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New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures (Study Edition)

C3

Verses Where the Divine Name Does Not Appear as Part of Direct or Indirect Quotations in the Book of Ephesians

EPHESIANS 2:21 “a holy temple for Jehovah”

Kingdom Interlinear: “divine habitation holy in Lord”

REASON(S) FOR RESTORING THE DIVINE NAME: Here the context indicates that the Lord referred to is God. Verse 19 describes the Christian congregation as “the household of God.” Verse 20 indicates that Jesus is “the foundation cornerstone” of this building, and verse 22 says that this temple is “a place for God to inhabit by spirit.” Also, in verse 20, Paul alludes to the Messianic prophecy at Isaiah 28:16, where “the Sovereign Lord Jehovah says: ‘Here I am laying as a foundation in Zion a tested stone, the precious cornerstone of a sure foundation.’” Additionally, in the Hebrew Scriptures, expressions similar to the combination “temple for [or “of”] Jehovah” often include the Tetragrammaton. (2 Kings 18:16; 23:4; 24:13; 2 Chronicles 26:16; 27:2; Jeremiah 24:1; Ezekiel 8:16; Haggai 2:15; see study note on Luke 1:9 and comment on Luke 1:9 in Appendix C3.) It is also worth noting that in this verse, the Greek definite article is not used before Kyʹri·os (Lord), where it would be expected according to standard grammatical usage. The absence of the definite article makes Kyʹri·os tantamount to a proper name. So in view of the immediate context, the Hebrew Scripture background, and the absence of the Greek definite article, it is reasonable to connect the temple mentioned here with Jehovah’s name.

SUPPORT:

  • Regarding the expression “temple” at Ephesians 2:21, The New Interpreter’s Bible, 2000, (Vol. 11, p. 402) makes this comment: “Designation of the building as ‘temple’ retrieves the access to God image from v. 18.” Ephesians 2:18 reads: “Through him [Christ Jesus] we, both peoples, have free access to the Father by one spirit.”

  • The New Century Bible Commentary: Ephesians, by C. Leslie Mitton, 1973, explains the expression “in the Lord” in this verse this way: “This means either that their holiness as God’s temple is due to their belonging to God and indwelling by God, or else that all that is happening—the extension and increasing unity of the Church—is God’s doing.”—Italics ours.

  • The New International Biblical Commentary: Ephesians, Colossians, Philemon, by Arthur G. Patzia, 1990, says concerning Ephesians 2:21: “In early Christian theology, believers are referred to as God’s sacred temple, not in a material sense, but as a ‘spiritual building’ where God dwells and manifests himself.”—Italics ours.

  • The Biblical Commentary on the New Testament, by Hermann Olshausen and revised by A. C. Kendrick, 1858, says of this verse: “The church is in it described as the lodging, in which God himself takes up his abode.” The reference then follows to 2 Corinthians 6:16, where a similar expression clearly refers to God.

SUPPORTING REFERENCES: J7, 8, 16-18, 22-24, 28-31, 33, 36, 41, 47, 65, 66, 93-96, 100, 106, 115, 144, 146

EPHESIANS 5:17 “the will of Jehovah”

Kingdom Interlinear: “the will of the Lord”

REASON(S) FOR RESTORING THE DIVINE NAME: The Greek term for “will” (theʹle·ma), as used in the Christian Greek Scriptures, is most often connected with God’s will. (Matthew 7:21; 12:50; Mark 3:35; Romans 12:2; 1 Corinthians 1:1; Hebrews 10:36; 1 Peter 2:15; 4:2; 1 John 2:17) Therefore, it is logical to conclude that Kyʹri·os (Lord) in this expression refers to God. In the Septuagint, the Greek term theʹle·ma is often used to translate Hebrew expressions for God’s will, or delight, and can be found in passages where the divine name occurs. (Psalm 40:8, 9 [39:9 (8), 10 (9), LXX]; 103:21 [102:21, LXX]; 143:9-11 [142:9-11, LXX]; Isaiah 44:24, 28; Jeremiah 9:24 [9:23 (24), LXX]; Malachi 1:10) So in view of the way the Greek word for “will” is used in the Bible, the background of this expression in the Hebrew Scriptures, and the background of the term Kyʹri·os, the divine name is used in the main text. Also, some translations of the Christian Greek Scriptures use the divine name here.

