Historical, Sociopolitical, Cultural Context of Ephesians

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Introduction Analysis of biblical writings has helped us to better understand the challenges and mysteries of scripture. In studying Ephesians 1: 15-23, research will help us draw out the bigger picture of what the writer intends to convey in his message. This passage is a prayer of thanksgiving and intercession in which Paul expresses gratitude to God upon hearing of the Ephesians “faith in the Lord Jesus and love toward all the saints” (1: 15 NRSV). This leads Paul to pray intensively that the Ephesians will gain an expanded awareness of the extraordinary and unsurpassed power of God manifested on their behalf. Paul writes this as encouragement and support to the readers. Historical, Sociopolitical, Cultural Context of Ephesians The ruins of Ephesus can be found today on the west coast of the country of Turkey. Ephesus was a port city for the west coast of Asia during the period of the New Testament. “The city of Ephesus was aptly called the “mother city” of Asia because of her influence over the politics, commerce, and religious atmosphere of the province. Ephesus was the headquarters of the Roman proconsul and the seat of the “Confederacy” of the Greeks in Asia. ” Ephesus had a thriving economy which drew people from the rural areas and poorer cities to it. Ephesus was renowned throughout the world for the temple of Diana (Artemis), for skill in sorcery and magic, and as a destination spot for people from all the surrounding countries. Ephesus was multiethnic and religiously pluralistic. Paul reportedly labored for nearly three years (AD 52-55 /AD 54-57 ) in Ephesus during which time the word of the Lord spread to “all the residents of Asia,” (Acts19:10). “Paul’s purpose in writing Ephesians has been extensively deba... ... middle of paper ... ..., 2000. Mays, James Luther. The HarperCollins Bible Commentary. Rev. ed. San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, ©2000. Newsom, Carol A., and Sharon H. Ringe. Women's Bible Commentary. expanded ed. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 1998. Perkins, Pheme. Ephesians. Abingdon New Testament Commentaries. Nashville: Abingdon Press, ©1997. Talbert, Charles H. Ephesians and Colossians. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2007The New Interpreter's Bible: General Articles and Introduction, Commentary, and Reflections for Each Book of the Bible, Including the Apocryphal deuterocanonical Books. Vol. XI. Nashville: Abingdon Press, ©1994-2004. The New Interpreter's Study Bible: New Revised Standard Version with the Apocrypha. Nashville: Abingdon Press, ©2003. Yoder Neufeld, Thomas R. Ephesians. Believers Church Bible Commentary. Waterloo, Ont.: Scottdale, Pa.: ©2002.

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