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The Gospel of John: A Commentary (2 vols.)

ISBN: 9781441255693

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Craig Keener’s commentary explores the Jewish and Greco-Roman settings of John more deeply than previous works, paying special attention to social-historical and rhetorical features of the Gospel. This exhaustive commentary contains over 20,000 ancient extrabiblical references and cites about 4,000 different secondary sources, making it the most thorough and thoroughly documented John commentary currently available.

Please note: the two digital volumes will download as a single resource in your digital library.

Resource Experts
  • References extensively varied texts of the Johannine story
  • Presents the Gospel of John as a story for the rejected Jewish community
  • Situates the Gospel in its intellectual, theological, and historical context
  • Introduction
  • The Prologue (1:1–18)
  • Witness in Judea, Samaria, and Galilee (1:19–6:71)
  • Tabernacles and Hanukkah (7:1–10:42)
  • Introducing the Passion (11:1–12:50)
  • The Passion and Resurrection (18:1–20:31)
  • Epilogue (21:1–25)

Top Highlights

“Jesus’ opponents in this Gospel maintain that they are born from God (8:41), whereas Jesus replies that they are born from the devil instead (8:44). In this Gospel’s radical moral dualism, mere fleshly birth is inadequate and leaves one a child of the devil until one is born from above, from God by means of the Spirit.” (Page 545)

“John’s choice of the Logos (embracing also Wisdom and Torah) to articulate his Christology was brilliant: no concept better articulated an entity that was both divine yet distinct from the Father. By this term, some Diaspora Jewish writers had already connected Jewish conceptions of Wisdom and Torah with Hellenistic conceptions of a divine and universal power. Finally, by using this term John could present Jesus as the epitome of what his community’s opponents claimed to value: God’s word revealed through Moses. Jesus was thus the supreme revelation of God; the Torah had gone forth from Zion.” (Page 363)

“It is therefore probable that Jesus intended his act in the temple symbolically in some sense.275” (Page 522)

“In contrast to modern historical biography, ancient biographers also did not need to follow a chronological sequence; most felt free to rearrange their material topically.” (Page 12)

“Given John’s usage of δεῖ elsewhere (esp. in 3:14, 30; 9:4; 10:16; 12:34; 20:9),49 the ‘necessity’ that compels Jesus to take this route is probably his mission.50 God was sending him to Samaria to seek some people to worship him in Spirit and in truth (4:23–24); the reader thus may naturally recall the δεῖ of 4:4 when coming to the δεῖ in 4:20, 24, referring to the necessity of worship in the Spirit and in truth rather than according to culture-specific traditions.” (Page 590)

Craig Keener’s academic commentaries are among the most important in print, because they not only summarize former scholarship but also add so many new insights from primary literature of the time.

David Instone-Brewer, senior research fellow in rabbinics and New Testament, Tyndale House, Cambridge

Keener’s new commentary on the Gospel of John represents a striking achievement in the history of Johannine scholarship. It is meticulously researched, cogently argued, and clearly presented, and will not soon be surpassed either in comprehensiveness or in depth. [It] belongs on the shelf of every student of the fourth Gospel.

David E. Aune, Walter Professor of New Testament and Christian Origins, University of Notre Dame

This exhaustive commentary on the Gospel of John is an example of evangelical scholarship at its best. Keener relentlessly pursues all the possible sources for the Johannine story. The historical Jesus, early Christian tradition, and Palestinian, rabbinic, and the Mediterranean worlds are his regular points of extensive reference. Keener’s reading of the fourth Gospel as a story written for a rejected Jewish community, claiming they are the true Israel, and that Jesus is the perfection of the gift of Torah, raises questions that must be taken into account by future Johannine scholarship.

Francis J. Moloney, Katharine Drexel Professor of Religious Studies, The Catholic University of America

Keener’s commentary is marked by intelligence as well as comprehensiveness. In the marshalling of relevant materials from John’s own milieu and in the canvassing of modern scholarly literature, Keener is unsurpassed in his generation of Johannine scholars. . . . Serious interpreters of the Gospel of John will not always agree with Keener’s conclusions, but they must take account of his work.

D. Moody Smith Jr., George Washington Ivey Professor of New Testament, Duke University

Keener’s commentary on the Gospel of John is a work of stunning erudition. Aimed primarily at situating the Gospel in its intellectual, theological, and historical context, this monumental commentary cites an unparalleled array of ancient sources. Scholars will be mining its references and citing its interpretations for decades to come.

R. Alan Culpepper, dean, McAfee School of Theology

Craig Keener

Dr. Craig S. Keener (PhD, Duke University) is professor of New Testament at Asbury Theological Seminary, and is the author of 17 books, four of which have won book awards in Christianity Today. One, The IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament, has sold more than half a million copies. He has authored scholarly commentaries on Matthew, John (two volumes), Acts (four volumes), and more briefly on Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians, and Revelation. Dr. Keener is married to Dr. Médine Moussounga Keener, who spent 18 months as a refugee in her nation of Congo before their marriage.




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  1. Matthew Robinson
  2. Alessandro



  3. Jordan Cavanaugh
  4. Louis van Wyk
    The best commentary on John currently.
  5. Paulo Rabello

    Paulo Rabello


  6. kim sung joong
  7. André Kamphuis
  8. Robert Polahar

    Robert Polahar


  9. Veli-Pekka Haarala
  10. Vince Conroy

    Vince Conroy



Print list price: $70.00
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