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Reviews | The Gospel of John

The Gospel of John

John Carter

Hardback or e-book (ePub)

252 pages

The Gospel of John

The Testimony review (from February 2007)

The fourth Gospel expounded

THE GOSPEL OF JOHN presents us with many more challenges than do the other Gospels, and it is good to see that the excellent volume by Brother John Carter has been reprinted by the Christadelphian Office. Brother Carter’s book is an exposition and has good things to say about all parts of the Gospel written by the beloved apostle.

A new generation of readers might particularly find his comments on some of the ‘hard sayings’ of our Lord helpful when in discussion with interested friends. For example, Trinitarians are fond of quoting the very first verse of this Gospel to support their ideas, but a few moments’ perusal of Brother Carter’s comments soon enables one to demolish their erroneous ideas. On page 13, after citing Grimm-Thayer’s Greek lexicon, he writes:

“This is not free from theological bias; but with that discounted, we learn that bound up with logos [the Greek word translated ‘word’ in the first verse] is the thought of wisdom and power in action; there is thought and expression; there is design and execution. As Plummer says: ‘It means not only the spoken word, but the thought expressed by the spoken word; it is the spoken word as expressive of thought’. A word reveals thought: and the word of God is the revelation of His purpose. With Him is power to perform, and therefore there is involved the exercise of the energy by God for the fulfilling of His will”.

He goes on to say on the same page:

“Verses 2-13 are a parenthesis – a literary feature of this gospel. Passing over the parenthesis, we read, ‘And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father), full of grace and truth’ (verse 14). In other words, the Divine purpose unfolded at the beginning is being fulfilled in the manifestation of God in Jesus Christ. But the significance of verse 14 can only be fully appreciated when the thoughts developed in the parenthesis have been examined”.

This helpful book is recommended to a new generation of readers so that they can be helped to have a greater appreciation of the one who said, “This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you” (15:12-14).

JOHN NICHOLLS

(Originally published in the February 2007 edition of The Testimony Magazine (page 59), and is reproduced by kind permission.)

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