Reprinted with permission from As I See It. AISI is sent free to all who request it by writing to the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Anatomy of an Odd Biblical Phrase
The other day I heard a pastor reading from the latter part of Ephesians 3 in the King James Version, and I was struck with the quaintness of a phrase found at the end of verse 21: “Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus, throughout all ages, world without end” (emphasis added). Quaint and, frankly, obscure in meaning. Certainly not contemporary English. I decided to trace the origin of this peculiar English phrasing to satisfy my own curiosity.
I could not with Strong’s concordance locate this phrase anywhere else in the KJV, though I did discover through other sources that this is the translation found at Ephesians 3:21 in three English versions preceding the KJV, namely the Great Bible (1540 edition; also known as “Cranmer’s Bible,” though Miles Coverdale was the chief laborer in this revision of Matthew’s Bible), the Bishops’ Bible of 1568 (1602 edition) and the Roman Catholic Rheims NT of 1582, so the KJV’s rendering is neither unprecedented nor unparalleled.
Other early English versions read as follows (wording in question in italics):