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I Am: Exploring the 'I am' sayings of John's Gospel

I Am: Exploring the 'I am' sayings of John's Gospel [Kindle Edition]

Iain D Campbell
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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There is none like Christ. None at all! None other is God and man, two natures in one person. None other has the love, grace and heart of Jehovah Jesus. The sight of him is so breath-taking that we turn aside at an opportunity that a glimpse of him affords. We cease looking at the most precious things in the universe to gaze and gaze at him. We know little of him, miserably little. It is our duty and privilege to behold him, and it is the duty and privilege of each of his preachers to show him to us. Sirs, we plead with them, we would see Jesus. Let us contemplate Christ, and let his servants magnify him before us. So in these studies Dr. Iain D. Campbell does this, making Christ omni-attractive as he sets him out through our Lord's self disclosure, in a series of extraordinary claims Jesus made, to be pre-existent, the only way to God, the food and the vine of heaven, the good shepherd, the resurrection and the life. Those are words of a megalomaniac if they are not the words of the incarnate God. Examine! Look! Taste and see for yourself. Oh, behold him! Behold him in each great claim, one after another. There is none like Christ! None like this one who said, I am . --From the Foreword by Geoff Thomas

When Christ said,Before Abraham was, I am; he declared himself to be the transcendent, eternal Lord beyond all comprehension. But Jesus also taught us that He is near to us in seven more ;I am; statements: ;I am; the bread, the light, the door, the shepherd, the resurrection, the way, truth, and life, and the vine. Iain Campbell's meditations help us to eat the bread, see the light, enter the door, follow the shepherd, experience the resurrection, travel the way, and abide in the vine that Christ is. Take, read, and discover that Christ really is all that you need.' --Joel R. Beeke, President, Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, Michigan

The I Am' sayings of Jesus in the gospel of John have been a source of spiritual comfort and edification for Christians for nineteen centuries or so. They have lost nothing of their impact, as Ian Campbell's book demonstrates. Here is theological reflection and biblical exposition blended to show us more of the Saviour whose sayings they are.' --Robert Strivens, Principal, London Theological Seminary

Product Description

When Christ said, 'Before Abraham was, I am,' he declared himself to be the transcendent, eternal Lord beyond all comprehension. But Jesus also taught us that he is near to us in seven more 'I am' statements: 'I am... the bread, the light, the door, the shepherd, the resurrection, the way, truth and life, and the vine. Iain Campbell's meditations help us to eat the bread, see the light, enter the door, follow the shepherd, experience the resurrection, travel the way and abide in the vine that Christ is. Take, read and discover that Christ is all that you need.' Joel R. Beeke, President , Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, Michigan, Grand Rapids.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 172 KB
  • Print Length: 121 pages
  • Publisher: EP Books (19 Dec 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #166,907 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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4.0 out of 5 stars Heart-warming and Bite-sized 4 Dec 2012
'Who are you, Jesus?' He is the great I AM who exists from eternity to eternity, and yet comes into our world and says, `I am the bread of life, the light of the world, the true vine,'...

Iain D Campbell's new book I AM... is a bite-sized 121 pages divided into seven chapters. Each chapter considers a different `I am' statement that Jesus said of Himself, as recorded in John's Gospel. Dr Campbell has a flowing, easy-to-read style that I enjoyed. In fact, it was one of those books I found hard to put down (I read it on a recent flight to Marseille). The book is aesthetically pleasing - the pages are printed on smooth paper and the printing is in a modern style with clear sub headings and divisions. Each chapter concludes with three or four questions for further reflection and study.

Dr Campbell looks at Jesus's `I am' statements in the context in which they were made, pulls in other biblical examples as appropriate, and ponders on what these titles of Jesus mean for us today. The book is full of scriptural content and constantly points to the Son of God. As I sat reading it, several thousand feet above the earth, my heart was warmed and thrilled by the way this book renewed my focus on Jesus.

I AM... looks at these familiar statements in a fresh and heart-warming way and I'm glad I was reminded of these wonderful truths as I read this book. I like the fact that because it is a short book, it's suitable for readers and non-readers alike. I think it could be easily adapted for a small group study, used for individual devotions, or simply enjoyed as an uplifting and encouraging read.

My thanks to Cross Focused Reviews and Evangelical Press for providing me with a complimentary copy of this book for the purpose of writing a review. I can happily recommend it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A good introduction 4 Sep 2012
Helpful and sometimes refreshingly insightful meditations on each of the 'I am' sayings. This book is simply written, but biblically and theologically well-informed.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.7 out of 5 stars  17 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Compact and helpful 7 Dec 2012
By Doug Hibbard - Published on
Ever read a book that should have been longer? Except, then you wonder if, had it been longer, it would have been as good?

