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Bible Commentaries

Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges

Ephesians Overview





THE General Editor does not hold himself responsible, except in the most general sense, for the statements, opinions, and interpretations contained in the several volumes of this Series. He believes that the value of the Introduction and the Commentary in each case is largely dependent on the Editor being free as to his treatment of the questions which arise, provided that that treatment is in harmony with the character and scope of the Series. He has therefore contented himself with offering criticisms, urging the consideration of alternative interpretations, and the like; and as a rule he has left the adoption of these suggestions to the discretion of the Editor.

The Greek Text adopted in this Series is that of Dr Westcott and Dr Hort with the omission of the marginal readings. For permission to use this Text the thanks of the Syndics of the Cambridge University Press and of the General Editor are due to Messrs Macmillan & Co.


April 1914.


WHEN five and twenty years ago I first had to prepare a course of public lectures on the Epistle to the Ephesians, I had access, in addition to the generally accessible sources of information, to the notes taken by a College friend at a course of lectures given some years previously in the University by Professor Lightfoot. I asked and obtained permission from him, he was then Bishop of Durham, to make free use of these notes. They are my authority for the views attributed in this edition to Lightfoot when the reference is not derived from his published works. I owed a great deal at that time to what I learnt both at first and at second hand from him. I trust I have not made him responsible for any opinions which he would have disowned.

When nearly ten years ago I undertook this edition I set to work to go over the whole ground for myself afresh, doing my best to look at each thought in the whole context both of St Paul’s writings and of the Old and New Testaments. A long apprenticeship to Dr Hort had taught me the value of this method of arriving at the meaning of the pregnant words and phrases of the Apostle. The notes in this edition are for the most part the result of this independent study, checked from time to time, after I had arrived for myself at a provisional conclusion, by reference to previous commentators.

I have made no attempt to record the various opinions that have been held on doubtful points. This most useful work has, as far as my knowledge goes, been excellently done for English readers by Dr T. K. Abbott in the International Critical Commentary and by Dr Salmond in the Expositor’s Greek Testament. I have been content for the most part to state my conclusions and the grounds on which they rest without discussing possible alternatives.

One result of my study has been a deepening conviction of the dependence of St Paul, both in thought and language, on some form of Gospel tradition of the words of the Lord, and at times specifically on that form of it now preserved for us by St John.

When, after finishing the commentary, I came to work on the Introduction, my intention had been to attempt little more than a concise summary of the points established by Dr Hort in his published lectures, and to call attention to the excellent work of Dr Robertson and Dr Sanday in S.B.D.2 and of Dr Lock in H.B.D. The appearance of Dr Moffatt’s Introduction to the Literature of N.T., summing up against the genuineness of the Epistle, made it necessary to restate the case in favour of the Pauline authorship in the light of the most recent criticism. I set myself therefore to examine Dr Moffatt’s position point by point, bringing his statements constantly to the test of the facts of the document with which he is dealing.

I have, I am sorry to say, found myself often compelled to dissent from his conclusions. I am none the less grateful to him for suggesting many fruitful lines of enquiry. I have not scrupled to give the evidence at length, because the repeated re-examination of the Epistle, which the different stages in the argument entail, cannot fail to help a student to grasp the salient characteristics and the essential meaning of the whole, whether he undertakes the task before or after studying the Epistle in detail verse by verse and phrase by phrase.

I have also taken occasion from the objections raised against the Pauline character of the doctrine of the Epistle to include, partly in the Introduction and partly in Additional Notes, a certain number of studies in the theology of St Paul. It is a delicate matter to determine the extent to which St Paul’s view of different elements in his Gospel developed within the period covered by his extant epistles. He had been in Christ at least fourteen years and probably longer before the earliest of them, and his treatment of topics was always regulated by the immediate needs and the spiritual capacity of his correspondents. Still, when we trace a particular thought through the successive groups into which his epistles fall, we are conscious of a progress, which cannot be altogether accounted for by the growth in maturity in those to whom he is writing. In any case the ‘circular’ character of the Epistle to the Ephesians relieves St Paul in great measure from this check on the freedom of his utterances, and enables him to give us the ripest fruit of his spiritual experience without let or hindrance.

I desire in conclusion to express my thanks to many friends who have helped me at different stages of my work—and herein especially to the General Editor for much patience and watchful criticism, to Mr Abrahams the University Reader in Rabbinic for help in regard to two important points in Jewish Liturgiology, and to my colleague the Rev. P. H. L. Brereton who has not only revised the proof-sheets with great care, but also compiled the Indices.

One last debt I should have liked to acknowledge by a formal dedication if such a course had had any precedent in books belonging to such a series as this. It is my debt to my old Headmaster, Henry Montagu Butler, who first taught me in the Sixth Form at Harrow to delight in the study of St Paul, and to pay special attention to the sequence of his thought.

J. O. F. M.


Easter 1914.



Four questions come up naturally for treatment under the head of ‘Introduction,’ authorship, destination, date, and purpose. These questions in the case of the Epistle to the Ephesians are strictly interdependent and must in great measure be considered together. The most fundamental and for the last three-quarters of a century the most keenly debated is the question of Authorship.

No book, above all no letter, can be fully understood apart from its historical setting. Even a lyric—the value of which depends on the simplicity and directness of the expression that it gives to a phase of universal human experience—gains not a little in its emotional appeal when we can connect it with a definite personality. A ‘science primer,’ the most transitory of literary products, if we know it is by Clerk Maxwell, will be read with attention long after the other numbers of the series to which it belongs have passed into oblivion—not only for its strictly scientific value, but for the light that it throws on the working of a master mind. Above all, in Theology, each man’s outlook is at the heart of it incommunicably individual. All the fundamental terms of that science have a strictly unfathomable content. Our apprehension of their meaning is continually growing, and no two of us use any one of them in precisely the same sense. The problem of authorship is therefore of peculiar importance for the interpretation of an utterance like the Epistle to the Ephesians, which is at once a true letter and is steeped throughout in Theology. And the importance is not limited to the assistance which a determination of the question will give in the interpretation of particular phrases or even of the Epistle as a whole. If it is genuine, it throws light upon, as well as receives light from, our conception of the author. It enables us to study afresh the rudimentary ideas which find expression in his earlier letters in the light of their ultimate development. And everything that enables us to enter more fully into the mind of St Paul is of priceless importance for the understanding both of the historical development of Christianity at its most critical period and of its inmost essence and meaning.



We may begin our investigation into the problem by examining first the witness of ecclesiastical tradition. Apart from the positive value attaching to this evidence, which is not lightly to be put aside, the study of the facts is of great assistance in limiting the field of subsequent enquiry. Collections of St Paul’s Epistles must have been in existence[2] from an early date. Such a collection, apart altogether from any intention of constituting a Canon, would have been in accordance with the literary traditions of the time, as we can see from the extant collections of the letters e.g. of Cicero, Seneca, and Pliny.

The care taken to collect the Epistles of Ignatius is a proof that the idea was familiar in Christian circles early in the second century. Indeed the language of Ignatius (Eph. c. xii. ἐν πάσῃ ἐπιστολῇ) suggests that a collection of St Paul’s Epistles was already common property (cf. Polyc. c. iii.) and has even been quoted as proving that they had attained canonical authority. Dr Bigg calls attention to the fact that Clement of Rome shows coincidences with eleven of them. These coincidences are, of course, of various degrees of cogency, but the cumulative effect is strong, and the hypothesis that he also used a collection of Pauline Epistles is difficult to resist. The circulation of forged Epistles, to which 2 Th. (2 Thessalonians 2:2, 2 Thessalonians 3:17) bears witness, is an indication of the value ascribed at an earlier period in St Paul’s European ministry to any writing that could claim his authority, so that if 2 Peter were otherwise well attested, there would be no inherent difficulty in accepting the evidence[3] of 2 Peter 3:15 f. to a general circulation of St Paul’s letters, with or without such adaptation, as we find e.g. in the Western Text of Rom., within St Paul’s lifetime. It is however more to the point to remind ourselves that 1 Peter, the genuineness of which has very strong claims for recognition, shows as we shall see clear signs of a knowledge both of Rom. and Eph.

[3] See Bigg, Int. Crit. Com. in loc.; Sanday, B. L. p. 363.

Formal lists of acknowledged Epistles begin with Marcion (c. 140 A.D.?). His orthodox opponents had no quarrel with him on the ground of any books that he included in his list. It is safe therefore to conclude that they at least were generally accepted before his time. The earliest list that claims to speak with Catholic authority is that in the ‘Muratorian’ Fragment. The passage is unfortunately mutilated. But it includes an interesting comment which shows that the list itself had already, like the Gospel Canon in the comment of the Elder quoted by Irenaeus, been the subject of mystic speculation.

In both these lists ‘Ephesians’ has a place, though in Marcion’s list it is called an Epistle to the Laodicenes. It is quoted by name by Irenaeus, Clement of Alexandria, and Tertullian. Origen wrote a commentary on it, large parts of which are extant.

There can be no doubt therefore of its canonical authority in the Catholic Church. It is quoted also as Scripture by the Ophites, and at least by the followers of Basilides and of Valentinus, if not, as is probable, by the Heresiarchs themselves. As the separated bodies are most unlikely to have enriched their Canon from Catholic sources after their rupture from the Church, it is fair to assume that the authority of ‘Ephesians’ was generally accepted before the rise of any of these sects, i.e. in the first quarter of Cent. II.

Early evidence of use

In the light of this fact it is not surprising that the earliest extant Christian literature outside the New Testament bears witness to a knowledge of the book, though the evidence is derived from coincidences of thought and language and not from direct quotation.

The most important coincidences are supplied by

Clement of Rome

lxiv = Ephesians 1:3-4


= Ephesians 4:4


= Ephesians 1:18


= Ephesians 5:21


(It is curious that all the parallels but one are found in his letter to the Ephesians)

ad Eph. Intr.


= Ephesians 5:1


= Ephesians 5:30


= Ephesians 4:22 ff.


= Ephesians 2:20 ff., Ephesians 2:10-16


= Ephesians 6:24; cf. Ephesians 5:27


= Ephesians 1:10


= Ephesians 3:9


= Ephesians 4:24

ad Polyc. v

= Ephesians 5:25-29



= Ephesians 2:8


= Ephesians 4:26


Mand. iii 1

= Ephesians 4:25-29

4 cf. x. 2

= Ephesians 4:30

Sim. ix. 13–17

= Ephesians 4:3-6

The parallel in Ephesians 6:5-9 with the passage from ‘The Two Ways,’ which is found with modifications both in Barnabas xix. 7 and in Didachè vi. 10 f., is interesting, because whatever be the date of the Didachè or of Barnabas, ‘The Two Ways’ must be very early if it be not pre-Christian. There would be nothing improbable in the hypothesis that St Paul himself was acquainted with it.= Ephesians 1:3 ff.

On the strength of this evidence we may assert with some confidence that the Epistle must have been in existence at the latest by 90 A.D., and it would not be straining the evidence if we put the limit, as Dr Moffatt does, 10 years earlier.



We may pass on now to examine the internal evidence. Here we may well start from the obvious fact that it claims expressly to be written by St Paul. His name is found both in Ephesians 1:1, and in Ephesians 3:1. Ch. Ephesians 1:15 ff. contains an earnest intercession in the first person singular on behalf of his correspondents. Ephesians 3:1 ff. is an appeal to them to test for themselves the truth of his Gospel in vindication of his claim, made in a spirit of deep self-abasement, to a special Divine stewardship in regard to it. This appeal is wrung from him by the fear lest his outward humiliation should be misinterpreted to the discredit of his message. It issues in a second intercession closed by a full-toned doxology before he passes on in Ephesians 4:1; Ephesians 4:17 to make his sufferings on their behalf the ground of his exhortation to them to a life in conformity with the Gospel. In the closing verses (Ephesians 6:19) the thought of his chain recurs in support of an appeal for their prayers on his behalf.

We are not now concerned with the details of the interpretation of these passages. No one can doubt that taken broadly they are strikingly Pauline. It is true that the interchange of prayers and requests for prayer was, as the Papyri show, a common feature in the private correspondence of the time. St Paul’s use of it, however, as the most effective way of lifting up the hearts of his readers with his own to the contemplation of the ideals which they had special need to cherish, is quite distinctive. Is it really conceivable that the rich outbursts of intercession in Ephesians 1:15 ff. and Ephesians 3:14 ff. are the work of an impersonator, who is simply imitating a marked feature in the style of his model to add verisimilitude to his composition?

Again, a loyal disciple who desired to make his master’s authority felt in some urgent crisis in the history of the Church might perhaps feel justified in putting forth in his name an appeal to the special commission which he had received as Apostle to the Gentiles. He would have ample precedent for this in the Epistles which ex hypothesi were even then in general circulation. But can we imagine such a disciple making his master call himself ‘less than the least of all the saints,’ however characteristic such an expression might be?

Once more. St Paul’s attitude towards his sufferings and especially towards his imprisonment is a subject on which almost every one of his Epistles sheds a light of its own. His was an intensely sensitive nature. He was keenly alive to the degradation of his position, and still more, as a Pharisee a son of Pharisees, to the implication which would rise unbidden in the mind of every Jew when he heard that misfortune had overtaken a man. ‘God has forsaken him.’ It was this that made him lay such startling stress on the Divine meaning and purpose that lay at the back of the sufferings that were sent to him in the fulfilment of his mission. They could only escape being a shame when they were recognized as a glory.

It is needless to point out how perfectly the Epistle to the ‘Ephesians’ expresses this very individual attitude, and how natural on the hypothesis of the genuineness of the Epistle is the wreck of the grammar of the sentence (Ephesians 3:1 ff.) caused by St Paul’s reference to his sufferings on behalf of the Gentiles. But what explanation can we offer of an anacoluthon made in cold blood to suggest an emotion which the actual writer did not share?

Clearly if we are not in this Epistle reading the words of St Paul himself we are in the hands of a man who had an extraordinary power of entering into St Paul’s idiosyncracies, and who used his power with consummate dramatic ability to make his work pass as a genuine work of the Apostle. The effort to give verisimilitude to the composition goes far deeper than the incidental reference to Tychicus in Ephesians 6:21 (Moffatt p. 393). Only the art is so carefully concealed that none but the closest students of St Paul would appreciate it. And it would be hardly worth while to write an elaborate Epistle for the pleasure of deluding them.

To sum up on our first point. The work before us bears St Paul’s signature. If it is not genuine, it is a deliberate and amazingly skilful forgery.

Leaving on one side the question whether such an act would fall within the literary conventions of the time, and it is easier to take the point for granted than to prove it, we must examine next the light which the contents of the Epistle throw on the purpose of its composition.


Analysis of Contents

The letter begins (Ephesians 1:1-14) with blessing GOD for all that is implied in His eternal choice of men, both Jew and Gentile, ‘in Christ,’ and for the Divine consummation of the universe which is His ultimate goal.

Then comes a prayer (Ephesians 1:15 to Ephesians 2:10) for the Gentile Christians, to whom St Paul is writing, that they may realize that Christ, since His resurrection, is the centre of spiritual force for the universe, and that Jew and Gentile alike are to find new life in Him at the right hand of GOD.

The next section (Ephesians 2:11-22) opens with a contrast between the position of Gentile Christians in the time before the Gospel with their present position ‘in Christ,’ brought near both to the Father and to the ancient people of GOD, in union with whom they are now being built together ‘in Christ’ for a habitation of GOD in the Spirit.

This section was in intention a preparation for the practical exhortations which begin in c. 4. But these exhortations are to be enforced also by a personal appeal to which St Paul’s office and his sufferings in the cause of the Gentiles give special force; he breaks off therefore in Ephesians 3:1 to describe his own situation. The mention of his bonds and their relation to the Gentile cause leads to a restatement of the characteristic Pauline gospel and its significance not for the human race only but for the whole host of heaven. Seen in this light the sufferings of the messenger are a distinction not a discredit. And the ideal of the Christian life finds positive expression in a fresh intercession, based on the world-wide, age-long vision of the truth now revealed to men, culminating in a doxology.

Then come (cc. 4–6) the practical exhortations, first (Ephesians 4:1-16) in a positive form to humility and meekness inspired by love, safeguarding the unity among men which Christ had died to restore. This exhortation is reinforced by an enumeration of the forces making for the unity of the Church as a living body under leaders of various grades, the gift of the ascended Christ.

The next paragraph (Ephesians 4:17-24) calls for a resolute renunciation of the heathen ideal of life, and the adoption of the new standard provided by the Truth of the Gospel.

This new standard is then (Ephesians 4:25 to Ephesians 5:5) defined in various particulars in contrast with the vices of human society, and stress is laid on the duty of living as children of light (Ephesians 5:6-14). Christian living in evil days craves careful walking (Ephesians 5:15-21) and withal continual thanksgiving in a spirit of mutual subordination in all the relations of life.

Three of these relations, husbands and wives, parents and children, masters and slaves, are treated in detail (Ephesians 5:22 to Ephesians 6:9), the relation of husband and wife being expanded to bring in from a fresh side the thought of the love of Christ for the Church, and His sacrifice of Himself for her purification.

The Epistle closes with an appeal (Ephesians 6:10-20) to the community as a whole and to every member of it, to prepare for the inevitable spiritual conflict, by putting on the whole armour of GOD, through unceasing prayer, and with a request for their intercession on his own behalf as an ambassador in a chain for the sake of the Gospel.

The next two verses (21 f.) commend Tychicus, presumably the bearer of the letter. It closes with a solemn benediction (Ephesians 6:23 f.).

Such in outline are the topics of which the Epistle treats.

The Form of Composition

The form of composition is not easy to characterize. It is a rich storehouse of theological teaching, but it is in no sense a formal dogmatic treatise. It is, as we have seen, an intensely personal utterance on the part of the writer, yet it is hardly a letter in the sense in which the other Pauline Epistles, even the Romans, are letters. You cannot sketch a portrait of St Paul’s correspondents from the indications which the letter itself supplies. They are, at least in the main, Gentiles, but there is nothing distinctive in the teaching which they require, or in the dangers to which they are exposed. In this respect it resembles the First Epistle of St John more closely than any other New Testament writing. Dr Westcott described that very happily as ‘A Pastoral,’ and the Epistle to the ‘Ephesians’ may well be placed in the same category.


It contains in outline a complete statement of the gospel of St Paul to the Gentiles. He is making known to them their place in the whole counsel of GOD, and praying that they may understand and correspond to the grace now revealed to them in Jesus Christ. There is no strain of doctrinal controversy to mar the symmetry of the development of his theme. But the practical interest is dominant throughout. Each element of truth is seen in its direct bearing on life. Men are living in evil days and need to be on their guard against an ever present power of evil. They must by resolute effort appropriate the stores both of spiritual wisdom and of spiritual strength which are now available in Christ, if they are to escape the pollution of their pagan heredity and environment, and live at unity with their brethren in the one body.

Stress is no doubt laid on the enmity between Jew and Gentile which had been done away by the Cross. But there is no indication in the letter that the danger to the internal peace of the Church against which he warns his Gentile readers came especially from the survival, even in the regenerate, of these ancestral animosities. This may no doubt have been the case in some, nay, even in the majority of mixed local Churches. But no stress is laid on this in the language used in Ephesians 4:3-6. The Epistle to the Philippians is sufficient to show the need of humility and meekness to prevent friction even in a homogeneous and loyal community. Above all it is worth while calling attention to the fact that there is no indication of any general danger threatening the peace of Gentile Christianity as a whole. However we are to account for the fact, there is no trace in ‘Ephesians’ of any organized opposition to the Pauline Gospel on the part of ‘the Judaizers’ such as dominates the Epistle to the Galatians, and against which St Paul warns both the Romans and the Philippians.

It is also worth notice that the Epistle is written throughout from the standpoint of a Jew. The superiority in regard to spiritual position and privilege of the Jew over the Gentile is taken for granted. The Church is the true Israel and the gospel to the stranger is that he has become a fellow-heir with the original members of the household of GOD. Now the time within which this attitude was historically possible, and a revelation concerning it could be regarded as a novelty, is strictly limited. It was only natural between converts in the first generation. It can hardly have survived the final rupture between the Church and the Synagogue which came at the Fall of Jerusalem in A.D. 70.

Again, the entire absence of any danger of persecution by the civil authorities is very remarkable, especially in view of the prominence given to this feature in an Epistle otherwise so closely akin to ‘Ephesians’ as the First Epistle of St Peter. The situation presupposed could only have been reproduced by a strong effort of historical imagination, if ‘Ephesians’ was written after the outbreak of the Neronian persecution in A.D. 64.

The claim therefore that the Epistle makes to Pauline authorship is in perfect harmony with the internal evidence of date which its contents supply. If we confine our attention to the Epistle itself, the alternative hypothesis that it was written by a disciple of St Paul in Asia Minor about A.D. 80 has singularly little except the ghost of the Tübingen hypothesis in its favour.


Leaving on one side the question, which we shall have to consider later in another connexion, whether St Paul’s credit had sunk so low in Asia Minor at this period that it would have been doubtful policy to appeal to his authority, let us concentrate our attention on the appropriateness of this Epistle to the function assigned to it. It is called an ‘eirenicon,’ a ‘catholicized version of Colossians’ put forward to promote a reconciliation between the two divisions into which the Church had at one time been hopelessly divided in consequence of the opposition between the followers of St Paul and the followers of the original Apostles.

It is assumed that the author was a disciple of St Paul, deeply imbued with his master’s spirit, and capable of carrying on his master’s thoughts into fresh and unsuspected, but not inharmonious, developments. It is assumed further that he conceived the plan of ministering to the peace of the Church, not directly by discussing individual points of disagreement, but indirectly by writing a general Epistle in his master’s name to Gentile Christendom, in which the gospel should be so stated as to make the thought of schism in the body of Christ intolerable.

The subtlety of the scheme is on a par with the skill with which it is carried into execution. It is a pity that so ingenious an hypothesis should have so little internal consistency to recommend it.

Let us examine it a little more closely.

Its fundamental postulate is the existence of a deep division in the Christian camp, going back almost to the commencement of the missionary activity of St Paul, and for which St Paul himself must be held to have been in great measure responsible. Faith in this postulate was the ground of F. C. Baur’s attack on the genuineness of the Epistle, and still inspires doubt in the minds of writers who, like Jülicher in Enc. Bib., acknowledge the insufficiency of the other objections which have been raised against the Pauline authorship. But surely if that division existed with St Paul’s sanction, and remained unreconciled as everyone must have known at his death, how could a loyal disciple write, and still more how could St Paul’s more extreme followers of the first generation accept, such a letter as a true expression of their master’s opinions?

In fact the acceptance of a date not later than 80 A.D. for ‘Ephesians,’ whoever wrote it, is fatal to the Tübingen hypothesis. But the failure of that hypothesis removes the only motive assigned for the composition of the Epistle on the assumption that it is not the work of him whose name it bears.


The Epistle then not only claims to be the work of the Apostle St Paul himself, but taken broadly the contents of the Epistle and the evidence of date and purpose provided by them give strong support to the truth of the claim.

We must pass on to consider whether the internal evidence when examined more minutely tends to confirm or to upset this conclusion. To this end we must compare the Epistle in detail in respect of language and thought with the other Epistles which bear St Paul’s name. It will be convenient to begin with the linguistic evidence in the Vocabulary and Style.


First, as to Vocabulary. Dr Moffatt’s section under this heading leaves much to be desired. It consists of two lists of words (α) 38 words peculiar to the Epistle to the Ephesians in N.T., (β) 44 words not found in the Epistles which he accepts as of genuine Pauline authorship. To these lists a variety of notes are appended, the point of which would seem to be to provide grounds for transferring 15 words, owing to certain peculiarities in their use, from the second list to the first.

He then adds this comment: ‘The absence of some of these from the extant letters may be accidental (e.g.) ἄγνοια, ὀργίζω, but real significance attaches to the substitution of διάβολος (as in 1 Timothy 3:6, 2 Timothy 2:26) for the Pauline σατανᾶς, and the use of ἐν τοῖς ἐπουρανίοις 5 times.’

Then after discussing the allusions to ‘Apostles and Prophets’ in Ephesians 3:5 and Ephesians 2:20 and the meaning of ἀναγινώσκοντες in Ephesians 3:2-4, which raise questions exegetical rather than strictly ‘linguistic,’ he comes back to various ‘un-Pauline touches,’ such as ἴστε γινώσκοντες (Ephesians 5:5), ὁ πατὴρ τῆς δόξης (Ephesians 1:17), πρὸ καταβολῆς κόσμου (Ephesians 1:4 = John 17:24), the novel use of μυστήριον (Ephesians 5:32) and οἰκονομία (in providential aspect), the application of φωτίζειν (Ephesians 3:9), πνεῦμα τοῦ νοός (Ephesians 4:23) etc. He then diverges to peculiarities of grammatical construction and the unusual length of the sentences in the Epistle, interjecting, before he passes on to lay great stress on the idiosyncracies of style, the following admission. ‘The linguistic data may be allowed to leave the problem of authorship fairly open.’ To this he appends a note. ‘Nägeli (Wortschatz des Paulus, 85) goes even further: “im ganzen scheint mir der Wortschatz dieses Briefes … eher eine Instanz für als gegen die Echtheit zu sein.” ’ He is, however, content to leave the student to determine for himself the bearing of this conclusion, if it should prove to be well founded, on the argument of the section. Clearly the evidence from Vocabulary has in itself no interest for him unless it can be shown to be unfavourable to the Pauline authorship. Otherwise we might have expected some reference to the careful examination of these lists in Zahn’s Introduction (vol. 2, p. 518 ff.), and Hort’s Prolegomena. This omission is unfortunate, as it leaves the student wondering with Zahn why, because St Paul wrote ἐνδυσάμενοι τὸν νέον τὸν ἀνακαινούμενον in Colossians 3:10, it should be impossible for him to have written ἀνανεοῦσθαικαὶ ἐνδύσασθαι τὸν καινὸν ἄνθρωπον in Ephesians 4:24? And, again, wherein lies ‘the real significance’ of the substitution of διάβολος (as in 1 Timothy 3:6, 2 Timothy 2:26) for the Pauline σατανᾶς in face of the facts in the N.T. use of the terms to which Dr Hort calls attention[4]?

The fact is that the conditions under which a negative conclusion as to authorship can be based simply on the presence or absence of any set of words in any particular composition are confined within very narrow limits, and Dr Hort gives pregnant hints for determining what those limits are. Dr Moffatt, unfortunately, still imagines that the lack of examples in certain accepted Epistles of St Paul, or even the presence of examples in certain doubtful Epistles, is sufficient to stamp a phrase as ‘un-Pauline.’ Zahn has done a useful piece of work in compiling lists of ‘suspicious’ words and phrases in the Epistle to the Galatians on the same principles that Holtzmann and von Soden had followed in their lists from ‘Ephesians,’ so that we may have some criterion to enable us to judge whether the proportion of unexampled or ‘suspiciously’ attested words and phrases is unreasonably high.

The fact is, however, that the method so applied is radically unsound. It concentrates attention only on a part, and that the most ambiguous part of the evidence. If we appeal, as we are bound in cases of doubt to appeal, to the Concordance, we cannot evade the task of examining the whole of the evidence. In the Appendix will be found a complete list of the words contained in the Epistle with the exception of proper names, the commoner pronouns, prepositions, and particles. They amount to 481. Nearly three-fifths of these are common to various groups of N.T. writers, and seem to yield no direct evidence for or against the Pauline authorship. The remainder fall into four classes. I. The easiest to identify are the ἅπαξ λεγόμενα. These number 41 (together with 5 unique phrases 46). II. On the other hand there are 60, the evidence for which is confined to the 13 Epistles which bear the name of Paul, and which clearly must at this stage be treated together whatever sub-divisions in the grouping it may be necessary to make afterwards. These all have a primâ facie claim to be considered characteristically ‘Pauline.’ III. Closely linked with these there appear a number of words which have similar ‘Pauline’ attestation, but also occur in a small group of writings, which, without bearing his name, show signs of his influence, and on this and other grounds may be conveniently classed as sub-Pauline, notably the two books that bear the name of his companion in travel, the Gospel of St Luke and the Acts of the Apostles, the Epistle to the Hebrews, and 1 Peter. This class numbers 44. There is no reason to regard these words as less characteristic of the master because of their subsidiary attestation. IV. There remain a class numbering also 44, consisting of the words, peculiar to ‘Ephesians’ in the Pauline group, but occurring also in other parts of N.T. They may be further sub-divided according to the nature of the subsidiary attestation into (a) a ‘general’ section supported by a variety of writers, and (b) a distinctively ‘sub-Pauline’ section, the members of which occur only in one or other of the writings which we have classed as ‘sub-Pauline.’ This last sub-division contains 17 members, 13 of these occur in St Luke (10 only in him), 3 in ‘Hebrews’ (2 only in Hebrews), 4 in 1 Peter (2 only in 1 Peter).

As no one doubts that the Epistle is either by St Paul or by a disciple, the problem before us is considerably simplified. The issue narrows itself down to this. Do the real affinities of ‘Ephesians’ lie with ‘the Pauline’ or with the ‘sub-Pauline’ writings?

The question cannot of course be solved by rule of thumb. The instances must be weighed, not merely counted. But even so the distinctively ‘sub-Pauline’ class is singularly lacking in significant members. It consists of ἄγνοια A2, 1 P1, ἀκρογωνιαῖος 1 P1, ἀνιέναι A2, H1, ἀπειλή A2, ἐργασία L1, A4, εὔσπλαγχνος 1 P1, ὁσιότης L1, πανοπλία L1, πάροικος A2, 1 P1, πατρία L1, A1, πολιτεία A1, αἷμα καὶ σάρξ H1, συνκαθίζειν L1, σωτήριον L2, A1, ὑπεράνω H1, φρόνησις L1, χαριτοῦν L1.

Of these, πανοπλία and ὑπεράνω occur twice each in Eph., none of the others occur more than once. The only remarkable coincidence is in regard to ἀκρογωνιαῖος, once each in Eph. and 1 P, and that is in any case taken from Isaiah 28:16 (LXX.). All the other words come from common roots abundantly attested in the Pauline writings, nor is there anything alien to St Paul’s habits of mind indicated by the use made of them. In no case is there any difficulty in regarding them as akin to Class III, i.e. as genuine Pauline words with sub-Pauline attestation.

We are indeed told that the use of πάροικος in Ephesians 2:19 is ‘a silent correction’ of 1 Peter 2:11. The comment has at least this merit, that it calls our attention to the fundamental difference which underlies the use of the same word in the two writers. In St Peter the word is part of the ‘patriarchal’ imagery (e.g. Genesis 23:4) of which his mind is full. Cf. 1 Peter 1:1; 1 Peter 3:6. We are sojourners on earth, as Abraham sojourned in the land of promise, for we have not yet reached our true home. In Eph. Gentiles are no longer ‘sojourners,’ resident aliens in the land which has already been given to God’s people for their inheritance, but full citizens.

εὔσπλαγχνος is not found in LXX., and is peculiar to Eph. and 1 Pet., but even if the coincidence is not accidental, there is nothing to show which way the indebtedness lies, and σπλάγχνα occurs 8 times in Pauline Epistles, and not at all in 1 Pet.

On the other hand, the distinctively Pauline Class II is not only numerically much larger but full of suggestive material. The problem is complicated by the possibility of a direct dependence of Eph. on Col., which must be discussed at length later, but for which every allowance must be made now. We must therefore rule out for the present 12 words found only in parallel passages in these two epistles: ἀνθρωπάρεσκος, ἀποκαταλλάσσειν, αὔξειν, αὔξησις, ἁφὴ, ἀπαλλοτριοῦσθαι, ὀφθαλμοδουλία, ῥιζοῦσθαι, συνεγείρειν, συνζωοποιεῖν, ὕμνος, ἐκ ψυχῆς. There are also 12 words in this group common but not peculiar to the two Epistles, ἀνήκειν, ἁπλότης, ἀρχή (of angels), εἴγε, ἐνέργεια, ἐξαγοράζειν, κεφαλὴ (metaph.), οἰκονομία (of spiritual stewardship), σῶμα (of the Church), χρηστότης, ψαλμὸς (of Christian psalms).

Of these, ἁπλότης, ἀρχή, ἐξαγοράζειν, and ψαλμὸς may be neglected because they occur in closely related contexts in Col. and Eph. ἀνήκειν is used in different contexts in the two Epistles, but calls for no special remark. The common use of the characteristic Pauline εἴγε is noteworthy. χρηστότης, which is used of human kindness in Col., as in Gal., 2 Co., is used of the kindness of GOD in Eph. as in Romans 4, Titus 1 St Paul’s use of ἐνέργεια of the operation of GOD is distinctive (cp. ἐνεργεῖν). It is used in each Epistle in relation both to the faith of Christians (Ephesians 1:19, Colossians 2:12) and to St Paul’s stewardship, Ephesians 3:7, Colossians 1:29 (cf. Galatians 2:8), but in freely varied phrases which exclude the hypothesis of mechanical imitation. οἰκονομία, used in Ephesians 3:2 as in Colossians 1:25, 1 Corinthians 9:17 of St Paul’s own office, is boldly transferred in thoroughly Pauline fashion[5] to the Divine administration of the ages. ὁ πάλαιος ἄνθρωπος is used in similar contexts in the two Epistles (Ephesians 4:22, Colossians 3:9) and is found also in Romans 6:6. But whereas this is the only instance in Col. of this characteristically Pauline use of ἄνθρωπος (yet cf. τὸν νεὸν Ephesians 3:10), Eph. shares ὁ ἔσω ἄνθρωπος with Romans 7:22 and 2 Corinthians 4:16, and adds ὁ καινὸς ἄνθρωπος (Ephesians 4:24, cf. Ephesians 2:15) to the list, σῶμα of the Church is found alike in Colossians 1:18; Colossians 1:24; Colossians 2:19 and in Ephesians 1:23; Ephesians 4:12-16; Ephesians 5:23 as in 1 Corinthians 12:27, cf. Romans 12:5, but with a difference of emphasis. In Col. the thought is rather of what Christ is to the Church. In Eph. we learn what the Church is to Christ. And it is impossible to believe that the companion picture is the work of an imitator, however masterly. The metaphorical use of κεφαλὴ[6] is confined to St Paul in N.T. It is used of the relation of husband and wife in 1 Co., of Christ and the Church in Col. It is used in both connexions in Eph. It is used also of Christ and every man in 1 Co., of Christ and all principality and power in Col. We should not need therefore the 35 remaining words in this class to prove that, if Eph. is the work of a disciple of St Paul, he not only absorbed Col. but also had a far greater mastery of St Paul’s characteristic modes of thought and expression than any of the other so-called sub-Pauline writers. This conviction is deepened as we continue our investigation through the list. We cannot of course comment on it in detail. It is worth notice however that ἀνακεφαλαιοῦσθαι, ἀνεξιχνίαστος, προετοιμάζειν, προσαγωγή, προτιθέναι, found rarely, if at all, in the LXX., are confined in N.T. to Eph. and Rom.

