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All English Versions mistranslate Eph. 5:18.


 

Billy Graham comments on the interpretation of Eph. 5:18.

All Christians are committed to be filled with the Spirit. Anything short of a Spirit-filled life is less than God's plan for each believer. What does the Bible mean when it speaks of the fullness of the Holy Spirit? Let’s define the fullness of the Spirit. To be Spirit-filled is to be controlled or dominated by the Spirit’s presence and power. In Ephesians 5:18 Paul says, “And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit.” Here he draws a contrast between two things. A person who is filled with alcohol is controlled or dominated by alcohol. Its presence and power have overridden his normal abilities and actions. It is interesting that we often say someone is “under the influence” of alcohol. Now that is somewhat the meaning of being filled with the Spirit. We are “under the influence” of the Spirit. Instead of doing things only with our own strength or ability, He empowers us. Instead of doing only what we want to do, we now are guided by Him. Unfortunately millions of God’s people do not enjoy the unlimited spiritual wealth at their disposal because they are not filled with the Holy Spirit. We are not filled once for all, like a bucket. Instead, we are to be filled constantly. It might be translated, “Be filled and keep on being filled,” or “Be being filled.” Ephesians 5:18 literally says, “Keep on being filled with the Spirit.” (Billy Graham, The Holy Spirit, p.114,115,117.)

Michael Green comments on the interpretation of Eph. 5:18.

What are we to make of the command in Ephesians 5:18 that we should not get drunk, but should be filled with the Holy Spirit? Men filled with him are full of joy, full of thanks to the Lord, and ready to submit in love to other members of the Christian Body. All are commanded to be filled with the Spirit. To be filled with the Spirit means to allow Jesus to have the fullest control in our lives that we are conscious of. ‘Go on being filled with the Spirit’ is the meaning of the original. (Michael Green, I believe in the Holy Spirit, p.184-5.)

     Unfortunately, Graham and Michael Green accept the mistranslation of Acts 2:4 and Eph. 5:18 as authentic. As a result, their arguments are quite erroneous. If Eph. 5:18 is incorrectly translated and interpreted, it is definitely impossible to build the correct doctrine of the Holy Spirit. One of many theologically significant constructions  is “plerousthe en pneumati” (πληροῦσθε ἐν πνεύματι) of Eph. 5:18. All  English versions incorrectly translate it as “be filled with the Spirit.”

Daniel B. Wallace illustrates the translation of “nominal genitive of content.”

John 21:8; the net [full] of fish. Acts 6:3; seven men full of [the] Spirit and wisdom. Here the genitives of content are related to an adjective. Col 2:3; all treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Col 2:9; in him dwells all the fullness of deity. (Daniel B. Wallace, Greek Grammar beyond the Basics, p.93-94.)

     Wallace also accepts the mistranslation of all English versions as correct. His comments on Greek grammar of John 21:8 and Col. 2:3,9 are accurate. But regarding Acts 6:3 he is in error since the Spirit cannot be the genitive of content. The Spirit is God. For instance, “the net [full] of fish” makes sense, but “full of the Spirit” makes no sense. We are not to treat the Spirit as fish. The phrase “full of [the] Spirit and (kai) wisdom” makes sense because the Greek conjunction kai does not mean “and” but “of.” “Seven men full of the Spirit and wisdom” is a right translation but it must be assumed to mean “seven men full of the wisdom of the Spirit.” It should be inferred that the wisdom of the Spirit is one gift of nine gifts of the Spirit. It should be “the wisdom of Spirit can be the genitive of content.”

Daniel B. Wallace illustrates the translation of “verbal genitive of content.”

Luke 2:40; the child was filled with wisdom (or full of wisdom). Luke 4:28; all in synagogue were filled with anger. John 6:13; they filled twelve baskets with the fragments. Acts 2:4; all were filled with the Holy Spirit and they began to speak in other tongues.(Daniel B. Wallace, Ibid., p.92,93.)

     Wallace’s comments on the translation of “verbal genitive of content” on Luke 2:40, 4:28 and John 6:13 are accurate but not the translation of Acts 2:4 because the Holy Spirit is not treated as God. He accepts the typical translation, “be filled with the Spirit” which implies that the Spirit is the content of the filling.  This is quite erroneous and unbiblical. The Spirit can by no means be the content of the filling because the Spirit is God the Spirit. What is the source of this incorrect argument? He notes the following:

If the word is a verb, the typical translational force of the genitive is with. There are two kinds of genitive of content: one related to a noun or adjective (nominal gen. of content), the other to a verb (verbal gen. of content). A genitive of content is a lexicon-syntactic category in that the verb or head noun will be a term indicating quantity (e.g., for verbs: γεμω, πiμπλημι, πληροω for nouns/adjectives: βαθηος, μεστος, πληρης, πληρωμα, πλουτος, etc.). (Daniel B. Wallace, Ibid., p.93.)  

     The note, “If the word is a verb, the typical translational force of the genitive is with...the verb will be a term indicating quantity (e.g. pimplemi πiμπλημι, pleroo πληροω),” is a mixture of incorrect and correct use of Greek. In the case of [pimplemi (πiμπληρημι) and pleroo (πληροω) + wisdom (genitive) and anger (genitive)], his argument regarding Greek grammar is correct, but in only the case of [pimplemi (πiμπληρημι) + pneumatos hagiou (πνεύματος ἁγίου)], pneumatos hagiou (πνεύματος ἁγίου) can by no means imply quantity, because the Holy Spirit is God and a proper name and a divine Person like Jesus Christ. Then, [pimplemi (πiμπλημι) + pneumatos hagiou (πνεύματος ἁγίου)] must not be translated, “to be filled with the Holy Spirit,” but “to be filled with of the Holy Spirit.” The phrase “to be filled with the Holy Spirit” is obviously from an incorrect study of the Greek text. Every passage which has [pimplemi (πiμπλημι) + pneumatos hagiou (πνεύματος ἁγίου)] must be translated as “to be filled with of the Holy Spirit.” The conclusion is that the word “power” is omitted. We are not to be filled with the Holy Spirit but to be filled with the power of the Holy Spirit.

The Bible shows Greek idiom on [pimplemi (πiμπλημι) and pleroo (πληροω) + the genitive].

