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«_ A Dissertation Presented to the Faculty of the School of Theology Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary Fort Worth, Texas _ In Partial ...»

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Specifically, according to Lincoln, the Gentiles, who were once far off (Eph 2:13), now are in the “bosom” of God’s family.99 In this way, “each member of the household is functioning optimally in behalf of the whole, not selfassertively in behalf of individual interest.”100

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introduces the imagery of the building and temple for the apostolic community. He describes the foundation of the Andrew Lincoln, “The Church and Israel in

Ephesians 2,” Catholic Biblical Quarterly 49 (October 1987):

605-24. See also the discussion of tertium genus in Peter

Richardson, Israel in the Apostolic Church (Cambridge:

Cambridge University Press, 1969), 203-204.

F. Foulkes, Ephesians, 93, writes: “Citizenship of the people of God was one expressive way of telling the truth concerning the position in God’s kingdom that Jews and Gentiles now equally share.” Andrew T. Lincoln, Ephesians, Word Biblical Commentary (Dallas: Word, 1990), 151-52.

Thomas C. Oden, Life in the Spirit, 295.

oijkei`oi tou` qeou`. Paul explicitly refers to those who proclaim the revelation of God through Christ.101 Both the prophets and the apostles lay the foundation upon which the “walls of the Church bear witness to the community.”102 The apostles and prophets “constitute the foundation ministries in the church” and perhaps “the first stones to be laid in the new building.”103

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gifted individuals “witnessing explicitly to Jesus Christ.”104 Schmithals indicates that the phrase represents the “deposit of doctrine.”105 The foundation of the “temple of the Spirit,” however, does not represent the individuals

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foundation upon which the “temple of the Spirit” may sufficiently be built is Jesus Christ. It seems, therefore, K. Rengstorff, s.v. “ajpovstolo~,” TDNT, 1:441, indicates that tw`n ajpostovlwn kai; profhtw`n refer to the NT and OT

witnesses for God. D. Hill, New Testament Prophecy (London:

Marshall, Morgan, and Scott, 1979), 139, suggests that the use of the single definite article presents apostles and prophets as the same group of people.

Markus Barth, A Broken Wall: A Study of the Epistle to the Ephesians (Valley Forge: Judson Press, 1965), 132-33.

F. F. Bruce, Colossians, Philemon, Ephesians, 304.

Markus Barth, Ephesians 1-3, 315-16.

W. Schmithals, The Office of the Apostle in the Early Church (Nashville: Abingdon, 1969), 43 n. 91.

that the qemevlio~ tw`n ajpostovlwn kai; profhtw`n refers specifically to the proclamation of those who received God’s gospel through Christ to those who, in turn, received Christ Jesus.

Indeed, this interpretation meets Paul’s statement, Pavnte~ ga;r uiJoi; qeou` ejste dia; th`~ pivstew~ ejn Cristw`/ jIhsou` (Gal 3:26).106 Here, Paul declares that o[nto~ ajkrogwniaivou aujtou` Cristou` jIhsou`. Debate swirls around the location and meaning of ajkrogwniaivou, whether it is part of the foundation or at the

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however, moves beyond the location of the stone to denote the significance of the image when he writes that verse 20 describes the church as the spiritual temple, the apostles “For all are sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.”

G. W. H. Lampe, A Patristic Greek Lexicon (Oxford:

Clarendon Press, 1961), 66.

S. Hanson, The Unity of the Church in the New Testament: Colossians and Ephesians (Uppsala: Almquist and Wiksells, 1946), 131.

R. J. McKelvey, “Christ the Cornerstone,” New Testament Studies 8 (1962): 352-59.

and prophets as the foundation, and Jesus Christ as the

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suggests that this phrase “denotes primarily the honour [sic] of [H]is position in the building, but then also the way in which each stone is fitted into [H]im, and finds its true place and usefulness only in relation to [H]im.”111 Thus, Bruce indicates that “keystone” is the “better rendering of ajkrogwniai`o~.”112 Paul expands ajkrogwniai`o~ (2:21-22) when he describes the relationship between Christ, believers, and the church.

Through the use of ejn w|/, Paul reveals once again the centrality of Jesus Christ in the redemptive plan of God.

