No other book of the New Testament has attracted as much attention from commentators as the Fourth Gospel. It has stirred minds, hearts, and imaginations from Christianity's earliest days. In The Gospel of John, Francis Moloney unfolds the identifiable "point of view" of this unique Gospel narrative and offers readers, heirs to its rich and widely varied interpretative traditions, relevance for their lives today.
The Gospel of John's significance for Christianity has been obvious from the time of Irenaeus. It was also fundamental in the emergence of Christian theology, especially in the trinitarian and christological debates that produced the great ecumenical Councils, from Nicaea to Chalcedon.
What sets this commentary on the Fourth Gospel apart from others is Moloney's particular attention to the narrative design of the Gospel story. He traces the impact the Johannine form of the Jesus story has made on readers and explicates the way in which the author has told the story of Jesus. Through this he demonstrates how the Gospel story articulates a coherent theology, christology, and ecclesiology.
As each passage flows by, and with each dive into the original text, the author lays the groundwork and the foundation for his explanation: that the author of the fourth Gospel had a decided point of view that he wanted to get across, and that the modern reader can get as much out of the reading as a first century Christian. It helps us to understand how and why we made the choice to believe.
Crux of the News
The author is interested in facilitating the Gospel's speaking to contemporary readers, and he is consistently successful in doing so. The importance of this work in biblical studies is that it succeeds also in practicing a narrative criticism without denigrating historical critical questions. Hence, it is important for scholarship as well as for the Church.
This commentary deserves to be widely used by both specialists and nonspecialists.
The Catholic Biblical Quarterly
The manner in which Moloney contains the size yet incorporates major past and contemporary scholarship makes the book a valuable contribution to Johannine studies. His ability to draw the reader into the narrative is exceptional.
The Australasian Catholic Record
Moloney's volume on John is a masterpiece that approaches the gospel from the perspective of literary criticism, attentive to its final form as a literary work. . . . Moloney's commentary is substantial without being overly technical; he always keeps the needs of the pastor or preacher in mind as he explains the multiple levels of meaning in the text. This volume, together with each volume in this fine series, belongs in every college, seminary, and university library.
Catholic Library World
With all the scholarly work done on the interpretation of the Gospel of John, is there a need for another? For this book, the answer is yes.
Crux of the News
This is a very significant addition to the Sacra Pagina series and to the literature on the Fourth Gospel.
The Heythrop Journal
All good libraries ought to have this commentary.
This commentary further testifies to Frank Moloney's position at the front rank of international Johannine scholarship. The mastery of the second literature, old and new, is clear but never intrusive. The author creatively deploys the narrative critical approach in a concise and clear exposition that successfully unfolds the theological vision of the Gospel. Scholars, pastors, theological students and all whose faith leads them to seek deeper understanding will welcome this notable addition to Sacra Pagina.
Brendan Byrne, SJ, Jesuit Theological College
I can strongly recommend this as the most contemporary, insightful, and useful single-volume commentary on John that I know.