That's how I feel about I AM...Exploring the "I am" saying of John's Gospel by Iain D. Campbell. Weighing in at only 120 pages, this volume does not belabor any of the points within. Instead, Campbell comes right to the point on the seven usages of "I AM" by Jesus as reported in the Gospel of John. Going longer for the sake of being longer probably would not have benefited this work.

In a short introduction, Campbell explains the purpose of the book. He expresses why the "I am" statements of Jesus stand out, citing the Old Testament usage of the phrase in God's revelation at the Burning Bush. The introduction to I AM... then explains that the Gospel of John uses a specific word pattern in Greek to say those words.

This discussion lacks two things that would add value: first, it lacks the actual Greek terminology. While simplifying the explanation to "what could be said with one word is said with two" may provide clarity, to extend and show the actual Greek would not have made the point any less clear. Second, an acknowledgment that Jesus likely spoke in Aramaic rather than Greek would have been appropriate. It would only be necessary to state that, whether Jesus spoke in a different language or not, inspired Scripture records the words in Greek and so it is on Greek the book is based.

However, those are minor quibbles from a person living neck-deep in New Testament studies right now. Overall, the book reads like seven introduction lectures that are perfect to set up discussions in small groups. The discussion questions that follow each chapter are helpful at probing into the ideas expressed.

Admittedly, I AM... is not really bursting with new information. Many of Campbell's points can be found in various commentaries and studies on the Gospel of John. However, having just these sayings extracted and put in an easy-to-read bundle is well worth it.

Note: I received a free copy of this book from Cross Focused Media in exchange for the review.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my top books of 2012 8 Dec 2012
By David R - Published on
I've stumbled onto great things once or twice in my life.

I stumbled upon a small restaurant in Virginia that had some of the best pulled-pork I ever tasted.
I stumbled upon the band Flyleaf in 10th grade which spiraled into a seven year long (and counting!) love affair.
And now it seems I have stumbled upon one of my favorite books of 2012.

Iain Campbell is a minister in Scotland. He's an avid writer and blogger and has shown up on the reformed circuit a handful of times. When I saw that he had written a book on the Gospel of John I was nervously excited. John is in so many ways the heart of the New Testament. Whereas Luke and Paul and Peter write thick, heady treatises; John targets the heart. And anyone attempting to do justice to John's Gospel must have a heart as ravished for Jesus as the disciple did.

After reading I Am I believe Iain fits that description.

I Am examines the 7 I am sayings of Jesus, I am the...


I've read both expository and textual/historical critical pieces on the Gospels and still there was not a single chapter in the book where I did not learn something exceptionally beautiful. One example is how Jesus saying he is the light ties back to the symbolic closing of the Feast of Tabernacles - this is something you have to read in full to see how incredible it is.

Iain makes many of these connections, both with Jewish culture and Old Testament imagery, and constructs an elaborate portrait of what Jesus meant with each phrase. Furthermore, the book is beautifully written. It's a preachers voice delivered in a friend's tone.

This book exploded its way into my top 5 books of 2012. Do yourself a favor and add it to your reading list in 2013.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't Miss Out 7 Dec 2012
By Mathew Sims - Published on
I unequivocally urge you to buy I AM... Exploring the `I am' sayings of John's Gospel, read it, and meditate on it. Campbell examines the seven I am statements found in John's gospel.

He surgically explores each passage. You will not find a book that digs out so much rich theological truth and yet makes it infinitely applicably. For those who complain that doctrine is dry, I provide you with exhibit A to the opposite. Campbell demonstrates convincingly that doctrine is anything but dry. It transforms every part of our life. For instance he says,
It is not use standing side by side with another sinner, not even a religious sinner, or someone in the church, not even with a minister, or elder, or deacon, or any office-bearer. To see what you really are in your own heart, you need to stand next to Jesus (p. 37)
or later
The Lord's Supper is for those who can say, `He has made with me an everlasting covenant,' for those who know that there is nothing they can bring before God for their salvation--it is not their righteousness or good works that saves them, but only the blood of the everlasting covenant. . . . The father of the prodigal doesn't ask him to account for the money he gave him, doesn't ask for receipts or explanations--he just welcomes him back. Jesus does the same. He is the way. This is the essence of the covenant: we have come back to God. (pp. 101-03)
I AM... would be a invaluable discipleship tool. Piercing, gospel rich, and teeming with practical insights. Each chapter ends with questions for application which would make it even more user-friendly. Don't skip out on this one. It's 120+ pages of gospel truth. A great way to introduce a non-reader friend or family to deep theological truth without an intimidating them with something like Calvin's Institutes.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Who do you Say the I AM 6 Dec 2012
By James R. V. Matichuk - Published on
When Moses trembled before the burning bush hearing about how God would use him to redeem his people he asked, "Whom shall I say sent me?" God responds "I AM who I AM (Exodus 3: 14). If you fast forward to the New Testament, Jesus tells an antagonistic crowd, "Truly, truly I say to you, before Abraham was, I am! (John 8:58), hinting at his deity and identifying himself with Israel's God.

