Click here for this article in Adobe Acrobat(r) PDF
A growing body of material explores and discusses family ministry. A cursory review of this material reveals that many exponents of family ministry tend to justify their stance primarily by appealing to Old Testament texts. At my own college Psalm 78 is a particular favorite:
He decreed statutes for Jacob and established the law in Israel, which he commanded our forefathers to teach their children, so that the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children. Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget his deeds but would keep his commands (verses 5-7).
Appeals to the New Testament are less frequent and tend to be limited to the household codes and to Ephesians 6 in particular.
As such, it is possible that advocates of family ministry leave themselves open to the charge that they are ignoring or misunderstanding significant developments that have taken place across the Testaments. For example, it could be argued from Mark 3:31-35 that any focus on the family that was apparent from the Old Testament is now set aside. Perhaps, in the kingdom of God, family boundaries become blurred or erased, like the boundaries between ethnic groups (Eph 2:19) and social positions (Eph 6:8). Perhaps, when it comes to the matter of identifying potential leaders, attention is directed toward family life (1 Tim 3:2-5) because families in the first century functioned like small businesses. Therefore, business acumen and managerial skills-not necessarily household management-are the qualities that mark out individuals for leadership roles in the church.
There are significant and valuable studies that emphasize the importance of family as family.[i] What has been lacking in many cases has been sufficient exploration of the family in the New Testament. This article seeks to redress that lack by drawing on the letter to the Ephesians to suggest that family is still a primary organizational unit in the kingdom of God.
The Civic Context of the Text
We will never fully understand Paul’s ministry in Ephesus and his letter to its Christians unless we recognize that Ephesus was a major political center and the hub of magical practice. It was in Ephesus that magical books amounting to a staggering 50,000 days wages were burned as evidence of a turning away from magical practices to Christ the risen and ascended king (Acts 19:19). Ephesus is also famous for a great number of magic spells and incantations, which use the Ephesia Grammata-magical terms which were thought to have special power to ward off demons.[ii] As far as the socio-political climate is concerned, Ephesus was on the cusp of receiving the title and honor of being recognised as neokoros, home to the emperor cult in the provinces of Asia.
Worship of the Goddess
When the believers in Ephesus publicly burned their magic books, they were repudiating their own previous involvement in magic. To understand Ephesians, we need to consider what that involvement in “magic” actually entailed.
Luke’s account of the book burning is sandwiched between his accounts of the seven sons of Sceva (19:14-17) and the incident concerning the worship of Artemis (19:23-41). It may be that these two passages are arranged deliberately to help us to understand what sort of thing is being repudiated. We will examine first the Artemis cult, which was focused on Ephesus,[iii] and then return to the incident involving the sons of the Jewish chief priest.
The goddess Artemis was said to have been born near the city of Ephesus.[iv]She was, for that reason, the natural choice for the patron deity of the city.[v] The city was her temple keeper (Acts 19:35); in other words, the city as a whole recognized its right and privilege to protect and to administrate the temple and its services. The corollary is that the goddess was “Artemis of the Ephesians” (Acts 19:28). She was concerned for the city, protected fortifications and ensured the city’s welfare. She could be depended on to do so as long as the city continued to honor her.[vi]
Strabo wrote that Artemis was so named because she was able to make people artemeas-safe and sound (Geog. 14:1:6). She was not only willing to keep her people safe but she was also able to help them.[vii] She was worshipped as the “queen of heaven” who was “supreme in power and place.”[viii] The many-breasted goddess was duly represented as wearing a necklace of zodiacal symbols to demonstrate her power and authority over the forces of fate. This promise of power was claimed for many of the deities worshipped in the mystery religions, but only Artemis is depicted as superior to astrological fate, able even to raise to life someone who had died.[ix]
The unsurpassed power attributed to her may help to explain her popularity in a city that was a center for magic. Artemis was goddess of the underworld[x] and could be called on to exercise her authority even over demons. The Ephesia grammata were sometimes engraved on her image; magical papyri, which employ these letters, have been found using Artemis’ name or her various epithets.It seems clear that, at the time of Paul, Artemis worship would have involved components that fell within the categories of Hellenistic magical practices.
