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The Mystery of Christ and the Church

Ephesians 5:22–33 has been an important passage in recent debates on headship and submission in marriage. An important aspect of this passage that has not received proper attention, however, is the reference to a “great mystery” in Ephesians 5:32.

As the term μυστήριον occurs consistently throughout Ephesians, an understanding of Paul’s use of the term will help in the interpretation of Ephesians 5:22–33.

How is the term μυστήριον used? What does it refer to in the present passage? This article argues that Paul is not making a sacramental or typological argument but is referring directly to Christ and the church.