(Tap footnote to read it. Old Testament quotations are underlined. "Love" with a caret ("^love") is agapé.1"agapé" The Greek words ἀγάπη (agapé, noun), and ἀγαπάω (agapaó; verb) are typically translated "love". However, unlike our English word "love" – which primarily speaks of affection and feelings – agapé centers on choice and behavior. It’s the "love" based on will, choice, behavior, and action; not feelings. (Feelings-based love is the Greek word φιλέω (phileó), which properly means "brotherly love/affection".) Thus, you could hate someone passionately and still treat him with "agapé". Agapé "love" is best understood as the pursuit of what is most beneficial to someone or something, regardless of the cost to yourself or the type of response received from the person or thing. It can also indicate a preference for someone or something over other things. )
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Ephesians Chapter 1
Greetings From Paul
- Paul, an apostle of Jesus the Anointed through the will of God, To the saints who are in Ephesus and faithful in Jesus the Anointed.
- Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Anointed Lord Jesus.
- Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus the Anointed, the One who blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavens through the Anointed.
- Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, for us to be holy and blameless before Him in ^love,
- having appointed us beforehand to the adoption as sons for Himself through Jesus the Anointed, according to the good pleasure of His will,
- to praise the glory of His grace, which He graced to us in the One who is ^*loved.
- In whom we have the repurchase payment1“repurchase payment” is one word in Greek, typically translated “redemption”. It properly refers to the price paid to “buy back” something that had been lost. through His blood; the forgiveness of missteps2“missteps”. The Greek word used here doesn’t quite mean “sin”. It’s the word “παράπτωμα” (paraptóma) which is also used in Ephesians 2:1 in the phrase: “dead in your ‘paraptóma’ and sins”. It carries the connotation of a “slip-up” with the strong implication – but not certainty – that it was unintentional. according to the riches of His grace,
- which He abundantly supplied to us in all wisdom and prudence,
- having made known the mystery of His will to us, according to His good pleasure which He planned beforehand in Him,
- for the stewardship of the fullness of the opportune time, to gather together all things in the Anointed; both the things in the heavens and the things on the earth.
- In whom we also received a share in Him, having been appointed beforehand according to the set forth purpose of the One working all things according to the plan of His will,
- for us (the men who first *hoped in the Anointed) to be for the praise of His glory.
- In whom you also (having heard the true message of the gospel of your salvation, in whom you also believed) were sealed3“were sealed” is one word in Greek. Commonly, this was done by melting wax and using a signet ring to make an impression before the wax had fully cooled. If the wax seal was broken, it was impossible to fix without using the signet ring again. This served as a form of signature in the ancient world. with the promised Holy Spirit,
- who is the down payment4“down payment” is literal. The Greek word here is imported from Hebrew and refers to “earnest money” given as a surety that the rest of the payment will be given. of our inheritance; a repurchase payment5“repurchase payment” is one word in Greek, typically translated “redemption”. It properly refers to the price paid to “buy back” something that had been lost. for a purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.
- Because of this, having heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your ^love towards all the saints, I also
- don’t stop giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers,
- so the God of our Lord Jesus the Anointed – the Father of glory – might give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the full knowledge of Him,
- *enlightening the eyes of your heart for you to have seen what is the hope of His calling; what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,
- and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us (the men believing) according to the mighty work of His strength,
- which He has worked in the Anointed, having raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavens,
- far above every ruler, and authority, and power, and dominion, and every name which is named; not only in this age, but also in the age which is about to come.
- And He made all things subject under His feet and placed Him as head over all things for the sake of the church,
- which is His body, the fullness of the One who fills all in all.
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Ephesians Chapter 2
Dead in Sins, Alive in the Anointed
- And you, being dead in your missteps1“missteps”. The Greek word used here doesn’t quite mean “sin”. It’s the word “παράπτωμα” (paraptóma) and carries the connotation of a “slip-up” with the strong implication – but not certainty – that it was unintentional. and sins
- in which you once walked, in accordance with the age and this world, in accordance with the ruler of the power of the air; the spirit now working in the sons of disobedience,
- among whom we all also once lived in the cravings of our flesh, doing the desires of the flesh and its thoughts. And we were children of wrath by nature, just like the rest.
