WAKE FOREST, N.C. (BP)–Andreas Kostenberger’s decade-long exploration of the Gospel of John has resulted in his third volume on the New Testament gospel.
“John,” published by Baker Books as part of the Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament series, joins Kostenberger’s two earlier works, “Encountering John” (1999), a survey of the historical, literary and theological features of the gospel, and a volume on John (2001) in the Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary.
“As my 10-year love relationship with John’s Gospel attests, the book opens up so many fruitful avenues of study that it is virtually impossible to tire of reading and studying the gospel,” said Kostenberger, a New Testament professor and director of the graduate studies program at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, N.C.
“John’s scope is considerably wider than that of the other gospels, which allows the reader a mountaintop experience, as it were, from this ‘Mount Everest’ of New Testament theology regarding Jesus,” Kostenberger said.
Kostenberger said his latest volume on John is designed for pastors, students and laypeople, not just scholars.
“In an age when many commentaries are written with one single narrow focus in view, be it historical, literary or theological, my goal was to combine all three aspects in a balanced presentation of the Gospel’s teaching and narrative,” he said.
Kostenberger described the Gospel of John as being simultaneously profound, presenting deep theological truth, and simple, with a story told in language that a child can understand.
Describing the commentary’s user-friendly format, Kostenberger said, “For any given section in John’s gospel, there is first a shaded entry providing a general overview of the passage. This is followed by the author’s own translation of the text from the original Greek. After this, readers will find a detailed verse-by-verse, in fact, word-by-word treatment of the gospel, with additional notes on textual and other technical matters at the end.”
That user-friendliness has led to the Baker series’ success, Kostenberger said. His fellow Southern Baptist scholar, Thomas Schreiner of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., wrote the volume on Romans in the series.
Kostenberger’s new volume is not intended to replace his earlier works, especially Encountering John. “[This commentary] supplements the earlier volume by providing more detailed discussions of exegetical and textual issues, as well as thorough verse-by-verse explorations of the gospel and studies of the various literary dimensions of John’s gospel,” he explained.
Though he has published what some might consider a life’s work on the gospel, Kostenberger said he plans to continue studying and writing about the book. Also, he has started work on a biblical interpretation textbook that he said will occupy some of his writing time for the next few years.