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PAPERBACK; Published: 4/15/2021
ISBN: 978-0-8028-7577-8
Price: $ 29.00
237 Pages
Trim Size, in inches: 6.125 x 9.25
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Series: The Two Horizons New Testament Commentary

The letters from John written to churches at the end of the first century CE possess meaningful theological insight for Christians today—in a sense, they were written for us. 

Working from this standpoint, Thomas Andrew Bennett keeps historical speculation to a minimum and delves into the theological depths of 1–3 John in this commentary. He begins by providing a new translation of the text from the Greek, along with verse-by-verse exegesis, and then moves into an extended reflection on a litany of relevant theological topics, including questions of trinitarianism, creation, faith, atonement, eschatology, salvation, the nature of divine and human love, and the composition of the church. In these pages, readers challenged by Johannine metaphors (“walking in the light,” “children of God,” etc.) will find clarity, and pastors will find detailed guidance for teaching and preaching. 

Bennett’s scholarship is critical but confessional, academic but accessible, and, above all, rooted in a faithful reverence that seeks not to read 1–3 John as a detached outsider to the text, but as the author’s fellow believer, so that the text’s theological concerns can be spoken to once again in a fresh and compelling way.

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Two Horizons of the Letters of John
     John’s Horizons and Ours
     Genre
     Authorship
     Historical Contexts
     “John’s Purpose”
     Conclusions
Interpretation: Theological Interpretation of 1–3 John
     [verse-by-verse commentary]
Theological Horizons of 1–3 John
     The Trinity
     Christology
     God and Creation
     God’s Character
     Election and Eschatology
     Scripture
     The Church
     Ethics

REVIEWS
“Thomas Andrew Bennett has written a smart, well-written commentary on John’s three Catholic Epistles. His fluent exposition of these neglected biblical texts and his wide-ranging theological investigations of them fashion an inviting dialogue for and with clergy of the confessing church. Bennett’s attentiveness to the reception history of these letters as well as the ecclesial location of their interpretation as Scripture is especially welcome. Readers will appreciate the care by which Bennett selects which of these issues to discuss and how they might help the pastor or teacher prepare sermons or lectures that are formative of a people’s knowledge of and life with God.”
— Robert W. Wall
Seattle Pacific University and Seminary
“This is a work of scholarship for the church, for the very same community to whom the writings of John were first addressed. Under Bennett’s careful and incisive guidance the church of today will be helped to read John’s letters with ears tuned to the Word of God. Bennett helps us to explore the theological questions that John himself explores and so offers rich resources and encouragement to the church to be what it is called to be: the proclaimer in word and deed of the message of salvation.”
— Murray Rae
University of Otago, New Zealand
“Thomas Andrew Bennett has provided us with a well-informed, stylish study of the Johannine letters and their ongoing significance. Passionately confessional, his commentary points to their articulation of major Christian doctrines and ethical practices. John, possibly the author of the letters, the fourth Gospel, and Revelation, summons wavering early Christians to a shared way of life guided by perennial Christian truths.”
— Francis J. Moloney, SDB
Catholic Theological College, University of Divinity, Australia

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