What is this and is it that big a deal about using “coarse jesting” in a sermon? Here is Ephesians 5:4 from the NA28 Greek text, “καὶ αἰσχρότης καὶ μωρολογία ἢ εὐτραπελία, ἃ οὐκ ἀνῆκεν, ἀλλὰ μᾶλλον εὐχαριστία.” Here is my translation, “also indecency and foolish talking or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather thanksgiving.” The word I translated here as “coarse jesting” is εὐτραπελία (eutrapelia). Some Bible translations render εὐτραπελία as “jesting.” This is the only place in the New Testament where this word is used. Let us dig a bit deeper.
Eutrapelia is a fascinating word. The prefix εὖ or eu means “good” or “well.” It is the prefix to our English words such as eulogy which speaks of “good works” and “eugenics,” which are “good genes,” for example. However, when it is combined with the root τρέπω (trepõ), which means “to turn,” eutrapelia, then means “that which easily turns.” I have always been amazed at the method of attack from the apologists for apostate ministers and their ministries that I have tried to bring to light here in this ministry to warn the brethren.