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FBS Paper: “Every construction”? Ecclesiological Plurality in Ephesians 2:19–22

Here is the video recording of an academic paper I presented at the Sydney Meeting of the Fellowship for Biblical Studies, Online meeting, 22 May 2020. The presentation is approximately 30 minutes long, followed by a further 30 minutes for questions from the meeting attendees.

The meeting was recorded with the consent and permission of all involved.

Abstract

The final sentence of Ephesians 2 (vv. 19–22), which describes gentile inclusion using an extended construction metaphor, is awash with interrelated exegetical issues. These include the much-discussed issue of whether πᾶσα οἰκοδομή (2.21) is wholative (“the whole construction”), or distributive (“every construction”). This paper outlines and defends a reading that understands this phrase distributively as “every construction”. Most interpreters exclude this line of interpretation, primarily for contextual reasons: the theme of unity is normally seen as so strong in Eph 2 that it rules out any notion of ecclesiological plurality. The paper first outlines a summary reading of Eph 2:1–18, demonstrating that within and alongside unity, ecclesiological plurality is a significant feature. In light of this re-examination of the context, the paper proceeds to a close reading of Eph 2:19–22, highlighting new interpretative possibilities for the passage that allow for ecclesiological plurality alongside unity.

Video of presentation

See also

Reading Ephesians and Colossians After Supersessionism: Christ's Mission Through Israel to the Nations

Reading Ephesians and Colossians after Supersessionism: Christ’s Mission through Israel to the Nations
by Lionel J. Windsor
Eugene: Wipf & Stock (Cascade Books), 2017.
Series: New Testament after Supersessionism

Published inChurchEphesians

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