More weight attaches to the use of the figure of an ambassador in Eph. and 2 Co. for the ministerial office, and to the use of ἀῤῥαβὼν of the gift of the Spirit in 2 Corinthians 1:22; 2 Corinthians 5:5, the key to the meaning of which is given by Ephesians 1:14. ὀσμὴ εὐωδίας in Ephesians 5:2, with its suggestion of the sacrificial value of Christian service, is a striking link both with Philippians 4:18 and more remotely with 2 Corinthians 2:14 ff. The figure is connected in thought but not in language with Romans 12:1 f., 1 Peter 2:5. οἰκοδομὴ appears in Eph. both of the growth of the Church regarded as a building, Ephesians 2:21, Ephesians 4:12-16, and of moral ‘edification.’ In both these senses the word is peculiar to St Paul, though the verb is found in Acts and 1 Pet. The use of ναὸς also of the Church or of the individual as the habitation of GOD (with the possible exception of John 2:21) is confined to Ephesians 2:21, 1 Corinthians 3:16 f., Ephesians 6:19, 2 Corinthians 6:16, the thought of the earlier Epistles being taken up and worked out in detail in the later. Υἱοθεσία again in spite of its prominence in Galatians 4:5, Romans 8:15-23; Romans 9:4 is not found elsewhere except in Ephesians 1:5. This is the more significant as the word does not occur in LXX. And there is every reason to believe that St Paul was the first to apply the figure to illustrate the Jewish and Christian relation to GOD. Nor is the use in Ephesians 1:5 a mere repetition of the language of the earlier Epistles. Once again we are forced to ask ourselves, Is such mastery as this of the deepest and most characteristic of St Paul’s conceptions really to be attributed to a singularly gifted disciple? Of course there is no limit to the power of the imagination to create any number of such beings to people the desert created by the lack of historical evidence for the darkest period in the history of the Church, but the evidence supplied by the vocabulary of the Epistle makes it distinctly easier to believe that ‘Ephesians’ was written by the master himself.

There remain two points arising out of the vocabulary on which there is something to be said before we pass on. Dr Moffatt calls attention to the strange phrase τὸ πνεῦμα τοῦ νοὸς ἡμῶν in Ephesians 4:23, and to the recurrence of the preposition ἐν—115 times in the Epistle. τὸ πνεῦμα τοῦ νοὸς he calls an ‘un-Pauline touch.’ It is certainly unexampled in St Paul, as it is in the whole Greek Bible. It is a pity however that he does not give us his reasons for thinking that St Paul was less likely than anyone else to create it. For there can be no doubt that the use of νοῦς in this connexion is peculiarly Pauline. In St Paul’s psychology, as we see from Rom., νοῦς stands pre-eminently for the faculty of moral discernment, cf. Romans 1:28; Romans 7:23. It, more than anything else in our nature, bears witness to our degradation, cf. Colossians 2:18. Our new life begins with ‘the renewal of the mind,’ Robinson Romans 12:2. νοῦς in fact in this connexion is an equivalent with him, as it is in some cases in LXX., for לֵב or לֵבָב commonly represented by καρδία. St Paul describes our regenerated outlook on life as to τὸ φρόνημα τοῦ πνεύματος (Romans 8:6), ‘the attitude of mind produced by the Spirit,’ and attributes it to the indwelling of the Spirit of Christ in us.

In other words the transformation of our minds, as he conceived it, begins when the Spirit of Christ takes possession of our spirit and works outwards from within. If so, St Paul might well bid us think of the process as beginning in ‘the spirit of our mind.’ Certainly we know no other writer into whose psychology the phrase can fit so readily.

The use of ἐν, 115 times in 289 lines, is certainly remarkable. The proportion however is not greater than we find in Col. (80 in 197 lines). What stands out most in regard to it however is the recurrence of the phrase ἐν Χριστῷ or its equivalent. This phrase, as we shall see later (pp. lxii ff.), belongs to Class III. It is characteristically Pauline. Deissmann, as we shall see (p. lxii). has given strong reasons for believing that it was created by him. It has also proportionally very slight sub-Pauline attestation—Ac., 1 Pet., Heb.,? Apoc. (pp. lxiii, lxix). It is found very rarely in Clem. Rom., Ign., Polyc., students of St Paul as they were. In this Epistle the full length and breadth and height and depth of its meaning stand revealed as nowhere else. In this fact surely we have not a sign merely, but a demonstration of the presence of the master’s hand. No one but Odysseus could after this fashion bend Odysseus’ bow.


The question of style is much more difficult to deal with. The elements which combine to constitute style are subtle, and it is only the least significant that lend themselves to objective treatment. The distinctive effect depends almost entirely on the susceptibility of the observer. Some readers for instance regard Wordsworth as cold and unimpassioned: Aubrey de Vere warns us against mistaking the radiant whiteness of intense passion for snow. A similar mistake, as Dr Hort points out, is only too possible in regard to Ephesians. We may regard the writer as phlegmatic, because the intensity of his emotion has for the time subdued all the tumultuous energies of the man, and, to adopt Dr Moffatt’s metaphor, we miss ‘the cascade’ because the whole stream is moving forward with resistless force under a surface of apparent calm.

Nor is this all: granted that in the largest sense of the term ‘the style is the man,’ and the saying is pre-eminently true of St Paul, because his letters reflect with singular directness the feeling of the moment; yet that very fact precludes us from expecting uniformity of style in a many-sided man.

St Paul’s style for instance varies remarkably in writing to the same correspondents within a comparatively short space of time, as his extant letters to the Corinthians, whether we count them as two or three, are sufficient to prove. It changes with startling suddenness in the middle of Phil. This fact alone should prevent us from being too much affected by the difference in style and tone between Ephesians and the other Epistles of the Roman Captivity—even supposing, what is far from proven, that Phil. was the last of the four.

I must, however, confess that I entirely fail to understand Dr Moffatt’s objection to unity of authorship between Col. and Eph. ‘on the ground of the unparalleled phenomena’ which the Greek of Eph. presents, i.e. the unusual length and loose construction of many of its sentences. For in this respect there is very little to choose between the two Epistles. For instance in Nestle’s Text there are, it is true, only 7 full stops in the first 100 lines after the opening salutations in Eph. But then in Col. there are only 8 in 107. Nor is Col. lacking either in predilection for the nominativus pendens, or for bold genitival formations, e.g. τὸ κράτος τῆς δόξης, ἡ βασιλεία τοῦ υἱοῦ τῆς ἀγάπης αὐτοῦ.

The difference between the two Epistles is really, as Dr Moffatt sees, bound up with the fact that the controversial element in Col is absent from Eph., and that Eph. is not addressed to any particular community. But he gives no reason why St Paul should not for once write a circular letter. There certainly seems no valid reason on the ground of style why any one who accepts Col. as St Paul’s, should feel any hesitation about accepting Eph. also. And Dr Hort’s suggested explanation (pp. 152 f.) of the causes of the change, which is undoubtedly most marked, between Eph. and St Paul’s earlier writings, may well stand, coupled perhaps with one further consideration, which seems to have been overlooked. The real literary affinities of great parts of the first three chapters are not, as Dr Moffatt suggests, ‘lyrical’ but liturgical. The opening sentence is an act of adoration. In the next, thanksgiving passes into intercession. It is difficult not to believe that we have in them the fruit of many years’ experience in leading the devotions of Christian congregations. Just as his continuous practice in teaching and exhortation must be condensed and crystallized in the doctrinal and hortatory sections of this and other Epistles.


We come now to a closer examination of the relation in which Eph. stands to Col. It will be well to note at the outset that though there is an unusual amount of common matter in the two epistles, the phenomenon is by no means without parallel in the acknowledged epistles of St Paul. A large section of Gal. re-appears with variations in Rom. And 2 Thess. is so closely akin to, and at the same time so distinct from 1 Thess., that a theory has been seriously put forward that they were written at the same time, and sent the one to the Gentile and the other to the Jewish section of the Church. St Paul therefore has no inherent objection to repeating himself. He was not haunted by any anxiety on behalf of his literary reputation.

The problem however of the relation between Eph. and Col. is intricate. It has been examined with great minuteness by Holtzmann, who evolved an extremely elaborate solution to account for the evidence of originality presented first by one epistle and then by the other. His theory of an original Pauline nucleus which gave rise first to Eph. and then was expanded by the same writer into Col. as we have it, has found no supporters. Von Soden, who started from Holtzmann’s position, has little by little come to regard the whole of Col. (with the exception of Ephesians 1:16 b, Ephesians 1:17) as the work of St Paul. Holtzmann’s theory is stated at length and examined in detail by Dr Robertson in S. B. D.2 (Eph.). It is discussed also by Dr Sanday, S. B. D.2 (Col.), and in Hort’s Prolegomena.

No sufficient purpose would be served by a fresh examination of it here. The inter-relation of the two Epistles has however a very direct bearing on this problem of authorship, and is well worth minute study. It is difficult to know how best to present the facts. Dr Moffatt has printed the parallel passages in English following the order of Col. In the introduction to Dr Westcott’s Commentary his editor, Mr Schulhof, has printed the passages in Greek following the order of Eph. Both presentations are useful, but the method does not carry us very far. Even if with the help of these lists we go through each epistle, underlining the words which occur in the other, we get only a partial view of the amount of resemblance between them, because again and again identity of thought is masked by diversity of expression, and we have no clue to the principle underlying the differences both in emphasis and arrangement. If we wish to have the whole evidence before us we must go through our epistle paragraph by paragraph, noting as we go along the nature and the distribution of the parallels both in thought and language to be found in Col.

The opening salutations, Ephesians 1:1 f., Colossians 1:1 f., follow the same type if ἐν Ἐφέσῳ or some other title be used in Ephesians 1:1. The addition τοῖς οὖσιν in Eph. has parallels in Romans 1:7, Philippians 1:1, but the whole phrase stands somewhat awkwardly between ἁγίοις and καὶ πιστοῖς.

We note however that St Paul associates no one with himself in Eph.: a feature without parallel in his letters to Churches except in Rom. The addition of ἀδελφοῖς in Col. is unique in St Paul’s salutations. It is found in the closing benediction in Ephesians 6:23, cp. Galatians 6:18. It is difficult to account for the omission (also unique) of καὶ Κυρίου Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ after θεοῦ πατρὸς ἡμῶν in Colossians 1:2.

The act of adoration in Ephesians 1:3-14 has nothing strictly parallel in Col. Many of its thoughts and phrases however recur in Col. in different contexts (cf. ἐκλεκτοὶ Colossians 3:12 with ἐξελέξατο Ephesians 1:4). τὴν χάριν τοῦ θεοῦ Colossians 1:6 with τῆς χάριτος αὐτοῦ Ephesians 1:6 f. τοῦ υἱοῦ τῆς ἀγάπης αὐτοῦ ἐν ᾧ ἔχομεν τὴν ἀπολύτρωσιν τὴν ἄφεσιν τῶν ἁμαρτιῶν Colossians 1:13 f. with ἐν τῷ ἠγαπημένῳ ἐν ᾧ ἐχ. τ. ἀπ. διὰ τοῦ αἵματος α. τ. . τ. παραπτωμάτων in Ephesians 1:6 f. where the addition in Eph. has a further parallel in Colossians 1:20 διὰ τοῦ αἵματος τοῦ σταυροῦ. ἐν πάσῃ σοφίᾳ καὶ συνέσει in Colossians 1:9 accompanies τὴν ἐπίγνωσιν τοῦ θελήματος αὐτοῦ; in Ephesians 1:9 God made grace to abound ἐν πάσῃ σοφίᾳ καὶ φρονήσει γνωρίσας ἡμῖν τὸ μ. τοῦ θελήματος αὐτοῦ. Only τὸ θέλημα in Colossians 1:9 (as in Ephesians 5:17; Ephesians 6:6) is the law of individual action, whereas in Ephesians 1:9 it controls the ultimate destiny of the universe.

The cosmic signification of the Christ including ‘all things in the heavens and on earth,’ is emphasized also in Col. in respect of creation (Colossians 1:16) and reconciliation (Colossians 1:20) as well as of goal (εἰς αὐτὸν Colossians 1:16). The two Epistles therefore are entirely at one in a highly developed Christology, but they develope the thought independently.

τὴν μερίδα τοῦ κλήρου Colossians 1:12 recalls ἐκληρώθημεν Ephesians 1:11. τὴν ἐλπίδα (Colossians 1:5; cf. Colossians 1:23; cf. Colossians 1:27) finds a counterpart in προηλπικότας Ephesians 1:12 (cf. Ephesians 2:12, Ephesians 4:4). ἣν προηκούσατε ἐν τῷ λόγῳ τῆς ἀληθείας τοῦ εὐαγγελίου Colossians 1:5 corresponds closely with ἀκούσαντες τὸν λόγον τῆς ἀληθείας, τὸ εὐαγγέλιον, a description of the Gospel which acquires special significance by the contrast worked out later in Ephesians 4 with ἡ πλάνη, ἡ ἀπάτη and τὸ ψεῦδος.

These coincidences are various and striking. At the same time they are casual, and in a sense superficial. Nor is there any indication that the writer’s treatment of his theme has been in any way modified for the sake of introducing them. They are as much at home in one context as in another. There is in fact nothing whatever to suggest the hand of an imitator. The same phenomena recur, as we shall see, throughout the Epistle. They are perfectly natural if the two writings are regarded as the work of one and the same author at about the same time. For they illustrate the circle of ideas in which the mind of the writer was moving at the time. No mechanical theory of literary dependence either way can account for them.

The section of thanksgiving and intercession (Ephesians 1:15 to Ephesians 2:10) opens with an account (Ephesians 2:15) of information received by St Paul with regard to his converts. This corresponds closely with Colossians 1:4, Philemon 1:5. If this stood alone it might be regarded as a sign of the dependence of Eph. At the same time, this is not the only possible explanation of the similarity. It may quite well be a statement of fact, and as such throw direct light on the occasion of writing. St Paul had recently received through Epaphras (Colossians 1:7; Colossians 4:12) special information concerning the churches at Colossae, Laodicea and Hierapolis, and no doubt at other places through which he would have had to pass on his way to Rome. We know from Colossians 2:1 how deeply the situation in the churches that St Paul had not seen affected him and how earnestly he was praying for their spiritual strengthening and enlightenment, especially in ‘the mystery of GOD.’ What more effectual step could he take for this end than writing just such a letter as this?

The phrases in the two epistles referring to St Paul’s thanksgivings and intercessions (Ephesians 1:15, Colossians 1:9) naturally correspond. The introductory formula διὰ τοῦτο καὶ found in each is found also in 1 Thessalonians 2:13; 1 Thessalonians 3:5. μνείαν ποιούμενος (Ephesians 1:16) which is not found in Col. is found in Philemon as well as in Rom. and 1 Thess.

St Paul’s prayers on behalf of his correspondents, as we should expect if the two letters were written at the same time to Churches of whose condition he knew by report and belonging to the same district, follow similar lines. In Ephesians 1:17-19 the prayer is that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ the Father of the glory (Colossians 1:3 only partly parallel, cf. 2 Corinthians 11:31) may give them a spirit of wisdom and revelation in ‘apprehension’ of Him (Colossians 1:9), the eyes of their hearts being enlightened (? Colossians 1:12) that they may know the hope (cf. Colossians 1:5; Colossians 1:23; Colossians 1:27, Ephesians 4:4) of His calling, the riches of the glory (Colossians 1:11) of His inheritance (Colossians 1:12) in the saints, and the surpassing greatness of His power (Colossians 1:11) to usward who believe.

In Eph. attention is concentrated on the elements of the truth which require to be vividly apprehended, nothing is said of their bearing on life. In Colossians 1:9-12 on the other hand the effect of the gifts on character is prominent throughout. The prayer is that they may be ‘fulfilled’ (cf. Ephesians 2:10, Ephesians 3:19) with the discernment of His Will (Ephesians 1:9; Ephesians 5:17; Ephesians 6:6) in all wisdom (Ephesians 1:8; Ephesians 1:17) and spiritual understanding to walk worthily (Ephesians 4:1) of the Lord unto all pleasing (Ephesians 5:10) in every good work (Ephesians 2:10; Ephesians 4:28) bearing fruit (Ephesians 5:9) and increasing by the discernment of God (Ephesians 1:17) being empowered with all power (Ephesians 1:19) according to the might of His glory (Ephesians 1:19) unto all endurance and long-suffering with joy, giving thanks to the Father who made them sufficient for their share of the inheritance of the saints (Ephesians 1:18) in light (Ephesians 5:9).

The prayer passes on in Ephesians 1:19 to explain the source and spring of faith in those who believe ‘according to the operation of the might of His strength which He made operative in the Christ when He raised Him from the dead and set Him at His right hand.’ This thought of the ascended Christ, as, so to speak, radiating faith into us, is only partly prepared for by Romans 4:24, and has its closest parallel in Colossians 2:12. But while Ephesians 1:19 f. helps us to see all that is implied in Colossians 2:12, it adds an element which to say the least is not apparent in Col.

The thought naturally leads in each case to a description of our former state of ‘death’ in trespasses. In Eph., however, this development of the figure is postponed till after the relation between the church and Christ, her risen Head, has been defined. This relation has been treated earlier in Colossians 1:15-23.

In Ephesians 1:20-23 the points emphasized are, first, the universal Sovereignty implied in the Ascension[8], the condition of the function ascribed to Him as ‘the centre of spiritual force’ for the universe, and then the function of the church as ‘fulfilling’ Him. The headship of Christ in relation to the body is found in Colossians 1:18; Colossians 2:19[9]. But the thought of ‘the fulfilment’ of the Christ by the church in Eph. seems unique. Yet even that is at least suggested by Colossians 1:24, τὰ ὑστερήματα, and by Colossians 3:11, πάντα καὶ ἐν πᾶσιν Χριστός.

The state of spiritual death out of which we are raised by the Gospel is described in Ephesians 2:1-3, in relation to the Gentiles (Ephesians 2:1 f.), as the result of spiritual slavery to the world, the prince of the power of the air, the spirit of the disobedience, while the Jew (Ephesians 2:3) is enslaved to his own fleshly (i.e. selfish) lusts, and is none the less under wrath. In Col. the spiritual slavery is ascribed in Ephesians 1:13 to ‘the power of darkness’ (cf. Ephesians 5:7; Ephesians 6:12). The ‘death’ in Ephesians 2:13 is due to trespasses and ‘the uncircumcision of their flesh,’ which does not mean the physical fact of their lack of the outward sign of circumcision, but the spiritual fact that they were still enmeshed in their fleshly (selfish) nature. This corresponds to the description of the Jewish condition in Ephesians 2:3. But the Jews are not separately mentioned. The Gentile condition is further defined, as we shall see later, as a state of alienation, Colossians 1:21 (cf. Ephesians 2:12; Ephesians 4:18).

Deliverance from this state of death comes according to both Epistles as the result of a quickening with new life which we share with Christ, Ephesians 2:5, Colossians 2:13, and is ascribed in Ephesians 2:4-10 to the mercy, and the love, and the kindness of God. These are all prominent in relation to the work of our salvation in Rom. But in Col. we find no mention of these qualities of God, nor do σώζω σωτήρ σωτηρία or σωτήριον occur in it. Our redemption is described simply as an act of free forgiveness, χαρισάμενος ἡμῖν πάντα τὰ παραπτώματα, Ephesians 2:13, Ephesians 3:13; cf. Ephesians 4:32.

The reference to the place of χάρις in our salvation in Ephesians 2:6 f. calls out a further reminiscence of earlier controversies in the contrast between ‘faith’ and ‘works.’ There is nothing of this in Col.; though it is interesting to notice that ‘the good works’ on which Ephesians 2:10 lays stress are recognized as the true content of the Christian life in Colossians 1:10. The vista of ages still to come in Ephesians 2:7 (cf. Ephesians 3:21) does not open out before us in Col. The next section (Ephesians 2:11-22) deals with the union of Jew and Gentile in one body to constitute a spiritual temple in Christ. This topic does not occur in Col. Many of the thoughts in the section however reappear, seen from a different side and in different proportions. For instance, the reference to circumcision ‘so-called’ ‘made with hands’ (Ephesians 2:11) has its counterpart in the circumcision ‘made without hands’ in Colossians 2:11. The alienation in Ephesians 2:12 and the enmity in Ephesians 2:14 refer to the relation between Jew and Gentile; they have their roots in an alienation from (Ephesians 4:18) and an enmity towards (Ephesians 2:16) GOD. In Colossians 1:21 only the God-ward side of the thought is presented, and the need for and the provision of reconciliation is seen to extend to ‘all things in heaven and on earth.’ In the same passage the peace-making is ‘through the blood of the Cross’ (Colossians 1:20), the reconciliation is ‘in the body of His flesh’ ‘through death.’ Similarly in Ephesians 2:13 ye were made nigh ‘in the blood of the Christ.’ The enmity is undone ‘in His flesh’ (Ephesians 2:14). The reconciliation is ‘in one body’ ‘through the Cross’ (Ephesians 2:16). In Col. (Ephesians 1:19-23) the reconciliation is apparently seen as coming from GOD, though it is possible that the subject changes in the course of the long irregular sentence, as it does certainly in Ephesians 2:13-14. In any case, in Ephesians 2:14 Christ is Himself our peace, and the peace-maker, and this side of the thought recurs in Colossians 3:15 in the reference to the peace of the Christ, supplemented by a phrase which would be very obscure without the comment provided by this section in Eph., ‘whereunto ye were called “in a body” or “in one body.” ’ In Ephesians 2:14 the dissolution of the enmity between Jew and Gentile, typified by the barrier in the Temple at Jerusalem which it was death to the uncircumcised to overpass, is connected with the disannulling of τὸν νόμον τῶν ἐντολῶν ἐν δόγμασιν. This is effected ‘in His flesh’ ‘through the Cross’; cf. Colossians 1:20. In Colossians 2:14 the forgiveness of our offences, the removal of the barrier between us and GOD, is effected by the cancelling of τὸ χειρόγραφον τοῖς δόγμασιν ὃ ἦν ὑπεναντίον ἡμῖν, and its nailing to the Cross[10].

The reference to the body as a temple has no counterpart in Col., but the figure of the building, which is worked out in detail in Ephesians 2:20-22, at least supplies a back-ground for τεθεμελιωμένοι in Colossians 1:23 (E. Ephesians 3:17) and ἐποικοδομούμενοι in Colossians 2:7, as Romans 11:16-18 illustrates ἐῤῥιζωμένοι in E. Ephesians 3:17 and Colossians 2:7.

The personal appeal in Ephesians 3:1-13 is based on St Paul’s sufferings on behalf of the Gentiles, just as it is, in quite different language, in Colossians 1:24. In connexion with this appeal we have closely parallel descriptions of the ‘stewardship’ (Ephesians 3:2, Colossians 1:25) of ‘the mystery’ committed to him. The ‘mystery’ however is defined from two different points of view in the two epistles. In Col., where the problem to be solved concerns the perfecting of the individual believer, the ‘mystery’ is ‘Christ in you the hope of glory.’ In Eph., where the point to be emphasized is the corporate unity of the Church, the ‘mystery’ is ‘joint membership’ in Christ Jesus. In each case the truth is regarded as one that has only just dawned on the world. Hidden from all eternity (Ephesians 3:9, Colossians 1:26) the truth in its individual aspect has been manifested τοῖς ἁγίοις αὐτοῦ. In its ecclesiastical aspect the recipients of the revelation (Ephesians 3:5) are οἱ ἅγιοι ἀπόστολοι αὐτοῦ καὶ προφῆται. In each case (Ephesians 3:7, Colossians 1:23) St Paul claims to be a minister (διάκονος) of the Gospel, breaking off in Ephesians 3:8 to give expression to the sense of his own unworthiness. In each case he is sustained in his task (Ephesians 3:7) κατὰ τὴν ἐνέργειαν τῆς δυνάμεως αὐτοῦ, Colossians 1:29 κατὰ τὴν ἐνέργειαν αὐτοῦ τὴν ἐνεργουμένην ἐν ἐμοὶ ἐν δυνάμει, cf. Ephesians 3:20, κατὰ τὴν δύναμιν τὴν ἐνεργουμένην ἐν ἡμῖν. All the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (Colossians 2:2 f.), now available for every man as he attains to maturity in Christ, constitute for the Gentiles in Ephesians 3:8 ‘the unsearchable riches of the Christ,’ and in consequence there is now being made known through the church to spiritual intelligences other than human ‘the manifold wisdom of GOD.’ This extended horizon corresponds to the extension of the sphere of reconciliation already noticed in Colossians 1:21. Even in Eph. however the individual is not forgotten in the corporate revelation. The great intercession (Ephesians 3:14-19) for spiritual strengthening (cf. Colossians 1:11) is to issue in an indwelling of Christ (cf. Colossians 1:27) in the hearts of believers and according to the best attested reading (Ephesians 3:19, πληρωθῆτε) in their personal perfecting (cf. Colossians 2:10, ἐστε πεπληρωμένοι).

The practical exhortations in the two epistles are on very different scales. In Col. the contrast of the Christian and heathen standards of character and conduct is sketched in 13 verses, Ephesians 3:5-17. The duties attaching to the fundamental relationships of life occupy 9 verses, Ephesians 3:18 to Ephesians 4:1. A concluding paragraph of 5 verses (Ephesians 4:2-6) deals with prayers and Christian conversation. The whole section contains only 27 verses. Corresponding to this we have 85 verses in Ephesians 4:1 to Ephesians 6:20.

The first section in Eph. (Ephesians 4:1-16) deals with the personal qualities required for the preservation of the unity of the Church, and the truths by which it is safeguarded. There is nothing directly answering to this in Col., but the personal qualities are part of the general Christian ideal of character which St Paul sketches in Colossians 3:12-15. Humility and meekness, long-suffering, mutual forbearance, and love are common to the two lists. The peace which Christ has made for us holds a prominent place both in Ephesians 4:3 and in Colossians 3:15. In Eph. it is the bond which makes us and keeps us one. In Col. we are bidden to submit ourselves to its arbitrament and as the goal of our calling[11] in one body. In the description of the goal which lies ahead of the Church as the result of the harmonious co-operation of all its members, immunity from false teachers in Ephesians 4:14 is described in language which recalls Colossians 2:22. It is also possible that the figure of the ‘triumph’ of Christ in Colossians 2:15 was suggested to St Paul by Psalms 68:19 quoted in Ephesians 4:8. The last verse of this section (Ephesians 4:16) has a close and instructive parallel in Colossians 2:19. In Col. St Paul is explaining the failure of the false teachers because they had not kept their hold on ‘the Head,’ in dependence on Whom the whole body equipt and knit together with joints and bands grows with a power of growth derived from GOD. Here the attention is concentrated on the individual. He has lost that touch with Christ which is the condition of growth for the body to which he belongs. The fact that the body is an organism is required for the argument, but no hint is given to explain what is meant by the joints and bands. In Eph. the Apostle is dealing directly with the body as an organism. We see that its structure depends on the gift from the ascended Christ of leaders whose work it is to bring all the saints to such ripeness of age (cf. Colossians 1:28) in Christ that they can stand unmoved against the wiles of error, keeping their hold on, by growing into closer union with, Christ their Head, ‘in dependence on whom the whole body fitly framed and knit together by every joint of its equipment contributes to the growth of the body by the operation in due measure of every single part.’ Notice once more the light thrown by the Ephesians on a casual phrase in Colossians.

We pass in Ephesians 4:17-24 to the contrast between the heathen and the Christian standards of living. The heathen manner of life is traced back, as in Rom., to the state of moral insensibility into which they had sunk and which was evidenced by gross sensual indulgence. The Christian ideal on the other hand is Christ[12] who represents the new humanity after the Divine pattern, with which we have to be continually clothing ourselves[13], after we have by resolute effort put off the old.

These differences are traced back in Eph. to an underlying contrast of truth or reality on the one hand, and falsehood, deceit and error on the other. This contrast is barely, if at all indicated in Col. (ἀλήθεια Ephesians 1:5-6, ἀπάτη Ephesians 2:8).

St Paul passes on (Ephesians 4:25 to Ephesians 5:14) to consider in detail the duty of the Christian in the world, laying down the principles of truthfulness in speech, the control of indignation, honesty in work, healthy conversation, the avoidance of friction by the imitation of the kindness and forgiveness of GOD as revealed in Christ. Then comes (Ephesians 5:3-5) an earnest warning against any tampering even in casual talk with sensuality or covetousness, followed (Ephesians 5:6-14) by an appeal to let the light of Christ shine out through them into the world to convict of sin and quicken with new life. The warning against false teaching is once more reminiscent of Colossians 2:8. The corresponding section in Col. contains two lists of contrasted qualities. The evil to be put off falls into the same two classes of sensuality and covetousness. And here as in Eph. we are warned that ‘covetousness is idolatry.’ The process is described under a figure which recalls Romans 8:13 as the ‘mortification of our members that are on the earth,’ and as ‘the stripping off’ (cf. Ephesians 2:11; Ephesians 2:15) of the old man. Nothing is said expressly of the state of spiritual insensibility, but the new man is renewed εἰς ἐπίγνωσιν (cf. Ephesians 1:9), which gives us the complementary thought to ἄγνοια, Ephesians 4:18. The Christian ideal is here as in Eph. based on the pattern of GOD and of Christ, and brings together features found in different contexts in Ephesians 4:2 f., 32, Ephesians 5:1 f. The ethical outlook, though freely varied in expression, is in fact identical in the two epistles. The dangers to be avoided are the same, and so are the features of the great Exemplar emphasized for special imitation, and the method of deliverance.

The next section in Eph. (Ephesians 5:15 to Ephesians 6:9) deals with the fulfilment of the fundamental relationships of family life. It is introduced by an exhortation (15–21) to wisdom and watchfulness in all relations, making the most of opportunities, substituting spiritual exhilaration for the intoxication of wine, finding expression in spiritual psalmody, and continual thanksgiving to the Father in the name of our Lord. This combines the appeal for ‘thankfulness’ in Colossians 3:16 f. with the appeal for wisdom in Ephesians 4:5. The relations of wife to husband and husband to wife are expounded in Ephesians 5:22-33 in the light of the relation of Christ and the Church. This illustration, drawn directly from the main theme of Eph., is not hinted at in Colossians 3:18 f. The sections on the duty of children in Ephesians 6:1-3, Colossians 3:20 correspond closely, only the counsel is expanded in Eph. by reference to the promise contained in the 5th Commandment[14]. The advice to fathers in Ephesians 6:4 and Colossians 3:21 is closely allied in thought, but curiously varied in expression. The counsels to slaves and masters, Ephesians 6:5-9, Colossians 3:22 to Colossians 4:1, are identical in thought and largely in expression, but without any mechanical repetition.

The concluding section in Ephesians 6:10-20 brings back the thought of putting on Christ, under the figure of the panoply of GOD for the Christian warfare, and leads to a call to prayer and special intercession. Apart from the reference to ‘the power of darkness’ (Colossians 1:13, cf. Ephesians 6:12) there are no hints of this thoroughly Pauline passage (1 Thessalonians 5:8, Robinson Romans 13:12-14) in Col. until we come to the counsel with regard to prayer and the request for intercession, Colossians 4:2-4 (Ephesians 6:18-20) which in Eph. characteristically (cf. Ephesians 3:18) includes ‘all the saints’ in its scope.

The sentences introducing Tychicus in the two Epistles, Ephesians 6:21 f., Colossians 4:7 f. are almost word for word the same. The phrase ἵνα δε εἰδῆτε καὶ ὑμεῖς is peculiar to Eph., and has caused quite unnecessary difficulty. The use of καὶ in the sense of ‘you in your turn’ or ‘you as well as others’ when no others have been expressly mentioned is thoroughly in St Paul’s manner; cf. Ephesians 1:15; Ephesians 5:33; Colossians 1:9; Colossians 3:8, etc.; Romans 1:6; Romans 3:7; 1 Corinthians 2:1; 1 Corinthians 4:8; 1 Corinthians 16:16; 2 Corinthians 1:6; 2 Corinthians 6:13; Philippians 2:19; 1 Thessalonians 2:13; 1 Thessalonians 3:5. Here the phrase would be quite natural in a letter which was to be carried from place to place by the same messenger. It would however be rather more like St Paul, if it were regarded as coming from his desire to put his correspondents on an equality with himself. As news had come to him of them, it would be like him to feel that they had a right to news of him in return.

The concluding salutation (Ephesians 6:23 f.) expands St Paul’s usual formula found in its simplest form in Col. with a richness and fulness entirely appropriate to the grandeur of the theme of the whole epistle.

The facts of similarity and difference are now before us. What do they amount to? The two writings no doubt are closely connected. We are not surprised that F. C. Baur should have called them ‘twins.’ They have in common a remarkable and highly developed Christology. They have the same moral and social outlook. The moral dangers, to which the Churches addressed are exposed, are the same. The Christian ideal is composed of the same elements. It is based on the same foundation, enforced by the same appeal to the example of GOD and Christ. The two writings use largely the same vocabulary. They move largely in the same circle of ideas. Yet there is nothing to suggest that one is dependent on the other. In a certain number of cases we have indeed coincidences in striking phrases which cannot be accidental. For instance ἐν ᾧ ἔχομεν τὴν ἀπολύτρωσιν τὴν ἄφεσιν τῶν ἁμαρτιῶν in Colossians 1:14 reappears in Ephesians 1:7 with the addition of διὰ τοῦ αἵματος. πλεονεξίαν ἥτις ἐστὶν εἰδωλολατρεία in Colossians 3:5 reappears as πλεονέκτης ὅ ἐστιν εἰδωλολάτρης. ἔρχεται ἡ ὀργὴ τοῦ θεοῦ in Colossians 3:6 is expanded by the addition ἐπὶ τοὺς υἱοὺς τῆς ἀπειθείας in Ephesians 5:6. ἐξαγοραζόμενοι τὸν καιρὸν (Colossians 4:5) has a reason given for it, ὅτι αἱ ἡμέραι πονηραί εἰσιν, in Ephesians 5:16. ὀφθαλμοδουλεία and ἀνθρωπάρεσκος are used together in the counsels to slaves both in Colossians 3:22 and Ephesians 6:6.

These must of course either be cases of deliberate borrowing on one side or the other, or else instances of the repetition of phrases by the same writer, because for some reason or other they happened to be running in his head. It is interesting to notice that, when the phrase is expanded, the fuller form, indicating a freedom of treatment most unlike a borrower, is found in Eph. This impression is confirmed by a study of the context of the last phrase. A writer, in the habit of exhorting the slaves in the congregations that he addressed, would be sure to acquire a set of phrases and topics appropriate to their position, and would combine them freely with just such variations as we find between Colossians 3 and Ephesians 6. No one working on Colossians 3 ‘as a source’ with the MS. before him would transform it into the shape in which we find it in Ephesians 6.

