Some Great John Stott Commentaries!

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Mr. John Stott remains one of the more beloved writers of Christianity today even though he’s been passed away for a few years now. He was widely published and has books carried by several publishers, but he had a special relationship with IVP and they carry all his great commentaries. In this blog post we will review a sampling of four of these great commentaries. In addition to these reviewed below, he has some equally fine commentaries on the Sermon on the Mount, Acts, Romans, Galatians, and Thessalonians.

  1. The Letters of John (TNTC)

This commentary is, perhaps, his most well-known. At the least, I’ve seen it quoted time and again in later major exegetical commentaries on the Epistles of John. It’s his only commentary in the wildly popular Tyndale New Testament Commentary (TNTC) series. I imagine this series has been one of the best-selling of all time because of its broad usefulness. Despite its age, I still see it widely recommended and even called the best in this series by many reviewers.

The thorough introduction is wisely divided into three parts: authorship, occasion, and message. He reasons beautifully for the authorship of the letters by John. He has wonderful things to say about occasion and message. There is much learning there. He seems to conclude much as the earlier commentator Robert Law did, though he’s far easier to follow in my opinion. I don’t exactly agree with Law’s premise, but it’s well explained here.

The commentary proper is model commentating. The introduction and commentary on II and III John are equally compelling. This book lives up to all its hype.

The TNTC is currently going through its second major revision. That means this title will likely be replaced by a new author. I’m confident that IVP will not allow this book to go out-of-print and if you ever can’t find it in the TNTC look for it is as a classic reprint by them. Get this one!

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.

  1. The Message of Ephesians (BST)

You could never accuse the beloved Mr. John Stott of shying away from the more difficult books of the New Testament. I mean he’s written on Romans and Galatians and has also tackled the sublime Book of Ephesians here in the Bible Speaks Today (BST) series. In fact, as the editor for the New Testament volumes of this series, it appears the whole series was a labor of love for him. For the record, he produced its best volumes in the eight he contributed. This series has a different design than the TNTC and he excelled in both.

He allows the introduction to the letter to be handled in his commentary on Ephesians 1:1-2. I personally don’t see any loss in that design. With skill he argues for the authorship of Paul even though the scholarly world has mostly gone in the ditch on the subject. He covers the recipients and the message of the letter here as well.

The commentary is wonderful. It has the positive aspects of both good commentary with all the requisite background information as well as the warmth of an outstanding sermon. Whether this book is in the BST series or not, it has no shame on the shelves among the big boys. It would be a mistake to not own 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.

  1. The Message of 1 Timothy & Titus (BST)

This fine commentary by the late John Stott is a two-for-one special as you get commentary on both I Timothy and Titus. It’s another of Mr. Stott’s outstanding commentaries in the exposition – friendly Bible Speaks Today (BST) series. I consider this volume one of his more underrated commentaries. His pastoral heart made him the ideal commentator for these two New Testament books.

This book begins with a special section discussing the authenticity of the Pastoral Epistles. I’ll never understand why the scholarly world is so preoccupied with denying Paul authorship of a handful of his letters, but I wish scholars would punt the ball and make what Mr. Stott says here the 20-yard line.

The commentary on both these letters is warm, accessible, yet in no way shallow. Perhaps the comments are shorter, yet they say more than many commentaries twice the length. Mr. Stott has lived up to his own subtitle of “guard the truth” in this fine volume that you need in your library!

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.

  1. The Message of 2 Timothy

The quality of Mr. Stott’s commentating never wavers as you can see in what is, perhaps, one of his lesser-known works in this commentary on II Timothy in the valuable Bible Speaks Today (BST) series. Until this whole series is revised and replaced, I won’t be able to think of it in any other way than Mr. Stott’s baby.

I have no idea why II Timothy has its own volume while I Timothy and Titus are put together, but since you need all these commentaries anyway it’s better to have to buy two instead of three! Don’t be surprised if someday when this series is revised that all three Pastoral Epistles found in these two of Mr. Stott’s commentaries end up in a classic reprint by IVP.

He gives an introduction that champions Paul as author and explains the contents in regards to his life and work with Timothy. While the commentary is not especially long (only 127 pages), there’s not a wasted word. I’ll always consult it no matter how many thick volumes sit beside it on my shelves. For pastors, this book is indispensable.

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.

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