Does Paul Really Talk About Sex in Ephesians 5?

Recently, much public outrage has emerged due to a particular way of interpreting Paul’s citation of Genesis 2 within Ephesians 5. For many writers, Ephesians 5:31-32 is a central text for developing a Christian doctrine of sex within marriage. The controversy raises questions about the nature and function of Paul’s argument as well as his use of Genesis. For instance, numerous scholars contend that “one flesh” refers to the sexual union between a husband and wife. If so, we must consider the limits of this metaphor for contemporary application. At the same time, we should explore the possibility that Ephesians 5 and perhaps Genesis 2 do not necessarily allude to sex. Accordingly, this paper proposes a coherent alternative reading of Ephesians 5 and Genesis 2 that challenges the basis on which some writers assert that Paul draws a parallel between married sex and the relationship between Christ and the church. These exegetical considerations are critical for developing a Christian sexual ethic.

3 thoughts on “Does Paul Really Talk About Sex in Ephesians 5?”

  1. Abstract too sketchy?
    This is an important topic, but the abstract is too sketchy, so it is difficult to judge the quality and substance of the argument in the proposed paper.


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