5 Stars Out Of 5
Ridderbos' commentary makes you think!
June 7, 2011
Central Pennsylvania, USA
This is a very good one-volume commentary on the Fourth Gospel. The product of a mature theological mind that is well-grounded in Contenental Reformed theology, there are several positives I would like to mention. It is, first, canonically-oriented in its approach. Ridderbos comes to grips with critical interpretation of St. John's Gospel while not losing focus on the meaning of the text as we have it. He forces us not simply to be satisfied with a point drawn from an isolated favorite passage, but demands that we move beyond the individual passage to think about the meaning of the Gospel for faith and life as a whole. Second, the commentary is theological. While one may hold to a strong disjunction between the biblical text and theology, as per critical exegesis, is this a wise or profitable endpoint for reflection? Scripture is given for the edification of the people of faith, and it is important that we ask how a biblical passage or an entire biblical book helps us understand the self-revelation of God in Jesus Christ. Ridderbos demands concentration as he bids the reader journey through the Gospel and asks the theological questions. The commentary is not for people seeking a brief and breezy treatment of the text to lift them up and carry them through their day, but it well-repays the reader to use it in tandem with other resources as he or she studies the text. Whether one agrees with Ridderbos at the end or not, this work will stretch you and force you to ask, too, "What is it that St. John's Gospel helps me understand about God?"