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Bible Commentaries

International Critical Commentary NTInternational Critical

- Ephesians

by S.R. Driver, A.A. Plummer and C.A. Briggs






Formerly Professor of Biblical Greek, Now of Hebrew, Trinity College, Dublin




All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of T. & T. Clark Ltd.



The following Commentary is primarily philological. Its aim is to ascertain with as great precision as possible the actual meaning of the writer’s language. The Commentaries which have been regularly consulted are those of Chrysostom and Theodore of Mopsuestia, amongst the ancients; and amongst the moderns, Alford, Barry, De Wette, Eadie, Ellicott, Meyer (W. Schmidt), Moule, von Soden, and the Speaker’s; also for Ephesians, Harless, Stier, and Macpherson; and for Colossians, Lightfoot The Commentary of von Soden, though concise, is very acute and independent. Mr. Moule’s also, although bearing a modest title, is of great value. Other writers have been occasionally consulted. Much use has been made of Fritzsche’s occasional notes in his various commentaries, especially in connexion with the illustration. of the language of the Epistles from classical and late Greek authors. Wetstein, of course, has not been overlooked.

The text adopted is that of the Revisers, except where otherwise stated.





This question cannot be treated apart from that of the genuineness of ἐν Ἐφέσῳ in 1:1.

MSS. All extant MS. authority, with three exceptions, is in favour of the words. The three exceptions are א B 672.

In א they are added by a later hand (אc).

In B they are also added by a corrector (B3), although Hug was of opinion that the correction was by the first hand.

In 67 they were written by the original scribe, but are expunged by the corrector. Possibly this correction is not independent of B. Lightfoot observes that a reading in St. Paul’s Epistles supported by א B 672 almost always represents the original text.

In addition to these, however, we have the express testimony of Basil that the words were absent from the most ancient, or rather all the ancient, MSS in his day His words are: Τοῖς Ἐφεσίοις ἐπιστέλλων, ὡς γνησίως ἡωμένοις τῷ ὄντι διʼ ἐπιγνώσεως, ὄντας αὐτοὺς ἰδιαζόντως ὠνόμασεν, εἰπών· τοῖς ἁγίοις τοῖς οὖσι καὶ πιστοῖς ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ· οὕτω γὰρ καὶ οἱ πρὸ ἡμῶν παραδεδώκασι καὶ ἡμεῖς ἐν τοῖς παλαιοῖς τῶν�

Fathers, etc. Origen’s commentary is quoted in Cramer’s Catena as follows: Ὠριγένης δέ φησι, ἐπὶ μόνων Ἐφεσίων εὕρομεν κείμενον, τὸ “τοῖς ἁγίοις τοῖς οὖσι·” καὶ ζητοῦμεν εἰ μὴ παρέλκει (i.e. is redundant) προσκείμενον τὸ “τοῖς ἁγίοις τοῖς οὖσι·” τί δύναται σῃμαίνειν· ὅρα οὖν εἰ μὴ ὥσπερ ἐν τῇ Ἐξόδῳ ὄνομά φησιν ἑαυτοῦ ὁ χρηματίζων Μωσεῖ τὸ ὢν, οὔτως οἱ μετέχοντες τοῦ ὄντος, γίνονται ὄντες, καλούμενοι οἱονεὶ ἐκ τοῦ μὴ εἶναι εἰς τὸ εἶναι “ἐξελέξατο γὰρ ὁ Θεὸς τὰ μὴ ὄντα” φησὶν ὁ αὐτὸς Παῦλος “ἵνα τὰ ὄντα καταργήσῃ, ” κ.τ.λ. AS τοῖς ἁγίοις τοῖς οὖσι· occurs with ἐν and the name of the place in other Epistles (2 Cor., Phil.; cf. Romans 1:7), it is clear that what Origen refers to as used of the Ephesians only is τοῖς οὖσιν without ἐν Ἐφέσῳ.

Tertullian informs us that Marcion gave the Epistle the title “ad Laodicenos” (Adv. Marc. v. 17): “Ecclesiae quidem veritate epistolam istam ad Ephesios habemus emissam, non ad Laodicenos, sed Marcion ei titulum aliquando interpolare (i.e. falsify)1 gestiit, quasi et in isto diligentissimus explorator; nihil autem de titulis interest, cum ad omnes apostolus scripserit, dum ad quosdam.” Compare ibid. 11, “praetereo hic et de alia epistola, quam nos ad Ephesios praescriptum (i.e. superscribed) habemus, haeretici vero ad Laodicenos.” It is clear from this that Marcion had not the words ἐν Ἐφέσῳ in his text. But it is also inferred with great probability that Tertullian himself had them not. For he does not charge Marcion with falsifying the text but the title, and he vindicates the title “ad Ephesios” by an appeal to the “veritas ecclesiae,” not to the actual words in the text, which would have been conclusive. Moreover, how strange the remark, “nihil autem de titulis interest,” etc., if he had ἐν Ἐφέσῳ in the text of the apostle! It is clear that “titulus” here means the superscription, not the address in the text.

Lightfoot points out that there are indications in the earlier Latin commentators that in the copies they used the word “Ephesi,” if not absent, was in a different position, which would betray its later introduction. Thus in the middle of the fourth century, Victorinus Afer writes: “Sed haec cum dicit ‘Sanctis qui sunt fidelibus Ephesi,’ quid adjungitur? ‘In Christo Jesu’” (Mai. Script. Vett. Nova Coll. 3. p. 87).

Ambrosiaster, in his Commentary, ignores “Ephesi”: “Non solum fidelibus scribit, sed et sanctis: ut tunc vere fideles Sint, si fuerint Sancti in Christo Jesu.”

Sedulius Scotus (eighth or ninth century) writes: “Sanctis Non omnibus Ephesiis, sed his qui credunt in Christo. Et fidelibus. Omnes sancti fideles sunt, non omnes fideles sancti, etc. Qui Bunt in Christo Jesu. Plures fideles sunt, sed non in Christ.,” etc. The omission of “Ephesi” in the quotations from the text is of no importance; but the position of “qui sunt” is remarkable. It would seem as if some transcriber, finding “sanctis qui sunt et fidelibus in Christo Jesu,” and stumbling at the order, transposed “qui sunt” into the position in which Sedulius, or some earlier writer whom he copies, appears to have found them.

Jerome is doubtless referring to Origen when he says (in loc.): “Quidam curiosius (i.e. with more refinement) quam necesse est, putant ex eo quod Moysi dictum sit ‘Haec dices filiis Israel: qui est misfit me,’ etiam eos qui Ephesi sunt sancti et fideles, essentiae vocabulo nuncupatos. … Alii vero simpliciter non ad eos, qui sint, sed qui Ephesi sancti et fideles sint, scriptum arbitrantur.” This is obscurely expressed, and it is not clear whether he means to refer to a difference of reading. But as we know that he had read Origen’s commentary, he can hardly have been ignorant of the fact that the interpretation he quotes implied the omission of ἐν Ἐφέσῳ, and the reader will observe that the word is “scriptum,” not “scriptam,” as some commentators have quoted it. If this is taken strictly it must refer to the reading.

When we turn to the Epistle itself we find its whole tone and character out of keeping with the traditional designation. St. Paul had spent about three years at Ephesus “ceasing not to warn every one day and night with tears” (Acts 20:31). On his last journey to Jerusalem he sent for the elders of Ephesus to meet him at Miletus. His address to them (Acts 20:18 sqq.) is full of affectionate remembrance of his labours amongst them, and of earnest warnings. The parting is described in touching words “They fell on his neck and kissed him, sorrowing most of all for the words which he spake, that they should see his face no more.” There was no Church with which his relations were more close, nay, so close and affectionate, or in connexion with which he had such sacred and affecting memories. We might expect a letter written to Ephesus to be full of personal reminiscences, and allusions to his labours amongst them; instead of which we have a composition more like a treatise than a letter, and so absolutely destitute of local or personal colouring that it might have been written to a Church which St. Paul had never even visited. We need not attach much importance to the absence of personal greetings. There are no special salutations in the Epp. to the Corinthians and to the Philippians, for example, perhaps because, as Lightfoot says: “Where all alike are known to us, it becomes irksome, if not invidious, to select any for special salutation.” But there is not even a general friendly greeting as in those Epistles; there is nothing but the impersonal εἰρήνη τοῖς�

It is impossible to explain this on the supposition that the Epistle was addressed to the Ephesian Church, so loving to the apostle and so beloved.

But we may go farther than this, for there are expressions in the Epistle which seem impossible to reconcile with the supposition that it is addressed to that Church. Ch. 1:15, “Having heard of your faith,” etc., may perhaps be explained, though not very naturally, as referring to the period since his departure from them. Not so the following: 3:2, “For this cause, I Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus in behalf of you Gentiles,—if indeed ye have heard of (or ‘were instructed in’) the dispensation of the grace of God which was given me to you-ward”; 4:21, 22, “But ye did not so learn Christ, if indeed ye heard of Him, and were taught in Him,” etc

Dr. Hort thinks the usual reply to the argument from the two latter passages true and sufficient, namely, that εἴγε “is not infrequently used with a rhetorical or appealing force where no real doubt is meant to be expressed,” and St. Paul could not express any real doubt in either case about any Church of Proconsular Asia, any more than about the Ephesian Church.

Let it be granted that εἴγε does not imply the existence of a doubt, it certainly (as an intensified “if”) implies that doubt is not inconceivable. It cannot mean more than “I am sure,” “I do not doubt,” “I know,” “I am persuaded.” But this is not the way in which a man expresses himself about a matter of his own experience, or in which he has himself been the agent. A preacher occupying a friend’s pulpit may say “I know,” or “if indeed ye have been taught,” but not when addressing those whom he has himself taught.Dr. Hort in confirmation of his remark about the appealing force of εἴγε refers to Ellicott’s note, which is a notable instance of petitio principii. Having said that εἴγε “does not in itself imply the rectitude of the assumption made,” as Hermann’s Canon implies (“εἴγε usurpatur de re quae jure sumpta creditur”), but that this must be gathered from the context, he proceeds: “In the present case there could be no real doubt; ‘neque enim ignorare quod hic dicitur poterant Ephesii quibus Paulus ipse evangelium plusquam biennio praedicaverat,’ Estius; comp. ch. 4:21; 2 Corinthians 5:3; Colossians 1:23. No argument, then, can be fairly deduced from these words against the inscription of this Ep. to the Ephesians.” That is to say, if εἴγε implied doubt, the Epistle could not be addressed to the Ephesians; but it was so addressed, therefore εἴγε does not imply doubt, and therefore is not inconsistent with such an address. The three passages referred to in illustration are singularly unsuitable for the purpose. Ch. 4:21 belongs to the very Epistle in question. In 2 Corinthians 5:3, εἴγε καὶ ἐνδυσάμενοι οὗ γυμνοὶ εὑρεθησόμεθα, and in Colossians 1:23, εἴγε ἐπιμένετε τῇ πίστει, κ.τ.λ., it is the future that is spoken of, and the particle has its usual sense, “if, as I assume.” Lightfoot, indeed (on Galatians 3:4), expresses the opinion that in the N.T. εἴγε is even less affirmative than εἴπερ.

Ephesians 3:4 also (whether we adopt Hort’s view that�

In the early Church the Epistle was universally regarded as addressed to the Ephesians. It is so referred to in the Muratorian Canon; by Irenaeus (Haer. i. 3. 1, 4; i. 8. 4; v. 2. 36); by Tertullian (quoted above); by Clement of Alexandria (Strom. iv. 65); and by Origen, who, as we saw above, had not ἐν Ἐφέσῳ in his text (Comment. in loc., and Contra Celsum, iii. 20).

There is one important exception to this general belief, namely, Marcion, who, as above mentioned, held the Epistle to be addressed to the Laodiceans. This fact has been generally put aside as of no importance, it being supposed that this was a mere critical conjecture of Marcion (as Tertullian assumes), and probably suggested by Colossians 4:16. But considering the antiquity of Marcion, who was of earlier date than any of the Catholic writers cited, we are hardly justified in treating his evidence so lightly, seeing that he could have no theological motive for changing the title. Even if his “ad Laodicenos” was only a critical conjecture, this would justify the inference that the destination of the Epistle was at that time to some extent an open question. But it is unlikely that he should have been led to adopt this title merely by the fact that mention is made elsewhere of an Epistle (not to, but) from Laodicea. There is nothing in the Epistle itself to suggest Laodicea. It is, then, not improbable that he had seen a copy with ἐν Λαοδικείᾳ in the text.

Passing by this, however, for the present, we have the following facts to account for: First, the early absence of ἐν Ἐφέσῳ. As Lightfoot puts it: “We have no direct evidence that a single Greek manuscript during this period (second and third centuries) contained the words in question. The recent manuscripts to which Basil refers in the latter half of the fourth century, are the earliest of which this can be distinctly affirmed” (Biblical Essays, p. 381). Secondly, the early and universal recognition in the Church of the Epistle as written to the Ephesians.

