The epistolary opening is typical for Paul's letters: identification of the letter's sender and recipients, followed by words of greeting.
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
Heavenly places occurs nowhere else in the New Testament but Ephesians (
1.20; 2.6; 3.10; 6.12
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,
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.
Wisdom and insight emphasize adequate perception; the recipients should avoid deceit and spread truth (
4.14, 25; 5.6; 6.14
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 (
Gather up, “head up”: Jesus is head of the body and the church grows toward that head.
Paul links adoption to inheritance (Gal 3.29; 4.7; Rom 8.17
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
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
At the right hand, the most honored position (Col 3–1
); under his feet, a sign of victory; both quoted from Ps 110
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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