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Intro to Gospel of John
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Intro to Gospel of John


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  • 1. The Gospel of John “In the beginning was the Word (logos), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
  • 2. Historical Background –First Century AD Palestine was under Roman rule (occupation)  Roman legions (troops) maintained control  Roman emperors saw themselves as “divine”  “son of God”  Caesar Augustus was emperor at the time of Jesus’ birth  Period of the Pax Romana- Roman Peace  The Emperor Tiberius ruled during Jesus’ ministry  Roman governors (such as Pilate) were sent to oversee the provinces  Rome used local rulers to help rule  example: King Herod was ruler of Palestine
  • 3. Caesar AugustusThe base of statue includes the imageof the Greek god Cupid riding a dolphin. This expresses Augustus’ supposedancestry to the goddess Venus (Cupidsmother) by way of his adopted fatherJulius Caesar.
  • 4. Temple in Jerusalem- 1st Century
  • 5. Historical Background  Rome often allowed people in conquered regions to maintain their traditional religion and culture  As long as it did not conflict with Rome  Example: Jewish Passover in Jerusalem  Rome also granted Roman citizenship to some who lived under Roman rule  Example: Paul was a Roman citizen
  • 6. Historical Background The Jews in Palestine resented Roman “occupation” and rule and sought to change the political status of Israel-  Many Jews wanted to reestablish a Kingdom of Israel under the leadership of a Messiah – king (like David)  Messiah (Hebrew) means “anointed one”  Christ is Greek for Messiah
  • 7.  Palestine was politically volatile Rome was very concerned about Jewish uprisings and rebellions  Fear of losing control  Fear of violence  Example: Pilate went in Jerusalem during the period of Passover to make sure there were no uprisings or problems in the city
  • 8.  In AD 70 Rome put down a Jewish rebellion in Palestine  (specifically - Jerusalem) Thousands of Jews were killed The Temple in Jerusalem was destroyed
  • 9. The Arch of Titus (Titus was the Roman general who led thesiege of Jerusalem ) was erected in Rome to commemoratethe victory
  • 10. Rome and the Destruction of the Temple The Roman historian, Josephus, claimed that more than 1 million Jews died as a result of Rome’s brutal crackdown. Roman troops burned and sacked the Temple in Jerusalem. The Arch of Titus in Rome has a frieze showing the menorah and silver trumpets from the Temple being paraded into the city. Jewish prisoners were paraded through the streets of Rome and strangled at the Forum. The Roman troops also raised a standard with the image of a pig on the ruins of the Temple in Jerusalem
  • 11.  Thousands of Jews fled Palestine to other regions of the Roman world  This is known as the diaspora  Judaism and Christianity continued to spread as a result
  • 12. Languages of the period Greek was the universal language of the region  New Testament was written in Greek Jews often spoke many languages  Hebrew  Aramaic  Greek  Latin
  • 13. Gospel – Good News
  • 14. The synoptic (seeing together) gospels Matthew, Mark, Luke Each of the three synoptic gospels tell the story of Jesus’ life and ministry 90% of Mark’s gospel is contained in Matthew 53% of Mark is found in Luke The gospel writers do NOT appear to be overly concerned with exact chronology
  • 15. The Gospel Writers Matthew- one of Jesus’ original 12 disciples – tax collector- Jew who worked for the government The early church fathers all agreed that Matthew, one of the 12 disciples, was the author Purpose: show that Jesus was the Messiah who fulfilled the OT prophecies
  • 16.  Mark-  Mark was not one of the original 12 disciples  The gospel is possibly written on behalf of Peter  The early church agreed that John Mark was the author  Mark may be the first gospel to be written  may have been written in Rome during the persecution of the church under Nero
  • 17.  Luke –  Greek doctor - well educated  not one of the original 12 disciples  Companion of Paul on his missionary journeys  Luke also wrote the book of Acts  The author’s name is NOT mentioned in the book  Luke’s account reflects a careful attention to eyewitness testimony (Luke 1:1-4)
  • 18. John’s gospel is NOT a synopticgospel
  • 19. John’s Gospel Many scholars believe that John’s gospel was written late in the first century  @ 80-90 AD John appears to have been written to supplement and compliment the other three gospels- 90 % new material It is more theological and explanatory It also appears to be written to a non-Jewish audience – many things are explained
  • 20. Author  John 21:24 “This is the disciple who testifies to these things and who wrote them down. We know that his testimony is true.” The author is never directly named
  • 21.  The author identifies himself as the disciple “whom Jesus loved.” Early Church tradition is in agreement that John (the disciple) is the author  Polycarp- early 2nd century (100’s AD)  Clement of Alexandria- 2nd century (100’s AD)  Eusebius- Roman historian
  • 22. General Characteristics of John’sGospel The gospel of John is NOT a narrative (the story) of Jesus’ life and ministry 90% is new information  does not appear in the other three gospels
  • 23.  John is more theological (doctrine) significant amount of teaching on the Holy Spirit (chapters 13-16) John seeks to affirm and explain who Jesus is and what his ministry and teaching mean to the world
  • 24. John’s statement of purposeThe Gospel of John is the only gospel with a clear statement of purpose John 20:30-31“Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.”
