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Book Review: 1-3 John

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If you would like to purchase a copy of 1-3 John you can find it at P&R Publishing or on Amazon by following this link.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from P&R Publishing in exchange for an online review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

About the author
prpbooks-images-authors-web-O_Donnell_Douglas_Sean Douglas Sean O’Donnell  (MAs, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and Wheaton College) is a senior lecturer in biblical studies and practical theology at Queensland Theological College in Brisbane, Australia, after spending nearly twenty years in pastoral ministry. He is currently obtaining his doctorate at Trinity College Bristol through the University of Aberdeen. He is the author of a number of books, including The Beginning and End of Wisdom, The Song of Solomon and Matthew in the Preaching the Word commentary series, and Psalms in the Knowing the Bible series.

6 thoughts on “Book Review: 1-3 John

  1. Aaron have you read his book The Beginning and End of Wisdom? Top notch. I also enjoy his commentaries. For all the reasons you stated.I’ll have to pick this one up too.

    • I have not. Thanks for the recommendation!

  2. John has to be my favorite author in the Bible. I love his concern for people that shines through in his writing! 1st John has always been my favorite but this year I am in a group studying Revelation and it is starting to inch ahead of 1st John! Still, I just love the affection he shows for his church and how he cherishes them. He’s like a father with a tender heart. My husband will enjoy this commentary for Christmas but truth be told that’s just an excuse for me to get my sneeky little hands on it!

    • Michelle I agree with you about John. He had such a tender heart. Enjoy the commentary! Are you studying Revelation in BSF? I not but Jami and the kids are.

  3. Dorothy M.

    “Beloved let us love one another for love is of God and everyone that loveth is born of God and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God for God is love”

    That’s the only Bible I ever memorized as a child and all I remember is that it is from First John. My father used to say if we love we don’t need any other morality. I think he was right in some ways but that has been changed from what he meant to, “as long as I love I don’t have to …”. So now we have marriage defined simply as love. If that is how they read the verse they are wrong. Plain and simple. Sin is still sin even if you “love” the other person.

    I think John would throw a fit if he heard how people use his words today.

    • Hello Dorothy, O’Donnell actually addresses the error of love replacing obedience in his chapter called “why love matters” on 1 Jn. 2.7-11. I think you will appreciate that chapter.

      The verse you quoted is 1 Jn. 4.7-8 and is intended as a symptom check rather than a statement to replace obedience. He is saying, if you want evidence that you are born of God, look for the fruit of love. Another popular misreading of this verse is to say that if we love we fulfill the requirements of the law. Although the law is summarized by love, it is not a meritorious work that we can do to gain God’s favor. The problem is if we bank on love to merit God’s favor we must love perfectly from birth to death because Christ said, “Be perfect as your father in heaven is perfect”. That is impossible. That is, unless it is imputed to us through faith. Therein we find the gospel!

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