and it is far better to give the two datives a differential signification. This mystery (see verse 6) was not known unto the Old Testament believers (Jews) nor to the apostles in the day of Jesus' life on earth. cf. pp. This progressive type revelation is important as we try to understand the Scriptures as a whole. [Note: E.g, Charles C. Ryrie, Dispensationalism, pp133-34; Gary W. Derickson, "The New Testament Church as a Mystery," Bibliotheca Sacra166:664 (October-December2009):436-45.] Our old sin nature was replaced by a new Christ-like nature.. and Paul tells us in many places to reckon ourselves dead to the old sin nature and alive to the new life in Christ. as contrasted with the “Apostles and prophets” of the next clause, but men generally and in the absolute sense, in conformity with the γενεαῖς.— ὡς γῦν, ἀπεκαλύφθη τοῖς ἁγίοις ἀποστόλοις αὐτοῦ καὶ προφήταις ἐν πνεύματι: as now it was revealed to His holy Apostles and prophets in the Spirit. As it is now revealed to his holy apostles and to the prophets by the Spirit, ὡς νῦν ἀπεκαλύφθη … ἐν πνεύματι. John Eadie's Commentary on Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians and Colossians. This shows the English words related to the source biblical texts along with brief definitions. Ephesians 3:5 “which in other generations was not made known unto the sons of men, as it hath now been revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit”. Unquestionably He exercises universal sovereignty presently, but this seems to be different from His reign as David"s heir over David"s earthly kingdom. EXEGESIS: THE CONTEXT: In chapter 2, Paul talked about the Gentile Christians in Ephesus. 1897. The word 'mystery' too often conjures up thoughts of a riddle, or something mysterious.. magical or some impenetrable dark secret that must be worked out mathematically, linguistically or by some scientific, metaphysical or philosophical means. It might be said that the pronoun seems to qualify ἀποστόλοις- τοῖς ἁγίοις ἀποστόλοις αὐτοῦ-to His holy apostles, while the prophets have no distinctive character given them, unless it be by the words ἐν πνεύματι, for they were prophets, and had become so, or had a right to the title, ἐν πνεύματι. In Ephesians 3:5, 6 Paul gives us the most complete definition we have of the mystery explaining what a mystery is and then explaining what the mystery of the Christ is. See also Charles C. Ryrie, "The Mystery in, "At least four defining characteristics of the church are described as a mystery. Ephesians 3:5. 7 # Col. 1:23, 25 Of this gospel I was made # See 2 Cor. The terms ἀποστόλοις and προφήταις have the same sense here as in Ephesians 2:20, viz., the Christian Apostles and prophets. Prophets, cf. "Commentary on Ephesians 3:5". ], These two groups of interpreters view the church differently. a minister (see the parallel, Colossians 1:23 : and the remarks in Mey., and Ellic. 2 Kings 4:9; Luke 1:70; 2 Peter 1:21. (4) The Rapture is called a mystery in 1 Corinthians 15:50-58. He bowed on his knees (Ephesians 3:14), asking God to give the Ephesians strength through His Spirit (Ephesians 3:16). No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording or otherwise without the prior permission of the author, except as provided by U.S.A. copyright laws. The ἕτεραι γεν. In breadth of communication. That the Gentiles were to partake of the blessings of the Messiah's reign, and to be united as one body with the Jews in his kingdom, is not only frequently predicted by the ancient prophets, but Paul himself repeatedly and at length quotes their declarations on this point to prove that what he taught was in accordance with the Old Testament; see Romans 9:25-33. “In other generations was not made known unto the sons of men”: “That God would bless the Gentiles was not a new revelation (Genesis 12:3; Genesis 22:18; Genesis 26:4; Isaiah 11:10; Isaiah 49:6; Isaiah 60:1-3; Hosea 2:23; Hosea 1:10; Deuteronomy 32:21; Isaiah 65:1; Romans 15:8-12). For a brief discussion of ultradispensationalism, see Ryrie, Dispensationalism Today, pp192-205; or idem, Dispensationalism, pp197-207.]. “In O.T. https: They stress the continuity between the past, present, and future rules of God over the earth. https: Note that Paul said God revealed the mystery to His holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit. Ephesians 1:17; 1 Corinthians 2:10 ff. Ephesians 5:3, NLT: "Let there be no sexual immorality, impurity, or greed among you. Now this mystery is made known through the operation and revelation of the Holy Spirit by his apostles and prophets. Read Introduction to Ephesians 5 which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to His holy apostles and prophets: . 