Resources for Studying John

September 2, 2010

I’ve been preaching through the gospel of John at Gages Lake Bible Church for two, going on three years. I’m on chapter fifteen at the moment. I’ve been blessed with some incredibly helpful resources for study. I’m a guy who likes to dive in and really soak up what the text is saying.  I like to read a lot. A few people have asked me for some helpful resources on the Gospel of John, so here is my list. I don’t read every single one every single week. Some weeks I have to study more–because the text is more difficult. Other weeks I study less. Even on the so-called “easy texts,” those well-known ones, I really do quite a bit of study, because I believe God wants me and the congregation to learn new and fresh things about the old truths.

So, here is my list. Hope you find it helpful:

Commentaries:

James Mongtomery Boice’s five-volume set The Gospel of John. This is an awesome, thorough commentary. What I love about Boice is that he is a pastor at heart. He brings a depth and clarity and richness and practicality. He’s also very, very thorough, doesn’t skip anything. Some who are not of the Reformed persuasion might be scared off by the former pastor of Tenth Presbyterian in Philadelphia, but you needn’t be. Boice, in his commentary on John, is definitely Reformed, but is balanced. You will get much out of this.

Ray Stedman’s Sermons at raystedman.org. This is a free, treasure-trove of sermons. Not just on the Gospel of John, but on many books of the Bible. Great stuff, from one of the greatest expositors of the Word.

Warren Weirsbe’s Bible Exposition Commentary. One of my favorite pastors, authors, and commentators. I usually read Weirsbe first, just because he gives a really thorough overview of the text, he outlines well, and gives you a snapshot of every chapter, every book. Plus he’s rich with cross-references and language study.

Preaching the Word Commentary with R. Kent Hughes and others. This is a wonderful commentary. Dr. Hughes, now retired, was a fantastic preacher at College Church in Wheaton. I love his background information. He gives such cultural depth.

Bob Deffinbaugh’s That You Might Believe commentary series in John. You can buy the book or you can look them up at the Net Bible (netbible.org). I actually bought Bob’s book, because it was easier than having to search for his John stuff on netbible. Plus I like books. Bob is excellent. Lots of background and language stuff, also is able to see clearly what the purpose of the passage is.

Merril Tenney’s commentary on John. Merril is very succinct, not a lot of extra stuff, but good, original insights on language and culture and structure of the book.

I also regularly listen to these guy’s sermons:
Rich McCarrell, pastor of Byron Center Bible Church
Michael Easley, former President of Moody Bible Institute

I also read these regularly:

Bible Knowledge Commentary
Bible Background Commentary
Harry Ironside Commentary
John Butler’s Commentary
Rod Mattoon’s Commentary
King James Bible Commentary
ESV Study Bible
Ryrie Study Bible
Complete Biblical Library
J. Vernon McGee

Then sometimes I’ll read:

Wilmington’s Guide to the Bible
Archeological Study Bible
Barnhouse – Illustrating the Gospel of John
John Gill’s Commentary
Calvin’s Commentary