Johannine Tribune

The Gospel of John

Overview of the Gospel of John

  • Only non-synoptic Gospel
  • Last Gospel written
  • written around AD 90
  • High in Christology
  • Divided into 2 parts
  1. Book of Signs
  2. Book of Glory
  • Audience- Johannine community, Jewish Christians
  • Constant imagery of light and darkness

Flying High

  • High Christology
  • Symbolic animal- eagle
  • John's symbolic animal is the only animal not land bound in the Gospels because it is symbolic of its Gospel's high Christology
  • Eagle symbolizes emphasis on Jesus' divinity throughout this Gospel
  • Jesus is always in control
  • He sits on the judgement seat, while Pilate appears confused.
  • He knows he has a job to do and intends to do it.
  • There is no agony in the garden
  • His last words on the cross are, "It is finished." He has done what he was supposed to do.
Why such high Christology?
  • John's audience, the Johannine community, was a group of Jewish Christians. who were strongly influenced by John the Apostle.
  • The author of John thought they focused too much on the humanity of Jesus and not enough on his divinity.
  • Therefore, the author wrote the Gospel using high Christology to emphasize his divinity to the community.

The 7 Signs

  • These are the miracles that Jesus performs to prove he is the Son of God
  • All these signs withhold a deeper, allegorical meaning

  1. Wedding at Cana (John 2:1-12)
  2. Restoring the Health of the royal Official's Son (John 4: 46-54)
  3. Curing on the Sabbath (John 5: 1-18)
  4. Multiplying the Loaves (John 6: 1-15)
  5. Walking on Water (John 6: 16-21)
  6. Healing the Man Born Blind (John 9: 1-12)
  7. Raising Lazarus (John 11: 1-44)

  • The signs that are bold are not seen in any other Gospel


  • Jesus makes 7 "I AM" statements throughout this Gospel

  1. "I am the bread of life."
  2. "I am the good shepherd."
  3. "I am the vine."
  4. "I am the way, the truth, and the life."
  5. "I am the light of the world."
  6. "I am the gate."
  7. "I am the Resurrection and the Life."

  • These statements equate Jesus with God because it is the title of God given to Moses
  • Contributes to the high Christology of John's Gospel

Lamb of God... BAAAA

  • John uses the image of Jesus as the Lamb of God
  • Jesus is crucified the day before Passover, and acts as the Passover lamb
  • He is sacrificed, like the lamb, for all of humanity.
  • Jesus' knees are not broken after his death; the legs of the Passover lamb are not to be broken.

The Beloved Disciple

  • Never named, but very close to Jesus.
  • John uses the Beloved Disciple to depict the model disciple.
  • He is always in contrast to Peter.
  • He stood at the foot of the cross and reaches the tomb before Peter.

Works Cited

Senior, Donald. “Reading Guide.” The Catholic Study Bible. New York: Oxford UP, 1990.

Zanzig, Thomas. Jesus of History, Christ of Faith. 3rd ed. Winona, MN: Saint Mary's, 1999. Print.