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The Gospel of John, Volume One: 1 (The New Daily Study Bible) Paperback – 1 Nov 2001

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Paperback: 250 pages
  • Publisher: Westminster/John Knox Press; Rev and Updated ed. edition (1 Nov. 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 066422489X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0664224899
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.7 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,503,390 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

William Barclay (1907-1978) is known and loved by millions worldwide as one of the greatest Christian teachers of modern times. His insights into the New Testament, combined with his vibrant writing style, have delighted and enlightened readers of all ages for over half a century. He served for most of his life as Professor of Divinity at the University of Glasgow, and wrote more than fifty books--most of which are still in print today. His most popular work, the Daily Study Bible, has been translated into over a dozen languages and has sold more than ten million copies around the world.

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Top Customer Reviews

By Mrs L on 13 Oct. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Clear, easy to understand, cheerful, positive, great context expanations without being academic. Great
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars 74 reviews
85 of 86 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Barclay an excellent commentator-but beware of this edition! 12 Aug. 2002
By Mr. Michael C. Morrow - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This edition, with minor changes and corrections, is essentially the same as the revised edition issued in 1975. What this and the previous revised edition fail to inform the reader of is that it does not contain all of the commentary text written by William Barclay. The two volumes of the revised edition of the Gospel of John contain 547 pages. However, the 2nd edition of the two volumes of the Gospel of John (published in 1956) contains 634 pages. Thus, the revised edition has 13.7% fewer pages than the 2nd edition.
This reduction in pages is not solely due to differences in formatting. It is largely due to the deletion of many portions of Barclay's commentary contained in the 2nd edition. I first noticed the selective deletion of portions of Barclay's original commentary in the commentary for John 13:33-35, in which Jesus speaks of loving one another as he loved us. In the 2nd edition, Barclay so beautifully states the following: "He [Jesus] knew all their [his disciples] weaknesses and yet He still loved them. Those who really love us are the people who know us at our worst and who still love us." However, these two sentences, along with four other sentences, do not appear in the revised edition, and they do not appear in this edition. Repeatedly, key sentences and phrases are deleted from this edition. At another point in this commentary, Barclay states that: "It is when we live with people that we find out their moods and their irritabilities and their weaknesses." Although this sentence is contained in this edition, the sentence that immediately follows it in the 2nd edition will not be found in this edition. That sentence is: "And others have the same experience with us."
Furthermore, the changes in the revised edition are not the work of William Barclay, but as William Barclay states in the introduction to the revised edition, "the work of revision and correction has been done entirely by the Rev. James Martin." Clive Rawlins, who wrote an authorized biography of William Barclay, stated in the biography that it was especially questionable for Barclay to allow republication without his own personal revision (due to Barclay's physical decline, Rawlins indicates that Barclay was unable to make the revisions himself). Rawlins was very critical of the revisions by Martin, stating that the nature of the original work was not always respected. At one point, Rawlins stated that Martin's elimination of two key phrases was a great pity and lessened the force of Barclay's statement. In the introduction to the book of Romans, Rawlins stated that it was strange that Martin should have so completely missed Barclay's emphasis in the revised edition prepared by Martin. Rawlins stated in the biography that the reduction of approximately 600 pages in the 17 volume set was because of "vigorous pruning" of Barclay's writing. In conclusion, Rawlins found that the revisions made by Martin in the revised edition "are not of the highest order."
On the other hand, I cannot emphasize enough the value of Barclay's commentaries. His knowledge of the Greek language, the Jewish culture and religion, and the Roman occupation during the New Testament era is phenomenal. Furthermore, he has a unique ability to convey this immense knowledge in a manner which is very easy for any reader to understand. William Barclay has the ability to convey to the reader not only what that passage meant to the people to whom Jesus spoke to 2,000 years ago, but what those passages say to us today. On countless occasions, I have felt that Barclay was speaking to me personally as he discussed the relevance of the passage in his commentary.
William Barclay's New Testament commentaries are the most insightful and meaningful commentaries that I have ever read, and I cannot recommend them highly enough. He has both challenged and inspired me; William Barclay's writings have truly changed my life. However, if you want to read all of what Barclay actually said instead of what some editor thought was important enough to leave in, then check with a used book store or do a used book search on the internet to get the 2nd editions of the Gospel of John or other volumes in Barclay's Daily Study Bible.
25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Barclay's Commentaries on John's Gospel & the New Testament 1 Mar. 2003
By Richard N. Pedersen - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I have "seen" the Gospel of John over a dozen of times, but never really read it, in terms of deep understanding, until Barclay helped to reveal it to me in his commentary. Barclay's explanation of the Greek in the original text, and the historical background he provides, has been very significant to my study of Jesus Christ. An example is Barclay's extensive analysis of Jesus as the "logos" that commences his commentary on the Gospel of John. Barclay's discussion of the story of the woman caught in adultery is one of the most beautiful interpretations of an aspect of Jesus's ministry I have ever heard or read. I strongly recommend the Revised Edition to anyone in search of greater understanding of Jesus Christ.
One unfortunate criticism of the Revised Edition of Barclay's Commentaries on the New Testament is that it is somewhat inferior to the 2nd Edition. It is true that the Revised Edition has fewer pages, but this criticism does not take into account the fact that the size of the pages in the Revised Edition is larger than that of the 2nd Edition. Also, Barclay removed a number of redundancies of writing in preparing the Revised Edition. Barclay was a prolific writer, and I suspect that he improved his writing talent considerably in the 19 years between when the two editions were published. I am also hard-pressed to believe that Barclay would have compromised the message of these commentaries in any way in later editions. Further, printing technology improved considerably in that period, such that the Revised Edition is much easier on the eyes. And I would note that it is quite difficult to locate the 2nd Edition of these commentaries. I believe that the Revised Edition is a perfectly viable if not preferable substitute for the 2nd Edition.
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Barclay's Commentary on the Book of John 24 Mar. 2006
By Wesley J. Hunt - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I first studied the Book of John by Barclay in the 80's and thought it was outstanding. Coming back to his new volumes, I am even more impressed with the depth and genuine grace-filled commentary he delivers. If you have a Bible Study or Sunday School class that is hungry to understand what John was trying to convey about Jesus, this is the best book you could find.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gospel of John Daily Bible Study by William Barclay 7 July 2010
By Margaret A. Harris - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Barclay's daily Bible studies are all outstanding, even if he has weak view of the miraculous. He tends to look for a natural explanation for some of the miracles, yet he does not miss the very thing that Jesus was demonstrating with that miracle. In every instance Barclay cuts to the quick of the matter, giving a good historical context for Scripture, as well as very pointed exegetical insights. I like these studies because of the things they make me think about. Sometimes I read only a section a day; sometimes I cover a whole chapter. I always come away with a deepened appreciation for the complex, powerful book, the Bible. In reading through these studies on John I have been very touched by the humanity of the disciple band. "One of the lovliest things in the Fourth Gospel, is that John, the old fisherlman turned evangelist,found all the wealth of the Christ in the memory of a fisherman's story (John 6, Christ coming to the disciples in the boat on the windy Sea of Galalee.) Volume 2 of course covers the Crucifiction. From John 18, covering Peter's denial of Christ, Barclay says,"The forgiving love of Jesus is so great that he sees our real personality, not in our faithlessness, but in our loyalty; not in our defeat by sin, but in our reaching after goodness, even when we are defeated." Time after time, Barclay points to the living reality of a relationship with Jesus Christ.
The "New" daily Bible studies by Barclay have been updated to more modern English; not necessary in my opinion. We lose a lot when we stop reading old books as they were written.
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Unbiblical: Universalist, Denies Miracles, Essentially Denies Virgin Birth 9 April 2013
By ReformedGirls - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
Readers should know the dangerous theology of the man before they buy his book.

