Top Commentaries on Ephesians

Bible commentaries on the New Testament book of Ephesians are listed below. 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 Bible, commentaries that approach the Scripture verse-by-verse, classic Christian commentaries, and much more. (See more about the scholars, pastors, ministries, and schools whose commentary reviews are being utilized.)



Best Reviewed Bible Commentaries on Ephesians



The Letter to the Ephesians (The Pillar New Testament Commentary) by Peter T. 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: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

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.” See more about the Pillar New Testament Commentary series.



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: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

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 (Word Biblical Commentary) 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: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

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.” See more about the Word Biblical Commentary series.



Colossians, Philemon, and Ephesians (New International Commentary on the New Testament) 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: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

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.” See more about the New International Commentary on the New Testament series.



Ephesians (Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament) by Clinton E. Arnold


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Reviews and Accolades:

Craig Blomberg etal: a “priority” commentary on Ephesians

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

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.” See more about the Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament series.



Ephesians (Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament) by Frank Thielman


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Reviews and Accolades:

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

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

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.” See more about the Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament series.



The Letters to Philemon, Colossians, and the Ephesians: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary on the Captivity Epistles by Ben Witherington III


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Reviews and Accolades:

Craig Blomberg etal: a “priority” commentary on Ephesians

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

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.” See more about the Socio-Rhetorical Commentary series.



Ephesians (New International Version Application Commentary) by Klyne Snodgrass


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Reviews and Accolades:

Craig Blomberg etal: a “priority” commentary on Ephesians

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

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.” See more about the NIV Application Commentary series.



Ephesians (International Critical Commentary: A Critical and Exegetical Commentary) by Ernest Best


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Reviews and Accolades:

Tom Schreiner: recommended; “a technical commentary”

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

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.” See more about the International Critical Bible Commentary series.



Ephesians (The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Revised Edition) by William Klein


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Reviews and Accolades:

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

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

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.” See more about the Expositor’s Bible Commentary series, original and revised.



Ephesians (Crossway Classic Commentaries) by Charles Hodge


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Reviews and Accolades:

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

Best for: individual study, devotional reading, Bible studies, adult Sunday school classes

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 (The Anchor Yale Bible Commentaries) by Markus Barth


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Reviews and Accolades:

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

Best for: students, pastors, teachers, professors, and scholars with training in Hebrew who can follow a technical commentary

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.” See more about the Anchor Bible Commentary series.



More Expository Commentaries



Ephesians (Reformed Expositional Commentary) by Bryan Chappell


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Best for: individual study, devotional reading, Bible studies, adult Sunday school classes

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.” See more about the Reformed Expository Commentary series.



The Message of Ephesians (The Bible Speaks Today) by John Stott


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Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

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.” See more about the Bible Speaks Today commentary series.



Ephesians (Tyndale New Testament Commentary) by Francis Foulkes


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Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose:From the publisher: This series is “designed to help readers understand what the Bible actually says and what it means…[each commentary] examines the text section by section, drawing out its main themes. It also comments on individual verses and deals with problems of interpretation. The aim throughout is to get at the true meaning of the Bible and to make its message plain to readers today.” See more about the Tyndale New Testament Commentary series.



Ephesians (The New Testament Library) by Stephen E. Fowl


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Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

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.” See more about the New Testament Library commentary series.



Ephesians (New American Commentary) by Terry Wilder


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Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “The New American Commentary is introduced to bridge the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. This new series has been designed primarily to enable pastors, teachers, and students to read the Bible with clarity and proclaim it with power.” See more about the New American Commentary series.



Ephesians (IVP New Testament Commentary) by Walter Liefeld


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Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “Each volume, informed by the best of up-to-date evangelical scholarship, presents passage-by-passage commentary based on the NIV along with background information on authorship, setting, theme and various interpretive issues… Preachers, teachers, students and other individuals who want to dig deep into the heart of the New Testament will find an indispensable companion in the IVP New Testament Commentary Series.” See more about the IVP New Testament Commentary series.



Ephesians (Understanding the Bible Commentary Series) by Arthur Patzia


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Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose:From the publisher: “Each volume in the Understanding the Bible Commentary Series breaks down the barriers between the ancient and modern worlds so that the power and meaning of the biblical texts become transparent to contemporary readers. They present a careful section-by-section exposition of the biblical books with key terms and phrases highlighted and all Hebrew transliterated. Notes at the close of each chapter provide additional textual and technical comments for those who want to dig deeper.”  See more about the Understanding the Bible Commentary Series.



Technical Commentaries



Ephesians (Evangelical Exegetical Commentary) by S.M. Baugh


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Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

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



Ephesians (Ironside Expository Commentaries) by H.A. Ironside


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Best for: individual study, devotional reading, Bible studies, adult Sunday school classes

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.”



Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians (Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture) by Mark J. Edwards

Best for: individual study, devotional reading, Bible studies, adult Sunday school classes

Purpose: From the publisher: “This commentary offers an unparalleled close-up view of the fathers weighing the words and phrases of this panoramic charting of the Savior’s journey from preexistence, to incarnation, to crucifixion, to triumphant exaltation as universal Lord. This volume opens a treasury of resources for biblical study today. The expository voices of Jerome, Origen, Augustine, Chrysostom, Ambrosiaster, Theodoret, Marius Victorinus and Theodore of Mopsuestia speak again with eloquence and intellectual acumen, some in English translation for the first time.”



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