1 John: Geneva Commentary Series
Candlish’s exposition of 1 John was the ripe fruit of years of careful and loving study of the great themes in Johannine teaching. His aim was not so much to produce a detailed technical commentary after the fashion of much exegesis in the new German tradition, but to set on display the heights and depths of the theology of John’s letter:
He wrote: “It can be studied aright exegetically, only when it is studied theologically.” His driving purpose, like that of the apostle, is to see truth and joyful assurance born and brought to maturity in the hearts of his readers. The multi-faceted privileges of fellowship with the Father and the Son through the Spirit are constantly brought to the forefront.
About the Author
Robert Smith Candlish (1806-1873) was born in Edinburgh, the son of a medical teacher who died when his son was just five weeks old. In spite of receiving his schooling at home, Candlish graduated from the University of Glasgow in 1823, following this with studies in divinity, which he completed in 1826. After two years as a tutor, he ministered as an assistant at St Andrews in Glasgow and Bonhill, Dumbartonshire.
He was called to St George’s, the most prominent pulpit in Edinburgh, in 1833 when he was still in his twenties. He was soon established as a leading figure in the group of evangelicals who would, after the Disruption in 1843, become the Free Church of Scotland. Candlish was deeply committed to the preaching ministry – he declined a chair in the newly formed denominational college, although much later (1862) he would become Principal of New College. He was Moderator of the Free Church Assembly in 1861, and received D.D. degrees from Princeton College (1841) and the University of Edinburgh (1865). His lifework well-illustrated the biblical and Reformation ideal of the pastor-theologian as both his pulpit ministry and his published works show.