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The Gospel of John - an Introduction

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The Gospel of John - an Introduction

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  • March 22, 2011
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An Introduction to the Gospel of John
The Gospel of John is believed to be the last of the four Gospels in the New Testament to be written. While the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke are similar in their common view, the book of John is distinct. In contrast, none of the parables are recorded in John, and only seven of the miracles are featured. Instead, John delivers the meaning of Jesus by giving the readers a deeper insight and a deeper understanding of Him. He establishes that Jesus Christ is the Jewish Messiah that was prophesized in the Old Testament, who was sent to earth by God in human flesh, gives his life on the cross, and then returns to the Father – all with the view that we may believe in him and receive eternal life. According to Hahn (2010), the Gospel of John, “very quickly became the favorite gospel of most Christians and has long been the most influential Gospel and one of the most influential books of the New Testament”. Author

The author is not stated, but is traditionally attributed to John the Apostle, brother of James and son of Zebedee. Content of the Gospel and early church tradition were both considered when determining the author. From the scripture, we can presume the following about the gospel of John and its author (Gaebelein, 1981, p. 6-7): * it was written by a Palestinian Jew who knew Jewish opinions and customs; * he was a disciple and was one of the sons of Zebedee (John 21:2; Matthew 4:21; 10:2); * he personally witnessed the events he described (John 1:14; 19:35; 21:24-25); * he was part of the inner circle of disciples, and knew of Jesus’ inner consciousness (John 6:6, 61, 64; 13:1-3, 11; 18:4); * it was not written by Peter, because it frequently mentions him in third person; * it was not written by James, the son of Zebedee because he died prior to A.D. 44 (Acts 12:2), which is believed to be prior to when the Gospel of John was written. It is evident that someone who knew Jesus personally...