The Gospel of John

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The Gospel of John

The genius of the Apostle John resides in his ability to penetrate to the theological

foundations that undergird the events of Jesus' life. He reaches to the deeper

baptism and the calling of the Twelve are doubtless presupposed, they are not

actually described. Even themes central to the Synoptics have almost disappeared:

in particular, the kingdom of God or the kingdom of heaven, so much a part of the

preaching of Jesus in the Synoptic Gospels and the central theme of His narrative

parables, is scarcely mentioned as such (cf. 3:3, 5; 18:36).

meaning of the events, to the relationships of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit

in the work of redemption, and to the Trinitarian love for humanity which generated

that work and which seeks through the gospel to bring within that sublime circle of

indwelling love all who respond by faith to Jesus as the great "I AM."

John deals with the same revealed truth as Mathew, Mark, Luke and Paul. But

his way of approaching that truth is different--very different. Like waters from the

same source, Johannine, Pauline and the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark and

Luke) all flow from the same historical Jesus, but flow through different lands,

picking up different textures, and emerge as observably different rivers.

The Johannine river, as a preceptive reader will quickly realize, flows through

a profoundly different world of its own: a world with its own language, its own

symbolism, and its own unique theological view point. The reader who enters this

world senses immediately how different it is from the world of Paul and the Synoptic

Gospels. And thus, a few words are needed to help to guide our way.

First, John's Gospel leaves out a great deal of materia...

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...ius. Rarely in Western literature has form been woven into content, pattern sewn

into meaning, structure forged into theme with greater subtlety or success. The result

is a Gospel of profound paradox that first reveals then resolves itself in absolute

symmetry. To look closely at the major patterns of paradox is to discover how the

literal level of the Gospel fully engenders the meaning and how pattern finally

unravels predication.

The Gospel of John is the most intricately composed, complex and relatively

long opus in the New Testament. The author did not mind, however, breaking his

Gospel up into manageable pieces. Even in the central part of his composition, which

is strictly coherent, he has paid the greatest attention to the individual sequences and

sections. The grand effect of the Fourth Gospel is due to its parts melting into one

continuous whole.

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