# Gospel according to John

The Gospel according to John , ancient Greek Ευαγγέλιον Κατὰ Ιωάννην euangelion kata Iōannēn or Κατὰ Ιωάννην for short mostly referred to as John's Gospel or short as John (abbreviated: Joh ), is a book of the New Testament of the Bible . As one of the four canonical gospels , it is central to the Christian faith . Compared to the other three, the Synoptic Gospels , it appears very independent in presentation and theology . The majority of New Testament research now assumes that both the literary design and the theological profile of the Gospel of John speak against an eyewitness and disciple of Jesus being the author of the text.

## Prologue and structure

### Overview

The rough outline and structure of the gospel:

• Joh 1,1-18  EU  prologue (Logoshymnus)
• Joh 1,19–51  EU  The Baptist as a witness of the Revelation, disciple vocations
• Joh 2,1–12,50  EU  The revelation of Jesus before the world
• Joh 13,1–17,26 EU  The revelation of Jesus before his own
• Joh 18,1–20,29  EU  The exaltation and glorification of the revelator (passion and resurrection)
• Joh 20,30 f  EU  The purpose of the gospel
• Joh 21,1–25 EU  supplementary chapter of  the editors

### Basic font versus editor

The Gospel according to John, although a theologically closed whole, does not show itself as a literary unit. Two important sections give an indication of the question of "literary unity":

• From the perspective of Joh 20,30 f  EU , Joh 21  EU turns out to be a supplement.
• At John 14:31  EU closes immediately Jn 18.1  EU to. The Joh 15  EU to Joh 17  EU are "Johannine", but can be distinguished from the rest of the Gospel in terms of style and theological themes.

A distinction must therefore be made:

• the possible 'basic script' of the Gospel,
• 'Editorial extensions' of a "Johannesschule", mainly through Joh 15  EU , Joh 16  EU and Joh 17  EU ,
• the addendum by an editor or editor Joh 21  EU .
The eagle often serves as a symbol and attribute for the evangelist John , here in the Bamberg Apocalypse

### Individual sections

The Gospel of John does not begin with the birth, childhood or baptism of Jesus , but with a profound prologue in the form of a strophic song (1.1–18 EU ):

In the beginning ( ἀρχή ) was the word ( λόγος )
and the word was with God ,
and the word was God.
In the beginning it was with God.
Everything came into being through the word
and without the word, nothing came into being.

The aim of this and the following three stanzas is verse 14:

And the word became flesh
and lived among us
and we have seen his glory
the glory of the only son from the father,
full of grace and truth.
Beginning of the Gospel of John in Greek

The prologue is given a strong linguistic rhythm in that it takes up every new term in the respective following sentence, continues it and carries out a new thought in every stanza. Its terms and form relate to the first creation account of the Torah ( GenEU ), which begins similarly ("At the beginning ...") and God's turn to the world as an ordering, the opposites of light and darkness, day and night, etc. . Describes departing action. Just as this runs towards the creation of man in God's image , so everything here runs towards the incarnation of the word through which God made everything. The prologue thus interprets the coming of Jesus Christ as the incarnation of the eternal Word, which was God's will from the beginning and completes his creation.

The prologue takes the place of the lists of descent and birth legends in the Gospels of Luke and Matthew . As in an overture, he anticipates the themes that the whole Gospel then elaborates: the Word became flesh, dwelt among us and we saw his glory. This is also understood as reading instructions for the three main parts:

• Chapters 2–12: the appearance of Jesus before witnesses, divided into chapters 3–6 (speeches and miracles) and 7–12 (disputes with opponents, divorce into opponents and followers)
• Chapters 13–17: Farewell to the disciples, divided into 13 (washing of the feet), 14–16 (farewell speeches), 17 (the high priestly prayer of Jesus)
• Chapters 18–21: Glorification through Passion and Resurrection, divided into 18–19 (suffering and death), 20–21 (apparitions of the risen Lord and the sending of the disciples)

## content

The narrative framework ranges from the testimony of John the Baptist (1.19 EU ) to the public ministry of Jesus (2–12 EU ) and the revelation before his disciples (14–17 EU ) to his crucifixion (18–19 EU ) and the Apparitions of the risen Christ before witnesses (20 EU ) and at the Lake of Tiberias (21 EU ).

At the center of John's Gospel is the message that Jesus is the Son of God . This culminates in statements like

I and the father are one (10.30 EU ).

This high level of self-confidence of Jesus provokes the accusation of blasphemy , which is raised against Jesus by some Jews and also finds tangible expression in attempts to stone Jesus (10.31–33 EU ).

The Johannine Jesus counters this by saying that he came into the world to convey the closeness of God to people. Those who believe in Jesus and his divine works also believe in God. In him the love of God is embodied , which alone can save man:

For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son so that whoever believes in him would not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through him. (3.16–17 EU )

The climax of Jesus' self-communication in the Gospel of John are the so-called farewell speeches (14-17 EU ), in which Jesus also promises his disciples his unity with God . The Paraclete will bring them the knowledge:

I am in my Father, you are in me, and I am in you. (14.20 EU )

After all, Jesus asks for this experience of unity for all who believe in him.

But I ask not only for these people here, but also for all who believe in me through their word. All should be one: as you, father, are in me and I am in you, they should also be in us, so that the world will believe that you have sent me. And I gave them the glory that you gave me; because they should be one as we are one, I in them and you in me. (17.20-23 EU )

According to the Gospel of John, the knowledge of oneness with God leads to the ever unsatisfied person being freed from his insatiable thirst for life:

Anyone who drinks this water will become thirsty again; but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again; rather, the water I give him will become a bubbling spring in him, the water of which gives eternal life. (4.13-14 EU )

The “signs” of Jesus (Greek σημεῖα) lead to this knowledge. These are seven acts of Jesus that are expressly designated or understood as such:

1. the transformation of water into wine at the wedding in Cana ( Jn 2,1-11  EU )
2. the healing of the son of the "royal" ( Jn 4,46–54  EU )
3. the healing at the pool of Bethesda ( Joh 5,1–16  EU )
4. the miracle of feeding at the Sea of ​​Galilee ( Joh 6,1-14  EU )
5. the sea change ( Joh 6,16-26  EU )
6. the healing of those born blind ( Jn 9 : 1-41  EU )
7. the raising of Lazarus from the dead ( Jn 11: 1-44  EU ).

