Gospel of John

The Gospel of John (Greek: Εὐαγγέλιον κατὰ Ἰωάννην, romanizedEuangélion katà Iōánnēn) is the fourth of the canonical gospels.[1][Notes 1] The work is anonymous, although it identifies an unnamed "disciple whom Jesus loved" as the source of its traditions.[2] It is closely related in style and content to the three Johannine epistles, and most scholars treat the four books, along with the Book of Revelation, as a single corpus of Johannine literature, albeit not from the same author.[3]

The discourses contained in this gospel seem to be concerned with issues of the church–synagogue debate at the time of composition.[4] It is notable that in John, the community appears to define itself primarily in contrast to Judaism, rather than as part of a wider Christian community.[Notes 2] Though Christianity started as a movement within Judaism, it gradually separated from Judaism because of mutual opposition between the two religions.[5]

Composition and setting

John the Evangelist (Rabbula Gospels)
A Syriac Christian rendition of St. John the Evangelist, from the Rabbula Gospels.

Johannine literature

The Gospel of John, the three Johannine epistles, and the Book of Revelation, exhibit marked similarities, although more so between the gospel and the epistles (especially the gospel and 1 John) than between those and Revelation.[6] Most scholars therefore treat the five as a single corpus of Johannine literature, albeit not from the same author.[3]


John contains many characteristics of those writings belonging to the genre of Greco-Roman biography, a) internally; including establishing the origins and ancestry of the author (John 1:1), a focus on the main subject's great words and deeds, a focus on the death of the subject and the subsequent consequences, b) externally; promotion of a particular hero (where non-biographical writings focus on the events surrounding the characters rather than the character himself), the domination of the use of verbs by the subject (in John, 55% of verbs are taken up by Jesus' deeds), the prominence of the final portion of the subject's life (one third of John's Gospel is taken up by the last week of Jesus' life, comparable to 26% of Tacitus's Agricola and 37% of Xenophon's Agesilaus), the reference to the main subject in the beginning of the text, etc.[7]


The gospel of John went through two to three stages, or "editions", before reaching its current form around AD 90–110.[8][9] It speaks of an unnamed "disciple whom Jesus loved" as the source of its traditions, but does not say specifically that he is its author.[2] Christian tradition identifies this disciple as the apostle John, but for a variety of reasons the majority of scholars have abandoned this view or hold it only tenuously.[10][Notes 3]


The scholarly consensus in the second half of the 20th century was that John was independent of the synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke), but this agreement broke down in the last decade of the century and there are now many who believe that John did know some version of Mark and possibly Luke, as he shares with them some items of vocabulary and clusters of incidents arranged in the same order.[11][12] Key terms from the synoptics, however, are absent or nearly so, implying that if the author did know those gospels he felt free to write independently.[12]

Many incidents in John, such as the wedding in Cana and the encounter with the Samaritan woman at the well, are not paralleled in the synoptics, and most scholars believe he drew these from an independent source called the "signs gospel", and the speeches of Jesus from a second "discourse" source.[13][12] Most scholars agree that the prologue to John employs an early hymn.[14]

The gospel makes extensive use of the Jewish scriptures.[13] John quotes from them directly, references important figures from them, and uses narratives from them as the basis for several of the discourses. But the author was also familiar with non-Jewish sources: the Logos of the prologue (the Word that is with God from the beginning of creation) derives from both the Jewish concept of Lady Wisdom and from the Greek philosophers, while John 6 alludes not only to the exodus but also to Greco-Roman mystery cults, while John 4 alludes to Samaritan messianic beliefs.[15]

Structure and content

Christ Taking Leave of the Apostles
Jesus giving the Farewell Discourse to his 11 remaining disciples, from the Maestà of Duccio, 1308–1311.

The majority of scholars see four sections in this gospel: a prologue (1:1–18); an account of the ministry, often called the "Book of Signs" (1:19–12:50); the account of Jesus' final night with his disciples and the passion and resurrection, sometimes called the "book of glory" (13:1–20:31); and an epilogue which did not form part of the original text (Chapter 21).[16][17]

