“Every construction”? Ecclesiological Plurality in Ephesians 2:19–22 Conference Paper uri icon

abstract

  • The final sentence of Ephesians 2 (vv. 19–22), which describes gentile inclusion using an extended construction metaphor, is awash with interrelated exegetical issues. These include the much-discussed issue of whether πᾶσα οἰκοδομή (2.21) is wholative (“the whole construction”), or distributive (“every construction”). This paper outlines and defends a reading that understands this phrase distributively as “every construction”. Most interpreters exclude this line of interpretation, primarily for contextual reasons: the theme of unity is normally seen as so strong in Eph 2 that it rules out any notion of ecclesiological plurality. The paper first outlines a summary reading of Eph 2:1–18, demonstrating that within and alongside unity, ecclesiological plurality is a significant feature. In light of this re-examination of the context, the paper proceeds to a close reading of Eph 2:19–22, highlighting new interpretative possibilities for the passage that allow for ecclesiological plurality alongside unity.

publication date

  • May 27, 2020