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The Prison Epistles Ephesians Colossians Philemon Philippians Paul typically had a scribe write for him Paul was under house arrest (Acts 28:30-31) Critique.

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Presentation on theme: "The Prison Epistles Ephesians Colossians Philemon Philippians Paul typically had a scribe write for him Paul was under house arrest (Acts 28:30-31) Critique."— Presentation transcript:


2 The Prison Epistles Ephesians Colossians Philemon Philippians Paul typically had a scribe write for him Paul was under house arrest (Acts 28:30-31) Critique this picture…

3 To the remotest part of the earth (Acts 1:8) Acts 9 13 14 15 16 18 21 27 28 Fall 49 The Council May 57- Aug 59 Trials Spring 68 Expansion of Church 35 48 49 50 52 53 57 60 62 67 68 95 Apr 48- Sep 49 1 Galatia Spr 53- May 57 3 Asia Feb 60- Mar 62 1 Rome Aut 67- Spr 68 2 Rome May 57- Aug 59 Damascus Antioch 38 124 39-41 Spr 62- Fall 67 4 Spain NT Overview (Pauls Letters) Gal 1 Thess 2 Thess 1 Cor 2 Cor Romans Eph Col Philem Phil 1 Tim Titus 2 Tim Matt Luke John Mark Acts Gospels & Acts Pauline Epistles Pauline Apr 50- Sep 52 2 Aegean Missionary Prison Pastora l

4 Why Prison Epistles? They refer to Pauls bonds Eph 3:1; 4:1; 6:20 Col 4:3, 18 Philem 1, 9, 10 Phil 1:12-13 What are the Prison Epistles? Ephesians Colossians Philemon Philippians Jeremy Chew, East Asia School of Theology, Singapore

5 Who carried these letters? 1.Tychicus He carried the Ephesian and Colossian epistles (Eph 6:21; Col 4:7) He was accompanied by Onesimus (Col 4:9) 2.Onesimus A slave to Philemon from Colossae He probably carried the Epistle to Philemon when he returned to his master, though it is not specifically mentioned (Phlm 12) 3.Epaphroditus A man from Philippi, he carried the Philippian Epistle back to his people (Phil 2:25, 28) Jeremy Chew, East Asia School of Theology, Singapore

6 What was Pauls attitude? In Philemon, Paul was hopeful (evlpi,zw = hope) that he would be released (Phlm 22) In Philippians, Paul was confident (oi=da = know) that he would be released (Phil 1:25; 2:24) Conclusion Written on 2-3 separate occasions Ephesians, Colossians, and Philemon are written around the same time (probably AD 60-61) Philippians is written later (probably AD 62) Jeremy Chew, East Asia School of Theology, Singapore

7 Paul was imprisoned in Rome and Epaphras was with him They were joined by Onesimus, a runaway slave Paul received news of a crisis in the Colossian church (heresy) He wrote in response to the Colossian problems and sent Tychicus as the letter bearer He also sent Onesimus with Tychicus with a letter to Philemon He also wrote a general circular letter for several Gentile communities in Asia Minor (e.g. Ephesus) Occasion for Prison Epistles Jeremy Chew, East Asia School of Theology, Singapore

8 Paul was still in prison The Philippian church sent Epaphroditus to minister to Paul Paul found out from him problems in Philippian church: external opposition (3:17f.) and internal disunity (4:2) Epaphroditus became very sick (Phil 2:26) Paul sent him back with a letter to address problems of Philippian church Some months later (AD 62)… Jeremy Chew, East Asia School of Theology, Singapore

9 201 How Do You Respond to Trials? You say…StrategyTemperamentEpistle Im right! Push through Choleric Ephesians Why me? DepressionMelancholy Philippians Ill just get through Compromise Sanguine Colossians Itll pass Ignore it Phlegmatic Philemon

10 Ephesians Paul identified as the author in 1:1 and 3:1. The style and content is consistent with Pauline authorship. Internal Evidence: External Evidence: The early church unanimously agreed with Pauline authorship. Dispute from Erasmus (16 th cent.) and radical German schools (19 th cent.) make it the most disputed Pauline epistle today. Authorship

11 Written to Gentile believers Makes no reference to any specific crisis or problem Presents a positive Pauline gospel General Observations Ephesians 1:1 From Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, to the saints in Ephesus, the faithful in Christ Jesus In Ephesus not found in the oldest and best manuscripts No direct knowledge of recipients No personal greetings Recipient The most general and non-situation specific epistle. Probably a circular letter for churches in Asia Minor.