  • The prologue informs readers of the true identity of Jesus: he is the Word of God through whom the world was created and who took on human form.[18] John 1:10–12 outlines the story to follow: Jesus came to the Jews and the Jews rejected him, but "to all who received him (the circle of Christian believers), who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God."[19]
  • Jesus is baptised, calls his disciples, and begins his earthly ministry.[20] He travels from place to place informing his hearers about God the Father, offering eternal life to all who will believe, and performing miracles which are signs of the authenticity of his teachings.[20][21] This creates tensions with the religious authorities (manifested as early as 5:17–18), who decide that he must be eliminated.[20]
  • Jesus prepares the disciples for their coming lives without his physical presence, and prays for them and for himself.[21] The scene is thus prepared for the narrative of his passion, death and resurrection. The section ends with a conclusion on the purpose of the gospel: "that [the reader] may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in his name."[22]
  • Chapter 21 tells of Jesus' post-resurrection appearance to his disciples in Galilee, the miraculous catch of fish, the prophecy of the crucifixion of Peter, the restoration of Peter, and the fate of the Beloved Disciple.[22]

The structure is highly schematic: there are seven "signs" culminating in the raising of Lazarus (foreshadowing the resurrection of Jesus), and seven "I am" sayings and discourses, culminating in Thomas's proclamation of the risen Jesus as "my Lord and my God" (the same title, dominus et deus, claimed by the Emperor Domitian, an indication of the date of composition).[23]


P52 recto
The Rylands Papyrus the oldest known New Testament fragment, dated from its handwriting to about 125.


John's "high Christology" depicts Jesus as divine, preexistent, and identified with the one God,[24] talking openly about his divine role and echoing Yahweh's "I Am that I Am" with seven "I Am" declarations of his own.[Notes 4]


In the prologue, John identifies Jesus as the Logos (Word). In Ancient Greek philosophy, the term logos meant the principle of cosmic reason. In this sense, it was similar to the Hebrew concept of Wisdom, God's companion and intimate helper in creation. The Hellenistic Jewish philosopher Philo merged these two themes when he described the Logos as God's creator of and mediator with the material world. The evangelist adapted Philo's description of the Logos, applying it to Jesus, the incarnation of the Logos.[25]


The portrayal of Jesus' death in John is unique among the four Gospels. It does not appear to rely on the kinds of atonement theology indicative of vicarious sacrifice (cf. Mk 10:45, Rom 3:25) but rather presents the death of Jesus as his glorification and return to the Father. Likewise, the three "passion predictions" of the Synoptic Gospels (Mk 8:31, 9:31, 10:33–34 and pars.) are replaced instead in John with three instances of Jesus explaining how he will be exalted or "lifted up"(Jn 3:14, 8:28, 12:32). The verb for "lifted up" reflects the double entendre at work in John's theology of the cross, for Jesus is both physically elevated from the earth at the crucifixion but also, at the same time, exalted and glorified.[26]


Among the most controversial areas of interpretation of John is its sacramental theology. Scholars' views have fallen along a wide spectrum ranging from anti-sacramental and non-sacramental, to sacramental, to ultra-sacramental and hyper-sacramental. Scholars disagree both on whether and how frequently John refers to the sacraments at all, and on the degree of importance he places upon them. Individual scholars' answers to one of these questions do not always correspond to their answer to the other.[27]

Frequency of allusion

According to Rudolf Bultmann, there are three sacramental allusions: one to baptism (3:5), one to the Eucharist (6:51–58), and one to both (19:34). He believed these passages to be later interpolations, though most scholars now reject this assessment. Some scholars on the weaker-sacramental side of the spectrum deny that there are any sacramental allusions in these passages or in the gospel as a whole, while others see sacramental symbolism applied to other subjects in these and other passages. Oscar Cullmann and Bruce Vawter, a Protestant and a Catholic respectively, and both on the stronger-sacramental end of the spectrum, have found sacramental allusions in most chapters. Cullmann found references to baptism and the Eucharist throughout the gospel, and Vawter found additional references to matrimony in 2:1–11, anointing of the sick in 12:1–11, and penance in 20:22–23. Towards the center of the spectrum, Raymond Brown is more cautious than Cullmann and Vawter but more lenient than Bultmann and his school, identifying several passages as containing sacramental allusions and rating them according to his assessment of their degree of certainty.[27]

Importance to the evangelist

Most scholars on the stronger-sacramental end of the spectrum assess the sacraments as being of great importance to the evangelist. However, some scholars who find fewer sacramental references, such as Udo Schnelle, view the references that they find as highly important as well. Schnelle in particular views John's sacramentalism as a counter to Docetist anti-sacramentalism. On the other hand, though he agrees that there are anti-Docetic passages, James Dunn views the absence of a Eucharistic institution narrative as evidence for an anti-sacramentalism in John, meant to warn against a conception of eternal life as dependent on physical ritual.[27]


