Here is my literal translation of Dph 4:25 -
Διὸ ἀποθέμενοι τὸ ψεῦδος λαλεῖτε ἀλήθειαν ἕκαστος μετὰ τοῦ πλησίον
αὐτοῦ, ὅτι ἐσμὲν ἀλλήλων μέλη. = Therefore, having put off the
falsehood, Speak truth each with the neighbor of him, because [we] are
of one-another members.
[Note the slightly more idiomatic English of the BLB: "Therefore having put off falsehood, let each one speak truth with his neighbor, because we are members of one another."]
The highlighted text is the subject of the OP's question.
- the verb λαλεῖτε (speak!) is imperative - a command
- the noun ἀλήθειαν (truth) is an accusative noun and thus the object of the command to speak. It is NOT an adverb (eg "truthfully").
Note that the first two clauses are in direct contrast:
- having put off falsehood
- speak truth
Both "falsehood" and "truth" are accusative nouns and thus, whatever one says about one applies to the other (grammatically).
Now, it is true that the evangelist John (the beloved) teaches that truth is encapsulated in the person of Jesus Christ:
- John 1:14 - The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of a unique one from the Father, full of grace and truth.
- John 14:6 - Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
- 1 John 5:11, 12 - And this is that testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.
However, whether Paul was alluding to this is in Eph 4:25 can be ascertained in the previous verses of Eph 4 -
20 But this is not the way you came to know Christ. 21 Surely you heard of Him and were taught in Him—in keeping with the truth that
is in Jesus— 22 to put off your former way of life, your old self,
which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be
renewed in the spirit of your minds; 24 and to put on the new
self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
25 Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one another.
26 “Be angry, yet do not sin.” Do not let the sun set upon your anger, 27 and do not give the devil a foothold.
Now, we observe that John also teaches that:
John 8:44 - You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to
carry out his desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, refusing
to uphold the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies,
he speaks his native language, because he is a liar and the father of
Thus, in Eph 4:20-27 Paul appears to be contrasting two opposite and distinct ways of life:
- a life of lies and falsehoods when we live as Satan wishes us to live
- a life of truth in Christ Jesus as our Lord
In each case, people live the life of the one motivating the life.