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The Access Bible New Revised Standard Bible, written and edited with first-time Bible readers in mind.

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Commentary on Ephesians

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1.1–2 :

The epistolary opening is typical for Paul's letters: identification of the letter's sender and recipients, followed by words of greeting.

1.3–14 :

Praise to God. The repetitions of praise (vv. 6, 12, 14 ) divide the one Greek sentence into three parts (vv. 3–6, 7–12, 13–14 ).

3 :

Heavenly places occurs nowhere else in the New Testament but Ephesians ( 1.20; 2.6; 3.10; 6.12 ).

5–6 :

Adoption, a favorite concept for Paul (Gal 4.15; Rom 8.15, 23; 9.4 ); Paul never uses beloved to characterize Christ though later Christian writers, like Ignatius, * do.

7 :

For Paul, redemption (a purchase payment) covers all of the believers' lives and is completed only at the second coming (“parousia * ”). (See 3.24; 8.23; 1 Cor 1.30; see also 1 Cor 15.23 .) Ephesians holds a similar view but never mentions parousia.

8 :

Wisdom and insight emphasize adequate perception; the recipients should avoid deceit and spread truth ( 4.14, 25; 5.6; 6.14 ).

9 :

Mystery, * Colossians reserves this expression for Christ (Col 1.26–27; 2.2; 4.3 ); here it indicates God's reconciliation of all things, including Jews and gentiles * in the body of Christ ( 3.3–4, 9 ).

10 :

Gather up, “head up”: Jesus is head of the body and the church grows toward that head.

11 :

Paul links adoption to inheritance (Gal 3.29; 4.7; Rom 8.17 ).

12–14 :

We, you connects vv. 7–12 to 13–14 , anticipating the direct address to gentiles in 2.1 and 3.1 . A seal confirms authenticity; a pledge is a deposit against a full amount to be paid later; both are used similarly in Paul's undisputed letters (2 Cor 1.22; 5.5; Rom 8.23 ).

1.15–23 :

A thanksgiving.

18 :

Heart, the seat of knowledge and understanding. Because of the hope to which he has called you, the church must live out its calling, as described in 4.1–3 .

20–22 :

At the right hand, the most honored position (Col 3–1 ); under his feet, a sign of victory; both quoted from Ps 110 .

22 :

Christ as head of the church (compare Col 1.18 ) is not found in the undisputed Pauline letters, which speak of local churches, not the universal church.

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