Search the Bible
* powered by Bible Study Tools

Ephesians 4:14

    Ephesians 4:14 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    That we from now on be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    that we may be no longer children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, in craftiness, after the wiles of error;

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    So that we may be no longer children, sent this way and that, turned about by every wind of teaching, by the twisting and tricks of men, by the deceits of error;

    Webster's Revision

    that we may be no longer children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, in craftiness, after the wiles of error;

    World English Bible

    that we may no longer be children, tossed back and forth and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in craftiness, after the wiles of error;

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    that we may be no longer children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, in craftiness, after the wiles of error;

    Definitions for Ephesians 4:14

    Doctrine - The act or result of teaching.
    Henceforth - From this time forth; from now on.
    Sleight - Trickery; entrapment by deceit.

    Clarke's Commentary on Ephesians 4:14

    Be no more children - Children, here, are opposed to the perfect man in the preceding verse; and the state of both is well explained by the apostle's allusions. The man is grown up strong and healthy, and has attained such a measure or height as qualifies him for the most respectable place in the ranks of his country.

    The child is ignorant, weak, and unsteady, tossed about in the nurse's arms, or whirled round in the giddy sports or mazes of youth; this seems to be the apostle's allusion. Being tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, refers to some kind of ancient play, but what I cannot absolutely determine; probably to something similar to a top, or to our paper kite.

    By the sleight of men - The words εν τη κυβειᾳ refer to the arts used by gamesters, who employ false dice that will always throw up one kind of number, which is that by which those who play with them cannot win.

    Cunning craftiness - It is difficult to give a literal translation of the original words: εν πανουργιᾳ προς την μεθοδειαν της πλανης· "By cunning, for the purpose of using the various means of deception." Πανουργια signifies craft and subtlety in general, cheating and imposition: μεθοδεια, from which we have our term method, signifies a wile, a particular sleight, mode of tricking and deceiving; it is applied to the arts which the devil uses to deceive and destroy souls; see Ephesians 6:11, called there the Wiles of the devil. From this it seems that various arts were used, both by the Greek sophists and the Judaizing teachers, to render the Gospel of none effect, or to adulterate and corrupt it.

    Barnes' Notes on Ephesians 4:14

    That we henceforth be no more children - In some respects Christians "are" to be like children. They are to be docile, gentle, mild, and free from ambition, pride, and haughtiness; see the notes on Matthew 18:2-3. But children have other characteristics besides simplicity and docility. They are often changeable Matthew 11:17; they are credulous, and are influenced easily by others, and led astray, In these respects, Paul exhorts the Ephesians to be no longer children but urges them to put on the characteristics Of manhood; and especially to put on the firmness in religious opinion which became maturity of life.

    Tossed to and fro - κλυδωνιζόμενοι kludōnizomenoi. This word is taken from waves or billows that are constantly tossed about - in all ages art image of instability of character and purpose.

    And carried about with every wind of doctrine - With no firmness; no settled course; no helm. The idea is that of a vessel on the restless ocean, that is tossed about with every varying wind, and that has no settled line of sailing. So many persons are in regard to religious doctrines. They have no fixed views and principles. They hold no doctrines that are settled in their minds by careful and patient examination, and the consequence is, that they yield to every new opinion, and submit to the guidance of every new teacher. The "doctrine" taught here is, that we should have settled religious opinions. We should carefully examine what is truth, and having found it, should adhere to it, and not yield on the coming of every new teacher. We should not, indeed, close our minds against conviction. We should be open to argument, and be willing to follow "the truth" wherever it will lead us. But this state of mind is not inconsistent with having settled opinions, and with being firm in holding them until we are convinced that we are wrong. No man can be useful who has not settled principles. No one who has not such principles can inspire confidence or be happy, and the first aim of every young convert should be to acquire settled views of the truth, and to become firmly grounded in the doctrines of the gospel.

    By the sleight of men - The cunning skill "trickery" of people. The word used here - κυβεία kubeia - is from a word (κύβος kubos) meaning a cube or die, and properly means a game at dice. Hence, it means game, gambling; and then anything that turns out by mere chance or hap-hazard - as a game at dice does. It "may" possibly also denote the trick or fraud that is sometimes used in such games; but it seems rather to denote a man's forming his religious opinions by "the throw of a die;" or, in other words, it describes a man whose opinions seem to be the result of mere chance. Anything like casting a die, or like opening the Bible at random to determine a point of duty or doctrine, may come under the description of the apostle here, and would all be opposed to the true mode, that by calm examination of the Bible, and by prayer A man who forms his religious principles by chance, can un" form" them in the same way; and he who has determined his faith by one cast of the die, will be likely to throw them into another form by another. The phrase "the sleight of men" therefore I would render "by the mere chance of people, or as you may happen to find people, one holding this opinion, and the next that, and allowing yourself to be influenced by them without any settled principles."

    Cunning craftiness - Deceit, trick, art; see 2 Corinthians 12:16; Luke 20:23; 1 Corinthians 3:19; notes, 2 Corinthians 4:2; 2 Corinthians 11:3, note.

    Whereby they lie in wait to deceive - Literally, "Unto the method of deceit;" that is, in the usual way of deceit. Doddridge, "In every method of deceit." This is the true idea. The meaning is, that people would use plausible pretences, and would, if possible, deceive the professed friends of Christ. Against such we should be on our guard; and not by their arts should our opinion be formed, but by the word of God.

    Wesley's Notes on Ephesians 4:14

    4:14 Fluctuating to and fro - From within, even when there is no wind. And carried about with every wind - From without; when we are assaulted by others, who are unstable as the wind. By the sleight of men - By their cogging the dice; so the original word implies.