Concordia Theological Monthly

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captivity letters, st. paul, rome, ephesus, philemon, philippi, philippians, ephesians, ephesine, caesarea, colossians

Submission Type

Bible Study; Lecture; Sermon Prep


Four letters ascribed to the Apostle Paul have from ancient times been called the Captivity Letters, namely, those to the Colossians, to Philemon, to the Ephesians, and to the Philippians, and the traditional view is that they were written during Paul's first captivity in Rome, from 61 to 63 A. D. But some recent scholars in the field of New Testament isagogics are inclined-to reject the traditional view, preferring to assume that either Caesarea, between 58 and 60, is to be accepted or Ephesus, between 54 and 57. The proponents of Caesarea have some difficulty in adjusting historical data, however, while those who would speak in favor of Ephesus seem to have a much stronger case. For that reason it may be profitable to make a somewhat more careful examination of the theory which attempts to place the Captivity Letters in the time of the Ephesine sojourn. The investigation is not a mere bit of pastime in the field of introduction, but touches upon certain critical questions which may impugn the veracity of certain statements in various books of the New Testament. Which view, then, may most safely and correctly be held concerning the place and the time of the Captivity Letters, that which ascribes them to the Ephesine sojourn of Paul, between 64 and 57, or the traditional account, which states that they were written in Rome, during the first captivity?


History of Christianity

Scripture References in this Resource (separated by semi-colons)

Acts 19:21; Acts 23:11; Philippians 1:3 ff; Philippians 2:12; Philippians 4:1; Colossians 1:3; Colossians 2:5; 1 Corinthians 4:9; 2 Corinthians 1:8ff; Philippians 1:13; 1 Corinthians 16:5; Philippians 2:25; 1 Corinthians 15:32; 1 Corinthians 15:30; Philippians 4:14; Ephesians 3:13; Philippians 1:13; Colossians 4:3; Ephesians 6:19; Philippians 1:30; Philippians 2:24; Philippians 2:27; Ephesians 3:13; 2 Timothy 4:17; 2 Corinthians 11:23; Acts 20:31; Philippians 4:22; Acts 28:16-30; Acts 19:29; Acts 20:4; Acts 27:2; Colossians 4:10; Acts 19:22; 1 Corinthians 16:10; Philippians 2:19; Acts 20:4; Ephesians . 6:21-22; 2 Timothy . 4:12; Colossians 4:9; Philemon 1:23ff; Colossians 4:14; Acts 20:4-16; Acts 21:1-18; Acts 27:1-28;

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Laity; Ministers; Scholars