  • 25. John’s Purpose (His Objective) Affirm that Jesus is the Christ (Messiah foretold in the prophecies of the Old Testament)  “Son of God” Affirm that new life (salvation) is through faith in Christ and what he has done for us.  “I am the way, the truth, and the life….”  …You must be born again (from above)…”
  • 26. How does John accomplish hispurpose?
  • 27.  7 miraculous signs – John 1-11 “I am” statements-  both metaphorical and emphatic  (there are over 50) Jesus is the fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecies concerning the Messiah and the fulfillment of the old covenant Tremendous attention to Jesus’ last week  Death and Resurrection
  • 28. Organization of John’s Gospel Part I: John 1-11  The ministry of Jesus to the broader community of Judea, Galilee, and Samaria  Jesus’ divinity-  “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling (“tabernacled”) among us.”  Jesus is the fulfillment of the Old Testament (Messianic) prophecies
  • 29.  Miraculous “signs” (7) John 1-11  pointing to the power and authority of Jesus “I am” statements-  both emphatic and metaphorical  Clear declarations attesting to Jesus being the Messiah and to his divinity
  • 30. Jesus withdraws from publicministry after the raising of Lazarus– end of chapter 11
  • 31. Part II : John 12-21  Last week of Jesus’ life  Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem  To fulfill the prophecies- “king of the Jews”  Jesus’ ministry to his closest friends and disciples- both men and women  The last supper and final teachings to his disciples  The betrayal of Judas  Jesus’ arrest, trials, crucifixion, burial, and resurrection
  • 32. Major Themes in John’s Gospel Jesus is the Christ (Messiah in the Hebrew) - God’s anointed one – “king”  “Son of God” Jesus has come to fulfill the Old Testament prophecies and the old covenant –  “The law was given through Moses, grace and truth have come through Jesus Christ.”  “Moses wrote of me…”
  • 33. The nature of salvation anddiscipleship  “I am the way, the truth, and the life…..”  Salvation is through Christ alone  “…. no one comes to the Father except through me.”  Salvation is through the sacrifice of Christ  “ I lay down my life for my sheep…”  “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.”
  • 34.  Purpose statement John 20: 30-31  Faith in Christ brings new life Salvation is a new birth in Christ  “born again” or born from above  “For God so love the world…..” John 3:16-17  He did not come to “condemn the world but to save the world…”
  • 35. Discipleship – Followers of Christ One’s new life IN Christ-  “I am the vine and you are the branches.”  “fruit” of one’s new life-  -peace, patience, kindness, love, joy, humility, etc.
  • 36.  The disciple’s life is marked first and foremost by LOVE  Love for God and love for others  Love for God leads to a life of obedience to his commands  “If you love me you will keep my commands.”  A life of service to others- example of Jesus washing the feet of his disciples
  • 37. Key Vocabulary in John’s Gospel Truth “I tell you the truth”  “I am the truth…..” Signs- miraculous signs Kingdom (Kingdom of God) Believe (faith and trust) Life Light Messiah (Christ)- anointed one Covenant- Old and New
  • 38. Resources The NIV Study Bible John McArthur’s Study of John John Stott