The two great questions currently raised about the epistle to the Ephesians concern the identity of its author and the definition of its central theme. The first asks whether Paul actually wrote this letter and is primarily a problem in higher criticism. The second asks whether the visible or the invisible church is the theme of Ephesians, and is a problem in lower criticism or interpretation. There is also a question whether the letter was addressed “to the saints in Ephesus?” We feel that this latter question is not of great importance inasmuch as it is clear to all that Ephesus was at least one of its destinations although perhaps there were other places in Asia Minor to which it was sent as a circular letter.
The question of Pauline authorship is of prime importance. This is especially so because the alternative to Pauline authorship is no known authorship. If canonicity rests ultimately on apostolicity, as this writer believes, taking this book from Paul and leaving it of uncertain authorship, makes it impossible to affirm, with confidence, that it is an inspired document. This accentuates the importance of the problem but does not afford the solution. We maintain Pauline authorship because the strongest external evidence, such as the manuscripts and tradition, testify to it. Why, then, does anyone doubt it? Many, including Interpreter’s Bible, deny it in spite of this powerful external evidence because it is felt that certain things are said in the letter which Paul could not have said.
Since space precludes any thorough discussion of this question here, let us simply mention one of the texts which, supposedly, Paul could not have written; show that he might have written it; and let the matter rest there. In 1:15 we ...1
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