The meaning of the "signs" for the purpose of the Gospel of John is emphasized in the provisional closing verse 20.31 EU :

But these (signs) are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through faith you may have life in his name.

## Text form and literary criticism

Beginning of the Gospel of John in Papyrus
75 , around the end of the 2nd century${\ displaystyle {\ mathfrak {P}}}$

After differentiated theories on composition, possible literary sources and editorial revisions of the Gospel, which was possibly under strong Gnostic influence, were presented with the historical-critical methods in the 20th century , the literary unity of the Gospel of John has been emphasized again in recent years.

The section 7,53–8,11 EU with the adulteress is undisputed as not originally belonging to the Gospel because it is not attested by the manuscripts before the 5th century (including 66 , 75 ) and is also linguistically out of the ordinary. In addition, chapter 21 is predominantly identified as an addendum to the already existing Gospel text (Joh 1–20), because there is already a definite end of the book in 20,30–31 EU and the author of chapter 21 clearly stands out from the author of this concluding word (21,24 EU ). Researchers who consider chapter 21 to be a later edition also often attribute the highlighting of the figure of the favorite disciple to this revision. So it is questionable whether the favorite disciple is even a historical figure. The answer to this question has considerable consequences for the identification of the author of the gospel (see author ). ${\ displaystyle {\ mathfrak {P}}}$${\ displaystyle {\ mathfrak {P}}}$

In other places in the Gospel, historical-critical exegesis has identified problems of coherence in the text. In 4–7 EU, for example, the sequence of Jesus' stays in Jerusalem and Galilee seems to be mixed up. This clutter could be resolved by simply rearranging the order of Chapters 5 and 6. Furthermore, 18.1 EU seems to be better connected to 14.31 EU , because Jesus' request to leave is not followed by a corresponding action in 15.1 EU . If this is not just about (accidental) disorder, representatives of an editorial hypothesis conclude from this finding that an existing text was revised and expanded by an editor without the seams being made illegible. Other researchers consider the breaks in the text to be explainable in terms of content or even as dramaturgical clues intended by the author and attribute the overall composition to the evangelist.

Theories that count on the inclusion of source scriptures go even further. A collection of miracle narratives is regarded as such a source, which is why it has been called the “Semeia source” (from the Greek σημεῖον “sign”). It is also partly assumed that the Passion Report 18–19 EU was already available in a certain form and was incorporated into the Gospel. This direction of research is mainly represented by the commentary by Jürgen Becker , who also assumes, in the tradition of Rudolf Bultmann, an extensive "church editorial office".

All of these theories are based on texts and traditions that are historically intangible. Source scriptures or original alternative versions of the Gospel do not exist. This fact and the wide range of hypotheses on the literary criticism of John's Gospel have increased skepticism towards such solutions in recent years. Among the exegetes who come from a literary-critical or community-historical approach and now represent a synchronous intertextual reading, Hartwig Thyen in particular should be mentioned in the German-speaking area , as well as Raymond E. Brown and Fernando F. Segovia. In North America, Robert Alan Culpepper ( Anatomy of the Fourth Gospel , 1983) established the synchronous, narratological interpretation; The comments by Ludger Schenke , Ulrich Busse and Jean Zumstein can also be assigned to this type of interpretation. If there are differences in detail, these exegetes work out how the text "works" as an auto-semantic whole; that the text had a prehistory, that it has grown, is certainly admitted, but is less of interest.

## Relationship to the Synoptic Gospels

The question of the dependence or independence of the Gospel of John from the three synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke) was judged differently in the history of the interpretation of the fourth gospel. There is also no consensus in current research, although numerous exegetes are now again assuming a knowledge of at least the Gospel of Mark . The relationship to the Synoptic Gospels is difficult to determine because on the one hand the Gospel of John shows considerable differences to the Synoptics in terms of structure, language, style and material, but on the other hand offers the same content in numerous places or at least shows similar structures. The following overviews show the most important contrasts and similarities:

### Similarities with the Synoptics

John section Synoptic
4.46-54 EU Healing the son of a royal Lk 7.1-10  EU
6.1-21 EU Feeding the Five Thousand and Jesus Walking Across the Lake Mk 6.32-52  EU
12.12-15 EU Entry into Jerusalem Mk 11: 1-10  EU
13.1-30 EU Last Supper and Marking Jude as a "Narrator" Mk 14.12-21  EU
18.2-12 EU The arrest of Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane Mk 14.43-53  EU
18.12ff EU The interrogation before the Jewish council, the hearing before Pilate and the crucifixion Mk 14.53ff  EU

### Special features of the Gospel of John

feature
The prologue of the Gospel of John (1.1–18 EU ) is unique in its hymnically reflective nature.
The raising of Lazarus from the dead is only narrated in the Gospel of John, where it is given special weight as the last and greatest “sign” of Jesus (11 EU ).
What is striking are the frequent and long speeches of Jesus, especially the farewell speeches , which extend over almost five chapters without major interruptions (13-17 EU ).
Jesus' speeches often revolve around his own person ( “I am” words ) and use intense metaphors (“living water”, “light of the world”, “bread of life”).

### Differences to the Synoptics

John theme Synoptic

Jesus speaks in longer meditative-theological speeches.
Way of speaking of Jesus

There are different speaking situations (public / group of disciples) and target groups.

With the Synoptics, Jesus speaks in short sentences and parables.

Several longer stays in Jerusalem are mentioned, each of which is only briefly interrupted by trips to Galilee. Jesus works primarily in Jerusalem.
Travel of Jesus
Jesus made several trips from Galilee to Jerusalem.

With John the expulsion of the temple is programmatically at the beginning, in the second chapter of his Gospel. (2.13-22 EU ).
Jesus expelled traders and money changers from the temple
According to the Synoptics, the temple expulsion occurs towards the end of Jesus' ministry ( Mk 11.15–18  EU ) as an impetus for his opponents and the cause of his elimination.

