Pages 428 pages
Publisher Abingdon Press
In this volume, Smith views the Fourth Gospel within several contexts in order to illuminate its specific purposes and achievements. A growing consensus of recent scholarship (including Martyn, Raymond E. Brown, Meeks) seeks the roots of this Gospel and its traditions in the coflict between Jesus' followers and opponents within Judaism. In their struggles, Jesus' followers are encouraged and strengthened by his continuing presence in the Spirit, which articulates his meaning for new situations. Although distinctive, Johannine Christianity does not develop in complete isolation from the broader Christian Gospels. Out of a fascinating, if complex, setting develops the strikingly unique statement of Christian faith, practice, and doctrine found in the Gospel of John. The purpose of this commentary is to enable the reader to comprehend that statement in historical perspective in order to appreciate its meaning and significance.
This book appears in the following featured collections.
- New Testament Commentaries & Monographs by Princeton Theological Seminary
While this review might seem rather belated, the fact is I received the book at the end ofMarch 2002. While many readers have surely already acquired and made good use of thiscommentary, I offer the following, all too brief, observations.I found Moody Smith’s work on the Gospel of John to be an excellent commentary thatfits admirably into the purview of the Abingdon New Testament Commentaries series,given its intended audience: theological students, pastors, and others working in a churchsetting. Professional New Testament interpreters will likewise find this compact, criticalwork of great value, since it is a balanced presentation rooted in the author’s broadscholarship and thorough acquaintance with the field of Johannine studies. Thetestimonial blurbs from a number of recognized Johannine scholars that adorn the backcover of the volume surely are correct in their unstinting endorsement of the work, for itrepresents the “received view” framework within which most studies of the Gospel ofJohn have been and are developed.The “received view” is a label used in the philosophy of science to characterize theprescribed way of asking and answering questions in a given academic discipline. It is theway of understanding things currently in vogue among a large number of practitionersand in the popular mind. [Full Review]