John, Gospel of:
1. The genuineness of this Gospel, i.e., the fact that the apostle
John was its author, is beyond all reasonable doubt. In recent
times, from about 1820 many attempts have been made to impugn its
genuineness, but without success.
2. The design of John in writing this Gospel is stated by himself
(John 20:31) It was at one time supposed that he wrote for the
purpose of supplying the omissions of the synoptical, i.e., of the
first three, Gospels, but there is no evidence for this. "There is
here no history of Jesus and his teaching after the manner of the
other evangelists. But there is in historical form a representation
of the Christian faith in relation to the person of Christ as its
central point; and in this representation there is a picture on the
one hand of the antagonism of the world to the truth revealed in
him, and on the other of the spiritual blessedness of the few who
yield themselves to him as the Light of life" (Reuss).
a. The prologue
b. The historical part of the book begins with verse 6 and
consists of two parts.
1. The first part (1:6-ch. 12) contains the history of our
Lord's public ministry from the time of his introduction to
it by John the Baptist to its close.
2. The second part (ch. 13-21) presents our Lord in the
retirement of private life and in his intercourse with his
immediate followers (13-17) and gives an account of his
sufferings and of his appearances to the disciples after
his resurrection (18-21).
4. The peculiarities of this Gospel are the place it gives
a. to the mystical relation of the Son to the Father, and
b. of the Redeemer to believers
c. the announcement of the Holy Ghost as the Comforter;
d. the prominence given to love as an element in the Christian
e. It was obviously addressed primarily to Christians.
f. It was probably written at Ephesus, which, after the
destruction of Jerusalem (A.D. 70) became the centre of
Christian life and activity in the East, about A.D. 90