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ticity has been widely disputed since the time of
Schleiermacher, on three main grounds : (a) the
doctrinal standpoint ; (b) the vocabulary and
style ; (c) the connexion with Col. and with other
NT writings.

6. The doctrine of the Epistle. Few scholars
still support the view of the Tubingen School that
Eph. shows traces of both Montanism and 2nd
cent. Gnosticism. Schwegler saw Montanism in
the emphasis on the Holy Spirit (e.g. I 13 2 18 , and
especially 3 5 4 4 ), and in the position given to the
prophets (2 20 3 8 4 11 ). Gnosticism was said to be
the source of such terms as 'pleroma' and 'sepn.'
Baur argued that Eph. was not written against
Gnosticism, but that it showed signs of its early
phases. As we now know, the date (A.D. 130-140)
which he gave on this hypothesis would be much
too late. Gnosticism was fully developed before
the middle of the century. Hilgenfeld and O.
Pfleiderer see in both Eph. and Col. a polemic

against Gnosticism. Pfleiderer, e.g., sees in 4 20f -
an allusion to ' a Gnostic theory which separated
the Christ of speculation from the Jesus of the
evangelical tradition' (Primitive Christianity, iii.
303). He finds that the quotation of Ps 68 18 in 4 8 '-
depends on the ' Gnostic myth of the victorious de-
scent to hell and ascent to heaven of the Saviour-
god to which allusion is also made in Col 2 1B ' (p.
311). He traces the use of 'pleroma' to Gnosti-
cism, ignoring the fact that it was a good Pauline
word (e.g. Ro II" 8 ), and that it is certainly not
used in any Gnostic sense.

The external evidence alone is sufficient to rule
out such theories, throwing the Epistle back to a
date before the technicalities of Valentinianism
had been developed. More plausible is the view
of Holtzmann, who regards Ephesians as written
at about the end of the 1st cent., in view of
incipient Gnosticism and of ecclesiastical needs.
He thinks that an old letter to Colossae by St.
Paul existed and that Eph. and Col. were composed
by a single writer, in the one case using its ideas
and in the other expanding it. The proof, how-
ever, that there is nothing necessarily un-Pauline
in Col. (see art. COLOSSIANS) does away with the
need for this theory, which is in any case hampered
by two difficulties : (a) that of finding a writer
capable of composing such a work and at the same
time of being so servile in his adherence to the lan-
guage of Colossians ; and (b) that of finding a his-
torical setting for the Epistle. There must surely
be a greater gulf between it and Ignatius with his
violent attacks on Judaizers and Docetists and his
emphasis on the monarchical episcopacy.

It is, therefore, more common nowadays among
those who find difficulties in the Pauline author-
ship to assign Eph. to a Paulinist writing quite

soon after St. Paul's death (see e.g. Moffatt, op.

gy of the
Epistle marks a transition stage between St. Paul

cit. p. 388). It is argued that the theoloj

and the Johannine literature.

'This does not involve the assumption that Paul was not
original enough to advance even beyond the circle of ideas
reflected in Colossians, or that he lacked constructive and broad
dideas of the Christian brotherhood. It is quite possible to hoi
that he was a fresh and advancing thinker, and yet to conclude,
from the internal evidence of Ephesians, that he did not cut the
channel for this prose of the spiritual centre ' (Moflatt, op. cit.
p. 389).

Upon this view, the theology of Eph., 'though
quite continuous with that of St. Paul, is a later
development, under the influence of Johannine,
and possibly Lucan, ideas.

Such a view is too intangible to admit of very
easy refutation. At the same time, it should be
noted that it provides very little ground for dis-
puting the strong and early tradition of the
Pauline authorship of the Epistle. A discussion
of the doctrinal standpoint of Eph. will serve to
put the matter in a clearer light.

