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major themes in the gospel of john

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. 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.”. So there is no uniform connection between sin and sickness, between faith and healing. He has crossed over [past tense, already in this life], he has crossed over from death into life." He is God revealed to man—the expression of God—so that we might see him and believe. John emphasizes Christ’s deity portraying Him as the Son of God. Stream the classes, or download and listen to them offline. He must decrease while Christ must increase. Here are 7 Themes Developed Extensively in John’s Gospel: 1. In fact, there are very interesting variations in terms of human preparedness for the miraculous. THEME TWO: The Water/Life Theme Water is one of the most significant elements in sustaining life. This is perhaps meant to be a model of how humans can be fundamentally equal to one another and still, in various contexts, be required to function in roles of authority and submission. But the security and assurance of salvation are present only as people remain in the vine – continue believing in Jesus, remain connected to Him. Examples of this are found in almost every chapter and every page of the Gospel of John. John 7:39, 12:16, 23 and 13:31 all anticipate His coming hour of glory with similar double meanings. This would appear unlikely, because in the same context we read that it is the Spirit, and not the flesh, that alone brings life. This is only appropriate as another thirty years may have passed since the writing of the synoptics. He has distinctive and dramatic miracles, like turning water into wine, or the resurrection of Lazarus. In this volume Richard Bauckham, a leading biblical scholar and a bestselling author in the academy, illuminates main theological themes of the Gospel of John. 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 also speaks of Jesus as the pre-existent divine Word who became a human being so as to speak the words of God, reveal the glory of God’s grace and truth, to put a bridge between the children of light and the children of darkness, to bring judgment on the unbelieving world and to give eternal life through the gift of the Holy Spirit to all believ… He explicitly denies that he is even a prophet like Elijah. 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. 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. In Greek, this is the word parakletos, sometimes rendered into English just as the term Paraklete. A Royal Official's Son Is Healed. This took place in Ephesus not long after John's gospel was written and John replies to it in 1 John 2:19. John 10.1–6, John 15.1–6). A second distinctive title is Lamb of God, found particularly in John 1 in the context of John the Baptist's testimony about Jesus. In Luke His humanity was guarded but in John His deity is guarded. 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. Indeed, the very first verse begins affirming that the Word was God. The BiblicalTraining app gives you access to 2,100 hours of instruction (129 classes and seminars). [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.". So they are not distinct gods but distinct centers of personal consciousness within one God. The One From Heaven. The Samaritans And The Savior Of The World. In this more Greek or Gnostic environment, on the other hand, the challenge was: How could God, that which is perfect and invisible and immaterial, take on true human flesh if, in fact, that meant that he (or in some Greek circles she or goddesses) would be inherently evil? When Jesus talks about eternal life, he doesn’t mean that we’ll all be immortal (after all, there can be only one). At the end of our lecture series then, it is appropriate to ask the question: Which side are you on? 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. This was a Greek philosophy that posited a sharp break or divide between the material and immaterial parts of creation, including the human being. 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. Two final comments about dominant and distinctive Johannine themes – Jesus relationship to Judaism and the resulting relationship of John's community to Judaism. The Greek term logos had a remarkably broad usage and application. Jesus, speaking again: "This is the will of Him who sent Me, the Father, that I shall lose none of all that He has given Me, but raise them up at the last day." John emphasizes the spiritual relationship we have with God through a new birth. 3 Jordan. But these are more speculative comments than those we have made in the other categories thus far in this lecture. Our work is to believe in Him who He sent (John 6:29) and then receive what He has done - “of his fullness we all have received.” (John 1:16) We receive grace, His gift, the most precious thing in the universe – which is Himself – “we have this treasure in earthen vessels , that the excellence of the power may be of god and not of us.” (1 Corinthians 4:7) And again, in 10:29, "My Father who has given them to Me is greater than all; no one shall snatch them out of My Father's hand." Instructor: Dr. Scott G. Sinclair, Course description: This course will study the major themes of John's Gospel and Epistles. The Gospel of John begins with a magnificent prologue, which states many of the major themes and motifs of the gospel, much as an overture does for a musical work. John 3:5, "No one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit," has often been taken as just such an allusion to baptism. But this is not simply remaining in order to experience Christian maturity, as opposed to staying in an immature Christian state. Jesus, and particularly John's portrait of Jesus, could invest it with His own distinctive meaning. How and why did he compose his gospel the way he did if, in fact, there are so many differences? But whoever does not believe, stands condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son." The Disciples And The Harvest. 