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The Gospel according to John II) Major Themes

The Gospel according to John II) Major Themes

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The Gospel according to John II) Major Themes

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  1. The Gospel according to JohnII) Major Themes Catholic Bible Institute Felix Just, S.J. – Loyola Institute for Spirituality

  2. Major Johannine Themes • Theology: • Who is God? • Christology: • Who is Jesus? • Pneumatology: • Role of Holy Spirit? • Discipleship: • How do we live? • Eschatology: • What's in the future?

  3. John’s Theological Emphases • Christology: Who Is Jesus? • Word of God, Word made Flesh, Only/Unique Son, Sent from the Father, Divine Revealer, Works/Signs, Equal to God, "I AM" • Discipleship: Our Response? • Believe, become children of God, receive eternal life, not be condemned, not perish, have life in Jesus’ name, love one another, … • Holy Spirit = Paraclete • Advocate, Comforter, Counselor, Spirit of Truth, etc.

  4. John’ s Christology • Titles for Jesus ALSO in the Synoptics: • Christ / Messiah; Son of David • King of the Jews; King of Israel • Son of God; Son of Man • Prophet, Savior, Lord, Teacher, etc. • [but not Emmanuel – only Matthew] • Titles for Jesus found ONLY in John: • Logos/Word; Only Son [Only-begotten? Unique? One-of-a-kind?] • Lamb of God; Revealer/Worker • Sent from the Father; Paraclete • I AM; Equal to God; etc.

  5. The Divine Word / Logos • Greek Logos = Word, Phrase, Speech • OT: personifications of God’s attributes • Ref. to Jesus only in John’s Prologue: • In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (1:1) • And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father's only son(monogenes para patros), full of grace and truth. (1:14) • No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son (monogenes hios), who is close to the Father's heart, who has made him known. (1:18)

  6. The Only/Unique Son of God • Greek monogenes = “one of a kind” • "For God so loved the world that he gave his only [unique] Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life. Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.Those who believe in him are not con-demned; but those who do not believe are condemned already, because they have not believed in the name of the only [unique] Son of God." (John 3:16-18) • "God sent his only [unique] Son into the world so that we might live through him." (1 John 4:9) • Luke 7:12 (Nain); 8:42 (Jairus); 9:38 (Anon.); Heb 11:17 (Isaac)

  7. Other Christological Titles in John • The Lamb of God • John 1:29, 36 (cf. 1 Cor 5:7; Acts 8:32; 1 Pet 1:19) • The One Sent from the Father • John 4:34; 5:36-38; 7:28-29; 17:3-25 • “Equal to God” • John 5:18 • “I Am” • Fifty-four times (HO p. 5) • Other?

  8. “I AM” Hebrew YHWH; Greek EGW EIMI

  9. “I AM” in the HB/OT • Hebrew YHWH; Greek EGW EIMI • God’s Proper Name: “I Am Who Am” • Pronunciation: Yahweh? (not Jehovah) • Exod 3:14 – God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel, I AM has sent me to you.’“ • Exod 6:2 – And God said to Moses, “I am the LORD.” • Deut 6:4-5 – “Hear, O Israel: The LORD is our God, the LORD alone. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might.” • Deut 32:39a – “See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god beside me;” • Most of these are translated EGW EIMI in the LXX.

  10. “I AM” Sayings in John • Absolute Emphatic Claims: “I Am.” • 4:26 • 6:20 • 8:24, 28, 58 • 13:19 • 18:5-8 • Predicate Emphatic Images: “I Am…” • Familiar biblical images • Bread, Light, Life, etc.

  11. Absolute “I AM” Claims Caution: Some modern English Bibles translate ego eimi as “I am he”, but the pronoun “he” is not explicitly written in the Greek text. • To the Samaritan Woman at Jacob’s well near the town of Sychar: • 4:26 - “I who speak to you am (he).” [lit.: “I am, the one speaking with you.”] • To his disciples in the boat while Jesus is walking on the Sea of Galilee: • 6:20 - “It isI (lit. “I Am”); do not be afraid.” (par. Mark 6:50; Matt 14:27)

  12. Absolute “I AM” Claims • To “the Jews” in Jerusalem at the Feast of Tabernacles: • 8:24 – “I told you that you would die in your sins, for you will die in your sins unless you believe that I am (he).” • 8:28 – “When you have lifted up the Son of man, then you will know that I am (he), and that I do nothing on my own authority but speak thus as the Father taught me.” • 8:58 – “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.”