12 Date Paul wrote this Ephesians during his first imprisonment in Rome, AD 60-61. Special Characteristics Ephesians has the longest sentences of any NT writing and 8 lengthy sentences total (1:3-14, 15- 23; 2:1-7; 3:1-13, 14-19; 4:1-7, 11-16; 6:17-18) Of all NT writings, Ephesians gives the fullest explanation of the unity between Jews and Gentiles

13 The Temple Court of Women Court of Israel Court of Gentiles Court of Priests Main Temple Temple Courtyard Holy Place Most Holy Place

14 Warning Text for Gentiles Let no foreigner enter within the partition and enclosure surrounding the temple. Whoever is arrested will be responsible for his death which will follow. Ephesians 2:14 For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall

15 Message of Ephesians Ch 1–3The unity of Jews and Gentiles in the church who are equal positionally. Blessings in Christ as equal to predestined Jews (1:3-23) Experience of salvation and reconciliation with Jews in the body of Christ (Eph. 2) Growing knowledge and strength (Eph. 3) Ch 4–6The walk of the Christians that shows their Jew-Gentile unity through love as a testimony to the world. Unity (4:1-16) Holiness (4:175:20) Submission/ headship (5:216:9) Reliance upon God (6:10-20) Love (6:21-24)

16 When someone is drunk…

17 Summary Statement Paul instructs the Colossian church in the supremacy and deity of Christ and exhorts practical outworking of this doctrine in order to fight a syncretistic heresy threatening the life and ministry of the church. Applications Do you mix Christian belief with other worldviews? Avoid legalism & asceticism Summary & Applications

18 Dont be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit, 19 singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, and making music to the Lord in your hearts. 20 And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Ephesians 5:18 NLT

19 Key Word Unity (Exaltation in Christ) Key Verse Ephesians 4:1-3 As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.

20 Summary Statement Paul explains Gods mysterythe unity of Jews and Gentiles in the Church who are equal positionallyto exhort these two groups at Ephesus to live worthy of this calling through a unified love for one another as a testimony to the world. Application Do you really believe you are equal with other members of the body of Christ? How do you express your unity with believers who are different from you?

21 Colossians

22 External Evidence Early Christian writers attributed authorship to Paul. 1. Early support for Pauline authorship comes from Justin, Marcion, Irenaeus, Tertullia, & Clement of Alexandria. 2. Unquestioned acceptance of Pauline authorship prevailed until the 19th century German scholars denied it based upon internal factors. Internal Evidence Many factors support Pauline authorship: 1. The letter claims to have been written by Paul. 2. The similarity of Colossians to Ephesians argues for Pauline authorship as they were written at about the same time. 3. Colossians has many affinities to Paul's letter to Philemon, of which the authenticity is impeccable. Author

23 Ephesians & Colossians 189-190 Characteristics These twin epistles can be compared and contrasted in many ways: EphesiansColossians Similarities: Written in prison, carried by Tychicus Stresses wisdom, knowledge, fullness, & mystery First halfposition Second halfpractice First halfposition Second halfpractice Similar passages: In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins… (1:7) in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins (1:14) to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillmentto bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ (1:10) and through Him to reconcile to Himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through His blood, shed on the cross (1:20)

24 Ephesians & Colossians Characteristics Ephesians Colossians Similar passages 1:15-171:3-4 1:181:27 1:19-202:12 1:21-231:16-19 5:22-24 (wives)3:18 (wives) 5:25-33 (husbands)3:19 (husbands) 6:1-3 (children)3:20 (children) 6:4 (fathers)3:21 (fathers) 6:5-8 (slaves)3:22-25 (slaves) 6:9 (masters)4:1 (masters)

25 Ephesians Colossians Differences Emphasizes the Church as the Body of Christ Emphasizes Christ as the Head of the body General, universalSpecific, local Peaceful, calmPolemic, concern Reflective, quietSpiritual conflict Ephesians v. Colossians

26 Date Colossians was written during Paul's first imprisonment in Rome (Acts 28:30). The best evidence suggests a specific date of autumn 61. Origin/Recipients The epistle mentions Paul's many associates, especially Tychicus, who carried the Colossian and Ephesian letters accompanied by Onesimus with the letter to Philemon. This provides evidence that the Ephesian, Colossian, and Philemon letters all had the same origin. Therefore, Colossians must have been written to Colosse from Rome. Circumstances

