This commentary in the New Testament Library (NTL) series published by WJK on the Epistles of John has been written by Judith Lieu who had worked previously on these epistles. As is common with this series, she writes from the critical angle. Not only is her work better than most from that viewpoint, but she pushes back against some of the critical conclusions of the past few decades that were, quite frankly, from left field. In this book, then, you will not only get the theological pointers that this series is known for but also more plausible critical conclusions.
The Introduction is also more in-depth than several that I have reviewed in this series. The Introduction begins with a look at the acceptance and interrelation between the three epistles of John. The next section discusses the setting and looks at author, audience, and situation. She sees more uncertainties than I do, but still finds ways in which these three epistles clearly go together. The next section looks at the structure, background, and the thought of the letters. That will include a look at argument and style, Johannine tradition, and an in-depth look at the thought of the letters. From there, we find a review of reception and text, the overall importance of the letter and a concluding brief section on translation and language.
In the commentary proper, we find good coverage in line with this type series of the three epistles amounting to over 250 pages of discussion. The same critical assumptions found in the introduction are present here, but it is, without doubt, one of the more thoughtful and clear critical presentations. A solid effort!
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.