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.
upside-down34. The least of all has been given the most glorious ministry of all35. This reversal of values motif is a seal of genuine Pauline authorship (cf. Rom 4,18; 1 Cor 1,26-29; 3,18; 2 Cor 4,10-12; 6,8b-10; 12,9; 13,4; Phil 3,7). If Ephesians were post-Pauline it would be difficult to explain why the author would invoke Paul’s authority simply to downplay it by leveling his special commission to the Gentiles with that of the other apostles and by exaggerating Paul’s humility by identifying him as the least of the saints36. This question becomes all the more pressing when it is observed that the apostolic fathers did not speak of Paul in a way that stressed his humility and weakness, but rather his greatness and righteousness (Ign. Eph. 12.2; 1 Clement 5.5-7; Pol. Phil. 3.2-3; 9.1-2)37.
Paul’s description of himself as the apostle to the Gentiles par excellence is well-known from the other Pauline letters (Gal 1,16; 2,2.8-9; cf. Rom 1,5.13; 11,13; 15,15-18). Eph 3,5, however, appears somewhat anomalous, where Paul is merely one among the apostles and the prophets. In the undisputed letters Paul never speaks explicitly about any revelation given to the other apostles regarding the inclusion