Luke 4:28      ἐπλήσθησαν πάντες θυμοῦ ἐν τῇ συναγωγῇ 
                      All in synagogue were filled with anger.

     Here, eplesthesan (ἐπλήσθησαν, passive, fill) should be translated as “were filled with” since [to be filled + with] is an English idiom. The word “anger” (thumou, θυμοῦ) is a genitive abstract noun, but it should not be translated “of anger” because “to be filled” requires the preposition “with” as an English language idiom and not the preposition “of.”
    
Matt. 22:10    ἐπλήσθη ὁ γάμος ἀνακειμένων.
                      The wedding hall was filled with guests.

     In this text, eplesthe (ἐπλήσθη, passive, fill) should be translated as “was filled with” since [to be filled + with] is proper English. If it were to be “to be filled with + of guests” because the word “guests” is in the Greek genitive, it would be illogical. A strict principle can be found that every construction of [pimplemi and pleroo (πiμπλημι and πληροω)  +  genitive abstract, material and common noun] must be translated “to be filled with   +  noun without the preposition of.”

Acts 2:4         ἐπλήσθησαν πάντες πνεύματος ἁγίου 
All versions    They were all filled with the Holy Spirit.
Author            They were all filled with of the Holy Spirit.
Author            They were all filled with the power of the Holy Spirit.

    The phrase [eplesthesan (ἐπλήσθησαν, passive, fill) + pneumatos hagiou (πνεύματος ἁγίου, genitive proper name, of the Holy Spirit)] must be translated as “they were filled with of the Holy Spirit.” In this instance [to be filled + with] should be used as the English figure of speech. The genitive pneumatos hagiou must not be translated as “the Holy Spirit” but “of the Holy Spirit” since [to be filled + with] is an English idiom and the Holy Spirit must be treated as God the Holy Spirit and a proper name. If it were to read, “to be filled with + the Holy Spirit,” it would be illogical.
     A strict principle should be observed in every construction of [pimplemi, pleroo (πiμπλημι, πληροω, passive) + pneumatos hagiou (πνεύματος ἁγίου.) It must, without a single exception, be translated as “to be filled with of the Holy Sprit,” and every construction of [pimplemi, pleroo (πiμπλημι, πληροω, passive) + genitive non-proper name] must, without a single exception, be translated as [to be filled with + noun without “of”] as in Matt.  22:10, “the wedding hall was filled with guests.” Acts 13:52 must be translated by this principle of translation.

Acts 13:52    οἵ τε μαθηταὶ ἐπληροῦντο χαρᾶς καὶ πνεύματος ἁγίου.
KJV             The disciples were filled with joy, and with the Holy Ghost.
NKJ             The disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.
Author         The disciples were filled with the joy of the Holy Spirit.

     The text affirms pimplemi (πiμπλημι) in Acts 2:4 means the same as pleroo (πληροω) in Acts 13:52. The translation of KJV of Acts 13:52 could be divided into two separate sentences: “The disciples were filled with joy,” and “The disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit.” To speak of “with joy and with the Holy Spirit,” as if these were two distinct elements, is a mistranslation. Though the NKJ translation is correct, all other English versions agree with the translation of the NKJ. To write, “The disciples were filled with joy and of the Holy Spirit” according to the principle of [pimplemi (πiμπλημι) and pleroo (πληροω) + pneumatos hagiou (πνεύματος ἁγίου)  =  to be filled with of the Holy Spirit], is illogical. The word “and” should be taken away for the sake of clarity. “The disciples were filled with the joy of the Holy Spirit” is both logical and biblical.

1 Thess. 1:6   δεξάμενοι τὸν λόγον ἐν θλίψει πολλῇ μετὰ χαρᾶς πνεύματος ἁγίου
NIV               the message with the joy given by the Holy Spirit
NKJ               the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Spirit

     Both translations show that two phrases, “with the joy given by the Holy Spirit” and “with the joy of the Holy Spirit,” have the same meaning. The term “joy” (Acts 13:52) is the same as that of 1  Thess. 1:6, which confirms that Acts 13:52 must be translated as “The disciples were filled with the joy of the Holy Spirit.” The term “joy” in both passages refers to the “joy given by the Holy Spirit.”

Daniel B. Wallace does newly try to translate and interpret Eph. 5:18.

There are apparently no instances of ἐν + dat. for content in biblical Greek after πληροω. One of the most misunderstood passages in the NT is Eph 5:18, where πληροω is followed by (ἐν) πνεύματι. A typical translation is “be filled with the Spirit” which implies that the Spirit is the content of the filling. But this is highly suspect from the Greek point of view. Normally, a verb of filling takes a genitive of content: rarely, a simple dative of content. However, we know of no clear examples in biblical Greek in which  ἐν + the dative indicates content. We should, therefore, seek some other nuance in such instances, as in Eph 5:18. “Eph 5:18: πληροῦσθε ἐν πνεύματι, be filled [with, by, in] [the] Spirit.” To see ἐν πνεύματι here as indicating content is grammatically suspect. There are no other examples in biblical Greek in which ἐν + the dative after πληροω indicates content. Further, the parallel with οἴνῳ (wine) as well as the common grammatical category of means suggest that the idea intended is that believers are to be filled by means of the [Holy] Spirit. 
The meaning of this text can only be fully appreciated in light of the πληροω language in Ephesians. Always the term is used in connection with member of Trinity. Three considerations seem to be key: (1) In Eph. 3:19 the “hinge” prayers introducing the last half of the letter makes a request that the believers “be filled with all the fullness of God” (πληρωθῆτε εἰς πᾶν τὸ πλήρωμα τοῦ θεοῦ). The explicit content of πληροω is thus God’s fullness (probably a reference to his moral attributes). (2) In 4:10 Christ is said to be the agent of filling (with v 11 adding the specifics of his giving spiritual gifts). (3) The author then brings his argument to a crescendo 5:18: believers are to be filled by Christ by means of the Spirit with the content of the fullness of God.  Daniel B. Wallace, Greek Grammar beyond the Basics, Ibid., p.93,374-75,375)

