The Rest is Commentary: “Paul’s” “Letter” to “the Ephesians” (Ephesians 1:1-2)

A Letter (which is really more of a circular) (or maybe, a sermon manuscript). (It doesn’t address direct community problems–it’s more a declaration of devotion, a celebration of divine action).

of the Apostle Paul (which is more in the style of the Apostle Paul, written in his name by a devoted follower, or friendly student, or big fan). (Maybe even first Pauline scholar, in order to introduce Paul’s theology and praxis to the third generation of the church.) (I mean, maybe, it is by the Apostle Paul but his style totally changed as did his theology and he wrote it right before he died, but probably not). (Like, it’s disputable, debatable, unprovable.)

to the Ephesians (but only because on one early manuscript someone wrote in “to the church in Ephesus); (it messes up the grammar and people have written pages about Saints and Faithful without a physical place to break up the phrase). (Also, Marcion the heretic thought the letter was to the Laodiceans); (other early church leaders were like, “yeah, okay, ‘Ephesians,’ right.”)

Monday Mull: Ephesians

I know, it’s the Acropolis, and that’s in Athens, not Ephesus.

One of my favorite things to do in ministry is to plan, build and then execute sermon series. Another is to work ahead, and have a working, but flexible, plan at least six months out.

I need the flexibility. COVID, having never left, is back here in Wichita. And while I’d like to do a series based on Faithful Presence: Seven Disciples That Shape the Church for Mission, by David Fitch (which is a great read, so good, in fact, that I’ll link to it), we are probably going to be on digital duty for a while yet, until people start acting the least bit interdependent for one another.

So I’ve punted the Faithful Presence series, and the secondary stewardship series I had ready for September. I’m now working* on an outline to preach Ephesians the next thirteen weeks.

Ephesians, along with Colossians and 2 Thessalonians, are disputed letters of Paul. If they were written by the authentic Paul, it was late in his ministry–grammar is completely different from earlier, authenticated writing, and his theology… uh, evolved? Shifted? I’ve realized I have avoided these three letters just on the matter of disputation; I’d rather get really deep into Ephesians, and see what happens.

So there we go. That’s the mull–go read Ephesians, and tell me what you think. I’m going to do the same.

*I’m on vacation through tomorrow, which–awesome! And I’ll begin working in earnest, probably on Friday and Saturday, too, to get this series ready, planned and prepped.