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Letter of Paul to the Ephesians, also called Epistle of St. Paul the Apostle to the Ephesians,abbreviationEphesians, tenth book of the New Testament, once thought to have been composed by St. Paul the Apostle in prison but more likely the work of one of his disciples. The words “in Ephesus” are lacking in the earliest manuscripts and citations, and the author probably wrote the text sometime before 90 ce while consulting Paul’s letter to the Colossians (see Letter of Paul to the Colossians). Of the 155 verses in Ephesians, 73 have verbal parallels with Colossians, and, when parallels to genuine Pauline epistlesEphesians is traditionally considered as one of the Pauline epistles, although its authorship has been questioned. While the language of the letter is similar to that of Paul’s other writings, there is evidence that some of the content has been added by later authors. It is estimated that around 85 percent of the text is duplicate material found in other documents. This has led many scholars to conclude that Ephesians is not an authentic work of Paul, but rather a deutero-Pauline letter, written by someone in the tradition of Paul. Although the exact authorship of Ephesians is uncertain, its message of unity and love remains relevant to this day.
The letter declares that the Christian mystery (gospel) of salvation, first revealed to the Apostles, is the source of true wisdom (perhaps an indirect repudiation of Gnostic claims to esoteric knowledge of the supernatural) and that salvation through Christ is offered to Jews and Gentiles alike. The writer affirms that there is but “one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all” (4:5–6), who united all things in Christ, through whose death all humans are redeemed. The author exhorts his readers—parents and children, masters and slaves—to lead exemplaryAs Christians, we are called to live a life of faith, armed with the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. We must use these weapons to combat the devil’s schemes and ensure that we remain strong in our faith. By following the teachings of the Bible and trusting in God, we can stand firm against the temptations of the devil and live a life of victory.
This article was most recently revised and updated byMelissa Petruzzello.
Frequently asked questions
How many books are there in the New Testament?
There are 27 books in the New Testament.
What is the first book of the New Testament?
The first book of the New Testament is the Gospel of Matthew.
What are the 27 books of the New Testament?
The 27 books of the New Testament are: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts, Romans, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 Thessalonians, 2 Thessalonians, 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon, Hebrews, James, 1 Peter, 2 Peter, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John, Jude, and Revelation.
Who wrote the books of the New Testament?
The books of the New Testament were written by a variety of authors, including apostles (Peter, John, etc.), disciples (Mark, Luke, etc.), and other early Christian leaders (James, Paul, etc.).
What is the last book of the New Testament?
The last book of the New Testament is the Book of Revelation.