In comparison to the synoptic gospels, the Fourth Gospel is markedly individualistic, in the sense that it places emphasis more on the individual's relation to Jesus than on the corporate nature of the Church.[27][28] This is largely accomplished through the consistently singular grammatical structure of various aphoristic sayings of Jesus throughout the gospel.[27][Notes 5] According to Richard Bauckham, emphasis on believers coming into a new group upon their conversion is conspicuously absent from John.[27] There is also a theme of "personal coinherence", that is, the intimate personal relationship between the believer and Jesus in which the believer "abides" in Jesus and Jesus in the believer.[28][27][Notes 6] According to C. F. D. Moule, the individualistic tendencies of the Fourth Gospel could potentially give rise to a realized eschatology achieved on the level of the individual believer; this realized eschatology is not, however, to replace "orthodox", futurist eschatological expectations, but is to be "only [their] correlative."[29] Some have argued that the Beloved Disciple is meant to be all followers of Jesus, inviting all into such a personal relationship with Christ. Beyond this, the emphasis on the individual's relationship with Jesus in the Gospel has suggested its usefulness for contemplation on the life of Christ.[30]

John the Baptist

John's account of the Baptist is different from that of the synoptic gospels. In this gospel, John is not called "the Baptist."[31] The Baptist's ministry overlaps with that of Jesus; his baptism of Jesus is not explicitly mentioned, but his witness to Jesus is unambiguous.[31] The evangelist almost certainly knew the story of John's baptism of Jesus and he makes a vital theological use of it.[32] He subordinates the Baptist to Jesus, perhaps in response to members of the Baptist's sect who regarded the Jesus movement as an offshoot of their movement.[33]

In John's gospel, Jesus and his disciples go to Judea early in Jesus' ministry before John the Baptist was imprisoned and executed by Herod. He leads a ministry of baptism larger than John's own. The Jesus Seminar rated this account as black, containing no historically accurate information.[34] According to the biblical historians at the Jesus Seminar, John likely had a larger presence in the public mind than Jesus.[35]


In the first half of the 20th century, many scholars, primarily including Rudolph Bultmann, have forcefully argued that the Gospel of John has elements in common with Gnosticism.[33] Christian Gnosticism did not fully develop until the mid-2nd century, and so 2nd-century Proto-Orthodox Christians concentrated much effort in examining and refuting it.[36] To say John's gospel contained elements of Gnosticism is to assume that Gnosticism had developed to a level that required the author to respond to it.[37] Bultmann, for example, argued that the opening theme of the Gospel of John, the pre-existing Logos, along with John's duality of light versus darkness in his Gospel were originally Gnostic themes that John adopted. Other scholars, e.g. Raymond E. Brown have argued that the pre-existing Logos theme arises from the more ancient Jewish writings in the eighth chapter of the Book of Proverbs, and was fully developed as a theme in Hellenistic Judaism by Philo Judaeus.[38] The discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls at Qumran verified the Jewish nature of these concepts.[39] April DeConick has suggested reading John 8:56 in support of a Gnostic theology,[40] however recent scholarship has cast doubt on her reading.[41]

Gnostics read John but interpreted it differently from the way non-Gnostics did.[42] Gnosticism taught that salvation came from gnosis, secret knowledge, and Gnostics did not see Jesus as a savior but a revealer of knowledge.[43] Barnabas Lindars asserts that the gospel teaches that salvation can only be achieved through revealed wisdom, specifically belief in (literally belief into) Jesus.[44]

Raymond Brown contends that "The Johannine picture of a savior who came from an alien world above, who said that neither he nor those who accepted him were of this world,[45] and who promised to return to take them to a heavenly dwelling[46] could be fitted into the gnostic world picture (even if God's love for the world in 3:16 could not)."[47] It has been suggested that similarities between John's gospel and Gnosticism may spring from common roots in Jewish Apocalyptic literature.[48]

Comparison with other writings

The Gospel of John is significantly different from the synoptic gospels, with major variations in material, theological emphasis, chronology, and literary style.[49] There are also some discrepancies between John and the Synoptics, some amounting to contradictions.[49] The gospel forms the core of an emerging canon of Johannine works, the Johannine corpus, consisting of the gospel, the three Johannine letters, and the Apocalypse, all coming from the same theological background and opposed to the "Petrine corpus."


