Hodge’s commentary on Ephesians begins with a discussion of the geographic and political significance of the city of Ephesus, and the unique position in which the church there found itself. In particular, says Hodge, the church struggled with how best to resist idolatry and how to relate to their broader culture—not unlike issues faced by the contemporary church. Hodge also outlines Paul’s history with the church in Ephesus and the timeline of his work, including individuals with whom he met, disputes he resolved, and the other apostles who influenced the church in Ephesus. Hodge also notes the significance of Paul’s infamous confrontation with the supporters of Artemis, along with the relationship between the ensuing riot and the content of the Epistle. In addition to verse-by-verse commentary and linguistic and textual analysis of every chapter in Ephesians, Hodge also comments more broadly on trends in Ephesians scholarship. He examines German critics and higher criticism in general, and he evaluates nineteenth century commentaries on Ephesians.
“No one is a believer who is not holy; and no one is holy who is not a believer.” (Page 24)
“If election is to holiness as the apostle here teaches, it follows, first, that individuals, and not communities or nations, are the objects of election; secondly, that holiness in no form can be the ground of election. If men are chosen to be holy, they cannot be chosen because they are holy. And, thirdly, it follows that holiness is the only evidence of election. For one who lives in sin to claim to be elected unto holiness, is a contradiction.” (Page 35)
“In this city, the capital of Asia, renowned through the world for the temple of Diana, and for skill in sorcery and magic, the place of concourse for people from all the surrounding countries, Paul laboured for nearly three years.” (Pages vi–vii)
“Election is the cause or source of all subsequent benefits.” (Page 29)
“The sentence begun in verse 11 is here resumed. Remember, ὅτι ἦτε ἐν τῷ καιρῷ ἐκείνῳ χωρὶς Χριστοῦ, that at that time ye were without Christ. This means more than that they were as heathen, destitute of the knowledge and expectation of the Messiah. As Christ is the only redeemer of men, and the only mediator between God and man, to be without Christ, was to be without redemption and without access to God. To possess Christ, to be in Him, is the sum of all blessedness; to be without Christ includes all evil.” (Page 126)
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