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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Ephesians 5:23

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.

Adam Clarke Commentary

For the husband is the head of the wife - This is the reason which the apostle gives for his injunctions. See above.

He is the Savior of the body - As Christ exercises authority over the Church so as to save and protect it, so let the husband exercise authority over his wife by protecting, comforting, and providing her with every necessary and comfort of life, according to his power.


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Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Ephesians 5:23". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/ephesians-5.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

For the husband is the head of the wife - see the notes on 1 Corinthians 11:3.

As Christ is the head of the church - As Christ rules over the church, and has a right to direct and control it.

And he is the Saviour of the body - That is, of the church, represented as “his body;” see notes, Ephesians 1:23. The idea here seems to be, that as Christ gave himself to save his body, the church; as he practiced self-denial and made it an object of intense solicitude to preserve that church, so ought the husband to manifest a similar solicitude to make his wife happy, and to save her from want, affliction, and pain. He ought to regard himself as her natural protector; as bound to anticipate and provide for her needs; as under obligation to comfort her in trial, even as Christ does the church. What a beautiful illustration of the spirit which a husband should manifest is the care which Christ has shown for his “bride,” the church! See the notes on Ephesians 5:25-29.


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Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Ephesians 5:23". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/ephesians-5.html. 1870.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

For the husband is the head of the wife,.... See Gill on 1 Corinthians 11:3.

Even as Christ is the head of the church; all the elect; See Gill on Ephesians 1:22. And he is the Saviour of the body; not "of our body", as the Ethiopic version reads, of that part of man, which is called the body; though that indeed is redeemed and saved by Christ, as well as the soul; but "of his body", as the Vulgate Latin version reads; that is, of the church, which is his body; see Ephesians 1:23; of which he is the Saviour; he provides everything for it, preserves and protects it, and has wrought out salvation for it, which every member of it partakes of.


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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855

Bibliography
Gill, John. "Commentary on Ephesians 5:23". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/ephesians-5.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

9 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: 10 and he is the saviour of the body.

(9) A declaration of the former saying: because God has made the man head of the woman in marriage, as Christ is the head of the Church.

(10) Another argument: because the good estate of the wife depends on the man, so that this submission is not only just, but also very profitable: as also the salvation of the Church depends on Christ, although to a far greater degree.


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Bibliography
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Ephesians 5:23". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/ephesians-5.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

(1 Corinthians 11:3.)

even asGreek, “as also.”

and he is — The oldest manuscripts read, “Himself (being) Savior,” omitting “and,” and “is.” In Christ‘s case, the Headship is united with, nay gained by, His having SAVED the body in the process of redemption; so that (Paul implies) I am not alleging Christ‘s Headship as one entirely identical with that other, for He has a claim to it, and office in it, peculiar to Himself [Alford]. The husband is not savior of the wife, in which particular Christ excels; hence, “But” (Ephesians 5:24) follows [Bengel].


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These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.

Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Ephesians 5:23". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/ephesians-5.html. 1871-8.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

For the husband is the head of the wife (οτι ανηρ εστιν κεπαλη της γυναικοςhoti anēr estin kephalē tēs gunaikos). “For a husband is head of the (his) wife.” No article with ανηρanēr or κεπαληkephalē

As Christ also is the head of the church (ως και ο Χριστος κεπαλη της εκκλησιαςhōs kai ho Christos kephalē tēs ekklēsias). No article with κεπαληkephalē “as also Christ is head of the church.” This is the comparison, but with a tremendous difference which Paul hastens to add either in an appositional clause or as a separate sentence.

Himself the saviour of the body (αυτος σωτηρ του σωματοςautos sōtēr tou sōmatos). He means the church as the body of which Christ is head and Saviour.


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The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)

Bibliography
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on Ephesians 5:23". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/ephesians-5.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Vincent's Word Studies

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.


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Bibliography
Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Ephesians 5:23". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/vnt/ephesians-5.html. Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

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.

The head — The governor, guide, and guardian of the wife.

And he is the Saviour of the body — The church, from all sin and misery.


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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.

Bibliography
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Ephesians 5:23". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/ephesians-5.html. 1765.

Abbott's Illustrated New Testament

Of the body; that is, of his body, the church. The application intended to be made of this is expressed in Ephesians 5:25.