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. (i) Explore the key themes introduced in John … But, looking at individual contexts, this term sometimes means merely Judeans as opposed to Galileans (those in the southern part of Israel rather than in the north). It combines such concepts as Counselor or Comforter or Advocate. Throughout Christian history, the Gospel of John’s distinctive way of presenting the life, works, teachings, death, and resurrection of Jesus have earned it labels such … Those who did not believe His claims accused Him of blaspheming and took up stones to attempt to stone Him to death, although they failed. Van Pelt, Blomberg & Schreiner, Lecture 3: Order of the OT Books: Hebrew vs. English, Lecture 4: The Hebrew Order Teaches Covenant, Lecture 5: Order and Structure of the Books in the Writings, Lecture 6: Structure of the Christian Bible, Lecture 7: Seams in the Canonical and Covenantal Structure, Lecture 8: Common Theological Themes in the Synoptic Gospels, Lecture 9: The Ethics of the Kingdom of God, Lecture 10: Christology in the Synoptics: What Jesus Thought About Himself, Lecture 11: Distinctive Theologies in the Gospels of Mark and Matthew, Lecture 12: Distinctive Theologies in the Gospel of Luke, Lecture 13: Distinctive Theologies in the Gospel of John, Lecture 14: Centrality of Christ and God in Paul's Theology, Lecture 17: Election and the Christian Life, Distinctive Theologies in the Gospel of John. Parables: One way Jesus taught people was through parables. Introduction Johannine theology of mission is not as known as the Pauline approach to mission. 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. [4] However, a theology of mission according to John… These themes bind the Fourth Gospel together in a manner that allows us to see this ‘new way of living’ as possible for followers of King Jesus. 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. And then, during the main phase of Jesus' adult ministry, with just a few parallels to episodes from the synoptic gospels, John focuses primarily on the times Jesus traveled to Jerusalem at the annual festivals of the Jews and the ways that His teachings and claims about His own identity on those occasions demonstrated the fulfillment of the deepest meaning of the rituals and festivals and events that they commemorated. However, each gospel was probably written for a different audience; thus each stresses different aspects of this theme. 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. The style found among John's accounts of Jesus' teaching is quite similar to John's style as narrator throughout the rest of his gospel. John emphasizes Christ’s deity portraying Him as the Son of God. They must remain in Him so that they can bear much fruit (verse 4). 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. John frequently substitutes the expression eternal life, which does not do a disservice to Jesus' teaching, because, even in Matthew's account of the rich young ruler in chapter 19, kingdom of God and being saved and experiencing eternal life are used as parallel expressions for each other. Accepting His free gift of salvation is something that begins now in this life already, even if only in part. He used them in order to put through a message easily understood by his listeners, using terminology they could understand and relate to, such as the parable of the sower (Mark 4:1-20) who had been patient and allowed the seeds to expand, was rewarded by the seeds being fruitful. Sometimes it is a kind of shorthand or code term for the Jewish leaders, at least those opposed to Jesus. The Samaritan Woman At Jacob's Well. Thus, the Baptist is only a witness. But John's Gospel develops themes … Essentially, Matthew was writing to prove that Jesus was the Messiah ​and that the Jewish authorities of Jesus' day had rejected Him. "In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God." Presumably Christ here is anticipating both His physical crucifixion and His spiritual exaltation – the posture of arms extended and body distended on the cross, but also anticipating the heavenly journey after His death and resurrection. Yet another theme in our list is the Holy Spirit. Seven times in John's gospel, He uses the affirmation "I am" followed by a metaphorical predicate that reflects some aspect of this divinity: the Bread of life; the Light of the world; the Sheep Gate; the Good Shepherd; the Resurrection and the Life; the Way and the Truth and the Life; and the True Vine. 