Heidegger's Bible Handbook: Ephesus: Inscription

1. The Inscription of the Epistle. Marcion denied that it was written to the Ephesians. The opinion of Grotius and Ussher concerning the same being written to the Laodiceans, Ephesians, and others at the same time, refuted.


Ancient Ephesus

This Epistle, ever esteemed excellent among the Pauline Letters, is inscribed: Παύλου τοῦ Ἀποστόλου ἡ πρὸς Ἐφεσίους Ἐπιστολή, the Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Ephesians. That is was written by Paul is not doubted. But, that it was written to the Ephesians, was formerly denied by Marcion, setting it forth by the name of the Epistle to the Laodiceans, as is indicated by Tertullian, book 5 contra Marcionem, chapters 11, 17; and also by Ephiphanius, hæresi 42. And, that that was done by Marcion in accordance with the belief of the Laodicean Church, Hugo Grotius esteems credible, and thence gathers that in completely the same tenor an Epistle was written to the Ephesians and at the same time to the Laodiceans. And the Most Learned Ussher, on 64 AD, also notes in some ancient Codices, as it appears out of Basil’s book 2 adversus Eunomium, and Jerome’s Commentary upon this place of the Apostle, that this Epistle was inscribed generally, with a gap in the middle, τοῖς ἁγίοις τοῖς οὖσι, καὶ πιστοῖς ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ, to the saints which are…, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus, as if it had been sent to Ephesus first, as the metropolis of Asia, thence to be transmitted to the other Churches (with the names of the individual Churches inserted) of the same Province: to certain of which, that Paul had never seen, his words in Ephesians 1:15; 3:2, 4 especially have regard, since Saint Paul certainly saw the Ephesians, and since he lived with them for a long time. But all that deserves no credit, nor do we rashly believe that there was such a lacuna, and that letters of the same tenor were sent by the Apostle to diverse Churches. Which Jerome calls, to apply, after the manner of an unskilled physician, the same eye-salve to the eyes of all the sick. Hence the exemplar, in which was τοῖς οὖσι, which are…, appears to have belonged to a man negligent or doubting without cause.