Similarly far the greater number of the less striking but none the less real verbal coincidences occur in independent contexts in a way inconsistent with any ordinary theory of literary dependence, i.e. they would only be possible in the case of a disciple who had so completely saturated himself with his master’s words and thoughts that no literary analysis could distinguish between them.

At this point considerable interest attaches to the verses, to which special attention has been called above, in which phrases and thoughts in one Epistle find what is clearly the key to their true interpretation in the other. Such for instance as the light thrown on ἡ πίστις τῆς ἐνεργείας τοῦ θεοῦ in Colossians 2:12 by Ephesians 1:19, and on ἁφαὶ καὶ σύνδεσμοι in Colossians 2:19 by Ephesians 4:11-16, and on ἐν ἑνὶ σώματι (or ἐν σώματι) in Colossians 3:15 by Ephesians 2:14-16. Nor is the indebtedness all on one side. ἐν δόγμασιν in Ephesians 2:15 would be of very doubtful interpretation without Colossians 2:14, and ἐν τῇ σαρκὶ Ephesians 2:14 is certainly easier in the light of Colossians 1:22. Such a relation between the thoughts in the two Epistles is only explicable if they are the work of a single mind.

Let us turn now to consider the relation between the two epistles in its broader aspect. In deciding questions of literary dependence, arrangement of material may be, as it is for instance in the Synoptic problem, even more significant than verbal parallels. In this respect, however, each Epistle follows a plan of its own. It is only in the treatment of the fundamental relationships of family life, the relation of husband and wife, parent and child, master and servant, that the order of topics is the same. Otherwise the distribution of parallels on a large scale repeats the phenomena presented on a small scale by a comparison between the sections on the duty of slaves. They are utterly unlike anything that we should expect as the result of literary dependence on a ‘source.’

We come finally to the relation between the two writings in regard to dominant idea. Eph. has been described ‘as a set of variations by a master hand on themes derived from Col.’ This description is curiously wide of the mark. The dominant idea in Eph. is in no sense derived from any of the topics discussed in Col. The theological problems on which our attention is focussed in the two Epistles are radically distinct, though the same view of the Person of Christ provides the solution in each case.

In Col. the problem is to find the secret of sanctification for the individual believer. The false teachers provided a solution which included a return to a variety of external restrictions of a Jewish type, and introduced hierarchies of angels to mediate between the soul of man and GOD. The true answer appears when Christ is seen in His full dignity as the perfect revelation of the Father, Head at once of the created universe and of the Church, in personal union with Whom in His ascended glory each individual believer can attain the perfect development of every faculty of his being.

In Eph., as we have seen, the writer’s task is to expound rather than to discuss the place of the Church in the whole counsel of GOD for the universe, in the light of the cosmic significance of the person of Christ, its Head, and incidentally to reveal the ground of the union of Jew and Gentile in Him.

What shall we say then of the significance of these phenomena? Do they not in every point establish the conclusion indicated in the concise but pregnant judgment of Dr Hort (p. 167 f.)?

‘The more closely we scrutinise those parts of both epistles which most nearly resemble each other,—scrutinise them comparatively and scrutinise them in their respective contexts,—the less possible it becomes to find traces of a second-hand imitative character about the language of either. The stamp of freshness and originality is on both; and thus the subtle intricacies of likeness and unlikeness of language are a peculiarly strong kind of evidence for identical authorship, whether the author be St Paul or another.… In both we have not merely the prima facie evidence of his name in the text and in unanimous ancient tradition, but close and yet for the most part not superficial connexion in language with his other epistles, and that not such a connexion as can with any reasonable probability be explained by the supposition of borrowing. Above all, we find in both the impress of that wondrous mind and heart.’

There can be no doubt that the linguistic evidence, the evidence of the vocabulary and style of Eph., is very strongly, and for anyone who accepts Col. as a genuine work of the Apostle, overwhelmingly in favour of the Pauline authorship.


Points of difference

There remains for consideration the internal argument from the doctrinal position of Eph. This is admittedly inconclusive taken by itself as an argument against the Pauline authorship. For, though Eph. undoubtedly marks an advance on the earlier Epistles, no one doubts that the advance follows the lines of a natural development of which St Paul was quite capable. And the linguistic evidence which we have just been considering, instead of turning the scale, as Dr Moffatt suggests (p. 389), in favour of an hypothetical Paulinist, really gives us strong reasons for believing that St Paul himself made the advance. The subject, however, is of the deepest interest for its own sake, and no discussion of the authorship can be complete without an examination of it.

The most interesting points raised by the earlier criticism have been dealt with at length in Dr Hort’s Prolegomena (pp. 123–150). They include ‘the relation of Jews and Gentiles as Christians,’ ‘the Church,’ ‘the person and office of Christ,’ and ‘the prominence of the Holy Spirit.’ The only fresh point raised by Dr Moffatt under these heads refers to the absence of any reference to the Eucharist among the forces making for Christian unity in Ephesians 4:5. The fact is certainly remarkable in the light of 1 Corinthians 10:17, ὅτι εἷς ἄρτος, ἓν σῶμα οἱ πολλοί ἐσμεν· οἱ γὰρ πάντες ἐκ τοῦ ἑνὸς ἄρτου μετέχομεν. For there, however we construe the first clause, the unity of the many as constituting one body depends on that which all receive from the one loaf. The passage, though no doubt clear enough to the Corinthians, is obscure to us from its conciseness and from our ignorance of the primitive ritual. We do not know, for instance, whether all the worshippers were at that time communicated from a single loaf. If not, we should have to take ‘the one loaf’ as referring directly (as in any case it must refer indirectly) to Christ. And the allusion to the word of the Lord recorded for us in John 6 would become certain.

In any case the appearance of the thought of unity in this connexion is remarkable. Prominent as the subject of unity is throughout 1 Cor., St Paul is not occupied with it here. He is engaged in proving the reality of our participation in the Body and the Blood of Christ in the Eucharist, and he does that by calling attention to the relation, in which we can know from our own experience, that participation in the Eucharist stands to our sense of corporate unity.

We should therefore a fortiori expect a reference to the Eucharist in a context dealing directly with unity. We must beware, however, of building anything on an argument from silence unless we have some positive clue to its significance. The absence of any mention of the Eucharist is a very subtle and at the same time a singularly ineffective way of ‘voicing a feeling of protest against a popular view of the Lord’s Supper,’ which, if it was ‘tinged by pagan sacramentalism,’ must have been felt by the protestant to be fraught with infinite peril. And we should need far more evidence to justify us in accepting this guess than is supplied by a reference to the even more ambiguous silence of St John and to a very precarious interpretation of Hebrews 13:7-17 with its clear reference to an altar, whatever that may be, of which we as Christians have the right to eat. If the writer had really had any cause to be anxious on the score of ‘pagan sacramentalism’ he would have had just as much ground for leaving out all mention of Baptism as of the Lord’s Supper. This explanation of the silence, then, is too frail to support a theory of divided authorship against any positive evidence on the other side.

Still the silence is a fact and, as soon as our attention has been called to it, demands an explanation, though we know from the outset that certainty must be unattainable. For the most reasonable explanation by no means necessarily describes the cause to which the phenomenon was actually due. Sheer forgetfulness can produce the same result as deep design.

Assuming, however, that the omission was no accident, it is worth considering whether it was due to rhetorical reasons. Certainly the paragraph as a whole has a rhythm and a balance which a fresh member in one of the clauses would seriously affect, as anyone can see who will try to rewrite it so as to include the Eucharist. Even when you have determined what word to use κυριακὸν δεῖπνονκλάσις τοῦ ἄρτουἄρτοςποτήριοντράπεζα (εὐχαριστία as a specific title would certainly be an anachronism in the lifetime of St Paul), you have still to determine in what form you are to bring in your allusion, for the Eucharist, unlike Baptism, is not a single experience once for all in the life of a believer. It postulates constant repetition; and while, as 1 Corinthians 10:17 and the formula in the Didachè show, the loaf supplies a natural symbol of the unity in variety of an individual congregation, it can only import the unity of all believers everywhere when ‘the One Loaf’ is identified with ‘the personal Living Bread’ or with His mystical Body, i.e. with εἷς κύριος or ἓν σῶμα already included in the list.

This last consideration points the way to what seems the most probable reason for the omission. As ecclesiastical organization developed the Eucharist became, as we see from Ignatius, at once an instrument of local discipline and the symbol and bond of unity between the Churches of different lands. But as Dr Hort points out (p. 130) the conception of unity to which expression is given in this Epistle is more rudimentary than that. ‘The units of the one Church spoken of in this Epistle are not churches but individual men.’ And from this point of view all that is required for the sacramental expression of this unity is given by Baptism.

Elements characteristically Pauline

In the comparative study of doctrine, however, as in the study of the vocabulary of the Epistle, the problem is not seen in its true proportions as long as attention is concentrated only on points of difference, and no account is taken of the extent to which Eph. is built up out of elements of thought which are characteristic and distinctive of St Paul. A complete discussion of the problem, therefore, would entail a comparative study of all the thoughts in the Epistle, a task which is clearly beyond our limits here. We must content ourselves with a few specimens. These will naturally be chosen from among the thoughts which find clearest expression in Eph. and in which the advance on St Paul’s earlier writings is most pronounced. Still, the thoughts in this Epistle have every mark of originality about them. They are the products of the writer’s own thinking, not picked up from ‘a source.’ So if we can show that the root of the matter was in each case in St Paul, we shall have gone a good way towards establishing his right to the credit of the flower.

It is this that gives a positive value to Dr Hort’s exposition of the relation between the teaching with regard to the universality of the Gospel, the universality of corruption, and the true circumcision as we find it in Rom. and the entirely harmonious though somewhat more fully developed teaching on the same subjects which we find in Eph. The same remark applies to the preparation to be found in 1 Cor. and Col. for the teaching in Eph. on the subject of the Church and on the person and office and work of Christ ([16]. pp. 128 ff.).

(i) ἐν τοῖς ἐπουρανίοις

Let us take first the attitude towards life implied by the use to which Dr Moffatt rightly calls attention, of the remarkable and unique phrase ἐν τοῖς ἐπουρανίοις five times in this Epistle. It meets us in Ephesians 1:3 as the sphere in which the Church here and now is enriched with all spiritual blessings. It is the sphere in Ephesians 1:20 of the present sovereignty of our Ascended Lord, which we share with Him (Ephesians 2:6). The other spiritual powers in this region are watching the manifestation of God’s wisdom as it is revealed in His dealings with us (Ephesians 3:10). It is also the scene of our warfare with the spiritual forces of evil (Ephesians 6:12).

This conception of a world of spiritual realities as the true scene here and now of Christian activity is in thought as well as in phrase characteristic of Ephesians, the climax of a development which it is worth while studying step by step.

In 1 and 2 Thess. St Paul writes to men just raised from the darkness of heathenism to a clear consciousness of the presence of a living God before whom they stand and to an eager expectation of the imminent appearing (παρουσία) of His Son from heaven. The truth that they had learnt had in it the seed of a moral transformation. They were sons of light and must live as such. The death and resurrection of Jesus were a pledge to them of an abiding communion with Him, which death had no power to break. The name of the Lord Jesus was on them and must be glorified by their lives now as well as in the day of His appearing. The Lord Jesus was in them to raise them to their true glory (2 Thessalonians 1:12).

In the central group of his Epistles, containing 1 and 2 Cor., Gal. and Rom. (whatever be their chronological order), the conception of the present union of the Christian with Christ becomes dominant, and is worked out in detail in a variety of connexions. The clearest expression of the thought is found in Galatians 2:20, ‘I live, yet no longer I, but Christ lives in me; and the life that I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God that loved me and gave Himself for me.’ It is regarded, as in the context of this passage, as a sharing in the crucifixion of Christ, by which the power of the flesh (Galatians 5:24) and of the world (Ephesians 6:14) is broken, or as a union with His Death and Burial through Baptism, snapping the chain of sin and putting an end to the jurisdiction of the Law. It is regarded, from another point of view, as the entrance into a new state of existence, which is to the old as life to death, by union with His Resurrection. In this new state Christ is formed in us, and becomes to us wisdom from God, righteousness, sanctification, redemption. And through Him we are reconciled to, and have peace and perfect freedom of intercourse with God, sharing at once in the sufferings and in the consolation of the Christ, showing forth both the dying of Jesus and His life in our mortal flesh. These sufferings are not all caused by persecution from without. Our own redemption is not consummated, until the body shares to the full in the life of Sonship on which the spirit has entered. We have the treasure in earthen vessels. We groan in this ‘bodily frame,’ longing to be clothed upon with the habitation ‘out of heaven’ (of heavenly material) (ἐξ οὐρανοῦ instead of ἐκ γῆς, 1 Corinthians 15:47) which awaits the dissolution of this ‘earthly’ organism. While still at home in the body we are ‘absent’ from the Lord. Yet we are called to put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and according to a strongly supported reading in 1 Corinthians 15:49 to wear ‘the image of the heavenly’ (τοῦ ἐπουρανίου) here and now. The Jerusalem which is above is already our mother. All things are ours, for we are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s. The inconceivable blessings which God has prepared for them that love Him are already freely given us by God. We are His temple. The Spirit of God dwells in us. We have the mind of Christ. Our bodies are His members. We are one spirit with Him. Heaven has come down to earth. His word is very nigh in our hearts and on our lips. His power tabernacles (2 Corinthians 12:9) over us, and works mightily within us (2 Corinthians 13:3).

In the next group—the Epistles of the Captivity—chiefly perhaps owing to the continuous pressure of the Judaistic controversy and its concentration of interest on things material and external (Philippians 3:19 τὰ ἐπίγεια), St Paul is led to present this same truth in a still bolder shape. To live is still Christ and to die is gain. To depart and be with Christ is very far better than to continue in the flesh. We live looking for the Lord Jesus Christ to come as Saviour from Heaven and transfigure the body of our humiliation. Yet the man who is straining every nerve to win the prize of his high calling in Christ Jesus, whose one object is to win Christ and to be found in Him, to know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, realizes that his life has been raised into a new region where the earthly considerations which fill the whole horizon of the Judaizers are no longer relevant. His citizenship is in heaven. He has risen above the region of shadows to the region of spiritual realities, where God is moon and sun. His heart and his mind must be filled with the things above where Christ is seated at the right hand of God (Colossians 3:1-3). For the new life into which we pass by union with His death belongs to us as not risen only but ascended. It is hid with Christ in God.

This is the thought which is crystallized in Ephesians into the new phrase ἐν τοῖς ἐπουρανίοις. It is, as we have seen, the sphere of the whole round of a Christian man’s activity. His conflict, for he is not yet perfected, no less than his crown, is here. We need not therefore be surprised, as if there was any internal inconsistency in St Paul’s thought, at meeting ‘the spiritual forces of wickedness’ ἐν τοῖς ἐπουρανίοις. If there be war in our heaven, it must be a grappling with essential evil. And indeed the battle can have no decisive issue, until it is taken up into that higher region. Rules, regulations and restrictions affecting outward things may produce correct conduct, but fail altogether to get down to the root of the evil. It is only by lifting our hearts into an atmosphere, in which no foul thought can live, that we can effectually ‘mortify our members that are on the earth.’ It is only by surrendering ourselves continuously to the guidance of the Spirit that we can do to death the deeds (the corrupt habits, πράξεις) of the body, and escape the overmastering domination of the desires of the flesh.

The phrase is not only peculiar to Ephesians in the writings of St Paul, it is also peculiar to St Paul in the N.T. But it is only the expression, not the thought, that lacks a parallel. The thought of ‘the heavenly Jerusalem’ to which we have already attained according to Hebrews[17] may very well be derived directly from St Paul. But even in the Gospels St Matthew’s favourite phrase ‘the kingdom of the heavens’ receives and reflects light from St Paul’s conception. To sit with Christ ‘in the heavenlies’ (Ephesians 2:6) is to sit with Him ‘in His throne’ (Revelation 3:21). An even closer approximation in thought however is to be found in John 14:1-3. ἐν τοῖς ἐπουρανίοις describes exactly ‘the place’ which our Lord went to prepare for us, that after He had come back from the grave, when He had come to preach peace to them that are afar and to them that are nigh (Ephesians 2:17), we and He might abide in it together. It is ‘the realized presence of the Father’ in which He had lived and worked all the days of His ministry on earth (John 3:13).

ἐν τοῖς ἐπουρανίοις is then, as our study shows, thoroughly at home in the Pauline circle of thought. It is far more than a curiosity in literary expression, or even than an edifying topic for Christian speculation. St Paul lives what he preaches, and his mind throughout this whole Epistle moves in this high region of spiritual reality.

This being so we need not be surprised at the range of thought or the intensity of restrained emotion that mark it out even above his other writings. Here more than elsewhere he is dominated by the old prophetic consciousness (cf. Amos 3:7) that he has been admitted into the secret counsel[18] of the Most High and commissioned to declare what GOD is doing to the children of men, and sets himself to make known ‘the mystery of His Will,’ not now in fragments (1 Corinthians 15:51, Romans 11:25 f.) or by the way, but as his main subject in all the breadth and length and height and depth of the purpose of the ages.

The only place where it is used in the technical sense of Greek Mysteries is Wisdom of Solomon 14:23. The attitude of Philo, de Cherub. §§ 12–14, De Sacr. Abel et Ca. § 15, is an instructive contrast to the attitude of St Paul. Cf. also de Vict. Off. § 12, Q. O. P. L. § 2 and de Vita Cont. p. 60 with Conybeare’s note.

(ii) ἡ πρόθεσις τῶν αἰώνων

This expansion of the horizon of thought is another distinctive feature in Eph. It is worth while here again to examine the earlier epistles to see whether they contain any foregleams of this stupendous development.

In his earliest preaching, as his speeches to Jews and Gentiles show, the one event in the future on which St Paul strove to fix his hearers’ attention was ‘the judgment to come’ (Acts 24:25, cf. Acts 13:41; Acts 17:31) and the promise of salvation from the impending doom. So in writing to the Thessalonians the sign of their conversion to the living and true GOD was found in the fact that they had begun ‘to await His Son from heaven … even Jesus who delivers us out of the wrath to come’ (1 Thessalonians 1:10).

At this stage attention is concentrated on the approaching παρουσία (1 Thessalonians 2:19; 1 Thessalonians 3:13; 1 Thessalonians 4:15; 1 Thessalonians 5:23, 2 Thessalonians 2:8) or ἀποκάλυψις of the Lord Jesus (2 Thessalonians 1:7). This is spoken of also in O.T. language as the coming of the Day of the Lord (1 Thessalonians 5:2, 2 Thessalonians 2:2) or as ‘that Day’ (2 Thessalonians 1:10). The scene is conceived with great vividness under ‘Apocalyptic’ forms only partly reminiscent of the teaching of Our Lord as recorded in the Gospels (ὡς κλέπτης 1 Thessalonians 5:2, ἡμῶν ἐπισυναγωγῆς ἐπʼ αὐτὸν 2 Thessalonians 2:1). The Lord will appear ‘with all His Saints (or Holy ones)’ (1 Thessalonians 3:13), ‘to be glorified in His Saints and marvelled at in all them that believe’ (2 Thessalonians 1:10). He shall descend from heaven with a word of command, with the voice of an Archangel, with the trumpet of GOD. The dead in Christ shall rise first. The Christians who are still alive shall be caught up in clouds to meet the Lord in the air (1 Thessalonians 4:16). The issue for them is described as ‘salvation’ (1 Thessalonians 5:9), a share in ‘God’s kingdom and glory’ (1 Thessalonians 2:12, 2 Thessalonians 1:5), the distinctive feature being unbroken communion with the Lord (1 Thessalonians 5:10; 1 Thessalonians 4:17). St Paul himself looks forward to meet his Lord with joy deepened by the presence of his converts (1 Thessalonians 2:19). The issue for the disobedient and the persecutors is ‘wrath’ (1 Thessalonians 1:10; 1 Thessalonians 5:9): ‘eternal ruin (ὄλεθρος) in separation from the face of the Lord’ (2 Thessalonians 1:9, cf. 1 Thessalonians 5:3, 1 Corinthians 5:5): this is clearly not annihilation; it corresponds to ‘the outer darkness’ of the Gospels: ‘loss’ or ‘destruction,’ ἀπώλεια (2 Thessalonians 2:3; 2 Thessalonians 2:10); cf. τὸ ἀπολωλός, Luke 19:10, etc.

The Day has not yet come (2 Thessalonians 2:2). Various signs, of which notice had been given orally and which therefore remain obscure to us, were not yet fulfilled. But the forces that were to contribute to the dénouement were already in operation (2 Thessalonians 2:7). The doom was already pronounced on Jerusalem (1 Thessalonians 2:16). On the other hand the choice of the believers (1 Thessalonians 1:4, 2 Thessalonians 2:13) is part of a deliberate plan, prophetic of wider issues whether we read ἀπʼ ἀρχῆς (cf. Ephesians 1:4) or ἀπαρχὴν (cf. Romans 11:16).

When we pass to the epistles to the Corinthians the thought of the Revelation and the Day of the Lord Jesus is still prominent (1 Corinthians 1:7 f.). ‘Apocalyptic’ features meet us in the place of the Saints in the judgment on Angels (1 Corinthians 6:3) and in the change which will pass over the bodies of believers ‘at the last trump’ (1 Corinthians 15:51 f.), described in 2 Corinthians 5:2 as ‘the super-inducing of the heavenly habitation.’ The thought of the Judgment as it affects the Christian worker is more fully developed. St Paul still looks forward to exulting before the Lord on the ground of his converts (2 Corinthians 1:14). But each man’s work has to pass through a fiery ordeal before the verdict is passed on it (1 Corinthians 3:8; 1 Corinthians 3:13-15; 1 Corinthians 4:4 f.). And each must give account of himself before the Judgment seat (2 Corinthians 5:10; 2 Corinthians 11:15). The sentence on the world will be one of condemnation (1 Corinthians 11:32). The ultimate issue for ‘those that love God’ (1 Corinthians 2:9) is the substance of the wisdom of which St Paul speaks to the mature. It is not declared here. It includes ‘the Kingdom’ (1 Corinthians 6:9; 1 Corinthians 15:50) and the immediate vision of God ‘face to face’ (1 Corinthians 13:12). The critical moment is at hand (1 Corinthians 7:29 ff; 1 Corinthians 16:22) though not yet here. The Lord is still to come (1 Corinthians 11:26). At the same time the powers of the age to come are already at work. The Kingdom is not future only, it is present (1 Corinthians 4:20). We are already being vitally transformed by the vision of glory vouchsafed to us (2 Corinthians 3:18). Now is the Day of Salvation (2 Corinthians 6:2). Even now the power of our last enemy is being brought to nought (1 Corinthians 15:26), and we are called to put on ‘the image of the heavenly’ (1 Corinthians 15:49). But this is not all. We have a hint in 1 Corinthians 2:7 of a wisdom of God which the heralds of the gospel speak ‘in a mystery’ to the mature, a wisdom hidden from ‘the rulers of this world’ foreordained by God for our glory, including, as we have seen, ‘all that God prepared for them that love Him.’

This is a foregleam of ‘the mystery of the gospel’ as we find it in Eph. And further we have hints of wider horizons than can consist with incidents limited to that generation in the striking phrase (1 Corinthians 10:11) εἰς οὓς τὰ τέλη τῶν αἰώνων κατήντηκεν. And above all in 1 Corinthians 15:23-28. In this last passage we have, in the closing words ‘that GOD may be all in all,’ a vision of the same ultimate goal for the universe that opens out before us in Ephesians 1:10, and a clear indication of a period of mediatorial sovereignty in which the Parousia marks a stage but not the end. For the end cannot come until every adverse power (here again the language is a premonition of Colossians 2:10, Ephesians 1:21 f.) has been brought into subjection, and the Parousia certainly does not wait for the attainment of that consummation. In 1 Corinthians 15 the opposing force immediately in view is death, primarily no doubt the death of the body (1 Corinthians 15:22; 1 Corinthians 15:26; 1 Corinthians 15:54, cf. 2 Corinthians 5:3). But there is a pregnant hint of the connexion of sin and death in 1 Corinthians 15:56. We are told, as clearly as words can tell, that the restoration to life in Christ will be co-extensive with the race (1 Corinthians 15:22), though this end again will not be immediately attained at the Parousia.

When we come to Gal. attention is directed so exclusively to the problems of the present relation between the soul and GOD that the vision of the future is withdrawn altogether. It appears, if at all, only allusively in the reference to ‘the present evil age’ (suggestive in any case of ‘the evil days’ of Galatians 5:16) in Galatians 1:4, and in the warning of a coming harvest (Ephesians 6:7 f.) in which the contrasted issues are ‘corruption’ and ‘eternal life.’

In Rom., where the pressure of controversy is less acute, the problems of the present receive their interpretation in the light both of the past and of the future. The Wrath of GOD appears first as a present power, working out almost imperceptibly a doom of moral degradation (Romans 1:18). At the same time a catastrophic manifestation of the Wrath is at hand (Romans 2:5, Romans 5:9). In Romans 9:22 GOD appears in prophetic imagery (Jeremiah 50:25, Isaiah 13:5; Isaiah 54:16) armed with instruments of wrath fitted for the work of destruction which lies before Him, only restrained by His purpose of manifesting the riches of His glory (Ephesians 1:18; Ephesians 3:16, Colossians 1:27) by His treatment of the instruments of His mercy.

The Judgment in the same way is at once present (Romans 2:16, κρίνει) and self-executing (Romans 11:22) and future (Romans 14:12). Death is ‘the end,’ ‘the wages of sin’ (Romans 6:22 f.). And death (primarily spiritual death) is our present condition (Romans 5:17, Romans 7:10; Romans 7:24). In relation to unbelieving Israel the sentence (as in 1 Thessalonians 2:16) is already at work (Romans 11:8). They are already both hardened (Romans 11:8) and cast out (Romans 11:17).

On the other side of the picture, salvation lies ahead (Romans 5:9), though it is close at hand, and nearer than it was (Romans 13:12). Its foretaste and pledge is found in present reconciliation with GOD (Ephesians 5:9). Its issue is ‘life eternal,’ which is at once a present power, and includes in the future the quickening and redemption of our mortal bodies, and a glorification in which the whole creation has a share (Romans 8:11; Romans 8:17 ff.). In connexion with this vision the thought of GOD working out His purpose by definite stages first comes into clear expression (Romans 8:29), and raises a difficulty, which causes St Paul the keenest agony, springing from the evidence that he saw before him of the present rejection of Israel. In grappling with it we are forced to realize how intense was St Paul’s conviction that the whole course of history, its darkest shadows as well as its brightest light, is in the moulding hands of GOD, and that He is moving forward by His deliberately adopted method of election (Romans 9:11, Romans 11:5-7) towards a goal in which ‘all Israel shall be saved’ (Romans 11:26) that He may infold all men in the arms of His mercy (Romans 11:32). Here, as in 1 Corinthians 15:22 and Romans 5:12-21, there is no shadow of justification in St Paul’s language for narrowing the scope of his all-inclusive prophecy. No narrower a hope will suffice as a foundation for the conclusion, ‘from Him and through Him and unto Him are all things’ (cf. 1 Corinthians 15:28, Ephesians 1:10). There is no hint of the relation in which the Parousia stands to the stages by which this consummation is attained.

In the closing Doxology (Romans 16:25-27) ‘the mystery of the gospel’ clearly embraces ‘the whole counsel of GOD,’ and the revelation of it to St Paul and his generation is taken up into its place in the eternal purpose.

We pass from this vision in Rom. without any jar to the dominant theme of Eph. It is no longer startling to us to find ourselves reading the words of a man who believes that the secret of the universe has been made known to him, and that he is commissioned by GOD to call all men everywhere to enter into it with him. If Jew and Gentile alike are at present ‘children of wrath’ (Ephesians 2:3), and he sees the wrath of GOD coming on the sons of disobedience (Ephesians 5:6), if he still bids those who are sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise look for a day, perhaps not far distant, which he calls ‘a day of redemption’ (Ephesians 4:30, cf. Ephesians 1:14), that cannot be the limit of his horizon. ‘The purpose of the ages’ (Ephesians 3:11) but now revealed will need ‘ages that are yet to come’ (Ephesians 2:7) for its accomplishment, even ‘unto all the generations of the age of the ages’ (Ephesians 3:21). Nor can we be surprised that it should include the attainment of the whole race of man (οἱ πάντες, cf. Romans 11:32) to the unity of the faith and the apprehension of the Son of GOD (Ephesians 4:13), the summing up of all things in heaven and on earth in Christ (Ephesians 1:10).

For the sake of completeness it will be well to follow the treatment of the subject through the other Epistles.

In Phil. the personal interest is once more stronger than the dogmatic, and references to the ‘end’ relative or absolute are incidental. They no longer constitute the main theme. St Paul’s thoughts at this time still turn habitually to the Parousia. The Lord is at hand (Philippians 4:5). The ‘Day of Christ’ (Philippians 1:6-10, Philippians 2:16) is in prospect. For the gainsayers and the enemies of the Cross of Christ the end is ‘destruction’ (ἀπώλεια, Philippians 1:28, Philippians 3:19). The Christian is looking for the Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour from heaven to change the body of his humiliation to make it conformable to the body of His glory (1 Corinthians 15:49). The name above every name (Philippians 2:9, cf. Philippians 1:21) is prophetic of a triumph which will win the homage of all in heaven and on earth and under the earth.

In Col. as in Gal. attention is concentrated on the present, but Christ appears as the goal of creation (Colossians 1:16), and the instrument of an all-inclusive reconciliation (Colossians 1:20). At present hid from sight, the day will come when He shall be manifested and we with Him in glory (Colossians 3:4).

In the Pastoral Epistles we find echoes of all the most characteristic elements in St Paul’s thinking on this problem. Christians still love and look for ‘the appearing’ (ἐπιφάνεια, 1 Timothy 6:14, 2 Timothy 4:1-8, Titus 2:13, cf. 2 Thessalonians 2:8). Christ Jesus will judge quick and dead and reward each according to his work (2 Timothy 1:18; 2 Timothy 4:1-8; 2 Timothy 4:14-18). Special forms of false teaching are the well known signs of ‘later times’ (1 Timothy 4:1) and ‘last days’ (2 Timothy 3:1). Above all the determining factor is the sovereign will of GOD, ‘the King of the ages’ (1 Timothy 1:17), who has controlled the whole course of the revelation of His truth in the past (Titus 1:2) and in the present (1 Timothy 2:6) as He may be trusted to control it in the future (1 Timothy 6:14 ff.). He will have us pray for all men (1 Timothy 2:1). He will have all men to be saved (1 Timothy 2:4; 1 Timothy 4:10) and come to the apprehension of the truth.


For the purpose of the argument with which we are immediately concerned, these two studies might well suffice to show how close is the kinship between the most distinctive thoughts of Eph. and the acknowledged writings of St Paul. The linguistic link which we found uniting them is deep-rooted in common habits of thought and a common outlook on life. There remains no room for hesitation as to the verdict from the side of literary criticism in favour of the Pauline authorship of the epistle. We shall however find it a useful preparation for the detailed study that lies before us in the commentary to complete our comparative study of the doctrine of the epistle by tracing the stages in the growth of St Paul’s teaching with regard to the Church. What is characteristic in Eph. is the vision of one universal Church, the Body and the Bride of the Risen and Ascended Christ, the instrument for the expression of His Mind and Heart in the sight of angels and men (Ephesians 3:10) and for the working out of the eternal purpose of God by bringing all men to the knowledge of the truth and faith in Him (Ephesians 4:13). From another point of view it is a spiritual temple, the meeting-place for God and men under the new covenant, God’s home on earth, the habitation of His glory.

It is not surprising that this vision did not rise even before the mind of St Paul in all its fulness at the beginning of the Gospel. The development of what we may call the ‘self-consciousness’ of the Church was naturally a gradual process, kept in check for a time by its organic union with the ancient People of God which it was destined to supersede and out of which it sprang. At first, therefore, as we see especially in 1 and 2 Cor., the problems that come up under this head relate primarily to the discipline and mutual relation of the members of particular congregations. Yet even here the essential characteristics of the whole Body are revealed in the life of every part. Each local Church is taught to regard itself as in a real sense a Body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:27). It constitutes a true temple (1 Corinthians 3:17, 2 Corinthians 6:16), the pledge of God’s presence in the midst of His people. Each however is taught to realize its union ‘with all that call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ in every place, both theirs and ours’ (1 Corinthians 1:2) and to find in the established practice of other Churches a check on its own freedom, even in the ordering of its own devotional life (1 Corinthians 7:17; 1 Corinthians 11:16; 1 Corinthians 14:33). Each must regard itself as betrothed as a pure virgin to one husband even to Christ (2 Corinthians 11:2). As soon however as the controversy with regard to the circumcision of Gentile converts within the Christian Church combined with the irreconcilable opposition of the Jewish authorities without to force the leaders of Christian thought, and especially St Paul, to realize that there was an essential distinction between the Church and the Synagogue, the wider ‘catholic’ conception of the Church begins to find expression. The only ground, on which St Paul could oppose the specious attempt of the Galatian Judaizers to admit baptized but uncircumcised Gentiles to the outer court but not to the inmost sanctuary of Christian fellowship, was ‘the unity of the Christ’ the promised seed of Abraham, and this involved the breaking down of national distinctions and the organic unity of all in one living whole (εἶς ἐστὲ) in Him (Galatians 3:16-28).

It is not surprising therefore that Gal. marks an epoch in St Paul’s teaching in this as in other respects. The identification (Galatians 4:23 ff.) of Israel after the flesh with Ishmael prepares the way for the identification of the Church who is our mother with the heavenly Jerusalem, the Zion of Isaiah 40-66; and for the greeting, surely not confined to the members of the churches of Galatia, to ‘the Israel of God’ (Galatians 6:16).

In Rom. as the figure of the olive tree shows (Romans 11:17) the thought of Jew and Gentile united in one living organism is well established, and it is at least possible that in Romans 12:5 ἓν σῶμα may have a universal significance, at least if ἐσμὲν may be taken to imply that St Paul regarded himself as part of it. In Eph. the new element from this point of view lies in the fact that the membership of Jew and Gentile alike is carried back to God’s choice of us in Christ before the creation of the world (Ephesians 1:4). But even in Eph. ample recognition is given to the historical fact of the division between Jew and Gentile (Ephesians 2:11 ff.). God’s foreknowledge is emphasized as strongly in Romans 8:29 f. as in Ephesians 1:4. And the ideal pre-existence of the Church in Hermas would develope more naturally from the thought of her as ‘our mother’ in Galatians 4:26 than from anything in Eph. The other features in the nature and office of the Church in Eph. to which attention has already been called are only the application to the universal Church of features already recognized as characterizing local communities.