Given the prevalence of magical practice and belief within the New Testament world[xi] it is not surprising to find it within popular expressions of Judaism. Neither should it surprise us to find that phylacteries, which had been originally ordained as tangible reminders of God’s word and promises (Deut 6:9; 11:18), were being worn as charms and talismans to protect against evil.[xii] There was in fact a high regard for Jewish magic. Betz goes so far as to say that Jewish magic was “famous”.[xiii]
So we find a Roman proconsul in Paphos with a Jewish sorcerer amongst his retinue. In particular Jewish names for God and names of angels derived from Jewish tradition regularly appear in magical texts and particularly those concerned with exorcism.[xiv] Many amulets found in the region around Ephesus were found with distinctly Jewish elements on them; magic paraphernalia at Pergamumbore the name of Solomon.[xv]
Artemis was, in some sense, perceived to be a mother to the Ephesians. Certainly she was thought to be responsible for keeping them safe, and her many-breasted images presuppose that her power is displayed in some kind of a maternal way. Yet as long as we think of the background simply in terms of gods, angels, and magic we will miss important dimensions of the text.
Worship of the Emperor
Hellenistic magical practices focused on Artemis of the Ephesians provide an important lens through which we ought to understand the background to Paul’s teaching in Ephesians. Yet there is a second lens that we also need to bring matters into full focus: that of the imperial cult.
Artemis worship was prominent in Ephesus, and many Ephesians revered her. Still, for all her greatness and alleged power she, like they, was subject to the Roman authorities. Epigraphic evidence from the first century B.C. suggests that the Roman senate needed to authorize temple activities. We know from Tacitus that, on one occasion at least, Tiberius threatened to act against the cult (Annales 3:61). Closer to our period there is epigraphic evidence to suggest that Tiberius’s threat was not an idle one. In the middle of the first century A.D., proconsuls were able to act both for and against the Artemis cult.[xvi] At the end of the first century the six elders (kouretes) of the temple are all introduced with the designation philosebastoi (“emperor-lovers”) in an attempt, it seems, to secure approval from the Roman authorities.[xvii] For all her epithets, for all the boasting done on behalf of Artemis, it is the worship of the emperor that was increasingly moving towards center stage throughout the first century A.D.
Just before the beginning of the first century an Augusteum was erected inside the temple of Artemis to facilitate emperor worship there.[xviii] By the end of the same century, marked at its beginning by Jesus’ birth and its end by the apostle John’s death, Ephesus had at last won the right to host Emperor worship in its own purposefully-constructed temple. In the Gospels it is the Jewish leadership that is presented as posing a menace to Jesus’ mission. In Revelation emperor worship is the major threat to an organized and public Christian presence in the Roman province of Asia. In Ephesians Paul begins to meet and to counter that threat.
The Letter to the Ephesians
Paul’s correspondence to the Ephesians is fairly general in nature. Even though Paul spent more than three years in the city we do not find lists of people whom he greets as he does in other places. This, together with the fact that some of the older and more reliable manuscripts do not include the words “in Ephesus,”[xix] has led some to suggest that the document we know as Ephesians was originally written to be read by a number of the Asian churches (as the Colossian Christians are asked to pass on their letter to the Laodiceans and to make sure that they in turn get the letter which was sent to Laodicea, Col. 4:16). Later it became associated with the Christian community at Ephesus, perhaps because Ephesus was the principal city of the province, or perhaps because they found it particularly helpful and so claimed it as their own. Regardless of the intended audience, the kind of magical belief and practice that we have identified at Ephesus was not confined to the city itself but exerted its influence throughout the province. Likewise the clear and present danger posed by the establishment of emperor worship would be a concern for all seven churches listed in Revelation. The background work we have done in examining the situation at Ephesus will be seen to be directly relevant to the encouragement and challenge which Paul brings his readers.
Ben Witherington III has identified Ephesians as a homily rather than a letter. He means by this that its function is more to inform and to inspire than to instruct the recipients about how to deal with the problems that they face. He points in particular to the sections within the document that extol the value and virtues of what it means to be in Christ.[xx] He goes on to discuss key characteristics of epideictic rhetoric and to show how they are featured in Ephesians.[xxi]He notes, for example, how the author builds on the foundation that has been laid in chapters 1-3 to commend key behaviors that are consistent with the values and perspectives that he outlined in the first half of the address. As such the hearers are being asked to stand firm in behaviors and practices to which they have already given themselves and of which they have now been reminded, rather than being asked to change the way that they live. This is entirely consistent with identifying the sermon as epideictic rhetoric.[xxii]
In Ephesians the audience is reminded of the honor and privilege that it is to be in Christ. More than that they are reminded that since all of them-Jew and Gentile, slave and free-come to Christ by the same means on the basis of the same event and in doing so submit to the same Lord, there can only be one covenant community. Walls and barriers, which previously divided disparate groups, are broken down and destroyed. “In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit” (Eph 2:21-22).
