Exegetical Paper of Ephesians 2:14-22
In Ephesians 2:14-22, Paul writes a letter to the people of Ephesus both Jews and Gentiles of the time, telling them that Christ had broken down the wall of hostility so that they can live in peace and unity. Within this paper, there will be an extensive exegetical look at the history of the passage; what the significance of this passage is to the biblical audience, and the differences between the biblical audience and today’s audience. By studying this passage, people today can grasp the meaning and apply it to their lives. Historical Context
The City of Ephesus was a city of wealth, and was impacted by Christians greatly for centuries. “Ephesus was founded by Ionian Greeks at a location where the Cayster River emptied into a gulf of the Aegean Sea” (Elwell 709). It was the most important city in Asia and there were many Jews who lived there (Douglas 461; Elwell 710). It had been a city for about 1000 years; before the arrival of the apostle Paul and it had many important land structures that made it a well-structured city. There were many places that made this City important, like the Sea access, market places, Civic buildings, wealthy houses, shops, libraries, fountains and small theaters (Doubled as a council chamber for city for city officials). The main theater held 20,000 people and it was a large cultural item that had a lot of importance and significance to the Ephesians. The harbors were also very important because it was Ephesus’s major entrance for importing and exporting goods (Elwell 709-710). Throughout Acts, Paul goes to the synagogues many times to preach about the Kingdom of God, but as a result people reject his message. So Paul would go to different places with the believers to preach about Jesus, and God equips him with the power to preform unusual miracles. The name of the Lord started becoming known to many people, resulting in people repenting and God moving (Acts 19 NLT). One temple in Ephesus was built for the goddess named Diana, and it brought pagans, travelers and tourists to the City. “Paul visited Ephesus, the leading commercial city of Asia Minor and home to the temple of Artem, is (Diana) one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. His preaching, seen as a threat to the economy associated with the temple, caused a riot and his travelling companions were dragged into this theater which seated 24,000 people (Acts 19:23-41)” (Beaumont 111). The Ephesian economy relied significantly on the buying and selling of idols and Paul’s teachings caused a riot because the Ephesians opposed the association with idols. At that time the estimated population was one third of a million (Marshall 328), and the government was run by the Roman and Greek’s. The Ephesians didn’t want to get in trouble by the Roman & Greek government so they had stopped the riot from continuing. The earliest reference of Christianity in Ephesus was is 52 AD, and it spread to Colossae during Paul’s stay in Ephesus (Douglas 461). The book of Ephesians was written by the apostle Paul. He wrote when he was in imprisonment in Rome around 62 AD. The book of Ephesians was written between 59-63 AD and it was written in Greek (Elwell 704-705). His letter was one of encouragement to the Jews and Gentiles of Ephesus to stand up and keep pursuing Christ against the magic cults and all the people that were involved in the darkness. Paul’s message contained three statements; the first is Paul’s passion to create unity between the Jews and Gentiles so that there is no more division. Second, is Christ’s victory over “the powers” and third maintaining the unity of the spirit; living out the life of Christ in their day to day lives whether it be through their worship, in their relationships or within their Christian households (Fee 348-349). Literary & Pivotal Words
The book of Ephesians is a book that “offers general instruction in the truths of God’s redemptive work in Christ; the unity of the...
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Orr, James. The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia. Grand Rapids: W.B. Eerdmans
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