Copy of Personal Letter.

Maurice Lloyd's Comments on the two Mysteries in Ephesians chapter 3.


Dear T,

I have your letter of 4th October but am reticent about replying to it. You have never adequately responded to my letter of 11th August 1992; nor did you acknowledge the enclosures sent to you on 27th February when returning your circular form to you. Therefore I am replying only because others are involved.

If you want a brief constructive statement you will find it on the last page of The Messianic Mystery - "each reader must examine the Scriptures for himself". This entails carefully reading the article and then diligently checking from Scripture by reading, understanding, comparing and believing what is written. Too much like hard work maybe; but the truth is not handed out on a plate. Nor is there anywhere any human mediator to convey or confirm the truth.

Your proposition is misconceived, and sounds like someone has a theological concept for which they hope to find a biblical bolster. I have no doubt such can be found - which is not to say the truth will be established. In Sunningdale days Arthur Eedle once examined the claim for two mysteries in Ephesians and reached the conclusion, satisfactory to himself, that there was only one. I did not introduce the distinction between the two mysteries; I have only shown the magnitude and scope of the mystery of Christ, which Welch, either in 1910 or since, ever really discerned even in his work on Romans.

In earlier days Otis Sellers claimed to "see plainly - - two mysteries in Ephesians 3", but he was later smitten with blindness and amnesia. In S&B No.60 it was claimed that what was presented was "True to the Greek"; but it is not, and I told him so at the time. He needlessly inserted "secret" in v.3 and then wrongly inserted it in v.7, where what Paul was dispenser of was the "message".

My present understanding of how this difficult portion of Ephesians 3 is to be apprehended is as set out in a monograph titled "The Mystery of the Christ", of which Leah has a copy. I too readily took on Sellers' idea of "this grace" in vv.l and 14; I have accepted correction from Nico Baalbergen and would now use the phrase, "for the sake of this", since it is an idiom and cannot be translated literally. He also stated (I quote him as I am not a linguist), "verse 6 is given in a grammatical construction called Accusativus cum Infinitivo, which therefore --- must be taken as the contents of this Secret of the Christ mentioned in verse 4". I may also add that I now repudiate Secret as a right translation of mustErion: the right word is Mystery, as it means something reserved for revealing at the appropriate time to privileged persons; whereas a Secret is never intended to be disclosed, even though it may be discovered."

My study on The Messianic Mystery is not assimilable just on one or two readings; it calls for much re-reading and checking out by Scripture. I realise that few are prepared for such an exercise, but the following is a comment from one student who regarded the discipline as worthwhile :

"I am now in a position where I am in total agreement with it, and, in fact, I would go so far as to say I think it is the most important study you have produced. It is a great pity it is not more widely circulated, as it advances true understanding of Paul's mission in a remarkable way "

I hope this information will be of some help. But group studies are unlikely to elucidate the truth: their only positive outcome is to stimulate personal research.

Yours sincerely,   Maurice Lloyd   12th October 1993

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