Home
Search Bible
Click for Help   Click for QuickNav   Click for Advanced Search Options
Search KJV
KJVNKJVNLTNIVESVHCSBNASB
Version Selector Up Arrow NETRSVASVYLTDBYWEBHNV
RVR60VULWLCLXXmGNTTR  
Version Selector Down Arrow

Search a pre-defined list


OR Select a range of biblical books

From:

To:


OR Custom Selection:

Use semicolons to separate groups:
'Gen;Jdg;Psa-Mal' or 'Rom 3-12;Mat 1:15;Mat 5:12-22'

Your Bible Version is the KJV
Version Selector Up Arrow
KJV King James Version
NKJV New King James Version
NLT New Living Translation
NIV New International Version
ESV English Standard Version
HCSB Holman Christian Standard Bible
NASB New American Standard Bible
NET New English Translation
RSV Revised Standard Version
ASV American Standard Version
YLT Young's Literal Translation
DBY Darby Translation
WEB Webster's Bible
HNV Hebrew Names Version
RVR60 Reina-Valera 1960
VUL Latin Vulgate
WLC Westminster Leningrad Codex
LXX Septuagint
Go to Top
Link to This PageCite This Page
Version Selector Up Arrow
Version Selector Up Arrow

Cite this page

MLA format Copy link to clipboard

Note: MLA no longer requires the URL as part of their citation standard. Individual instructors or editors may still require the use of URLs.

APA format Copy link to clipboard
Chicago format Copy link to clipboard
Close
Share this pageFollow the BLB
Version Selector Up Arrow

Share this page using one of these tools:

facebooktwitter

googlepluspinterest

reddittumblrlinkedin


Or email this page to a friend:

Version Selector Up Arrow

Follow the Blue Letter Bible on:

facebooktwitter

pinterestgoogle+


Or subscribe to our Newsletter:

Printable Page
 
 
Choose a new font size and typeface

Customize your font sizeIncrease your font sizeDecrease your font sizeReturn to default font size

Choose a Bible text color
Read the Bible in blackRead the Bible in dark blueRead the Bible in blue

Customize your text type
Arial font
Trebuchet MS font
Georgia font
Times New Roman font

Customize your Hebrew text type
SBL Hebrew font
Times New Roman font
Arial font

Customize your Greek text type
Gentium font
Times New Roman font
Arial font

Close font preferences
The Blue Letter Bible
BLB Searches
Search the Bible
Search KJV
KJVNKJVNLTNIVESVHCSBNASB
Version Selector Up Arrow NETRSVASVYLTDBYWEBHNV
RVR60VULWLCLXXmGNTTR  
Version Selector Down Arrow
 [?]

Advanced Options

Search a pre-defined list


OR Select a range of biblical books

From:

To:


OR Custom Selection:

Use semicolons to separate groups: 'Gen;Jdg;Psa-Mal' or 'Rom 3-12;Mat 1:15;Mat 5:12-22'

LexiConc
 [?]
 

Advanced Options

Exact Match
Beginning of the Word
Any Part of the Word
Theological FAQs
 [?]
 
Multi-Verse Retrieval
x
Search KJV
KJVNKJVNLTNIVESVHCSBNASB
Version Selector Up Arrow NETRSVASVYLTDBYWEBHNV
RVR60VULWLCLXXmGNTTR  
Version Selector Down Arrow

Line-By-Line Order:
Line-By-Line Verse-Reference  Verse-Reference
Line-By-Line Reference-Verse  Reference-Verse
Line-By-Line Separate Line  Separate Line
Line-By-Line Verse Only  Verse Only
Line-By-Line Reference Only  Reference Only
Reference Delimiters:
No Reference Delimiters  None — Jhn 1:1 KJV
Square Reference Delimiters  Square — [Jhn 1:1 KJV]
Curly Reference Delimiters  Curly — {Jhn 1:1 KJV}
Parenthesis Reference Delimiters  Parens — (Jhn 1:1 KJV)
Paragraph Order:
Paragraph Verse-Reference  Verse-Reference
Paragraph Reference-Verse  Reference-Verse
Paragraph Reference-Only  Reference-Only
Number Delimiters:*
No Verse Numbers  No Number
No Verse Delimeters  No Delimiter — 15
Square Verse Delimiters  Square — [15]
Curly Verse Delimiters  Curly — {15}
Parenthesis Verse Delimiters  Parens — (15)
Other Options:
Abbreviate Books  Abbreviate Books
Quotes Around Verses  Quotes around Verses
Remove Square Brackets  Remove Square Brackets
 
