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Epistle to the Ephesians

(i - fee' - zhuhnz)

General Information

The Epistle to the Ephesians is a book of the New Testament in the Bible. The text states that it was written by Saint Paul while in prison (3:1, 4:1; 6:20), but most scholars attribute it to a later follower of Paul. It uses much Pauline terminology in an unusual rhetorical style and has, along with Colossians, ideas that seem later than Paul. The reference to the Ephesians (1:1) is missing in some manuscripts, and the epistle may have been a circular letter to several churches.

Ephesians proclaims the unity of all people and the universe in Jesus Christ, and describes the church as a body and a building with the apostles and prophets as a foundation (2:20). It also proposes the relationship of Christ to the church as a model for marriage relationships. Later, the proponents of Gnosticism used the symbolic and spiritual aspect of the church's relationship to Christ for their own teachings, and the Fathers of the Church emphasized the apostolic foundations of the church.

Anthony J Saldarini

Bibliography
C E Arnold, Ephesians (1989); M Barth, ed., Ephesians (1974).


Epistle to the Ephesians

Brief Outline

  1. Doctrine (redemptive blessings, Jew and Gentile one Body in Christ, Paul the messenger of this mystery) (1-3)
  2. Practical exhortations (Christians to walk as God's Saints; their duties as God's Family; the Christian warfare) (4-6)



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