Ephesians 5:23 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Ephesians 5:23, NIV: For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior.

Ephesians 5:23, ESV: For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior.

Ephesians 5:23, KJV: For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.

Ephesians 5:23, NASB: For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body.

Ephesians 5:23, NLT: For a husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of his body, the church.

Ephesians 5:23, CSB: because the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of the body.

What does Ephesians 5:23 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

After instructing wives to submit to their husbands in verse 22, Paul provides a spiritual basis for his instruction. He uses the analogy of Christ (the husband) with the church (the wife). Christ loved the church and gave His life for it. Similarly, husbands are to love their wives and be willing to give up their lives on their behalf (Ephesians 5:25–29). Wives are to show devotion to their husbands similar to the church's call to love the Lord.

Paul also notes the church is Christ's "body, and [He] is himself its Savior." Using this analogy, husband and wife are one body (Ephesians 5:31). They are called to live united, serving one another together. It is not about one person being better than the other. Instead, this is mutual submission which honors God and shows love. Jesus, as part of the Trinity, is identical in essence and equal to God the Father. And yet, He is able to submit without becoming "inferior." This is the model of marital submission which Paul has in view.