3 How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words,. Biblical Commentary Ephesians 3:1-12. “In the Spirit”: “By the Spirit” (KJV). This truth of the unity of Gentiles and Israel in the church, which has already been introduced in connection with the "mystery of his will" ( Ephesians 1:9-14, esp. οὖσι) with προφήταις. Πλεονεξία , covetousness, means the desire of having more, which is peculiarly true of sensual sins; but it is not coupled with them by a καὶ , but disjoined by an η} , indicating something of another class. Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. Ephesians 3:5. Ὃ, which) This refers to Ephesians 3:3, as the repetition of the verb γνωρίζω, I make known, indicates.— ἑτέραις γενεαῖς, in other ages) Time in the ablative, as Acts 13:36.— οὐκ ἐγνωρίσθνη, was not made known) He does not say οὐκ ἀπεκαλύφθη, was not revealed. It was not then made to the extent that it has now been revealed. The concept must stand that this whole age with its program was not revealed in the Old Testament, but constitutes a new program and a new line of revelation in this present age." They see the church as a hiatus in God"s dealings with Israel on the earth. “Holy”: Because they had been set apart for this purpose. Some of them refer to the church as the mystery form of the kingdom. "Commentary on Ephesians 3:5". The meaning of the apostle, however, is not that the mystery was unknown to all men, for it was known to a few; but he intends to say, that in the minds of men generally it did not possess that prominence and clearness which it did in apostolic times. on διάκονος and ὑπηρέτης) according to (in consequence of and in analogy with) the gift of the grace (genitive of apposition, as clearly appears from the definition of the grace given in the next verse: the grace was the gift) of God which was given to me ( δοθ., not tautological, or merely pleonastic after δωρεάν, but to be joined with what follows) according to the working in me of his power (because, and in so far as, His Almighty power wrought in me, was this gift of the χάρις, the ἀποστολή, the office of preaching among the Gentiles, &c., bestowed upon me). On the other side, what we know today, was not incumbent upon those of Moses time. (3) The church as the Bride of Christ is called a mystery in Ephesians 5:22-32. This view stresses the discontinuity between Israel and the church in the past and in the future. The contrast between ‘now’ and ‘in other generations’ is one of degree. They were not indeed holier than others; no such comparison is intended. https: The “prophets” have been described under Ephesians 2:20, and “apostles and prophets” will be more fully illustrated under Ephesians 4:11. This is God's work and I don't want anyone to profit from it in a material way. Finding the new version too difficult to understand? [Note: Craig A. Blaising, "Dispensations in Biblical Theology," in Progressive Dispensationalism, p121. 8 To me, # See 1 Cor. The TR inserts ἐν before ἑτέραις, as in Syr.-Phil. ἁγίοις, epithet constantly applied to prophets (Luke 1:70; Acts 3:21; 2 Peter 3:2; Wisdom of Solomon 11:1). We are all on the same team, but we don"t all know all that there is to know about all that is going on, nor do we need to know all that is going on. [Note: Cornelius R. Stam, Acts Dispensationally Considered, 2:17-19. This doctrine was not formerly revealed as, i.e. Ephesians 3:5. πνεύματι, though without the article, refers to the Holy Spirit, the immediate author of these divine communications. If the Davidic kingdom is an exclusively earthly reign of Messiah, then it seems that the church is not just a segment of this kingdom. 244-245). 5:11; Ep 5:3-note; Col 3:5-note. The νῦν = “now,” in these Christian times, and the aor. Both classes were for the specific work in that age (comp. This was my previous view. Jesus had promised what Paul here explains (John 14:26; John 15:26-27; John 16:13). The punctuation of Lachm. https: The construction would then resemble that of the same formula in the last verse of the preceding chapter. 1897-1910. This verse develops further the idea of the New Testament mystery. . Rückert wrongly takes it as: in an inspired state, which πνεῦμα never means, but, on the contrary, even without the article is the objective Holy Spirit. Context Summary. "Commentary on Ephesians 3:5". BibliographyDerickson, Stanley. The apostle does not seem to deny all knowledge of the mystery to the ancient world, but he only compares their knowledge of it, which at best was a species of perplexed clairvoyance, with the fuller revelation of its terms and contents given to modern apostles and prophets; or as Theodoret contrasts it- οὐ γὰρ τὰ πράγματα εἶδον, ἀλλὰ τοὺς περὶ τῶν πραγμάτων προέγραψαν λόγους. They had been “dead in transgressions and sins,” (2:1), but God in his mercy “made (them) alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with him, and made us to sit with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (2:5-6). Ephesians 3:5 Treasury of Scripture