Muddiman begins by raising questions regarding the supposed dependence of Ephesians on Colossians. Muddiman notes that Ephesians is not as similar to Colossians as often argued and that if someone has created Ephesians by editing Colossians, then this really person "has transcribed only one short paragraph (6.21-2)" (pg. 32). Rather than outright accepting Pauline authorship of Ephesians, Muddiman basically proposes that a genuine letter of Paul has been edited and this document has become the canonical "Letter to the Ephesians."
While I can appreciate the historical problems raised by what one finds in Ephesians, I do have to wonder if it is stilll necessary to erect this chasm between the Paul of the "genuine" letters and the author of Ephesians. I do appreciate how close Muddiman comes at times to accepting Pauline authorship of Ephesians. For example, in discussing the theology of Ephesians, Muddiman states, "some theological emphases in Ephesians are sufficiently different and later than Paul . . . but they sit alongside authentic expressions of Paul's own distinctive emphases" (20). Muddiman seemingly sees the author of Ephesians as at once different from the "true" Paul (whoever that is) but at the same time quite faithful to Paul. No doubt Ephesians is unique. Yet, it is this uniqueness (possibly arising from its historical purpose) that while making it difficult to accept Pauline authorship, also makes it difficult to develop satisfactory alternatives. In the end, accepting Pauline authorship is at least as viable as any other proposal and should thus receive more credibility from the academy.