Integrating Theology and Ethics in Ephesians: The Ethos of Communication

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This study examines the Letter to the Ephesians with the primary goal of indicating how the two distinct and diverse parts of the text (chapters 1-3 and chapters 4-6) are related. It proposes that the moral exhortation or paraenesis of Ephesians 4-6 is not directly or argumentatively derived from the theological narrative of Ephesians 1-3, but that the document persuades its Christian audience to accept exhortations and to behave in appropriate ways by reminding them of certain theological realities and encouraging identification with them. Methodologically, this book takes into account the oral/aural nature of early Christian texts and employs a rhetorical critical analysis of Ephesians as a way of observing the dynamics at work. As a whole, the work offers an explanation of how the halves of Ephesians are integrated with each other along with a full description of the rhetorical nature and characteristics of the letter.


“Jeal’s own rhetorical analysis has the merit of not remaining content with the usual discussion of the arrangement of the argument but of pressing beyond this to a detailed exposition of the various stylistic devices employed and their likely effects. In this way the monograph offers serious students of Ephesians a clearly presented, full length treatment of this letter’s persuasive strategy and linguistic impact. All who wish to be abreast of and participate in the debate about the legitimacy and value of rhetorical criticism as applied to the New Testament letters will have to take account of Jeal’s considerable achievement.” Andrew T. Lincoln

“Throughout this study Jeal writes with clarity and precision. There are a number of helpful summaries that point the reader in the direction of the argument that he is developing. Jeal demonstrates a command of the literature on rhetoric. This knowledge is then utilized in a thorough analysis of Ephesians itself. . . . His identification of Ephesians as a ‘sermon’ provides a helpful framework within which to understand the letter and its component parts. As a result, this study of Ephesians makes a valuable contribution to our knowledge of the letter and our understanding of the relationship between its component parts.” – Donald E. Burke

Table of Contents

Table of Contents (main headings)
Foreword; Preface
1. How are Theology and Ethics Connected?
2. A Rhetorical Critical Approach to Ephesians
3. Rhetorical Analysis: the Exordium/Narratio, Ephesians 1:3-3:21
4. The Paraenesis/Exhortatio 4:1-6:20
5. Conclusion
Bibliography; Index

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