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Bibliography
Abbott, John S. C. & Abbott, Jacob. "Commentary on Ephesians 5:23". "Abbott's Illustrated New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ain/ephesians-5.html. 1878.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

23.For the husband is the head of the wife. This is the reason assigned why wives should be obedient. Christ has appointed the same relation to exist between a husband and a wife, as between himself and his church. This comparison ought to produce a stronger impression on their minds, than the mere declaration that such is the appointment of God. Two things are here stated. God has given to the husband authority over the wife; and a resemblance of this authority is found in Christ, who is the head of the church, as the husband is of the wife.

And he is the savior of the body. The pronoun HE ( αὐτός) is supposed by some to refer to Christ; and, by others, to the husband. It applies more naturally, in my opinion, to Christ, but still with a view to the present subject. In this point, as well as in others, the resemblance ought to hold. As Christ rules over his church for her salvation, so nothing yields more advantage or comfort to the wife than to be subject to her husband. To refuse that subjection, by means of which they might be saved, is to choose destruction.


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Bibliography
Calvin, John. "Commentary on Ephesians 5:23". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/ephesians-5.html. 1840-57.

Scofield's Reference Notes

saviour

(See Scofield "Romans 1:16").


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Bibliography
Scofield, C. I. "Scofield Reference Notes on Ephesians 5:23". "Scofield Reference Notes (1917 Edition)". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/srn/ephesians-5.html. 1917.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

23 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.

Ver. 23. For the husband is the head] And would it not be ill-favoured to see the shoulders above the head?


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Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Ephesians 5:23". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/ephesians-5.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Ephesians 5:23. The husband is the head of the wife, It is from the head that the body receives both health and life: St. Paul here pronounces this of Christ, as the head of the church; that by the parallel which he makes use of to represent the relation between husband and wife, he may both shew the wife the reasonableness of her subjection to her husband, and the duty incumbent on the husband to cherish and preserve his wife; as we see that he pursues it in the following verses.


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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Ephesians 5:23". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/ephesians-5.html. 1801-1803.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

Ephesians 5:23. καὶ αὐτὸς, and He Himself) But the husband is not the saviour of the wife; in that Christ excels. Hence but follows.


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Bibliography
Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Ephesians 5:23". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/ephesians-5.html. 1897.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

For the husband is the head of the wife; superior to her by God’s ordination in authority and dignity, as the head in the natural body, being the seat of reason, and the fountain of sense and motion, is more excellent than the rest of the body.

Even as Christ is the head of the church: see Ephesians 1:22 Colossians 1:18. The particle as notes not equality, but likeness, Christ being the Head of the church in a more excellent way than the husband is of the wife.

And he is the saviour of the body; i.e. Christ is the Saviour of his church, implying that so likewise the husband is given to the wife to be a saviour to her, in maintaining, protecting, and defending her; and therefore the wife, if she regard her own good, should not grudge to be subject to him.


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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Ephesians 5:23". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/ephesians-5.html. 1685.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

And he; Christ.

Is the Saviour of the body; the church, which is his body.


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Bibliography
Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on Ephesians 5:23". "Family Bible New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/ephesians-5.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges

23. ὅτι ἀνήρ ἐστιν κεφαλὴ τῆς γυναικὸς ὡς καὶ ὁ χριστὸς κεφαλὴ τῆς ἐκκλησίας. On the figure of ‘the Head,’ cf. on Ephesians 1:22. It is applied as here to the relation of husband to wife in 1 Corinthians 11:3. Only there Christ is spoken of as Head of every man individually and not as here as Head of the Church. The position in regard to the race is a development of the thought of Christ as the Second Adam. See Hort Chr. Eccl. p. 151.

αὐτὸς. Himself—by His own act—or in His own person; cf. Ephesians 2:14.

