Urban von Wahldes 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 archaeologists 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 Wahldes 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