John lacks scenes from the Synoptics such as Jesus' baptism,[50] the calling of the Twelve, exorcisms, parables, the Transfiguration, and the Last Supper. Conversely, it includes scenes not found in the Synoptics, including Jesus turning water into wine at the wedding at Cana, the resurrection of Lazarus, Jesus washing the feet of his disciples, and multiple visits to Jerusalem.[49]

In the fourth gospel, Jesus' mother Mary, while frequently mentioned, is never identified by name.[51][52] John does assert that Jesus was known as the "son of Joseph" in 6:42. For John, Jesus' town of origin is irrelevant, for he comes from beyond this world, from God the Father.[53]

While John makes no direct mention of Jesus' baptism,[50][49] he does quote John the Baptist's description of the descent of the Holy Spirit as a dove, as happens at Jesus' baptism in the Synoptics. Major synoptic speeches of Jesus are absent, including the Sermon on the Mount and the Olivet Discourse,[54] and the exorcisms of demons are never mentioned as in the Synoptics.[50][55] John never lists all of the Twelve Disciples and names at least one disciple, Nathanael, whose name is not found in the Synoptics. Thomas is given a personality beyond a mere name, described as "Doubting Thomas".[56]

Theological emphasis

Jesus is identified with the Word ("Logos"), and the Word is identified with theos ("god" in Greek);[57] no such identification is made in the Synoptics.[58] In Mark, Jesus urges his disciples to keep his divinity secret, but in John he is very open in discussing it, even referring to himself as "I AM", the title God gives himself in Exodus at his self-revelation to Moses. In the Synoptics, the chief theme is the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Heaven (the latter specifically in Matthew), while John's theme is Jesus as the source of eternal life and the Kingdom is only mentioned twice.[49][55] In contrast to the synoptic expectation of the Kingdom (using the term parousia, meaning "coming"), John presents a more individualistic, realized eschatology.[59][60][Notes 7]


In the Synoptics, the ministry of Jesus takes a single year, but in John it takes three, as evidenced by references to three Passovers. Events are not all in the same order: the date of the crucifixion is different, as is the time of Jesus' anointing in Bethany and the cleansing of the temple occurs in the beginning of Jesus' ministry rather than near its end.[49]

Literary style

In the Synoptics, quotations from Jesus are usually in the form of short, pithy sayings; in John, longer quotations are often given. The vocabulary is also different, and filled with theological import: in John, Jesus does not work "miracles" (Greek: δῠνάμεις, romanizeddynámeis, sing. δύνᾰμῐς, dýnamis), but "signs" (Greek: σημεῖᾰ, romanized: sēmeia, sing. σημεῖον, sēmeion) which unveil his divine identity.[49] Most scholars consider John not to contain any parables.[62] Rather it contains metaphorical stories or allegories, such as those of the Good Shepherd and of the True Vine, in which each individual element corresponds to a specific person, group, or thing. Other scholars consider stories like the childbearing woman (16:21) or the dying grain (12:24) to be parables.[Notes 8]


According to the Synoptics, the arrest of Jesus was a reaction to the cleansing of the temple, while according to John it was triggered by the raising of Lazarus.[49] The Pharisees, portrayed as more uniformly legalistic and opposed to Jesus in the synoptic gospels, are instead portrayed as sharply divided; they debate frequently in John's accounts. Some, such as Nicodemus, even go so far as to be at least partially sympathetic to Jesus. This is believed to be a more accurate historical depiction of the Pharisees, who made debate one of the tenets of their system of belief.[63]

Historical reliability

The teachings of Jesus found in the synoptic gospels are very different from those recorded in John, and since the 19th century scholars have almost unanimously accepted that these Johannine discourses are less likely than the synoptic parables to be historical, and were likely written for theological purposes.[64] By the same token, scholars usually agree that John is not entirely without historical value: certain sayings in John are as old or older than their synoptic counterparts, his representation of the topography around Jerusalem is often superior to that of the synoptics, his testimony that Jesus was executed before, rather than on, Passover, might well be more accurate, and his presentation of Jesus in the garden and the prior meeting held by the Jewish authorities are possibly more historically plausible than their synoptic parallels.[65]


The last chapter by J. Doyle Penrose (1902)
Bede translating the Gospel of John on his deathbed, by James Doyle Penrose, 1902.

