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The New Testament: Ephesians Essay

2217 words - 9 pages

INTRODUCTORY ISSUES
Throughout many of Paul’s letters there are many debates pertaining to the authorship, destination, date, and the purpose. In the book of Ephesians many scholars debate on the authorship and if Paul actually wrote the letter, or if it was a scribe. Although there are some debates on whether Paul actually wrote it or not, he does refer to himself twice in the letter. In 1:1 and in 3:1 Paul states himself, 1:3 states, “For this reason, I Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles” (NIV) In verse 1:3 Paul states that he is a prisoner, therefore it is debated that he did not specifically write this because he was imprisoned in Rome at this time. According to Wallace “This, of course, is not to say that the letter must be by Paul, but it is to argue that without such internal testimony, no such claim could be made” (Wallace). Many scholars also debate on the vocabulary usage and the structure of the letter. Some believe that the structure is similar, but the vocabulary seems to be different than his New Testament epistles. Hoehner claims that,” Though the book has a close affinity with Colossians, critics claim that Ephesians is uncharacteristic of Paul” (Hoehner 613). The destination of Ephesians is somewhat debated, but many do believe that the letter was sent to the church of Ephesus. “Some to claim that Ephesus is a better starting point, others suggest Caesarea.” (Wallace) Although this is an argument that has many valid points, it is obvious that Paul was imprisoned in Rome while he wrote Ephesians. It is said by Hoehner that “Ephesians was probably delivered by Tychicus (Eph. 6:21-22), who also took Paul’s letter to Colossians (Col. 4:7-9)” (Hoehner 613). As for the date goes many believe that Paul was in prison from 59-61 CE and this is most likely written before he got out. There is some debate on whether he was a prisoner in Caesarea or Rome during the time he writes Ephesians. It is most likely that he was in Rome and wrote this letter around A.D. 60. The purpose of Paul writing to Ephesus was intended for the churches in Asia Minor about the church and Christ. It is said that Paul wrote to Ephesus because he already had contact with the Ephesians. There is little debate and issues’ pertaining to what the purpose was for Paul writing to Ephesus.
INTERPRETIVE SUMMARY
The apostle Paul wrote to the believers in Ephesus to show them new ideas and God’s intentions for them. He also wrote about how the church should love in unity and how this happens throughout the workings of the Holy Spirit. Many of Paul’s letters are written to solve or speak of a problem within the city or church, but this letter is different. Paul did not write to Ephesus to tell of what they were doing wrong, but to merely tell the believers of God’s purpose and to expand their knowledge. Although it seems like Paul did not write about problems, he did touch the Jew and Gentile issues and how they are to be one...

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