Book Reviews

The Epistles of John and Jude

Robert Lightner Chattanooga, TN 2003-12-01

Lightner, professor emeritus of systematic theology at Dallas Seminary, has written a concise but complete commentary on the Epistles of John and Jude. The following are his views on some of the controversial passages in these New Testament letters.

First John 1:9 refers to believers and their need to confess their sins in order to maintain fellowship with God. “Knowing God” (2:3) refers not to saving knowledge, but to “knowledge gained by walking in the light . . . an intimate knowledge” of God (p. 24). Walking “in the darkness” (2:11) refers to believers who are living “outside of the spiritual light” of God’s Word (p. 29). “Little children,” “fathers,” and “young men” in 2:12–13 indicate levels of spiritual maturity (p. 30). God’s seed (3:9) “refers most likely to the new nature imparted to the believing sinner at the time of salvation” (p. 51), which does not sin. “The victory that has overcome the world—our faith” (5:4) refers to victory achieved at the moment of salvation over Satan’s domain (p. 73).

The “elder” in 2 John 1 is the apostle John, and “the chosen lady” is an assembly of believers, not an individual in a local church (pp. 90–91). Verse 9 of 2 John speaks of people who had professed Christ but were not saved, as seen in the fact that they do not abide in the teaching of Christ. Lightner holds that Jude was written after 2 Peter (pp. 132, 151).

A number of “boxes” of copy are included in the book, and eight appendixes are added. Some of the appendixes are on the Antichrist, the doctrine of confession, Gnosticism, and John’s use of kovsmo".

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