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The Letter to the Ephesians (The Pillar New Testament Commentary) Hardcover – October 25, 1999

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About the Author

Peter O'Brien is senior research fellow in New Testament, Moore Theological College, Sydney, Australia.
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Product Details

  • Series: The Pillar New Testament Commentary
  • Hardcover: 539 pages
  • Publisher: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. (October 25, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802837360
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802837363
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.2 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #149,349 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

73 of 74 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 4, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Peter T O'Brien's commentary on Ephesians is the newest volume in the Pillar New Testament Commentary, which is edited by D. A. Carson. In the past, O'Brien has written the best commentaries on Colossians and Philippians, so I had high expectations for this current volume. After reading the entire book, I was definitely not disappointed; in fact, it exceeded my expectations. It is very well-written and insightful. O'Brien swims against the current of much popular opinion on the interpretation of the epistle. For example, O'Brien defends Pauline authorship of Ephesians, not a widespread view among New Testament scholars today. He adopts a Reformed exegesis of Ephesians 1:4, writing: "It is inappropriate... to suggest that election in Christ is primarily corporate rather than personal and individual" (p. 99). O'Brien also rejects the feminist "mutual submission" view of Ephesians 5:21, instead advocating the view of Wayne Grudem and other complimentarians : "The apostle is not speaking of mutual submission in the sense of reciprocal subordination, but submission to those who are in authority over them" (p. 404).This is definitely the best commentary on Ephesians avaialable today, easily surpassing previous commentaries by F.F. Bruce, A.T. Lincoln, and others. Lincoln is very good, both exegetically and theologically. He is also worth reading. But Lincoln denies Pauline authorship and his commentary is more difficult to read quickly. O'Brien is better. O'Brien's commentary is about 500 pages so it is comprehensive, but not excessively exhaustive. If you can only own one commentary on Ephesians, buy this one.
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33 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Peter Richert on August 3, 2001
Format: Hardcover
O'Brien's Ephesians is simply wonderful. O'Brien has become one of my favorite commentators. Having been a minister, missionary, and now a professor and academic, O'Brien has a wealth of personal experience to draw on.
Not much more can be said that hasn't already been covered in terms of praise for this book. O'Brien sets down a thesis statement for the book of Ephesians, that of "the summing up all things in Christ" from the first chapter. Working with this, he expounds on Paul's understanding of that summation: namely the church, the world, and even the angelic powers. My only difficulty with reading this book was my own unfamiliarity with the Ephesian text forcing my constant need to flip back to see what was actual text being discussed.
Keeping with the Pillar Series format, O'Brien transliterates Greek words in the text proper. He does, however, provide their original Greek in the footnotes, a valuable addition that prevents me from having to backward transliterate into Greek to see what word is being discussed. Footnotes also free up the body of the text from those pesty in-line sources that break my train of thought in the paragraph. This makes the Pillar Series quite a bit easier to read then the Word Commentary Series (which is otherwise excellent).
Three cheers for O'Brien. If I can slip it in: I also recommend his Colossians and Philemon in the Word Series. I think it is the best source for these two books, despite the aforementioned in-line sources.
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59 of 63 people found the following review helpful By Rick Aguirre on December 19, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I simply cannot overstate the importance of this work on Ephesians by Senior Research Fellow at Moore Th. Coll (Sydney), Peter T O'Brien. This the newest addition to the rigorous Pillar series is a gem in conservative exegesis.
O'brien convincingly takes on E. Best (Ephesians:ICC) on Pauline authorship. (In the process, O'brien singles himself out as a rare New Testament scholar who is willing to defend Pauline authorship on this letter, and again, he does so convincingly). All this, just for his section on pro-Pauline authorship! Take this is an accurate measure for the rest of his work.
O'brien is simply one of the top conservative scholars in the world today. His two other commentaries-(Colossians & Philemon:WBC), (Philippians:NIGTC), display the same sharp exegesis and profound insight as does this, his most recent commentary.
In short, I recommend you get this work ASAP, for any serious current work on Ephesians.
Rick E Aguirre Southern California ( <><
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Brian G Hedges on May 12, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Peter O'Brien's outstanding commentary on Ephesians completes his trilogy on the Prison Epistles (see his commentary on Philippians in the NIGTC and Colossians-Philemon in the Word series) and, in my judgment, ranks as first among commentaries on Ephesians. Writing from a solid Evangelical stance, O'Brien defends Pauline authorship and wrestles honestly with Paul's majestic, but often complex, letter. While Harold Hoehner's commentary is broader in its coverage, O'Brien brings an amazing depth of insight to the table, and interprets Paul with skill and clarity. I especially appreciated O'Brien's keen eye for biblical-theological connections, which helped draw out many of the Old Testament references which lie behind Paul's letter. O'Brien is excellent with the Greek (though all Greek words are transliterated in the actual text of the book - actual Greek words are in the notes) and almost always has good reasons for his positions. Also, unlike Hoehner, O'Brien doesn't seem tied to a theological system (like Hoehner's dispensationalism, which occasionally slips in) and lets the text say what it says. I've read most of this book as I've preached expositionally through Ephesians over the course of nearly two years, and it is the main commentary I would recommend to others. Hoehner is a close second. The two commentaries together will serve an expositor well. But if you can only get one technical commentary on Ephesians, get O'Brien.
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