Paperback, 104 pages, Published by John Ritchie Ltd. 40 Beansburn, Kilmarnock, KA3 1RH. ISBN: 978-1-910513-68-2.
What is a pocket commentary? As the Foreword states, ‘A need has been identified … for something smaller and shorter and cheaper – a mini commentary series’. Thus, a series of articles originally written for the Believer’s Magazine has now been brought together in book form.
Anyone familiar with the oral ministry of the writer will welcome the opportunity to have access to something in writing. This little volume will not disappoint. It may only be a ‘pocket commentary’ but its statements are pithy and worthy of further meditation. I hesitate to pick out any, but offer this statement concerning ‘God is light’; ‘He is intrinsically righteous, impeccably sinless, utterly holy’.
The book is divided into ten short chapters and each chapter is sub-divided; one or two of these sections having alliterated headings. Overall, this encourages the reader, whilst giving a structure to the verses being studied, and enables that reader to locate the verse or verses they might want help with. The approach is non-technical and accessible, but also intensely practical. The following extract on 1 John chapter 2 verse 17 sets the tone, ‘palatial homes become ruins, swanky cars become rusty wrecks, and flamboyant styles become dated. What is the point of loving the world when it is so obviously transient?’
If you want to understand this short epistle quickly and to have your appetite whetted for deeper study, get this book. I suspect that you will read it and re-read it. Hopefully, with the help of Jack Hay, the challenge of John’s writings will also impact upon your soul.