(a) The Church. The whole Epistle turns upon the
doctrine of the unity of the Church. This is made
the key both to the relations of Jew and Gentile
(2 11 " 22 ) and to the problems of the Christian life (4
and 5). Its unity is not merely that of any human
organization, but rests directly upon the unity of
God Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (4 4 - 6 ). "That
unity is derived from the Father (3 10 ), by whom it
was fore-ordained in Christ (1 4 - W> ). It is ideally
complete in Christ and in Him is to become
actually complete (I 9 - *> 23 2 15 4 12 ' 16 ). Even now it
has as its principle of life the One Spirit (I 14 2 18 3 16
4 3 ). In some sense it is the completion of the
Incarnation (I 23 ; cf. Armitage Robinson, ' On the
meaning of vX-fipufia ' in Ephesians, p. 255 ff.), for
in it Christ comes into all the saints (3 17 ) and all
the saints into Him (2 6 - 1S 4 12 ' 18 ). The organization
of the Church is simply the expression of this
unity, and the means, given by Christ Himself,



whereby it is being actualized (4 7 ' 12 ). Baptism ia
the door of the Church (4 s 5- 6 ), faith its bond of
union (4 5 ), love the expression of that union
(4 2 5", etc. ). The unity even extends beyond this
earth into the heavenly regions (2 s ; cf. P 3 10 ).

Such an emphasis upon the Church is certainly
not found elsewhere in St. Paul. Yet there is no
one feature which is specifically un-Pauline, and
no reason can be given why St. Paul should not in
a time of leisure, undisturbed by the clash of con-
troversy, have set down for the churches he had
founded those principles which had underlain all
his ministry.

It has been urged that St. Paul dealt only with
individual churches, and that the use of the term
' church ' (^KK\i)<ria) in Eph. is foreign to his writings.
But as a matter of fact the idea of one Church
Universal underlies all St. Paul's thought. Especi-
ally in 1 Cor. he appeals throughout to general
church practice (e.g. 1 Co 10 8a II 18 H 83 - 8 *). He
speaks of the churches as a whole (Ro 16 18 , 1 Co
417 71?) They are 'one body in Christ,' with an
articulated, organized membership (Ro 12 5 ), and
this conception is expanded in 1 Co 12 12fft . They
form one Church (^K/cXijcria, in the singular ; cf. 1
Co 12 28 , Gal I 18 ). The same conception and usage
are repeated in the later Epistles (Ph 3 s , Col
I 18 - 24 ). The statements in Col. are, indeed, quite
as full in idea as those in Ephesians. The con-
ception of Christ as awaiting ' fulfilment' or com-
pletion in some sense in His Body, the Church, is
present in Col I 24 . The organic unity of Christ
with the Church as its Head is in Col I 18 . The
conception of the Church as extending into the
heavenly regions is directly involved in St. Paul's
answer to the Colossian heretics (Col 1 19> M ). This
adaptation of his thought is quite natural, though
its first clear formulation in his mind may have
been due to the troubles at Colossse, leading him
to correlate his views on angelology (see art.
COLOSSIANS) with his views on Christ and the
Church. The thought is present, in an unapplied
form, in Ph 3 20 (with which also cf. Eph 2 19 ,
Ph I 27 ).

It is urged that it is new in St. Paul to find the
unity of the Church traced back to Christ's cosmic
position (Molfatt, op. cit. p. 393). But this is
really rather a question of Cnristology than of the
doctrine of the Church. Solidarity in Christ is
the most characteristic part of St. Paul's teaching.
The thought of the early chapters of Romans is
simply its application to anthropology, the problem
of sin. In Eph., with a wider purpose in view, it
is applied to the problems of humanity regarded as
a whole in its relation to God. The cosmological
form which the argument takes is doubtless due in
part to the situation at Colossse. But Ro 8 20 - 21 is
a hint that there were similar elements in St.
Paul's thought at an earlier date.

The fact that in Eph. the writer seems to pose
as the defender of Jewish against Gentile Chris-
tians has been regarded as proof that he is not the
St. Paul of the Galatian controversy. But it may
well have been that by A.D. 60 there was danger
that the Gentile Christians in the churches of Asia
might outnumber and tend to despise their Jewish
brethren. St. Paul's concern was always to secure
the position of both Jew and Gentile in the Church.
His argument in Eph. is really exactly like that
in Romans. Both Jew and Gentile are brought
down to one level by sin (Ro 3 9 ' 20 , Eph 2 1 ' 8 ; cf. Gal
3 22 ), and are therefore joined in one redemption
(Ro 10" II 82 , Eph 2 16 - 18 ). In Ro 11 we find the
same attitude of apology for the Jews as in Eph 2
(cf. also Ro 7 7 9 lff -). Gal S 23 ' 28 also gives an
argument practically identical in substance with
that of Ephesians.

