Because I started out slow in Ephesians there’s not going to be too many notes for this first edition of Exegetical Notes.
Paul probably wrote this letter around 60-62 AD. This letter was probably delivered to the Ephesians by Tychicus (Eph. 6:21-22), who also took Paul’s letter to the Colossians (Col. 4:7-9).
Ephesus was a leading center in the Roman Empire. Paul had spent a short time in Ephesus on his way back to Antioch from his second missionary journey (Acts 18:19-22). On his third missionary journey he stayed in Ephesus three years (Acts 20:31). When Paul returned to Jerusalem from his third missionary journey he gave his moving farewell address to the Ephesian elders at the coastal town of Miletus (20:13-35). This statement has been the model for the final sermon of thousands of Pastors down through the years.
Ironically enough one of the first real issues with Ephesians is the phrase in verse one “in Ephesus.” Those words are not in the Vatican and Sinaitic codices, the two oldest and best manuscripts. Furthermore, in the 3rd century, Origen didn’t know about them either.
Scholars are divided about what this might mean. Could it mean that originally Ephesians was met to be circulated to several different churches in that general area? This might help explain why there are no personal greetings in the book, which are usually found in Paul’s writings.
No proof, either way, is available however, so all attempts to explain this mystery are simply conjecture. As such they are free and worth every penny!
So have at it!
Ephesians, like many of Paul’s books, is divided into two main sections. Of course you can divide it up in other ways when you are outlining it. For example there’s Watchman Nee’s famous three-part take on the book – Sit, Walk, Stand. (This is an excellent book, https://urlzs.com/z5cj ).
However the two main sections of the book are chapters one through three, which are doctrinal, and chapters four through six which are practical. Paul first lays out the theological truths we need to believe and then he applies them to our lives. [By the way – even Nee’s outline fits into the two main sections as Sit is the doctrinal section and Walk and Stand are the practical part.]
Paul likes to teach this way and you can see this basic structure in many of his books. For those of us who teach or preach it’s an excellent model to follow. First you focus on the Gospel and it’s implications in our lives, then you get practical and show it applies to every area of our lives.