Church Education Trust

Church and the Bible



The Gospel According to St.John

Key Verses.


"For God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten Son, that who soever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him. John 3:16-17.

Jesus answered,"I am the way, the truth and the life. No man cometh unto the father but by me." John 14:6.




At the end of the Gospel The author identifies himself as "the disciple whom Jesus loved"and that is John the Apostle(John 21:20,24) Although the text does not name this disciple, by the beginning of the 2nd century a tradition had begun to form which identified him with John the Apostle, one of the Twelve (Jesus's innermost circle).


Although some notable New Testament scholars affirm traditional Johannine scholarship, the majority do not believe that John or one of the Apostles wrote it, and trace it instead to a "Johannine community" which traced its traditions to John; the Gospel itself shows signs of having been composed in three "layers", reaching its final form about 90-100 AD.

According to Victorinus and Irenaeus, the Bishops of Asia Minor requested John, in his old age, to write a gospel in response to Cerinthus, the Ebionites and other Jewish Christian groups which they deemed heretical. 


This understanding remained in place until the end of the 18th century. Modern Scholarship has challenged the authenticity of Johannine authorship. Their arguement is based on the hypothesis of an ancient and vague mention of a certain presbyter of Ephesus. The biblical text itself would seem sufficient to believe that the Apostle John one of the inner circle of Christ`s disciple was in fact the author.

The Author Background. John`s father was called Zebedee (Matthew 4:21), his mother was called Salome (Matthew 27:56, Mark 15:40) who may well have been Mary`s sister who was the mother of Jesus.(John 19:25).

John had an interesting background, he was a business man, had aquired sufficent to be a partner in a fishing boat, he had men working for him. (Mark 1:16-20). It would seem that he owned at least two houses one in Capernaum and the other in Jerusalem (John 19:27) and he was very friendly with the high priest in Jerusalem. (John 18:15-16).

In earlier days the Apostle John had been a disciple of John the Baptist (1:35-40) that being the case if John was a relative of Jesus then he must have been a relative of John the Baptist. (Luke 1:36).

That being the case then he would heard the news about the angels` proclamation about the birth of John the Baptist and Jesus from his family. (Luke 1:17,32) In the light of that it makes sense to believe that when John the Baptist came on the scene, John the Apostle would have followed him as he awaited the coming of the Christ. Later he returned to his fishing buisness about a year later Jesus meets with him and calls him to follow him and become a disciple.

From that moment John became an eye witness of all that Jesus did and said. John was given the name "Son of Thunder", (Mark 3:17) it would seem that sometimes he had an uncontrollable temper.

There were a few incidents that reveal his firey nature. In Mark 9:38 John forbids a stranger to cast out demons in the name of Jesus and in Mark 9:54 he wants to call down fire on the Samaritans, it wouldseem that he eventually got to grips with that firey side of his nature.

John was very much part of the inner circle of Jesus, he was one of three disciples who were very close to Him. On five occasions we read of "the disciple whom Jesus loved" (John 13:23, 19:26, 20:2, 21:7,20.)

It also needs to be recognised that Peter and John became the leaders od the 12 disciples and while they were so different in character and personality they brought maturity to the early days of ministry as the Church was being developed. (John 20:2, Acts 3:1, 11, 4:13, 8:14).

For a number of years John lived in Jerusalem, he also spent time living in Ephesus and exiled to the island of Patmos. The Gospel of John, 1,2,3 John and Revelation were written by John, his gospel dates somewhere around 90 A.D.


The difference between John`s Gospel and those of Matthew, Mark & Luke.


The Book of John is significantly different from the Synoptic Gospels:

1.Jesus is identified with the divine Word ("Logos") and referred to as theos ("God").

2.The Gospel of John gives no account of the Nativity of Jesus, unlike Matthew and Luke, and his mother's name is never given. John does assert that Jesus was known as the "son of Joseph" in 6:42.

3.In chapter 7:41-42, and again in 7:52, John records some of the crowd of Pharisees dismissing the possibility of Jesus's being the Messiah, on the grounds that the Messiah must be a descendent of David and born in Bethlehem, stating that Jesus instead came out of Galilee (as is stated in the Gospel of Mark); John made no effort to refute or correct (nor did he affirm) this, and this has been advanced as implying that John rejected the synoptic tradition of Jesus's birth in Bethlehem.

4.The Pharisees, portrayed as more uniformly legalistic and opposed to Jesus in the synoptic gospels, are instead portrayed as sharply divided; they debate frequently in the Gospel of John's accounts. Some, such as Nicodemus, even go so far as to be at least partially sympathetic to Jesus. This is believed to be a more accurate historical depiction of the Pharisees, who made debate one of the tenets of their system of belief.

5.John makes no mention of Jesus' baptism, but quotes John the Baptist's description of the descent of the Holy Spirit.

