Presentation on theme: "The Prison Epistles Ephesians Colossians Philemon Philippians"— Presentation transcript:
1 The Prison Epistles Ephesians Colossians Philemon Philippians Critique this picture…Paul typically had a scribe write for himPaul was under house arrest (Acts 28:30-31)
2 NT Overview (Paul’s Letters) NT Overview (Paul’s Letters)“To the remotest part of the earth” (Acts 1:8)ActsApr 48- Sep 491 GalatiaApr 50- Sep 522 AegeanSpr 53- May 573 AsiaFeb 60- Mar 621 RomeSpr 62- Fall 674 SpainAut 67- Spr 682 RomeMay 57- Aug 59Damascus AntiochMay 57- Aug 59TrialsFall 49TheCouncilSpring 68Expansion of ChurchMattLukeActsMarkJohnMissionaryPrisonPastoralGal1 Thess1 CorEph1 Tim2 Tim2 Thess2 CorColTitusRomansPhilemGospels & ActsPhilPauline EpistlesPauline
3 What are the “Prison Epistles”? EphesiansColossiansPhilemonPhilippiansWhy “Prison Epistles”?They refer to Paul’s bondsEph 3:1; 4:1; 6:20Col 4:3, 18Philem 1, 9, 10Phil 1:12-13Jeremy Chew, East Asia School of Theology, Singapore
4 Who carried these letters? TychicusHe carried the Ephesian and Colossian epistles (Eph 6:21; Col 4:7)He was accompanied by Onesimus (Col 4:9)OnesimusA slave to Philemon from ColossaeHe probably carried the Epistle to Philemon when he returned to his master, though it is not specifically mentioned (Phlm 12)EpaphroditusA man from Philippi, he carried the Philippian Epistle back to his people (Phil 2:25, 28)Jeremy Chew, East Asia School of Theology, Singapore
5 What was Paul’s 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)ConclusionWritten on 2-3 separate occasionsEphesians, 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
6 Occasion for Prison Epistles Paul was imprisoned in Rome and Epaphras was with himThey were joined by Onesimus, a runaway slavePaul received news of a crisis in the Colossian church (heresy)He wrote in response to the Colossian problems and sent Tychicus as the letter bearerHe also sent Onesimus with Tychicus with a letter to PhilemonHe also wrote a general circular letter for several Gentile communities in Asia Minor (e.g. Ephesus)Jeremy Chew, East Asia School of Theology, Singapore
7 Some months later (AD 62)… Paul was still in prisonThe Philippian church sent Epaphroditus to minister to PaulPaul 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 churchJeremy Chew, East Asia School of Theology, Singapore
8 How Do You Respond to Trials? 201 You say…StrategyTemperamentEpistle “I’m right!” Push through Choleric Ephesians “Why me?” DepressionMelancholy Philippians“I’ll justget through”Compromise Sanguine Colossians “It’ll pass” Ignore it Phlegmatic Philemon
9 Ephesians Authorship External Evidence: The early church unanimously agreed with Pauline authorship.Dispute from Erasmus (16th cent.) and radical German schools (19th cent.) make it the most disputed Pauline epistle today.Internal Evidence:Paul identified as the author in 1:1 and 3:1.The style and content is consistent with Pauline authorship.
10 Recipient Ephesians 1:1 General Observations “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 manuscriptsNo direct knowledge of recipientsNo personal greetingsGeneral ObservationsWritten to Gentile believersMakes no reference to any specific crisis or problemPresents a positive Pauline gospelThe most general and non-situation specific epistle. Probably a circular letter for churches in Asia Minor.
11 Special Characteristics DatePaul wrote this Ephesians during his first imprisonment in Rome, ADSpecial CharacteristicsEphesians 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
12 The Temple Temple Courtyard Court of Gentiles Court of Women Most Holy PlaceHoly PlaceMain TempleTemple CourtyardCourt of PriestsCourt of IsraelCourt of GentilesCourt of Women
13 Warning Text for Gentiles Ephesians 2:14“For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall”“Let no foreigner enter within the partition and enclosure surrounding the temple. Whoever is arrested will be responsible for his death which will follow.”
