Not everyone gets excited about reference books…but I do! Actually I think I like all things books.
I was delighted to review Opening John’s Gospel and Epistles by Philip Comfort and Wendell Hawley. Originally this book contained only the Gospel of John but thankfully it has been expanded to include John’s three epistles.
I knew immediately I would like this book when I read the very first sentence from the preface:
For six years, early on Wednesday mornings, we laid the Gospel of John open before us to study it verse by verse. We asked God to open our spiritual eyes to see Jesus afresh, and he was faithful time and again to reveal living truth to us.
The book begins with an introduction that includes authorship, purpose of the gospel, a portrait of John and key words used in the gospel. Each section of the gospel has an expository introduction, key words and phrases and notes taken verse by verse. The epistles are addressed in this same manner.
I don’t know how many times I have been reading the Bible and have wanted more commentary than my study notes provided. I have often turned to other resources only to find that the particular verses were not included in my search. Opening John’s Gospel and Epistles has notes for every single verse.
This book is geared towards pastors and teachers but I find that it is an excellent tool to aid in devotional reading. I believe that this book will be a resource that I will return to for years to come. The timing could not be more perfect as our church is studying I John for the next 3 1/2 months. I hope that this writing duo will consider other books to treat in this same manner.