Original Research

Attributes of God in Ephesians: Meaning and relevance

Elma M. Cornelius
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 77, No 4 | a6649 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v77i4.6649 | © 2021 Elma M. Cornelius | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 24 March 2021 | Published: 14 July 2021

About the author(s)

Elma M. Cornelius, Department of New Testament, Faculty of Theology, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa


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Abstract

Who is God according to the author of the letter to the Ephesians? What does this letter communicate about the character of God? Which attributes of God are specifically in focus in Ephesians? The focus of this article is the meaning and relevance of these characterisations of God in the letter structure, in the argumentation, in the rhetoric of the author and in the socio-historical context of the author and readers. The method of interpretation includes word studies, the epistolographic structure, the argumentation, the socio-historical background and the persuasion strategies used in the letter. The author identifies and categorises all attributes of God in Ephesians within the structure of the letter and argumentation and shows how these contribute to the purpose of the letter. The author of Ephesians presents God as being in total control of the universe, willing to be mankind’s Father and to equip them with wisdom and strength and gifts and blessings and he exhorts them to trust this God and imitate Him in their behaviour.

Contribution: Although the attributes of God have been discussed by various scholars, this article is an attempt to not only identify the attributes of God in the letter to the Ephesians, but also to discuss the meaning and relevance of these in this letter.


Keywords

Ephesians; attributes of God; communicable; incommunicable; relevance

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Crossref Citations

1. The attributes of God in Ephesians and Colossians – A comparison
Elizabeth M. Cornelius
In die Skriflig/In Luce Verbi  vol: 56  issue: 1  year: 2022  
doi: 10.4102/ids.v56i1.2812