Sunday, January 15, 2012

John's Gospel - Bible Study

The Gospel according to John 
by Carol Mathner

St. John
from a Carolingian manuscript
c. 820-830

    John, the Beloved Disciple of our Lord is the author of the Fourth Gospel. John is the only gospel writer who claims his gospel is based on eyewitness accounts (Jn 21:24) of Jesus' life. John's Gospel has a literary and symbolic style of writing that many early church leaders, such as St Irenaeus and St Clement of Alexandria (early 2nd century), felt John is best to be called  the first theologian. It is because of this writing style it is not considered a Synoptic Gospel like Matthew, Mark and Luke. The three synoptic gospels give a general view or summary (a synopsis) of Jesus' life.
    There is more than just the writing style that is different between John and the synoptic gospels. In the synoptic gospels, Jesus only goes to Jerusalem once, for the Passover and His crucifixion. John has Jesus present in Jerusalem  three times. Jn 2:13, 6:4, 11:55. Certainly such a devote Jew as Jesus was he would go to the temple in Jerusalem each Passover.This gives rise to the idea that Jesus' ministry lasted  three years. The stories of Raising Lazarus, the Washing of Feet at the Last Supper, of Jesus' side being pierced (on the cross) are only found in John.
    John show's Jesus' divine nature in his gospel. "He was in the beginning with God" 1:3. "all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father....I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes in the one who sent me has eternal life." 5:23a,24.  "I am the bread of life."  6:35.
    The Wednesday Night Bible Group will be beginning to study the Gospel according to John this coming Wednesday night at 7 pm in the Faculty Lunch Room. You are invtied to join us! Please use the Eggert Road parking lot and door number 5. The Faculty Lunch Room is downstairs at the end of the cafeteria. Mind you, the above is a  brief summary of John's Gospel. One to two chapters will be discussed each night.  All are welcome to learn more about this very special gospel (even if  your schedule permits stopping by once or twice...or more).