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Book Number 49
Testament New
Number of Chapters 6
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Literary Genre Pauline Epistle
References Used Bibliography: Ephesians

Ephesians is an apostolic letter presumably from Paul to the Church of Ephesus, though there has been considerable debate about whether Paul actually wrote it. There are no personal greetings included in this letter, so it is possible that this was designed as a circular letter. Some of the language in Ephesians and some of the theology is also different from Paul's other letters and raised more issues.

The traditional view has been that Paul wrote this letter while under house arrest in Rome and waiting to die. Otherwise, Ephesians was probably written by a follower of Paul's teachings late in the first century.

Despite Paul's situation, Ephesians is generally a more optimistic book than many of the other epistles. Instead of condemning problems in the Church, Paul spends much of the book talking about different metaphors for the Church, with each metaphor adding a little bit to the understanding of what the Church universal really is. The Church is described in Ephesians as being universal, the Body of Christ, the Temple of God, the Bride of Christ, and a well prepared army. Each metaphor is incomplete alone, and needs the others to prevent heresy, but each adds something as well. For more information on the Church in Ephesians, see an article by Dr. George Lyons The Church and Holiness in Ephesians

This talk about the Church was especially important as tensions with the Jews, and a growing split with Judaism was causing believers to talk about what their new community really should look like apart from the Old Law and traditions.

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Chapters With Commentary

Ephesians 2, Ephesians 6