  13. Absolute “I AM” Claims • To his disciples at the Last Supper in Jerusalem: • 13:19 – “I tell you this now, before it takes place, that when it does take place you may believe that I am (he).” • To soldiers and guards who come to arrest Jesus in the Garden in the Kidron Valley (Gethsemane): • 18:5a – They answered him, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus said to them, “I am (he).” • 18:6 – When he said to them, “I am (he),” they drew back and fell to the ground. • 18:8 – “I told you that I am (he); so, if you seek me, let these men go.”

  14. Predicate Images: “I AM…” • …the bread of life • …the bread come down from heaven • …the light of the world • …the one bearing witness • …the door of the sheep • …the good shepherd • …the resurrection and the life • …the way, truth, and life • …the true vine

  15. “I AM…(some image used for God)” • To crowds in Galilee after the Feeding of 5000 (in “Bread of Life Discourse”): • 6:35 - “I am the bread of life; he who comes to me shall not hunger, and he who believes in me shall never thirst. • 6:41 - The Jews then murmured at him, because he said, “I am the bread which came down from heaven.” • 6:48 - “I am the bread of life.” • 6:51ab - “I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he will live for ever”

  16. “I AM the Bread of Life…”

  17. “I AM…(some image used for God)” • To “the Jews” in Jerusalem at the Feast of Tabernacles: • 8:12 - “I am the light of the world; he who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (cf. 9:5) • 8:18 - “I bear witness to myself (lit. “I am the one witnessing...”) to myself, and the Father who sent me bears witness to me.” • 8:23 (twice) - He said to them, “You are from below, I am from above; you are of this world, I am not of this world.”

  18. “I AM the Light of the World…”

  19. “I AM…(some image used for God)” • To “the Jews” after Jesus gives sight to the Man Born Blind (“Good Shepherd Discourse”): • 10:7 - “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep.” • 10:9 - “I am the door; if any one enters by me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.” • 10:11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” • 10:14 - “I am the good shepherd; I know my own and my own know me,”

  20. “I AM Sheepgate / Shepherd…”

  21. “I AM…(some image used for God)” • To Martha of Bethany, just before Jesus raises her brother, Lazarus, back to life: • 11:25 - “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live,” • To his disciples at their last meal together (the “Last Supper Discourse”): • 14:6 - “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me.”

  22. “I AM Resurrection & Life… ”

  23. “I AM the Way, Truth, Life… ”

  24. “I AM…(some image used for God)” • In the “Last Supper Discourse” (cont.): • 15:1 - “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser.” • 15:5 - “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.”

  25. “I AM the Vine… ”

  26. Further Resources: • “Amen, Amen” sayings • http://catholic-resources.org/John/Themes-Amen.htm • “I Am” sayings • http://catholic-resources.org/John/Themes-IAM.htm

  27. The Gospel according to JohnSigns & Believing Felix Just, S.J., Ph.D. Loyola Institute for Spirituality, Orange, CA http://catholic-resources.org

  28. “SIGNS” in the Fourth Gospel • There are NO “Miracles” in John! • Word dynamis (”miracle”) is never used! • Jesus only does “Works” & “Signs” • Works: what the Father gives Jesus to do • Signs: point the way to something • Purpose of “Signs”? • Get you to DO something! • Consider modern “Street Signs” • Not art-works to be admired • But instructions to be obeyed!

  29. What are “Signs”?

  30. What are “Signs”?

  31. “Signs” vs. “Miracles”? • Synoptic Miracles • Dozens, of four different types • Emphasize the “extraordinary”: Wow! • Jesus’ Authority over Satan • Prerequisite: Some people have faith • Johannine Signs • Few healings; no exorcisms • Downplay the “miraculous”: Huh!? • Jesus’ Relationship with God • Result: Some people come to believe

  32. PURPOSE of “Signs” in John • Intended Result: • To bring people to BELIVE in Jesus • See his identity thru his words & works • But do they actually “work”? • Do people heed the signs, or not? • People must freely decide:how to respond: obey? ignore? reject? • Various reactions: positive, negative, or in between?

  33. Seven “Signs” in John? • 2:1-11 Water into wine at Cana • 4:46-54 Official’s son at Capernaum • ?? 5:1-9ff Sick man at pool of Bethesda – no! • 6:1-14ff Feeding of 5000 • ?? 6:16-21 Walking on water – no! • 9:1-7ff Healing of man born blind • 11:1-45 Lazarus raised from the dead • ? 19:17-37 Crucifixion of Jesus • ? 21:1-14 Appearance at Sea of Tiberias • “Many other signs”: 2:23; 3:2; 6:2; 7:31; 9:16; 11:47; 12:37; 20:30-31; cf. 4:45

