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Ephesians - Introduction

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Most scholars agree that Ephesians was written by the apostle Paul, partly because the content follows an outline that is similar to other letters attributed to him that are contained in the New Testament.


Lesson Thirty-six: Ephesians

Part 1

I. Introduction

A. Authorship

1. Arguments against Pauline authorship

a. The language is unpauline.

b. The style is unpauline.

c. It's too much like Colossians.

d. The theology is unpauline.

e. Unusual "Christ" formulas

f. The use of marriage as a positive example

g. The author admits to Gentile sins.

h. Realized eschatology is emphasized.

i. The presence of cosmic Christology

j. Paul doesn't write to churches in general.

k. There is no specific reference to the parousia.

l. Onesimus wrote Ephesians as a summary of Paul.

2. Arguments for Pauline authorship

a. It claims to be written by Paul.

b. Early church tradition

c. The writer is a Jew.

d. Language is more pauline than unpauline.

e. Encyclical letter would be more general.

f. Autobiographical information

g. Debate on pseudonymity

B. Occasion of the Letter

1. Emphasis on the unity of the church

2. General letter to the churches of Asia Minor

C. Outline of the Letter

1. Salutation (1:1-2)

2. Thanksgiving (1:3-23)

3. Body (2:1-3:21)

4. Ethical exhortation (4:1-6:20)

5. Closing (6:21-24)

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