     Wallace’s arguments are totally erroneous. “A typical translation of Eph. 5:18 is ‘be filled with the Spirit.’” This is from the mistranslation that implies the Spirit is actually the content of the filling. The Spirit can never be the content of the filling. The Spirit is God and a divine Person. Also “Normally, a verb of filling takes a genitive of content” is from an incorrect study of Greek grammar. This term “a verb of filling” [pimplemi (πiμπλημι) and pleroo (πληροω) + pneumatos hagiou (πνεύματος ἁγίου)] must not be translated as “to be filled with the Holy Spirit” but as “to be filled with of the Holy Spirit” since the Holy Spirit is God. The translation “to be filled [with, by, in] [the] Spirit” is quite erroneous since “to be filled” must be “to be filled  +  with” as an idiom in English language. The note, “the parallel with oino (οἴνῳ, wine) as well as the common grammatical category of means suggest that the idea intended is that believers are to be filled by means of the [Holy] Spirit,” is also from the mistranslation and misunderstanding of Eph. 5:18.  
     The word oino (οἴνῳ, wine) could be “means” but the Spirit can by no means be “means.” In the phrase plerousthe en pneumati (πληροῦσθε ἐν πνεύματι), plerousthe (πληροῦσθε) must be translated as “be filled with” since it is used of an idiom in English language. The preposition en (ἐν) in en pneumati (ἐν πνεύματ) can not be translated as “with” since “be filled with with the Spirit” makes no sense. Therefore, it must be “be filled with by the Spirit,” and the verb plerousthe (πληροῦσθε) is in an accusative verb so that it requires an accusative noun. But there is no an accusative noun in the phrase. So Eph. 5:18 must be “be filled with something by the Spirit.” It should be inferred that the term “something” in Eph. 5:18 is omitted just as in Acts 2:4. In Acts 2:4 “the power” is omitted, but in Eph. 5:18 “the joy” is omitted. The reason “the joy” is omitted in Eph. 5:18 will be examined in detail in this chapter.  
     To declare that “the explicit content of pleroo (πληροω) is thus God’s fullness” is in error, just as to speak of “Jesus’ fullness” makes no sense according to the doctrine of the Trinity.  The content of pleroo (πληροω) can by no means be “God’s fullness” but it should read, “all the fullness of God.” “God’s fullness” is illogical, but “all the fullness of God” is logical. “God’s fullness” must be amended to “all the fullness of God.” All the fullness of God is quite different from the fullness of God. Consequently, Wallace’s translation of Eph. 5:18, “Believers are to be filled by Christ by means of the Spirit with the content of the fullness of God,” is basically from a mistranslation and an incorrect Greek grammar. “To be filled” idiomatically requires the preposition “with.” The word plerousthe (πληροῦσθε, passive, fill) must be translated as “be filled with.” The word “joy,” which is omitted here, is the content of the filling and not “God’s fullness.” Consequently, Eph. 5:18 must be translated, “be filled with by the Spirit,” or “be filled with the joy by the Spirit,” or “be filled with the joy of the Spirit.”

Robert Gromacki comments on Eph. 5:18.

The command to be filled with the Spirit is stated in Ephesians 5:18: “And do not be drunk with wine; in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit.” Literally the second part of the verse reads, “Be you [plural] filled in spirit.” There is some debate whether “spirit” refers to the Holy Spirit or to the human spirit. While the grammar permits either interpretation, most theologians believe that the Holy Spirit is referred to here. The verb plerousthe in Ephesians 5:18 is in the passive voice, meaning that we are acted on by Him. But we are active when we obey Him and yield to Him. We must be filled with the Spirit over and over. (Robert Gromacki, The Holy Spirit, p.501.)

     “Literally the second part of the verse reads, ‘be you [plural] filled in spirit.’” This is quite erroneous even though the rules of grammar permit this interpretation. It should read “the Spirit.” To say “the verb plerousthe in Ephesians 5:18 is in the passive voice” is correct. This verb should be translated as “be filled with.” As a result this verse should be translated as, “be filled with by the Spirit” since en pneumati (ἐν πνεύματ) should not be translated as “with the Spirit” but as “by the Spirit.” The words “be filled with by the Spirit” clearly mean that some word is omitted, that is, “be filled with something by the Spirit.” Robert Gromacki continues:

But be filled with the Spirit (Eph. 5:18). The Greek verb for “be filled” (plerousthe) indicates that the Spirit does the filling and that believers should be Spirit-filled continually. (Robert Gromacki, The Holy Spirit, p.501,996)

     This note is quite erroneous. Through this translation (“be filled with the Spirit”) it is impossible to say that the Spirit does the filling. If it is translated, “be filled with something by the Spirit,” it could be said that the Spirit does the filling of something, that is, “the Spirit fills you with something.”

Daniel B. Wallace interprets Acts 2:4 and Eph. 5:18.

Acts 2:4: all were filled with the Holy Spirit and they began to speak in other tongues. It is to be noted that neither the verb nor the case following the verb are the same as in Eph 5:18 (here,πiμπλημι; there, πληροω; here, gen.; there, [ ἐν +] dat.). The command there to be filled by the Spirit has nothing to do with tongues-speaking. The Spirit-filling (with πiμπλημι) in Acts is never commanded, nor is it related particularly to sanctification. Rather, it is a special imbuing of the Spirit for particular task (similar to the Spirit’s ministry in the OT). Furthermore, every time the case used to indicate the content of filling is the gen., never the dat. Cf. Acts 4:8,31; 9:17; 13:9 (cf. also Luke 1:15,41). (Daniel B. Wallace, Greek Grammar beyond the Basics, p.94.) 

     This comment is a mixture of correct and incorrect elements. He accepted the mistranslated Acts 2:4 as authentic. The note “the Spirit-filled” (with πiμπλημι) in Acts is quite erroneous since it is based on the mistranslation of Acts 2:4 that does not honor the Spirit as God the Holy Spirit. “The command there to be filled by the Spirit” is erroneous. It should speak of, “The command there to be filled with by the Spirit,” or “The command there to be filled with the joy (of) by the Spirit.” The note “it is a special imbuing of the Spirit for particular task” is erro- neous. This should read, “it is a special imbuing of the power of the Spirit for the preaching of gospel.” Acts 1:8 and Acts 2:4 confirm that to receive the power of the Holy Spirit is to be filled with the power of the Holy Spirit. Daniel B. Wallace insists that “every time the case used to indicate the content of filling is the genitive” in Acts 4:8,31, 9:17, 13:9 and Luke 1:15,41. He accepted the Holy Spirit in these passages as the content of filling, but this is thoroughly erroneous. The Holy Spirit in these passages can never be the content of filling. In the original Greek text, the Holy Spirit is in the genitive [pimplemi (πiμπλημι) + genitive], but no one translator, including Daniel B. Wallace, translated it as the genitive “of the Holy Spirit” but the dative “with the Holy Spirit.” It is thoroughly unbiblical. Then, why is it thoroughly unbiblical?

