Clinton Arnold, who also happens to be the editor, contributes this volume on the wonderful Book of Ephesians in the Zondervan Exegetical Commentary (ZECNT) series. Mr. Arnold is a scholar highly qualified to comment on this book, one of the most important in the Bible. It’s obvious that Ephesians has been area of expertise for him. As with several volumes in the series, Mr. Arnold holds conservative viewpoints and defends them in a magisterial fashion. His bold proclamation of a belief in the inerrancy of Scripture was much appreciated by this reviewer.
He begins his Introduction by relating his awe of the Book of Ephesians. He believes the destination of the letter is Ephesus and shows the recent scholarly rejection of it to be built on a foundation of sand. He draws a vibrant portrait of the setting in Ephesus including its diverse religious and cultural background. He traces where Judaism stood there. I found it easy to agree with his four main themes of Ephesians too.
On authorship he remains convinced of Paul and explains why we should as well. He sifts through the scholarly debate over Ephesians similarity to Colossians to good advantage. He doesn’t have as much to say about structure as some, but doesn’t believe rhetoric is as in play as some have argued. After an outline and bibliography, he jumps into the commentary of the text.
The commentary is in the pastor-friendly ZECNT style. I read through some of what I believe to be the harder passages and loved what I found. There’s great presentation of options and clear reasoning about what he feels to be the right conclusion. I thought his section on the household code was balanced and firmly complementarian.
There’s a lot of competition in the Ephesians commentary category. He’s much more succinct than Hoehner and up near the staus of O’Brien. The writing flows well and the content is top notch. This volume is clearly in the must-have category.
I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.