The Evangelical Exegetical Commentary series is fast becoming one of my favorite series in print today. Initially published through Logos, the print volumes come to us from Lexham Press. Each volume is jam-packed full with intricate textual commentary, up-to-date scholarship, and pastoral application. In a crowed Christian academic landscape, the EEC series puts forward the best of conservative evangelical scholarship.
For the Ephesians entry, the editors tapped seasoned NT scholar S.M. Baugh. Right off the bat, Baugh answers the question: “Why another Ephesians commentary?” But the reader will no doubt be blessed by Baugh’s unique approach to the text. He writes, “my particular interests and areas of study are fairly broad across the range of classics, ancient history (with particular interest in Ephesus), Greek grammar, and biblical theology… I have also developed my interests in text criticism and Greek literary composition and rhetoric.”1
The “Introduction” is thorough yet not burdensome. In recent years, Pauline authorship of Ephesians has come under attack and Baugh skillfully refutes opposing arguments. Specifically, he addresses the letter’s vocabulary, theology, tone, relationship to Colossians, and overall style.
The remainder of the commentary (550+ pages) is devoted to the text. Like with other EEC volumes, each main section features an introduction, outline, original text, textual notes, author’s translation, commentary, application and devotional implications, and selected bibliography. The overall format is accessible, clean, and easy to navigate.
Once in the verse commentary, it’s astounding just how much information Baugh brings to the table. His use of secondary sources proves helpful, yet he does not drown the commentary in them. Like a master craftsman, Baugh seamlessly pulls exegetical resources from his tool belt and carefully applies them to the text. I was particularly impressed with his treatment of 1:3-14 (especially his focus on “adoption”); 2:8-10 (especially his biblical theology comments, dealing with the New Perspective on Paul); 2:20 (“apostles and prophets” contra Grudem); 4:11; and 5:22-33 (historical background on marriage).
My only contention is that this book wasn’t published sooner—when I was preaching through Ephesians at my church a few years ago. However, this resource proves immeasurably valuable. Alongside Hoehner, this may be the best exegetical Ephesians commentary in print!
Title: Ephesians (EEC)
Author: S.M. Baugh
Publisher: Lexham Press (May 3, 2016)
Note: Review copy provided by the publisher.