Every English version translates the genitive in Acts 13:52 as the dative.

Acts 13:52   οἵ τε μαθηταὶ ἐπληροῦντο χαρᾶς καὶ πνεύματος ἁγίου.
KJV            The disciples were filled with joy, and with the Holy Ghost.
NKJ            The disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.
NIV            The disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.

    In eplerounto charas kai pneumatos hagiou (ἐπληροῦντο χαρᾶς καὶ πνεύματος ἁγίου) of Acts 13:52, the words charas kai pneumatos hagiou are in the genitive. All translators, without a single exception, translate eplerounto (ἐπληροῦντο) as “were filled” and the genitive charas kai pneumatos hagiou (χαρᾶς καὶ πνεύματος ἁγίου) as the dative “with joy and with the Holy Spirit.” That is, we read in the NKJ, “The disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.” Although no one in Christian society objects to this translation, it is thoroughly unbiblical. Eplerounto charas (ἐπληροῦντο χαρᾶς) should be translated as “The disciples were filled with joy” but eplerounto pneumatos hagiou (ἐπληροῦντο πνεύματος ἁγίου) as “The disciples were filled with of the Holy Spirit.” Here, it should be noticed that the term “joy” is omitted. So Acts 13:52 must be translated and interpreted, “The disciples were filled with the joy of the Holy Spirit.” Then, it is biblical.
     Daniel B. Wallace argues that the case to indicate the content of filling is the genitive every time. Apparently, [pleroo (πληροω) + genitive (joy and the Holy Spirit)] is used here. Wallace’s argument should be applied to only the case “The disciples were filled with joy” since the term “joy” can be the content of filling. But if Wallace’s grammar rule (“every time the case used to indicate the content of filling is the genitive”) is applied to “The disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit,” it makes no sense at all. The term “joy” can be the content of filling, but the Holy Spirit can never be. He is God the Holy Spirit and a personal name. Therefore, the preposition “of” in the genitive “of joy” should be taken away for the sake of clarity; that is, “The disciples were filled with joy.” The words “To be filled with” must be accepted as an English idiom.
     Consequently, eplerounto (ἐπληροῦντο) must be translated as “were filled with,” and charas (χαρᾶς) should be translated as “joy” without the preposition “of” even though it is in the genitive. Pneumatos hagiou should be translated, “of the Holy Spirit” with the preposition “of” as the genitive of the original Greek text. This principle should be accepted as a strict principle of the translation of [pimplemi (πiμπλημι, πληροω) + genitive abstract noun, common noun, and material noun, and the Holy Spirit, the proper name] in the NT. That is, [pimplemi (πiμπλημι) + pneumatos hagiou (πνεύματος ἁγίου)] in the NT must be translated as “to be filled with of the Holy Spirit.” Then, it should be interpreted here that some word, specifically “power” is omitted. If [pimplemi (πiμπλημι, πληροω) + genitive] in Acts and [pleroo (πληροω) + ἐν  + dative] in Eph. 5:18 are not clearly understood, it is impossible to construct a correct doctrine of the Holy Spirit.

Billy Graham inconsistently uses the designation “be filled with the Spirit” is the same meaning as “be filled by the Spirit.”

Ephesians 5:18 literally say, Keep on being filled with the Spirit. This continuous filling by the Holy Spirit is also what Jesus was teaching in John 4...So it is critical that we be filled with the Spirit. In considering this, however, we must not be confused by mere terminology. The Bible teaches there are many fillings-in fact, we are to be continuously filled by the Holy Spirit. (Billy Graham, The Holy Spirit, p.117-120.)

John F. MacArthur inconsistently uses that the designation “be filled with the Spirit” is the same meaning as “be filled by the Spirit.”

What does it mean to be filled with the Holy Spirit? In Ephesians 5:18 he told us how to achieve that worthy walk: by being filled with the Spirit. As the Israelites gathered manna daily, the Christian must be kept filled by the Spirit daily. We often speak of people being ‘filled’ with anger or ‘filled’ with joy. (John F. MacArthur, Charismatic Chaos, 314.)
They need to experience the release of that power in their lives through not grieving the Spirit by sin (Eph. 4:30), and being continually filled and controlled by the Spirit (Eph. 5:18). The result of being filled with the Spirit. (John F. MacArthur, The MacArthur New Testament Commentary Acts 1-12, p.19.)

     Billy Graham and John  F. MacArthur inconsistently use the designations, “be filled with the Spirit” and “be filled by the Spirit.” In “be filled with the Spirit,” the Spirit is treated not God the Spirit but the abstract noun like anger or joy. This is erroneous. In “be filled by the Spirit,” the Spirit is treated as God the Spirit, but believers must be “be filled with something (e.g., joy, power) by the Spirit” since “to be filled with” is an English idiom.
     Billy Graham insists that we must not be confused by mere terminology, but he himself is in great confusion by the terminology he uses. Unfortunately, many scholars are in great confusion because of the mistranslations of Acts 2:4 and Eph. 5:18. Since both passages are incorrectly translated and interpreted, it is impossible to have correct biblical terminology. If inaccurate and confused designations are used, it is also impossible understand the Holy Spirit. Inaccurate and confused designations lead to misunderstandings and misinterpretations.  

If the following passages are not understood, it is impossible to translate Eph. 5:18.

Eph. 3:19  πληρωθῆτε εἰς πᾶν τὸ πλήρωμα τοῦ θεοῦ 
KJV        Ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.
NKJ         You may be filled with all the fullness of God.
NIV         You may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
NJB         You may be filled with the utter fullness of God.
NAS        You may be filled up to all the fulness of God.
NRS        You may be filled with all the fullness of God.
GWN      You may be completely filled with God.

