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The Epistles of John (The New International Commentary on the New Testament) 2nd Revised ed. Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0802825186
ISBN-10: 0802825184
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

This statement reflects the underlying purpose of The New International Commentary on the New Testament . Begun in the late 1940s by an international team of New Testament scholars, the NICNT series has become recognized by pastors, students, and scholars alike as a critical yet orthodox commentary marked by solid biblical scholarship within the evangelical Protestant tradition.

About the Author

I. Howard Marshall is professor emeritus of New Testament exegesis and honorary research professor at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland. His many books include New Testament Theology: Many Witnesses, One Gospel and Beyond the Bibl
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 274 pages
  • Publisher: Eerdmans; 2nd Revised ed. edition (July 14, 1978)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802825184
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802825186
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #391,460 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Matthew Gunia VINE VOICE on September 7, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I. Howard Marshall is a professor of New Testament at the University of Aberdeen (Scotland), an author in numerous conservative commentary sets, and contributor to many scholarly journals. This work, in the New International Commentary on the New Testament Series, was found to be an excellent read--not only because of its fluid prose, but also because of its excellent scholarship.

Commentators approach a text with certain assumptions. The positions that Marshall begins with include: that John, Son of Zebedee and disciple of Jesus wrote these three epistles as well as the Gospel of John (but not Revelation); that these letters were written to address certain schisms in local churches, but that they were not necessarily all written to address a single crisis; and that they were written between the 60s and 90s AD, with 2 John written first, followed by 3 John, and finally 1 John.

One unique characteristic of Marshall's commentary is that he treats each of the three epistles individually (as opposed to trying to matrix the theology of each--reading each through the window of the other) and in the order in which he believes they were written (2 John, 3 John, 1 John). The result is that the New Testament's briefest books--2 John and 3 John--receive a much more complete treatment than they normally receive. It was refreshing for this reader to see Marshall esteeming these often ignored books as divinely inspired Holy Scripture--which is what they are.

This reader also enjoyed Marshall's treatment of 1 John. He treats the epistle holistically, commenting on the particular verses while always keeping in mind what has preceded it and what will follow.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The Epistles of John are a set of three short works towards the end of the New Testament. Two are just short letters and one is a longer (what I would term) teaching document.

I appreciated Howard Marshalls treatment of the three works. He did something I had not considered before. He talked about his belief that 2 and 3 John were written before 1 John. So, his commentary starts with an introduction to the three works and then proceeds with the commentary on 2 John, then 3 John and finally 1st John.

Why does he do that way you ask? Because he feels that 2nd and 3rd John are short letters, one to the 'beloved lady" and the other to his dear friend "Gaius." They deal with two subjects. 2nd John deals with the subject of some teachers claiming that Christ was not both God and Man. They did not believe that Christ (God) could take on human form. Or they put a spin on it that the Holy Spirit descended on Christ at His Baptism and then left him before the crucifixion.

Either way, their teaching was wrong and disruptive to the church. The short letter instructs the lady and her children to not give hospitality to those and thus aid in their false teaching. Marshall believes this is a short letter to address the issue and that the Apostle John wanted to visit the church to correct the teaching in person. But when he couldn't get there in person he wrote 1st John as a longer treatment of the problem and addressed it in ink on paper.

In 3rd John we have 'The Elder' addressing the problem of Demetrius wanted to take over control of the church and not share what the Elder and other traveling missionaries were teaching. Again it is a short work addressing a problem.
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Format: Hardcover
This commentary is worth owning for a number of reasons. (I'm a pastor working in the Greek text developing sermons right now on John's letters).

Marshall's expository comments are well supported with clearly linked cross references that would fit well into any expository sermon. Sometimes he gives illustrations for the less transparent points of the text, which results in superior clarity for most readers. The augments which one reviewer called 'fluff' are not fluff at all. They are helpful meditative points that can be used in preaching. I love it when commentators bear their intended audience in mind and give a helping hand in context. That makes this commentary better than most.

If you desire to deal in the Greek text, his footnotes are an excellent add on to that study. He also references a number of other scholars in the footnotes for more on any crucial points Marshall brings out.

Overall, this is a five star commentary that anyone doing serious exegesis for a sermon ought to consult.
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Format: Kindle Edition
The commentary by I. Howard Marshall on the Johannine Epistles is a solid effort, one still worth owning and using 35 years after its original publication. Like most of the other commentaries in the New International Commentary on the New Testament series, it is geared for a general audience and is easy to read and quite accessible for the layperson. As is the case with the other NICNT commentaries, more technical issues (including comments on the Greek text) are relegated to footnotes. This permits access to these other issues without cluttering up the main text with material that may not be relevant to the general reader.

Especially helpful is Marshall's introductory material. His argument for John the Apostle being the author of the three epistles generally credited to him is persuasive without being pedantic or longwinded. (It comprises six pages of text altogether.) Also, I would commend to the reader the section of the introduction that deals with the relationship between the various writings in the Johannine corpus (the Gospel and Revelation as well as the epistles). While this section is somewhat longer than the section on authorship, it contains some excellent arguments for the unity of authorship of all of these writings.

While I do not agree with Marshall's interpretation of all of what John writes in these epistles (as other reviewers have noted, he has a tendency to interpret certain passages from an Arminian perspective), I find what he says to be challenging and carefully reasoned.
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