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Best Commentaries on Ephesians

This page is current as of December 2023.

For recommendations on other books and an introduction to this series, visit
Best Commentaries on Each Book of the Bible.

Before turning to the expert recommendations, here are some recent commentaries written by trusted scholars that may be of interest. Because these volumes are newly published, the commentators on the commentaries have not yet had opportunity to evaluate them. They would, though, come with my recommendation.

  • Clinton Arnold – Ephesians (Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament). This is a trusted commentator writing for a relatively new commentary series. (Amazon, Logos)
  • Bryan Chapell – Ephesians (Reformed Expository Commentary). Chapell has written a number of highly regarded books and commentaries. This one is based on sermons so is especially easy to read. (Amazon, Westminster Books, Logos)
  • Ian Hamilton – Ephesians (Lectio Continua Expository Commentary on the New Testament). The Lectio Continua Expository Commentary on the New Testament is a relatively new series that features some well known Reformed pastors and scholars. (Amazon, Westminster Books, Logos)

And now, here are the expert recommendations:

A.T. Lincoln – Ephesians (Word Biblical Commentary). Here is an unusual one. Lincoln’s commentary receives near-unanimous praise and is considered one of the best treatments of Ephesians even though Lincoln denies that Paul wrote the letter and attempts to prove his case. (O’Brien apparently answers him convincingly.) Apart from that misstep in authorship, this is apparently an excellent volume that is faithful to the text and draws out important theological reflections. (Amazon, Westminster Books, Logos)

Harold Hoehner – Ephesians: An Exegetical Commentary. This is a massive volume that weighs in at almost 1,000 pages. Keith Mathison says, “In terms of sheer size and scope (960 pages), Harold Hoehner’s commentary on Ephesians is the place to turn for those seeking a comprehensive conservative evangelical treatment of this epistle.” Mathison particularly commends Hoehner’s treatment of the authorship of Ephesians. He also notes that Hoehner is dispensational and that this theology is evident in in several places. (Amazon, Westminster Books, Logos)

F.F. Bruce – The Epistles to the Colossians, to Philemon, and to the Ephesians (New International Commentary on the New Testament). Bruce’s contribution to the NICNT is a substantial work that covers not only Ephesians, but Colossians and Philemon as well. From what I have read, there is a consider fall-off in quality between the first three recommendations and those that follow, so this volume is probably more of a luxury than a necessity. (Amazon, Logos)

John Stott – Message of Ephesians: God’s New Society (Bible Speaks Today). I always like to include at least one relatively short, readable, popular-level commentary for those who may be looking for a simpler treatment of the text. Stott’s work has received excellent reviews and fits the criteria. I always benefit from Stott’s commentaries and have referred to this one many times. (Amazon, Westminster Books, Logos)

The former top pick for Ephesians was by Peter T. O’Brien – The Letter to the Ephesians (Pillar New Testament Commentary). Unfortunately O’Brien was found to have plagiarized, or at least been imprecise with footnotes. For that reason it was pulled from circulation. If you can find a used copy, it remains a helpful resource.


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