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). Learn what themes are found in the Bible in Gospel of John. John then reflects eternal life as beginning now in the present and extending on into the future. The antagonism between church and synagogue could at times become quite sharp. The Gospel and Epistles of John (3 units) There are no course prerequisites. Discussion of themes and motifs in John the Apostle's Gospel of John. For those who have not read John closely on the heels of one or more of the synoptics, it may be worth reviewing just how different a gospel John is. Parables are earthly stories with heavenly meanings. Here, it is eternal death that begins in this life as well. Adding to the intrigue is the fact that, in a completely different context in John's gospel, appear language from Jesus Himself that many readers have seen as allusions to what in many branches of Christianity have become known as the sacraments (or elsewhere as the ordinances) of Baptism and the Lord's Supper. On top of all of this, John's narrative seems to reflect a quite different style of writing than that in the synoptic gospels, including among the teachings of Jesus. There also appears to be a hierarchy that in no way infringes on the full equality of the persons of the Trinity, especially in 14:28 when Jesus declares: "The Father is greater than I." 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. The volume consists of an array of eight themes, most having been presented as conference lectures and two having been previously published. But it may well be that, to emerging Gnostics in an around the church in Ephesus, this was John's way of beginning with a point of common ground, but then driving the discussion to the climactic point on which "Orthodox and Gnostic" Christians disagreed: namely, the true humanity of Jesus, the true incarnation affirmed in 1:14 –  "The Word became flesh and dwelled among us.". Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life and whoever rejects the Son will not see life.". John 14:11 uses the language of interpenetration. But it is authority and submission based on perfect love and perfect unity. 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. The opening verses beautifully describe Jesus as the Word. In Luke His humanity was guarded but in John His deity is guarded. 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. Surely the church has a long way to go in modeling this before a fallen world. And in even more dramatic fashion in John 13-17, what never is narrated in more than one long chapter in the synoptics spans five chapters in John's gospel: namely, the events of the last night of Jesus' life and the last meal that they enjoyed together. 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. In contrast to the Synoptic Gospels, there are no parables in the Gospel of John, though there are a number of extended metaphors or illustrative tales (e.g. This has come to be known as Jesus' exaltation, or enthronement, or glorification. There are three themes unique to John's Gospel and not found in the Synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke). Return To Galilee. So they are separate and distinct. By John 20:31 -" these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name", Christ Portrayed as: The Son of God, His Diety is shown, The Wedding At Cana: Water Turned Into Wine, Jesus Throws Merchants And Moneychangers Out Of The Temple Courtyard, Additional Testimony By John The Baptist About Jesus, The Samaritans And The Savior Of The World, Many Of Jesus' Disciples Offended By His Teaching, The Reaction Of The Pharisees To The Healing, Jesus' Departure And The Coming Of The Holy Spirit, Jesus Predicts His Return To The Disciples, Peter Denies Jesus The Second And Third Times, Jesus Appears To The Disciples In Galilee. eNotes critical analyses help you gain a deeper understanding of Gospel of John so you can excel on your essay or test. Four other emphases are also considerably distinct within the teachings about Jesus that are both dominant and/or distinctive in the fourth gospel. 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? This he flat out denies. 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. 5. 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. Not that He replaces God the Father or is the sum total of all that there is to God, but He represents what God is like when He takes upon Himself human flesh. Explain the elements of the Gospel of John that are so important to embrace today. On the other hand John has numerous lengthy discourses or dialogues of Jesus with the disciples or with crowds, but none of them is the same as the few found in the synoptics. There is a choice to believe and accept life or no to believe and therefore refuse life – unbelief is a form of rejection. 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). 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. Chronologically, he focuses on a period of Jesus' ministry prior to His major Galilean ministry in chapters 2 to 4. Equally speculative, but equally suggestive also, has to do with the way in which John the Baptist's authority is consistently minimized throughout John's gospel, especially when compared to the synoptics' portrait. If in all the shades of grey, as it were, with all of the humanly erected divisions into which humanity can be categorized, there are from God's perspective only ultimately two: those who follow Jesus and those who reject Him. And when interviewers in John 1 come from the Jerusalem authorities to ask John about his identity, they not only ask about a possible prophetic role, but if he is the Christ. Even more so than in Matthew, for John, Jesus is thirdly the Wisdom of God. He is told to wash in the pool of Siloam to experience full healing. 