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  Copyright © 2001 Jeanie C. Crain
Last modified: March, 2002

Nelson    The Seeker Home Page  Oxford Annnotated

D. Suggested Outline.  Oxford Bible Commentaries. Published in the United States
by Oxford University Press Inc., New York

© Oxford University Press 2001

Prologue: The Word became Flesh and Revealed the Father (1:1–18)

First Book: Jesus Reveals his Glory to this World (1:19–12:50)

1:19–3:21: First geographical grouping:

The Baptist’s Testimony (1:19–34)

Jesus’ First Disciples (1:35–51)

The First Sign at the Wedding in Cana (2:1–12)

Temple Cleansing in Jerusalem (2:13–25)

Dialogue with Nicodemus (3:1–21)

3:22–5:47: Second geographical grouping:

The Baptist’s Last Testimony (3:22–30)

Jesus Comes from Above (3:31–6)

Jesus’ Work in Samaria (4:1–42)

The Second Sign at Cana: The Healing of the Royal Official’s Son (4:43–54)

Jesus Heals a Lame Man: He Gives Life to Whom he Wishes (5:1–47)

6:1–10:39: Third geographical grouping:

Jesus Feeds 5,000 and Walks on the Sea: He is the Bread of Life (6:1–71)

Jesus at the Festival of Booths (7:1–8:59)

Jesus Restores Sight to the Blind Man (9:1–41)

Jesus is the Door and the Good Shepherd (10:1–21)

Jesus at the Festival of Dedication (10:22–39)

10:40–21:25: Fourth geographical grouping:

Back across the Jordan (10:40–2)

Jesus who Raises Lazarus Must Himself Die (11:1–54)

Jesus is Anointed and Acclaimed before his Death (11:55–12:36)

Faith and Unbelief (12:37–50)

Second Book: Jesus Reveals the Glory of his Death and Resurrection to the Disciples (13:1–21:25)

Jesus Washes the Feet of his Disciples and Points out the Traitor (13:1–30)

The First Part of the Farewell Discourse (13:31–14:31)

The Second Part of the Farewell Discourse (15:1–16:4a)

The Third Part of the Farewell Discourse (16:4b–33)

Jesus’ Prayer to his Father (17:1–26)

Jesus’ Passion, Death, and Burial (18:1–19:42)

The Risen Christ (20:1–21:25)

 

Part One: The Incarnation of the Son of God (1:1–18)
     I.     The Deity of Christ     1:1, 2
     II.     The Preincarnate Work of Christ     1:3–5
     III.     The Forerunner of Christ     1:6–8
     IV.     The Rejection of Christ     1:9–11
     V.     The Acceptance of Christ     1:12, 13
     VI.     The Incarnation of Christ     1:14–18
Part Two: The Presentation of the Son of God (1:19–4:54)
     I.     The Presentation of Christ by John the Baptist     1:19–34
     A.     John’s Witness to the Priests and Levites     1:19–28
     B.     John’s Witness at Christ’s Baptism     1:29–34
     II.     The Presentation of Christ to John’s Disciples     1:35–51
     A.     Andrew and Peter Follow Christ     1:35–42
     B.     Philip and Nathanael Follow Christ     1:43–51
     III.     The Presentation of Christ in Galilee     2:1–12
     A.     First Sign: Christ Changes Water to Wine     2:1–10
     B.     The Disciples Believe     2:11, 12
     IV.     The Presentation of Christ in Judea     2:13–3:36
     A.     Christ Cleanses the Temple     2:13–25
     B.     Christ Witnesses to Nicodemus     3:1–21
     C.     John the Baptist Witnesses Concerning Christ     3:22–36
     V.     The Presentation of Christ in Samaria     4:1–42
     A.     Christ Witnesses to the Woman at the Well     4:1–26
     B.     Christ Witnesses to the Disciples     4:27–38
     C.     Christ Witnesses to the Samaritans     4:39–42
     VI.     The Presentation of Christ in Galilee     4:43–54
     A.     Christ Is Received by the Galileans     4:43–54
     B.     Second Sign: Christ Heals the Nobleman’s Son     4:46–54
Part Three: The Opposition to the Son of God (5:1–12:50)
     I.     The Opposition at the Feast in Jerusalem     5:1–47
     A.     Third Sign: Christ Heals the Paralytic Man     5:1–9
     B.     Jews Reject Christ     5:10–47
     II.     The Opposition During Passover Time in Galilee     6:1–71
     A.     Fourth Sign: Christ Feeds 5,000     6:1–14
     B.     Fifth Sign: Christ Walks on the Water     6:15–21
     C.     Christ Announces: “I Am the Bread of Life”     6:22–71
     III.     The Opposition at the Feast of Tabernacles in Jerusalem     7:1–10:21
     A.     Before the Feast of Tabernacles     7:1–13
     B.     In the Middle of the Feast of Tabernacles     7:14–36
     C.     In the Last Day of the Feast of Tabernacles     7:37–53
     D.     After the Feast of Tabernacles     8:1–10:21
     IV.     The Opposition at the Feast of Dedication in Jerusalem     10:22–42
     V.     The Opposition at Bethany     11:1–12:11
     A.     Seventh Sign: Christ Raises Lazarus     11:1–44
     B.     The Pharisees Plan to Kill Christ     11:45–57
     C.     Mary Anoints Christ     12:1–11
     VI.     The Opposition at Jerusalem     12:12–50
     A.     The Triumphal Entry     12:12–22
     B.     The Messiah Teaches     12:23–50
Part Four: The Preparation of the Disciples
by the Son of God (13:1–17:26)
     I.     The Preparation in the Upper Room     13:1–14:31
     A.     Christ Washes the Disciples’ Feet     13:1–20
     B.     Christ Announces Judas, the Betrayer     13:21–30
     C.     Christ Gives the Upper Room Discourse     13:31–14:31
     II.     The Preparation on the Way to the Garden     15:1–17:26
     A.     Christ Instructs the Disciples     15:1–16:33
     B.     Christ Intercedes with the Father     17:1–26
Part Five: The Crucifixion and Resurrection
of the Son of God (18:1–21:25)
     I.     The Rejection of Christ     18:1–19:16
     A.     The Arrest of Christ     18:1–11
     B.     The Trials of Christ     18:12–19:16
     II.     The Crucifixion of Christ     19:17–37
     A.     Christ’s Crucifixion     19:17, 18
     B.     Pilate’s Inscription     19:19–22
     C.     Soldiers Cast Lots     19:23, 24
     D.     Mary’s Committal     19:25–27
     E.     Christ’s Death     19:28–37
     III.     The Burial of Christ     19:38–42
     IV.     The Resurrection of Christ     20:1–10
     V.     The Appearance of Christ     20:11–21:25
     A.     Christ Appears to Mary Magdalene     20:11–18
     B.     Christ Appears to the Disciples (Thomas Absent)     20:19–25
     C.     Christ Appears to the Disciples (Thomas Present)     20:26–29
     D.     The Purpose of John’s Gospel     20:30, 31
     E.     Christ Appears to the Seven Disciples     21:1–14
     F.     Christ Speaks to Peter     21:15–23
     G.     The Conclusion of John’s Gospel     21:24, 25
Thomas Nelson Publishers. 1996. Nelson's complete book of Bible maps & charts : Old and New Testaments. "Completely revised and updated comfort print edition";Includes indexes. (Rev. and updated ed.). Thomas Nelson: Nashville, Tenn.