Paul ends the first part of his sermon with a prayer for the recipients that they might participate in all that God has called them to be and to do. The prayer, full of praise and adoration, is strongly reminiscent of the way the homily began (1:3-14, 15-23). It begins in 3:1 and is picked up again in 3:14, gradually building to a climactic doxology (3:20-21). It gathers the audience whose minds may have begun to wander, then excites and motivates them press on. It is my desire to focus in particular on a single line within the prayer, a line that may seem like a “throw-away” which syntactically adds almost nothing to the prayer but which theologically is crucial: “from whom every family in heaven and upon earth is named”(3:15).
Comparison of the main English language versions reveals a point of contention in translating the text. This is seen when we compare how the NIV and ESV deal with the verse.
NIV: from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name.
ESV: from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named.
The difference lies in the way the translation teams have handled the adjective pasa. The adjective is used together with a noun patria “family.” The NIV translation would be preferred if there were an article and if the Greek text read pasa hē patria. But there is no article. The verse simply reads pasa patria. The adjective is followed immediately by its noun. In examples like this, pasa used in combination with a noun but without an article, “every” is the best way to translate the term.
Having decided upon the most helpful translation of the verse, commentaries will generally comment on the word play, or paronomasia, involving the like-sounding terms patera (“father”, last word of 3:14) and patria (“family”, fourth word of 3:15). They might also pick up on the alliteration with patera, pasa and patria separated by only two short particles ex and hou. But little is made of the verse and nothing is said about why the author might have included it, other than a suggestion that it was simply a rhetorical flourish. Witherington suggests that it might be intended to subvert imperial cult rhetoric, but does not really develop this thought. It is an idea that is worth pursuing.
Emperor as Pater Patriae
Artemis, whose temple overlooked much of the city, was presented and commended as a mother to the people of Ephesus. There is a famous statue of her festooned with a number of gourd or balloon shaped objects which are commonly assumed to represent breasts (fig. 1). It was she who kept the Ephesians safe. Paul could have contrasted Artemis’s role as mother with God’s role as father. Yet he has not pointed us to God as parent in this generic way. Nor has he raised the matter of fatherhood in general. The Greek word patrotēs (“fatherhood”) would have worked just as well as patria (“family”). Paronomasia and alliteration would still be present. Paul has chosen to develop the thought of God as father more in terms of family than in terms of fatherhood.[xxiii] He does this even while there is another in Ephesus who makes a similar claim. The emperor was also to be thought of as father.
Figure 1, sketch of statue of Artemis in the Ephesus museum (Figure 1 Available in PDF)
Ephesus was one of a handful of centers across the Mediterranean basin where Roman coins were minted. These coins give us access to the some of the claims of those in power at the time. We know from the exchange in Mark 12:13-17 that people were expected to know what was on imperial coinage and to have considered both the imagery and inscription. Before the age of printing or of electronic broadcasting media, claims and counter-claims were made and spread widely through the images presented and inscriptions embossed on imperial coinage.[xxiv]
On a denarius, minted in Ephesus during the reign of Claudius (fig. 2), the emperor and his wife Agrippina sit comfortably on one side of the coin with Artemis on the other. There is no conflict or antagonism between Roman emperor and Greek god. Her presence of the reverse side of the coin endorses Claudius and Agrippina as the rightful rulers of Ephesus. There is an appropriateness to their rule-but note too that there may be a claim here suggesting that the emperor and his wife exercise right and proper authority not only over the citizens of Ephesus, but perhaps also over Artemis who is brought into a Roman orbit through the use of her Latin name, Diana.
Figure 2, denarius from the reign of Claudius (Figure 2 available in PDF)
By the time that Ephesians is written, Claudius is no longer on the throne. Not only Emperor Nero but also later emperors Vespasian, Titus, and Domitian address the people of Ephesus through what is embossed on their coins. All of them present themselves to the people of Ephesus as PP, pater patriae.