The gospel has been depicted in live narrations and dramatized in productions, skits, plays, and Passion Plays, as well as in film. The most recent such portrayal is the 2014 film The Gospel of John, directed by David Batty and narrated by David Harewood and Brian Cox, with Selva Rasalingam as Jesus. The 2003 film The Gospel of John, was directed by Philip Saville, narrated by Christopher Plummer, with Henry Ian Cusick as Jesus.

Parts of the gospel have been set to music. One such setting is Steve Warner's power anthem "Come and See", written for the 20th anniversary of the Alliance for Catholic Education and including lyrical fragments taken from the Book of Signs. Additionally, some composers have made settings of the Passion as portrayed in the gospel, most notably the one composed by Johann Sebastian Bach, although some verses are borrowed from Matthew.

See also



  1. ^ Also called the Gospel of John, the Fourth Gospel, or simply John.
  2. ^ Chilton & Neusner 2006, p. 5: "by their own word what they (the writers of the New Testament) set forth in the New Testament must qualify as a Judaism. ... [T]o distinguish between the religious world of the New Testament and an alien Judaism denies the authors of the New Testament books their most fiercely held claim and renders incomprehensible much of what they said."
  3. ^ For the circumstances which led to the formation of the tradition, and the reasons why the majority of modern scholars reject it, see Lindars, Edwards & Court 2000, pp. 41–42
  4. ^ [25]
  5. ^ Bauckham (2015) contrasts John's consistent use of the third person singular ("The one who ..."; "If anyone ..."; "Everyone who ..."; "Whoever ..."; "No one ...") with the alternative third person plural constructions he could have used instead ("Those who ..."; ""All those who ..."; etc.). He also notes that the sole exception occurs in the prologue, serving a narrative purpose, whereas the later aphorisms serve a "paraenetic function".
  6. ^ See John 6:56, 10:14–15, 10:38, and 14:10, 17, 20, and 23.
  7. ^ Realized eschatology is a Christian eschatological theory popularized by C. H. Dodd (1884–1973). It holds that the eschatological passages in the New Testament do not refer to future events, but instead to the ministry of Jesus and his lasting legacy.[61] In other words, it holds that Christian eschatological expectations have already been realized or fulfilled.
  8. ^ See Zimmermann 2015, pp. 333–60.


