This letter is from Paul, chosen by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus. I am writing to God’s holy people in Ephesus, who are faithful followers of Christ Jesus. May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace.Ephesians 1:1-2
The standard Greek letter makes more sense than our letter writing habit. If we get a letter and don’t know who it is from by looking at the envelope, we look to the end of the letter to see who signed. It helps us with determining the context of the letter. Who is writing this letter to us? The Greek letter writing practice was to put the name of the sender at the beginning. Then the addressee, who was to receive the letter, then to finish the letter with a closing “Grace to you”.
Therefore note Paul’s standard letter intro:
- From Paul
- To the church at X
- Grace and Peace to you.
Compare the letter openings of Romans, 1 & 2 Corinthians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 Thessalonians (maybe the shortest of all in the NT), and 2 Thessalonians. Seeing these 6 examples of the standard letter form will help you to see the contrasts when other elements are added. The additions are the specific parts that are special for those particular people or on the mind of the writer in terms of the matters that will be addressed in the letter. Noting these can help us to see what the emphasis is in a particular letter.
Take time now to look at the detail of the opening to the letter to the Ephesians to see what you can make of it. You take the time at first to see what stands out to you. Then I will lead you through it.. We will pick out the elements that need comment. But I would encourage you to look at the elements first to give you the practice to know what to look for. So do it now with the Introduction.
We will look in detail in the next Gem..
Whether a christian is relevant, is determined by the gap between their life & message!Brian Houston
A family is a place where principles are hammered and honed on the anvil of everyday living.Charles R. Swindoll