保禄在写信时，提到自己被监禁，且表示有获得释放希望的书信，共有四封：即《哥罗森书》（4:3, 10, 18）、《厄弗所书》（3:1, 4; 6:20）、《费肋孟书》（9, 13, 23三节）及《斐理伯书》（1:7, 13, 14, 17）。学者大都认为这四封书信写于同一时期，即在罗马首次被监禁的末期，约在公元六三年（宗28:16, 30, 31）。
厄弗所是一个极负盛名的古城，又是小亚细亚很重要的海港，保禄时代，是罗马帝国亚细亚省的省会，因而成为各民族文物会萃的地方。犹太人在此城既建有会堂，可知数目可观（宗18:19）。保禄在第二次传教末期，只经过此城（宗18: 19-21），但在第三次传教期间，却住了将近三年之久（公元五四 – 五七年），建立了厄弗所教会（宗19）；在此期间，并亲自或派遣门徒在全亚细亚省传布了福音（格前16:8, 9）。在宗徒巡视了希腊各教会返回时，曾派人请厄城的长老到米肋托会晤，在那里面示一切之后，预言说：“我知道在我离开以后，将有凶暴的豺狼进到你们中间”（宗20:29）。后来果真如此（详见弗、哥二书），不但在厄弗所，即在亚细亚各教会，都闯进了一些凶暴的豺狼。
本书的主要论题，虽与《哥罗森书》颇相类似，但在理论方面较为抽象与深湛，且颇具系统化；所以本书在各书信中，确是深奥难明的一封，其中心思想，即是基督的教会宛如基督的妙身：为肢体的众信友与为首的基督合而为一，以及肢体间彼此的连系，即是这一妙身生命的基础（1:22, 23; 2:20-22; 4:9-16; 5:23-33）。
BOOK ENDS. Seraphim, April 2009.
JB EPHESIANS Chapter 1
THE LETTER OF PAUL TO THE CHURCH AT EPHESUS
Address and Greetings
1:1 From Paul, appointed by God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus, to the saints who are faithful to Christ Jesus.
1:2 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
- THE MYSTERY OF SALVATION AND OF THE CHURCH
God’s plan of salvation
1:3 Blessed be God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with all the spiritual blessings of heaven in Christ.
1:4 Before the world was made, he chose us, chose us in Christ, to be holy and spotless, and to live through love in his presence,
1:5 determining that we should become his adopted sons, through Jesus Christ for his own kind purposes,
1:6 to make us praise the glory of his grace, his free gift to us in the Beloved,
1:7 in whom, through his blood, we gain our freedom, the forgiveness of our sins. Such is the richness of the grace
1:8 which he has showered on us in all wisdom and insight.
1:9 He has let us know the mystery of his, purpose, the hidden plan he so kindly made in Christ from the beginning
1:10 to act upon when the times had run their course to the end: that he would bring everything together under Christ, as head, everything in the heavens and everything on earth.
1:11 And it is in him that we were claimed as God’s own, chosen from the beginning, under the predetermined plan of the one who guides all things as he decides by his own will;
1:12 chosen to be, for his greater glory, the people who would put their hopes in Christ before he came.
1:13 Now you too, in him, have heard the message of the truth and the good news of your salvation, and have believed it; and you too have been stamped with the seal of the Holy Spirit of the Promise
1:14 the pledge of our inheritance which brings freedom for those whom God has taken for his own, to make his glory praised.
The triumph and the supremacy of Christ
1:15 That will explain why I, having once heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus, and the love that you show towards all the saints,
1:16 have never failed to remember you in my prayers and to thank God for you.
1:17 May the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, give you a spirit of wisdom and perception of what is revealed, to bring you to full knowledge of him.
1:18 May he enlighten the eyes of your mind so that you can see what hope his call holds for you, what rich glories he has promised the saints will inherit
1:19 and how infinitely great is the power that he has exercised for us believers. This you can tell from the strength of his power
1:20 at work in Christ, when he used it to raise him from the dead and to make him sit at his right hand, in heaven,
1:21 far above every Sovereignty, Authority, Power, or Domination, or any other name that can be named not only in this age but also in the age to come.
1:22 He has put all things under his feet and made him, as the ruler of everything, the head of the Church;
1:23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills the whole creation.