At the same time the inclusion of the Church in the eternal purpose of God awakens a consciousness of the special function which she has to fulfil of which there seems no trace in the earlier epistles. In 1 Cor. the Saints are ultimately to judge the world (1 Corinthians 6:2), but meanwhile ‘those that are without’ (1 Corinthians 5:12) are left severely alone. Even in Rom. the share of the Gentile Christians in the conversion of the Jews, which St Paul looks for, is only indirect. Nothing is said of any missionary obligation resting on Christians other than those specially commissioned (Romans 10:15) unless we may take σκεύη ἐλέους in an active sense to balance σκεύη ὀργῆς (Romans 9:22 f.). In Eph. however the knowledge of God’s purpose (Ephesians 1:9) is made known to all, and the responsibility for making known His manifold wisdom rests on the Church as a whole. St Paul calls on all to let their light shine on the darkness of heathenism (cf. Philippians 2:15 f.) and to be shod with ‘the preparation of the gospel of peace’ (Ephesians 6:15).

From first to last it is striking to notice what a fundamental place the thought of unity holds in the whole conception both in regard to local communities and to the universal Church. We cannot now give time to examining St Paul’s treatment of the forces that tend to disturb domestic peace in 1 and 2 Cor., Rom., and Phil., though it would directly illustrate his teaching in Ephesians 4. We must concentrate our attention on his treatment of the fundamental problem of the cleavage, racial and religious, age-long and world-wide, that made the Jew despise the Gentile, and the Gentile hate the Jew.

The first point to notice is the fierceness with which St Paul rejects any approach to compromise on the question of circumcision which would imply the organization of the universal Church on a dual basis The truth of the Gospel for which he was contending was the condition of unity, and he must sacrifice even the immediate peace of the Church rather than surrender it.

We notice next the special significance, which Hort has emphasized in Proleg. to Rom., of the collection for the Church at Jerusalem which St Paul organized among his Gentile Churches, and which he was prepared at the risk of his own life to present in person to his kinsmen after the flesh. He was ready to fight for the truth. He was ready to die to further the cause of unity. The success of the mission meant the triumph of the cause of catholic unity at the head-centre of Jewish Christianity.

These facts of personal history give an intense interest to the treatment of the unity of the Church in Eph. and give the clue for the right understanding of the whole structure of the Epistle. There is no glossing over the old-world cleavage or the depth to which the fact of it had entered into the consciousness of the writer. It shapes the form of his acknowledgement of the blessings which were the common property of the whole Church (Ephesians 1:12-14). It inspires his prayer for his Gentile correspondents and his confession of the universal need from which the mercy of God had delivered both Jew and Gentile (Ephesians 2:5). His special instruction deals with the power by which the barrier between them had been broken down (Ephesians 2:14). His special commission is to declare the fact of the unity (Ephesians 3:6), and his imprisonment, due directly to his devotion to the cause, gives special point to his appeal for the jealous guarding of the precious fact (Ephesians 4:1).

There can be no doubt then of the personal interest which the writer feels in his theme. It would be a grievous mistake however to leave the impression that he based his own interest in it or would have us base ours on any considerations personal to himself. There is no touch of self in his account of the way by which the unity, which he traces back to its source in the person of Christ Himself, had been won for us by His Incarnation, Passion, Resurrection and Ascension, or in the account of the spiritual forces, by which it is to be preserved as an abiding reality, and to be attained progressively by the harmonious co-operation of each of the variously endowed members of the whole Body. The cause of unity was for him no accidental or adventitious ornament of a Creed which for all practical purposes would work well enough without it. It was the cause of Christ.

(iv) Ἐν Χριστῷ

Our comparative study of the doctrine of the epistle will find its natural climax in the study of the phrase, which is at once the central point in St Paul’s theology, and to a remarkable extent the recurrent theme of the whole of Eph., the phrase ἐν Χριστῷ. The systematic examination of St Paul’s use of this and the other closely allied forms of speech (ἐν κυρίῳ, ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ, etc.) begins with Deissmann’s full and able monograph published in 1892, Die N.T. Formel in Christo Jesu. A short summary of his results will be the best foundation for further study. He begins by tracing the construction, of ἐν with a personal pronoun in the singular, back not to LXX. or Jewish Greek sources, but to a classical idiom found notably in Sophocles. He contends that in its ultimate analysis ἐν in this phrase retains its fundamental ‘local’ force, adapted to popular psychology. He notes that the relation is always to a living person. He repudiates the idea that St Paul’s use of prepositions is lax and lawless, e.g. interchanging ἐν and διὰ, or again that he is capable of forcing Greek prepositions into alien Hebraistic moulds. He then claims that St Paul must be regarded as the creator of the formula ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ. The evidence that he adduces on this point is remarkable. The position, if it can be established, is of far-reaching significance. It is a striking fact that the formula has no strict parallel in the Synoptics, James, 2 Peter, Jude or Hebrews. In Acts there is, I believe, only one real instance (Acts 13:39), and that is in a speech of St Paul’s, in a thoroughly Pauline connexion (ἐν τούτῳδικαιοῦται). Acts 4:2 is quite different. In Acts 4:9-10; Acts 4:12 the antecedent is most probably in all cases ὄνομα. Acts 17:28, however (αὐτῷ = τῷ θεῷ), also in a speech of St Paul’s, must not be overlooked. 1 Pet., which on other grounds we have reason to regard as dependent on the Pauline writings, has three instances, 1 Peter 3:16, 1 Peter 5:10; 1 Peter 5:14. In Apoc. there are only two, οἱ ἐν Κυρίῳ ἀποθνήσκοντες (Revelation 14:13, cf. 1 Thessalonians 4:16, 1 Corinthians 15:18) and the Strange ὁ ἀδελφὸς ὑμῶν καὶ συνκοινωνὸς ἐν τῇ θλίψει καὶ βασιλείᾳ καὶ ὑπομονῇ ἐν Ἰησοῦ (Revelation 1:9). This writer also may, as we shall see, have been familiar at least with Eph. and Col.

It is only in the other Johannine writings that we find parallel phrases which prima facie have a claim to be regarded as independent. And in none of these do we find ἐν Χριστῷ. It is always ἐν ἐμοὶ or ἐν αὐτῷ or ἐν τῷ υἱῷ corresponding to ἐν τῷ Πατρὶ and ἐν σοί and ἐν τῷ θεῷ.

The relation between the Pauline and the Johannine phrases must be considered later. At any rate so far as ἐν Χριστῷ is concerned Deissmann has made out a strong case. St Paul indeed uses the phrase habitually even when writing to strangers without explanation. But the distribution of usage both in N.T. and in the Sub-Apostolic Fathers[19] is strongly against the hypothesis that the phrase was in constant use outside the circles which had come directly under Pauline influence. There is therefore good ground for believing that the form of expression is not only strongly characteristic of St Paul but is in fact his own creation.

Passing on from the question of source to the question of meaning, Deissmann, after a vigorous and successful protest against any attempt to tone down the startling boldness of the expression, arrives at last at the conclusion that it connotes ‘the most intimate conceivable communion between the Christian and the living Christ.’ Some of the steps by which this conclusion is reached, e.g. the summary identification of Χριστὸς and Πνεῦμα, are open to challenge. The result, however, may be confidently accepted, together with the further observation that the ‘Christ’ is for St Paul in this phrase normally not Jesus as He was in the days of His Flesh, but as He is in His present risen and ascended state. The rest of the essay is taken up by heroic, not uniformly successful, efforts to find this meaning in every passage in which the phrase occurs.

Before passing on to an independent examination of the material, something must be said on the linguistic affinities of the phrase. Deissmann is no doubt right in pleading for a Greek background for the use of the preposition. St Paul’s style is free from crude Hebraisms. This need not, however, prevent us from allowing with J. Weiss and F. Prat a larger share to LXX. in moulding the phrase than Deissmann is willing to acknowledge. Only when we come to look for parallel expressions in LXX., they are hard to find. Ἐν τῷ θεῷ occurs in Psalms 17[18]:30 = 2 Samuel 22:30, Psalms 55[56]:5, 59[60]:14 = 107[108]:14, 77[78]:22, Isaiah 45:25. Ἐν σοὶ (of GOD) only in Psalms 17[18]:30 and in Hosea 14:4. Ἐν κυρίῳ παντοκράτορι θεῷ αὐτῶν occurs in Zechariah 12:5. Ἐν πνεύματι only in Micah 3:8, Zechariah 4:6.

Deissmann draws from parallels of this kind ‘the idea of dwelling in a spiritual element as an atmosphere.’ J. Weiss suggests ‘the appropriate sphere of action,’ giving ἐν a limiting force. But the O.T. passages, while no doubt they make fellowship with GOD a condition of action of various kinds, regard the condition as the secret of power and not as limiting freedom.

The N.T. use both of ἐν τῷ θεῷ (ἐν θεῷ) and ἐν πνεύματι (rarely ἐν τῷ πν.) is worth examination both for its own sake and because each phrase is found in close connexion with ἐν Χριστῷ.

The most interesting example of ἐν αὐτῷ (sc. τῷ θεῷ) is in St Paul’s speech at Athens (Acts 17:28) ἐν αὐτῷ γὰρ ζῶμεν καὶ κινούμεθα καὶ ἐσμέν. Here the conditions of the use show that the construction would not offend Greek ears, and that the idea of human life being ‘in its element’ in the Divine had affinities with Greek philosophic thought. The phrase recurs in relation to the true sphere of Christian life in Colossians 3:3.

In 1 Thessalonians 2:2 ἐπαρρησιασάμεθα ἐν τῷ θεῷ ἡμῶν the consciousness of communion with God inspired the confidence, as in the O.T. examples above. The same explanation would account for καυχώμενοι ἐν τῷ θεῷ in Romans 5:11, only the constant use of ἐν with καυχᾶσθαι to describe the subject of boasting casts doubt on the relevance of Romans 5:11, and still more of Romans 2:17[20]. Apart from these passages the phrase is only found in St Paul in the salutations of 1 and 2 Th. τῇ ἐκ. ἐν θ. π. [ἡμῶν] καὶ κ. Ι. Χ., where it will be noticed that ἐν θεῷ passes on without any repetition of the preposition to κ. Ι. Χ. Here then there can be no doubt that communion with GOD as Father, and Jesus Christ as Lord, constitutes the spiritual element in which the Church finds its true being.

In the rest of N.T. ἐν θεῷ πατρὶ is found only in Judges 1:1, perhaps under Pauline influence. Otherwise ἐν θεῷ does not occur except in John 3:21, of the condition of right action, and ἐν τῷ θεῷ (twice) in 1 John 4:15 f. of the mutual indwelling of GOD and the believer.

ἐν πνεύματι (ἐν τῷ πν. three times) occurs 14 times in the Gospels and Acts, six times in relation to baptism. Otherwise it denotes ‘spiritual possession,’ whether the spirit be the Holy Spirit of GOD as in the case of David, Matthew 22:43, Mark 12:36, or Simeon Luke 2:27, or our Lord Himself, Luke 4:1, Matthew 12:28, or an unclean spirit as in the case of the demoniac (Mark 5:2), cf. ἐν τῷ Βεεζεβοὺλ (Matthew 12:24) = Βεεζεβοὺλ ἔχει (Mark 3:22). Similarly it is used four times in Apoc. (Revelation 1:10, Revelation 4:2, Revelation 17:3, Revelation 21:10) of the ‘prophetic’ or ‘Apocalyptic’ state.

In all these cases the spiritual environment is represented as in active personal relation to the human spirit, and in some at least of the contexts ἐν takes on in consequence a Hebraistic colour.

In the Epistles the phrase with two exceptions (Judges 1:20 and 1 Peter 3:19 ἐν ᾧ = ἐν πν.) is confined to St Paul (incl. Eph. [6]). He uses it once (1 Timothy 3:16 ἐδικαιώθη ἐν πν.) in relation to our Lord (cf. 1 Peter 3:19). Here it follows ἐφανερώθη ἐν σαρκί. The sentence is obscure. It is possible that His ‘manifestation’ in the days of His flesh is contrasted with His ‘justification’ under the new ‘spiritual’ condition of His resurrection state. The contrast of σάρξ as = σῶμα ψυχικὸν and ̔πνεῦμα as = σῶμα πνευματικὸν could be defended by 1 Corinthians 15:45 (πνεῦμα ζωοποιοῦν contrasted with ψυχὴ ζῶσα). In no case does it imply any confusion between the Person of Christ and the Person of the Holy Spirit. σάρξ or ψυχὴ and πνεῦμα connote states or conditions of being, not personalities. But it is difficult to make our Lord’s justification dependent on His resurrection state in the same sense in which His manifestation was dependent on His incarnation. And the contrast between σάρξ and πνεῦμα in St Paul is elsewhere ethical rather than physical.

It is better therefore to take σάρξ to denote the human nature which He took on Him in the Virgin’s womb, ‘the flesh which He became’ and through which He was made known to man, and πνεῦμα the spirit bestowed on Him at His baptism, in the power of which He triumphed over sin and death, condemning sin in the flesh, and attaining to the resurrection from the dead. This interpretation has at least the merit of keeping ἐν πνεύματι here in close harmony with the other instances of its use by St Paul[21] and especially with Romans 8:9.

In all other places where the phrase occurs in St Paul it has a ‘dynamic’ force describing a power by which the Christian is possessed and in virtue of which he receives power to see the truth (Ephesians 3:5), to confess Jesus as Lord (1 Corinthians 12:3). It is the source in him of spiritual gifts, powers of healing, etc. (1 Corinthians 12:9) and the characteristic Christian graces, righteousness, peace, and joy (Romans 14:17) and love (Colossians 1:8). It quickens the conscience (Romans 9:1). It imparts firmness (Philippians 1:27). It is the hall-mark of an Apostle (2 Corinthians 6:6), the seal by which Christians are known ‘in the day of redemption’ (Ephesians 4:30). It cleanses (1 Corinthians 6:11), justifies (1 Corinthians 6:11, cf. 1 Timothy 3:16), sanctifies (1 Corinthians 6:11, Romans 15:16). In one Spirit we are baptized into one Body (1 Corinthians 12:13). In one Spirit we all have our access to the Father (Ephesians 2:18). It inspires prayer (Ephesians 6:18; cf. Judges 1:20, John 4:24) and fits us to receive the Divine indwelling (Ephesians 2:22; cf. 1 John 3:24).

As the Spirit is the Spirit of Christ (Romans 8:9), as Christ baptizes with the Spirit (Mark 1:8, Matthew 3:11, Luke 3:16, John 1:33), as the Spirit strengthens us to receive Christ’s indwelling (Ephesians 3:17), it is not surprising to find that, as Gunkel has pointed out[22], many of the consequences of being ἐν Χριστῷ are also ascribed to possession by the Spirit. It does not however follow that St Paul identified ‘the Spirit’ with Christ or that ἐν Χριστῷ and ἐν πνεύματι may be regarded as precisely equivalent terms.

Passages where the two phrases occur side by side (1 Corinthians 6:11 and Romans 9:1), and especially passages like 1 Corinthians 12:3, Ephesians 3:17 (see note in loc.), in which our relations to the Divine Persons are delicately but effectively discriminated, ought to be sufficient to guard us from this confusion.

We may pass on then to a closer examination of ἐν Χριστῷ, taking with us from our study of ἐν τῷ θεῷ and ἐν πνεύματι at least the lesson that a phrase expressing a personal relation which may be regarded theoretically as laying down a condition or defining a limit, is found in practice to describe a source of power.

There remains however yet one expression, ἐν τῷ Ἀδάμ, which Deissmann has overlooked, of which we must take account before we come to the phrase itself, because St Paul’s use of it shows that it presented to his mind a real analogue to ἐν Χριστῷ. It occurs in 1 Corinthians 15:22 ὥσπερ γὰρ ἐν τῷ Ἀδὰμ πάντες ἀποθνήκουσιν οὕτως καὶ ἐν τῷ Χριστῷ πάντες ζωοποιηθήσονται. The fact is that the Hebraic and the Stoic elements in St Paul’s mental training combined to give him a deep conviction of the solidarity of the race of man both on its physical (Acts 17:26) and on its spiritual side (Galatians 3:28). This solidarity, on each side, is derived from a person who is head of the race on that side, and with whom all men are in such organic connexion that their lives are continually being moulded for good or for evil by forces and influences emanating from him. In a true sense each head lives and is ever finding more perfect expression in every member of the whole body. This conception does not issue in dualism, because the headship of Adam, real and all-embracing as it is, including even Christ Himself after the flesh (Luke 3:38), is recognized as typical, derivative, and subordinate, while the headship of Christ is original, creative, dominant. Christ is Head of every man, Head of Adam with the rest. How St Paul came to believe this to be true of one who was a contemporary of his own is a problem on which we may well hope for further light. For the present it must suffice to notice that the headship of Adam, as St Paul conceives it, is a pale and colourless thing compared with the vividness and fulness of the picture that he gives us of the headship of Christ. The headship of Adam has in it no hint of present communion between men and their first forefather. It is evidenced for us only by the two dark but universal facts of sin (Romans 5:12) and death (1 Corinthians 15:22). The headship of Christ is intensely personal, rich in an inexhaustible potency of blessing, and, though countless millions are unconscious of the fact, extends, no less than the headship of Adam, to every member of the human race.

When we come to examine the passages containing ἐν Χριστῷ and kindred phrases, a wide field opens before us. Deissmann notes 164 passages. The various forms are worth recording:

ἐν Χριστῷ 29. ἐν τῷ Χριστῷ 5. ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ 43. ἐν κυρίῳ 43. ἐν κυρίῳ Ἰησοῦ 4. ἐν Ἰησοῦ 1 (Eph.). ἐν Ἰησοῦ Χριστῷ 1 (Galatians 3:14), v.l. ἐν Κ. Ι. Χ. 3 (all in 1 and 2 Th.). ἐν Χ. Ι. τῷ Κ. ἡμῶν 3. ἐν τῷ Χ. Ι. τῷ Κ. ἡμῶν 1 (Eph.).

The remaining passages have a pronoun with X., etc., as antecedent.

The choice of titles is clearly determined by the context in each case, and affects the precise shade of thought expressed. The remarkable rarity of forms in which Ἰησοῦς stands first or alone shows that the key to the phrase must lie in the thought of the office ‘Christ’ or ‘Lord,’ on which Jesus entered after His resurrection (Acts 2:36) as evidenced by the outpouring of the Spirit at Pentecost.

The simplest series is that containing ἐν κυρίῳ. It connotes the normal sphere of Christian life and duty. It defines the duties appropriate to fundamental human relationships. It regulates our intercourse one with another. Its influence is felt in the humblest ministration. ‘I, Tertius, who wrote the Epistle in the Lord salute you’ (Romans 16:22). It is the root of characteristically Christian emotions, confidence, joy, hope. From it spring unity, steadfastness, and spiritual strength.

1 Corinthians 1:31 ὁ καυχώμενος ἐν Κ. καυχάσθω is worth special attention, because though the phrase is drawn from Jeremiah 9:24 the form is due to St Paul. The passage (both Heb. and LXX.) runs ‘Let him that glorieth glory in this that he understandeth and knoweth me.’ We have proof therefore that ἐν Κ. (even with καυχᾶσθαι) is a compendious phrase to describe the most intimate communion between the Christian and his Lord.

It is certainly surprising that the phrase in this form occurs in N.T. outside St Paul only in Revelation 14:13, and in the Apostolic Fathers only in Hermas, Mand. iv. i. 4. It is found in Eph. 7 times.

The other passages may be considered together, without regard to the differences in form. They fall naturally into three groups.

In the first ‘Christ’ is regarded simply as ‘the true home of the Christian.’ Communion with Him is the normal element and the ultimate differentia of the true Christian life. St Paul speaks e.g. of some who were ‘in Christ’ before him (Romans 16:7). The distinction between Jewish and Christian Ecclesiae is that the latter are ‘in Christ’ (Galatians 1:22, 1 Thessalonians 2:14), the others are not. His own hope is that at the last he may be found ‘in Him’ (Philippians 3:9). Into this group fall passages hardly distinguishable from those in which we find ἐν κ., e.g. τὸν δόκιμον ἐν Χ. (Romans 16:10), τοῦς συνεργούς μου ἐν Χ. Ι. (Romans 16:3).

In the second group ‘the element’ in which the Christian lives, this ‘most intimate communion’ with His risen Lord, is seen as a present source of every form of spiritual grace and blessing. In Him we attain to our Divine sonship and are born of God (2 Corinthians 5:17, 1 Corinthians 1:30, Galatians 3:26, Ephesians 2:10). In Him is eternal life (Romans 6:23), faith and love (1 Timothy 1:14), wisdom and knowledge (Colossians 2:3), righteousness, sanctification and redemption (1 Corinthians 1:30). In Him the Corinthians (1 Corinthians 1:5) were enriched in every gift. In Him we find our true unity with one another (Romans 12:5) as with God (Ephesians 2:13).

There is still a third group. Hitherto we have been considering passages in which we ‘in Christ’ enter on the fulness of our inheritance as sons of God. There are others in which God ‘in Christ’ draws near to us, and finds ‘in Him’ the home and centre of His working in and on the world. Of these passages 2 Corinthians 5:19 may be taken as the type. Θεὸς ἦν ἐν Χριστῷ κόσμον καταλλάσσων ἑαυτῷ. Eph. is singularly rich in illustrations of the manifoldness of the Divine operations to this end under this condition. The purpose of the ages was formed and wrought out (Ephesians 1:10; Ephesians 3:11) in Him. In Him God chose us before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4). In Him God freely forgave us our sins (Ephesians 4:32). In Him God quickened us to new life from the death of sin (Ephesians 2:5). In Him God raised us to sit with Him on His throne (Ephesians 2:6), blessing us with all spiritual blessing in the heavenlies (Ephesians 1:3) in Him. God has made Him the radiating centre of spiritual force for the Universe (Ephesians 1:20). The goal of God’s gracious purpose is in the end to ‘sum up’ all things in Him (Ephesians 1:10).

Deissmann is no doubt right in maintaining that when St Paul coined the mighty phrase ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ his mind was fixed in the first instance on the risen and glorified Christ. But a careful study of the whole series, and especially of this third group, leaves no doubt as to the failure of his effort to confine St Paul’s conception within the limits that he proposes. He that ascended was for him the same also that descended first into the lower parts of the earth. An unbroken unity, not of plan only but of the Person in whom the plan was formed and carried through, identifies the pre-existent with the historic, and both with the glorified, Christ.

When we try to get behind these facts, to discover the source or predisposing causes of this great intuition, we find ourselves face to face with the fundamental problem of the Gospel according to St Paul. The thoughts that are brought to a focus in it throw light backward on O.T. They are closely akin to the personification of the nation of Israel of which the Psalms are full. They harmonize naturally with the Apocalyptic representation of the Kingdom of God in the form of ‘one like unto a son of man’ in Daniel 7 which underlies the use of the title ‘The Son of Man’ by our Lord in the Gospels, and if we may trust the account in Acts 7, by St Stephen in the hearing of St Paul. The varying extent of the circle included in the references to the Servant of the Lord in Isaiah 40-66, connoting at times the whole of Israel, at times the faithful remnant among them, and at times it is difficult not to believe as the early Church believed (Acts 8:35), a single individual, corresponds closely to the varying connotations of ὁ Χριστὸς in St Paul. Yet there is nothing to suggest that St Paul’s use of ἐν Χριστῷ was derived from O.T.

Again, one or two turns of phrase in the Synoptic tradition of the words of the Lord, e.g. ‘He that receiveth you receiveth Me’ (Matthew 10:40) and ‘Inasmuch as ye did it unto one of the least of these My brethren ye did it unto Me’ (Matthew 25:40) acquire a direct force, which we might not otherwise have associated with them, when we approach them from the Pauline standpoint. But they cannot themselves have suggested it.

It is difficult, if not impossible, to postulate any direct dependence on the Johannine tradition during the earlier periods in St Paul’s theological development.

We are therefore driven back on St Paul’s own account of the source from which the Gospel which he preached came to him. He did not, he tells us most emphatically (Galatians 1:12), receive it from human lips, nor was he taught it, but by means of a revelation of Jesus Christ.

The form of that revelation he describes, a few verses later (Galatians 1:16), as a revelation of which God was the author, and the presence of His Son in him was the substance. God was pleased, he writes, ‘to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him as my gospel among the Gentiles.’ And the mystical force of this phrase, which if it stood alone we might easily overlook, he affirms in language, which is quite unambiguous, before the end of the paragraph. ‘I live,’ he says (Galatians 2:20), ‘yet henceforth not I, but Christ liveth in me.’ In this spiritual region spatial imagery is naturally transcended. The relationship indicated under the figure of a personal indwelling in a person must always be a mutual relationship. The indwelling personality is at the same time indwelt.

It would seem therefore that St Paul’s phrase ἐν Χριστῷ and all the heights and depths of the universal gospel contained in it have their root in the unique spiritual experience by which his whole life was transformed at his conversion. Intensely individual and personal as that experience must have been he is conscious that his eyes have been opened to a fact of eternal and vital significance not for himself only but for all men. Jesus of Nazareth whom his own nation had crucified is the Christ of God. And even in His ascended glory He still identifies Himself with His persecuted disciples on earth, and, wonder of wonders, He is in living touch with the bitterest and most determined of their persecutors. That was the vision that made Saul of Tarsus the Apostle of the Gentiles. Need we look further for the source of the great intuition crystallized into this mystic but most practical formula ἐν Χριστῷ?

There remains the problem of the relation in which St John’s use of this idiom stands to St Paul’s. In St John we must distinguish three groups of passages. We have first, passages in which Jesus Himself is represented as using the idiom to express His own relation to the Father; then passages in which He uses it of the relation in which His disciples stand to Himself, and lastly passages in which the writer uses it in his own name in reference to the ‘abiding’ of Christians in Christ and in God.

The first group consists of passages found in three different contexts, [1] John 10:22-38 in controversy with the Jews, [2] John 14:8-20 in His self-revelation to His disciples, and [3] John 17:20-26 in prayer to the Father. This idiom is never employed by the Evangelist when writing in his own name of the relation of the Father to the Son.

In the first passage (John 10:22-38) Jesus in answer to a challenge to state plainly whether He was the Christ or not, appeals to the witness of the works that He is doing ‘in His Father’s Name.’ He passes on to account for the failure of men to accept this witness by the fact of their refusal to follow Him as their Shepherd. At the same time He declares the intimacy of the communion between Him and those that did follow Him, and their safety in His, that is His Father’s, Hand. This claim to oneness with the Father is at once resented as blasphemous on human lips. Jesus vindicates Himself as Man, on the ground of the Scriptural ascription of the title ‘Gods’ to the Judges in Israel, to whom the word of God came, and who were authorized to give decisions in His Name. He claims however for Himself a special right to the title ‘Son of God’ on the strength of the sign at His Baptism, and of the good works that He had shown them (ἐκ) as the fruit of His communion with the Father. For these works were not self-originated. They were strictly His Father’s works, witnessing, for those who would trust the evidence contained in them, to the mutual indwelling of the Father and the Son.

Here the phrase expresses a consciousness of ‘the closest possible communion’ amounting to a vital union between the Father and the Son, so that the Father is to be regarded as the real agent, and entitled to all the credit for the works that the Son does in His Father’s Name as His Father’s representative.

The same thought recurs in intercourse with His disciples (John 14:8-20). In answer to Philip’s prayer ‘Show us the Father’ Jesus points out that the mutual indwelling of the Father and the Son made every word and act of the Son a revelation of the Father; and in proof of that indwelling He appeals both to His own consciousness of its reality and to the character of the works that He was doing in the strength of it (John 14:8-11). His return from the grave will bring them a new assurance of the truth of the claim, and they will find in it a key to the relation in which they would find themselves standing to their risen Lord (John 14:20).

In His Intercession (John 17:20-23) Jesus prays for a union of His disciples with Himself and with His Father, after the pattern of this same mutual indwelling, as a proof to the world of His own mission from the Father. And He declares that He has associated them with Himself in the ‘glory’ which the Father had bestowed on Him, in all that is implied in bearing the title ‘Son of God’ before the eyes of men, that they may be knit into one, with one another and with the Father and the Son, being indwelt by the Son as the Son is eternally indwelt by the Father.

The thought of the mutual indwelling of the Father and the Son is therefore vitally connected with the mutual indwelling of the Lord and His disciples which is the immediate subject in the second group of passages (John 6:56 and John 15:1-7). The first of these (John 6:56) describes ‘mutual indwelling’ as the fruit of ‘eating His flesh and drinking His blood.’ This is the first mention of this form of relationship. There is nothing in the context to define it further.

The second passage (John 15:1-7) is the allegory of the Vine. Here we have the vital relation between the Lord and His disciples worked out under the form of a symbol already consecrated by Prophet (Isaiah 5:1 ff., cp. Mark 12:1, etc.) and Psalmist (Psalms 80:8) as a figure of the Israel of God. It expresses (as we shall see p. 124) concisely and clearly St Paul’s thought of the Church as the Pleroma of Christ. It supplies at the same time a perfect illustration of the meaning of ἐν Χριστῷ. χωρὶς ἐμοῦ (Psalms 80:5) corresponds exactly to χωρὶς Χριστοῦ in Ephesians 2:12. This however is by the way. The main purpose of the passage is to help disciples to realize the necessity for the indwelling and the conditions they must observe to secure and maintain it. For the relationship is moral not mechanical, and calls for constant watchfulness and effort on the part of all who are admitted to it.

In parts of the Gospel where the Evangelist may be speaking in his own person there are two phrases in which we may perhaps catch echoes of St Paul (Ephesians 1:4, cf. Colossians 1:16 f., and Ephesians 3:15, cf. Romans 6:23).

In his first Epistle the relationship is one of the fundamental Christian verities (Ephesians 5:20). A great deal of the Epistle is devoted to emphasizing the obligations it entails (Ephesians 2:6, Ephesians 3:6); the means of maintaining it (1 John 2:24; 1 John 2:27; 1 John 3:24 a; Ephesians 4:12; Ephesians 4:15-16) and the sign that it is effectual (1 John 3:24 b, Ephesians 4:13). The influence of the Gospel is dominant throughout. There is nothing to suggest dependence on St Paul.

What account then are we to give of the source from whence this element comes into St John’s writings? Of course, if the whole conception is fanciful and unreal, if no such ‘interpenetration of personalities’ between man and man, or between man and God, is possible, we must suppose that the Evangelist in spite of his claim to be recording his own experiences at first-hand is in this part of his narrative suffering from some strange hallucination, which we may fairly assume to have been caught from St Paul, who certainly shared it with the author of the Fourth Gospel.

But, supposing the relationship between St Paul and his Lord to be, as it certainly was to St Paul, the most real and vital thing in his experience, what other expression could we expect for the potentiality in human nature, to which this experience bears witness, than that which St John records? Approaching the problem simply from the human side, there can be no doubt of the supremacy in spiritual development which marks Jesus out among men. It is attested by His position in the religious history of the race. It is wonderfully portrayed in the Gospel Narratives. Is it not harder to believe that this part of the picture was the product of dramatic imagination than that it was drawn from life?

I have already said that I do not imagine that St Paul can have been led to formulate his expression of this fundamental Christian unity under the influence of the Johannine tradition. I think it not impossible that knowledge of St Paul’s writings may have quickened in St John a deeper sense of the significance of words of his Master with which his memory was stored. But it is at least as likely, especially if at any time the two men ever enjoyed an opportunity for extended intercourse, that St Paul received even more than he gave. If so, the greater richness of his treatment even of his own familiar theme in Eph. and Col. would be the fruit of lessons learnt directly from St John[23].


As soon as it is recognized that Eph. is the work of St Paul himself, the other questions belonging to ‘Introduction,’ the question of the readers for whom it was in the first instance intended, and the question of the time and place of writing, acquire a real, though subordinate, interest and importance.

The internal evidence of the Epistle has already led us to regard it as ‘a Pastoral.’ While by no means an impersonal production, ‘a short exercise addressed to no one in particular,’ it is singularly lacking in that sharpness of characterization and wealth of personal greeting and appeal which mark St Paul’s writings addressed to particular congregations even of those who had not seen his face. We are compelled therefore to regard it as addressed to a variety of churches, all of whom St Paul as Apostle of the Gentiles regarded as ‘within his jurisdiction,’ but not united to one another by any further bond of common blood or of ecclesiastical or political organization.

This conclusion is strongly supported by the textual phenomena in Ephesians 3:1 (see p. 11) including the title ‘to the Laodicenes’ which the Epistle bears in Marcion’s Apostolicon. It also supplies, as Hort shows (Prol. p. 89), the only sufficient explanation to the reference to an epistle (clearly an epistle of St Paul’s) of which Laodicea was to be in some sense a centre of distribution (τὴν ἐκ Λ.). It explains at once the use of the preposition, and the strange fact that Col. (Ephesians 4:15 f.) contains at the same time personal messages to members of the Church in Laodicea. Clearly therefore this epistle, though it was to spread through the valley of the Lycus from Laodicea, cannot have been addressed to Laodicea exclusively or primarily.

If this identification may be regarded as established, Eph. was a circular letter which among other places was to find its way to Laodicea. We have already noticed that the similarity of the language in Ephesians 1:15, Colossians 1:4, Philemon 1:5 would be naturally explained if it referred to information derived from the same source; if, that is, Epaphras had reported on the state of the Churches, chiefly no doubt in the province of Asia, with which he was personally acquainted, and some of which he must have visited on his way from Colossae to Rome.

Two further questions have been raised. One as to the inclusion of Ephesus among the Churches addressed. On this point it does not seem possible to say more than that it would be difficult to suppose that Ephesus would be left out if other Asiatic churches were included, and that this hypothesis accounts most simply for the title which the epistle has borne from a very early period.

It is true that the language of Ephesians 1:15, Ephesians 3:2, Ephesians 4:20 is not what St Paul would have chosen had he been addressing the church at Ephesus exclusively. But it does not follow that Tychicus would not have had instructions to read the letter to the church as he passed through and to leave behind a copy for their use. Indeed if Laodicea was to be a distributing centre for the valley of the Lycus, Ephesus may quite well have been charged with the same function in regard to any churches in Asia which lay off the direct route from Ephesus to Colossae.

The second question arises from the fact that St Paul is throughout addressing Gentile converts. It has been suggested in consequence that the letter is not written to any church at all as a whole, but only to the Gentile element in all the churches. In a sense this is true. The letter is dealing throughout with the meaning of the Gospel for the Gentiles. When he uses the second person plural in contrast with the first person he is addressing the Gentiles. But it does not follow that he expected meetings limited to the Gentile members in each congregation to be summoned to hear the letter. When he speaks in the first person plural he speaks on behalf of his fellow Jewish Christians, and what he has to say has a bearing on the lives of all. In fact, Eph. does not in this respect differ from the rest of the Pauline epistles. The Churches in the Dispersion (see esp. Romans 1:5; Romans 1:13) are all regarded as substantially Gentile in spite of the presence of a Jewish element in each.

