Commentaries on Ephesians

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For more great commentaries on Ephesians, be sure to check:
Commentaries on the Epistles, New Testament Commentaries
& Whole Bible Commentaries

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Order of Contents  48+

The Best Commentaries  7
Commentaries  35
Early Church  5
Medieval Church  2
Chapters in Ephesians
In Latin  1 

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The Best Commentaries on Ephesians

Reformer

Calvin, John – Sermons on Ephesians  d. 1564

***  “Not the same as the exposition.  The Sermons are priceless.” – Spurgeon

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1600’s

Bayne, Paul – An Entire Commentary upon Ephesians  d. 1617

**  “Sibbes says of this work: ‘The greatest shall find matter to exercise themselves in; the meaner, matter of sweet comfort and holy instruction; and all confess that he hath brought some light to this Scripture.'” – Spurgeon

Dickson, David – An Exposition of all St. Paul’s Epistles together with an explanation of those other epistles of the apostles St. James, Peter, John & Jude, wherein the sense of every chapter and verse is analytically unfolded and the text enlightened  (Romans-Jude)  Buy  1659  

Dickson was a prominent Scottish covenanter.

*** – ‘Dickson is a writer after our own heart.  For preachers he is a great ally.  There is nothing brilliant or profound; but everything is clear and well arranged, and the unction runs down like the oil from Aaron’s head.  In this volume the observations are brief.’

Note that the Banner of Truth reprint contains Dickson’s commentary on less books than the original.

Fergusson, James – A Brief Exposition of Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians and the Thessalonians  Buy  1656-74

Fergusson was a Scottish covenanter.

*** – ‘He who possesses this work is rich.  The author handles his matter in the same manner as Hutcheson and Dickson, and he is of their class–a grand, gracious, savory divine.’

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Intermediate

Hodge, Charles – Commentary on Ephesians  Buy  1860, Reformed, Princeton

***  “Most valuable.  With no writer do we more fully agree.” – Spurgeon

Pattison, R.E. – A Commentary, Explanatory, Doctrinal and Practical on Ephesians  1859

***  “A book to instruct intelligent, experienced believers.  It is a model for a class-book, plain and yet profound.” – Spurgeon

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Advanced

1800’s

Eadie, John – Commentary on Ephesians  Reformed, Scottish

***  “This book is one of prodigious learning and research.  The author seems to have read all, in every language, that has been written upon the Epistle.  It s also a work of independent criticism, and casts much new light upon many passages.” – Spurgeon

“A very full exposition which deals with all the exegetical problems, pays careful attention to the development of Paul’s theme, and provides important digressions on the theological truths of the epistle.”  “Expositions on several of Paul’s letters to the churches of the New Testament era followed [by Eadie], and it is significant that Dr. C.J. Ellicott considered them to be superior to anything in England up to that time.” – Cyril J. Barber

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Commentaries on Ephesians

1500’s

Compilation

ed. Bray, Gerald – Reformation Commentary on Scripture: Galatians, Ephesians  Buy

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Individuals

Hemmingsen, Niels – Ephesians Faithfully Expounded, both for the Benefit of the learned and unlearned.  Herein are handled the high mysteries of our Salvation, as may appear by the Table of Commonplaces…  1580

Hemmingsen (1513-1600) was a Lutheran.

**  “A Danish divine of high repute in his own day.  Some of his works were turned into English; but the translations, like the originals, are now left in undeserved oblivion.” – Spurgeon

Ridley, Lancelot – A Commentary in English upon Saint Paul’s Epistle to the Ephesians for the instruction of them that be unlearned in tongues, gathered out of the holy scriptures and of the old catholic doctors of the church, and of the best authors that now a days do write  ToC  1540

Ridley was reformed.

**  “John Bale wrote in 1543: ‘The Commentary which that virtuous learned man, Master Lancelot Ridley, made upon St. Paul’s Epistle to the Ephesians, for the true erudition of his Christian brethren, hath my Lord Bonner here also condemned for heresy.  But what the cause is I cannot tell, unless it be for advancing the Gospel as the thing whereby we are made righteous.’  Our author is equally fierce against Anabaptists and Papists, but is not much of a commentator.” – Spurgeon

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Devotional & Practical

1800’s

Brown, Charles – St. Paul’s Epistle to the Ephesians: a Devotional Commentary  Buy  1911 181 pp.