     In these translations, the KJV, the NKJ and the NRS are more logical. The words “You may be filled with all the fullness of God” make grammatical and biblical sense. If there is no the additional word “all” (pan πᾶν), the phrase “You may be filled with the fullness of God” is illogical because God is treated as a material noun like water, or an abstract noun like a spiritual power. The words (“all the fullness of God,” “all the fullness of Jesus,” “all the fullness of the Holy Spirit”) make sense since God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are honored as proper names. The principle of translation and interpretation applied to Eph. 3:19 must be applied to that of Eph. 1:23 and 4:13.

Eph. 1:23 requires the term “all” in Eph. 3:19 to be logical.

Eph. 1:23    τὸ πλήρωμα τοῦ τὰ πάντα ἐν πᾶσιν πληρουμένου.
NIV             the fullness of him who fills everything in every way
NKJ             the fullness of Him who fills all in all

     The phrase (“the fullness of him who fills everything in every way, and the fullness of Him who fills all in all”) is from the original Greek. Here, the word “Him” refers to Jesus. The Greek preposition “en” is correctly translated “in.” But if it were translated as “…Him who fills all with all,” it would be more logical and consistent with other passages mentioned above. Here, “the fullness of Him” is illogical since the phrase “the fullness of Jesus” makes no sense. But the phrase “all the fullness of Him who fills all with all” makes sense since it means that Jesus fills all with all. The interpretation of Eph. 1:23 must be consistent with Eph. 3:19. Therefore, “all” in v. 23 is required here to be consistent with v. 19. The word “all” found in v. 19 is omitted in v.   23. Then, “all the fullness of Him who fills all with all” is logical and biblical.

Eph. 4:13 requires the term “all” in Eph. 3:19 to be logical.

Eph.4:13
KJV
NKJ
NIV
NRS
NAS
NAB
GWN
NET
TNIV

 εἰς μέτρον ἡλικίας τοῦ πληρώματος τοῦ Χριστοῦ,
unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ
to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ
to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ  
to the measure of the full stature of Christ
the stature which belongs to the fulness of Christ
to the extent of the full stature of Christ
until we measure up to Christ, who is the standard
to the measure of Christ's full stature
to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ

 

     The words “the fullness of Christ” make no sense since Christ is not treated as a proper name. As we have already noted, the Spirit and Christ must be always written as proper names. The usage of omission in the Bible is used in Eph.  4:13 just as in Eph. 1:23. Eph. 4:13 must be inferred to mean that the word “all” in Eph. 3:19 is omitted. Therefore, the word “all” must be added so it reads, “to the measure of the stature of all the fullness of Christ.” Then, it is logical. “All the fullness of Christ” should be assumed to mean “all the fullness given by Christ.” The NRS reasonably and biblically translates it as the full stature of Christ since Christ is treated as God.

Rom. 15:29 shows the usage of “the fullness.”

Rom. 15:29   ἐν πληρώματι εὐλογίας Χριστοῦ ἐλεύσομαι.  
NIV            I will come in the full measure of the blessing of Christ.
NRS           I will come in the fullness of the blessing of Christ.
NKJ           I shall come in the fullness of the blessing of the gospel of Christ.
NAS          I will come in the fulness of the blessing of Christ.


     The Greek text records, “I will come in the fullness of the blessing of Christ.” It would be illogical if it simply read, “I will come in the fullness of Christ.” Christ is not treated as God. This text shows the principle of [the fullness + an abstractive noun].

The usage of omission is used in Eph. 4:10, which “with all” is omitted.

Eph. 4:10    ἵνα πληρώσῃ τὰ πάντα.
KJV           that he might fill all things
NKJ           that He might fill all things
NIV            in order to fill the whole universe
NRS           so that he might fill all things

     The accusative verb, plerose (πληρώσῃ, fill) requires the accusative noun, ta panta (τὰ πάντα, all things). Likewise, eplerosen () in Acts 2:2 and eplesthesan (ἐπλήσθησαν) in Acts 2:4 require the accusative noun since both are in accusative verbs. In Acts  2:4, eplesthesan (ἐπλήσθησαν) does not have the accusative noun but the genitive. Therefore, the translation, “they were all filled with the Holy Spirit,” is quite erroneous. The term “the Holy Spirit” is not in the accusative but the genitive, so that it needs the term “the power” from Acts 1:8 to clarify Acts 2:4, which should read, “they were all filled with the power of the Holy Spirit.” Eph. 4:9 explains that “He” in Eph. 4:10 is Jesus Christ. The text is in an active voice.
     Look again at the phrase “a sound filled all the house” (Acts  2:2), which is in the active voice. It can be changed into the passive voice: “all the house was filled with a sound.” It is logical and grammatical. Likewise, if Eph. 4:10 of the active voice were changed into the passive, it would read, “all things might be filled with Jesus,” but this is illogical. Therefore, the verb pleroo (πληροω, fill) requires the preposition “with.” It could be inferred that Jesus might fill all things with all things. Eph. 1:23 says, “…him who fills all with all, that is,…Jesus fills all with all.” Then, it is confirmed that Eph. 1:23 conveys the same meaning as Eph. 4:10.

Col. 2:9-10 shows the principle of [all + the fullness of the Deity].

Col. 2:9-10  ὅτι ἐν αὐτῷ κατοικεῖ πᾶν τὸ πλήρωμα τῆς θεότητος σωματικῶς, καὶ ἐστὲ ἐν αὐτῷ πεπληρωμένοι
NIV        For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and you have been given fullness in Christ.
KJV        For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him.
NKJ        For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him. 

