Book Reviews -- By: Anonymous
JOTGES 13:2 (Autumn 00) p. 73
The Epistles of John: Walking in the Light of God’s Love. By Zane C. Hodges. Irving, TX: Grace Evangelical Society, 1999. 312 pp. Cloth, $17.95.
Those familiar with the writings of Zane Hodges have come to expect excellent scholarship combined with unusual insight and practical relevance. Readers of this commentary on the letters of John will find these expectations fully met and more. In this his most recent work, Hodges demonstrates seasoned skill in exegesis and a pastoral heart to apply it. Despite the handling of the technical literature and Greek syntactical/grammatical refinements, the work is reader-friendly for the average Christian. Scripture and subject indexes complement the book. Selective footnotes separate the technical material from the commentary per se, as is the pattern in the GES commentary series. The author has also penned the commentary on James (paper, 128 pp.) in the same series, but the added length of The Epistles of John has allowed for a more comprehensive treatment.
The interpretation of the Johannine epistles reflects the author’s previous work on the same books in the Bible Knowledge Commentary. While only one or two interpretive changes have been made, the present commentary is much enlarged, allowing the author to interact more with alternative interpretations and especially with issues regarding grace, assurance, and erroneous evangelical perspectives of sanctification.
No one will be surprised that the Hodges/Farstad Greek text (The Greek New Testament According to the Majority Text, Thomas Nelson) is followed for exegesis. Since the author has worked extensively on the theories of textual criticism, interaction with these issues appears at pertinent places. Adhering to the majority text theory, Hodges argues for genealogical reconstruction where possible, a point misunderstood by many that oppose a majority text theory. Where genealogical reconstruction is not possible, any reading supported by numerous manuscripts is to be favored over a minority reading. In light of these principles, the originality of 1 John 5:7b–8a (unless otherwise noted, references concern First John) in the Textus Receptus is rejected, even though the New King James Version (the text of choice for the GES
JOTGES 13:2 (Autumn 00) p. 74
series) is used throughout for exposition. If the careful student of this commentary will read the footnotes thoroughly, significant wisdom on textual criticism theory can be gained.
Unlike some scholars, Hodges works with the supposition that First John has a clearly defined literary scheme. An orderly arrangement of an epistle, which was intended from it...
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