Leon Morris, principal emeritus of Ridley College (Melbourne, Australia) and author of over forty books, masterfully comments on St. John's Gospel.
The two aspects of this commentary I most appreciate are the conservative nature of the commentary and its high readability. In this commentary, the reader will find no historical-criticism. Rather, the author has faith in the inerrancy of Scripture and treats this portion of Scripture accordingly. Happily, when difficulties arise between the Synoptic Gospels and the Gospel according to John, he acknowledges these difficulties, lists several possible ways in which they can be reconciled, then ends with a statement reminding the reading not to be unreasonably dogmatic about such a difficult thing. Morris' conservatism and respect for the text is refreshing. Morris also writes in a very readable, fluid style. I found myself reading the nearly 800 pages of text much quicker than I expected to, mainly because the narrative structure was captivating and a joy to read. Morris frequently ties John's writings to the other Gospels, the Old Testament, Jewish/Roman history, and the post-Ascension church. He also has helped my understanding of John by pointing out his unique writing style (double meanings, playing loose with quotes, fondness for numbers, time, and geography, etc.)
There were aspects of this book that I did find frustrating. The most frustrating for me was Morris' anti-sacramentarian treatment of John 6 and the account of blood and water flowing from Jesus wound. Morris argues that John 6 should be read primarily as Jesus "teaching about spiritual realities...but...there may be a secondary reference to the sacrament(313)." However, he spends the following pages arguing against each and every perceived reference to the sacrament. I have strong beliefs that Jesus teaches primarily about the sacrament in these verses--that is my bias and I would like it do be shared by Morris--but the fact that he promises to address the sacramental teachings of Christ,then argues against his own stated view! I have a similar problem with Morris' treatment of blood and water flowing from Jesus' post-death wound as he barely addresses the belief that it is some reference to Communion and Baptism. A second issue I have with this book is the poor copy editing. The final pages of this book especially have frequent misspellings, misplaced commas, and extra letters inserted within common words ("nthe").
Overall, the weaknesses of this book do not even come close to overcoming the many, many positive aspects. I feel as if my insight into the writing style and theology of John has greatly increased because of Morris' book. Furthermore, I am anxious to continue my studies of both John and the Synoptics as a result of Morris' work. Highly recommended.