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The Gospel of John
by Connie W. Adams


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1. ORIGIN
1. Generally accepted that gospel of John written from Ephesus during the declining years of life of apostle John.
1. It is known that John spent his last years at Ephesus. His exile to Patmos, from which Revelation was written, evidently took place while a resident of Ephesus. He was well known to the churches of Asia.
2. Quotations and allusions to the book appear very early as evidence of the ready acceptance among the churches.
2. While some have questioned the authorship, the evidence is strong that John the apostle wrote it.
1. In addition to early acceptance and quotations, from Irenaeus (A.D. 180) on the evidence mounts. Importance of his testimony - he was a pupil of Polycarp, and Polycarp was a friend of the apostle John.
2. John Rylands Papyrus - In 1920 Grenfell acquired some papyri from the John Rylands Library of Manchester, England, among which C.H. Roberts discovered a fragment of five verses from John 18. The writing has been clearly assigned to the first half of the second century. Not only that but Kenyon argues that not only had the gospel of John been written by that date, but had "spread to a provincial town in Egypt." This refutes claim of some critics that gospel was written late in 2nd or perhaps 3rd century.
3. Not only was the book early accepted among churches, but early evidence is abundant that John the apostle was the author.
1. Theophilis of Antioch (170) - "And hence the holy writings teach us, and all spirit-bearing men, one of whom John says, 'In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God.'"
2. Irenaeus (180) - "Afterwards, John, the disciple of the Lord.....did himself publish a Gospel during his residence at Ephesus in Asia."
4. Internal evidence for authorship
1. Author a Jew - great knowledge of OT, application of OT to persons and events (13:18; 17:12; 19:24,28,36,37).
1. Close knowledge of Jewish feasts (notes three passovers from which much help is derived in tracing the chronology of events in life of Jesus (2:13,23; 6:4; 13:1; 18:28), feasts of Tabernacles (7:37), Dedication (10:22).
2. Intricate acquaintance with Jewish customs. Description of wedding feast, even to arrangement of waterpots (2:1-10), burial customs of Jewish people (11:38,44; 19:40), law against leaving bodies on cross on Sabbath (19:31), feeling between Jews and Samaritans (4:9).
2. A Palestinian Jew
1. Knows Jacob's well is deep (4:11), of a descent from Cana to Sea of Galilee (2:12), distinguishes two Bethanys (1:28; 11:18), knows of Aenon, near Salim where there was much water (3:23).
2. In Jerusalem he knows about Kidron (18:1), Bethesda and Siloam (5:2; 9:7), details of the Temple (10:22; 2:20; 8:20), place of the skull (19:17).
3. A contemporary of persons and events narrated
1. Knows opposition of Pharisees (7:45-52; 11:46) and makes distinction of "chief priests and Pharisees" (11:47-53).
2. Writer known to high priest and went into his palace with Jesus (18:15).
3. He alone tells name of servant of high priest whose ear Peter cut off - Malchus (18:10).
4. Controversies with which he deals are first century, not second century - violation of Sabbath (5:9-11; 9:14-16) not an issue in second century.
4. Author was John the apostle - his reports evidence not only an apostle but one on the inner circle of many things.
1. An eyewitness of Jesus (1:14; 19:35; 21:24).
2. Describes emotions and motives of Jesus (2:24; 4:1-3; 6:15; 11:33; 13:1,21; 18:4).
3. Presents opinions or reflections of apostles (2:11,17,22; 12:16).
4. Reports the discourses in Solomon's porch (10:23) and in the Treasury (8:20).
5. Relates the hours when things happened (1:39; 4:6,52; 19:14).
6. Reports things said by Philip (6:7), Andrew (6:9), Thomas (11:16; 14:5) and Judas (14:22).
7. He is the disciple who leaned on Jesus' breast at the Supper (13:23-25), and so one of the three - Peter, James and John; yet, Peter is distinguished from the writer by name (1:41,42; 13:6,8), and James had been killed by Herod (Acts 12:2) by the time of the writing of this book. Conclusion inescapable that John the apostle wrote it.
3. Date - Since John did not get to Ephesus until about the time of destruction of Jerusalem date usually set at 85-90 A.D. (Note: Much of preceding material from Theissen's Introduction to NT)
2. CONTENT
1. General outline

