To the Ephesians 1:1-23

1  Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus through God’s will, to the holy ones who are in Ephʹe·sus+ and are faithful in union with Christ Jesus:  May you have undeserved kindness and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.  Praised be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, for he has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in union with Christ,+  as he chose us to be in union with him before the founding of the world, that we should be holy and unblemished+ before him in love.  For he foreordained us+ to be adopted as his own sons+ through Jesus Christ, according to his good pleasure and will,+  in praise of his glorious undeserved kindness+ that he kindly bestowed on us by means of his beloved one.+  By means of him we have the release by ransom through the blood of that one,+ yes, the forgiveness of our trespasses,+ according to the riches of his undeserved kindness.  This undeserved kindness he caused to abound toward us in all wisdom and understanding*  by making known to us the sacred secret+ of his will. It is according to his good pleasure that he himself purposed 10  for an administration at the full limit of the appointed times, to gather all things together in the Christ, the things in the heavens and the things on the earth.+ Yes, in him 11  with whom we are in union and were assigned as heirs,+ having been foreordained according to the purpose of the one who accomplishes all things as he decides according to his will,+ 12  so that we who have been first to hope* in the Christ should serve for the praise of his glory. 13  But you also hoped in him after you heard the word of truth, the good news about your salvation. After you believed, you were sealed+ by means of him with the promised holy spirit, 14  which is a token in advance of our inheritance,+ for the purpose of releasing God’s own possession+ by a ransom,+ to his glorious praise. 15  That is why I also, since I have heard of the faith that you have in the Lord Jesus and the love that you demonstrate toward all the holy ones, 16  never stop giving thanks for you. I continue mentioning you in my prayers,+ 17  that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the accurate knowledge of him.+ 18  He has enlightened the eyes of your heart, so that you may know to what hope he called you, what glorious riches he holds as an inheritance for the holy ones,+ 19  and how surpassing the greatness of his power is toward us believers.+ It is according to the operation of the mightiness of his strength, 20  which he exercised toward Christ when he raised him up from the dead and seated him at his right hand+ in the heavenly places, 21  far above every government and authority and power and lordship+ and every name that is named,+ not only in this system of things but also in that to come. 22  He also subjected all things under his feet+ and made him head over all things with regard to the congregation,+ 23  which is his body,+ the fullness of him who fills up all things in all.


Or “insight; good sense.”
Or “we who have hoped beforehand.”

Study Notes

The First to the Corinthians: Titles like this were apparently not part of the original text. Ancient manuscripts show that they were added later, doubtless to make it easier to identify the letters. The papyrus codex known as P46 shows that scribes identified Bible books by titles. That codex is the earliest known collection of Paul’s letters, often dated to about the year 200 C.E. It contains nine of his letters. At the beginning of Paul’s first inspired letter to the Corinthians, this codex has a title that reads Pros Ko·rinʹthi·ous A (“Toward [or, “To”] Corinthians 1”). (See Media Gallery, “Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians.”) Other early manuscripts, such as Codex Vaticanus and Codex Sinaiticus of the fourth century C.E., contain the same title. In these manuscripts, the title appears both at the beginning of the letter and at the end.

To the Ephesians: Titles like this were apparently not part of the original text. Ancient manuscripts show that they were added later, doubtless to make it easy to identify the books.​—See study note on 1Co Title and Media Gallery, “Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians.”

an apostle: See study note on Ro 1:1.

the holy ones: See study note on Ro 1:7.

in Ephesus: These words are found in authoritative ancient manuscripts and in ancient translations, though they do not appear in all ancient Greek manuscripts. Some who do not view the words as part of the original text have suggested that Paul sent this letter to Laodicea. (Col 4:16) However, no manuscripts contain the words “to [or, “in”] Laodicea.” Also, early Greek manuscripts that omit “in Ephesus” in this verse all entitle this letter “To the Ephesians.” Moreover, early writers accepted it as the letter to the Ephesians. Also, Ephesus is the only city mentioned here in any of the manuscripts of this letter.