Jesus expressly renounces a request for exemption from suffering from John (12.27 EU , 18.11 EU ).
Jesus in Gethsemane
At the Synoptics, Jesus asks God to let the cup pass him ( Mk 14.36  EU )

The "It is done!" Is like a triumphant cry (end of Psalm 22 - verse 32c)
Jesus' last word on the cross
Jesus laments that he is forsaken by God (beginning of Psalm 22 - verse 2)

The day of Jesus' death is the preparation day of the seven-day festival of Passover (the 14th of Nisan ).
The chronological order of the story of Jesus' suffering
For the Synoptics, the day of Jesus' death is the first full feast day of the feast (15th Nisan)

Because of these differences, the historical truth of the Gospels was already disputed in antiquity and late antiquity , for example in the writing Contra Christianos des Porphyrios . To this day, they give rise to criticism against opponents of Christianity. However, the contradictions are also a constant challenge in the internal church and exegetical discussion.

Differences and similarities make it impossible to make a clear judgment about the relationship of the gospel to the Synoptics. Many exegetes assume that the evangelist knew the Gospel of Mark and perhaps also - especially in the Passion Report - the Gospel of Luke or that he assumes that his readers have this knowledge. However, the synoptic gospels are not used recognizably as sources or written templates, not even where the Gospel of John offers the same material. Rather, it represents consistent traditional material very independently. Therefore, a few researchers even suspect that John may have had access to sources or traditions that were independent of the Gospel of Mark as the oldest gospel and therefore see a priority of the Gospel of John, some of which also relate to the dating relates (early dating).

In view of this research situation, all that remains to be said is that the Gospel of John does not want to be read either as a supplement or as a correction to the Synoptic Gospels, but as an independent work.

## author

Most scientists today assume that there are several authors. There was an author of the basic gospel, authors who made editorial additions, especially to chapters 15:16, 17, and an editor who wrote chapter 21.

The heading "Gospel according to John", which has already existed in the oldest text documents since the end of the 2nd century ( 66 , 75 ), names a "John" as the author of the Gospel. However, this heading will hardly be original, as it uses the term Gospel as a generic term with the preposition “after” and thus assumes the parallel existence of several Gospels in one collection. The two manuscripts mentioned are collections. Manuscripts of the Gospel of John that can be identified as individual texts do not exist. ${\ displaystyle {\ mathfrak {P}}}$${\ displaystyle {\ mathfrak {P}}}$

Klaus Berger (1997) advocates the hypothesis that the author of the Gospel of John was a writer whose origins refer to Alexandria . He suspects that the author wandered in the eastern Mediterranean, from Alexandria via Palestine to Asia Minor to end his life at his starting point. There was also a special proximity to Ephesus .

### The favorite disciple

The Gospel itself does not name the author. However, a disciple of Jesus is highlighted as the “ disciple whom Jesus loved ” (19.26 EU and 21.20–24 EU ). In Jn 19: 25-27, it is said of him that he was immediately present at the crucifixion . In addition, in this context the eyewitnesses of the event are assigned a special witness function (19.35 EU ). At the end of the Gospel in EU 21.24 , the text expressly names the favorite disciple as his author:

This is the disciple who testifies of these things and who wrote these; and we know his testimony is true .

### The Apostle John

The Christian tradition has identified the nameless favorite disciple with the apostle John , because of the three disciples who were particularly close to Jesus according to the consistent testimony of the Gospels - Peter , James , John - James was killed in the year 44 ( Acts 12.2  EU ) and Peter is expressly differentiated from the favorite disciple ( Jn 13.15f  EU ; 21.20 EU ).

The post-biblical tradition also reports that John was the author of the fourth gospel. Irenaeus of Lyons (120–202) was in his youth a pupil of Polycarp of Smyrna (69–155), who - as Irenaeus writes - was in turn a pupil of the apostle John. He lived in Ephesus until the time of Trajan (98–117) and published a Gospel there according to Matthew, Mark and Luke:

Finally, John, the Lord's disciple, who also rested on his breast, published the Gospel himself when he was in Ephesus in Asia (Irenaeus, Adversus Haereses III 1,1, also quoted in Eusebius, Historia Ecclesiastica V 8, 4)

For these reasons, the Christian tradition has accepted the apostle John as author. This position is held today by many, especially biblical and evangelical authors. This means that at least one of the four Gospels can be traced back to a direct eyewitness of Jesus' earthly activity and his presentation of the events should be viewed as largely authentic. In addition, this author is seen not only as the author of the Epistles of John , but also of the Revelation of John, that is, of the entire so-called “Corpus Johanneum” in the tradition.

Exegetes who hold this opinion today also justify their position by stating that the author has a good knowledge of Jewish festivals, customs and traditions. He knows details about Jerusalem (5.2 EU ) before the city's destruction in 70 , which has been confirmed by archeology.

### The presbyter Johannes

Another opinion sees another person, the presbyter (elder) Johannes, as the likely author of the Corpus Johanneum. According to a testimony of Papias of Hierapolis (c. 130, quoted by Eusebius of Caesarea , Church History 3,39,4), he would be clearly differentiated from the Apostle John, the Zebedaiden, as a “disciple of the Lord” and in 2 John 1,1 and 3 John 1: 1 was expressly mentioned as the author of the letters of John. According to the content, language and stylistic devices of the letters, this would suggest the same author for the Gospel of John. The title π πρεσβύτερος ( ho presbýteros ) is more secure than the name "Johannes". Folker Siegert comments: this title should not be confused with the presbyter title, which is always encountered plural, but rather designates a teaching post that is claimed ad personam.

According to this theory, the apostle John would be out of the question as the author of the Gospel of John and also not as the favorite disciple (see 21.24 EU ). It should be noted that the apostle John is never mentioned by name in the Gospel or referred to as the author and “beloved disciple”. The scenes told in the Gospel would also not match the stories known from the Synoptics, and the demanding language and style features would exclude a fisherman from Galilee who was well versed in writing.

Attempts have also been made to identify Presbyter John as the author of the Gospel with the figure (11 EU ) hidden behind the artificial name "Lazarus" , since he is referred to four times in the Gospel as the one whom Jesus "loved" (11.3.5. 11.36 EU ). However, research on the Gospel of John has only occasionally followed these interpretations.

