Reading Ephesians and Colossians after Supersessionism

Lionel Windsor

The apostolic mission from Israel to “the nations” forms the explicit framework for Ephesians and Colossians. Yet the concrete dynamics of this mission seldom play any significant role in modern interpretation. Scholars frequently approach these letters as if the Jew-gentile dynamics inherent in the early Christ-preaching mission are either irrelevant, or are negated by the letters themselves. This book seeks to redress this deficiency. Windsor approaches Ephesians and Colossians with an evangelical post-supersessionist perspective. By highlighting, rather than downplaying, Israel’s special place in salvation history, Windsor demonstrates that Jew-gentile dynamics and missionary concerns are highly significant for understanding the overall argument of these two letters. The resulting readings offer a deeper appreciation of the biblical, Israel-centered contours in which the theological and ethical concerns of the letters are expressed. Along the way, Windsor demonstrates how certain texts in Ephesians and Colossians, which are often read as evidence of a supersessionist perspective, are capable of more fruitful and satisfactory post-supersessionist interpretations. He demonstrates that in these letters, Christ does not negate Jewish distinctiveness. Rather, Christ’s mission proceeds through Israel to the nations, creating mutual blessing in the Messiah.

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