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0001b John Murray Harris0001 John Richard Phillips









I am enjoying Murray Harris’, John: Exegetical Guide to the New Testament (B&H). I have found it very useful for research I am doing on Jn. 14:2-3. I am exploring possible OT linguistic connections, including military, betrothal, and Passover references. If you are preaching through John, Harris’ text definitely should be open in front of you with pen in hand.

On a lay level, I encourage everyone to grab Richard Phillip’s commentary on John in the Reformed Expositor’s Commentary Series (P&R). Phillips is a thoughtful Biblicist. His expositions are clear and Christ-centered. Consider his comments on Jn. 11:1-6:

Second, we should note the basis on which the sisters sent their prayer: “He whom you love.” They did not appeal to Jesus on the basis of their love or Lazarus’s love for him, but on the basis of his love for them. Not that they did not love Jesus. “They did love him,” Boice writes, “but they knew that their love for Jesus would never in a million years be an adequate basis for their appeal. . . . [This] is the only grounds that any of us can ever have in approaching the Almighty.”  This principle holds in every area of salvation. God did not send his Son because the world loved him. For the world does not love God. But the Bible proclaims, “God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son” (John 3:16). “In this is love,” John says, “not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 4:10). Even our love for God stems from his love for us. John adds, “We love because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19). Therefore, Matthew Henry says, “Our love to him is not worth speaking of, but his to us can never be enough spoken of.”7 Knowing this will provide a great encouragement to our prayers. We feel distant from God because of our cool hearts and mixed performance. But our prayers are offered not in our own name but in Jesus’ name, that is, on the basis of his perfect life and saving work. Our prayers are accepted because God loves us, a love that he has proved once for all by offering his Son for our sins on the cross.

(John, Volume 2. 2014: 9.)

On Jn. 14:2-3, some of the popular concepts associated with ancient Jewish marriage traditions and the return of Christ seem to lack a historical background. However, I still am exploring the ancient literature. I find it interesting, however, that Johannine scholarship – at least in the commentaries – almost makes no comment on a relationship between Jn. 14:2-3, betrothal, and the return of Christ. Köstenberger seems to be a notable exception, but his comment is brief. I also am not sure if Jn. 14:2-3 falls under John’s paroimia concept.