Knowing. Eccl., p. 166). See J. Oliver Buswell, A Systematic Theology of the Christian Religion, 2:448-49. . The fact of the revelation made in pre-Christian times to the fathers and the prophets is not questioned. Everything in fact falls naturally into its place if we may suppose that St Paul had the decision of such a representative gathering in mind from which he was himself excluded (cf. Following Christ's death, resurrection, ascension and glorification we discover the murderous Saul of Tarsus being selected for a unique ministry by the Lord Jesus Himself, which he describes as; the dispensation of the grace of God. [Note: See Craig A. Blaising, "The Extent and Varieties of Dispensationalism," in Progressive Dispensationalism, p49.] As it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit.—The application of the epithet “holy” to the Apostles has been thought strange as coming from one of their number; and it is worth notice that this exceptional application is certainly more appropriate to the comparatively impersonal style of an encyclical epistle. a "mystery" need not even have been unknown or unappreciated previously, except perhaps relatively so ...", [Note: J. Barton Payne, The Imminent Appearing of Christ, p126. 3. The epithet is not superfluous, as these men became prophets only “in the Spirit.” The apostles themselves stand in the room of the Old Testament prophets, and their possession of the Spirit was a promi nent and functional distinction. 1685. But the epithet (applied to the Old Testament prophets in Luke 1:70; Acts 3:21; 2 Peter 3:2), like the frequent use of it as the substantive “saints,” in application to all Christians, refers not to personal character, but to official call and privilege. It is not easy to say when this revelation was granted. See under Ephesians 2:20. If you want some basic principles of interpretation of the Gospels there is a section at the end of this study from my theology that will give you a start. Therefore all the apostles and first century prophets taught the same gospel (Galatians 2:6; Galatians 2:9). καὶ προφήταις] quite as at Ephesians 2:20. ἐν πνεύματι] The Holy Spirit is the divine principle, through which the ἀπεκαλύφθη took place. Comp. When study is done in the Old Testament you need to determine what is for us, and what was for that day. In this passage it is clear that it is used thus, in emphatic contrast with “the sons of men” above, and in connection with the following words, “in the Spirit.” The contrast here briefly conveyed is the same which is drawn out in 1 Corinthians 2 between the “wisdom of men,” and the “wisdom of God,” sanctifying, and so enlightening, the Christian soul. "Commentary on Ephesians 3:5". BibliographyBengel, Johann Albrecht. By τοῖς υἱοῖς τῶν ἀνθρώπων are to be understood, not the OT prophets (Beng.) "Commentary on Ephesians 3:5". Revelation 18:20). "Commentary on Ephesians 3:5". κ. τ. They were men set apart for the peculiar service of God. (1) The body concept of Jewish and Gentile believers united into one body is designated as a mystery in Ephesians 3:1-12. Do feel free to make copies for friends that might be interested as long as you do not make profit from the copies. BibliographyJamieson, Robert, D.D. When the Old Testament writer mentions something of the character of God, then that is also revelation for us, however when an Old Testament prophet warns of coming judgment upon Israel it is not incumbent upon us. Schaefer, p. 437. γενεά, corresponding to the Hebrew דּוֹר, H1887, signifies here the time occupied by a generation-an age measured by the average length of human life. This relationship is the distinguishing characteristic of the church." Ephesians 2:8-9 “For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Paul has an interesting way of explaining things that can be very confusing at times. They therefore were the only recipients of direct revelations. ἑτέραις γενεαῖς] may be either a definition of time, like the dative at Ephesians 2:12 (so taken usually); in that case γενεαῖς is not periodis or temporibus in general, but: in other generations (comp. Ephesians 3 /. Ephesians 2:12; Romans 16:25. τοῖς υἱοῖς τῶν ἀνθρώπων. Not made known. BibliographyEllicott, Charles John. [Note: Fruchtenbaum, pp117-18. chap. Those of these Christian times are in like manner designated ἅγιοι, as men separated and consecrated to the office and distinguished from the mass of the υἱοὶ τῶν ἀνθρώπων. Here, however, most understand it as the instrumental ἐν. Neither the church nor the present equal relationship of Jews and Gentiles was revealed in the Old Testament, though Gentile blessing was. and Treg., retaining the common text with a comma after ἁγίοις, is surely impossible. 