Ephesians 1
A fragment showing Ephesians 1:11-13 on Papyrus 92 from ca. AD 300.
BookEpistle to the Ephesians
CategoryPauline epistles
Christian Bible partNew Testament
Order in the Christian part10
Rome and Ephesus in the Mediterranean

Ephesians 1 is the first chapter of the Epistle to the Ephesians in the New Testament of the Christian Bible. Traditionally, it is believed to have been written by Apostle Paul while he was in prison in Rome (around AD 62), but more recently, it has been suggested that it was written between AD 80 and 100 by another writer using Paul's name and style.[1][2] This chapter contains the greeting, followed by a section about "The Blessing of God" and Paul's prayer.[3]


The original text was written in Koine Greek. This chapter is divided into 23 verses.

Textual witnesses

Some early manuscripts containing the text of this chapter are:

Old Testament references

New Testament references

Greeting (1:1–2)

Ruins of Ephesus amphitheater with the harbor street leading to the coastline (2004).
Ruins of Ephesus amphitheater with the harbor street leading to the coastline (2004).

The greeting of this epistle follows the typical of Paul's usual address format, "X to Y, greeting" (in Greek style) or "peace" (in Jewish style).[3]

Verse 1

Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God,
To the saints who are in Ephesus, and faithful in Christ Jesus:[5]

While English translations indicate that the letter was addressed to "the saints who are in Ephesus", the words "in Ephesus" do not appear in Papyrus 46, one of the earliest manuscripts containing this epistle.[6][a] See the section on the place, date, and purpose of the writing of the letter in the article on Epistle to the Ephesians for more details.

Verse 2

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.[9]

The Blessing of God (1:3–14)

Theologian James Dunn considers this section "one of the most beautiful passages in the Bible" among Christian praise, "unlike anything else in Pauline letters".[3] The Greek text of this part can be punctuated as a single sentence.[3] It contains a four-dimensional blessing, sketched a circle starting from God and directing to God as the source and resource of it, reaching from the time "before the foundation of the world" (verse 4), into the revelation of the divine mystery (verse 9), until the end of time ("the fullness of time") to "sum up everything in Christ" (verse 10) with "the Spirit as the guarantee" of "the final redemption of God's own possession" (verse 14).[10]

Verse 3

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.[11]

An rhetorical antanaclasis: God has blessed us in one sense, we bless Him in another;[12] an "ingenious correlation of the passive εὐλογητός (eulogētos) and the active εὐλογήσας (eulogēsas)".[13]

Verse 13

In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise,[14]

Verse 14

who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.[18]

Paul's Prayer (1:15–23)

This section contains the thanksgiving and prayer for the receivers of this epistle, concerning their "faith in the Lord Jesus" and the love of all believers, followed by a hope in "the working of the great might of God".[21]

Verse 16

I do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers.[22]

Lutheran theologian Johann Bengel suggests that "Paul made mention of all the churches in his prayers" (or at least of all the churches with which he was associated) as is similarly stated in Colossians 1:3 and 1:9.[12]

See also


  1. ^ The words "in Ephesus" (εν εφεσω) were added to the original text of Codex Sinaiticus and Vaticanus by later hands.[7][8]
  2. ^ Corrector 2a of Codex Sinaiticus also wrote "we" (ημεις) to correct the original "you" (υμις), but then another corrector (2b) corrected back to "you" (υμεις), which is the exact word found in all other Greek manuscripts.[17]


  1. ^ Bruce, F. F. (1988). The Canon of Scripture. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press. pp. 142, 158–60. ISBN 978-0830812585.
  2. ^ Attridge, Harold W.; Meeks, Wayne A., eds. (2006). The HarperCollins Study Bible (Revised ed.). New York: HarperCollins. pp. 1982–83. ISBN 978-0061228407.
  3. ^ a b c d Dunn 2007, p. 1167.
  4. ^ a b Kirkpatrick, A. F. (1901). The Book of Psalms: with Introduction and Notes. The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges. Book IV & V: Psalms XC–CL. Cambridge: At the University Press. p. 838. Retrieved February 28, 2019.
  5. ^ Ephesians 1:1 NKJV
  6. ^ Papyrus 46 (P. Mich. inv. 6238) with Ephesians 1:1–11 at the University of Michigan Library. Advanced Papyrological Information System (APIS UM). Accessed March 30, 2019
  7. ^ Image of the manuscript and transcript of Codex Sinaiticus, Ephesians 1:1, CodexSinaticus.org, accessed March 30, 2019
  8. ^ Codex Vaticanus Graecus 1209 Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana. p. 1493. Accessed March 30, 2019
  9. ^ Ephesians 1:2: NKJV
  10. ^ Dunn 2007, pp. 1167–1168.
  11. ^ Ephesians 1:3: NKJV
  12. ^ a b Bengel, J. A., Gnomon of the New Testament on Ephesians 1, accessed 6 February 2018
  13. ^ Meyer, Meyer's NT Commentary on Ephesians 1, accessed 5 July 019
  14. ^ Ephesians 1:13 NKJV
  15. ^ a b c d e f John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible, - Ephesians 1:13
  16. ^ Cowper, B. H. (1860). Codex Alexandrinus. Η ΚΑΙΝΗ ΔΙΑΘΗΚΗ. Novum Testamentum Graece. Ex Antiquissimo Codice Alexandrino a C. G. Woide (PDF). London: Williams & Norgate. p. 404. Archived from the original (PDF) on 12 December 2010.
  17. ^ Image of the manuscript and transcript of Codex Sinaiticus, Ephesians 1:13 - www.CodexSinaticus.org accessed March 30, 2019
  18. ^ Ephesians 1:14 NKJV
  19. ^ Ephesians 1:14 Greek texts at biblehub.com, accessed 5 February 2018
  20. ^ Note [e] on Ephesians 1:14 in New King James Version
  21. ^ Dunn 2007, pp. 1168–1169.
  22. ^ Ephesians 1:16 NKJV