Ephesians 5:9

[9]_ ὁ γὰρ καρπὸς τοῦ φωτὸς ἐν πάσῃ ἀγαθωσύνῃ καὶ δικαιοσύνῃ καὶ ἀληθείᾳ _

(KJV)Ephesians 5:9

(For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)

Ephesians 5:9 NASB

[9](for the fruit of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth),

It seems fruit of light agrees with the preceeding verse,but I'm not sure whether its a translation problem.

Is it fruit of the Spirit or Light in the above texts

  • @NigelJ,sorry I have edited its NASB Oct 8, 2017 at 5:13
  • Fruit of the light sounds very weird.
    – Ruminator
    Oct 8, 2017 at 17:27

4 Answers 4


This is due to the difference between the Critical or Minority Text and the Received Text (also known as the Textus Receptus) in this verse.

The Critical Text has φωτος (photos) which means "light," whereas the Received Text and also the Majority or Byzantine Text both have πνευματος (pneumatos) which means "spirit."

The NASB is based on the Critical Text which is why it has "Light" here, as do most of the other more modern translations since they are also based on the Critical Text. The KJV is based on the Received Text and so has "Spirit" here, as does the NKJV which is also based on the Received Text and includes a footnote stating the alternate reading of the Critical Text:

(for the fruit of the 2Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth),

2NU Light

"NU" stands for Nestle-Aland and United Bible Society.

To my knowledge the WEB (World English Bible) is the only English translation based on the Majority or Byzantine Text, which matches the Received Text very closely, though they are not identical and do differ in various places of the New Testament. The WEB has "Spirit" here as well:

for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth,

However the Latin Vulgate also has "light" as can be seen from the Douay-Rheims, which is an English translation of the Vulgate:

For the fruit of the light is in all goodness and justice and truth:

as does the Syriac as can be seen in James Murdock's English translation of the Peshitto:

For the fruits of the light are in all goodness, and righteousness, and truth.

  • 1
    Vulgate also has "light" Oct 8, 2017 at 16:00
  • Yes, thanks for pointing that out @SolaGratia. I have added the Vulgate into my answer along with Murdock's translation of the Syriac.
    – user21609
    Oct 8, 2017 at 18:44

If we are going to compare critical texts, then Robinson and Pierpont's "The New Testament in the Original Greek, Byzantine Textform 2005," (RP2005) is a worthwhile source. The RP2005 reads this verse as

"ὁ γὰρ καρπὸς τοῦ πνεύματος ἐν πάσῃ ἀγαθωσύνῃ καὶ δικαιοσύνῃ καὶ ἀληθείᾳ -"

and notes the variant as that between "πνεύματος" ...of~a~spirit {4151 N-GSN}...and "φωτὸς" ...of~a~light {5457 N-GSN}

The sources for these are:


p46 D2 K L Ψ 075 0150 88 104 181 263 326 365 424* 436 451 459 614 630 1241 1573 1852 1877 1912 1984 1985 2200 2495 Byz Lect syrh geo2 slav Chrysostom Theodorelat Theodoret John-Damascus ς ND Dio


p49 ‭א A B D* F G P 6 33 81 256 330 424c 629 1175 1319 1739 1881 1962 2127 2464 2492 itar itb itc itd itdem ite itf itg itmon ito itx itz vg syrp syrpal copsa copbo goth arm eth geo1 Origen Gregory-Thaumaturgus Ps-Cyprian Ambrosiaster Victorinus-Rome Lucifer Pelagius Jerome Augustine Euthalius WH NR CEI Riv TILC Nv NM

I read this as ...

5:8 ..."[so] as children of~light be you about-walking 5:9 (for the fruit of~the spirit [be] in with~every goodness, and with~a~righteousness, and with~a~truth)," (~Robin)


It is a matter of the underlying text.

The Stephens 1550 text, the Majority Text, (published in The Englishman's Greek New Testament 1877) reads :

ο γαρ καρπος του πνευματος εϝ πασυ . . .

which would indicate 'spirit' to be the wording required.

Tyndale has 'spirit' in this place as does Robert Young's Literal bible.


It fits correctly, thematically - light. However, it is much, much weightier as S(s)pirit. The Holy Spirit is light. To simply render it as light, IMO is to deny to intense relevance of the Holy Spirit in the whole equation of being 'children of light'.

  • the intense, not to intense, my typo, sorry...LOL
    – Vylken
    Jul 3, 2019 at 2:20
  • Okay. I am newbie to all this so, my apologies...will think deeper, longer and harder next time. '...explain why your answer is right...' I thought the point of these discussions were to offer varying views on said subjects — explain why my answer is right? Seems a tad arrogant to me. Anyways, this is a fabulous site, thanks for letting me join — God bless you.
    – Vylken
    Jul 4, 2019 at 10:54

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