It is impossible to define precisely the area which Tychicus was intended to cover. It would be natural for him, as one part of his commission was to escort Onesimus back to his master Philemon, to take the route by Magnesia on the Mæander and Tralles direct to Laodicea. There would be nothing improbable in the supposition that he would visit the rest of ‘the Seven Churches’ on his way back. His own home may very well have been in one of them, as he was a member of the province, and apparently not an Ephesian. (See Hort Prol. p. 91.)


Eph. contains few indications of the time and place of its composition. St Paul when he wrote it was a prisoner ‘on behalf of the Gentiles,’ and Tychicus was with him. That is all. Even when we throw in the evidence of Col. and Philem. we can only add the names of a few more of St Paul’s companions, and note the fact that only three of them were ‘of the circumcision,’ and that St Paul had hopes of one day being free to visit Philemon.

The fragmentary character of our knowledge of St Paul’s life, as proved by 2 Corinthians 11:24 f., seems to open a wide door for conjecture. Deissmann for instance suggests an unrecorded imprisonment during St Paul’s three years at Ephesus, and curiously enough the Marcionite Prologue to Col. dates that epistle from Ephesus.

But apart from the difficulty of assuming that these three Epistles were all prior to 1 Cor., it is really inconceivable that an imprisonment, which St Paul felt to have such far-reaching significance, could have left no trace either in St Luke’s narrative (Acts 19) or in St Paul’s summary (Acts 20:17-35) of his work at Ephesus.

On the other hand, the imprisonment which began with St Paul’s arrest in Jerusalem (Acts 21:33) exactly suits the conditions. It was directly due to St Paul’s advocacy of the Gentile cause, and it may well have given rise to the widespread feeling of depression in Gentile Christian circles which he feels it so important to counteract (Ephesians 3:13).

Assuming then that Eph. was written during this imprisonment, we have still to determine whether it was written from Caesarea or from Rome. Here the opportunities for preaching which St Paul enjoyed (Colossians 4:11; cf. Ephesians 6:19 f., Colossians 4:3) are, as Zahn points out (Intr. Vol. I. 443 E.T.), strongly in favour of Rome.

Again, there is no saying where a runaway slave might try to hide, but strangers had an access to St Paul in Rome, which apparently was denied them in Caesarea. So the conversion of Onesimus also favours Rome.

Nor is there anything of weight on the other side. The promise of a visit to Philemon (Philemon 1:22) which B. Weiss regards as decisive for Caesarea really supports the rival hypothesis. For (see Zahn loc. cit.) St Paul would not have postponed his long-cherished plan for a visit to Rome, recently confirmed by the Lord Himself in a vision (Acts 23:11), for the sake of seeing Colossae. Nor can the earthquake from which Laodicea suffered some time during Nero’s reign help us. The data are too indeterminate. Tacitus puts it in A.D. 60, Eusebius in A.D. 63. If St Paul reached Rome in the spring of 59 A.D. Col. may well have been written before news of the earthquake came. And even if it was written after, unless Colossae had also suffered severely, there is nothing strange in St Paul’s silence with regard to it.

We may therefore with some confidence date Eph. from Rome during St Paul’s first imprisonment. Direct contact with the Imperial system at head-quarters preceded, and perhaps helped to define, St Paul’s vision of the universal Sovereignty of Christ, and of the unity of the Church in Him.

There remain two subsidiary questions with regard to the order of the epistles written during this imprisonment at Rome on which we must find room for a few words. The first concerns the date of Phil. Lightfoot followed by Hort placed Phil. first in the list, on the ground of its affinity both in thought and language with Rom. This view however is not making way either in England or on the Continent. Positive grounds for a decision are not easy to find. In Phil. St Paul is writing to close personal friends. They are depressed by what has befallen him. He therefore makes an heroic effort to point out the silver lining in every cloud. The result is that the refrain ‘Gaudeo, Gaudete’ stands out on a background, the dark elements in which are more sharply emphasized than in Eph. or Col. In Eph. and Col. St Paul’s imprisonment is regarded simply in its relation to Gentile Christendom. His sufferings spring from his loyalty to the cause of the Gentiles, and would contribute to its ultimate triumph. The Philippians on the other hand were not only troubled by the popular discredit which St Paul’s imprisonment might bring on his Gospel in the minds of those who did not know him; their horizon was filled with the fact that their friend was in prison waiting his trial on a capital charge. St Paul has therefore to face this possible issue to help them to realize that death if it came would only bring with it a deeper cause for rejoicing (Philippians 1:20 f., Philippians 2:17). There is however nothing in this to fix the date. These conditions were inherent in the situation from the first. Nor is there anything in the use of ἀπολογία in Philippians 1:7; Philippians 1:16, even supposing that St Paul when he used it was thinking of the defence he would have to make before the Emperor’s court, to suggest that his case had already come on for hearing. And Zahn is surely right in his criticism (l.c. p. 551) of Mommsen’s suggestion as to the meaning of πραιτώριον (Philippians 1:13). So that there is nothing except St Paul’s confidence that the final decision cannot be much longer delayed (Philippians 2:23) to make us think of a late stage in the captivity. Here, however, unless the proceedings against prisoners were subject to mere caprice, we have a hint which requires attention. Nor does it stand alone. The last scene in Acts shows us St Paul still living in his own hired house and preaching the Kingdom without let or hindrance. There is nothing in Eph. or Col. inconsistent with this. In Phil. however, St Paul does not, as in Colossians 4:3, Ephesians 6:19, ask for the help of their prayers in his preaching. Indeed the trouble spoken of in Ephesians 1:17 could hardly have arisen unless his chains seriously hampered St Paul’s own evangelistic activity. Once more, difficult as it is for us to read between the lines in Philippians 4:10-20, there can be little doubt that St Paul had recently been in more urgent need of help than we should have gathered from St Luke, and indeed, than St Paul quite liked to acknowledge to his generous but indigent friends, for fear of adding to their distress.

It seems therefore that Zahn is right in concluding that the form of St Paul’s imprisonment was changed for the worse after the two years of which St Luke speaks, and that Phil. was a product of this later period.

If so, we must not look to chronology for an explanation of the affinities between Phil. and Rom. to which Lightfoot called attention. They cannot indeed be dismissed as insignificant. But they can be accounted for in great measure by the recrudescence of the Judaistic controversy, and by the recurrence of the need for preaching humility, especially if owing to the activity of Judaizers St Paul had recently read again his own epistle to the Romans.

It would take us too far afield to discuss here in its wider aspects the bearing of the doctrinal contents of St Paul’s epistles on the question of their relative dates. It must suffice to call attention to the strength of the eschatological hope in Phil. (Ephesians 3:20, Ephesians 4:5). This coupled with 1 Timothy 6:14, Titus 2:13, 2 Timothy 4:1; 2 Timothy 4:8 should save us from building too much on the reticence of Eph. and Col. in this respect. The whole subject is full of antinomies which were never in St Paul’s mind mutually exclusive.

The last point under this head relates to the order of the Epistles within the group, Eph., Col., Phlm. The natural interpretation of the references to Tychicus in Eph. and Col. and to Onesimus in Col. and Phlm. is that all three letters were despatched at the same time. The matter is a little complicated by the allusion to the letter ‘from Laodicea’ in Colossians 4:16, if that is identified with Eph. Zahn suggests that Onesimus was instructed to go straight to Colossae from Ephesus with Col. and Phlm., while Tychicus went by another route with Eph. As however Laodicea was on the direct route to Colossae and the visit of Tychicus is expressly mentioned in Col., this hypothesis seems unnecessarily ingenious.

P. Ewald on the other hand is of opinion that Eph. and Phlm. had been already dispatched before Col. was written. He hopes by this means to account for the silence of Eph. with regard to the Colossian heresy, and specifically to explain what seems to him to be a contradiction between the call to wrestle with ‘principalities and powers’ in Ephesians 6:12 and the complete triumph over ‘principalities and powers’ ascribed to Christ in Colossians 2:14 f. Neither of these difficulties is however serious. We need not suppose that the influence of the Colossian teachers extended beyond the Lycus valley. And the victory of Christ in its various forms is constantly represented as a pattern and a pledge of the victory which the Christian is to win in his turn: it is never put forward as removing the necessity for further fighting. There is no need therefore of this artificial hypothesis. We may be content to regard Eph. and Col. as ‘twin epistles.’ The visit of Epaphras with its news of the danger at Colossae and his report on the condition of the other churches of Asia may well be the starting point of both Epistles. The necessity of supplying an antidote to the Colossian heresy may well have awakened St Paul to a further consciousness of the universal headship of Christ. And the return of Tychicus to his native province would supply a natural opportunity for connecting that thought with the deeper vision of the office and function of the Church and of her relation to her Head, which it is natural to associate with a protracted stay at the capital of the Empire.


We have seen reason to believe that we have in Eph. the ripest fruit of St Paul’s thinking on the subjects that lay nearest to his heart, put out in the first instance for the benefit of communities in the province of Asia which had been brought into being as the result of his three years’ work at Ephesus, though not directly evangelized by himself. There remains one question which it is worth while to try to answer before we close. The more we study the Epistle, more than eighteen centuries after it was written, the deeper grows our wonder at the length and breadth, the depth and height of the vision that it discloses. Little by little its majestic outline defines itself before our eyes. And we cannot help asking, ‘What did those for whom it was first written make of it? What impression did it make at the time?’

If we had no choice but to accept the view supported by the deservedly high authority of Dr Swete (Apocalypse, p. lxvi) in his sketch of the history of Christianity in the Province of Asia, one part at least of the answer would be most disappointing. If 2 Timothy 1:15 is to be interpreted of a universal defection of all the Christians in Asia from their allegiance to St Paul, the impression which the letter made must have been transitory indeed. Fortunately there is no need to credit the party of Phygelus and Hermogenes with such far-reaching importance. It is incredible that St Paul should have dismissed so tragic a defection in a parenthesis, and have acquiesced without a struggle in the ruin of a great part of his life’s work. Fragmentary as is our knowledge we should certainly have expected that such an event would have been able to produce less ambiguous evidence in its favour than the absence of St Paul’s name from 1 Peter and Revelation 1-3 Especially when we remember the terms in which St Paul is spoken of by Clement of Rome within the same decade, and by Ignatius and Polycarp, both writing in the province of Asia within 20 years of the date to which Dr Swete ascribes the Apocalypse.

It is true that the Church as a whole was in the Sub-Apostolic age, and indeed still is, very far from assimilating the full truth of the Gospel according to St Paul. But there is no ground for ascribing this failure either then or now to personal disloyalty.

The very documents to which Dr Swete appeals, which are directly in point as being addressed in great measure to the same churches as Eph., are sufficient to clear the province of Asia of any suspicion of Ebionism, the only sect, so far as we know, that ever rejected the authority of St Paul.


1 Pet. is addressed to a wide area and therefore follows Eph. in taking no notice of forms of false teaching that had only a limited vogue. In fact the positive warnings (1 Peter 1:18; 1 Peter 4:3) contained in it meet the same danger, arising from the abiding influence of pagan heredity and environment, with which St Paul deals in Ephesians 4:22 to Ephesians 5:6. St Peter indeed has in this Epistle nothing corresponding even to the general caution against false teaching which we find in Ephesians 4:14. And the attempt to conciliate Judaizing opposition by omitting any mention of St Paul, with which Dr Swete credits St Peter, must have been largely neutralized by the reference to staunch Paulines like Silvanus and Mark (1 Peter 5:12 f.).

The absence of St Paul’s name from the letters to the Seven Churches of Asia is even less significant. There is no doubt evidence of Judaizing activity in Smyrna (Revelation 2:9), Philadelphia (Revelation 3:9), and probably in Ephesus (Revelation 2:2). But the Churches are in each case praised for their loyalty. So the presence of a strong anti-Pauline feeling either in writer or readers is directly negatived. We cannot be sure of the full content of the teaching of the Nicolaitans. In the only point on which we have express information, the licence granted to commit fornication and to partake in idolatrous feasts, they would seem to have adopted and set themselves to justify the teaching denounced in Ephesians 5:6 and 1 Peter 4:2. So far they would represent a direct revolt against Pauline authority, but on the antinomian side. And if we could build on the hint in Hippolytus which makes Hymenaeus and Philetus (2 Timothy 2:17) into followers of Nicolaus it would be tempting to suggest that the rejection of St Paul in Asia, to which 2 Timothy 1:15 refers, came from the antinomian side. The hint[25] in Irenaeus which dates the Nicolaitans ‘much earlier’ than Cerinthus is at least consistent with this hypothesis. In grappling with antinomianism in the name of the Lord Himself there was no reason why St John should seek for further support by an appeal either to St Paul or to the Jerusalem decrees.

So far we have only negative evidence, disproving the hypothesis of a defection from St Paul within his lifetime, including all Christians in the Province of Asia. We have as yet nothing apart from the preservation of the letter and its inclusion in the Pauline collection to show that Eph. was read and appreciated. The evidence of 1 Pet. however carries us a long step further. The parallels both in phrase[26] and in underlying thought and construction[27], coupled with the personal links with St Paul supplied by the reference to Mark and Silvanus, make it difficult, in spite of the strenuous pleading of Dr Bigg[28], to believe in the independence of 1 Pet. and Eph. Nor, granting the Pauline authorship of Eph., is there any serious ground, as Moffatt admits (p. 338), for questioning the priority of Eph. St Peter, writing from Rome in the company of St Mark, who had been in Rome with St Paul at the time of the writing of Eph., may well have been acquainted with the Epistle. There is indeed no reason to suppose, after the part that he took in the Jerusalem Conference (Acts 15:7, Galatians 2:9, Ephesians 3:5), that the thought of the union of Jew and Gentile in Christ was strange or unwelcome to him. But the reading of Eph. may well have filled him with a fresh sense of the wonder of the grace which his Gentile brethren were to inherit through suffering, and have stirred him to help them to face the fiery trial that was before them, as soon as the horizon began to grow dark with the storm clouds of persecution[29]. If so, 1 Pet. becomes not only the earliest evidence to the existence of Eph., but also a rich storehouse of illustration and commentary.

The Epistle found at least one sympathetic and intelligent reader. And it is worth while calling attention to the fact that a writer, who draws so constantly for instruction and consolation on the sufferings of the historic Jesus, should have found no difficulty in recognizing his Master in the Glorified Christ whose presence fills every line of Eph.

There remains for consideration a remarkable series of coincidences between Eph. and the writings traditionally ascribed to the Apostle St John, including both the Apocalypse and the Gospel and Epistles. It will be necessary, however, to avoid prejudging disputed questions of attestation by treating these two divisions of the Corpus Johanneum separately.


Let us begin with the Apocalypse.

We cannot fail to be struck by the reappearance in combination, in the forefront of the symbolism of the closing vision of the Seer, of two of the most distinctive thoughts in Eph., the thought of the Church as the Wife of Christ and the thought of the Apostles as foundation stones of the Divine building. The first of these thoughts has no doubt a long history. It has its roots deep in O.T. and is found in many different connexions in the Evangelic tradition (Mark 2:19, Matthew 22:2, Luke 12:36, John 3:29). So that if it stood alone, it would be impossible to lay stress upon it, even though the use of γυνὴ in this connexion as distinct from νύμφη (cf. ὁ νυμφίος and γάμος) is peculiar to Apoc. and Eph. But it does not stand alone. The Bride is at the same time a building, and though the application of that figure also to the Church may be held to rest on words of the Lord, we know of no such independent source for the identification of the Apostles with the foundation stones of the building. Nor is it a valid objection that the buildings are different in kind. For in the Apocalyptic figure the whole city constitutes a temple. In form it is a perfect cube like the Holy of Holies. The glory of GOD gives light to it, and its golden candlestick is the Lamb. There is good ground therefore for concluding that the Seer of the Apocalypse had read Eph., and if so it is worth considering whether the train of thought that culminates in the picture of the war in heaven (Revelation 12:7 f.) has an inner link of connexion with the wrestling with the spiritual hosts of wickedness ‘in the heavenlies,’ to which we are called in Ephesians 6:12. In any case the parallels with Col. in the letters to the Seven Churches suggest that the Seer was familiar with the twin Epistle also.


The connexion of Eph. with the Gospel and Epistles of St John is different in kind. It is deeper and more pervading. Nor is it at all clear that the indebtedness is all on one side.

The following parallels in thought and expression deserve special attention:—

1. Ephesians 2:14 τὸ μεσότοιχον τοῦ φραγμοῦ λύσας (cf. 1 Esdras 1:52).

John 2:19 Λύσατε τὸν ναὸν τοῦτον.

Here notice the coincidence in the use of λύω (in Mark 14:58, Matthew 26:61 καταλύω), and the close connexion of John 2:19 with John 2:21, the one passage outside St Paul in which ναὸς and σῶμα are identified.

2. Ephesians 2:17 ἐλθὼν εὐηγγελίσατο εἰρήνην.

John 20:19 ἦλθεν ὁ Ἰησοῦς καὶ ἔστη εἰς τὸ μέσον καὶ λέγει αὐτοῖς Εἰρήνη ὑμῖν.

This use of ἔρχομαι in connexion with the appearances of the Risen Lord is peculiar to St John. It helps to connect the return from the grave with the promise in John 14:18. The greeting of ‘peace’ was no doubt in the first instance to those that were near. The message of peace to all the world is expressed in other language in St Matthew 28:19, St Luke 24:47, and St John 20:23. But the occurrence of εἰρήνη in Jn (found also in non-Western texts in Luke 24:36), coupled with the use of ἔρχομαι, suggests that St Paul was familiar with a Resurrection narrative of the Johannine type.

3. Ephesians 4:9 f. τὸ δὲ ἀνέβη τί ἐστιν εἰ μὴ ὅτι καὶ κατέβη εἰς τὰ κατώτερα μέρη τῆς γῆς; καταβὰς αὐτός ἐστιν καὶ ὁ ἀναβὰς ὑπεράνω πάντων τῶν οὐρανῶν.

John 3:13 καὶ οὐδεὶς ἀναβέβηκεν εἰς τὸν οὐρανὸν εἰ μὴ ὁ ἐκ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ καταβάς, ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου.

Cf. John 6:62 ἐὰν οὖν θεωρῆτε τὸν υἱὸν τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ἀναβαίνοντα ὅπου ἦν τὸ πρότετον;

following on

John 6:51 Ἐγώ εἰμι ὁ ἄρτος ὁ ζῶν ὁ ἐκ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ καταβάς. Cf. John 6:33, etc.

Here the point does not lie simply in the use of the words ἀναβαίνω and καταβαίνω, but in the thought that the Lord’s ascension implied and was correlative to a previous descent.

4. Ephesians 4:13 εἰς μέτρον ἡλικίας τοῦ πληρώματος τοῦ Χριστοῦ.

John 1:16 ἐκ τοῦ πληρώματος αὐτοῦ ἡμεῖς πάντες ἐλάβομεν, καὶ χάριν ἀντὶ χάριτος.

The word πλήρωμα was not of course coined by St Paul, but he does in Eph. and Col. appropriate it to the expression of various aspects of the doctrine of the Person of Christ. In Ephesians 4:13 he uses it to express the perfection of Christ as the pledge and standard of our ultimate perfecting. St John’s use both of the word and the thought in his prologue can hardly be independent of St Paul. See pp. 122 ff.

5. Ephesians 5:8 ὡς τέκνα φωτὸς περιπατεῖτε.

John 12:35 f. περιπατεῖτε ὡς τὸ φῶς ἔχετεὡς τὸ φῶς ἔχετε πιστεύετε εἰς τὸ φῶς ἵνα υἱοὶ φωτὸς γένησθε.

Ephesians 5:13 τὰ δὲ πάντα ἐλεγχόμενα ὑπὸ τοῦ φωτὸς φανεροῦται.

John 3:20 f. πᾶς γὰρ ὁ φαῦλα πράσσων μισεῖ τὸ φῶς καὶ οὐκ ἔρχεται πρὸς τὸ φῶς, ἵνα μὴ ἐλεγχθῇ τὰ ἔργα αὐτοῦ· ὁ δὲ ποιῶν τὴν ἀλήθειαν ἔρχεται πρὸς τὸ φῶς, ἵνα φανερωθῇ αὐτοῦ τὰ ἔργα.

Here we have a good deal of similarity in language and in the application of a figure in itself common enough. Note especially the common insistence on the reproving and the transforming character of light.

6. Ephesians 2:2 f. ἐν τοῖς υἱοῖς τῆς ἀπειθείας· ἐν οἷς καὶ ἡμεῖςἤμεθα τέκνα φύσει ὀργῆς.

John 3:36 ὁ δέ ἀπειθῶν τῷ υἱῷ οὐκ ὄψεται ζωήν, ἀλλʼ ὀργὴ τοῦ θεοῦ μένει ἐπʼ αὐτόν.

Notice here the thought of ‘wrath’ as expressing an abiding relation between GOD and the disobedient.

Other linguistic parallels to which attention has been called are the use of ἁγιάζω and καθαρίζω in reference to the operations of Christ, Ephesians 5:26, John 17:17; John 17:19, 1 John 1:7; 1 John 1:9; ἠγαπημένος of Christ, Ephesians 1:6, John 17:24, etc.; ψεῦδος and ἀληθεία, Ephesians 4:22-25, John 8:44 f., etc.; ‘Life’ and ‘Death’ as present states with Christ as the quickening power, Ephesians 2:1-5; Ephesians 4:18, John 5:21; John 10:10, etc.

Even more significant is the stress laid by St John on the leading thoughts in Eph. with complete independence of vocabulary. The indwelling of GOD and Christ, Ephesians 2:22; Ephesians 3:17, cf. John 14:20; John 14:23, etc.: the unity of the Church, John 10:16; John 11:52; John 17:20, Ephesians 2:18; Ephesians 4:3; Ephesians 4:13 : and perhaps most striking of all, the perfect illustration of St Paul’s conception of the Church as the pleroma of Christ given, without any reference to the word pleroma, in the Allegory of the Vine. Here we find ourselves face to face with the same phenomenon that meets us in the study of ἐν Χριστῷ, an absolute mastery of the thought with nothing but the preposition in common in the expression.

What account are we to give of the relation between these two writers? Are we to say that the author of the Fourth Gospel was so possessed by the Pauline conception of the glorified Christ that he boldly recast his own memories or the current tradition of the life of Jesus so as to provide the semblance of an historic background for the Gospel according to St Paul? In that case there can be nothing to surprise us in any coincidences with Eph. that we may find in his writings. Nothing that St Paul wrote can have laid such deep hold on him as Eph. The Gospel and Epistles of St John would then show us the reaction of a mind, not receptive only like St Peter’s but creative, to the stimulus provided by Eph.

If, however, this solution of ‘the Johannine problem’ fails to satisfy us, and if we feel that the Gospel according to St Paul could never have come into existence, still less have gained the allegiance of the original Apostles, unless the portrait of Jesus recorded for us by St John is at the heart of it genuinely historical, the question of the relation between Eph. and this part of the Corpus Johanneum does not admit of quite so simple a solution. There is, I think, no doubt that the affinity between St Paul and St John is more clearly marked in Eph. than in St Paul’s earlier Epistles. And we have at least to allow for the possibility of an influence of St John upon St Paul before he wrote the letter as well as for the influence that the letter after it was written would naturally have exerted upon St John. Scholars as different as Professor Lock and Dr Moffatt agree in the conviction that the writer of Eph. has somehow a Johannine stamp upon him.

Unfortunately we are completely in the dark as to the movements of St John for many years after the Conference at Jerusalem (Galatians 2:9) when he gave the right hand of fellowship to St Paul. His last appearance in Acts is in Acts 8:14. His name is not mentioned by St Luke in Acts 15, though we know of his presence from St Paul. It is therefore quite possible that he had not yet left Palestine on the occasion of St Paul’s last visit to Jerusalem in spite of the silence of Acts. If so, it is tempting to suppose that the opportunities for intercourse provided by St Paul’s two years’ imprisonment in Caesarea were not neglected by the two Apostles. As St Luke may well have been at work during the same period in collecting the materials for his Gospel, this hypothesis would have the advantage of accounting for the Johannine affinities with which he also must be credited.

We must not, however, build anything on so purely conjectural a foundation. The evidence for the fact that St Paul had somehow been under the influence of St John before he wrote Eph. is independent of this suggestion as to a possible occasion.

On the other hand we know that Eph. must have been written before the Gospel of St John. It is therefore only what we should expect if the Evangelist should from time to time by turns of phrase both in his actual narrative and in the editorial comments with which he accompanies it show signs that he in his turn has been under the influence of St Paul.


The text of the Epistle is well preserved, and there is substantial agreement between all recent editors. Apart from variations in spelling and punctuation there are only five places[30] in which Tischendorf and Weiss agree in accepting a reading rejected by WH., and in four of these the reading they adopt is recorded by WH. as a possible alternative. Robinson differs only in three places. This unanimity is a strong testimony to the excellence of the β (called by Hort the Neutral) text in this Epistle, i.e. the text represented generally by א and B, when judged by the standard of the internal evidence of readings. For these editors approached the problem of the critical reconstruction of the text with very different views as to the genealogical relation between the different types. The fact is that the characteristic readings of the δ (Hort’s Western) type of text represented in the Pauline Epistles by D2G3 fail to inspire confidence. It is possible, but under the circumstances unlikely, that the discovery of early Latin or Syriac evidence might enable us to sift out a genuine residuum among them.

Von Soden’s text [1913] is constructed on a plan which seems to preclude any reference to the internal evidence of readings. It requires the rejection of β readings when they are opposed by certain combinations of authorities presumed to represent the δ and α (Hort’s Syrian) types. Von Soden’s text of Eph. differs from WH. in 22 places. In 8 of these it prints in the text readings which WH. relegate to the margin. In 14 it adopts readings which WH. pass over, in three of these it has the support of Tischendorf. The remaining 11 represent the readings for which the new theory is solely responsible. It will be worth while to examine them carefully as they should enable us to judge whether the new Edition is likely to make any serious change in our estimate of the value of the authorities for the text. They are as follows:

[1] 3:6 τῆς ἐπαγγελίας add [αὐτοῦ] with D2bGKL etc. Syr. Hkl. Go. Vict. Hil. Ambrst.

om. אABCD2*P 33 al3. Lat. Syr. Bo. Orig. Cyr.

[2] 4:18 ἐσκοτισμένοι with D2G3KLP etc. Clem.

ἐσκοτωμένοι with אAB 33.

[3] 5:15 πῶς ἀκριβῶς with אcAD2G3KLP etc. Lat. Syr. Arm.

ἀκριβῶς πῶς with א*B 33 al4. Bo. Orig.

de Æth. om. ἀκριβῶς.

[4] 5:19 [ἐν] τῇ καρδία KL al. pler.

τῇ καρδίᾳ אBδ78 Orig.

ἐν ταῖς καρδίαις אcAD2G3P al.2 = Colossians 3:16.

[5] 5:25 τὰς γυναῖκας + [ἑαυτῶν] D2KL al. pler.,

+ ὑμῶν G3

om. אAB 33 al.4 Clem. Orig. al. = Colossians 3:19.

[6] 5:29 ὁ κύριος D2cKL al. plu.

ὁ Χριστὸς אObadiah 1:2*G3P 17 al25. Latt. Syrr. Bo. Sa. Arm. Æth. Go. Marc.

[7] 5:30 add [ἐκ τῆς σαρκὸς αὐτοῦ καὶ ἐκ τῶν ὀστέων αὐτοῦ] with אcD2G3(K)LP al. pler. Latt. Syrr. Arm Iren8. etc.

om. א*AB 17. 67** Bo. Method. Euthal.

[8] 6:8 ἕκ. ὃ ἐὰν ποιήσῃ A (D2G3P ἂν) 33 al1.

ἕκ. ἐάν τι ποιήσῃ B d Pet.Alex

ὅ τι ἐὰν ποιήσῃ ἕκ. א*

al. aliter.

[9] 6:8 κομιεῖται with אcD2cKL al. cf. א*ACD2* 17, Colossians 3:25.

κομιοεται with א*Obadiah 1:2*G3P cf. אcBD2cKL al.10 (G κομίζεται) Colossians 3:25.

[10] 6:12 τοῦ σκότους add [τοῦ αἰῶνος] אcD2cKLP al. Or.

om. אObadiah 1:2 G3 33. 424**. Latt. Bo. Syr. Arm. Æth. Clem. Orig. Eus.

Ephr. τοῦ αἰώνος without τοῦ σκότους.

Cyp. huius mundi et harum tenebrarum.

[11] 6:21 ὑμῖν γνωρίσει with AKL al. pl.

γνωρίσει ὑμῖν with אBD2G3P 17 al3. = Colossians 4:7.

Five of these are insertions and the words in case are inserted in brackets. None of them are likely to win general acceptance. In [1] the inserted pronoun has no proper antecedent. In [4] the preposition may well have come in from Colossians 3:16, whence came the change from καρδίᾳ to καρδίαις. The insertion in [5] is doubly suspicious by variations both in place and form. The insertion in [7] is as old as Irenaeus, but it is far easier to account for its insertion from Genesis 2:23, than for its omission if it formed part of the original text. In [10] τοῦ σκότους τούτου is an unique phrase, which might be changed almost unconsciously into τοῦ αἰῶνος τούτου (cf. Ephesians 1:21). The fuller reading would then arise naturally by conflation.

[2] and [9] are variations in form on which there is nothing to be said, except that it is odd that B stands alone in spelling κομίσεται both in Col. and Eph.

In [3] the order attested by אB gives a far more Pauline turn to the exhortation (see note in loc.). ἀκριβῶς precedes the verb it qualifies in one text of Matthew 2:8 and in 1 Thessalonians 5:2 as v. S. points out, but ct. Luke 1:3, Acts 18:25. In [11] γνωρίσει ὑμῖς may be an assimilation to Colossians 4:7, but even there we find πάντα ὑμῖν γνωρίσουσι in Colossians 4:9. In [8] the variety of readings is remarkable. Either of the variations between the first two forms might have occurred mechanically: ο could come in or drop out before ε and τι before π with equal ease.

In [6] κ̅ς̅ takes the place of χ̅ς̅. Here χς is intrinsically the better reading. St Paul in speaking of the relation of the Church to her Head constantly calls Him Christ, e.g. Ephesians 1:20-23, Ephesians 3:21, Ephesians 4:12, Ephesians 5:2, as well as Ephesians 5:23-25; Ephesians 5:32. The change to Lord here would have no point, and may, just as well as the reverse change, have come in from the context Ephesians 5:10; Ephesians 5:17; Ephesians 5:19; Ephesians 5:22; as it has done with greater verisimilitude in AL 17 al. in Ephesians 6:5. It is most likely due to the misreading of the abbreviation.

When we survey the series as a whole there can be no doubt that the ‘internal evidence of readings’ is distinctly unfavourable to the genuineness of the new readings. If they are a fair sample of the result of the application of von Soden’s principles, his work will prove of far more value as a collection of materials for Textual Criticism than as a guide to the formation of a sounder Text.

One further point which is raised by von Soden’s treatment of א and B in this, as in the other books of N.T., as virtually a single authority, is of sufficient importance on its own account to merit detailed examination. For it cannot fail to affect our judgement on the significance of the agreement between these two great MSS., whether we suppose that their common original was itself of comparatively late date, or that it was separated from its two distinguished descendants by a considerable interval of time.

The evidence to be examined is of two kinds. Common origin from an ancestor later than the autograph is shown by community in readings which are demonstrably wrong. Judged by this standard the evidence for such a common original in the case of א and B in Eph. is very small. Wherever they agree WH. accept their evidence without hesitation except in Ephesians 4:24, where they both write ἐνδύσασθε for ἐνδύσασθαι by a common itacism. In so doing WH. have the support of Tischendorf, Weiss and Robinson in every case, except in the omission of ἀγάπην or τὴν ἀγάπην in Ephesians 1:15. Von Soden, indeed, deserts אB in 10 other places (i.e. in all the passages already examined except [8] where their evidence is divided): but, as we have seen, in none of these cases can אB be convicted of error. Even in Ephesians 1:15 it may be that the omission is a primitive error going back to the autograph, conjecturally emended by the later texts. It is, however, more likely that in this case the δ text has preserved the true reading which had been lost by an ancestor of the β group lying far enough behind א and B to affect Revelation 17 and Origen as well. If so this reading is evidence for the existence of a common original for the text of א and B in Eph. later than the autograph: but the remarkable purity of its text would lead us to suppose that that common original must itself have been very early.

The number of transcriptions by which each of these MSS. is separated from this common original can be in some measure inferred from the nature of the changes that their texts have undergone. We must begin therefore by tabulating the differences between them. Each difference will mark a change from the parent copy introduced into one or other line of descent. The total number of divergences is 93. Of these two readings in B

[1] Ephesians 1:13 ἐσφραγίσθη for ἐσφραγίσθητε,

[2] Ephesians 4:28 om. ἵνα;

and four readings in א

[1] Ephesians 2:7 om. verse by homoeoteleuton,

[2] Ephesians 2:18 οἱ ἀμφότεροι ἐν ἑνί bis scriptum,

[3] Ephesians 5:27 om. ἤ τι,

[4] Ephesians 6:3 ἵναγῆς bis scriptum,

are errors of transcription due no doubt to the last scribe and not to be credited to his exemplar.

The following eight singular readings of B

[1] Ephesians 1:21 ἐξουσίας καὶ ἀρχῆς for ἀρ. κ. ἐξ.,

[2] Ephesians 2:1 add καὶ ταῖς ἐπιθυμίαις,

[3] Ephesians 2:5 add καὶ ταῖς ἐπιθυμίαις,

[4] Ephesians 2:13 Χριστοῦ for τοῦ χρ.,

[5] Ephesians 2:22 χριστοῦ for θεοῦ,

[6] Ephesians 5:17 τοῦ κυρίου add ἡμῶν,

[7] Ephesians 5:20 Χρ. . for . Χρ.,

[8] Ephesians 6:20 αὐτὸ for ἐν αὐτῷ;

and 12 singular readings of א

[1] Ephesians 1:3 add καὶ σωτῆρος,

[2] om. ἡμᾶς,

[3] Ephesians 1:18 τῆς κληρονομίας τῆς δόξης for τ. δοξ. τ. κλη.,

[4] Ephesians 2:10 θεοῦ for αὐτοῦ,

[5] Ephesians 5:2 θυσίαν καὶ προσφορὰν for πρ. κ. θυ.,

[6] Ephesians 5:17 φρόνημα for θέλημα,

[7] Ephesians 5:27 αὐτὸς αὐτῷ for αὐτὸς ἑαυτῷ,

[8] Ephesians 5:28 τέκνα for σώματα,

[9] Ephesians 5:29 τὴν σάρκα αὐτοῦ for τὴν ἑαυτοῦ σάρκα,

[10] Ephesians 6:9 καὶ ἑαυτῶν for καὶ αὐτῶν,

[11] Ephesians 6:20 παρρησιάσωμαι ἐν αὐτῷ for ἐν αὐ. παρ.,

[12] Ephesians 6:21 om. διάκονος,

must be ruled out as they may have been introduced by the last scribe, though, if so, the source of error cannot have been purely mechanical. Some of them are good specimens of the licence in transcription characteristic in Hort’s view of the scribes of the δ Text.