Ephesus: In Bible times, this city was a wealthy and important religious and commercial center on the W coast of Asia Minor, opposite the island of Samos. Ephesus was the capital of the Roman province of Asia.​—See Glossary, App. B13, and Media Gallery, “The Theater and Surroundings in Ephesus.”

in union with: Lit., “in.” This expression indicates close association, harmony, and unity. In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul several times mentions that the anointed Christians are “in union with” Christ Jesus, which highlights Christ’s important role in bringing about unity.​—See, for example, Eph 1:4, 11; 2:13, 21.

holy ones: The Christian Greek Scriptures frequently refer to spiritual brothers of Christ in the congregations as “holy ones.” (Ac 9:13; 26:10; Ro 12:13; 2Co 1:1; 13:13) This term applies to those who are brought into a relationship with God through the new covenant by “the blood of an everlasting covenant,” the shed blood of Jesus. (Heb 10:29; 13:20) They are thereby sanctified, cleansed, and constituted “holy ones” by God. He ascribes this condition of holiness to them right from the start of their sanctified course on earth rather than after their death. Therefore, the Bible provides no basis for an individual or an organization to declare people to be “holy ones”​—or “saints,” as some Bible translations render this expression. Peter says that they “must be holy” because God is holy. (1Pe 1:15, 16; Le 20:7, 26) The term “holy ones” applies to all those who are brought into union and joint heirship with Christ. More than five centuries before Christ’s followers were given this designation, God revealed that people called “the holy ones of the Supreme One” would share in Christ’s Kingdom rulership.​—Da 7:13, 14, 18, 27.

an apostle: The Greek noun a·poʹsto·los is derived from the verb a·po·stelʹlo, meaning “to send away (out).” (Mt 10:5; Lu 11:49; 14:32) Its basic meaning is clearly illustrated in Jesus’ statement at Joh 13:16, where it is rendered “one who is sent.” Paul was called to be an apostle to the nations, or non-Jews, by the direct choice of the resurrected Jesus Christ. (Ac 9:1-22; 22:6-21; 26:12-23) Paul affirmed his apostleship by pointing out that he had seen the resurrected Lord Jesus Christ (1Co 9:1, 2) and had performed miracles (2Co 12:12). Paul also served as a channel for imparting the holy spirit to baptized believers, providing further evidence that he was a true apostle. (Ac 19:5, 6) Though he frequently refers to his apostleship, nowhere does he include himself among “the Twelve.”​—1Co 15:5, 8-10; Ro 11:13; Ga 2:6-9; 2Ti 1:1, 11.

May you have undeserved kindness and peace: See study note on Ro 1:7.

May you have undeserved kindness and peace: Paul uses this greeting in 11 of his letters. (1Co 1:3; 2Co 1:2; Ga 1:3; Eph 1:2; Php 1:2; Col 1:2; 1Th 1:1; 2Th 1:2; Tit 1:4; Phm 3) He uses a very similar greeting in his letters to Timothy but adds the quality “mercy.” (1Ti 1:2; 2Ti 1:2) Scholars have noted that instead of using the common word for “Greetings!” (khaiʹrein), Paul often uses the similar sounding Greek term (khaʹris), expressing his desire for the congregations to enjoy a full measure of “undeserved kindness.” (See study note on Ac 15:23.) The mention of “peace” reflects the common Hebrew greeting, sha·lohmʹ. (See study note on Mr 5:34.) By using the terms “undeserved kindness and peace,” Paul is apparently highlighting the restored relationship that Christians enjoy with Jehovah God by means of the ransom. When Paul describes where the generous kindness and peace come from, he mentions God our Father separately from the Lord Jesus Christ.

in the heavenly places: Here Paul speaks of anointed Christians as having already received “every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places,” though they were still on earth. The context shows that God “assigned [them] as heirs” with his Son in the heavenly inheritance and gave them a token of that inheritance. (Eph 1:11, 13, 14) While yet on earth, they will be raised up, or exalted, by having received such an assignment.​—Eph 1:18-20; 2:4-7.

in union with him: That is, with Christ.​—Eph 1:3; see study note on Eph 1:1.

the founding of the world: See study note on Lu 11:50.

founding of the world: The Greek word for “founding” is rendered “to conceive” at Heb 11:11, where it is used with “offspring.” Here used in the expression “founding of the world,” it apparently refers to the birth of children to Adam and Eve. Jesus associates “the founding of the world” with Abel, evidently the first redeemable human of the world of mankind whose name had been written in the scroll of life “from the founding of the world.”​—Lu 11:51; Re 17:8; see study note on Mt 25:34.

in union with: Lit., “in.” This expression indicates close association, harmony, and unity. In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul several times mentions that the anointed Christians are “in union with” Christ Jesus, which highlights Christ’s important role in bringing about unity.​—See, for example, Eph 1:4, 11; 2:13, 21.