SUPPORT:

  • A study note on Ephesians 5:17 in the NIV Faithlife Study Bible, 2017, makes this comment on the expression “Lord’s will”: “God’s will is to bring all of creation under the authority of Christ (Eph[esians] 1:9-10).”

  • The Anchor Bible—Ephesians, Translation and Commentary on Chapters 4-6, by Markus Barth, 1974, (Vol. 34A) says in a footnote on page 584: “The phrase ‘will of the Lord’ (Eph[esians] 5:17) appears to be interchangeable with ‘will of God’ ([Ephesians] 6:6; Rom[ans] 12:2).”

  • The Biblical Commentary on the New Testament, by Hermann Olshausen and revised by A. C. Kendrick, 1858, mentions that this verse refers to “God’s will.”

  • The Concordia Commentary, a Theological Exposition of Sacred Scripture: Ephesians, by Thomas M. Winger, 2015, says with regard to this verse: “Where [the Greek term theʹle·ma, meaning ‘will’] appears elsewhere in Ephesians, it usually refers to the will of God, that is the Father . . . All things considered, the will of God (the Father) is probably what Paul means.”

SUPPORTING REFERENCES: J7, 8, 32, 65, 66, 94, 100, 101, 106, 115, 125, 139, 145-147

EPHESIANS 5:19 “singing . . . to Jehovah”

Kingdom Interlinear: “singing . . . to the Lord”

REASON(S) FOR RESTORING THE DIVINE NAME: In this case, the Lord referred to is God. This conclusion is supported by the similar statement Paul made in his letter to the Colossians, which was written about the same time as the letter to the Ephesians. (See “Introduction to Ephesians.”) At Colossians 3:16, the oldest available Greek manuscripts read “singing in your hearts to God.” (See comment on Colossians 3:16.) Other factors support the use of the divine name at Ephesians 5:19, including the following: The Hebrew Scriptures abound with references to singing and making music in connection with the worship of Jehovah. (Exodus 15:1; Judges 5:3 and footnote; 2 Samuel 22:50 and footnote; 1 Chronicles 16:23; Psalm 13:6 [12:6, LXX]; 96:1 [95:1, LXX]; 104:33 [103:33, LXX] 149:1; Jeremiah 20:13) Among first-century Christians, the inspired psalms continued to be used in praising Jehovah. The Greek word rendered “psalms” (psal·mosʹ) here at Ephesians 5:19 is used at Luke 20:42; 24:44 and Acts 1:20; 13:33 to refer to Hebrew Scripture psalms. Also, the Greek terms used here for “singing” and “accompanying yourselves with music” are frequently used in the Septuagint to translate Hebrew expressions where the divine name appears. (See the scriptures mentioned above and study note on Ephesians 5:19.) So the similar statement at Colossians 3:16 and the Hebrew Scripture background of the expressions for worshipping God with song and music that Paul used here at Ephesians 5:19 support using the divine name in the main text.

SUPPORT:

  • The Anchor Bible—Ephesians, Translation and Commentary on Chapters 4-6, by Markus Barth, 1974, (Vol. 34A) has this comment on page 584: “The phrase ‘singing to the Lord’ may be borrowed from OT [Old Testament] or contemporary temple worship, and it may refer to God rather than the Messiah.”

  • The Biblical Commentary on the New Testament, by Hermann Olshausen and revised by A. C. Kendrick, 1858, on page 131 says of this verse: “The public adoration of God in songs of praise, the purport of which is thanksgiving to God in Christ’s name.”

  • An Exposition of the Epistle to the Ephesians, in a Series of Discourses, by Joseph Lathrop, 1864, on page 528 makes this comment with regard to this expression: “If the singing is a part of religious worship, then this, as well as our prayers, must be directed to God.”

  • Notes, Explanatory and Practical, on the Epistles of Paul to the Ephesians, Philippians, and Colossians, by Albert Barnes, 1850, says on page 119: “In singing we should regard ourselves as speaking directly to God, and the words, therefore, should be spoken with a solemnity and awe becoming such a direct address to the great Jehovah.”

  • Regarding Ephesians 5:19, the Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture quotes Bible scholar Jerome (of the fourth and fifth centuries C.E.) as saying: “Our hymns declare the strength and majesty of God. They express gratitude for his benefits and his deeds. Our psalms convey this gratitude also, since the word Alleluia is either prefaced or appended to them. . . . We sing, offer psalms and praise to God.”​—Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture, New Testament, Vol. VIII, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, edited by Mark J. Edwards, 1999, page 192.