  1. ^ Burkett 2002, p. 215.
  2. ^ a b Burkett 2002, p. 214.
  3. ^ a b Harris 2006, p. 479.
  4. ^ Lindars 1990, p. 53.
  5. ^ Lindars 1990, p. 59.
  6. ^ Van der Watt 2008, p. 1.
  7. ^ Kostenberger, Andreas "The Genre of the Fourth Gospel and Greco-Roman Literary Conventions," in Porter, Stanley E., and Andrew W. Pitts, eds. Christian Origins and Greco-Roman Culture: Social and Literary Contexts for the New Testament. Vol. 1. Brill, 2012, 445–463, esp. 449.
  8. ^ Edwards 2015, p. ix.
  9. ^ Lincoln 2005, p. 18.
  10. ^ Lindars, Edwards & Court 2000, p. 41.
  11. ^ Lincoln 2005, pp. 29–30.
  12. ^ a b c Fredriksen 2008, p. unpaginated.
  13. ^ a b Reinhartz 2011, p. 168.
  14. ^ Perkins 1993, p. 109.
  15. ^ Reinhartz 2011, p. 171. See also: Jonathan Bourgel, " John 4:4–42: Defining A Modus Vivendi Between Jews And The Samaritans", Journal of Theological Studies 69 (2018), pp. 39–65 (https://www.academia.edu/37029909/Bourgel_-_JTS_-_John_4_4-42_The_terms_of_a_modus_vivendi_between_Jews_and_the_Samaritans)..
  16. ^ Moloney 1998, p. 23.
  17. ^ Bauckham 2007, p. 271.
  18. ^ Aune 2003, p. 245.
  19. ^ Aune 2003, p. 246.
  20. ^ a b c Van der Watt 2008, p. 10.
  21. ^ a b Kruse 2004, p. 17.
  22. ^ a b Edwards 2015, p. 171.
  23. ^ Witherington 2004, p. 83.
  24. ^ Hurtado 2005, p. 51.
  25. ^ a b Harris 2006, pp. 302–10.
  26. ^ Robert Kysar, "John: The Maverick Gospel" (Louisville: Westminster John Knox), 1976, pp. 49–54
  27. ^ a b c d e f g Bauckham 2015.
  28. ^ a b Moule 1962, p. 172.
  29. ^ Moule 1962, p. 174.
  30. ^ Shea, SJ, Henry J. (Summer 2017). "The Beloved Disciple and the Spiritual Exercises". Studies in the Spirituality of Jesuits. 49 (2).
  31. ^ a b Cross & Livingstone 2005.
  32. ^ Barrett 1978, p. 16.
  33. ^ a b Harris 2006.
  34. ^ Funk & Jesus Seminar 1998, pp. 365–440.
  35. ^ Funk & Jesus Seminar 1998, p. 268.
  36. ^ Olson 1999, p. 36.
  37. ^ Kysar 2005, pp. 88ff.
  38. ^ Brown 1997.
  39. ^ Charlesworth, James H. "The Historical Jesus in the Fourth Gospel: A Paradigm Shift?." Journal for the Study of the Historical Jesus 8.1 (2010): 42
  40. ^ DeConick, April D. "Who is Hiding in the Gospel of John? Reconceptualizing Johannine Theology and the Roots of Gnosticism." in Histories of the Hidden God: Concealment and Revelation in Western Gnostic, Esoteric, and Mystical Traditions. (2013) 13–29.
  41. ^ Llewelyn, Stephen Robert, Alexandra Robinson, and Blake Edward Wassell. "Does John 8:44 Imply That the Devil Has a Father?: Contesting the Pro-Gnostic Reading." Novum Testamentum 60.1 (2018): 14–23.
  42. ^ Most 2005, pp. 121ff.
  43. ^ Skarsaune 2008, pp. 247ff.
  44. ^ Lindars 1990, p. 62.
  45. ^ John 17:14
  46. ^ John 14:2–3
  47. ^ Brown 1997, p. 375.
  48. ^ Kovacs 1995.
  49. ^ a b c d e f g h Burge 2014, pp. 236–37.
  50. ^ a b c Funk, Hoover & Jesus Seminar 1993, pp. 1–30.
  51. ^ Williamson 2004, p. 265.
  52. ^ Michaels 1971, p. 733.
  53. ^ Fredriksen 2008.
  54. ^ Pagels 2003.
  55. ^ a b Thompson 2006, p. 184.
  56. ^ Walvoord, John F. (1985). The Bible Knowledge Commentary. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books. p. 313.
  57. ^ Ehrman 2005.
  58. ^ Carson, D. A. (1991). The Pillar New Testament Commentary: The Gospel According to John. Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eardmans Publishing Co. p. 117.
  59. ^ Moule 1962, pp. 172–74.
  60. ^ Sander 2015.
  61. ^ Ladd & Hagner 1993, p. 56.
  62. ^ Barry 1911.
  63. ^ Neusner 2003, p. 8.
  64. ^ Sanders 1995, pp. 57, 70–71.
  65. ^ Theissen & Merz 1998, pp. 36–37.


External links

Online translations of the Gospel of John:

Gospel of John
Preceded by
Gospel of
New Testament
Books of the Bible
Succeeded by
of the Apostles
Book of Signs

In Christianity, the Book of Signs refers to the first main section of the Gospel of John, following the Hymn to the Word and preceding the Book of Glory. It is named for seven notable events, often called "signs" or "miracles", that it records.


For the Spanish saint, see Emeterius and Celedonius.

Celidonius is the traditional name ascribed to the man born blind whom Jesus healed in the Gospel of John 9:1-38. This tradition is attested in both Eastern Christianity and in Catholicism.

One tradition ascribes to St. Celidonius the founding of the Christian church at Nîmes in Gaul (present-day France).

Saint Demetrius of Rostov, in his Great Synaxarion, also mentions that the blind man's name was Celidonius.In the Eastern Orthodox Church, the account of the healing of Celidonius is recounted on the "Sunday of the Blind Man", the Sixth Sunday of Pascha (Easter). Many hymns concerning the healing and its significance are found in the Pentecostarion, a liturgical book used during the Paschal season.

Disciple whom Jesus loved

The phrase "the disciple whom Jesus loved" (Greek: ὁ μαθητὴς ὃν ἠγάπα ὁ Ἰησοῦς, ho mathētēs hon ēgapā ho Iēsous) or, in John 20:2, the disciple beloved of Jesus (Greek: ὃν ἐφίλει ὁ Ἰησοῦς, hon ephilei ho Iēsous) is used six times in the Gospel of John, but in no other New Testament accounts of Jesus. John 21:24 states that the Gospel of John is based on the written testimony of this disciple.