Writers who hold ἐν Ἐφέσῳ to have been an integral part of the original text suppose the words to have been omitted for critical reasons, namely, because they seemed not to agree with the character of the Epistle. This theory, to be plausible, would require the facts to be reversed, i.e. that the words should be omitted by the later not the earlier authorities, and that the opinion of the early Church should be vacillating. In fact, it explains the unanimity of early opinion by supposing that ἐν Ἐφέσῳ was read without question, and explains the early omission of the words by supposing that opinion was not unanimous.

Apart from this, the theory postulates a critical study of the relations between the apostle and the Churches which it would be a complete anachronism to ascribe to that early age. Much later, indeed, we find Theodore of Mopsuestia led by�

It must be admitted that this plan of leaving blanks savours more of modern than of ancient manner, and resembles the formality of a legal document more than the natural simplicity of St. Paul. Indeed, we have examples in 2 Corinthians 1:1 and Galatians 1:2 of the form of address which he would be likely to adopt in an encyclical letter. Besides, any hypothesis which makes Ephesus the chief of the Churches addressed, is open, though in a less degree, to the objections alleged above against the traditional designation.

A second form of the hypothesis supposes the sentence to be complete without anything corresponding to ἐν Ἐφέσῳ. Origen’s view of the meaning of the passage when these words are not read has been quoted above, viz. “to the saints who are.”

This view has been recently espoused by Dr. Milligan (Encycl. Brit., art. “Ephesians”), who translates: “To the saints existing and faithful in Christ Jesus.” But the passages to which he refers in justification of this are by no means sufficient for the purpose. They are—Colossians 2:3, ἐν ᾧ εἰσι πάντες οἱ θησαυροί …�Acts 13:1, κατὰ τὴν οὖσαν ἐκκλησίαν, and Romans 13:1, αἱ δὲ οὖσαι ἐξουσίαι. But in the former case ἐν Ἀντιοχείᾳ had just preceded, so that only ἐκεῖ has to be supplied; in the latter the verb simply means “to be in existence.” Not to dwell on the untenable suggestion that τοῖς οὖσιν should be taken with ἁγίοις (“the saints who are really such”), there remains the perfectly grammatical construction, “the saints who are also faithful” (see note in loc.). The difficulty of the construction is actually diminished by the absence of ἐν Ἐφέσῳ.

The Epistle, then, is best regarded as addressed, not to a Church, but to the Gentile converts in Laodicea, Hierapolis, and Colossae, and elsewhere in Phrygia and the neighbourhood of that province. This is the view adopted by Reiche, Ewald, and (independently) by Prof. Milligan (who, however, supposes the Epistle addressed only to the Gentile converts of Laodicea and Colossae). It meets most of the difficulties. It explains the absence of local references combined with the local limitation implied in 6:22. It also escapes the difficulty of supposing a blank space in 1:1. Further, it explains the remarkable expression, Colossians 4:16, “the Epistle from Laodicea.” That the Epistle referred to was not written to Laodicea appears highly probable from the fact that a salutation is sent through Colossae to the Laodiceans, which would be inexplicable if they were receiving by the same messenger a letter addressed to themselves; and the expression “from Laodicea” agrees with this, since Tychicus would reach Laodicea first, so that the Colossians would receive the letter from thence. Moreover, the hypothesis explains the remarkable fact that the Epistle contains no allusion to doctrinal errors such as had taken so great a hold in Colossae. Yet that such errors extended at least to Laodicea is not only probable, but is confirmed by the apostle’s direction that the Epistle to Colossae should be read in Laodicea also.

There is no difficulty in understanding how the title “to the Ephesians” would come to be attached to the Epistle, since it was from Ephesus that copies would reach the Christian world generally. A parallel case is the title of the Epistle to the Hebrews, πρὸς Ἐβραίους, which, though of doubtful appropriateness, was never questioned. Once accepted as addressed to the Ephesians, the analogy of other Epistles in which τοῖς οὖσιν is followed by the name of a place would naturally suggest the insertion of ἐν Ἐφέσῳ.

The hypothesis that the Epistle is a “circular” letter has been adopted (with various modifications) by a very great number of scholars, including Bengel, Neander, Harless, Olshausen, Reuss, Arch. Robertson, Ellicott, Lightfoot, Hort, B. Weiss, Wold-Schmidt, Milligan.


External Evidence—The earliest express reference to the Epistle as St. Paul’s is that of Irenaeus; but inasmuch as, if not genuine, it must be much later than St. Paul, evidence of acquaintance with it on the part of early writers is important. When we add to this the fact that it professes to be St. Paul’s, we are fairly justified in saying that evidence of its reception is evidence of its genuineness. We begin then with—

Clement of Rome, c. 64, ὁ ἐκλεξάμενος τὸν Κύριον Ἰησοῦν Χριστὸν καὶ ἡμᾶς διʼ αὐτοῦ εἰς λαὸν περιούσιον. Compare Ephesians 1:4, Ephesians 1:5, καθὼς ἐξελέξατο ἡμᾶς ἐν αὐτῷ … προορίσας ἡμᾶς … διὰ Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ. Still closer is c. 46, ἢ οὐχὶ ἕνα Θεὸν ἔχομεν καὶ ἕνα Χριστόν; καὶ ἓν πνεῦμα τῆς χάριτος τὸ ἐκχυθὲν ἐφʼ ἡμᾶς καὶ μία κλῆσις ἐν Χριστῷ; compare Ephesians 4:4-6. Again, c. 36, ἠνεῴχθησαν ἡμῶν οἱ ὀφθαλμοὶ τῆς καρδίας; cf. Ephesians 1:18. And c. 38, ὑποτασσέσθω ἕκαστος τῷ πλήσιον αὐτοῦ; cf. Ephesians 5:21.

The part of the Didaché called the Two Ways contains the following (Did. iv. 10, 11, also worked up by Barnabas, 19:7): οὐκ ἐπιτάξεις δούλῳ σου ἢ παιδίσκῃ τοῖς ἐπὶ τὸν αὐτὸν Θεὸν ἐλπίζουσιν ἐν πικρίᾳ σου; and to servants: ὑμεῖς δὲ οἱ δοῦλοι ὑποταγήσεσθε τοῖς κυρίοις ὑμῶν ὡς τύπῳ Θεοῦ ἐν αἰσχύνῃ καὶ φόβῳ. Compare Ephesians 6:9, Ephesians 6:5. The coincidence is in substance rather than in words, but it is best accounted for by supposing a knowledge of our Epistle.

Ignatius, Ep. ad Eph. c. 12, Παύλου συμμύσται (ἐστε), τοῦ ἡγιασμένου, … ὃς ἐν πάσῃ ἐπιστολῇ μνημονεύει ὑμῶν ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ. Many writers (including Hefele, in loc., Alford, Harless, and, less decidedly, Westcott and Robertson) render this “in all his Epistle,” viz. to you, or “in every part of his Epistle.” But this is untenable. For, in the first place, it is ungrammatical; certainly no example has been produced which is quite parallel. Hefele adduces πᾶσα Ἱεροσόλυμα, Matthew 2:3; and πᾶς Ἰσραήλ, Romans 11:26; but these are proper names. Other supposed parallels are examined by Lightfoot, in loc. Two have been relied on by later writers, viz. Acts 17:26, ἐπὶ παντὸς προσώπου τῆς γῆς, and Aristot. Eth. Nic. i. 13, 7, πᾶν σῶμα. But neither are these analogous. There is only one πρόσωπον τῆς γῆς, hence this term is used (not, indeed, with πᾶν) without the article in the Sept. (Genesis 4:14, Genesis 6:7, Genesis 11:8, πρ. πάσης τῆς γῆς = Luke 21:35). It is easy to understand, then, how it should come to be so used even with πᾶν preceding.

At first sight πᾶν σῶμα in Aristotle, l.c., seems to present a closer parallel. The passage runs: δεῖ τὸν πολιτικὸν εἰδέναι πῶς τὰ περὶ ψυχῆς· ὥσπερ καὶ τὸν ὀφθαλμοὺς θεραπεύοντα, καὶ πᾶν σῶμα; i.e. he that heals the eyes must know the whole body. But σῶμα in the abstract sense, i.e. as meaning, not this or that individual body, but the body as opposed to the soul, is used by Aristotle without the article, just as ψυχή is also used (see, for example, Eth. Nic. i. 8. 2; 6. 12, etc.). In this particular instance the omission of the article was, in fact, necessary to precision; for πᾶν τὸ σῶμα might mean the body of him whose eyes were to be healed, whereas what is intended is the human body generally. Since, therefore, πᾶν σῶμα here does not mean the whole individual body, it furnishes no parallel to the alleged meaning of πάσῃ ἐπιστολῇ, and we are compelled to abide by the rendering “in every Epistle.”

But, in the second place, the proposed rendering gives a wholly unsuitable sense. The fact of St. Paul devoting a letter to the Ephesians would deserve mention, but to what purpose to say, “in his whole letter to you he mentions you”? We do not speak of making mention of a man to himself, nor did the Greeks so use μνημονεύειν. But even if this were possible, it would be, as Lightfoot says, “singularly unmeaning, if not untrue,” of the present Epistle. Alford, indeed, thinks the expression fully justified, and quotes Pearson, who says: “Tota enim Epistola ad Ephesios scripta, ipsos Ephesios, eorumque honorem et curam, maxime spectat, et summe honorificam eorum memoriam ad posteros transmittit. In aliis epistolis apostolus eos ad quos scribit saepe acriter objurgat aut parce laudat. Hic omnibus modis perpetuo se Ephesiis applicat,” etc. All this if said of the Ephesians in a letter addressed to others might be called μνημονεύειν, although this would be a strangely weak word to use. Does not “acriter objurgare” involve μνημονεύειν as much as “laudare”? But the peculiarity of the Epistle is that nothing is mentioned or even alluded to which is personal to the Ephesians.

Kiene (Stud. u. Krit. 1869, p. 286) understands by πάσῃ ἐπιστολῇ “an entire letter,” but without attempting to show the possibility of this rendering. But can we say that St. Paul mentions the Ephesians “in every letter”? Allowing for a natural hyperbole we may answer, Yes. Ephesus and the Christians there are referred to either alone or with others in Romans 16:5; 1 Corinthians 15:32, 1 Corinthians 15:16:8, 1 Corinthians 15:19; 2 Corinthians 1:8 sq.; and 1 and 2 Tim.

The longer recension of Ignatius has (ὃς πάντοτε ἐν ταῖς δεήσεσιν αὐτοῦ μνημονεύει ὑμῶν. The Armenian Version reads μνημονεύω, which would be true to fact, for in five out of the six other Epistles, Ignatius does mention the Ephesians. But the authority is insufficient.

Accepting, then, the usual reading and the grammatical rendering, we cannot infer from the words that Ignatius knew the Epistle as addressed to the Ephesians. Rather they would suggest the opposite conclusion. For, when Ignatius desired to remind his readers of St. Paul’s regard for them, it would be strange that he should only refer to the mention of them in other Epistles, and not at all to that which had been specially addressed to them.

The word συμμύσται has been thought to have been suggested by Ephesians 1:9, Ephesians 1:3:3, Ephesians 1:4, Ephesians 1:9, etc.; but this is very precarious, for St. Paul uses no expression there which would suggest Ignatius’ word, and συμμύστης is used by Origen (In Jes. Naue Hom. 7, ii. p. 413), “ipse (Paulus) enim est symmystes Christi,” and by Hippolytus (in Dan. p. 174, Lagarde).

The question as to Ignatius’ knowledge and reception of the Epistle is quite a different one. In the address of his Epistle he has several expressions which may have been suggested by the early verses of our Epistle: τῇ εὐλογημένῃ, πληρώματι, προωρισμένῃ πρὸ αἰώνων εἶναι … εἰς δόξαν, ἐκλελεγμένην, ἐν θελήματι τοῦ πατρός. More certain is cap. i., μιμηταὶ ὄντες τοῦ Θεοῦ, borrowed apparently from Ephesians 5:1, and Polyc. 5,�Ephesians 5:29. In the following ch. 6. the reference to the Christian’s πανοπλία was probably suggested by Ephesians 6:11, although the parts of the armour are differently assigned. Also Ign. Eph. c. 9, ὡς ἄντες λίθοι ναοῦ πατρός, ἡτοιμασμένοι εἰς οἰκοδομὴν Θεοῦ πατρός (Ephesians 2:20-22).

Contemporaneous with Ignatius is the Epistle of Polycarp to the Philippians. It contains two quotations from the present Epistle in cap. i., χάριτί ἐστε σεσωσμένοι, οὐκ ἐξ ἔργων, from Ephesians 2:5, Ephesians 2:8, Ephesians 2:9; and c. 12 (of which the Greek is lost), “ut his scripturis dictum est, irascimini et nolite peccare et, sol non occidat super iracundiam vestram, from Ephesians 4:26. Some commentators, indeed, suppose that Ignatius here is, independently of our Epistle, making the same combination of two O.T. texts, or that both adopt a combination made by some earlier writer. That is to say, they regard “let not the sun go down on your wrath” as a quotation from Deuteronomy 24:13, Deuteronomy 24:15, verses which have nothing in common with this but the reference to the sun going down, for what they deal with is the hire of a poor man and the pledge taken from the poor. That two writers should independently connect the words in Deut. with those in Ps. 4., changing in the former “his hire” into “your anger,” is beyond the bounds of probability. As to the difficulty which is found in Polycarp citing the N.T. as Scripture, perhaps the explanation may be that, recognising the first sentence as a quotation from the O.T., he hastily concluded that the second was so also. For in the context immediately preceding he confesses that his acquaintance with the Scriptures was not equal to that of the Philippians. This is at least more probable than an accidental coincidence.

