Item description for Word Biblical Commentary Vol. 36, John (revised), (beasley-murray) by George R. Beasley-Murray, Thomas Nelson Publishers & Bruce Manning Metzger...
Overview The Word Biblical Commentary delivers the best in biblical scholarship, from the leading scholars of our day who share a commitment to Scripture as divine revelation. This series emphasizes a thorough analysis of textual, linguistic, structural, and theological evidence. The result is judicious and balanced insight into the meanings of the text in the framework of biblical theology. These widely acclaimed commentaries serve as exceptional resources for the professional theologian and instructor, the seminary or university student, the working minister, and everyone concerned with building theological understanding from a solid base of biblical scholarship.
The "Word Biblical Commentary" delivers the best in biblical scholarship, from the leading scholars of our day who share a commitment to Scripture as divine revelation. This series emphasizes a thorough analysis of textual, linguistic, structural, and theological evidence. The result is judicious and balanced insight into the meanings of the text in the framework of biblical theology. These widely acclaimed commentaries serve as exceptional resources for the professional theologian and instructor, the seminary or university student, the working minister, and everyone concerned with building theological understanding from a solid base of biblical scholarship.
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Studio: Thomas Nelson
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 1.5" Width: 6.5" Height: 9.5" Weight: 2.1 lbs.
Release Date Nov 16, 1999
Publisher Thomas Nelson
Series Word Biblical Commentary
Series Number 36
ISBN 0785209409 ISBN13 9780785209409
Availability 0 units.
More About George R. Beasley-Murray, Thomas Nelson Publishers & Bruce Manning Metzger
G. R. Beasley-Murray, former principal of Spurgeon's College, London, is an internationally acclaimed biblical scholar. Among his most influential writings are "Baptism in the New Testament," "Jesus and the Future," "Revelation" (NCBC), and "John "(WBC). He was a senior professor of New Testament interpretation at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, from 1980 until he retired.
Reviews - What do customers think about Word Biblical Commentary Vol. 36, John (revised), (beasley-murray)?
Thorough treatment of John's Gospel Jun 18, 2005
Exegetical theologian George Beasley-Murray's commentary on the Gospel According to John is a thorough treatment of John--a commentary in which Beasley-Murray attempts not just to give the reader his own conclusions based on his years of study and denominational affiliation, but he tries to go beyond his conclusions to include the diverse conclusions of other scholars--both more liberal and more conservative.
While such a goal is admirable, and while the resulting book does expand one's knowledge of John, the book does tend to become more drawn-out and confusing than it needs to be at times. Beasley-Murray frequently treats a contriversial portion of the text by explaining (in a sympathetic style) several differing scholars points-of-view on the text only to (in fairly unsympathetic terms) criticize the weaknesses in said scholarly opinions. This reader found Beasley-Murray's writing style confusing in this respect.
I also hold a different exegetical opinion than Beasely-Murray on some key points--the most notable of which is our differing opinions on the author of John and the identity of the "Beloved Disciple." While this reviewer holds to the traditional orthodox view that the Gospel's author and Beloved Disciple are one and the same--John (son of Zebedee and disciple of Christ), Beasley-Murray holds that the two individuals are different people and that neither is the above-mentioned John. It is clear that such an opinion colors what is otherwise a pretty orthodox and conservative commenary.
This volume of the Word Commentary Series does have some excellent points which deserve commendation. Beasley-Murray, gives a fair and thorough treatment to sections of John that the church has traditionally held to have references to the sacraments (Chapter 6, water and blood flowing from Jesus' side, the meal of fish and bread in John 21, etc.). Many other commentators give the sacramentarian view cursory treatment, but Beasley-Murray gives the view respect. In all, Beasley-Murray makes a practice of treating the text and other scholars very thoroughly and respectfully. For the most part, it was an enjoyable commentary to read.
One final negative comment on this volume--one that has to do more with the editor: an extrordinarily frustrating aspect of this book's type-set was the fact that the normally small, closely spaced font was often reduced significantly in size for no apparent reason. While it appeared as if certain paragraphs (or pages) were offset as if to indicate an extended quote, there actually was neither a quote nor a shift in Beasley-Murray's narrative. This both annoyed and distracted this reader.
While I realize that I spent most of this review griping at various aspects of the book, my overall opinion of this commentary on John is positive. I feel that a reader would benefit from reading George Beasley-Murray's treatment of the text. Recommended.
