Who was the author? Ephesians is another book of the Bible the Holy Spirit inspired to be written through the Apostle Paul.
What is the book? Regarded as one of the four so-called "captivity letters" and as addressed to the church at Ephesus, the book we know as Ephesians may have been more of a general letter with individual copies addressed and delivered to various congregations in the area.
Where was it written? The letter was most likely written from prison in Rome.
When was it written? Usual dates for Paul's first Roman imprisonment are A.D. 59-61, and the letter may have come somewhere near the middle of that time, so about A.D. 60.
Why? If indeed a general letter to congregations in the area of Ephesus that were founded under Paul's supervision but never visited by him, then the letter is seeking contact with those newly-founded congregations in order to express and maintain unity and peace. And, he wants to take their attention off his imprisonment and direct it to God's strength working through him.
How? Paul emphasizes what the Church is (chapters 1-3) to satisfy the first reason for writing, and, to satisfy the second, he emphasizes what membership in the Church entails (chapters 4-6).
For further reading on the book of Ephesians:
- Kretzmann, Paul E. Popular Commentary of the Bible: The New Testament, Volume II, The Epistles of the Apostle Paul, The Epistle to the Hebrews and the Catholic Epistles, the Book of Revelation. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1922. (This often helpful volume with its comments mixed into the text of the Epistle has 33 pages on Ephesians.)
- Lenski, R. C. H. The Interpretation of St. Paul's Epistles to the Galatians, Ephesians, and Philippians. Minneapolis, Minnesota: Augsburg Publishing House, 1961. (First published in 1937, this commentary is out of date as far as scholarship goes, but you likely will still find his interpretations to be reliable and accessible. The volume has some 363 pages on Ephesians.)