Background on the book of ephesians

The city of Ephesus

Ephesus was an ancient Greek city located on the Ionian coast of Anatolia, in present-day Turkey. It was founded as a Greek colony by settlers from Athens in the 8th century BCE. The city flourished as a major trading center during the Roman Empire and was one of the largest cities in the Mediterranean world.

The city in the first century

The city of Ephesus was one of the largest and most important cities in the Roman world. It was located in Asia Minor (modern-day Turkey) on the coast of the Aegean Sea. The city was a center of trade and commerce and was known for its Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

In the first century, Ephesus was the capital of the Roman province of Asia and had a population of close to 250,000 people. The city was a cosmopolitan melting pot with people from all over the Mediterranean world coming to live, work, and worship.

The book of Ephesians was likely written sometime between AD 60-70 from the city of Rome. The author is unknown, but it is traditionally attributed to Paul. The book was likely written to address some specific issues that were taking place in the churches in Ephesus.

The city now

Ephesus was once one of the most important cities in the ancient world. It was a bustling center of trade and commerce, and was known for its grandiose temples and public works. Today, it is a small city in Turkey with a population of just over 30,000 people. Although the city is no longer the thriving metropolis it once was, it still retains much of its former glory. The ruins of the ancient city are a popular tourist destination, and the city is home to several museums and archaeological sites.

The author of Ephesians

The book of Ephesians was written by the Apostle Paul. It was written to instruct Christians on how to live according to God’s will. In this letter, Paul stressed the importance of living in unity and love.

Who was Paul?

Paul was a Jewish man from Tarsus in Cilicia, a region in modern-day Turkey. He was a Roman citizen, which gave him certain rights and privileges. He was also a Pharisee, a member of a strict Jewish sect that believed in the strict observance of Jewish law.

As a young man, Paul studied under the famed rabbi Gamaliel and became a skilled tentmaker. He was present at the stoning of Stephen, the first Christian martyr, and later persecuted Christians himself.

But Paul’s life was transformed when he had a dramatic encounter with Jesus Christ on the road to Damascus. After that, he devoted his life to spreading the Gospel and establishing churches throughout the Mediterranean region. He wrote many of the New Testament’s Letters to various churches, as well as the Book of Romans.

Who was Timothy?

Timothy was a young man from Lycaonia who became a follower of Paul and accompanied him on some of his missionary journeys. He is first mentioned in Acts 16:1-3, when he and his mother, Eunice, and his grandmother, Lois, welcomed Paul into their home in Derbe.

From that time on, Timothy became one of Paul’s closest companions and helped him spread the gospel throughout the Roman Empire. He is mentioned several times in the New Testament letters written by Paul, including Ephesians.

In Ephesians 1:1, Paul writes that Timothy was “a faithful brother” who had been “a beloved child” to him. He also commends Timothy for his diligence in spreading the gospel (Ephesians 4:17).

It is clear from these passages that Paul held Timothy in high esteem and considered him to be a valuable partner in the work of spreading the gospel.

The recipients of Ephesians

The recipients of the book of Ephesians were Christians who were living in the city of Ephesus. These Christians were facing persecution from the Roman government and they were also being tempted to leave their Christian faith and return to their pagan ways.

Gentiles in Ephesus

The letter to the Ephesians was addressed to Gentile Christians living in Ephesus, a city located in present-day Turkey. Ephesus was an important center of commerce and culture in the Roman Empire. It was also a place where various pagan religions were practiced.

Some scholars believe that the letter to the Ephesians was written by Paul himself, while others believe that it was written by one of Paul’s disciples. Whoever wrote the letter, it is clear that its primary purpose was to address the spiritual needs of Gentile Christians living in a pagan city.

The letter begins with a discussion of God’s plan for salvation. It then goes on to address the issue of Gentile inclusion in God’s plan. The letter concludes with a discussion of Christian unity and love.

Jews in Ephesus

The city of Ephesus was a bustling commercial center in the Roman province of Asia. Located on the west coast of present-day Turkey, Ephesus was situated on a major trade route between East and West. The population of this cosmopolitan city was diverse, with people from many different cultures and backgrounds.

Among the residents of Ephesus were a significant number of Jews. Some of these Jews were probably born in the city, while others may have moved there from elsewhere in the Roman Empire or even from Judea. Regardless of their origins, the Jews of Ephesus would have been familiar with Greek culture and language, as well as with Jewish religious tradition.

The letter to the Ephesians was addressed to both Jews and Gentiles living in the city (Ephesians 3:1-6). However, there are indications that the author had a particular concern for his Jewish readers. For example, he refers to God as “the God of our fathers” (Ephesians 3:15) and quotes from the Old Testament book of Isaiah (Ephesians 4:8).

It is possible that the letter to the Ephesians was written during a time when relations between Jews and Gentiles in the city were strained. If so, then the author’s words of exhortation to “live a life worthy of the calling you have received” (Ephesians 4:1) would have been especially relevant for his Jewish readers.

The purpose of Ephesians

To understand the book of Ephesians, it is important to know its historical context and purpose. The book was written to address the needs of a specific church in Ephesus, but its message is relevant for all Christians. The book contains instructions for living a Christ-centered life and for unity within the body of Christ.

To unify

While there are many books in the Bible that are addressed to specific churches or groups of people, the book of Ephesians is unique in that it does not seem to be geared towards any one audience. Instead, its purpose is to unify all Christians, both Jew and Gentile, as members of one body in Christ. This is made clear from the very first verse:

“Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To the saints who are at Ephesus and who are faithful in Christ Jesus.”

In this letter, Paul spends a great deal of time explaining how Jew and Gentile alike have been brought together in Christ and how they are now to live as one people. For Paul, this unity is not something that should be taken lightly but rather is something that should be cherished and fought for.

To build up

Ephesians 4:12 explains the reason for this letter: “For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.” In other words, this letter was written to help Christians to grow up into maturity and to equip them to do ministry within the church. This “edifying” or “building up” takes place as we follow God’s plan for our lives, which includes using our gifts to serve others.

The structure of Ephesians

Ephesians is a book of the Bible that contains Paul’s letter to the church in Ephesus. The book is divided into two main sections: the first section contains Paul’s teaching on the nature of the Church, and the second section contains Paul’s teaching on the believer’s walk in Christ.


Ephesians is a letter written by the Apostle Paul to a group of Christians living in the city of Ephesus. This group was made up of both Jews and Gentiles, and Paul’s letter was written to encourage them to live united as one body in Christ.

The book of Ephesians can be divided into two main sections:

1) Paul’s instruction for Christian living (chapters 1-3)
2) Paul’s prayer for the believers in Ephesus (chapters 4-6)


Ephesians has a very clear structure. After the opening greeting (1:1-2), Paul gives thanks to God for the believers in Ephesus (1:3-14). He prays for them that they would come to know God better (1:15-23). In the second half of the letter (chapters 2-3), Paul explains how Christ has reconciled Jew and Gentile and how Christians should live in light of this reconciliation. He exhorts them to unity, love, and holiness (chapters 4-6) and then concludes with a final prayer (6:18-24).


The final section of Ephesians, often referred to as the “hortatory” or “moral” section, contains some of the most memorable and significant ethical teaching in all of Scripture. In this section, Paul applies the theology he has been developing throughout the letter to specific areas of Christian living. He addresses such topics as relationships between husbands and wives (5:21–33), children and parents (6:1–4), slaves and masters (6:5–9), and all Christians and the government (6:10–20). In each case, Paul shows how the gospel should transform the way we relate to others.

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