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1, 2, and 3 John (Sacra Pagina series, Vol. 18) Hardcover – July, 2002

4.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

John Painter is the Foundation Professor of Theology at Charles Sturt University in Canberra, Australia.
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Product Details

  • Series: Sacra Pagina (Hardcover) (Book 18)
  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Michael Glazier (July 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0814658121
  • ISBN-13: 978-0814658123
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.5 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #715,260 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Although the Editor of the series states that Sacra Pagina "is shaped by the context of the Catholic tradition," the five volumes I've read to date offer scholarly notes and reasoned interpretations that can be appreciated by readers of all faiths. Without neglecting the religious meaning of the text, the focus of the series is on acquainting the reader with the results of modern critical analysis - a repository contributed to and shared by international biblical scholars of all denominations and having different presuppositions, among whom are the SP authors. Dr. John Painter gives us one fine example with his commentary on 1, 2, and 3 John.

In the opening Historical Prolegomenon, a 24-page chapter, Painter situates the commentary in relation to other scholarship by reviewing some of the history of interpreting the Johannine Epistles and stating his own position. We learn that he has built on the interpretive tradition going back to Theodor Haring (German analytical article, 1893), Robert Law (influential study - The Tests of Life, 1906), Alan Brooke (ICC, 1912), and the commentaries of C.H. Dodd (1946) and Rudolph Schnackenburg (1953); also that Painter's work on the commentary started with research done with C.K. Barrett (Durham 1965-1967). He presents some key views and proposals of these scholars (except Barrett) and of others from Westcott (late 19th c.) to Judith Lieu (late 20th c.), including Bultmann (briefly) and R.E. Brown. From the start, then, the reader gets the impression that Painter will deliver a serious, well-conceived study.

The Prolegomenon is followed by an important multi-section Introduction.
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Format: Hardcover
This effort by John Painter, while not groundbreaking, is nonetheless a fairly thorough treatment of the Johannine letters. It is a book that takes the Johannine text seriously, and provides the reader with a good amount of information upon which to evaluate the text themselves.

Painter takes a moderate view on the authorship question, believing that while we can't be sure that the Apostle John wrote any of these letters, it's irresponsible to completely rule it out either. In addition, when it comes to favoring either a 'polemic' or 'pastoral' interpretive emphasis to the letters, Painter seems to opt for the polemic. His interaction with Lieu, while charitable, is often in the form of critique rather than endorsement, and his exegesis regularly ties the text to the opponents of the author. This is very much in the Brown tradition of interpreting the letters, at least on an overall level. As one who thinks the letters are both polemical and pastoral, I can see how a reader might find Painter's treatment a bit imbalanced in his stress on polemic. However, I think Painter is mostly on target in his treatment of polemic. The pastoral thrust of the letters, however, might be a bit neglected in this commentary.

Painter's exegesis is mostly good, as is his interaction with other scholars. His focus on hospitality is predominately good, though it could have been better. In addition, I was pleased that Painter conversed with Kruse's commentary here. It is a regretably common practice for non-evangelical commentaries to ignore evangelical scholarship almost entirely in formulating their own proposals. 40 years ago, perhaps this was justified. But not any more. Painter thankfully does not adopt such an elitist framework in his consultation of the commentary encyclopedia.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book was purchased for our library upon the recommendation of one of our professors as an excellent resource for student learning and research.
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Format: Hardcover
This whole series has not a single vol. which is not worth reading. Very compatible to protestant scholarship, and much superior to the Anchor Bible volumes. I look forward to going through this volume in detail.
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