Prologue 1:1-18
Period of Consideration 1:19-4:54
Period of Controversy 5:1-6:71
Period of Conflict 7:1-11:53
Period of Crisis 11:54-12:36a
Period of Conference 12:36b-17:26
Period of Consummation 18:1-20:31
Epilogue 21:1-25

1. John states thesis of book in John 20:30-31 - written to produce evidence that Jesus, the Christ, the Son of God, so that the believer might have life through his name.
1. The plan of the book
1. Presentation of claims of Christ - in relation to God, to Messianic hope, and spiritual needs of man.
2. Evidence which sustains these claims - Human testimony, Divine testimony (the Father, through the works; the miraculous signs; scriptures; resurrection from the dead; the Holy Spirit).
2. The use of miracles - John presents only seven of the miracles of Jesus. They are selected to serve a definite purpose - each miracle showing power of Jesus in a different realm where man has no power.

1. Water into wine 2:1-11 - power over quality
2. Healing Nobleman's son 4:46-54 - power over space
3. Healing of impotent man 5:1-9 - power over time
4. Feeding 5,000 6:1-14 - power over quantity
5. Walking on water 6:16-21 - power over natural law
6. Healing of blind man 9:1-12 - power over misfortune
7. Raising of Lazarus 11:1-46 - power over death

There is a progression indicated by three words in John - sign-belief-life.

1. EMPHASIS
1. Claims of Christ set forth in 7 "I AM"'s.
1. The bread of life (6:35).
2. The light of the world (8:12; 9:5).
3. The door of the sheepfold (10:7).
4. The good shepherd (10:11,14).
5. The resurrection and life (11:25).
6. The way, truth and life (14:6).
7. The true vine (15:1).
2. Personal relation of Jesus stressed - 27 personal interviews given. These show interest of Jesus in the individual.
3. Vocabulary of John unusual - key words - life, light, darkness, work, world, believe, flesh, hour, these either have figurative use or technical one peculiar to John. Other terms used in the abstract (truth, hate, love, know, glorify, witness, abide, etc.) indicate definite phraseology well formed and used by time of writing of book.
4. John emphasizes the deity of Jesus, while yet portraying his humanity.
1. "The Word was God" (1:1)
2. "I and my Father are one" (10:30)
3. "Before Abraham was, I am" (8:58)
4. "He that hath seen me hath seen the Father" (14:9)
5. Thomas - "My Lord and My God" (20:28)
5. But his humanity is also indicated - he was weary (4:6), thirsty (4:7), impatient (6:26), wistful (6:67), sorrowful (11:35), etc.
6. John presents interesting character sketches - Nicodemus, Philip, Thomas, Mary and Martha, Mary, the mother of Jesus. The other gospels also give character sketches but they are the more prominent figures, while John gives both prominent and obscure ones as examples of belief and unbelief. (Much material in this section from Tenney, New Testament Survey)
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Oxford Annotated

The fourth Gospel explains the mystery of the person of Jesus. Like others among his contemporaries, yet also unlike them, he stands above them in unique, solitary grandeur. Whence this uniqueness? The Evangelist takes us behind the scenes of Jesus’ ministry, giving us a glimpse into his eternal origin and divine nature. He was unique because "he was in the beginning with God," active in creation, the source of light and life (John 1.2–4). Hence, when he became incarnate in human flesh, he made known the eternal God, whom "no one has ever seen" (John 1.14; John 1.18).