SUPPORTING REFERENCES: J7, 8, 16, 23, 28-32, 65, 93, 100, 101, 115, 138, 139, 145-147, 163

EPHESIANS 6:4 “in the discipline . . . of Jehovah”

Kingdom Interlinear: “in discipline . . . of Lord”

REASON(S) FOR RESTORING THE DIVINE NAME: Available Greek manuscripts use the term “Lord” (Greek, Kyʹri·os) here. However, as explained in Appendix C1, there are good reasons to believe that the divine name was originally used in this verse and later replaced with the title Lord. In the Christian Greek Scriptures, Kyʹri·os can refer to Jehovah God or to Jesus Christ, depending on the context. In the Hebrew Scriptures, Jehovah God is described as the one disciplining his servants. (Deuteronomy 11:2) For example, at Hebrews 12:5, Paul quotes from Proverbs 3:11, which reads: “My son, do not reject the discipline of Jehovah.” In this scripture quoted by Paul, the divine name, represented by four Hebrew consonants (transliterated YHWH), occurs in the original Hebrew text. Therefore, the name “Jehovah” is used in the main text of Hebrews 12:5 in the New World Translation. The Greek noun for “discipline,” used at Hebrews 12:5 and here at Ephesians 6:4, is the same as the one used at Proverbs 3:11 in the Septuagint. So the expression that Paul uses here, “the discipline . . . of Jehovah,” is apparently an allusion to the same Hebrew Scripture proverb. This expression may also allude to Isaiah 50:5 according to the Septuagint, where the phrase that literally reads “the discipline of Lord opens my ears” translates the Hebrew phrase “the Sovereign Lord Jehovah has opened my ear.” Also, it is noteworthy that at Ephesians 6:4, the Greek definite article was not included before Kyʹri·os, where it would be expected according to standard grammatical usage. The absence of the definite article makes Kyʹri·os tantamount to a proper name. So the Hebrew Scripture background and the absence of the definite article indicate that Kyʹri·os is here used as a substitute for the divine name.

SUPPORT:

  • A Non-Ecclesiastical New Testament, by Frank Daniels, 2016, renders Ephesians 6:4: “And you fathers, don’t aggravate your children. On the contrary, nourish them in Yahweh’s training and admonition.” In the opening comments by the translator, the following statement is made under the heading “The Divine Name”: “In every case where the Tetragrammaton appeared in a quotation from the Hebrew Bible (rendered Κυριος [Lord] in the LXX), this translation employs the proper name, Yahweh. There are also other places in the NT [New Testament] where Κυριος without an article indicates the divine name. In these cases, too, the form Yahweh is employed.”

  • ΙΗΣΟΥΣ ΚΥΡΙΟΣ [I·e·sousʹ Kyʹri·os] Their Usage and Sense in Holy Scripture, by Herman Heinfetter, 1857, lists Ephesians 6:4 as one of the passages in which “the Omission of the Article before Κυριος [Kyʹri·os] . . . determines the Appellation to have reference to Almighty God.”

  • In a comment on the Hebrew Scripture background of Ephesians 6:4, the Concordia Commentary, a Theological Exposition of Sacred Scripture: Ephesians, by Thomas M. Winger, 2015, says: “The OT [Old Testament] consistently holds fathers accountable for obeying or violating the commandments of God and for holding to the true worship of YHWH.”

SUPPORTING REFERENCES: J7, 8, 22, 24, 32, 33, 65, 90, 94, 96, 100, 101, 106, 115

 EPHESIANS 6:7 “as to Jehovah and not to men”

Kingdom Interlinear: “as to the Lord and not to men”

