(On the relation of this letter to Ephesians and to the letter to be sent from Laodicea to Colossae, see Ephesians, Epistle To The.) His attitude is prophylactic, rather than polemic, for the "philosophy" has not as yet taken deep root.
Holtzmann (1872) subjected both Colossians and Ephesians to a rigorous examination, and found in Colossians at least a nucleus of Pauline material.
- In addition to the literature already mentioned, see the articles of Sanday on "Colossians" and Robertson on "Ephesians" in Smith's Bible Dictionary (2nd ed., 1893), and the article of A.
Julicher on "Colossians and Ephesians" in the Encyclopaedia Biblica (1899); the Introductions of H.
It consists of a series of sermons on the latter portion of the 6th chapter of Ephesians, and is described as a "magazine from whence the Christian is furnished with spiritual arms for the battle, helped on with his armour, and taught the use of his weapon; together with the happy issue of the whole war."
EPHESIANS This book of the New Testament, the most general and least occasional and polemic of all the Pauline epistles, a large section of which seems almost like the literary elaboration of a theological topic, may best be described as a solemn oration, addressed to absent hearers, and intended not primarily to clarify their minds but to stir their emotions.
Ephesians has been called "the crown of St Paul's writings," and whether it be measured by its theological or its literary interest and importance, it can fairly dispute with Romans the claim to be his greatest epistle.
In the public and private use of Christians some parts of Ephesians have been among the most favourite of all New Testament passages.
The title "To the Ephesians" is found in the Muratorian canon, in Irenaeus, Tertullian and Clement of Alexandria, as well as in all the earliest MSS.
It appears to have drawn its title, "To the Ephesians," from one of the churches for which it was intended, perhaps the one from which a copy was secured when Paul's epistles were collected, shortly before or after the year ioo.
The structure of Ephesians is epistolary; it opens with the usual salutation (i.
The relationship, both literary and theological, between the epistle to the Ephesians and that to the Colossians is very close.
The question of the authorship of Ephesians is less important to the student of the history of Christian thought than in the case of most of the Pauline epistles, because of the generalness of tone and the lack of specific allusion in the work.
To the evidence given above may be added the use of Ephesians in the First Epistle of Peter.
If the latter epistle could be finally established as genuine, or its date fixed, it would give important evidence with regard to Ephesians; but in the present state of discussion we must confine ourselves to pointing out the fact.
In both cases the dependence is clearly on the part of Peter; for ideas and phrases that in Ephesians and Romans have their firm place in closely wrought sequences, are found in 1 Peter with less profound significance and transformed into smooth and pointed maxims and apophthegmatic sentences.
Objections to the genuineness of Ephesians have been urged since the early part of the 19th century.
The influence of Schleiermacher, whose pupil Leonhard Usteri in his Entwickelung der paulinischen Lehrbegriffs (1824) expressed strong doubts as to Ephesians, carried weight.
In recent years a tendency has been apparent among critics to accept Ephesians as a genuine work of Paul.
Before speaking of the more fundamental grounds urged for the rejection of Ephesians, we may look at various points of detail which are of less significance.
(4) The relation of Ephesians to Colossians would be a serious difficulty only if Colossians were held to be not by Paul.
Holtzmann's elaborate and very ingenious theory (1872) that Colossians has been expanded, on the basis of a shorter letter of Paul, by the same later hand which had previously written the whole of Ephesians, has not met with favour from recent scholars.
Among the most important points in which the ideas and implications of Ephesians suggest an authorship and a period other than that of Paul are the following: (a) The union of Gentiles and Jews in one body is already accomplished.
It cannot be maintained that the ideas of Ephesians directly contradict either in formulation or in tendency the thought of the earlier epistles.
On the other hand, the characteristics of the thought in Ephesians give some strong evidence confirmatory of the epistle's own claim to be by Paul.
If Ephesians was written by Paul, it was during the period of his imprisonment, either at Caesarea or at Rome (iii.