As do the other Evangelists, the author records real events, but he goes beyond them in interpreting these events. He uses symbolically a number of terms drawn from common experience - bread, water, light, life, word, shepherd, door, way - to make the significance of Christ both clear and gripping. After a magnificent prologue (John 1.1–18) he sets forth Jesus Christ as the object of faith (John 1.19–4.54), depicts Christ’s conflict with unbelievers (John 5–12), his fellowship with believers (John 13–17), his death and resurrection (John 18–20), and concludes with an epilogue (John 21). A large part of the Gospel consists of discourses of Jesus. These discourses are not individual sayings (as in the Synoptic Gospels), nor even collections of sayings (as in the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 5–7); they develop a particular theme. Furthermore, it is characteristic of the Johannine discourses that Jesus is interrupted by questions or objections from the hearers - something that never happens in the other Gospels.

The first half of the fourth Gospel contains accounts of seven miracles of Jesus, though the author knows that Jesus had performed many others as well (John 20.30). John’s word for these wondrous deeds is "signs," because they are here regarded as symbols of Jesus’ teaching or as a revelation of his glory (John 2.11). Their purpose is to evoke faith on the part of those who witness them (John 2.23), beginning with the disciples (John 2.11).

The conflict between Jesus and the Pharisees reported in the Synoptic Gospels is given marked attention in John (for example, John 8.31–59; John 10.19–39), and the expression "the Jews" (which should not be understood as a condemnation of Jews in particular or in general) virtually becomes a technical term for those who reject Jesus. These features no doubt reflect the heightened antagonism that developed in the latter part of the first century between church and synagogue, with mutual recrimination arising.

While the Synoptic Gospels preserve the sayings of Jesus in words closer to their original form, the fourth Evangelist employs more freely his own modes of thought and language in reporting and interpreting the teaching of Jesus. The fact, however, that this Gospel was soon placed side by side with the Synoptics indicates that the early church realized that Jesus’ promise, as reported by John (John 14.26), had been fulfilled, "The Holy Spirit . . . will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you."

Who wrote this Gospel? Tradition says it was the apostle John. Many scholars, however, think that it was composed by a disciple of John who recorded his preaching as Mark did that of Peter. In any case, when the Gospel was published near the close of the first century, the church accepted it as authentic and apostolic testimony to Jesus (John 21.24), written that readers might "come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God," and thus "have life in his name" (John 20.31). (For the literary genre of the gospels, see "Introduction to the Narrative Books.")

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Daniel Wallace

I. Prologue: The Logos as God and Man (1:1-18)

A. The Deity of the Logos (1:1-5)

B. The Humanity of the Logos (1:6-18)

1. The Witness of John (1:6-8)

2. The Light: Rejected and Received (1:9-13)

3. The Incarnation of the Logos (1:14-18)

II. The Son of God’s Manifestation to the Nation: The Book of Signs (1:19–12:50)

A. In (Perea and) Galilee: First Cycle/Initial Ministry (1:19–2:12)

1. The Forerunner’s Testimony (1:19-34)

a. John’s Self-Denial of Being the Christ (1:19-28)

b. John’s Affirmation of Jesus as Elect One of God (1:29-34)

2. The First Disciples (1:35-51)

a. Andrew and Peter (1:35-42)

b. Philip and Nathanael (1:43-51)

3. The First Sign: Water to Wine (2:1-11)

B. In Jerusalem and Judea: First Cycle/Seeking a Sign (2:12–3:36)

1. Cleansing the Temple (2:12-22)

a. The Setting at Passover (2:12-14)

b. The Temple Cleansing (2:15-22)

2. Faith in Man, Faith in Christ (2:23–3:36)

a. Untrusting “Believers” (2:23–3:12)

1) The Statement (2:23-25)

2) The Example: Nicodemus (3:1-12)

b. Faith in Christ: Jesus’ Self-Disclosure (3:13-21)

c. Faith in Christ: John’s Testimony (3:22-36)

C. In Samaria: Gentile Response (4:1-42)

1. The Setting (4:1-3)

2. The Woman at the Well (4:4-38)

a. The Meeting of Jesus and the Woman (4:4-26)

b. The Return of the Disciples (4:27-38)

3. The Response of the Samaritans (4:39-42)

D. In Galilee: Second Cycle/Healing the Official’s Son (Second Sign) (4:43-54)

E. In Jerusalem and Judea: Second Cycle/Sabbath Controversy (5:1-47)

1. The Setting at the Feast (5:1)

2. Healing at the Pool of Bethesda on the Sabbath: Third Sign (5:2-15)

3. The Plot of the Jews (5:16-18)

4. The Response of Jesus (5:19-47)

a. The Giving of Life (5:19-30)

b. The Testimony of the Father (5:31-47)

F. In Galilee: Third Cycle/Signs Given (6:1-71)

1. Two Signs Given (6:1-24)

a. The Feeding of the Five Thousand: A Sign to the Crowds (Fourth Sign) (6:1-15)

b. Walking on the Water: A Sign to the Disciples (Fifth Sign) (6:16-24)

