Commentary Recommendations & Resources: Gospel of John

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Commentary - JohnTopical

Raymond Brown – Community of the Beloved Disciple
Brown’s take on the Johannine community in the Gospel and Epistles of John.

Marianne Meye Thompson – The God of the Gospel of Joh
The title perfectly describes the book. This book is about how God is described and talked about in the Gospel of John. This is a very helpful book if you are studying John’s theology.

Ben Witherington – Women in the Ministry of Jesus
Both Witherington and the next book by Bauckham go into great length about the women of the Gospels. Witherington starts off with a few chapters about women and culture in the first century and then goes into specific women. Bauckham starts off in the Old Testament to give the roots of the New Testament thinking on women in the gospels and then goes to specific women mentioned in the four gospels.

Richard Bauckham – Gospel Women: Studies of the Named Women in the Gospels
See the entry above on Witherington



George Beasley-Murray – John (Word Biblical Commentary)
A pretty technical commentary that requires knowledge of Greek in order to fully appreciate. This is one of the first commentaries on John I ever used and so it holds a special place in my heart and is one that I still rely on, particularly if I have a question about the Greek.

Craig Blomberg – The Historical Reliability of John’s Gospel
This book would work as a stand alone commentary but it is particularly useful to those who are trying to understand the text itself. What happened with the text in John 8? What other portions of the text are in dispute and how is this tackled from a conservative/fairly traditional perspective?

Frederick Bruner – The Gospel of John: A Commentary
Bruner is great when he is great, which is most of the time. There are some times I think he psycho-analyzes the text and pulls meaning out that I just don’t find there but that is rare. This is an excellent commentary and some of his best work. This is my second favorite on the list, right behind Carson.

Raymond Brown – The Gospel According to John (Anchor Bible Commentary)
This is a classic commentary on the Gospel of John that was a landmark in its day. It is still worthwhile and one I still consult at times but not the first one I go to.

Gary Burge – John: NIV Application Commentary
This is the one you want to recommend to your teachers who are studying and preparing to teach Sunday school, small group, etc. This is also a great commentary for personal study or even devotional study of the Gospel of John. Of all of those listed here, this one is the most introductory/basic while still providing plenty of depth for most students of scripture.

D.A. Carson – The Gospel According to John (Pillar)
This is probably the best one on the list. Carson’s commentary is a little more advanced than some but still readable without an understanding of Greek. This is my top recommendation on the Gospel of John with Bruner right behind it.

Craig Keener – The Gospel of John (Vol 1 & 2)

Gail O’Day – The Gospel of John: Introduction, Commentary and Reflections (New Interpreter’s, Vol 9)

Tom Wright – John for Everyone

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