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The Gospel of John (The New International Commentary on the New Testament) Hardcover – September 23, 2010

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Editorial Reviews


“This is a commentary for which it was well worth waiting. The fruit of a lifetime’s engagement with John’s Gospel, it manages to be both conservative and original. Above all, it does superbly what the best commentaries do — immerse readers in the text itself. Michaels takes us with him deep into this Gospel’s story of Jesus, expertly probing the narrative, asking questions about it that we may not have thought of, and pointing out details, nuances, and connections we may have missed, all the while ensuring we do not avoid the text’s larger, sometimes uncomfortable, truth claims. Readers will emerge invigorated, enlightened, and inspired. . . . The excellence of Michaels’s substantial and intriguing close reading makes his commentary one to which readers will return again and again for continuing stimulus in their own study of John.”
— Andrew T. Lincoln
University of Gloucestershire

“A senior Johannine scholar here weaves together fresh thinking on John’s Gospel with his years of engagement with the Gospel and its earlier scholarly interpreters. This new commentary is attentive to the details of the text, to structural clues, and to the cohesiveness of John’s narrative as a whole; while clearly sensitive to the Greek text, it is written to be intelligible for English readers.”
— Craig Keener
Palmer Theological Seminary

About the Author

J. Ramsey Michaels is emeritus professor of religious studies at Missouri State University, Springfield, Missouri and adjunct professor of new Testament at Bangor Theological Seminary, Portland, Maine.

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Product Details

  • Series: The New International Commentary on the New Testament
  • Hardcover: 1132 pages
  • Publisher: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. (September 23, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802823025
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802823021
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.5 x 2.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #396,012 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Kevin on February 5, 2012
Format: Hardcover
After a lengthy career of teaching and writing, J. Ramsey Michaels delivers a detailed 1,000+ page slab of commentary on the "maverick gospel" (thanks Robert Kysar). For those interested in commentary history, this replaces Leon Morris' 800+ volume in the same series.

I struggled to appropriately title this review because I needed to use the proper words to convey the value of this commentary. It is lengthy--not only in pages, but in the issues Michaels chooses to cover. Often the main body and footnotes will carry on discussions about what certain Greek articles and pronouns refer to, but then Michaels will skimp over issues like John's use of the Old Testament or the Johannine communty debate (which is my own pet interest). That also explains why I called this commentary idiosyncratic--Michaels' use of secondary sources (very limited) and positions that he takes on certain issues (often unique) make this commentary distinctive. He blazes his own trail through John, often where few have gone before him.

Let me give one example of a colorful interpretation from Michaels. In John 19:30, when Jesus "lays" his head and gives up his spirit, Michaels connects this with Jesus' words in Matthew 8:20 that the Son of Man has no place to "lay" his head. This surely is an intriguing connection, but is he right? Another way he bucks scholarly convention is he gives more attention to the woman caught in adultery passage (John 7:53-8:11; the "pericope adulterae") and sees it as an important set-up for Jesus' teaching in the temple. So again, one is hard-pressed to find a current commentary that reads John the way Michaels does.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Pastor J Gray on September 29, 2013
Format: Hardcover
THE GOSPEL OF JOHN by J. Ramsay Michaels

This is a massive work (1094 pages) on John, which replaces Leon Morris' work in The New International Commentary on the New Testament series. As I have been doing some study in the Gospel of John, I added it to my library. I must say that after using it, I am not impressed with Michaels work. While he is conservative in the approach to John, I am disappointed in the commentary. I found the following:

*I was surprised that he acts mostly with older scholars (Bultman and Barrett); little with Carson and Keener, and with Kostenberger at all. I was expecting more. To me this dates the work before it came out.
*He is not afraid of controversy; in fact he opens in Gospel with such with his view of the Prelude. Some of this is interesting, but does not outweigh the rest of the work.
*He downgrades the idea of John the Apostle being the author. His conclusion is we cannot know who wrote it.
*He has some unusual interpretations. An example of a fanciful connection is found in John 19:30 where he connects Jesus laying his head and giving up the spirit to Matthew 8:20 where Jesus had no place to lay his head (page 964).
*He seems to be brief on theological issues, and does not cover others, like John's use of the Old Testament.

Overall, I found he did not add much to what I found in other works.

I would not recommend this work. To me the cost benefit is not there. The cost is great and for me the benefit are little. In my humble opinion it certainly does not measure up to the work it replaces by Leon Morris. Carson, Keener, Kostenberger, and Beasley-Murray are much better choices.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By lionintheorchard on October 20, 2015
Format: Hardcover
This note is regarding the NICNT volume written by J. Ramsey Michaels, not the former NICNT volume by Morris, however good that was.

The reviews that tell us that this book contains independent minded interpretation of the Gospel of John are right on, so far as I am concerned. I will give this book a more decent review when I have been able to spend some time with it.

First, I want to say thank you to Mr. Ramsey Michaels for sharing with us his commentary and work on the Gospel of John. The first pages I read lifted my heart. I found his comments on the third chapter and vs. 16 to be very good. He comments on how John reports that God has placed the world o kosmos---ton kosmon-- before his son, for He was willing to give him up for us, not sparing His only Son. Michaels relates this back to the story of Abraham, and how God asked of Abraham to give his son(whom God had promised to be his heir and successor). When time came to it and Abraham was going to do so, by sacrifice, God's angel said "Stop!" But God gave His Son for the life of the world.

There are many reflections and ties back to the OT that are contained in this commentary.

I have over a dozen commentaries on John's Gospel, probably 16, but I believe that this will become one of my favourites. I like to use Carson and Barrett and Keener. I have Brown and Ridderbos, Beasley Murray, Kostenberger, Newbigin. Many of these are fine, I just haven't used them much. I like Brown's work, which I have read more in his books on the Messiah. I am not a moderate RC, I am a conservative Christian, evangelical may be a good word or not. However, I cannot help but admire Brown's work, even though in John I use Carson, Keener, and Barrett more.
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