Hermas, Mand. iii., has,�Ephesians 4:25, Ephesians 4:29. A little after we have, μηδὲ λύπην ἐπάγειν τῷ πνεύματι τῷ σεμνῷ καὶ�Ephesians 4:4, Ephesians 4:5.

The Valentinians also quoted the Epistle, 3:4-18, as γράφη (Hipp. Philos. vi. 34).

By the close of the second century the Epistle was universally received as St. Paul’s. Irenaeus, adv. Haer. v. 2, 3, has, καθὼς ὁ μακάριος Παῦλός φησιν, ἐν τῇ πρὸς Ἐφεσίους ἐπιστολῇ· ὅτι μέλη ἐσμὲν τοῦ σώματος, ἐκ τῆς σαρκὸς αὐτοῦ καὶ ἐκ τῶν ὀστέων αὐτοῦ (5:30). Also 1:8, 5, he similarly quotes Ephesians 5:13. Clem. Alex. Strom. iv. § 65, having quoted 1 Corinthians 11:3 and Galatians 5:16 sqq., with φησὶν ὁ�Ephesians 5:21-25. Also Paed. i. § 18, ὁ�2 Corinthians 11:2) … σαφέστατα δὲ Ἐφεσίοις γράφων … λέγων· μέχρι καταντήσωμεν οἱ πάντες, κ.τ.λ., Ephesians 4:13-15. Tertullian and Marcion have already been quoted.

From this evidence it is all but certain that the Epistle already existed about 95 a.d. (Clement), quite certain that it existed about 110 a.d. (Ignatius, Polycarp).

Not to be overlooked as an item of evidence of the genuineness of the Epistle is the mention, in Colossians 4:16, of an Epistle “from Laodicea.” This has been already referred to for a different purpose. We learn from it that St. Paul wrote at or about the same time, besides the Epistles to Philemon and to the Colossians, an Epistle of a more or less encyclical character, not addressed to the Laodiceans, else it would be called the Epistle “to Laodicea,” or “to the Laodiceans,” and, for a similar reason, not addressed by name to any particular Church or Churches. It must also be considered highly probable that it was conveyed by the same messenger, Tychicus, for it was not every day that St. Paul would have the opportunity of a disciple travelling from Rome (or even from Caesarea) to Laodicea. It is hardly credible that a Church which carefully preserved and copied the unimportant private letter to Philemon, should allow this important encyclical to be lost. There was a further guarantee of its preservation in the fact that this did not depend on one single Church. Now, here we have an Epistle which satisfies these conditions; it is in some sort at least an encyclical letter; according to the best evidence, it was not addressed to a particular Church, and indirectly it purports to have been written about the same time and conveyed by the same messenger, as the Epp. to the Colossians and to Philemon. This would amount to nothing if there were reason to suspect a forgery suggested by Colossians 4:16. But this is entirely out of the question, for there is not the slightest indication in the Epistle which could lead an ordinary reader to that identification. So effectually, indeed, was it concealed, that with the exception of the heretic Marcion, it does not seem to have occurred to any ancient writer; and on what ground Marcion judged that the Epistle was to the Laodiceans we do not know. We do know, however, that his adoption of that title did not lead others to think of Colossians 4:16, and even his own disciples seem not to have followed him.1

Whatever probability belongs to this identification (and the reasons alleged against it have little weight), goes directly to confirm the genuineness of the Epistle, and must in all fairness be taken into account. As the Canon of Marcion must have been drawn up before the middle of the second century, there is evidence of the general reception of the Epistle as St. Paul’s at that period.

Many of the ablest opponents of the genuineness admit the early date of composition and reception of the Epistle. Ewald assigned it to about 75-80 a.d. Scholten also to 80. Holtzmann, Mangold, and others to about 100. The late date 140, assigned by some of the earlier critics, is irreconcilable with the evidence of its early recognition.

Internal Evidence.—Objections. The genuineness of the Epistle appears to have been first questioned by Schleiermacher (who suggested that Tychicus was commissioned to write it) and Usteri; but the first to examine the internal evidence in detail was De Wette. His conclusion was that it is a verbose amplification (“wortreiche Erweiterung”) of the Epistle to the Colossians, and in style shows a notable falling off from that of St. Paul. Against the subjective element of this estimate may be placed the judgment of Chrysostom, Erasmus, Grotius, and Coleridge. Chrysostom says: “The Epistle overflows with lofty thoughts and doctrines … Things which he scarcely anywhere else utters, he here expounds.” ὑψηλῶν σφόδρα γέμει τῶν νοημάτων· ἃ γὰρ μηδαμοῦ ἐφθέγξατο, ταῦτα ἐνταῦθα δηλοῖ. Erasmus (although noting the difference in style, etc.): “Idem in hac epistola Pauli fervor, eadem profunditas, idem omnino spiritus ac pectus.” He adds: “Verum non alibi sermo hyperbatis, anapodotis, aliisque incommoditatibus molestior, sive id interpretis fuit, quo fuit usus in hac, sive sensuum sublimitatem sermonis facultas non est assequnta. Certe stilus tantum dissonat a caeteris Pauli epistolis ut alterius videri possit nisi pectus atque indoles Paulinae mentis hanc prossus illi vindicaret.” Grotius: “Rerum sublimitatem adaequam verbis sublimioribus quam ulla unquam habuit lingua humana.” Coleridge (Table Talk): “The Epistle to the Ephesians … is one of the divinest compositions of man. It embraces every doctrine of Christianity;—first, those doctrines peculiar to Christianity, and then those precepts common to it with natural religion.” Others have also judged that, as compared with Colossians, it is in system “far deeper, and more recondite, and more exquisite” (Alford).

De Wette was answered by Lünemann, Meyer, and others. Some of the critics who followed De Wette went beyond him, rejecting the Ep. to the Colossians also, which he fully accepted, and assigning to both a much later date. Schwegler and Baur, finding in the Epistle traces of Gnostic and Montanist language and ideas, ascribed both Epistles to the middle of the second century. Similarly Hilgenfeld, who, however, attributed the Epistles to distinct authors. The fallacy of these latter speculations has been shown by Holtzmann, who has devoted an entire volume to the criticism of the two Epistles (Kritik der Epheser und Kolosserbriefe auf Grund einer Analyse ihres Verwandtschaftsverhältnisses, Leipz. 1872). His conclusion is that the writer of the present Epistle had before him a genuine, but much shorter, Epistle to the Colossians, on which he founded his encyclical, and that the same writer subsequently interpolated the Epistle to the Colossians. (This was first suggested by Hitzig, 1870.) Soden (in two articles in the Jahrb. f. Prot. Theol. 1885, 1887) maintained the genuineness of Col. with the exception of nine verses, and in his Comm. he withdraws this exception, regarding only 1:16b, 17 as a gloss.

Lastly, the most recent writer on the subject, Jülicher (Einleitung in das Neue Testament, 1894), will only go so far as to say that our Epistle cannot with certainty be reckoned as St. Paul’s, while neither can its genuineness be unconditionally denied.

Objections from the Language of the Epistle.—Let us first notice the argument from the language of the Epistle. Holtzmann remarks, as favourable to the Pauline authorship, that it contains eighteen words not found elsewhere in the N.T. except in St. Paul. ἄρα οὖν occurs eight times in Romans, and besides only in Gal_1. and 2 Thess. and Eph. each once; διό, a favourite of St. Paul, occurs in Eph. five times (not in Col.). But the favourable impression created by this is outweighed by the peculiarities found in the Epistle. It is indeed admitted that the existence of ἅπαξ λεγόμενα would be no argument against the genuineness, if only they were not so numerous. There are, in fact, 42 words which are ἅ. λ. (in the N.T.), not including αἰχμαλωτεύειν, which is in a quotation. (Holtzmann reckoned only 37, but Thayer gives 42.1) This number, however, is not greater in proportion than that in admitted Epistles of St. Paul. Romans contains 100 (neglecting quotations); 1 Cor. 108; 2 Cor. 95; Gal. 33; Phil. 41 (Col. has 38). The percentage is, in fact, rather less in our Epistle (see Robertson, Dict. of Bible, i. 954a, note). It is, indeed, fair in such a comparison to take account of St. Paul’s vocabulary rather than that of the N.T. generally. Accordingly, Holtzmann notes that there are here 39 words which, though occurring elsewhere in the N.T., are not found in St. Paul (the Pastoral Epp. and Col. are, of course, not counted). In Col. there are 15. Some of these, indeed, are such common words, that it is somewhat surprising that St. Paul has not used them elsewhere, such as ἄγνοια,�2 Corinthians 6:11, τὸ στόμα ἡμῶν�

More weight is to be given to the principle of the objection, that words are used here to express certain ideas which St. Paul is in the habit of expressing differently, and, again, that words used by him are here employed with a different meaning. But when we come to the instances we find them few, and for the most part unimportant. Of the first class, De Wette mentions τὰ ἐπουράνια for “heaven” (five times); τὰ πνευματικά for “spirits”; διάβολος twice (elsewhere only in 1 and 2 Tim.), κοσμοκράτωρ, σωτήριον. Soden adds, as favourite words of the writer, μεθοδεία (twice), and δέσμιος (twice). These, with τὰ ἐπουράνια and διάβολος, he says, it is strange not to find slipping from St. Paul’s pen elsewhere. As to δέσμιος, however, it actually occurs in Philemon, and Holtzmann had already pointed out that it was not to be expected except in Epistles written when St. Paul was a prisoner. As to διάβολος, of which much has been made because St. Paul elsewhere uses Σατανᾶς, if the writer of the Acts, or of the Fourth Gospel, and other N.T. writers, could use Σατανᾶς and διάβολος indifferently, why might not Paul use the former in his earlier Epistles, and the latter twice in this? The difference is only that between the Hebrew and the Greek forms, and is analogous to that between Πέτρος and Κηφᾶς, of which the former is used twice and the latter four times in the Epistle to the Galatians. Again, although τὰ ἐπουράνια (which is not = “the heavens”) is not found elsewhere in St. Paul, the adjective occurs with the meaning “heavenly” in 1 Corinthians 15:40, 1 Corinthians 15:48, 1 Corinthians 15:49, and in Philippians 2:10. Other un-Pauline expressions are found in τὰ θελήματα, αἱ διάνοιαι, πρὸ καταβολῆς κόσμου, φωτίζειν as a function of the apostle, ὁ ἄρχων τῆς ἐξουσίας τοῦ�

It is, for the most part, only by their number that these and similar instances can be supposed to carry weight as an objection to the Pauline authorship; two or three, however, are somewhat striking. On ὁ Θεὸς τοῦ Κυρίου ἡμῶν, see the note. It is certainly an unexpected expression, but it is one which no later imitator, holding such lofty views of Christ as are here expressed, would have ventured on without Pauline precedent. It has its parallel in John 20:17. Again, although the expression ὁ Χριστὸς ἠγάπησε τὴν ἐκκλησίαν taken by itself sounds peculiar, it is not so when we find that it is suggested by the preceding words, οἱ ἄνδρες,�

The phrase which seems to create the greatest difficulty is τοῖς ἁγίοις�Colossians 1:26, is strongly suggestive of a later generation which set the apostles and prophets (of the new dispensation) on a lofty pedestal as objects of veneration. Some of those critics who accept the Epistle as genuine have suggested that we have to do with a gloss (the whole or, at least, the latter half of ver. 5, Reuss; the word ἁγίοις, Jülicher), or a dislocation of the text (Robertson), ἁγίοις being the mediate or general (ἐφανερώθη, Col.), the�1 Corinthians 15:7; and as they had cordially assented to St. Paul’s teaching as to the admission of the Gentiles (Galatians 2:9), it is quite natural that he should speak of it here as revealed “to the apostles.”

As examples of Pauline words used in a new sense, are quoted μυστήριον, οἰκονομία, περιποίησις. As to the first, there is really no difference between its meaning here and elsewhere in St. Paul; or if the sense in ver. 32 is thought to be different, that is a difference within this Epistle itself, in which the word occurs five times in its usual sense. οἰκονομία is found (besides Colossians 1:25) in 1 Corinthians 9:17 of St. Paul’s own stewardship, while in Eph. it is used of the ordering of the fulness of the times (1:10), or of the grace of God (3:2), or of the mystery, etc. (3:9). Here, again, so little ground is there for assuming any serious difference in meaning, that in the last two passages the meaning “stewardship” (RV. marg.) is perfectly suitable. Again, περιποίησις in 1:14 is said to be concrete, whereas in 1 Thessalonians 5:9, 2 Thessalonians 2:14, it is abstract. Admitting this (which is questioned), the difference is parallel to that, for example, in the meaning of�1 Corinthians 14:26 and 1:7.

