Sigurd Grindheim, «What the OT Prophets Did Not Know: The Mystery of the Church in Eph 3,2-13», Vol. 84 (2003) 531-553
The purpose of this essay is two-fold. First, it argues that the inclusion of the Gentiles is referred to as a previously unrevealed mystery because it is based upon the abrogation of the Mosaic law and entails a degree of nearness to the Lord that exceeds the expectations of the old covenant. Second, it addresses the question of authorship. Assuming Pauline authorship as a working hypothesis, it shows that the use of the concept of mystery in Eph 3 is intimately linked with Paul’s terminology and thought world attested in the undisputed letters. It is unwarranted, therefore, to find proof of a post-Pauline development in the use of the term "mystery" in Ephesians.
worshipers at this temple (Isa 2,3; 56,6-7; 60,5-7; 66,19-21). But now the church is identified with the temple itself. Under the old covenant God dwelt among his people. Now, the community of believers is his dwelling26. While the re-creation of Israel is understood to have taken place in the church, the church stands out as an entity that transcends the old categories of "Gentile" and "Jew"27.
The idea of the church as the temple is also found in 1 Cor 3,16-17. In that passage, there seems to be a different perspective, however. Christ alone is the foundation of the building (3,11), not the apostles and the prophets (cf. Eph 2,20). The description in Ephesians is sometimes understood to reflect a later stage in church history, a time when the apostles were a phenomenon of the past28. The essential idea is the same, however: the unity of the ministers in the church. The differences are best explained as stemming from the different perspective of the two passages. In 1 Cor 3 the apostles are in view as preachers; in Eph 2–3 as recipients of revelation, an idea more readily lending itself to be described as a foundation29.
4. The Concept of Revelation
This observation has led Helmut Merklein to conclude that "revelation" has become a more dogmatic concept in Ephesians as compared with Galatians. The emphasis is no longer on the historical act of revelation but on revelation as a norm of tradition30. Merklein is reading too much into the differences, however. Already in Galatians the revelation of the gospel is a norm by which even the angels and the apostle himself are to be judged (Gal 1,8-9).
In Eph 3,5 the revelation of the mystery is said to be given to "his holy apostles and prophets in the spirit". The insertion of the personal