Some have thought that the interest in church

organization is un-Pauline, and that the details
mentioned involve a later date. It would be
possible to argue that the very reverse is the case.
The mention of ' apostles and prophets ' as fore-
most in the ministry of the Church (4 11 ) is exactly
paralleled by 1 Co 12 23 . Thus there is nothing un-
natural in the special position given to them in
220 35 From the earliest days the ministry of
prophets had existed in the Church, and it is very
doubtful whether by the end of St. Paul's life the
beginnings of the organization which superseded
them were not beginning to appear. By the time
the Didache was written the position of the prophet
was becoming equivocal, and the allusions in Eph.
could hardly have been written. The mention of
'evangelists' (4 11 ) is no mark of a later date, since
no such office became definitely established. The
general interest in church order shown in Eph. is
no greater than in 1 Cor. (especially 1 Co 12).

It has been noted as curious, in the light of 1 Co
10 17 , that the Eucharist is not mentioned in con-
nexion with church unity. The reference to 1
Cor., however, is not quite in point, since the
passage is concerned not with unity but with the
dangers of idolatry. And there Is no other hint
either in St. Paul or in Acts that the Eucharist was
regarded as a bond of union among the churches.

(b) God the Father. This doctrine receives no
peculiar expansion in Eph., though it is certainly
emphasized, the title ' Father ' occurring eight times
as against four in Romans. It is brought into
direct connexion with the ideal unity of the Church
(4 6 ), which springs from the eternal purpose of the
Father acting through and in the Son (I 4 - * 22>2S
2io.ii). The unique Fatherhood of God is the
principle underlying all human or angelic solidarity
(3 1B ), and it is for this reason that St. Paul treats
the family, in which this solidarity is exhibited on
a small scale, as an exemplar of the Church itself.
There is no real inconsistency, as has been alleged,
between the view of family life in 5 22t 2S and
the personal preference for celibacy expressed in
1 Co 7 8 .

The emphasis on God's eternal purpose is also
found in Romans. Its effect in the ultimate re-
storation of all creation appears in Ro 8 18ff> , its
effect in uniting Jew and Gentile in Ro 9-11.

(c) Christology. TheChristology of Eph. is closely
akin to that of Colossians. In both Christ is pre-
sented as being, in the eternal purpose of God, the
bond of union for a divided creation, including
within His unity heaven and earth alike, which
were created not only in Christ but also for Him
(I 10 , Col I 16 - 17 ). This consummation and restora-
tion of all things, including the angelic world, in
Christ is to come about through the restoration of
man in the Church, which is His Body, His fullness
(1 4. 21-23 39-1^ qol I 18 - 20 ). The emphasis on Christ's
pre-existence is much more clearly marked in Col.
(liB(fl. is. n^ though in Eph. it is perhaps implied
in God's purpose 'in him' (I 4 - 11 3 11 ; cf. also 2 12
4 9 < T >), and in the title 'Beloved' (I 6 ). In this,
however, there is nothing really new, except that
the Pauline angelology, of which traces appear in
the earlier Epistles, is here clearly correlated to
the doctrine of Christ. It was at Colossre that the
angels were being exalted almost to the position
of Christ Himself, and it is in Col. that the state-
ments of Christ's eternal supremacy take their
highest form. But the restoration in Christ of the
dislocated creation appears in Ro 8 18ff . The share
of the angels in this is alluded to in 1 Co 6 s - 4 15 24 .
The pre-existence of Christ finds expression in Ro
8 3 9 s (probably), 1 Co 10 4 15 47 (and context), 2 Co
8 9 , and is clearly connected with His relation to
the Creation in 1 Co 8 6 , where the emphasis on
unity closely resembles the thought of Ephesians.
At a slightly later date, almost every point in



the Christology of Col. and Eph. is embodied in
Ph 2 s " 11 .

