Book Review – 1-3 John (Reformed Expository Commentary) (19/11)

Preaching the word of God is a tremendously important task. Make sure you have good mentors who can show you an example of what good preaching is, is essential to that end. What I’ve always tried to do when teaching on any particular books of the bible is to find expository commentaries that preaches on the book and learn from them.

1-3 John (Reformed Expository Commentary)For those look for help in preaching the Epistles of John, they can consult this commentary. Within this commentary, Douglas Sean O’Donnell shows readers how he preached the epistles of John. He allows readers to understand how he interprets the passages, and why he makes the point that he makes. I have to say that O’Donnell has certainly been very exegetical within this commentary. He examines the passages phrase by phrase, looking into the meaning of each of them. Explaining them in the context of the passage and giving helpful illustrations along the way.

Although I did not find this commentary to be as sermon-like as his previously commentary on Ecclesiastes was (which was excellent). I do see a clear strength in his exegesis. I think for preachers who struggles with understanding what is good exegesis, or the difference between eisegesis and exegesis, this will be a good commentary to consult. O’Donnell will bring you through step by step his exegesis for the passage.

One sad ‘regret’ is how short this commentary is. However given how the epistles of John consist mostly of 7 chapters. It is understandable why this commentary is much thinner that the others within the same series.


Are you preaching on the epistles of John any time soon? Or perhaps aiming to study the epistles of John? Then do get this book and read it both devotionally and also gain some  exegetical knowledge on how to understand the passages.

As with every commentary in the Reformed Expository Commentary, this commentary is excellent for any preachers and seminary students who intends to study or preach this passage.

Rating: 4.5 / 5

If you’re interested, you can get it here and here (free international shipping), kindle.

Disclaimer: I was given this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

P.S. I recommend as an alternative you can also consult 1-3 John: Fellowship in God’s Family. Get it here and here (free international shipping), kindle.

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Book Review – Ecclesiastes (Reformed Expository Commentary) (4/2)

“Only one life, ’twill soon be past, only what’s done for Christ will last.” C. T. Studd

Everyone wants to live a meaningful life, even atheists, who believe that man is a product of chance. Yet, too many find their own lives meaningless. Many spend their lives pursing after fame, riches and pleasure. Yet they never seem to give meaning to our lives.

Ecclesiastes (REC)Donald Sean O’Donnell has written an extremely helpful and readable commentary on the book of Ecclesiastes. This certainty is not an easy feat as O’Donnell states in his introduction that Ecclesiastes is not an easy book to understand. Further O’Donnell has also aimed to help the readers read Ecclesiastes christocentrically showing how even in Ecclesiastes, Christ is present.

O’Donnell takes the traditional view that Solomon is the preacher in Ecclesiastes and does not bore the readers with the details about why he thinks it is so. He does however gives some justification on why he think Solomon is the preacher. Next, O’Donnell moves on to preach the text section by section.

In general, I do like O’Donnell’s preaching, he’s uses jokes and illustrations very appropriately, often being able to laugh at himself. But the real stuff that this commentary comes out with is the biblical teachings that comes out from the text. O’Donnell takes the text and explains it to the readers. After explaining, he then brings out the application of the verses. More importantly, O’Donnell consciously always points the text to Jesus, making it thoroughly Christ-centered sermons.

I do encourage pastor to purchase this if they intend to preach through Ecclesiastes. Two benefits can be derived from it, first, it helps you grow devotionally, to mediate on the scripture, next, it helps growing in your preaching, to be better at it, and to bring your congregation to Christ.  Those seeking technical help on Ecclesiastes ought to look at other commentaries to compliment it, but this is still a great standalone commentary on it’s own.

Rating: 5 / 5

If you’re interested, you can get it here, and here (free international shipping).

Disclaimer: I was given this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review