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New Testament Survey: The Book Of Ephesians

Written By: Steve Shirley

 

The Book Of Ephesians

Author:  Paul (Eph 1:1)(Eph 3:1)
(For more on Paul see: Survey: Biography Of Paul)

The Stats:

Date Written:

Place Written:  Rome (while in prison [Eph 3:1][Eph 4:1][Eph 6:20])

Eph 1:7 to Col 1:14
Eph 1:10 to Col 1:20
Eph 1:16 to Col 1:9
Eph 1:21 to Col 1:16
Eph 2:5 to Col 2:13
Eph 3:2 to Col 1:25
Eph 4:2-4 to Col 3:12-15
Eph 4:16 to Col 2:19
Eph 4:22-24 to Col 3:9-10
Eph 4:24-25 to Col 3:9
Eph 4:32 to Col 3:13
Eph 5:6-8 to Col 3:6-8
Eph 5:15-16 to Col 4:5
Eph 5:19 to Col 3:16
Eph 5:20-22 to Col 3:17-18
Eph 6:4 to Col 3:21
Eph 6:5-9 to Col 3:22-4:1
Eph 6:19-22 to Col 4:3-4
Eph 6:22 to Col 4:8

Written To:  The Church at Ephesus (Ephesus is mentioned 17 times in the New Testament)

1. The words "at Ephesus" (Eph 1:1) are not found in the Codex Sinaiticus or Codex Vaticanus, which are two of the oldest manuscripts of the New Testament that we have today.

2. There are no specific church problems addressed, nor are there any specific references to any people other than Tychicus (Eph 6:21). Considering the time Paul had previously spent in Ephesus (3 years during his 3rd missionary journey) this seems unusual if it was addressed specifically to Ephesus.

3. Both (Eph 1:5) and (Eph 3:2) make it sound as though Paul did not personally know his recipients. Some believe Paul may have been writing to the Laodiceans based on (Col 4:16). This "letter from Laodicea" would be lost unless it is referring to the letter we call Ephesians.

1. The words "at Ephesus" are found in the margins of all the oldest manuscripts and versions. In addition, most or all have the heading "To The Ephesians."

2. No single ancient manuscript says "at Laodicea" in (Eph 1:1).

3. Since Ephesians and Colossians contain numerous identical passages, and were written at almost exactly the same time, why would Paul tell the Colossians and Laodiceans to exchange letters in (Col 4:16)?

4. Why would Paul send his greetings to the Laodiceans if he had just written them (Col 4:15)?

5. What Paul said in (Eph 1:5) doesn't necessarily mean he didn't literally know anything of their faith. A direct parallel can be found in (Phile 5). Paul says nearly the same thing of Philemon, but Philemon was a convert of Paul (Phile 19).

6. Most of the early church fathers called this "The Epistle To The Ephesians." They never considered the matter under discussion.

Key Verses:  A lot! (Eph 1:3-7)(Eph 1:13-14)(Eph 2:1-5)(Eph 2:8-10)(Eph 3:20)(Eph 4:4-6)(Eph 4:9-12,15)(Eph 4:22-32)(Eph 5:2-5,8,11)(Eph 5:21-33)(Eph 6:2-4)(Eph 6:11-12)

Purpose: 

1. To encourage, strengthen, and mature its recipients.

2. To emphasize and explain how all believers, whether Jew or Gentile, make up "the church" and are one body in Christ ("make the two into one new man" Eph 2:15), and that Jesus is the head of this body.

3. To share with them the essential doctrines of the Christian faith (Chapters 1-3), and how they were responsible to walk them out (Eph 4:1) and practically apply them to their lives.

4. To emphasize again that salvation is by grace alone, and not by works.

About The City:

About The Church

Special Emphasis:

Survey:

1. The apostolic greeting, 1:1-2.

2. Positional; the believer's standing "in Christ" and "in the heavenlies."

3. Walk and service, 4:1- 5:17.

4. The walk and warfare of the Spirit-filled believer, 5:18-6:24.

(Survey from Scofield Reference Notes [1917 ed.]: Public Domain)