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Gospel of John. Contrasts sharply with the synoptic gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke Long, well-developed theological discourses or monologues delivered by Jesus

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Gospel of John

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    1. Gospel of John • Contrasts sharply with the synoptic gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke • Long, well-developed theological discourses or monologues delivered by Jesus • Jesus reveals the Father, teaches profound truths about himself, reveals that the key to being his follower is to have faith in him and his word, love others as he has loved us, and trust the Holy Spirit whom he and His Father will have sent

    2. Background on the Gospel of John • Written for Jewish Christians (expelled from synagogues after the Roman Revolt) • Many Christians had fled the city and did not fight alongside of their Jewish relatives emigrated to Ephesus • Diverse Community: Samaritan converts to Christianity + Gentile Christians in this community • Written to strengthen faith and win converts

    3. Interested in Theology stresses Jesus’ identity as the revealer of God (Word), the unique Son of the Father, Savior of the World • To combat false ideas about Jesus’ full humanity or even his identity • To oppose the followers of John the Baptist (who wrongly believed that he was the Messiah) • Jesus is superior to John the Baptist who is reported as saying there is one coming “whose sandal strap I am not worthy to untie.” (1:27)

    4. Date: 90-100 AD • Sources: Possible contact with synoptics • Independent traditions preserved in the churches from which it was created

    5. Gospel of John Differs From the Synoptics: • New Characters: Nicodemus, Lazarus, a man born blind, a Samaritan woman • Jesus attends 3 Passover festivals (not one) – Makes several trips to Jerusalem for various festivals • No mention of diabolic possessions

    6. Teaching in the form of long discourses • Focuses on himself as God’s revelation (one who shows us the way to the Father) – does not stress the Kingdom of God • Very poetic a more solemn and holy Jesus • Literary Techniques:irony (when opponents often say things about Jesus that have deeper meanings than they realize), a play on words, metaphors (implied comparisons), figurative language to help clarify the many misunderstandings people have of him

    7. 2 Major Sources:Collection of miracles (a “signs source”); 7; unique to John (Changing of water into wine at Cana; Cure of a man born blind; Raising of Lazarus); Version of the Passion and Resurrection Narratives (in circulation for years before any of the gospels were written)

    8. Identity of the Gospel Writer • In 180 AD Irenaeus (a Church Father) identified the “beloved disciple” as the author • One of the apostles • Brother of James; Son of Zebedee • Wrote toward the end of his life • Modern Research: confused John the Apostle with a Church Elder • Written in several stages and edited by different people • Foundation of the Gospel: preaching and witness of the apostle, John • John in Ephesus (Turkey): gathered around him a community of followers

    9. Took John’s testimony, meditated on his words, produced a gospel in stages that addressed the concerns of their own local church • Testimony of the author rests on eyewitness testimony • “It is this disciple who testifies to these things and has written them, and we know that his testimony is true.” (21:24) • We: disciples of the “beloved disciple” who edited the final edition

    10. Outline of the Gospel of John • Prologue: “Word Made Flesh” (1:1-18) • Part 1: Book of Signs (1:19-12:50) – 7 miracles with speeches • Part 2: Book of Glory (13:1-20:31) – theology discourses • Epilogue: Appearances in Galilee (21)

    11. Prologue: The Word of GodOriginally an early Christian hymn • Theme 1: Christology From Above • Christology: the study of Jesus Christ (tryingto understand who he is) • Stresses very strongly Jesus’ heavenly origins, his identity as the Son of God, his preexistence as the Word of God • Christology From Above or “Descending Christology” • Synoptic gospels with Christology From Below or “Ascending Christology” (Emphasizes the concrete memories of Jesus of Nazareth and his impact on people); Human Jesus ascends to his heavenly glory through his passion, death, and resurrection

