Ephesians 2:20 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Ephesians 2:20, NIV: "built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone."

Ephesians 2:20, ESV: "built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone,"

Ephesians 2:20, KJV: "And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;"

Ephesians 2:20, NASB: "having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the cornerstone,"

Ephesians 2:20, NLT: "Together, we are his house, built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets. And the cornerstone is Christ Jesus himself."

Ephesians 2:20, CSB: "built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone."

What does Ephesians 2:20 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

The family and kingdom of God (Ephesians 2:19) are "built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets." Paul will again refer to the "apostles and prophets" in Ephesians 3:5, as important leaders in the foundation of the church. Ephesians 4:11–12 notes both groups as church leaders whose roles included equipping believers for acts of service. Apostles were those associated personally with Jesus; the name literally means "sent ones," who were the first to share the message of Christ. Prophets included those Old Testament figures and early church leaders who proclaimed God's truth. Though people may serve in similar roles today, these roles of apostles and prophets as foundations of the church were unique to the New Testament time period.

Paul also reminds his readers of the ultimate leader: "Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone." The cornerstone was the first rock used to establish the foundation of an ancient building. The apostles and prophets were the foundations, but Jesus was the "first stone" or cornerstone to begin the church.