Sort Canonically  Sort Canonically

* 'Number Delimiters' only apply to 'Paragraph Order'

Let's Connect
x

Connect on TwitterConnect on FacebookConnect on InstagramConnect on PinterestConnect on Google Plus

Receive our Blue Letter Bible Newsletter

Daily Devotionals
x

Blue Letter Bible offers several daily devotional readings in order to help you refocus on Christ and the Gospel of His peace and righteousness.

Daily Bible Reading Plans
x

Recognizing the value of consistent reflection upon the Word of God in order to refocus one’s mind and heart upon Christ and His Gospel of peace, we provide several reading plans designed to cover the entire Bible in a year.

One-Year Plans

Two-Year Plan

Study Resources :: Intros to the Bible :: The Gospel of John

The Gospel of John

Authorship

The Apostle John is usually credited with the authorship of the fourth Gospel. First of all, the author had to have been an eyewitness of the ministry of Jesus (1:14; 19:35; 21:24). He would have also had a decent familiarity with Palestine before the destruction of the temple in AD 70, and would have been familiar with the Jewish way of life. John the Apostle does fit the description, but it is not exclusive to him. Early traditions help to identify the author as John. Irenaeus, a disciple of John's disciple Polycarp, is of the earliest extant sources to associate John with the fourth Gospel. [1] Like the other Gospels, the title "According to John" (KATA IWANNHN) is found in the earliest manuscripts.

John and his brother James, accompanied by their father Zebedee, were preparing their nets in a boat when Jesus called them. Both James and John left the boat and their father to follow Jesus (Matt 4:18-22). Jesus often took Peter, James, and John aside defining them as an inner circle of disciples (13:23-24; 20:2-10; 21:2, 7, 20ff.). Not only is John counted among this select group, but he also refers to himself as the disciple whom Jesus loved (13:23; 20:2; 21:7, 20). After the resurrection of Jesus, John continued to play an instrumental role in the early church. Paul referred to Peter, James, and John as the pillars of the church in Jerusalem (Gal 2:9). John is found with Peter going to the temple when Peter healed the crippled man (Acts 3:1-11). As a result both men went before the Sanhedrin (Acts 4:1-23). Peter and John later traveled up to Samaria to confirm the work that was going on there (Acts 8:14-24).

Date and Location of Composition

John's Gospel is generally considered to be the last of the four canonical Gospels to be written. On the other hand, as Michaels points out, "no limit could be fixed on how early it could have been written" because John does not rely on the Synoptic Gospels. [2] In the past, some have dated the Gospel in the second century, but that view has decreased in popularity after the discovery of two important manuscripts of John's Gospel that are dated in the early part of the second century (P46 and Egerton Pap. 2). The majority of scholars date the Gospel in the period AD 90-100, though some have dated it much earlier. [3]

The location of John's Gospel has recently been disputed. The two possibilities that have gained the most acceptance are Syria and Asia Minor. Syria is mentioned because of the Gospel's connection with the Odes of Solomon [4] and Ignatius of Antioch (ca. 110), who had early association with John's Gospel. On the other hand, early church tradition suggests that that John composed his Gospel in Ephesus (Asia Minor). An example of this is the testimony of Irenaeus: "Then John, the disciple of the Lord, who had even rested on his breast, himself also gave forth the Gospel, while he was living at Ephesus in Asia." [5]

Purpose and Audience

John specifically states his purpose in 20:31, "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." Therefore the purpose of John's Gospel is to "confirm and secure Christians in the faith." [6] John also uses 3:16 and 8:24 to support this. Eusebius argued that John wrote in order to complement the Synoptics where they were lacking, [7] while the Muratorian Canon suggested that his fellow disciples in Asia Minor urged him to write an account. [8]

The specific recipients are not clearly spelled out in the Gospel. Conjecture, along with the Muratorian Canon, would suggest that it was written for the disciples in Asia Minor, but there is no certainty in this.