  34. SIGNS: Water into Wine at Cana

  35. SIGNS: Healing an Official’s Son

  36. SIGNS: At Pool of Bethesda???

  37. SIGNS: Feeding of 5000

  38. SIGNS: Walking on Water???

  39. SIGNS: Sight for Man Born Blind Also Manuscrit Grec 74, Bibl. Nationale, Paris – 5 Scenes

  40. SIGNS: Raising Lazarus to Life

  41. SIGNS: Crucifixion of Jesus

  42. SIGNS: Appearance at Tiberias

  43. Last/Greatest Sign: The CROSS! • Last mention of “signs” comes after the passion narrative (20:30-31). • In 2:18-22, “sign” refers to death and resurrection of Jesus. • Verb semaino (“to indicate, signify, show by sign”) refers to his death (12:31-33; 18:32; cf. Exod 4:8-9; Num 14:11, 22). • Verb “lifted up” implies crucifixion (3:13-15; 8:28-30; cf. Num 21:8-9; Isa 43:10-13; etc.) • Cross functions to bring people to believe (19:35-37; cf. Zech 12:10—13:1) • Jesus’ death is “completion” of his “work” (cf. 4:34; 5:36; 17:4, 23; 19:28, 30)

  44. Discipleship in John: “Believing” • Biblical Vocabulary • “Faith” (pistiV; noun) – esp. in Paul • “Have Faith” sounds like possessing an object • “Believe” (pisteuw; verb) – esp. in John • Action: to trust, entrust oneself to, believe in

  45. “Believing” in the Fourth Gospel • John never uses the noun (“faith, belief”), but always/only the verb (“to believe”) • Believing is an action one does • Not an object one possesses (not “having faith”) • Believing involves relationship • Even better translation: “trusting someone” or “entrusting oneself to someone” • Synonyms for “believing”: • knowing, seeing, receiving, coming to, accepting, remaining, etc. • Opposites of “believing” • “not believing, rejecting, denying, not receiving, going away, etc.”

  46. Possible Reactions to Jesus in FG • Refusing to believe, despite seeing/hearing • Ex.: “world”; “chief priests”; most “Jews” • Beginning to believe, but not fully knowing • Ex.: “crowds”; some early “disciples”; some “Jews” • Believing, but being afraid to profess publicly • Ex.: Nicodemus, Joseph Arimathea; some “Jews” • Seeing and believing; becoming a disciple • Ex.: “disciples”; Samaritans; blind man; Thomas • Believing even without seeing, just hearing • Ex.: royal official; Martha; readers of Gosp.John

  47. Increasing Faith Man Born Blind: 9: “the man called Jesus…” 12: “I do not know” 17: “He is a prophet” 27: “Do you also want to become his disciples?” 30: “He opened my eyes” 33: “If this man [Jesus] were not from God, he could do nothing” 38: “Lord, I believe.” And he worshiped him. Decreasing Faith Pharisees/Jews: 12: Ask where Jesus is. 16: Jesus is “not from God”; he breaks the Sabbath. 22: Anyone who confesses Jesus as Messiah is put out of the synagogue. 24: Jesus is a sinner. 29: They are disciples of Moses; don’t where Jesus comes from 34: Formerly blind man is a sinner; they throw him out Dynamics of “Believing” (John 9)

  48. Results/Effects of Believing • Becoming "children of God" (1:12) • Having "eternal life" (3:15-16, 36; 5:24; 6:40, 47) • Not "perishing" (3:16); not "being condemned" (3:18) • Not "coming under judgment" (5:24); never being "hungry/thirsty" (6:35) • "Knowing" Jesus and the Father (4:42; 6:64, 69; 10:38) • Passing from death to life (5:24); living and never dying (11:25-26) • Having "living water" flow out of one's heart (7:38) • Receiving the Spirit (7:39) • Being "disciples" of Jesus (8:31); being Jesus' "friends" (15:14-15) • Seeing the "glory of God" (11:40); seeing "greater things" (1:50) • Becoming "children of light" (12:36); not "remaining in darkness" (12:46) • Doing the works that Jesus does, or even greater works (14:12) • Having "life in his name" (20:31)

  49. Texts with “Believe” in John • Believe! • w/o direct object; “You just gotta trust”! • Believe IN God / IN me / IN… • NT Greek lit. says “believe INTO…” • “put your trust in/intoGod & Jesus” • “entrust yourself to God & Jesus” • Believe ME/HIM/… • Trust God/Jesus; believe what he says • Believe THAT… • Doctrines/beliefs aboutGod & Jesus

  50. More on “Signs” & “Believe” • “Signs” in the Fourth Gospel • http://catholic-resources.org/John/Themes-Signs.htm • “Believe” in the Fourth Gospel • http://catholic-resources.org/John/Themes-Believe.htm