Ephesians 3:14


"For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,"

The Authorized Version is criticized on this verse by textual critics because the phrase, "of our Lord Jesus Christ" lacks Greek support among the early manuscripts. It is true that the phrase is missing from P46 (200 AD), Vaticanus, Sinaiticus, and Codices A, B, C and P. It is also missing from the cursives 33, 81, 1739, 1962, 2127, and 2492. Oddly, it does appear in the corrector (c) of Codex Sinaiticus, which contains many additions and corrections in its margins. It is also in D, G, K, and PSI. Among the cursives it is found in 88, 104, 181, 326, 330, 436, 451, 614, 629, 630, 1241, 1877, 1881, 1984, 1985, and 2495.

It is also found in the Old Latin and other early translations. The Syriac Peshitto Version (which has been dated as early as the second century and as late as the fifth century) reads, "And I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus the Messiah." The reading is also found in the Old Gothic Version of the fourth century and the Old Armenian Version of about the same time.

It is cited by Ambrosiaster (fourth century), Victorinus of Rome (362 AD), Ephraem (373 AD), Chrysostom (407 AD), Theodore (428 AD), Theodoret (466 AD), John of Damascus (749 AD), and Photius (895 AD), showing that the reading has survived the onslaught of time.

Saint Basil (379 AD) founded the monastic system, put his faith into practice by beginning what was an early form of hospice care for terminally ill patients, and firmly believed that water baptism should follow only after conversion. In his thesis on the subject of baptism, he cites Ephesians 3:14:

"In these and other passages of the kind, then, the Lord says that they who are born of the Spirit become spirit. The Apostle again testifies to the same truth when he says: "For this cause I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom all paternity in heaven and earth is named, that he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened by His Spirit with might unto the inward man." And if, living in the Spirit, we also walk in the Spirit, thus becoming receptive of the Holy Spirit, we shall be enabled to confess Christ; because, 'no man can say the Lord Jesus but by the Holy Ghost.'" (Saint Basil, 377-378.)

 

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