### Editorial office and Johannine school

With his arguments against the authorship of the apostle Johannes ( Probabilia ... ) published in 1820 , Karl Gottlieb Bretschneider triggered an intense discussion. Current historical-critical exegesis means with regard to the author's question that unambiguous statements to identify a particular historical figure cannot be made either from the Gospel or from early Christian history, and considers it unlikely that the apostle John was the author. As for the figure of the favorite disciple, this only appears in the Gospel itself, so that its historicity is controversial. In view of the extensive monologues of Jesus, the advanced theological reflection and the many deviations from the synoptic tradition, it is often denied that they could be representations of an eyewitness. In addition, one largely does not count on a single author, but at least one other author who added chapter 21 and thus established the tradition of the favorite disciple as an author.

In this context, there is sometimes talk of a Johannine school or Johannine congregation that relies on the authority of an outstanding member who, because of his closeness to Jesus himself, stands for the authenticity of the text. That there was a Johannine school is suggested by the late epistles of John of the New Testament, which use terminology similar to the gospel.

With the favorite disciple, an apostolic figure is placed next to or even above the authority of Peter (13.23–28 EU , 21.7.20-23 EU ) and thus an alternative tradition is established. This is not in competition with the tradition of an incipient structured church under the direction of Peter (21.15-18 EU ), but complements it with the more unbound, largely form and placeless tradition in the dimensions of love and the spirit, which are for the Johannine Christianity are formative.

With reference to this authority, the text was handed down in the Johannine community and also revised. The reference at the end of the Gospel also speaks for such a group perspective: “ We know that his testimony is true” (21.24 EU ). In view of the linguistic and theological closeness of the final text, this process of appropriating and dealing with the text is sometimes referred to today with the term relecture (“new”, “re” or “read on”), which indicates that the revisions are less in the context of a competitive or correction model, as suggested by the older source and editorial models, but rather in a process of reflection while reading together. Historically, therefore, at most the lines of this reading process could be identified, but not the people or authors behind it.

The long discourse between Christian teachings and Gnostic religious systems in antiquity and late antiquity left verifiable traces in the respective systems of thought and terminology. In the Johannine school, for example, in the statement about 'spirit' ( ancient Greek πνεῦμα pneũma “spirit”, “breath”, “air”, “breath”) and “meat” ( ancient Greek σάρξ sarx “the (raw) meat “):“ It is the spirit that gives life; the flesh is of no use ”( Jn 6,63  EU ).

## Dating

${\ displaystyle {\ mathfrak {P}}}$52 ( recto ) as the oldest text testimony of the Gospel of John (probably 1st half of the 2nd century)

### Papyrus 52${\ displaystyle {\ mathfrak {P}}}$

The oldest text evidence found so far for the Gospel of John and for the New Testament in general is the papyrus fragment 52 . The fragment was acquired in an Egyptian market in 1920 and probably also came from Egypt. It is a few square centimeters in size and contains parts of the verses Joh 18,31–33  EU on the front, fragments of the verses Joh 18,37–38  EU of the 18th chapter of the Gospel on the back . It is kept in the John Rylands Library in Manchester. The editor Colin Henderson Roberts dated the document due to the font around the year 125 AD. Earlier dates from around 100 have also been mentioned in research. Lately, such approaches have been questioned, since a determination is inaccurate solely because of the font. The text probably comes from the period between 130 and 150 AD or, according to a few opinions, even from the second half of the 2nd century . In any case, this fragment forms the most important external reference point for the dating of the Gospel of John. If one reckons that the text still needed some time to get to Egypt, one can in any case assume that it was written before 130 AD. The historical-critical theories about the origin of the Gospel in the second half of the second century - as taught by the Tübingen school in the 19th century - are thus obsolete. ${\ displaystyle {\ mathfrak {P}}}$

### Dating around 90-100 AD

Nowadays, representatives of the historical-critical school usually date the Gospel of John for internal reasons to the end of the first century. The earliest possible date for many exegetes is the years after 80, as the Gospel of John documents an advanced alienation from synagogue Judaism (9.22 EU , 12.42 EU , 16.2 EU ) and the so-called “synagogue exclusion” for apostates historical reviews. According to Udo Schnelle , the destruction of Jerusalem in the year 70 is already assumed by 11.48 EU .

### Early dating

Some researchers also give earlier dates, for example WF Albright before 80, John AT Robinson before 70, as well as Carsten Peter Thiede . Even Klaus Berger (1997) considers the Gospel of John arose early. In his book In the Beginning, Johannes was trying to refute the usual dating. A central argument is the destruction of Jerusalem in the year 70, which was not reflected in the Gospel of John (not even in 2.19 EU and 11.48 EU ), although this event must have shaken Christians as well as Jews. The supposed anti-Judaism and the developed Christology and theology are not compelling arguments for a late dating for him. He interprets the word about the ban on synagogues in the sense of general persecution. It is about an initial stage in which the synagogue is separated from the synagogue itself. Therefore, Berger dates the Gospel of John between 67 and 70. In principle, the hypothesis of early dating cannot be ruled out, but the majority reject it.

## Place of origin

According to the early Christian testimony of Irenaeus of Lyons , the gospel was written in Ephesus . This advice has found many supporters to this day. However, it has also been contradicted with reference to the following observations in the text, which rather point to a localization in the Palestinian region:

• the author is topographically very familiar with Jerusalem and Palestine ,
• the gospel accurately and precisely describes Jewish festivals and customs,
• the author uses a strongly Semitic - Hebrew influenced Greek .

