Commentaries on Ephesians

On this page you will find Bible commentaries on the New Testament book of Ephesians. The commentaries listed first are those that have received the best reviews. You will also find options for commentaries on Ephesians that help pastors, teachers, and readers with application of the text, commentaries that approach the Scripture verse-by-verse, classic Christian commentaries, and much more.

Top Reviewed Commentaries on Ephesians



Ephesians (PNTC) by Peter O’Brien


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Reviews and Accolades:

Desiring God: #1 recommended commentary on Ephesians; “perhaps the best English-language commentary on Ephesians for pastors”

D. A. Carson: a “best buy” on Ephesians

Tom Schreiner: recommended; “the best volume on Ephesians”

Keith Mathison: #1 ranked commentary on Ephesians; “this commentary should be on the desk of every student of Scripture”

Best for: pastors, teachers, scholars

Purpose: From the publisher: “Designed for serious pastors and teachers of the Bible, the Pillar commentaries seek above all to make clear the text of Scripture as we have it…[the authors’] ideal is a blend of rigorous exegesis and exposition, with an eye alert both to biblical theology and the contemporary relevance of the Bible.”



Ephesians: An Exegetical Commentary by Harold W. Hoehner


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Reviews and Accolades:

D. A. Carson: a “best buy” on Ephesians; “unsurpassed on many fronts”

Tom Schreiner: recommended; “massive and technical”

Keith Mathison: #2 ranked commentary on Ephesians; “a comprehensive conservative evangelical treatment”

Best for: pastors, teachers, scholars

Purpose: From the publisher: “[Hoehner] begins with a helpful introduction to the letter of Ephesians in which he addresses issues of authorship, structure and genre, historical setting, purpose, and theology. At the end of the introduction, the author includes a detailed bibliography for further reading. Hoehner then delves into the text of Ephesians verse by verse, offering the Greek text, English translation, and detailed commentary.”



Ephesians (WBC) by Andrew T. Lincoln


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Reviews and Accolades:

Keith Mathison: #3 ranked commentary on Ephesians; “well worth consulting”

Tom Schreiner: recommended; “an excellent technical commentary”

Craig Blomberg etal: a “priority” commentary on Ephesians

Best for: pastors, teachers, scholars

Purpose: From the publisher: “WBC series delivers the best in biblical scholarship, from the leading scholars who share a commitment to Scripture as divine revelation. It emphasizes a thorough analysis of textual, linguistic, structural, and theological evidence. The result is judicious and balanced insight into the meanings of the text in the framework of biblical theology.”



Colossians, Philemon, and Ephesians (NICNT) by F.F. Bruce


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Reviews and Accolades:

Tom Schreiner: recommended; “clear exegesis”

Keith Mathison: #5 ranked commentary on Ephesians; “Bruce is always worth consulting”

Best for: pastors, teachers, scholars

Purpose: From the publisher: “Written for scholars, pastors, and lay readers alike…undertaken to provide earnest students of the New Testament with an exposition that is thorough and abreast of modern scholarship and at the same time loyal to the Scriptures as the infallible Word of God.”



Ephesians (ZECNT) by Clinton E. Arnold


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Reviews and Accolades:

Craig Blomberg etal: a “priority” commentary on Ephesians

Best for: pastors, teachers, scholars

Purpose: From the publisher: “The idea for this series was refined over time by an editorial board who listened to pastors and teachers express what they wanted to see in a commentary series based on the Greek text…We arrived at a design that includes seven components for the treatment of each biblical passage”: Literary Context, Main Idea, Translation and Graphical Layout, Structure, Exegetical Outline, Explanation of the Text, and Theology in Application.”



Ephesians (BECNT) by Frank Thielman


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Reviews and Accolades:

D. A. Carson: a “best buy” on Ephesians; “remarkably accessible”

Best for: pastors, teachers, scholars

Purpose: From the Publisher: “The chief concern of the Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament (BECNT) is to provide, within the framework of informed evangelical thought, commentaries that blend scholarly depth with readability, exegetical detail with sensitivity to the whole, and attention to critical problems with theological awareness. We hope thereby to attract the interest of a fairly wide audience, from the scholar who is looking for a thoughtful and independent examination of the text to the motivated lay Christian who craves a solid but accessible exposition.”



Philemon, Colossians, and Ephesians (SRSC) by Ben Witherington III


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Reviews and Accolades:

Craig Blomberg etal: a “priority” commentary on Ephesians

Best for: pastors, laypeople with significant biblical and theological knowledge

Purpose: From the publisher: “Using sociorhetorical criticism, the New Testament is interpreted within the context of the world in which it was written and read—the rhetorical method makes use of ancient or classical writings and strategies of communication, while the social science method notes issues of cultures and customs.”



