The Use Of Israel’s Scriptures In Ephesians -- By: Thorsten Moritz

Journal: Tyndale Bulletin
Volume: TYNBUL 46:2 (NA 1995)
Article: The Use Of Israel’s Scriptures In Ephesians
Author: Thorsten Moritz


The Use Of Israel’s Scriptures In Ephesians1

Thorsten Moritz

This thesis argues that the use and influence of the Jewish Scriptures in Ephesians pertains directly to our (and the originally intended readers’) understanding of the letter and that this influence is rather greater and more deliberate than has been suggested. It examines those instances where the author manifestly made use of wording which can be directly or indirectly traced to the Jewish Scriptures. I have therefore focused on quotations and allusions (1:20-3; 2:13-7; 5:14, 31; 6:2f.; 6:10, 14-7) and on what I believe to be deliberate reformulation of a Biblical text in the light of its perceived misuse by the author’s, or his community’s, opponents (Eph. 4:8). In addition there is a chapter on the cluster of Old Testament phraseology in Ephesians 4:25-30.

Ephesians has a similar amount of Old Testament material (some mediated, some direct; some by way of quotations, some in the form of allusions) as Galatians. While the presence of such material in Galatians has occasioned numerous studies, the very opposite is true of Ephesians. This has partly to do with the unresolved authorship question in the case of the latter, and partly with the fact that scholars generally chose to concentrate on Ephesians as a hunting ground for non–Jewish traditions. Yet there are about a dozen instances where a study of the underlying Old Testament tradition yields significant results. I have traced these traditions in the literary context of Ephesians and, where fruitful, in their original Old Testament contexts as well as examining the influence of their history of effect on this letter where appropriate.

This study attempts to plug a gap in Ephesian scholar-ship. In doing so, it interacts significantly with the most recent monographs on Ephesians and seeks to develop further and to refine some of the insights of the important recent book Ephesians: Power and Magic (1989) by C. Arnold, which throws new light on the long debated issue of the epistle’s religio–cultural background. The study also responds to a forthcoming book on the famous crux Ephesians 4:8 by W. Harris (The Descent of Christ) and the relative...

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