14 Message of EphesiansCh 1–3 The 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 4–6 The walk of the Christians that shows their Jew-Gentile unity through love as a testimony to the world.Unity (4:1-16)Holiness (4:17—5:20)Submission/ headship (5:21—6:9)Reliance upon God (6:10-20)Love (6:21-24)
16 Summary & Applications Summary StatementPaul 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.ApplicationsDo you mix Christian belief with other worldviews?Avoid legalism & asceticism
17 Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit, Ephesians 5:18 NLTDon’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life.19singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, and making music to the Lord in your hearts. 20And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
18 (Exaltation in Christ) Key WordUnity(Exaltation in Christ)Key VerseEphesians 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.”
19 Summary Statement Application Paul explains God’s mystery—the unity of Jews and Gentiles in the Church who are equal positionally—to 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.ApplicationDo 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 Author 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 acceptanceof Pauline authorship prevailed until the 19th century German scholars denied it based upon internal factors.Internal EvidenceMany factors support Pauline authorship:1. The letter claims to havebeen 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.
22 Ephesians & Colossians CharacteristicsThese twin epistles can be compared and contrasted in many ways:Ephesians & ColossiansEphesiansColossiansSimilarities:Written in prison, carried by TychicusStresses wisdom, knowledge, fullness, & mysteryFirst half—positionSecond half—practiceSimilar passages:“In Him we have redemption through Hisblood, the forgiveness of sins…” (1:7)“in whom we have redemption, theforgiveness of sins” (1:14)“to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment—to 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 v. Colossians DifferencesEmphasizes the Churchas the Body of ChristEmphasizes Christas the Head of the bodyGeneral, universalSpecific, localPeaceful, calmPolemic, concernReflective, quietSpiritual conflict
25 Circumstances Date Origin/Recipients Colossians was written during Paul's first imprisonment in Rome (Acts 28:30). The best evidence suggests a specific date of autumn 61.Origin/RecipientsThe 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.
26 ArgumentPaul 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).
27 What was the Colossian Heresy? Asia Minor was the seedbed for what developed into 2nd century Gnosticism. Paul’s counterattack tells us this about the heresy:Jewish—legalism of following OT laws and ceremonies (2:16-17)Greek philosophy—followed a so-called “deeper knowledge” revealed only to a special “elite” (2:2b-4, 8-10)Worshipped angels as mediators between man and God (2:18)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)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.
28 Colossians Key Word Deity (Church’s Ascended Head)Key Verse“For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form”(Colossians 2:9).
30 Philemon Authorship Recipient Date Paul refers to himself three times as author (vv. 1, 9, 19)RecipientPhilemon, a wealthy Christian slave owner in Colosse, is the primary addressee, but others in his church are included as well (v. 2)DateDuring Paul’s first imprisonment in Rome, AD 61.
31 Philemon Occasion Purpose Onesimus, a slave of Philemon, probably stole some money and ran away (18)He became Paul’s convert (10)Paul wanted to return him to Philemon (12)PurposeAppeal for forgiveness and reconciliation (17)Appeal indirectly for the services of Onesimus (13-14, 20-21)Request for a guest room (22)
32 Key Word Key Verse Forgiveness (Pardon of Onesimus) 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.”
33 Summary Statement Application 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.ApplicationWhom do you need to forgive a wrong done to you?Whose forgiveness do you need to request?
34 True Koinonia (Fellowship) “Fellowship of your faith” (v. 6)Fellowship involves participationParticipation in Christ involves sharing and involvement with each otherTrue fellowship means mutually participating in Christ forgiveness and reconciliationTrue fellowship promotes the good of everyoneIt involves changing perceptions and acting accordinglyThis letter has a good example:3 outstanding debtsPowerful reversalsOutcomeJeremy Chew, East Asia School of Theology, Singapore
35 3 Outstanding Debts Onesimus’ Debt: He owed Philemon whatever he stole He owed Philemon his lifeAdvice: return to owner for due punishmentPaul’s Debt:He owed Philemon value of each day’s work lostAdvice: charge any debts Onesimus owed to my account, I will pay itPhilemon’s Debt:He owed Paul his new life in Christ (19)Advice: welcome the runaway slave as a brother; but do better than that—return him to meJeremy Chew, East Asia School of Theology, Singapore
36 Powerful ReversalsProperty beloved brotherInferior equalUseless “useful” (Onesimus, v. 11)Fellowship in Christ overturns all distinctions created by social structuresJeremy Chew, East Asia School of Theology, Singapore
37 “Did Philemon Forgive Onesimus?” 1. Philemon preserved this epistle & allowed it to be circulated & copied—this 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 115—and his name was Onesimus!
