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”

Theology, Audience, and Purpose: O’Brien takes an evangelical approach to Scripture. He is Reformed. This commentary is best for expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, and experienced Bible readers. O’Brien also wrote the Hebrews commentary in the PNTC series. The publisher notes that the Pillar series combines “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.

Also see: Why Aren’t Peter O’Brien’s Commentaries Published Anymore?


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”

Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Hoehner takes an evangelical approach to Scripture. He was professor of New Testament studies at Dallas Theological Seminary (d. 2009). This commentary is best for readers who can follow a technical Greek commentary. Hoehner defends Pauline authorship. This commentary is not part of a series. The publisher notes that “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

Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Lincoln takes an evangelical approach to Scripture. He denies Pauline authorship. This commentary is best expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, and experienced Bible readers. Lincoln also wrote the John commentary in the BNTC series. The publisher notes that the WBC series “WBC series delivers the best in biblical scholarship, from the leading scholars who share a commitment to Scripture as divine revelation.” 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”

Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Bruce takes an evangelical approach to Scripture. This commentary is best for expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, and experienced Bible readers. Bruce also wrote the Acts commentary in the NICNT series. The publisher notes that the NICNT series gives readers “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

Interview: See Best Bible Commentaries’ interview with Clint Arnold on this volume

Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Arnold takes an evangelical approach to Scripture. He is Dean at Talbot School of Theology. This commentary is best for expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, and experienced Bible readers. The publisher notes that ZECNT “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.” 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”

Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Thielman takes an evangelical approach to Scripture. He is Reformed. This commentary will be maximized by those who are trained in Greek. Thielman also wrote the Romans commentary in the ZECNT series. The publisher notes that BECNT series combine “scholarly depth with readability, exegetical detail with sensitivity to the whole, and attention to critical problems with theological awareness.” 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

Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Witherington takes an evangelical approach to Scripture. He is Arminian. This commentary is best for expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, and experienced Bible readers. Witherington also wrote the Revelation commentary in the NCBC series. The publisher notes that “using sociorhetorical criticism, the New Testament is interpreted within the context of the world in which it was written and read.” See more about the Socio-Rhetorical Commentary series.


Ephesians (NIV Application Commentary) by Klyne Snodgrass


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Reviews and Accolades:

Craig Blomberg etal: a “priority” commentary on Ephesians

Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Snodgrass takes an evangelical approach to Scripture. He is ordained by the Southern Baptist Convention. This commentary is best for expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, and experienced Bible readers. The publisher notes that the NIVAC series helps with “the difficult but vital task of bringing an ancient message into a modern context.” See more about the NIV Application Commentary series.


Ephesians (International Critical Commentary) by Ernest Best


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Reviews and Accolades:

Tom Schreiner: recommended; “a technical commentary”

Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Best takes a critical approach to Scripture. He is Presbyterian. Best denies Pauline authorship. This commentary will be maximized by those who have been trained in Greek. Best also wrote the 1 Peter commentary in the NCBC series. The publisher notes that 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.” See more about the International Critical 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

Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Klein takes an evangelical approach to Scripture. He teaches at Denver Seminary, which has a multi-denominational student body, but is historically Baptist. This commentary is best for expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, and experienced Bible readers. The publisher notes that the REBC series’ approach “is that of a scholarly evangelicalism committed to the divine inspiration, complete trustworthiness, and full authority of the Bible.” 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”

Theology, Audience, and Purpose: This commentary is best for individual study, devotional reading, Bible studies, and adult Sunday school classes. The publisher notes that “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.” See more about Crossway Classic Commentaries.


Ephesians (The Anchor Yale Bible Commentaries) by Markus Barth


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Reviews and Accolades:

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

Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Barth takes a critical approach to Scripture. He was a Lutheran pastor and taught at the University of Basel, Switzerland (d. 1994). Markus was the son of theologian Karl Barth. This commentary will be maximized by those who have been trained in Greek. Barth also wrote the Colossians commentary in the same series. The publisher notes that the Anchor 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.


Verse-by-Verse Expository Commentaries


Ephesians (Reformed Expositional Commentary) by Bryan Chapell


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Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Chapell takes an evangelical approach to Scripture. He is Reformed. This commentary is best for individual study, devotional reading, Bible studies, and adult Sunday school classes. 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…” See more about the Reformed Expository Commentary series.


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


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Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Stott takes an evangelical approach to Scripture. He was Anglican and Reformed (d. 2011). This commentary is best for expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, and experienced Bible readers. Stott also wrote the Galatians commentary in the same series. The publisher notes that 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 (Concordia Commentary) by Thomas M. Winger


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Interview: See Best Bible Commentaries’ interview with Thomas Winger on this volume

Theology, Audience, Purpose: Winger takes an evangelical approach to Scripture. He is evangelical and Lutheran. While not technical, the volumes in the Concordia Commentary series reflect seminary-level scholarship. The target audience is pastors, professors, and teachers. The target audience is pastors, professors, and teachers. According to the publisher, authors in the Concordia series “fully affirms the divine inspiration, inerrancy, and authority of Scripture as it emphasizes ‘that which promotes Christ’ in each pericope.”


Ephesians (Tyndale New Testament Commentary) by Francis Foulkes


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Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Foulkes takes an evangelical approach to Scripture. This commentary is best for expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, and experienced Bible readers. The publisher notes the TNTC series “examines the text section by section, drawing out its main themes. It also comments on individual verses and deals with problems of interpretation.” See more about the Tyndale New Testament Commentary series.


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


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Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Foulkes is unsure about Pauline authorship. This commentary is best for expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, and experienced Bible readers. Fowl also wrote the Philippians commentary in the Two Horizons series. The publisher notes that the NLT series offers “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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Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Wilder takes an evangelical approach to Scripture. He is professor of New Testament at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. This commentary is best for expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, and experienced Bible readers. The publisher notes that the NAC 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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Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Liefeld takes an evangelical approach to Scripture. He is professor emeritus at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. This commentary is best for expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, and experienced Bible readers. Liefeld also wrote the 1-2 Timothy commentary in the NIVAC series. The publisher notes that the IVPNTC series is “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.” See more about the IVP New Testament Commentary series.


Ephesians (Understanding the Bible Commentary Series) by Arthur Patzia


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Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Patzia denies Pauline authorship. This commentary is best for expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, and experienced Bible readers. The publisher notes that UBCS volumes “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.


Ephesians (Lectio Continua) by Ian Hamilton


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Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Hamilton takes an evangelical approach to Scripture. He is Reformed. This commentary is best for expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, and experienced Bible readers. The publisher notes that “Paul’s letter to the Ephesians is a spiritual Mount Everest, turning us away from ourselves and placing the spotlight of God’s great salvation wholly on Christ.” See more about the Lectio Continua commentary series.


Technical Commentaries


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


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Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Baugh takes an evangelical approach to Scripture. This commentary will be maximized by those who have been trained in Greek. The publisher notes that the EEC volumes “incorporates the latest in critical biblical scholarship, yet each volume is written from a distinctly evangelical perspective.” See more about the Evangelical Exegetical Commentary series.


Classic Christian Commentaries


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


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Synopsis: 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

Synopsis: 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.”


Are you a pastor?

On the page Ephesians Commentaries for Pastors you find commentaries that uniquely designed for pastors in that they focus on application and spend less time on technical discussions.


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