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Ephesians 3:11

    Ephesians 3:11 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    according to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    Which is seen in his eternal purpose in Christ Jesus our Lord:

    Webster's Revision

    according to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:

    World English Bible

    according to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord;

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    according to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:

    Clarke's Commentary on Ephesians 3:11

    According to the eternal purpose - Κατα προθεσιν των αιωνων· According to the purpose concerning the periods. This seems to refer to the complete round of the Jewish system, and to that of the Gospel. I have often observed, that though the proper grammatical meaning of the word is ever-during or endless duration, yet it is often applied to those systems, periods, governments, etc., which have a complete duration, taking in the whole of them, from their commencement to their termination, leaving nothing of their duration unembraced. So, here, God purposed that the Jewish dispensation should commence at such a time, and terminate at such a time; that the Gospel dispensation should commence when the Jewish ended, and terminate only with life itself; and that the results of both should be endless. This is probably what is meant by the above phrase.

    Which he purposed in Christ Jesus - Ἡν εποιησεν· Which he made or constituted in or for Christ Jesus. The manifestation of Christ, and the glory which should follow, were the grand objects which God kept in view in all his dispensations.

    Barnes' Notes on Ephesians 3:11

    According to the eternal purpose - see the note, Ephesians 1:4. Literally, "the purpose of ages," or of eternity. Locke, Chandler, and Whitby render this, "according to that disposition or arrangement of the ages which he made in Jesus Christ, or through him." The object of such an interpretation seems to be to avoid the doctrine that God had a purpose or plan in the salvation of people, and hence such expositors suppose it refers to the arrangement of the "ages" of the world by which the plan of redemption was introduced. On the word rendered here as "purpose" - προθέσις prothesis - see the notes at Romans 8:28; compare Ephesians 1:11. It is rendered "showbread" - the bread of setting before," Matthew 12:4; Mark 2:26; Luke 6:4; Hebrews 9:2; "purpose," Acts 11:23; Acts 27:13; Romans 8:28; Romans 9:11; Ephesians 1:11; Ephesians 3:11; 2 Timothy 1:9; 2 Timothy 3:10. It does not occur elsewhere in the New Testament. In most of these cases it refers to the "purpose or intention" of God; in not a single case does it mean "arrangement or disposition" in any sense like that of making an arrangement of "ages" or periods of the world; and the interpretation proposed by Whitby, Locke, Clarke, and others, is wholly at variance with the settled use of the word.

    The word rendered "eternal" - αἰώνων aiōnōn - may mean "ages;" but it also most usually means eternity; see Ephesians 3:9. Here it may mean "the purpose of ages;" i. e., the purpose formed in past ages; but the word is most commonly used in the New Testament in the sense of "ever, and forever;" compare the following places, where it is so rendered in our common version, and beyond a doubt correctly; Matthew 6:13; Matthew 21:19; Mark 3:29; Mark 11:14; Luke 1:33, Luke 1:55; John 4:14; John 6:51, John 6:58; John 8:35; John 14:16; Romans 1:25; Romans 9:5; Romans 11:36; Romans 16:27; 2 Corinthians 9:9; 2 Corinthians 11:31; Galatians 1:5. The fair meaning of the passage here is, that God had formed a plan which was "eternal" in reference to the salvation of people; that that plan had reference to the Lord Jesus; and that it was now executed by the gospel. It is impossible to get away from the idea that God has a "plan." It is too often affirmed in the Scriptures, and is too consonant with out' reason to be disputed. It is as "undesirable" as it is impossible to escape from that idea. Who could respect or honor an intelligent being that had no plan, no purpose, no intention, and that did all things by caprice and hap-hazard? If God has any plan, it must he eternal. He has no new schemes; he has no intentions which he did not always have.

    Which he purposed - Literally, "which he made."

    In Christ Jesus - With reference to him; or which were to be executed through him. The eternal plan had respect to him, and was to be executed by his coming and work.