Essays On Ephesians

I’m teaching Ephesians this semester at the Los Angeles Bible Training School, which I continue to call the best Bible Institute in Los Angeles. Well over a half century of urban ministry centered on the Bible, and the courses are free.

Whenever possible in any context, I teach the Bible using the immersion method, roughly in the form advocated by James Gray about a hundred years ago. It’s a simple technique with many advantages; chief among those advantages is that there’s nothing very tricky about it. You just read the primary text straight through at a single sitting. Then you do it again. And again. Etc. I explained some of the rationale behind it in an older blog post here.

Sometimes I just assign students to do the repeated readings in their own classroom Bibles. But other times (on abroad trips, for instance) I’ve printed up little booklets with the text of the assigned book, and a few extra features.

This semester I did that with Ephesians. To see the little booklet, click here or on the image above. It’s really just the ESV text arranged for reading (generally I use NASB at this school, but decided to switch it up this year). You can see I kitted this one out with some specific reading schedule deadlines for my class, and even some recommended things to look for in the rereadings, generally things which will correspond to the course lectures as the semester goes along.

Another feature I added was “Ephesians at a Glance,” which puts the entire text of Ephesians on a two-page booklet spread:

You’re not really supposed to be able to read it. It’s more of a map to help you see what’s where in the whole book. Right away it displays the different lengths of the chapters, which helps you realize that chapter four doesn’t just feel long; it is long! I also find that having the whole book on a one-page map like this encourages students to think of Ephesians as a short (154 verses) and manageable book.

What I’ve highlighted in this case is the eight memory passages I’ve assigned for the term. But you can also use an at-a-glance spread like this to do some fantastic Bible marking that tracks theme recurrences, section relationships, etc.

The rereader booklet adds a lot to the class experience; there’s a sharper focus and a greater concreteness about the task of rereading Ephesians when it’s in a custom-made booklet in your hand. Check out how I put mine together, and see if something similar might help your teaching.


This page is designed to help make commentaries, monographs and articles on the Epistle to the Ephesians available to those without easy access to a theological library. Many of the links below connect you to scanned, published books and articles made available by Google Books (often 75% of content). Importantly, Google Books allows you to search within a volume and also across volumes (rather than across the entire WWW). The Google Book Project also makes hard to find and expensive monographs readily accessible to researchers. This Reading Room collects those materials on one page.

NB: For bibliographic management and notetaking while reading, Zotero is highly recommended ("a free, easy-to-use Mozilla Firefox extension to help you collect, manage, and cite your research sources"). For page snapshots and printing of Google Book pages, try Microsoft's snipping tool (paste text into Word -- or Zotero).

Return to Tyndale Reading Room Menu or to the New Testament Reading Room for Bible encyclopedia, dictionaries and handbooks.

