In this section, you will learn some of the identifying features of the Gospel of John – a gospel with a significantly different feel than Mark, Matthew and Luke, which are referred to as “Synoptic Gospels” due to their common point of view. You will also get a feel for John’s particular style of writing.
Objectives for this section
- As you go through the resources for this section, you will gain a better understanding of the following aspects of the Gospel of John:
- Origins of the Gospel: where and when written, original language, etc.
- Who was John writing for; what was his purpose.
- John’s writing style so that you will begin to recognize a few differences/similarities between John and the other gospels.
- How John portrays Jesus of Nazareth
Steps for achieving the objectives
Complete the following steps in the order listed and by the due dates listed below.
Hint: If you complete all of the reading by the end of Week 11, you will be well prepared for completing the assignments due in Week 12. Remember: Procrastination = STRESS!!! :-/
- Read Frontline: Gospel of John: The “Spiritual Gospel”
- Read Frontline: Gospel of John (Marilyn Mellows essay)
- The Gospel of John (including Introduction) in Complete Gospels (pages 205 – 254)
- Watch Jesus of Nazareth: Jesus brought before Pilate (John 18)
The Gospel of John has a very different feel than the three “synoptic” gospels (Mark, Matthew and Luke). It is often said that The Gospel of John has a “High Christology” – which means it focuses more on Jesus’ divinity than on his humanity. As our textbook points out, “The words of the Johannine Jesus are often ambiguous, even deliberately confusing his listeners (e.g., 3:3), conveying two levels of meaning at once.” (206) (Note: “Johannine” is the word used to refer to things as they appear in the Gospel of John.)
We are going to focus on John 14 – 17, which is often referred to as the “Farewell Discourse” because these chapters contain Jesus’ farewell instructions to his followers. He says a number of confusing – even contradictory – things in these chapters regarding his relationship with God. Please read Chapter 14 very carefully, and then write on the following questions:
1. What are some of the things Jesus tells his followers about their connection with him and, at the same time, their connection with God?
2. What do you think that Jesus means when he says that “anyone who believes in me will perform the works I perform and will be able to perform even greater feats”? (14:12) This is a fairly astounding thing to say, so don’t pass it over without giving it careful thought.
As always, you must include chapter and verse references if you wish to get a higher grade on this Discussion Forum post. 🙂 And please let me know if you are have questions or concerns about this assignment!