- But God, being rich in mercy because of His great ^love with which He ^loved us,
- and despite us being dead in our missteps, He made us alive together with the Anointed (you are and have been saved by grace)2“Grace” The Greek word here is “χάρις” (charis), most often translated “grace” or “gift”. It was a technical term in the 1st century, referring to the Patronage system in place. The Patron (from “pater” = “father”) would give gifts or do favors (both called a charis) for someone. A charis was always given/done freely to anyone who would be grateful for it, and this person then became a “client” of the patron. The clients were expected to reciprocate by telling everyone what the patron had done, and offering their services to the patron whenever the patron needed them. This reciprocal act was also called “charis”, and the ones who reciprocated were “being faithful”. Both were done out of gratitude, not legal obligation. A client who wasn’t faithful and grateful probably wouldn’t receive any more charis from his patron, or any other patrons. The patron was responsible for taking care of all his clients, and making sure their needs were met. Christian Grace and Faith is well picture by this system. The Heavenly Patron (God the Father) freely gave a gift (Jesus’ blood), and the clients who accept it (Christians) are expected to “be faithful” out of gratitude.
- And He raised us up together with Him, and seated us together with Him in the heavens in Jesus the Anointed,
- so in the ages which are about to come, He might demonstrate the surpassing riches of His grace in His benevolence toward us in Jesus the Anointed.
- For you are *saved by grace through faith. And this isn’t from you; it’s the gift of God,
- and not from works so no one may boast.
- For we are His workmanship, created in Jesus the Anointed for good works which God prepared beforehand so we might walk in them.
- Therefore, remember that you were formerly gentiles in the flesh (the men being called “uncircumcised” by the men being called “circumcised”, which is done in the flesh with human hands)
- because at that time, you were separated from the Anointed, having been alienated from citizenship in Israel and aliens to the covenants of promise; not having hope and godless in the world.
- But now in Jesus the Anointed, you men who were once far away became near by the blood of the Anointed.
- For He Himself is our peace; the One who made both into one and destroyed the barrier of the dividing wall of hostility
- by having annulled in His flesh the law of commandments contained in ordinances; so that in Himself, He might form the two into one new man, making peace.
- And so He might fully reconcile both to God in one body through the cross, having killed the hostility through it.
- And having come, He proclaimed the gospel: peace to you, the men who were far away, and peace to the men who were near,3quotation/allusion to Isaiah 57
- because through Him, we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.
- So therefore, you’re no longer aliens and foreigners, but are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God,
- having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus the Anointed Himself being the cornerstone.
- In whom all construction fitted together is growing into a temple that’s holy to the Lord,
- in whom you also are built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.
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Ephesians Chapter 3
The Mystery of the Gospel
- For this reason, I Paul, am the prisoner of Jesus the Anointed for you the gentiles,
- if indeed you heard of the stewardship of the grace of God which was given to me for you,
- that He made known to me the mystery by revelation, just as I wrote before in brief.
- Which by reading it, you’re able to comprehend my understanding in the mystery of the Anointed,
- which wasn’t made known to the sons of men in other generations as it now was revealed to His holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit,
- for the gentiles to be fellow heirs, and fellow members of the body, and fellow partakers of the promise in Jesus the Anointed through the gospel,
- of which I became a servant according to the gift of God’s grace which was given to me, according to the work of His power.
- This grace was given to me – who’s less than the least of all saints – to proclaim to the gentiles the gospel of the incomprehensible riches of the Anointed,
- and to enlighten all men to see what is the stewardship of the mystery which has been hidden from the ages by God, the One who created all things.
- So now, the multi-faceted wisdom of God would be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms through the church,
- according to the plan of ages, which He accomplished in Jesus the Anointed, our Lord,
- in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through faith in Him.
