INTRODUCTION TO THE GOSPEL OF JOHN
Although the apostle John’s name does appear in the Gospel that bears his name, early church strongly and consistently identified him as the author.
Clement of Alexandria (AD 150-215) wrote that John, aware of the facts ser forth in the other Gospels and being moved by the Holy Spirit, composed a “ Gospel.”
John in his Gospel does not choose to identify himself by name but instead prefers to identify himself as “the disciple whom Jesus
.” John 13:23; 19:26; 20:1; 221:7
The recurring designation of John as “the disciple whom Jesus loved,” (a deliberate avoidance of his personal name), reflects John’s
and celebrates his relation to the Lord Jesus.
No one knew Jesus than the apostle John did. He walked with him from day to day, so that he had ample opportunity to observe the character of the Master.
John was there when Jesus , when He , when He performed even raising the dead.
John sat next to Jesus at the supper, he stood by His , he even entered His tomb. And he had no hesitation in proclaiming that this Jesus of history, who he knew so well, is Himself.
Besides the Gospel that bears his name, John also authored 1 John, 2 John, 3 John and .
Look at the similarities you will find in John’s Gospel with John’s other writings revealing that the same John authored them all.
“The ” used 7 times in 1 John, 2 times in 2 John & 2 times in Rev. Jesus referred to as “the Word” in 1 Jn and Revelation.
“ ” used 14 times in 1 John and 18 times in Revelation.
“ ” used 6 times in 1 John and 7 in Revelation.
“ ” used 5 times in 1 Jn (found in no other Gospels).
“ ” used 7 times in 1 John (found nowhere else).
“ ” used only in John and 1 John.
DATE OF WRITING
The earliest date for John’s composition would be about the year AD 80 and the latest AD 98 for the following reasons:
1. It the Synoptics. It omits much that they record and records much that they omit.
2. It shows a more understanding of the Trinity (of the Godhead), of the of Christ, of salvation, and the life hereafter, lacking in the earlier Gospels.
3. It shows no reference to the fall of in AD 70, either looking forward or looking backward, so was certainly written a number of years after the event.
4. (The Dead Sea Scrolls) supports this dating.
5. The possible date for the writing of John would be the year AD 98, if the testimony of Ireneus and Jerome is trustworthy. It is said in the book “Against Heresies,” that John remained in the church of Ephesus until the times of Roman Emperor AD 98.
THE PURPOSE OF JOHN’S GOSPEL
John’s Gospel is the only one of the four Gospels to contain a precise statement regarding the author’s .
John declares, “These things are written in order that you may believe that Jesus is the , the Son of God, and that believing you may have in His name.” John 20:31
The word “believe” occurs twice as much in John as in Matthew, Mark and Luke combined. Here are a few examples:
John 1:12-13 As many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who in His name, who were born not of natural descent, nor human decision, or of man’s will, but born of God.
John 3:14-15Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who in Him may have eternal life.
John 5:24 I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and
Him who sent me has eternal life and will
not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.
John 6:40 For my Father's will is that everyone who looks to the Son and in Him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.