Brown was a minister in the Free Church of Scotland.

Moule, H.C.G. – Grace and Godliness: Studies in the Epistle to the Ephesians in The Expositor’s Library  1895

Moule was an evangelical Anglican.

“A devotional masterpiece which is full of comfort and exhortation.” – Cyril J. Barber

McGhee, Robert – Expository Lectures on the Epistle to the Ephesians  1861

**  “Lively, warmhearted, extemporaneous sermons, full of good teaching.  The preacher aimed to edify the many, rather than to write a critical work for the few, and he has succeeded.” – Spurgeon

Beet, Joseph Agar – A Commentary on St. Paul’s Epistles to the Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians and to Philemon  1890  425 pp.

“A practical exposition.” – Cyril J. Barber

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1900’s

Baskerville, Charles G. – Side-Lights on the Epistle to the Ephesians  Buy  1903

“Outlines for devotional messages by an Anglican preacher.” – Cyril J. Barber

Harrison, Norman Baldwin – His Very Own: Paul’s Epistle to the Ephesians  Buy  1930

“This devotional gem makes rewarding reading.” – Cyril J. Barber

Paxson, Ruth – The Wealth, Walk and Warfare of the Christian  Buy  1931

“An excellent exposition with helpful application of Biblical truth.” – Cyril J. Barber

Gerstner, John – The Epistle to the Ephesians: a Study Manuel  Buy  1958

“A helpful study manual.” – Cyril J. Barber

Summers, Ray – Ephesians: Pattern for Christian Living  Buy  1960  Broadman Press

“An evangelical exposition.” – Cyril J. Barber

Bruce, F.F. – Philippians  Buy  in The Good News Bible Commentary Series  1983  145 pp.

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Intermediate

1800’s

Candlish, James – The Epistle of Paul to the Ephesians, with Introduction and Notes  1895  in Hand-Books for Bible Classes, ed. Dods & Whyte

On Candlish:  

“Theologian and FC [Free Church of Scotland] leader.. Candlish was the son of the great Disruption leader, R.S. Candlish…  he was… elected Professor of Systematic Theology in the FC College, in 1872.  Regarded in his day as one of Scotland’s most able theologians…

Until his appointment the Glasgow College had been a stronghold of conservativism but, along with A.B. Bruce, Candlish turned it into a center for the emerging liberal thought within the FC [which lasted until 1900].  He lent his energies to gaining acceptance for the new theological direction…  

His own writings owe much to the Calvinistic theology in which he was reared, and include some outstanding exposition of the great evangelical themes.  At the same time they are very sensitive to contemporary critical questions and candidly open up possible lines of reconstruction.” – DoSCH&T

Dale, R.W. – The Epistle to the Ephesians, its Doctrine and Ethics  1892

Dale was an English congregationalist.

“Expository messages which abound in practical insight into, and meaningful applications of, the text.” – Cyril J. Barber

Findlay, George – The Epistle to the Ephesians  1898  460 pp.  in The Expositor’s Bible

“A handy, generally reliable treatment.” – Cyril J. Barber

Graham, William – Lectures on the Epistle to the Ephesians  1870  465 pp.

**  “Dr. Graham is an earnest opponent of the German Neologians and frequently writes with their negations before his eye.  He is a commentator of considerable learning and much spirituality of mind.” – Spurgeon

Lathrop, Joseph – An Exposition of the Epistle to the Ephesians, in a Series of Discourses  1864  The memoir of the author was written by William Sprague.