6.John the Baptist publicly proclaims Jesus to be the Lamb of God. The Baptist recognizes Jesus secretly in Matthew, and not at all in Mark or Luke. John also denies that he is Elijah, whereas Mark and Matthew identify him with Elijah.

7.The Temple incident appears near the beginning of Jesus' ministry. In the synoptics this occurs soon before Jesus is crucified.

8.John contains four visits by Jesus to Jerusalem, three associated with the Passover feast. This chronology suggests Jesus' public ministry lasted three or two years. The synoptic gospels describe only one trip to Jerusalem in time for the Passover observance.

9.Jesus washes the disciples' feet instead of the synoptics' ritual with bread and wine (the Eucharist).

10.No other women are mentioned going to the tomb with Mary Magdalene.

11.John does not contain any parables. Rather it contains metaphoric stories or allegories, such as The Shepherd and The Vine, in which each individual element corresponds to a specific group or thing.

12.Major synoptic speeches of Jesus are absent, including the Sermon on the Mount and the Olivet discourse.

13.While the synoptics look forward to a future Kingdom of God (using the term parousia, meaning "coming"), John presents an eschatology that has already been realized.

14.The Kingdom of God is mentioned only twice in John. In contrast, the other gospels repeatedly use the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Heaven as important concepts.

15.The exorcisms of demons are never mentioned as in the synoptics.

16.John never lists all of the Twelve Disciples and names at least one disciple (Nathanael) whose name is not found in the synoptics; Nathanael appears to parallel the apostle Bartholomew found in the synoptics, as both are paired with Philip in the respective gospels. 

17.While James and John are prominent disciples in the synoptics, John mentions them only in the epilogue, where they are referred to not by name but as the "sons of Zebedee."

18.Thomas the Apostle is given a personality beyond a mere name, as "Doubting Thomas".




 "The Word (logos) became flesh."

Jesus is the word become flesh [Jn 1:1-18]


Book of Signs, Seven Signs

John the Baptist[1:19–28]

Jesus is the Lamb of God[1:29–34]

First disciples of Jesus[1:35–51]

Marriage at Cana: the first sign[2:1–12]

Jesus and the Money Changers [2:13–25]

Nicodemus the Pharisee[3:1–21]

The need to be born again[3:16]

Jesus surpasses John[3:22-4:4]

Samaritan woman at the well: Jesus as the Water of Life [4:5-42]

Healing the royal official's son: the second sign[4:43-54]

Healing the paralytic at Bethesda[5:1-18]

Authority of the Son[5:19-23]

Resurrection of the Dead[5:24–29]

Witnesses to Jesus[5:30-47]

The feeding of the five thousand [6:1–15]

Walking on water[6:16–21]

Bread of Life Discourse[6:22–59] Last Day[6:39–40][6:44][6:54][11:24][12:48]

Jesus deserted by many disciples[6:60–71]

Feast of Tabernacles[7:1–52]

Jesus and the woman taken in adultery[7:53–8:11]

Jesus is the Light of the World [8:12–20]

Where I'm going, you can't come[8:21–30]

The truth will make you free[8:31–38]

Your father is the Devil[8:39–47]

Jesus existed before Abraham[8:48–59]

Healing the blind at birth[9]

Good Shepherd[10:1–21]

Jesus rejected by the Jews[10:22–42] [12:37–43]

Raising of Lazarus[11:1–44] Let's return to Judea[11:7]

Jesus wept[11:35]

Plot to kill Jesus [11:45–57]

Mary anoints Jesus[12:1–8]

Plot to kill Lazarus[12:9–11]

Triumphal entry into Jerusalem [12:12–19]

Son of Man[12:20–36]

Last Judgment[12:44–50]


Book of Glory, Last Teachings and Death


Foot Washing[13:1–20]

Betrayal of Jesus[13:21–30]

Love one another[13:31–35]

Peter's denial [13:36–38][18:15–18][18:25–27]

Jesus is the only Way to the Father [14:1–14]

Promise of the Paraclete [14:15–31] [15:18–16:33]

Jesus is the true vine [15:1–17]

The World's Hatred [15:18–16:4]

The Work of the Spirit [16:5-15]

Sorrow will turn into joy [16:16-24]

I Have Overcome the World [16:25-33]

High Priestly Prayer [Jn 17] That they all may be one[17:21]


Before the High Priests [18:12–14] [18:19–24]

Pilate's court[18:28–19:16] What is truth?[18:38]

Crown of thorns[19:2-3]

Ecce Homo[19:5]



Empty tomb [20:1–10]

Mary don't hold on to me[20:11–18]

Great Commission[20:19–23]

Doubting Thomas[20:24–29]


Appendix to the Appendix[21] Catch of 153 fish[21:1–14]

Prophecy of Peter's crucifixion[21:15–19]

Disciple whom Jesus loved[21:20–25]


< back to previous page >

©2008 Church Education Trust