Rawlings School of Divinity


Doctor of Philosophy


James Gifford Jr.


household codes, new temple, family structure, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, kingdom of God


Religious Thought, Theology and Philosophy of Religion


When focusing on the new temple after Jesus’ ascension to Heaven while studying the household codes of Ephesians and Colossians, the intent of the codes becomes clearer. Jesus transferred these codes to Christians for the Holy Spirit to dwell when He ascended to Heaven. In light of the new temple, the household codes provide instructions on how the Christian family is to work together and reflect the created order under the kingdom of God. Thus, the household codes of Ephesians 5–6:9 and Colossians 3–4:1, when viewed with the conjunction of the ascension of Christ, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, and the transfer of the new temple to Christians, provide not only a structure for the immediate family but ultimately for the Christian family under the Kingdom of God. During the Second Temple era, the resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ created a new temple under the Kingdom of God. The outpouring of the Holy Spirit after Jesus’s ascension transferred the new temple to all Christians. The household codes are applied within this new temple. In the new temple, the family unit needs to be clean and pure as a reflection of worship of Jesus Christ. All within the family fall under the headship of Jesus Christ. Under the head of Christ, the family works and functions in a mutually submissive arrangement with the missional purpose of spreading the gospel.