Bibliography.-The best commentaries on Ephesians are by C. J.
1879) is important for Ephesians also.
Dale, Epistle to the Ephesians; its Doctrine and Ethics (1882), is a valuable series of expository discourses.
Hort, Prolegomena to St Paul's Epistles to the Romans and the Ephesians (1895).
The theological ideas of Ephesians are also discussed in some of the works on Paul's theology; see especially F.
"Ephesians, Epistle to," in Hastings's Dictionary of the Bible, the various works of Holtzmann above referred to, and T.
The first consists of seven letters addressed by Ignatius to the Ephesians, Magnesians, Trallians, Romans, Philadelphians, Smyrnaeans and to Polycarp. The second collection consists of the preceding extensively interpolated, and six others of Mary to Ignatius, of Ignatius to Mary, to the Tarsians, Antiochians, Philippians and Hero, a deacon of Antioch.
Especially Ha,upt's note) and does not involve the interpolation of matter by the later redactor of Colossians and Ephesians (Holtzmann, Hausrath' and Bruckner, Reihenfolge d.
Besides these there has also appeared a small volume containing Lectures on Colossians, Philemon and Ephesians (Berlin, 1865).
P. Migne, Cursus Patrologiae Latinae, viii., include commentaries on Galatians, Ephesians and Philippians; De Trinitate contra Arium; Ad Justinum Manichaeum de Vera Came Christi; and a little tract on "The Evening and the Morning were one day" (the genuineness of the last two is doubtful).
Writing of the unity of the church as set forth by Paul in Ephesians, Dr Hort (The Christian Ecclesia, p. 168) says: " Not a word in the epistle exhibits the One Ecclesia as made up of many Ecclesiae.
In the Epistle to the Ephesians the Christian Church is spoken of as the body of Christ (iv.
His Epistle to the Ephesians 4, 1 5; Trall.
It showed itself strongly in the epistles of the next group, especially Ephesians and Colossians.
The predominance of this somewhat recondite teaching gave to these epistles even more the character of treatises, which in the case of Ephesians is further enhanced by the fact that it is probably a circular letter addressed not to a single church but to a group of churches.
Apart from this, the keen criticism of modern times has fastened especially upon two groups: 2 Thessalonians; Colossians with Philemon, Ephesians and the Pastorals.
But there is an arguable case of some real weight against Colossians, Ephesians, Pastorals - least against Colossians and perhaps most against the Pastorals.
And the objections to Ephesians are considerably reduced when it is taken as a circular letter.
But it should be admitted that, especially in regard to Ephesians and Pastorals, there is a perceptible difference, (a) in style, and (b) in characteristic subject matter, from the standard epistles.
England has made many weighty contributions both to Introduction and Canon, especially Lightfoot, Essays on Supernatural Religion (collected in 1889); editions of Books of the New Testament and Apostolic Fathers; Westcott, editions; Hort, especially Romans and Ephesians (posthumous, 1895); Swete, editions; Knowling and others.
At present, both in N and B, Hebrews is placed after 2 Thess., but in B there is also a continuous numeration of sections throughout the epistles, according to which I to 58 cover Romans to Galatians, but Ephesians, the next epistle, begins with 70 instead of 59, and the omitted section numbers are found in Hebrews.
Obviously, the archetype placed Hebrews between Galatians and Ephesians, but the scribe altered the order and put it between 2 Thess.
120, in his letter to the Ephesians, defines the one bread broken in the Eucharist as a " drug of immortality, and antidote that we should not die, but live for ever in Jesus Christ."
His publications were connected with biblical criticism and interpretation, some of them being for popular use and others more strictly scientific. To the former class belong the Biblical Cyclopaedia, his edition of Cruden's Concordance, his Early Oriental History, and his discourses on the Divine Love and on Paul the Preacher; to the latter his commentaries on the Greek text of St Paul's epistles to the Ephesians, Colossians, Philippians and Galatians, published at intervals in four volumes.