Written during a time of church schism that has left Christians confused and questioning their status before God, the author of 1, 2, 3 John argues that the Christian life has two fundamental markers: acceptance of Jesus Christ's role in God's plan of salvation, and the need to practice love in interactions with other believers. In his commentary, J. E. McDermond shows that that these two crucial concepts are as relevant and important today as they were back then.
McDermond is well informed on traditional and contemporary evaluations of the letters, well aware of their weaknesses, and well able to draw on their strengths. This is a commentary to use with confidence.
—James D. G. Dunn, Emeritus Lightfoot Professor of Divinity, Durham University
This commentary takes on difficult questions of how these New Testament books spoke to their first-century context and what contemporary Christians should make of their advice. McDermond refuses to get hooked by traditional dualistic interpretations, instead reading the Johannine correspondence as basic theology and functional ethics intertwined.
—Nancy R. Heisey, Professor of Biblical Studies, Eastern Mennonite University
A highly readable, insightful, and skillfully analytical exploration of these vital epistles. The themes of Christology, relationship of faith to life, faith and love in action, sin and forgiveness, are handled with wisdom and sensitivity, with good attention to how these epistles have been understood and applied throughout the church's history.
—Gary Knarr, Pastor, First Mennonite Church, Kitchener, Ontario
McDermond weaves the Gospel of John throughout his analysis, providing an additional degree of comprehensiveness and cohesion. After reading this commentary, one feels one knows Johannine thought more thoroughly overall.
—Lynn H. Cohick, Associate Professor of New Testament, Wheaton College