It has been noted as un-Pauline that the result
of the Cross should be seen in the reconciliation of
Jew and Gentile rather than in relation to sin.
But this objection is due to imperfect exegesis.
It is because the Cross frees all, both Jew and
Gentile, from sin that they are able to come into
the unity of Christ. The emphasis on individual
redemption is just as much present in Eph 2 1 ' 10 as
in Ro 1-7. The Pauline doctrine is stated directly
in I 7 (cf. 2 13 ). The annulling of the Law by the
Cross (2 15 ) is the very point of St. Paul's argument
in the Galatian controversy (Gal 3 13 , etc. ; cf. also
the parallel passage in Col 2 14 ). The thought in
Ephesians may be carried rather further, but it is
wholly Pauline. That there is no definite allusion
to expiation or propitiation is not of any real
significance. The idea was unnecessary to the pur-
pose of Ephesians.

Again it is said that there is in Eph. no hint of
the Parousia, the coming of Christ in the near
future, and that the idea is replaced, on Johannine
lines, by a vista of long ages before the final
judgment (2 7 3* 1 ). But the reference in 2 7 is pro-
bably to ages after the Second Coming, as is perhaps
shown by the parallel in I 21 (see 3 above), and
this may also be the meaning in 3 21 . In any case,
the same language occurs in Ro I 28 9* and in
Gal I 5 , a close parallel to 3 21 . References to the
Parousia may perhaps be seen in 4 SO 5 6 . It is true
that there is no emphasis on the doctrine, but St.
Paul was never a fanatic about it, as 2 Thess. shows
(cf. Ro 11*).

Other points which are said to be rather Johan-
nine than Pauline also find parallels in the earlier
Epistles. Love is emphasized as the relation of
Christ to us (2 4 5 2 - * ; cf. Gal 2 20 , Ro 8 35 - ), as our
relation to Christ (G 24 ; cf. 1 Co 16 22 ) and to one
another (4 s - 16 5 2 - 25 ; cf. 1 Th 5 13 ). Cf. the Hymn
to Love in 1 Co 13. The emphasis on the light of
Christ amid the darkness (5 8 ' 14 ; cf. 4 18 ), while
typical of St. John, is found in 1 Th 5 4 - 5 , 2 Co 6 14 ,
Ro 13 12 .

(d) The Holy Spirit. Great stress is laid in Eph.
upon the Holy Spirit as inspiring the life of the
Church (I 13 2 18 3 5 - 16 4 3 - 4 - 30 5 18 6 17 ). This is quite
Pauline (cf. I 13 - " with 2 Co I 22 , 4 3 - 4 with 1 Co
12 403 ; see also Gal 5 18 24 , Ro 15 13 ).

(e) Man and sin. This is the special subject of
Rom. and not of Ephesians. Yet the hints in
Eph. are quite in accordance with St. Paul's earlier
teaching. The doctrine of the <rdp, the root-idea
in the conception of original sin, appears in 2 3 .
The characteristic emphasis on the grace of God
which saves man by faith and not by works is
found in 2 5 ' 8 (cf. 3 12 ). Predestination to life is the
theme of I 4 - 11 ' 14 , though the problem of free-will
is not raised, being unessential to the matter in

It has been suggested that there is an un-Pauline
emphasis on knowledge, more on the lines of the
Fourth Gospel (e.g. Jn 17 3 ), in I 8 - 17 4 13 . But this
does not really conflict with St. Paul's opposition
to the wisdom of this world in 1 Co 1-4, from
which the knowledge alluded to (tirlyvwcris ; cf.
Annitage Robinson, Ephesians, p. 248 ff. ) is a very
different thing. Cf. also Ro 10 2 , 1 Co I 24 2 6 - 7 , Ph
I 9 , Col I 9 - 10 2 2 3 10 .

