n Missionalia : Southern African Journal of Mission Studies - The use of οἰκονομία for the missional plan and purpose of God in Ephesians 1 : 3-14




The term οἰκονομία is used in the Pauline epistles with a specific nuance. It is Paul who uses it specifically as a missional term. He uses οἰκονομία in Ephesians for the missions activity of God, the (Eph 1:10), his own mission activity and the proclamation of the gospel (Eph 3:2) and for the missions activity of the church. The mission of the church is discernible through a missional hermeneutic and reading of Ephesians and the identification of the missional calling of the church.

In this paper it is my contention that οἰκονομία is an important term in a missional reading of the epistle to the Ephesians. This paper will focus on the importance of the word οἰκονομία for missions in Ephesians. The use of οἰκονομία as a missional term in the epistle to the Ephesians will support the proposal that οἰκονομία is to be read as a missional term in all of its occurrences in the Pauline Epistles. The contention of this article is that a missional hermeneutic should be employed when we read the Pauline epistles because Paul's mission undergirds and shaped the text. This article will serve as an introduction to a series of articles in which the purpose of the letter to the Ephesians will be revisited.


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