John: A Commentary [New Testament Library]   -     By: Marianne Meye Thompson
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John: A Commentary [New Testament Library]

Westminster John Knox Press / 2015 / Hardcover

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Product Description

Almost from the earliest days of the church, John's distinctive presentation of Jesus has provoked discussion about its place among the other Gospels. One cannot help but see the differences from the Synoptics and wonder about the origins and character of John. In this new volume in the New Testament Library series, Marianne Meye Thompson explores the ministry and significance of Jesus of Nazareth as presented in the Gospel of John, paying special attention to the social, cultural, and historical contexts that produced it. John's Gospel, Thompson posits, is the product of a social-cultural world whose language, commitments, and contours must be investigated in order to read John's narrative well. In doing so, Thompson studies the narrative, structure, central themes, and theological and rhetorical arguments found in the Fourth Gospel. Thompson's expert commentary unpacks and illuminates John's unique witness to Jesus--who he was, what he did, and what that means.

About the Series:
The New Testament Library series offers authoritative commentary on every book and major aspect of the New Testament, providing fresh translations based on the best available ancient manuscripts, critical portrayals of the historical world in which the books were created, careful attention to their literary design, and a theologically perceptive exposition of the biblical text. The contributors are scholars of international standing. The editorial board consists of C. Clifton Black, Princeton Theological Seminary; M. Eugene Boring, Brite Divinity School; and John T. Carroll, Union Presbyterian Seminary.

Product Information

Format: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 568
Vendor: Westminster John Knox Press
Publication Date: 2015
Dimensions: 9.00 X 6.00 (inches)
ISBN: 0664221114
ISBN-13: 9780664221119
Series: New Testament Library

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Author Bio

Marianne Meye Thompson is George Eldon Ladd Professor of New Testament at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California. She is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). Among her books is The Promise of the Father: Jesus and God in the New Testament, published by Westminster John Knox Press.

Editorial Reviews

"In this exceptional commentary, Thompson wears her deep scholarship lightly. We are given a clear and fresh vision of John’s portrayal of Jesus and its enduring significance for today. Here is real insight."
—Walter Moberly, Professor of Theology and Biblical Interpretation, Durham University


"Without neglecting the cultural contexts of this most 'spiritual' Gospel, Thompson demonstrates the depth of the Gospel's scriptural roots and, in conversation with interpreters ancient and modern, the breadth and height of its theological claims. This expert engagement with the Gospel narrative is a much-needed contribution to its contemporary interpretation. It will now be my go-to commentary on John."
—Michael J. Gorman, Raymond E. Brown Professor of Biblical Studies and Theology, St. Mary's Seminary & University


"Thompson has written a richly rewarding theological commentary that reads the Fourth Gospel first and foremost as a story of Jesus. No one is better qualified today to write such a commentary, and Thompson's work does not disappoint. Both pastor and scholar will be greatly rewarded by giving this work their attention."
—Nijay K. Gupta, George Fox Evangelical Seminary




"Both the specialist and the less informed student will find here a careful and faithful reading that traces the actual contours of the narrative while not ignoring historical considerations, literary context, patristic traditions, and contemporary scholarly debate. Professor Thompson's main concern is to 'illumine the witness' of the evangelist and so to train the lens thoroughly on that witness’s 'understanding of Jesus—who he was, what he did, and what that means.’ This she does, with grace and erudition."
—Edith M. Humphrey, William F. Orr Professor of New Testament, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary

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  1. Michigan
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    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Excellent Up-to-date Engagement with the Fourth Gospel
    December 27, 2015
    John M Kight
    Michigan
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    Quality: 5
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    Meets Expectations: 5
    Marianne Meye Thompson (PhD, Duke University) is George Eldon Ladd Professor of New Testament at Fuller Theological Seminarys School of Theology where she has been on the faculty for over three decades. Thompson is the author of several books, including, 13 John (IVP New Testament Commentary, InterVarsity Press, 2011), A Commentary on Colossians and Philemon (The Two Horizons Commentary, Eerdmans, 2005), The God of the Gospel of John (Eerdmans, 2001), The Promise of the Father (Westminster John Knox, 2000), and co-author of Introducing the New Testament (Eerdmans, 2001). She has also published numerous articles and reviews in scholarly journals with specific emphasis on Johannine literature. Most recently, Thompson released her much-anticipated commentary on the Fourth Gospel in the highly acclaimed New Testament Library series.

    John: A Commentary begins with a substantial bibliography of up-to-date commentaries, monographs, and essays related to the Gospel of John. At 24 pages, a quick glance of the bibliography displays a well-researched commentary, and the content therein embodies the reality of this information well. Still, Thompson is clear that her efforts are not primarily about interaction with the scholarship of the Fourth Gospel. Instead, she seeks to present an understanding of the text within a narrative framework, as she traces and explores the holistic understanding of the ministry and significance of Jesus Christ in the Gospel of John. This unique approach to the Gospel of John makes this commentary both accessible and useful to the specialist and nonspecialist alike. Thompson has effectively guided the reader through the depths of the narrative without losing sight of the cultural context and scholarly concerns required for a top-tier commentary in a growing market.

    The introduction to the commentary is filled with helpful information for the trained and untrained reader. Some readers will likely just skim over this section or skip it altogether. However, this approach is not recommended. Thompson has an excellent and stimulating discussion on the relation of the Gospel of John and the Synoptic Gospels. For Thompson, the Fourth Gospel is to be understood as an ancient historical biography, and thus the author maintains the complete liberty to expand and correct the material for his purpose (p. 8). Consequently, Thompson acknowledges that John did not intend to write a history about Jesus that would be understood by all, but rather understood by John (p. 13). This is thought, according to Thompson, to explain the divergence of the Fourth Gospel from Matthew, Mark, and Luke. Thompsons arguments are convincing, but the reader will need to be the judge of such claims.

    Thompson has done excellent work illuminating Johns understanding of Jesus, but there are a few likely concerns the reader will encounter. For the sake of space here, I will list only two. First, despite the almost universal internal and external attestation of Johannine authorship being attributed to John, the son of Zebedee, Thompson views the traditional understanding of the authorship of the Gospel as unlikely. Her reasons are explained and the case is well made, but she still doesnt give a clear answer to the question of authorship. Second, the reader may be stunned to see some of the textual decisions that Thompson makes in her translation of the Gospel. For example, Thompson finds the only son (huios) to be the most natural reading of John 1:18. This reading is certainly possible, but the most difficult reading of the only God (theos) has both early and important attestation. In fact, it is almost universally understood that theos is the correct reading of the text, and huios was the result of later scribal assimilation to other passages in the Gospel (John 3:16, 18).

    John: A Commentary by Marianne Meye Thompson is an up-to-date commentary on one of the most important and influential biblical books in the New Testament. Thompson approaches the author of the Gospel on his terms and guides the reader through the depths of the narrative. The reader will find Thompsons reading of the text fresh and inviting. The introduction is a worthy starting point for readers of all background and expertise. Her exegesis is sometimes prematurely saturated with theological bias, sometimes making theological statements about the text that directly oppose even a mere reading of the text itself (e.g. John 6:44). Her textual decisions are also sometimes interesting, but the reader should find her conversation on such decisions as an added benefit to their library. Nonetheless, despite the pros and cons, this is a much-anticipated commentary by a seasoned and experienced Johannine scholar. It is true that in some cases the anticipation has outshined the publication, but this is certainly not one of those cases. If you are looking for an up-to-date commentary on the Gospel of John, this volume by Marianne Meye Thompson should be at the top of your wishlist.

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