What Books Are You Using in Your Sermon Preparations As You Go Through the Gospel of John?

What books are you using in your sermon preparations as you go through the Gospel of John?

Good question. I am dipping in mainly to three:

  1. Don Carson's commentary on John
  2. Andreas Köstenberger's and
  3. Ridderbos

(and Calvin less, but some).

The reason for those three is that I trust Don Carson, and I admire his care. And he has done a lot of historical work. I feel the same way about Köstenberger. They're very similar and they complement each other. What one sees, the other tends to see, but sometimes they see different things.

The reason for Ridderbos—I think it's called on the front "A Theological Commentary", or something like that—is that he just asks questions that are a little different. And he is very provocative! I find him stirring me up to the big pictures, the big issues rather than the more immediate textual issues. How does it relate to the rest of the Gospel? How does it relate to the big picture of God and the categories that are in the other parts of the Bible?

It's good to read somebody outside your own century, and so Calvin is there. I was complaining about Calvin to my wife the other day, because when I went to get help on the "so that" in John 15:16 he didn't even say a word about it! How could he not talk about this! It's huge and I'm going to build my whole point on it!

She pointed out, as we all recognize, that the whole set of questions in his day were different. Therefore you get another window on the text that you don't get any other way if you don't read somebody outside your culture or your century, because the whole set of questions is different! And that's really valuable, because we have our blinders. If we only ask our set of questions we might miss what is there.

So Calvin may not have seen or he just may not have commented on what I'm seeing, but often I'm not going to see what he sees.