Background to Epheseians
Lets get a landscape view and then narrow into the book
Ephesians is 49th book of the Bible
Written to the people in Ephesus
Modern day Selkuk, Turkey
a commercial city of Asia Minor
afterwards you should google it! and see what it looks like.
Ephesus worshiped up to 50 gods
like Zeus, Athena, Aphrodite, Asclepius, Apollo, Dionysus, Demeter, Hekate, Tyche, Theos Hypsistos, Meter Oreia, and Hephaistos.
also The two Egyptian deities Isis and Sarapis were also popular in the city
all their gods they viewed as mysterious
which is interesting to note because Paul uses the word mystery 6 times in his letter to Ephesians:
however Ephesus was best known for being the sacred home to Artemis (Diana) the goddess
Artemis was definitely the most important Deity of the city, they even had a month named after her
even had Olympic style games held in her honor.
interesting to me the Artemis cult was the major savings, and loan institution for the entire region.
the large marble temple to Artemis was considered by Ancient writers one of the 7 wonders of the world.
The statue of Artemis was thought to have descended from heaven and was widely worshipped.
- you can look up Artimis they is a lot of pictures, and information, and archeology about her.
you may notice that she wears a signs of the zodiac as a necklace… showing that she is a queen of heaven
Ephesus also had a reputation for magic, shamanism, and occult arts.
In Acts 19:17-20 it says
17 This became known both to all Jews and Greeks dwelling in Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified. 18 And many who had believed came confessing and telling their deeds. 19 Also, many of those who had practiced magic brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all. And they counted up the value of them, and it totaled fifty thousand pieces of silver. 20 So the word of the Lord grew mightily and prevailed.
Later on in Acts it says that the people of Ephesus struggled completely turning away from their magic, and rituals.
They were probably tempted to continue using their magic, incantations, and calling on other deities for help in issues in daily life
Did you know that in section where Paul talks about the Armor of God that he uses a term used in magic, and Zodiac books?
12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
“ Rulers of the darkness of this world” - kosmokratores -
Gk - scholars believe that Paul used this word that the Ephesians would interpret that Artemis, and the other gods they worshipped were far from helpful deities but were evil, and “of this dark age”
Ephesus was a very religious tolerant city with many people worshipping more than one god.
The city of Ephesus was a large, bustling, commercial center on the Aegean coast of Asia Minor.
The city also contained a large, outdoor Greek theater, capable of seating 50,000 people, as well as a stadium where fights, races, and other athletic contests were held.
Paul & Ephesus
Paul & Ephesus
Paul remained in Ephesus for nearly three years on his 3rd missionary journey. Acts 18:23 - 19:41
His ministry was both effective and controversial.
After three months in the synagogue, he was forced out and began teaching in the lecture hall of Tyrannus.
News of Paul’s message spread throughout Asia Minor during this time:
Handkerchiefs touched by Paul were used to heal the sick,
demons were cast out in the name of Jesus,
and new believers burned their books of magic.
Eventually, Paul’s ministry caused a riot in the city of Ephesus.
Demetrius, a silversmith, organized a city-wide protest accusing Paul of threatening the economic well-being of craftsmen who made their living from the worshippers of Artemis.
As a result, Paul left the city and moved on to Macedonia.
By this time the church was firmly established.
Paul never visited Ephesus again.
He did, however, give a moving farewell address to the elders of the church at the nearby port of Miletus.
then wrote the letter of Ephesians
Facts About the Book of Ephesians
Facts About the Book of Ephesians
Paul wrote it: in 1:1, 3:1
Reference to imprisonment (probably in Rome) in 3:1; 4:1; 6:20
Almost unanimous church tradition
Clement of Rome, in a.d. 95, wrote a letter to Corinth that quotes 4:4–6
Ignatius (a.d. 30–107) quotes from 1:9; 2:19; 3:4–9
Polycarp (a.d. 65–155), the disciple of John the Apostle, and the bishop of Smyrna asserts Paul’s authorship
Irenaeus (a.d. 130–200) asserts Paul’s authorship
Clement of Alexandria (a.d. 150–210) asserts Paul’s authorship
It is listed in
Marcion’s (who came to Rome in a.d. 140’s) list of accepted books
Muratorian Fragment (a.d. 180–200), a list of canonical books from Rome and placed it in Paul’s writings
The closings of both Colossians and Ephesians have 29 words that are almost exactly the same in Greek (there are two additional words in Colossians.).
Paul was a prisoner at the time he wrote this letter (Eph. 3:1; 4:1; 6:20).