    12. John’s Gospel: divinity of Jesus • “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (1:1) • “Word of God”: appealed to Jewish and Gentile Christians • Old Testament: “Word of God” (Logos in Greek) means creation, the Law, God’s close presence among his people, God’s wisdom • Gentiles: Logos (soul) held the world together (knowledge) • Prologue: “And the Word became flesh, and made his dwelling among us, and we saw his glory, the glory as of the Father’s only Son, full of grace and truth.” (1:14) • Incarnation: Jesus as the Son of God took on human flesh

    13. Theme 2: Major Conflicts • Light of Christ vs. Darkness of the world • Life giving faith in Jesus that makes us children of God vs. Unbelief • Truth vs. Untruth

    14. Theme 3: Who is Jesus? • John the Baptist: one lesser than Jesus “whose sandal strap I am not worthy to untie.” (1:27) • Jesus’ true role: “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.” (1:29) • Two disciples address Jesus as “rabbi” (teacher) • Andrew says to Simon Peter, “We have found the Messiah.” (1:41) • Nathaniel: “You are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel.” (1:49) • Titles: Word of God, Son of God, Prophet, Lamb of God, Teacher, King of Israel, Son of Man, I Am

    15. Book of Signs (John 1:19-12:50) • Contains 7 miracles • Ergon (work) or semeion (sign) to describe Jesus’ miracles • Old Testament: “works of God” (Exodus) and “signs of God” (performed through Moses) • Miracles: reveal Jesus’ identity, the purpose of the Incarnation, his relation to his Father • Miracles demand faith

    16. Sign 1: Changing water to Wine (John 2:1-12) • A nature miracle • Beginning of Jesus’ public ministry • First public event to reveal his glory • Wedding (weeklong): Jesus enjoyed ordinary life • Weddings: festive occasions a symbols of new life (Messianic Banquet in God’s Kingdom) • Role of Mary: model of faith, intercessor, compassionate concern; simple, compassionate, persistent faith in her son to save the reputation of the couple

    17. “My hour” – refers to Jesus’ passion, death, resurrection, the climax of giving up his life or humanity • Water (baptism); Wine (Eucharist) • Foreshadowed his ministry: being in touch with people and helping them by acting with authority

    18. Sign 2: Cure of the Official’s Son(John 4: 46-54) • Setting: Cana • Power of Jesus’ word is enough to heal the son of a court official from Capernaum (Gentile) • Importance of Father’s faith; intercessory prayer

    19. Sign 3: Cure of the Paralytic at the Pool (John 5:1-47) • Healing a man on the Sabbath who was lame for 38 years • Jesus as the source of life • Torah: forbid healing a non-life-threatening illness on the Sabbath • Jesus explains that God works on the Sabbath • “My Father is at work until now, so I am at work.” (5:17) • Jesus is claiming to be equal to God

    20. Use of “Jews” in a hostile way • Antagonism between Jesus and Jews is so intense that it appears anti-Semitic • Result of Roman Revolt and those who stubbornly refuse to accept an engage in lifeless religious practices

    21. Signs 4 & 5: Feeding of 5,000 and the Walking on Water (John 6:1-14; 16-24) • Parallel the Exodus miracles of manna in the desert and the parting of the Red Sea • Setting: time of Passover feast • Jesus feeds the hungry crowd – Has to escape their attempt to make him king • Long dialogue: “Bread of Life” (6: 25-70) • Symbolism: Jesus has replaced the manna of the Exodus • Jesus as the new bread God has given to them, their source of eternal life

    22. “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst.” (6:35) • Jesus teaches the necessity of eating the flesh of his body and drinking his blood (refers to he Eucharist) • Jesus walking on the water: “It is I, do not be afraid.” (6:21) reveal his identity • “It is I” (ego eimi in Greek): similar to the name God revealed to Moses (Yahweh) which means “I am” • God is with us and will never leave us

