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Durham e-Theses
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The church as the body of Christ: Ecclesiology in Ephesians in the Light of Eph 1:22-23

Kim, Jung Hoon (1993) The church as the body of Christ: Ecclesiology in Ephesians in the Light of Eph 1:22-23. Masters thesis, Durham University.



This thesis concentrates on clarifying the significance of αωμα αύτού in Eph 1:22-23, in order to investigate the ecclesiology in Ephesians. In this letter the "body of Christ" is presented not only as a central designation of the church but also as the pre-eminent image for it. Chapter 1 carries out preliminary work for interpreting the passage; that is, it examines the background of the three key words in the passage – κεϕαλη, σωμα, and πληρωμα. Several candidates for each have been cogently suggested by scholars and are investigated as to whether they are influential, and what is the extent of any such influence. Chapter 2 pays attention to Eph 1:22 which includes several words and phrases of great consequence, and which is informative regarding the meaning of σωμα αυτσυ. This chapter looks into not only the use and the significance of Ps 8:6 in v.22a, but also the meaning of δίδωμι, η κεϕαλη ύπερ παυτα. The main concern of this inquiry is to understand how this verse, especially the concept κεϕαλη is associated with σωμα αντσυ. Chapter 3 focuses on the phrase σωμα αυτου itself in Eph 1:23a. This chapter first considers what insight into its meaning is given by the context and by the phrase itself. It then further considers several prominent σωμα-passages (i.e. Eph 2:14-18, 4:1-16, and 5:22-33), and infers the significance of the phrase from implications which these passages provide. These passages imply that the phrase is involved in the two major images, "husband/wife" and "head/body”, and conveys various senses concerning the relationship of Christ and the church. Chapter 4 proceeds to interpret Eph l:23b-c, which includes the second definition of the church, viz. πληρωμα [του Xρίστσυ]. This chapter first deals with four exegetical problems, then attempts to clarify the sense of the "fullness of Christ" and of the cosmic filling of Christ. The purpose of this is to examine how the passage, especially the term πληρωμα, discloses the meaning of αωμα αυτου. This study comes to the conclusion that the key phrase conveys the special unity of the church which it knows with the enthroned Christ, who is her sovereign lord, representative, archetype, supplier, and husband in the marriage relationship.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Arts
Thesis Date:1993
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:16 Nov 2012 10:53

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