JB EPHESIANS Chapter 2
Salvation in Christ a free gift
2:1 And you were dead, through the crimes and the sins
2:2 in which you used to live when you were following the way of this world, obeying the ruler who governs the air the spirit who is at work in the rebellious.
2:3 We all were among them too in the past, living sensual lives, ruled entirely by our own physical desires and our own ideas; so that by nature we were as much under God’s anger as the rest of the world.
2:4 But God loved us with so much love that he was generous with his mercy:
2:5 when we were dead through our sins, he brought us to life with Christ-it is through grace that you have been saved-
2:6 and raised us up with him and gave us a place with him in heaven, in Christ Jesus.
2:7 This was to show for all ages to come, through his goodness towards us in Christ Jesus, how infinitely rich he is in grace.
2:8 Because it is by grace that you have been saved, through faith; not by anything of your own, but by a gift from God;
2:9 not by anything that you have done, so that nobody can claim the credit.
2:10 We are God’s work of art, created in Christ Jesus to live the good life as from the beginning he had meant us to live it.
Reconciliation of the Jews and the pagans with each other and with God
2:11 Do not forget, then, that there was a time when you who were pagans physically, termed the Uncircumcised by those who speak of themselves as the Circumcision by reason of a physical operation,
2:12 do not forget, I say, that you had no Christ and were excluded from membership of Israel, aliens with no part in the covenants with their Promise; you were immersed in this world, without hope and without God.
2:13 But now in Christ Jesus, you that used to be so far apart from us have been brought very close, by the blood of Christ.
2:14 For he is the peace between us, and has made the two into one and broken down the barrier which used to keep them apart, actually destroying in his own person the hostility
2:15 caused by the rules and decrees of the Law. This was to create one single New Man in himself out of the two of them and by restoring peace
2:16 through the cross, to unite them both in a single Body and reconcile them with God; In his own person he killed the hostility.
2:17 Later he came to bring the good news of peace, peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near at hand.
2:18 Through him, both of us have in the one Spirit our way to come to the Father.
2:19 So you are no longer aliens or foreign visitors: you are citizens like all the saints, and part of God’s household.
2:20 You are part of a building that has the apostles and prophets for its foundations, and Christ Jesus himself for its main cornerstone.
2:21 As every structure is aligned on him, all grow into one holy temple in the Lord;
2:22 and you too, in him, are being built into a house where God lives, in the Spirit.
JB EPHESIANS Chapter 3
Paul, a servant of the mystery
3:1 So I, Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you pagans…
3:2 You have probably heard how I have been entrusted by God with the grace he meant for you,
3:3 and that it was by a revelation that I was given the knowledge of the mystery, as I have just described it very shortly.
3:4 If you read my word you will have some idea of the depths that I see in the mystery of Christ.
3:5 This that has now been revealed through the Spirit to his holy apostles and prophets was unknown to any men in past generations;
3:6 it means that pagans now share the same inheritance, that they are parts of the same body, and that the same promise has been made to them, in Jesus Christ, through the gospel.
3:7 I have been made the servant of that gospel by a gift of grace from God who gave it to me by his own power.
3:8 I, who am less than the least of all the saints have been entrusted with this special grace, not only of proclaiming to the pagans the infinite treasure of Christ
3:9 but also of explaining how the mystery is to be dispensed. Through all the ages, this has been kept hidden in God, the creator of everything. Why?
3:10 So that the Sovereignties and Powers should learn only now, through the Church, how comprehensive God’s wisdom really is,
3:11 exactly according to the plan which he had had from all eternity in Christ Jesus our Lord.
3:12 This is why we are bold enough to approach God in complete confidence, through our faith in him;
3:13 so, I beg you, never lose confidence just because of the trials that I go through on your account: they are your glory.
3:14 This, then, is what I pray, kneeling before the Father,
3:15 from whom every family, whether spiritual or natural, takes its name:
3:16 Out of his infinite glory, may he give you the power through his Spirit for your hidden self to grow strong,
3:17 so that Christ may live in your hearts through faith, and then, planted in love and built on love,
3:18 you will with all the saints have strength to grasp the breadth and the length, the height and the depth;
3:19 until, knowing the love of Christ, which is beyond all knowledge, you are filled with the utter fullness of God.
3:20 Glory be to him whose power, working in us, can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine;
3:21 glory be to him from generation to generation in the Church and in Christ Jesus for ever and ever. Amen.