There remain 67 places in which each MS. has outside support and in which therefore one or other of their immediate exemplars fails to represent the common original.

Our next task is to consider what light the subsidiary attestation throws on the problem. Where each variant has the support of a strong group both the competing readings must have been early and widely spread, and the divergences might have arisen by admixture in a comparatively short time.

Under this head we may group the readings in which B has the support of D2. These are:

[1] Ephesians 1:1 Χ. . BD2P 33 Or. Ambrst.: אAG3KL etc. . Χ

[2] Ephesians 3:9 φωτίσαι add πάντας BCD2 etc. Marc.: אA 424** α78 Or. Hier. om.

[3] Ephesians 3:18 ὕψος καὶ βάθος BCD2G3P 33 Or. 3/5: אAKL etc. Or. 2/5 βα. κ. ὕψ.

[4] Ephesians 4:7 ἐδόθη χάρις BD2G3LPα78 al.4: אACK etc. Or. ἐδ. ἡ χ.

[5] Ephesians 4:32 ἡμῖν BD2KLα78 al.30 Or.: אAG3P etc. ὑμῖν.

[6] Ephesians 5:23 αὐτὸς σωτὴρ BD2G3KLP etc.: אA 33 α78 al.3 Clem. Bas. αὐ. ὁ σ.

[7] Ephesians 5:31 πατ. καὶ μητ. BD2G3: א etc. Or. Marc. τὸν π. κ. τὴν μ.

[8] Ephesians 6:1 om. ἐν κυρίῳ BD2G3 Marc. Cyp.: א etc. Or. add ἐν κ̅̅.

[9] Ephesians 6:12 ὑμῖν BD2G3 al.8: א etc. Clem. Or. Eus. ἡμῖν.

[10] Ephesians 6:16 πεπυρωμένα BD2G3: א etc. Or. τὰ πεπ.

WH. regard [1], [3] and [6] as the readings of the original. If so, an ancestor of א must in these cases have suffered by admixture from a MS. or MSS. containing readings of the γ (Hort’s Alexandrian) type. In the other seven cases we may assume that an ancestor of B adopted readings characteristic of the δ type.

We come now to the readings in which D2 stands with א against B:

[1] Ephesians 1:7 ἔχομεν B etc. Or.: אD2 Bo. Æth. Irint. ἔσχομεν, ct. Colossians 1:14 B Bo. ἔσχομεν.

[2] Ephesians 1:14 ABG3LP al.15: אD2K 17 etc. ὃς.

[3] Ephesians 3:1 τ. χ. . אaABKLP al. Or.: א*D2G3 al. τ. χ. Many variations.

[4] Ephesians 3:11 τῷ χ. . B etc.: אD2KLP 47 α78 Χ. .

[5] Ephesians 4:8 καὶ ἔδωκεν BCKLP etc. Or, אAD2G3 17 am. Bo. Sa. om. καί.

[6] Ephesians 4:9 κατέβη add πρῶτον BKLP etc. vg. Syr. Arm.: א*ACD2G3 33. 424**. al. om. πρ.

[7] Ephesians 4:16 ἑαυτοῦ ABC etc.: אD2G3 al.4 αὐτοῦ.

[8] Ephesians 5:4 καὶ אaBKL etc. Cl.: א*AD2G3P al4. Bas. .

[9] Ephesians 5:31 πρὸς τὴν γυν. BKL(P): אAD2G3 17 al.2 Marc. τῇ γυν.

[10] Ephesians 5:32 τὴν ἐκκλ. (om. εἰς) BK etc. Marc. Irengr. Or. ½ Gyp.: אAD2G3LP Or. ½ etc. add εἰς.

[11] Ephesians 6:21 εἰδῆτε καὶ ὑμεῖς BKLδ78 al. pler.: אAD2G3P καὶ ὑμ. εἰδ. 33 om. καὶ ὑμεῖς.

In [6] and [10] WH. give the preference to the text of א, in all the other cases to B. These 11 may be regarded either as cases in which an ancestor of א has received δ readings, or an ancestor of B has received readings now only preserved for us in MSS. of the α type. The patristic evidence in [10] including Irgr. Marc. and Cyp. shows that some of these may well be early[37].

There remain the sub-singular readings of B or of א, i.e. the cases in which now one and now the other stands against the rest with a small and varying amount of support, the genealogical relations of which we have not evidence enough to determine.

The following are the sub-singular readings of B.

[1] Ephesians 1:3 om. καὶ πατὴρ B Hil. Victorin.

[2] Ephesians 1:5 Χ. . B Chrys. (Or. 4/5 om. .): . Χ.

[3] Ephesians 1:17 δῷ Ba78 al1. Cyr.: δωη.

[4] Ephesians 1:18 om. ὑμῶν B 33 a78 Marc. Arm.

[5] Ephesians 1:20 ἐνήργηκεν AB al2.: ἐνήργησεν.

[6] οὐρανοῖς B al2. Victorin. Hil.: ἐπουρανίοις.

[7] Ephesians 2:5 ἐν τοῖς παραπτ. B Arm.: om. ἐν.

[8] συνεζ.+ ἐν B 17 al2. Bo. Arm. Victorin. Ambrst.: om. ἐν.

[9] Ephesians 3:3 om. ὅτι B d Or. Victorin. Ambrst.

[10] Ephesians 3:5 om. ἀποστόλοις B Ambrst.

[11] Ephesians 3:19 πληρωθῇ πᾶν B [33] al2.: πληρώθητε εἰς. 17 reads εἰς ὑμᾶς after τοῦ θεοῦ.

[12] Ephesians 4:4 καθὼς B al9. Cyp. Ambrst. Syr. Æth.: καθὼς καὶ.

[13] Ephesians 4:6 ἐν πᾶσιν B al1. Victorin.: καὶ ἐν πᾶσιν Marc. Cyp. etc.

[14] Ephesians 4:7 ὑμῶν B al7.: ἡμῶν.

[15] Ephesians 4:23 ἐν τῷ πν. B a78 al2. Bo. Chrys.: τῷ πν.

[16] Ephesians 4:28 ταῖς χερ. τὸ ἀγ. B am. Ambrst.: ταῖς ἰδίαις χ. τ. . Many other variants.

[17] Ephesians 4:32 γίνεσθε B a78 al9. Clem. Or.: γίνεσθε δὲ γίνεσθε οὖν D2G3 al2.

[18] Ephesians 5:2 ὑμῶν B al2. Sa. Or. Victorin.: ἡμῶν.

[19] Ephesians 5:19 ἐν ψαλμ. BP 33. 424** a78 d Victorin. Ambrst.: Marc. etc. om. ἐν.

[20] om. πνευματικαῖς B d.

[21] Ephesians 5:22 om. ὑποτασσέσθωσαν B Clem. Hier.: ins. אAP al10, ὑποτάσσεσθε KL etc. (D2G3 after γυναῖκες).

[22] Ephesians 5:23 κεφαλή ἐστιν B al5. Marc. Bas.: ἐστὶν κεφαλή.

[23] Ephesians 5:24 om. ὡς B al2.: add ὡς or ὥσπερ.

[24] Ephesians 5:28 ὀφ. καὶ οἱ ἄνδρες B 33 Arm.: ὀφ. οἱ ἄνδρες (καὶ οἱ ἄνδρες ὀφ. AD2G3P Lat. Bo.)

[25] Ephesians 6:2 om. ἐστιν B Æth.

[26] Ephesians 6:7 ἀνθρώπῳ B al1. Æth.: ἀνθρώποις.

[27] Ephesians 6:8 ἐάν τι B (L al4) a78 d PetrAlex: ὃ ἂν or ἐὰν. Other variants.

[28] Ephesians 6:10 δυναμοῦσθε B 17 Or. (?): ἐνδυναμοῦσθε.

[29] Ephesians 6:19 om. τοῦ εὐαγγελίου BG Victorin. TertMarc.

Six of these WH. regard as representing the true reading, 11 they record as possibly correct, 12 they pass by. The affinity of B with various Latin texts revealed by this list is remarkable. In any case it would seem unlikely that all the aberrant readings could have come in at one time.

The sub-singular readings of א are as follows:

[1] Ephesians 1:14 δόξης א 33 a78 al1. cf. Ephesians 1:6; Ephesians 1:12 : τῆς δόξης.

[2] Ephesians 2:4 ἐλέει א al2.: ἐν ἐλέει.

[3] Ephesians 2:20 τοῦ χ̅υ̅ א al1. Æth. Marc.: αὐτοῦ Χ. .

[4] Ephesians 3:9 τῷ θεῷ Marc. Dial.: ἐν τῷ θεῷ.

[5] Ephesians 4:1 ἐν χ̅̅ א Æth.: ἐν κ̅̅.

[6] Ephesians 4:24 ὁσιότητι καὶ δικαιοσύνῃ א? Tert. (Ambrst.): δικ. καὶ ὁσ.

[7] Ephesians 4:25 ἕκαστος ἀλήθειαν א al2.: ἀλήθειαν ἕκαστος.

[8] πρὸς τὸν πλήσιον א Lucifer: μετὰ τοῦ πλ.

[9] Ephesians 4:28 ἔχετε א Clem.: ἔχῃ.

[10] Ephesians 5:6 διὰ ταῦτα א Tert.: διὰ ταῦτα γὰρ.

[11] Ephesians 5:20 τοῦ κ̅υ̅ א al2.: τοῦ κ̅υ̅ ἡμῶν.

[12] Ephesians 5:31 om. αὐτοῦ א Epiph.: add αὐτοῦ.

[13] Ephesians 6:5 ἁπλότητι καρδίας אa78 al17. Or.: ἁπλ. τῆς καρ.

[14] Ephesians 6:8 ποιήσῃ ἕκαστος א Syrhier: ἕκαστος ἐὰνποι.

[15] Ephesians 6:9 οὐρανῷ א al3. (? a78): οὐρανοῖς.

[16] Ephesians 6:10 ἐν τῷ κ̅̅ א al1.: ἐν κ̅̅.

[17] Ephesians 6:19 ἵνα δοθῇ μοι א d vg. Victorin. Ambrst.: ἵνα μοι δοθῇ.

WH. regard none of these as worthy of record. The possibility of accidental coincidence in error may account for some of them, but, even when allowance is made for this, the variety of subsidiary attestation would seem to show that the variants must have found their way into the ancestry of א from different sources, and presumably at different times.

To sum up, the divergences taken as a whole, though many of them very slight, cover a large ground, and are most naturally accounted for in the case of each MS. on the hypothesis of a fairly long course of transcription from their common original. This, coupled with the evidence in favour of the remarkable purity of its text, is strong ground for assigning a very early date to that common original.

As each of St Paul’s Epistles at first circulated independently, this conclusion must be tested afresh before it can be accepted as valid for any other epistle. The work would be worth doing to determine, if possible, whether this ‘common original’ included the whole collection. But the scarcity of clearly wrong readings supported by א and B in combination in any epistle makes any conclusion precarious. The general character of the text of each MS. remains, no doubt, much the same throughout, as is natural, for the Pauline Epistles must have been circulating in a collected form and have had a common textual history for some time before either B or א was transcribed. It is perhaps worth noting that the presence of the δ element in B seems much less marked in Hebrews. But this may be due to the absence of G3 from the extant authorities. There is, however, the same affinity with Latin texts evidenced by the sub-singular readings of B that we have seen in Eph.

A curious and perplexing element is introduced into the problem by the marginal numbering in B, which connects one of its ancestors with a collection of Pauline Epistles in which Hebrews followed Galatians.

The critical apparatus in this chapter has been compiled from a comparison of the critical editions of Tischendorf, Tregelles, and von Soden. The apparatus for the select readings in the Commentary has been taken from A. Souter’s very handy edition (Oxford, 1910). The notation is taken from Gregory (Leipzig, 1908), except in the case of a78 (= 1739), v. Soden’s symbol for an interesting MS. (Cod. Laur. 184) in the Laura on Mount Athos. This MS. was copied (see Robinson p. 293) ‘from a very old codex the text of which agreed so closely with that found in the commentaries or homilies of Origen that [the scribe] concluded that it was compiled out of those books.’ For a full account of the MSS. and versions of St Paul’s Epistles the student may be referred to the edition of the Colossians in this series.


Full lists of the literature of the Epistle are to be found in Abbott (Int. Crit. Com.), and in Moffatt’s Int. Lit. N. T. A list of books useful for the study of St Paul’s Epistles generally is given in the introduction to the Epistle to the Romans in this series, to which may be added F. Prat, La Théologie de S. Paul.

It may suffice here to call attention to the following:

Origen. The fragments of his commentary preserved in the Catena have been identified by the help of the commentary of St Jerome which was largely based upon it and skilfully edited in J. T. S[39] 1902 by J. A. F. Gregg.

Chrysostom, ed. F. Field.

Theodore of Mopsuestia, Latin version edited by H. B. Swete.




H. Oltramare. Paris 1891.

von Soden (Handkommentar), 1893.

B. Weiss, 1896.

E. Haupt (Meyer’s Kom.8), 1902.

P. Ewald (Zahn’s Kom.), 1905.

Of the numerous editions of the Epistle which have appeared in England during the last half century we may mention C. J. Ellicott5 [1884], J. Ll. Davies2, 1884, A. Barry (Ellicott’s Com. for Eng. readers), T. K. Abbott (Int. Crit. Com.), H. C. G. Moule (Cam. Bib. for Schools), G. H. Whitaker (Churchman’s Bible), S. D. F. Salmon (Exp. Gk Test.), R. W. Dale6, 1892, C. Gore, 1898, C. G. Findlay (Expositor’s Bible), B. F. Westcott [1906], and above all J. A. Robinson [1903].

On the question of authorship, H. J. Holtzmann’s Kritik der Ephesen-und Kolossen-briefe, 1872, H. v. Soden, ‘Ephesenbrief’ in Jahrb. f. Prot. Theol., 1887, W. Sanday, ‘Colossians’ in S. B. D.2, A. Robertson, ‘Ephesians,’ S. B. D.2, W. Lock, ‘Ephesians,’ H. B. D., Jülicher, ‘Ephesians,’ Enc. Bib., J. B. Lightfoot, Biblical Essays and Ep. to Colossians, Zahn’s Intr. to N. T., F. J. A. Hort, Prolegomena to Romans and Ephesians, and 1 Peter 1:1 to 1 Peter 2:18, J. Moffatt, Int. Lit. N. T.


H. Hort.

H.D.B. Hastings’ Dictionary of the Bible.

I.C.C. International Critical Commentary.

J.T.S. Journal of Theological Studies.

L. Lightfoot.

R. Robinson.

S.D.B2. Smith’s Dictionary of the Bible, 2nd edition.

W. Westcott.



Centuries of theological discussion have made it a difficult matter to realize in its original simplicity and freshness what St Paul meant when he appropriated, if he did not invent, the phrase ‘the Grace of God’ to describe the chief content of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, Acts 20:24. If we are to realize it at all, we must do what we can to see with St Paul’s eyes and to enter, as far as his own words enable us, into the secret of his deepest spiritual experience. The determining sentences in his extant Epistles are few, but they are suggestive. They recur with remarkable regularity whenever his thoughts are led back to the dominant crisis of his conversion. They are, in chronological order [1] 1 Corinthians 15:8-10 : ‘Last of all, as unto one born out of due time, He appeared to me also. For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the Church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed on me was not in vain: but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I but the grace of God which was with me.’ [2] Galatians 1:15 : St Paul has once more recalled his manner of life in time past in the Jews’ religion, how that beyond measure he had persecuted the Church of God and made havoc of it, until ‘it was the good pleasure of God who separated me for my work as an Evangelist even from my mother’s womb and called me by his grace to reveal his Son in me that I might preach him among the Gentiles.’ [3] Ephesians 3:8, where he is describing ‘the dispensation of that grace of God which was given me to you-ward,’ and breaks off as self-accusing memories crowd in once more—‘to me who am less than the least of all the saints was this grace given to preach unto the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ.’ [4] 1 Timothy 1:12-16, a passage in which, whatever may be thought of the rest of the Epistle, only a very resolute scepticism can fail to recognize an utterance of the same voice. What disciple would have either wished or dared to make his master call himself ‘the chief of sinners’? ‘I thank him that enabled me, even Christ Jesus our Lord, for that he counted me faithful, appointing me to his service; though I was before a blasphemer and a persecutor and injurious: howbeit I obtained mercy, for though I acted in gross ignorance and unbelief, yet the grace of our Lord abounded exceedingly with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. Faithful is the saying and worthy of all acceptation that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief; howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy that in me as chief might Jesus Christ show forth all his longsuffering, for an ensample of them which should hereafter believe on him unto eternal life.’

These passages are enough to make it clear that St Paul regarded his whole life and work (with him his conversion and commission were coincident in time and hardly separable even in thought) as a signal and typical example of the power of the grace of God which any man, however deeply he might have sunk in sin, ‘seeing might take heart again.’ What then would the grace of God have meant to him? According to the natural meaning of the words they describe primarily God’s attitude towards him. The true Israelite (and St Paul was before all things a Hebrew of the Hebrews) was, as passage after passage in the Psalms declares, delicately sensitive to every token of the loving-kindness and tender mercy of his God. The whole horizon of his life was overcast when for a moment it seemed as if that loving Face was turned away from him or bent over him in anger. And in the ‘unutterable moment’ of his conversion St Paul had become conscious that that Face was bending over him in love. God, that said Light shall shine out of darkness, had shone in his heart ‘to give the illumination of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ,’ 2 Corinthians 4:6, not merely bidding him pause in his headlong career and revealing a penetrating acquaintance with the deepest secrets of his heart, but as in a moment blotting out the whole of the black record of his past, and with amazing and generous confidence entrusting him with a commission, the full wonder of which a lifetime of loyal service was unable to exhaust. So we can see how in St Paul’s retrospect the grace of God and the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ whereby the grace of God had been made known to him filled the whole horizon. The grace of our Lord had abounded over his frenzy of persecuting hate, even though every avenue on his side seemed to be closed by blind infatuation and wilful unbelief, opening even in his hard heart the springs of faith and love by revealing to him his true relation to the Father, or rather the Father’s tender love for him ‘in Christ Jesus.’ ‘Through His grace,’ by the same revelation of His tender love, God had called him to fulfil the end of his creation, and sent him out to bring the Gospel of that grace home to the hearts of men throughout the world. The knowledge of God’s love and the restoration to communion with God which that knowledge brought with it transformed his whole being. To ‘the grace of God’ he owed all that he became. For this grace is not merely ‘an attitude of God to man,’ it has in it a dynamic force, becoming in a heart surrendered to its influence the source of unwearying energy (1 Corinthians 15:10) and finding in weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9) ever fresh scope for revealing resources that would otherwise have remained hidden.

If this is a true account of what the grace of God meant to St Paul and of the way by which he was led to the knowledge of it, we can see how the revelation of it was from the first bound up with a call to bring the good news of it to the Gentiles. Saul of Tarsus sinning against light was further from God than the heathen who had not known Him. He had less claim to be included in the circle of God’s favour than they. If it was wide enough to include him, a fortiori it was wide enough to include them. We can see also why after recalling the reconciliation of the world, wrought by God in Christ, St Paul should appeal to the Corinthians (2 Corinthians 6:1) not to receive ‘the grace of God’ in vain, and why he should describe (Romans 5:2) our present position of nearness to the Father through our Lord Jesus Christ as ‘the grace wherein we stand,’ and warn the Galatians (Galatians 5:4) that if they broke the link that bound them to Christ they would be banished from ‘the grace.’ The true Christian state is in his eyes simply and sufficiently described as ‘a state of grace,’ a life lived in the sunshine of the favour of God.

Again, as in his own life this ‘grace’ had come with transfiguring power, so ‘the word of the truth of the Gospel’ ‘bears fruit and grows’ from the day that ‘the grace of God’ is heard of and recognized in its true character (Colossians 1:6). By His grace men are restored freely to the righteousness which they have lost by sin (Romans 3:24; Titus 3:7; cf. Ephesians 2:5). Grace triumphs over sin and death, taking the throne which they had usurped over the hearts of men and reigning through righteousness unto life eternal through Jesus Christ our Lord (Romans 5:21). So ‘the grace of God’ brings salvation to all men, training us to live soberly, righteously and godly in this present time (Titus 2:11). And the perfection of our salvation, quickened with Christ out of spiritual death, and risen, ascended and enthroned with Him in the heaven lies, is a demonstration in the ages to come of the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness towards us in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:7).

Once more, as ‘the grace’ came to St Paul with a call to work and power to fulfil it, so it comes to all with gifts varying with the capacity of each and with the function in regard to the life of the whole body which is allotted to him (1 Corinthians 12:4 ff.; Romans 12:6; Ephesians 4:7). For while men are called as St Paul was by ‘the grace’ and set apart one by one, grace exerts not a dividing but a unifying influence, revealing the abolition of all middle walls of partition and the inclusion of all nations in one body in Christ. A readiness to share with others the gifts we have received is its characteristic fruit (2 Corinthians 8:1 ff.).

We ask finally, how ‘the grace’ is given. On the one hand St Paul lays great stress on the fact that it is given ‘freely’ (Ephesians 2:5; Ephesians 2:8). The whole burthen of his controversy with the Judaizers turned on the fact (and here the associations of the Greek word came in to enforce his plea) that grace could not be earned (Romans 4:4). No man could establish a claim on God for it by works of Law. To attempt to do so was to do violence to its essential nature (Galatians 2:21). The acceptance of this position by St Peter was the turning point in the discussion on circumcision at Jerusalem (Acts 15:11). On the other hand, free and world-wide as it is, including all men and existing before all time, it is not bestowed and cannot be enjoyed, so to speak, promiscuously. It is given and can only be enjoyed in Christ. As it is only through our Lord Jesus Christ that we have our access to the Father (Romans 5:2), so it is in ‘the Beloved’ and only in ‘the Beloved’ that we are accepted by Him and enjoy the sunshine of His smile (Ephesians 1:6).

And though ‘the grace’ was given us before times eternal it was not till it had been manifested by the appearing of Christ Jesus our Saviour, bringing death to nought and bringing life and incorruption to light through the Gospel, that men could enter into their inheritance with the saints in light (2 Timothy 1:9 f.). The Incarnation therefore and all that is included in it is in St Paul’s view God’s method of manifesting His grace to and making it effectual in the hearts of men. And St John, in the only passage in which the subject in this form comes before him, says the same thing: ‘The Law was given through Moses, Grace and Truth made their appearance in the world through Jesus Christ’ (John 1:17).

B. ADDITIONAL NOTE ON οἰκονομία, οἰκονόμος

Robinson on Ephesians 1:10 points out that οἰκονομεῖν and οἰκονομία came to be used ‘in the most general sense of provision or arrangement.’ So Deissm. Fresh Light, p. 246 n., states that οἰκονομία = document? agreement or lease, is frequent in Papyri. We find οἰκονομεῖσθαι of filling some priestly office, P. Flind. Pet. ii. 11; and in Psalms 111[112]:5 οἰκονομήσει τοὺς λόγους ἐν κρίσει = He ‘will guide his words’ or ‘order his affairs.’ οἰκονόμος is used 1 and 2 Kgs [6], Esth. [2] of offices in the Royal Household, and St Paul in Romans 16:23 speaks of ὁ οἰκονόμος τῆς πόλεως. At the same time St Paul’s language (and the words, except for 1 Peter 4:10 οἰκ. ποικίλης χάριτος θεοῦ, which may well be due to Pauline influence, are exclusively Pauline in the Epistles) seems to be coloured throughout by ref. to the word of the Lord in Luke 12:42 τίς ἄρα ἐστὶν ὁ πιστὸς οἰκονόμος ὁ φρόνιμος ὃν καταστήσει ὁ κύριος ἐπὶ τῆς θεραπείας αὐτοῦ τοῦ διδόναι ἐν καιρῷ τὸ σιτομέτριον; (Matthew 24:45 has δοῦλος for οἰκονόμος and οἰκετείας for θεραπείας). Outside this passage the root is found only in Luke 16:1 f. in the parable of ‘the Steward.’

οἰκονόμος occurs in his description of the function of Christian teachers as οἰκονόμοι μυστηρίων θεοῦ 1 Corinthians 4:1 and of the office of an ἐπίσκοπος, Titus 1:7, ὡς θεοῦ οἰκονόμον; cf. 1 Timothy 3:15, πῶς δεῖ ἐν οἴκῳ θεοῦ ἀναστρέφεσθαι.

οἰκονομία occurs six times. Once in quite general terms of his own commission to preach the Gospel, 1 Corinthians 9:17 οἰκονομίαν πεπίστευμαι. Once, Colossians 1:25, of his special commission to bring the full truth to the Gentiles διάκονος κατὰ τὴν οἰκονομίαν τοῦ θεοῦ τὴν δοθεῖσάν μοι εἰς ὑμᾶς πληρῶσαι τὸν λόγον τοῦ θεοῦ. Once, 1 Timothy 1:4, οἰκονομίαν θεοῦ τὴν ἐν πίστει of the function that Christian teachers are charged to fulfil.

The remaining three passages are in Eph. Of these, Ephesians 3:2, τὴν οἰκονομίαν τῆς χάριτος τοῦ θεοῦ τῆς δοθείσης μοι εἰς ὑμᾶς must in the light of Colossians 1:25 refer to the special office conferred on him by the grace of God which was given him to communicate to the Gentiles. In Ephesians 3:9 however, ἡ οἰκονομία τοῦ μυστηρίου, the ‘stewardship,’ is wider. It belongs to the whole Church, and it includes the manifestation of the manifold wisdom of God ταῖς ἀρχαῖς καὶ ταῖς ἐξουσίαις ἐν τοῖς ἐπουρανίοις. In the light of this passage Ephesians 1:10 εἰς οἰκονομίαν τοῦ πληρ. τῶν καιρῶν is best taken as referring to the trust which in the fulness of time God purposed to commit to His Church, a stewardship of the secret revealed to them, the faithful discharge of which would issue in ‘summing up all things in Christ.’

There is no need therefore to eliminate the full sense of stewardship from any of these passages. And taken together they make a strong case in favour of the suggestion put forward above that St Paul’s thinking on the subject was deeply coloured by Luke 12:42.

C. ADDITIONAL NOTE ON τὸ αἷμα τοῦ χριστοῦ

References to the ‘Blood’ of Christ, apart from the passages where it denotes simply the guilt of His murderers (Matthew 27:4; Matthew 27:6; Matthew 27:24-25; Acts 5:28) are rare in the Synoptic Gospels and the Acts. In the Gospels they are found only in connexion with the Eucharistic Cup.

Mark 14:24, τοῦτό ἐστιν τὸ αἷμά μου διαθήκης τὸ ἐκχυννόμενον ὑπὲρ πολλῶν.

Matthew 26:28, τοῦτο γάρ ἐστιν τὸ αἷμά μου τῆς διαθήκης τὸ περὶ πολλῶν ἐκχυννόμενον εἰς ἄφεσιν ἁμαρτίας.

Luke 22:20 [[τοῦτο τὸ ποτήριον ἡ καινὴ διαθήκη ἐν τῷ αἵματί μου, τὸ ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν ἐκχυννόμενον]].

In Acts the only reference is in St Paul’s speech at Miletus (Acts 20:28) τὴν ἐκ. τ. θ. ἣν περιεποιήσατο διὰ τοῦ αἵματος τοῦ ἰδίου.

In St Paul’s Epistles we have three Eucharistic references:

1 Corinthians 10:16, τὸ ποτήριον τῆς εὐλογίας ὃ εὐλογοῦμεν οὐχὶ κοινωνία ἐστὶν τοῦ αἵματος τοῦ χριστοῦ;

1 Corinthians 11:25, τοῦτο τὸ ποτήριον ἡ καινὴ διαθήκη ἐστὶν ἐν τῷ ἐμῷ αἵματι, cf. 1 Corinthians 11:27, τοῦ αἵματος τοῦ κυρίου..

The word occurs besides (outside Eph.) only in Romans 3:25, ἱλαστήριονἐν τῷ αὐτοῦ αἵματι, Romans 5:9 δικαιωθέντες νῦν ἐν τῷ αἵματι αὐτοῦ, and Colossians 1:20, εἰρηνοποιήσας διὰ τοῦ αἵματος τοῦ σταυροῦ αὐτοῦ.

In Ephesians 1:7, His Blood is the means of our redemption.

In Ephesians 2:13, the Gentiles have been brought near to God ἐν τῷ αἵματι τοῦ χριστοῦ.

In 1 Peter 1:2, ‘the sprinkling of the Blood of Jesus Christ,’ the reference is primarily to the Blood of the Covenant, and in Ephesians 1:19, ἐλυτρώθητετιμίῳ αἵματι ὡς ἀμνοῦ ἀμώμου καὶ ἀσπίλου Χριστοῦ, the Blood is the price of redemption.

In Revelation 1:5, where the true reading is τῷ ἀγαπῶντι ἡμᾶς καὶ λύσαντι ἡμᾶς ἐκ τῶν ἁμαρτιῶν ἐν τῷ αἵμτι αὐτοῦ, and in Ephesians 5:9, ἠγόρασας τῷ θεῷ ἐν τῷ αἵματί σου, the Blood is once more regarded as a ransom by which we are freed from the bondage of sin or the purchase money by which we are acquired as a possession for God.

In Revelation 7:14 (cf. Revelation 19:13) we read of robes washed and made white in the Blood of the Lamb, where the Blood cleanses. In Revelation 12:11 victory over the Accuser is won διὰ τὸ αἷμα τοῦ ἀρνίου καὶ διὰ τὸν λόγον τῆς μαρτυρίας αὐτῶν.

In the Gospel and Epistles of St John ‘the Blood’ is mentioned only in John 6:53-56 as our true and necessary drink, in 1 John 1:7 as cleansing from all sin those who walk in the light, and in connexion with the piercing of our Lord’s side John 19:34 and 1 John 5:6-8. In this last passage we are reminded that Jesus Christ came διʼ ὕδατος καὶ αἵματοςοὐκ ἐν τῷ ὕδατι μόνον ἀλλʼ ἐν τῷ ὕδατι καὶ ἐν τῷ αἵματι, and that ‘the Blood’ (apparently in the Eucharist) is united in one threefold testimony with ‘the Water’ and ‘the Spirit.’

In the Epistle to ‘the Hebrews’ light is drawn from various aspects of the use of blood in O.T. ritual: [1] in Hebrews 9:12-14 from the use of blood on the Day of Atonement at the first entry of the High Priest into the Holy of Holies with the blood of the bullock that was the appointed offering for his own sins: [2] in Hebrews 9:18-20 from the use of blood at the institution of the Covenant on Sinai: [3] Hebrews 9:21-28 from its use in cleansing the Tabernacle and its furniture, both at their initial consecration and on the Day of Atonement. In the application, Hebrews 9:12, Jesus as our High Priest is said [4] to have entered in once for all into the sanctuary διὰ τοῦ ἰδίου αἵματος, αἰωνίαν λύτρωσιν εὑράμενος: [5] we are assured in Hebrews 9:14 of the power of the blood of Christ ὃς διὰ πνεύματος αἰωνίου ἑαυτὸν προσἡνεγκεν ἄμωμον τῷ θεῷ, to cleanse our consciences from dead works, as the water of separation had cleansed men defiled by contact with a dead body, to make us fit to take our part in the service of the living God. We are accordingly urged [6] (Hebrews 10:19) to use the right of entry into the heavenly sanctuary, which is ours ἐν τῷ αἵματι Ἰησοῦ. We are warned [7] of the danger of neglecting the obligations which we have incurred through the blood of the Covenant, whereby (ἐν ᾧ) we were sanctified (Hebrews 10:29), or as it is called [8] in Hebrews 12:24, the blood of sprinkling. In Hebrews 13:12 [9] Jesus is said to have sanctified the people after the pattern of the sacrifices on the Day of Atonement διὰ τοῦ ἰδίου αἵματος, and in Hebrews 13:20, [10] the God of peace brought again from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep, ἐν αἵματι διαθήκης αἰωνίου.

The ideas connected with ‘the Blood’ in these passages may all (except perhaps the victory over the Accuser in Revelation 12:11) be traced back to the two Words of the Lord [1] with regard to the giving of his life (ψυχὴ which had its seat in the blood) as a ‘ransom,’ and [2] with regard to the Cup at the Last Supper as containing the ‘Blood of the Covenant,’ blood which was being shed on behalf of many for remission of sins. The use would not naturally have arisen from the historical fact apart from the interpreting words, for ‘shedding of blood’ is not a characteristic feature of death by crucifixion, and the incident recorded in John 19:34 does not seem to have been part of the earliest popular teaching.

The ideas associated with the use of the word in these passages fall into three groups:

1. Ideas connected with the thought of ‘Ransom’ including (a) deliverance from the power of sin and death, (b) purchase for God’s own possession:

2. Ideas of cleansing from defilement, and fitting for communion with God including propitiation and forgiveness of sins:

3. Ideas connected with the institution of a Covenant.

These last, as expounded in the Epistle to the Hebrews, really include the first two sets of ideas. For ‘the Blood of the Covenant’ on the one hand sanctifies those who partake in it and marks them as belonging to God, and on the other brings them into living union and communion with Him. And the Day of Atonement was in effect a yearly renewal of the Covenant which had on man’s side been violated by definite acts of transgression.

The symbolism has its roots far back in primitive religious institutions which we might have been inclined to despise as altogether childish, gross and barbarous; but which were taken up and purified for the service of God in the Old Covenant, and received their final consecration at the hands of our Lord Himself in the central rite of the New.

D. ADDITIONAL NOTE ON ὁ πατὴρ τῆς δόξης

Whatever manifests the presence of God among men and reveals His character and power is spoken of in the Bible as His glory. The Psalmist (Psalms 19:1) tells us that ‘the Heavens declare the glory of God.’ And St Paul (1 Corinthians 11:7) calls man, made ‘in the image of God’ as the culminating point of God’s revelation of Himself in creation, ‘the glory of God.’

Again the same glory appears, if we may so speak, in a more concentrated form in the great crises in history and in supernatural visions. The whole course of events that marked the deliverance from Egypt, and the guidance and support and discipline of Israel in their wanderings in the wilderness, and especially the cloud that abode over the Tabernacle and appeared at the consecration of Solomon’s Temple (the Shechinah), are regarded as manifestations of the glory of the LORD. See Exodus 16:7; Exodus 24:16; Exodus 40:34; Leviticus 9:6; Numbers 14:10; 1 Kings 8:11.

So, too, the vision of God granted to Ezekiel (Ezekiel 1:28, Ezekiel 3:23, &c.) is called His glory.