     The NIV translates este en auto pepleromenoi (ἐστὲ ἐν αὐτῷ πεπληρωμένοι) in v.10  as  “You have been given fullness in Christ.” Pepleromenoi (πεπληρωμένοι, fill) means “having been filled” and pleroma (πληρωμα) means “fullness” which is a noun. Both are quite different. Verse 10 should be translated, “You have been filled in Christ,” rather than “You have been given fullness in Christ.” Here we expect to be filled with something or the fullness of something. Then, it should be inferred that something is omitted. The words “all the fullness of the Godhead” (v. 9) are omitted in v. 10. So verse 10 should read, “You have been filled with all the fullness of God in Christ.” Subsequently, the construction of Col. 2:9-10 would be exact, consistent and in harmony with Eph. 3:19, “You may be filled with all the fullness of God” (NKJ). In Eph. 5:18 “Be filled with the Spirit,” it does not honor the Spirit as God and a proper noun.
     The Greek dative en pneumati (ἐν πνεύματι, Eph. 5:18) must not be translated as “with the Spirit” but “by the Spirit.” The Spirit is not a material or an abstract noun, and not an accusative but a dative and God the Holy Spirit. It must be “be filled with by the Spirit.” Then, it would make sense because the Spirit is honored as God. It should be inferred here that something is omitted in v. 18 just as in the previously mentioned passages. Here, the word “joy” is omitted, so that the translation should read, “be filled with the joy by the Spirit” or “be filled with the joy of the Spirit.”  

“Be filled with the Spirit” in Eph. 5:18 is from the mistranslation of the Greek text.

     All the records of Ephesians 5:18-21 describe “having a joyful life” in the Lord Jesus. These passages help us conclude that one can be filled with joy through (by) the Spirit. The phrase “be filled with the Spirit” is a mistranslation since the Spirit is not treated as God. Therefore, the Greek text must be translated, “be filled with by the Spirit,” or “be filled with of the Spirit.” This would be consistent with Acts 2:4. This translation seems to make no sense, but it does make sense when the word joy is included. The translation of Eph. 5:18 must be consistent with that of Matt. 10:29 and Acts 13:52.

Eph. 5:18     Do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit. (NKJ)
NIV             Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.
Luke 1:15    For he will be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink. He will also be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb. (NKJ)
NIV             for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even from birth.

     Eph. 5:18 and Luke 1:15 can be simply summarized as follows:

Do not get drunk on wine. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. (All versions)
Do not get drunk on wine. Instead, be filled with by the Spirit. (Author)
John the Baptist shall drink neither wine nor strong drink. (Luke 1:15)
He will be filled with the Holy Spirit. (Luke 1:15. All versions)
John the Baptist did not drink wine. Instead, He was filled with the Holy Spirit. (Luke 1:15. All versions)
He was filled with the Holy Spirit………………............ It is a mistranslation.
He was filled with of the Holy Spirit. (Author)….............It is the original Greek text.
He was filled with the power of the Holy Spirit. (Author)

     These explanations show that Eph. 5:18 carries the same meaning as Luke 1:15, which every English version erroneously translates, “John the Baptist will be filled with the Holy Spirit.” It should read, “John the Baptist will be filled with of the Holy Spirit,” or “John the Baptist will be filled with the power of the Holy Spirit,” as noted above. Then, Eph. 5:18 should be translated “be filled with by the Spirit” as the original Greek text. And it should be inferred “be filled with the joy by (of) the Spirit,” that is, “be filled with the joy given by the Spirit.” The reason the term “joy” is omitted here will be examined in this chapter.

Acts 2:13 does describe the result of Acts 2:4.

Acts 2:13     γλεύκους μεμεστωμένοι εἰσίν.
NIV             They have had too much wine.
NKJ             They are full of new wine.
NRS             They are filled with new wine.
NAS             They are full of sweet wine.

     These phrases are different but they convey the same meaning. Memestomenoi ( μεμεστωμένοι, passive, fill) is in the accusative verb which means “they are filled with.” The accusative verb requires the accusative noun, but there is no accusative noun. Instead, there is a genitive noun gleukos (γλεύκους,  new wine), which should be translated as “of new wine,” so that it could read, “they are filled with of new wine,” but that makes no sense. Therefore, the preposition “of” must be taken away. “To be filled with” is the English idiom. It should read, “They are filled with new wine.” Here, the phrase “They are filled with new wine” (Acts 2:13) is seen as the result of Acts 2:4. When the 120 disciples were filled with the power of the Spirit at Pentecost, they seemed to be filled with new wine according to eyewitness testimony. Let’s examine the following case to understand Eph. 5:18.

Acts 2:4        They were all filled with the Spirit. (All versions)
Author          They were all filled with the power of the Spirit.
Acts 2:13      They have had too much wine. (NIV)
NKJ              They are full of new wine.
NRS              They are filled with new wine.

     Acts 2:4 and Acts 2:13 can be explained as follows:
 
They were not filled with new wine……….………...........It is true.
Instead, they were all filled with the power of the Spirit....It is true.
Do not have had too much wine! ........................................It can be said to them.
Do not get drunk on wine! ..................................................It can be said to them.
Instead, be filled with the power of the Spirit……….........It makes sense.

     The phrase (“Do not get drunk on wine! Instead, be filled with the power of the Spirit”) can be found through the studying of the relation between Acts 2:4 and Acts 2:13. According to the principle of translation and interpretation of Acts 2:4 and  Acts 2:13, Eph. 5:18 must be translated and interpreted similarly since these passages cover the same subject. Every English version translates Eph. 5:18 as “Be filled with the Spirit.” But Luke 1:15 and Acts  2:4,13 confirm this is an erroneous translation. It should be translated as “Be filled with by the Spirit” like the original Greek text (See Matt. 10:29). Acts 2:4,13 is a parallel text to Eph. 5:18.

Eccles. 9:7; 10:19 record that wine makes life merry.

Eccles. 9:7; 10:19 Go, eat your food with gladness, and drink your wine with a joyful heart, for it is now that God favors what you do. (NIV)
NKJ     Go, eat your bread with joy and drink your wine with a merry heart; For God has already accepted your works.
KJV     Go, eat your food with gladness, and drink your wine with a joyful heart, for it is now that God favors what you do.
NKJ     A feast is made for laughter, and wine makes merry.
NIV     A feast is made for laughter, and wine makes life merry.
 
