The Epistle to the Ephesians is a letter written by St Paul to the early Christian church in Ephesus (in modern-day Turkey). It is included in the Bible as part of the New Testament. It was written by Paul while he was imprisoned on the island of Patmos.
In the letter, Paul gives thanks for the thriving church in Ephesus and congratulates its members on their faith in Christ. He praises God for blessing us with "all spiritual blessings in the heavenly realms in Christ," listing many throughout the first three chapters: God gave us the faith to be saved; He has made known to us His will; He has called us to a glorious inheritance.
As in the letter to the Galatians, circumcision is also an important concern: Paul emphasises the point that God has made the Gentiles of Ephesus full members of the church by their acceptance of Jesus' teaching, and do not need to be circumcised; they already have equal standing with other members of the church, be they circumcised or not (Ephesians 2:11-13). As a testament to the validity of this teaching, Paul briefly recounts how he received his vocation to be an evangelist (starting at Ephesians 3:2).
Later in the letter, Paul urges his correspondents to "walk worthy of the calling with which you have been called" by leading a righteous life and treating each other well (Ephesians 5:1-2), including avoiding deceit and sexual immorality. Part of this exhortation can prove controversial when applied to the modern day, since Paul recommends practices that are not always accepted today. His advice regarding relationships includes that wives submit to their husbands, that husbands love their wives sacrificially, children should submit to their parents and slaves to their masters (or owners), and that slave masters should treat their slaves as fellow humans.
|Books of the Bible|
|Pentateuch (Torah)||Genesis • Exodus • Leviticus • Numbers • Deuteronomy|
|History||Joshua • Judges • Ruth • I Samuel • II Samuel • I Kings • II Kings • I Chronicles • II Chronicles • Ezra • Nehemiah • Esther|
|Wisdom Literature||Job • Psalms • Proverbs • Ecclesiastes • Song of Solomon|
|Major Prophets||Isaiah • Jeremiah • Lamentations • Ezekiel • Daniel|
|Minor Prophets||Hosea • Joel • Amos • Obadiah • Jonah • Micah • Nahum • Habakkuk • Zephaniah • Haggai • Zechariah • Malachi|
|The Gospels||According to Matthew • According to Mark • According to Luke • According to John|
|History||Acts of the Apostles|
|Pauline Epistles||Romans • I Corinthians • II Corinthians • Galatians • Ephesians • Philippians • Colossians • I Thessalonians • II Thessalonians • I Timothy • II Timothy • Titus • Philemon|
|General Epistles||Hebrews • James • I Peter • II Peter • I John • II John • III John • Jude|
|Prophecy||The Revelation to John|