27 Paul writes the Colossian epistle to deliver the church from a serious heresy threatening its very life since it is attacking the deity of Christ. His response to this cult takes a two-pronged approach. He first establishes the supremacy of Christ as God in order to deal with the theological basis of the false teaching (chs. 1–2). He then provides practical instruction in light of the deity of Christ which, when followed, will put the enemies of Christ to shame as they see holy living in the church (chs. 3–4). Argument

28 Asia Minor was the seedbed for what developed into 2nd century Gnosticism. Pauls counterattack tells us this about the heresy: 1.Jewishlegalism of following OT laws and ceremonies (2:16-17) 2.Greek philosophyfollowed a so-called deeper knowledge revealed only to a special elite (2:2b-4, 8-10) 3.Worshipped angels as mediators between man and God (2:18) 4.Denied the deity of Christ (1:15; 2:9), & thus His supremacy (1:15b, 17a) & ability to create (1:16) & sustain the world (1:17) 5.Ascetic nature had a low view of the body (2:20-23) What was the Colossian heresy? The above shows it was a syncretistic Jewish-Greek-Ascetic-Pagan cult. Paul's method to fight the heresy is to emphasize the deity & supremacy of Christ. What was the Colossian Heresy?

29 Colossians Key Verse For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form (Colossians 2:9). Key Word Deity (Churchs Ascended Head)

30 Philemon

31 Paul refers to himself three times as author (vv. 1, 9, 19) Authorship Recipient Philemon, a wealthy Christian slave owner in Colosse, is the primary addressee, but others in his church are included as well (v. 2) During Pauls first imprisonment in Rome, AD 61. Date

32 Philemon Onesimus, a slave of Philemon, probably stole some money and ran away (18) He became Pauls convert (10) Paul wanted to return him to Philemon (12) Occasion Purpose Appeal for forgiveness and reconciliation (17) Appeal indirectly for the services of Onesimus (13-14, 20-21) Request for a guest room (22)

33 Key Word Forgiveness (Pardon of Onesimus) Key Verse Philemon 17-18 So if you consider me a partner, welcome him as you would welcome me. If he has done you any wrong or owes you anything, charge it to me.

34 Summary Statement Application Whom do you need to forgive a wrong done to you? Whose forgiveness do you need to request? Paul requests the Christian slave owner, Philemon, to forgive his runaway but repentant slave, Onesimus, whom Paul led to Christ and sent back to Philemon to be received as a Christian brother and to teach forgiveness.

35 True Koinonia (Fellowship) Fellowship of your faith (v. 6) Fellowship involves participation Participation in Christ involves sharing and involvement with each other True fellowship means mutually participating in Christ forgiveness and reconciliation True fellowship promotes the good of everyone It involves changing perceptions and acting accordingly This letter has a good example: 3 outstanding debts Powerful reversals Outcome Jeremy Chew, East Asia School of Theology, Singapore

36 3 Outstanding Debts Onesimus Debt: He owed Philemon whatever he stole He owed Philemon his life Advice: return to owner for due punishment Pauls Debt: He owed Philemon value of each days work lost Advice: charge any debts Onesimus owed to my account, I will pay it Philemons Debt: He owed Paul his new life in Christ (19) Advice: welcome the runaway slave as a brother; but do better than thatreturn him to me Jeremy Chew, East Asia School of Theology, Singapore

37 Powerful Reversals Property beloved brother Inferior equal Useless useful (Onesimus, v. 11) Fellowship in Christ overturns all distinctions created by social structures Jeremy Chew, East Asia School of Theology, Singapore

38 1.Philemon preserved this epistle & allowed it to be circulated & copiedthis would be highly unlikely if he did not forgive Onesimus! 2.Paul expressed great confidence that Philemon would do more than even forgive Onesimus (v. 21)perhaps free him? 3.Ignatius addressed the bishop in the nearby church in Ephesus about AD 115and his name was Onesimus! Did Philemon Forgive Onesimus?

