The Epistle to the Ephesians in Fausset's Bible Dictionary

By Paul, as Ephesians 1:1; Ephesians 3:1 prove. So Irenaeus, Haer. 5:2-3; 1:8, 5; Clemens Alex., Strom. 4:65, Paed. 1:8; Origen, Celsus 4:211. Quoted by Valentinus A.D. 120, Ephesians 3:14-18, as we know from Hippolytus, Refut. Haeres., p. 193. Polycarp, Epistle to Phil., 12, witnesses to its canonicity. So Tertullian, Adv. Marcion, 5:17, Ignatius, Ephesians 12, refers to Paul's affectionate mention of the Christian privileges of the Ephesians in his epistle. Paul, in Colossians 4:16, charges the Colossians to read his epistle to the Laodiceans, and to cause his epistle to the Colossians to be read in the church of Laodicea, whereby he can hardly mean his Epistle to the Ephesians, for the resemblance between the two epistles, Ephesians and Colossians, would render such interchange of reading almost unnecessary. His greetings sent through the Colossians to the Laodiceans are incompatible with the idea that he wrote an epistle to the Laodiceans at the same time and by the same bearer, Tychicus (the bearer of both epistles, Ephesians and Colossians), for the apostle would then have sent the greetings directly in the letter to the party saluted, instead of indirectly in his letter to the Colossians. The epistle to Laodicea was evidently before that to Colosse. Ussher supposed that the Epistle to the Ephesians was an encyclical letter, headed as in manuscripts of Sinaiticus and Vaticanus, "To the saints that are ... and to the faithful," the name of each church being inserted in the copy sent to it; and that its being sent to Ephesus first occasioned its being entitled the Epistle to the Ephesians. But the words "at Ephesus" (Ephesians 1:1) occur in the very ancient Alexandrinus manuscript and the Vulgate version. The omission was subsequently made when read to other churches in order to generalize its character. Its internal spirit aims at one set of persons, coexisting in one place, as one body, and under the same circumstances. Moreover, there is no intimation, as in 2 Corinthians and Galatians, that it is encyclical and comprising all the churches of that region. After having spent so long time in Ephesus, Paul would hardly fail to write an epistle especially applying to the church there. For personal matters he refers the Ephesians to Tychicus its bearer (Ephesians 6:21-22); his engrossing theme being the interest...

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