JB EPHESIANS Chapter 4
A call to unity
4:1 I, the prisoner in the Lord, implore you therefore to lead a life worthy of your vocation.
4:2 Bear with one another charitably, in complete selflessness, gentleness and patience.
4:3 Do all you can to preserve the unity of the Spirit by the peace that binds you together.
4:4 There is one Body, one Spirit, just as you were all called into one and the same hope when you were called.
4:5 There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism,
4:6 and one God who is Father of all, over all, through all and within all.
4:7 Each one of us, however, has been given his own share of grace, given as Christ allotted it.
4:8 It was said that he would: When he ascended to the height, he captured prisoners, he gave gifts to men.
4:9 When it says, ‘he ascended’, what can it mean if not that he descended right down to the lower regions of the earth?
4:10 The one who rose higher than all the heavens to fill all things is none other than the one who descended.
4:11 And to some, his gift was that they should be apostles; to some, prophets; to some, evangelists; to some, pastors and teachers;
4:12 so that the saints together make a unity in the work of service, building up the body of Christ.
4:13 In this way we are all to come to unity in our faith and in our knowledge of the Son of God, until we become the perfect Man, fully mature with the fullness of Christ himself.
4:14 Then we shall not be children any longer, or tossed one way and another and carried along by every wind of doctrine, at the mercy of all the tricks men play and their cleverness in practising deceit.
4:15 If we live by the truth and in love, we shall grow in all ways into Christ, who is the head
4:16 by whom the whole body is fitted and joined together, every joint adding its own strength, for each separate part to work according to its function. So the body grows until it has built itself up, in love.
The new life in Christ
4:17 In particular, I want to urge you in the name of the Lord, not to go on living the aimless kind of life that pagans live.
4:18 Intellectually they are in the dark, and they are estranged from the life of God, without knowledge because they have shut their hearts to it.
4:19 Their sense of right and wrong once dulled, they have abandoned themselves to sexuality and eagerly pursue a career of indecency of every kind.
4:20 Now that is hardly the way you have learnt from Christ,
4:21 unless you failed to hear him properly when you were taught what the truth is in Jesus.
4:22 You must give up your old way of life; you must put aside your old self, which gets corrupted by following illusory desires.
4:23 Your mind must be renewed by a spiritual revolution
4:24 so that you can put on the new self that has been created in God’s way, in the goodness and holiness of the truth.
4:25 So from now on, there must be no more lies: You must speak the truth to one another, since we are all parts of one another.
4:26 Even if you are angry, you must not sin: never let the sun set on your anger ‘
4:27 or else you will give the devil a foothold.
4:28 Anyone who was a thief must stop stealing; he should try to find some useful manual work instead, and be able to do some good by helping others that are in need.
4:29 Guard against foul talk; let your words be for the improvement of others, as occasion offers, and do good to your listeners,
4:30 otherwise you will only be grieving the Holy Spirit of God who has marked you with his seal for you to be set free when the day comes.
4:31 Never have grudges against others, or lose your temper, or raise your voice to anybody, or call each other names, or allow any sort of spitefulness.
4:32 Be friends with one another, and kind, forgiving each other as readily as God forgave you in Christ.
JB EPHESIANS Chapter 5
5:1 Try, then, to imitate God as children of his that he loves
5:2 and follow Christ loving as he loved you, giving himself up in our place as a fragrant offering and a sacrifice to God.
5:3 Among you there must be not even a mention of fornication or impurity in any of its forms, or promiscuity: this would hardly become the saints!
5:4 There must be no coarseness, or salacious talk and jokes-all this is wrong for you; raise your voices in thanksgiving instead.
5:5 For you can be quite certain that nobody who actually indulges in fornication or impurity or promiscuity-which is worshipping a false god-can inherit anything of the kingdom of God.
5:6 Do not let anyone deceive you with empty arguments: it is for this loose living that God’s anger comes down on those who rebel against him.
5:7 Make sure that you are not included with them.
5:8 You were darkness once, but now you are light in the Lord; be like children of light,
5:9 for the effects of the light are seen in complete goodness and right living and truth.
5:10 Try to discover what the Lord wants of you,
5:11 having nothing to do with the futile works of darkness but exposing them by contrast.