39 Paul's short letter to Philemon demonstrates both the importance of forgiving offenders & also being forgiven as necessary decisions for walking with God. This views the letter from the perspective of both Onesimus and Philemon. The letter was not simply a personal correspondence to Philemon alone. It addresses others in the church and the uses the plural you in verse 25. Perspectives

40 Philippians Q: What is the theme of Philippians?

41 Book Chart 181 Philippians Results of Imitating Christs Attitude Joy Humility Protection Peace Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Joy (5x) Joy (7x) Joy (1x) Joy (4x) Attitude (1x) Attitude (7x) Attitude (8x) Attitude (4x) Suffering Submission Salvation Sanctification Salutation 1:1-2 Thanks & Prayer 1:3-11 In Prison Ministry 1:12-30 Exhorted 2:1-4 Exemplified 2:5-30 From Legalism 3:1-16 From Indulgence 3:17-21 With People 4:1-3 With God 4:4-9 Always 4:10-20 – Greetings 4:21-23 Rome Early Spring AD 62 (first Roman imprisonment)

42 Christ is Prominent in Philippians CharacteristicsChapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Deity (God) 2:6 Pre-eminent (Lord)1:2, 202:9-113:20-21 Returning in Power1:6, 102:10, 163:20-214:5 Sacrificial (Cross)1:292:83:18 Savior 3:20 Glorified Body (Resurrected) 3:10, 21 Incarnation (man) 2:6-8 Humble 2:6-8 Obedient 2:8 Selfless Interests (Servant) 2:6, 21 Has a Ministry Plan 2:21, 30 Provider of Needs 4:19 Helper via the Spirit1:19 Answers Prayer1:19 Gives Faith to Believe1:29 Gives Privilege of Service 1:1, 14-18, 22 Gives Ability to Glorify Him 3:3

43 CharacteristicsChapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Gives Affection for Others1:82:29 Gives Righteousness (Saints)1:1, 10-11 3:94:21 Gives Encouragement 2:19 Gives Knowledge of Himself 3:8, 10 Gives Glory to God1:11 Gives Grace1:2 4:23 Gives Comfort to Us 2:1 Gives Comfort for Others 2:1 Gives Purpose for Ministry 2:16 Gives Life1:21 Gives Ability to Do Everything 4:13 Gives Joy (Contentment)1:18, 262:293:1 4:4, 10-13 Gives Confidence (Ability to Stand) 1:13-142:19, 24 4:1, 19 Gives Peace1:2 4:2, 7 Gives Suffering1:13, 29 3:10 Gives Rewards1:21, 23 3:7-8, 14 Gives Humility 2:5 Gives Unity1:15-172:1-2 4:21-22 Gives New Bodies (Resurrection) 3:11, 21 Gives Christlikeness (Exalts Himself in Us) 1:20, 272:53:10-14 Christ is Prominent in Philippians

44 Key Word Attitude (Priority of Unity) Key Verse Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus (Philippians 2:5). Theme Imitating the Attitude of Christ

45 Summary Statement Paul exhorts the Philippian believers to imitate Christs attitude that they may experience joy, humility, and peace to be protected from false teachers and disunity in the church. Application How do you need to show a more Christ- like attitude during difficulty?

46 What is the attitude of Christ? Humility

47 Other examples of Christ-like humility 1.Paul served with humility (2:16-18) Paul spent his life for the Philippians (poured out as a drink offering on the sacrifice) 2.Timothy served with humility (2:19-24) Timothy showed genuine interest in their welfare, not his own interest 3.Epaphroditus served with humility (2:25-30) Epaphroditus risked his life to serve Paul

48 201a Prison Epistle Christology Christ as… Christ as…FocusExplanationEphesiansHead Unity of Christ Christ breaks down barriers between believers PhilippiansExample Attitude of Christ Christ models how to handle difficulty ColossiansGod Deity of Christ Deity of Christ Christ is superior to human philosophies Christ is superior to human philosophies Philemon Reconciler Forgiveness of Christ Forgiveness of Christ Christ reconciles believers to God and one another Christ reconciles believers to God and one another

49 202 Applying the Prison Epistles 1stCenturyProblem 21st Century Problem Solution (Theme)Ephesians Jew-Gentile Conflicts (We-ism) Chinese Only Baptist Only Adults Only Realize Christian Unity (4:3) Philippians Persecution Prison Death Ministry Inconvenience - time, sleep - recreation Imitate Christs Attitude (2:5) Colossians Denying Christs Deity New Age Cults Proclaim His Deity (2:9) Philemon Master/Slave (Me-ism) Forgive Boss / Employee / Others Reconcile the Relationship (vv. 17-18)

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