In these as in all manifestations there are two elements to be considered. There is the object, or person, or event, or vision which constitutes the vehicle of the Divine manifestation, and there are the recipients to whom the revelation is granted, who are responsible for recognizing it and referring it to its true source, and who by so assimilating it are taken up into and become part of it for others. In the O.T. Israel is chosen to receive the revelation through the events of their national history and the visions of their Prophets, though from the first this limitation is regarded as temporary, and the day is foretold when the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.

One form of this manifestation, through the Shechinah, was accompanied by physical radiance (cf. Luke 2:9), and the transforming effect of communion with God through His revelation of Himself was shown by the shining of Moses’ face when he returned from the tabernacle (Exodus 34:29 f.). Again, God’s choice of the Nation and the form under which He revealed Himself to them was ‘their glory,’ which they were continually tempted to exchange for the sensual delights of the idolatries of the nations round about them (Psalms 106:20; Jeremiah 2:11).

It is not surprising therefore that, in the vision of the coming restoration which came through the second Isaiah to the exiles in Babylon, the thought of ‘the glory of the LORD’ recurs again and again from many sides. The restoration itself is heralded by the proclamation of a fresh manifestation of the glory (Isaiah 40:5) in the sight of the whole world. Jehovah refuses to allow any rival powers to take the credit of the deliverance and rob Him of His glory (Isaiah 42:8, Isaiah 48:11). He has created those that bear His name for His own glory and He will glorify Himself in Israel (Isaiah 43:7, Isaiah 49:3). In this glory Israel is to share (Isaiah 46:13), and in the end to be herself glorified (Isaiah 55:5) as the result of vicarious sufferings (Isaiah 52:13, LXX.). The restored Zion shall be radiant throughout (Isaiah 60:2, &c.) with the glory. And the nations shall recognize it and acknowledge its source (Isaiah 66:18 f.).

In N.T. the use of δόξα in the Synoptists is confined for the most part to the glory of the Son of God at His appearing (e.g. Matthew 16:27; Matthew 19:28; Matthew 24:30; Matthew 25:31). In St Luke, however, Luke 2:9 recalls the Sheohinah, as does the account of the Transfiguration Luke 9:31 f.; cf. 2 Peter 1:17. In the song of Symeon, Luke 2:32, is an echo of Isaiah 46:13.

In Luke 24:26 we have the first hint that the Resurrection was in itself an entrance into ‘glory,’ cf. 1 Peter 1:11.

In Acts there is only one passage to consider, but that is most instructive. St Stephen is on his defence for having declared the coming destruction of the Temple. He proceeds to describe the history of God’s manifestations of Himself to Abraham and his seed in Mesopotamia, Canaan, Egypt, Sinai and throughout the wandering in the wilderness until the consecration of Solomon’s Temple. His opening phrase, describing the God who had in every place been manifesting His presence to and with His people, is ‘the God of the Glory,’ and it is striking to notice that the historian records (Acts 7:55), that as the martyr was dying he saw ‘the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.’

In St Paul the word has a wide range. It includes the revelation which God has given of Himself to all men in creation (Romans 1:23), and in man (1 Corinthians 11:7; cf. Romans 3:23), the special manifestation to Israel (Romans 11:4; cf. 2 Corinthians 3:7 ff.), which culminated in ‘the illumination of the knowledge of the glory of GOD in the face of Christ’ (2 Corinthians 4:6), and looks forward (2 Thessalonians 1:10 = Isaiah 49:3) to a final manifestation ‘when He is to come to be glorified in His saints.’ Meanwhile He is already clothed in the body of the glory (Philippians 3:21, cf. 1 Timothy 3:16). This glory we are called to share (1 Thessalonians 2:12), not only in the future (Romans 8:18; 2 Corinthians 4:17; Colossians 3:4; 2 Timothy 2:10), but also in the present (2 Corinthians 3:8 ff.). The whole of this last passage is worth careful examination from this point of view. ‘Glory,’ expressed in material radiance, was a transitory accompaniment of the Old Covenant. In the New the glory is no longer material, but it is all the more real and abiding. Every Christian is called to abide in direct communion with his Lord through the Spirit. The being of the believer is a mirror which by a vital process takes into itself the image it reflects and is permanently and growingly transfigured ‘from glory to glory,’ after the likeness of the image presented to him, owing to the sovereign power of the Spirit by which he is possessed.

St Paul goes on to analyse the causes of the success and failure of the Gospel message by a further application of the figure of the vail. The Gospel is bright with the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, His representation in such form as our human faculties can apprehend (cf. the connexion of image and glory in 1 Corinthians 11:7). The minds of the unbelievers have been blinded by the god of this world so that this glory is not perceived by them. On the other hand the preachers of the Gospel had found the darkness in their hearts dissipated, as the darkness of the world had been by His creative Fiat, with the light which radiated from the knowledge of the glory of GOD in the face of Christ.

In this passage there is no doubt that Christ is regarded as the direct spiritual antitype of the Shechinah, shining with the brightness of the presence of God in Him, and perfectly revealing and representing Him; and the life of a Christian lived in communion with Him is regarded as glowing with the same spiritual radiance, as being evermore in its measure a witness and a vehicle of the Divine Presence in the world, though the full ‘weight of glory’ can only be revealed in the Resurrection body (2 Corinthians 4:16; Romans 8:18; Romans 8:21), and the emancipation of the creation from the bondage of corruption will be consummated by the glory of the children of GOD, that revelation of their perfected sonship for which the earnest expectation of creation waits (Romans 8:19-23; cf. 2 Corinthians 3:17). Well therefore may St Paul define the Gospel entrusted to him as ‘the gospel of the glory of the Blessed God’ (1 Timothy 1:11), and speak of the wisdom of God revealed in it, as designed before the ages for ‘the glory’ of those who should be admitted into its secret, even though ‘the rulers of this age’ were incapable of appreciating either the wisdom or the glory, as they showed by crucifying ‘the Lord of the glory’ 1 Corinthians 2:8 (cf. Matthew 11:25 ff.; Isaiah 53:2 f.) Not because the knowledge of the secret hidden from others would constitute an external and exclusive badge of distinction on which those to whom it is revealed could pride themselves, but because the revelation must so transfigure them as to make them in their turn a spring of light and life for the world.

We can understand therefore why ‘the glory’ is so constantly in St Paul’s mind associated with ‘wealth’ (Romans 9:23; Colossians 1:27; Ephesians 1:18; Ephesians 3:16). To share in it must be the richest endowment a man can receive. We can understand also why St Paul should regard it as a source of spiritual power (Colossians 1:11; Ephesians 3:16).

There remains the remarkable phrase ‘the Father of the Glory’ which has been the starting point of this long enquiry. We have seen that in 2 Corinthians 3:17 ff., St Paul declares that ‘the Glory of the LORD’ is revealed to us directly in Jesus Christ. He speaks of Him there (Ephesians 4:4), as he does also in Colossians 1:15, as the Image of God: and with him the thoughts of ‘Image’ and ‘Glory’ are correlative (1 Corinthians 11:7; cf. Romans 8:29 where συμμόρφους τῆς εἰκόνος prepares the way for ἐδόξασεν Romans 8:30). The question is whether here he goes a step further and uses ἡ δόξα as a title for our Lord Jesus Christ. The parallelism with ‘the God of our Lord Jesus Christ’ suggests it, and the interpretation is at least as old as Origen (J.T.[172]. III. p. 398).

There is no doubt a great deal to be said in favour of this view. In O.T. ‘the Glory’ stands from time to time in parallelism with ‘the Name’ of the LORD (Isaiah 59:19; Psalms 8:2) and like ‘the Name’ and ‘the Word’ and ‘the Wisdom’ (though not in quite so marked a degree) ‘the Glory’ is on its way to personification, if it has not completely attained it. In N.T. St Peter in a remarkable phrase (1 Peter 4:14 ‘The Spirit of the Glory and the Spirit of God’ τὸ τῆς δόξης καὶ τὸ τοῦ θεοῦ πνεῦμα) co-ordinates ‘the Glory’ with ‘GOD.’ There are also two passages of considerable difficulty St James 2:1, τὴν πίστιν τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ τῆς δόξης and Titus 2:13, τὴν μακαρίαν ἐλπίδα καὶ ἐπιφάνειαν τῆς δόξης τοῦ μεγάλου θεοῦ καὶ σωτῆρος ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ, in which it is at least possible that the solution is to be found in taking τῆς δόξης as in apposition to Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ. There is therefore evidence, not indeed conclusive, but coming from a variety of sources, that such a title even though unfamiliar would not be unintelligible.

At the same time the recurrence of the word in the context (1Philippians 1:12; Philippians 1:14; Philippians 1:18) and the analogy of the closely parallel phrase ὁ θεὸς τῆς δόξης (Acts 7:2) show that the title, if it be a title, implies a range of activity no whit less universal than the title Logos itself. The manifestation of ‘the Glory’ in the Incarnation is, as the writer to the Hebrews calls it, ‘an effulgence,’ a flashing forth of the same Divine Glory with which the whole of nature, and the whole of life, and in a special degree the whole Church is charged, and of which ‘the half has not yet been told us,’ even though we know that all we have yet to learn will only tell us more of Him, in whom it shone and shines with unclouded brilliance, and of the Father that sent Him.

If this view be rejected, τῆς δόξης must be regarded as an attribute, or perhaps better, as the characteristic possession of the Father, = the Father to whom all the glory, wherever it is discerned, belongs, from whom it springs, of whom it testifies. Cf. ὁ πατὴρ τῶν οἰκτιρμῶν 2 Corinthians 1:3; ὁ πατὴρ τῶν φώτων, James 1:17.

It will be well to complete this study by a brief account of the usage of the other writers in the N.T. Reference has just been made to the one most remarkable instance of the use of ἡ δόξα in St James. It occurs (Ephesians 2:1) as an introduction to an appeal against ‘respect of persons’ in Christian congregations, and specifically against conforming to the worldly estimate of wealth. ‘The faith of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Glory’ is felt by the writer to supply a measure of ‘values,’ which should make consideration shown to a rich man, because he is rich, and contempt for a poor man, because he is poor, impossible.

In Judges 1:24 the reference is to the Parousia.

In the Epistle to the Hebrews the chief passage Ephesians 1:3, ὢν ἀπαύγασμα τῆς δόξης καὶ χαρακτὴρ τῆς ὑποστάσεως αὐτοῦ, has already been referred to. It will be enough here to note the substantial character of ἡ δόξα (implied by its parallelism with τῆς ὑποστάσεως), and to remark that the two elements of the description correspond in the reverse order to the Pauline combination of εἰκὼν καὶ δόξα.

The other relevant passage in this Epistle is based on the interpretation of Psalms 8; Hebrews 2:7; Hebrews 2:9-10. The Psalmist has seen a vision of man clothed with the Divine Attributes of glory and honour (see Hort on 1 Peter 1:7). The writer of the Epistle sees the first step towards the realization of this vision in the exaltation of Jesus ‘owing to the suffering of death’ that He may taste death for every man, and in view of the Divinely appointed goal, ‘as bringing many sons to glory,’ he finds a Divine fitness in the appointed path of suffering by which the Leader was perfected. Here we find (as in Luke 24:26, &c.) the present glory of the Messiah brought into direct relation to His earthly humiliation and sufferings, and regarded, as so often in St Paul, as the measure of the hope in store for mankind as a whole.

In 1 Peter the passages are many, and as Dr Hort’s notes show, full of significance.

Ephesians 1:7. ‘That the proof (or crucible) of your faith might be found unto praise and glory and honour at the revelation of Jesus Christ.’

Here primarily the words refer to the glory granted to men, though the glory redounding to God is not excluded.

Ephesians 1:8. ‘On whom, though now ye see Him not, yet believing ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory’ (δεδοξασμένῃ).

Here the word marks ‘the entrance of an unearthly element’ into the present joy of the persecuted. Hort compares Acts 3:13, ἐδόξασεν τὸν παῖδα and Isaiah 52:13.

Ephesians 1:11. τὰ εἰς Χριστὸν παθήματα καὶ τὰς μετὰ ταῦτα δόξας.

The various prophetic foreshadowings of the glory into which the Messiah should enter by suffering.

Ephesians 1:21. ‘God who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory.’

These two passages carry out the idea of Luke 24:26.

Ephesians 4:13-14. καθὸ κοινωνεῖτε τοῖς τοῦ Χριστοῦ παθήμασιν χαίρετε ἴνα καὶ ἐν τῇ ἀποκαλύψει τῆς δόξης αὐτοῦ χαρῆτε ἀγαλλιώμενοι. εἰ ὀνειδίζεσθε ἐν ὀνόματι Χριστοῦ, μακάριοι, ὅτι τὸ τῆς δόξης καὶ τὸ τοῦ θεοῦ πνωῦμα ἐφʼ ὑμᾶς ἀναπαύεται.

Here, as in the three passages that remain, the primary reference is to the glory of the Parousia in which those who have endured persecution are to share. But the thought of a foretaste of glory even in the present is not excluded, cf. Hort on Ephesians 1:8, ‘Although no word has a more conspicuous place in the imagery by which the future is foreshadowed to us than “glory,” yet there is an earnest of “glory” here as of other heavenly things.’

The passages that remain are: Ephesians 5:1. τῆς μελλούσης ἀποκαλύπτεσθαι δόξης κοινωνός. Ephesians 5:4. κομιεῖσθε τὸν ἀμαράντινον τῆς δόξης στέφανον. Ephesians 5:10. ὁ καλέσας ὑμᾶς εἰς τὴν αἰώνιον αὐτοῦ δόξαν ἐν Χριστῷ ὀλίγον παθόντας αὐτὸβ καταρτίσαι.

Throughout the Epistle it will be noticed that the two threads of suffering and glory for the Christian as for the Christ are intertwined and the glory is appreciable even now.

In the Apocalypse the chief, if not the only, passage for notice is in the description of the new Jerusalem (Revelation 21:11; Revelation 21:23), which is seen in fulfilment of the foreshadowing in Isaiah 58:8; Isaiah 60:1 ff. as radiant even now with the glory of God, full of light itself within, ‘for the glory of GOD gave light to it,’ and shining into the world around, ‘for the nations walk by her light and the kings of the nations bring their glory into her.’

In the Gospel of St John δόξα and δοξάζω have a prominent place. In the words of the Lord there is first a marked contrast between ‘the glory that comes from men and the glory that comes from the only God’ (John 5:44), and between a teacher who seeks his own glory and one who seeks the glory of Him that sent him.

Then there is a resolute assertion of a glory that is His own by the Father’s gift (John 8:54), which becomes more confident as the shadows deepen (John 12:23, John 13:31), and a clear conviction that the glory of the Father is bound up with His own, both in the events of His earthly ministry (John 11:4) and in the faithfulness and fruitfulness of His Church (John 14:13, John 15:8) as the result both of the Ascension and of the gift of the Holy Spirit (John 16:14).

Of the deepest interest are the references to His own glory in the Great Intercession, John 17:1-5, where He prays for a restoration of the glory which He had before the world was, that He may glorify His Father, and intercedes for His own (John 17:10), for ‘I have been glorified in them,’ and bestows (John 17:22) His glory on them that they may be one, and that the world may know His relation to the Father, and pleads (John 17:24) that His disciples may enjoy uninterrupted communion with Him, that ‘they may behold my glory which thou hast given me, because thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.’

The Evangelist, though he speaks of a time when Jesus was ‘not yet glorified’ in the sense in which during His ministry the Lord Himself spoke of a glory to come, yet claims on looking back over the whole of the experience of the first Disciples (John 1:14), that when ‘the Word became flesh and tabernacled among’ them they had ‘beheld His glory, the glory as of an only begotten from a Father, full of grace and truth.’ And he claims that Isaiah also had seen His glory and spake of Him (John 12:41).


πληρόω (I ‘fill’ or ‘fulfil’) and πλήρωμα (‘fulness’ or ‘fulfilment’) hold an important place in the vocabulary of Eph. (πλήρωμα, Ephesians 1:10; Ephesians 1:23, Ephesians 3:19, Ephesians 4:13; πληρόω Ephesians 4:10, Ephesians 5:18) and Col. (πλήρωμα Colossians 1:19; Colossians 2:9; πληρόω Colossians 1:9; Colossians 1:25; Colossians 2:10; cf. ἀνταναπληρόω Colossians 1:24). πληρόω is a word with a wide range of meaning springing from the root idea of ‘filling.’ In N.T., as Lightfoot pointed out, the predominant sense is that of ‘fulfilling,’ ‘completing,’ ‘perfecting.’

The termination -ματ- expresses (see Robinson) ‘the result of the agency of the corresponding verb,’ so πλήρωμα = the result of filling or fulfilling, i.e. either abstract, ‘fulness’ (as contrasted with ‘emptiness’ or ‘hollowness’), ‘fulfilment,’ ‘completeness,’ ‘perfection’ (as contrasted with ‘deficiency,’ ‘imperfection,’ or ‘immaturity’), or concrete, ‘the total contents of anything,’ varying of course in meaning with the measure to be filled and with the nature of the contents, e.g. ‘the crew’ or ‘the cargo’ of a ship, ‘the sum total’ of an account.

In some cases the meaning of the substantive in particular phrases in N.T. is defined by the occurrence of parallel phrases in which the verb takes the place of the substantive, e.g. Ephesians 1:10, τὸ πλήρωμα τῶν καιρῶν (cf. Galatians 4:4, τὸ πλ. τοῦ χρόνου) corresponds exactly to πεπλήρωται ὁ καιρός in Mark 1:15 (cf. Acts 2:1, ἐν τῷ συνπληροῦσθαι τὴν ἡμ. τ. πεντηκόστης). Here the thought is that of the filling up of an appointed measure of time. As the measure is fixed by GOD the phrase may no doubt suggest the further thought of ‘ripeness’ or ‘maturity’ of time.

Again τὸ πλήρωμα τῶν ἐθνῶν, Romans 11:25 (cf. Revelation 6:11 ἕως πληρωθῶσιν καὶ οἱ σύνδουλοι κ.τ.λ.) suggests the attainment of a total which is complete, either absolutely, or relatively to the Divine purpose.

But here no doubt more is implied than the bare attainment of numerical completeness. The efficiency of a living organism depends on the harmonious development of all its parts. And no one part can attain its own individual perfection until the whole of which it is a part is complete, so we find (Hebrews 11:40, ἵνα μὴ χωρὶς ἡμῶν τελειωθῶσιν) that the O.T. saints are waiting for their own perfecting till the whole sum is complete.

In Romans 11:12, τὸ πλήρωμα αὐτῶν, i.e. of Israel, expresses the complete correspondence of the nation as a whole with the Divine ideal, and is contrasted with τὸ παράπτωμα and τὸ ἥττημα.

Another suggestive series of parallels may be quoted in illustration of Romans 13:10, πλήρωμα οὖν νόμου ἡ ἀγάπη.

In Matthew 5:17 we read μὴ νομίσητε ὅτι ἧλθον καταλῦσαι τὸν νόμον ἤ τοὺς προφήτας· οὐκ ἡλθν καταλῦσαι ἁλλὰ πληρῶσαι. Our Lord is describing the relation of His teaching to the Law as ‘fulfilment’ not abolition. The rest of the chapter illustrates from many sides the kind of ‘fulfilment’ intended.

Enactments prohibiting wrong courses of action are ‘fulfilled’ by new commandments prescribing a careful watch over hidden springs of thought and motive. Institutions adapted to imperfect moral conditions are revised in the light of their ideal. Ideals, belonging to the organization and protection of exclusive national life appropriate to the revelation of Jehovah as the God of Israel, are brought into relation with the world-embracing spirit required by the revelation of the All Father. Here therefore the ‘fulfilment’ referred to implies such a development in outward expression as to bring out the inmost meaning and purpose of the Law.

In a later verse in the same sermon we read, after the command to do to others as we would that they should do to us, ‘This is the Law and the Prophets.’ Again in Matthew 22:40, after the recital of the commandments to love God and to love our neighbour as ourselves, we read ‘on these two commandments hangeth the whole law and the prophets.’ In close harmony, if not in direct dependence on these words of the Lord, we read in Galatians 5:14, ὁ γὰρ πᾶς νόμος ἐν ἐνὶ λόγῳ πεπλήρωται ἐν τῷ ̓ Αγαπήσεις τὸν πλησίον σον ὡς σεαντόν. In Romans 13:9 we are told that all the commandments of the second table are ‘headed up’ (ἀνακεφαλαιοῦται) in the same ‘sovereign enactment’ (James 2:8) and then follows (James 2:10) ἡ ἀγάπη τῷ πλήσιον κακὸν οὐκ ἐργάζεται· πλήρωμα οὖν νόμου ἡ ἀγάπη. Love, that is, is πλήρωμα νόμον because it includes and consummates the whole. For a man who loves will not only respect all his neighbour’s rights and so keep the letter of the Law, he will embody its spirit, and give perfect expression to its informing idea.

In connexion with the fulfilment of the Law it is natural to take the fulfilment of the Scriptures and the fulfilment of Prophecy, of which our Lord speaks on various occasions in relation to particular events in His own life, especially in relation to the Passion, Luke 4:21; Luke 24:44; Mark 14:49 = Matthew 26:54; Matthew 26:56; John 13:18; John 15:25; John 17:12; cf. Matthew 13:14. Here the thought would seem to be that the principle expressed in the Scripture, which recorded some typical experience or inspired premonition of Prophet or Psalmist, found its perfect expression and embodiment in the different elements in our Lord’s earthly experience. In each of these cases, however, it is perhaps worth notice that we have the verb and not the substantive.

The idea of ‘fulfilment,’ thus suggested in relation to the Law and the Prophets, is of great help when we pass on to consider what St Paul means when he speaks of the Church as ‘the fulfilment’ of Christ, and of Christ as being in some sense ‘fulfilled’ in respect of everything in all men, Ephesians 1:23.

He has just called the Church ‘the Body of Christ,’ implying that the Church stands to her Ascended Lord and Head in the same relation in which our bodies stand to ourselves, or, to use the figure supplied by our Lord Himself, in the relation in which the several parts of the vine, the stem, branches, tendrils, leaves and fruit stand to the informing life, to which the name Vine rightly belongs. As the tree grows it unfolds more and more the hidden capacities of the life which it embodies. The branches fulfil the vine by giving it ever more and more complete expression.

In Ephesians 4:13, μέχρι καταντήσωμεν οἱ πἁντεςεἰς μέτρον ἡλικίας τοῦ πληρώματος τοῦ Χριστοῦ, τὸ πλήρωμα τοῦ Χριστοῦ supplies the norm of maturity to which we must each and all attain, whether we regard it as ‘the fulness’ or ‘completeness’ which is already characteristic of the Christ and on which we draw (as in John 1:16 ἐκ τοῦ πληρώματος αὐτοῦ sc. πλἡρης χάριτος καὶ ἀληθείας), or as the perfect expression of the Christ which the Church is destined to provide as in Ephesians 1:23. In any case as is shown by the phrase in Ephesians 4:10 ἵνα πληρώσῃ τὰ πάντα, ‘that He may bring the Universe in every part to its true completeness,’ our maturity has its source as well as its goal in the Christ.

This passage helps to explain the absolute use of πλῃροῦσθαι in relation to persons[177] which seems to be characteristic of this group of Epistles; cf. Ephesians 5:18 πληροῦσθε ἐν πνεύματι, ‘Attain to your true completeness’ by the inspiration of the Spirit, Ephesians 3:19 ἵνα πληρωθῆτε εἰς πᾶν τὸ πλήρωμα τοῦ θεοῦ (if this is the true reading) that ‘you may be brought to completeness.’ The same state is regarded as already ideally attained by the Christian in Christ in Colossians 2:10, ἐστε ἐν αὐτῷ πεπληρωμένοι.

The two last-quoted passages (Ephesians 3:19; Colossians 2:10) bring the verb into close connexion with πλήρωμα in relation no longer with Christ but with God. The case is complicated in Ephesians 3:19 by a various reading. The most widely supported reading πληρωθῆτε εἰς πᾶν τὸ πλήρωμα τοῦ θεοῦ may be translated (as Robinson) ‘up to the measure of’ all the completeness which God provides. It may, however, be taken, as ‘with a view to’ (and so ‘made contributory to’ Westcott) ‘all the fulness of God.’ The thought then would be that, as Christ finds His perfect expression in the Church, so God finds His perfect expression in the Universe when brought to perfection in Christ and His Church.

This thought is expressed more concisely in the reading of B, ἴνα πληρωθῇ πᾶν τὸ πλήρωμα τοῦ θεοῦ. The thought is not easy to parallel elsewhere in St Paul. But in him, as in many words of the Lord in St John’s Gospel, we are taught that the relation of the Church to Christ finds its Antitype in the relation of Christ to God, e.g. 1 Corinthians 3:23; 1 Corinthians 11:3; cf. John 6:57; John 10:14. So the development of thought is truly Pauline.

There remain two exceedingly difficult passages in Col. The second of these Ephesians 2:9 (βλέπετε μή τις ὑμᾶς ἔσται ὁ συλαγωγε͂ν διὰ τῆς φιλοσοφίας καὶ κενῆς ἀπάτης κατὰ τὴν παράδοσιν τῶν ἀνθρώπων, κατὰ τὰ στοιχεῖα τοῦ κόσμου, καὶ οὐ κατὰ Χριστόν· ὅτι ἐν αὐτῷ κατοικεῖ πᾶν τὸ πλήρωμα τῆς θεότητος σωματικῶς, καὶ ἐστὲ ἐν αὐτῷ πεπληρωμένοι) must clearly be taken in close connexion with the earlier passage Ephesians 1:19, ὄτι ἐν αὐτῷ εὐδόκησεν πᾶν τὸ πλήρωμα κατοικῆσαι καὶ διʼ αὐτοῦ ἀποκαταλλάξαι τὰ πάντα εἰς αὐτὸν, εἰρηνοποιήσας διὰ τοῦ αἴματος τοῦ σταυροῦ αὐτοῦ.

In both passages it will be observed that πᾶν τὸ πλήρωμα is spoken of as ‘taking up an abode’ (κατοικεῖν) ‘in Christ,’ as a step in the first case to an universal reconciliation, and in the second case to our attainment of a corresponding ‘completeness’ in Him.

In the second case τὸ πλήρωμα is further defined by the qualifying genitive τῆς θεότητος, and we have been accustomed in England in deference to Lightfoot’s deservedly high authority to carry back the same qualification into the first passage and so understand πλήρωμα in both passages as connoting ‘the totality of the Divine Nature and Attributes,’ and both passages have been regarded in consequence as asserting the full and perfect Divinity of Christ. There are, however, very serious objections in the way of this interpretation, not least from the theological side. For it is surely impossible to regard the Godhead of the Incarnate Word, as the phrase so interpreted would require us to do, as a quality resident in Him. The Godhead must itself constitute the inmost centre of His Personal Being. Whatever τὸ πλήρωμα may be, it must be an endowment of the Word made Flesh.

We are bound therefore to look elsewhere for a key to the interpretation of πλήρωμα in the Epistle to the Colossians. This key is, I believe, supplied by the analysis of the Colossian heresy given by Hort in Judaistic Christianity. If he is right, the trouble at Colossæ was fundamentally Judaistic. The Law of Moses and various ceremonial and other ascetic practices were being commended to the Gentile Christians, if not now, as earlier among the Galatians, as a condition of acceptance with God, yet as a means of attaining spiritual maturity and deeper purification. If this error was to be effectively combated, it was essential for St Paul to show that the goal, after which they were striving by a specious but fatally misleading path, was already attained in Christ. The moral and spiritual completeness and perfection, after which they had begun to strive, was included in the salvation which Christ had won for them and was part of the inheritance of all who realized their vital union with Him. In developing this thought the first point to be made clear was that (Ephesians 1:19) by Divine appointment the fulfilment of the Divine Law, i.e. of the Divine Purpose for man, and of the Divine Revelation of Himself to man, had an abiding home in Christ. St Paul had already told the Corinthians (2 Corinthians 1:20) that all the promises of God had been ratified and substantiated in Christ, ‘ἐν αὐτῷ τὸ Ναί.’

The memory of Words of the Lord, declaring e.g. that He had come to fulfil the Law and the Prophets, to fulfil all righteousness, or again the habit especially in Jewish controversy of claiming that this or that type or symbol or prophecy had been fulfilled in Him, would all help to connect the thought of Him with the thought of ‘fulfilment’ in their minds. But more was necessary, if the realization of all God’s plans and promises for man in Him was to be grasped effectively, as a quality imparted by God to Him to be shared by us. That is why St Paul puts the thought into words and speaks expressly of ‘all the fulfilment’ as taking up its abode in Him by God’s good pleasure. How this came about, or when, he does not say. It may have been imparted gradually in the course of His earthly training (cf. Luke 2:40 ἐκραταιοῦτο πληρούμενον σοφίᾳ). The term (κατοικῆσαι) suggests some special crisis, as the descent of the Holy Spirit at His Baptism (Luke 4 :1 πλήρης πνεύματος ἁγίου), or after His triumph over death (Matthew 28:18 ἐδόθη μοι πᾶσα ἐξουσία ἐν οὐρανῷ καὶ ἐπὶ γῆς). In any case it is an endowment of His Human Nature. The initial movement would seem from Colossians 1:19 to precede the Crucifixion. The consequences abide in the Ascended Christ, Ephesians 2:9 κατοικεῖ.

The associations of the thought of ‘indwelling’ would naturally lead us to connect the gift with the presence of the Holy Spirit, and it is perhaps not fanciful to find in εὐδόκησεν an echo of the Voice from Heaven that accompanied the bestowal of the Spirit; cf. John 3:34 οὐ γὰρ ἐκ μέτρου δίδωσιν τὸ πνεῦμα.

For the special needs of the Colossians various elements of this completeness needed to be emphasized. They were being carried away by the show of learning which their new teachers had brought with them. St Paul therefore (Ephesians 2:3) takes occasion to remind them that in Christ were hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

Again, the purity that they sought was somehow connected both with devotion to angels and with a fear of defilement by contact with material things. It is, I believe, for this reason that in Ephesians 2:9 St Paul not only brings ‘the completeness’ in Christ into direct relation to ourselves, ‘ye are completed in Him,’ but also reminds the Colossians that this completeness of moral development was that not of Angelic Natures but of the Divine, and that it abides in Christ under ‘bodily’ conditions, whether the body is to be regarded as ‘the body of His glory’ or as His Body the Church. It is no disadvantage to this interpretation of πλήρωμα in the Colossians that, while it approaches the thought of ‘fulfilment’ from a characteristically different point of view, i.e. in its relation to the person and work of Christ, and not as in Eph. in its relation to the being and office of the Church, yet it is altogether on the same lines, and supplies a natural foundation on which the teaching of Eph. can be built.

F. ADDITIONAL NOTE ON ἐνεργεῖν AND ἐνεργεῖσθαι

In the interpretation of Ephesians 1:11, τοῦ τὰ πάντα ἐνεργοῦντος κ.τ.λ., everything turns on the question whether ἐνεργεῖν can be used by St Paul in the active in the sense ‘of imparting energy to,’ or ‘setting in operation,’ or whether, as Dean Robinson in his valuable excursus on ἐνεργεῖν maintains, it can only mean ‘to operate’ or ‘produce a result.’ The question is not easy of solution. The fact, to which the Dean (after Hort) rightly calls attention, that ἐνεργεῖσθαι is always passive in St Paul and means ‘to be quickened into activity,’ ought in itself to be sufficient to keep the door open for a corresponding meaning in the active, and the later use of ἐνεργεῖν in the sense of ‘inspiring’ shows latent possibilities in the word, of which its use in classical Greek gives no hint, and for which such a meaning in N.T. would be a natural preparation. We cannot therefore rule out this meaning as a priori inadmissible. Whether the word ever actually bears it must be settled by a careful examination of the instances in which it occurs.

Here we are met by a difficulty which threatens to render a definite solution unattainable. When God is ὁ ἐνεργῶν the results of His working (τὰ ἐνεργήματα, 1 Corinthians 12:6) are vital forces, and to work or produce these is one and the same thing with setting them in operation. For instance, in Galatians 3:5, the phrase ἐνεργῶν δυνάμεις ἐν ὑμῖν, which is parallel to ὁ ἐπιχορηγῶν τὸ πνεῦμα, does not mean ‘works miracles,’ but ‘produces miraculous powers among,’ i.e. ‘imparts miraculous powers to you,’ and this is indistinguishable from ‘setting them to work.’ Similarly, 1 Corinthians 12:11, after enumerating the varieties of spiritual gifts of which the Corinthians had had experience, St Paul adds πάντα δὲ ταῦτα ἐνεργεῖ τὸ ἓν καὶ τὸ αὐτὸ πνεῦμα διαιροῦν ἰδίᾳ ἑκάστῳ καθὼς βούλεται, where again to impart the χάρισμα and to set it in operation are one and the same thing. So also in Philippians 2:13, ὁ ἐνεργῶν ἐν ὑμῖν καὶ τὸ θέλειν καὶ τὸ ἐνεργεῖν, ‘the willing and the working’ are tokens of will and energy in operation. There remain only three passages, Colossians 2:12 and the two in Ephesians 1:11; Ephesians 1:19.

In Ephesians 1:19 we must remember that ‘His power to usward’ becomes, according to Ephesians 3:20, a power made operative within us. Our faith is from moment to moment the result of the operation of that power, and is therefore described in Colossians 2:12 as ‘the faith of the operation of God’ (πίστεως τῆς ἐνεργείας τοῦ θεοῦ), as being created and sustained by it, or, as St Paul says here, we believe κατὰ τὴν ἐνέργειαν where (see Whitaker in loc.) κατὰ ‘suggests the thought of a current whose force determines the movement.’ The same passage in Colossians 2:12 shows that this faith-creating activity of God was especially displayed in the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, the characteristic effect of the faith being to enable us to share in His risen Life. So here the words ἣν ἐνήργηκεν ἐν τῷ χριστῷ may mean simply ‘which He has exerted in the case of the Christ.’ The preposition ἐν, however, in the light of Colossians 1:29 τὴν ἐνεργουμένην ἐν ἐμοὶ and of Ephesians 3:20 τὴν ἐνεργουμένην ἐν ἡμῖν, and the tense of ἐνήργηκεν suggest that St Paul is describing the Christ as having become a centre of regenerating force for the universe by virtue of the energy produced or set to work by God in Him. If so, we should find in the phrase another instance of the old ambiguity. For ἐνέργεια is in any case ‘force at work,’ not a mere capacity to produce a result.

