Epistle to the Ephesians in the Bible Encyclopedia - ISBE

LITERATURE I. Authenticity. 1. External Evidence: None of the epistles which are ascribed to Paul have a stronger chain of evidence to their early and continued use than that which we know as the Epistle to the Ephesians. Leaving for the moment the question of the relation of Eph to other New Testament writings, we find that it not only colors the phraseology of the Apostolic Fathers, but is actually quoted. In Clement of Rome (circa 95 AD) the connection with Ephesians might be due to some common liturgical form in xlvi.6 (compare Eph 4:6); though the resemblance is so close that we must feel that our epistle was known to Clement both here and in lxiv (compare Eph 1:3- 4); xxxviii (compare Eph 5:21); xxxvi (compare Eph 4:18); lix (compare Eph 1:18; 4:18). Ignatius (died 115) shows numerous points of contact with Ephesians, especially in his Epistle to the Ephesians. In chap. xii we read: "Ye are associates and fellow students of the mysteries with Paul, who in every letter makes mention of you in Christ Jesus." It is difficult to decide the exact meaning of the phrase "every letter," but in spite of the opinion of many scholars that it must be rendered "in all his epistle," i.e. in every part of his epistle, it is safer to take it as an exaggeration, "in all his epistles," justified to some extent in the fact that besides Ephesians, Paul does mention the Ephesian Christians in Rom (16:5); 1 Cor (15:32; 16:8,19); 2 Cor (1:8 f); 1 Tim (1:3) and 2 Tim (1:18). In the opening address the connection with Eph 1:3-6 is too close to be accidental. There are echoes of our epistle in chap. i (Eph 6:1); ix (Eph 2:20-22); xviii (oikonomia, Eph 1:10); xx (Eph 2:18; 4:24); and in Ignat. ad Polyc. v we have close identity with Eph 5:25 and less certain connection with Eph 4:2, and in vi with Eph 6:13-17. The Epistle of Polycarp in two passages shows verbal agreement with Eph: in chap. i with Eph 1:8, and in xii with Eph 4:26, where we have (the Greek is missing here) ut his scripturis dictum est. Hermas speaks of the grief of the Holy Spirit in such a way as to suggest Ephesians (Mand. X, ii; compare Eph 4:30). Sim. IX, xiii, shows a knowledge of Eph 4:3-6, and possibly of 5:26 and 1:13. In the Didache (4) we find a parallel to Eph 6:5: "Servants submit yourselves to your masters." In Barnabas there are two or three turns of phrase that are possibly due to Ephesians. There is a slightly stronger connection between II Clement and Ephesians, especially in chap. xiv, where we have the Ephesian figure of the church as the body of Christ, and the relation between them referred to in terms of husband and wife...

Link: https://bible-history.com/isbe/E/EPHESIANS,+EPISTLE+TO+THE/