Figure 3, denarius from the reign of Vespasian (Figure 3 available in PDF)
On a denarius from Vespasian’s reign, for example, minted in Ephesus around the year 70, we see Vespasian. The coin is typical of coins minted under any of the emperors in our list. He is presented as a man of great military honour, symbolised by the crown of laurel leaves around his head.[xxv] This is underscored by the legend: IMP CAESAR VESPAS AVG PM COS II TRP PP.
IMP is a military title, imperator, which identifies Vespasian as victorious military commander. CAESAR is a title used by the emperors to signify their perceived possession of supreme and ultimate authority. VESPAS is an abbreviation for Vespasian. AUG is an honorific title, Augustus, meant to show that Vespasian has the full backing of the Roman senate. PM identifies him as pontifex maximus, the chief priest and principle mediator between people and the gods. COS II identifies him twice-elected as consul and TRP a tribunicia potestas, as having a tribune’s power and authority over the people. Both refer to political offices and authority; he could convene or dissolve the Senate or even veto decisions he did not approve. It is the final PP, pater patriae, “father of the fatherland” that is our focus.
As father of the fatherland, Nero, Vespasian, and other emperors who bore that cognomen[xxvi] present themselves as the family head of all Roman citizens and, by extension, of all who lived within the empire. Within Roman society, father was first of all a term denoting authority and rule. Father of the fatherland was not a term of endearment, but a reminder that Caesar was the one with ultimate authority and the one to whom all owed a debt of loyalty.[xxvii] The emperor was more than the figurehead of the empire; he was the one through whom the gods bestowed grace and favor upon Rome and her empire. In short he was the principal benefactor, the one who ensured and maintained Rome’s superiority in the world.[xxviii] Against that claim, Paul makes a counter-claim: that God is the father from whom every family in heaven and upon earth is named.
As pater, the emperor had the same authority over his subjects that Roman law gave to all fathers. Even when children had grown up to become adults, they had no legal right to property and nor could they marry without the approval of the paterfamilias. In identifying God as the father from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, Paul relativizes those imperial claims. Through the title father of the fatherland, the state machinery reminded all within the empire of the emperor’s claim over them. Yet Paul presents God as having a more significant claim, a higher claim. God the Father is not just the household head of some families, but of every family. That every family is named from him means that it takes its direction from him. He is the one to whom every family must answer. He is the one to whom they should look for life, for purpose, for dignity, counsel and help. He is the one who ought to receive their heartfelt responses of praise and of obedience.
The cognomen had either deliberately or inadvertently dissected the empire. It threw emphasis on the natural divisions within the people of the empire. Some were Roman citizens, others were not. Some of those Roman citizens lived within the area that could be designated as “the fatherland”; others lived in provinces and colonies scattered around the empire. If pater patriae identified the emperor as the principle authority figure and as benefactor, then it also implied that some had greater access to his ear than others. By contrast in Christ the barriers of race and culture that divide a people have been destroyed (2:11-14). God’s purpose in doing this was to create a new man, a new household, a united family of Jews and Gentiles, those who were near and those who were far, all of whom have been brought together in Christ (2:14-22). In Christ, all have access to God. All are privileged in him. Social and cultural boundary markers that encourage us to think in terms of ‘us and them’, ‘have and have not’, are made of no consequence in Christ. It is, after all, “for this reason” (3:1, 14) that Paul prays to “God the Father.”
The implied claim in Ephesians 3:15 also surpasses the claims that the senators of Rome made for the emperor when they conferred on him the title pater patriae-for God is the father of every family. He is the head of “every family in heaven and on earth.” There is metonymy here. Heaven and earth are, in a sense, two extremes. In presenting God as the father from whom every family “in heaven and on earth”is named, the writer is saying that there are no families that fall outside this group. Though some families may live unaware or even in rebellion when it comes to this truth, there is no family grouping whatsoever that does not owe praise and obedience to God; there are no family members whose lives ought not to be lived according to his purposes and for his glory and honor.
A significant aspect of the appeal of Artemis as patron deity was her supposed power and authority over natural and supernatural forces and agencies. Although she was presented as the one who could answer prayer, the counter claim here is that God is pater patriae and that all families in heaven and on earth are named from him. This means that it is God the father, not “Artemis our mother,” who has the power to keep us safe. Moreover the father imagery reminds us that not only is he able to answer prayer (3:20), but that he is willing to do so.