5:12 The things which are done in secret are things that ashamed even to speak of;
5:13 but anything exposed by the light will be illuminated
5:14 and anything illuminated turns into light. That is why it is said: Wake up from your sleep, rise from the dead, Christ will shine on you.
5:15 So be very careful about the sort of lives you lead, like intelligent and not like senseless people.
5:16 This may be a wicked age, but you redeem it.
5:17 And do not be thoughtless but recognise what is the will of the Lord.
5:18 Do not drug yourselves with wine, this is simply dissipation; be filled with the Spirit.
5:19 Sing the words and tunes of the psalms and hymns when you are together, and go on singing and chanting to the Lord in your hearts,
5:20 so that always and everywhere you are giving thanks to God who is our Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The morals of the home
5:21 Give way to one another in obedience to Christ.
5:22 Wives should regard their husbands as they regard the Lord,
5:23 since as Christ is head of the Church and saves the whole body, so is a husband the head of his wife;
5:24 and as the Church submits to Christ, so should wives to their husbands, in everything.
5:25 Husbands should love their wives just as Christ loved the Church and sacrificed himself for her
5:26 to make her holy. He made her clean by washing her in water with a form of words,
5:27 so that when he took her to himself she would be glorious, with no speck or wrinkle or anything like that, but holy and faultless.
5:28 In the same way, husbands must love their wives as they love their own bodies; for a man to love his wife is for him to love himself.
5:29 A man never hates his own body, but he feeds it and looks after it; and that is the way Christ treats the Church,
5:30 because it is his body-and we are its living parts.
5:31 For this reason, a man must leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two will become one body.
5:32 This mystery has many implications; but I am saying it applies to Christ and the
5:33 To sum up; you too, each one of you, must love his wife as he loves himself; and let every wife respect her husband.
JB EPHESIANS Chapter 6
6:1 Children, be obedient to your parents in the Lord-that is your duty.
6:2 The commandment that has a promise attached to it is: Honour your father and mother,
6:3 and the promise is: and you will prosper and have a long life in the land.
6:4 And parents, never drive your children to resentment but in bringing them up correct them and guide them as the Lord does.
6:5 Slaves, be obedient to the men who are called your masters in this world, with deep respect and sincere loyalty, as you are obedient to Christ:
6:6 not only when you are under their eye, as if you had only to please men, but because you are slaves of Christ and wholeheartedly do the will of God.
6:7 Work hard and willingly, but do it for the sake of the Lord and not for the sake of men.
6:8 You can be sure that everyone, whether a slave or a free man, will be properly rewarded by the Lord for whatever work he has done well.
6:9 And those of you who are employers, treat your slaves in the same spirit; do without threats, remembering that they and you have the same Master in heaven and he is not impressed by one person more than by another.
The spiritual war
6:10 Finally, grow strong in the Lord, with the strength of his power.
6:11 Put God’s armour on so as to be able to resist the devil’s tactics.
6:12 For it is not against human enemies that we have to struggle, but against the Sovereignties and the Powers who originate the darkness in this world, the spiritual army of evil in the heavens.
6:13 That is why you must rely on God’s armour, or you will not be able to put up any resistance when the worst happens, or have enough resources to hold your ground.
6:14 So stand your ground, with truth buckled round your waist, and integrity for a breastplate,
6:15 wearing for shoes on your feet the eagerness to spread the gospel of peace
6:16 and always carrying the shield of faith so that you can use it to put out the burning arrows of the evil one.
6:17 And then you must accept salvation from God to be your helmet and receive the word of God from the Spirit to use as a sword.
6:18 Pray all the time, asking for what you need, praying in the Spirit on every possible occasion. Never get tired of staying awake to pray for all the saints;
6:19 and pray for me to be given an opportunity to open my mouth and speak without fear and give out the mystery of the gospel
6:20 of which I am an ambassador in chains; pray that in proclaiming it I may speak as boldly as I ought to.
Personal news and final salutation
6:21 I should like you to know, as well, what is happening to me and what I am doing; my dear brother Tychicus, my loyal helper in the Lord, will tell you everything.
6:22 I am sending him to you precisely for this purpose, to give you news about us and reassure you.
6:23 May God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ grant peace, love and faith to all the brothers.
6:24 May grace and eternal life be with all who love our Lord Jesus Christ.
END OF JB EPHESIANS [6 Chapters].