John's Gospel Notes


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Material covered in class and on test outline.

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John's Gospel Notes

  1. 1. The Gospel of John
  2. 3. Background Info. <ul><li>180 AD: St. Irenaeus states that the fourth Gospel is written by “the beloved disciple” -- John, the son of Zebedee & brother of James </li></ul><ul><li>Irenaeus: believed Gospel written in Asia Minor (Turkey) </li></ul><ul><li>For centuries: this was common belief </li></ul>
  3. 4. Today’s thinking… <ul><li>Scholars believe that Irenaeus may have confused John the apostle with another John who was a church elder and disciple of the apostle. </li></ul><ul><li>Others: the Gospel is complex, and perhaps was written in stages by different people. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Eg: Material appears 2x - with slight variation: 6:35-50 and 6:51-58 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>John 21: for some is an appendix added on by a later editor </li></ul>
  4. 5. Common theory today…. <ul><li>Catholic scholars: the experience of the apostle John, led to the foundation of the Gospel </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Gathered in Ephesus (Turkey) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Had community of followers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>These disciples took what the apostle had said and later compiled it into a form of ‘John’s Gospel’ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>This disciple is the one who vouches for these things and has written them down, and we know that this testimony is true” </li></ul></ul>
  5. 7. When? <ul><li>Between 90 - 100 AD </li></ul><ul><li>130 AD: a fragment of John’s Gospel, written on papyrus, is found in Egypt </li></ul><ul><ul><li>AKA: The John Rylands fragment </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Earliest known fragment of any New Testament book </li></ul><ul><li>Proves that Gospel was wide spread through Mediterranean - only years after compilation </li></ul>
  6. 8. What? Why? <ul><li>Author: Probably knew about the Synoptics, but didn’t use them heavily (doesn’t follow the source criticism we have today) </li></ul><ul><li>Relies heavily on the words of the disciples of John </li></ul><ul><li>Diverse audience: Jewish-Christians who suffered at hands of Jews </li></ul><ul><ul><li>(remember: Jewish-Christians expelled from Temple and Synagogues) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>John’s community most likely left Palestine - came to Turkey </li></ul>
  7. 9. Stylistic Components of John <ul><li>1.Poetic Form: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Clear: Prologue & John 17 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The remainder of the text: at least semi-poetic --not necessarily the same type of rhythmic pattern found in the O.T., but a from that has lines that are the same length & each has a ‘closing’ clause </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Some suggest, that because of this pattern, the text should be written in a poetic form…the fact is: Jesus speaks more solemnly than in the Synoptics </li></ul></ul>
  8. 10. 2. ‘Misunderstandings’ <ul><li>Although Jesus is from above (and speaks the truth), he uses language “from below” - the people’s language to speak to convey his message </li></ul><ul><li>Jesus - explains something, but its not understood right away…the people are left questioning, allowing his followers to question; thus allowing Jesus to explain his thought more thoroughly - Johannine theology comes out… </li></ul>
  9. 11. 3. Twofold Meanings <ul><li>Double meanings can be found as to what Jesus says </li></ul><ul><li>(a) There are plays on various meanings of given words Jesus uses - meanings based on either Greek / Hebrew. The dialogue partner may take up one meaning, while Jesus means something else. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>ie: 4:10 - “Living water” [flowing water or life-giving water] </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>11:50-52 - “die for” [instead” or “on behalf of”] </li></ul></ul>
  10. 12. 3. Continued <ul><li>(b) John: intends the reader to see several layers of meaning in the same narrative / same metaphor </li></ul><ul><li>John’s authorship 2-fold: meaning for the historical context of Jesus & then what does it mean for the Christian community that John is writing to </li></ul>
  11. 13. 3. Continued <ul><li>(c) Duplicate speeches -- Jesus occasionally repeats himself </li></ul><ul><li>He says something that’s already been reported - almost to the point of a verse-for-verse comparison…though at times they have different tone to it </li></ul><ul><li>Possible an editor (redactor) added these, figuring they should not be lost / have importance </li></ul><ul><ul><li>3:31-36 to 3:7-18 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>10:9 to 10:7-8 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>16:4b-33 to Chapter 14 </li></ul></ul>