In reference to these objections, and some others that have to be mentioned, it is important to remember that we are not dealing with an anonymous work. There are many points of difference which in such a case might be used with effect against the Pauline authorship, but which put on a different aspect when we consider that the Epistle makes a distinct claim to be the work of St. Paul,—so that, if not genuine, it is the work of a writer who designed that it should be mistaken for the work of that apostle,—and when we add to this the fact that it was received as such from the earliest times. For a writer of such ability as the author, and one so familiar with the writings of St. Paul, would take care to avoid, at least, obvious deviations from the style and language of the author whom he is imitating. From this point of view, not only ἅπαξ λεγόμενα, but still more the use of new expressions for Pauline ideas, instead of offering an argument against the Pauline authorship, become arguments against forgery. If, indeed, actual contradictions or inconsistencies could be shown, it would be different; but they cannot.

There are, it is true, at first sight, differences in the point of view taken in this Epistle and in others of St. Paul; but these have been exaggerated. For example, when in 5:1 the expression τέκνα�1 Corinthians 4:14; 1Co 4:17, cf. 2 Timothy 1:2). Yet the expression is quite naturally led up to here. “Forgive, for God has forgiven; therefore imitate God, whose children ye are.” Addressing those to whom he was a stranger, he could not call on them to imitate himself (1 Corinthians 4:16, 1 Corinthians 11:1), which, moreover, here, where the question is of forgiveness, would be an impossible bathos; nor could he call them his own children. As to the expression “children of God,” we have a parallel in Romans 8:16, ὅτι ἐσμὲν τέκνα Θεοῦ.

Again, ἡ λεγομένη�Romans 3:1; Philippians 3:5; Colossians 2:11, Colossians 2:13); yet a closer consideration will show that it is not so. “Ye who are contemptuously called uncircumcision by those who call themselves the circumcision, a circumcision in the flesh only (note the addition ἐν σαρκί), as if the mere fleshly circumcision had any spiritual value.” Not only does the sense of the whole passage agree with Romans 2:26-29 (as Holtzmann allows), but the form of expression is natural as coming from the writer who in Philippians 3:2 uses the strong and scornful word κατατομή, adding ἡμεῖς γάρ ἐσμεν ἡ περιτομή, οἱ πνεύματι Θεοῦ λατρεύοντες, κ.τ.λ.: to which we may add, for those who accept Colossians, Colossians 2:11. Holtzmann, indeed, thinks that Paul would not say, ἡ λεγομένη�Romans 2:26, Romans 2:27, Romans 2:3:30, Romans 2:4:9; Galatians 2:7). But this corresponds to Colossians 3:11, οὐκ ἔνι … περιτομὴ καὶ�Galatians 5:6, Galatians 6:15.)

Holtzmann considers this way of speaking of circumcision as belonging to the general view of the Law taken in this Epistle, as merely typical. It is not spoken of, says v. Soden, as having a religious or moral significance, as παιδαγωγὸς εἰς Χριστόν, or as working κατάρα, but only in its formal character as the sum of ἐντολαὶ ἐν δόγμασιν, its content being left out of view. Compare, on the contrary, Romans 9:4; Galatians 5:23 (where, however, we have νόμος, not ὁ νόμος). Its significance consists in its causing a separation and even hostility between Jews and Gentiles. But this is not a greater difference than that between the ideas of a παιδαγωγός and a source of κατάρα, which we find within one epistle, that to the Galatians.

Objections from the line of thought in the Epistle.—It is said, further, that the whole view of the Church as regards the union of Jews and Gentiles is peculiar; St. Paul never represents it as the object or even an object of Christ’s work to bring into one Jews and Gentiles (2:13-18, 19-22, 3:5 sqq., 4:7-16). This leads us further; we notice that the writer never speaks of local Churches, but only of the (one) Church. This has been supposed to indicate that he wrote at a time when the several local Churches were drawing together in resistance to a common danger, and binding themselves together by a single organisation. But the Church here is not represented as made up of individual Churches, but of individual men; nor is there any mention of external unity or common organisation. Nor is the conception of one “Church,” which we find here, quite new. Not to mention passages where St. Paul speaks of himself as formerly persecuting “the Church of God” (1 Corinthians 15:9; Galatians 1:13; Philippians 3:6), we have in 1 Corinthians 12:28, ἔθετο ὁ Θεὸς ἐν τῇ ἐκκλησίᾳ πρῶτον�Acts 20:28, τὴν ἐκκλησίαν τοῦ Θεοῦ ἣν περιεποιήσατο, κ.τ.λ. In Col. we have ἡ ἐκκλησία in the same sense, as the universal Church (1:18, 24), although it is also used of local Churches (4:15, 16). The encyclical character of the present Epistle sufficiently accounts for the predominance of the former view here. There is, however, no inconsistency in this advance upon the earlier conception. It is, indeed, remarkable that in Eph. the thought of the unity of the Church is so dominant that Christ’s work is represented as having immediate reference to it rather than to individuals (compare v. 25-27, 29, 32, with Galatians 2:20); of this He is the Saviour (ver. 23); it is this that He has sanctified by His offering of Himself (ver. 26). But it is essential to observe that all this occurs, not in an exposition of the nature of Christ’s work, but in illustration of the duties of husbands to their wives. Any reference to His work in relation to individual men would have been entirely irrelevant. That reference comes in naturally in 1:7, 5:2, 2:16 ff. But the first two passages, it is said, appear to be only verbal reminiscences of St. Paul. It is, however, much easier to conceive St. Paul writing as in vv. 25-32, than to suppose it the work of another who wishes to be mistaken for him. It is no doubt very remarkable that the whole circle of thought which in St. Paul has its centre in the death of Christ, here falls into the background. In 1:15-2:10, where the resurrection is twice mentioned, and the whole work of redemption dwelt on, the death is not mentioned. So also 1:11-14, 3:1-21. In fact, with the exception Of 1:7 (from Colossians 1:14), it is only incidentally referred to as a pattern, and then with remarkable differences from St. Paul, that being attributed to Christ which is elsewhere attributed to God. (Yet, on the other hand, in 4:32 it is God in Christ who is said to forgive, while in Colossians 3:13 it is Christ who forgives.) The only place in which the death of Christ is dealt with in greater detail Isaiah 2:14-16; and there the interest is not in the reconciliation of individuals and the forgiveness of their sins, but in this, that the Law, and with it the enmity between Jew and Gentile, are removed. These and other differences that have been pointed out are no doubt striking, but they involve no inconsistencies; they are only developments of ideas of which the germ is found in St. Paul’s other writings.

The representation of Christ as the Head of the Body, which is the Church, is common to Eph. and Col., and therefore cannot be alleged against the genuineness of the former by any who admit the latter. Elsewhere, when St. Paul uses the figure of the body, the whole body is said to be in Christ (Romans 12:4, Romans 12:5), or to be Christ (1 Corinthians 12:12), and the head appears only as one member among many (ib. 21). But in those cases the point to be illustrated was the mutual relation of the members of the Church, and there is nothing inconsistent in the modification of the figure which we find in these Epp.

Again, as to the Person and Office of Christ, we have in both Epp. a notable advance beyond the earlier Epistles, as in Colossians 1:16 ff., “in Him were all things created, in the heaven, and upon the earth … all things have been created through Him, and unto Him; and He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.” But we have at least the germ of this in 1 Corinthians 8:6, εἷς Κύριος Ἰησοῦς Χριστός, διʼ οὗ τὰ πάντα, καὶ ἡμεῖς δἰ αὐτοῦ. In Eph., however, we have added to this the further thought that things in heaven as well as on earth have part in the reconciliation effected by Him (Ephesians 1:10); and all this is referred to a purpose of the Divine will directed towards Christ Himself from the beginning.

Once more, the second coming of Christ has fallen into the background, and does not appear to have a part in bringing about the fulfilment of the promised blessings. Rather does the writer seem to anticipate a series of αἰῶνες ἐπερχόμενοι. But, as Hort observes, “nothing was more natural than that a change like this should come over St. Paul’s mind, when year after year passed away, and still there was no sign of the Lord’s coming, and when the spread of the faith through the Roman Empire, and the results which it was producing, would give force to all such ways of thinking as are represented by the image of the leaven leavening the lump” (Prolegomena, p. 142).

Paley on the Internal Evidence.—Paley in his Horae Paulinae has replied by anticipation to some, at least, of the objections to the genuineness of the Epistle, and has added some positive arguments which deserve attention. He remarks that “Whoever writes two letters or two discourses nearly upon the same subject and at no great distance of time, but without any express recollection of what he had written before, will find himself repeating some sentences in the very order of the words in which he had already used them; but he will more frequently find himself employing some principal terms, with the order inadvertently changed, or with the order disturbed by the intermixture of other words and phrases expressive of ideas rising up at the time; or in many instances repeating, not single words, nor yet whole sentences, but parts and fragments of sentences. Of all these varieties the examination of our two Epistles will furnish plain examples; and I should rely upon this class of instances more than upon the last; because, although an impostor might transcribe into a forgery entire sentences and phrases, yet the dislocation of words, the partial recollection of phrases and sentences, the intermixture of new terms and new ideas with terms and ideas before used, which will appear in the examples that follow, and which are the natural properties of writings produced under the circumstances in which these Epistles are represented to have been composed, would not, I think, have occurred to the invention of a forger; nor, if they had occurred, would they have been so easily executed. This studied variation was a refinement in forgery, which, I believe, did not exist; or if we can suppose it to have been practised in the instances adduced below, why, it may be asked, was not the same art exercised upon those which we have collected in the preceding class? [viz. Ephesians 1:7 = Colossians 1:14; Ephesians 1:10 = Colossians 1:20; Ephesians 3:2 = Colossians 1:25; Ephesians 5:19 = Colossians 3:16; and Ephesians 6:22 = Colossians 4:8].” Of the second class he specifies Ephesians 1:19, Ephesians 2:5, which, if we take away the parentheses, leaves a sentence almost the same in terms as Colossians 2:12, Colossians 2:13; but it is in Eph. twice interrupted by incidental thoughts which St. Paul, as his manner was, enlarges upon by the way, and then returns to the thread of his discourse.

Amongst internal marks of genuineness, Paley specifies the frequent yet seemingly unaffected use of πλοῦτος used metaphorically as an augmentative of the idea to which it happens to be subjoined,—a figurative use familiar to St. Paul, but occurring in no other writer in the N.T., except once in James 2:5, “Hath not God chosen the poor of this world, rich in faith?”, where it is manifestly suggested by the antithesis. (It occurs in 1 Timothy 6:18.)

“There is another singularity in St. Paul’s style which, wherever it is found, may be deemed a badge of authenticity; because, if it were noticed, it would not, I think, be imitated, inasmuch as it almost always produces embarrassment and interruption in the reasoning. This singularity is a species of digression which may properly, I think (says Paley), be denominated going off at a word. It is turning aside from the subject upon the occurrence of some particular word, forsaking the train of thought then in hand, and entering upon a parenthetic sentence in which that word is the prevailing term.” An instance 2 Corinthians 2:14, at the word ὀσμή (note vv. 15, 16). Another, 2 Corinthians 3:1, at ἐπιστολῶν, which gives birth to the following sentence, vv. 2, 3. A third 2 Corinthians 3:13, at the word κάλυμμα. The whole allegory, vv. 14-18, arises out of the occurrence of this word in 5:13, and in 4:1 he resumes the proper subject of his discourse almost in the words with which he had left it.

In Eph. we have two similar instances, viz. 4:8-11, at the word�

Again, in Ephesians 4:2-4 and Colossians 3:12-15, we have the words ταπεινοφροσύνη, πρᾳότης, μακροθυμία,�

Ephesians 5:6-8, Colossians 3:6-8, afford, says Paley, a specimen of that partial resemblance which is only to be met with where no imitation is designed, but where the mind, exercised upon the same subject, is left to the spontaneous return of such terms and phrases as, having been used before, may happen to present themselves again. The sentiment of both passages is throughout alike: half of that sentiment, the denunciation of God’s wrath, is expressed in identical words; the other half, viz. the admonition to quit their former conversation, in words entirely different.

Ephesians 6:19, Ephesians 6:20, furnishes, according to Paley’s very just remark, a coincidence (with the Acts) of that minute and less obvious kind which is of all others the most to be relied upon. It is the coincidence of πρεσβεύω ἐν ἁλύσει with Acts 28:16. From the latter passage we learn that at Rome Paul was allowed to dwell by himself with one soldier that kept him. In such cases it was customary for the prisoner to be bound to the soldier by a single chain.

Accordingly, in ver. 20 St. Paul says, τὴν ἅλυσιν ταύτην περικεῖμαι. It is to be observed that in the parallel passage Col. the word used is δέομαι. A real prisoner might use either the general words δέομαι or ἐν δεσμοῖς, or the specific term. Paley, however, omits to notice the irony of πρεσβεύω ἐν�

Ephesians 1:7 Colossians 1:14

Ephesians 1:10 Colossians 1:20.

Ephesians 1:15-17 Colossians 1:3, Colossians 1:4.

Ephesians 1:18 Colossians 1:27

1 Chronicles 1:16

Ephesians 1:22 f. Colossians 1:18 f.

Ephesians 2:1, Ephesians 2:12 Col 1:21.

