Friday, April 21, 2006

A Short Comment on Ephesians Part 1

In the last few months Ive been studying Romans, though at quite a shallow level. Im aware of the possibility of such a deeper and more meaningful study but unfortunatly time does not permit it right now. John (who no longer blogs which sucks) mentioned to me yesterday how he wanted me to blog some of the study I do for my degree and since I have nothing with me to do work on my essay on justification in Romans, I thought a productive thing to do would to blog some stuff about some of the minor or smaller of Pau's letters, this is definatly a completly subjective and snapshot view of 3 of his letters. Firstly Ephesians, In the academic world of theology there is some debate on the authorship of Ephesians, as in whether it actually was written by Paul, for me this is not too big a deal as the canonisationof it for me confirms it's Godss Words so it is somewhat insignificant who the vessel of delivery was, saying this, I do actually think that Ephesians is a Pauline letter and the arguments against in are fairly weak. Basically there is nothing that is completly non Pauline within it. Some of the issues that authorship is fought over though are interesting to glance at. Firstly in Ephesians 2 Paul is speaking of eschatology (the end times) in a sense of realised eschatology (as in much of the work of Christ in the belivers lives is happening right now, thos purportedly is in some contrast with Pauls comments within Romans which speak of a more balanced eschatological view point where although Christs works are being outworked in our lives they are also something which will be completed. This soteriological (issues of salvation) issue can be understood when we see that it is sometime helpful to place slight emphasis on either of the sides when speaking into situations. So for example when Paul was writing to the Ephesian Church as when he was writing to the church in Rome he knew of issues which he felt he needed to comment on and couldn't visit so addressed them in the form of a letter (and one of his disciplesd who would carry the letter, read it to the church and explain anything they didnt understand) In Ephesians here this is Tychicus (6:10-20) but in Romans for exmaple it is Pheobe (Rom 16:1) Another issue for scholars who argue over authorship is the hierarchy of the Church as outlined in (Eph 4:11) Apparently the remnant of Pauls Churches were considered the more charasmatic less structured churches, this is argued from such scriptures that speak of sharing with everyone and those that speak of the equality for everyone under Christ. For me there are two responses for this argument the first is that there nowhere in the corpus of pauline literarure where Paul speaks against the hierarchy of Churhc offices that are subsequently mentioned in chapter 4. Also though I havent the time right now to check the approximate dating of the letter to the Ephesians, As time moved on and the Church found issues with the lack of offical offices Paul saw fit to put them in place. Unfortunatly that is all i have time for right now, thatcovers the authorship debate within the letter to the Ephesians....Comment and corrections are welcome, as long as you have Grace in understanding that Im a 2nd year undergradate student who has hashed out a quick informal overview and not a definitive academic commentary!

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