2. The Bread of Life (6:25-59)

a. The Setting (6:25-31)

b. “I Am the Bread of Life” (6:32-59)

1) Comparison with Manna (6:32-51)

2) The Flesh and Blood of the Son of Man (6:52-59)

3. The Desertion of Many Disciples (6:60-71)

G. Ministry in Jerusalem and Judea: Third Cycle/Hostility Peaks (7:1–11:57)52

1. Cycle One: Teaching and Unbelief (7:1–8:59)

a. Transition: Feast of Tabernacles and Plot of the Jews (7:1-9)

b. Teaching in the Temple during the Feast: Round One (7:10-44)

1) The Setting (7:10-14)

2) The Source of Jesus’ Teaching (7:15-36)

a) Instruction by Jesus (7:15-24)

b) Reaction by the Crowd (7:25-36)

3) Offer of Living Water (7:37-44)

a) Instruction by Jesus (7:37-39)

b) Reaction by the Crowd (7:40-44)

c. Unbelief of Jewish Leaders in spite of Teaching (7:45-52)53

d. Teaching in the Temple during the Feast: Round Two (8:12-59)

1) The Validity of Jesus’ Claims: Sent from the Father (8:12-30)

2) Paternity Disputes (8:31-47)

a) Children of Abraham (8:31-41)

b) Children of the Devil (8:42-47)

3) The Nature of Jesus’ Claims (8:48-59)

a) The Promise of Life (8:48-53)

b) The Preexistence of Christ (8:54-59)

2. Cycle Two: Healings and Unbelief (9:1–10:42)

a. Healing a Man Blind from Birth: Sixth Sign (9:1-41)

1) Healing of the Man (9:1-7)

2) Reaction by the Crowd (9:8-12)

3) Investigation by the Pharisees (9:13-34)

a) Theological Argument: Healing on the Sabbath (9:13-16)

b) Testimony of the Formerly Blind Man (9:17-34)

4) Response of Jesus (9:35-41)

b. Teaching: The Good Shepherd (10:1-21)

1) Instruction by Jesus (10:1-18)

2) Reaction by the Jews (10:19-21)

c. Unbelief of Jewish Leaders in spite of Miracles (10:22-39)

1) Setting: Feast of Dedication (10:22-24)

2) Confrontation because of Miracles and Self-Witness (10:25-39)

3. Cycle Three: Raising of Lazarus and Unbelief (10:40–12:50)

a. The Death of Lazarus (10:40–11:37)

1) The Setting (10:40–11:3)

2) Jesus’ Delay and Lazarus’ Death (11:4-16)

3) Inculcating Faith in Mary and Martha (11:17-37)

b. The Raising of Lazarus: Seventh Sign (11:38-44)

c. The Plot to Kill Jesus (11:45-57)

1) The Plot of the Sanhedrin (11:45-53)

2) The Withdrawal of Jesus to Ephraim (11:54-57)

H. In Jerusalem: The Final Manifestation (12:1-50)

1. Preparation: The Anointing at Bethany (12:1-11)

2. The Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem (12:12-19)

a. The Response of the Crowd (12:12-15)

b. The Confusion of the Disciples (12:16)

c. The Catalyst of Lazarus’ Resurrection (12:17-19)

3. The Request of the Greeks to See Jesus (12:20-22)

4. Jesus’ Prediction of his Death (12:23-36)

5. Unbelief of the Jewish Leaders Culminated (12:37-50)

III. The Son of God’s Ministry to His Disciples (13:1–17:26)

A. Jesus Ministering to His Disciples (13:1–16:33)

1. In the Upper Room (13:1–14:31a)

a. The Washing of the Disciples’ Feet (13:1-17)

b. The Prediction of Judas’ Betrayal (13:18-30)

c. The Command to Love One Another (13:31-35)

d. The Prediction of Peter’s Denials (13:36-38)

e. Comfort and Instruction (14:1-31a)

1) The Return of the Son (14:1-4)

2) The Way to the Father (14:5-14)

3) The Sending of the Spirit (14:15-31a)

2. On the Way to Gethsemane: Final Instructions (14:31b–16:33)

a. The Vine and the Branches (15:1-17)

b. The Hatred of the World (15:18–16:4)

c. The Work of the Holy Spirit (16:5-16)

d. The Grief of the Disciples (16:17-33)

B. Jesus Praying for His Disciples (In Gethsemane) (17:1-26)

1. Prayer for Himself: Glory (17:1-5)

2. Prayer for His Disciples: Safety and Unity (17:6-19)

3. Prayer for All Believers: Unity (17:20-26)

IV. The Son of God’s Suffering and Glory (18:1–20:31)

A. The Suffering (18:1–19:42)

1. The Arrest of Jesus (18:1-11)

2. The Trials of Jesus (18:12–19:16)

a. Before the High Priest(s) (18:12-27)

1) Brought to Annas (18:12-14)

