Ephesians 1.1 & Textual Criticism

TC, in a comment in my last post made several observations, which you can read HERE.

But he also reminded me of the textual problem in Ephesians 1.1 regarding the recipients of the letter. The fact that this construction is so very rare and consistently is used to denote where something is. It seems highly unlikely that the words ἐν Ἐφέσῳ are not original to the text of Ephesians.

The only explanation that makes sense of the words not being original with this understanding of the syntax is that Paul left a blank to be filled in on arrival at the letters various locations.

10 thoughts on “Ephesians 1.1 & Textual Criticism

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  1. Mike, I looked at 1:1 again in my NA27, and I think a strong case can be made for an orignal εν εφέσω from Paul’s pen. At any rate, my critical apparatus is torn in two.

    The construction is identical to what you’ve outlined in 4:17, except for different words, to state the obvious.

  2. I don’t know if Wright does. Do you know what book he discusses it? Hoehner takes it as original and so does Clinton Arnold. I can’t think of anyone else off the top of my head.

    O’Brien, Best, Bruce, Talbert, Lincoln all take it as secondary.

    Its a difficult decision that I’m still going back and forth on. Hopefully I decide eventually…

  3. When people discuss this particular variant, is the kai part of the questioned text? Every time I’ve read about it they usually just focus on the prepositional phrase. It seems to me that if ev epheso isn’t original, the kai is really out of place.

    “…to the saints who are also faithful…” Would the argument be that the “also” refer to them being faithful like Paul is faithful? I.E. “to the saints who are also faithful (like myself)?”

    Otherwise it would seem to mandate that its a connective conjunction. It’s obviously not that easy, or it wouldn’t be a debate, so I know the confusion is on my end.

  4. No, the και is not part of the questioned text. If only it were. That’s part of what makes it so strange if the phrase εν εφέσῳ is not original.

  5. Sorry, but my english don’t is very good…)

    Hi, my name is Alexsander Couto de Almeida, I’m a theology bachelor’s student from UNASP (Sao Paulo’s Adventist University – Brazil). And actually, I’m researching the textual variant of Ephesians 1:1. And I want to complete my monograph until the end of this year. I thought that we can to change informations, and so, to contribute to our best comprehension of scriptures. I had to researching about more than thirty commentaries books on the library of my university, my works still in progress… If you want, I can send to you my monograph. And if you can help me, send me articles, informations about books, or some texts from you or other peoples.
    I thank you so much, may God bless us!

  6. Unfortunately, I don’t have very much information on this subject, so I don’t know how much I could help you. As of this past week, I’m no longer near a good seminary library, so my resources are incredibly limited.

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