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.
5. Abrogation of the Mosaic Law
Paul’s description of the community of saints as a spiritual temple was anticipated in Qumran (1QS 8.5-6; 9.6), but Paul sets the concept in a totally different context45. In Qumran, the community was constituted as God’s temple by a scrupulous observation of the Mosaic law, which required an absolute exclusion of the Gentiles (4QFlor 1-3.i.3-7)46. For Paul, the cornerstone47 of the new temple is Christ, and it is characterized by a full inclusion of the Gentiles on an equal footing, and the basis for the identification of the church as the temple is the fact that Christ had abolished the Mosaic law.
This characteristic Pauline motif can be observed in the central section, 2,14-16. Vv. 13-18 display a remarkable pattern of literary parallelism48. The far-near (makra/n - e)ggu/j) contrast of v. 13 is