The historical relationship between Colossians and Ephesians 1.

(4) To these proofs is sometimes added that 1: 15 and 3: 2 make it appear as if Paul and his readers were not acquainted with each other; but this is not necessarily implied in these passages.In all probability the words en Epheso were not originally in the text.

This is known as Paul’s letter to the Colossians. 3.

Before we get into the book itself, let's see what we can learn about it.

Unity and giftedness of the body of Christ - Ephesians 4:1 – 16 5.

The closings of both Colossians and Ephesians have 29 words that are almost exactly the same in Greek (there are two additional words in Colossians).


Ephesians is one of Paul’s four prison letters.

10:1 And pray ye also without ceasing for the rest
of mankind (for there is in them a hope of
repentance), that they may find God. Therefore permit
them to take lessons at least from your works.
10:2 Against their outbursts of wrath be ye meek;
against their proud words be ye humble; against their
railings set ye your prayers; against their errors be
ye _stedfast in the faith;_ against their fierceness
be ye gentle. And be not zealous to imitate them by
10:3 Let us show ourselves their brothers by our
forbearance; but let us be zealous to be imitators of
the Lord, vying with each other who shall suffer the
greater wrong, who shall be defrauded, who shall be
set at nought; that no herb of the devil be found in
you: but in all purity and temperance abide ye in
Christ Jesus, with your flesh and with your spirit.

There are two very good reasons to see Paul as the author of Ephesians.

The Epistle to the Ephesians - Bible Hub

I believe Paul was the author of Ephesians and am joined by a number of recent scholars, including Marcus Barth (1974), F.F. Bruce (1984), and Peter T. O'Brien (1999). The case for Pauline authorship, in my view, is substantial and convincing, while the case against it is speculative and (except to some scholars) pretty spotty evidence on which to overthrow Apostolic authorship of Ephesians.

letter to the ephesians – In Caelo et in Terra

Paul founded the church at Ephesus over a period of nearly three years (Acts 19:1-20:1), from about 52 to 55 AD. He visited with the church elders on the beach at Miletus on his way to Jerusalem (Acts 20:17-38). In Jerusalem, Paul was arrested about 57 AD and imprisoned, first in Caesarea (about 57 to 59 AD) and then under house arrest in Rome about 60 to 62 AD. (Acts 28:16-31). He probably died no later than 63 to 65 AD, and probably earlier.

It is also characterized by its great similarity to the letter sent to the Colossians.


To all appearances it was merely the prospective departure of Tychicus and Onesimus for Colossae, 6: 21, 22; Col.4: 7-9, combined with the intelligence that Paul received as to the faith of the readers in the Lord Jesus, and regarding their love to all the saints, 1: 15, that led to its composition.Since the Epistle was not called forth by any special historical situation, the purpose of Paul in writing it was naturally of a general character.

), the disciple of John the Apostle, and the bishop of Smyrna asserts Paul's authorship  d.

Ignatius of Antioch to the Ephesians (Lightfoot translation)

On the surface, authorship may seem self-evident, since the first sentence reads rather clearly: "Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God....." For 18 centuries Paul's authorship was uncontested. But since F.C. Bauer questioned Pauline authorship in 1845, it has become popular in some circles to deny that Paul was the author and speculate about others. In fact these days, the majority of critical scholars deny Pauline authorship for several reasons:

An Open Letter to a Christian Mason - Ephesians 5:11

Of course, each of these objections can be answered by those who believe Paul to be the author. Paul is a highly educated man, quite able to express himself in different ways, depending upon his knowledge, the revelation he is seeking to express, and the heresies he desires to combat. If you consider the different styles and language usage skilled communicators are capable of today, it's not hard to grant those abilities to Paul. The theology is not discontinuous with other Pauline letters, but builds on them, reflecting growth in understanding that comes from both revelation and theological reflection resulting in a bigger vision of Christ and his church. And as for borrowing from Colossians ... if Paul is the author of both Colossians and Ephesians, the concept of borrowing becomes pretty silly.