Ephesians 1:1
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To God's holy people in Ephesus, the faithful in Christ Jesus:

New Living Translation
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.

English Standard Version
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To the saints who are in Ephesus, and are faithful in Christ Jesus:

New American Standard Bible
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To the saints who are at Ephesus and who are faithful in Christ Jesus:

King James Bible
Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus:

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by God's will: To the faithful saints in Christ Jesus at Ephesus.

International Standard Version
From: Paul, an apostle of the Messiah Jesus by God's will. To: His holy and faithful people in Ephesus who are in union with the Messiah Jesus.

NET Bible
From Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, to the saints [in Ephesus], the faithful in Christ Jesus.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
Paul, an Apostle of Yeshua The Messiah in the will of God, to those who are in Ephesaus, holy and faithful in Yeshua The Messiah.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
From Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by God's will. To God's holy and faithful people who are united with Christ in the city of Ephesus.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Paul, apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints who are at Ephesus and to the faithful in Christ Jesus:

King James 2000 Bible
Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints who are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus:

American King James Version
Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus:

American Standard Version
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus through the will of God, to the saints that are at Ephesus, and the faithful in Christ Jesus:

Douay-Rheims Bible
Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, by the will of God, to all the saints who are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus.

Darby Bible Translation
Paul, apostle of Jesus Christ by God's will, to the saints and faithful in Christ Jesus who are at Ephesus.

English Revised Version
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus through the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and the faithful in Christ Jesus:

Webster's Bible Translation
Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints who are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus:

Weymouth New Testament
Paul, an Apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God: To God's people who are in Ephesus--believers in Christ Jesus.

World English Bible
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus through the will of God, to the saints who are at Ephesus, and the faithful in Christ Jesus:

Young's Literal Translation
Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, to the saints who are in Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus:
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

1:1,2. All Christians must be saints; if they come not under that character on earth, they will never be saints in glory. Those are not saints, who are not faithful, believing in Christ, and true to the profession they make of relation to their Lord. By grace, understand the free and undeserved love and favour of God, and those graces of the Spirit which come from it; by peace, all other blessings, spiritual and temporal, the fruits of the former. No peace without grace. No peace, nor grace, but from God the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ; and the best saints need fresh supplies of the graces of the Spirit, and desire to grow.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 1. - Paul an apostle of Christ Jesus. Paul's one but all-sufficient claim on the Ephesians is his relation to Christ: he is Christ's apostle, not only as sent forth by him, but also as belonging to him; elsewhere his servant or bondman. He makes no claim to their attention on the ground of his great experience in the gospel, his profound study of it, or even his gifts, but rests simply on his being Christ's apostle; thus recognizing Christ as the only Head of the Church, and source of authority therein. By the will of God. The First Person of the Trinity, the Fountain of Godhead, has not only devised the whole scheme of mercy, but has likewise planned the subordinate arrangements by which it is carried out; thus it was by his will that Paul held the office of an apostle of Christ (see Galatians 1:1; Acts 26:7; Galatians 1:11, 12). His authority and his dignity as an apostle are thus the highest that can be: "He that heareth you, heareth me." To the saints that are at Ephesus, and the faithful in Christ Jesus. This designation is expanded in the verses that immediately follow. "Saints" means set apart for God, and, as the result thereof, persons pure and holy; "faithful" is equivalent to "Believers;" while "in Christ Jesus" denotes the Source of their life, the element in which they lived, the Vine into which they were grafted. Such persons were the heart and nucleus of the Church, though others might belong to it. In the fervor of his salutations here and elsewhere, Paul seems to see only the genuine spiritual members of the Church; though afterwards he may indicate that all are not such (see Philippians 3:15). With regard to the clause, "that are at Ephesus," see Introduction.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God,.... See Gill on Romans 1:1. See Gill on 1 Corinthians 1:1. See Gill on 2 Corinthians 1:1. See Gill on Galatians 1:1.

To the saints which are at Ephesus; of this place, see the note above upon the title of the epistle, and See Gill on Acts 18:19. The persons residing there, to whom the epistle is written, are described by their character, as "saints"; being separated by the grace of God the Father in eternal election; whose sins were expiated by the blood and sacrifice of Christ; and to whom he himself was made sanctification; and who were internally sanctified by the Spirit of God, and lived holy lives and conversations. The Alexandrian copy, and some others, and the Vulgate Latin version, read, "to all the saints"; whether officers of the church, or private members, whether rich or poor, bond or free, strong or weak believers, of greater or lesser abilities.