In I Am. . . Iain D. Campbell explores seven other `I Am' statements from Jesus which clarify his identity and tell us why he came. In these pages we meet:

Jesus the Bread of Life- the one who nourishes us, provides for us, sustains and frees us.
Jesus the Light of the World-the one who exposes our darkness, condemns and scatters it and bids us to walk in his light.
Jesus the Door-the one through whom we gain access to God and who provides our security.
Jesus our Good Shepherd-The title tells us of Jesus' full deity (especially in light of Ezekiel 34) and points to the kind of God Jesus is.
Jesus the Resurrection and the Life- In context these words tell of Jesus' love for a particular family but they tell us the full power and promise of trusting in him.
Jesus the Way ( and the Truth and the Life)-This tell us of the unique role Jesus plays in bringing us into relationship with God through the cross.
Jesus the Vine-the one from which we receive our life and sustenance.
These devotional reflections focus on the person of Christ and his purposes. I think that this book is perfect for personal devotions, or to read along with a friend. Those who are not Christians but are interested in exploring more of who Jesus is and why he came will also find this book a helpful and accessible resource. Campbell is both pastor and professor, but while these reflections evidence deeper study their tone is much more pastoral. Campbell wants you (the reader) to know Jesus more fully and appreciate all that he has accomplished on our behalf. Each of the chapters end with questions for deeper study and reflection which point the reader to other Biblical texts which explore the same theme.

Personally, I enjoyed these reflections and found the focus on Christ refreshing (a lot of devotional literature these days focuses on how lovable and valuable we are, but is more personal than devotional). I also appreciate that while these meditations are pithy (the book is only 123 pages) they are certainly not shallow. If you want to study these sayings more in depth, another resource would likely be better, but Campbell is deft at drawing out the implications of Jesus' words in a way that is personally meaningful. So as we look toward Christmas and contemplate the meaning of the incarnation, this is a helpful resource.

Thank you to Cross Focused Reviews and Evangelical Press Books for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for this review
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I AM 5 Dec 2012
By lighthouse88 - Published on
Perhaps there are people who aren't aware of the seven "I AM" statements that are recorded in the New Testament gospel of John. For those familiar with these revelatory statements, this book will speak and encourage you as well. Let me start by stating the seven "I AM's" generally:
1. I am the bread (John 6)
2. I am the light (John 8)
3. I am the door (John 10)
4. I am the shepherd (John 10)
5. I am the resurrection (John 11)
6. I am the way (John 14)
7. I am the vine (John 15)
As a friend and I have been studying the Tabernacle we continue to be in awe of what is foreshadowed in the Old Testament regarding Jesus. Here in this small book, the author shows us how these seven statements are foreshadowed as well. Christians need to be in the whole counsel of God and not just New Testament Christians. Why? I believe there is so much depth we miss in our walk with the Lord by not reading or studying the Old Testament.
As I read this non-fiction teaching by Campbell, I was encouraged that the he took time to show us how these revelations in the New Testament are foreshadowed in the Old Testament. There are themes that begin to develop in Genesis, and Jesus comes to reveal Himself as that which was spoken of by God through the writers of the Old Testament Books.
With each chapter, it becomes apparent that this is more a book not just to read for information, but to meditate on what is being taught or revealed about Jesus. At the end of each short chapter, there are questions and more references to continue your walk with the Lord as you study. There is much encouragement, exhortation, and revelation shared within the pages of the book. It is an awesome book to start with in studying and becoming familiar with Jesus as He reveals Himself to us in the gospel of John. Each book in the Bible, all sixty-six of them, is unique and yet intricately intertwined together. Read the Bible and use this small book to see Jesus as the Son of God and the Son of Man!
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