Reading the Letter to the Ephesians

Commentaries and Introductions on Ephesians


  • Barth, Karl. Karl Barth's Academic Lectures on Ephesians (Göttingen, 1921-1922): An Original Translation, Annotation, and Analysis. Ross M. Wright. Ph.D. thesis, University of Aberdeen, 2006.
  • Barth, Markus. The Broken Wall: A Study of the Epistle to the Ephesians. Regent, 1959.
  • Best, Ernest. Ephesians: A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on Ephesians. Continuum, 2004 (also copy; Ephesians: A Shorter Commentary. Continuum, 2003 (without Greek references); Ephesians. Continuum, 1993.
  • Boles, Kenneth L. Galatians & Ephesians. College Press, 1997.
  • Bouttier, Michel. L`epître de saint Paul aux Ephésiens. Labor et Fides, 1991 (also copy).
  • Bruce, F.F. The Epistle to the Colossians, to Philemon, and to the Ephesians. Eerdmans, 1999.
  • Calvin, John. The Epistles of Paul the Apostle to the Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians and Colossians. Torrance Edition. Eerdmans Publishing, 1996.
  • Dahl, Nils Alstrup. Kurze Auslegung des Epheserbriefes. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1965.
  • Edwards, Mark J., ed. The Epistle to the Ephesians , in: Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians: Galatians, Ephesians, Phillipians. Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture. 2nd rev`d ed. Taylor & Francis, 2005. Pp. 101-206 (also copy; 1999 edition, pp. 107-216).
  • Foulkes, Francis. The Letter of Paul to the Ephesians: An Introduction and Commentary. 2nd rev`d ed. Eerdmans, 1989 (also copy).
  • Hahn, Scott, et al. Letters to the Galatians & Ephesians. Ignatius Catholic Study Bible. 2nd rev`d ed. Ignatius, 2005.
  • Heil, John Paul. Ephesians: Empowerment to Walk in Love for the Unity of All in Christ. Society of Biblical Literature, 2007 (full-text available for Tyndale community via EBSCO).
  • Heine, Ronald E., ed. The Commentaries of Origen and Jerome on St. Paul`s Epistle to the Ephesians. Oxford, 2002 (full-text for Tyndale community via EBSCO)
  • Kitchen, Martin. Ephesians. Routledge, 1994 (full-text for Tyndale community via EBSCO).
  • Liefeld, Walter L. Ephesians. InterVarsity, 1997 (also copy).
  • MacDonald, Margaret Y. Colossians and Ephesians. Liturgical, 2008 (also copy 1; copy 2).
  • Martin, Ralph P. Ephesians, Colossians, and Philemon. Westminster John Knox, 1991.
  • Muddiman, John. Epistle to the Ephesians. Continuum, 2006 (also copy).
  • O`Brien, Peter T. The letter to the Ephesians. Eerdmans, 1999.
  • Schnackenburg, Rudolf. Ephesians: A Commentary. Trans. Helen Heron. Continuum, 1991.
  • Witherington, Ben. The Letters to Philemon, the Colossians, and the Ephesians: A Socio-rhetorical Commentary on the Captivity Epistles. Eerdmans, 2007.
  • Yoder Neufeld, Thomas R. Ephesians, Believers Church Bible Commentary Series (Herald Press, 2002); an excellent commentary written with a missional church framework; available in full-text to Tyndale students only: EBSCOhost Books.

Commentaries (Popular)/ Preaching Aids/ Spiritual Readings (Selected)

  • Albers, Robert H. et al. Caring and Community: Perspectives from Ephesians. Augsburg Fortress, 1995.
  • Barton, Bruce, et al. Ephesians. Tyndale House, 1996.
  • Picirill, Robert E., Thomas Marberry, and Daryl Ellis. Commentary on Ephesians, in: Galatians Through Colossians: Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, and Colossians. Randall House, 1988. Pp. 119-260.
  • Thomas, Carolyn. Letter to the Ephesians, in: Reading the Letters of Saint Paul: Study, Reflection, and Prayer. 2nd ed. Paulist, 2002. Pp. 162-173.
  • von Speyr, Adrienne. The letter to the Ephesians. Trans. Adrian Walker. Ignatius, 1996.
  • Wiebe, David, and Robert Rempel. The Power and the Mystery: Studies in the Books of Ephesians and Colossians. Kindred, 2001.

Introductory Chapters/Articles on Ephesians

  • Gorman, Michael J. Ephesians: Walking Worthily of the Cosmic Crucified Christ, in: Apostle of the Crucified Lord: A Theological Introduction to Paul and His Letters. Eerdmans, 2004. Ch. 16, pp. 498-531.
  • Lincoln, Andrew T. Ephesians, in: The Cambridge companion to St. Paul. James D. G. Dunn, ed. Cambridge, 2003. Ch. 9, pp. 133-140; The Theology of Ephesians, in: The Theology of the Later Pauline Letters, ed. Andrew T. Lincoln and A. J. M. Wedderburn. Cambridge, 1993. Pp. 75-166.
  • See articles on "Ephesians" in NT encyclopedia and handbooks

