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The Revelation of Mystery

The Revelation of Mystery

‘Mystery’, which appears twenty-one times in Paul’s letters (out of a total of twenty-seven New Testament occurrences), is used in a variety of ways, though the apostle normally employs the term with reference to the revelation of what was previously hidden but has now been disclosed by God (Rom. 16:25–261 Cor. 2:10Col. 1:26–27Eph. 3:35). The ‘mystery of God’ (1 Cor. 2:1 v.l.; cf. v7) focusses on salvation through the cross of Jesus Christ. It cannot be understood through human wisdom but comes to be known as God reveals it by his Spirit to those who love him (v10). The plural ‘mysteries’ can draw attention to the essential elements of the one mystery (1 Cor. 4:1), or anything that transcends human power of comprehending (13:2; cf. 14:2). In Romans 16:25 there is a correlation between the disclosure of the mystery and Paul’s preaching of Jesus Christ. The connection between the mystery and the salvation of Gentiles is a feature that is developed in Colossians and Ephesians, while in Romans 11:25 an element of new teaching may be in view where the ‘mystery’ points to the salvation of Jews. More
O’Brien, Peter Thomas. The Letter to the Ephesians. Grand Rapids, MI: W.B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1999. Print. The Pillar New Testament Commentary.
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