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Ephesians 1:1

Context
Salutation

1:1 From Paul, 1  an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, to the saints [in Ephesus], 2  the faithful 3  in Christ Jesus.

Ephesians 3:1

Context
Paul's Relationship to the Divine Mystery

3:1 For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus 4  for the sake of you Gentiles –

Ephesians 3:7

Context
3:7 I became a servant of this gospel 5  according to the gift of God’s grace that was given to me by 6  the exercise of his power. 7 

Ephesians 3:13

Context
3:13 For this reason I ask you 8  not to lose heart because of what I am suffering for you, 9  which 10  is your glory. 11 

Ephesians 4:1

Context
Live in Unity

4:1 I, therefore, the prisoner for the Lord, 12  urge you to live 13  worthily of the calling with which you have been called, 14 

Ephesians 6:19-20

Context
6:19 Pray 15  for me also, that I may be given the message when I begin to speak 16  – that I may confidently make known 17  the mystery of the gospel, 6:20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may be able to speak boldly as I ought to speak.

1 tn Grk “Paul.” The word “from” is not in the Greek text, but has been supplied to indicate the sender of the letter.

2 tc The earliest and most important mss omit “in Ephesus” (Ì46 א* B* 6 1739 [McionT,E]), yet the opening line of this epistle makes little sense without the phrase (“to the saints who are and are faithful…”? or perhaps “to the saints who are also faithful,” though with this sense the οὖσιν [ousin] is redundant and the καί [kai] is treated somewhat unnaturally). What is interesting is Marcion’s canon list which speaks of the letter to the Laodiceans among Paul’s authentic epistles. This, coupled with some internal evidence that the writer did not know his audience personally (cf. 1:15; 3:2; absence of personal names throughout), suggests that Ephesians was an encyclical letter, intended for more than one audience. Does this mean that the shorter reading is to be preferred? Yes and no. A plausible scenario is as follows, assuming Pauline authorship (though this is strongly contested today; for arguments on behalf of Pauline authorship, see M. Barth, Ephesians [AB 34], 1:36-50; P. T. O’Brien, Ephesians, 4-47; and H. W. Hoehner, Ephesians, 2-61): Paul sent the letter from Rome, intending it first to go to Ephesus. At the same time, Colossians was dispatched. Going counterclockwise through Asia Minor, this letter would first come to Ephesus, the port of entry, then to Laodicea, then Colossae. Tychicus’ instructions may well have been for each church to “fill in the blank” on the address line. The church at Ephesus would have certainly made the most copies, being Paul’s home base for nearly three years. Hence, most of the surviving copies have “in Ephesus” in v. 1 (so א2 A B2 D F G Ψ 0278 33 1881 Ï latt sy co). But one might expect a hint of evidence that Laodicea also made a few copies: Both Marcion’s list and Col 4:16 may well imply this. What is to account for the early Alexandrian evidence, then? These mss were perhaps made from a very early copy, one reflecting the blank line before each church filled it in. Although it is of course only speculation (as is necessary in a historical investigation lacking some of the pieces to the puzzle), this scenario accounts for all of the data: (1) “in Ephesus” in most mss; (2) Laodicea in Marcion’s list and Col 4:16; (3) the lack of an addressee in the earliest witnesses; (4) why the earliest witnesses’ reading must be rejected as too hard; and (5) why the author seems not to know the readership. In sum, is “in Ephesus” original? Yes and no. Some address belongs there; ἐν ᾿Εφέσῳ (en Efesw) is the predominant address, but several other churches also received this circular letter as their own. For this reason the phrase has been placed in single brackets in the translation. NA27 also lists the words in brackets, indicating doubt as to their authenticity.

map For location see JP1 D2; JP2 D2; JP3 D2; JP4 D2.

3 tn Grk “and faithful.” The construction in Greek (as well as Paul’s style [and even if this letter is not by Paul it follows the general style of Paul’s letters, with some modifications]) suggests that the saints are identical to the faithful; hence, the καί (kai) is best left untranslated. See M. Barth, Ephesians (AB 34), 1:68 and ExSyn 282.

4 tc Several early and important witnesses, chiefly of the Western text (א* D* F G [365]), lack ᾿Ιησοῦ (Ihsou, “Jesus”) here, while most Alexandrian and Byzantine mss (Ì46 א1 A B [C] D1 Ψ 33 1739 [1881] Ï lat sy bo) have the word. However, because of the Western text’s proclivities to add or delete to the text, seemingly at whim, serious doubts should be attached to the shorter reading. It is strengthened, however, by א’s support. Nevertheless, since both א and D were corrected with the addition of ᾿Ιησοῦ, their testimony might be questioned. Further, in uncial script the nomina sacra here could have led to missing a word by way of homoioteleuton (cMuiMu). At the same time, in light of the rarity of scribal omission of nomina sacra (see TCGNT 582, n. 1), a decision for inclusion of the word here must be tentative. NA27 rightly places ᾿Ιησοῦ in brackets.

5 tn Grk “of which I was made a minister,” “of which I became a servant.”

6 tn Grk “according to.”

7 sn On the exercise of his power see 1:19-20.

8 tn Grk “I ask.” No direct object is given in Greek, leaving room for the possibility that either “God” (since the verb is often associated with prayer) or “you” is in view.

9 tn Grk “my trials on your behalf.”

10 sn Which. The antecedent (i.e., the word or concept to which this clause refers back) may be either “what I am suffering for you” or the larger concept of the recipients not losing heart over Paul’s suffering for them. The relative pronoun “which” is attracted to the predicate nominative “glory” in its gender and number (feminine singular), making the antecedent ambiguous. Paul’s suffering for them could be viewed as their glory (cf. Col 1:24 for a parallel) in that his suffering has brought about their salvation, but if so his suffering must be viewed as more than his present imprisonment in Rome; it would be a general description of his ministry overall (cf. 2 Cor 11:23-27). The other option is that the author is implicitly arguing that the believers have continued to have courage in the midst of his trials (as not to lose heart suggests) and that this is their glory. Philippians 1:27-28 offers an interesting parallel: The believers’ courage in the face of adversity is a sign of their salvation.

11 tn Or “Or who is your glory?” The relative pronoun ἥτις (Jhti"), if divided differently, would become ἤ τίς (h ti"). Since there were no word breaks in the original mss, either word division is possible. The force of the question would be that for the readers to become discouraged over Paul’s imprisonment would mean that they were no longer trusting in God’s sovereignty.

12 tn Grk “prisoner in the Lord.”

13 tn Grk “walk.” The verb “walk” in the NT letters refers to the conduct of one’s life, not to physical walking.

14 sn With which you have been called. The calling refers to the Holy Spirit’s prompting that caused them to believe. The author is thus urging his readers to live a life that conforms to their saved status before God.

15 tn To avoid a lengthy, convoluted sentence in English, the Greek sentence was broken up at this point and the verb “pray” was inserted in the English translation to pick up the participle προσευχόμενοι (proseuxomenoi, “praying”) in v. 18.

16 tn Grk “that a word may be given to me in the opening of my mouth.” Here “word” (λόγος, logo") is used in the sense of “message.”

17 tn The infinitive γνωρίσαι (gnwrisai, “to make known”) is functioning epexegetically to further explain what the author means by the preceding phrase “that I may be given the message when I begin to speak.”



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