Ephesians 5:13-14 What is visibility to do with light>

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Eoghan

Puritan Board Senior
[13 ] But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, [14 ] for anything that becomes visible is light.

What does it mean that everything that becomes visible is light???? :worms:


Up to this point I see Paul encouraging the church not to joke about the deeds of darkness but rather to rebuke them. The idea of educating and reinforcing the conscience. Until the start of verse 14 that is.

I read somewhere that John Stott suggests that the idea is that those exposed to the light become light (converted). However the text seems a lot more mechanical in describing "anything" where I would expect a discussion of the elect? :duh:

Help in untying this knot much appreciated
 

py3ak

Unshaven and anonymous
Staff member
Two potential approaches:

1. Take "light" as meaning "illuminated" or "enlightened".
2. Check an alternate translation. The HCSB, for instance, has: for what makes everything clear is light.
 

Eoghan

Puritan Board Senior
Checking alternative translations

I did read the NIV, NASV & ESV and there seemed to be a general agreement. To that I would add the RSV, Jewish New Testament and the KJV although its archaic phrasing is a little difficult. The Living Bible goes straight to "interpretation" and says that "some of them may become children of light" quite how we get from "whatsoever" or "anything" to "some of them" is the problem! :think:

What is the HCSB (sounds like my bank)? :eek:
 

py3ak

Unshaven and anonymous
Staff member
Holman Christian Standard Bible. It's in line with the AV and several other translations. Calvin's discussion is brief and lucid:

As the participle, (φανερούμενον,) which is translated, that which doth make manifest, is in the middle voice, it admits either of a passive or active signification. It may be either rendered, that which is made manifest, or that which doth make manifest. If the passive signification, which is followed by the ancient translator, be preferred, the word light will denote, as formerly, that which gives light, and the meaning will be, that evil works, which had been concealed, will stand out to public view, when they have been made manifest by the word of God: If the participle be taken actively, there will still be two ways of expounding it: 1. Whatever manifests is light; 2. That which manifests anything or all things, is light; taking the singular as put for the plural number. There is no difficulty, as Erasmus dreaded, about the article; for the apostles are not in the habit of adhering very strictly to rule about placing every article, and even among elegant writers this mode of using it would be allowable. The context appears to me to shew clearly that this is Paul’s meaning. He had exhorted them to reprove the evil works of unbelievers, and thus to drag them out of darkness; and he now adds, that what he enjoins upon them is the proper business of light — to make manifest It is Light, he says, which makes all things manifest; and hence it followed that they were unworthy of the name, if they did not bring to light what was involved in darkness.
 
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