Thursday, November 18, 2010

Review - Insights on John

Chuck Swindoll has been a trusted and powerful communicator and teacher for many years. Recently he has been writing a powerful series of books aimed at bringing the Bible to life -- Swindoll's New Testament Insights Series. His gifts for teaching in a way that combines scholarship, storytelling, and personal insights really shine through in this series. Through the Amazon Vine program, I received a review copy of the "Insights on John" volume in this series.

Swindoll's Inisights on John is an extremely readable commentary on the Gospel of John. The author definitely takes a deep and careful look at the text, and does not shy away from trying to explain nuances of language and history. Yet at the same time, the writing style is quite clear, never pedantic or condescending, and very understandable. At 368 pages it's not a book you're going to read cover to cover quickly. It's best application is probably as a companion to an in-depth personal or small group study on John. As such, the name "Insights on..." describes the approach of the book very well -- it definitely doesn't come across as a standard commentary. He doesn't strain to come up with something to say about every verse; instead you get the sense he really is sharing a number of insights that have been meaningful to him in his own study and devotions. Finally, the quality of the book and its hardcover format are very nice. 

Insights on John contains a number of helpful features: 
- The Bible text itself, as a whole passage, in the NASB version 
- Insightful comments, taking things a few verses at a time 
- Personal notes in "From My Journal" sections 
- Application sections that aim to help the Word transform the life of the reader 
- Many useful pictures, charts, tables, to better explain the text 

I would recommend this one to anyone who wants to understand the Gospel of John better and apply its teaching to their life. It can be found at Amazon or other retailers.

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