On the other hand, the controversial attitude towards “the Jews”, which is more closely related to the Jewish leadership, which can be observed throughout the Gospel of John, makes it clear that the Johannine congregation probably had conflict-ridden contact with Jewish congregations. Such a situation is hardly likely for the time of Jesus, but it is likely for the situation after the year 70, when Judaism reassembled itself and prepared itself against external threats and irritations after the victory of the Romans over the rebellious Jews and the destruction of the temple. Klaus Wengst took this situation as the starting point for a historical classification of the Johannine community . He locates the community in the southern areas of the kingdom of Agrippa II , i.e. H. in the northern East Bank, east of the Sea of ​​Galilee in Batanaea , Gaulanitis and Trachonitis , where the Jewish gathering mainly took place. This theory has been contradicted with the remark that Wengst did indeed correctly describe the religious-historical situation between emerging Christianity and newly consolidated Judaism, but no localization can be derived from it. The conflict situation described can occur at any place where Christian communities meet synagogues - e. B. also in Ephesus , where there is evidence of Jewish and Christian communities. The question of where the Gospel originated cannot be answered with certainty.

## "The Jews"

The relationship between the Gospel of John and the Jews or Judeans (Ιουδαίοι) is extremely ambivalent. On the one hand, Jesus is expressly portrayed as a Jew (4.9 EU ) and basically stated: “Salvation comes from the Jews” (4.22 EU ). On the other hand, massive conflict situations between Jesus and “the Jews” are described, which can give the impression that this is a matter of fundamental hostility. This range of discussion about Judaism goes far beyond the presentation in the other Gospels, which only describe a few arguments between Jesus and especially the Pharisees. Common to all Gospels is the portrayal of the Jewish leadership as the operators of the extradition of Jesus to the Romans for the crucifixion (18 EU ).

The critical portrayal of “the Jews” in John's Gospel has often been taken as an occasion for anti-Jewish attitudes and actions in the history of Christianity . In doing so, the negative representations were unilaterally placed in the foreground over the positive ones and misused to make sweeping condemnations of the Jewish people.

Sculpture of the Entombment of Jesus (1509) with Nicodemus (left) and Joseph of Arimathäa (right), who are represented as Jews by Hebrew clothing inscriptions

For historical-critical exegetes, the disputes with Judaism described in the Gospel of John reflect the situation after the exclusion of Christians from the synagogue (after 70). With this, John describes the basic lines of the conflict between the emerging Christianity and Judaism, which was consolidated again after the catastrophe of the Jewish war , in a historically accurate manner. In this context, the good knowledge of the Gospel of John about Jewish rites and traditions and the Jewish festival calendar should be emphasized. This can best be explained by a close proximity to Jewish-Biblical traditions.

## literature

### introduction

• Ingo Broer : Introduction to the New Testament . Study edition, Würzburg 2006, ISBN 3-429-02846-9 , pp. 181–228.
• Raymond E. Brown: An Introduction to the Gospel of John . Edited, updated, introduced and concluded by Francis J. Moloney. The Anchor Bible Reference Library. Doubleday, New York et al. a. 2003, ISBN 0-385-50722-4 .
• Ulrich Busse : The Gospel of John: Imagery, Discourse and Ritual. With a bibliography covering the period 1986–1998 (=  Bibliotheca Ephemeridum theologicarum Lovaniensium. Volume 162). Peeters, Leuven et al. a. 2002, ISBN 90-429-1100-X .
• Joachim Kügler : The Gospel of John. In: Martin Ebner, Stefan Schreiber (eds.): Introduction to the New Testament. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 2008, ISBN 3-17-018875-5 , pp. 208-228.
• Ludger Schenke : The Gospel of John: Introduction - text - dramatic figure (= Kohlhammer-Urban pocket books. Volume 446). Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 1992, ISBN 3-17-011926-5 .
• Hartwig Thyen : Article John's Gospel . In: Theological Real Encyclopedia . No. 17, 1988, pp. 200-225.

### Studies on individual issues

Author, dating, possible sources

• Gilbert Van Belle: The Signs Source in the Fourth Gospel. Historical Survey and Critical Evaluation of the Semeia Hypothesis (=  Bibliotheca Ephemeridum theologicarum Lovaniensium. Volume 116). University Press, Leuven u. a. 1994, ISBN 90-6186-624-3 .
• Klaus Berger : In the beginning there was Johannes. Dating and theology of the fourth gospel. 3. Edition. Kaiser / Gütersloher Verlagshaus, Gütersloh 2004, ISBN 3-579-05201-2 .
• James H. Charlesworth: The Beloved Disciple. Whose Witness Validates the Gospel of John? Trinity Press Intl., Valley Forge 1995, ISBN 1-56338-135-4 .
• Martin Hengel : The Johannine question. An attempted solution (= Scientific Investigations on the New Testament. Volume 67). With a contribution to the Apocalypse by Jörg Frey. Mohr, Tübingen 1993, ISBN 3-16-145836-2 .
• Reinhard Nordsieck: Johannes: On the question of the author and origin of the fourth gospel. Neukirchener, Neukirchen 1998, ISBN 3-7887-1670-3 .
• John AT Robinson , Hans-Joachim Schulz (ed.): Johannes - the gospel of the origins. Brockhaus, Wuppertal 1999, ISBN 3-417-29433-9 . (Early dating)
• Eugen Ruckstuhl , Peter Dschulnigg : Style criticism and author question in the Gospel of John. The Johannine language features on the background of the New Testament and contemporary Hellenistic literature (= Novum Testamentum et orbis antiquus. Volume 17). Universitätsverlag, Freiburg (CH) 1991, ISBN 3-7278-0740-7 .

Gospel of John and Epistles of John

• Moon-Geoung Kim: On the relationship between the Gospel of John and the letters of John. On the authorship of the "Johannine" writings in research (=  European university publications . Series 23, Volume 761). Lang, Frankfurt am Main a. a. 2003, ISBN 3-631-51046-2 .
• Walter Schmithals : Gospel of John and letters of John. Research history and analysis (= BZNW . Volume 64). de Gruyter, Berlin a. a. 1992, ISBN 3-11-013560-4 (history of research).
• Thomas Söding (Ed.): Gospel of John - middle or edge of the canon? New location regulations (= Quaestiones disputatae. Volume 203). Herder, Freiburg im Breisgau 2003, ISBN 3-451-02203-6 .