38 PerspectivesPaul'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.
40 Book Chart Philippians 181 Results of Imitating Christ’s 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 Salutation1:1-2 Thanks & Prayer1:3-11 In Prison Ministry1:12-30 Exhorted2:1-4 Exemplified2:5-30 From Legalism3:1-16 From Indulgence3:17-21 With People4:1-3 With God4:4-9 Always4:10-20 –Greetings4:21-23 Rome Early Spring AD 62 (first Roman imprisonment)
41 Christ is Prominent in Philippians CharacteristicsChapter 1Chapter 2Chapter 3Chapter 4Deity (God)2:6Pre-eminent (Lord)1:2, 202:9-113:20-21Returning in Power1:6, 102:10, 164:5Sacrificial (Cross)1:292:83:18Savior3:20Glorified Body (Resurrected)3:10, 21Incarnation (man)2:6-8HumbleObedientSelfless Interests (Servant)2:6, 21Has a Ministry Plan2:21, 30Provider of Needs4:19Helper via the Spirit1:19Answers PrayerGives Faith to BelieveGives Privilege of Service1:1, 14-18, 22Gives Ability to Glorify Him3:3
42 Christ is Prominent in Philippians CharacteristicsChapter 1Chapter 2Chapter 3Chapter 4Gives Affection for Others1:82:29Gives Righteousness (Saints)1:1, 10-113:94:21Gives Encouragement2:19Gives Knowledge of Himself3:8, 10Gives Glory to God1:11Gives Grace1:24:23Gives Comfort to Us2:1Gives Comfort for OthersGives Purpose for Ministry2:16Gives Life1:21Gives Ability to Do Everything4:13Gives Joy (Contentment)1:18, 263:14:4, 10-13Gives Confidence (Ability to Stand)1:13-142:19, 244:1, 19Gives Peace4:2, 7Gives Suffering1:13, 293:10Gives Rewards1:21, 233:7-8, 14Gives Humility2:5Gives Unity1:15-172:1-24:21-22Gives New Bodies (Resurrection)3:11, 21Gives Christlikeness (Exalts Himself in Us)1:20, 273:10-14
43 Imitating the Attitude of Christ ThemeImitating the Attitude of ChristKey WordAttitude(Priority of Unity)Key Verse“Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:5).
44 How do you need to show a more Christ-like attitude during difficulty? Summary StatementPaul exhorts the Philippian believers to imitate Christ’s attitude that they may experience joy, humility, and peace to be protected from false teachers and disunity in the church.ApplicationHow do you need to show a more Christ-like attitude during difficulty?
46 Other examples of Christ-like humility Paul served with humility (2:16-18)Paul spent his life for the Philippians (“poured out as a drink offering on the sacrifice”)Timothy served with humility (2:19-24)Timothy showed genuine interest in their welfare, not his own interestEpaphroditus served with humility (2:25-30)Epaphroditus risked his life to serve Paul
47 Prison Epistle Christology 201a Christ as…FocusExplanationEphesiansHead Unityof ChristChrist breaks down barriers between believers PhilippiansExampleAttitude of ChristChrist models how to handle difficultyColossiansGod Deity of Christ Christ is superior to human philosophiesPhilemon Reconciler Forgiveness of Christ Christ reconciles believers to God and one another
48 Applying the Prison Epistles 202 1stCenturyProblem 21st Solution(Theme)Ephesians Jew-Gentile Conflicts(“We-ism”) Chinese OnlyBaptist OnlyAdults Only Realize ChristianUnity (4:3) Philippians PersecutionPrisonDeathMinistryInconvenience- time, sleep- recreation Imitate Christ’s Attitude (2:5)ColossiansDenying Christ’sDeity New AgeCults Proclaim HisDeity (2:9) Philemon Master/Slave(“Me-ism”) Forgive Boss /Employee /Others Reconcile the Relationship(vv )