2) Peter’s First Denial (18:15-18)

3) Before Annas (18:19-23)

4) Brought to Caiaphas (18:24)

5) Peter’s Second and Third Denials (18:25-27)

b. Before Pilate (18:28–19:16)

1) Innocence of Jesus Affirmed by Pilate (18:28-40)

2) Insistence of Crucifixion by the Crowd (19:1-16)

3. The Death of Jesus (19:17-42)

a. The Crucifixion of Jesus (19:17-27)

b. The Actual Death of Jesus (19:28-37)

1) “It is Finished” (19:28-30)

2) It is Fulfilled (19:31-37)

c. The Burial of Jesus (19:38-42)

D. The Glory (20:1-31)

1. The Empty Tomb (20:1-9)

2. Post-Resurrection Appearances (20:10-29)

a. To Mary Magdalene (20:10-18)

b. To His Disciples (20:19-23)

c. To Thomas (20:24-29)

3. Purpose of the Gospel (20:30-31)

V. Epilogue: The Death of the Apostle Peter (21:1-25)

A. Jesus’ Appearance by the Lake of Tiberias (21:1-14)

B. Jesus’ Reinstatement of Peter (21:15-23)

1. The Threefold Commission of Peter (21:15-17)

2. The Prediction of Peter’s Death (21:18-19)

3. The Ambiguity about John’s Longevity (21:20-23)

C. Commendation of the Gospel by the Ephesian Elders (21:24-25)

http://www.bible.org/docs/soapbox/jnotl.htm

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John's Argument according to Daniel Wallace http://www.bible.org/docs/soapbox/jnotl.htm

In that over 90% of the material in John’s Gospel is unique, not found in the other gospels, the question of sources and how John is using them becomes prominent. It is our contention that John’s Gospel was written at about the same time as Matthew and Luke, for the evangelist shows virtually no awareness of the material found in the other gospels (typically common oral traditions being an exception). But if John did not get his material from these other sources, where did he get it from and why do they not employ it in their gospels? In particular, how is it possible that Luke, who spent two years in Palestine doing research for his Gospel, did not gain access to John’s pre-publication draft?47 It seems either that John’s circle was quite small—hence, the oral traditions generating from him made little impact on the mainstream of the gospel compilers; or else John drastically altered the shape of the material, packaging it for the hellenized audience of Asia Minor. We believe that the truth involves both of these possibilities.48 Our argument will accordingly be shaped by this consideration.

The Gospel of John has four major sections to it: prologue (1:1-18), the Son of God’s manifestation to the nation (or, the “Book of Signs”) (1:19–12:50), the Son of God’s ministry to his disciples (13:1–17:26), and the Son of God’s suffering and glory (18:1–20:31). An epilogue about the death of Peter is added almost as an afterthought (21:1-25). The two largest sections (public manifestation and private ministry) contrast sharply with one another in many ways, not the least of which is in chronological progression (three or four years vs. one night!).

The Gospel opens with a prologue (1:1-18) in which, like Mark, there is no genealogy and no birth narrative. But the reason for this in the Fourth Gospel is that the Son of God has always existed and, in fact, has created all things (1:1-5). His incarnation is mentioned from the divine perspective of why he came to earth (1:6-18; cf. especially vv. 9, 12-13, 17-18), rather than from the human perspective of those who first beheld a newborn babe and wondered what he would become. From the outset, then, John’s Gospel presents Jesus as God’s Son—in fact, as God in the flesh.

After this brief prologue, the largest section of the Gospel, the “Book of Signs,” begins (1:19–12:50). In this section the Son of God performs seven “signs” (John never uses the term “miracle”) as a witness to his authority and identity. In a real sense, this gospel is a legal document, designed especially to prove Christ’s deity. There are witnesses, testimonies, evidence, and signs. At the end of John’s presentation, he turns to the jury with the appeal to believe his evidence (20:30-31. We see this legal argumentation in this second major section especially.

The Book of Signs, though disclosing seven miracles, is best organized geographically. There are eight locales for the manifestation of the Son of God seen here. As Jesus enters a new locale, the twin themes of Gentile response and Jewish hostility to him increase.

Jesus’ ministry begins in Perea and Galilee (1:19–2:11). There John gives his testimony as to Christ’s identity (1:19-34): he is the elect one of God.49 John’s testimony can be trusted because even his own disciples (at least one of them, Andrew, as well as his friends) follow Jesus (1:35-51). And in Cana of Galilee Jesus performs his first sign: changing the water into wine at a wedding (2:1-11). Although this was his first sign, only a handful of people (including his disciples) knew about it. He used the purification jars to perform the act. The significance of this was that there was a new order on the horizon, replacing the old. And whereas the old was related to the law (regulations about purification), the new order was related to the Spirit.

