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A Youth Worker’s Commentary on John

August 7, 2012

A Youth Worker’s Commentary on John by Les Christie and David Nystrom (Zondervan, 2011) is an innovative youth ministry resource written with the study habits of busy ministry professionals in mind. Les Christie has decades of not only youth ministry experience but also decades of teaching youth ministry (and John) at William Jessup University in California while David Nystrom is a vice president at BIOLA who has published in the prestigious Application Commentary series so both men come to their task very well qualified. The commentary is based upon and includes the 2011 NIV as its text. The volume includes all the elements one would expect of a commentary including, authorship, dates and location of writing, the synoptic question and maps. These are all well done including the following insightful table: (page 19)

Gospel       Unique Material                 Material found in other Gospels

 Mark             7%                                93%

Matthew         42%                              58%

Luke               59%                              41%

John               92%                               8% 

In addition quotes from other commentators , reference to the original language, cross references to other Biblical passages round out the textual insights. Specific for youth workers are the authors personal/ministry stories, a Read Between the Lines section including content and reflection questions and  a Welcome to my World series of application questions designed to reach into the world of today’s student culture. The book is over 300 pages and is designated volume one because it only covers John 1-8. This series is a great concept and is well worth the time and money of youth workers. I hope we see more volumes including some Old Testament commentaries in the series as well in the near future.

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