σωτὴρ τοῦ σώματος. Christ is called Saviour in St Paul outside the Pastoral Epistles [4] only in Philippians 3:20. In the rest of the N.T. only in Luke 2:11; Acts 5:31; Acts 13:23; John 4:42; 1 John 4:14; 2 Pet. [5]. For its use as an Imperial Title see Deissmann, Light from Ancient East, pp. 368 ff. The nature of the salvation is defined in Acts 5:31, ἀρχηγὸν καὶ σωτῆρατοῦ δοῦναι μετάνοιαν τῷ Ἰσραὴλ καὶ ἄφεσιν ἁματριῶν. In Acts 13:23 there is no definition. It may, however, be implied in the closing words of the speech Acts 13:39, ἐν τούτῳ πᾶς ὁ πιστεύων δικαιοῦται. In Philippians 3:20, the salvation lies in the future and is closely connected with the transformation of ‘the body of our humiliation.’ It might be possible therefore to take the salvation of the body here as referring to the consecration of sexual relations of which St Paul speaks in 1 Corinthians 6:13-15. But τὸ σῶμα can hardly be anything else than the Church esp. as Christ has just been described as κεφαλή, cf. Ephesians 1:23, Ephesians 4:16. The salvation therefore is no doubt to be understood in the light of Ephesians 5:23-25. The thought is introduced here because the Headship had been displayed most clearly in the sacrifice by which the salvation had been wrought out (cf. Acts 5:31, ἀρχηγὸν καὶ σωτῆρα) and because the same sacrifice constitutes His final claim on our allegiance, cf. 1 Corinthians 6:20.


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Bibliography
"Commentary on Ephesians 5:23". "Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cgt/ephesians-5.html. 1896.

John Eadie's Commentary on Galatians, Ephesians, Colossians and Philippians

(Ephesians 5:23.) ῞οτι ἀνήρ ἐστιν κεφαλὴ τῆς γυναικὸς, ὡς καὶ ὁ χριστὸς κεφαλὴ τῆς ἐκκλησίας—“For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is Head of the church.” The preponderance of authority is against the article before ἀνήρ, which appears in the Received Text. It does not need the article (Winer, § 19), though the article would not alter the meaning. It stands here as a species of monadic noun; or it may be rendered as a general proposition—“as a husband is the head of the wife”-the article before γυναικός pointing out the special relation—“his wife.” ῞οτι introduces the reason why wives should be submissive—“as to the Lord.” In the phrase ὡς καί—“as also”- καί is not superfluous, though it occurs only in the second clause and marks the sameness of relation in κεφαλή. Klotz, Devar. vol. 2.635. The meaning of the sentiment, Christ is the Head of the church, has been already explained under Ephesians 1:22, and again under Ephesians 4:15-16. The reader may turn to these explanations. As Christ is Head of the church, so the husband is head of the wife. Authority and government are lodged in him; the household has its unity and centre in him; from him the wife receives her cherished help; his views and feelings are naturally adopted and acted out by her; and to him she looks up for instruction and defence. Severed from him she becomes a widow, desolate and cheerless; the ivy which clasped itself so lovingly round the oak, pines and withers when its tree has fallen. And there is only one head; dualism would be perpetual antagonism. This marital headship is man's prerogative in virtue of his prior creation, for he was first formed in sole and original dignity. 1 Timothy 2:13. “Neither was the man created for the woman, but the woman for the man,” so that he is in position the superior. “The man is not of the woman, but the woman of the man”-a portion of himself-his other self; taken out from near his heart; and, therefore, though his equal in personality and fellowship, being of him and for him and after him, she is second to him. Nay, more, “Adam was not deceived; but the woman, being deceived, was in the transgression;” and to her the Lord God said, “Thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee,” though the gospel lightens this portion of the curse which has been so terribly felt in all non-Christian lands. Each sex is indeed imperfect by itself, and the truest unity is conjugal duality. Still, though the woman was originally of the man, yet now “the man is by the woman”—“the mother of all living.” Finally, the apostle illustrates this headship by the striking declaration, that the woman is the “glory of the man,” but “the man is the image and glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 11:3-12; 1 Timothy 2:14.

