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Efesus 6:1-9


6:1 Children, 1  obey your parents in the Lord 2  for this is right. 6:2Honor your father and mother, 3  which is the first commandment accompanied by a promise, namely, 6:3that it may go 4  well with you and that you will live 5  a long time on the earth. 6 

6:4 Fathers, 7  do not provoke your children to anger, 8  but raise them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

6:5 Slaves, 9  obey your human masters 10  with fear and trembling, in the sincerity of your heart as to Christ, 6:6 not like those who do their work only when someone is watching 11  – as people-pleasers – but as slaves of Christ doing the will of God from the heart. 12  6:7 Obey 13  with enthusiasm, as though serving the Lord 14  and not people, 6:8 because you know that each person, whether slave or free, if he does something good, this 15  will be rewarded by the Lord.

6:9 Masters, 16  treat your slaves 17  the same way, 18  giving up the use of threats, 19  because you know that both you and they have the same master in heaven, 20  and there is no favoritism with him.

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[6:1]  1 tn The use of the article τά (ta) with τέκνα (tekna) functions in a generic way to distinguish this group from husbands, wives, fathers and slaves and is left, therefore, untranslated. The generic article is used with γύναῖκες (gunaikes) in 5:22, ἄνδρες (andres) in 5:25, δοῦλοι (douloi) in 6:5, and κύριοι (kurioi) in 6:9.

[6:1]  2 tc B D* F G as well as a few versional and patristic representatives lack “in the Lord” (ἐν κυρίῳ, en kuriw), while the phrase is well represented in Ì46 א A D1 Ivid Ψ 0278 0285 33 1739 1881 Ï sy co. Scribes may have thought that the phrase could be regarded a qualifier on the kind of parents a child should obey (viz., only Christian parents), and would thus be tempted to delete the phrase to counter such an interpretation. It is unlikely that the phrase would have been added, since the form used to express such sentiment in this Haustafel is ὡς τῷ κυρίῳ/Χριστῷ (Jw" tw kuriw/Cristw, “as to the Lord/Christ”; see 5:22; 6:5). Even though the witnesses for the omission are impressive, it is more likely that the phrase was deleted than added by scribal activity.

[6:2]  3 sn A quotation from Exod 20:12 and Deut 5:16.

[6:3]  4 tn Grk “be.”

[6:3]  5 tn Grk “will be.”

[6:3]  6 sn A quotation from Deut 5:16.

[6:4]  7 tn Or perhaps “Parents” (so TEV, CEV). The plural οἱ πατέρες (Joi patere", “fathers”) can be used to refer to both the male and female parent (BDAG 786 s.v. πατήρ 1.b).

[6:4]  8 tn Or “do not make your children angry.” BDAG 780 s.v. παροργίζω states “make angry.” The Greek verb in Col 3:21 is a different one with a slightly different nuance.

[6:5]  9 tn Traditionally, “Servants” (KJV). Though δοῦλος (doulos) is often translated “servant,” the word does not bear the connotation of a free individual serving another. BDAG notes that “‘servant’ for ‘slave’ is largely confined to Biblical transl. and early American times…in normal usage at the present time the two words are carefully distinguished” (BDAG 260 s.v.). The most accurate translation is “bondservant” (sometimes found in the ASV for δοῦλος), in that it often indicates one who sells himself into slavery to another. But as this is archaic, few today understand its force.

[6:5]  10 tn Grk “the masters according to the flesh.” In the translation above, the article τοῖς (tois) governing κυρίοις (kuriois) is rendered in English as a possessive pronoun (i.e., “your”) and the prepositional phrase κατὰ σάρκα (kata sarka) is taken as modifying κυρίοις (indicating that the author is referring to human masters) and not modifying the imperative ὑπακούετε (Jupakouete, which would indicate that obedience was according to a human standard or limitation).

[6:6]  11 tn Grk “not according to eye-service.”

[6:6]  12 tn Grk “from the soul.”

[6:7]  13 tn Though the verb does not appear again at this point in the passage, it is nonetheless implied and supplied in the English translation for the sake of clarity.

[6:7]  14 tn Grk “serving as to the Lord.”

[6:8]  15 sn The pronoun “this” (τοῦτο, touto) stands first in its clause for emphasis, and stresses the fact that God will reward those, who in seeking him, do good.

[6:9]  16 tn Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style.

[6:9]  17 tn Though the Greek text only has αὐτούς (autous, “them”), the antecedent is the slaves of the masters. Therefore, it was translated this way to make it explicit in English.

[6:9]  18 tn Grk “do the same things to them.”

[6:9]  19 tn Grk “giving up the threat.”

[6:9]  20 tn Grk “because of both they and you, the Lord is, in heaven…”

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