Commentary of the Gospel of John
Commentary of the Gospel of John, Ancient Christian Texts is a translation of the commentary by Theodore of Mopsuestia from InterVarsity Press. It is part of their Ancient Christian Texts series.
The Ancient Christian Texts series are translations of commentaries and sermons by early Church leaders. The ACT series is the first time these works are translated into English. They are written mostly for general and non-professional use by those that study the Bible on a regular basis. They allow anyone to study the writings of the early Christian writers.
Commentary of the Gospel of John, Ancient Christian Texts is a translation of a commentary on the book of John from the late 4th to early 5th century. These writings were written in what is considered the Ecumenical Catholic Age (325-787 A.D.). It is expected that a commentary written within this time-period will defend against doctrines that were prominent at that time, or perhaps be colored by them.
It was very interesting to read the views of someone in the 4th and 5th centuries. The commentary itself is largely theological. The book includes a lot of history surrounding Theodore’s writings, setting the scene of the time-period and showing the types of conflicts and opposition that Theodore faced with his theological views. For example, in his descriptions of the Godhead he spends a lot of effort showing the differences between the two natures of Jesus. Some saw this as too much separation between the Deity and humanity of Jesus. His views caused lots of controversy that lasted for years after his death.
I was surprised by the amount of attention given to the first phrase in the book of John- “In the beginning”. Most commentaries overlook the beginning and go straight to explaining the Word. Theodore spends several pages explaining the beginning, which is a very interesting read.
The commentary was written for laymen, clergy, believers, and seekers alike. This book is well translated. I recommend this book, as well as other books in the Ancient Christian Texts series, as an excellent insight into the book of John as seen from the 4th to 5th century.
InterVarsity Press provided this review copy for free. I was not required to give a positive review- only an honest review.