There are times when I enjoy sliding into the “nerdy” side of Bible study. When those times come, it is always helpful to have on hand something to assist that journey. While I am no Greek scholar, I do appreciate and understand the necessity of engaging the original languages when at all possible. Murray Harris has provided such a tool in his Exegetical Guide to the Greek New Testament: John edited by Andreas Kostenberger and Robert Yarbrough.
What is quickly apparent in this book is the magnitude of scholarly insight that is brought to bear by the author. That is, of course, understandable given he is after all the professor emeritus of New Testament exegesis and theology at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. Credentials aside, Harris provides his years of experience to the task of walking the reader through the Gospel of John. Along the way, he investigates all the relevant terms, concepts, and principles. He pays careful attention again to word meanings as they are understood from the Greek text.
There is much to enjoy about this book outside of the excellent exegesis. As with any valuable commentary, Harris begins by discussing important background issues such as authorship, audience, setting, date of writing, genre, how John relates to the Synoptic Gospels, the style of Greek used by John, and the overall structure of the gospel. All this serves as an essential foundation for understanding the overall thrust and message of John’s Gospel.
When it comes to the analysis and commentary section, as noted previously, it is top notch. For instance, Harris expertly outlines what the term Logos means, investigating the variety of possible meanings while noting the correct meaning of the term. Following his outstanding exegesis, the conclusion of each section contains a rather large bibliography that is divided into suggestions for each verse or periscope. I always appreciate suggestions for further reading, especially when they are so focused and divided out by sections of Scripture. Furthermore, for pastors, Sunday School instructors, and even small group leaders, Harris provides homiletical suggestions.
Now mind you the typical church audience might not be ready and able to handle an in-depth discussion of the Greek. With that said having a proper understanding of the text based on the correct engagement of the terms will assuredly provide the instructor of God’s Word with powerful tools for instructing the Body of Christ.
I highly recommend this commentary. It will be quite useful for Bible College and Seminary students, pastors, and lay people. This commentary is scholarly; yet still accessible for those willing to take the time to diligently study.
One needs not be a master of Greek to find this commentary useful. You just need the desire to study and that desire should be inherent in the Bible study habits of all believers. Using this commentary will go a long way towards a deeper understanding of the Gospel of John.
I received this book for free from B&H Academic and the opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”