And to the faithful in Christ Jesus: who were in Christ, not only by electing grace, but were openly and manifestly in him, through converting grace; and abode in him as branches in the vine; continued constant, and persevered in faith and holiness; and were faithful to the cause and interest of Christ, and to his Gospel and ordinances; and were hearty and sincere in the profession of their faith in Christ, and love to him and his: or, as the Arabic version renders it, "and to them that believe in Jesus Christ"; with all their hearts, to the saving of their souls; who look unto him, venture on him, rely upon him, and trust in him for life and salvation, and who shall certainly be saved; of such the church at Ephesus consisted, to whom this epistle was written: of the church there; see Gill on Acts 20:17.

(a) L. 5. c. 29. (b) Plin. ib. Justin ex Trogo, l. 2. c. 4. (c) Philostrat. Vita Apollon. l. 8. c. 3.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

THE EPISTLE OF PAUL THE APOSTLE TO THE EPHESIANS Commentary by A. R. Faussett

INTRODUCTION

The headings (Eph 1:1, and Eph 3:1, show that this Epistle claims to be that of Paul. This claim is confirmed by the testimonies of Irenæus, [Against Heresies, 5.2,3; 1.8,5]; Clement of Alexandria, [Miscellanies, 4, P. 65, and The Instructor, 1.8]; Origen, [Against Celsus, 4,211]. It is quoted by Valentinus, A.D. 120, namely, Eph 3:14-18, as we know from Hippolytus [The Refutation of All Heresies, p. 193]. Polycarp [Epistle to the Philippians, 12], testifies to its canonicity. So Tertullian [Against Marcion, 5,17]. Ignatius [Epistle to the Ephesians, 12], which alludes to the frequent and affectionate mention made by Paul of the Christian state, privileges, and persons of the Ephesians in his Epistle.

Two theories, besides the ordinary one, have been held on the question, to whom the Epistle is addressed. Grotius, after the heretic Marcion, maintains that it was addressed to the Church at Laodicea, and that it is the Epistle to which Paul refers in Col 4:16. But the Epistle to the Colossians was probably written before that to the Ephesians, as appears from the parallel passages in Ephesians bearing marks of being expanded from those in Colossians; and Marcion seems to have drawn his notion, as to our Epistle, from Paul's allusion (Col 4:16) to an Epistle addressed by him to the Laodiceans. Origen and Clement of Alexandria, and even Tertullian, who refers to Marcion, give no sanction to his notion. No single manuscript contains the heading, "to the saints that are at Laodicea." The very resemblance of the Epistle to the Ephesians, to that to the Colossians, is against the theory; for if the former were really the one addressed to Laodicea (Col 4:16), Paul would not have deemed it necessary that the churches of Colosse and Laodicea should interchange Epistles. The greetings, moreover (Col 4:15), which he sends through the Colossians to the Laodiceans, are quite incompatible with the idea that Paul wrote an Epistle to the Laodiceans at the same time, and by the same bearer, Tychicus (the bearer of our Epistle to the Ephesians, as well as of that to Colosse, Eph 6:21; Col 4:7); for who, under such circumstances, would not send the greetings directly in the letter to the party saluted? The letter to Laodicea was evidently written some time before that to Colosse, Archbishop Usher has advanced the second theory: That it was an encyclical letter headed, as in Manuscript B., "to the saints that are … and to the faithful," the name of each Church being inserted in the copy sent to it; and that its being sent to Ephesus first, occasioned its being entitled, as now, the Epistle to the Ephesians. Alford makes the following objections to this theory: (1) It is at variance with the spirit of the Epistle, which is clearly addressed to one set of persons throughout, co-existing in one place, and as one body, and under the same circumstances. (2) The improbability that the apostle, who in two of his Epistles (Second Corinthians and Galatians) has so plainly specified their encyclical character, should have here omitted such specification. (3) The still greater improbability that he should have, as on this hypothesis must be assumed, written a circular Epistle to a district, of which Ephesus was the commercial capital, addressed to various churches within that district, yet from its very contents (as by the opponents' hypothesis) not admitting of application to the Church of that metropolis, in which he had spent so long a time, and to which he was so affectionately bound. (4) The inconsistency of this hypothesis with the address of the Epistle, and the universal testimony of the ancient Church. The absence of personal greetings is not an argument for either of the two theories; for similarly there are none in Galatians, Philippians, First and Second Thessalonians, First Timothy. The better he knows the parties addressed, and the more general and solemn the subject, the less he seems to give of these individual notices. Writing, as he does in this Epistle, on the constitution and prospects of Christ's universal Church, he refers the Ephesians, as to personal matters, to the bearer of the Epistle, Tychicus (Eph 6:21, 22). As to the omission of "which are at Ephesus" (Eph 1:1), in Manuscript B., so "in Rome" (Ro 1:7) is omitted in some old manuscripts: it was probably done by churches among whom it was read, in order to generalize the reference of its contents, and especially where the subject of the Epistle is catholic. The words are found in the margin of Manuscript B, from a first hand; and are found in all the oldest manuscripts and versions.