Through Jesus Christ, the wall of separation between God and

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the wall of separation which divides individuals from one another falls down (Eph 2:14-18), so that di j aujtou` e[comen th;n prosagwgh;n oiJ ajmfovteroi ejn eJni; pneuvmati pro;~ to;n patevra.113 This is Christ’s project of reconciliation.

In verse 16 Paul writes, kai; ajpokatallavxh/ tou;~

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F. Foulkes, Ephesians, 95.

F. F. Bruce, Epistles to Colossians, Philemon, Ephesians, 306 n. 154.

“Through Him both have access by one Spirit to the Father” (Eph 2:18).

ajmfotevrou~ ejn eJni; swvmati tw`/ qew`/ dia; tou` staurou`, ajpokteivna~ th;n e[cqran ejn aujtw`/.114 The terminology of reconciliation is the language

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that this construction argues for the description of every “And that He might reconcile both completely to God in one body through the cross, killing the enmity by it” (Eph 2:16).





John B. Polhill, Paul and His Letters (Nashville:

Broadman and Holman, 1999), 366.

The better manuscript evidence, such as the uncials Sinaiticus (a*), Vaticanus (B), Bezae (D), Boernerianus (G), Athos (Y), miniscules, Byzantine Lectionary, and church fathers (Clement, Origen, Basil, Pseudo-Justin, Chrysostom, and Theodoret) calls for the current reading. Other manuscripts, such as the uncials Sinaiticus (aa), Alexandrius (A), Ephraemi (C), miniscules, and church fathers (Origen, Chrysostom, Euthalius, and Theophylact) provide the article, so that the text reads, pa`sa hJ oijkodomhv. Understanding that the shorter and more difficult reading is many times more favorable, the former reading carries the most weight as original.

local church.117 Moule suggests that the phrase points to a Hebraism depicting the entire, rather than localized, community of believers.118 Fee opts for the idea that the anarthrous construction describes “all that has gone into the building” while Christ joins the building together.119 The participle, sunarmologoumevnh, depicts the union of membership into a unified whole. Christ, as the ajkrogwniai`o~, is the bond to join each individual together.120 As Christ joins the community together, He also provides for its growth, which is the continual growth of the individuals into a unified whole (Eph 4:16).

Schnackenburg concludes that the Spirit is the key to this text.121 Through a succession of images, the apostle moves his readers through a series of metaphors until they come to the final image of the community of believers, which is the “temple of the Spirit.” These images move from T. K. Abbott, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Epistle to the Ephesians and to the Colossians, International Critical Commentary (Edinburgh: T. and T.

Clark, 1897), 74.

C. F. D. Moule, Idiom Book of New Testament Greek, 94-95 Gordon Fee, God’s Empowering Presence, 686 n. 92.

C. Maurer, s.v. “sunarmologevw,” TDNT, 7:855-56.

Rudolf Schnackenburg, Der Brief an die Epheser, Evangelisch-Katholischer Kommentar zum Neuen Testament 10 (Neukirchener-Vluyn: Neukirchener Verlag, 1982), 125.

remote relationships to intimate relationships. Those who were far off are now brought near. Those who were strangers and foreigners are now fellow citizens and fellow members of God’s household. God’s household is a community of believers, who, through the metaphor of a building, exist as the “present place of God’s habitation.”122 Although Lincoln posits that this passage refers to the universal church,123 Fee suggests that the imagery describes more than “a nebulous entity.”124 The apostolic community involves personal commitments in relationship.

Unity is not a nebulous concoction of contemporary ecumenicism for the universal church. Rather, unity comes through the intimate bond which the Spirit establishes between individuals within the community. As the same Spirit dwells within each individual, Paul calls those individuals to express the unity of the Spirit in a personal and intimate manner. This intimate expression comes through a “gathered community ‘filled with the Spirit’ and thus ‘teaching and admonishing one another’ in the various kinds Gordon Fee, God’s Empowering Presence, 689.

A. T. Lincoln, Ephesians, 158.

Gordon Fee, God’s Empowering Presence, 689 n. 105.

Fee contends that Paul’s ecclesiology “finds expression at the local level, even in this circular letter.” of songs, including those of the Spirit.”125

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related passage in 1 Cor 6:19 certainly speaks to the individual believers as the nao;~ tou` ejn uJmi`n aJgiou` pneuvmato~.128 Rom 8:9-12 also reveals that the Spirit resides in individual believers, for Paul writes, eij dev ti~ pneu`ma Cristou` oujk e[cei, ou|to~ oujk e[stin aujtou`.129 Barth’s language suggests a theological contention that one may not possess the Spirit Gordon Fee, God’s Empowering Presence, 689.

