Ephesians 5:4
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.

New Living Translation
Obscene stories, foolish talk, and coarse jokes--these are not for you. Instead, let there be thankfulness to God.

English Standard Version
Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving.

New American Standard Bible
and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks.

King James Bible
Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Coarse and foolish talking or crude joking are not suitable, but rather giving thanks.

International Standard Version
Obscene, flippant, or vulgar talk is totally inappropriate. Instead, let there be thanksgiving.

NET Bible
Neither should there be vulgar speech, foolish talk, or coarse jesting--all of which are out of character--but rather thanksgiving.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
Neither abusive language, neither worthless words, nor of disgrace, nor of nonsense- these things that are unnecessary, but in place of these, thanksgiving.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
It's not right that dirty stories, foolish talk, or obscene jokes should be mentioned among you either. Instead, give thanks [to God].

Jubilee Bible 2000
neither dishonest words nor foolishness nor low jesting, which are not convenient, but rather giving of thanks.

King James 2000 Bible
Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not fitting: but rather giving of thanks.

American King James Version
Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.

American Standard Version
nor filthiness, nor foolish talking, or jesting, which are not befitting: but rather giving of thanks.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Or obscenity, or foolish talking, or scurrility, which is to no purpose; but rather giving of thanks.

Darby Bible Translation
and filthiness and foolish talking, or jesting, which are not convenient; but rather thanksgiving.

English Revised Version
nor filthiness, nor foolish talking, or jesting, which are not befitting: but rather giving of thanks.

Webster's Bible Translation
Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.

Weymouth New Testament
Avoid shameful and foolish talk and low jesting--they are all alike discreditable--and in place of these give thanks.

World English Bible
nor filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not appropriate; but rather giving of thanks.

Young's Literal Translation
also filthiness, and foolish talking, or jesting, -- the things not fit -- but rather thanksgiving;
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

5:3-14 Filthy lusts must be rooted out. These sins must be dreaded and detested. Here are not only cautions against gross acts of sin, but against what some may make light of. But these things are so far from being profitable. that they pollute and poison the hearers. Our cheerfulness should show itself as becomes Christians, in what may tend to God's glory. A covetous man makes a god of his money; places that hope, confidence, and delight, in worldly good, which should be in God only. Those who allow themselves, either in the lusts of the flesh or the love of the world, belong not to the kingdom of grace, nor shall they come to the kingdom of glory. When the vilest transgressors repent and believe the gospel, they become children of obedience, from whom God's wrath is turned away. Dare we make light of that which brings down the wrath of God? Sinners, like men in the dark, are going they know not whither, and doing they know not what. But the grace of God wrought a mighty change in the souls of many. Walk as children of light, as having knowledge and holiness. These works of darkness are unfruitful, whatever profit they may boast; for they end in the destruction of the impenitent sinner. There are many ways of abetting, or taking part in the sins of others; by commendation, counsel, consent, or concealment. And if we share with others in their sins, we must expect to share in their plagues. If we do not reprove the sins of others, we have fellowship with them. A good man will be ashamed to speak of what many wicked men are not ashamed to do. We must have not only a sight and a knowledge that sin is sin, and in some measure shameful, but see it as a breach of God's holy law. After the example of prophets and apostles, we should call on those asleep and dead in sin, to awake and arise, that Christ may give them light.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 4. - And filthiness; αἰσχρότης, implying that such things are disgraceful, ugly, revolting, the opposite of καλός, fair, comely, attractive. And foolish talking or jesting, which are not becoming. This would be well understood in sensual, frivolous Ephesus; a light, bantering, jesting kind of talk, seasoned with double entendres and obscene allusions, very pernicious in its moral effect. There is no reason to suppose that the apostle meant to condemn all play of humor, which is a Divine gift, and which in moderation has its own useful place as a means of refreshing and invigorating the spirit; it was the jesting associated with ribaldry that drew his reproof. But rather giving of thanks. Αὐχαριστία is somewhat similar in sound to εὐτραπελία, jesting: the reason for putting the one in opposition to the other is not very apparent; the meaning seems to be that, in place of giving vent to lively feelings in frivolous talk and jesting, it is better for Christians to do so by pouring out their hearts in thanksgivings to God for all his goodness.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting,.... The former of these may include all filthy gestures and behaviour, every indecent habit and attire, and all actions which have a tendency to excite lust; and also all impure words, these discover an impure heart, and are the means of corrupting men's minds and manners; filthy speaking, is a verbal commission of the things that are spoken of; and it may include all impure songs and books, and the reading or hearing of them; this is what the Jews call , "filthiness of the mouth", obscene words; which they say they do not use on feast days, as the Gentiles do (i): "foolish talking" does not so much design every imprudent thing that is said, as that which is wicked, corrupt, unsavoury, light, vain, idle, and unprofitable; and takes in all fabulous stories, and mimicking of fools in words and gestures: and "jesting", when it is with wantonness, and excites unto it, and is inconsistent with truth, and when the Scriptures are abused by it, and not our neighbour's edification, but hurt, is promoted by it, ought not to be used:

which are not convenient; are disagreeable to the will of God, and unsuitable to the characters of the saints, and are very unbecoming them to practise:

but rather giving of thanks; instead of these, as the Syriac version renders it; it is much more suitable and becoming to give thanks to God for temporal and spiritual mercies, and to speak those things which are grateful to good men; this is to use the tongue to much better purpose, than in an obscene, foolish, or jocose way: one of Stephens's copies read, "but only of giving of thanks".

(i) Jarchi in Psal. lxxv. 3. Vid. Vajikra Rabba, sect. 24. fol. 165. 3.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

4. filthiness—obscenity in act or gesture.

foolish talking—the talk of fools, which is folly and sin together. The Greek of it, and of "filthiness," occurs nowhere else in the New Testament.

nor—rather, "or" (compare Eph 5:3).

jesting—Greek, "eutrapelia"; found nowhere else in the New Testament: implying strictly that versatility which turns about and adapts itself, without regard to principle, to the shifting circumstances of the moment, and to the varying moods of those with whom it may deal. Not scurrile buffoonery, but refined "persiflage" and "badinage," for which Ephesus was famed [Plautus, A Boastful Soldier, 3.1,42-52], and which, so far from being censured, was and is thought by the world a pleasant accomplishment. In Col 3:8, "filthy communication" refers to the foulness; "foolish talking," to the folly; "jesting," to the false refinement (and trifling witticism [Tittmann]) Of discourse unseasoned with the salt of grace [Trench].

not convenient—"unseemly"; not such "as become saints" (Eph 5:3).

rather giving of thanks—a happy play on sounds in Greek, "eucharistia" contrasted with "eutrapelia"; refined "jesting" and subtle humor sometimes offend the tender feelings of grace; "giving of thanks" gives that real cheerfulness of spirit to believers which the worldly try to get from "jesting" (Eph 5:19, 20; Jas 5:13).

Ephesians 5:4 Additional Commentaries
Context
Imitators of God
3But immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints; 4and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. 5For this you know with certainty, that no immoral or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.…
Cross References
Proverbs 26:19
is one who deceives their neighbor and says, "I was only joking!"

Matthew 12:34
You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.

Romans 1:28
Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done.

Ephesians 4:29
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

Ephesians 5:20
always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Colossians 3:8
But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.

Philemon 1:8
Therefore, although in Christ I could be bold and order you to do what you ought to do,
Treasury of Scripture

Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.

filthiness.

Ephesians 4:29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that …

Proverbs 12:23 A prudent man conceals knowledge: but the heart of fools proclaims foolishness.

Proverbs 15:2 The tongue of the wise uses knowledge aright: but the mouth of fools …

Ecclesiastes 10:13 The beginning of the words of his mouth is foolishness: and the end …

Matthew 12:34-37 O generation of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak good things? …

Mark 7:22 Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil …

Colossians 3:8 But now you also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, …

James 3:4-8 Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven …

2 Peter 2:7,18 And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked…

Jude 1:10,13 But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what …

convenient.

Romans 1:28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God …

Philemon 1:8 Why, though I might be much bold in Christ to enjoin you that which …

but.

Ephesians 5:19,20 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing …

Ephesians 1:16 Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers;

Psalm 33:1 Rejoice in the LORD, O you righteous: for praise is comely for the upright.

Psalm 92:1 IT IS A GOOD THING TO GIVE THANKS UNTO THE LORD, AND TO SING PRAISES …

Psalm 107:21,22 Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful …

Daniel 6:10 Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his …

John 6:23 (However, there came other boats from Tiberias near to the place …

2 Corinthians 1:11 You also helping together by prayer for us…

2 Corinthians 9:15 Thanks be to God for his unspeakable gift.

Philippians 4:6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication …

Colossians 3:15-17 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also …

1 Thessalonians 3:9 For what thanks can we render to God again for you, for all the joy …

1 Thessalonians 5:18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ …

Hebrews 13:15 By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, …

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