Relationship to the Synoptic Gospels

• Adelbert Denaux (Ed.): John and the Synoptics (= BEThL. Volume 101). Leuven 1992.
• Peter Leander Hofrichter : Model and template of the synoptic. The pre-editorial "Gospel of John" (= theological texts and studies. Volume 6). 2nd Edition. Olms, Hildesheim u. a. 2001, ISBN 3-487-10371-0 .
• Peter Leander Hofrichter (ed.): For and against the priority of the Gospel of John. Symposium in Salzburg on March 10, 2000 (=  Theological Texts and Studies. Volume 9). Olms, Hildesheim u. a. 2002, ISBN 3-487-11692-8 .
• Manfred Lang : Johannes and the Synoptics. An editorial-historical analysis of Joh 18-20 against the Markin and Lukan background (=  research on religion and literature of the Old and New Testaments. Volume 182). Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 1999, ISBN 3-525-53866-9 .
• D. Moody Smith: John among the Gospels. The Relationship in Twentieth-Century Research . Fortress Press, Minneapolis 1992, ISBN 0-8006-2530-7 .
• Michael Theobald : Lord's Words in the Gospel of John (= Herder's Biblical Studies. Volume 34). Herder, Freiburg im Breisgau a. a. 2002, ISBN 3-451-27494-9 .
• Lawrence M. Wills: The Quest of the Historical Gospel. Mark, John, and the Origins of the Gospel Genre . Routledge, London a. a. 1997, ISBN 0-415-15093-0 .

Sociological Background

• Anthony J. Blasi: A Sociology of Johannine Christianity (= Texts and Studies in Religion. Volume 69). Mellen, Lewiston NY, et al. a. 1997, ISBN 0-7734-8753-0 .
• Celestino G. Lingad: The Problems of Jewish Christians in the Johannine Community. Tesi gregoriana, Teologia series 73. Ed. Pontificia Università Gregoriana, Rome 2001, ISBN 88-7652-887-3 .
• Woo-Jin Shim: Kyrios in the Gospel of John. An exegetical investigation into the Kyrios title in the Gospel of John. Dissertation University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg 2003 ( PDF 789 kB; 127 pages on archiv.ub.uni-heidelberg.de)
• Klaus Wengst : Afflicted community and glorified Christ. An attempt on the Gospel of John (= Kaiser pocket books. Volume 114). 4th edition. Christian-Kaiser-Verlag, Munich 1992, ISBN 3-459-01924-7 .

### Literary structure, text theory and metaphor

• Patrick Chatelion Counet: John, a Postmodern Gospel. Introduction to Deconstructive Exegesis Applied to the Fourth Gospel (=  Biblical Interpretation Series. Volume 44). Brill, Leiden u. a. 2000, ISBN 90-04-11661-3 .
• R. Alan Culpepper: Anatomy of the Fourth Gospel. A Study in Literary Design . Fortress Press, Philadelphia Repr. 1996, ISBN 0-8006-2068-2 (pioneer of the narrative exegesis of JohEv).
• James L. Resseguie: The Strange Gospel. Narrative Design and Point of View in John (= Biblical Interpretation Series. Volume 56). Brill, Leiden u. a. 2001, ISBN 90-04-12206-0 .
• Craig R. Koester: Symbolism in the Fourth Gospel. Meaning, mystery, community . 2nd Edition. Fortress Press, Minneapolis MN 2003, ISBN 0-8006-3594-9 .
• Tobias Nicklas: Detachment and entanglement. “Jews” and disciples as characters of the narrated world of the Gospel of John and their effect on the implicit reader (=  Regensburg Studies on Theology. Volume 60). Lang, Frankfurt am Main a. a. 2001, ISBN 3-631-37615-4 .
• Klaus Scholtissek: To be and stay in it. The language of immanence in the Johannine writings (= Herder's Biblical Studies. Volume 21). Herder, Freiburg im Breisgau 2001, ISBN 3-451-27096-X .
• Otto Schwankl: Light and Darkness. A metaphorical paradigm in the Johannine writings (= Herder's Biblical Studies. Volume 5). Herder, Freiburg im Breisgau a. a. 1995, ISBN 3-451-23624-9 .
• Fernando F. Segovia (Ed.): What is John? Readers and Readings of the Fourth Gospel (= Society of Biblical Literature Symposium Series. Volume 3). Scholars Press, Atlanta GA 1996, ISBN 0-7885-0239-5 .

### Selected theological topics

Image of God

• Daniel Rathnakara Sadananda: The Johannine Exegesis of God. An Exploration into the Johannine Understanding of God (=  BZNW . Volume 121). de Gruyter, Berlin a. a. 2004, ISBN 3-11-018248-3 .
• Adele Reinhartz (Ed.): God the Father in the Gospel of John . Semeia 85. Soc. of Biblical Literature, Atlanta GA 1999.
• Marianne Meye Thompson: The God of the Gospel of John . Eerdmans, Grand Rapids 2001, ISBN 0-8028-4734-X .
• Edith Zingg: Speaking of God as "Father" in the Gospel of John (= Herder's Biblical Studies. Volume 48). Herder, Freiburg im Breisgau a. a. 2006, ISBN 3-451-28950-4 .
• Johannes Frühwald-König: Temple and cult. A contribution to the Christology of the Gospel of John (= Biblical Investigations. Volume 27). Pustet, Regensburg 1998, ISBN 3-7917-1581-X .
• William Loader: The Christology of the Fourth Gospel. Structure and Issues (= contributions to biblical exegesis and theology. Volume 23). 2nd Edition. Lang, Frankfurt am Main a. a. 1992, ISBN 3-631-44943-7 .
• Thomas Knöppler: The theologia crucis of the Gospel of John. Understanding the death of Jesus in the context of the Johannine incarnation and exaltation Christology (=  scientific monographs on the Old and New Testament. Volume 69). Neukirchener Verlag, Neukirchen-Vluyn 1994, ISBN 3-7887-1501-4 .
• Tobias Kriener: “Faith in Jesus” - a violation of the second commandment? Johannine Christology and the Jewish accusation of idolatry (= Neukirchen theological dissertations and habilitations. Volume 29). Neukirchener Verlag, Neukirchen-Vluyn 2001, ISBN 3-7887-1816-1 .
• Joachim Kügler : The other king. Religious historical perspectives on the Christology of the Gospel of John (=  Stuttgart Biblical Studies. Volume 178). Verlag Katholisches Bibelwerk, Stuttgart 1999, ISBN 3-460-04781-X .
• Johanna Rahner : "But he spoke of the temple of his body". Jesus of Nazareth as the place of God's revelation in the fourth gospel (= Bonn biblical contributions. Volume 117). Philo, Bodenheim 1998, ISBN 3-8257-0097-6 .
• Markus Sasse : The Son of Man in the Gospel according to John (= texts and works on the New Testament age. Volume 35). Francke, Tübingen / Basel 2000, ISBN 3-7720-2827-6 .
• Jörg Frey : The Johannine eschatology . 3 volumes, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen 1997–2000,
• Volume 1: Your problems as reflected in research since Reimarus (= Scientific investigations into the New Testament. Volume 96). Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen 1997, ISBN 3-16-146716-7 .
• Volume 2: The Johannine understanding of time (= scientific research on the New Testament. Volume 110). Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen 1998, ISBN 3-16-146845-7 .
• Volume 3: The eschatological proclamation in the Johannine texts (= Scientific research on the New Testament. Volume 117). Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen 2000, ISBN 3-16-147088-5 .
• Axel Hammes: The call to life. A theological-hermeneutical investigation of the eschatology of the Gospel of John with an outlook on the history of its impact (=  Bonner Biblical Contributions. Volume 112). Philo-Verlag, Bodenheim 1997, ISBN 3-8257-0060-7 .