αὐτὸς σωτὴρ τοῦ σώματος—“Himself Saviour of the body.” The words καί and ἐστι in the Received Text are found in D2, D3, E2, K, L, in the majority of MSS., and in the Syriac and Gothic versions. Tittmann and Reiche also hold by the longer reading, but the words are wanting in A, B, D1, E1, F, G, while Codex A reads ὁ σωτήρ. αὐτός is emphatic, and can refer only to χριστός. “Christ is Head of the church-Himself, and none other, Saviour of the body.” Winer, § 59, 7, note. Some refer it to ἀνήρ. Chrysostom's exposition would seem to imply such a reference, and Holzhausen formally adopts it. But it is of Christ the apostle is speaking, and the independent and emphatic clause, thrown off without any connecting particle, gives a reason why He is head of the church, to wit—“Himself Saviour of the body.” The reader may turn to the meaning of σῶμα under Ephesians 1:23, Ephesians 4:15-16. The paronomasia is imitated by Clement, ad Corinth. xxxviii.- σωζεσθω οὖν ἡμῶν ὅλον τὸ σῶμα ἐν χριστῷ ᾿ιησοῦ. Christ is the Saviour of His body the church-not only its Redeemer by an act of atonement, but its continued Deliverer, Preserver, and Benefactor, and so is deservedly its Head. This Headship originated in the benefits which His church has enjoyed, and is based on His saving work; while the conscious enjoyment of that salvation brings the church gladly to acknowledge His sole supremacy. Some, indeed, suppose that in this clause there is an implied comparison, and that the husband is a species of σωτήρ to his wife. Bucer, Bullinger, Musculus, Aretius, Zanchius, Erasmus, Grotius, Beza, Schrader, Rückert, Baumgarten-Crusius, Meier, Matthies, de Wette, and Peile are of this mind. But the clause is peculiar, αὐτός separating it from what is said before. There is a comparison in κεφαλή, that is, in the point of position and authority, but none in σωτήρ; for the love and protection which a husband may afford a wife can never be called σωτηρία, and has no resemblance to Christ's salvation. Some even suppose that the wife is here called σῶμα, basing their opinion on the language of Ephesians 5:28. There is no warrant for supposing that in the apostle's mind there was any etymological affinity between σωτήρ and σῶμα, which in Homer signifies a dead body. See Stier, in loc.; Benfey, Wurzellex. i. p. 412; and the two derivations in Plato, Cratylus, § 38, p. 233; Op. vol. iv. ed. Bekker.


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Bibliography
Eadie, John. "Commentary on Ephesians 5:23". John Eadie's Commentary on Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians and Colossians. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jec/ephesians-5.html.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

23. Head—He does not say Lord, as expressing Christ in his absolute capacity, but as head, representing his relative office. As the first planner and organizer, and perpetual representative of the family to the world, the husband is its naturally and divinely constituted head. By his name is the whole family rightly called. Outside the home, in which the wife is empress of a little kingdom of her own, he is held primarily responsible for the family support, reputation, and advancement. His position is justly held to be dishonoured, guiltily or unfortunately, if that responsibility be not sustained, or the wife be called to supply his place. It is equally unbecoming for her to endeavour, without necessity, either to substitute or overrule him.

Of the wife—Including her offspring, who are at once produced by herself, and herself; just as the Church’s offspring are truly herself.

Christ… Church—So that the family is a picture outlining the sacred original, and, therefore, itself sacred. Human laws may hold marriage a merely civil contract; but divine law holds it to be a divine institution. Hence, it is not the magistrate, but the minister, by whom the marriage rite should be performed, and the church should be its place; since, though not a sacrament, it is a most highly religious act. The marriage itself, however surrounded with jovial circumstances, should be performed by the minister as a most solemn religious ceremonial. He, emphatic and distinctive. Christ is not only head, but he is Saviour of the churchly body.


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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Ephesians 5:23". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/ephesians-5.html. 1874-1909.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

The reason for the wife"s willing submission is that God has placed wives in a position of authority under their husbands (cf. 1 Corinthians 11:12). Likewise He has chosen to place Jesus Christ in authority over the church. Jesus Christ is the Savior of the church and similarly the husband is the deliverer of his wife. The husband"s headship involves loving, serving, caring for, and leading his wife. These are all things that Jesus Christ does for the church.

"To speak in terms of functional equality for husband and wife erroneously removes the complementary quality of the relationship and invalidates the comparison to Christ and the church, who are not functionally equal." [Note: Bock, "A Theology . . .," pp317-18.]

Leadership should involve a recognition that God has placed the husband in a position of responsibility. The husband occupies his role by divine placement. Assuming this role does not mean that the husband must execute all of his responsibilities perfectly, since that would be impossible. It does mean that he is accountable to God for his wife and children. Even though Eve ate the fruit first, God approached Adam first to question him about what he and Eve had done ( Genesis 3:9). The husband"s leadership makes the wife"s submission reasonable. It requires taking the initiative, integrity, and serving the wife (i.e, lightening the load of those who follow; cf. Matthew 11:28-30; Mark 10:42-45). Leadership also involves managing the home, not dominating it. A good manager creates an environment in which each person can achieve his or her maximum potential. A responsible father also keeps his children under control ( 1 Timothy 3:4). Leading is one of the husband"s primary responsibilities in marriage. [Note: Family Life . . ., pp118-19.]

