major themes in the gospel of john

It would appear that John recognized (as the last and latest of the gospels to be written, probably in the decade of the 90s of the first century) that much that had already been dealt with well in one or more of the synoptics had become well enough known in Christian circles (whether through the actual final form of those previous gospels or simply through the pervasive oral tradition and preaching of the first Christians)  He did not need to repeat a large percentage of it. In Greco-Roman circles it was often viewed as some aspect of God or the gods that reflected his, her, or their means of communicating with humanity. Still another dominant and distinctive theme in John's gospel is his portrait of the death of Christ – not as a single event in time, but as already anticipating and symbolic of His coming resurrection and ascension and return to the right hand of the Father. There are three themes unique to John's Gospel and not found in the Synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke). This has the Old Testament background in terms of the Passover lamb – a sacrificial offering to denote forgiveness of sins and take the place of humans who deserve to die for their sins. Other distinctive themes (and there are more of these in John's gospel than in any of the other three) include a strong emphasis on the benefits of eternal life through following Jesus. At the same time, the opening and closing portions of John's gospel very much stress His true humanity. In terms of the already but not yet language, clearly he is more interested in emphasizing the already. But this is not simply remaining in order to experience Christian maturity, as opposed to staying in an immature Christian state. Essentially, Matthew was writing to prove that Jesus was the Messiah ​and that the Jewish authorities of Jesus' day had rejected Him. But it means also that, short of repentance, they will be lost. Views of Jesus include not only distinctive titles and functions, but, lest we think that John is too far removed from the synoptics, it is intriguing to note that both in his nearly closing purpose statement in John 20:31 and throughout the gospel, with a fair degree of frequency, the titles Christ and Son of God (or simply Son) appear exactly as in Mark's headline which we discussed in lecture 4 (see again Mark 1:1). For instance, John writes in 2 John that God’s … Thus, the opening verse of the gospel refers to the Word in the beginning, with a deliberate allusion to Genesis 1:1, from before creation onward. And again 6:53, "Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you." 1 John was written for several reasons, that our joy might be complete, that we would not sin, that we would guard against false teachers and that we would know that we have eternal life by believing in the name of the Son of God. At long last we come to the gospel of John, by far the most distinctive of the four gospels in the New Testament. It is possible at the end of the first century that certain wings of the church were moving more and more in the direction of an institutionalization that goes beyond what the New Testament itself endorsed. The antagonism between church and synagogue could at times become quite sharp. Here are 7 Themes Developed Extensively in John’s Gospel: 1. THEME TWO: The Water/Life Theme Water is one of the most significant elements in sustaining life. Here is an implicit, but nevertheless clear, challenge to that claim which Christians would have found blasphemous. A second additional distinctive theme is that John does not refer to Christ's miracles (though he narrates a good seven of them) as powers or wonders, the terms most commonly used in the synoptics. In A Theology of John’s Gospel and Letters, building on many years of research and study in Johannine literature, Andreas Köstenberger not only furnishes an exhaustive theology of John’s Gospel and letters, but also provides a detailed study of major themes and relates them to the Synoptic Gospels and other New Testament books. In Jewish circles, it was the word often used to represent God's spoken word, through which creation itself was brought into being. 5. So they ask: Who sinned, this man (perhaps thinking he had done something already in the womb of his mother) or his parents (no doubt, reflecting on those Old Testament principles in which the sins of the ancestors are visited on coming generations, at times for a considerable length of time)? Jesus, and particularly John's portrait of Jesus, could invest it with His own distinctive meaning. In the minority of instances where there are parallel texts between John and the synoptics, the actual wording is seldom similar enough for any significant stretch of text to suggest any actual literary borrowing. To Him, God gives the Spirit without limit. We expect this even though the synoptics have chosen not to narrate any trips to Jerusalem of the adult Jesus prior to the Passover at which He would lose His earthly life. The Disciples And The Harvest. Thus, we read in 12:32, "But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to Myself." And in a passage like 10:30 and following, He claims to be one with the Father – not just a oneness of will or unity or purpose (though those certainly are true statements), but in a way that at least some of the Jews present interpreted as again crossing that threshold between the creature and the Creator. Even more so than in Matthew, for John, Jesus is thirdly the Wisdom of God. The Father loves the Son and has placed everything in His hands. And then fourthly and finally and certainly most dramatically and prepared for by these three previous distinct titles or roles, Jesus becomes God Himself, actually divine. "In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God." And afterwards He tells the man: "Go and sin no more, lest something worse befall you" – seemingly implying that it was this man's lack of faith, indeed his outright sin or disobedience, which had some connection was his previous malady. A second distinctive title is Lamb of God, found particularly in John 1 in the context of John the Baptist's testimony about Jesus. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained. Indeed, the very first verse begins affirming that the Word was God. This is a word for which there is no single translation in most modern languages. He has crossed over [past tense, already in this life], he has crossed over from death into life." Compare similar sentiments in John 3:36, 9:39 and 12:31. Themes in the Gospel of John The predominant theme in the book of John is the revelation of God to man through his living illustration—Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh. (John 20:31) Theologians such as Dean Gilliland, Rollin Grams, and Andreas Köstenberger have written on theologies of mission from various perspectives of the Pauline Epistles,[1] Matthean understanding,[2] or the Gospel of Mark,[3] and Luke-Acts. There are references to the coming resurrection of both the just and the unjust (see especially chapter 5:25-29). The epistles of John show Jesus as the way, the truth and the life. When Jesus talks about eternal life, he doesn’t mean that we’ll all be immortal (after all, there can be only one). John focuses primarily on communicating that Jesus is Messiah, not his miracles “Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in … Let's not forget that all of His first followers, even in John's gospel, were Jewish, as Jesus himself was. Indeed, all of the signs and miracles throughout John's gospel are meant to function as pointers to bring people to faith in Christ or to strengthen that faith, as the purpose statement of John 20:31 so clearly states. It also appears, when one compares in any modern language, but particularly in the original Greek of New Testament times, that, unlike Matthew, Mark and Luke, there is no formal literary relationship between John and any of the synoptics. John's own harmonization of these apparently contradictory lines of thought appears in his first letter (1 John 2:19). For the same reasons, at the end of the gospel, John goes out of his way to stress in the passion narrative the true humanity of Jesus when Pilate declares, bringing out the condemned prisoner: "Behold the man" –  not behold your king, which is what the subject of conversation has most recently been. Learn what themes are found in the Bible in Gospel of John. He describes such people, saying: "They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. It is my prayer that all who hear these tapes and all who hear the gospel in any form will respond by accepting the marvelous, wonderful, eternal, free, utterly undeserved gift of spectacularly joyous life experienced in part, but only in part in this life, but guaranteed for those who are truly God's people who demonstrate it because they remain in Him, in Jesus, until the end, until the end of this age or their lives, whichever comes first. He is told to wash in the pool of Siloam to experience full healing. The dual between light(Christ and his ways) and darkness(Satan and the ways of the world) is one of the more obvious themes in the Gospel of John. The logos (the Word): only John calls Jesus the Word. His life will create in all who believe rivers of living water flowing forth and it is belief in Him that means life, unbelief however means death. The Gospel and Epistles of John (3 units) There are no course prerequisites. Jesus is both the Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed Deliverer of Israel) and the Son of God (the One with a unique and uniquely intimate relationship, sonship, with His heavenly Father). Then, when He leaves, the Spirit will replace Him as another Counselor or Comforter, performing many of the identical roles that He has played (John 14:16). Other distinctive themes (and there are more of these in John's gospel than in any of the other three) include a strong emphasis on the benefits of eternal life through following Jesus. They must remain in Him so that they can bear much fruit (verse 4). And, short of that sweeping statement, it is not legitimate to speak of John as anti-Semitic or anti-Jewish. Much else could be said in this context, but it is time, in a short lecture series on The Theology of the Gospels, to turn to enumerating those Johannine theological distinctives in more detail. The Major Themes Of John’s Gospel. eNotes critical analyses help you gain a deeper understanding of Gospel of John so you can excel on your essay or test. Surely the church has a long way to go in modeling this before a fallen world. So it was a term much like Son of Man in the synoptics, with enough ambiguity in its background and yet a rich history of use as well. And more ominously, Judas betrayal in 17:12 demonstrates that he was not elected to salvation: "Christ protected all that the Father gave Him, but the betrayer was the one doomed to destruction.". [The verb to abide, or to remain, with us is used in John 15]  But their going showed that none of them belonged to us.". He is Wisdom personified (much as in Proverbs 8 and 9), but separated even more from God to become a distinct person, while still one being with the Father. John 14:11 uses the language of interpenetration. If that is not cannibalism, as some in the Roman world misunderstood early Christian belief and practice, then is it teaching that one must partake of the sacrament to have eternal life? To be born again by the Spirit of God is the only way to come into the kingdom of God, only God Himself can instigate this because of His work. But "the Word was God." Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life and whoever rejects the Son will not see life.". But Son in the gospel of John more consistently begins to move in a direction of and shade over toward the more divine sense of that title which is less frequent in the synoptics. Many of the details and themes central to the synoptic gospels are largely, if not completely, absent from John: the baptism of Jesus, the calling of the twelve disciples, exorcisms, the transfiguration, parables and Jesus' words over the bread and cup at the Last Supper. He has come from the Father being the Logos of God (1:1-2); He was with him creating the heavens and the earth by his powerful word (1:3). In His so-called high priestly prayer in chapter 17, He speaks of the Father glorifying the Son so that the Son can glorify the Father, and vice versa. Visit the President's page to see his availability to speak at your church or ministry. "Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice." It may be that we are to understand three stages in John's concept of faith: an initial childlike stage that is at least open to faith which is required before God will grant any sign; a preliminary faith that sometimes is based solely or too much on signs; and a mature faith that no longer requires them, even if God might in His sovereignty choose to graciously grant them at times. But more so merely than God's Wisdom, this function in the gospel of John quickly shades over into the One He has sent – the divinely appointed Agent, the sent One (in Hebrew the shaliach) to do God's will, to display His glory, to reveal His nature to humankind. It is not acceptable to simply refer to this as the same as the pruning that He describes in this context, because cutting off branches may allow the rest of a plant to continue to grow or indeed grow better. Yes, there are promises for security of the believer throughout the New Testament and particularly in John's writings. Additional Testimony By John The Baptist About Jesus. Biblical Theology, by. But the security and assurance of salvation are present only as people remain in the vine – continue believing in Jesus, remain connected to Him. Lecture: Distinctive Theologies in the Gospel of John. The Jews were zealous for the law, not because it was of God, but because it was theirs; the Romans sought this world and its power. There are people who do abandon what they previously have professed with respect to Christian faith: that is, abandon it altogether, leave Christ, leave His Church and follow some other contradictory, incompatible, false teaching. And everyone of these oppositions reflects those or that which is on God's side as determined by their reaction to Jesus and those who are against God as determined also by their reaction, in this case a rejection rather than an acceptance of Jesus. The BiblicalTraining app gives you access to 2,100 hours of instruction (129 classes and seminars). Examples of this are found in almost every chapter and every page of the Gospel of John. This Logos became flesh and dwelt among men in the person of Jesus of Nazareth. John 7:39, 12:16, 23 and 13:31 all anticipate His coming hour of glory with similar double meanings. If they do not, it demonstrates that they never really truly were connected. Why emphasize this unless, as we know there were in the mid-second century in parts of the Greek world of the day, already some near the end of the first century who perhaps were overly exalting John the Baptist and indeed at times giving him, rather than Jesus, Messianic status? One of the major themes of Matthew's Gospel is the connection between Jesus and the Old Testament prophecies and predictions regarding the Messiah. Though love is a major theme—some would say the greatest, central one—Campbell explains “it is not possible to separate it out from the other themes, especially those of truth and relationship with God” (11). In pure Stoic Pantheism (in which God was not distinct from creation) it often referred to the world soul or life force that was believed to animate and fill all the universe, all the material and immaterial parts of creation. The Samaritan Woman At Jacob's Well. He is Revealer in terms of His deeds, to be sure, but Revealer even more so in terms of His words, because He was, indeed, the very Word of God. John's community was a bit of a holdout or a carry-over from an earlier era, when the Spirit's role was seen as more significant than authoritative hierarchical offices for those who held them to make decisions governing the entire body of the local Christian community. Yet another theme in our list is the Holy Spirit. One of the puzzling features of John's narrative, as we have already mentioned, is the absence of explicit reference to Jesus' baptism and to His words over the bread and cup at the Last Supper. The volume consists of an array of eight themes, most having been presented as conference lectures and two having been previously published. Strong early church tradition associates the aged apostle with ministering in his latter decades in and around Ephesus on the western coast of what today would be called Turkey. John emphasizes Christ’s deity portraying Him as the Son of God. The baby born from a virgin in Bethlehem is shown to be “the One and Only, who came from the Father,” who had “life in Himself” and through whom the “world was made.” John wrote this gospel with the purpose that we might believe that Jesus is the Son of God. Imagine the puzzle in the disciple's minds (given that the common Old Testament notion, apparently reinforced by Jesus in the healing miracle of chapter 5, that sickness or chronic disability was often a punishment for sin) as they struggle to figure out how such punishment could begin already at birth. In 15:16 we read that the disciples did not choose Jesus but He chose them. Compare, for example, this same apostle John's description in the book of Revelation in the letters to the seven churches of Asia Minor, which included Ephesus and neighboring environs, that the local synagogues there were so hostile to Christians that they could be called synagogues of Satan (see especially Revelation 2:9 and 3:9). Discussion of themes and motifs in John the Apostle's Gospel of John. These absences are made all the more notable, unlike many other absences of synoptic incidence from John, because apart from these specific details John has more information in his opening episode about John the Baptist of the events immediately surrounding Christ's baptism than do any of the synoptics. Question: which side are you on 3:18, `` whoever believes in fourth... S deity portraying Him as the term Paraklete a deeper understanding of Gospel of John brief to... ' deity never does it mean more than simply those members of major... 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