Ephesians 2:5 Colossians 2:13.

Ephesians 2:15 Colossians 2:14.

Ephesians 2:16 Colossians 2:20.

1 Chronicles 1:24.

Ephesians 3:2 Col 1:25.

Ephesians 3:3 Colossians 1:26.

Ephesians 3:7 Colossians 1:23, Colossians 1:25.

Ephesians 3:8 f. Colossians 1:27.

1 Chronicles 1:10.

2 Chronicles 3:12 f.

Ephesians 4:3 f. Colossians 3:14 f.

Ephesians 4:15 f. Colossians 2:19.

Ephesians 4:19 Colossians 3:1, Colossians 3:5.

Ephesians 4:22 f. Colossians 3:8 ff.

Ephesians 4:25 f. Colossians 3:8 f.

Ephesians 4:29 Colossians 3:8, Colossians 4:6.

1 Chronicles 3:8.

2 Chronicles 3:12 f.

Ephesians 5:3 Colossians 3:5.

Ephesians 5:4 Colossians 3:8.

Ephesians 5:5 Colossians 3:5.

Ephesians 5:6 Colossians 3:6.

Ephesians 5:15 Colossians 4:5.

Ephesians 5:19 f. Colossians 3:16 f.

1 Chronicles 3:18.

Ephesians 5:25 Colossians 3:19.

1 Chronicles 3:20.

Ephesians 6:4 Colossians 3:21.

Ephesians 6:5 ff. Colossians 3:22 ff.

Ephesians 6:9 Colossians 4:1.

Ephesians 6:18 ff. Colossians 4:2 ff.

Ephesians 6:21 f. Colossians 4:7 f.

Holtzmann in his Kritik der Epheser- und Kolosser-Briefe examined the problem with great labour and minuteness. He argued strongly that in some of the parallels, the priority was on the side of Eph. The passages which he selected for detailed examination in support of this contention were, 1st, Ephesians 1:4 ( = Colossians 1:22); 2nd, Ephesians 1:6, Ephesians 1:7 ( = Colossians 1:13, Colossians 1:14); 3rd, Ephesians 3:3, Ephesians 3:5, Ephesians 3:9 ( = Colossians 1:26, Colossians 2:2); 4th, Ephesians 3:17, Ephesians 3:18, Ephesians 3:4:16, Ephesians 3:2:20 ( = Colossians 1:23, Colossians 1:2:2, Colossians 1:7); 5th, Ephesians 4:16 ( = Colossians 2:19); 6th, Ephesians 4:22-24 ( = Colossians 3:9, Colossians 3:10); and 7th, Ephesians 5:19 ( = Colossians 3:16). (With respect to the last three he seems to have changed his mind before publishing his Einleitung.) His conclusion was that there existed an Epistle to the Colossians by St. Paul, which was taken by the writer of Eph. as the basis of his work, and that the same writer subsequently interpolated the Epistle to the Colossians. He conjectures that this writer was the same who added the final doxology to the Epistle to the Romans.

In the introduction to the Epistle to the Colossians will be found a specimen of the result of his analysis of Colossians. The principal, indeed the only value of this part of his work is that it establishes the inadequacy of the more commonly accepted solution of the problem, namely, that Ephesians is simply a forgery based on Colossians. Some critics, however, such as Hausrath, Mangold, Pfleiderer, think that Holtzmann has at least indicated in what direction the solution is to be looked for. But all such attempts are attended with much greater difficulty than the traditional view.

There is another difficulty in this theory, and one which, from a literary point of view, is really fatal. It is that the words and phrases supposed to be borrowed from Col. are introduced into different contexts, and yet so as to fit in quite naturally with their new surroundings. (See, above, the passages mentioned by Paley.)

It may be asked, moreover, how is it that a writer so well acquainted with Pauline thought should have confined his borrowings almost exclusively to the Epistle to the Colossians, and that although the most characteristic element of that Epistle, its special polemic against the heretical teachers, seems to have had no interest for him. Indeed, it is strange how he succeeds in steering clear of all allusions to that subject. In the author of Col. this would be done unconsciously; it is not so easy to account for an imitator doing it.


The parallelisms between these two Epistles are so numerous that the Epistles may almost be compared throughout. The following comparison is chiefly from Holtzmann. After the address they begin thus—


3. εὐλογητὸς ὁ Θεὸς καὶ πατὴρ τοῦ Κυρίου ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ, ὁ�

This commencement, however, is found also in 2 Corinthians 1:3.

Then follows in each a long passage (1 Peter 1:5-13; Ephesians 1:5-15) in which the alternation of participles and relative pronouns is the same in both until the transition to the succeeding period is made in the one case by διό, in the other by διὰ τοῦτο. The substance of the passage in 1 Peter 1:3-5 corresponds with that of the following passage in Eph. (1:18-20), the “hope” being emphasised in both, and its object being designated the κληρονομία, the connexion with the resurrection of Christ as its ground being the same, and in both the δύναμις Θεοῦ being put in relation to the πίστις.

1 Peter 2:4-6 has much resemblance to Ephesians 2:18-22


4. πρὸς ὃν προσερχόμενοι λίθον ζῶντα … 18. διʼ αὐτοῦ ἔχομεν τὴν προσαγωγήν.

19. … οἰκεῖοι τοῦ Θεοῦ.

5. καὶ αὐτοὶ ὡς λίθοι ζῶντες οἰκοδομεῖσθε, οἶκος πνευματικός. 20. ἐποικοδομηθέντες ἐπὶ τῷ θεμελίῳ … ὄντος�

1 Pet., however, is here citing Psalms 118:22 and Isaiah 28:16, and the former passage may have been in St. Paul’s mind also. It had been applied by our Lord to Himself (Matthew 21:42), and is cited in St. Peter’s speech, Acts 4:11. Holtzmann thinks the citation of Isaiah 28:16 was suggested to 1 Pet. by the�

1 Peter 3:18, ἵνα ἡμᾶς προσαγάγη τῷ Θεῷ, reminds us of Ephesians 2:18, διʼ αὐτοῦ ἔχομεν τὴν προσαγωγὴν πρὸς τὸν πατέρα, while the verses immediately following exhibit the ancient explanation of Ephesians 4:8-10. Then follows in 1 Pet. a striking parallel to Ephesians 1:20-22


22. ὅς ἐστιν ἐν δεξίᾳ τοῦ Θεοῦ πορευθεὶς εἰς οὐρανόν, 20. ἐκάθισεν ἐν δεξίᾳ αὐτοῦ ἐν τοῖς ἐπουρανίοις.

ὑποταγέντων αὐτῷ�

Again, 1 Peter 1:10-12 and Ephesians 3:5, Ephesians 3:10 are strikingly parallel. They both contain the thought found here only in the N.T., that the meaning of the prophecies was not clearly known to the prophets themselves, but has first become so to us—


10. προφῆται … 5. ὃ ἐτέραις γενεαῖς οὐκ ἐγνωρίσθη … ὡς νῦν�

Here I Pet. goes beyond Eph. in saying that the prophets themselves were made acquainted by revelation with their own ignorance. (But on προφήταις in Ephesians 3:5 = New Test. prophets, see note.)

1 Peter 1:20 and Ephesians 3:9 correspond in the same reference to the mystery ordained πρὸ καταβολῆς κόσμου, and hitherto hidden, but now revealed. And as in Ephesians 3:10 the wise purpose of God is now made known to angelic powers, so in 1 Peter 1:12 they desire to search into these things.

These are but a selection from the parallelisms that have been indicated by Holtzmann and others. Some critics have explained them by the supposition that the writer of Eph. borrowed from 1 Pet. (Hilgenfeld, Weiss). But, in fact, the latter Epistle has affinities to other Epistles of St. Paul, and especially to that to the Romans, with which it has many striking coincidences (see Salmon, introduction, Lect. xxii., and Seufert in Hilgenfeld’s Zeitschrift, 1874, P. 360).

On the supposition that Eph. is genuine, and that St. Paul here borrowed from 1 Pet., we seem obliged to hold (as Weiss does) that in the other parallels the former was also the borrower. “Imagine,” says Holtzmann, “the most original of all the N.T. writers, when composing the 12th chap. of his Ep. to the Romans, laboriously gleaning from 1 Pet. the exhortations which his own daily experience might have suggested to him, taking 12:1 from 1 Peter 2:5 stripped of its symbolic clothing, then 12:2 borrowing συσχηματίζεσθε from 1 Peter 1:14; next in 12:3-8 expanding 1 Peter 4:10, 1 Peter 4:11; taking 12:9 out of 1 Peter 1:22; 12:10 from 1 Peter 2:17, ” etc.

Seufert, adopting an incidental suggestion of Holtzmann, has argued at length that Eph. and 1 Pet. are by the same author, possibly the same who wrote the third Gospel and the Acts (Hilgenfeld’s Zeitschrift, 1881, pp. 179, 332). It is not necessary to discuss this theory in detail, since it appears to have gained no adherents. It may suffice to quote Salmon’s remark, that the resemblances between 1 Pet. and Eph. are much less numerous and less striking than those between Ephesians and Colossians; whereas, in order to establish Seufert’s theory, they ought to be very much stronger: “For we clearly can more readily recognise resemblances as tokens of common authorship in the case of two documents which purport to come from the same author, and which, from the very earliest times, have been accepted as so coming, than when the case is the reverse.”

There remains the supposition that 1 Pet. borrowed from Ephesians. If the former be not genuine, there is, of course, no difficulty in this supposition, whether Eph. be genuine or not. Nor is there any real difficulty (except to those who will insist on putting the two apostles in opposition) in supposing that the Apostle Peter when in Rome should become familiar with the Epistle to the Romans, and adopt some of its thoughts and language. It is difficult, however, to suppose him acquainted with Eph. and other Epistles. Salmon suggests another alternative, namely, that while Paul was in Rome, Peter may have arrived there, in which case there would be a good deal of vivâ voce intercourse between them, and Paul’s discourses to the Christians at Rome may have been heard by Peter. This suggestion appears to have been made also by Schott (Der erste Brief Petri, 1851).1 Holtzmann’s objection to it is singularly weak, viz. first, that according to Galatians 1:18, Galatians 2:1 sq., 11 sqq., we must regard the personal intercourse between the two apostles as limited to three widely separated moments, and broken off in some bitterness; and, secondly, that St. Peter could not in this way have become familiar with Romans 12:13. The latter remark has been replied to by anticipation; as to the former, what sort of idea of the two apostles must Holtzmann have, to think that the incident at Antioch must have led to a permanent estrangement between them! Finally, if 1 Pet. was composed-by Silvanus under the direction of the apostle, which is possibly what is meant by 5:12, the use of St. Paul’s thoughts and language is sufficiently accounted for.


Epistle to the Hebrews—Points of contact with the Ep. to the Hebrews have been noted. Lexically, e.g. αἷμα καὶ σάρξ (elsewhere σὰρξ καὶ αἷμα),�Ephesians 1:20, ἐκάθισεν ἐν δεξίᾳ αὐτοῦ, Hebrews 1:3, Hebrews 8:1, Hebrews 10:12: Ephesians 1:7,�Hebrews 9:12: Ephesians 5:25, Ephesians 5:26, ἑαυτὸν παρέδωκεν ὑπὲρ αὐτῆς ἵνα αὐτὴν ἁγιάσῃ, Hebrews 13:12, Hebrews 10:10. St. Paul, it is said, does not represent ἁγιασμός as the object of Christ’s atoning death, but rather justification. Ephesians 3:12, ἐν ᾧ ἔχομεν τὴν παρρησίαν καὶ τὴν προσαγωγήν, Hebrews 4:16, προσερχώμεθα μετὰ παρρησίας. The Christology, also, of the two Epp. is the same. Of course, if Eph. is genuine, there is no difficulty in admitting that the writer to the Hebrews used it. V. Soden, however, argues that the latter Epistle is the earlier. His reason is that 1 Pet. is dependent on Hebrews, and probably earlier than Eph. The former proposition is more than doubtful; but we need not discuss it, since, as we have seen, it is probably 1 Pet. that has used Eph.

The Apocalypse—There are also noted points of correspondence with the Apocalypse, e.g. Ephesians 2:20, “foundation of the apostles and prophets”; 21:14: Ephesians 3:5, (τῷ μυστηρίῳ) ὃ … νῦν�Revelation 10:7, τὸ μυστήροιν τοῦ Θεοῦ, ὡς εὐηγγέλισε τοὺς ἑαυτοῦ δούλους τοὺς προφήτας: Ephesians 5:11, μὴ συγκοινωνεῖτε τοῖς ἔργοις τοῖς�Revelation 18:4, ἵνα μὴ συγκοινωνήσητε ταῖς ἁμαρτίαις αὐτῆς: Ephesians 5:25 ff., the comparison of the union of Christ and the Church to that of husband and wife; cf. Revelation 19:7, Rev_1 Many other coincidences are pointed out by Holtzmann, who concludes that the author of Eph. made use of the Apocalypse. V. Soden, however, judges that they do not prove any dependence either literary or spiritual on either side, but that they show that the author of Eph. stood much nearer than Paul to the modes of expression of Christianity which are attested in the Apocalypse; and he passes a similar judgment on the relation between Eph. and the Gospel of John, except that in the latter case the affinity extends also to the ideas.