Themes and Theology

John presents man as either belonging to one of two things: the darkness or the light. There is no in between. The darkness is associated with death, while the light is associated with life. This theme is developed throughout the Gospel. In 1:4-9, John portrays Jesus as being the light of men and demonstrates that the darkness does not understand the light. John the Baptist came to bear witness of the light in order that men would believe through him. In the third chapter (19-21) Jesus states that the light has come into the world, but men have loved the darkness instead of the light because their works were evil. Evildoers hate the light and are afraid to go into the light lest their works be exposed. On the other hand, the ones who practice the truth come into the light so that it can be seen that their works were done through God. In 5:35 there is reference to John the Baptist as being a lamp that gives forth light. Jesus is also referred to as the Light of the World (8:12; 9:5) whereas the devil is called the "prince of this world" (12:31; 14:30; 16:11). In 12:35-36 Jesus tells the crowd that it is necessary to walk in the light because the person that walks in the darkness does not know where he is going. He also tells the crowd to believe in the Light in order to become sons of the light. Lastly in 12:46, he states that he has come as light into the world so that those who believe in him will not remain in darkness.

The Gospel of John also develops a Christology that is unique from the other Gospels. One of the overriding themes throughout the New Testament is that Jesus is the Messiah. In presenting this, John's Gospel also makes it clear that Jesus is God. In the opening verse (1:1), John plainly declares that in the beginning Jesus (the Logos) was with God and was God. Throughout the Gospel many references are made to Jesus' deity. Most notable of these are 8:57-58 where Jesus declares, "Before Abraham was born, I am (egw eimi)!" It is often thought here that Jesus is making an allusion to Exod 3:14 (LXX) where God refers to himself as "I am (egw eimi) the one being/existing (o wn)." Another indication of Jesus' deity can be found in 10:30-33. In this instance Jesus said, "I and my Father are one." After this, the Jews picked up stones that they might stone him on grounds of blasphemy because he claimed to be God. At the end of the Gospel (20:28) Thomas makes a climacteric confession of faith by declaring that Jesus as his God.

The prologue to the Gospel begins by saying, "In the beginning was the word (logos), the word (logos) was with God, and the word (logos) was God." As it is translated here, the word logos is usually translated as "word." Logos has a deep philosophical tradition that antedates John's Gospel by half of a millennium. Heraclitus (560 BC) first used the word in reference to a fixed principle in a world of change; it was his expression of God. [9] The Stoics later adapted a similar principle that the Logos was the power that controlled and ordered the world. The Logos would have helped John to present Christianity to Greeks who were familiar with the idea. [10] However, this idea of the word in relation to God was not an exclusively Greek principle. Philo (a first century Jew from Alexandria), being influenced by the Greeks, related the idea of the Logos to Yahweh, the God of Israel. [11] Additionally, the Hebrew Scriptures almost certainly inspired John to use the Logos. When the 'word of God' is used throughout the Old Testament, it often refers to God being in action, particularly in regards to "creation, revelation and deliverance." [12] With the use of Logos John would have been able to reveal Christ's deity to both Jews and Greeks alike. The majority of the occurrences of logos in John take place in a "syntactical sequence with Jesus or God." [13] John uses logos in direct reference to the person of Christ (1:1, 14), his message (4:50; 5:24; 15:3, et al.), and within his message (4:47; 5:38; 17:17, et al.).

Literary Style, Structure, and Other Issues

The Gospel of John varies from the Synoptic Gospels in more ways than one. J. Ramsey Michaels categorizes them into two types of variation: (1) the style and content of Jesus' teaching, and (2) the chronology and structure of Jesus' ministry. [14] Another characteristic that set John apart is his writing style. Concerning this, Clement of Alexandria stated that John was concerned with details and wrote a "spiritual gospel." [15]

Chapter 21 is commonly called the epilogue. On the surface this section (21:1-25) seems a bit out of place because the last couple of verses in the twentieth chapter seem to bring the Gospel to a close. This has led some to believe that the epilogue was a later addition by John or one of his disciples. There is, however, no reason to think that John did not write it. There are 28 words in the last chapter that are not found elsewhere in the Gospel, but most of these are caused by the subject-matter in the first 14 verses. [16] It is also composed in classic Johannine style and there are no complete manuscripts of John that do not contain the epilogue. More importantly, as one commentator put it, it "completes" the Gospel by "illustrating the result of belief." [17]