REASON(S) FOR RESTORING THE DIVINE NAME: Available Greek manuscripts read “to the Lord” (toi Ky·riʹoi) in this verse. In the Christian Greek Scriptures, the title Kyʹri·os (Lord) is often used to refer to Jehovah God or to Jesus Christ, depending on the context. It may also refer to humans having authority over others. In this chapter, the Greek term kyʹri·os (lord; master) is used several times. At Ephesians 6:5, 9, the plural form is rendered “masters”; at Ephesians 6:9, kyʹri·os appears in the expression “both their Master and yours.” Here at Ephesians 6:7, it is obvious that kyʹri·os does not refer to a human master. A clue about whom the Lord here refers to can be found in the similar counsel to slaves that Paul gives in his letter to the Colossians. (See “Introduction to Ephesians.”) According to available Greek manuscripts of Colossians 3:22, Paul uses the phrase “fearing the Lord.” In all other occurrences in the Christian Greek Scriptures where the Greek verb for “to fear” is used in the sense of reverence, the object of this reverential fear is God. It would therefore be natural to understand “the Lord” mentioned at Colossians 3:22 as referring to God. This expression also echoes wording in the Septuagint that is used to render the Hebrew word for “to fear” and the Tetragrammaton. Some examples are found at Deuteronomy 6:13; 10:12, 20; 13:4 (13:5 [4], LXX). So in view of how the Greek term for “to fear” is used in the Christian Greek Scriptures and the Hebrew Scripture background of this expression, the rendering “with fear of Jehovah” is used in the main text of Colossians 3:22. This supports the conclusion that “the Lord” referred to in the very similar context here at Ephesians 6:7 is Jehovah. Another indication that the Lord mentioned here refers to Jehovah God is the phrase “doing the will of God whole-souled” at Ephesians 6:6. Both in the Hebrew Scriptures and in the Christian Greek Scriptures, references to doing something with one’s whole soul are always connected with Jehovah God.—Deuteronomy 6:5; Matthew 22:37.

SUPPORT:

  • The Biblical Commentary on the New Testament, by Hermann Olshausen and revised by A. C. Kendrick, 1858, on page 144 says of this verse: “Whilst the slave, therefore, in his position recognizes God’s will, . . . he that serves his master as if he served God will never fall into the temptation to sacrifice God’s will to his master’s.”

  • Notes, Explanatory and Practical, on the Epistles of Paul to the Ephesians, Philippians, and Colossians, by Albert Barnes, 1850, says on page 137: “He should perform his duties with fidelity, and feel that he was rendering acceptable service to God. . . . A conscientious slave may find happiness in submitting to God.”

SUPPORTING REFERENCES: J7, 8, 32, 65, 100, 101, 106, 115, 125, 145-147

EPHESIANS 6:8 “he will receive this back from Jehovah”

Kingdom Interlinear: “he will carry off for self beside of Lord”

REASON(S) FOR RESTORING THE DIVINE NAME: The reasons for using the divine name in the main text of this verse are generally the same as the reasons for using it at Ephesians 6:7. (See  comment on Ephesians 6:7.) Also, it is worth noting that before Kyʹri·os, there is no Greek definite article, where it would be expected according to standard grammatical usage. The absence of the definite article makes Kyʹri·os tantamount to a proper name. Additionally, the Greek expression pa·raʹ Ky·riʹou, here rendered “from Jehovah,” occurs a few more times in the Christian Greek Scriptures, and in all occurrences, there are good reasons to render it “from Jehovah.” (Matthew 21:42; Mark 12:11; Luke 1:45; 2 Timothy 1:18) This expression also appears in existing copies of the Septuagint as a translation of Hebrew expressions in which the divine name is typically used. Similar to Ephesians 6:8, some of these scriptures describe Jehovah as the one who blesses those faithfully serving him and rewards their good deeds. (Ruth 2:12; 1 Samuel 1:20; Psalm 24:5 [23:5, LXX]; 37:39 [36:39, LXX]; 121:2 [120:2, LXX]) So in view of the context, the Hebrew Scripture background, and the absence of the definite article in Greek, the divine name is used in the main text.

SUPPORT:

  • A study note on Ephesians 6:8 in the NIV Faithlife Study Bible, 2017, makes this comment on the expression “Lord will reward”: “God takes account of the kindness and generosity people display to one another.”

  • The Concordia Commentary, a Theological Exposition of Sacred Scripture: Ephesians, by Thomas M. Winger, 2015, says with regard to Ephesians 6:8: “In faith they should commit themselves entirely to God.”

  • Notes, Explanatory and Practical, on the Epistles of Paul to the Ephesians, Philippians, and Colossians, by Albert Barnes, 1850, says on page 138: “If they feel that wrong is done them by men, they may feel that right will be done them by God.”

  • The New Testament of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, in the Original Greek: With Introductions and Notes, by Christopher Wordsworth, 1867, (Vol. 2) says with regard to this verse in Greek: “Whatsoever each person shall have done, that he shall receive again from God. . . . The more they did and suffered for God, the more they would receive hereafter from God.”

SUPPORTING REFERENCES: J22, 24, 32, 33, 65, 90, 94, 96, 100, 101, 106, 115, 125, 145-147