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and defence of the letter : and the Pauline authorship is upheld by Lock, DB, i. pp. 714--718.
The crucial point lies in the evident advance of Ephesians upon the theology of Colossians, especially in the conceptions of the church and the person of Christ : it is a fair question whether this advance (which, however, is rather a matter of emphasis than a speculative reality) is more natural as the work of Paul himself than as the reproduction and application of his ideas in a somewhat expanded form by some JewishChristian Paulinist towards the end of the first century. In the former case, the simplest explanation would be that the one epistlemas even Coleridge detected, though he reversed the true relationship-is “the overflowing, as it were, of St. Paul's mind upon the same subject.” Written after the cognate epistle to the Colossians, Ephesians contains expressions 1 and conceptions which have either percolated into the writer's mind during the interval, or remained over from the previous writing. These are now reproduced, in combination with others which have been already developed. Hence the resemblances and the differences of the two letters. The former? are upon the whole undesigned ; the latter 3 are not much more than what might have been expected from an author who was engaged in composing a letter spontaneously for a fresh circle of readers, and felt himself free from mechanical anxiety about avoiding the repetition of anything he had just written to the church at Colosse (Hort, Rom. Eph., p. 162 f. ; Oltramare, i. pp. 30-37, ii. pp. 113–154).
In this event, the situation of Paul at Rome would explain the emphasis upon the unity and brotherhood of Jew and pagan within the church (note the numerous compounds with ouv-), while his “intellectualism” or preoccupation with the more speculative and mystical aspects of Christology would be intelligible in connection with the features of the Asiatic Christianity as revealed, e.g. in Colossians (see a popular statement of this in Gore's Ephesians, pp. 20-34 ; after Hort, op. cit. p. 126 f.). “ Les idées du fondateur de la théologie chrétienne y sont arrivées au plus haut degré d'épuration. On sent ce dernier travail de spiritualisation que les grands âmes près de s'éteindre font subir à leur pensée et au delà duquel il n'y a plus que la mort” (Renan).
The exceptional difficulties raised by the style and language of the epistle cannot be ignored. But even after full allowance has been made for them, the verdict must be that they neither prove nor disprove the Pauline authorship—that is to say, when Colossians is accepted as authentic. Zahn's analysis of the linguistic phenomena (Einl, i. pp. 363-368) is beyond all praise, but its result is merely to leave the problem upon this point open. Especially in the earlier chapters the style is oracular to the verge of unwieldiness, and massive to the point of cumbrousness, in a manner hitherto unexampled in the Pauline letters. Yet glimpses of the characteristic Pauline style break through every now and then.
2 These appear in an exaggerated form when the epistles are printed, as in a modern collection they must be, in juxtaposition, and are apt to produce the impression of a tasteless and slavish repetition, rather lacking in originality. But it has to be remembered (a) that the readers of the one letter were never intended to see the other, and (b) that Paul did not write in view of literary criticism and its standards. His predominant interest in the practical work to be achieved by his letters, together with the psychological situation above-noted, are conceivably sufficient to explain Col-Eph.
3 Such as the preoccupation in Ephesians with the fresh ideas of the Spirit, baptism, the relation of Christ to the church rather than to the universe, thé continuity and unity of the church-implying a retrospect of considerable width,the absence of personal and controversial details. Yet see one or two points in Méritan's exposition, Revue Biblique (1898), pp. 343-369, of “l'ecclésiologie de l'épître aux Éphésiens" ; Oltramare throughout is fair and thorough, as usual.
Upon the whole, however, the question may be not unfairly said to remain open in the present state of criticism. Conclusions meanwhile, in favour of its authenticity, can hardly fail to be tentative on the score either of the literary connections, or of the style, or of the speculative developmentsin the theology of the writing. No argument, I confess, seems totally decisive, and it is with less confidence and less agreement of scholars than in the case of almost any other NT document, that Ephesians has been reluctantly left in this edition between 60 and 65 A.D. All that can be safely said is that this date is rendered somewhat more credible when the letter can be placed between Colossians and Philippians in a group of fairly cognate writings; more credible still, if 1 Peter can be subsequently dated in the seventh decade as well. Unfortunately the last-named argument is circular, for 1 Peter in its turn has a certain dependence in conception and diction upon Ephesians. Indeed, to determine the relationship and priority of writings such as these, forms the differential calculus of NT criticisrn.
The meagreness (421 32) of the personal references--apart altogether from the bad attestation, both in tradition and MSS (WH, ii. pp. 123, 124) of év 'EDÉOW (11)—forbids the theory that the writing was destined exclusively 3 for Ephesus. No letter written with that church in view could have lacked intimate and affectionate allusions to some of the Ephesian Christians. Unless the writing, therefore, is post-Pauline, the most plausible alternative is to suppose that it was composed for the Christian communities of the Lycus valley, with whom Paul was in communication through Tychicus and Epaphras. Ephesus, as the chief city of the province, and subsequently a leading seat of Christianity, either received the letter first of all (like i Cor, i Co 12), or else became its final depository. Either supposition would explain the fact of ev ’Edéow occurring in one or two MSS. Probably in the original draft a blank was left,5 in order
i The culmination of Paul's previous teaching (Chrysostom, ö gàep uendumõu oxedòy içbiyšXTO, TRūta ivor Üle phow) might possibly be explained by the fact that Paul Kere unfolds the ropice (1 Co 26), either as the result of his own growth and experience, or because he considered the readers of the letter were sufficiently mature (Trasíco) to be made depositaries of this higher wisdom (so most recently Hort, Ecclesia, pp. 138, 139). *** ? A similar problem, involving equally delicate questions of literary criticism, is the relation between 4th Esdras and Apoc. Baruch.
