The apostle John's first letter is one of the most frequently quoted books of the Bible. Here we read, "But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin" [1 John 1:7]. And who can forget the other John 3:16: "By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers." Perhaps the book's most famous passage is 1 John 4:8: "Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love."
Though John is known for his simple, direct language, he does not avoid complex problems. Robert Yarbrough takes up these challenges in his new commentary on 1-3 John and in his notes for these books in the ESV Study Bible. Yarbrough, chair of the New Testament department at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, spoke about these projects with Collin Hansen.
You edit the Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. What is this series' unique contribution?
These commentaries blend serious scholarship with commitment to the gospel message that gave rise to the New Testament documents. Readers with theological interests will be stimulated and encouraged in the Christian faith. Readers with more narrowly academic interests will find awareness of, and interaction with, the range of evidences, questions, and theories that have occupied scholars throughout the generations. Having said that, the commentary does have a basic commitment to serve the needs of those who read and minister the Scriptures as the authoritative Word of God.1