Ephesians (NIVAC) by Klyne Snodgrass


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Reviews and Accolades:

Craig Blomberg etal: a “priority” commentary on Ephesians

Best for: pastors, laypeople with significant biblical and theological knowledge

Purpose: From the General Editor: The primary goal of the NIV Application Commentary Series is to help you with the difficult but vital task of bringing an ancient message into a modern context. The series not only focuses on application as a finished product but also helps you think through the process of moving from the original meaning of a passage to its contemporary significance. These are commentaries, not popular expositions. They are works of reference, not devotional literature.”



Ephesians (ICC) by Ernest Best


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Reviews and Accolades:

Tom Schreiner: recommended; “a technical commentary”

Best for: pastors, teachers, scholars

Purpose: The ICC series has “sought to bring together all the relevant aids to exegesis, linguistic and textual no less than archaeological, historical, literary and theological to help the reader understand the meaning of the books of the Old and New Testaments…no attempt has been made to secure a uniform theological or critical approach to the biblical text: contributors have been invited for their scholarly distinction, not for their adherence to any one school of thought.”



Ephesians (EBC) by William Klein


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Reviews and Accolades:

Craig Blomberg, etal: a “priority” commentary on Ephesians

Best for: pastors, laypeople with significant biblical and theological knowledge

Purpose: From the publisher: “Written primarily by expositors for expositors…its stance is that of a scholarly evangelicalism committed to the divine inspiration, complete trustworthiness, and full authority of the Bible…the chief principle followed in this commentary is the grammatico-historical – namely, that the primary aim of the exegete is to make clear the meaning of the text at the time and in the circumstances of its writing.”



Epistle to the Ephesians by Charles Hodge


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Reviews and Accolades:

Keith Mathison: #4 ranked commentary on Ephesians; “still worth reading today”

Best for: pastors, laypeople with significant biblical and theological knowledge

Purpose: From the publisher: “For hundreds of years Christendom has been blessed with Bible commentaries written by great men of God highly respected for their godly walk and their insight into spiritual truth. The Crossway Classic Commentaries present the very best work on individual Bible books, carefully adapted for maximum understanding and usefulness for today’s believers.”



Ephesians (two volumes; AB) by Markus Barth


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Reviews and Accolades:

Tom Schreiner: recommended; “more of a Pauline theology”

Best for: pastors trained in the original languages, scholars

Purpose: From the publisher: “The Anchor Yale Bible Series, previously the Anchor Bible Series, is a renowned publishing program that for more than 50 years has produced books devoted to the latest scholarship on the Bible and biblical topics.” The series “vigorously pursues the goal of bringing to a wide audience the most important new ideas, the latest research findings, and the clearest possible analysis of the Bible.”



Ephesians (REC) by Bryan Chappell


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Reviews and Accolades:

World Magazine: 2017 “Series of the Year”

Best for: Anyone

Purpose: The REC series has “four fundamental commitments. First, these commentaries aim to be biblical…Second, these commentaries are unashamedly doctrinal…Third, these commentaries are redemptive-historical…Fourth, these commentaries are practical…” All authors are “pastor-scholars.”



More Commentaries with Application Help for Pastors



Ephesians, Colossians, and Philemon (Interpretation) by Ralph P. Martin


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Best for: pastors, laypeople with significant biblical and theological knowledge

Purpose: From the publisher: “This series of commentaries offers an interpretation of the books of the Bible. It is designed to meet the need of students, teachers, ministers, and priests for a contemporary expository commentary. These volumes will not replace the historical critical commentary or homiletical aids to preaching. The purpose of this series is rather to provide a third kind of resource, a commentary which presents the integrated result of historical and theological work with the biblical text.”



Ephesians (SGBC) by Mark D. Roberts


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Best for: Anyone

Purpose: From the publisher: “The Story of God Bible Commentary is a new commentary for today’s world. It’s the first commentary series to explain and illuminate each passage of Scripture in light of the Bible’s grand story. This “story-centric” approach makes SGBC a fruitful resource for pastors, students, Sunday school teachers, and everyday readers.”



Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon (For Everyone) by N.T. Wright


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Best for: Anyone

Purpose: From the publisher: “N.T. ‘Tom’ Wright has undertaken a tremendous task: to provide guides to all the books of the New Testament, and to include in them his own translation of the entire text. Each short passage is followed by a highly readable discussion, with background information, useful explanations and suggestions, and thoughts as to how the text can be relevant to our lives today. A glossary is included at the end of each volume.”