3 Haupt recently disbelieves it was meant for Ephesus at all, as Paul would never have let an epistle go to that city without some warmer greeting. He conjectures that the epistle was written for some churches unknown to Paul, but that, as Tychicus its bearer belonged to Asia (Ac 204), he naturally passed through Ephesus on his way, and left there a copy of the letter. This copy became the source of most of the MSS., owing to the central position and influence of Ephesus, in whose archives it was preserved. Zahn regards Ephesians as addressed to the collective churches of Asia Minor, who were personally unknown to Paul (excluding Ephesus and Troas), identifying it, like Lightfoot and Adeney, with the Laodicean epistle (Col 416).
4 The absence of greetings corroborates this, for though they are also lacking in Thessalonians and Galatians, these epistles contain--as Ephesians does not-personal allusions in the body of their contents. The old theory of Marcion, that our Ephesians was the Laodicean epistle (Col 416), was probably a guess thrown out to solve a riddle which had already, like several other literary questions, become mysterious to the post-apostolic age. It is just another indication of how early tradition lost hold of the facts, and how unreliable even the best second-century information about the early Christian literature may often be.
5 After rois chow (11) the name of a place must be understood. All other interpretations are forced and exaggerated (Oltramare, ii. p. 57 f.).
that the name of the church might be filled in. Had the name of any of the churches originally addressed been inserted by Paul, it is impossible to see how some trace of it would not have been preserved in one or other of the MSS. Further, the likelihood that Paul would have adopted this general method of instruction is increased by the traces (Ro 114, 2 Co 1128) of what may be called, in an honest sense of the word, his “catholic” interest in the churches, particularly when these happened to belong to his favourite sphere in Asia Minor.
At the same time this theory cannot be described as perfectly convincing. At best it is to be taken as a provisional hypothesis, which, in the absence of a better gives a coherent explanation of the critical and literary phenomena in question, when these have to be related to Paul and to his age.
Time and place are indeed by no means unimportant in determining what is to be written, but they are more in the distance than before. Now for the first time St. Paul is free, as it were, to pour forth his own thoughts in a positive form, instead of carrying on an argument, and therefore being hampered by its necessary limitations : and this great change could not but greatly affect his style. ... The lofty calm which undeniably does pervade it may in part be due to the mellowing effect of years, but doubtless much more v to the sense of dangers surmounted, aspirations satisfied, and a vantage-ground
gained for the world-wide harmonious action of the Christian community under the government of God. But, though the vehenient words of the earlier contests have subsided, many parts of the epistle glow with a steady white heat. ... This idea of the unity of Christians as forming a single society with Christ for its invisible Head, which in its different forms dominates the whole epistle, was the natural outflow of the apostle's mind at this time, as determined by the course of outward and inward history on the basis of his primary faith. It needed to be set forth for the completion of his gospel. On the other hand, it was equally needed for the instruction of the no longer infant churches of Western Asia Minor, in whom the Greek spirit of separateness and independence was doubtless working with dangerous vigour.-Hort.
115–321 Dogmatic: prayer for knowledge of God's power as exhibited in
Christ—his exaltation and authority:
Jesus for Gentile and Jow.
his prayer for his readers—the fulness of God's life. 41_620 Ethical : a call to Christian unity in the common life of Christ : 417-24
a call to the new life as contrasted with the old : 425_521
maxims and motives : 522_69 a code of household ethics : husband and wife,
child and parent,
slave and master. 610-20
obstacles and aids to Christian virtue. 621. 22 Personal. 623. 24 Farewell.
11 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus, through the will of God,
to the saints who arel ... to the faithful in Christ Jesus : 2 grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has
blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly regions in Christ, 4 since he has chosen us in him before the foundation of the world that we 5 should be holy and faultless before him, by fore-appointing us in love to 6 his sonship through Jesus Christ, in virtue of the pleasure of his will, to
the praise of the majesty of his grace, with which he has highly favoured 7 us in the beloved : in whom we have the redemption through his blood 8 —the remission of trespasses—thanks to the riches of his grace which he 9 has bestowed amply on us in all wisdom and thoughtfulness, by dis
playing to us the secret of his will, in virtue of his design, with which he 10 was pleased to carry out in him a dispensation in the fulness of the times
for the gathering up of all things under one head in the Christ, the 11 things in the heavens and the things on the earth : in him, in whom
also we have had an inheritance allotted us as those who have been fore
appointed according to the purpose of him who works everything accord12 ing to the counsel of his will, that we should be to the praise of his 13 majesty, we who had hoped beforehand in the Christ; in whom you also,
upon learning the word of the truth, the gospel of your salvation-in
whom you also believed and were sealed with the promised spirit of holi14 ness, which is the pledge and instalment of our inheritance, for the
redemption that gives actual possession, to the praise of his majesty. 15 For this reason, on hearing of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your 16 love for all the saints, I also have not ceased to give thanks for you, 17 as I make mention of you in my prayers, praying that the God of our Lord
Jesus Christ—the Father of majesty—may give you a spirit of wisdom 18 and revelation in the full knowledge of him : with light for the eyes of
your heart, that you may know what is the hope of his calling, what 19 is the riches of the majesty of his inheritance in the saints, and what is the
surpassing greatness of his power for us who believe, in virtue of the 20 force of the might of his strength which he has wrought in the Christ by
raising him from the dead and seating him at his right hand in the 21 heavenly regions, high above all rule and authority and power and lord
ship and every name named not only in this age but also in that which is 22 to come—and he has made all things subject under his feet, and given him 23 to the Community as head over all, to the Community which is his 21 body, the fulness of him who is filling all in all.And as for you, you 2 were dead with your trespasses and sins, in which at one time you walked according to the course of the present age, according to the ruler of the
1 Omitting [[iv ’Epíow]].