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Colossians, Epistle to the

(689 words)

Author(s): Lindemann, Andreas
1. Occasion and Contents Colossians was written to a church that Paul did not found. It was designed to strengthen the position of its founder, Epaphras (1:7–8; 4:12–13), when erroneous teaching threatened the congregation. The first part (chaps. 1–2) contains doctrine and polemics. After the opening greeting in 1:1–2 comes an introduction (vv. 3–20), whose beginning reminds us of Phlm. 4–5. It culminates in a soteriological formula in vv. 13–14 and a hymn to Christ in vv. 15–20. In the then-and-now schema of vv. 21–23 the addressees are reminded of their reconciliation to God …

Ephesians, Epistle to the

(1,194 words)

Author(s): Lindemann, Andreas
1. Contents Ephesians is a theological treatise in epistolary form. Its main theme is the church. There are no references ¶ to the congregation addressed, nor are there any actual polemics. The first part (chaps. 1–3) develops the theology. The greeting in 1:1–2 is surprisingly similar to that in Colossians. Vv. 3–14 then praise God (cf. 2 Cor. 1:3–7) for his saving work for believers. Vv. 15–19 contain a thanksgiving to God (cf. 1 Cor. 1:4–9) that reaches a climax with a description of the saving event in vv. 20–23. The soteriological consequences are shown in 2:1–10, especially vv. 5–7, w…