In 1 Corinthians 12:6, ὁ δὲ αὐτὸς θεὸς ὁ ἐνεργῶν τὰ πάντα ἐν πᾶσιν, it is very difficult to determine the exact force of τὰ πάντα ἐν πᾶσιν. In the context the spiritual powers imparted to Christians (τὰ πνευματικὰ) have been described first as χαρίσματα, free gifts bestowed on individuals; as such they are all imparted by the operation of the same Spirit; then, in their destination, they are all endowments to be used in the service of the same Lord; lastly they are all products of the Divine activity, ἐνεργήματα, τὸ ἐνεργεῖν being regarded as the specifically Divine attribute. It would seem therefore as if it must import something beyond mere activity. We expect to find it in some form associated with the putting forth of creative power. But, while τὰ πάντα ἐν πᾶσιν certainly implies that St Paul conceived this Divine activity as omnipresent, it gives no clear guidance as to its nature. The phrase need not assert more than that it is God who is at work in respect of everything in all things. It is, however, more probable in the light of 1 Corinthians 12:11 that ὁ ἐνεργῶν is transitive. In that case τὰ πάντα are all τὰ πνευματικὰ in whomsoever they may be found—God is the source of them all—and here again to produce them and to set them to work are two aspects of the same act.

We come back then finally to the passage from which we started with no decisive guidance on the purely philological problem, but with a clearer grasp of the fact that the Divine working is habitually associated in St Paul’s mind with the bestowal of spiritual force, and so far prepared to regard it as at least possible that the Universe of God’s Creation, the Universe whose end is to be completely summed up in the Christ, is no dead mechanism, but instinct throughout (as 1 Timothy 6:13 τοῦ ζωογονοῦντος τὰ πάντα expressly asserts) with vital energies.

G. ADDITIONAL NOTE ON σφραγίζεσθαι

St Paul twice in this Epistle speaks of Christians as ‘sealed.’ In each case the sealing is with a view to redemption, and the seal is the Holy Spirit. In the only other passage (2 Corinthians 1:21 f.), in which St Paul uses the figure, God is expressly named as fixing the seal. It marks out those on whom it is set as in a special sense belonging to Him[180].

The reception of the Holy Spirit was normally, as we see from Acts 2:38; Acts 10:47; Acts 19:2, connected with Baptism. So that would no doubt be the occasion of the sealing. The widespread use of σφραγίς in connexion with Baptism in the second century may be derived from St Paul.

σφραγὶς is indeed found also in relation to initiation into the Mysteries, and Harnack (Hist. of Doct. (E. T.) I. p. 208) suggests that this is the source of the subsequent popularity of the term. He does not discuss the origin of its use by St Paul.

There can be little doubt that the associations of the term in St Paul’s mind would be Jewish rather than Greek. He uses it elsewhere of Circumcision (Romans 4:11), and it occurs in two prayers in the present Jewish rite of Circumcision. The first of these, already quoted by Wetstein in loc., runs as follows: “He hath set His seal in our flesh, for a sign and demonstration for us and our children for ever; that all who see us may perceive, and all of us may know that we are the blessed seed of the Lord.”

The second, which seems to have escaped notice hitherto, has further points of contact with Ephesians 1:14.

“Blessed art thou, O Lord our God, King of the Universe; who hast sanctified the beloved from the womb, and ordained an ordinance for his flesh, and sealed his descendants with the sign of the holy covenant. Therefore, in reward of this, the living God, who is our portion and rock, hath commanded the deliverance of the beloved holy seed of our kindred from the pit, for the sake of the covenant, which he hath put in our flesh.”

Here the seal is expressly εἰς ἡμέραν ἀπολυτρώσεως, and the thought of God as our portion is closely allied to the ἀρραβὼν τῆς κληρονομίας ἡμῶν. So that if the prayer could be traced back so far it would be natural to suppose that St Paul’s lauguage was directly moulded by it. And in any case the figure is shown to be thoroughly at home in a purely Jewish setting.

The figure is found also in Jewish surroundings in 4 Ezra 6:5, ‘before the gatherers of the treasures of faith were sealed,’ v.l. ‘before the merits of the gatherers,’ etc.

Here, apart from the uncertainty of the text, the allusion is probably to a sealing after the pattern of Ezekiel 9:4. In 2 Esdras 10:23, however, ‘Sion’s seal is now sealed up dishonoured,’ it seems at least possible that the reference may be to the disregard of the seal of the covenant rather than to the loss of power to coin money.

In Revelation 7:2 ff. the sealing of the servants of God on their foreheads is meant to recall Ezekiel 9:4, and is a symbol for baptism. It would have special point if the baptized were already signed with chrism on the foreheads with the sign of the Cross. The mark in Ezekiel, the letter Tau, was itself suggestive of a Cross (Barnab. ix.), and in the Apocryphal Acts of the Apostles σφραγὶς is constantly used of the sign of the Cross made with oil in baptism. See Bonnet’s Index σφραγίς, σφραγίζω, ἔλαιος, besides the passages quoted by Lightfoot and Harnack on 2 Clem. vii., and by Ryle and James on Ps. Song of Solomon 2:6.

The sealing is in any case, as we see from Revelation 14:1, in some sense the writing of the name of the Lamb and of His Father on their foreheads; and 1 John 2:20 χρίσμα ἔχετε ἀπὸ τοῦ ἁγίου (see Westcott in loc.) must refer to the spiritual reality figured by, even if it is not a direct allusion to, an established element in the outward rite.

This community of usage is a further link between the author of the Apocalypse and the Epistle to the Ephesians (see p. lxxxvii.).

I have to thank Mr Israel Abrahams, the University Reader in Rabbinic, for the following note.

“The passage to which you refer cannot be exactly dated, but it is certainly very old.

“It is an anonymous baraitha, to give it its technical description; the sayings so described belong to the Tannaim, and are certainly not later than the end of the second century. They may well go back to the first century, many of them do.

“The passage ‘Blessed art thou … who hast sanctified the beloved from the womb … and didst seal his offspring,’ etc., occurs in the Tosephta, Berachoth vii. 12–13, Talmud, tractate Sabbath, fol. 137 b, tractate Menaḥoth, fol. 53.

“ ‘The beloved’ is variously interpreted by the Jewish commentators of Abraham and of Isaac.”

How well established the use of the word seal was with regard to circumcision is seen by its use in the grace after meals:

“We thank thee, O Lord our God, because thou didst give as an heritage unto our fathers a desirable, good and ample land … as well as for thy covenant which thou hast sealed in our flesh,” etc.

This (Talmud, tractate Berachoth 48 b) also goes back to the Tannaistic age, but it is not easy to say at what part of the period between say 50–150 A.D.


It is difficult to define precisely the difference made by the presence or absence of the article with χριστὸς. Roughly speaking Χριστὸς is a proper name, individual and personal, ὁ χριστὸς is official and so to speak generic.

At times ὁ χριστὸς includes the whole body of the Church, the Head and His members regarded as one living organism. The clearest example of this use is to be found in 1 Corinthians 12:12, and, if we accept the punctuation of WH., in 1 Corinthians 1:13. It is parallel to the constant personification of Israel in the Psalms and in the Prophets, and perhaps even more closely to the varying connotations of ‘The servant of the Lord’ in Isaiah. This inclusive use of the term cannot however be found in all cases when χριστὸς has the article, apart from the cases in which τοῦ χριστοῦ is dependent on another substantive which also has the article—e.g. 1 Corinthians 6:15, where we have τὰ μέλη τοῦ χριστοῦ side by side with μέλη Χριστοῦ.

Something of the difference can be felt, if we contrast the cases in which we find ἐν Χριστῷ (Ephesians 1:3; Ephesians 4:32) with the cases in which we find ἐν τῷ χριστῷ (Ephesians 1:10; Ephesians 1:12; Ephesians 1:20, Ephesians 2:5 v.l.). In Ephesians 1:3, Ephesians 4:32, God in Christ blessed and forgave us. In Ephesians 1:12 we in the Christ, as members of His body, had hope beforetime. In Ephesians 2:5 God quickened us together with Christ as united in one body in Him. In Ephesians 1:10 God’s plan is to sum up the universe ‘in the Christ,’ every element finding its true place in organic connexion with Him. In Ephesians 1:20 ‘the Christ’ has become by virtue of His office the source of spiritual energy for the universe.

It must however be confessed that the distinction cannot always be pressed.

For some reason ὁ χριστὸς is relatively much more frequent in Ephesians than in any other Epistle.



When we look into St Paul’s language in Ephesians 2:15, we find him ascribing a central place among the objects of the Lord’s death upon the Cross to the restoration of unity between the divided races of men. The quiet assurance with which he makes his statement may easily blind us to the wonder of the fact that he should be in a position to make any statement at all on such a subject. Yet here it is. How are we to account for it?

Did St Paul find in the union which he saw consummating itself before his eyes presumptive evidence of an antecedent purpose? But he had struggled for the unity before it could be said in any sense to have established itself. His belief in it preceded the external evidence.

His whole Gospel came to him from the revelation of Jesus Christ which he received on the way to Damascus, and was developed by meditating directly on the significance of the Person and acts of Him who had made Himself known to him. Christian unity is vitally connected with all St Paul’s characteristic doctrines, especially with the ruling conception ἐν χριστῷ· Was his conviction as to our Lord’s relation to the unity of the Church a deduction from this primary truth? If it had been, could he have put it forward so confidently?

In other cases he was in the habit of checking and confirming his intuitions of spiritual truth by reference to O.T., no doubt continually finding unsuspected depths in the inspired words as he re-interpreted them in the light of the Gospel that had come to him. In one sense the unity of the Kingdom of God is axiomatic in the prophets. In the special section (Isaiah 40-66), from which St Paul derived so much of his missionary inspiration, the call of the Gentiles is coordinated with the gathering in of the dispersed of Israel, and their incorporation is in various ways implied. Nothing, however, is said as to the method or conditions of the incorporation. Elsewhere the only explicit promise of a restoration of unity refers to the healing of the breach between Israel and Judah. St Paul’s vision of unity can hardly then have been derived from O.T. He does not confirm his declaration with regard to our Lord’s personal attitude to the question from Scriptural evidence.

It would seem, therefore, as if nothing less than an express word of the Lord can account for the statement in our text. And it is worth notice that St John records one utterance of the Lord in which Ezekiel 37:24 is appropriated to the bringing in of the Gentiles into one flock with the Jews, and that bringing in is directly connected with the Passion (John 10:15 f.). If St Paul had heard of this utterance, it would entirely account for his language here. See the Evangelist’s interpretation of the word of the Lord in John 11:52. Cf. Int. p. xc, and pp. lviii.–lxii.


CC. 4–6

Ephesians 4:6 ἐν πᾶσιν add ἡμῖν DGKL etc latt syrr Irlat Cyp Hil Victor Ambrst.

om ἡμῖν אABCP boh Marc Or.

Ephesians 4:7 ἡ χάρις אAC etc Or.

om BD*GLP Arm.

Ephesians 4:9 κατέβη πρῶτον BKLP etc lat (vgcodd) syrr arm.

om πρῶτον אAC*DG 33 (= 17) 424** (= 67**) latt (vt vgcod) boh Clem Irenlat Or Tert Victrn Lucif Ambrst.

Ephesians 4:16 κατʼ ἐνέργειαν om G lat (vt) arm Irenlat Victrn Lucif Ambrst.

Ephesians 4:19 ἀπηλγηκότες אAB etc syrr (hl pal) boh Clem Or.

ἀπηλπικότες DG latt syr (vg) arm Iren Victrn Ambrst.

Ephesians 4:23 ἀνανεοῦσθε Db 33 (= 17) al10 latt syrr sah boh Clem ½.

Ephesians 4:24 ἐνδύσασθε אBDb al12 latt syrr sah boh Clem 2/4.

καὶ ἀληθείᾳ DG lat (vt) Cypr Hil Lucif.

τῆς ἀληθείας אAB etc Clem Victrn.

Ephesians 4:29 χρείας אAB etc.

πιστέως DG al latt (vt vgcodd) Clem ½ Tert Cyp Victrn Ambrst.

Ephesians 5:5 אBG 17 (= 33) 424** (= 67**) latt Cyp Victrn

ὄς AD etc.

but G latt Cyp Victor read εἰδωλολατρία for εἰδωλολάτρης.

Ephesians 5:9 φωτός אABD*GP 33 (= 17) 424 (= 67**) verss Or Lucif Victrn Ambrst.

πνεύματος Dc etc syr (hl)

Ephesians 5:14 ἐπιφαύσει σοι ὁ χς̅ אAB etc Marc Clem Hipp Orig.

ἐπιψαύσεις τοῦ χῡ. D*d nonnull ap Chr Lucif Victrn Ambrst.

Ephesians 5:15 ἀκριβῶς πῶς א*B 33 (= 17) boh Orig.

πῶς ἀκριβῶς אcADb etc.

Ephesians 5:23 αὐτὸς σωτήρ BDG.

αὐτὸς ὁ σωτήρ א*A Clem.

καὶ αὐτός ἐστιν σωτήρ אeDbKLP etc.

καὶ αὐτὸς ὁ σωτήρ 33 (= 17).

Ephesians 5:27 αὐτός אABDGLP 33 (= 17) d14 verss.

αὐτήν K etc Syr (vg).

Ephesians 5:29 χς̅ אABDG 33 = 17 verss Orint Tertmarc.

κς̅ KL etc.

Ephesians 5:30 ἐκ τῆς σαρκὸς αὐτοῦ καὶ ἐκ τῶν ὀστέων αὐτοῦ אcDG etc latt syrr Arm Iren Victrn Ambrst.

om א*AB 33 (= 17) 424** (= 67**) boh Orig Method.

Ephesians 5:31 καὶ προσκολληθήσεται πρὸς τὴν γυναῖκα αὐτοῦ om Marc Orig Cyp (Hier)

Ephesians 6:1 ἐκ κ̅̅ om BDG Clem Tert Cyp Ambrst.

Ephesians 6:10 τοῦ λοιποῦ א*AB 33 = 17 al2 Orig Cyr al pauc.

τὸ λοιπόν rell.

add ἀδελφοί μου (A) אcG.

om א*BD 33 (= 17) lat (vt) Arm Lucif.

Ephesians 6:12 τοῦ σκότους א*ABD*G 33 (= 17) 424** (67**) latt syrr boh arm Clem Orig Tert Cyp Victrn Lucif Ambrst.

τοῦ αἰῶνος Ia3190 Ephr.

τοῦ σκότους τοῦ αἰῶνος אcaDc etc.

Ephesians 6:13 κατειργασμένοι (A) latt Lucif Ambrst.

κατεργασάμενοι אB etc.

στῆναι στῆτε οὖν אB etc.

στῆτε DG lat (vt) Cypr?

στῆναι Lucif Victrn Ambrst.

Ephesians 6:19 τὸ μυστήριον om τοῦ εὐαγγελίου BG Tert Victrn Ambrst.

Ephesians 6:20 ἵνα αὐτὸ παρρησιάσωμαι B.

ἵνα παρρησιάσωμαι ἐν αὐτῷ א.

ἵνα ἐν αὐτῷ παρρησιάσωμαι vell.


[P. stands throughout for the thirteen Epistles of St Paul. The numbers in brackets indicate the recurrence of the word or phrase. Where no further references are given after P. the word is only found in St Paul in N.T. ἅπ. λεγ. is added to words peculiar to Ephesians in N.T.]

ἀγαθὸς [4]

ἀγαθωσύνη [1], P [4]

ἀγαπᾶν [10]

ἀγάπη [9] or [10]

ἀγαπητὸς [2]

ἁγιάζειν [1]

ἅγιος [15]

ἄγνοια [1] here only in P, but see A. Acts 3:17, Acts 17:30; 1 Peter 1:14

ἀγρυπνεῖν [1] here only in P, Mk, Lk., Heb., yet ἀγρυπνίαι 2 Co. [2]

ᾄδειν [1]

ἀδελφὸς 2 3)

ἀὴρ [1]

ἄθεος [1], ἅπ. λεγ[186]

αἷμα [3]

αἴρειν [1]

αἰσχρὸς [1], P [4]

αἰσχρότης [1], ἅπ. λεγ[188]

αἰτεῖσθαι [2]

αἰχμαλωσία [1] here only in P, Apoc. [2] all from LXX.

αἰὼν [7]

ἀκαθαρσία [2], P [9], Mt. [1]

ἀκάθαρτος [1]

ἄκαρπος [1]

ἀκούειν [5]

ἀκριβῶς [1], P [2], Lk. [6], Mt. [1]

ἀκροβυστία [1], P [19], Ac. [1]

ἀκρογωνιαῖος here only in P, Pet. [1] from LXX.

ἀλήθεια [6]

ἀληθεύειν [1], P [2]

ἀλλὰ [13]

ἀλλήλων [4]

ἅλυσις [1]

ἁμαρτάνειν [1] from LXX.

ἀμαρτία [1]

ἀμὴν [1]

ἀμφότερος [3] here only in P

ἄμωμος [2], cf. Phil.; Col.

ἀναβαίνειν [3], cf. Romans 10:6.

ἀναγινώσκειν [1]

ἀνακεφαλαιοῦν [1], P [2]

ἀναλαμβάνειν [2]

ἀνανεοῦν [1], ἅπ. λεγ[198]

ἀναστρέφειν [1]

ἀνασροφὴ [1]

ἄνεμος [1] here only in P

ἀνεξιχνίαστος [1], P [2]

ἀνέχεσθαι [1]

ἀνήκειν [1], P [3]

ἀνὴρ [7]

ἀνθιστάναι [1]

ἀνθρωπάρεσκος [1], P [2]

ἄνθρωπος [9]

ἀνιέναι [1] here only in P, Heb. [1] from LXX., Ac. [2]

ἀνιστάναι [1] in quotation

ἄνοιξις [1], ἅπ. λεγ[204]

ἀντὶ [1]

ἀξίως [1], P [5] + 3 Jn [1]

ἀπαλγεῖν [1], ἅπ. λεγ[206]

ἀπαλλοτριοῦν [2], P [3]

ἅπας [1]

ἀπατᾶν [1]

ἀπάτη [1]

ἀπειθία [2], P [4], Heb. [2], υἱοὶ τῆς ἀπ. Unique

ἀπειλὴ [1] here only in P, Ac. [2]

ἀπλότης [1], P [7]

ἀποκαλύπτειν [1]

ἀποκάλυψις [2]

ἀποκαταλλάσσειν [1], P [3][212]

ἀποκρύπτειν [1], P [3] Lk. [1]

ἀποκτείνειν [1], Metaph. P [3]

ἀπολύτρωσις [3], P [7], Heb. [2], Lk. [1]

ἀπόστολος [4]

ἀποτίθεσθαι [2]

ἄρα οὗν [1], P [12]

ἀῤῥαβὼν [1], P [3]

ἀρχὴ [3], of spiritual powers P [8]

ἄρχων [1]

ἀσέλγεια [1]

ἄσοφος [1], ἅπ. λεγ[219]

[219] π. λεγ. Is added to words peculiar to Ephesians in N.T.

ἀσωτία [1], Tit. [1], 1 Pet. [1]

αὐξάνειν [1]

αὔξειν [1], P [2]

αὔξησις [1], P [2]

ἄφεσις [1]

ἁφὴ [1], P [2]

ἀφθαρσία [1], P [7]

ἄφρων [1], P [8], Lk. [2], 1 Pet. [1]

βάθος [1]

βάπτισμα [1]

βασιλεία [1]

βέλος [1], ἅπ. λεγ[225]

βλασφημία [1]

βλέπειν [1]

βουλὴ [1], P [2], Lk. [2] Ac. [7] Heb. [1]

γὰρ [11]

γενεὰ [2]

γῆ [4]

γἰνεσθαι [8]

γινώσκειν [3]

γνωρίζειν [6]

γνῶσις [1]

γονεὺς [2]

γόνυ [1] + κάμπτειν P [4], et τιθέναι Mk [1], Lk. [1], Ac. [4]

γυνὴ [9]

δὲ [17]

δέησις [2]

δεῖν [1]

δεξιὸς [1]

δέσμιος [2]

δέχεσθαι [1]

διάβολος [2], cf. 1 Tim. [2], 2 Tim. [1], et Σατανᾶς in P [10], incl. 1 Tim. [2]

διαθήκη [1], plural here and Ro. [1] only

διακονία [1]

διάκονος [2], P [22], Mt. [3], Mk [2], Jn [3]

διάνοια [2]

διδασκαλία P [19] (Past. Epp. 15), Mt. = Mk [1] from LXX.

διδάσκαλος [1]

διδάσκειν [1]

διδόναι [12]

δίκαιος [1]

δικαιοσύνη [3]

διὸ [5]

δόγμα [1]

δοκιμάζειν [1]

δόμα [1] from LXX.

δόξα [8]

δουλεύειν [1]

δοῦλος [3]

δύναμις [5]

δύνασθαι [5]

δύο [2]

δωρεὰ [2]

δῶρον [1] here only in P

ἐγγὺς [2]

ἐγείρειν [2]

ἔθνος [5]

εἴ γε [2], P [5]

εἰδέναι [5]

εἰδωλολάτρης [1]

εἰ μὴ ὅτι [1], P [2]

εἷναι [49]

εἰρήνη [8]

εἷς [15]

ἕκαστος [5]

ἐκκλησία [9]

ἐκλέγεσθαι [1]

ἐκπορεύεσθαι [1] here only in P

ἐκτρέφειν [2], ἅπ. λεγ[235]

ἐλαχιστότερος [1], ἅπ. λεγ[236]

ἐλέγχειν [2]

ἔλεος [1]

ἐλεύθερος [1]

ἐλπίς [3]

ἐνδεικνύναι [1], P [9], Heb. [2]

ἔνδοξος [1], P [2], Lk. [2]

ἐνδύειν [3]

ἐνδυναμοῦν [1], P [6], Ac. [1]

ἐνέργεια [3], P [8]

ἐνεργεῖν [4]

ἐνκακεῖν [1], P [5], Lk. [1]

ἐνότης [2], ἅπ. λεγ[242]

ἐντολὴ [2]

ἐξαγοράζειν [1], P [4]

ἐξισχύειν [1], ἅπ. λεγ[244]

ἐξουσία [4]

ἐπαγγελία [4]

ἔπαινος [3], P [9], 1 Pet. [2]

ἐπέρχεσθαι [1] here only in P, Lk. [3], Ac. [4], Ja. [1]

ἐπίγνωσις [2], P [15], Heb. [1], 2 Pet. [4]

ἐπιδύειν [1], ἅπ. λεγ[248]

ἐπιθυμία [2]

ἐπιχορηγία [1], P [2]

ἐποικοδομεῖν [1], P [6], Jude [1]

ἐπουράνιος [5] (ἐν τοίς ἐπ. unique)

ἐργάζεσθαι [1]

ἐργασία [1] here only in P, Lk. [1], Ac. [4]

ἔργον [4]

ἔρχεσθαι [2]

ἔσω [1], ὁ ἔσω ἀνθ. P [2] Cf. 2 Corinthians 4:16

ἕτερος [1]

ἑτοιμασία [1], ἅπ. λεγ[254]

εὗ [1] here only in P in quot.

εὐαγγελίζεσθαι [2]

εὐαγγέλιον [4]

εὐαγγελιστὴς [1], P [2], Ac. [1]

εὐάρεστος [1], P [8], Heb. [1]

εὐδοκία [2], P [6], Mt. [1], Lk. [2]

εὐλογεῖν [1]

εὐλογητὸς [1]

εὐλογία [1]

εὔνοια [1], ἅπ. λεγ[259]

εὔσπλαγχνος [1] here only in P + 1 Pet. [1]

εὐτραπελία [1], ἅπ. λεγ[261]

εὐχαριστεῖν [2]

εὐχαριστία [1], P [12], Apoc. [2] Ac. [1]

εὐωδία [1], P [3]

ἔχειν [8]

ἔχθρα [2]

ζωὴ [1] (ἡ ζ. τοῦ θεοῦ unique)

ἡλικία [1] here only in P

ἥλιος [1]

ἡμέρα [3]

θάλπειν [1], P [2]

θέλημα [7]

θεμέλιος [1]

θεμελιοῦν [1]

θεὸς [32]

θλῖψις [1]

θυμὸς [1]

θυρεὸς [1], ἅπ. λεγ[266]

θυσία [1]

θῶραξ [1]

ἴδιος [1] or [2]

ἵνα [23]

Ἰσραὴλ [1]

ἱστάναι [3]

ἰσχὺς [2]

καθαρίζειν [1]

καθεύδειν [1] in quot.

καθίζειν [1]

καθὼς [10]

καινὸς [2]

καιρὸς [4]

κακία [1]

καλεῖν [2]

κάμπτειν [1], P [4] (cf. γόνυ)

καρδία [6]

καρπὸς [1]

καταβαίνειν [2]

καταβολὴ [1] here only in P[269]

καταλαμβάνειν [1]

καταλείπειν [1] from LXX.

καταντᾶν [1], P [4], Ac. [9]

καταργεῖν [1], P [25], Lk. [1], Heb. [1]

καταρτισμὸς [1], ἅπ. λεγ[272]

κατενώπιον [1]

κατεργάζεσθαι [1], P [20], Ja. [1], 1 Pet. [1]

κατοικεῖν [1]

κατοικητήριον here only in P, Apoc. [1]

κατώτερος [1], ἅπ. λεγ[275]

καυχᾶσθαι [1], P [34], Ja. [2]

κενὸς [1]

κεφαλὴ [4], metaph. P [10] (excluding κεφαλὴ γωνίας)

κλέπτειν [2]

κληρονομία [3]

κληροῦν [1], ἅπ. λεγ[278]

κλῆσις [3], P [9], Heb. [1], 2 Pet. [1]

κλυδωνίζεσθαι [1], ἅπ. λεγ[280]

κομίζειν [1]

κοπιᾶν [1]

κοσμοκράτωρ [1], ἅπ. λεγ[281]

κόσμος [3]

κραταιοῦν [1], P [2] Lk. [2]

κράτος [2]

κραυγὴ [1] here only in P

κρυφῆ [1], ἅπ. λεγ[284]

κτίζειν [4]

κυβία [1], ἅπ. λεγ[285]

κύριος [26]

κυριότης [1]

λαλεῖν [3]

λέγειν [7]

λόγος [4]

λοιπὸς [2]

λοῦτρον [1], P [2]

λύειν [1]

λυπεῖν [1]

μακρὰν [2] here only in P

μακροθυμία [1], P [10], Heb. [1], Ja. [1], 1 Pet. [1], 2 Pet. [1]

μᾶλλον [3]

μανθάνειν [1], μ. τὸν χ. unique

μαρτύρεσθαι [1], P [3], Ac. [2]

ματαιότης [1], P [2], 2 Pet. [1]

μάχαιρα [1]

μέγας [1]

μέγθος [1], ἅπ. λεγ[292]

μεθοδία [2], ἅπ. λεγ[293]

μεθύσκεσθαι [1]

μέλλειν [1]

μέλος [2] or [3]

μὲν [1]

μέρος [2] or [1]

μεσότοιχον [1], ἅπ. λεγ[294]

μεταδιδόναι [1], P [4], Lk. [1]

μέτρον [3]

μέχρι [1]

μηκέτι [3]

μῆκος [1] here only in P, Apoc. [2]

μήτηρ [2]

μιμητὴς [1], P [5], Heb. [1]

μισεῖν [1]

μνεία [1], P [7]

μνημονεύειν [1]

μόνον [1]

μυστήριον 6, P [21], Apoc. [4], Mt. = Mk = Lk. [1]

μωρολογία [1], ἅπ. λεγ[300]

ναὸς [1], metaph. P [7], Jn [2]?

νεκρὸς [4]

νήπιος [1]

νοεῖν [2]

νόμος [1]

νουθεσία [1], P [3]

νοῦς [2], P [21], Lk [1], Apoc. [2]

νῦν [4]

νυνὶ [1], P [14], Ac. [2], Heb. [1]

ξένος [2]

οἰκεῖος [1], P [3]

οἰκοδομὴ [4], P metaph. [15].

οἰκονομία [3], P metaph. [6].

οἶνος [1]

ὀλίγος [1]

ὄνομα [2]

ὀνομάζειν [3]

ὀργὴ [3]

ὀργίζεσθαι [1] here only in P (quot.)

ὀσιότης [1] here only in P, Lk [1]

ὀσμὴ [1], P [5] metaph., Jn [1] literal

ὅστις [4]

ὀσφὺς [1] here only in P

οὐκέτι [1]

οὖν [7]

οὐρανὸς [4]

οὕτως [4]

ὀφείλειν [1]

ὀφθαλμοδουλία [1], P [2]

ὀφθαλμὸς [1]

παιδεία [1], P [2], Heb. [4]

παλαιὸς [1], ὁ παλ. ἄνθ. P [3]

πανοπλία [2] here only in P, Lk [1]

πανουργία [1], P [4], Lk [1]

πάντοτε [1]

παραδιδόναι [3]

παρακαλεῖν [2]

παράπτωμα [3], P [16], Mt. [3], Mk [2]

παριστάναι [1]

πάροικος [1] here only in P, Ac. [2], 1 Pet. [1]

παροργίζειν [1], P [2]

παρρησία [2]

παρρησιάζεσθαι [1], P [2], Ac. [7] πᾶς [51]

πατὴρ [11] inc. absolute of ‘The Father’ [2]

πατριὰ [1] here only in P, Lk. [1], Ac. [1]

παύεσθαι [1], P [3], Lk. [3], Ac. [6], Heb. [1], 1 Pet. [2]

πέμπειν [1]

πεποίθησις [1], P [6]

περιζώννυσθαι [1] here only in P, Lk. [3], Apoc. [2]

περικεφαλαία [1], P [2]

περιπατεῖν [8]

περιποίησις [1], P [3], Heb. [1], 1 Pet. [1]

περισσεύειν [1], P [3] (transitive)

περιτομὴ [1]

περιφέρειν [1], P [2], Mk. [1]

πικρία [1], P [2], Ac. [1], Heb. [1]

πιστεύειν [2]

πίστις [8]

πιστὸς [2]

πλάνη [1]

πλάτος [1] here only in P, Apoc. [3]

πλεονέκτης [1], P [4]

πλεονεξία [2] P [6], Mk [1], Lk. [1], 2 Pet. [2]

πλὴν [1]

πληροῦν [4]

πλήρωμα [4], P [12], Mt. [1], Mk [3], Jn [1]

πλησίον [1] from LXX.

πλούσιος [1]

πλοῦτος [5]

πνεῦμα [14]

πνευματικὸς [3]

ποιεῖν [10]

ποίημα [1], P [2]

ποιμὴν [1] here only in P, Heb. [1], 1 Pet. [1]

πολιτεία here only in P, Ac. [1]

πολὺς [1]

πονηρία [1]

πονηρὸς [3]

πορνεία [1]

πόρνος [1]

ποτε [6]

ποὺς [2]

πράσσειν [1]

πραΰτης [1], P [8], 1 Pet. [1], Ja. [2]

πρέπειν [1]

πρεσβεύειν [1], P [2]

προγράφειν [1], P [3], Jude [1]

προετοιμάζειν [1], P [2]

πρόθεσις [2], P [6], Ac. [2]

προορίζειν [2], P [5], Ac. [1]

προσαγωγὴ [2], P [3]

προσεύχεσθαι [1]

προσευχὴ [2]

προσκαρτέρησις [1], ἅπ. λεγ[348]

προσφορὰ [1], P [2], Ac. [2], Heb. [5]

προσωπολημψία [1], P [3], Ja. [1]

πρότερος [1]

προτίθεσθαι [1], P [3]

προφήτης [3]

πρῶτος [1]

πυροῦσθαι [1]

πώρωσις [1], P [2], Mk [1]

ῥῆμα [2]

ῥιζοῦν [1], P [2]

ῥυτὶς [1], ἅπ. λεγ[355]

[355] π. λεγ. Is added to words peculiar to Ephesians in N.T.

σαπρὸς [1] here only in P

σάρξ [9] or [10]

σβεννύναι [1]

σκότος [3]

σκοτοῦν [1] here only in P, Apoc. [2]

σοφία [3]

σοφὸς [1]

σπῖλος [1] here only in P, 2 Pet. [1]

σπουδάζειν [1], P [7], Heb. [1], 2 Pet. [3]

σταυρὸς [1], P [10], Heb. [1]

στόμα [2]

συναρμολογεῖν [2], ἅπ. λεγ[361]

συνβιβάζειν [1], P [4], Ac. [3]

σύνδεσμος [1], P [3], Ac. [1]

συνεγείρειν [1], P [3]

σύνεσις [1], P [5], Mk [1], Lk. [1]

συνζωοποιεῖν [1], P [2]

συνιέναι [1]

συνκαθίζειν [1] here only in P, Lk. [1]

συνκληρονόμος [1], P [2], He. [1], 1 Pet. [1]

συνκοινωνεῖν [1], P [2], Apoc. [1]

σφραγίζειν [2]

σώζειν [2]

σῶμα [9], (8 of Church P [17])

σωτὴρ [1]

σωτηρία [1]

σωτήριον [1] here only in P, Lk. [2], Ac. [1]

ταπεινοφροσύνη [1], P [5], Ac. [1], 1 Pet. [1]

τέκνον [5]

τέλειος [1]

τηρεῖν [1]

τιμᾶν [1] quot.

τοιοῦτος [1]

τόπος [1], τ. διδόναι P [2], Lk. [1]

τρόμος [1], P [4], Mk [1]

ὕδωρ here only in P

υἱοθεσία [1], P [5]

ὕμνος [1], P [2]

ὑπακούειν [2]

ὑπεράνω [2] here only in P, He. [1]

ὑπερβάλλειν [3], P [5]

ὑπερεκπερισσοῦ [1], P [3]

ὑποδεῖσθαι here only in P, Ac. [1], Mk [1]

ὑποτάσσειν [3], P [23], Lk. [3], Heb. [5], 1 Pet. [6], Ja. [1]

ὕψος [2] here only in P

φανεροῦν [2]

φθείρειν [1]

φοβεῖσθαι [1]

φόβος [2]

φραγμὸς [1] here only in P, Mt. = Mk [1], Lk. [1]

φρόνησις [1] here only in P, Lk. [1]

φύσις [1]

φῶς [5]

φωτίζειν [2]

χαρίζεσθαι [2], P [16], Lk. [3], Ac. [4]

χάριν [2]

χάρις [12]

χαριτοῦν [1] here only in P, Lk. [1]

χεὶρ [1]

χειροποίητος here only in P, Mk [1], Ac. [2], Heb. [2]; but ἀχ. P [2], Mk [1]

χρεία [2]

χρηστὸς [1], P [3], Mt. [1], Lk. [2], 1 Pet. [1]

χρηστότης [1], P [10]

χωρὶς [1]

ψάλλειν [1], P [4], Ja. [1]

ψαλμὸς [1], P [3], of Christian Psalms

ψεῦδος [1], τὸ ψεῦδος P [3], cf. John 8:44 (?)

ψυχὴ [1], ἐκ ψυχῆς P [2]

ᾠδὴ [1], P [2], Apoc. [4]

ὡς [16]


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Bibliography Information
"Commentary on Ephesians:4 Overview". "Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges". 1896.

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