Knowing God, By J. I. Packer alt

Knowing God

50th Anniversary Edition

by J. I. Packer
Foreword by Kevin J. Vanhoozer

Knowing God
  • Length: 304 pages
  • Published: October 03, 2023
  • Imprint: IVP
  • Item Code: A0777
  • ISBN: 9781514007778

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Over One Million Copies Sold

Experience J. I. Packer's Classic Resource for Deepening Your Christian Walk

For half a century, J. I. Packer's classic has helped Christians around the world discover the wonder, the glory, and the joy of knowing God.

Stemming from Packer's profound theological knowledge, Knowing God brings together two key facets of the Christian faith—knowing about God and knowing God through a close relationship with Jesus Christ. Written in an engaging and practical tone, this thought-provoking work seeks to renew and enrich our understanding of God.

Knowing God was named by Christianity Today as one of the top fifty books that have shaped evangelicals. Along with Knowing God, you'll find a host of resources to deepen your experience:

  • Knowing God Bible study
  • Knowing God Study Guide
  • Knowing God Devotional Journal

"To read Knowing God is to experience the reality of God, not simply the reality of J. I. Packer."

Kevin J. Vanhoozer, research professor of systematic theology at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, from the foreword

"I don't often endorse a book this way, but I will for Knowing God. If there is one book that every single Christian should read alongside the Bible, it is this book. Filled with theological beauty that lives where we all live, this book will cause you to love your Lord more earnestly, to worship him more deeply, and to serve him more joyfully. This book is so rich, you shouldn't read it just once but over and over again."

Paul David Tripp, author of New Morning Mercies: A Daily Gospel Devotional

"Jesus Christ taught that eternal life is knowing God (John 17:3). This book by J. I. Packer helps us to do just that. Short chapters (originally magazine articles) are arranged to draw us to study more closely various aspects of God's nature and character. What could be more edifying? Over the last fifty years, I have found countless people who have been informed, encouraged, and brought to worship by the pages of this book. I know I have been and pray that you will be too."

Mark Dever, pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church

"There are very few books that communicate such glorious truth—and communicate it as succinctly and as well—as Knowing God. Through Packer's penetrating mind and gifted pen, the majesty of God and the wonder of the gospel shine through on every page. Easily one of the most influential books of the last half century."

Kevin DeYoung, senior pastor of Christ Covenant Church and associate professor of systematic theology at Reformed Theological Seminary, Charlotte

"Knowing God is one of the best books I have ever read. And J. I. Packer is one of the best thinkers I have ever known. If a great book combines a great topic with a great writer, then Knowing God is truly great. So much in our world today is second-rate, but this book is a treasure we can enjoy deeply—and because of it, know God better!"

Ray Ortlund, president of Renewal Ministries

"A hundred years from now only a handful of books written today will still be widely read and accepted as Christian classics. Dr. James I. Packer's Knowing God may well prove to be one of them. A gifted theologian and writer, Dr. Packer has the rare ability to deal with profound and basic spiritual truths in a practical and highly readable way. This book will help every reader grasp in a fuller way one of the Bible's greatest truths: that we can know God personally because God wants us to know him."

Billy Graham

"The books and essays Dr. Packer has written could fill shelves, but he is still known best for his fine work in Knowing God. Others may have followed with books about desiring, loving, serving, or seeking God, but Dr. Packer's volume says it simply, says it best."

Joni Eareckson Tada

"Knowing God is must reading for any Christian who is serious about their faith. While it is theology, it is practical, and while it is profound, it is easy reading. I highly recommend it."

John Perkins

"I first read the book in 1977 in what was then the ninth American printing. I was discipled by that book before I knew what discipleship was! As I reread it recently, I was embarrassed by all the ideas I kept coming upon that I thought were mine. Then I realized that through his book Packer had made them mine. It dawned on me that bad books try to tell us what to think, while good books help us to think. But truly good books shape the way we think. That's what this book did for me. There isn't a song I've written that hasn't been impacted by the point of view in this book. Knowing God not only points to the door, it provides the key, helps us open it and prepares us for the One we shall discover waiting for us on the other side. In his book Packer rescues us from the 'private religious hunches' of our theologically fickle age, from the 'gigantic conspiracy of misdirection' that would rob us of the deep, simple joy of knowing God."

Michael Card

"'Those who know God have great contentment in God.' It is no wonder so many are so discontented! They don't know God. Oh if only they would use Knowing God as a devotional study. It would create such a thirst for more of God that they would keep on coming to him in his Word and drinking of him. This book is the classic God used to launch me into a study of the sovereignty of God. I'll never be the same!"

Kay Arthur

"For years I have been asked to list the top twenty Christian books I have read. Knowing God has been on that list since the mid-1970s. This volume is Packer at his very best."

Chuck Swindoll

"Here is a theologian who puts the hay where the sheep can reach it—plainly shows us ordinary folks what it means to know God."

Elisabeth Elliot

"As long as I am able to read, I hope to read Knowing God by James I. Packer each year. It is so basic, scholarly, warm and reverent, I wonder how I managed without it for so long."

