I can still remember the thrill of reading John's gospel as a baby Christian. I was a junior in college and had just come into a saving relationship with God the Father through the work of God the Son and the Holy Spirit. It was eternity changing and life transforming! While all of the gospels were a new reading experience to me, John's gospel answered so many of my questions and explained so much of the reality I now saw around me. Jesus, the God-Man, was large and I was small. I lived in a spiritual world of light and dark, tragically fallen humanity and a gracious God who intervened in human history. This Jesus whom I had come to know said and did things that no one else has ever said or done.
Today, this gracious God continues to change lives forever and show sinners His glory in the face of Jesus Christ. The evangelical and Reformed churches are served well through the wealth of great materials now available on John's gospel. Here are some of my favorites.
INTRODUCTORY LEVEL (Personal Devotion; Sunday School Class; Neighborhood Study; Campus Study)
J. C. Ryle, EXPOSITORY THOUGHTS ON JOHN'S
GOSPEL; Banner of Truth (3 volumes)--originally
written for believers in small towns and villages
in England who had no Bible believing churches
to attend, Ryle is the best and majoring in the
majors and bringing the reader to see Christ.
Andy Paterson, OPENING UP JOHN'S GOSPEL; Day
One Publications--simple and straight-forward
help in the basics of John's gospel.
William Philip and Dick Lucas, UNLOCKING THE
GOSPEL OF JOHN FOR THE BIBLE TEACHER;
Christian Focus--two gifted teachers of God's
Word show us how to open up John's gospel.
Bruce Milne, THE MESSAGE OF JOHN; IVP--
theologian and pastor, Dr. Milne shows us the
riches of John's gospel.
A. W. Pink, EXPOSITION OF THE GOSPEL OF JOHN;
Baker--a classic exposition that has helped many
see more of the riches of John.
R. Kent Hughes, JOHN (Preach the Word Series);
Crossway--a modern expositor who has helped
many to see more light in God's Word.
R. C. Sproul, JOHN (St. Andrews Expositional
Commentary); Reformation Trust--classic Sproul
James Montgomery Boice, THE GOSPEL OF JOHN;
5 volumes; Baker Books--a modern exposition,
comparable with A. W. Pink.
Gordon Keddie, THE GOSPEL OF JOHN (2 volumes);
Evangelical Press--one of my favorite
commentaries by one of my favorite
INTERMEDIATE LEVEL (pastoral preaching/exposition)
John Calvin, JOHN (Crossway Classic Commentary
Series); Crossway--edited for use today by James
Packer and Alistair McGrath.
F. F. Bruce, THE GOSPEL OF JOHN; Eerdmans--the
dean of evangelical New Testament scholars in the
2nd half of the 20th century, this is one of Bruce's
best, originally written for laymen as magazine
D. A. Carson, THE GOSPEL OF JOHN (Pillar New
Testament Commentary Series); Eerdmans--clear
and insightful. Carson's Ph. D. work at Cambridge
was on John's gospel and the relationship between
divine sovereignty and human responsibility.
William Hendrickson, COMMENTARY ON JOHN; Baker
Books--Martyn Lloyd-Jones thought it
Hendrickson's best commentary!
Andreas Kostenberger, ENCOUNTERING JOHN (The
Gospel in Historical, Literary and Theological
Perspective); Baker Academic--everything you
ever wanted to known on John's gospel--and
Andreas Kostenberger, JOHN (Baker Exegetical
Commentary); Baker Books--by one of the
foremost evangelical New Testament scholars.
Andreas Kostenberger, JOHN (Illustrated Bible
Background Commentary Series); Zondervan
Shows how a thorough knowledge of 1st century
life and backgrounds can help our understanding
of the New Testament.
Andreas Kostenberger, THEOLOGY OF JOHN'S
GOSPEL AND LETTERS; Zondervan--by the leader
in New Testament studies on John and his
ADVANCED (knowledge of Greek and/or Hebrew helpful)
Herman Ridderbos, THE GOSPEL OF JOHN; Eerdmans
theological exegesis at its best.
Leon Morris, THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO JOHN;
Eerdmans--perhaps Morris' best commentary.
Craig Keener, A COMMENTARY ON THE GOSPEL OF
JOHN; Henrickson (2 VOLUMES)--A most
J. Ramsay Michaels, GOSPEL OF JOHN (New
International Commentary on the New
Testament); Eerdmans--replaced Morris' work
and the fruit of decades of study on all things
SPECIALIZED STUDIES ON JOHN'S GOSPEL:
Robert Reymond, JOHN, BELOVED DISCIPLE (A
Survey of His Theology); Christian Focus/Mentor
a warm hearted and straight-forward study.
Craig Blomberg, THE HISTORICAL RELIABILITY OF
JOHN'S GOSPEL; IVP--does his homework to show
why John's gospel is reliable.
Martyn Lloyd-Jones, BORN OF GOD (Sermons from
John's Gospel, Chpt. 1); Banner of Truth
Martyn Lloyd-Jones, THE PATH TO TRUE HAPPINESS;
Sermons on John's Gospel, Chpt. 2); Baker
Martyn Lloyd-Jones, LIVING WATER (Sermons on
John's Gospel, Chpt. 4); Crossway
Martyn Lloyd-Jones, LET NOT YOUR HEART BE
TROUBLED (Sermons on John 14); Crossway
Martyn Lloyd-Jones, THE ASSURANCE OF SALVATION
(Sermons on Jesus' Prayer for His Own in John
Vintage Lloyd-Jones--and he needs no
recommendation from me. Lions don't need the
endorsement of mice!
George Hutcheson, JOHN; Banner of Truth--classic
P. B. Power, THE "I WILL'S" OF CHRIST; Banner of
Truth--warm devotional treatment upon our
Lord's promises in John's gospel.
If for some reason all these gems do not fulfill you, they can lead you to yet other rich resources on this rich and suggestive gospel.
Your Book Servant,
Pastor Steve Martin