Probably written by a disciple of St. Paul after the apostle's death, the Epistle to the Ephesians sets out God's plan to `sum up'' all things in Christ. Martin Kitchen argues that it was written partly for the good of worship at large, and partly as a reaction to the destruction of the temple at Jerusalem in 70 AD. The breaking down of the `middle wall which divides'' (Ephesians 2.14) Jew from Gentile was evidence that God had, indeed, brought the whole of humankind together.
Ephesians understands this action of God as `summing up'' all things in Christ, which necessarily demands the cooperation of the entire Christian community. The readers are therefore urged to pursue an ethic of unity, mutually submitting to each other and growing together into a new kind of humanity.
In this innovative study, Martin Kitchen draws together historical and literary methodologies in his reading of the text, bringing his analysis into the framework of contemporary biblical criticism.
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Taylor & Francis
October 17, 1994
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