As to the Apocalypse, it is hard to believe that the writer of Ephesians 5:23 ff. had before him the fact that the Church had already by another writer been expressly designated the Bride of Christ. He seems, on the contrary, to have been led up to it step by step from the comparison of the headship of the man (= 1 Corinthians 11:3) to the headship of Christ. Rather does the exposition in the Apocalypse appear to be a development of the figure first suggested in Eph. The figure of the Bridegroom appears, indeed, in the Gospel of St. John 3:29, but it is used there merely to illustrate the superiority of Christ to the Baptist. In fact, the Parable of the Ten Virgins in the Synoptic Gospels is much closer to the figure here.

Gospel of St. John—Comparison with the Gospel of St. John gives results such as the following:—The Logos-idea is in substance indicated in 1:10, where Christ is represented as the point of union in which the divided universe is brought together. As to the special application of this fundamental thought to the relation of Jews and Gentiles (2:13-22, 3:6), there are significant parallels in John (10:16, 11:52, 17:20, 21). Further, it is especially the ideas of γνῶσις and�John 3:35, John 10:17, John 15:9, and especially 17:23, 24, 26. The words ἠγάπησάς με πρὸ καταβολῆς κόσμου in 17:24 particularly are in touch both with ἠγαπημένος in 1:6, and with πρὸ καταβολῆς κόσμον in 1:4. The work of redemption is in John viewed especially as one of ἁγιάζειν (17:17, 19); so also Ephesians 5:26. This ἁγιάζειν is accomplished by Christ καθαρίσας … ἐν ῥήματι, to which corresponds καθαρὸς διὰ τὸν λόγον, John 15:3. Moreover, the effect produced on those who are sanctified is described as a quickening of the dead (John 5:21, John 5:25, John 5:28; Ephesians 2:5, Ephesians 2:6). The contrast between the light which Christ brings and the opposing power of darkness is expressed in both with striking similarity.

Eph_5 John

8. ὡς τέκνα φωτὸς περιπατεῖτε. 12:35. περιπατεῖτε ὡς τὸ φῶς ἔχετε.

11. μᾶλλον δὲ καὶ ἐλέγχετε (τὰ ἔργα τοῦ σκὸτους). 3:20. πᾶς γὰρ ὁ φαῦλα πράσσων μισεῖ τὸ φῶς καὶ οὐκ ἔρχεται πρὸς τὸ φῶς Ἳνα μὴ ἐλεγχθῇ τὰ ἔργα αὐτοῦ·

13. τὰ δὲ πάντα ἐλεγχόμενα ὑπὸ τοῦ φωτὸς φανεροῦται· πᾶν γὰρ τὸ φανερούμενον φῶς ἐστι. 3:21. ὁ δὲ ποιῶν τῆν�

Here what comes close together in Eph. appears in the Gospel of John in two separate places. The same thing occurs with Ephesians 4:8-10 compared with John 3:31, John 7:39. Indeed, the parallels with Ephesians 4:7, ἡ χάρις κατὰ τὸ μέτρον τῆς δωρεᾶς τοῦ Χριστοῦ. In the Gospel the one exception in which the Spirit is given οὐκ ἐκ μέτρου is expressed in 3:34 in a form which becomes intelligible only by presupposing the general statement in Eph. “to each of us,” etc. The expressions, too, in Ephesians 4:9, Ephesians 4:10, and John 3:13, suggest a literary dependence. Eph.: τὸ δὲ�

John: οὐδεὶς�

The Epistle was written while St. Paul was a prisoner, 3:1, 4:1, 6:20. From the mention of Tychicus as the bearer of it, 6:21 compared with Colossians 4:7 and Philemon 1:13, we may conclude that these three Epistles were written at the same time. Most commentators have supposed that they were written from Rome, but some moderns have advocated the claims of Caesarea (Acts 23:35, Acts 24:27). The following reasons are adduced in favour of this view by Meyer. First, that it is more likely that the fugitive slave Onesimus would make his way from Colossae to Caesarea than by a long sea voyage to Rome. Wieseler’s reply is sufficient, namely, that he would be safer from the pursuit of the fugitivarii in the great city. St. Paul, too, seems to have been under stricter guard at Caesarea, where only “his own” were allowed to attend him (Acts 24:23), than at Rome, where he lived in his own hired house and received all that came to him. As to the circumstances of Onesimus’ flight we know nothing. Secondly, if the Epistles were sent from Rome, Tychicus and his companion Onesimus would have arrived at Ephesus first, and we might therefore expect that, with Tychicus, Onesimus would be mentioned, in order to ensure him a kindly reception. This argument falls to the ground if the Ep. was not written to Ephesus.

Thirdly, he argues from Ephesians 6:21, ἵνα δὲ εἰδῆτε καὶ ὑμεῖς, that before Tychicus would arrive at Ephesus he would have previously fulfilled to others the commission here mentioned. But this is really to suppose that the readers of the Epistle had previously heard of the message to the Colossians. The meaning of καὶ ὑμεῖς is quite different (see note). Fourthly, it is argued that in Philemon 1:22 Paul asks Philemon to prepare him a lodging, and that soon (ἅμα δὲ καί). This presupposes, says Meyer, that his place of imprisonment was nearer to Colossae than Rome, and, which is the main point, that Paul intended on his expected release to go direct to Phrygia; whereas from Philippians 2:24 we see that he intended to proceed to Macedonia after his liberation (not to Spain, as he had at first thought of doing, Romans 15:24). And Weiss thinks this decisive. But he might well take Philippi on his way to Colossae, Philippi being on the great high road between Europe and Asia (Lightfoot, Philippians, p. 48 f.). On the other hand, as Mangold observes (Bleek, Einl. p. 507), the desire to visit Rome lay so near the apostle’s heart during his imprisonment in Caesarea (Acts 23:11), that he would not think of making a journey thence to Phrygia for which he would order a lodging, even if Phrygia is looked on only as a station on the way to Rome. But the expression in Philem. implies more than a mere passing through. The fact is, however, that the argument treats the request too much in the light of a business arrangement instead of a friendly suggestion. When St. Paul says, “I hope that through your prayers I may be granted to you,” without even adding “soon,” it is clear that his hope was not definitely for a speedy release. Had it been so, he would doubtless have alluded to it in the Ep. to the Colossians. Jerome suggests the true explanation, viz. that he spoke “dispensatorie ut dum eum expectat Philemon ad se esse venturum, magis faciat quod rogatus est.” As Hort puts it: “It is but a playful way of saying to Philemon, ‘Remember that I mean to come and see with my own eyes whether you have really treated your Christian slave as I have been exhorting you’; and then giving the thought a serious turn by assuring him that, ‘coming is no mere jest, for he does indeed hope some day to be set free through their prayers, and then he will haste to visit them.’ ”

Another argument has been founded on the absence from Col. of any reference to the earthquakes which visited the cities of the Lycus about this time. Under the year 60 (which includes the last part of the Caesarean imprisonment) Tacitus mentions an earthquake which destroyed Laodicea (Ann. xiv. 27). Four years later Eusebius’ Chronicle mentions the destruction of Laodicea, Hierapolis, and Colossae by an earthquake (Ol. 210). It is not certain that these notices refer to the same event, but, even granting that they do, there is good reason to believe that Eusebius is more likely to be right in the date than Tacitus. The latter appears to be in error about the date of another earthquake of this reign (Schiller, Nero, 160, 172, referred to by Hort), whereas Eusebius appears to have followed unusually good authorities about these earthquakes; for in the case of the great earthquake in the reign of Tiberius, he adds Ephesus to the list of ruined cities mentioned by Tacitus and Pliny; and a monument at Naples proves his correctness. If Eusebius is right as to the date of the earthquake, it would be later than the Epistle. Or, again, if the earthquakes in question are not the same, there is no evidence that the earlier extended as far as Colossae.

Lightfoot, in his essay on the “Order of the Epistles of the Captivity” (Comm. on Philippians), argues strongly from language and style that the Epistle to the Philippians preceded these three. If so, and if, as is generally believed, that Epistle was written from Rome, we have in this a further proof of the Roman origin of Ephesians and the other two.


List of ἅπαξ λεγόμενα in the Epistle to the Ephesians

ἄθεος, αἰσχρότης, αἰχμαλωτεύειν (but Text. Rec. in 2 Timothy 3:6),�1 Corinthians 7:3), εὐτραπελία, ὁ ἠγαπημένος (of Christ), θυρεός, καταρτισμός, κατώτερος, κληροῦν, κλυδωνίζεσθαι, κοσμοκράτωρ, κρυφῇ, κυβεία, μακροχρόνιος, μέγεθος, μεθοδεία, μεσότοιχον, μωρολογία, πάλη, παροργισμός, πολυποίκιλος, προελπίζειν, προσκαρτέρησις, ῥυτίς, συμμέτοχος, συμπολίτης, συναρμολογεῖν, συνοικοδομεῖν, σύσσωμος.

Words found elsewhere, but not in St. Paul

The following words are found elsewhere in the N.T., but not in St. Paul:—ἄγνοια (Acts, 1 Pet.),�

ἀγαθωσύνη,�1 Corinthians 7:3 Text. Rec., but not in the best texts), εὐωδία, θάλπειν, κάμπτειν, περικεφαλαία, πλεονέκτης, ποίημα, πρεσβεύειν, προετοιμάζειν, προσαγωγή, προτίθεσθαι, νἱοθεσία, ὑπερβάλλειν, ὑπερεκπερισσοῦ.


Ch. 1:1, 2. Salutation.

3-8. Praise to God for the blessings of salvation. We were in Christ as the recipients of these blessings before the on, and the object of this was that we should be holy and blameless, being admitted to the adoption of sons through Christ, in whom we received redemption.

9-11. God hath made known to us His purpose to sum up all things, whether in heaven or on earth, in Christ.

12-14. We Jews had even in former times been promised the Christ, and had fixed our hopes on Him; but ye Gentiles have also received the same blessings, and have been sealed with the Holy Spirit as an earnest of the inheritance.

15-19. Therefore having heard of your faith I always thank God for you, and pray that ye may attain the knowledge of the hope to which ye are called, the glory of your inheritance, and the greatness of the power of God, who gives this inheritance.

20-23. A striking example of this power was shown in the raising of Christ from the dead, who has now been set above all authorities and powers, by whatever name they may be called, whether earthly or heavenly, whether belonging to this world or to the next. To the Church, however, He stands in a closer relation, being the Head to which the Church is related as His Body.

2:1-10. A further instance of His power is that when we were dead through our sins He gave us life and made us partakers of the resurrection of Christ, and of His exaltation. This was not for any merit of our own, but was the undeserved gift of God, who loved us even when we were dead through our sins. But although our salvation was thus not of works but of grace, our new creation had good works in view as its result.

11-22. Ye Gentiles had formerly no share in the covenants of promise, but were aliens from the citizenship of Israel. Now, however, Christ, by His death, has done away with the barrier between you and the true Israel, and has reconciled both to God. So that equally with the Jews, and on the same terms, ye have access to the Father. All alike form part of the one holy temple in which God dwells.

3:1-9. This truth that the Gentiles are equally with the Jews heirs of the inheritance, members of the body and partakers of the promise, was hidden from former generations, but has now been revealed to the apostles and prophets; and to me, though unworthy, has been given the special privilege of preaching Christ to the Gentiles, and of making known to all men this mystery.

10-13. Hereby God designs that even the angelic powers may learn through the Church to know the varied wisdom of God exemplified in His eternal purpose in Christ.

14-19. Prayer that they may be given inward spiritual strength; that Christ may dwell in them through faith; and that being themselves well grounded in love they may learn to know the love of Christ, although, properly speaking, it surpasses knowledge.

20, 21. Doxology suggested by the thought of the great things which have been prayed for.

4:1-3. Exhortation to live a life corresponding to their calling, in lowliness, patience, love, and unity.

4-11. Essential unity of the Church as a spiritual organism, inspired by one Spirit, acknowledging one Master, into whose name they are all baptized, and all being children of the same Divine Father. Within this unity a diversity of gifts and offices is to be recognised.

12-16. The object of all is to make the saints perfect in unity of faith and maturity of knowledge, so that they may be secured against the changing winds of false doctrine, and that the whole body, deriving its supply of nourishment from the Head, even Christ, may grow up and be perfected in love.

17-24. Admonition that remembering the blessings of which they have been made partakers, they should put off their former life, their old man, and put on the new man.

25-31. Exhortations against special sins, falsehood, anger, theft, idleness, foul speaking, malice, etc.

32-5:2. Exhortation to take the love of God in Christ as a pattern for imitation, especially in their forgiveness of one another.

3-14. Special warning against sins of uncleanness.

15-21. More general exhortation to regulate their conduct with wisdom, to make good use of opportunities, and, instead of indulging in riotous pleasure, to express their joy and thankfulness in spiritual songs.