Then, Jesus went up from Galilee to Jerusalem for the Passover (2:12–3:36) and cleanses the temple (2:12-22). There he predicts another sign: he would raise up the temple (of his body) after the Jews destroyed it (2:19-21). While in Jerusalem, it became obvious that people were putting faith in him for the wrong reasons (2:23-25). The signs he was performing were not seen by the crowds as witnessing to Jesus’ true identity, but as a means to an end for their sake: they embraced him as Healer, but not as Savior. One such example was Nicodemus (3:1-12), to whom Jesus makes a self-disclosure (3:13-21).

After the pseudo-reception in Jerusalem, Jesus traveled back to Galilee, going through Samaria en route (4:1-42). There we see the account of Jesus’ conversation with and conversation of the woman at the well. In Samaria, Jesus performed no “sign,” although he did prove himself to be a prophet. Yet, the citizens of Sychar embraced him as “the Savior of the world” (4:42). Several key motifs are seen in this episode, including Gentile (and a sinful woman’s) response to the gospel, “thirst” in a spiritual sense (4:10-14), free access to God without the necessity of the Jewish cult (4:21-24), and the concept of “abiding” (4:40; cf. 15:1-8).

Jesus then returns to Galilee where a second sign is performed, the healing of a royal official’s son (4:43-54). Yet the sign is performed within the context of the Galileans hearing about his feats in Jerusalem. Hence, there was misunderstanding on their part in that, once again, they only wanted Jesus as Healer (4:48), not as Savior.

In Jesus’ second visit to Jerusalem for “a feast of the Jews” (5:1) he gets involved in a Sabbath controversy (5:1-47). It is caused by his healing of a lame man (his third sign) by the pool of Bethesda (5:1-15). Because he performs such an act on the Sabbath, the Jews plot to kill him (5:16-18), which elicits his taking the witness stand (5:31-47). In his defense, he basically argues that work of a redemptive nature is allowed on the Sabbath (5:17, 19-30) and that the Father testifies that Jesus has come for this very purpose (5:31-47).

Chapter six, once again, finds Jesus in Galilee for a third cycle (6:1-71). This time two signs are given: the feeding of the five thousand—a sign given to the public (6:1-15) and Jesus walking on the water—a sign given to Jesus’ disciples (6:16-24). Both signs reveal much about who Jesus is, though the crowds simply wanted to get fed (6:25-27) without recognizing that Jesus was the “Bread of Life” (6:35) who satisfies all spiritual hunger (6:28-40). When he stated the very principle of the substitutionary atonement (“This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world,” 6:51; and “unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you,” 6:53) their animosity grew. Even several of his own disciples left him, not understanding his meaning (6:60-71).

The hostility toward Jesus met its climax when Jesus returned to Judea and Jerusalem for a third time (7:1–11:57)—this time for the Feast of Tabernacles (7:1-11). Although the material here could be organized internally on a geographical scheme, the repetition of the theme of Jewish unbelief after each round of demonstrations of Jesus’ Messiahship, seems to reveal the evangelist’s theology more clearly. There are three distinct cycles in this segment.

The first cycle addresses Jewish unbelief in spite of Jesus’ teaching (7:1–8:59). Because the Jews were plotting to take Jesus’ life, he went to the Feast of Tabernacles secretly (7:1, 11). Then, half-way through the feast, he began teaching publicly in the temple (7:14). The emphasis of his instruction was, again, on a defense that he was from God (7:15-36) and that he was, in fact, God’s Son (8:12-59). He again used metaphors (living water in 7:37-44, light of the world in 8:12) to describe the offer of salvation. In spite of all this, the Jews refused to believe (7:45-52; 8:59).

The second cycle addresses Jewish unbelief in spite of Jesus’ healing of a blind man (9:1–10:39). This again was a healing on the Sabbath (9:13-16), and for this very reason the Jews refused to believe that Jesus was sent from God (9:16). Further, when he declared that he was the “Good Shepherd” (using the metaphor of protection to indicate his role as Savior) (10:1-21)—and that “I and the Father are one” (10:30), they attempted to stone him on the spot (10:31-39).

The third cycle solidified their plot against Jesus’ life. For in this last confrontation, Jesus raises a man from the dead (the seventh sign) (10:40–11:44), causing many Jews finally to believe in him (11:45). The Sanhedrin consequently planned to take his life, out of political and religious expediency (11:48). Unwittingly, the high priest gives the clearest statement of substitutionary atonement found in John’s Gospel (11:50), which John capitalizes on (11:51).

Jesus’ final manifestation to the nation came in his fourth visit to the holy city (12:1-50). He prepared for this manifestation by his anointing at Bethany by Mary (12:1-11). Then he entered Jerusalem, being proclaimed “King of Israel” in fulfillment of prophecy (12:13-16). As a twin foreshadowing of events to come, John depicts the Jews’ rejection because of his last sign (the raising of Lazarus), and Gentile response apart from any miraculous catalyst (12:17-22). The Book of Signs then concludes with Jesus’ own somber prediction of his death (12:23-36) followed by John’s record of Isaiah’s prediction (Isa. 6:10) of Jewish rejection (12:37-41) and cowardice (12:42-43).

