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Surveys the content and theology of the Fourth Gospel. This title includes photos, maps, line drawings, and an instructor's manual. Surveys the content and theology of the Fourth Gospel. This title includes photos, maps, line drawings, and an instructor's manual.


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Surveys the content and theology of the Fourth Gospel. This title includes photos, maps, line drawings, and an instructor's manual. Surveys the content and theology of the Fourth Gospel. This title includes photos, maps, line drawings, and an instructor's manual.

54 review for Encountering John: The Gospel in Historical, Literary, and Theological Perspective

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jamie Thomson

    Encountering John was designed as a first-year seminary textbook to introduce the Gospel of John. Rather than focusing on the detail of individual words or verses, Köstenberger performs a structural analysis and then focuses on each section to explain how it develops John’s themes and theological ideas. The layout is very nice on the eye with two columns in each page, numerous helpful sidebars, photographs, diagrams and summary tables. Each chapter begins with a suggested reading (usually an Old Encountering John was designed as a first-year seminary textbook to introduce the Gospel of John. Rather than focusing on the detail of individual words or verses, Köstenberger performs a structural analysis and then focuses on each section to explain how it develops John’s themes and theological ideas. The layout is very nice on the eye with two columns in each page, numerous helpful sidebars, photographs, diagrams and summary tables. Each chapter begins with a suggested reading (usually an Old Testament passage that John is echoing in the text) and learning goals and ends with review questions. The best thing about this book is how it clearly points out the structure of the text and how it develops John’s themes throughout. Köstenberger identifies themes such as glorification, rejection and irony and tracks them through each section of the text. I found this very helpful in understanding how the individual stories link together to form the overall message. I will say that I was occasionally left frustrated at the lack of detail, but since this book was only ever intended to introduce John’s Gospel it shouldn’t be judged harshly for making me want to study more deeply. The main weakness comes from Köstenberger’s Reformed background. Although he is a conservative scholar and as such has a high view of scripture (although evidently he does believe in Marcan priority), there is a good dose of Calvinism in this book, especially in his comments on Jesus’ farewell discourse. This limits the usefulness of that section and lowers the book’s overall score. Overall, I would recommend this book as a good introduction to the Gospel According to John.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Lee Harmon

    The Gospel in Historical, Literary, and Theological Perspective. That’s the subtitle, that’s what attracted me to the book, and that’s why it gets a five-star review. Because it delivers exactly what it promises, without turning into monstrous tome. This is a classroom text, complete with tables, charts, pictures, study words, fascinating sidebars, keywords, and some very helpful appendix topics. I’m thinking that perhaps the best way to convey the flavor of this book is to list some of the sideb The Gospel in Historical, Literary, and Theological Perspective. That’s the subtitle, that’s what attracted me to the book, and that’s why it gets a five-star review. Because it delivers exactly what it promises, without turning into monstrous tome. This is a classroom text, complete with tables, charts, pictures, study words, fascinating sidebars, keywords, and some very helpful appendix topics. I’m thinking that perhaps the best way to convey the flavor of this book is to list some of the sidebar headings: The Double Amen in John’s Gospel Irony in John’s Gospel The Significance of Jewish Festivals in John’s Gospel Did Jesus Come to Bring Judgment or Not? The Chronology of the Passion Narrative in John and the Synoptics The Eternal Subordination of the Son The So-called Johannine Pentecost The writing is interesting and inspiring, and the topic of John’s Gospel is well covered from several angles. I have a couple shelves of books about Johannine writings, and if I were to pick one as a stand-alone introduction, this would be it. The most highly recommended overall learning tool about John’s Gospel in my library.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Douglas Fyfe

    Great structure, really helpful level for most purposes. Brilliant appendices. Good level for an overview with appropriate depth.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Timothy Darling

    This is a truly excellent book, deserving of any attention it gets as a textbook or as a general introduction and survey of John's gospel. It is accessibly written, acknowledging as it does some of the more technical ideas it broaches. The inclusion of the excrususes at the end and some of the side-bars removes some of what may be seen as more tedious from the flow of the text and allows the reader to peruse it at his leisure. Kostenberger is unashamedly conservative. In fact, at times, his axes This is a truly excellent book, deserving of any attention it gets as a textbook or as a general introduction and survey of John's gospel. It is accessibly written, acknowledging as it does some of the more technical ideas it broaches. The inclusion of the excrususes at the end and some of the side-bars removes some of what may be seen as more tedious from the flow of the text and allows the reader to peruse it at his leisure. Kostenberger is unashamedly conservative. In fact, at times, his axes are ground rather obviously in public. His calivinism, adhearance to conservative, traditional husband/wife roles and several other ideas that have little direct bearing on John interrupt his otherwise compact text. On the other hand, his lack of patience with liberal theology and with the Jesus Seminars is more to the point. Interestingly, in contrast to this traditional approach, he dismisses rather easily the pericope of the woman caught in adultery as a later addition to the gospel. His lack of adequate support for this pronoucement as well as the significant absence of background and explanation of the seven signs calls to question the structure of the book he insists upon. In the case of the seven signs, they are indeed widely accepted, but no explanation is given as to why the specific episodes discussed are "signs" while other episodes are not. Is it not equally likely that there are considerably more than seven signs? Why should the ones highlighted be singled out as structually important while others are relegated to secondary structural positions. Some explanation of these choices and of the history of this interpretive device would have been useful. However, these are minor problems in this immensely useful text. Especially helpful are the many times Kostenberger highlights the relationship between John and the Old Testament, sometimes at satisfying length. Although one may not always readily agree with the relationships he expounds upon, they are delightful food for thought. I highly recommend this book for the advanced student, later high-school level or undergraduate. It is rather soft food for graduate meals, but is an excellent first course for those studies, offering as it does not only well articulated ideas but a generous helping of suggested additional and deeper resources. Kostenberger is helpful and even zealous at times. He readily recognizes and illuminates John's primary theme of belief, often urging the reader to faith. This may be the primary advantage of the book.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Joshua

