This is a rough, few minute translation to practice Greek and keep up with my syntax text books. I read my GNT and use for lesson prep, but I rarely work at translating out loud or in written format. So, I’ll try to do this every Tuesday for practice. The italics are added words to help the translation make more sense. I left the verse numbers out today because I was busier and didn’t get to this until late. But normally I’ll do it prior to work in the mornings.
25 Διὸ ἀποθέμενοι τὸ ψεῦδος λαλεῖτε ἀλήθειαν ἕκαστος μετὰ τοῦ πλησίον αὐτοῦ, ὅτι ἐσμὲν ἀλλήλων μέλη. 26 ὀργίζεσθε καὶ μὴ ἁμαρτάνετε· ὁ ἥλιος μὴ ἐπιδυέτω ἐπὶ [τῷ] παροργισμῷ ὑμῶν, 27 μηδὲ δίδοτε τόπον τῷ διαβόλῳ. 28 ὁ κλέπτων μηκέτι κλεπτέτω, μᾶλλον δὲ κοπιάτω ἐργαζόμενος ταῖς [ἰδίαις] χερσὶν τὸ ἀγαθόν, ἵνα ἔχῃ μεταδιδόναι τῷ χρείαν ἔχοντι. 29 πᾶς λόγος σαπρὸς ἐκ τοῦ στόματος ὑμῶν μὴ ἐκπορευέσθω, ἀλλʼ εἴ τις ἀγαθὸς πρὸς οἰκοδομὴν τῆς χρείας, ἵνα δῷ χάριν τοῖς ἀκούουσιν. 30 καὶ μὴ λυπεῖτε τὸ πνεῦμα τὸ ἅγιον τοῦ θεοῦ, ἐν ᾧ ἐσφραγίσθητε εἰς ἡμέραν ἀπολυτρώσεως. 31 πᾶσα πικρία καὶ θυμὸς καὶ ὀργὴ καὶ κραυγὴ καὶ βλασφημία ἀρθήτω ἀφʼ ὑμῶν σὺν πάσῃ κακίᾳ. 32 γίνεσθε [δὲ] εἰς ἀλλήλους χρηστοί, εὔσπλαγχνοι, χαριζόμενοι ἑαυτοῖς, καθὼς καὶ ὁ θεὸς ἐν Χριστῷ ἐχαρίσατο ὑμῖν. 5 Γίνεσθε οὖν μιμηταὶ τοῦ θεοῦ ὡς τέκνα ἀγαπητὰ 2 καὶ περιπατεῖτε ἐν ἀγάπῃ, καθὼς καὶ ὁ Χριστὸς ἠγάπησεν ἡμᾶς καὶ παρέδωκεν ἑαυτὸν ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν προσφορὰν καὶ θυσίαν τῷ θεῷ εἰς ὀσμὴν εὐωδίας. Kurt Aland et al., Novum Testamentum Graece, 28th Edition. (Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 2012), Eph 4:25–5:2.
Therefore, putting off the falsehood, speak the truth, each one with his neighbor, because we are members of one another. Be angry and do not sin; the sun should not set on your anger, neither give ground to the devil. The thief should no longer steal, but instead he should labor, doing good work with his own hands so that he might have supply to give to those with need. All rotten words should stop coming from your mouths, but if anything is good for building up the needy let that come from your mouths, so that it might give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, rage, wrath, boisterousness, and insults be removed from you along with all wickedness. Be kind to one another, compassionate, showing each other grace*, just as God in Christ has graced you. Therefore, be imitators of God, as dearly loved children and walk in love, just as the Christ loved us and gave himself for us an offering and sacrifice to God for a pleasing aroma.
putting off the falsehood – The idea here is not lies in general (though this is a good idea), but false ideas about God, “the truth” is a shorthand for “the gospel message” in Ephesians. Protip for modern Christians then: Go back and reread the four gospels and use the stories of Jesus to build up yourself and others.
if anything is good for building up – This is a good mindset change. It doesn’t mean to always be Mr. Rogers, but it does mean to think carefully about what will nudge somebody closer to God, to goodness, and to personal development and away from sin, despondency, and flippancy about life.
be imitators of God – the litmus test for imitating God is “walking in love.” This is the same thing Jesus says in Matthew 5:45-48, and that John says in all of 1 John. Again, this isn’t just niceness. Elsewhere Paul says to expose works of darkness.
Personal thoughts – Much of what Paul says here is about Christian counter culture (speak the truth, etc), but interestingly a great deal of what Paul says here would make somebody more likable and charismatic if they really put it into practice. The way of Christ often puts those who are on it at odds with the world (Matthew 5:10-11), but Jesus himself grew steadily in favor with God and man as he grew up (Luke 2:52). It’s sad that prosperity gospel preachers could train people in the way of Christ so that they could A) achieve success and use it for good and B) live with Christ even if they experience severe suffering. Instead, they preach that God merely wants to give you stuff and will do it with magic rather than simple cause and effect and accumulated wise habits like in the Psalms and Proverbs. Ephesians 4 is a good test case for Christian behavior that is also commendable to outsiders.
The asterisk above is an interesting case (Ephesians 4:32), most translations translate that as “forgiving one another.” While I see the merit in this based on the word usage in Luke, 2 Corinthians, and Colossians 2, I think that the word’s more basic meaning “showing grace” or “being gracious,” is salvageable even in those contexts. Paul actually uses the word for forgiveness elsewhere in Ephesians, so it’s not like it wasn’t available to his mind when this sentence came about. I think that showing grace fits the context of all those passages better because the graciousness mentioned clearly extends beyond forgiveness into replacing tradition concepts of reciprocity.