called according to his purpose: The Greek word proʹthe·sis, translated “purpose,” literally means “a placing before.” The term also appears at Ro 9:11; Eph 1:11; 3:11. Since God’s purposes are certain of accomplishment, he can foreknow and predict what will happen. (Isa 46:10) For example, Jehovah foreknew that there would be a class of “called” ones, but he does not predestine the specific individuals forming this class. He also takes steps to make sure that his purposes are realized.​—Isa 14:24-27.

adoption as sons: Lit., “a placing as son” (Greek, hui·o·the·siʹa). The concept of “adoption” was known in the Greek and Roman world. Most often the adoptees were, not young children, but youths or young adults. Some masters were known to free slaves in order to adopt them legally. The Roman Emperor Augustus was named as the adopted son of Julius Caesar. Paul uses the concept of adoption to describe the new status of those called and chosen by God. All descendants of the imperfect Adam were slaves to sin, so they could not be considered sons of God. But thanks to Jesus’ ransom sacrifice, Jehovah can free them from slavery to sin and adopt them as his sons, making them joint heirs with Christ. (Ro 8:14-17; Ga 4:1-7) Paul emphasizes the change in relationship by saying that such adopted ones cry out: “Abba, Father!” It was unthinkable for a slave to use this intimate expression toward his master. (See study note on Abba in this verse.) Jehovah decides whom he wants to adopt as sons. (Eph 1:5) From the time he anoints them with his spirit, he acknowledges them as his children. (Joh 1:12, 13; 1Jo 3:1) However, they must prove faithful during their life on earth before they can fully realize their privilege of being raised to heavenly life to be joint heirs with Christ. (Re 20:6; 21:7) Thus, Paul speaks of them as “earnestly waiting for adoption as sons, the release from our bodies by ransom.”​—Ro 8:23.

the adoption as sons: In the Christian Greek Scriptures, Paul mentions adoption several times with regard to the new status of those called and chosen by God. Such ones are given the prospect of immortal life in heaven. As descendants of imperfect Adam, they were in slavery to sin and therefore were not born as sons of God. Because of Jesus’ sin-atoning sacrifice, they can receive adoption as sons and become “joint heirs with Christ.” (Ro 8:14-17) They themselves do not choose to be adopted as his sons. Rather, God chooses them, according to his will. (Eph 1:5) God acknowledges them as his children, or sons, from the time that he begets them by his spirit. (Joh 1:12, 13; 1Jo 3:1) But they must continue faithful until the end of their life as humans in order to receive the full realization of being adopted as spirit sons of God. (Ro 8:17; Re 21:7) That is why Paul says: “We are earnestly waiting for adoption as sons, the release from our bodies by ransom.” (Ro 8:23; see study note on Ro 8:15.) The concept of adoption was widely known in ancient times. In the Greco-Roman world, adoption was primarily intended for the benefit of the adopter, not of the one being adopted. However, Paul emphasizes that Jehovah has lovingly taken steps for the benefit of those being adopted.​—Ga 4:3, 4.

For he foreordained us: In the Greek text, it is also possible to connect this expression with the preceding verse, making the sentence read: “For in love [vs. 5] he foreordained us.”

he foreordained us: Jehovah foreordained, or determined in advance, that a group of Christ’s followers would be adopted as sons of God to rule with Jesus in heaven. He foreordained the group, not the individuals. Jehovah’s purpose was included in the prophecy at Ge 3:15, which Jehovah declared shortly after Adam sinned.​—Ga 3:16, 29; see study note on Ro 8:28.

to be adopted as his own sons: See study notes on Ro 8:15; Ga 4:5.

the release by ransom: See study notes on Mt 20:28; Ro 3:24 and Glossary, “Ransom.”

through the blood of that one: That is, through the blood of Jesus Christ. While some translations use the word “death,” the literal rendering “blood” retains the Biblical concept of the atoning power of blood. (See Glossary, “Atonement.”) On the Day of Atonement, designated animals were sacrificed. The high priest took some of their blood into the Most Holy of the tabernacle or temple and presented it there before God. (Le 16:2-19) Jesus fulfilled what was foreshadowed by the Atonement Day, as Paul explains in his letter to the Hebrews. (Heb 9:11-14, 24, 28; 10:11-14) Just as on Atonement Day the high priest took the sacrificial blood into the Most Holy, Jesus presented the value, or merit, of his lifeblood before God in heaven.