God’s Love and Glory
- Therefore, I beg you not to grow weary at my afflictions for you, which is your glory.
- For this reason, I bow my knees in prayer to the Father [of our Lord Jesus the Anointed],
- from whom every family line1“family line” is one word in Greek and refers to a group of people descended from a common ancestor. Thus, it can mean a family, tribe, or even a nation with a common ancestor. in the heavens and on the earth is named,
- so according to the riches of His glory, He might grant you to be strengthened with power in the inner man through His Spirit,
- for the Anointed to dwell in your hearts through faith, *rooted and *grounded in ^love,
- so you might be strong enough to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth, and length, and height, and depth,
- and to know the ^love of the Anointed which surpasses knowledge, so you might be filled with all the fullness of God.
- Now, to the One able to do far above all things that we ask or think according to the power working in us,
- to Him be the glory in the church and in Jesus the Anointed throughout all generations, to the age of the ages.2“to the age of the ages” is literal, though most translations render it “forever and ever”. While that could be the intended sense, “to the age of the ages” quite possibly indicates the “greatest of all the ages”, much in the same way we might say the “battles of battles” to indicate the greatest battle ever. This would likely refer to the “age” of the New Heavens and New Earth in Revelation 21-22, which will indeed last forever. Amen.
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Ephesians Chapter 4
- Therefore, I – the prisoner of the Lord – urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling in which you were called,
- with all humility and gentle strength with patience; bearing with one another in ^love and
- being eagerly diligent to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
- There is one body and one Spirit, just as you also were called in one hope of your calling,
- one Lord, one faith, one baptism,
- one God and Father of all, who is over all, and through all, and in all.
Spiritual gifts and growth
- And grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of the gift of the Anointed.
- Therefore it says: “Having ascended on high, He led captive a host of captives and gave gifts to men.”1quotation/allusion to Psalm 68:18
- (Now, in saying “He ascended” what is meant except that He also descended into the lower parts of the earth?2“lower parts of the earth” is a euphemism for the underworld where the dead reside.
- The One who descended is also the same One who ascended far above all the heavens so He might fill all things)
- And indeed, He gifted the apostles, also the prophets, also the evangelists, also the shepherds and teachers,3“shepherds and teachers” go together as one and aren’t two separate items on this list, though this is less clear in English. The lack of the definite article (“the” in English) before “teachers” and the lack of the Greek conjunction “δὲ” (de) which separates all the other giftings makes this clear.
- for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of the Anointed,
- until we all might attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, into a perfected man; into the full standard of maturity set by the Anointed.
- so we might no longer be infants, being tossed by the waves and carried to-and-fro by every wind of doctrine by the trickery of men using craftiness to accomplish a deceitful scheme.
- But speaking the truth in ^love, we should grow in all things into Him who is the head; the Anointed.
- From whom the whole body is being fitted and being joined together through what every joint supplies, according to the work in proportion to each one’s part, which causes the body’s growth to build itself up in ^love.
- Therefore I say this and testify in the Lord: You’re no longer to walk as the gentiles also walk in the futility of their mind.
- Having been *darkened in their understanding and being *alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance which is in them because of the hardness of their hearts.
- Who having become *calloused, gave themselves up to wanton debauchery to work all impurity with greediness.
- But you didn’t learn the Anointed this way,
- if indeed you heard Him and were taught in Him, just as the truth is in Jesus.
- You are to set aside what’s in accordance with the former way of life – the old man ruinously corrupting4“ruinously corrupting” is one word in Greek, typically translated “destroy” here. It literally means to corrupt, rot, or spoil something so that it wastes away to ruin. It’s typically associated with moral corruption/decay leading to ruin. according to its deceitful cravings –
- and be renewed in the spirit of your mind,
- and to clothe yourself with the new man, which was formed according to God’s design in true righteousness and holiness.
- Therefore, having set aside falsehood, “each man must speak truth with his neighbor“5quotation/allusion to Zechariah 8:16 because we are parts of one another.