Paul's first visit to Ephesus (on the seacoast of Lydia, near the river Cayster) is related in Ac 18:19-21. The work, begun by his disputations with the Jews in his short visit, was carried on by Apollos (Ac 18:24-26), and Aquila and Priscilla (Ac 18:26). At his second visit, after his journey to Jerusalem, and thence to the east regions of Asia Minor, he remained at Ephesus "three years" (Ac 19:10, the "two years" in which verse are only part of the time, and Ac 20:31); so that the founding and rearing of this Church occupied an unusually large portion of the apostle's time and care; whence his language in this Epistle shows a warmth of feeling, and a free outpouring of thought, and a union in spiritual privileges and hope between him and them (Eph 1:3, &c.), such as are natural from one so long and so intimately associated with those whom he addresses. On his last journey to Jerusalem, he sailed by Ephesus and summoned the elders of the Ephesian Church to meet him at Miletus, where he delivered his remarkable farewell charge (Ac 20:18-35).

This Epistle was addressed to the Ephesians during the early part of his imprisonment at Rome, immediately after that to the Colossians, to which it bears a close resemblance in many passages, the apostle having in his mind generally the same great truths in writing both. It is an undesigned proof of genuineness that the two Epistles, written about the same date, and under the same circumstances, bear a closer mutual resemblance than those written at distant dates and on different occasions. Compare Eph 1:7 with Col 1:14; Eph 1:10 with Col 1:20; Eph 3:2 with Col 1:25; Eph 5:19 with Col 3:16; Eph 6:22 with Col 4:8; Eph 1:19; 2:5 with Col 2:12, 13; Eph 4:2-4 with Col 3:12-15; Eph 4:16 with Col 2:19; Eph 4:32 with Col 3:13; Eph 4:22-24 with Col 3:9, 10; Eph 5:6-8 with Col 3:6-8; Eph 5:15, 16 with Col 4:5; Eph 6:19, 20 with Col 4:3, 4; Eph 5:22-33; 6:1-9 with Col 3:18; Eph 4:24, 25 with Col 3:9; Eph 5:20-22 with Col 3:17, 18. Tychicus and Onesimus were being sent to Colosse, the former bearing the two Epistles to the two churches respectively, the latter furnished with a letter of recommendation to Philemon, his former master, residing at Colosse. The date was probably about four years after his parting with the Ephesian elders at Miletus (Ac 20:6-38), about A.D. 62, before his imprisonment had become of the more severe kind, which appears in his Epistle to the Philippians. From Eph 6:19, 20 it is plain he had at the time, though a prisoner, some degree of freedom in preaching, which accords with Ac 28:23, 30, 31, where he is represented as receiving at his lodgings all inquirers. His imprisonment began in February A.D. 61 and lasted "two whole years" (Ac 28:30) at least, and perhaps longer.

The Church of Ephesus was made up of converts partly from the Jews and partly from the Gentiles (Ac 19:8-10). Accordingly, the Epistle so addresses a Church constituted (Eph 2:14-22). Ephesus was famed for its idol temple of Artemis or Diana, which, after its having been burnt down by Herostratus on the night that Alexander the Great was born (355 B.C.), was rebuilt at enormous cost and was one of the wonders of the world. Hence, perhaps, have arisen his images in this Epistle drawn from a beautiful temple: the Church being in true inner beauty that which the temple of the idol tried to realize in outward show (Eph 2:19-22). The Epistle (Eph 4:17; 5:1-13) implies the profligacy for which the Ephesian heathen were notorious. Many of the same expressions occur in the Epistle as in Paul's address to the Ephesian elders. Compare Eph 1:6, 7; 2:7, as to "grace," with Ac 20:24, 32: this may well be called "the Epistle of the grace of God" [Alford]. Also, as to his "bonds," Eph 3:1, and 4:1 with Ac 20:22, 23. Also Eph 1:11, as to "the counsel of God," with Ac 20:27. Also Eph 1:14, as to "the redemption of the purchased possession," with Ac 20:28. Also Eph 1:14, 18; 2:20; 5:5, as to "building up" the "inheritance," with Ac 20:32.

