Thursday, March 6, 2014

Ephesians & Colossians: Deutero-Pauline?

When you have 2 and a half hours to cover Ephesians and Colossians how much time can you afford to spend on questions of authorship? As this is crucial in Ephesians and Colossians, almost reaching a near consensus about them being, not Pauline or not authored by the apostle Paul, hence, the term, "deutero-pauline", I thought it was important to deal squarely with these issues. It was tough going, knowing that some students might not be interested at all with such questions but for those who are interested, 30 minutes given to travess the grounds of either Pauline or non-Pauline camps are simply not sufficient to do justice to the arguments involved. I took the first hour going through Ephesians and got some interesting discussion going when I noted Pauline ascription of God as the God of the Lord Jesus Christ and in another place "The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ". With such phrases, I explained that the God we proclaim or Paul proclaimed is forever defined by Christ and any other understanding of God that rejects the centrality of Christ, the Son of God is no god, not least not the Christian God.
The God of Israel cannot simply be understood as Yahweh, the I AM but one who reveals himself in and through Christ in whom the fullness of God dwells (Colossians). This issue generated much discussion and it was pretty tense but it was time for a break during which we relaxed by talking about soccer and the insane amounts of money footballers get paid for their profession.

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