Commentaries on the Gospel of John
Mark Edwards
John (Blackwell)
Oxford, 2003

Focuses on the history of interpretation. I have only skimmed this particular volume but the series is essential reading to recapture the wisdom of the first 19 centuries and is generally done to a high standard.

doddC. H. Dodd
The Interpretation of the Fourth Gospel
Cambridge, 1953, 450pgs.

An lenghty introduction (focusing on influences from various Hellenistic and Jewish sources) followed by a section of thematic essays. So, does not do a verse by verse commentary. Was a pivotal book in scholarship.



Raymond Brown
The Gospel According to John 2v. (Anchor)
1970, 1990, Doubleday

A bit dated now and from the form-critical era, but a classic. I don't buy into his five stages of development, but that is easy to pass by.

Ben Witherington
John's Wisdom: A commentary on the fourth gospel
1995, Westminster John Knox
George R. Beasley-Murray
John (Word Biblical Commentary)
Word Books, 2006

Looks interesting, but I admit I have not studied it extensively.

Paul N. Anderson
The Christology of the Fourth Gospel: its unity and disunity in the light of John 6
Mohr, 1997

Full disclosure: I (slightly) know the author and respect him both personally and professionally. This is a detailed study of John 6.

R. Alan Culpepper
John, the Son of Zebedee: The life of a Legend
Fortress, 2000

History of interpretation focusing on images of the author of the gospel. Significant coverage of the patristic period as well as a chapter on "the apostle in art and literature." In contrast to the Blackwell approach, this series by Fortress focuses on the person of the apostle rather than views about the gospel text.

A Handbook on the Gospel of John
(UBS Handbook Series)
B.M Newman and E.A. Nida
United Bible Societies, 1980, 681p.

This work is, as the title indicates, intended to help those translating the Bible into other languages. Thus, it focuses on issues of precise translation: how do you translate "sheep" if the society doesn't have sheep, or, equally serious, regards them or shepherding very differently than the culture of the Bible. So, it isn't a 'commentary' in the sense of dealing with theological issues, but it is an often helpful (and intriguing!) specialty study.

Reading this or any volume is a fascinating study in the slipperiness of language and a good antidote to people thumping away on the King James Version.

Gerard Slovan
What are they saying about John? (Revised edition)

Summary of current research trends. Useful primarily if you've got some familiarity with major arguments about the gospel or are looking for a guide to significant publications. Has a valuable chapter on 'landmark commentaries.'

Joel C. Elowsky
John 1-10
(Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture)
Intervarsity, 2006, 417pgs.

This series prints excerpts of patristic authors, sorted by Biblical verse or passage. So you can turn to a given passage of the Bible and gain some insight to how early commentators viewed. This is enormously valuable for recovering the history of interpretation. This particular volume also has a brief survey of early commentaries on John.

Other writers whose work on John is often mentioned favorably include:

John Ashton, Understanding the Fourth Gospel, 1995
C. K. Barrett,
The Gospel according to St. John : an introduction with commentary and notes on the Greek text, revised ed. 1988
Craig Keener,
The Gospel of John, 2004
Craig Koester, Symbolism in the Fourth Gospel, 1995
Andreas Kostenberger
Barnabas Lindars,
The Gospel of John, 1981
Francis Moloney,
Herman Ridderbos

Last updated 5/7/2008; Posted 4/10/07; Original material © 2008, 2007 John P. Nordin