The Gospel of John Essay

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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
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There are fewer brief,
pithy utterances, but more discourses; but even here some major discourses found
in the Synoptics (e.g. the Olivet Discourse) are not found in John. Although Jesus'.Page 2 Introduction
Second, John includes a fair amount of material of which the Synoptists make
no mention. All of the material in John chapters 2 thru 4, for instance, including His
miraculous transformation of water into wine, His dialogue with Nicodemus and His
ministry in Samaria, find no Synoptic counterpart. Further, the resurrection of
Lazarus, Jesus' frequent visits to Jerusalem, and His extended dialogues or dis-courses
in the Temple and in various synagogues, not to mention much of His private
instruction to His disciples, are all exclusive to the Fourth Gospel.
No less striking are the forcefully presented themes that dominate John but that
are largely absent from the Synoptics. Only in John is Jesus explicitly identified with
God (1:1, 18; 20:28). Here, too, Jesus makes a series of important "I am" statements
which are qualified: I am the light of the world, the resurrection and the life, the good
shepherd, the vine, the living water, the way, the truth and the life. These culminate
in a series of absolute (unqualified) "I AM" statements that are redolent of God
Himself (cf. 6:20; 8:24, 28, 58).…