    23. Sign 6: Cure of the Blind Man (John 9:1-41) • Man born blind: washed at the Pool of Siloam; received his sight • He gradually began to see who Jesus really was • “Man called Jesus”- prophet- Man from God – Son of God • Cured man: challenged by authorities, thrown out of the synagogue • Remain faithful to Jesus and your faith will also deepen • Spiritually blind (Pharisees) refuse to see who Jesus really was; worse than physical blindness (9:41)

    24. Sign 7: The Raising of Lazarus (John 11:1-44) • The most important miracle in John’s gospel • Prefigures Jesus’ own death and resurrection • Wanted to go to Lazarus so his Father could glorify him through a dramatic sign • Caiaphas (high Priest): “It is better for you that one man should die instead of the people, so that the whole nation may not perish.” (11:50) • Ironical statement

    25. Sums up all the other signs • Jesus is the way of life • He is the resurrection • He is God (“I am”) • Faith: essential to gain eternal life • John 12: Mary anoints Jesus at Bethany (conclusion to the Book of Signs)

    26. The Book of Glory (John 13:1-20:31) • Last Supper Discourse (John 13-17): prepares apostles for hour of glory; passion; promises the Holy Spirit; instructions on how to live after the Resurrection • Jesus’ Death and Resurrection (John 18-20): reveal God’s love for us and Jesus’ triumph over death • Epilogue: Chapter 21

    27. The Last Supper Discourses (John 13-17) • Last Supper occurs 1 day earlier than in the Synoptics • Sacrifice of lambs for the Passover (Israel in slavery with Egypt) • Jesus as the Lamb of God whose sacrifice on the cross has freed all people from the slavery of sin • Every Eucharist re-presents the sacrifice of the cross • Meal: act of humility (washing of the feet) • Objection of Peter; example of humble service

    28. Only gospel to record this incident • Judas left the meal to go into the night (symbol for the darkness of Satan) • “As I have loved you, so you also should love one another.” (13:35) • Jesus proved his love by dying and rising for us – wants us to die to our selfishness and give life to others by attending to their needs

    29. Chapters 14-17: the heart of Jesus’ last discourse • A farewell speech; recalls past; urges thelisteners to great deeds; gives words of encouragement; promises prayers • “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. . . Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.” (14:6,9) • Jesus promises to send the Holy Spirit (Paraclete)

    30. Chapter 15: one of the most important chapters in the entire New Testament • He is the vine, we are the branches who get our life from him • What does the pruning process represent? What happens if the branches remain attached to the vine? What does the fruit represent? • Jesus also calls us his friends (15:13-17) • Keep his commandments and love one another (Heart of the Good News)

    31. Jesus assumes a priestly role by interceding for us, by praying to his Father on our behalf (17:1-26) • Priest: a mediator between God and people • Jesus prays for unity, a oneness in community with the Father, Son, and Spirit

    32. The Resurrection of Jesus (John 20-21) • A major revelation of the Father • Emphasizes Jesus’ commissioning of the leaders to continue his work and reconciliation • First appearance to Mary Magdalene (Rabbouni) • Faith and love: keys to discipleship, not work, wealth, position, prestige, gender or power • John allows Peter to enter the empty tomb (Leadership role of Peter) • Thomas: “My Lord and my God”, the highest proclamation of faith in Jesus

    33. Gospel originally ended with Chapter 20 • Chapter 21: appearances in Galilee • Symbolism of fishing, preparation of a breakfast • Recommissions Peter (denied Jesus 3X) 3 fold promise of love

    34. The Resurrection Narratives Compared • Resurrection: early morning on the first day of the week • Women present at the tomb (Mary Magdalene) • Messengers at the tomb • Jesus appears to his disciples • Jesus’ body shone with the glory of God’s life

    35. Meaning of the Resurrection • Proves Jesus’ claim to be God’s Son; confirms Jesus’ works and teachings; fulfills Old Testament promises; proves Jesus’ divinity • Justifies us in God’s grace; adopts us into the divine family