An Exegetical Paper on Ephesians 5:15-21
Paper Presented to
Dr. Michael Dusing
This paper will show an in-depth analysis of Ephesians 5:15-21. Items such as the historical analysis, contextual analysis, it will look at textual boundaries and commentary on each verse including grammar and semantic analysis. Towards the end of the paper there will be a theological summary of Ephesians 5:15-21 will be shown with relevant application for us today will be shown.
15 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be ...view middle of the document...
Scholars who deny the Pauline authorship of Ephesians argue as following: It resembles other Pauline epistles, especially Colossians, but the differences, in regard to word choice, style, and doctrine, are too significant. Therefore it was written by a follower of Paul. Interestingly enough, these arguments are all based upon internal evidence which deals with the text itself. Interpretation of these internal evidences is heavily dependent upon a subjective reading. Actually, these can be used as a proof both for Pauline argument and for it being written as a Pseudonym. As clear external evidence reveals, authorship of Ephesians more acceptably belongs to Paul.
Also, the traditional view that the recipient is the church in Ephesus was first challenged by Charles Ellicott, who, with his opinion has won over a majority of today’s scholars. However, Black clearly indicates the evidences for its recipient from the textual criticism.
Are the words “in Ephesus” original or not? Here the external evidence seems to favor the inclusion of the words The longer reading is both early and widespread, being supported by the great majority of Greek manuscripts, ancient versions, and church fathers, as well as by the majority of the text types. On the other hand, the testimony for the omission of “in Ephesus” is extremely limited.
The letter was probably written to Ephesus, then for using it as a circular letter, the wording “in Ephesus” may have been taken out later.
If Paul wrote this epistle, then when did he write it? Klein’s conclusion is most probably: “So if Paul was in prison in Rome when he wrote Ephesians, we can assign the date within the span of AD 60-62.” In Acts, there are three imprisonments: Phillipi, Caesarea, and Rome. Paul only stayed for a short time in Phillipi, so he would not have had time to write it down. Based upon the relationship of the book of Ephesians to the book of Philemon, one can assume that the two of them were in the same location. Then Paul expects release from his imprisonment mentioned in Philemon. Therefore it seems that this epistle was written during his imprisonment in Rome, instead of Caesarea.
Chapter 19 of Acts mentions the temple of the great goddess Artemis in Ephesus. In addition to worshipping Artemis, the presence of polytheism surrounded the city. According to Arnold, as long as material evidences prove, the Ephesians venerated 24 deities in Ephesus including Aphrodite, Dionysus, Zeus and several river deities. Moreover, as Hoehner has shown, Ephesus was also pervaded by the practice of magic: “In Acts 19:18-19, Luke recorded that the believers divulged the practices of magic and burned their magic books worth 50,000 pieces of silver. –that is, 50,000 days’ wages!” The church in Ephesus was in this kind of situation. There were probably some carnal Christians and also the church was more than likely challenged by the cultural side.
Finally, one can find the close...