Scholars differ on whether Paul wrote this letter while he was imprisoned in Caesarea (Acts 24:27) in a.d. 57–59, or in Rome (28:30) in a.d. 60–62.
All things considered, the Roman imprisonment seems more likely. Along with Ephesians, the Books of Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon are thought to have been written during the same time period and hence are called the “Prison Epistles” (cf. Phil. 1:7; Col. 4:10; Phile. 9).
it is one of 4 prison epistles:
Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, Philemon
with 6 chapters:
It takes 21 min to read through the book.
This book has been called the “crowning jewel,” or capstone, of Paul’s theology.
Within the Book of Ephesians
Within the Book of Ephesians
Interesting theology of 7 ones: Eph 4:4-6
One BODY (Church)
One SPIRIT (Holy Spirit)
One LORD (Jesus Christ)
One BAPTISM (Immersion) •
One GOD (Jehovah)
Many blessings: spoken of in Ephesians:
Sealing of the Holy Spirit
Every Spiritual Blessing
“In Christ” is an expression that Paul uses some 200 times in his epistles. It is found 30 times in Ephesians.
Ephesians & Colossians are very similar:
they have very similar openings
Over one third of the words in Colossians are in Ephesians.
It has been estimated that 75 of the 155 verses in Ephesians have a parallel in Colossians
they also have closing verses exactly alike in 29 consecutive words in Greek, with only two different words added in Colossians.
Both claim Paul’s authorship while in prison.
Both were delivered by Paul’s friend Tychicus.
Both were sent to the same area (Asia Minor).
Both deal with the same Christological topic.
Both emphasize Christ as head of the church.
Both encourage appropriate Christian living.
show slide of the similarities (5 slides)
The church was always referred to as the local church in Colossians but universal in Ephesians. (possibly because of how Ephesians was written to be passed around)
Heresy, which was such a prominent feature of Colossians, is not directly mentioned in Ephesians.
“mystery.” In Colossians the mystery is Christ (Col. 1:26–27; 2:2; 4:3), but in Ephesians (1:9; 5:32) it is God’s previously hidden, but now revealed, plan for the unity of Gentiles and Jews.
Ephesians has several Old Testament allusions (1:22—Ps. 8; 2:17—Isa. 57:19) (2:20—Ps. 118:22) (4:8—Ps. 68:18) (4:26—Ps. 4:4) (5:15—Isa. 26:19, 51:17, 52:1, 60:1) (5:3—Gen. 3:24) (6:2–3—Exod. 20:12) (6:14—Isa. 11:5, 59:17) (6:15—Isa. 52:7),
but there are only one or two in Colossians (2:3—Isa. 11:2) or (2:22—Isa. 29:13).
Style—long sentences that are very uncharacteristic of Paul’s other letters
No personal greetings
The absence of a personal greeting is explained by the fact that Ephesians was a cyclical letter that was to be sent to many churches in the area. A Roman postal route which included Ephesus and the Lycus River Valley can be seen in Rev. 2–3. Paul wrote a twin letter, Colossians, to a specific group of three churches which included several personal greetings.
The number of unique words in Ephesians is exactly the same as the number of unique words (hapax legomena) in Romans. The purpose, subject matter, recipients and occasion explain the use of new words.
1. The Trinitarian blessing of grace—Eph. 1:3–14
2. The grace passage—Eph. 2:1–10
3. The merging of Jews and Gentiles into one new body—Eph. 2:11–3:13
4. The unity and giftedness of the body of Christ—Eph. 4:1–16
5. “Christ and the church” are the pattern for “husband and wife” Eph. 5:22–33
6. The spiritual warfare passage—Eph. 6:10–18
Unity in Christ.
10 that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth—in Him.
Unity in Christ (ch.1-3) (theology)
Possessions in God (Eph 1:4-14)
Prayer (Eph 1:15-23)
Our Position in Christ (Eph 2:1-22)
Prayer (Eph 3:1-21)
Unity in the Church (4-6) (Application)
Walk in unity (Eph 4:1-16)
Walk in purity (Eph 4:17-5:17)
Walk in harmony (Eph 5:18-6:9)
Walk in victory (Eph 6:10-24)
This letter begins with love (Eph. 1:4, 6) and ends with love (6:23–24).
After this book was written:
Later on, Paul wrote 1 and 2 Timothy in an attempt to deal with the false teaching that had arisen in the Ephesian church.
(Timothy was the pastor)
that the Ephesian church had succeeded in keeping out the false teachers (Rev. 2:2) but had failed to maintain the vibrancy of their first love for Christ (Rev. 2:4)