Hanson, Unity of the Church, 130.

Markus Barth, Ephesians 1-3, 321. Barth further writes: “No one, not even the church and her most pious members, can possess God for [H]imself alone.” Gordon Fee, First Epistle to the Corinthians, 263.

Fee interprets this phrase to mean that the body of the individual is the “present habitation of God’s Spirit.” “But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, this one is not of Him” (Rom 8:9b). Peter Stuhlmacher, Paul’s Letter to the Romans: A Commentary, trans. Scott J.

Hafemann (Louisville: Westminster / John Knox Press, 1994),

118. He suggests that Paul’s description is similar to the Essene text (1QS 11:9-18), in which the God of righteousness “on the basis of free grace, forgives the sinner his transgressions, fills him with the Holy Spirit, and enables him to praise as well as to walk in perfection.” apart from the church. Paul, however, indicates that one may not possess the Spirit apart from Christ, who is the ajkrogwniai`o~. As the ajkrogwniai`o~, Jesus Christ fits together the individual members of the building of God so that the community grows eij~ nao;n a{gion ejn kurivw/.130 The function of this

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unity amidst diversity. The apostolic community, facing the multiplicity of plurality, finds unity through the power of the Spirit, uniting their hearts and lives with the common mission of evangelism.

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Pluralism also presents a problem for the Barth, Ephesians 1-3, 323, suggests that although individual growth is concomitant to the growth of the community, Paul decisively has in mind here the growth of the entire community.

Walter Liefeld, Ephesians, IVP New Testament Commentary (Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 1997), 76-77.

John R. W. Stott, The Message of Ephesians: God’s New Society (Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 1979), 110.

See discussion in chapter 1, “Prevailing Postmodern Themes: Pluralism” evangelization of the postmodern person.134 Alister McGrath suggests that pluralism is a common issue for the contemporary and the New Testament church. The New Testament church was not content with “conversation” or “dialogue” with the pluralities, but they preached the gospel. McGrath concludes that the future of Christianity depends upon evangelism.135

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Cherished pluralism is the only acceptable absolute in postmodernism and is the ethic which dominates.136 Insightfully, Alasdair MacIntyre indicates that the postmodern culture has embraced “psychological effectiveness” as the replacement to truth.137 He further writes that the pursuit of meaning “cannot be simply or unconditionally identified with any particular moral attitude or point of view... just because of the fact Alister McGrath, “The Challenge of Pluralism for the Contemporary Christian Church” Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 35 (September 1992): 361-73.

Alister McGrath, Evangelicalism and the Future of Christianity (Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 1995), 159-62.

D. A. Carson, Gagging of God, 19.

Alasdaire MacIntyre, After Virtue, 2d ed. (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1984), 30-31.

that its judgments are in the end criterionless.”138 The result of “criterionless” judgment is the exaltation of plurality.139 The postmodern setting, therefore, gives rise to the “profound human meaning and importance” of the plurality of religious traditions.140 As such, Allan Bloom suggests that “relativism is necessary to openness; and this is the virtue, the only virtue.... Openness -- and the relativism that makes it the only plausible stance in the face of various claims to truth... is the great insight of our times.”141 Craig proposes that the “postmodernist is not merely saying that we cannot know with certainty which religious worldview is true and we therefore must be openminded; rather he maintains that none of the religious worldviews is objectively true, and therefore none can be excluded in deference to the allegedly one true religion.”142 Ibid., 31.

William Lane Craig, “Politically Incorrect Salvation,” in Christian Apologetics in the Postmodern World, eds. Timothy R. Phillips and Dennis L. Okholm, 75-97 (Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 1995), 76-77.

Gordon Kaufman, “Evidentialism: A Theologian’s Response,” Faith and Philosophy 6 (1989): 40.

Allan Bloom, The Closing of the American Mind (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1987), 26.

W. L. Craig, “Politically Incorrect Salvation,” 77.

In light of this preeminent ethic of pluralism in religious thought, how can the contemporary church evangelize effectively and faithfully the postmodern person?

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