**  “These discourses are sure to be of the highest class.  We have not been able to procure a copy.” – Spurgeon

Newland, Henry – A New Catena of St. Paul’s Epistles.  Commentary on Ephesians, in which is exhibited the Results of the most learned Theological Criticisms, from the Age of the Early Fathers down to the Present Time  1866

**  “Used discreetly, this Catena of patristic, medieval and modern Church interpreters, may be very helpful; without discretion it will mislead.” – Spurgeon

Pridham, Arthur – Notes and Reflections on Ephesians  Buy

**  “Style heavy, matter weighty.” – Spurgeon

Pulsford, John – Christ and his Seed; Central to all things: being a Series of Expository Discourses on Paul’s Epistle to the Ephesians  Buy  1872

**  “Contains a great deal of deep thought, but is too mystical and often too cloudy to be of much service to those who wish to explain Scripture.” – Spurgeon

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1900’s

Robinson, Armitage – St. Paul’s Epistle to the Ephesians… with Exposition and Notes  1903  330 pp.

“Really two commentaries in one. Part I contains the introduction, translation, and exposition with notes on critical problems. Part II provides one of the finest exegetical treatments to be found anywhere. The writer’s paraphrase of the Greek text is particularly valuable.” – Cyril J. Barber

Miller, Herbert Sumner – The Book of Ephesians with Outlines and Notes  1931  250 pp.

“A well-outlined, nontechnical exposition based upon a careful exegesis.” – Cyril J. Barber

Bruce, F.F.

The Epistle to the Ephesians  Buy  1961  Intermediate

“Following a careful introduction to the epistle, Bruce deals with the contents under two main headings: The new community in the purpose of God, and the new community in the life of the believers. The exposition is clear and nontechnical.” – Cyril J. Barber

Commentary on the Epistles to the Ephesians and the Colossians  Buy  in New International Commentary on the New Testament

This work is significantly different than the above work.

Foulkes, Francis – Ephesians  Buy  1963  in Tyndale New Testament Commentaries

“A perceptive interpretation which successfully combines sound scholarship with a clear understanding of the scope and import of the epistle.” – Cyril J. Barber

Hendriksen, William – Ephesians  Buy  1967

“A well-written commentary which is both scholarly and practical—and of great value to preachers. Reformed.” – Cyril J. Barber

Kent, Homer – Ephesians: the Glory of the Church  Buy  1971

“An evangelical commentary which ably expounds the theme of this epistle and clearly defines the nature and function of the church.” – Cyril J. Barber

Vaughan, Curtis – Ephesians, a Study Guide Commentary  Buy  1977  133 pp.

Stott, John – The Message of Ephesians  Buy  in The Bible Speaks Today  1979  291 pp.

Clark, Gordon – Ephesians  Buy  1985

Lloyd-Jones – An Ephesians of Ephesians, 8 vols.  Buy

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Advanced

1800’s

Turner, Samuel – The Epistle to the Ephesians in Greek and English, with an Analysis and Exegetical Commentary  1856

**  ” A learned work; good, but not very attractive.” – Spurgeon

Ellicott, Charles J. – St. Paul’s Epistle to the Ephesians, with a Critical and Grammatical Commentary  1864  210 pp.

“A helpful critical work based on a new translation of the text.” – Cyril J. Barber

Miller, Herbert Sumner – Commentary on St. Paul’s Epistle to the Ephesians  1899  390 pp.

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1900’s

Westcott, Brooke F. – Saint Paul’s Epistle to the Ephesians, the Greet Text with Notes and Addenda  Buy  1906  286 pp.  This was reprinted by Klock & Klock

Westcott was a slightly conservative, Anglican, liberal Bible scholar, known for the Westcott-Hort Greek Text.

“Exegetical studies by the late Bishop of Durham, England, deserving of the same attention given his other works.” – Cyril J. Barber

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The Early Church on Ephesians

Compilation

Edwards, Mark – Ancient Christian Commentary: Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians  Buy

Newland, Henry – A New Catena of St. Paul’s Epistles.  Commentary on Ephesians, in which is exhibited the Results of the most learned Theological Criticisms, from the Age of the Early Fathers down to the Present Time  1866

**  “Used discreetly, this Catena of patristic, medieval and modern Church interpreters, may be very helpful; without discretion it will mislead.” – Spurgeon

