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A Deutero-Pauline Mystery? Ecclesiology in Colossians and Ephesians

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Chapter Summary

The ecclesiological vision of Colossians and Ephesians is that the Gentiles are equal members of the people of God. This vision is referred to as a mystery that was previously unknown (Col 1:26-27; Eph 3:5-6). To modern scholars, the origin of this ecclesiological vision is also something of a mystery. The ecclesiology of these letters continues to be one of the most important questions in the debate over the authorship of Colossians and Ephesians. This chapter compares the ecclesiology of Colossians and Ephesians to that of the undisputed letters. While Colossians and Ephesians show clear traces of a later development, the author intends to show that this development represents a complex reapplication of familiar Pauline terms and themes in a way that is consistent with the logic of the apostle's earlier letters.

Keywords: Colossians; Ephesians; Pauline epistles



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