Our church is in the middle of a 4 week sermon series in the Gospel of John. Here are my recommendations for studying the book for yourself:
The Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary is my go-to Bible dictionary (I have 4-5). John goes out of his way to explain many cultural/geographical details to the uninitiated reader. It is, however, helpful to have a handy reference for terms, cultural practices, and geography.
Devotional/Easy Read Commentaries
Hughes commentaries read like condensed sermons which makes them wonderful for devotional reading. Filled with explanation, illustration, and application I thoroughly enjoy reading these commentaries.
I’ve found Dr. Towns commentary to be the one I remember most when I think through the gospel of John. That may be because it was the first commentary I ever owned for John’s gospel, but I also believe it’s because Dr. Town’s structure and writing is straightforward.
If I could only purchase one commentary on the Gospel of John this would be the one. Dr. Carson packs more information into this volume than I thought could be possible, and at the same time, it’s surprisingly accessible.
Carson 2.0. That’s how I think of this volume. Dr. Köstenberger studied under Carson and this volume represents an update to the predecessor. As a pastor, preaching is only part of what I do (even though I enjoy it the most) and, therefore, I can’t spend 35 hours pouring through 25 commentaries. In terms of academic commentaries for preaching, I love the Pillar series (above) and these Baker commentaries. If I only read these I would feel sufficiently capable to enter the pulpit.