Vincent's Word Studies, by Marvin R. Vincent, , at sacred-texts.com
Be ye (γίνεσθε)
Become, as Eph 4:32.
Rev, correctly, imitators.
Rev., beloved. As those to whom Christ has shown love
Walk in love
As imitators of God who is love.
Loved us (ἡμᾶς)
The correct reading is ὑμᾶς you.
To death Compare Rom 4:25, where the same verb was delivered is followed by was raised. See also Rom 8:32; Gal 2:20.
Offering - sacrifice (προσφορὰν - θυσίαν)
Offering, general, including the life as well as the death of Christ: sacrifice, special: on the cross. Properly, a slain offering.
A sweet smelling savor (ὀσμὴν εὐωδίας)
Rev., correctly, odor of a sweet smell. See on Co2 2:14, Co2 2:15, Co2 2:16. The Septuagint, in Lev 1:9, uses this phrase to render the Hebrew, a savor of quietness. For (εἰς) expresses design, that it might become, or result: so that it became.
Or sets this sin emphatically by itself.
It refers to each of the sins.
Foolish talking (μωρολογία)
Only here in the New Testament. Talk which is both foolish and sinful. Compare corrupt communication, Eph 4:29. It is more than random or idle talk. "Words obtain a new earnestness when assumed into the ethical terminology of Christ's school. Nor, in seeking to enter fully into the meaning of this one, ought we to leave out of sight the greater emphasis which the words fool, foolish, folly obtain in Scripture than elsewhere they have or can have" (Trench).
Only here in the New Testament. From εὐ well or easily, πρέπω to turn. That which easily turns and adapts itself to the moods and conditions of those with whom it may be dealing at the moment. From this original sense of versatility it came to be applied to morals, as timeserving, and to speech with the accompanying notion of dissimulation. Aristotle calls it chastened insolence. The sense of the word here is polished and witty speech as the instrument of sin; refinement and versatility without the flavor of Christian grace. "Sometimes it is lodged in a sly question, in a smart answer, in a quirkish reason, in shrewd intimation, in cunningly diverting or cleverly retorting an objection: sometimes it is couched in a bold scheme of speech, in a tart irony, in a lusty hyperbole, in a startling metaphor, in a plausible reconciling of contradictions, or in acute nonsense.... Sometimes an affected simplicity, sometimes a presumptuous bluntness giveth it being.... Its ways are unaccountable and inexplicable, being answerable to the numberless rovings of fancy and windings of language" (Barrow, Sermon xiv., "Against Foolish Talking and Jesting." The whole passage is well worth reading).
Ye know (ἴστε γινώσκοντες)
The A.V. fails to give the whole force of the expression, which is, ye know recognizing. Rev., ye know of a surety.
Compare Col 3:5, and see on Co1 5:10.
Plausible, but devoid of truth, and employed to palliate heathen vices.
Be not (γίνεσθε)
Lit., become not. It is a warning against lapsing into old vices.
Emphatic, and according with become of Eph 5:7. Ye were darkness, but now are ye light. Do not become darkness again.
See on Joh 1:5.
Light itself; not a lamp. Children of light. See Mat 5:16.
Consists in. The verse is parenthetical.
Connect with walk. Walk, proving by your walk. Proving, see on Pe1 1:7.
Rev., better and more literally, well-pleasing. The one point of all moral investigation is, does it please God?
Have - fellowship (συγκοινωνεῖτε)
See on Rev 18:4; see on Rev 1:9.
Unfruitful works (ἔργοις τοῖς ἀκάρποις)
Compare fruit, Eph 5:9, and Gal 5:19, Gal 5:22, works of the flesh, fruit of the Spirit. Works which bring no blessing with them. Compare Rom 6:21; Rom 8:13; Gal 5:21; Gal 6:8.
See on Joh 3:20.
All things (τὰ πάντα)
More literally, they all, or all of them; the secret sins just mentioned.
That are reproved (ἐλεγχόμενα)
Lit., being reproved. Rev., when they are reproved. Reproved is to be taken in the same literal sense as in Eph 5:11, and not metaphorically in the sense of being demonstrated by light, or brought to light, which is almost synonymous with are made manifest.
By the light
Connect with are made manifest, not with are reproved.
Whatsoever doth make manifest is light (πᾶν τὸ φανερούμενον φῶς ἐστίν)
Wrong. The A.V. renders doth make manifest, as in the middle voice, but the verb is in the passive voice. It occurs nearly fifty times in the New Testament, and never as middle. Hence Rev., correctly, everything that is made manifest.
