Friday, September 23, 2011

Insights on John

I have been working my way through Charles Swindoll's multi-volume exegesis of New Testament Insights. So far I have tackled three different studies, i). Romans, ii). 1&2 Timothy and Titus, and iii). James and 1&2 Peter. My plan upon completion of those works was to dive into Swindoll's study of the book of Revelations. However, after some consideration, I felt it more appropriate to work my way through the study, Insights on John. It somehow felt more appropriate to first read about the beginning times (Jesus's life on earth, His public ministry, His sacrificial death for our sins and salvation, His humanity, and His promise of the Holy Spirit) before reading about the end times (rapture of souls, judgment, Jesus's second coming, and the new heaven and earth).

The book of John, together with Matthew, Mark, and Luke, are referred to as the gospels. Each provides a narrative of the life, death, and resurrection of the life of Jesus. John's gospel was believed to have been written in the period from 90 to 100 B.C. either by the apostle John or a community of students associated with him. This book does indeed have some links to stories and incidents contained in Matthew, Mark, and/or Luke, but also has a number of teachings and miracles that appear only in this account. It seems that one of the important aspects of the book of John is that it was written nearly 60 years after the crucifixion of Jesus. This allowed the author some time and perspective with which to view history. It also allowed the author to approach his subject without the raw emotion associated with writings linked closely to the events it describes.

Swindoll approaches the book with respect and integrity, along with his usual teaching style and perspective. This is a book to be savored and taken in short sections. Not something to be burned through in a few evenings. Now, I will move onto Swindoll's Insights on Revelation study. I very much look forward to studying this book of the Bible with a most trusted Sherpa.