The Gospel now makes a sudden turn inward. No longer is Jesus presenting himself to the nation year after year. The third major section of the Gospel shows him ministering to his disciples on the night before his death (13:1–17:26). This ministry is in light of the rejection by the nation and involves two aspects: instruction of the disciples (13:1–16:33) and praying for the disciples (17:1-26).

In his final instructions of the disciples Jesus used both object lessons and verbal instructions. In the upper room he washed their feet (13:1-17) as a demonstration of true greatness—and true love. His command to love one another (13:31-35) is wedged between two predictions, one of betrayal (13:18-30), one of denial (13:36-38). He then comforted his disciples with instructions about the Godhead’s eschatological role in their lives (14:1-31a). It is here that John seems to place the Olivet Discourse (14:1-4). In his Gospel it is much abbreviated because he suppresses future judgment (thus all statements about Jerusalem’s demise are evacuated), and especially in this section of the book emphasizes only Jesus’ role to the disciples.

On the way to Gethsemane Jesus offers concluding remarks (14:31b–16:33). He speaks about the necessity of abiding in him as evidence of genuine life (15:1-17). The pericope of the vine and branches must be seen against the backdrop of Judas’ betrayal, for Judas was one who did not abide (cf. also 1 John 2:19 where the author picks up this theme once again). Then he prepares his disciples for the hatred by the world (15:18–16:4), reminding them that the Holy Spirit would comfort them (16:5-16).

With words of present comfort (16:17-33), he goes to the garden and prays for his followers (17:1-26). In Gethsemane, with the prediction of the disciples’ grief still on his mind, he focuses on his future glory with the Father (17:1-5) and protection and oneness of his disciples (17:6-19). His prayer concludes with a petition that the future converts of the disciples would also be united in love and mission (17:20-26).

After Jesus’ high priestly prayer, the fourth major section of the Gospel begins (18:1–20:31). The true high priest would soon become the slain lamb. He is arrested, being betrayed by Judas (18:1-11), tried before Annas and Caiaphas (18:12-27) and then Pilate (18:28-40). After Peter denies him three times (18:25-27) Pilate pronounces Jesus innocent of all charges (18:28-40; cf. v. 38). But the crowd, reminding Pilate of his duty (19:12) and their alleged loyalty to Caesar (19:15), forced his hand.

Jesus was then brought to Golgotha and crucified there between two others (19:17-42). In John’s account of the crucifixion, there is an emphasis on his completed work (“It is finished” in 19:30) as one who has now taken the place of the sinner, for he now is the one who is thirsty (19:28).50 There is also an emphasis on the fulfillment of the scripture which typologically pointed to Jesus as the Passover lamb (19:31-37, especially v. 36 [cf. Exod 12:46]). Thus the lamb of God, about whom John testified, truly came to take away the sin of the world.

John gives a detailed account of the resurrection of Christ (20:1-31). His narrative of the empty tomb includes Mary Magdalene’s shock of seeing the stone rolled away, without mention of the announcement by an angel (20:1-2). She tells Peter what she saw and Peter and “the beloved disciple” actually enter the tomb (the only record of anyone doing so in the gospels [20:3-9]). The “beloved disciple” alone of all the disciples is said to believe without first seeing Jesus (20:9). He thus becomes an example for his audience to follow, an archetype for faith apart from a demand for signs (contra Thomas [20:29]). Then, after John and Peter depart, Jesus appears to Mary (20:10-17) who promptly reports this to the disciples (20:18). Further proof of Jesus’ resurrection comes in his appearance to most of the disciples (20:19-23) and finally to Thomas (20:24-29), who exclaims “My Lord and my God!” (20:28), bringing the testimony of others to a close. An appeal is then made to the Gentile readers to confirm their faith in Christ (20:30-31), keeping in mind that even though they did not have the benefit of seeing Jesus in the flesh, they are more blessed than those who, like Thomas, believed because of seeing him (20:29).

In the epilogue to the Gospel (21:1-25), written after the Gospel had been completed but before publication, the whole focus is on Jesus’ relation to Peter. When the Lord comes to the Sea of Tiberias (21:1), he found Peter and the other disciples fishing (21:2-5). After instructing them where to cast the net, which resulted in a miraculous catch of fish (21:6), John noticed that it was the Lord (21:7). Peter responded enthusiastically by swimming ashore to Jesus (21:8). John’s account of this showed that Peter’s denial of Jesus was neither permanent nor mentioned because of any animosity John might have toward Peter. In fact, Jesus reinstates Peter three times (21:15-17), for Peter had denied the Lord three times. This all sets the stage for the prediction which John wanted his audience to know about in greater detail than Peter had revealed (cf. 2 Peter 1:14-15). Jesus predicted Peter’s death as a martyr, pointing out that it was entirely within God’s sovereign plan, for it would ultimately glorify God (21:18-19). This was immediately followed by an ambiguous statement about John’s longevity (21:20-23), no doubt mentioned by John to keep his audience from having false hopes about his continued ministry to them. The Gospel makes its (second) conclusion by recording the commendation of the Ephesian elders on John’s testimony (21:24-25).

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