GHC Review 36: Ephesians

GHC Review 36; Ephesians

Ephesians, by Gordon H. Clark, Jefferson, MD: The Trinity Foundation, 1985, 213 pp.

Though this commentary was published in 1985 (the year Clark died), he actually wrote the book in 1981, as evidenced in his correspondence from that year. The delay in publication stems from the fact that Clark had sent the manuscript to a couple publishers (Mott Media, and Presbyterian and Reformed) both of whom ended up not publishing it. By 1984 Clark had sent the manuscript to John Robbins who published it as a Trinity Foundation volume the next year.

This commentary, like others of Gordon Clark but perhaps even more so, frequently delves into the Greek grammar of the epistle. This is valuable if one is referencing and trying to understand a particular verse, but makes for difficult reading if one attempts to read the book straight through.

A few notable notes will be noted:

A comment on textual criticism:

“It is not true that the oldest manuscripts are always the best. If the original X were copied in A.D. 110, and this copy were copied in A.D. 120, and so on to A.D. 200, there would be ten generations between the original and the final copy. Each step would incorporate an error or two. But suppose another copy was made directly from X in A.D. 210. This manuscript would be later than A.D. 200, but it would be only one step away from the original, not ten steps; and would therefore be better than the more ancient copy.” (p. 3)

A comment relevant to theonomy:

“One Puritan writer includes in this nullification the civil laws of the ancient Jewish state—contemporary theonomists are not Puritan.” (p. 85)

An argument for cessationism:

“Since now the foundation has been laid, prophecy can be said to have ceased by the end of the first century. The foundation was finished; the process of building continues, but as there can be no second corner-stone, so there can be no other apostles and prophets.” (p. 92, in reference to Ephesians 2:20 – “having been established on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus being its cornerstone)

And, while there are a number of other interesting comments in the book, perhaps one final one related to metaphysics is particular notable:

“The New Testament, on the contrary, and the Old as well, teach that the real world is not so much trees and rocks as it is soul, minds, and spirits.” (p. 205)

For the previous review in this series see here.

For the next review in this series see here.

4 thoughts on “GHC Review 36: Ephesians”

  1. Pingback: GHC Review 35: In Defense of Theology | A Place for Thoughts

  2. One of my favorite of Clark’s books, along with Doctrine of Man. The latter was assigned reading in Dr Clair Davis’ course at WTS when I was there. DOM was the first book I read by Clark, and it remains my other favorite. Thanks for your reviews of both books!

  3. Pingback: GHC Review 37: Logic | A Place for Thoughts

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