according to the riches of his undeserved kindness: Ephesus was a materially prosperous city, but Paul’s letter stresses that true spiritual riches are connected with God’s undeserved kindness. (Eph 1:18; 2:7; 3:8) Paul uses the Greek term rendered “undeserved kindness” 12 times in his letter to the Ephesians. When he met with the elders from Ephesus on an earlier occasion, he also mentioned this endearing quality.​—Ac 20:17, 24, 32; see study note on Ac 13:43 and Glossary, “Undeserved kindness.”

the undeserved kindness of God: In view of Paul’s background as a resister of Jesus and his followers (Ac 9:3-5), Paul had every reason to emphasize Jehovah’s undeserved kindness. (See Glossary, “Undeserved kindness.”) Paul realized that it was only by God’s undeserved kindness that he was able to carry out his ministry. (1Co 15:10; 1Ti 1:13, 14) When meeting with the elders from Ephesus, he speaks of this quality twice. (Ac 20:24, 32) In his 14 letters, Paul mentions “undeserved kindness” some 90 times, far more than any other Bible writer. For example, he refers to the undeserved kindness of God or of Jesus in the opening salutations of all his letters except his letter to the Hebrews, and he uses the expression in the closing remarks of every letter.

the release by the ransom paid by Christ Jesus: Or “the redemption that is in (by) Christ Jesus.” The Greek word a·po·lyʹtro·sis is related to several other words having to do with the ransom.​—See study note on Mt 20:28.

ransom: The Greek word lyʹtron (from the verb lyʹo, meaning “to let loose; to release”) was used by non-Biblical Greek writers to refer to a price paid to release those under bond or in slavery or to ransom prisoners of war. It occurs twice in the Christian Greek Scriptures, here and at Mr 10:45. The related word an·tiʹly·tron appears at 1Ti 2:6 and is rendered “corresponding ransom.” Other related words are ly·troʹo·mai, meaning “to set free; to ransom” (Tit 2:14; 1Pe 1:18; also ftns.), and a·po·lyʹtro·sis, often rendered “release by ransom” (Eph 1:7; Col 1:14; Heb 9:15; 11:35; Ro 3:24; 8:23).​—See Glossary.

the sacred secret of his will: The term “sacred secret” is mentioned several times in Paul’s letter to the Ephesians. Generally speaking, Jehovah’s “sacred secret” centers on Jesus Christ. (Col 2:2; 4:3) However, God’s sacred secret has many facets. These include: Jesus’ identity as the promised offspring, or Messiah, and his role in God’s purpose (Ge 3:15); a heavenly government, God’s Messianic Kingdom (Mt 13:11; Mr 4:11); the congregation of spirit-anointed Christians, of which Christ is head (Eph 5:32; Col 1:18; Re 1:20); the role of those anointed ones who share the Kingdom with Jesus (Lu 22:29, 30); and the selection of the anointed from among both Jews and Gentiles (Ro 11:25; Eph 3:3-6; Col 1:26, 27).​—See study notes on Mt 13:11; 1Co 2:7.

God’s wisdom in a sacred secret: That is, the wise arrangement that God put in place for ending the rebellion that started in Eden and for bringing about universal peace and unity. (See Glossary, “Sacred secret.”) The declaration of the “sacred secret” (Greek, my·steʹri·on; see study note on Mt 13:11) began with Jehovah’s prophecy at Ge 3:15. Jehovah’s “sacred secret” centers on Jesus Christ. (Eph 1:9, 10; Col 2:2) It includes Jesus’ identity as the promised offspring, or Messiah, and his role in God’s Kingdom (Mt 13:11); the selection of anointed ones​—taken from among both Jews and Gentiles​—to be Christ’s joint heirs, with whom he shares the Kingdom (Lu 22:29, 30; Ro 11:25; Eph 3:3-6; Col 1:26, 27); and the unique nature of this congregation composed of 144,000 “bought from among mankind as firstfruits to God and to the Lamb” (Re 14:1, 4). These facets can be understood only by those who thoroughly study the Scriptures.