Since the end of the first century, the Beloved Disciple has been commonly identified with John the Evangelist. Scholars have debated the authorship of Johannine literature (the Gospel of John, First, Second, and Third Epistles of John, and the Book of Revelation) since at least the third century, but especially since the Enlightenment. The authorship by John the Apostle is rejected by some modern scholars.

John 21

John 21 is the twenty-first and final chapter of the Gospel of John in the New Testament of the Christian Bible. It contains an account of the resurrection appearance in Galilee, which the text describes as the third time Jesus had appeared to his disciples. In the course of this chapter, there is a miraculous catch of 153 fish, the confirmation of Peter's love for Jesus, a foretelling of Peter's death in old age, and a comment about the beloved disciple's future. New Testament scholars are largely agreed that it was not part of the original text of the Gospel of John.

John the Apostle

John the Apostle (Aramaic: יוחנן שליחא‎ Yohanān Shliḥā; Hebrew: יוחנן בן זבדי Yohanan ben Zavdi; Koine Greek: Ἰωάννης; Coptic: ⲓⲱⲁⲛⲛⲏⲥ or ⲓⲱ̅ⲁ; Latin: Ioannes; c. AD 6 – c. 100) was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus according to the New Testament, which refers to him as Ἰωάννης. Generally listed as the youngest apostle, he was the son of Zebedee and Salome or Joanna. His brother was James, who was another of the Twelve Apostles. The Church Fathers identify him as John the Evangelist, John of Patmos, John the Elder and the Beloved Disciple, and testify that he outlived the remaining apostles and that he was the only one to die of natural causes. The traditions of most Christian denominations have held that John the Apostle is the author of several books of the New Testament.

Lamb of God

Lamb of God (Greek: Ἀμνὸς τοῦ Θεοῦ, Amnos tou Theou; Latin: Agnus Deī [ˈaŋ.nʊs ˈde.iː]) is a title for Jesus that appears in the Gospel of John. It appears at John 1:29, where John the Baptist sees Jesus and exclaims, "Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world."Christian doctrine holds that divine Jesus chose to suffer crucifixion at Calvary as a sign of his full obedience to the will of his divine Father, as an "agent and servant of God" as well as to pick up and carry away the sin of the world. In Christian theology the Lamb of God is viewed as foundational and integral to the message of Christianity.A lion-like lamb that rises to deliver victory after being slain appears several times in the Book of Revelation. It is also referred to in Pauline writings: 1 Corinthians 5:7 suggests that Saint Paul intends to refer to the death of Jesus, who is the Paschal Lamb, using the theme found in Johannine writings. The lamb metaphor is also in line with Psalm 23, which depicts God as a shepherd leading his flock (mankind).

The Lamb of God title is widely used in Christian prayers, and the Agnus Dei is used as a standard part of the Catholic Mass, as well as the classical Western Liturgies of the Anglican and Lutheran Churches. It also is used in liturgy and as a form of contemplative prayer. The Agnus Dei also forms a part of the musical setting for the Mass.

As a visual motif the lamb has been most often represented since the Middle Ages as a standing haloed lamb with a foreleg cocked "holding" a pennant with a red cross on a white ground, though many other ways of representing it have been used.

Marriage at Cana

The transformation of water into wine at the Marriage at Cana or Wedding at Cana is the first miracle attributed to Jesus in the Gospel of John. In the Gospel account, Jesus, his mother and his disciples are invited to a wedding, and when the wine runs out, Jesus delivers a sign of his glory by turning water into wine.

The location of Cana has been subject to the debate of Christ among biblical scholars and archeologists; several villages in Galilee are possible candidates.

Nathanael (follower of Jesus)

Nathanael (Hebrew נתנאל, "God has given") of Cana in Galilee was a follower or disciple of Jesus, mentioned only in the Gospel of John in Chapters 1 and 21.


Nicodemus (; Greek: Νικόδημος) was a Pharisee and a member of the Sanhedrin mentioned in three places in the Gospel of John:

He first visits Jesus one night to discuss Jesus' teachings (John 3:1–21).

The second time Nicodemus is mentioned, he reminds his colleagues in the Sanhedrin that the law requires that a person be heard before being judged (John 7:50–51).

