I. The Author
The content of Ephesians indicates that it is one of Paul's Prison Epistles (3:1, 13; 4:1; 6:20), along with Colossians, Philippians, and Philemon. For many scholars, however, Paul's authorship of the epistle is problematic. Wesleyan Bible Commentary, aware of the difficulties and in spite of some internal evidence to the contrary, nevertheless accepts the traditional viewpoint that the apostle wrote the letter from prison (Carter, 370-72). Because the epistle bears a great deal of similarity to Colossians—nearly half of the verses of Ephesians have verbal parallels in Colossians; about one-third of the words of Colossians are found in Ephesians; and the role of Tychicus is virtually the same in both letters (Eph 6:21-22; Col 4:7)—it appears that the two letters belong together, written at nearly the same time by Paul. Carter maintains that the differences between Ephesians and Colossians “serve only to make their relationship more evident” (Carter, 370). Furthermore, the greeting is typically Pauline, and the author identifies himself as Paul.