"Those who are busy undermining the chastity of wedlock to-day are the worst enemies of the commonweal [public good]. Its inviolability is not a question to be settled on grounds of expediency. The corner-stone of society is at stake in the matter." [Note: Simpson, p128.]


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Bibliography
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Ephesians 5:23". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/ephesians-5.html. 2012.

Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

Ephesians 5:23. Because a husband is head of his wife. The basis of the duty is this unalterable fact ‘A husband,’ as an example of the class (the article is not found in Greek); ‘his wife’ brings out the force of the article, pointing to the definite person in the supposed case.

As Christ also is head of the church; ‘His Church,’ but there is no other than His. On Christ as Head of the Church, comp. chaps. Ephesians 1:22; Ephesians 4:15.

He himself is the Saviour of the body; lit., ‘Himself the Saviour of the body.’ This clause distinguishes Christ from the husband ‘In Christ’s case the Headship is united with, nay gained by, His having saved the body in the process of Redemption: so that I am not alleging Christ’s Headship as one entirely identical with that other, for He has a claim to it and an office in it peculiar to Himself’ (Alford).


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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on Ephesians 5:23". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/scn/ephesians-5.html. 1879-90.

The Expositor's Greek Testament

Ephesians 5:23. ὅτι ἀνήρ ἐστι κεφαλὴ τῆς γυναικός, ὡς καὶ χριστὸς κεφαλὴ τῆς ἐκκλησίας: because the husband is the head of the wife, as also Christ is the head of the Church. Reason for a wifely subjection of the kind indicated. It is found in the relation of headship. In the marriage union the husband holds the same relation, viz., that of headship, as Christ holds to the Church, and the headship of the one represents the headship of the other. For ἐστι κεφαλὴ, (605), Vulg., etc., give κεφαλὴ ἐστιν, which WH place in the margin. The before ἀνήρ rests on the slenderest authority, and is omitted by LTTrWHRV on the testimony of (606) (607) (608) (609) (610) (611) (612), etc. The anarthrous ἀνήρ means “a husband” in the sense of any man belonging to the class of husbands. The article, again, is appropriate in τῆς γυναικός, as a definite relation is expressed there = “a husband is head of his wife”. The ὡς καί indicates the point common to the two subjects—each is head, though in relation to different objects.—[ καί] αὐτός [ ἐστι] σωτὴρ τοῦ σώματος: and He is Himself the Saviour of the body. The καί and the ἐστι of the TR have considerable authority ((613)3(614)2, 3(615) (616) (617), most cursives, Syr., Arm., etc.); but they are not found in (618) (619) (620) (621) (622) (623), Vulg., etc., and are to be omitted (with LTTrWHRV). The clause then might be construed as in apposition to the previous χριστός, = “as Christ is the Head of the Church—He, the Saviour of the body”. But it is best taken as an independent clause, stating in a definite and emphatic way an important point in which Christ, who resembles the husband in respect of headship, at the same time differs from the husband. It is best rendered, therefore, “He, He Himself (i.e., = He alone) is the Saviour of the body”. The RV less happily makes it “being Himself the Saviour of the body”. The αὐτός can only be Christ, and the σῶμα is the Church—the body to which He brings salvation. The husband is head of the wife, and in that he is like Christ; but Christ is also that which the husband is not, viz., Saviour of that whereof He is Head.


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Bibliography
Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Ephesians 5:23". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/ephesians-5.html. 1897-1910.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

For the husband is the head of the wife. Though St. Paul here speaks of a man, who is a husband, we may rather translate man than husband, being the same sentence and the same words as 1 Corinthians xi. 3. where even the Protestant translation has, that the man is head of the woman. --- He (Christ) is the saviour of his mystical body, the Church: though some expound it, that the husband is to save and take care of his wife, who is as it were his body. (Witham)


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Bibliography
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Ephesians 5:23". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/ephesians-5.html. 1859.