22-33. Special injunctions to husbands and wives, illustrated by the relation of Christ to the Church, which is compared to that of the husband to the wife, so that as the Church is subject to Christ, so should the wife be to her husband; and, on the other hand, as Christ loved the Church even to the point of giving Himself up for it, so should the husband love his wife. There is, indeed, one important point of difference, namely, that Christ is the Saviour of the Church of which He is the Head.

6:1-9. Special injunction to children and fathers, slaves and masters; slaves to remember that they are doing service to Christ, masters that they also have a Master before whom master and slave are alike.

10-12. Exhortation to arm themselves with the whole armour of God in preparation for the conflict with the spiritual powers which are opposed to them.

13-18. Detailed specification of the parts of the spiritual armour.

19, 20. Request for their prayers for himself, that he may have freedom of speech to preach the mystery of the gospel.

21-24. Personal commendation of his messenger Tychicus, and final benediction.


Commentaries on the entire New Testament are not noticed here. For the older works, the lists in the English translation of Meyer, and in M’Clintock and Strong’s Cyclopaedia, have been consulted.

Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries

Althofer (Christ.), Animadversiones, etc. Alt. 1641.

Annotationes in V.T. et in Ep. ad Ephesios (auctore incerto). Cantab. 1653; Amst. 1703.

Battus (Bartholomaeus), Commentarius in Epistolam ad Ephesios. Gryphisw. 1619.

Bayne or Baynes (Paul), Commentary on the Ep. to the Ephesians. Lond. 1643.

Binemann, Expositio. Lond. 1581.

Bodius Or Boyd (Robert), In Ep. ad Ephesios Praelectiones. Lond. 1652.

Bucer (Martin), Praelectiones in Ep. ad Ephesios (posthumous; ed. by Im. Tremellius). Basil, 1562.

Bugenhagen (Joh.), Adnotatt. in Epp. ad Gal. Eph. Phil. Col. etc. Basil, 1527.

Calixtus (G.), Expositio litt. in Epp. ad Eph. Col. etc. Helmst. 1664-66.

Cocceius (Joh.), S. Apost. Pauli Ep. ad Ephesios cum Comm. Lugd. Bat. 1667.

Crocius (Joh.), Comment. in Ep. ad Ephesios. Cassellis, 1642.

Crellius (Joh.), Comment. et Paraphrasis in Ep. ad Ephesios. Eleutherop. 1656.

Du Bose (Pierre Th.), Sermons sur l’Epître de St. Paul aux Ephésiens (chs. 1.-3. Only). 3 tom. Rotterd. 1699.

Ferguson (Jas.), A brief Exposition of the Epp. of Paul to the Gal. and Eph. London, 1659.

Goodwin (Thos.), Exposition, etc. Lond. 1681. Condensed, Lond. 1842. Works: Edinb. 1861.

Hanneken, Explicatio, etc. Marp. 1631; Lips. 1718, al.

Heminge or Hemmingius, Comment. in omnes Epp. Apostolorum, etc. Argent, 1586.

Lagus (Daniel), Commentatio quadripertita super Ep. ad Ephesios. Gryphisw. 1664.

Luther (Martin), Die Ep. an die Epheser ausgelegt; aus seinem Schriften herausgegeben von Chr. G. Eberle. Stuttg. 1878.

Mayer or Major (Georg), Enarratio Ep. Pauli scriptae ad Ephesios. Vitemb.1552.

MeelfÜhrer, Commentarius. Norimb. 1628.

Megander, Commentaries. Basil, 1534.

Nailant, Enarrationes. Ven. 1554; Lond. 1570.

Olevianus (Gaspar), Notae ex [ejus] Concionibus, etc. Herbosnae, 1588.

Ridley (Launcelot), Comm. on Ephesians. Lond 1540. Republ. in Legh Richmond’s Selections of the Reformers, etc. Lond 1817.

Rollock (Robert), In Ep. Pauli ad Ephesios Commentarius. Edinb. 1590.

Schmid (Sebastian), Paraphrases super Ep. ad Ephesios. Strassb. 1684.

Steuart (Peter), Comment. in Ep. ad Ephesios. Ingolstad 1593.

Tarnovius, Commentaries. Rost. 1636.

Wandalin, Paraphrasis. Slesw. 1650.

Weinrich, Explicatio. Lips. 1613.

Vellerus or Weller (Hieron.), Comment. in Ep. ad Ephesios. Noriberg. 1550.

Woodhead (Abraham), Allestry (Rich), and Walker (Obadiah), Paraphrase and Annot. on all the Epistles of St. Paul. Oxford, 1682, etc.; republ. Oxford, 1852.

Zanchius (Hieron.), Comm. in Ep. ad Ephesios. Neostad 1594.

Eighteenth Century

Baumgarten (Sigmund Jakob), Auslegung der Briefe Pauli an die Galater, Epheser, Philip. Col. Philemon u. Thess. Halle, 1767

Chandler (Sam.), Paraphrase and Notes on the Epp. of St. Paul to the Gal, and Eph. (with Comm. on Thess.). London, 1777.

Cramer (Joh. Andr.), Neue Uebersetzung des Briefs an die Epheser, nebst einer Auslegung desselben. Hamb. 1782.

Dinant (Petrus), De Brief aan die van Efeze verklaart en toegepast. Rotterd. 1711. (In Latin), Commentarii, etc. Rotterd 1721, al.

Esmarch (H. P. C.), Brief an die Epheser übersetzt. Altona, 1785.

Fend, Erlaüterungen. (S.l.) 1727.

Gerbaden, Geopent Door. Traj. ad Rhen. 1707.

Gude (Gottlob Friedr.), Gründliche Erlaüterung des … Briefes an die Epheser. Lauban, 1735.

Hazevoet, Verklaar. Leyden, 1718.

Krause (Friedr. Aug. Wilh.), Der Brief an die Epheser übersetzt u. mit Anmerkungen begleitet. Frankf. a M. 1789.

Locke (John), Paraphrase and Notes on the Epp. of St. Paul to the Gal. Cor. Rom. Eph. London, 1707, al.

Moldenhauer, Uebersetzung. Hamb. 1773.

Michaelis (Joh. Dav.), Paraphrase u. Anmerkungen über die Briefe Pauli an die Galater, Eph. Phil. Col. Bremen u. Götting. 1750, 1769.

Morus (S. F. N.), Acroases in Epp. Paulinas ad Galatas et Ephesios. Leipz. 1795.

MÜller, Erklärung. Heidelb. 1793.

Piconio (Bernardinus a, i.e. Bemardin de Picquigny), Epistolorum B. Pauli Apost. Triplex Expositio. Paris, 1703; Vesont. et Paris, 1853.

Popp (G. C.), Uebersetzung u. Erklärung der drei ersten Kapitel des Briefs an die Epheser. Rostock, 1799.

Roell (Herm. Alex.), Commentarius in principium Ep. ad Ephesios. Traj. ad Rhen. 1715. Comm. pars altera cum brevi Ep. ad Col. exegesis; ed. D. A. Roell. Traj. ad Rhen. 1731.

Royaards (Albertus), Paulus’ Brief aan de Ephesen schriftmatig verklaart. 3 deelen. Amsterd. 1735-38.

Schmid (Sebastian), Paraphrasis super Ep. ad Ephesios. Strassb. 1684, al.

Schnappinger (Bonif. Martin W.), Brief an die Epheser erklärt. Heidelb. 1793.

SchÜtze (Theodore Joh. Abr.), Comm. in Ep. Pauli ad Ephesios. Leipz. 1778.

Spener (Philip Jak.), Erklärung der Episteln an die Epheser u. Colosser. Halae, 1706, al.

Van Til (Solomon), Comm. in quatuor Pauli Epp. nempe priorem ad Cor. Eph. Phil. ac Coloss. Amstel. 1726.

Zachariae (Gotthilf Trangott), Paraphrastische Erklärung der Briefe Pauli an die Gal. Eph. Phil. Col. u. Thess. Götting. 1771, 1787.

Nineteenth Century

Barry (Alfred, Bishop), “Commentary on Ephesians and Colossians” (Ellicott’s New Test. Comm. for English Readers).

Baumgarten-Crusius (L. F. O.), Comment. über d. Briefe Pauli an die Eph. u. Kol. Jena, 1847.

Beet (J. A.), Commentary on the Epistles to the Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon. London, 1890.

Beck (J. T.), Erklärung des Br. Pauli an die Epheser. Güterslob, 1891.

Blaikie (W. G.), “Ephesians, Exposition and Homiletics” (Pulpit Commentary). London, 1886.

Bleek (Friedr.), Vorlesungen über die Briefe an d. Kol. d. Philemon und d. Epheser. Berlin, 1865.

Braune (Karl) in Lange’s Bibelwerk, 1867 and 1875. Translated by M. B. Riddle. New York, 1870.

Dale (R. W.), Epistle to the Ephesians; its Doctrine and Ethics. 3rd ed. 1884.

Davies (J. Llewelyn), The Epistle to the Ephesians, Colossians, and Philemon 1:0:2nd ed. London, 1884.

Eadie (John), Commentary on the Greek Text of the Epistle of Paul to the Ephesians. 3rd ed. Edinb. 1883.

Ellicott (C. J., Bishop of Gloucester and Bristol), Critical and Grammatical Commentary on Ephesians, with a Revised Translation. London, 1855, etc. (many editions).

Ewald (G. H. A.), Die Sendschreiben des Ap. P, übers. und erklärt. Göttingen, 1856.

Ditto, Sieben Sendschreiben des N. B. Göttingen, 1870.

Findlay (G. G.), “Ephesians,” in the Expositor’s Bible. 1892.

Flatt (J. F. v.), Vorlesungen über d. Br. an die Gal. u. die Epheser. Tübingen, 1828.

Graham (Wm.), Lectures, etc. Lond. [1870].

Harless, Commentar über den Brief Pauli an die Epheser. 2 Aufl. Stuttgart, 1858.

Hodge (Chas.), Comm. on Ep. to the Ephesians. New York, 1856, al.

V. Hofmann (J. Chr. K.), Der Brief Pauli an die Epheser, Nördlingen, 1870.

Holzhausen (F. A.), Der Br. an die Epheser übersetzt u. erklärt. Hannov. 1833.

KlÖpper (A.), Der Brief an die Epheser. Göttingen, 1891.

Kahler, Predigten. Kiel, 1855.

Lathrop (Joseph), Discourses. Philad. 1864.

Lightfoot (J. B., Bishop of Durham), “Notes on Epistles of St. Paul, from unpublished Commentaries by [him].” London, 1895. (Contains notes on the first 14 verses only.)

MacEvilly (John, R.C. Bp. of Galway), Exposition of the Epistles of St. Paul and of the Catholic Epistles. Lond. 1856; Dublin, 1860.

Macpherson (John), Commentary on St. Paul’s Epistle to the Ephesians. Edinb. 1892.

M`Ghee (Rob. J.), Expository Lectures on the Ep. to the Ephesians. 4th ed. London, 1861.

Meier (Fr. K.), Commentar über d. Br. Pauli an d. Epheser. Berlin, 1834.

Meyer (H. A. W.), Kritisch exegetisches Handbuch über d. Pauli an die Epheser. 6te Aufl. Versorgt durch Dr. Woldemar Schmidt. Göttingen, 1886.

Meyrick, “Ephesians,” in the Speaker’s Commentary.

Moule (H. C. G.), “The Epistle to the Ephesians,” in the Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges. Cambridge, 1895.

Newland (Henry Garrett), New Catena on St. Paul’s Epp., A Practical and Exegetical Commentary. Lond. 1860.

Oltramare (Hugues), Comm. Sur les Epîtres de S. Paul aux Coloss. aux Ephes. et á Philemon 1:3 tom. Paris, 1891.

Passavant (Theophilus), Versuch einer praktischen Auslegung des Briefes Pauli an die Epheser. Basel, 1836.

Perceval (A. P.), Lectures, etc. Lond. 1846.

Pridham (Arthur), Notes, etc. Lond. 1854.

Pulsford (John), Christ and His Seed: Expository Discourses on Paul’s Ep. to the Ephesians. Lond. 1872.

RÜckert (Leopold J.), Der Br. Pauli an die Epheser erlaütert u. Vertheidigt. Leipz. 1834.

Sadler (M. F.), Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians. London, 1889.

Schenkel (Dan.), “Die Briefe an die Epheser, Philipper, Colosser” (Ite Aufl. in Lange’s Bibelwerk, 1862; 2te Aufl. 1867, when Braune’s Comm. replaced it in Lange).

Schmidt (Woldemar). See Meyer.

Schnedermann (G.), in Strack and Zöckler’s Kurzgef. Komm. Nördlingen, 1888.

Simcoe (Henry A.), Ep. to Eph. with Texts gathered, etc. Lond. 1832.

Von Soden (H.), “Die Briefe an die Kolosser, Epheser, Philemon; die Pastoralbriefe” (in Hand-Commentar zum N.T.; bearbeitet von H. T. Holtzmann, R. A. Lipsius, u. a.) 2te Aufl. Freiburg 1. B., und Leipzig, 1893.

Stier (Rudolph E.), Die Gemeinde in Christo; Auslegung des Br. an die Epheser. Berlin, 1848, 1849.

Turner (Samuel Hulbeart), The Ep. to the Ephesians in Greek and English, with an Analysis and Exegetical Commentary. New York, 1856.

