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Ephesians: An Exegetical Commentary [Hardcover]

Harold W. Hoehner
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 960 pages
  • Publisher: Baker Academic, Div of Baker Publishing Group (1 Dec 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801026148
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801026140
  • Product Dimensions: 24 x 16 x 6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 685,643 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


Harold Hoehner has taught biblical exegesis to thousands of students over the years. He now brings that experience to bear on this important work. He 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.

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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 9 July 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
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Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  20 reviews
84 of 87 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One outstanding commentary! 17 Jun 2003
By Michael Felt - Published on Amazon.com
I purchased Hoehner's commentary on Ephesians with reservation. I knew he'd be a solid, evangelical scholar (he's a distinguished prof at Dallas); I knew this would be a solid, thorough treatment of Ephesians. The thing is over 900 pages long, after all. But I wanted a commentary that would "preach." All too many scholarly commentaries are dry-as-dust, verse-by-verse affairs that frankly don't help a pastor put together a sermon.
This commentary by Dr. Hoehner was a wonderful surprise. Hoehner provides an outline of each unit of text which is built right into his commentary section. And he provides summaries and conclusions which contain the "Big Idea" (or Central Truth, or whatever you prefer to call it)of that unit of text. Why don't more scholars do this in commentaries?
And Dr. Hoehner helps you swim through the Greek like a duck through water; he provides his own translation, and he constantly provides necessary parsing for the reader. But most important of all, he has the best discussion of grammatical categories that I have ever seen, translating a phrase as it would be if it were instrumental, or cause, or sphere, etc., so that you can follow his argument. He lovingly mines the Greek text for everything it can yield, and he actually brings his reader right along with him!
I can't even begin to tell you how much I love this commentary. This is the fruit of an outstanding scholar who has prayed and studied and labored over Ephesians for years.
28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding - 2nd Best on Ephesians 13 May 2006
By Brian G Hedges - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is an outstanding commentary on Ephesians, and ranks as 2nd best in my judgment. Hoehner's real contributions are his clarity and his thoroughness. His handling of the Greek text is thorough, and his weighing of different interpretive options is usually pretty even-handed and fair (though occasionally I think he falls down on the wrong side of an issue or is overly dogmatic). His organization is exceptional, as he breaks everything down into easy to follow, logical outlines. For a critical commentary, this is amazingly helpful homiletically! His writing style is lucid and clear (I love how he regularly summarizes his arguments and position in the final paragraph on a pericope). His theological stance is Evangelical and conservative, although sometimes a bit one-dimensional (especially when he pigeon-holes a passage into his theological system - dispensationalism. But this doesn't interfere with the quality of the commentary very often). Hoehner also probably gives the most robust defense of Pauline authorship of Ephesians of any commentary (over 100 pages!). This is a lengthy commentary on Ephesians (over 900 pages), but well worth the purchase. As I've preached through Ephesians over the past two years, I've benefited from Hoehner in many ways, and have read almost all of the book. I would easily recommend him as one of the top three commentators on the book, though I'd slightly prefer Peter O'Brien, who writes with more depth with a keen eye for biblical theology. Really, the two commentaries complement one another and should be read together. All in all, this commentary is outstanding! Anyone preaching through Ephesians expositionally will definitely want to purchase it.
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A complete, detailed, scholarly commentaty on Ephesians- Outstanding! 13 May 2006
By David C. Leaumont - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is the only book that has so thoroughly exceeded my expectations and publishing hype that it deserves a greater-than-5 star-rating.

Dr. Harold Hoehner received his PhD from Cambridge University, and taught NT Studies at Dallas Theological Seminary for over 30 years.

Dr. Hoehner begins with a detailed introduction (131 pages) treating the authorship, history, purpose and theology. He then gives a comprehensive bibliography of authorship that provides sources for both conservative and liberal thought. This discussion of both conservative and liberal theologies continues throughout the work.

The book is set up to deal with each verse, and sometime phrase, individually, and in detail. The phrase 'no stone unturned' comes to mind. Each verse is given in NA27 or UBS4 (vast majority NA27) and then translated. His reliance on Scripture is wide-ranging and not restricted to a single translation. An understanding of Greek is needed to fully benefit from this writing, as the Greek is not rendered in cognates. Throughout the book are eight 'Excurses' dealing more topically, yet more in depth with specific issues in Ephesians such as: the textual issues of Eph 1:1, 'In Christ,' Election, and rules of Christian households. These deal with the full theological context of Scripture rather than dealing solely with Ephesians, and help to give more understanding for some of the more important ideas in this book. Two indices round out the book: an author index and a Scripture index.

Dr. Hoehner reaches into all of Scripture to discuss Ephesians in depth. His conclusions reflect conservative, evangelical teaching, with solid, thorough evidence and theological scholarship. Another aspect of his writing is inclusion of theology discussed by the early church fathers such as Ignatius and Clement, although he only uses instances where these authors support Scripture.

This commentary should reside on the shelves of all theologians, exegetical pastors and seminary students. This book is not directed towards lay-persons, unless a full understanding of Greek is present. Dr. Hoehner writing is supremely valuable, enveloping modern scholarship, full disclosure of major theological arguments and solid, conservative evangelicalism. I wish all the commentaries on my shelf were this well written and researched.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ephesiastic 20 April 2006
By Michael Thompson - Published on Amazon.com
A very strong and solid exegetical treatment of Ephesians. Mostly based upon my own theological presuppositions verses Hoehner's, I cannot agree with all of his hermeneutical movements from text to theology (e.g., I do not agree with his overall ecclesiology - especially in his readings of Ephesians 1). It is most beneficial to read this along with W. Klein's "The New Chosen People" for a more rounded approach to understanding election as a corporate concept. That is to say that one may or may not take election to mean predestination (decide for yourself), but Paul does not seem to be addressing that issue in the context of a community letter written to discuss community identity and practice.

Technically challenging on many linguistic-textual aspects, yet a good research commentary. Each section is very well outlined and presented with a clear translation by the author (most of which are quite agreeable, some wording and phrasing perhaps questionable), and bears the marks of a scholar at the top of his game. This is a commentary many years in the making and shows a command of Paul's letter and overall theology. Background and historical issues are presented appropriately and coherently as well.

As a "top tier" work, this is a must-have for those interested in Ephesians.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, But Not a Stand Alone Commentary 6 Nov 2013
By Shane Lems - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I do agree with the other reviewers: this commentary on Ephesians by Hoehner is excellent. It is detailed, textual, level-headed, and scholarly. If you want a commentary that specifically deals with the Greek text of Ephesians - this is one that does it well!

While I do appreciate this commentary very much, I have to say that sometimes it reads like a collection of Greek word studies rather than a commentary. Hoehner discusses, parses, and dissects nearly every word in the text, so from time to time I thought he may have missed the forest for the trees. There are summary sections, but they are very short (usually one paragraph). I'm guessing here, but I'd say Hoehner spends about 80% of the pages doing word studies and the rest is summary.

Basically, this is the commentary you definitely want for a very detailed discussion of the Greek text of Ephesians. However, in my opinion, you'll need another commentary (O'Brien, Arnold, etc.) if you want a better understanding of the bigger picture of Ephesians. In other words, get Hoehner's commentary to help you look at the "trees," but find another one(s) to help you look at the "forest."
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