Monographs/Studies on Aspects of Ephesians

  • Arnold, Clinton E. Ephesians, Power and Magic: The Concept of Power in Ephesians in Light of Its Historical Setting. Cambridge, 1989.
  • Baglow, Christopher T. "Modus et Forma": A New Approach to the Exegesis of Saint Thomas Aquinas with an Application to the Lectura super Epistolam ad Ephesios. Pontificium Institutum Biblicum, 2002.
  • Best, Ernest. Essays on Ephesians. Continuum, 1997.
  • Dahl, Nils Alstrup. Studies in Ephesians: Introductory Questions, Text- & Edition-Critical Issues, Interpretation of Texts and Themes. Mohr Siebeck, 2000.
  • Dawes, Gregory W. The Body in Question: Metaphor and Meaning in the Interpretation of Ephesians 5:21-33. Brill, 1998.
  • Harris, W. Hall. The Descent of Christ: Ephesians 4:7-11 and Traditional Hebrew Imagery. Brill, 1996.
  • Mayer, Annemarie C. Sprache der Einheit im Epheserbrief und in der Ökumene. Mohr Siebeck, 2002.
  • Miletic, Stephen Francis. "One Flesh"--Eph. 5.22-24, 5.31: Marriage and the New Creation. Pontificium Institutum Biblicum, 1988.
  • Moritz, Thorsten. A Profound Mystery: The Use of the Old Testament in Ephesians. Brill, 1996.
  • Murphy-O`Connor, Jerome. St. Paul`s Ephesus: Texts and Archaeology. Liturgical, 2008.
  • Rader, William H. The Church and Racial Hostility: A History of Interpretation of Ephesians 2, 11-22. Mohr Siebeck, 1978.
  • Schwindt, Rainer. Das Weltbild des Epheserbriefes: eine religionsgeschichtlich-exegetische Studie. Mohr Siebeck, 2002.
  • Sampley, J. Paul. And the Two Shall Become One Flesh: A Study of Traditions in Ephesians 5: 21-33. Cambridge, 2004.
  • Strelan, Rick. Paul, Artemis, and the Jews in Ephesus. De Gruyter, 1996.
  • Trebilco, Paul. The Early Christians in Ephesus from Paul to Ignatius. Eerdmans, 2007.
  • Usami, Koshi. Somatic Comprehension of Unity: The Church in Ephesus. Pontificium Institutum Biblicum, 1983.
  • van Kooten, Geurt Hendrik. Cosmic Christology in Paul and the Pauline School: Colossians and Ephesians in the Context of Graeco-Roman Cosmology, With a New synopsis of the Greek Texts. Mohr Siebeck, 2003.
  • van Roon, A. The Authenticity of Ephesians. Trans. S. Prescod-Jokel. Brill, 1974.
  • Yee, Tet-Lim N. Jews, Gentiles, and Ethnic Reconciliation: Paul`s Jewish Identity and Ephesians. Cambridge, 2005 (full-text available to Tyndale community via EBSCO)
  • Yoder Neufeld, Thomas R. Put on the Armour of God: The Divine Warrior from Isaiah to Ephesians. Continuum, 1997.

Articles, Chapters on Aspects of Ephesians

  • Beattie, Gillian. Marriage in the Deutero-Pauline Literature: Colossians and Ephesians, in: Women and Marriage in Paul and his Early Interpreters. Continuum, 2005. Ch 3, pp. 65-82.
  • Hays, Richard B. Ephesians: Cosmic Ecclesiology, in: Moral Vision of the New Testament: Community, Cross, New Creation : a Contemporary Introduction to New Testament Ethics. Continuum, 1997. Pp. 62-66.
  • Lincoln, Andrew T. Ephesians and Heavenly Life in the Church at Worship, in: Paradise Now and Not Yet: Studies in the Role of the Heavenly Dimension in Paul`s Thought with Special Reference to His Eschatology. Cambridge, 2004. Ch. 6, pp. 135-168.
  • MacDonald, Margaret Y. Colossians and Ephesians: Community Stabilizing Institutionalization, in: The Pauline Churches: A Socio-Historical Study of Institutionalization in the Pauline and Deutero-Pauline Writings. Cambridge, 2004. Part II, pp. 85-158.
  • Malan, Francois S. Unity and love in the Body of Christ: Identity, Ethics and Ethos in Ephesians, in: Identity, Ethics, and Ethos in the New Testament. Ed. Jan Gabriël Van der Watt. De Gruyter, 2006. Pp. 257-288.
  • Search for "Ephesians" at Theological Journals Search (free online journals with full-text).
  • Search for "Ephesians" at
  • See Tyndale's eJournal Database (note: for Tyndale students and faculty only). Choose EBSCOhost database; log in; choose "EBSCOhost" and then "ATLA Religion Database with ATLASerials"; then choose "Scriptures" (at top). You will find many full-text theological journal articles available to you on any verse or chapter of the Bible. See list of Tyndale's academic ejournals with full-text articles for download.

Other WWW Resources on Ephesians

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