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Individual Fathers

Ambrosiaster – Commentaries on Galatians-Philemon  Buy

Chrysostom – Homilies on Galatians, Ephesians

**  ‘Enough of solid truth and brilliant utterance will be found here to justify this father’s title of ‘Golden Mouth’; but still all is not gold which fell from his lips, and to modern readers Chrysostom is not so instructive as he was to his own age [A.D. 349-407].’ – Spurgeon

Origen & Jerome – Commentaries on Ephesians  Buy

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The Medieval Church on Ephesians

Compilation

Newland, Henry – A New Catena of St. Paul’s Epistles.  Commentary on Ephesians, in which is exhibited the Results of the most learned Theological Criticisms, from the Age of the Early Fathers down to the Present Time  1866

**  “Used discreetly, this Catena of patristic, medieval and modern Church interpreters, may be very helpful; without discretion it will mislead.” – Spurgeon

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Individual

Aquinas, Thomas – Commentary on Ephesians

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Ephesians 1

1600’s

Goodwin, Thomas – An Exposition of Ephesians 1  d. 1680

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1800’s

Lightfoot, J.B. – Commentary on Eph. 1:1-14

Evans, James Harrington – ‘On Ephesians 1’ in Memoir and Remains of James Harrington Evans  Buy  1852

On his work on Eph. 3:  **  “Harrington Evans was a great teacher.  A more sound, earnest, and instructive divine never lived.  This book consists of notes of sermons preserved by a hearer.  It is well worthy of study.  His Memoir contains fragmentary remarks upon Ephesians 1.” – Spurgeon

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Ephesians 2

Goodwin, Thomas – An Exposition of 2:1-1114-16  d. 1680

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Ephesians 3

1600’s

Goodwin, Thomas – An Exposition of Ephesians 3:16-21  d. 1680

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1800’s

Evans, James Harrington – Christian Solicitude, as Exemplified in Ephesians 3  1856

**  “Harrington Evans was a great teacher.  A more sound, earnest, and instructive divine never lived.  This book consists of notes of sermons preserved by a hearer.  It is well worthy of study.  His Memoir contains fragmentary remarks upon Ephesians 1.” – Spurgeon

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Ephesians 5

1500’s

Rollock, Robert – An Exposition of part of the Fifth and Sixth Chapters of St. Paul’s Epistle to the Ephesians   d. 1598  ‘In a volume containing sundry fragments of expositions.’ – Spurgeon  Here is the work in Latin.

**  “This renowned Scotchman’s writings generally come to us as translations from the Latin, and have been made preternaturally dull in the process of interpretation; but this appears to have been written in English by himself.  It is practical to a high degree, and goes into minute details of the married life, etc.  it will not be much appreciated in these days, though Dr. McCrie styles Rollock’s works ‘succinct and judicious.'” – Spurgeon

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1600’s

Goodwin, Thomas – An Exposition of Ephesians 5:30-32  d. 1680

Manton, Thomas – Sermons upon Eph. 5:1-27  325 pp.  in Works, vol. 19, p. 169 ff.

Gurnall, William – The Christian in Complete Armour; A Treatise of the Saints’ War against the Devil  on Eph. 6:10-20

“This exhaustive exposition by a Puritan writer ably treats the spiritual warfare of the saints and the equipment given them by God to assure the victory.” – Cyril J. Barber

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Latin Commentary on Ephesians

Boyd, Robert – Commentary on the Epistle of the Apostle Paul to the Ephesians  (London, 1652)  The end of the volume has indices of words and phrases, and of chief common places and theological questions.

Boyd (1578-1627) was a Scottish covenanter.  

“His posthumously published Latin commentary on Ephesians… is an enduring monument to his learning.  The work, however, is far more than a commentary and includes discussions of virtually every important locus of a systematic theology… his intention in this was to derive the chief heads of Christian doctrine from Scripture, Ephesians being deliberately chosen for the purpose…” – James Kirk (Dict. of Scot. CH&T)

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Related Pages

Whole Bible Commentaries

Old Testament Commentaries

New Testament Commentaries