  12. 14. 4. Irony <ul><li>Combination of 2-fold meaning & misunderstanding - found when opponents make statements about Jesus that are degrading, sarcastic, or incredulous </li></ul><ul><li>Irony: these statements are often true / more meaningful in a sense that the speakers do not realize </li></ul><ul><ul><li>3:2 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>7:35 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>11:50 </li></ul></ul>
  13. 15. 5. Inclusions and Transitions <ul><li>Inclusion: meaning John mentions detail (or allusions) at the end of a section that matches similar detail @ the beginning… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>It’s a way of packaging sections together </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>[1:28 & 10:40 or 11:4 & 11:40] </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Transition: “swing” motif to switch from one subdivision of the Gospel to another -- it concludes what has happened before and introduces something else. </li></ul>
  14. 16. 6. Parentheses or footnotes <ul><li>John employs parentheses to explain the meaning of a Semitic terms / names </li></ul><ul><ul><li>ie: “Messiah,” “Cephas,” or “Siloam” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Also, its used to explain geographical features </li></ul><ul><ul><li>ie: 3:24, 4:8, 9:14,22-23 et al. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>For theological perspectives (clarifying references or standpoint[s]) </li></ul><ul><li>Some may reflect a situation where a tradition transmitted at first in one context (Palestinian or Jewish) is now being proclaimed in another context (diaspora or Gentile). </li></ul>
  15. 17. …background continued… <ul><li>Samaritan Converts (Jn 4:4-42) </li></ul><ul><li>No doubt that Asia Minor would have provided an audience of Gentile Christians </li></ul>
  16. 18. Why did John write this Gospel? <ul><li>1. Maybe he was correcting heretical ideas that denied Jesus’ divinity </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Remember John’s focus: spirituality </li></ul></ul><ul><li>2. Maybe trying to correct the still present followers of John the Baptist (whom they believed to be the Messiah) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>John: JBap is subordinate to Jesus </li></ul></ul>
  17. 19. <ul><li>3. Strengthen Christians & their belief in Jesus as God’s Son </li></ul><ul><ul><li>As a result: Gospel gained converts </li></ul></ul><ul><li>4. John: stressing the importance of Jesusas the “revealer of God,” unique Son of the Father, & Savior of the world. Emphasis on theology </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Storytelling (Mark) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Teaching (Matthew) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>History (Luke </li></ul></ul>
  18. 20. <ul><li>Eternal Life: ever-present theme in John </li></ul><ul><li>Jesus is God & lives forever -- He’s eternal life </li></ul><ul><li>Through faith in Jesus - God offers us eternal life -- right now </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Eternal life/relationship with Jesus “so that our joy may be complete” (1 Jn 1:4). </li></ul></ul>
  19. 21. How was John written? <ul><li>Similar to Synoptics, because he uses a secondary sources. 2 Major Sources: </li></ul><ul><li>1. Collections of miracles [“signs source”] </li></ul><ul><ul><li>7 miracle signs = same in synoptics </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Unique to John: changing of water to wine at Cana </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Unique to John: raising of Lazarus </li></ul></ul><ul><li>2. A version of the passion / resurrection narratives -- would have been in circulation many years before any of the gospels were written </li></ul>
  20. 22. Comparison to Synoptics: <ul><li>John 17:5 - Jesus’ recognition that he was present/existing w/God prior to coming into the world. </li></ul><ul><li>Public ministry: set in Jerusalem, rather than Galilee </li></ul><ul><li>Absence of the Kingdom of God motif </li></ul><ul><li>Long discourses/dialogues rather than parables (though some stories may be similar) </li></ul><ul><li>No diabolic possessions (& therefore exorcisms) </li></ul><ul><li>Very restricted # of miracles (7?) - including the ‘unique ones.’ </li></ul>
  21. 23. Random fact: <ul><li>B. de Solages (French): </li></ul><ul><ul><li>15.5% of John’s death and resurrection, parallels that of Mark </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The parallels to Mark in the Matthean and Lucan passion narratives would be four times higher </li></ul></ul>
