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Dr. John DelHousaye's New Book Engaging Ephesians

Phoenix Seminary
May 7, 2018

The Phoenix Seminary faculty work to produce a range of helpful resources for students, pastors, and many others in ministry. Today we are pleased to announce our newest faculty publication, an exegetical guide to the Greek text of Ephesians by Dr. John DelHousaye.

Engaging EphesiansI originally wrote Engaging Ephesians: An Intermediate Reader and Exegetical Guide for our students, specifically their third semester of New Testament Greek, but the project fit well as a tier three (intermediate) resource in the AGROS (Greek for “field”) series published by GlossaHouse. I worked very closely with Dr. Fredrick Long, my counterpart at Asbury Seminary and one of the editors for the series. He is preparing a commentary on Ephesians, so that his input greatly improved the work. I love GlossaHouse’s vision to offer affordable resources for students around the world.

Anyone who has worked through a first-year Greek primer can use this resource for deeper exegesis into Ephesians, a beautiful, almost poetic, distillation of Paul’s understanding of the gospel. (We find salvation by grace but for good works, personal reconciliation with God but also between people historically hostile to one another.) Despite the long sentences, a quality of Asiatic rhetoric that the apostle’s first readers anticipated, many find Ephesians (and its sister letter Colossians) to be the most accessible for a second-year Greek student. It is also a helpful resource for anyone wanting to get back into the Greek text after taking a break.

Engaging Ephesians explains the phenomena of the text of Ephesians in a way that allows readers to work through and understand it on their own. It is different from a commentary, which conveys the interpretation of the author. To this end, I note ambiguities and appropriate voices from several traditions. (Readers may find themselves agreeing with Calvin in some places but disagreeing in others. And this may be the only book in the world that compares the mystical Jesus Prayer from the Eastern Orthodox Church to the evangelism of Billy Graham.) I discuss most of the variants listed in the twenty-eighth edition of the Nestle-Aland Novum Testamentum Graece, finding a general preference for Codex Sinaiticus (although noting copying errors in it), but also several from the Byzantine tradition that were not mentioned.

The book is divided into fourteen sections, which allows it to correspond perfectly with the length of a semester and be adopted as a course textbook. Of course, independent readers may go at their own pace. At the head of each weekly section, significant individuals and key terms are listed and expounded upon in subsequent commentary. In addition, each chapter has a vocabulary list for all words that occur fifty times or less in the Greek New Testament. Also helpful are discussions on matters such as literary structure, rhetoric, semantics, and syntax. This reader-friendly guide allows readers to engage Ephesians in a deep, profound, and faithful manner.

This project was a decade in the making, but I thank the Lord for allowing it to reach completion. I pray it encourages other brothers and sisters to read Scripture richly for the long journey of faith.

About the Author

Dr. John DelHousaye joined the faculty of Phoenix Seminary in 2001 and predominantly teaches the books and language of the New Testament. Learn more about him, his ministry, and research interests at his faculty page.

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