Mark Dunagan Commentary on the Bible

Ephesians 5:23 “For the husband is the head of the wife, and Christ also is the head of the church, being Himself the saviour of the body”

“For”: The reason why such submission is commanded. “Head”: Compare with 1 Corinthians 11:3. What true headship means and involves will be defined in the following verses, especially 5:25,28-29. “Christ also is the head of the church”:

Thus to ridicule male leadership is to ridicule Jesus Christ. Paul links male leadership in the home with Jesus" headship over the church. Thus the church that rejects male headship in the home is the same church that has just rejected Jesus as it"s own head. “Also”: “In the same way that” (Phi). “Some have argued that this word head means only source, but the lexical evidence and Paul"s own usage in are conclusive in support of the meaning leader or ruling authority. In Ephesians 1:22 Paul says that God ‘subjected all things under Christ"s feet and that Christ was appointed to be head over all things’. Now, in the context of chapter five, Paul clearly intends to use these key words in the same sense” (Boles p. 312). Thus the argument that says that the husband is only the source of his wife, must concede that Christ is only the source of the Church, but that He has absolutely no authority over the church. “Being Himself the savior of the body”: “Which is His body that He saves” (Beck). While Christ is the potential Savior of all men (since all can repent, 2 Peter 3:9), in reality Christ will only save those who are in "the body", the church (1:22-23). Thus one must be a member of the church to be saved. The church is not an optional relationship (Acts 20:28). The idea that one can be a Christian or have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, without being in the Church is false. How can you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, if you are not in "the body" that He will save? If you re not in the body, then Christ is not your personal Savior. “When Jesus accepted the responsibility of being head over His body, the church, it meant He had to be willing to serve as savior and protector--to rescue the church from danger” (Boles p. 313).

At this point I would like to respond to that segment of our society that feels that the biblical doctrine of "female subjection" is to blame for wife abuse. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Look at these passages, consider carefully what is demanded of the husband. Does Christianity give any encouragement or even any "hint" of endorsement for the husband who beats his wife? In reality, the real causes for abused women are found in society. Our society teaches no absolute truths, then how can beating one"s wife be absolutely wrong? Our society has legalized abortion. If my wife can kill our child, then why is it wrong when I beat her? Our society teaches situation ethics, that it"s alright to kill someone, if you are under tremendous pressure, if they have abused you, if they are standing in the way of your happiness (abortion). Then why doesn"t the stress the husband is under, allow him to take out his frustration upon his wife? Contrary to the ignorant claims of society, when all is said and done, it will be found that marriage was predominately a safe haven for women, and that far more women were abused and beaten, not by their own husbands, but in relationships that the world had substituted for marriage, such as living together.


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Bibliography
Dunagan, Mark. "Commentary on Ephesians 5:23". "Mark Dunagan Commentaries on the Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dun/ephesians-5.html. 1999-2014.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

the = a.

even as Christ = as Christ also.

church. App-186.

and He is = He Himself (being).

the saviour = Saviour. Greek. soter; only here in Eph.: not in Rom., Cor., Gal.

the body. See Ephesians 1:23.


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Bibliography
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Ephesians 5:23". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/ephesians-5.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

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.

Even as - Greek, 'as also.' See 1 Corinthians 11:3.

And he is. 'Aleph (') A B Delta G f g, Vulgate, read 'Himself, (being) Saviour' etc., omitting "and," and "is," which C has. Christ's Headship is united with-nay, gained by-His having SAVED the body in redemption. The being "head" is common to both the husband and Christ: the bodies to which they are so are different. Another particular in which He does not resemble the husband is, HE and none else [ autos (Greek #846)], is the Saviour of the body. The husband is not saviour of the wife, in which Christ excels; hence, "But" (Ephesians 5:24) follows (Bengel).


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Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Ephesians 5:23". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/ephesians-5.html. 1871-8.

The Bible Study New Testament

Has authority. Note Paul says the Christ-church relationship sets the standard for the husband-wife relationship. Wives must submit to the authority of the husbands; husbands must love the wives. The Savior. In this Paul stresses the difference to strengthen the truth of what he is teaching. See next verse.


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Bibliography
Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on Ephesians 5:23". "The Bible Study New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ice/ephesians-5.html. College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(23) For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church.—It is instructive to compare this with the partly similar passage in 1 Corinthians 11:3. There “the head of the woman is the man,” as here; but “the head of every man (individually) is Christ,” considered in His human nature; and finally, “the Head of Christ,” as the Son of Man, “is God.” There, accordingly, “headship” is simple lordship; the woman is subject to the man, the man is subject to Christ alone; Christ as the Son is subject to the Father. Here, on the other hand, we note, first, that in accordance with the general idea of the Epistle, the headship of Christ over the Church at large takes the place of His headship over the individual; next, that from the idea of His headship so conceived is derived the further idea of a spiritual unity, involving self-sacrifice in the head, as well as obedience to the head; and, lastly, that since the very idea of unity in Christ is unity with God, there is nothing to correspond to the third clause in the former Epistle.


