Baker Academic has a brand new website! Click Here To Visit:

Encountering John, 2nd Edition

The Gospel in Historical, Literary, and Theological Perspective

series: Encountering Biblical Studies

Cover Art Request Exam Copy

Where to Purchase

More Options


In this updated edition of his successful textbook, leading evangelical New Testament scholar Andreas Köstenberger offers a survey of John's gospel that is informed by current scholarship but written at an accessible level. The book has been revised throughout and features a new interior design. Photos, sidebars, and other pedagogical aids are included.


To the Student
Before You Begin . . .
Part 1: Encountering the Gospel of John: Come On In!
1. History: How John's Gospel Came to Be
2. Literature: Mapping John's Story
3. Theology: John's Major Themes 
Part 2: Encountering the Word (John 1:1-18)
4. The Incarnation of the Word (1:1-18)
Part 3: Encountering the Earthly Jesus: The Mission to the Jews (Including Seven Signs) (John 1:19-12:50)
5. Jesus's Early Ministry (Part 1): Signs 1-2 (1:19-2:25)
6. Jesus's Early Ministry (Part 2): Sign 3 (3:1-4:54)
7. Escalating Conflict (Part 1): Signs 4-5 (5:1-6:71)
8. Escalating Conflict (Part 2) (7:1-8:59)
9. Escalating Conflict (Part 3): Sign 6 (9:1-10:42)
10. Escalating Conflict (Part 4): Sign 7 (11:1-12:50)
Part 4: Encountering the Exalted Jesus: The Mission to the World (John 13-20)
11. Jesus's Farewell (Part 1) (Chap. 13)
12. Jesus's Farewell (Part 2) (Chaps. 14-16)
13. Jesus's Farewell (Part 3): Jesus's Parting Prayer (Chap. 17)
14. Jesus's Passion, Resurrection, and Commissioning of His Followers (Chaps. 18-20)
Part 5: Encountering the One Who Calls Us to Follow (John 21)
15. What It Means to Follow Jesus (Chap. 21)
16. Epilogue: John in the Context of Scripture
Appendix 1: The History of the Interpretation of John's Gospel
Appendix 2: John's Gospel and the Study of the Historical Jesus
Tools for Study


Praise for the First Edition

"This book is an admirable contribution to the Encountering series. Although he is a sure-footed specialist on John, Köstenberger nevertheless manages to write with the clarity and condensed simplicity expected of a college-level textbook. Students who study John's gospel with this guide in hand will emerge with a grasp of its content that will provide an anchor not only for the rest of their biblical studies but for the rest of their lives."

D. A. Carson, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

"The book combines expert scholarship with skillful and attractive methods of communication. It is exactly what students of the Fourth Gospel need both to provide them with the scholarly information and to guide and stimulate their own exploration of the Gospel and the many issues it raises. A splendid contribution."

Richard Bauckham, University of St. Andrews

"Students who look for a comprehensive introduction into the Fourth Gospel need to look no further: Köstenberger has written the best college-level introduction available. The book is packed with information yet easy to read. It competently interacts with the most recent scholarship yet is not pedantic in its presentation of secondary sources. It regularly discusses differing views on numerous topics yet never loses its focus. I highly recommend the book."

Eckhard Schnabel, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary

The Author

  1. Andreas J. Köstenberger
    Maria Estes

    Andreas J. Köstenberger

    Andreas J. Köstenberger (PhD, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) is research professor of New Testament and biblical theology and director of the Center for Biblical Studies at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Missouri. He...

    Continue reading about Andreas J. Köstenberger


"[This edition] will continue to be a helpful, if conservative, addition to the libraries of both students and teachers of the gospel. Particularly useful features are the explanations provided in boxes within the text and the appendices and excurses provided at the end. Especially helpful are the suggestions for further reading and the tools for study, which list occurrences in the gospel of several key themes."

David Ball,

Journal for the Study of the New Testament

"Kӧstenberger provides sensitivity on language, historical, biblical theological, and contextual concerns. His approach utilizes both history-of-religions and salvation-historical approaches in order to highlight the clear distinctions in John as compared with the Synoptics. . . . A commitment to discipleship is a clear goal of the author and specific applications are provided so its intended audience, a twenty-first century student reader, can begin to emulate resurrection responses."

Doug Kennard,

Religious Studies Review

"This book is designed for classroom use and includes photos, sidebars, and other pedagogical aids. Written by noted scholar Andreas Köstenberger, this volume isn't a traditional commentary but a tool to help students understand John's distinct focus."

CBA Retailers + Resources

Praise for the First Edition

"Köstenberger really hits his mark. Students, pastors, and Bible teachers will find Köstenberger's work useful."

Wayne Brouwer,

Calvin Theological Journal

"This text is a helpful addition to the field of biblical, especially Johannine, studies at the college level. I have not yet seen anything comparable to it as a teaching tool."

Gary Derickson,

Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society

"Offers an excellent interpretation of John's gospel, introduces its users to much of the scholarly debate surrounding it, and provides many valuable, practical insights that challenge the reader's response to the message the Gospel proclaims. When asked to write the study course on John for the Southern Baptist Seminary Extension Agency, this reviewer chose Encountering John as the textbook on which the course is based. Furthermore, I am anticipating that the next time I teach the Gospel of John at Southeastern, I will us Köstenberger's fine book as a required text for leading students into a deeper understanding and appreciation of the Fourth Gospel."

David Beck,

Faith and Mission

"Encountering John is an excellent guide to the Gospel for the beginning student. It is well designed as a college-level text. It could also serve as a good introductory text for a church Bible-study class on John."

Keith Essex,

The Master's Seminary Journal

"This is a winner. 'Come on in!' the introductory chapter invites. The format, layout, and the contents quickly engage the reader onto the page and into the book. This volume is one in the Encountering Biblical Studies Series, intended by Baker for introductory classes at the college or university level. I would have appreciated this introduction to John during my years as a serious lay Bible student, and will certainly add it to my collection as a pastor."

Ashland Theological Journal

"Those who long have reveled in John's theological depths as well as those just beginning to wade into the shallows will equally appreciate the nurture and the knowledge Köstenberger offers."

Robert P. Mills,

The Presbyterian Layman

"Köstenberger provides a useful discussion of John vis a vis the synoptic Gospels. . . . Köstenberger offers a straightforward and convincing explanation. . . . Will prove useful to those who desire to better understand the Gospel of John but are looking for something more accessible than a standard commentary."

Philip Kern,

The Briefing

"Very readable. . . . It provides the general reader with a good grasp of this Gospel with many word studies and cultural insights thrown in. The volume sports 20 sidebars, 31 tables, 4 maps, 2 appendices, 10 excursuses, a glossary, an annotated bibliography, a Subject index, and a Scripture Index. . . . Each chapter has study questions and a summary. A unique feature is that it has its own concordance."

Charles H. Ray,

Conservative Theological Journal