Ephesus

Ephesians 1:1

1:1 Ephesus. Unlike the other Pauline epistles, there are few, if any references to individuals or to local church problems in Ephesians. Nevertheless, strong confirmation exists in the ancient manuscripts and in writings of the church fathers that it was indeed addressed to the Ephesian church. In view of the fact that Paul visited Ephesus at least three times and once spent at least three years there teaching them night and day (Acts 20:31), he knew this church and its people better than any other, and no doubt felt they would be best equipped to receive, then circulate, this most doctrinal of all his epistles. It is significant that the letters to the seven churches in Asia (Revelation 2 and 3) begin with the letter to Ephesus, suggesting that Ephesus was the mother church of the seven. None of the others (Smyrna, Pergamos, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea) apparently received a letter from Paul (although there is a possible reference to a Laodicean letter in Colossians 4:16). So it seems plausible that Paul wanted the Ephesian epistle to be read in all the churches of Asia. That could well be the reason why he included no personal references. The latter could have been conveyed by Tychicus (Ephesians 6:21), who carried the epistle from Rome to Ephesus, presumably also with the instruction to circulate it among the other churches.

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