What does it mean to say that God is love, light, life, and spirit? In Who God Is, world-renowned New Testament scholar Ben Witherington III explores the nature and character of the God of the Bible by focusing specifically on the nouns used to describe who God is. This rich exploration has its foundation in a deep reading of the biblical text. Reflecting on these descriptions of God gives us a fresh understanding of the beauty and uniqueness of the character of our God.
There is much here to inform, correct, and inspire the Christian mind.
—John Barclay, The University of Durham
A thoughtful collection of meditations on God’s character.
—David A. deSilva, Ashland Theological Seminary
As a pastor and church leader, this was the most important book I have read this year.
—Jacob Armstrong, Providence Church, Mt. Juliet, TN
Simple, approachable, and understandable.
—Philip Jenkins, Baylor University
You will be reminded of just how glorious our holy God of grace and compassion is.
—Darrell Bock, Dallas Theological Seminary
“My conclusion is that what God most requires of us and most wants us to manifest in all our relationships (including with our enemies) is that which most characterizes the very nature of God—love.” (Page 3)
“The Beloved Disciple is telling us that love describes the very character of God, and it is supposed to describe the very character of Christians and the very nature of Christian community.” (Page 10)
“Doing theology should always be an exercise in recognizing that we understand God and we know God only partially” (Page 6)
“God is love. God’s love is self-sacrificial. It’s not about protecting his rights or honor.” (Pages 18–19)
“Precisely because he was in very nature God, he did not choose to exploit his equality with God [the Father], but rather emptied himself.’ In other words, God by nature—by his very character—is self-sacrificial, not self-centered or self-indulgent.” (Page 18)
Ben Witherington III (PhD, University of Durham) is Jean R. Amos Professor of New Testament for Doctoral Studies at Asbury Theological Seminary. A prominent evangelical scholar, he is also on the doctoral faculty at St. Andrews University in Scotland. Witherington has written over forty books, including The Jesus Quest and The Paul Quest, both of which were selected as top biblical studies works by Christianity Today. His other works include The Indelible Image, Women and the Genesis of Christianity, The Gospel Code, A Week in the Life of Corinth and commentaries on the entire New Testament. He also writes for many church and scholarly publications and is a frequent contributor to Patheos and Beliefnet. Witherington is an elected member of the prestigious Studiorum Novi Testamenti Societas, a society dedicated to New Testament studies. He is a John Wesley Fellow for Life, a research fellow at Cambridge University and a member of numerous professional organizations, including the Society of Biblical Literature, Society for the Study of the New Testament and the Institute for Biblical Research. He previously taught at institutions like Ashland Theological Seminary, Vanderbilt University, Duke Divinity School and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. An ordained pastor in the United Methodist Church and a popular lecturer, Witherington has presented seminars for churches, colleges and biblical meetings around the world. He has led numerous study tours through the lands of the Bible and is known for bringing the text to life through incisive historical and cultural analysis. Along with many interviews on radio and television networks across the country, Witherington has been seen in programs such as 60 Minutes, 20/20, Dateline and the Peter Jennings ABC special Jesus and Paul—The Word and the Witness