This letter was written to the believers in Ephesus in c.60AD while Paul was under house arrest in Rome, awaiting trial before the emperor Nero (see Map 27). Paul is writing to the church he had nurtured for three years while staying at the home of Aquila and Priscilla in Ephesus in 53-56AD during his third missionary journey (see Acts 19:1-10 and 2 on Map 25).
Roman amphitheatre at Ephesus
The letter was taken from Rome to Ephesus by Tychicus (see Ephesians 6:21-22 and 2 Timothy 4:12). It was probably taken at the same time as the Letter to the Colossians (see Colossians 4:7-8 & 16) and, like that letter, it may also have been intended for circulation around daughter churches such as Laodicea and Hierapolis planted by Christians (like Epaphras) from Ephesus (see Ephesians 1:15, 3:2, Colossians 4:16 and Map 29).
In this letter, Paul looks forward to the time when all creation will be brought together in unity, with Christ as the head. He urges the believers to live out this unity in Jesus Christ in their daily lives.