This sketch of the doctrine of Eph. will serve to
show how closely it resembles in most of its details
the doctrine not only of Colossians, but of the
earlier Pauline Epistles. It is only in emphasis
and in the sustained, almost lyrical, exposition
that there is any real contrast. And this may
well be explained by a difference of circumstances
both in St. Paul's own position and in the audience
to which he is writing.

7. Style and language. (1) Language. The
vocabulary as a whole presents phenomena very
similar to those of the other Pauline letters.
There are 37 words not used elsewhere in the NT
(as compared with 33 in Gal., 41 in Phil., 95 in 2
Cor.), and 39 which occur elsewhere, but not in the
recognized Pauline writings (Holtzmann, Kritik
der Epheser- und Kolosserbriefe, p. 101 f., whose
list is critically discussed by Zahn, op. cit. pp. 518-
522; cf. also Moftatt, op. cit. p. 385 f.). This
number is not in itself suspicious, and Zahn's
analysis has shown that the majority of the words
are of little significance. Some are due to the
occasion and the turn of the metaphor, e.g. those
that occur in the account of the Christian armour.
Some e.g. dve/^os (4 14 ), vSup (S 26 ) are terms for
which no synonym was readily available. Some
are cognate to forms used elsewhere by St. Paul,
e.g. KaTa.pTifffi.6s (4 12 ), irpoffKapTtpri<ri9 (6 18 ), ayvoia (4 18 ).
And against these are to be set about 20 words
found only, outside Eph., in the earlier Pauline

Some special cases have been thought suspicious
The phrase ' holy apostles ' (3 5 ) has been dealt with
above ( 4). The use of 5id/3o\os (4 27 6 11 ; cf. 1 Ti 3 6 ,
2 Ti 2 26 ) is curious, as St. Paul elsewhere employs
the name ' Satan ' (also in the Pastorals, 1 Ti I 2 ").
But there is no reason why he should not have
varied in his usage in this way (as happens in 1
Tim.). And, indeed, the reference in 4& may not
be to Satan but to human calumniators ; or perhaps
both ideas may be present, and the usage here may
also have affected 6 n . The phrase 'in the heaven-
lies,' which occurs 5 times, is curious, but might
well have been coined by St. Paul in working out
the theme of Eph. (cf. 1 Co 15 40 - 48 - 49 ). The word
' mystery ' is difficult in 5 32 , but is used in the
ordinary Pauline manner in I 9 3 3 - 4> 9 . olKovo^ia. has
a somewhat changed sense in 3 9 . The unique use
of irepnroirjffis in I 14 is paralleled by other trans-
ferences of words from an abstract to a concrete
sense. On the whole, then, the peculiarities of
language are no more than might be expected in
any one short document.

(2) Style. This problem presents more difficul-
ty. The sentences are unusually long and cum-
brous, subordinate clauses being strung together
in a loose connexion which is frequently difficult
to analyze, e.g. I 3 " 14 2 1 ' 7 3 2 ' 7 . Yet they are most
carefully wrought and in places are almost poetical
in form and balance (esp. I 8 ' 14 , which falls into
three 'stanzas'). There are one or two elaborate
parentheses (2 n> 12 3 2 ' 13 ). These features are only
partially paralleled in Col. , and present a wide con-
trast to the impassioned rhetoric of the earlier
letters. In this respect Eph. stands by itself. To
many critics the general impression produced by the
style and tone of the letter is the strongest argument
against its authenticity. Yet it is very rash to
make assumptions as to the possibilities of so mobile
and powerful an intellect as that of St. Paul. In
none of his other writings is the clash of controversy
or the appeal of friendship wholly absent. At
leisure in his prison he may well have looked
back over the triumphs of his life and have sat
down to write in a mood of quiet yet profound
thanksgiving for which his earlier career had seldom
given opportunity.