The object of the Epistle is "to set forth the ground, the course, and the aim and end of THE Church of the Faithful in Christ. He speaks to the Ephesians as a type or sample of the Church universal" [Alford]. Hence, "the Church" throughout the Epistle is spoken of in the singular, not in the plural, "churches." The Church's foundation, its course, and its end, are his theme alike in the larger and smaller divisions of the whole Epistle. "Everywhere the foundation of the Church is in the will of the Father; the course of the Church is by the satisfaction of the Son; the end of the Church is the life in the Holy Spirit" [Alford]. Compare respectively Eph 1:11; 2:5; 3:16. This having been laid down as a matter of doctrine (this part closing with a sublime doxology, Eph 3:14-21), is then made the ground of practical exhortations. In these latter also (from Eph 4:1, onward), the same threefold division prevails, for the Church is represented as founded on the counsel of "God the Father, who is above all, through all, and in all," reared by the "one Lord," Jesus Christ, through the "one Spirit" (Eph 4:4-6, &c.), who give their respective graces to the several members. These last are therefore to exercise all these graces in the several relations of life, as husbands, wives, servants, children, &c. The conclusion is that we must put on "the whole armor of God" (Eph 6:13).

The sublimity of the STYLE and LANGUAGE corresponds to the sublimity of the subjects and exceeds almost that of any part of his Epistles. It is appropriate that those to whom he so wrote were Christians long grounded in the faith. The very sublimity is the cause of the difficulty of the style, and of the presence of peculiar expressions occurring, not found elsewhere.

CHAPTER 1

Eph 1:1-23. Inscription: Origin of the Church in the Father's Eternal Counsel, and the Son's Bloodshedding: The Sealing of It by the Spirit. Thanksgiving and Prayer that They May Fully Know God's Gracious Power in Christ towards the Saints.

1. by—rather, "through the will of God": called to the apostleship through that same "will" which originated the Church (Eph 1:5, 9, 11; compare Ga 1:4).

which are at Ephesus—(See [2359]Introduction.)

to the saints … and to the faithful—The same persons are referred to by both designations, as the Greek proves: "to those who are saints, and faithful in Christ Jesus." The sanctification by God is here put before man's faith. The twofold aspect of salvation is thus presented, God's grace in the first instance sanctifying us, (that is, setting us apart in His eternal purposes as holy unto Himself); and our faith, by God's gift, laying hold of salvation (2Th 2:13; 1Pe 1:2).

Ephesians 1:1 Additional Commentaries
Context
Paul's Greeting
1Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To the saints who are at Ephesus and who are faithful in Christ Jesus: 2Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Cross References
Acts 9:13
"Lord," Ananias answered, "I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your holy people in Jerusalem.

Acts 18:19
They arrived at Ephesus, where Paul left Priscilla and Aquila. He himself went into the synagogue and reasoned with the Jews.

Acts 18:21
But as he left, he promised, "I will come back if it is God's will." Then he set sail from Ephesus.

Acts 19:1
While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul took the road through the interior and arrived at Ephesus. There he found some disciples

Romans 8:1
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,

1 Corinthians 1:1
Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and our brother Sosthenes,

2 Corinthians 1:1
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, To the church of God in Corinth, together with all his holy people throughout Achaia:

Galatians 3:26
So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith,

Galatians 3:28
There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

Ephesians 1:15
For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all God's people,

Ephesians 2:6
And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus,

Ephesians 2:10
For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Ephesians 2:13
But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ.

Colossians 1:2
To God's holy people in Colossae, the faithful brothers and sisters in Christ: Grace and peace to you from God our Father.
Treasury of Scripture

Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus:

an.

Romans 1:1 Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated …

1 Corinthians 1:1 Paul called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of …

Galatians 1:1 Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, …

to the saints.

Romans 1:7 To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace …

1 Corinthians 1:2 To the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified …

2 Corinthians 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy …

which.

Ephesians 6:21 But that you also may know my affairs, and how I do, Tychicus, a …

Numbers 12:7 My servant Moses is not so, who is faithful in all my house.

Luke 16:10 He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: …

Acts 16:15 And when she was baptized, and her household, she sought us, saying, …

1 Corinthians 4:12,17 And labor, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being …

Galatians 3:9 So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.

Colossians 1:2 To the saints and faithful brothers in Christ which are at Colosse: …

Revelation 2:10,13 Fear none of those things which you shall suffer: behold, the devil …

Revelation 17:14 These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: …

faithful.

Acts 19:1-20:38 And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having …

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