sacred secrets: The Greek word my·steʹri·on is rendered “sacred secret” 25 times in the New World Translation. Here used in the plural, this expression refers to aspects of God’s purpose that are withheld until God chooses to make them known. Then they are fully revealed but only to those to whom he chooses to give understanding. (Col 1:25, 26) Once revealed, the sacred secrets of God are given the widest possible proclamation. This is evident by the Bible’s use of such terms as “declaring,” “making known,” “preach,” “revealed,” and “revelation” in connection with the expression “the sacred secret.” (1Co 2:1; Eph 1:9; 3:3; Col 1:25, 26; 4:3) The primary “sacred secret of God” centers on the identification of Jesus Christ as the promised “offspring,” or Messiah. (Col 2:2; Ge 3:15) However, this sacred secret has many facets, including the role Jesus is assigned to play in God’s purpose. (Col 4:3) As Jesus showed on this occasion, “the sacred secrets” are connected with the Kingdom of the heavens, or “the Kingdom of God,” the heavenly government in which Jesus rules as King. (Mr 4:11; Lu 8:10; see study note on Mt 3:2.) The Christian Greek Scriptures use the term my·steʹri·on in a way different from that of the ancient mystery religions. Those religions, often based on fertility cults that flourished in the first century C.E., promised that devotees would receive immortality, direct revelation, and approach to the gods through mystic rites. The content of those secrets was obviously not based on truth. Those initiated into mystery religions vowed to keep the secrets to themselves and therefore shrouded in mystery, which was unlike the open proclamation of the sacred secrets of Christianity. When the Scriptures use this term in connection with false worship, it is rendered “mystery” in the New World Translation.​—For the three occurrences where my·steʹri·on is rendered “mystery,” see study notes on 2Th 2:7; Re 17:5, 7.

for an administration: Or “to administer things.” The Greek word used here (oi·ko·no·miʹa) literally means “a house administration” or “a household management.” It refers to, not a specific government, but a way of administering or managing things. This understanding is consistent with the way the term is used at Eph 3:9. (Compare Lu 16:2; Eph 3:2; and Col 1:25, where the term is rendered “stewardship.”) This “administration” is not the same as God’s Messianic Kingdom. Rather, it is the way he chooses to manage the affairs of his universal family, or household. The administration will bring together the rulers of this heavenly Kingdom and accomplish his purpose of unifying all intelligent creatures, resulting in peace and unity with God through Jesus Christ.

to gather all things together in the Christ: The administration that God has put in place will be carried out in two stages. The first stage is to gather together the things in the heavens, that is, those who are called to rule with Christ in heaven. (Ro 8:16, 17; Eph 1:11; 1Pe 1:4) This stage began at Pentecost 33 C.E. (Ac 2:1-4) The second stage is to gather together the things on the earth, that is, those who are to live in an earthly paradise as subjects of the heavenly government.​—Joh 10:16; Re 7:9, 10; 21:3, 4.

having been foreordained: See study note on Eph 1:5.

he foreordained us: Jehovah foreordained, or determined in advance, that a group of Christ’s followers would be adopted as sons of God to rule with Jesus in heaven. He foreordained the group, not the individuals. Jehovah’s purpose was included in the prophecy at Ge 3:15, which Jehovah declared shortly after Adam sinned.​—Ga 3:16, 29; see study note on Ro 8:28.

his seal: In Bible times, a seal was used as a signature to prove ownership, authenticity, or agreement. In the case of spirit-anointed Christians, God has figuratively sealed them by his holy spirit to indicate that they are his possession and that they are in line for heavenly life.​—Eph 1:13, 14.

you were sealed: In Bible times, a seal was used as a signature to prove ownership, authenticity, or agreement. In the case of spirit-anointed Christians, God figuratively seals them with his holy spirit by means of Christ to indicate that they are his possession and that they are in line for heavenly life.​—See study note on 2Co 1:22.

which: Referring to God’s “holy spirit,” or active force, mentioned in the preceding verse. Although some manuscripts use a masculine Greek pronoun here, there is strong support for the reading that uses the neuter pronoun, translated “which.” The use of a neuter pronoun agrees with how God’s spirit is referred to in other Bible verses. Some scholars suggest that later scribes used a Greek pronoun indicating masculine gender to portray the holy spirit as a person.​—See study notes on Mt 28:19; Joh 14:17.

