Ephesians 3:5 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Ephesians 3:5, NIV: which was not made known to people in other generations as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to God's holy apostles and prophets.

Ephesians 3:5, ESV: which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit.

Ephesians 3:5, KJV: Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;

Ephesians 3:5, NASB: which in other generations was not made known to mankind, as it has now been revealed to His holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit;

Ephesians 3:5, NLT: God did not reveal it to previous generations, but now by his Spirit he has revealed it to his holy apostles and prophets.

Ephesians 3:5, CSB: This was not made known to people in other generations as it is now revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit:

What does Ephesians 3:5 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

This verse contrasts a mystery, made clear to apostles and prophets in Paul's generation, which had not been explained in the past. The reference to "sons of men" is interesting, used elsewhere only in the Old Testament in relation to people in general (2 Samuel 7:14; Psalm 45:2). Paul contrasts "other generations" with the generation in which he and his readers lived. This was an exciting time, during which Jesus lived on earth and fuller revelation was given to His apostles and prophets.

The emphasis on "by the Spirit" is also important. The church age is marked by a special presence of the Holy Spirit. This began on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2). The Spirit's indwelling presence in all believers included revealing this particular mystery to the early church's leaders: that Jews and Gentiles are now one in Christ Jesus. This took some time, as church leaders had to meet to discuss this issue, in Jerusalem (Acts 15). Paul and Peter still struggled over this topic, as explained in Galatians. However, the church rapidly came to fully understand that God had given the Spirit to Gentiles in the same manner as He had with Jews. There was no distinction; both were equal in the body of Christ.