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The Letters of John (Pillar New Testament Commentary) Hardcover – March 11, 2000


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Product Details

  • Series: Pillar New Testament Commentary
  • Hardcover: 280 pages
  • Publisher: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. (March 11, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 080283728X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802837288
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #127,618 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 32 people found the following review helpful By J. F Foster on April 13, 2007
Format: Hardcover
In the last 30 years, a number of standard commentaries on the Johannine epistles have been produced that require interaction from the church. Brown's commentary on the epistles is the most obvious example, but the work of Judith Lieu and Strecker also demand engagement. What has been missing for some time is a solidly evangelical commentary on the epistles that is both pastoral and academically robust. This effort by Colin Kruse does not fail the reader on either front, but neither is it a glowing success either.

Kruse presents a generally conservative approach to interpretation, though he does at times draw heavily from non-evangelical scholarship, particularly in his excursus on hospitality. Kruse is helpful if for no other reason than because he offers some balance to many prevailing commentators and their pet theories. Kruse does not jump on the sectarian reading bandwagon, nor does he adopt the fashionable scholarly position of holding a rather unsympathetic view toward the Elder of 2 and 3 John. Kruse rightly attempts to show that these epistles are not merely the situational period pieces that seem to form the basis for most scholarly interaction with the epistles. All of this makes the book refreshing in its outlook and treatment of these letters.

But in my view, the commentary is a bit weak when it comes to the 'robustness' of its scholarship. Compared with other commentaries, very little time is spent surveying the historical situation of the writings and interacting with other scholarly proposals on this score. This is disappointing considering Kruse himself acknowledges the necessity of establishing such a starting point as a basis for approaching the texts.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Neil M Cameron on May 13, 2001
Format: Hardcover
1 John is not the easiest book of the Bible to understand, but Kruse is very helpful in his analysis. Originally a thematic analysis, Kruse expanded his work to be a detailed commentary with the thematic sections appearing as they arise within the text.
Kruse is succinct in style and conservative in content. I am currently using this book as I preach through 1 John, and I am finding his work invaluable. For those who have found certain passages in 1 John to be discouraging (ie Christians don't sin), Kruse shows that the author is writing during a period of time when proto-gnostic heresy was infiltrating the church - a heresy that denied Christ's humanity and sin within believers. Rather than discourage believers, 1 John (interpreted in this correct context) is a great encouragement to all who walk in the light and have fellowship with the Father.
David Jackman (Bible Speaks Today) and John Stott (Tyndale), are helpful side-commentaries - but Kruse is much more helpful.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Brian G Hedges on July 29, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a very good commentary on the letters of John, which I referred to often when I was preaching through 1 John last year. The commentary reflects competent scholarship (but without being cumbersome, e.g. Greek words are transliterated) and a conservative theological perspective. Of special help are the many theological excursions spread throughout the text (A Note on the Meaning of 'Fellowship,' A Note on Hilasmos, A Note on Antichrist, A Note on Sinless Perfectionism, A Note on Sins that Do and Do Not Lead to Death, etc.) Kruse gives a good survey of various interpretations, but also grounds his own conclusions in solid exegesis of both text and context. This is, without doubt, one of the best commentaries on John's letters available today.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Matthew Gunia VINE VOICE on August 20, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Colin Kruse is a professor of New Testament at the Bible College of Victoria (Melbourne, Australia) and author of several commentaries and other works intended to apply New Testament teachings in a modern way. This commentary on John's letters seeks to capitalize on Kruse's previous work as the goal of the Pillar Commentary Series is to provide both exegetical analysis and modern application for the parish pastor. In all, Kruse does an admirable job at this.

Any commentator on the John's epistles is required to make educated guesses concerning the background, authorship, and context of the letters. Kruse writes his commentary accepting the ancient Christian tradition that John (son of Zebedee, disciple of Jesus) is the author of both the Gospel of John and the Epistles of John. He defends this view excellently using both internal and external arguments. He further writes assuming that John is a parish pastor who also (as a disciple/apostle) oversees a number of local area churches. Unfortunately, some from John's church have rejected the orthodox Christian faith and have adopted views that are contrary to Christianity. These views include the idea that Jesus is not the Christ (true God come in the flesh), that they (the secessionists) have no need for forgiveness of sins), the death of Jesus was unimportant, and they live a life characterized by malicious gossip and greed. Because these secessionists have begun traveling around the area on "missionary journeys," John writes these letters to encourage the Christians of the surrounding churches to cling to the faith as they have been taught by John (and the other eye-witnesses to the risen Christ) and to reject the teachings of the secessionists.

There are many positive aspects of this book.
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