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

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Product Details

  • Series: New International Commentary on the New Testament
  • Hardcover: 1132 pages
  • Publisher: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company (September 23, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802823025
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802823021
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 6.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #84,220 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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.

More About the Author

Most of my publication has been in New Testament studies, including detailed commentaries on First Peter (1988), the Book of Revelation (1997), the letter to the Hebrews (2003) and most recently the Gospel of John (2010, in the New International Commentary series).

"Passing by the Dragon" marks a crossover into the field of American literature, specifically the work of Flannery O'Connor, whose work I have known and admired since around 1975. My sister-in-law tells me that at last I have written something she can actually read! In this book I have tried to provide a reading of O'Connor's fiction that draws in turn on her own reading of the Bible. My book is no substitute for reading O'Connor herself (much less the Bible!), but I hope it will be a useful tool both for lovers of O'Connor and for lovers of the Old and New Testaments. I have taught religious studies at Missouri State University in Springfield, and New Testament at several theological seminaries (Gordon-Conwell and Andover-Newton in Massachusetts, Fuller in Pasadena, California and in Seattle, and Bangor Seminary in Portland, Maine). I have been "retired" since 1994, and my wife and I now live in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

Customer Reviews

I have found it to be very helpful and easy to use.
Matthew W. Erickson
For the scholars looking at this commentary, you likely won't be satisfied with Michael's use of secondary sources which are often limited and dated.
I would say at least 80 per cent of this commentary is spent doing such.
Joshua Smith

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 29 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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8 of 10 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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12 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Matthew W. Erickson on March 3, 2011
Format: Hardcover
J. Ramsey Michaels has given his life to New Testament studies. This important new addition to an excellent commentary series is worth attention. As a pastor who has often utilized the NICNT series, this new replacement of Leon Morris' commentary in the series has been a great resource for my own study on John's Gospel. I have found it to be very helpful and easy to use. The commentary is quite expansive (1094 pages), but the manner in which it is written is engaging and easy to move in and out of for study and sermon preparation. Michaels exhibits a careful attention to the flow of the text with a meaningful engagement of key themes, language, and background.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful By C. Paul Lee on July 19, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Dr. Michaels was a NT professor at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (MA) for 25 years, beginning in the late 1950s. Every year one of the special classes offered at the Seminary was his seminar on the Gospel of John. Each year, he closely read one more major commentary on the Gospel. According to his student Dr. Bill Long, one of the things he mentioned is that in his retirement he is authoring his "big" work on the Gospel of John. In an interview, he stated that "I work with the text and only the text at first, trying to discern the narrative flow, and forming my own impressions of what is going on. Only when I have formed these impressions and spotted the areas in which I still have significant questions do I turn to the commentaries and secondary literature to see to what extent these authors have the same impressions I do. Sometimes one or more of them changes my mind, sometimes not. As I go along, I notice if something I discover compels me to modify what I said earlier. Early on, I develop some sense of how long this thing is supposed to be, and try to tailor my comments accordingly." I am reading it in conjunction with Carson, Morris, Raymond Brown, Kostenberger, Haenchen, and Beasley-Murray. I am thoroughly enjoying the culmination of life time work of one of the leading evangelical NT scholar, who is also a humble and godly man. As I am reading his book, I imagine myself sitting in his lecture (how I wish I had that privilege!) He has taught Ben Witherington and Craig Keener--who have written fine commentaries of their own on the Gospel of John. His discussion of the issue relating to 7:53-8:11 is satisfying. This is a worthy replacement of Morris's older NICNT volume.
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