One new humanity in Christ: The use of Ezekiel 37 in Ephesians 2
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SubjectBible.--O.T.--Ezekiel XXXVII--Criticism, interpretation, etc.
Bible.--N.T.--Ephesians II--Criticism, interpretation, etc.
Bible.--O.T.--Relation to the New Testament.
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The purpose of this dissertation is threefold: first, to establish the intertextual connection between Ezekiel 37 and Ephesians 2; second, to provide a fresh understanding of Ephesians 2 against the backdrop of Ezekiel 37; and third, to delineate Paul's hermeneutical practice as he uses Ezekiel 37 in Ephesians 2. The chapters are construed accordingly to accomplish such a threefold purpose. Chapter 1 articulates the thesis and methodology, explains the definition of the term "intertextuality," and provides a brief survey of the history of research on the study of background of Ephesians 2. Chapter 2 explores the text of Ezekiel 37. In Ezekiel 37 God promises that He would save His exiled people, Israel. This is vividly expressed through Ezekiel's vision of the dry bones. Furthermore, the promise of salvation is extended to include reunification of Israel and Judah. This chapter moves on to identify numerous contact points between Ezekiel 37 and Ephesians 2 in terms of their vocabularies, structure, and themes and thereby establishes a striking relationship. Chapter 3 delves into the interpretation of Ephesians 2 in light of Ezekiel 37. Carefully following Paul's flow of thought, it endeavors to answer many crucial and puzzling exegetical issues in Ephesians 2 on the basis of the assumption that Ezekiel 37 is a key to unlock the meaning of Ephesians 2. Chapter 4 examines how the Ezekielian text was understood and used in early Judaism, and demonstrates that Paul's use of Ezekiel 37 does not deviate far from it. Paul's incorporation of Isaiah 57:19 is taken seriously as well and thus has been given close observation. The conclusion is reached that the purpose of Paul's use of Ezekiel 37 and Isaiah 57:19 is to reveal that they find their fulfillment in Christ Jesus. Chapter 5 briefly explains that this fulfillment must be understood in the already/not yet perspective. Additionally, it concludes with a suggestion that Paul sees himself as the prophet Ezekiel.