  22. 24. Similarities to Synoptics: <ul><li>1st: Similarity of John the Baptist & concluding with the passion & empty tomb </li></ul><ul><li>Mark </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sequence of events in John 6 and Mark 6:30-54; 8:11-33 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Luke </li></ul><ul><ul><li>More in terms of wording/figures: Martha, Mary, Lazarus, & Annas </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lack of the ‘night trial before Caiaphas </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>3 “not guilty” statements in the Pilate trial </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Post-resurrection appearances in Jerusalem to male disc. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Draught of fishes (Jn. 21) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Matthew </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Jn. 13:16 with Matt. 10:24 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Jn. 15:18-27 with Matt. 10:18-25 </li></ul></ul>
  23. 25. The Prologue [Theme 1] <ul><li>The words: different than any other Gospel account </li></ul><ul><li>John shows Jesus’ identity: as the “Word” which has existed forever </li></ul><ul><li>Term “Word” appeals to both Gentile-Christian and Jewish-Christian </li></ul><ul><ul><li>O.T.: “the Word of God” = referred to God’s activity in creation [when God speaks, things come alive] -- also symbol of God’s wisdom [shown through prophets] </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Grk. Philosophy: ‘Logos’ was the spiritual principle that holds the world together. Others: Logos had knowledge of salvation </li></ul></ul>
  24. 26. Theme 2: The Incarnation <ul><li>Chap. 1 Verse 1: Identifies Jesus as God’s pre-existing Word (who is God) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Verse 14: God became human </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Doctrine of the Incarnation - mystery of God’s only son becoming truly human in Jesus. Jesus is “God-in-the-flesh” </li></ul><ul><li>God: seen in Jesus’ love, power, & ‘radiance’ </li></ul><ul><li>“ Christ comes to us from above; he reveals the Father to us and takes us to him. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Main premise of Theme 2 </li></ul></ul>
  25. 27. Theme 3: Testimony <ul><li>Prologue: John the Baptist is put into place </li></ul><ul><li>JBap is to proclaim Jesus as forthcoming and ‘testify to his pre-existence’ </li></ul><ul><li>JBap comes before the others who will proclaim who Jesus is in the remainder of the Gospel </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The Samaritan woman </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Martha & the crowd at Lazarus’ raising </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The 12 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The ‘beloved disciple’ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Jesus himself </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The Father & the Holy Spirit </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The 7 Miracles / Signs </li></ul></ul>
  26. 28. Theme 4: Major Contrasts <ul><li>Presentation of contrasts found within the prologue: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Light of Christ vs. the darkness (which refuses to acknowledge Jesus) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Unbelief vs. faith in Jesus (which makes us the children of God) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Truth vs. untruth </li></ul></ul>
  27. 29. Book of Signs <ul><li>Synoptics: view miracles as God’s coming presence into the world. </li></ul><ul><li>John: different concept. Reports 7 ‘signs’ (Grk: semeia ) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ marvelous events that reveal Jesus and his Father.” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>We can’t fully understand the ‘signs,’ only partially grasp what they are. </li></ul><ul><li>Long discourse usually follows the ‘sign’ so the reader understands. </li></ul>
  28. 30. Sign One: Water to Wine <ul><li>Wedding: symbol of life </li></ul><ul><li>Jesus: brings us new life (purpose of miracle to show this) </li></ul><ul><li>Water: represents the old covenant & wine represents the new (St. Paul) </li></ul>
  29. 31. Key Discourse : Jesus & Samaritan Woman <ul><li>Between first and second ‘sign’ </li></ul><ul><li>Jesus: ignoring 1st century Jewish norms… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Woman is a Samaritan </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Woman is a sinner </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Jesus: speaks of ‘living water’ - new life; where the woman is. Woman wonders how Jesus could provide that, and Jesus explains… </li></ul><ul><li>Jesus: reveals he’s the Messiah - source of eternal life. </li></ul>
  30. 32. Sign Two: Cure of Official’s Son <ul><li>Jesus’ word: enough to heal an official’s son from the town of Capernaum </li></ul><ul><li>The boy’s father - his faith - made the miracle possible </li></ul><ul><li>Intercessory Prayer : the Lord will notice and respond to our concern for others </li></ul>
