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Strolling Through the Book of Ephesians March 20, 2012

Posted by flashbuzzer in Books, Christianity.
Tags: , , , ,

I’ve recently started reading through the Epistle to the Ephesians with the aid of a commentary by Charles Hodge. I should note that I studied Ephesians during the Urbana conference in 2006, though I don’t remember much from that experience. As in my recent stroll through the book of 2 Corinthians, I hope to comprehend Ephesians as a whole. In particular, I hope to understand how Ephesians is not a mere rehash of the doctrines and exhortations that are found in Romans.

I plan to blog about this experience as I read through both the epistle and Hodge’s commentary. Each post will correspond to a specific section in the NIV translation.

For starters, here are my thoughts on Ephesians 1:1-2.

Summary: In this passage, Paul greets the Ephesians by stating that he – by God’s grace and by His authority – is a plenipotentiary of Christ; he writes to the believers in Ephesus who have been:

  • cleansed by the sacrifice of Christ
  • set apart for God.

He wishes them God’s (unmerited) favor and prays for their general well-being, as these come from:

  • God, who has adopted them into His family
  • Jesus Christ, who is God in the flesh.

Thoughts: I’ve started thinking about why Ephesians should not be characterized as a mere rehash of Romans. I suppose that as I delve into the epistle, I will be further enlightened in that regard. For now, one thought is that even though Romans was probably written before Ephesians, it’s quite possible that Romans had not been seen by the Ephesians before Paul wrote his letter to them. If so, one should consider Ephesians to be essentially independent of Romans. When viewed in that light, Ephesians could contain the same doctrines and exhortations that are found in Romans, yet Paul could present those doctrines and exhortations in a way that catered to the Ephesians’ unique circumstances. This does raise the related question as to whether any of the intended recipients of the New Testament letters saw any of the other epistles, and if so, how did they react to them? I suppose that is a topic for another day.



1. Final Greetings « Ringing In - September 6, 2012

[…] as a welcome break from my relatively in-depth strolls through Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians, and Ephesians. To understand why many believers have delighted in reading this letter, one must peruse Alister […]

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