a token in advance: Or “a down payment; a guarantee (pledge) of what is to come.” Paul here uses a legal term (ar·ra·bonʹ) that often refers to an advance payment of money smaller than the full payment. All three occurrences of this Greek word in the Christian Greek Scriptures are used figuratively to refer to God’s anointing of Christians with “the promised holy spirit,” God’s active force. (Eph 1:13, 14; 2Co 1:22; 5:5) This special operation of holy spirit becomes like a figurative down payment, a guarantee (or, a pledge) of what is to come. Because of this token of their heavenly inheritance, spirit-anointed Christians are convinced of their hope. They experience the complete fulfillment of their hope when they receive an incorruptible heavenly body.​—2Co 5:1-5.

our inheritance: That is, the heavenly inheritance of Christians who have been anointed with God’s holy spirit. The spirit serves as “a token in advance of” their inheritance. (1Pe 1:4, 5) For anointed Christians, this inheritance involves more than life in heaven. They are “the things in the heavens” that are to be gathered together under Jesus to be “heirs . . . of God” and “joint heirs with Christ.” (Eph 1:10; Ro 8:16, 17) The basic meaning of the Greek verb for “inherit” is for an heir to receive something as a right. This is often because of a family relationship, such as when a son receives an inheritance from his father. (Ga 4:30) But here, as in most occurrences in the Christian Greek Scriptures, this term is used in the broader sense of something received as a gift from God.​—Mt 19:29; 1Co 6:9.

God’s own possession: Lit., “the possession.” This possession is the congregation of spirit-anointed Christians. (Ac 20:28) At 1Pe 2:9, these Christians are referred to as “a people for special possession.”

spirit: Or “active force.” The Greek term pneuʹma is in the neuter gender and therefore neuter pronouns are used when referring to it. The Greek word has a number of meanings. All of them refer to that which is invisible to human sight and gives evidence of force in motion. (See Glossary.) In this context, “spirit” refers to God’s holy spirit, which is here called the spirit of the truth, an expression that also occurs at Joh 15:26 and 16:13, where Jesus explains that “the helper” (Joh 16:7), that is, “the spirit of the truth,” will “guide” Jesus’ disciples “into all the truth.”

the holy spirit: Or “the holy active force.” The term “spirit” (neuter in Greek) refers to an impersonal force in action, emanating from God.​—See Glossary, “Holy spirit”; “Spirit.”

revelation: See study note on Ro 16:25.

revelation: Lit., “uncovering; disclosure.” The Greek term a·po·kaʹly·psis is often used, as in this verse, regarding the revealing of God’s will and purposes or of other spiritual matters. (Eph 3:3; Re 1:1) God is the ultimate Source of such revelations.​—Compare study note on Lu 2:32.

the eyes of your heart: This expression refers to a person’s figurative sight, or perception. (Isa 44:18; Jer 5:21; Eze 12:2, 3; Mt 13:13-16) Paul tells spirit-anointed Christians that God has enlightened them “so that [they] may know to what hope he called [them].” Such spiritual insight convinces anointed Christians that a glorious reward awaits them​—made certain by the mighty power that God displayed by raising Jesus from the dead.

this system of things: Or “this age.” In this context, the Greek word ai·onʹ refers to the present unrighteous system of things. (Ga 1:4) Paul indicates that there is also a system of things, or an age, to come, in which there would be a government under the authority of Christ.​—See Glossary, “System(s) of things.”


Video Introduction to the Book of Ephesians
Video Introduction to the Book of Ephesians
Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians
Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians

Shown here is a page from a papyrus codex known as P46, believed to date from about the year 200 C.E. This codex is a collection of nine of Paul’s letters. (See Media Gallery, “Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians” and “Paul’s Second Letter to the Corinthians.”) This leaf shows the beginning of Paul’s letter to the Ephesians. In addition to being known as P46, the leaf is part of what is called Papyrus Michigan Inv. 6238 and is housed at the University of Michigan library, Ann Arbor, Michigan, U.S.A. Highlighted is the title, which reads “Toward [or, “To”] Ephesians.”

Seal Devices
Seal Devices

The bronze seal shown in the photographs bears a name. In Roman times, people used seals to make impressions on wax or clay. Such seals had many different purposes. For example, as illustrated, potters stamped clay jars to identify the maker, the product, or the volume of the container. Sometimes plaster was used to fasten a cap on a jar. Before the plaster hardened, the seal of the merchant or the person shipping the product was pressed into it. Some people used a seal to make an impression that signified ownership of an item. Paul referred to a figurative seal of ownership when he stated that God had “put his seal on” Christians, or had anointed them with his holy spirit. This seal indicated that God was their Owner.​—2Co 1:21, 22.