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John The Evangelist by TitianThe Gospel of John us the fourth gospel in the canon of the New Testament, traditionally ascribed to John the Evangelist. Like the three synoptic gospels, it contains an account of some of the actions and sayings of Jesus of Nazareth, but differs from them in ethos and theological emphases. The Gospel may have been written with an evangelistic purpose, primarily for Greek-speaking Jews who were not believers or to strengthen the faith of Christians. A second purpose was to counter criticisms or unorthodox beliefs of Jews, John the Baptist's followers, and those who believed Jesus was only spirit and not flesh.

As a gospel, John is a story about the life of Jesus. The Gospel can be divided into four parts: the Prologue, the Book of Signs, the Passion narrative, and the Epilogue. The Prologue[John 1:1-18] is a hymn identifying Jesus as the Logos and as God. The Book of Signs [John 1:19-12:50] recounts Jesus' public ministry, and includes the signs worked by Jesus and some of his teachings. The Passion narrative[John 13-20] recounts the Last Supper (focusing on Jesus' farewell discourse), Jesus' arrest and crucifixion, his burial, and resurrection. The Epilogue[John 21] records a resurrection appearance of Jesus to the disciples in Galilee.

Of the four gospels, John presents the highest Christology, describing Jesus as the Logos who was in the Arche (a Greek term for "the beginning" or "the ultimate source of all things"), teaching at length about his identity as savior, and declaring him to be God.

Compared to the Synoptic Gospels, John focuses on Jesus' mission to bring the Logos ("Word", "Wisdom", "Reason" or "Rationality") to his disciples. Only in John does Jesus talk at length about himself, including a substantial amount of material Jesus shared with the disciples only. Here Jesus' public ministry consists largely of miracles not found in the Synoptics, including raising Lazarus from the dead. In John, Jesus, not his message, has become the object of veneration. Certain elements of the synoptics (such as parables, exorcisms, and possibly the Second Coming) are not found in John.

Since "the higher criticism" of the 19th century, critical scholars have questioned the gospel of John as a reliable source of information about the historical Jesus.
View the Chapters Of John:
1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  15  16  17  18  19  20  21  

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