- “Be angry, and yet don’t sin.”6quotation/allusion to Psalm 4:4 Don’t let the sun set on your exasperation,7“exasperation” could also be translated “anger” or “wrath”. It properly refers to irritation or exasperation which has been provoked, possibly to the point of anger or wrath.
- nor give the Accuser an opportunity.
- The man who’s stealing must no longer steal. But rather let him work hard, working nobly with his own hands so he might have something to give to the man having a need.
- Don’t let any rotten word depart from your mouth, but only a good word for building up as needed, so it might give grace to the men who hear.
- And don’t grieve God’s Holy Spirit, by whom you were sealed for the day of repurchase. 8“repurchase” this Greek word properly refers to the price paid to “buy back” something that was lost, often translated “redemption” here.
- Let all bitterness, and rage, and anger, and clamoring, and slander be removed from you, along with all wickedness.
- And be benevolent and tenderhearted to one another; forgiving each other just as God also forgave you in the Anointed.
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Ephesians Chapter 5
- Therefore, be imitators of God like beloved children,
- and walk in ^love, just as the Anointed also ^loved us and gave Himself up for us as an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling aroma.
- But fornication and all impurity or coveting must not even be named among you, just as is appropriate for saints.
- (Also, obscenity and foolish talk or crude joking, which weren’t proper; but rather giving thanks.)
- For you *know this; understanding that every fornicator, or impure man or covetous man who is an idolater doesn’t have an inheritance in the kingdom of the Anointed and God.
- Let no one deceive you with empty words or reasoning,1“words or reasoning” is one word in Greek, which is “λόγος” (logos). It properly refers to a reasoned thought which is then expressed through words. Thus it can focus on the reasoning side or the word side depending on the context. In this context, both are relevant and likely intended, so both definitions were included. for through these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.
- Therefore, don’t become fellow partakers with them.
- For you were once darkness, but now you’re light in the Lord; walk as children of light.
- For the fruit of the light is in all goodness and righteousness and truth,
- examining what is pleasing to the Lord.
- And don’t become a fellow partaker in the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather, also expose them.
- For it’s shameful to even speak of the things being done by them in secret.
- But all things being exposed become visible by the light, for everything becoming visible is light.
- Therefore it says: “Awake, you man who sleeps and rise from the dead, and the Anointed will shine upon you.”2This isn’t a scriptural quotation or allusion. Some believe it was an early Christian hymn.
- Therefore, carefully watch how you walk; not as unwise men, but as wise men,
- seizing the opportune time because the days are evil.
- Because of this, don’t become foolish but understand what the will of the Lord is.
- And don’t be drunk with wine, in which is wasteful excess,3“wasteful excess” this Greek word is comes from “ἀ”(a) as a negative prefix (like “amoral” meaning “not moral”) and the Greek word “σῴζω”(sozo) which means “to save”. It means “that which isn’t saved”, but not in a salvation sense. Rather, it means things which are wasted (thrown out) because they aren’t saved for later use by the user. It thus has the sense of “wasting” on useless things, and can refer to the consequences of such wasteful excess. but be filled by the Spirit:
- speaking to each other in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making music4“making music” primarily refers to playing an instrument, but could also refer to singing or perhaps humming. to the Lord in your heart,
- always giving thanks to our God and Father for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus the Anointed,
- and men5“men submitting themselves to one another” is two words in Greek. The first is a masculine plural participle (“men submitting themselves”). The second word is a masculine plural reciprocal pronoun (“to one another”). Since both the participle and reciprocal pronoun are masculine, men are being told to submit to “one another”, meaning other men. submitting themselves to one another in reverent fear6“reverent fear” is one word in Greek. Its primary meaning is “fear”, but it can also mean “awe” or “reverence” depending on the context. (The Hebrew word for “fear” has the same range of meaning) Since both fear and reverence are appropriate toward God, both definitions were included. Further, the word can mean both, and both were likely intended. of the Anointed.
