The 3 Actors of Ephesians—And Why They Matter to the Story of God
“The story of God in Ephesians will change your life if you let it,” exclaims Mark D. Roberts in his new Ephesians commentary. “It will open your eyes to seeing God, your life, the church, and indeed the entire universe in a whole new way” (1)
That’s because this story isn’t only about God. Yes, he’s the primary actor. But there are two other actors that play a commanding role: “me” and “us.”
Like all commentaries in The Story of God Bible Commentary series, Roberts draws the reader into God’s Story by illuminating and explaining each passage of Scripture in light of its grand narrative—helping us live this letter in our own contexts. He begins his endeavor with a goodly introduction orienting us to this letter, particularly the actors within it.
Mounce Archive 14 – The Joys of Shortening Greek Sentences (Eph 3:17)
Everyone needs a break once in a while, and Bill Mounce is taking one from his weekly column on biblical Greek until September. Meanwhile, we’ve hand-picked some classic, popular posts from the “Mondays with Mounce” archive for your summer reading and Greek-studying pleasure.
Today’s “classic” post deals with Greek sentences that go on and on and on and …. Mounce uses Eph 3:17 as an example text and ends with a stirring reflection:
“So much of our training as theologians and exegetes is to attain knowledge. I wonder what school would look like if our goal were to learn that which extends far beyond knowledge, to learn the love of Christ?”
Consider the excerpt below or read the original here.
Paul begins by saying that he bows before God (v 14), and follows by asking for…
Divine Passives and Seminary Education (Eph 3:19) — Mondays with Mounce 247
I came across a great “divine passive” that has some interesting implications for how we study the Bible and train our seminarians and preach to our people.
“Divine passive” is more of a theological category than grammatical. In form and basic meaning, it is simply a passive, but when God is the author of the verb, we call it a “divine passive.”
Paul prays for the Ephesians that God “may grant (δῷ, active) you to be strengthened (κραταιωθῆναι, divine passive) with power through his Spirit in your inner being” (3:16). God does the granting and the empowering.
The desired result is that “Christ may dwell (κατοικῆσαι) in your hearts through faith, rooted and grounded in love” (v 17).
The ultimate purpose (ἵνα) is that they “may be empowered (ἐξισχύσητε) to grasp with all the saints what is the breadth and…
“Ephesians and Resurrection” by Lynn H. Cohick
The bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ is central to the evangelical faith, and is fixed firmly in the Church’s creeds. But how does this reality live itself out within the daily lives of the faithful?
Recently, in one of my classes, I heard some horror stories regarding evangelical college students’ lack of understanding about the resurrection. One aspect of this problem, I think, is the relegation of its reality to the ‘next life’ as though Christ’s resurrection has no impact in the here and now. A close reading of Paul’s letter to the Ephesians suggests otherwise, although conclusions about Paul’s opinions on resurrection expressed in this letter have led some to assert a deutero-Pauline authorship. My goal is not to argue the relative merits of Pauline authorship of Ephesians or Colossians, although I hope to show that concerning the resurrection, Ephesians and Colossians line up well with Paul’s views expressed in Romans, for example. My focus is more modest: to describe briefly one aspect of resurrection as expressed in certain letters of the Pauline corpus. In Eph 2:6, Paul declares that God raised us (with Christ) and seated us (with Christ) in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus. The phrase in parentheses is added both by implication from verse 5 and due to the force of the prefix
συν attached to the verbs. The use of the past (aorist) tense here invites comment, because in other passages Paul speaks about resurrection as something to which we look forward.