William Barclay is a self-declared Universalist, writing an article "I AM A CONVINCED UNIVERSALIST" available via Google search.

William Barclay is also a self-described "liberal evangelical", neo-orthodox and attempts to deny Christ's miracles. Barclay looked at the healing miracles as normal practices and not supernatural in any sense. See Pg 41-42 where he comments on John 9:6-12 where Jesus healed a beggar, Barclay says this was a common healing practice of the day and that Jesus did nothing special. On Pg 42, paragraph 3, he even calls Jesus a "physician". Barclay writes "The fact is that Jesus took the methods and customs of his time and used them. He was a wise physician."

William Barclay also denies the trinity "Nowhere does the New Testament identify Jesus with God" according to William Barclay: A Spiritual Autobiography. When you read Barclay's books, look at such topics in the index as "The Virgin Birth," "Miracles" and "The Person of Christ." As Barclay dealt with these and other matters related to them, he would often just cast a little aspersion on the belief in super natural matters. He did not directly but essentially denied the virgin birth of Jesus Christ in his commentary on Matthew but called it a "crude fact" and emphasized that it is not important to literally believe that Jesus was born only of a woman. He argued that the virgin birth story could not be taken literally.

Some may also find it objectionable that Barclay uses the books of the Jewish Apocrypha as support and treats it on the same level as God-breathed scripture. Example: Pg 29 of his John Volume 1 commentary, he refers to 2 Esdras and Wisdom as if they were God-breathed scripture. And Pg 32 Barclay quotes from the Apocryphal book of Ecclesiasticus.

This commentary is easy to read and understand for the lay reader but there are much better commentaries on John available from the following authors: Don Carson, Köstenberger, Köstenberger's Theology of John, Michaels, Bruner; J. Ramsey Michaels. John (NICNT commentary series); and Leon Morris's commentary on John from the NICNT series.

Note, William BarclAy is not to be confused with William BarclEy. William B. Barcley is the pastor of Sovereign Grace Presbyterian Church in Charlotte, North Carolina. He was previously Academic Dean at Reformed Theological Seminary.

Update: Upon further review, I do see what the other 1-star commentator was objecting to. When reading very carefully through Barclay's commentary on John 1:1-18 Pgs 25-40, it becomes clear that Barclay is removing the deity of Jesus Christ. He downplays Christ's divinity in the whole section, ending with pg 39-40:

"Finally John says that the word was God." (Notice Word is not capitalized?) This is a difficult saying for us to understand... [because the Greek is different from English]. ... He said that the word was theos - which means that the word was, we might say, of the very same character and quality and essence and being as God. When John said "the word was God" he was not saying that Jesus was identical with God; he was saying Jesus was so perfectly the same as God in mind, in heart, in being that in him we perfectly see what God is like. So right at the beginning of his gospel John lays it down that in Jesus, and in him alone, there is perfectly revealed to men all that God always was and always will be, and all that he feels towards and desires for men." (Notice carefully that Barclay implies Jesus is a human man who is very much LIKE God in mind, heart, being but NOT identical with God and NOT part of the trinity. Barclay carefully DOES NOT associate Jesus directly as being God or part of God/trinity. He so carefully steps around this teaching that in stepping around it, it is clear that he is denying this teaching. ALL commentators that read "The Word was God" associate this with Jesus BEING God/Trinity. Barclay carefully avoids this conclusion.
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