The text of Eph. 5.22-24 represents an expansion of the address to wives found at Col. 3.18. How can we account for that expansion? My contention is that the expansion was guided by a theological agenda which is rooted in Pauline theological reflection about Christ as the New Adam of the New Creation. My argument is that the text of Eph. 5.22-24 must be interpreted in light of 5.31-32, where Gen. 2.24 is cited and then applied to Christ and the church. I demonstrate that the injuction for the wife's "subordination" (vv.22, 24) and the "head/body"/"savior" language (v.23) used to justify it are connec- ted to Pauline texts prior to Ephesians which link Christ and Adam. The use of this language in Ephesians clearly signals the theological agenda which guides the expansion of Eph. 5.22-24. The overall argument of this study is as follows. In the first chapter I point out that scholars have underestimated the Adamic nature of the language found at Eph. 5.22-24. In the second chapter I argue that the logical structure of Eph. 5.22-24 indicates that the structural and theological core of the passage is the phrase "he, savior of the body" (5.23c). I make clear that the injunction for subordination is carefully centered around a soteriological statement (5.23c: "he, savior of the body") which in turn qualifies the christological state- ment at 5.23b ("just as Christ is head of the church"). In the third chapter I make clear that the soteriology of 5.23c is to be interpre- ted in light of Eph. 2.14-18, a text which recasts Christ's death in language which echoes the first two chapters of Genesis. This illustrates the Adamic character of Christ's saving role at 5.23c. In the fourth chapter I demonstrate that the noun (kappa)(epsilon)(phi)(alpha)(lamda)(eta) (Eph. 5.23: "head") and the verb (upsilon)(pi)(omicron)(tau)(alpha)(sigma)(sigma)(omega) (Eph. 5.22, 24: "subordination") have their origins in undisputed Pauline texts which focus on Adam/Christ typology. The Adamic character of these two terms becomes clear in light of their use at, on the one hand, 1 Cor. 11.2-16 and Col. 1.15-20 ((kappa)(epsilon)(phi)(alpha)(lamda)(eta)) and, on the other hand, at 1 Cor. 15.28b ((upsilon)(pi)(omicron)(tau)(alpha)(sigma)(sigma)(omega)), which I contend represent the linguistic and theological sources of Eph. 5.22-24. In the final chapter I return to the text of Eph. 5.22-24 and interpret it in light of my arguments. I then point out the exegetical results of this study and draw some hermeneutical conclusions about the relevance of this text for Christian marriage today.

Recommended Citation

MILETIC, STEPHEN FRANCIS, ""ONE FLESH": EPH. 5.22-24, 5.31, MARRIAGE AND THE NEW CREATION (EPHESIANS)" (1985). Dissertations (1962 - 2010) Access via Proquest Digital Dissertations. AAI8604957.