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The Epistle To The Ephesians

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Chapter Summary

The Epistle to the Ephesians is among the most enigmatic and controversial documents of the New Testament corpus. Widely quoted by the Church Fathers, Ephesians has exerted a deep and far-reaching influence on the development of subsequent Christian theology. The close relationship between Ephesians and Colossians has led some commentators to suppose that both letters were written in opposition to the same 'heretical' opponents, who have sometimes been identified as 'Jewish Gnostics' or, occasionally, as merkava mystics. A symbolic association with the arms of the cross is encountered in the early exegetical tradition, and still has a few supporters, but is surely anachronistic. In Eph 5:21-33, the author combines shiur koma teaching with imagery which reflects the central theme of the allegorical tradition associated with the Song of Songs. The theme of divine Omnipresence in the Psalm closely resembles the motif of cosmic 'filling' in Ephesians.

Keywords: Christian theology; Ephesians; Jewish Gnostics; merkava mystics; New Testament corpus



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