Publication details [#12410]

Gerber, Christine. 2013. Die alte Braut und Christi Leib: Zum ekklesiologischen Entwurf des Epheserbriefs. New Testament Studies 59 (2) : 192–221. 30 pp.
Publication type
Article in journal
Publication language
Place, Publisher
Cambridge University Press


The Epistle to the Ephesians is undoubtedly about the Christian church. What is debatable is what kind of ‘church’ it refers to. Traditionally, it has been seen as an encouragement to move from a more local, community-based interpretation to that of a global ensemble of christians from different backgrounds. In our article, we re-evaluate the meaning of ἐκκλησία and the set of body metaphors used in talking about the church in the above cited epistle. These metaphors highlight the unity of the limbs and organs under a single body, just as christians must be united under the same church. We find that it is yet hard to see an interpretation of the church as the ultimate place for unity and salvation. What Ephesians did was to use the concept of church to admonish christians into becoming united without advancing the solid theological idea of Church that we have today.