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Ephesians 6 – Skeptic's Annotated Bible answered

A response and reply to the notes on Ephesians 6 in the Skeptic's Annotated Bible (SAB).

King James Version

SAB comment

My comment

1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.

2 Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;)

Honour thy father and mother.
How should parents be treated?
Indeed, and see for example Matthew 12:48 and Luke 14:26 where the author of the SAB reads something different.

3 That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.

4 And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

BOM: Enos 1

5 Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ;

Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ."
Slaves must obey their masters "as unto Christ."
Should we serve God alone?
Does God approve of slavery?
What the Bible says about slavery
The Christopher Hitchens / Douglas Wilson debate
The author of the SAB asks if we should serve God alone: yes, when the comparison is between God and false gods, when the meaning is prayer and sacrifice. It does not mean we should not honour our father and mother, and that we should not honour our government or masters if we are slaves or servants. That's a completely different form of obedience and it does not replace the obedience to God unless they ask us to do something that is contrary to the Word of God. This is even clear from the same verse! We have to be as obedient to them as we are unto Christ, so the one doesn't cancel they other, and they are not opposed as both ask different things and one is about temporal matters, the other about eternal matters.
This verse isn't specifically about slaves, but also who serve others in whatever capacity. But on slavery, the Bible does not tell us we have to keep slaves, that slave keeping is good, but it tells us that if you are a slave, and you can buy your freedom, you should, 1 Cor. 7:21.

6 Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart;

7 With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men:

8 Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free.

9 And, ye masters, do the same things unto them, forbearing threatening: knowing that your Master also is in heaven; neither is there respect of persons with him.

"Neither is there respect of persons with him."
Does God respect anyone?
As this verse says, God does not respect a person, care if a person is born high or low, is poor or rich. See texts where the author of the SAB reads something different, such as Ps. 138:6.

10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.

11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

19 And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,

20 For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

21 But that ye also may know my affairs, and how I do, Tychicus, a beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord, shall make known to you all things:

22 Whom I have sent unto you for the same purpose, that ye might know our affairs, and that he might comfort your hearts.

23 Peace be to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

24 Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen.