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The address to wives at Eph. 5:22-24 represents an expansion of Col. 3:18. What guided the expansion? An answer emerges from an investigation of Pauline and Jewish reflection about Adam, Christ and the New Creation. The argument of the study is that Eph. 5:22-24 contains language which elsewhere in the Pauline Corpus associates Christ with Adam or the first two chapters of Genesis. Both the “adamic” character of the language at Eph. 5:22-24 and the application of Gen. 2:24 to Christ and the church (Eph. 5:31-32) support the contention that Pauline New Creation theology guided the construction of Eph. 5:22-24.

The first chapter outlines the shortcomings of previous investigations which have underestimated the “adamic” character of Ephesians 5:22-24. Chapter two contains a detailed analysis of the grammatical structure of the text, which leads to the conclusion that the logical and theological core of the text is Ephesians 5:23c (“he, savior of the body”). The arguments in the next chapter demonstrates that the soteriology of 5:23c is to be interpreted in light of 2:14-18, which recasts Christ’s death on the cross in language found in Genesis 1-2, suggesting the “adamic” character of 5:23c.

The fourth chapter explores the “adamic” nature of the terms “head” and “subordination” within Pauline texts prior to Ephesians (e.g., 1 Corinthians 11:2-6; 15:28b; Colossians 1:15-20). The final chapter contains a fresh exegesis of Ephesians. 5:22-24 in light of Pauline New Creation theology and some brief hermeneutical reflections.