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dc.contributor.advisorTrebilco, Paul R.
dc.contributor.authorHudson, Benjamin T.
dc.identifier.citationHudson, B. T. (2020). Co-partakers of the Promise: Israel and the Gentiles in Ephesians (Thesis, Doctor of Philosophy). University of Otago. Retrieved from
dc.description.abstractThis thesis describes how the epistle to the Ephesians portrays the relationship of Jewish and gentile Christ-believers to each other and to Israel. The question of ‘the church and Israel’ is of perennial interest to interpreters of the Pauline epistles. It concerns both the theology of Paul’s letters—lying at the intersection of his eschatology and ecclesiology, as well as the socio-historical settings they address—speaking to relationships between Jews and Gentiles in early Christian communities. Regardless of whether Ephesians is considered to be genuinely Pauline, or early Pauline reception, it makes a valuable but neglected contribution to these questions. The thesis asks to what extent Ephesians seeks to construct a new, shared identity for Jewish and gentile Christ-believers, in what way this new identity is related to Israel, and to what extent this new identity replaces, transforms, or exists alongside their ethnic identities as Jews or Gentiles. These questions are asked of Ephesians by exploring a number of features of the text—chiefly its epistolary and rhetorical framework, in which gentile identity is ascribed to non-Jewish believers and the Jewish identity of Paul and the apostles is highlighted; and the way Ephesians uses scriptural language, including quotations, allusions, echoes, and themes, to form the identities of Christ-believers. These include: Ephesians’ construal of salvation history, the use of the designation ‘Saints’ for Christ-believers, allusions to scriptural promises that envisage the reconstitution of Israel, portrayals of the church as the eschatological temple construction, and echoes of the Decalogue in the epistle’s paraenesis. It is argued that Ephesians has in view and seeks to address two sub-groups: Jewish and gentile Christ-believers. ‘Replacement models’, in which the church replaces Israel, and ‘solidarity models’, in which a (gentile) church exists along side Israel, are both found to be inadequate. Ephesians, rather, speaks at once of ‘fulfilment’ and ‘joining’. Christ is understood to be the fulfilment of Israel’s promises and covenants and Christ-believers as inheriting Israel’s promised blessings in common, eschatological salvation. At the same time, the church is revealed to be essentially and irreducibly composed out of the joining together of Jews and Gentiles, who retain their distinctiveness within the unity of the one body of Christ. Furthermore, a certain priority of Jewish identity is affirmed as gentile believers are portrayed as having come near to Israel in Christ. These findings point to a situation of distance and disconnection between communities of Jewish and gentile believers. It is argued that the author of Ephesians hopes for increased expressions of mutual recognition and fellowship between them, and so seeks to address barriers to accepting one another from both sides.
dc.publisherUniversity of Otago
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dc.subjectChurch and Israel
dc.titleCo-partakers of the Promise: Israel and the Gentiles in Ephesians
dc.language.rfc3066en of Philosophy of Otago
otago.openaccessAbstract Only
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