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New Testament Notes
The Epistle to the Ephesians
The following notes are intended to supplement, not replace, the readings from the Bible and the text book.
Comments or questions should be sent to: Dr. Rollinson.
Ephesus was a Hellenistic city on the coast of Anatolia (what is now western Turkey). From ancient times, before 1,000 BC, it was the site of pagan worship of a fertility goddess. When the Greeks founded a colony at Ephesus ca. 1,000 BC, they identified the Ephesian goddess as a form of the Greek goddess Artemis (called Diana by the Romans), but still kept the fertility religion associated with the Ephesian cult. During New Testament times, Ephesus was an important Roman sea port, and was reckoned to be the fourth largest city in the Roman Empire, but it still kept the worship of the ancient goddess.
On his first Missionary Journey, Paul sailed to Ephesus after leaving Corinth (Acts 18:19-21), and Priscilla and Aquila met Apollos there, and taught him more about the Christian faith before he went to Corinth as a preacher (Acts 18:24-26). Paul returned to Ephesus, and stayed there for two or more years, teaching and healing (Acts 19:1-20:1).
Paul's teaching was so successful that the local silversmiths, who sold images of the goddess to visitors, began to feel the loss of their trade, and caused a riot to try to get rid of Paul (Acts 19:23-41). Later in his ministry, Paul appointed Timothy as Bishop, or leader, of the Church at Ephesus (1 Timothy 1:3)
- Ephesians 1:1-2 : Greetings
- Ephesians 1:3-14 : Thanks and Praise to God
- Ephesians 1:15-23 : Paul's prayer for the Ephesians.
- Ephesians, chapter 2 : Paul welcomes the Ephesians as fellow-Christians. Jews and Gentiles are reconciled by Christ.
- Ephesians, chapter 3 : Paul, in prison, reflects on his ministry, and prays that the Ephesians will come to deeper spiritual awareness.
- Ephesians, chapters 4, 5, & 6 : Exhortation to Christian life, and final greetings.
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Last Updated : July 12, 2014