An Exegesis of Ephesians

Topics: Christian terms, Jesus, New Testament Pages: 71 (12789 words) Published: October 29, 2013










MAY 2002


LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2

INTRODUCTION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 I. EXEGETICAL OUTLINE OF EPHESIANS 4:7-16 . . . . . 5
CONCLUSION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 BIBLOGRAPHY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38

APPENDIX: 15 STEPS OF FULL EXEGESIS . . . . . . . . . 40


NASB – New American Standard Bible
KJV- King James Version
NRSV – New Revised Standard Version
NIV- New International Version
YLT- Young's Literal Translation
NLT - New Living Translation
Darby- Darby Translation


Paul is the author of the letter to the saints in Ephesus (Eph. 1:1) when he is in prison in Rome (Eph. 3:1; 4:1) around A.D. 61-62. However there is some debate over the authorship as there are questions about linguistic, literary and theological nature of the letter.1 There is a also textual problem as to whether this letter is addressed to the Ephesians as the phrase, "in Ephesus" is missing in the oldest, most reliable manuscripts and in the writings of the church fathers.2 The address in the beginning and ending of the letter does not specify any specific persons or congregation, which is strange since Paul himself spent some time in Ephesus.3 This gives rise to the possibility that the letter could be a general circular letter among house churches or churches and not occasional one in a particular church.4 However, through the content of the letter, the letter could be addressing certain issues or situations in the churches involved. There is the issue of disunity and disputes (4:1-3,11-13; 4:25-5:2); false teachings and teacher (4:14-16; 5:6-14); immorality and sins (5:3-5); drunkedness (5:15-21); authority issues (5:22-6:9); spiritual warfare (6:10-20).

This passage occurs in the body of the letter. In this passage, Paul employs the use of Old Testament quotation, chiasm, metaphors, repetition to enforce his message of unity and maturity in Christ. The central theme of Ephesians is on unity. This passage outlines for us what is unity and maturity in the church under Christ. In this passage we see that because Jesus was willing to humble himself to come to earth as a man to die on the cross for our sins, he is now the exalted and victorious Messiah over his adversary. He is now able and worthy to reign over all and give gifts to the church so that it may reach maturity and unity.

Did Christ descend to hell? What is the role of ministers? What is the role of lay persons? How do we build the church in unity and maturity? We will answer some of these questions in the paper that have an important impact upon how we serve God.


We will look at the passage Eph. 4:7-15 progressively verse-by-verse and then word-by-word. We shall first look at verse 7. The de here could indicate contrast, transition or both. Contrast is a more likely option as it is now contrasting the general ejn pasin in verse 6 with the particular eJni eJkast here in verse 7.5 The actor of the passive ejdoqh can be God or Jesus. Markus Barth views the actor as God and the gift as Jesus Christ.6 In Rom. 12:3-6, it is God that gives the gifts. In 1 Cor. 12:11, it is the Holy Spirit that give the gifts. However, in this passage, Jesus Christ as the giver is the most likely translation taking into account verse 8, that says "he gave gifts" and in verse 11, it says, "it was he who gave" referring to Jesus.7 There are five possible...

Bibliography: Best, Ernest. The International Critical Commentary: Ephesians. Scotland: T & T Clark, 1998.
Feedman, David Noel, ed. The Anchor Bible Commentary. Vol. 34A Ephesians 4-6, by Markus Barth. New York: Doubleday & Company, Inc, 1974.
Gordon, T. David. ""Equipping" Ministry in Ephesians 4" Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 37.1 (March 1994): 69-78.
Graham, Glenn H. An Exegetical Summary: Ephesians. Dallas, Texas: Summer Institute of Linguistics, 1997.
Grudem, Wayne. "He did not Descend into Hell: A Plea for Following Scripture instead of the Apostles ' Creed." Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 34.1 (March 1991): 103-113.
Harris, W. Hall III. "The Ascent and Descent of Christ in Ephesians 4:9-10." Bibliotheca Sacra 151.602 (June 1994): 198-214.
Hubbard, David A., ed. Word Biblical Commentary. Vol. 42 Ephesians, by Andrew T. Lincoln. Dallas, Texas: Word Books, Publisher, 1990.
Hughes, R. Kent. Preaching the Word. Ephesians: The Mystery of the Body of Christ. Wheaton, Illinois: Crossway Books, 1990.
Mays, James Luther. Interpretation: A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching. Vol. 45. Ephesians, Colossians and Philemon, by Ralph P. Martin. Atlanta: John Knox Press, 1989.
O 'Brien, Peter T. The Letter to the Ephesians. Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1999.
Patzia, Arthur G. Ephesians, Colossians, Philemon. New International Biblical Commentary, ed. David J. Williams. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 1984.
Perkins, Pheme. Abingdon New Testament Commentaries: Ephesians. Nashville, Tennessee: Abingdon Press, 1997.
Scaer, David P. "He did Descend to Hell: In Defense of the Apostles ' Creed." Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 35.1 (March 1992): 91-99.
Schnackenburg, Rudolf. The Epistle to the Ephesians. A Commentary. Scotland: T & T Clark, 1991.
Taylor, Richard A. "The Use of Psalm 68:18 in Ephesians 4:8 in Light of the Ancient Versions." Bibliotheca Sacra 148.591 (July 1991): 319-336.
Harvey, John D. Listening to the Text: Oral Patterning in Paul 's Letters. Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1998. 357 pages.
Bressler, Charles E. Literary Criticism: An Introduction to Theory and Practice. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 1994. 204 pages.
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