In her commentary on John’s letters, Karen H. Jobes writes to bridge the distance between academic biblical studies and pastors, students, and laypeople who are looking for an in-depth treatment of the issues raised by these New Testament books. She approaches the three letters of John as part of the corpus that includes John’s Gospel, while rejecting an elaborate redactional history of that Gospel that implicates the letters. Jobes treats three major themes of the letters under the larger rubric of who has the authority to interpret the true significance of Jesus—an issue that is pressing in our religiously pluralistic society today with its many voices claiming truth about God.
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“To be ‘lawless’ does not mean simply to break the law; it means to disdain the very idea of a law to which one must submit.” (Page 143)
“Thus, while the temporal focus of 1:1 is on the lifetime of Jesus, it alludes to his preexistence and reminds the readers of what they have believed since the beginning of their faith in Christ.” (Page 46)
“But the Greek word translated ‘fellowship’ (κοινωνία) means having not only a close relationship but also an association based on common interests and purposes. John invites his readers to enter into a relationship with God the Father and his Son, Jesus Christ, by embracing God’s redemptive purposes for the world in general and for individual lives in particular, as Jesus revealed them.” (Page 53)
“Anomia is the rejection of God’s authority and the exaltation of the autonomy of the self.” (Page 143)
“Specifically, the author is keen to convince his readers to continue in their faith in Jesus Christ despite the disruption and confusion caused by members of the community who have left the church (2:19).” (Page 37)
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Joshua Keith Ensley
Paul Whitehorn, Jr.