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, granted we can explain something of the composition of the gospel, can we account for such a seemingly different choice of details and the resulting themes that we are about to survey? Gospel of John ThemesLife and Death. There is nothing even in the strong text such as John 8:44, "You are of your father the devil," that indicts all Jews of Jesus' time, much less of all time. There are references to the coming resurrection of both the just and the unjust (see especially chapter 5:25-29). Visit the President's page to see his availability to speak at your church or ministry. To Him, God gives the Spirit without limit. One of the major themes of Matthew's Gospel is the connection between Jesus and the Old Testament prophecies and predictions regarding the Messiah. 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)? Perhaps we should understand instead that John is speaking metaphorically about close unity with the crucified Christ (6:53) and metaphorically about the cleansing work of the Spirit (3:5). 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. And there is the accompanying unity based on the unity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit that Jesus' followers ought to display. One of the major themes in John's Gospel is "glory" and "glorification." Yet, balancing this emphasis on God's electing choices, is John's equally significant emphasis that believers must choose to abide, or remain, in Christ (particularly in John 15). Learn vocabulary, terms, and more with flashcards, games, and other study tools. The Agent acts on behalf of the Master who has sent Him in ways that begin to blur the distinction at times between the two. The prologue proclaims Jesus as the preexistent and incarnate Word of God who has revealed the Father to us. The writer of John also said that ” These are written that you may believe that Jesus Christ the Son of God and that believing you may have life in His name” John 20:31. 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). This would be clarified in subsequent centuries to an even greater degree. Thus we read in a passage like John 3:18, "Whoever believes in Him [that is, Jesus] is not condemned. Written in a fun and engaging way to make it easy-to-understand. Interestingly, these are the very titles that, at least by the end of the first century in the reign of Domitian, were clearly attributed to and accepted by the emperor in Rome as titles of worship that he alone was worthy of. 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. This indeed happens in the pericardial sac around the heart for a very recently deceased victim. This is precisely what we should have expected Jesus, as a law-abiding Jew, to attend. There are two important approaches that need to be taken when studying the major themes and theological emphases of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. 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? And certainly, how could that take place without blasphemously transgressing the boundary between creature and creator? And, short of that sweeping statement, it is not legitimate to speak of John as anti-Semitic or anti-Jewish. 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. 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. For instance, John writes in 2 John that God’s … 523 NE Everett St Biblical Theology, by. John's own harmonization of these apparently contradictory lines of thought appears in his first letter (1 John 2:19). The major proof of Jesus' divinity in all four gospels is the resurrection. Part can, no doubt, be explained by the unique context of John. F. F. Bruce discerns five discrete roles for the Paraklete in John 14 to 16 alone: He is a Helper of God's people (14:15-21); He is an interpreter of God's revelation (14:25-31); a witness or one who testifies to the truth of God (15:26-16:4); a Prosecutor, one who convicts the world of its sin, of its lack of adequate righteousness and God's coming judgment (16:5-11); and of Revealer of God's truth and of God Himself (16:12-16). A Meeting With Nicodemus. 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. Demonstrate the truth or otherwise of this statement. Describe the different overarching themes that tie the Gospel of John together. Accepting His free gift of salvation is something that begins now in this life already, even if only in part. 1,500 word essay on the Gospel of John, from the following: a) ‘The Prologue in John 1:1-18 is the “foyer” to the rest of the Fourth Gospel, simultaneously drawing the reader in and introducing major themes’. The course approaches the Gospel of John in a way that looks at seven key themes. At the same time, the opening and closing portions of John's gospel very much stress His true humanity. There are times, as with the turning of water into wine and the healing of the nobleman's son (in John 2 and 4 respectively), when the signs are meant to instill faith, and apparently do, in fact, function in that way, where there is little or no faith prior to the working of the miracles. Likewise too, the two chapters of resurrection appearances at the end of John's gospel (20 and 21) represent first Mary Magdalene and the apostle Thomas (20) and then Peter and the beloved disciple John (21), each in their own ways overcoming doubts and misunderstanding and disbelief and lack of recognition of Jesus to recognize His complete human bodily resurrection from the dead. Only Jesus is ultimate Master and God. 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). There are times when people's faith leads to signs or miracles in John more generally.

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