Bibliography

[1] Eusebius Hist. Eccl. 2.23.1-4; 4.14.3-8; 5.8.4; 20.4-8 et al.
[2] J. Ramsey Michaels. John. (Peabody, Mass: Hendrickson Publishers, 1989), p. 17.
[3] See J.A.T. Robinson. The Priority of John. (London: SCM, 1985)
[4] The Odes were part of an early Christian document most likely written originally in Aramaic-Syriac.
[5] Eusebius Hist. Eccl. 5.8.4
[6] Werner Georg Kümmel. Introduction to the New Testament (Nashville: Abingdon Press, English Translation of the 17th Edition, 1975) p. 229.
[7] Eusebius Hist. Eccl. 3.24.7ff.
[8] H.C. Thiessen. Introduction to the New Testament. (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1943). p. 172.
[9] Donald Guthrie. New Testament Theology (Downers Grove, IL: Inter-Varsity Press, 1981). p. 321.
[10] William Barclay. The Gospel of John, Volume I (Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1956). p. 34.
[11] Philo. Quaestiones et Solutiones in Genesin, II.62, et al.
[12] F.F. Bruce. The Gospel of John. (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1983). p. 29.
[13] David H. Johnson. "Logos" in Joel B. Green et al. Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels. (Downers Grove, IL: Inter-Varsity Press, 1992). p. 481.
[14] J. Ramsey Michaels. John. (Peabody, Mass: Hendrickson Publishers, 1989), p. 12.
[15] Eusebius. Hist. Eccl. 6.14.6
[16] F.F. Bruce. The Gospel of John. (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1983). p. 398.
[17] Merrill C. Tenney. The Gospel of John. (Grand Rapids: The Zondervan Corp., 1981). p. 197.

CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.

Search

Bible Search

Multiverse Retrieval

LexiConc Search

FAQ Search

Browse Dictionary Topics

Bible Reference

Encyclopedias / Dictionaries

Introductions to the Bible

Topical Indexes

Charts and Outlines

Timelines

Maps / Images

Bible Commentaries

Text Commentaries

Audio & Video Commentaries

Theological Resources

Articles / Books

Women's Resources

Don Stewart

BLB Theological

Creeds, Catechisms, and Confessions

Multimedia

Video

Music

Products

Digital Books

Mobile Apps for iPhone / iPad

Mobile blb.org

BLB Offline CDs

Free Web Tools

Devotionals

Email Devotional Sign-Up

BLB Daily Promises

Day by Day by Grace

Morning and Evening

Daily Bible Reading Plan

Help

Video Tutorials

Support

Theological Questions

Website Support

iApp Support

General Questions

Ministries

Sowing Circle

Co-Laboring Ministries

About

About the BLB

Statement of Faith

History

Newsletter

Partnerships

Ministry FAQs

Donate

Donation Information

Contact the BLB

Hotjar - Unlimited insights from your web and mobile sites


BLB Institute

BLB Blog

Email Newsletters

Facebook

Twitter


Blue Letter Bible study tools make reading, searching and studying the Bible easy and rewarding.

Blue Letter Bible is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization

©2017 Blue Letter Bible

Loading...

Interlinear
Bibles
Cross-Refs
Commentaries
Dictionaries
Miscellaneous
Verse Tools Arrow
Login

Email / username or password was incorrect!

Check your email for password retrieval

Enter Your
Email or Username

Password

 [?]

 

Why won't my login from the old site work?

Did you forget your password?

Register a new BLB account

Complete the form below to register  [?]

Error: That Email is already registered

Error: Please provide a valid Email

Error: Passwords should have at least 6 characters

Error: Passwords do not match

Error: Please provide a valid first name

Error: That username is already taken

Error: Usernames should only contain letters, numbers, dots, dashes, or underscores

Enter Your EmailUsername

First Name

PasswordRe-enter

[ Cancel ]

 

Passwords should have at least 6 characters.
Usernames should only contain letters, numbers, dots, dashes, or underscores.

Thank you for registering. A verification email has been sent to the address you provided.

Error: That Email / Username is not registered

Enter Your Email or Username

 

Return to Login

Close Login