  31. 33. Sign Three: Cure of the Paralytic <ul><li>Curing a man who’s been “lame” for 38 yrs. </li></ul><ul><li>Association w/sin - Jesus is forgiving the ‘sinful’ </li></ul><ul><li>Healing: Takes place on the Sabbath. </li></ul><ul><li>Jesus: claiming to be equal to God. </li></ul><ul><li>The point: Jesus is the source of life, must turn to him… </li></ul><ul><li>(Jn. 5:1-47) -- We see John use the term “the Jews” almost to the point of anti-Semitism. Rather, it’s an expression John uses to clarify those who don’t wish to follow Jesus & give him a hard time along the way. </li></ul>
  32. 34. Signs 4 & 5: 5000 & walking on water <ul><li>Jesus feeds the crowd, but needs to escape - before they “make him king” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Bread of Life” discourse - explaining Jesus as this… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ I am the bread of life. No one who comes to me will ever hunger; no one who believes in me will ever thirst” (6:34-35) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Clear reference to the Eucharist. </li></ul><ul><li>Father: source of Jesus’ life; Jesus: the source of our life (bread of life) </li></ul><ul><li>Many abandoned Jesus - Peter and the 12 stay & trust him… </li></ul><ul><li>Jesus walking on water: reveals, he is the Holy One of God </li></ul>
  33. 35. Sign 6: The Blind Man <ul><li>He obeys Jesus - washes in the Pool of Siloam and receives his sight </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Begins to believe in Jesus as the Son of God </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Does not criticize Jesus, despite he’s kicked out of the synagogue </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Message: Jesus is the light that has come into the world </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Some, like the Pharisees remain in the dark; unwilling to take and follow Jesus </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Jesus: ‘spiritual blindness is worse than physical bindness’ </li></ul></ul>
  34. 36. Sign 7: Raising of Lazarus <ul><li>It’s a foretelling of Jesus’ own death and resurrection </li></ul><ul><li>On his way to Jerusalem: Jesus learns of his friend’s death. He’s waiting for a sign from his Father. He tells Martha that he is “the resurrection.” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>We see also: Jesus has emotions, is a human. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>He cries, prays in remorse and thanks God for answering his prayer </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Finally: Calls Lazarus out of the tomb </li></ul><ul><li>“ The Jews” response: Caiaphas - says that it is better for one man to die so that the nation will survive. Irony used…Jesus’ death: has indeed saved the people </li></ul>
  35. 37. <ul><li>The seventh miracle: ties the others together… </li></ul><ul><li>Jesus is the way to life </li></ul><ul><li>Jesus is the Resurrection </li></ul><ul><li>Jesus is God </li></ul><ul><li>Then, we must have faith if we want to gain eternal life. </li></ul>
  36. 38. Book of Glory <ul><li>2nd Part of John’s Gospel </li></ul><ul><li>2 Major Sections: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The Last Supper discourses (13:1 - 17:26) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Jesus’ death & resurrection (18:1 - 20:31) </li></ul></ul>
  37. 39. The Last Supper discourses <ul><li>Three words summarize this section: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Service (13) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Love (14:1 - 16:4) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Unity (17:1-26) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>John: The Last Supper , occurs on the day when the lambs are slaughtered for the Passover </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Lambs: sacrificed to recall Yahweh releasing Israelites from slavery in Egypt </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Jesus: the Lamb of God whose sacrifice frees all people from the slavery of sin </li></ul>
  38. 40. Continued <ul><li>Meal begins: Jesus washes the feet of the disciples -- a slave would not even have done this… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Jesus is an example: we must serve others as he serves -- Jesus attends to the needs of others… </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Jesus: asks for belief in him: promising that if we ask for anything in his name, he will do it -- and gives us the H.S. as ‘security’ </li></ul><ul><li>Above all: Jesus asks we keep the commandments: especially to love </li></ul>
  39. 41. John 15 <ul><li>Jesus: telling of his great love for us </li></ul><ul><li>As the Father loves him, so he loves us </li></ul><ul><li>Read John 15:13-14, 16-17 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>This is the heart of the Gospel </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>We’re not slaves of God - we’re the people who are asked to continue God’s work & God’s Love </li></ul></ul>
  40. 42. Continued <ul><li>Read page 142 - 2nd half… </li></ul>