List price: $30.00|
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4.0 out of 5
ISBN/ASIN : 080283728X
Manufacturer : Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company|
Release data : April, 2000
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I have over 20 commentaries on First John. I consider this among the bottom five. Analysis is superficial and not particularly insightful. It might be an acceptable book for an introduction to First John, but if that's what you want, there are better books.
If you are looking for solid introductory books, try Marshall or Smalley. If you are looking for deep textual analysis try Brown or Brooke. I don't agree with the positions taken by all of these authors, but their works are far more insightful then the Pillar book.
I recently went back to college to audit a course where the Kruse book was a required text. Part way through the course, the professor apologized for using the book and said that in the future he will use a different book for First John.
This is a very good commentary on the letters of John, which I referred to often when I was preaching through 1 John last year. The commentary reflects competent scholarship (but without being cumbersome, e.g. Greek words are transliterated) and a conservative theological perspective. Of special help are the many theological excursions spread throughout the text (A Note on the Meaning of 'Fellowship,' A Note on Hilasmos, A Note on Antichrist, A Note on Sinless Perfectionism, A Note on Sins that Do and Do Not Lead to Death, etc.) Kruse gives a good survey of various interpretations, but also grounds his own conclusions in solid exegesis of both text and context. This is, without doubt, one of the best commentaries on John's letters available today.
For those who walk in the light.....
1 John is not the easiest book of the Bible to understand, but Kruse is very helpful in his analysis. Originally a thematic analysis, Kruse expanded his work to be a detailed commentary with the thematic sections appearing as they arise within the text.
Kruse is succinct in style and conservative in content. I am currently using this book as I preach through 1 John, and I am finding his work invaluable. For those who have found certain passages in 1 John to be discouraging (ie Christians don't sin), Kruse shows that the author is writing during a period of time when proto-gnostic heresy was infiltrating the church - a heresy that denied Christ's humanity and sin within believers. Rather than discourage believers, 1 John (interpreted in this correct context) is a great encouragement to all who walk in the light and have fellowship with the Father.
David Jackman (Bible Speaks Today) and John Stott (Tyndale), are helpful side-commentaries - but Kruse is much more helpful.