I've been working like a beaver recently on the release of The Eye of the Beholder: The Gospel of John as Historical Reportage. That is to say, I've been doing interviews and posting about it, checking to see if it's available in Australia and the UK (it wasn't for a couple of days when I expected it to be), sharing content about it to social media, making videos, and so forth, while keeping life going otherwise.
I owe a lot to What's Wrong With the World for the space to publish a lot of related material in an earlier form over the past few years. Here is the Gospel of John tag there, if you want to read some of this for free in its beta version, as it were. I believe that all of that material up through May of 2020 or so has also been copied over to this blog (Extra Thoughts), as part of the archiving project last year, but it hasn't always been tagged. At least it is archived here, though.
The Eye of the Beholder was released on March 1, 2021, just this past Monday. For those of you who get info. about this from one of my blogs and/or aren't on Facebook, here are some relevant links, with apologies for making this post mostly a link dump. But believe me: There's tons of content at the links. First, how can you get the book itself? Here's the link at Amazon and here it is at Barnes & Noble. It makes no difference to my royalties or to my publisher's profits which site you buy it from. If you are in the UK, you can search Amazon, UK, for it, and the same (now) in both Australia and Canada. This is fitting, since I have endorsements from prominent scholars in all of those countries!
Of course, high-profile endorsers don't have to mean that I'm right, but at least they should mean that the book is worth a place at the table. I'm really humbly grateful to the Lord, and the endorsers, and my publisher, Nathan Ward, for the star-studded roster we got this time, including Stanley Porter, Thomas Schreiner, philosopher Bob Larmer, Paul N. Anderson, Alan Thompson, and more. Here are the endorsements in PDF. This should lay to rest various claims to the effect that my work is unworthy of attention due to my lack of such-and-such specific credentials. Nathan went out and asked for endorsements from Johannine and New Testament scholars whom I did not think of, or whom I would have expected to ignore the request due to their eminence or busyness, and he got them. (I'm reminded of a collect about "those things which for our unworthiness we dare not and for our blindness we cannot ask.") Some scholars also contacted me spontaneously after the publication of The Mirror or the Mask expressing interest in supporting my work. And in a couple of cases scholars' names were suggested to me by their former students: "You should contact professor so-and-so. I think he might be interested in your work."
One thing that we can't seem to get to work for love or money at Amazon is the "see inside" function. (At least not until it comes out in Kindle, perhaps in a year, at which point you will be able to see inside the Kindle version.) Perhaps one has to have a rich uncle who is good friends with Bezos to get See Inside The Book to work, but that's okay, because I anticipated that, and I have free samples, with publisher permission, available elsewhere. Here is Chapter I. Here is the Conclusion. Here is the Table of contents.
If you want to get a sense of the book in just three minutes, here is a trailer, for which I thank my eldest daughter, Bethel McGrew. Feel free to tweet or share that trailer everywhere, as it's the sort of thing that is intended for precisely that context.
If you want a meatier discussion of the contents of the book, here is a content tour of about twenty-five minutes.
And if you are really into long-form discussion, here is a two-hour interview I recorded with Thaddeus of the Youtube channel Reasoned Answers just a couple of days ago. This is the first long interview I have done on this book since its release, so thanks to Thaddeus for that opportunity.
I now have a separate author page on Facebook if you are on there and want to follow me that way. (And hey, if you're annoyed by my Covid posts and just want to see stuff about the New Testament and my books, this is a great way to separate those!) Note that Facebook is a little odd: Just clicking "like" or even "follow" on my Lydia McGrew, Author, page won't automatically make my new posts from that page pop up in your newsfeed unless you interact quite a bit. So if you really want to be sure to see everything, be sure to toggle your "follow" options to "subscribe" to get notifications when I post something new.
The Eye of the Beholder has something for everyone--pastor, layman, and scholar. So if you're interested in the question of the historicity of John, be sure to get a copy. I should also mention that my publisher is offering desk copies at a reduced rate (for physical, within the continental US) and free for e-copies (not to be promiscuously shared) to professors at Bible colleges and seminaries who teach relevant courses and are considering the book for a course. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org if you fall into that category.
In the words of the late Leon Morris, God has chosen to reveal himself in history, and it is there that we must find him. And that, I would add, is why these books needed to be written, and why St. John the evangelist wrote his book, too.