Treasures of modern scholarship Feb 22, 2003
In the Preface Beasley-Murray (B-M) asks why yet another commentary on John's Gospel and answers, "It seemed that there was room for an attempt to pass on some of the treasures of modern study of this Gospel and with them to combine one's own findings and convictions." To this end he remains faithful throughout the Introduction and commentary proper. We are treated to some of the best insights into John's Gospel, both B-M's and many an eminent scholar's. His enthusiasm for the project shows up again when in the Introduction he describes some of the commentaries on the Gospel in the past fifty years as "among the greatest expositions of the Word of God that have ever appeared."
The detailed Introduction is important and rich in theological ideas. B-M tells us it was "as scales falling from the eyes" as he listened to his mentor, C.H. Dodd, explain the structure of the episodes of the Book of Signs (chapters 2-12), each episode consisting of sign plus discourse, and each encapsulating the whole Gospel. He realized that that was probably due to the Evangelist's preaching, as the Evangelist expounded the significance of the traditions in the light of Christ's death and resurrection. Now a familiar observation in Johannine studies, the concept that much of the Fourth Gospel was the product of preaching must have been a creative thought then. New insights continued to flow as scholars delved into the depths of this Gospel. Nowhere is it more apparent than in the discussion of the Gospel's dual nature, simultaneously depicting the historical ministry of Jesus and the situation and faith of the Johannine community some 50(?) years later. "The Evangelist sets the historical ministry of Jesus in Palestine in indissoluble relation to the ministry of the risen Lord in the world." If Luke traces the origins of the Church in two volumes, one [his Gospel] of Jesus and the other [Acts] of the risen Christ acting through his disciples, John presents the historical Jesus and Jesus the risen Lord together in one book and a single perspective. B-M masterfully sketches in succession how each of several scholars has treated this theme, in the process displaying a fascinating interplay of ideas.
Several other important themes that recur in the commentary proper make their first appearance in the Introduction. While the Kingdom of God is scarcely mentioned [only in vv. 3:3,5], "every line of the Fourth Gospel is informed by it." The Paraclete-Spirit actualizes the words and deeds of Jesus in the life of the Church - the Fourth Gospel itself "is a supreme example of the truth and application of the Paraclete doctrine which it contains." The concept of Son of God (closely associated with Son of Man) is the prevailing characteristic of Johannine Christology. The glorification of Jesus coincides with his crucifixion, unlike Isaiah's Servant who is exalted because and after he had suffered (lxxxiv). The realized eschatology of John is not to be divested of its future aspect, contrary to Bultmann (lxxxvi). All these, and more, are elements that B-M uses in the commentary discussions of John's theology, which turns out to be largely Christology. In the end you have to agree with him, "The theme of the Fourth Gospel is Christ."
In common with other scholars, B-M accepts a four-part structure of the Gospel: (A) The Prologue; (B) The Public Ministry of Jesus, otherwise referred to as the Book of Signs (Dodd, Brown); (C) The Passion and Resurrection of Jesus, also known as the Book of the Passion (Dodd) or the Book of Glory (Brown); and (D) Epilogue. He expresses a reservation, though, concerning the nomenclatures "Book of Signs" and "Book of Passion/Glory", since he considers that the WHOLE Gospel may be viewed as a book of signs and as a book of the passion and glory of Jesus. As he interacts with the established figures of Johannine scholarship, B-M does not hesitate to disagree as well as to cite approvingly, for he is a Johannine expert in his own right. He argues his case very well indeed, but to get the benefit of it one has to read thoughtfully. B-M is never shallow and merits careful study. Some knowledge of Greek helps, but you can still gain a great deal without. The commentary follows WBC's usual format. Some find the format "unfriendly", but it is not so. The usual gripe that references are given in line with the text (not in footnotes) should not deter you. As a presentation of modern Johannine study coupled with the author's independent understanding, this is a fine effort that deserves serious consideration by anyone ready to go beyond introductory expositions of the Fourth Gospel.
Revised Edition Misleading Jan 10, 2003
I have both the original 1987 edition and the "revised" 1999 edition. To the publishers credit, the 1999 edition does state flat out that the only thing new is 50 pages of updated bibliography and reviews of major book on the Gospel since the original publication. This is all located in one new section in the introductory material. Otherwise, the two editions are identical page for page (even the numbering). If you have the 1987 edition, don't get the 1999 edition unless you need/want an updated bibliography.