Kenneth O. Gangel


Book Details

Series: Holman New Testament Commentary
Categories: John
Tags: Devotional


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5 out of 5 based on 1 user ratings
Let us be absolutely clear at the outset by saying that this book will be of absolutely no use to the serious scholar of John—and be of only slightly more use to the lay reader seeking encouragement in her or his faith. It pains one to present such a direct and forthright statement but to do less would only open oneself to accusations of damning with faint praise, for one could be no more charitable than that in regards to this volume. Although this book purports to be for an adult Christian believer seeking information about her or his basic confessional documents, the gospels, it succeeds only in patronizing its audience with pabulum of quasi-pious platitudes, banal exegesis (if one may so praise this prose) and inane illustrations. In short, this volume is a condescending and, indeed, dishonest presentation of what the author purports to be the theological message of the Gospel of John, cut loose from the context of both academic scholarship of the gospel and the vast body of theological exegesis of the gospel. We can in no terms recommend this volume to the reader. In more detail, here is why: This commentary is essentially de-contextualized, that is, it is cut loose from the world of scholarship, exegesis, and even the rest of the New Testament. One example comes from the introduction of the commentary where Gangel discusses basic issues on the provenance of the gospel, authorship and dating as well as purpose of the gospel and its style. On authorship, Gangel has no doubt that John the son of Zebedee was the author of the gospel, based primarily on the text and the fathers Theophilus, Irenaeus, Tertullian and Clement of Alexandria. However, he does not mention such basic data as that all the earliest manuscripts were anonymous. Further, he marginalizes any other opinion by stating that “[o]pponents of this view have usually come from theological camps outside mainline orthodoxy, such as the Gnostics” (p. [Full Review]

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