Prof. N.T. Wright, renowned biblical scholar and historian, will walk you through Paul's Letter to the Ephesians. This course begins with the big picture of God's ultimate intention of bringing forth the joining of 'heaven' and 'earth', reuniting what had been fractured long ago. Paul explains that, through the Messiah, God has brought together one new humanity. This new family of God will lead to a different way of thinking, speaking, and living. In addition, attention is given to the reality of the unseen world as it plays out in the lives of this New Family which lives in unity and holiness. Dig deep into the New Testament through studying this wonderful and practical epistle.
This course is meant to take around thirteen weeks to complete. While you may take the course at your own pace, you are encouraged to take time to reflect upon the material presented in the textbook and in the lectures.
The textbook is Prof. Wright's commentary on Ephesians in the Paul for Everyone series published by John Knox Press in the U.S. and SPCK in the UK.
The structure of the course includes:
If you are interested in a deeper knowledge of this important letter from the apostle Paul, then you will want to enroll in this course.
In this introduction, Prof. N.T. Wright begins to open our eyes to what we will encounter in Paul's wonderful Epistle to the Ephesians.
Ephesians 1-3 provides a glorious sense of worship. Here in Ephesians 1:1-14, Paul begins this journey with an expansive view of God's provisions for His people.
Prof. Wright reads Ephesians 1:15-23 from the Kingdom New Testament.
Paul, writing as a Jew, describes the victory of God over all the powers all the while understanding that Ephesus was a place with great emphasis of spiritual and political powers. What matters to Paul is that we 'understand' the greater realities of the world around the Ephesian context.
Prof. Wright reads Ephesians 2:1-10 from the Kingdom New Testament.
Paul, in this section, describes what God has done for the whole world for those who are in Christ.
Prof. Wright reads Ephesians 2:11-22 from the Kingdom New Testament.
Paul brings the theme of the New Temple into the framework of his thinking. Often this is set aside by many who read this section. Paul wishes to bring this into the forefront of our view.
Prof. Wright reads Ephesians 3:1-13 from the Kingdom New Testament.
Paul writes this letter to the Ephesians from prison. This could lead to Paul having a poor reputation. Or, perhaps, people would think that God does not have power to keep him out of prison. But the fact that Paul is in prison means that something different has taken place which has been noticed by those in power.
Prof. Wright reads Ephesians 3:14-21 from the Kingdom New Testament.
This is the momentous passage that sums up what he has written about in his previous passages in this great letter.
Prof. Wright reads Ephesians 4:1-10 from the Kingdom New Testament.
In this lecture, we move into the second half of the letter. This is about the nature and actions of who God's people are as God's image bearers.
Prof. Wright reads Ephesians 4:11-16 from the Kingdom New Testament.
Paul points out that the unity of the church itself rests in the unity of the one God. The gifts may have the tendency to pull people apart. The gifts, however, should bring people together.
Prof. Wright reads Ephesians 4:17-24 from the Kingdom New Testament.
Paul, in this section, emphasizes the fact that Jews and Gentiles are brought into the family of God. But the ways of the Gentile world must not be brought into the ways of the people of God, whether Jew or Gentile.
Prof. Wright reads Ephesians 4:25-5:2 from the Kingdom New Testament.
Paul has two main themes in mind as he moves on in the letter: the lifestyle outside of the way of the Kingdom of God and the lifestyle of the people inside the family of God.
Prof. Wright reads Ephesians 5:3-20 from the Kingdom New Testament.
Paul addresses the idea of handling darkness in the world through the act of worship and singing within the realm of the people of God who live in a dark world. This emphasis on singing and worship is also an answer to those who have a tendency towards angry speech.
Prof. Wright reads Ephesians 5:21-6:9 from the Kingdom New Testament.
God the creator has renewed the creation in Christ. The new temple reality is about the bringing together heaven and earth. Thus, marriage itself is to picture this. This is also reflected in other relationships.
Prof. Wright reads Ephesians 6:10-24 from the Kingdom New Testament.
This passage is one of the most vivid descriptions regarding the warfare with the powers of darkness.
N.T Wright received his BA, MA and PHD from Oxford University. He taught New Testament at Cambridge, McGill and Oxford Universities 1978-1993. He was Dean of Lichfield, then Canon of Westminster, then Bishop of Durham (Church of England), 1994-2010. Since 2010 Prof. Wright has been Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity at the University of St Andrews, Scotland. He has published over 75 books and hundreds of articles. Prof. Wright recently received the Burkitt Medal from the British Academy for services to New Testament scholarship. He enjoys writing, lecturing, mentoring students and an occasional round of golf. He delights in spending time with his family in the midst of a busy schedule of writing and traveling.
David Seemuth has a Ph.D. from Marquette University in the field of Religious Studies with an emphasis on New Testament Theology. He has taught at the graduate level for over 25 years at numerous universities and seminaries. He also has 16 years of on-line teaching experience. His passion is to see that people not only understand the Scripture, but also apply them to daily life.