Thursday – Ephesians 4:11-12
Many times, we ignore the basics in studying the Bible—like punctuation. Did you notice the punctuation in today’s passage? 4:11 identifies apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers. 4:12 describes what these folks do. The King James Version divides 4:12 into three phrases: the job description of those leaders is 1) for the perfecting of the saints, 2) for the work of the ministry, and 3) for the edifying of the body of Christ. The New American Standard Bible divides the verse into two tasks: 1) for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, and 2) to the building up of the body of Christ.
Look closely at how the meaning of the verse changes because of one comma. The Kings James version appears to say that ministers have three tasks. They help believers, they do the work of ministry, and they help build up the church. The New American Standard omits the first comma. Thus, ministers equip saints for the work of ministry and they help build up the church. This translation supports the idea ministry is something all believers do, not just church leaders. It’s amazing how one comma changes everything.
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