Implications for ministry
This prayer does not stand at the heart of Paul’s presentation of his theology, but it nevertheless includes significant implications for our ministry practices. We must take note of the way that the ESV has corrected a misreading of the text. If God is the father of “the whole family” (as the NIV renders this text), the text might indicate that inclusion in the church means that individual family boundaries are lost in the collective which is the church. It could be taken to imply that our roles and responsibilities within our own families of origin have been abrogated. It might suggest that not only is there no distinction between Jew and Greek, but also between Stewart and Petrovic, Garcia and Wu, Nguyen and Stephanopoulos. It would imply that the church is our sole family, the context where fatherly, filial, and fraternal responsibilities should be discharged.
But that is not the claim that Paul makes here.
Paul instead bends his knees to the Father “from whom every family in heaven and upon earth is named.” Families are important not just upon earth, as part of the context from which we who were far off and those who were near have come to God in Christ; family relationships also have heavenly implications.
As those involved in children’s, youth and family ministry we must work with and not against the many families who are represented in our ministries. Those to whom we minister are first of all members of families. It is here, in the context of their own families that their faith is especially to be worked out.[xxix] It is within our homes that we all face the daily challenge of living for Jesus. For the child from a non-Christian home it is important that we encourage him or her to honor father and mother and not to undermine the authority which is given to the parents. For adolescents who are inclined to disengage from their families of origin, we should encourage them actively to contribute to the well-being of their families. To paraphrase another part of Ephesians, not only when the parents are watching and to gain personal advantage but as a mark of your devotion to Christ, do God’s will from your heart (cf. Eph 6:6-8).
Having a leadership role does not allow us to treat anyone as an isolated individual, unconnected to others. We cannot pretend that we are in a position to make first demands, let alone exclusive demands, on time and energies. For the Christian family member, we ought to go beyond Horace Bushnell who identified their family as “small church” and suggest that it is in fact first church. Neither the children’s ministry nor the youth ministry should see itself as separate and detached from other aspects of a church’s overall ministry enterprise, which includes those ministries that take place in and from every Christian home.[xxx]
Furthermore, since God is the father from whom every family in heaven and upon earth is named, we cannot ignore the parents and other family members of those individuals that whom we might identify as our constituents, of those with whom we are most actively involved. We cannot insist that our efforts are taken up entirely by our individual target group, while others bear the responsibility for their parents or other caregivers. We must learn to think more holistically, less in terms of individuals and more in terms of every family in heaven and on earth.
[i] C. Osiek and D.L. Balch, Families in the New Testament World. Households and House Churches (Louisville: WJKP, 1997) is very helpful in identifying the place and function of the family and its relation to church.
[ii] In the region beyond Ephesus magical practices were flourishing in the mid first century CE as evidenced by archaeological remains and (near) contemporary records. Those Archaeological remains include magic table, instruments and amulets from Pergamum and additional amulets from Smyrna. Contemporary records include several magical inscriptions found on papyri and pottery fragments (C. E. Arnold, Ephesians: Power and Magic. The Concept of Power in Ephesians in Light of Its Historical Setting (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1992) 16-17) as well as Rev 2:18-23.
[iii] The priority of the temple at Ephesus was not completely unchallenged. One Hellenistic inscription tells an incident when ambassadors from the Ephesian temple were abused and sacred items were defiled by the people of Sardis in what seems to be a dispute over authority. The response of the Ephesian authorities in sentencing forty-five offenders to death certainly seems like a response to a challenge to their authority. See P. Trebilco, “Asia,” The Book of Acts in Its Greaco-Roman Setting BAFCS 2, ed. D.W.J. Gill and C. Gempf (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1994) 331.
[iv] This is the meaning of the image that fell from heaven (Acts 19:35).
[v] Arnold distinguishes between the goddess Artemis (= Diana) of Classical Greek (Roman) mythology and Ephesian Artemis (26). So too do D. W. J. Gill and B. W. Winter, “Acts and Roman Religion” in Gill and Gempf, 88.
[vi] There is a mid-second century inscription which provided for the continuance of sacrifices to Artemis and festivals given in her honour so that “in this way with the improvement and honouring of the goddess, our city will remain more illustrious and more blessed for all time” (Trebilco, 327).