     Through Eccles.  9:7; 10:19 it can be said as follows:

Drink your wine with a joyful heart.
Wine makes your life merry.
Wine makes you joyful.
Wine makes you full of joy.
You can be filled with joy through wine…………………...passive voice
You can be filled with the joy given by wine………………passive voice
You can be filled with the joy by wine…………………......passive voice
Be filled with the joy by wine……………………………....imperative mood
Do not be drunk with wine, for that is debauchery………....imperative mood
Do not be filled with the joy by wine, for that is debauchery. Instead,
Be filled with the joy of the Spirit………………….……….imperative mood
 
     Eph. 5:18-21 commands, “Do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation (which leads to debauchery). Instead, be filled with (joy) by the Spirit” (Author). Believers are not to have joy through wine drinking which leads to debauchery. Instead, “Do try to have your joy given by the Spirit who makes your life joyful.” It can be concluded that both wine and the Spirit will make one joyful. Through this study it can be said as follows:

Wine will make you joyful.
Wine will fill you with joy……………………..................active voice
You will be filled with joy through drinking wine……......passive voice
The Spirit will make you joyful……………………...........active voice
The Spirit will fill you with His joy………………….........active voice
The Spirit will fill you with the joy of the Spirit………......active voice
You will be filled with the joy of the Spirit…………..........passive voice
You will be filled with the joy given by the Spirit……........passive voice
Be filled with the joy of the Spirit………………….............imperative mood
Be filled with by the Spirit....................................................The term joy can be omitted.
Be filled with of the Spirit.....................................................The term joy can be omitted.

     Acts 13:52 says that the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit. This passage does not mean two kinds of filling-“filled with joy” and “filled with the Holy Spirit.” No. The Holy Spirit is God. Actually, the term “and” has the meaning of the preposition “of,” as noted already. Therefore, it must be translated and interpreted as “The disciples were filled with the joy of the Holy Spirit,” as noted above. If one drinks and is filled with wine, wine makes one joyful. It can be said that one can be filled with joy through wine. But if one is filled with the joy of the Spirit, the Spirit will make one joyful. Therefore, it can be said, “Do not drink with wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the joy by the Spirit.” The term “joy” can be omitted just as in Matt. 10:29 and Acts 2:4. This explanation determines how Eph. 5:18 should be translated and interpreted.

1 Thess. 1:5-6 shows “with the joy of the Holy Spirit.”

NIV     you welcomed the message with the joy given by the Holy Spirit.
NKJ     having received the word....with joy of the Holy Spirit.
 
     “You welcomed the message with the joy given by the Holy Spirit,” could be changed into, “You welcomed the message through being filled with the joy of the Holy Spirit.” The words “With the joy given by the Holy Spirit and with the joy of the Holy Spirit” indicate that the Holy Spirit gives joy, or the Holy Spirit fills believers with joy.

Acts 2:28 indicates the meaning of Eph. 5:18.

Acts 2:28    ἐγνώρισάς μοι ὁδοὺς ζωῆς, πληρώσεις με εὐφροσύνης μετὰ τοῦ προσώπου σου.   
NIV            You will fill me with joy in your presence.

Here, “You” means “Jesus Christ.” Acts 2:28 can be changed into the follows:

You will fill me with joy.
Jesus will fill you with joy.
Jesus will fill you with His joy……………...active voice
You will be filled with His joy……………...passive voice

     This passive voice can be changed into an imperative construction.

Be filled with the joy given by Jesus.
Be filled with the joy of Jesus.
Be filled with of Jesus...................................The term “joy” can be omitted.
Be filled with the joy given by the Spirit sent by Jesus.
Be filled with the joy of the Spirit………….The term “joy” can be omitted.

     Though worded differently, these phrases have basically the same meaning. The NT written by the disciples of Jesus through the Holy Spirit indeed affirms that Acts 2:28 indicates the meaning of Eph. 5:18.
 

Rom. 15:13 records that God fills the disciples with joy and peace.

Rom 15:13 Ὁ δὲ θεὸς τῆς ἐλπίδος πληρώσαι ὑμᾶς πάσης χαρᾶς καὶ εἰρήνης ἐν τῷ πιστεύειν, εἰς τὸ περισσεύειν ὑμᾶς ἐν τῇ ἐλπίδι ἐν δυνάμει πνεύματος ἁγίου. (BNT)
NIV        May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
KJV        Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.

     The accusative verb plerosai (πληρώσαι, fill) requires the accusative noun. Humas (ὑμᾶς, you) is in the accusative noun. And charas kai eirenes (εἰρήνης, joy and peace) are in the genitives, which are translated “of joy and peace.” If it is translated, “The God of hope may fill you of all joy and of peace,” it makes no sense in English. In English the verb “fill” requires the preposition “with” instead of the preposition “of.” Therefore, it must be “The God of hope may fill you with all joy and peace” so that it makes sense in English. The phrase “May the God of hope fill you with all joy” is in the active voice and can be changed into, “You may be filled with all joy given by God,” or “you may be filled with all joy of God.” And the phrase “You may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” can be changed to read as follows since the Greek verb perisseuein (περισσεύειν) means “abound, overflow and fill.”

You may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
You may be filled with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
You may be filled with joy by the power of the Holy Spirit….passive voice
The power of the Holy Spirit may fill you with joy…….…….active voice
Be filled with joy by the power of the Holy Spirit……….…...imperative mood

     Rom. 15:13 affirms that God fills His people with joy by the power of the Holy Spirit. The apostle Paul wrote Rom. 15:13, Eph. 5:18 and 1 Thess. 1:5-6. So the translation and interpretation of Eph. 5:18 must be consistent with each other, so “Be filled with the Spirit” (Eph. 5:18) makes no sense since it is by no means consistent with Rom. 15:13 and 1 Thess. 1:5-6.

John 15:11; 16:24 record that Jesus fills the disciples with joy.

John 15:11 ἡ χαρὰ ἡ ἐμὴ ἐν ὑμῖν ᾖ καὶ ἡ χαρὰ ὑμῶν πληρωθῇ. (BNT)
NIV      My joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.
NKJ      My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.

     Both “your joy may be complete” and “your joy may be full” are right translations. The phrase “Your joy may be full” can be changed into, “You may be filled with joy” since plerothe (πληρωθῇ, fill) is in a passive verb. Both mean the same. Here, Jesus says that “your joy,” that is, the disciples’ joy, is given by the joy of Jesus. Therefore, “You may be filled with joy” means that “You may be filled with the joy of Jesus,” or “Jesus may fill you with joy.” After Jesus ascended into heaven this passage should be changed to read, “You are filled with the joy of the Holy Spirit,” or “the Holy Spirit fills you with joy.” John 15:11 and Acts 2:28 refer to the same promise.

