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Who wrote the book of Ephesians? Who was the author of Ephesians?

author of Ephesians

As the title suggests, the apostle Paul directed the book of Ephesians to the church of Ephesus, though it was later circulated to other churches. One of the Prison Epistles, Ephesians is the tenth book in the New Testament and deals with profound themes such as our spiritual blessings in Christ (Ephesians 1:1–14); the unity of believers (1:15—3:21), marriage (4:21–33), and spiritual warfare (6:10–20)..

Like other New Testament epistles (except Hebrews), Ephesians begins with a salutation: “Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, to the saints who are in Ephesus, and are faithful in Christ Jesus: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 1:1). The introduction confirms Paul as the author.

In the 1790s, some scholars displayed skepticism of the Pauline authorship of Ephesians, treating it as a pseudographical text possibly written by one of Paul’s loyal disciples. To support their claim, they cited grammatical distinctions in Ephesians and some fresh theological emphases. The debate has led to four main views regarding the authorship of Ephesians.

The first view upholds the traditional attribution, crediting Paul as the author of the text. The second view suggests that Paul dictated the letter, potentially with additions from a later author. The third view rejects Pauline authorship in favor of anonymity. The final view expresses uncertainty. While the debate persists, there is substantial support for the traditional view that Paul is the author of Ephesians.

First, arguments about differences in writing style are faulty. Writers routinely adapt their style to the occasion and audience. Additionally, Paul employed scribes in writing some of his epistles (Romans 16:22; Galatians 1:2), making stylistic differences to be expected.

Furthermore, we can’t discount the internal evidence beyond the salutation: the writer was writing from prison (Ephesians 3:1). As external evidence, the letter of Ephesians was being circulated in the mid-second century as written by Paul. It was listed in the Muratorian Canon and Marcion Canon in that period.

In conclusion, there’s no reason to doubt that Paul wrote the letter of Ephesians in prison, along with Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon.

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Who wrote the book of Ephesians? Who was the author of Ephesians?
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This page last updated: March 14, 2024