Love in the Gospel of John

• Jörg Augenstein: The commandment of love in the Gospel of John and in the letters of John (= contributions to the science of the Old and New Testament. H. 134 = episode 7, H. 14). Kohlhammer, Stuttgart a. a. 1993, ISBN 3-17-012687-3 .
• Enno Edzard Popkes : The theology of God's love in the Johannine scriptures. On the semantics of love and on the circle of motives of dualism (=  Scientific Studies on the New Testament. Series 2, Volume 197). Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen 2005, ISBN 3-16-148669-2 .

### Relationship to Judaism and the Old Testament

• Reimund Bieringer u. a. (Ed.): Anti-Judaism and the Fourth Gospel. Papers of the Leuven Colloquium, 2000 (= Jewish and Christian Heritage Series. Volume 1). Royal Van Gorcum, Assen 2001, ISBN 90-232-3712-9 .
• Manfred Diefenbach: The conflict of Jesus with the "Jews". An attempt to solve the Johannine anti-Judaism discussion with the help of the ancient understanding of action . (=  New Testament treatises. N. F. Volume 41). Aschendorff, Münster 2002, ISBN 3-402-04789-6 .
• Raimo Hakola: Identity Matters. John, the Jews and Jewishness (= Supplements to Novum Testamentum. Volume 118). Brill, Leiden u. a. 2005, ISBN 90-04-14324-6 .
• Michael Labahn; Klaus Scholtissek; Angelika Strotmann (Ed.): Israel and its healing traditions in the Gospel of John. FS Johannes Beutler. Schöningh, Paderborn 2004, ISBN 3-506-77917-6 ( online edition in the Digi20 project ).
• Andreas Obermann: The Christological fulfillment of Scripture in the Gospel of John. An investigation into Johannine hermeneutics based on the written quotations (=  Scientific investigations on the New Testament. Series 2, Volume 83). Mohr, Tübingen 1996, ISBN 3-16-146530-X .
• Adele Reinhartz: friendship with the beloved disciple. A Jewish reading of the Gospel of John . TVZ, Zurich 2005, ISBN 3-290-17358-5 .

### Reception history

• Markus Enders , Rolf Kühn , Christoph Bruns: "In the beginning there was the logos ..." Studies on the history of the reception of the Johannes prologue from antiquity to the present (=  research on European intellectual history. Volume 11). Herder, Freiburg im Breisgau a. a. 2011, ISBN 978-3-451-34020-8 .
• Seán Patrick Kealy : John's Gospel and the History of Biblical Interpretation . Mellen Biblical Press, Lewiston NY, et al. a. 2002.
• Michael Mees: The early history of the reception of the Gospel of John using the example of text transmission and paternal exegesis (=  research on the Bible. Volume 72). Echter-Verlag, Würzburg 1994, ISBN 3-429-01604-5 .
• Glenn W. Most : The finger in the wound. The story of the unbelieving Thomas. CH Beck Verlag, Munich 2007, ISBN 978-3-406-55619-7 .
• Titus Nagel: The reception of the Gospel of John in the 2nd century. Studies on the pre-Iranian appropriation and interpretation of the fourth Gospel in Christian and Christian-Gnostic literature (=  work on the Bible and its history. Volume 2). Evangelische Verlagsanstalt, Leipzig 2000, ISBN 3-374-01821-1 .
• Isolde Penz : Paths to the divine: the longing for oneness with the divine in myth, gnosis, logos and in the gospel according to John. LIT Verlag, Münster 2006, ISBN 978-3-825-89763-5
• Kurt Ruh : Gospel of John 1 : 1–14. In: Author's Lexicon . Volume IV, Col. 830-833.

Commons : Gospel According to John  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