    When I first began to study John's Gospel I was unsure where to start. This book is an excellent source for being introduced the exciting field of Johannine studies. This is not to suggest that this book is not beneficial for audiences already exposed to John's Gospel. In fact, even if you have studied the Gospel this is still a very valuable source of information. First of all, the book is concise. It is not weighed down or too bulky for a new student of John's gospel. It is the right size and i When I first began to study John's Gospel I was unsure where to start. This book is an excellent source for being introduced the exciting field of Johannine studies. This is not to suggest that this book is not beneficial for audiences already exposed to John's Gospel. In fact, even if you have studied the Gospel this is still a very valuable source of information. First of all, the book is concise. It is not weighed down or too bulky for a new student of John's gospel. It is the right size and it gives all the essential information you need to get started and yet there is a lot of good stuff in it for those who have studied the gospel before. He does very nice summations of the text and while every verse is not discussed in detail it is easy to understand the big picture of the Gospel. Second of all, the book is conservative. Having already been exposed to a number of scholars in this field it seems that fanciful speculations about the authorship, theology, and history of this book are quite abundant. This book is free from those kind of big leaps. Dr. Kostenberger is rational and logical in his approach to dissecting the text itself. He is faithful to history and to the church fathers. Lastly, the book is constructive. He builds a nice case for the gospel and his analysis at the end is excellent. He shows how John's gospel is only a "maverick gospel" to some level. He compares John with the synoptics and other books of scripture to show that John is very much orthodox in his understanding of theology and there is no incongruity with his gospel and other writers of the New Testament. It is nice to see John side by side with Peter and Paul. This is refreshing after reading so many writers who want to deconstruct John. All in all, I think this book is fantastic and if I were to direct a first time student of John's gospel I would direct them first to the gospel itself and next to this book. This is not the "be all end all" of John but it is great to get your feet wet. He gives excellent reflections on things like the subordination/equality paradox in John. He handles the tension between "eschatology now and later" with candor and sensitivity to other schools of thought. This is first source for the new student but also a good source for seasoned scholars as well. This is just a book worth having in your library. Comment | Permalink

  6. 4 out of 5

    Clayton Tune

    If you are looking to begin a study on John, begin here. Read the actual book of John like 5 times first but once you've done that, then begin here. Kostenberger has a larger book on John but this is a great starting point for any reader interested in a deeper look at John. If you are looking to begin a study on John, begin here. Read the actual book of John like 5 times first but once you've done that, then begin here. Kostenberger has a larger book on John but this is a great starting point for any reader interested in a deeper look at John.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Vanjr

    Basic commentary on John. Good for those who want something that gives good overviews and is short. Not good for verse by verse study

  8. 5 out of 5

    Wesley

    A pretty decent introduction to the history, literary features, and theology of John.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Josh

  10. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth A Williams

  11. 5 out of 5

    Nick Abraham

  12. 5 out of 5

    Susan M'Chelle

  13. 4 out of 5

    Eric Thomas

  14. 5 out of 5

    Cynthia Feenstra

  15. 4 out of 5

    Prem Kumar

  16. 4 out of 5

    Patrick Kelligan

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan Z.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Hunter List

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kyle Loyd

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Gonzalez

  21. 4 out of 5

    Søren Lodberg Jensen

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jeff

  23. 4 out of 5

    Coby Scott

  24. 4 out of 5

    Darren Livie

  25. 5 out of 5

    Stephen

  26. 5 out of 5

    Brian Reagan

  27. 4 out of 5

    Brett Inscho

  28. 5 out of 5

    Matt Sloan

  29. 4 out of 5

    James D

  30. 4 out of 5

    Markus McDowell

  31. 5 out of 5

    Kris

  32. 5 out of 5

    Paul Burkhart

  33. 4 out of 5

    William

  34. 4 out of 5

    John

  35. 4 out of 5

    Chris Spinks

  36. 4 out of 5

    Brian Johnson

  37. 4 out of 5

    Trevor

  38. 5 out of 5

    John

  39. 4 out of 5

    Berntsen_library

  40. 5 out of 5

    Neil

  41. 5 out of 5

    Jenn

  42. 4 out of 5

    Dave Jenkins

  43. 4 out of 5

    Dan Boyce

  44. 4 out of 5

    Rob Elliott

  45. 5 out of 5

    Jeff Gordon

  46. 5 out of 5

    Bekah Mason

  47. 5 out of 5

    Bill

  48. 5 out of 5

    Mike

  49. 4 out of 5

    Josh Komis

  50. 4 out of 5

    Ryan

  51. 5 out of 5

    Andy Ott

  52. 5 out of 5

    Spencer

  53. 4 out of 5

    Warren Pace

  54. 4 out of 5

    Justin

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