John (ZECNT) by Edward Klink


Edward Klink has provided us with a major commentary on the beloved Gospel of John. It’s the latest title in the emerging Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament (ZECNT) series. Though Mr. Klink has been a successful scholar, he has broadened his outlook for we pastors who use this commentary by himself going into a pastoral ministry. He is very conservative in his viewpoint and strives to be true to the Scriptures. I believe his orthodoxy and vibrant faith will be apparent to any reader. It immediately gives me a greater sense of trust than I find in many commentaries today.

When I began reading the Introduction in this commentary, I at first began wondering exactly where he was going. His approach did not seem the standard fare of most commentaries. By page 25 it all came into focus and I loved it. In short, he says, “Scripture becomes its own kind of genre”. So many modern commentators miss this obvious fact. His arguments were unanswerable, and as he showed, this fact must define all interpretation. He continued making brilliant hermeneutical observations. For example, he said, “the meaning is derived from the event about which the text speaks” rather than the other way around. This volume not only gives good coverage of typical introductory issues, but also suggests several needed interpretive corrections. He covered most all the questions you will have. In my view, only the structure section was a little meager.

Then there’s the outstanding commentary he gave. Though there is some Greek in this commentary, the English is always there making this volume accessible to all. Every passage is given a concise main idea, a literary context section to tie into big picture, an outline of the passage, a synopsis of the structure and literary form, an explanation of the text (regular commentary), and ends with a fine section on theology and application. In my estimation, the commentary given is of excellent quality.

The Gospel of John is greatly loved by most Christians. We are blessed to have a particularly high number of outstanding exegetical commentaries on it. Though the competition is fierce, this new volume will have to be in the discussion of the best exegetical commentary on John available today. I recommend it.

I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

14 thoughts on “John (ZECNT) by Edward Klink

  1. Hi Jimmy, thanks for your review. I love Johannine literature and I collect and read studies and commentaries. I would have really liked to hear what distinctive exegetical and theological contributions Klink makes? Where does Klink fit into the current commentaries on John. Same league as Beasley-Murray, Brown, Köstenberger, Keener, Carson, Michaels, Ridderbos and the like? Would set it beside these and better than some?

    • Hello Chita,
      Klink says he writes to the church. In other words, he takes his scholarly skills, which appear quite good, and makes sure not to get lost in esoteric mud pits. In some ways, he reminds me of Leon Morris’s approach, which is one that greatly blesses me. His theological observations strike me as being about what is truly important. Some volumes that are considered great theological works were very reformed, but Klink seems less rigid that way and closer to what the text is saying. As someone who collects Johannine literature I don’t see how you can do without it. Who are your favorites?

      • Hi Jimmy,
        Thanks for your response. My favorites are (in some kind of order of preference): Michaels, Carson, , Ridderbos, Burge, O’Day (NIB), and Keener. I’m yet to plough into Köstenberger (just got it recently with his theology on John and John’s epistles. Should admit that I was skeptical about him, having read his book in NSBT and some reviews) and Brown vol.2 only (I’ve done some work here, though not much but what I have read I really liked). The Klink volume is on its way and was just wondering whether I should have rather ordered the classic by Barrett.

      • Indeed! Commentaries (or books) are a matter of test. No need to worry about blaming you 😊 as I order the book long before I read your review. I ordered it because I noticed that he did his research under Bauckham whose commentary on John I’m impatiently😉 waiting for. Plus an extra commentary on John won’t hurt😊.

      • Yes, it took a lot of time. Six years or research and writing, followed by another year of editing and production time. As much as it was hard work, it was also – and more so – an honor and a blessed task. Thanks for the review.

  2. Hi Chita,

    Feel free to give your feedback when (or if) you do read it. Biblical interpretation involves a community, ultimately the church, not simply an individual.

  3. Pingback: Bible Commentaries | The Reagan Review

  4. Although I’m not often blessed to sit at the feet of great scholars I take great delight to ride on the shoulders of giants in order to broaden my outlook. Thanks a million for the review I will be placing my order soon.

  5. Pingback: Understanding Biblical Theology by Klink and Lockett | The Reagan Review

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