John 16:24 ἡ χαρὰ ὑμῶν ᾖ πεπληρωμένη
NIV       Your joy will be complete.
NKJ       Your joy may be full.

     Both translations are correct, but the translation of the NKJ is clear because the meaning of pepleromene (πεπληρωμένη, fill) is showed clearly. However, if it were to read, “You may be filled with joy,” as in John 15:11, it would be even clearer because pepleromene(πεπληρωμένη) is in a passive verb. The text can be interpreted as follows: “Your joy may be full. Jesus may fill you with joy. You may be filled with the joy of Jesus. You may be filled with the joy of the Spirit.”

The usage of omission in Acts 2:17-18 must be examined to understand Eph. 5:18.

Acts 2:17-18  I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; (KJV)

     The text in Acts 2:17-18 has the Greek apo, which means “from or of.” The KJV translated it “of.” The NIV omitted it. The KJV is correct because “my Spirit” (the Spirit of God) is honored as God the Spirit. The original translation “God will pour out of (from) my Spirit on all flesh” seems to be illogical. But it is logical since the usages of omission mentioned above are also present here. The omitted term must be found. The phrases (“Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams, and they shall prophesy”) concern the one gift of prophecy of the Spirit (1 Cor. 12:10). It is the word “gift” that is understood in Acts 2:17-18. So “I will pour out the gift of my Spirit upon all flesh” is a correct translation and interpretation.

The “something” in Eph. 5:18 is omitted just as in Acts 2:17-18.

Eph. 5:18    Be filled with the Spirit. (Most English versions)
NLT            Let the Holy Spirit fill and control you.
YLT            Be filled in the Spirit.
Author         Be filled with by the Spirit. * the term “joy” is omitted.
Author         Be filled with the joy by the Spirit.
Author         Be filled with the joy of the Spirit.

     Since the Spirit is not honored as God the Spirit, the translation, “Be filled with the Spirit” is erroneous. In “Let the Holy Spirit fill and control you” (NLT), “Let the Holy Spirit fill you” is incorrect since the verb “fill” requires the preposition “with.” So it should read, “Let the Holy Spirit fill you with something.” “Let the Holy Spirit control you” is correct. To write “Be filled in the Spirit” (YLT) does treat the Spirit as God, but “be filled in the Spirit’ is incorrect. It should read, “Be filled with something in the Spirit.” Eph. 5:18 must be translated and interpreted as “Be filled with the joy of the Spirit.” All of Eph. 5:19-20, (“speaking to each other with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing, making music, giving thanks, submitting to each other in fear of Christ”), focus on the joy given by the Spirit. These kinds of joy are all from the Spirit. The “joy” in Eph. 5:19-20 is omitted in Eph. 5:18, just as in Acts 2:17-18 “gift” is omitted. Then, it is confirmed that Eph. 5:18 must be translated and interpreted as “Be filled with the joy of the Spirit.”

Klyne Snodgrass comments on Eph. 5:18.  

Verses 18-21 are one sentence, with five participles explaining what it means to be filled with the Spirit, the last of which is “submitting to one another in the fear of Christ. A closer comparison of the NIV and the Greek text is instructive. The NIV uses five sentences with six commands to translate the one sentence in 5:18-21. The NIV also has one participle (“giving thanks” in v. 20). But the Greek text actually has only two imperatives-“Do not get drunk” and “Be filled with the Spirit-and five par- ticiples: “Speaking to each other with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, Singing, Making music, Giving thanks, Submitting to each other in fear of Christ.” While participles can be interpreted as commands, these five participles describe the results of being filled with God’s Spirit. We may have chosen other items, but at least in this text Paul was content to describe Spirit-filled Christians as people whose lives are marked by singing, thankfulness, and mutual submission. (Klyne Snodgrass, Ephesians, the NIV Application Commentary, Grand Rapid: Zondervan, 1996, p.286-7.)

     “These five participles describe the results of being filled with God’s Spirit” should be seen as meaning that the five participles describe the results of being filled with the joy of Spirit. If one is filled with the joy given by the Spirit, he will be participate in the “speaking to each other with psalms, hymns, spiritual songs, singing, making music, giving thanks, submitting to each other in fear of Christ.” The Greek text must be translated, “Be filled with by the Spirit.” It should be understood that the term “joy” is omitted since these five participles are given through the Spirit, that is, the joy of the Spirit. Then, it must be interpreted as “Be filled with the joy given by the Spirit, or be filled with the joy of the Spirit.”

Ajith Fernando comments on Eph. 5:18.

At Pentecost, when the disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit, they began “declaring the wonders of God” (v. 11). When we sense, through experience, that “God has pour out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us” (Rom 5:5), our hearts are filled with joy, and this joy expresses itself in praise. Singing, of course, is one of the supreme expressions of our joy over the intimacy we have in Christ. Just as love song express the joy human love, Christian songs express the joy we have in our love relationship with God. John Wesley has said, “Singing is as much the language of holy joy as praying is of holy desire.” Paul connects singing directly with the fullness of the Spirit in Ephesians 5:18-20, presenting it as an outflow of such fullness: “Be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord” (NASB). “Speaking, singing, and making melody” are participles in the Greek related to the imperative, “be filled.” Christians, then, must constantly seek to recapture what Pen- tecost signified: vibrant intimacy with God and joyous worship that ensues from it. (Ajith Fernando, The NIV Application Commentary: Acts, p.93.)

     The note (“God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us (Rom. 5:5), our hearts are filled with joy, and this joy expresses itself in praise”) is correct, but Ajith Fernando misunderstood the meaning of Eph. 5:18-20. The note can simply be written, “God has poured out his joy into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, of whom he has given us (Rom. 5:5), our hearts are filled with joy given by the Holy Spirit, and this joy expresses itself in praise.” This note can be changed into an imperative construction: “Be filled with the joy of the Spirit sent by God.” The phrase (“Speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, Singing and Making melody with your heart to the Lord”) describes the joy of the Spirit. So to write, “Paul connects singing directly with the fullness of the Spirit in Eph. 5:18-20,” is incorrect. It must be, “Paul connects singing directly with the fullness of the joy of the Spirit in Eph. 5:18.”