To be able to read Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg’s commentary, ‘The Jewish Gospel of John’ is nothing short of being among the greatest privileges I have had. I have chosen to make it part of my Devotional Bible Reading. For me, there are too many devotional aids that hinder people from the actual joy of reading the Holy Scriptures. ‘The Jewish Gospel of John’ is a very personal project of the author, reflecting his life-long invested interest in the 4th gospel. Eli has not only sought to understand the audience to whom this gospel was intended, but also enthuse the reader with the joy he has in the uniqueness of this gospel. It is not written with the intention of being a scholarly commentary, though it has all the hallmarks of very high quality scholarship. It has a very personal style, as though Eli were writing a personal letter. It is a stand alone commentary that sits well alongside other commentaries. But there is more.
‘The Jewish Gospel of John’ is superb commentary. It surpasses most of what we call ‘scholarship.’ A very scholarly work without any pretence. I have not delighted in a commentary as much since reading Clinton E. Arnold’s ‘Power and Magic: The Concept of Power in Ephesians.’ I think commentators of the calibre of Francis Maloney will be thrilled with this text. It adequately addresses questions that concern scholars as to the audience and Jewishness of the 4th gospel without the fanfare of scholarly critique that requires endless footnotes to indicate eruditeness. I think it surpasses Brown’s tome, and is equal or better than F. Danker on Luke.
English is not Eli’s native language. However, he is multilingual and apt in english. I have found some editorial changes, but read texts of English speaking authors with more errors of grammar, syntax and language. Frankly, I barely understand those concepts myself. Once I got past Eli’s introduction, the first 19 pages I was drawn in. I never thought it possible that someone would draw together all of the textual questions, the double-meanings, the background, the role of temple and court, the plethora of Old Testament imagery, the richness of metaphors that are that present actual reality, the very Jewish nature of the text and thought yet its puzzling audience… we could go on and on. Eli has written such a fine commentary that for the first time I am comfortable to say I am reading it as part of my devotional exercise because I hear an ancient voice speaking through his text that is enabling me to picture the gathering and testimonies of witnesses being called into the presence of YHWH through His Holy Spirit, Ruach Hako’desh, as Temple Courts, Heavenly Worship, the House of God, and the Heavenly Courts focus on the message of the Messenger and the administrations of God’s Son, Yah’Shua, who fulfils His Divine governance over all humanity through self-sacrifice to unite His flock in glorious worship. You can see that I am on the road to unfolding the uniqueness of ’The Fourth Gospel,’ as a distinct witness to Yah’Shua over whom the Father’s voice echoes throughout.
Eventually, with Eli’s help and some re-reading of his commentary, the beauty of this masterful literature in ’The Gospel According to St John’ will be as clear as light, and I will see more than a masterfully unified, edited text, to behold the Heavenly Story ‘John’ was privileged to envisage for us.
Thank you Eli. May God Bless the fruit of your Labour according to all that he has purposed it for.