In the second volume, of his mammoth 3-volume Gospel and Letters of John, Urban von Wahlde provides a detailed commentary on the Gospel of John. He includes his own translation from the Greek (with material from each edition of the Gospel indicated by typeface) along with detailed notes on individual verses. He also sets forth a developmental commentary that shows the meaning of each passage - and how and why the meaning may have changed throughout the Gospel's development - and he demonstrates how individual passages contribute to the overall structure and "religious thought" of the Gospel at each point in its composition and in its present form.
This radically new, three-volume commentary by Urban von Wahlde on The Gospel and Letters of John is the most detailed study of the composition of the Johannine literature ever put forth by an American scholar.
Some of the most serious problems involved with interpreting John are due to the complex history of the Gospel's composition. While many scholars overlook the various inconsistencies and conflicting "voices" present in this Gospel, von Wahlde painstakingly examines them, exposing the distinct stages - and literary strata - in the Johannine tradition and showing how each represents a further theological development. His thorough and precise exegesis will lead readers to a fuller understanding of both the Gospel and the Letters in all their richness.
Urban von Wahlde’s radically new, three-volume commentary on the Gospel and Letters of John is the most detailed study of the composition of the Johannine literature ever put forth by an American scholar. / Nearly all of the problems confronted by those who study John have to do with the literary strata of the Gospel of John and their relation to the composition of the Letters of John. With an archaeologist’s precision, and engaging a whole range of scholarly contributions in this area, von Wahlde digs down to the foundations and exposes three distinct literary strata in the development of the Johannine tradition. Volume 1 gives detailed evidence identifying and listing the criteria for each stratum. Volumes 2 and 3 apply those criteria to the Gospel and Letters of John respectively. / These books are part of the Eerdmans Critical Commentary series, edited by David Noel Freedman and Astrid B. Beck.
Urban C. von Wahlde is professor of New Testament at LoyolaUniversity Chicago. He is also the author of TheJohannine Commandments: 1 John and the Struggle for theJohannine Tradition and The Earliest Version ofJohn's Gospel: Recovering the Gospel of Signs.
Von Wahlde has painstakingly reconstructed the composition of the Gospel of John, building on widely held views and offering methodological advances regarding the correlation of vocabulary, style, theology, and the history of the Johannine tradition in this quest. The result is very persuasive. Our understanding of the composition of the Gospel and the history of the Johannine community is coming into focus with greater and greater clarity. The various strands of evidence can be understood in relation to one another, and individual sections of the Gospel take on new meaning when read in light of von Wahlde’s commentary. This magnificent achievement will shape the discussion of the Gospel of John, its theology, and its relationship to 1 John for the next generation.”
R. Alan Culpepper
McAfee School of Theology, Mercer University
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