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1-3 John (Reformed Expository Commentary) Hardcover – September 30, 2015
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"Reading Douglas O'Donnell's commentary on John's letters is a delight and a challenge. It is a delight, for we are reminded of the gospel that assures us that we are the children of God. And it is a challenge, for we also learn about the qualities that are to characterize God s children. O'Donnell's work is marked by solid exegesis, a knowledge of church history, and faithful theology. I was particularly struck by the pastoral spirit infusing the book. I was helped and encouraged by this commentary, and I commend it gladly." --Thomas R. Schreiner, James Buchanan Harrison Professor of New Testament Interpretation & Associate Dean, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky
"What do you preach not only to plant a church but to help it to survive the invasion of false teachers, loveless strife, and immorality? This enduring question emphasizes the vital relevance of John's letters for churches in every time and place. Written by a pastor for pastors, Douglas O'Donnell's commentary offers a rich feast for the servers as well as their diners." --Michael Horton, J. Gresham Machen Professor of Systematic Theology and Apologetics, Westminster Seminary California
"Written with wit, learning, and savvy, this is a commentary to read and savor, not just to 'use' to find out what difficult verses mean. Each chapter amounts to an informative, uplifting, and challenging appeal. If more pastors preached like this, and more believers saw these truths in Scripture, both church and society would be moving in far better directions. Read this book! You'll find in John's holy epistles fresh meaning, life, hope, and direction." --Robert W. Yarbrough, Professor of New Testament, Covenant Theological Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri
About the Author
Douglas Sean O'Donnell (MA, Wheaton College; MA, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) was senior pastor of New Covenant Church (PCA) in Naperville, Illinois, and an instructor for the Charles Simeon Trust. He is currently a senior lecturer at Queensland Theological College in Brisbane, Australia, while obtaining his doctorate.
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For those look for help in preaching the Epistles of John, they can consult this commentary. Within this commentary, Douglas Sean O’Donnell shows readers how he preached the epistles of John. He allows readers to understand how he interprets the passages, and why he makes the point that he makes. I have to say that O’Donnell has certainly been very exegetical within this commentary. He examines the passages phrase by phrase, looking into the meaning of each of them. Explaining them in the context of the passage and giving helpful illustrations along the way.
Although I did not find this commentary to be as sermon-like as his previously commentary on Ecclesiastes was (which was excellent). I do see a clear strength in his exegesis. I think for preachers who struggles with understanding what is good exegesis, or the difference between eisegesis and exegesis, this will be a good commentary to consult. O’Donnell will bring you through step by step his exegesis for the passage.
One sad ‘regret’ is how short this commentary is. However given how the epistles of John consist mostly of 7 chapters. It is understandable why this commentary is much thinner that the others within the same series.
Are you preaching on the epistles of John any time soon? Or perhaps aiming to study the epistles of John? Then do get this book and read it both devotionally and also gain some exegetical knowledge on how to understand the passages.
As with every commentary in the Reformed Expository Commentary, this commentary is excellent for any preachers and seminary students who intends to study or preach this passage.
Rating: 4.5 / 5
Disclaimer: I was given this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Commentaries are the most used resources among pastors. We are always seeking for commentaries that are able to combine exegesis without being excessively technical. We love reading commentaries we can easily apply to our sermon preparation and commentaries that are almost written from a homiletical perspective. If you are planning to preach on the letters of John, then you need to consider buying 1'3 John, by Douglas Sean O’Donnell (2015).
O’Donnell begins his commentary assuming the Johannine authorship point of view of the three letters. He does not invest a single chapter to discuss authorship issues in exclusivity. However, the title of the first chapter of the books says it all: “Apostolic Fellowship.” In this chapter, O’Donnell deepens into the pronouns “which”, “we”, and “you” as pivotal words for an appropriate understanding of the rest of the letter. If you are looking for a book that will provides you with a bigger perspective on authorship, then this is not you book. But if you have already adopted Johannine authorship, you will love this commentary.
The author does an excellent job regarding text dissemination. He goes pericope by pericope deepening into the most important terms without isolating them from the context. He also includes some convenient tables in order to go deeper into an idea or to show parallelisms between sentences. O’Donnell also uses some diagrams with the main purpose of underling antithetic clauses and ideas, repetitions, or synonyms used by John to express an idea. Thanks to these helpful tools, one can appreciate text peculiarities and details that would be difficult to explain through words, and O’Donnell does that strategically and in convenient texts.
The author writes in a very accessible and dynamic manner without abounding in Greek terms. That allows readers to focus on the text without losing the track O’Donnell traces. Illustrations from today and history are also a tool that the author uses to introduce new themes or to better explain a point.
Concluding, O’Donnell’s commentary on 1'3 John is a highly recommended book for pastors since this expository commentary is written from a homiletical-pastoral perspective. However, and due to its accessible language, I would recommend this book to any Bible student who would like to study Johannine epistles. You will not regret having obtained this book.
Review from https://ayudaministerial.wordpress.com/
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