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Bibliography
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Ephesians 5:23". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/ephesians-5.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

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.
husband
1 Corinthians 11:3-10
even
1:22,23; 4:15; Colossians 1:18
he
25,26; Acts 20:28; 1 Thessalonians 1:10; Revelation 5:9

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Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Ephesians 5:23". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/ephesians-5.html.

Hodge's Commentary on Romans, Ephesians and First Corintians

But although the obedience of the wife to the husband is of the nature of a religious duty because determined by religious motives, it has in common with all other commands of God, a foundation in nature. The apostle, therefore, says, wives are to be obedient to their husbands, because the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church. The ground of the obligation, therefore, as it exists in nature, is the eminency of the husband; his superiority in those attributes which enable and entitle him to command. He is larger, stronger, bolder; has more of those mental and moral qualities which are required in a leader. This is just as plain from history as that iron is heavier than water. The man, therefore, in this aspect, as qualified and entitled to command, is said to be the image and glory of God, 1 Corinthians 11:7; for, as the apostle adds in that connection, the man was not made out of the woman, but the woman out of the man; neither was the man created for the woman, but the woman for the man. This superiority of the man, in the respects mentioned, thus taught in Scripture, founded in nature, and proved by all experience, cannot be denied or disregarded without destroying society and degrading both men and women; making the one effeminate and the other masculine. The superiority of the man, however, is not only consistent with the mutual dependence of the sexes, and their essential equality of nature, and in the kingdom of God, but also with the inferiority of men to women in other qualities than those which entitle to authority. The scriptural doctrine, while it lays the foundation for order in requiring wives to obey their husbands, at the same time exalts the wife to be the companion and ministering angel to the husband. The man, therefore, so far as this particular point is concerned, stands in the same relation to his wife, that Christ does to the church. There is however a relation which Christ bears to his church, which finds no analogy in that of the husband to the wife. Christ is not only the head of the church, but he is its Savior, καὶ αὐτὸς ἐστι σωτὴρ τοῦ σώματος. Why the apostle added these words is not easy to determine. Perhaps it was to mark the distinction between the cases otherwise so analogous,. Perhaps it was, as many suppose, to suggest to husbands their obligation to provide for the safety and happiness of their wives. Because Christ is the head of the church, he is its Savior; therefore as the husband is the head of the wife, he should not only rule, but protect and bless.‹19› The most probable explanation is, that as the apostle's design is not merely to teach the nature of the relation between husband and wife, but also that between Christ and the church, the clause in question is added for that purpose, without any bearing on the conjugal relation. This clause is not in apposition with the preceding, but is an independent proposition. Christ is the head of the church; and he is the Savior of his body.


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Bibliography
Hodge, Charles. "Commentary on Ephesians 5:23". Hodge's Commentary on Romans, Ephesians and First Corintians. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hdg/ephesians-5.html.

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.

We need to see another statement of the apostle when he wrote to the Corinthians. 1 Corinthians 11:3"But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God."

Simple explanation, the husband is the head of the wife. This is the idea of the head controls the body and the body is subject to the head. I"m told that in the old days when they cut off a person"s head for a crime, that the brain continues to function for a few short seconds after the head is separated from the body. Now, the head may continue to function for a few moments, but that body can"t just up and decide to go fishing after its head is removed - it just won"t!

To illustrate this Paul mentions that Christ is the head of the church - this same relationship exists within the marriage, or at least should exist.

He goes further and explains that the church is subject to Christ and so the wives should be subject to their own husbands - not in just the small things but in all things.

Now if churches and couples really worked this way in life, we would have a completely different church and there would be drastically less divorce in our churches. Consider this ladies and gentlemen, we have this responsibility before God and we will be held accountable for it.


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Copyright 2008. Used by Permission. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording or otherwise without the prior permission of the author, except as provided by U.S.A. copyright laws. Do feel free to make copies for friends that might be interested as long as you do not make profit from the copies. This is God's work and I don't want anyone to profit from it in a material way.

Bibliography
Derickson, Stanley. "Commentary on Ephesians 5:23". "Stanley Derickson - Notes on Selected Books". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/sdn/ephesians-5.html.

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