Critiques of Online Resources for 1 John

James Rosscup on William Barclay: This is a lucid and well-organized exposition of the epistles with many helpful lists on different facets of truth John can have in mind at different points as on “light” and “darkness” in 1John 1:5. There is stimulating background material and warm application.

James Rosscup on A H Brooke: This ICC work rates with Westcott as one of the top two detailed older commentaries of a technical nature based on the Greek text. (Commentaries for Biblical Expositors: An annotated bibliography of selected works).

Spurgeon on Robert Candlish: We set great store by these lectures. A man hardly needs anything beyond Candlish. He is devout, candid, prudent and forcible.

James Rosscup on George G Findlay: "Based on the Greek text, this work is one of the great commentaries on the three epistles from more than three quarters of a century ago."

James Rosscup on D Edmond Hiebert: His work "is one of the best medium-length explanations that is serious and clear to deal with most key matters, not pass them by. Hiebert sees ways to have assurance of real salvation, and 1Jn 5:13 as a key for the whole epistle, not confining its focus to details in 1Jn 5:1-12 or 1Jn 5:11,12 (251-52). He views 1Jn 5:16 as a case of a saved person praying for another saved person who receives “life” in the sense of restoration and promotion of his spiritual welfare. He usually takes a stand on what a phrase means, gives reasons, and is plain. His comments in the main body, his extensive bibliography, and frequent footnote references to good sources all exemplify his earnest attempt to give readers light.

James Rosscup on IVP Commentary by Marianne Meye Thompson: A lucid 168-pp., crisp exposition with some application in a flow for popular, general use. In a number of verses the book helps, at others it frustrates due to passing by views and reasons, or lacks sufficient comments. Much generalizing leaves an impression that in order to be seen as saved one must live an ideally perfect life (cf. 43), yet at other points one reads that Christians sin (45). The work has a healthy clarity that real grace, distinct from cheap so-called (but not genuine) grace (51) elicits confession of sin and seeking obedience to God. Such a life with God helps one’s assurance to be a properly experienced reality, as in 1Jn 2:3(51), even this by grace. Some statements are quite helpful, as “righteous conduct does not make us God’s children. Rather, such conduct is the consequence or expression of a relationship that already exists” after rebirth (87). Many issues are left in a blur, for instance “God’s seed remains” (1Jn 3:9)."

James Rosscup on Guy King: Only 127 pages long, this book is like King’s other expositions in that it is rich in phraseology, sermonic ideas and illustrations. It is a good, brief work to recommend to laymen and also good for the preacher or teacher’s heart.

James Rosscup on Alfred Plummer (Cambridge Bible Commentary): Though old, this is a good study from the Greek text which will be helpful in any more advanced study of the epistles. There are other works more highly recommended, however.

James Rosscup on B F Westcott: "This work has long been ranked by many as the best older effort on the Greek text. It is detailed, thorough, and very useful for its incisive, definitive statements on problem areas as well as grammatical matters