A general proposition, going to show that manifestation can come only through light. Whatever is revealed in its true essence by light is of the nature of light. It no longer belongs to the category of darkness. Manifestation is a law of good and evil alike. That which is of the truth seeks the light and cometh to the light. That which is evil avoids the light, and loves darkness better than light, but none the less is brought to the light and appears in its own light. See Joh 3:20, Joh 3:21. This truth is embodied in another form in the parable of the Tares. Growth is manifestation. By suffering the tares to grow, their difference from the wheat, which at first is not apparent, is fully revealed.
God. This use of the personal pronoun is frequent in Paul's writings. See Gal 3:16; Eph 4:8; Co1 6:16.
The quotation is probably a combination and free rendering of Isa 60:1; Isa 26:19. For similar combinations see on Rom 3:10; see on Rom 9:33. By some the words are regarded as the fragment of a hymn.
Shall give thee light
Rev., correctly, shall shine upon thee.
See that ye walk circumspectly (βλέπετε πῶς ἀκριβῶς περιπατεῖτε)
Lit., look how exactly ye walk. The best texts place τῶς how after ἀκριβῶς exactly. So Rev., look carefully how ye walk. Circumspectly is better rendered carefully. It means exactly, accurately, from ἄκρος the farthest point. See on inquired diligently, Mat 2:6; and compare Luk 1:3 (note); Act 18:25 (note).
Not as unwise, but as wise
Explanatory of carefully.
Redeeming the time (ἐξαγοραζόμενοι τὸν καιπόν)
See on Col 4:5.
See on prudent, Mat 11:25; foolish, see on Rom 3:21.
Be not drunk (μὴ μεθύσκεσθε)
See on Joh 2:10.
In drunkenness, not in wine.
Rev., riot. Lit., unsavingness. See on riotous living, Luk 15:13.
Speaking to yourselves (λαλοῦντες ἑαυτοῖς)
Rev., one to another.
The A.V. is literally correct, but is open to the misinterpretation each one communing with himself. The meaning is as in Col 3:13, and Rev. is better.
See on Co1 14:15.
Hymns - spiritual songs
See on Col 3:16.
Your own (ἰδίοις)
The peculiar personal relationship is emphasized as the ground of the duty.
He is the savior of the body
In this particular the comparison between the husband as the head of the wife, and Christ as the head of the Church, does not hold. Hence Rev., properly, renders for and He is, being Himself; Himself separating the clause from what was previously said. The comparison lies in the fact of headship alone. The husband's love and protection cannot be called salvation, in which respect Christ's headship is peculiar to Himself.
Rev, correctly, but. Offsetting the relation of savior. The comparison does not hold in respect of salvation, but it does hold in respect of subjection.
Sanctify and cleanse (ἁγιάσῃ καθαρίσας)
Rev., might sanctify, having cleansed. The Rev. brings out the proper succession of sanctification as a consequence of cleansing: might sanctify after having cleansed.
With the washing of water (τῷ λουτρῷ τοῦ ὕδατος)
Λουτρόν washing is properly laver. Note the article, the laver, as something well known. There is no satisfactory evidence for the meaning washing. The allusion is to baptism. Some find a reference to the bride's bath before marriage.
By the word (ἐν ῥήματι)
Rev., correctly, with the word. To be connected with having cleansed it by the laver of water: not with might sanctify, nor with the laver of water alone, as a descriptive epithet. With the word describes that which accompanies the rite and which is the peculiar element of baptismal purification. Compare Joh 15:3. Augustine says: "Take away the word, and what is the water but water?"
He might present it to Himself (παραστήσῃ αὐτὸς ἑαυτῷ)
As a bride. Compare Co2 11:2. Notice the two pronouns in conjunction, He, to Himself. Christ Himself presents the bride.
Only here and Pe2 2:13; The kindred verb σπιλόω to defile, occurs Jam 3:6; Jde 1:23.
Only here in the New Testament.
As Christ loved the Church.
As their own bodies (ὡς)
As being: since they are.
Instead of body, with reference to Gen 2:23.
Only here and Th1 2:7. Originally, to warm.
Omit of His flesh and of His bones.
Shall be joined (προσκολληθήσεται)
Only here; and Mar 10:7. See on Luk 15:15. The compound verb denotes most intimate union.
Shall be one flesh (ἔσονται εἰς σάρκα μίαν)
The A.V. overlooks the force of εἰς unto. Lit., shall be unto one flesh. Rev., shall become.
A great mystery
Great is predicative, not attributive. Rev., correctly, this mystery is great. The reference in this mystery is to the preceding statement of the conjugal relation of the Church with Christ, typified by the human marriage relation.
Concerning Christ and the Church
Rev., in regard of (εἰς). Not calling your attention to the mere human relationship, but to the mysterious relation between Christ and His Church, of which that is a mere semblance.
Not to dwell longer on the mystical aspect of the subject.
Even as himself
Not as much as he loves himself, but as being his very self.