Shelf Life Book Review: A Theology of John’s Gospel and Letters

Stephen M. Vantassel

A Theology of John’s Gospel and Letters: The Word, the Christ, the Son of God
Zondervan, 2009 (Biblical Theology of the New Testament Series)

Andreas J. Kostenberger focuses on John’s argument for belief in Christ (John 20:31).

In Part 1, Kostenberger addresses the historical questions: authorship and the trustworthiness of John’s writings. After engaging scholarship, Kostenberger concludes (in opposition to the views of several scholars) that John wrote the books named after him.

The literary aspects of John’s writings are investigated in Part 2. Kostenberger looks at John’s use of irony and symbolism. Almost 100 pages of this volume is a careful reading of John’s writings based on their literary structure and various theological themes.

Almost half the book (Part 3) investigates the major themes of John’s theology. Themes addressed include John’s: worldview, use of Scripture, ideas about creation, view of the trinity, understanding of community, and love.

Kostenberger’s work is written for theologically-trained readers. But it is accessible via his straightforward writing, numerous indices, and detailed table of contents. Preachers who want their church members to recognize the larger ideas contained in John’s writings should read this book.