Stuart Briscoe

"[Packer's] style is succinct, vivid, and epigrammatic. His perspective is mind stretching, as he surveys the whole biblical scene. And the truth he handles fires the heart. At least it fired mine and compelled me to turn aside to worship and to pray."

John R. W. Stott

"The thing that makes Dr. Packer's writing so vital, practical, and credible is that the man lives what he writes. Knowing God is the work of a man who does—know him; and which makes us want to know him, too—and shows us how."

Jack Hayford

"If I can't put the Bible on this list, I'll choose a Packer book instead. Every national and world leader must seek to know the nations and world in which they serve. And in order to know this world and its people, we must first know the God who shaped and molded us all. Packer simply and powerfully re-introduces us to God: his attributes, actions, and, most important, his grace."

Joshua DuBois, "My Top Five," Christianity Today, September 2014

"Few writings deserve to be called 'Christian classics,' but this is surely one of them. With the heart of a pastor, the understanding of a theologian, and the passion of a prophet, J. I. Packer brings the reader face to face with the living God."

Chuck Colson

"Knowing God is a masterpiece by a master theologian. It serves as a wake-up call for those who are asleep to the majesty of God."

R. C. Sproul

"If any work of Christian literature deserves the title of 'contemporary classic,' I believe that J. I. Packer's Knowing God qualifies for that distinction. It is my hope that this edition will introduce many new readers to the spiritual depth, the wisdom, and the abiding faith of this great scholar. He has discovered and shares with the reader the secret that knowing God's Word is the most direct route to knowing God."

D. James Kennedy

"This book is strong meat. To read and digest it is an experience no discerning reader is likely to forget."

Church Times

"To keep any splendid book in print is a worthy project. Keeping Dr. Packer's classic, Knowing God, alive is reason to celebrate. The people of God will be superbly served by this wonderful gift. I congratulate InterVarsity Press."

Lewis Smedes

"I have never come across a book that expressed and extolled quite so well the mightiness of God and placed in good perspective the attributes of God and their relevance to our own living. As you read the book the fact that you're a child of God thrills you."

Alliance Witness

"Week by week and day by day, Packer gives advice that is sure to motivate and inspire readers to reach for more in their quest to unite with God. A fine read for any devoted Christian."

James A. Cox, Library Bookwatch

"As I reflect on the fiftieth anniversary of J. I. Packer's Knowing God, I ask, How has this book remained relevant through a half century? Two connected thoughts are at the front of my mind. Theology is the application of God's word by people to every area of life. This book is no dry, heady treatise; it is the epitome of theology applied to life. Second, knowing God is the whole point of God's revelation and our existence. There are few works outside Holy Scripture that draw our affections into this truth more than Knowing God. May the Lord bless this generation to love him more deeply by reading these pages."

Irwyn L. Ince Jr., author of The Beautiful Community: Unity, Diversity, and the Church at Its Best

"I first encountered J. I. Packer's Knowing God as a young Christian many years ago. As numerous generations have read this book, it has helped Christians hungry to know God to learn how—by growing in their walk with Jesus Christ. This fiftieth anniversary edition of Dr. Packer's classic book will help the next generation of Christians grasp what it means to know God."

Jarvis J. Williams, associate professor of New Testament interpretation at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

"I was four years old when J. I. Packer wrote Knowing God. Fifty years later, it is abundantly clear that he heeded the call to commend God's mighty acts from one generation to the next. To revisit this book (or to read it for the first time) is to recognize its influence over countless Christian thinkers, preachers, teachers, and writers—a generation who stood at a crossroads and followed Packer's call to walk the ancient paths. He offered nothing new or novel, but a well-trodden way worn clear by the feet of the faithful who came before. In Knowing God, he restored to us a much-needed and transforming vision of God high and lifted up. I am a direct beneficiary of this good guide, and I pray it will endure as a signpost for generations to come."

Jen Wilkin, Bible teacher and author of Women of the Word

Read an Excerpt


Foreword by Kevin J. Vanhoozer
Preface (1993)
Preface (1973)

Part One: Know the Lord
1. The Study of God
2. The People Who Know Their God
3. Knowing and Being Known
4. The Only True God
5. God Incarnate
6. He Shall Testify

Part Two: Behold Your God!
7. God Unchanging
8. The Majesty of God
9. God Only Wise
10. God's Wisdom and Ours
11. Thy Word Is Truth
12. The Love of God
13. The Grace of God
14. God the Judge
15. The Wrath of God
16. Goodness and Severity
17. The Jealous God

Part Three: If God Be For Us . . .
18. The Heart of the Gospel
19. Sons of God
20. Thou Our Guide
21. These Inward Trials
22. The Adequacy of God

Study Guide
Scripture Index


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J. I. Packer

J. I. Packer (1926–2020) is regarded as one of the most well-known theologians of our time. He served as Board of Governors' Professor of Theology at Regent College in Vancouver, British Columbia, and his many books include Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God and A Quest for Godliness.