Husbands and Wives
- The wives [must submit themselves]7“must submit themselves” There’s a textual variant in this verse centering on the verb for “submit”. In the source text for most modern translations, the word “submit” isn’t present and is implied/carried over from verse 21 (“men submitting themselves”). However, this omission is based on extremely scant textual evidence. Very few manuscripts (just: P46 B Cl Hiermss) don’t have an imperative verb (a command) here. Those manuscripts are early, but belong to a textual family known for omission. Every other manuscript has an imperative verb (a command) in either the 3rd person (“they must submit themselves“) or 2nd person (“you must submit yourselves“). The third person reading was chosen here because it has far more support from early manuscripts. Also, the endings for the middle and passive voice for this Greek verb are the same. In the middle voice, it contains reflexive force and thus has the connotation of voluntary obedience, so “wives must obey” is more accurate to the intended sense (though less literal, despite this meaning being in the lexicons). In the passive voice it could be translated “must be submitted”. The middle voice is more likely intended because the passive voice could indicate that their submission/obedience is being done to them (i.e. they’re being made to submit). to their own husbands in the same manner as8“in the same manner as” is one word in Greek, which indicates the manner or way of doing something. It’s typically translated simply “as” here. Some take “as” to mean that a wife’s submission to her husband is done out of submission to the Lord. While that’s not untrue, the Greek points to how her submission is done, not why it’s done. they do to the Lord,
- because the husband is head of the wife, even as the Anointed is the head of the church. (He Himself being the body’s savior.)
- But in the same manner as the church submits itself to the Anointed, in this way also, wives should submit themselves to their husbands in everything.
- Husbands, ^love your wives, just as the Anointed also ^loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so
- that He might make her holy; having cleansed her by washing9“washing” this Greek word properly refers to a bath for washing yourself, either public or private. It was used by some Patristic fathers as a synonym for baptism which is possibly part of the sense here, though likely not the primary meaning. her in water by the spoken word,10“spoken word” The Greek word used here refers only to words that are spoken, never to words that are written.
- so He might present the church to Himself in glory; having no spot or wrinkle or any such things, but so she might be holy and blameless.
- In this way also, husbands are obligated11“are obligated” is one word in Greek with that exact meaning. It was originally a financial term that literally meant to owe or be indebted to. (It’s used of debts in Matthew 18:28, 30, and 34.) This included moral obligations to deities and others. In New Testament times, it referred to anything which someone was legally or morally obligated to do. to ^love their own wives as their own bodies. The man who ^loves his own wife ^loves himself.
- For no one ever hated his own flesh, but he nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Anointed also does to the Church,
- because we are parts of His body; [of His flesh and of His bones.12quotation allusion to Genesis 2:23]13“of His flesh and of His bones” this textual variant is interesting. While some of the earliest manuscripts omit it, it has support from very early church fathers like Irenaeus, as well as early Bible translations. It’s possible it was original to Paul and accidentally omitted via parablepsis. (A scribe accidentally skipping everything between two occurrences of the same word). In Greek, the shorter readings ends with “τοῦ σώματος αὐτοῦ” (the body of Him), while the longer reading ends with “τῶν ὀστέων αὐτοῦ” (the bones of Him). If the longer reading is original, and if the scribe accidentally skipped from the first instance of “αὐτοῦ” to the second, it would perfectly explain the deletion. On the other hand, there seems to be no clear reason for it being added. However, that doesn’t mean it couldn’t have been.
- Because of this, a man will leave his father and mother, and will be joined to his wife, and the two will be in one flesh.14quotation/allusion to Genesis 2:24; 1 Corinthians 6:16 makes it clear that this is a reference to sex, not anything more. More literally it reads “and the two will be into one flesh”. In the Old testament, “into” is often used to speak of sex (e.g. Ruth 4:13, where Boaz “went into her” and then she conceived) which is another indication that “two will be in one” refers only to sex, as opposed to sex in addition to something else.
- This mystery is great, but I speak about the Anointed and about the church.