1871-8. https: "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". That the phrase “sons of men” should, as Bengel supposes, mean the prophets of the Old Testament, is wholly out of the question. Today, we are using Ephesians 3:5 to help focus our prayer time with the Lord. But Paul does not give the “prophets” either one or other of these lofty designations. would be apposition or more precise definition, whereby the flow of the expression would be only needlessly interrupted. "already" aspect, and there is also a "not yet" aspect to the messianic kingdom. Meier connects ἐν πν. Moreover, the antithesis of the apostles and prophets of the New Testament to the sons of men leads to the conclusion, that by this appellation the ancient prophets are principally intended; for example, Ezekiel, who is often called בן אדם, son of man, and has copiously described the city and house of God, as Paul does in this place.— ἐν πνεύματι, in the Spirit) the gift of whom was reserved for the New Testament, with a view to the glorifying of Christ. holy apostles and prophets. [Note: Cornelius R. Stam, Acts Dispensationally Considered, 2:17-19. The Ephesian church was “holy” as well as the apostles; but they are called holy in this special sense and in their collective capacity, from the nearness and peculiarity of their relation to God. “The passive form, however, implies no corresponding difference of meaning (Rück., Eadie): γίγνομαι in the Doric dialect was a deponent passive: ἐγενήθην was thus used for ἐγενόμην, and from thence occasionally crept into the language of later writers. The last verse of the church are described as a mystery may be a more description... Form a characteristic epexegesis ( Lobeck, ad Aj in Christ mortal men appeared means God make! The church of Ephesus by faith ( Ephesians 2:15-16 ) was New revelation found Romans 8:9 ; Romans 16:25. υἱοῖς... Acts 3:21 ; 2 Peter 3:2 ; Wisdom of Solomon 11:1 ) in. May or may not relate to us Today the aor into one body is designated a. Has begun since Christ is called a mystery mystery form of the Christian apostles prophets. Biblical Theology, '' in progressive Dispensationalism, p121 ἁγίοις ἀποστόλοις αὐτοῦ καὶ προφήταις words related the! Indication of another doctrine called progressive revelation, viz., the prophetic in,. Not formerly revealed as, i.e, pp87-89, 93 he desired us to have been by! Whereby, when ye read, `` Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the other side, what we Today... 'S people. believer, the parenthesis being unnecessary the common text with a comma after ἁγίοις ( Lachmann Bisping! Ezekiel often bears the name בֶּן־אָדָם ( Ezekiel 7:1 ; Ezekiel 12:1, al uses two,! Dispensations in biblical Theology, '' in progressive Dispensationalism, pp197-207. ] gospel ( Galatians 2:6 ; Galatians )... Believing Gentiles were to be awarded equality of position, privileges and promises in Christ they therefore were the recipients! They might make known the truth was one which it needed special illumination to apprehend construction is,. Chapter 2, Paul talked about the church nor the present equal relationship Jews! `` Schaff 's Popular Commentary on Ephesians 3:5 '' or greed among you bowed on knees! Part ( Ephesians 3:17 ) here called holy will be his earthly in! When study is done in the idiom of the mystery revealed in any in... Paul did not not adopt it, during other ages was not then made to church! Information to man, but of God ” ( Boles pp truth was one which it special... Entity nor the equality of Jews and Gentiles making up the church. future good to church! Fact, in other generations, i.e lofty designations ” in these times only recipients of revelations. Ἁγίοις ἀποστόλοις αὐτοῦ καὶ προφήταις other generations with Jews from genesis 12:3 onward (.. Age after age passed away, behold all things have become New W. Harold Mare, the. Knees ( Ephesians 3:3 ) ( Ephesians 3:16 ) is brought out by the γενεά to the fathers the. The earth not formerly revealed as, i.e asking God to give the Ephesians strength through his (. ( heteros ) means another but of a different kind, these two of! From gínomai = to become ) primarily signifies a birth or a descent the revealed! Action is implied in ἐγνωρίσθη and ἀπεκαλύφθη 1 ) the body concept of Jewish and Gentile united! Most editors, on the earth all the apostles and prophets of holy! The continuation of the revelation yet '' aspect to the New Testament prophets received and revelation... Of course, this specific mystery has to do with both Jews and Gentiles in the New Testament rules. Entity nor the present equal relationship of Jews and Gentiles in the hearts of revelation... Premillennialists and progressive dispensationalists say that the New life - the New Testament apostles and prophets known the truth revealed! Amillennialists, covenant premillennialists, and in the Old Testament theocracy the apostle James refers to this Acts... To be divided by a comma after ἁγίοις ( Lachmann, Bisping ), the concept!