Complete reconciliation

G. M. G.

Greek word apokatallasso (to reconcile) uses, when complete reconciliation between two enemies is in view. It occurs in New Testament only 3 times: Eph.2:16, Col.1:20, 22. Why this word is used only in the epistles of the Mystery? Does it mean, that this word is closely associated with the Church, which is the Body of Christ and with the dispensation of the Mystery? Whether this complete reconciliation already was taken place or it would yet take place?

Let’s consider fragment Eph.2:14 - 16 and structure of this fragment.

Here it will be noticed, that items A1 |, B1 |, C1 | speak only about coming into force the dispensation of the grace of God after period of Acts. Only then, when Israel was rejected and ceased to be God’s people, he also ceased to differ from other nations (gentiles), i.e. has become one with them. Here is not spoken about the church, which is His Body and about the administration of the Secret. Middle part of structure is item D |. It declares the main purpose of God, for the sake of which Israel and nations were made one. The purpose of God - to create one new mankind, which would submit Him and belong to Him. This purpose is included in more general one, which we find in Åph.1:10 - to head up all heavenly and earthly things in Christ for the administration of fullness of times (see gr. eis oikonomian tou pleromatos ton kairon - Eph.1:10). Words “all”, “ heavenly and earthly ” also occurs in Col.1:20. Here also we meet the word apokatallasso the second time.

Let’s consider how this word is applied in Eph. and Col.

Eph. 2:15-16

Col. 1:18-20

The purpose of God

Intention of God. His will.

For to(hina) make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace and that He might reconcile (apokatalladze) both into God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby.

That (hina)... having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile (apokatalladzai) all things into himself, by him whether things in earth, or things in heaven

Verb “to reconcile” in Eph. 2:16 is connected with the word “that” (hina) from Eph.2:15, and it is denotes the purpose, i.e. this reconciliation would take place in future. Verb “to reconcile” in Col.1:20 in greek has the same form, as in Eph. 2:16, and it is also linked with the word “that” from Col.1:18.

We see, that in both places the reconciliation should take place in future, but in Eph. this purpose deals with Israel and peoples, and in Col. it deals with all heavenly and earthly things, i. e. this purpose more global.

Let’s now find out, what is meant by words “in one body” in Eph.2:16 (gr. en eni somati).

For this we will compare translations of two phrases:

Eph. 2:14

Eph. 2:16

ten echthran en te sarki autou... katargesas = the enmity in his flesh having abolished

apokattallaze ...en eni somati = might reconcile... in one body

And some parallels:

Eph. 2:14

Col. 1:21

having abolished in his flesh the enmity

En te sarki


might reconcile in one body

En eni somati

he reconciled in the body of his flesh

En to somati te sarkos

by the cross

dia stauru


through death

Dia tu thanatu

Col. 1:20

having made peace through the blood of his cross

Dia tu aimatos

This structure and these two tables leads us to conclusion, that the reconciliation would come true by means of one body. Or if all this sum up: by flesh, by one body, by the cross, it is clear, that the speech goes about one sacrifice.

We address reader to structure. Let us compare it’s two symmetric parts:

Items À1 | B1 | C1 | speak about enmity between Israel and nations, and À2 /, B2 /, C2 / about enmity between God and old mankind, which consists of Israel and nations. Both enmity are eliminated by Christ, by His sacrifice.

Items À1 |, B1 |, C1 | specify coming into force the administration of the grace of God and À2/, B2/, C2/ - administration of fullness of times, but both administrations subject to one central purpose, both became possible due to one sacrifice of Jesus Christ, Son of God.

Greek verb apokatallasso also meets in Col. 1:21

And you... yet now hath He reconciled (apokatelladzen) in the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in His sight”

But here it is stand in aorist, active, infinitive, therefore this complete reconciliation already has taken place. This complete reconciliation concerns all who was at one time enemy to God, and now has answered the peace offered by God.

It would be necessary to pay our attention to one more parallel. The Greek word duo meets in the epistle to Ephesians two times. By of these two places we can enrich our understanding of great mystery - mystery of Christ and the Church (Eph.5:32)

Eph. 2:15

Eph 5:31

For to make in himself of twain (tus duo) one (eis ena) new man (anthropon),

for this cause shall a man (anthropos) leave his father and mother, and shall be joined into his wife they two (oi duo) shall be one flesh (eis sarka mian)


  1. The reconciliation of Israel and peoples among themselves and with God will take place only in future, when all heavenly and earthly things will be headed up in Christ. Everything for this purpose was made by the sacrifice of Christ. By Christ the reconciliation was made already and enmity was slain, but the fullness of times for the earth has not yet come and we don’t see, that Israel as God’s people reconciled with God, they are rejected and does not wish to recognize Messiah.

  2. Complete reconciliation, about which it is spoken in Eph. and Col. has become possible only due to the sacrifice of Christ.

  3. The passages, which we considered, are not speak directly about Church, which is His Body and about the administration of the Secret. Even in Eph.2:16 words “in one body” means by one sacrifice. These passages concern either with the administration of the grace of God, or the administration of fullness of times.

  4. Then, when fullness of times will come Husband and Bride will joint in one in complete peace with God. And it will be one new Man. The purpose of God to create new mankind will be fulfilled. And as ancestors of old mankind were Adam and Eve, so ancestors of new mankind in God will be two - the Bride and the Body of Christ.

G. M. G.

Moscow , 1998



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