Ephesians (CCEC) by Tony Merida


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Best for: Anyone

Purpose: From the publisher: This series “takes a Christ-centered approach to expositing each book of the Bible. Rather than a verse-by-verse approach, the authors have crafted chapters that explain and apply key passages in their assigned Bible books. Readers will learn to see Christ in all aspects of Scripture, and they will be encouraged by the devotional nature of each exposition presented as sermons and divided into chapters that conclude with a “Reflect and Discuss” section, making this series ideal for small group study, personal devotion, and even sermon preparation. It’s not academic but rather presents an easy reading, practical and friendly commentary.”



More Verse-by-Verse Commentaries



The Message of Ephesians (BST) by John Stott


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Best for: pastors, laypeople with significant biblical and theological knowledge

Purpose: The “the three distinctives of The Bible Speaks Today series are (1) “BST authors are committed to a serious study of the text in its own integrity,” (2) that “expositors should not be antiquarians, living only in the remote past” but suggest application for living, and (3) “each book is intended to be both readable in style and manageable in size.”



Ephesians (CCSS) by Peter S. Williamson


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Best for: pastors, laypeople with significant biblical and theological knowledge

Purpose: From the publisher: “Supported by leading Catholic scholars as well as popular Bible teachers, the series offers a unique level of commentary for Catholic students of the Bible. Its attractive packaging and accessible writing style make it a series to own–and to read! Drawn from the best of contemporary scholarship, series volumes are keyed to the liturgical year and include an index of pastoral subjects.”



Ephesians (NTL) by Stephen E. Fowl


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Best for: pastors, teachers, scholars

Purpose: From the publisher: “The New Testament Library series offers authoritative commentary on every book and major aspect of the New Testament, providing fresh translations based on the best available ancient manuscripts, critical portrayals of the historical world in which the books were created, careful attention to their literary design, and a theologically perceptive exposition of the biblical text.”



Ephesians (CC) by Thomas M. Winger


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Best for: pastors, teachers, scholars

Purpose: From the publisher: “A Theological Exposition of Sacred Scripture is written to enable pastors and teachers of the Word to proclaim the Gospel with greater insight, clarity, and faithfulness to the divine intent of the biblical text.”



Exegetical Commentaries



Ephesians (EEC) by S.M. Baugh


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Best for: pastors trained in the original languages, scholars

Purpose: From the publisher: “The Evangelical Exegetical Commentary series incorporates the latest in critical biblical scholarship, yet each volume is written from a distinctly evangelical perspective. The authors explore the context and meaning of the biblical books while showing the value and truth of the texts in ancient times and today. These commentaries present historical and literary insights for understanding the text within the Bible’s larger story and applying it to everyday life.”



Classic Christian Commentaries for Bible Study



Ephesians (MNTC) by John MacArthur


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Best for: Anyone

Purpose: From the publisher: “If you’re familiar with John MacArthur’s in-depth Bible teaching, you have an idea of what you’ll find in The MacArthur New Testament Commentary. The commentary takes you deep into each passage, verse by verse—sometimes word by word. It’s like having a Bible teacher sitting next to you as you study Scripture.”



Ephesians by James Montgomery Boice


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Best for: Anyone

Purpose: From the publisher: “James Montgomery Boice (1938-2000) was senior pastor of Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was also president and cofounder of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals, the parent organization of The Bible Study Hour on which Boice was a speaker for more than thirty years… Boice has created a unique blend of scripture insight, rich devotional application, and vivid illustration in this commentary.”



Ephesians by J. Vernon McGee


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Best for: Anyone

Purpose: From the publisher: “Radio messages from J. Vernon McGee delighted and enthralled listeners for years with simple, straightforward language and clear understanding of the Scripture. Now enjoy his personable, yet scholarly, style in a 60-volume set of commentaries that takes you from Genesis to Revelation with new understanding and insight.”



Ephesians by H.A. Ironside


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Best for: Anyone

Purpose: “H.A. Ironside (1876-1951) was an internationally acclaimed Bible teacher and preacher, as well as the author of more than sixty books. His writings include addresses or commentaries on the entire New Testament, all of the Old Testament prophetic books, and a great many volumes on other biblical topics. For eighteen of his fifty years of ministry, Dr. Ironside was pastor of the historic Moody Memorial Church in Chicago, Ill.”