4:14 So 1 we are no longer to be children, tossed back and forth by waves and carried about by every wind of teaching by the trickery of people who craftily carry out their deceitful schemes. 2 4:15 But practicing the truth in love, 3 we will in all things grow up into Christ, who is the head.
[4:14] 2 tn While the sense of the passage is clear enough, translation in English is somewhat difficult. The Greek says: “by the trickery of men, by craftiness with the scheme of deceit.” The point is that the author is concerned about Christians growing into maturity. He is fearful that certain kinds of very cunning people, who are skilled at deceitful scheming, should come in and teach false doctrines which would in turn stunt the growth of the believers.
[4:15] 3 tn The meaning of the participle ἀληθεύοντες (alhqeuonte"; from the verb ἀληθεύω [alhqeuw]) is debated. In classical times the verb could mean “to speak the truth,” or “to be true, to prove true.” In the LXX it appears five times (Gen 20:16; 42:16; Prov 21:3; Isa 44:26; Sir 34:4) and translates four different Hebrew words; there it is an ethical term used of proving or being true, not with the idea of speaking the truth. In the NT the only other place the verb appears is in Gal 4:16 where it means “to speak the truth.” However, in Ephesians the concept of “being truthful” is the best sense of the word. In contrast to the preceding verse, where there are three prepositional phrases to denote falsehood and deceit, the present word speaks of being real or truthful in both conduct and speech. Their deceit was not only in their words but also in their conduct. In other words, the believers’ conduct should be transparent, revealing the real state of affairs, as opposed to hiding or suppressing the truth through cunning and deceit. See H. W. Hoehner, Ephesians, 564-65, and R. Bultmann, TDNT 1:251.