- And nevertheless, each one of you must ^love his own wife in the same way as he does to himself; but the wife must see that she reveres15“reveres” is the weakest possible way to accurately translate the Greek word here. It’s the same Greek word that’s used in the phrase “reverently fear the Lord”. Therefore, translating it “the wife must see that she reverently fears her husband” would be more consistent with typical biblical usage. While its primary meaning is “fear”, it can also have the additional nuance of to “awe” or to “revere”. In that last sense, it means “to reverence, venerate, to treat with deference or reverential obedience” (Thayer’s). It’s typically translated “reverently fear” in the BOS Bible, and the noun form of this word is used in verse 21 of this very chapter. her husband.
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Ephesians Chapter 6
Children and Fathers
- Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.
- “Honor your father and mother–” (which is the first commandment with a promise)
- “–so it may be well with you, and you will be long-lived on the earth.”1quotation/allusion to Exodus 20:12
- And fathers, don’t provoke or exasperate2“provoke or exasperate… …to anger” is one word in Greek, which means to provoke and/or exasperate someone to anger. your children to anger, but bring them up to maturity by discipline and admonishment in the Lord.
Slaves and Masters
- Slaves, obey your masters in the flesh with fear and trembling in sincerity of your heart, like you do with the Anointed.
- And not only while the master watches3“only while the master watches” is one word in Greek, which literally means “eye-service”. That is, only provide good service while the master watches. like people-pleasers do, but like slaves of the Anointed doing the will of God from the heart,
- serving with goodwill like it’s to the Lord and not to men,
- *knowing that whatever good each man does, he will receive this back from the Lord, whether he’s a slave or free.
- And masters, do the same things to them by giving up threatening, *knowing that their master and also yours is in the heavens, and there’s no partiality with Him.
The Armor of God
- From now on, be empowered in the Lord and in the strength of His might.
- Clothe yourself with the full armor of God so you’re able to stand against the deceitful schemes of the Accuser,
- because our struggle isn’t against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the rulers of this world’s darkness; against the evil spiritual forces in the heavenly places.
- Because of this, take up the full armor of God so you might be able to oppose4The Greek word used here is also a military term referring to troops “holding the line” against the opposing army, typically by fighting back. i.e. taking a firm stand and refusing to be moved. them in the day of evil, and having done all things, to stand firm.
- Therefore stand firm; having girded your loins in truth,5quotation/allusion to Isaiah 11:5 and having clothed yourself with the breastplate of righteousness,6quotation/allusion to Isaiah 59:17
- and having put your feet in the preparation of the gospel of peace,7quotation/allusion to 52:7
- and in all things,8“in all things” There’s a textual variant here, centering on the preposition that begins the sentence. The Textus Receptus and many later minuscule manuscripts have “ἐπί πᾶσιν”. That could be translated either “above all” indicating importance, or “over all”, being a word picture of soldier holding a shield over his head to protect himself from enemy arrows. Other manuscripts read “ἐν πᾶσιν”, which would mean “in all”, or “in everything”. having taken up the shield of faith; by which you’ll be able to quench all the *flaming arrows of the evil one.
- And welcome the helmet of salvation,9quotation/allusion to Isaiah 59:17 and the sword of the Spirit, which is God’s spoken word,10“spoken word” The Greek word used here refers only to words that are spoken, never to words that are written. Most translation add the definite article here (“the” in English) to make it “the word of God”, but the definite article isn’t present here in Greek.
- through all prayer and supplication, praying in every season in the Spirit. And to the same purpose, being vigilant with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints.
- Also pray for me, so I might be given a word whenever I open my mouth in boldness to make known the mystery of the gospel,
- for which I’m an ambassador in a chain; so I might be bold in it, as I ought to speak.
- Now, so you also *know the news concerning me and what I’m doing, Tychicus, the beloved brother and faithful servant in the Lord, will make all things known to you,
- whom I sent to you for this same purpose: so you might know everything about us and so he might encourage your hearts.
- Peace to the brothers, and ^love with faith from God the Father and the Anointed Lord Jesus.
- Grace be with all the men who ^love our Lord Jesus the Anointed in incorruptible sincerity.
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