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Ephesians

Ephesians (ĭfēˈzhənz) [key], letter of the New Testament, written, according to tradition, by St. Paul to the Christians of Ephesus from his captivity at Rome (c.A.D. 60). There is ground for believing that the letter was intended as an encyclical. By virtue of the resurrection the writer claims that God has made Jesus supreme over all power and authority; he is made effective through the church, which is his body. The letter states that existing enmity between Jew and Gentile has been broken down in the church, thus creating a new humanity, which is exhorted to live worthily of the calling to manifest the glory of God in the world. The letter concludes with the extended metaphor of the Christian as soldier. Many scholars argue that Ephesians is pseudonymous. It speaks of being raised with Jesus as present experience, in language not found in the undisputed Pauline letters. The conventional morality of the so-called household code in chapters 5 and 6 has no parallel in the undisputed Pauline letters.

See A. T. Lincoln, Ephesians (1990); R. P. Martin, Ephesians, Colossians, & Philemon (1992).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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