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Encountering John: The Gospel in Historical, Literary, and Theological Perspective (Encountering Biblical Studies) Paperback – February 1, 2002
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Arguably the Gospel of John is the most widely read gospel and at the same time the gospel which is the most difficult to understand. Students who look for a comprehensive introduction into the Fourth Gospel need to look no further. A. Kstenberger has written the best college level introduction available. The book is packed with the most recent scholarship yet is not pedantic in its presentation of secondary sources. It regulary discusses differing views on numerous topics yet never loses its focus. It consistently introduces the reader into scholarly debates not for their own sake but for enhancing the understanding of the text of the Gospel. It demonstrates an admirable balance between historical, literary, and theological matters. And it seeks to help the reader to engage with the Gospel and with the Incarnate Word whom it portrays, on a personal level. I highly recommend the book -- Eckhard Schnabel, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
Combines expert scholarship with skillful and attractive methods of communication. It is exactly what students of the Fourth Gospel need both to provide them with the scholarly information and to guide and stimulate their own exploration of the Gospel and the many issues it raises. A splendid contribution to this new series. -- Richard Bauckham, St. Andrews University --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Andreas J. Köstenberger (Ph.D., Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) is associate professor of New Testament and Greek at Southeastern Theological Seminary. He is the author of The Missions of Jesus and the Disciples According to the Fourth Gospel. He is also the translator of the influential twovolume New Testament theology written by Adolf Schlatter.
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First of all, the book is concise. It is not weighed down or too bulky for a new student of John's gospel. It is the right size and it gives all the essential information you need to get started and yet there is a lot of good stuff in it for those who have studied the gospel before. He does very nice summations of the text and while every verse is not discussed in detail it is easy to understand the big picture of the Gospel.
Second of all, the book is conservative. Having already been exposed to a number of scholars in this field it seems that fanciful speculations about the authorship, theology, and history of this book are quite abundant. This book is free from those kind of big leaps. Dr. Kostenberger is rational and logical in his approach to dissecting the text itself. He is faithful to history and to the church fathers.
Lastly, the book is constructive. He builds a nice case for the gospel and his analysis at the end is excellent. He shows how John's gospel is only a "maverick gospel" to some level. He compares John with the synoptics and other books of scripture to show that John is very much orthodox in his understanding of theology and there is no incongruity with his gospel and other writers of the New Testament. It is nice to see John side by side with Peter and Paul. This is refreshing after reading so many writers who want to deconstruct John.
All in all, I think this book is fantastic and if I were to direct a first time student of John's gospel I would direct them first to the gospel itself and next to this book. This is not the "be all end all" of John but it is great to get your feet wet. He gives excellent reflections on things like the subordination/equality paradox in John. He handles the tension between "eschatology now and later" with candor and sensitivity to other schools of thought. This is first source for the new student but also a good source for seasoned scholars as well. This is just a book worth having in your library.
After studying the Gospel of John for a number of months, I looked at a number of commentaries and found this one to be the most helpful. Kostenberger helped confirm some of what I learned through my studies and introduced themes and understandings that I completely missed. Even if you are not from a conservative or evangelical perspective, this book should help you understand the Gospel of John.
Too bad there is not a "Encountering" book for every book in the Bible. This is a great series.
Most recent customer reviews
Doing this study with a granddaughter who is talking this for a college course to finish her 4 year degree in nursing.
I like the paperback. It is easier to carry and handle.