Weiss (Bernhard), Die Paulinischen Briefe in berichtigien Text, mit Kurzer Erlaüterung. Leipz. 1896.

Wohlenberg (G.), “Die Briefe an die Epheser, an die Colosser, an Philem. u. an die Philipper ausgelegt (in Strack and Zöckler’s Kurzgef. Comm.). München, 1895.

Critical Discussions

General works on Introduction are not noticed here.

Alexander (W. L.), art. “Ephesians” in Kitto’s Cyclopaedia of Biblical Literature. Lond. 1863.

Baur (F. C.), Paulus der Apostel Jesu Christi. Tübing. 1845.

English trans. St. Paul, His Life and Work. London, 1873-75.

Bemmelen (Van), Epp. ad Eph, et Col. Collatae. Lugd. Bat 1803.

Haenlein, De lectoribus Ep. ad Ephesios. Erlang. 1797.

Hönig (W.), “Ueber das Verhältniss des Briefes an die Epheser zum Br. an die Kolosser,” in Hilgenfeld’s Zeitschrift. 1872.

Holtzmann (H. J.), Kritik der Epheser- und Kolosser-briefe. 1872.

Hilgenfeld (Adolf), Review of the preceding, in his Zeitschrift, 1873, P. 188.

Hort (F. J. A.), Prolegomena to St. Paul’s Epistle to the Romans and the Ephesians. (Posthumous.) Lond. 1895.

Huth, “Ep. ad Laod. in encycl. ad Eph.” Erlangen, 1751.

Kiene (Adolf), “Der Epheserbrief ein Sendschreiben … an die Heidenchristen der Sieben (?) Kleinasiat. Gemeinden,” etc. Studien u. Kritiken, 1869, p. 285.

Koster, De echtheid van de brieven aan de Kol. en aan de Eph. Utrecht, 1877.

KÖstlin (J.), Der Lehrbegriff des Evang. u. der verwandten N.T. Lehrbegriffe. Berlin, 1843.

Lightfoot (J. B., Bishop of Durham), “Destination of the Epistle to the Ephesians” in Biblical Essays. (Posthumous.) London, 1893.

LÜnemann, De Ep. ad Ephesios authentia. Götting. 1842.

Milligan (W.), art. “Ephesians, Epistle to,” in Encyclopaedia Britannica. 9th ed.

Montet (L.), Introd. in Ep. ad Coloss. Mont. 1841.

Robertson (Arch.), art. “Ephesians, Epistle to,” in Smith’s Dictionary of the Bible. 2nd ed. Lond. 1893.

RÄbiger (J. Ferd.), De Christologia Paulina contra Baurium Commentatio. 1852.

Schenkel (Dan.), art. “Epheserbrief,” in his Bibellexicon. 1869.

Schneckenburger (Matth.), Ueber d. Alter d. judischen Proselyten Taufe, etc. With Appendix, “Ueber d. Irrlehren zu Kolossae.” 1828.

Soden (H. v.), “Epheserbrief” in Jahrb. f. Prot. Theol. 1887.


Both Epistles are here taken together.

The more important readings are discussed in their respective places. Here are brought together a few isolated or nearly isolated readings of particular MSS, several of which are probably errors of the respective copyists.

א stands alone—

Ephesians 1:18, τῆς κληρονομίας τῆς δόξης for τῆς δ. τῆς κλ.

2:1, ἑαυτῶν for ὑμῶν.

2:4, א* Om. ἐν.

2:7, א* Omits whole verse passing from ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ in ver. 6 to the same words in ver. 7), supplied by אa.

2:10, א*, Θεοῦ for αὐτοῦ.

5:17, א*, φρόνημα for θέλημα.

5:20 om. ἡμῶν.

Colossians 2:10, א*, τῆς�

2:18, א*, before�

Ephesians 1:7, א*, ἔσχομεν (ἓχομεν, אc) = D*, Boh, Eth

3:9, א* om. ἐν. Expressly attributed to Marcion by Tertullian (Marc. v. 18), “rapuit haereticus in praepositionem, et ita legi fecit: occulti ab aeris deo,” etc. So Dial. 870.

4:24, אast;, ἐν ὁσιότητι καὶ δικαιοσύνῃ for ἐν δικ. κ. ὁς. = Ambrosiaster.

Colossians 1:23, κῆρυξ καὶ�

A combines this and the genuine text; Eth has κῆρυξ καὶ διάκονος; while Euthal. (cod.) has διάκονος καὶ�

Ephesians 1:10, κατὰ τὴν οἰκονομίαν for εἰς οἰκ

4:14, ἤπιοι for νήπιοι (ν precedes).

4:19, ε[ἰς�

Colossians 1:23, κῆρυξ καὶ�

In Ephesians 1:3 A* reads ὑμεῖς for ἡμεῖς, with D*.

In 1:11 A agrees with D G in reading ἐκλήθημεν for ἐκληρώ θημεν.

1:20, for ὑμῖν ἡμῖν = 39, 63.

5:15, after οὗν A adds�

Ephesians 1:13, ἐσφραγίσθη for ἐσφραγίθητε (τῷ follows; the copyist’s eye passed from τ to τ).

1:21, ἐξουσίας καὶ�

Colossians 1:3 omits Χριστοῦ

1:4 omits ἥν ἒχετε.

1:11, 1:12 after χαρᾶς adds ἃμα.

1:12, καλέσαντι καὶ ἱκανώσαντι for ἱκανώσαντι, a complete reading.

2:15, after ἐξουσίας add καί.

In the following B is not without support:—

Ephesians 1:3 om. καὶ πατήρ = Hil. (semel), Victorinus. But Hil. has also (bis) πατήρ without ὁ Θεὸς καί.

1:18 om. ὑμῶν = 1:17 Arm

1:20, οὐρανοῖς for ἐπουρανίοις = 71, 213, Hil. Victorin.

2:5 before τοῖς παραπτ. adds ἐν = Arm (?).

3:3 om. ὅτι, with D, Victorin., Ambrosiaster. But G, Goth. have κατὰ�

Colossians 1:14, ἓσχομεν, with Boh, Arab. (A non liquet).

2:23 om. καί before�

Ephesians 1:6 adds τῆς before δόξης

1:16, παύσομαι for παύομαι (but so Victorinus).

2:15, D*, καταρτίσας for καταργήσας. (The Latin D has “destituens.”)

3:12, D*, ἐν τῷ ἐλευθερωθῆναι for ἐν πεποιθήσει.

Colossians 1:14, D* om. τὴν ἂφεσιν.

1:26, φανερωθέν for ἐφανερώθη.

2:10, ἐκκλησίας for�

Ephesians 1:6, D* adds υἱῷ αὐτοῦ, with G and one cursive, but many versions. See note.

1:9 om. = αὐτοῦ = G, Goth., Boh.

1:12 om. αὐτοῦ = G.

2:5, D*, ταῖς ἁμαρτῖσις for τοῖς παραπτώμασιν. So appy., Vulg., Hier., etc. (G has τῇ ἁμαρτίᾳ) ib. after Χριστῷ add οὗ τῆ. G has οὗ. Some MSS of the Vulg have “cujus,” with Ambrosiaster.

3:1 after ἐθνῶν adds πρεσβεύω = 10.

3:21, ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ καὶ τῇ ἐκκλησίᾳ = G, Victorin., Ambrosiaster.

4:29, πίστεως for Χρείας = G, 46, some Verss. and FF.

5:14, D*, ἐπιψαύσειας τοῦ Χριστοῦ, a reading mentioned by Chrys. Hier. al. = Ambrosiaster, al. A “Western” reading, WH,

6:11, εἰς for πρός = G.

Colossians 1:21, τῆς διανοίας ὑμῶν for τῆ διανοῖᾳ = G.


Ephesians 1:18, Ἳνα οἲδατε for εἰς τὸ εἰδέναι ὑμᾶς (looks like a translation of the Latin “ut sciatis”).

2:2, τούτου for τοῦ before πνεύματος (but Vulg. has “aeris hujus”).

2:3 om. καὶ ἡμεῖς.

2:10, Κυρίῳ for Χριστῷ

2:11, διὰ τοῦτο μνημονεύοπντες for διὸ μνημονεύετε ὃτι (= Victorin.).

2:15, κοινόν for καινόν

3:8, after αὓτη add τοῦ Θεοῦ

3:11, om. τῷ Χρ. Ἱησοῦ.

3:12, τὴν προσαγωγὴν εἰς τὴν παρρησίαν.

5:3, ὁνομαζέτω for ὁνομαζέσθω.

5:5, εἰς τὴν Βασιλείαν for ἐν τῇ Βασιλεία

5:20, ὑμῶν for πάντων (Theodoret combines both ὑπὲρ πάντων ὑμῶν).

Colossians 1:6 om. ἧς

1:22 om. αὐτοῦ

1:26, after ἁγίοις add�

Ephesians 2:6, om. ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ = Victorin. Hil.

2:12, after ἐπαγγελίας add αὐτῶν = Tert., Victorin., Ambrosiaster, Eth

ib. after κόσμῳ add τούτῳ = Victorin., Ambr., Vulg. (some MSS).

3:8, ἐλαχίστῳ for ἐλαχιστοτέρῳ = 49.

3:9, after αἰώνων add καὶ�

Colossians 1:24,�

2:15, τὴν σάρκα for τὰς�

It has to be noted that C is defective from Ephesians 1:1, Παῦλος to προσαγωγήν, 2:18, and from 4:17, τοῦτο οὖν καὶ τίαἱ in Philippians 1:22.

As E is only a copy of D (after correction), it has not been thought necessary or useful to cite it amongst the witnesses to various readings. Similarly, as F, if not copied from G (as Hort thinks), is, at best, an inferior copy of the same exemplar, it has not been cited. To cite D E, or F G, or D E F G, is to give the reader the trouble of calling to mind on each occasion the known relationship of the respective pairs.


It may not be out of place here to say a word on that much misapplied maxim: “The more difficult reading is to be preferred” a maxim which, pressed to its logical conclusion, would oblige us to accept the unintelligible because of its unintelligibility; and which, indeed, is sometimes urged in support of a reading which cannot be interpreted without violence. Bengel with his usual terseness and precision expressed in four words the true maxim of which this is a perversion: “Proclivi scriptioni praestat ardua.” “Proclivis scriptio” is not a reading easy to understand, but one into which the scribe would easily fall; and “scriptio ardua” is that which would come less naturally to him. The question is not of the interpreter, but of the scribe. This includes the former erroneous maxim so far as it is true; but it may, and often does happen that the “proclivis scriptio” is a “difficilis lectio.” Bengel’s maxim includes a variety of cases which he discusses in detail




Eth Ethiopic.

Arm Armenian.

Boh Bohairic. Cited by Tisch as “Coptic,” by Tregelles as “Memphitic,” by WH as “me.”

It or Ital Old Latin.

Sah. The Sahidic or Thebaic (“the.” WH).

SyrPesh The Peshitto Syriac.

SyrHarcl or Hcl The Harclean Syriac.

The following represent MSS of the Vulgate: viz. am = Cod. Amiatinus; fuld = Cod. Fuldensis; tol = Cod. Toletanus.


Tisch Tischndorf.

Treg Tregelles.

WH Westcott and Hort.

Alf Alford.

DeW De Wette.

Ell Ellicott.

WSchmidt Woldemar Schmidt, Editor of Meyer’s Comm. on Ephesians.

TheodMops Theodore of Mopsuestia.

Other abbreviations will create no difficulty.

1 It has been said that Basil’s statement is not confirmed. The objection is doubly fallacious. His statement as to what he had himself seen does not need confirmation, while as to the fact that the most ancient copies in his day did not contain the words, he is fully supported.

1 “Interpolare” in Latin writers means usually to furbish up old articles so as to make them look new.

1 This is Lightfoot’s explanation of the perplexing passage in Epiphanius (Haeres. xlii.). Epiphanius speaks of Marcion as recognising the Ep. to the Eph., and also portions of the so-called Ep. to the Laodiceans. He blames Marcion for citing Ephesians 4:5, not from Eph., but from the Ep. to the Laodiceans. See Lightfoot, Biblical Essays, p. 383.

1 See list at end of the Introduction.

1 “Peter possessed an eminently sympathetic nature. He was one who received impressions easily, and could not without an effort avoid reflecting the tone of the company in which he lived” (Salmon, Introd., 7th ed., p. 438).

1 Compare also Ephesians 1:17, Revelation 19:10; Ephesians 1:8, Revelation 13:18; Ephesians 2:13, Revelation 5:9; Ephesians 3:9, Revelation 4:11, Revelation 4:10:6; Ephesians 3:18, Revelation 11:1, 21:Revelation 11:15-17; Ephesians 5:32, Revelation 1:20.

Tisch. Tischendorf.

Boh Bohairic. Cited by Tisch. as “Coptic,” by Tregelles as “Memphitic,” by WH. as “me.”

Eth Ethiopic.

Arm Armenian.

WH Westcott and Hort.

Syr-Harcl. The Harclean Syriac.

Syr-Pesh The Peshitto Syriac.

Tol Cod. Toletanus.

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