Chapter 1, “Prescript and Greeting (1:1-2)” pp. 31-37
Thielman opens with the observation that a greeting as a prescript “was very common in a broad range of epistolary styles throughout many centuries” (Thielman 2010, 31). He then moves into an exegesis, verse by verse. Thielman restates his opinion that the letter is genuinely Pauline and that the emphasis on apostleship in verse one likely serves to support “the pastoral authority that he was about to exercise over his readers” (Ibid., 32). Thielman goes on to identify several ways in which Paul uses the word “apostle” on pp. 32-33. In this instance he considers Paul identifies “himself to his readers as one of the foundational guides of the church’s growth to maturity, with particular responsibility for the Gentiles in Ephesus” (Ibid., 33).
Thielman briefly discusses an alleged grammatical difficulty pertaining to the use of articles and an address possibly to two separate groups, “saints” and “believers.” He observes that early commentators who spoke Greek as a native language were not bothered by this and did not try to make a distinction (Ibid., 34).
Paul’s greeting in verse two follows a very standard form for Paul, which was not drastically different from the norm. Thielman draws a parallel to the benediction of the priests in Numbers 6. The greeting would have been reorganized as a benediction and not merely a greeting (Ibid., 35).