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Keener's commentary explores the Jewish and Greco-Roman settings of John more deeply than previous works, paying special attention to social-historical and rhetorical features of the Gospel. It cites about 4,000 different secondary sources and uses over 20,000 references from ancient literature.
"2004 Christianity Today Book Awards" Award of Merit, Biblical Studies Category
"Most modern commentaries on the Gospel of John are massive, and this new commentary is no exception. However, a substantial number of pages are devoted to introductory issues (330 pages of Volume 1) and bibliography and index (393 pages of Volume 2). That is an indication of the character and strength of this particular Johannine commentary. . . . This is a serious commentary that will also serve as a rich bibliographical resource." --The Bible Today
"The publication of a major new commentary on John's Gospel is always a significant event in NT studies. While somewhat different in orientation, the scope of Keener's two-volume work puts him in the league of the likes of Raymond Brown and Rudolph Schnackenburg, each of whom produced multi-volume commentaries on the Gospel. . . . Keener's commentary is set to make a major contribution to the field for years to come." --Andreas J. Köstenberger, Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society
"An excellent resource for students of the Fourth Gospel. . . . Keener has tried to take us from the present to the past, specifically the first-century social-historical context in which the Gospel was originally read. He has certainly taken us to the past and by doing so has met a need in Johannine research." --Edward Klink, Review of Biblical Literature
"Craig Keener has assembled in this commentary on John an impressive amount of background information that is important to the interpretation of the text. Almost half of each page consists of footnotes with a wealth of detail drawn from difficult-to-find Jewish and Greco-Roman sources. Therefore, scholars will be returning to this commentary time and again in their study and research. Likewise impressive is the bibliography extending over 150 pages and the indexes that cover over 225 pages. In his 330 pages of background information at the beginning of his commentary, Keener proves that he is a person of detail who can converse with the latest scholarship. . . . The background material is the strength of this commentary and will enable it to be used productively for many years." --Calvin Theological Journal
"This commentary provides an excellent resource for further investigation into the social and historical background to the Fourth Gospel as well as providing a reliable conservative reading of the Fourth Gospel. In this respect Keener has served his audience well." --Reformed Theological Review
"The clear strength of this commentary is Keener's relentless interaction with the Greek, Roman and Jewish milieus from which the Gospel of John emerges. Within this commentary, Keener makes over 20,000 extra-biblical references, and the thoroughness with which he compares the Gospel to the ancient world is, in my experience, unparalleled. It is this thoroughness that makes this a great commentary. Included is a mammoth 166-page bibliography. This is obviously helpful for anyone wishing to find sources regarding John's Gospel. In conclusion, Keener's commentary on John is impressive. He is incredibly thorough and does an excellent job at placing the Gospel of John within its literary and historical context. . . . This commentary needs to be consulted by Johannine scholars if they wish to understand how the Gospel of John interacts with and relates to its Hellenistic milieu." --Sean A. Adams, Journal of Greco-Roman Christianity and Judaism
"Keener's introduction . . . ought to be required reading for anyone who wants to seriously study John. . . . The body of the commentary deals with every imaginable aspect of the Greek text, drawing on the Hebrew Bible as well as the literature of the Second Temple Period. A scan through his footnotes demonstrates Keener's mastery of both Jewish and Hellenistic literature. He deals with problems of historicity as well as special Johannine features in the body of the commentary." --Phillip J. Long, Reading Acts blog
"A massive two-volume set on John. . . . [Keener's] unique and uniquely helpful focus is on setting the book of John in its Jewish and Greco-Roman contexts. . . . This is a commentary that is probably best suited to those who are doing an in-depth study, either for preaching or for scholarly work." --Tim Challies, Challies.com
Craig S. Keener (Ph.D., Duke University) is F. M. and Ada Thompson Professor of Biblical Studies at Asbury Theological Seminary. He is author of 30 books, 5 of which have won awards in Christianity Today. More than a million copies of his books are in circulation; the most popular is The IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament, which provides cultural background on each passage of the New Testament. Craig is also the New Testament editor for the NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible, which won the International Book Award for Christianity and Bible of the year in the Christian Book Awards. Craig is editor of the Bulletin for Biblical Research and is past president of the Evangelical Theological Society. Craig's wife, Dr. Médine Moussounga Keener, was a refugee in her home country of Congo; their story appears in Impossible Love: The True Story of an African Civil War, Miracles, and Hope against All Odds (Chosen, 2016). His blog site is www.craigkeener.com.