Sacra Pagina : Colossians and Ephesians

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2008-04-15
  • Publisher: Liturgical Pr

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In this commentary Margaret Y. MacDonald deals with the classic problems of interpretation of Colossians and Ephesians, including authorship, the identity of the "false teachers" in Colossians, and the purpose of Ephesians. In making use of insights from the social sciences, she also draws attention to frequently neglected features of these fascinating documents. Her methodological perspective leads her to illustrate how the texts reflect ancient cultural values and are influenced by particular aspects of community life. There is a sustained discussion of the struggles of New Testament communities to survive and to maintain a distinct identity in first-century society. The commentary includes detailed analysis of the relationship between Colossians and Ephesians and highlights their distinct perspectives. Book jacket.

Author Biography

Margaret Y. MacDonald, D.Phil., (University of Oxford), is professor, department of religious studies, St. Francis Xavier University, Antigonish, Nova Scotia

Table of Contents

Editor's Prefacep. vii
Prefacep. ix
Abbreviationsp. xiii
A Social-Scientific Approachp. 1
Reading Colossians and Ephesians Togetherp. 4
Colossiansp. 6
Who Wrote Colossians?p. 6
To Whom, When, and Where Was Colossians Written?p. 9
The Opponentsp. 10
Religious Significancep. 13
Ephesiansp. 15
Who Wrote Ephesians?p. 15
To Whom, When, and Where Was Ephesians Written?p. 17
The Nature and Purpose of Ephesiansp. 18
Religious Significancep. 21
General Bibliographyp. 23
Translation, Notes, and Interpretation
Greeting (1:1-2)p. 31
Thanksgiving for the Colossians (1:3-8)p. 36
Prayer on Behalf of the Colossians (1:9-14)p. 46
The Christ-Hymn (1:15-20)p. 58
Application of the Hymn to the Situation in Colossae (1:21-23)p. 71
Paul's Authority in Colossae and Laodicea (1:24-2:7)p. 78
Debate with the Opponents: The Power of the Risen Christ (2:8-15)p. 96
Debate with the Opponents: Warnings against Ascetic Practices (2:16-23)p. 109
New Life in Light of the Resurrection (3:1-4)p. 126
Ethical Guidelines for a New Life (3:5-17)p. 134
The Households of Believers (3:18-4:1)p. 152
Prayer, Mission, and Contact with Outsiders (4:2-6)p. 170
Conclusion: Personal Notes and Greetings (4:7-18)p. 177
Greeting (1:1-2)p. 191
Blessing (1:3-14)p. 196
Thanksgiving and Prayer (1:15-23)p. 214
The Consequences of Life Together with Christ (2:1-10)p. 227
The Unity of Jews and Gentiles Created by Christ (2:11-22)p. 240
The Apostle as Interpreter of the Divine Mystery (3:1-13)p. 259
Prayer and Doxology (3:14-21)p. 274
The Unity of the Spirit (4:1-16)p. 285
The Sons of Disobedience and the Children of Light (4:17-5:20)p. 300
The Households of Believers (5:21-6:9)p. 324
Doing Battle with Evil (6:10-20)p. 342
Conclusion: Personal Matters and Final Blessing (6:21-24)p. 350
Selected Scriptural Citationsp. 355
Selected References to Other Literaturep. 377
Index of Authorsp. 383
Index of Subjectsp. 387
Supplementary Bibliographyp. 391
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