[vii] Trebilco (317) cites Achilles Tatius who says that she listened to prayer.
[viii] Arnold, 21
[ix] Arnold, 21-22, Trebilco, 318
[x] Pliny says that there was an image of Hekate in the precinct of Artemis’s temple at Ephesus (Nat. hist. 36.4.32) and that the bronze table found at Pergamum combined an image of Hekate with an epithet which is peculiar to Artemis (Arnold, 23).
[xi] E. M. Yamauchi, “Magic in the Biblical World,” TB 34, 169. We need only to think of Samaria (Acts 8:9-24), Cyprus (Acts 13:6-12), Ephesus (Acts 19) and Malta (Acts 28:1-6) to be reminded of this point. A Hebrew horoscope found at Qumran (4Q186) may be seen as an indication of just how pervasive magical and astrological beliefs were in the first century.
[xii] Arnold, 55.
[xiii] Cited by Arnold, 31.
[xiv] F. F. Bruce, Book of the Acts (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1988) 368.
[xv] In the first century Solomon had a reputation for spiritual power and authority; Josephus writes for a Roman audience that “God enabled him to learn that skill which expels demons” (Antiq. 8:45-49).See also Test.Sol. 7:1-8.
[xvi] G. H. R. Horsley, New Documents Illustrating Early Christianity volume 4. A Review of the Greek Inscriptions and Papyri published in 1979 (Sydney: Macquarrie, 1987) 76.
[xvii] R.A. Kearsley, “The Mystery of Artemis at Ephesus” in S.R. Llewelyn, New Documents Illustrating Early Christianity volume 6. A review of Greek Inscriptions and Papyri published in 1980-81 (Sydney: Macquarrie, 1992) 196.
[xviii] Horsley, 76.
[xix] The early papyrus manuscript p46 as well as the original texts of the uncials אּ (Siniaticus) and B (Vaticanus) and the normally very reliable 1739 are missing the phrase en Ephesō. The phrase also seems to have been absent from texts read by Origen and Basil.
[xx] Ben Witherington III, Letters to Philemon, the Colossians and the Ephesians. A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary on the Captivity Epistles (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2007) 216-19. P. T. O’Brien, Ephesians (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1999) points out that there is no reason why a letter might not also have these epideictic concerns (51). Philemon, for example, can be seen as a letter with just that agenda.
[xxi] Witherington, 219-23.
[xxii] Witherington, 222-23.
[xxiii] The fact that Paul refers to God as father in Ephesians more times than he does in Romans and 1Corinthians put together invites us to consider why he chooses to use it here. Furthermore, the fact that elsewhere God can be invoked as father without elaboration (1:3, 17; Col 1:12) again invites us to consider the significance of the expanded use of this term in Eph. 3:14-15.
[xxiv] Some are dismissive of the value of coins and their images and inscriptions for serious historical study. R. Oster has presented a cogent defence of the discipline in “Numismatic Windows into the Social World of Early Christianity: A Methodological Inquiry” JBL 101 (1982): 195-223.
[xxv] The proper term for this is laureate; recall how the term is still used for Nobel laureates and for poet laureates.
[xxvi] Those emperors who accepted the title were Augustus, Caligula, Claudius, Nero, Vespasian, Titus, Domitian, Nerva, Trajan, and Hadrian.
[xxvii] This is borne out in the writings of both Seneca and Cassius Dio. See M. R. D’Angelo, “Abba and ‘Father’: Imperial Theology and the Jesus Traditions” JBL 111 (1992): 623. It is therefore apparent that the cognomen is more than simply honorific.
[xxviii] J. H. Neyrey, “God, Benefactor, and Patron: The Major Cultural Model for Interpreting the Deity in Greco-Roman Antiquity” JSNT 27 (2005): 465-492; D’Angelo, 611-30, especially 622-24.
[xxix] This is confirmed in the encouragement given to the Ephesian Christians about how to live in the reality of all that God has done for them in Christ. That instruction falls within the ‘household code’ which addresses men and women as husbands and wives, old and young as parents and children and the less and more privileged in society as slave and free.
[xxx] See, for example, Mitali Perkins, Ambassador Families (Grand Rapids: Brazos, 2005).