8. Relation to other NT writings. (a) Relation to
Colossians. The relation of Eph. to Col. is, from
the point of view of literary criticism, its most
striking feature. It has been estimated that 78
out of the 155 verses of Eph. contain phraseology
which occurs in Colossians. This is not merely
due to the connexion of ideas, which is also close
(see above), but is of a character to show that the
two Epistles are closely connected in their com-
position. The details have been elaborately worked




out by Holtzmaim, De Wette, and others (for a
good summary of the facts see Mofl'att, op. cit. pp.
375-381 ; Holtzmann's results are criticized by
Sanday, art. ' Colossians ' in Smith's DJB 2 and by
von Soden in JPTh, 1887 ; cf. his Hist, of Early
Christian Literature. The writings of the NT).
Results differ widely. Holtzmann's discussion went
to show that neither Epistle could be regarded as
wholly prior, and therefore he postulated a Pauline
Col., expanded at a later date by a writer who also
composed Eph. upon its basis. But the evidence
for the division of Colossians has very largely
broken down, with the wider view of the Pauline
angelology (see art. COLOSSIANS). The tendency
among scholars is now to assert the authenticity
of Col. (so, among those who reject Eph., von Soden
[in the main], Klopper, von Dobschutz, Clemen,
Wrede, Moftatt). This, if Holtzmann's results are
accepted, proves the authenticity of Eph. also.
The two Epistles must have been written by one
author at about the same time. The alternative
is to regard Eph. , with De Wette, as a weak and
tedious compilation from Col. and the earlier
Epistles a position which will appeal to few or,
more sympathetically, with Moft'att, ' as a set of
variations played by a master hand upon one or
two themes suggested by Colossians ' (op. cit. p. 375).
But this does no justice to the real independence
of thought in Ephesians. The two main themes
the reconciliation of Jew and Gentile in the Church,
and the fact of the Church as influencing Christian
life do not appear in Colossians at all, or only by
allusion. The theology is the same, the applica-
tion very different. Further, it is hard to think
that so original a Avriter would have followed the
very structure of Colossians. The rules for family
life, e.g., are an integral part of Eph., but have no
very clear connexion with the rest of Colossians.
It is most natural to suppose, e.g. in Col 3 18 ' 21 , that
the writer is summarizing what he has written in
Eph 5 22 -6 4 , even at the risk of some obscurity. So,
too, Col 2 19 has no clear connexion with its context,
and must depend upon the fuller Eph 4 15> 16 for its

No parallel for the curious inter-connexion of
language is to be found in the employment of
sources by Matthew and Luke ^or of Jude by 2
Peter. There we have frank copying. Here
there is nothing of the kind. Again and again
phrases are used in Eph. to express or illustrate
ideas with which they are not connected at all in
Col. (cf. Eph. 2 15 - 16 || Col 2 14 I 20 , Eph. 3 19 4 13 1| Col
2 9 , Eph 2 3 I 4 5 OT || Col I 22 ). The writer's mind is
steeped in the language and thought of Col., but
he is writing quite independently. The only
probable psychological solution of the problem is
that one writer wrote both Epistles, and at no
great interval. And if so, that writer must have
been St. Paul. It is quite likely, indeed, that
Col. was composed while Eph. was still unfinished,
since the latter is clearly the careful work of many
hours, perhaps of many days.

(b) Relation to 1 Peter. There is a considerable
amount of resemblance of thought, structure, and
language between Eph. and 1 Peter. This is
especially obvious in the directions for family life
(note the curious phrase ' your own husbands ' in 1
P 3 1 , which seems to depend on Eph 5 22 ). Other
parallels quoted are 1 s with 1 P I 3 , 3 5f - with 1 P
jjof. ( W here it is quite unnecessary to argue that
1 Pet. is prior : the two passages may be inde-
pendent), I 4 with 1 P I 19 - 20 , 2" with 1 P 2 4 , I 14
with 1 P 2 9 (the use of irepnrotijo-ts in Eph. is not
dependent on that in 1 Pet., being quite different ;
the former is concrete, the latter not), l' jof - with
1 P 3 22 ; 6 10f - with 1 P 5 8 - 9 ; 4 9 with 1 P 3 19 4 6 .
These analogies are not unnatural, on the assump-
tion that St. Peter knew Eph., and certainly do

not demand the priority of 1 Pet., as Hilgenfeld
and others have argued.

(c) Relation to the Lucan and Johannine writ-

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