A Study Companion on the Gospel of John – By Sherrill Gardner Stevens
It is important to remember that the documents found in the Bible were “people stories” for a long time before churches generations later elevated them to the status of “sacred writings.” They were the writers’ convictions about God’s nature and character, God’s requirements of people, the meaning of natural events, the outcome of national and cultural events, and current affairs. As such, the writers’ works were colored by their own non-scientific status, the superstitions and folk tales of their culture, the prevalent religious thought of their day, and the filters of their own beliefs.
So, we have before us this magnificent document. The Gospel of John is the most loved, most quoted, and most often read by many Christians. The writer clearly declares his purpose in writing: “these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in his name” (20:31). This gospel is an avowedly theological writing. In it we find many great concepts about the nature and character of God, the reason for God’s self-revelation in incarnation, the dynamic meaning of God’s ever-present inspiration and guidance in human life, and the undergirding grace that gives assured hope about eternal life. These concepts are so infinitely awesome that they are often beyond the capacity of finite minds to grasp, but they richly inform and deeply bless Christians who are enabled by enlightenment and grace to simply trust God.
Stevens's A Study Companion on the Gospel of Luke is available here.
Sherrill Gardner Stevens
Stevens is a retired pastor, having served 48 years in churches in North Carolina, Kentucky, and Virginia. He also served 30 years as an Army Reserve chaplain. A graduate of Wake Forest College (B.A.), Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (Th.M.), and Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (Ph.D.), he also has experience as a writer of Sunday School literature and biblical interpretation and as an adjunct professor at Southeastern Seminary and Campbell University Department of Religion.