Lectionary Year B
July 23, 2000
Step III: Immediate Context
(FS) B. COMPOSITIONAL WHOLE
1.) Kuemmel's brief outline of Ephesians (Intro. to NT, p. 247)
1:3-3:21=== The divine mystery: call of Jews and Gentiles in Christ
4:1-6:20=== Attached admonitions & call to new life in
2.) A more detailed outline:
1: 3-14 Hymnic praise of God, and God's plan for salvation in Christ
1:15-23 Intercession for readers to know Christ
2:1-10 Digression: both Jews and Gentiles were once
equally lost, but now saved and reconciled
2:11-22 PERICOPE UNDER STUDY: AN INVITATION TO MEDITATE ON THE EFFECT OF CHRIST'S WORK-- JEW
AND GENTILE RECONCILED TO GOD AND ONE ANOTHER,
MADE THE "HOUSEHOLD OF GOD" AT THE CROSS.
3:1-21 Petition for readers resumed - leads to description of writer's call and office, ends
4:1-end Codes/guidelines/exhortations to guide new life
(FS) C. AUTHORSHIP
(from Kuemmel, Intro to the NT, 247ff)
The author is traditionally believed to be Paul, and Ephesians is traditionally ranked as a "prison epistle", i.e. written during Paul's imprisonment. Kuemmel places the writing between 80 and 100 A.D.
There are arguments that Paul probably did not write Ephesians. The lack of concrete details about the writer's knowledge of the congregation is unllike other Pauline epistles. If the writer was not the Apostle Paul, the writer was clearly familiar with other Pauline literature, as themes in
other Pauline letters appear in Ephesians (see Step IV). Some believe that Ephesians is a discourse on the Christian mystery written to be read to newly baptized Christians. Another opinion is that Ephesians was post-Pauline and written as a "cover letter" for the body of Pauline epistles (257).
2. b) Audience and Reason for writing
The recipients appear to have been in a "mixed" (Jewish-Gentile) Church. Perhaps there were strained relations between Jewish and Gentile Christians. Another possibility is that the writer wanted to remind Gentile Christians not to forget the Jewish roots of the Church.
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