Ephesians: An Exegetical Commentary
Publisher Baker Books
For the past thirty years, Harold Hoehner has trained thousands of seminarians in the art of New Testament exegesis. He now brings his skill and experience to this commentary on Ephesians--a commentary that no serious student can afford to ignore. 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. He interacts extensively with the latest scholarship and provides a fair and thorough discussion of every disputed point in the book. Pastors, students, and scholars looking for a comprehensive treatment on Ephesians will be interested in this commentary. Hoehner's interaction with the latest scholarship combined with his detailed exegesis will make this new commentary the only resource they will need to consult.
This book appears in the following featured collections.
- Favorite Advanced NT Commentaries by Jeremy Pierce (parableman)
- Recommended NT Commentaries by Denver Seminary Journal
- D. A. Carson's Commentary "Best Buys" by D. A. Carson
- Best Exegetical Commentaries by Jim Rosscup
- Ultimate Commentary Collection: NT Technical by John Glynn
- New Testament Advanced Commentaries by Moore Theological College Journal: Societas
- Basic Library Booklist by Detriot Baptist Theological Seminary
- Building an NT Commentary Library by Invitation to Biblical Interpretation (Kostenberger & Patterson)
- Non-Western and BIPOC Commentaries by Matt Quintana
- Recommended New Testament Commentaries for Evangelical Pastors by Thomas R. Schreiner
I have become a collector of commentaries ever since my seminary days in the 1990s. As such, I am only going to recommend the best overall commentary for each book of the Bible on this site. This is probably the heaviest of the commentaries I recommend as the best resource on a biblical book for the preacher/teacher. Nevertheless, I find Hoehner's work to be doctrinally and practically challenging and to be the commentary you want on your shelf if you could only have one for Ephesians. (If you could add a resource to accompany it, I highly recommend also getting Eugene Peterson's "Practice Resurrection.")
This is in my view the best commentary on Ephesians. It is both excellent on an exegetical level and on the level of application.
I read this commentary in its entirety while preparing for a sermon series through Ephesians. It continues to be my go-to commentary for Ephesians.
Dr. Hoehner was a long time professor of New Testament at Dallas Theological Seminary and his commentary on Ephesians is his magnum opus. It is a an exegetical masterpiece and the most extensive commentary on the list. Hoehner’s detail is at times overwhelming. He lifts up and looks under every rock found in this letter…and then he also digs in the mud that was uncovered. If I had to describe this commentary with one word it would have to be systematic... [Full Review]
Magnum opus of this influential Dallas Seminary professor; an indispensable reference [Full Review]
Incredibly thorough. Very detailed volume, so if you are not interested in digging deep it will seem laborious to page through. But if you're studying Ephesians, this is a must-have book.
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. [Full Review]
Hohner’s commentary on Ephesians is magisterial, demonstrating a mastery of the massive secondary literature on Ephesians. At 930 pages, this is the one of the most detailed modern commentaries on Ephesians available. His detailed examination of the Greek text is excellent, yet not overly technical. He steps through the text of the book phrase-by-phrase, with the Greek text provided without transliteration. He makes occasional text-critical observations in footnotes. The commentary has 130 pages of introduction, half of which concerns authorship (including 16 pages of bibliography on authorship alone!) This includes a chart with virtually every major commentary on Ephesians and New Testament introduction indicating whether they are for or against Pauline authorship (up to 2001). He supplements the commentary with a number of excursuses on technical details, particularly good are his comments on “Mystery” (pages 42–34) and “Slavery” (pages 800-4). Both include extensive bibliographies in the notes. [Full Review]
The best commentary on Ephesians because of its extensive explanation of the text. Hoehner's arguments are well laid out to get the reader to think through each issue. The only reason this is not rated the best is because of its length, which actually is a major strength and why you should be reading this commentary first and used as a reference for Ephesians.
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. Hoehner has long been a professor of New Testament at Dallas Theological Seminary, so his dispensationalism shines through at certain points. This is not a reason, however, to ignore, this masterful work. There are more than a few very helpful insights in this massive volume. His section on the authorship of the epistle is invaluable. [Full Review]
Hoehner offers more detail than O'Brien, though it's tougher going for those without good Greek skills. His focus is more on the words Paul uses, and O'Brien is stronger in overall grammatical issues of how the words fit together. O'Brien seems to me to be a little more theologically acute than Hoehner, and Hoehner focuses a little more on individual words and less on grammatical considerations, but both books are excellent guides to Paul's thought in this epistle. Hoehner's dispensationalism occasionally colors his remarks, as you might expect from anyone coming from a particular interpretive framework, but most of his commentary steers away from trying to be an apologetic for dispensationalism and simply examines the text. I should say the same about O'Brien's Reformed Anglican perspective. He doesn't see his commentary as a way to find Reformed thought behind every nuance the way some Calvinists have. When these issues arise, I think O'Brien is more often correct than Hoehner, but these issues aren't in the forefront most of the time, even in a theologically crucial book like Ephesians. That's a testament to the carefulness of both commentators, who each had access to the other's manuscript. Both cite each other frequently, most of the time favorably. Hoehner is more familiar with pre-modern commentaries than most Ephesians commentators, but his use of them is more for linguistic issues than for theology, which is unfortunate. One reason for my slight preference for O'Brien is that his approach seems a little more comprehensive. Hoehner is much more focused on the meanings of words with less attention to other matters, even if he acknowledges the dangers of word studies without issues of context. See the discussion below in the comments for more on this issue. [Full Review]
This is not only the best Ephesians commentary available - it is model of what an epistolary commentary should be. Hoehner addresses every major exegetical and theological issue presented by the text and offers pros and cons for each view. The section on authorship is also worth the price of the work.
The author of this commentary is Distinguished Professor of New Testament Studies at Dallas Theological Seminary. This volume represents his research and meditation on Paul s Letter to the Ephesians over the last thirty or so years and brings together in a more complete and substantial form a number of materials that were previously published elsewhere. The book opens with an impressive bibliography devoted to commentaries on Ephesians, both ancient and modern. Hoehner includes a useful although not exhaustive selection of Patristic literature (for example, the absence of Marius Victorinus s Commentary on Ephesians stands out). Convinced of the Pauline authorship of Ephesians, Hoehner emphasizes its internal coherence, overall theological unity, and stylistic similarity with those letters of Paul that are universally recognized as authentic. If I may be allowed to express my own view on this issue, before reading this commentary I would have readily accepted the deutero-Pauline character of Ephesians primarily on the basis of the modern consensus. I must admit that Hoehner s discussion on the topics proves almost convincing. His book is well documented and presents and discusses fairly the multiple facets of the question. [Full Review]