Finally, Nicodemus appears after the Crucifixion of Jesus to provide the customary embalming spices, and assists Joseph of Arimathea in preparing the body of Jesus for burial (John 19:39–42).An apocryphal work under his name—the Gospel of Nicodemus—was produced in the mid-4th century, and is mostly a reworking of the earlier Acts of Pilate, which recounts the Harrowing of Hell.

Although there is no clear source of information about Nicodemus outside the Gospel of John, the Jewish Encyclopedia and some historians have speculated that he could be identical to Nicodemus ben Gurion, mentioned in the Talmud as a wealthy and popular holy man reputed to have had miraculous powers. Others point out that the biblical Nicodemus is likely an older man at the time of his conversation with Jesus, while Nicodemus ben Gurion was on the scene 40 years later, at the time of the Jewish War.

Nicodemus ben Gurion

Nicodemus ben Gurion (Hebrew: נקדימון בן גוריון Nakdimon ben Gurion) was a wealthy Jewish man who lived in Jerusalem in the 1st century CE. He is believed by some to be identical to the Nicodemus mentioned in the Gospel of John. Elsewhere he is discussed in Josephus' history, The Jewish War, and later, rabbinic works: Lamentations Rabbah, Ecclesiastes Rabbah, the Babylonian Talmud, and Avot of Rabbi Natan.Ben Gurion means "son of Gurion" in Hebrew and his real name was apparently Buni or Bunai. He acquired the nickname Nicodemus, meaning "conqueror of the people" (from νίκη and δῆμος), or alternate semitic etymology Naqdimon, because of a miraculous answer to a prayer he made.Nicodemus appears to have been a wealthy and respected figure, known for his holiness and generosity. He was an opponent of the Zealots and of the rebellion against Rome which led to the destruction of Jerusalem.When Vespasian became emperor, Nicodemus sought peace with the emperor's son Titus, who was conducting the war. He agitated against the prosecution of the war by the Zealots. In retaliation, they destroyed the stores of provisions that he and his friends had accumulated for the use of pilgrims.

Papyrus 119

Papyrus 119 (in the Gregory-Aland numbering), designated by 119, is an early copy of a small part of the New Testament in Greek found among the Oxyrhynchus Papyri. It is a manuscript of the Gospel of John.

Papyrus 28

Papyrus 28 (in the Gregory-Aland numbering), designated by 𝔓28, is an early copy of the New Testament in Greek. It is a papyrus manuscript of the Gospel of John, it contains only one leaf with the text of the Gospel of John 6:8-12.17-22. The manuscript paleographically has been assigned to the late 3rd century.

Papyrus 59

Papyrus 59 (in the Gregory-Aland numbering), signed by 59, is a copy of the New Testament in Greek. It is a papyrus manuscript of the Gospel of John. The manuscript has been palaeographically assigned to the seventh century.


Gospel of John 1:; 2:15-16; 11:40-52; 12:; 17:24-26; 18:1-2.16-17.22; 21:7.12-13.15.17-20.23.


The Greek text of this codex is a mixed text-type. Aland placed it in Category III.


It is currently housed at the Morgan Library & Museum (P. Colt 3) in New York City.

Papyrus 63

Papyrus 63 (in the Gregory-Aland numbering), designated by 63, is a copy of the New Testament in Greek. It is a papyrus manuscript of the Gospel of John. The surviving text of John are verses 3:14-18; 4:9-10. The manuscript paleographically had been assigned to the 4th century (or 5th century).

Papyrus 66

Papyrus 66 (also referred to as 66) is a near complete codex of the Gospel of John, and part of the collection known as the Bodmer Papyri.

Raising of Lazarus

The raising of Lazarus or the resuscitation of Lazarus is a miracle of Jesus recounted only in the Gospel of John (John 11:1–44) in which Jesus brings Lazarus of Bethany back to life four days after his burial. In John, this is the last of the miracles that Jesus performs before the Passion and his own resurrection.

Return of Jesus to Galilee

The Return of Jesus to Galilee is an episode in the life of Jesus which appears in three of the Canonical Gospels: Matthew 4:12, Mark 1:14 and John 4:1-3, 4:43-45. It relates the return of Jesus to Galilee upon the imprisonment of John the Baptist.

Samaritan woman at the well

The Samaritan woman at the well is a figure from the Gospel of John, in John 4:4–26. In Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic traditions, she is venerated as a saint with the name Photine (also Photini, Photina, meaning "the luminous one" from φως, "light").

Life events
New Testament
Books of the Bible
See also
Gospel of John
"I AM" sayings

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