## References and comments

1. Udo Schnelle : Antidocetic Christology in the Gospel of John. An investigation into the position of the fourth gospel in the Johannine school. (FRLANT 144), Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 1987 ISBN 3-525-53823-5 , p. 12; 16-18
2. ^ Claus Westermann: Outline of Biblical Studies. Calwer Verlag, Stuttgart 1979, ISBN 3-7668-0620-3 , p. 164 f.
3. Klaus Wengst: The Gospel of John. Volume 1, p. 43.
4. Udo Schnelle : Antidocetic Christology in the Gospel of John. An investigation into the position of the fourth gospel in the Johannine school. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 1987, ISBN 3-525-53823-5 , pp. 11-36
5. Hans-Jochen Jaschke : The Gospel of John and the Gnosis in the testimony of Irenaus of Lyon. Munich Theological Journal Volume 29, 1978, Issue 4, pp. 337–376 ( PDF 1.374 kB; 40 pages on mthz.ub.lmu.de)
6. Especially in the following places: 13.23ff EU , 19.26f EU , 20.2ff EU ; the favorite disciple is perhaps also meant 1.35–40 EU and 18.15f EU
7. Ludger Schenke: The Gospel according to Johannes. Pp. 237-238.
8. Friedhelm Wessel: "Stand up, let's get away from here" (PDF; 124 kB)
9. ^ Georg Richter: On the so-called Semeia source of the Gospel of John. Studies on the Gospel of John, BU 13, Regensburg 1977 ( PDF 471 kB; 10 pages on pdfs.semanticscholar.org, online pp. 64–73)
10. Ingo Broer: Introduction to the New Testament. P. 186.
11. Jörg Frey: The glory of the crucified. Studies on the Johannine writings , Volume 1 (= Scientific investigations on the New Testament . Volume 307). Tübingen 2013, pp. 21-23.
12. Ingo Broer: Introduction to the New Testament. P. 198, shows the radical differences of opinion and comes to the conclusion that the treatment of this question is therefore "no glory sheet for the New Testament exegesis".
13. Cf. on this and the history of this question in detail Jörg Frey : The Fourth Gospel against the background of the older Gospel tradition. The problem: John and the Synoptics. In: Thomas Söding (Hrsg.): Johannesevangelium - middle or edge of the canon? New location regulations. Pp. 60-118.
14. Jörg Frey: The fourth gospel on the background of the older gospel tradition. The problem: John and the Synoptics. In: Thomas Söding (Hrsg.): Johannesevangelium - middle or edge of the canon? New location regulations. Pp. 61-64.
15. See the overview in Jörg Frey: The Fourth Gospel on the Background of the Older Gospel Tradition. The problem: John and the Synoptics. In: Thomas Söding (Hrsg.): Johannesevangelium - middle or edge of the canon? New location regulations. Pp. 71-76.
16. Prof. Dr. Thomas Söding, Chair of the New Testament, Ruhr University Bochum, lecture "The Gospel of John", summer semester 2010
17. Hartwig Thyen : The Gospel of John. P. 2.
18. Klaus Berger : In the beginning there was Johannes. Dating and theology of the fourth gospel. Quell, Stuttgart 1997, ISBN 3-7918-1434-6 , pp. 54-64
19. Urban C. von Wahlde: A rchaeology and John's Gospel . In: James H. Charlesworth (Ed.): Jesus and Archeology . Eerdmans, Grand Rapids 2006, pp. 523-586. “This study shows that at least the topographical information of the gospel as such ... are not constructions ... and show no 'late' features. They are entirely historical. It is therefore more true that the Gospel represents a mixture of traditions, some of which are precise, detailed and historical, while others are late, developed and anachronistic for the public appearance [of Jesus] "(ibid., P. 585 f .)
20. SM Hengel, The Johannine Question, 79ff. 321ff; WG Kümmel, Introduction to the NT, 19.A., 1978, 206ff; P. Stuhlmacher, Biblical Theology of the New Testament, Bd. 2, 203ff on the person of Presbyter Johannes.
21. Folker Siegert: The Gospel of John in its original form. Recovery and comment. Pp. 62-81. "Johannes 'the senior' as an author". Jörg Frey subjects Siegert's comment to a fundamental criticism: this is the "peak of the idiosyncratic ", literary criticism like 100 years ago; the reconstruction of the historical Jesus derived from it by Siegert is predicted to be “close to zero” among experts. Cf. Jörg Frey: The glory of the crucified. Studies on the Johannine writings , Volume 1 (= Scientific investigations on the New Testament . Volume 307). Tübingen 2013, p. 20.
22. ^ SR Nordsieck, Johannes, 3ff. 120ff; G. Keil, Gospel of John, 175f.180f.240ff; A. Stimpfle, See the Blind, 128f.143f; MWG Stibbe, John as Storyteller, 81ff u. a. for identification with "Lazarus". Also Rudolf Steiner saw the beloved disciple in Lazarus.
23. James H. Charlesworth: The Beloved Disciple. Whose Witness Validates the Gospel of John?
24. Udo Schnelle: The Gospel according to John. P. 5.
25. Ingo Broer: Introduction to the New Testament. Pp. 192-195.
26. Klaus Wengst: The Gospel of John. Volume 2, p. 326 f.
27. Jean Zumstein: A grown gospel. The relecture process with Johannes. In: Thomas Söding (Hrsg.): Johannesevangelium - middle or edge of the canon? New location regulations. Pp. 9-37.
28. ^ Ernst Dietzfelbinger (translator): The New Testament. Interlinear translation Greek-German. Greek text: Nestle-Aland, Novum Testamentum Graece , 28th, revised edition 2012, Brockhaus, Witten 2018, ISBN 978-3-417-25403-7 , p. 423
29. Petr Pokorný , Ulrich Heckel: Introduction to the New Testament. An overview of his literature and theology. Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen 2007, ISBN 978-3-16-148011-9 , p. 584.
30. Udo Schnelle: Introduction to the New Testament. 4th edition. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 2002, p. 520.
31. Klaus Berger : In the beginning there was Johannes. Dating and theology of the fourth gospel. Quell, Stuttgart 1997, ISBN 3-7918-1434-6 .
32. Klaus Berger : In the beginning there was Johannes. Dating and theology of the fourth gospel. Pp. 84-90.
33. Klaus Berger : In the beginning there was Johannes. Dating and theology of the fourth gospel. P. 83.
34. Klaus Berger : In the beginning there was Johannes. Dating and theology of the fourth gospel. P. 94.
35. Michael Labahn, Manfred Lang: Johannes and the Synoptics. In: Jörg Frey, Udo Schnelle (Ed.): Contexts of the Gospel of John. Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen 2004, ISBN 3-16-148303-0 , p. 478.
36. Petr Pokorný, Ulrich Heckel: Introduction to the New Testament. An overview of his literature and theology . Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen 2007, ISBN 978-3-16-148011-9 , p. 547, p. 584.
37. Irenäus, Adv Haer III 1,1, also cited in Eusebius, Hist Eccl V 8,4; see. above
38. Klaus Wengst : Believed community and glorified Christ. An experiment on the Gospel of John.
39. So z. B. Maria Neubrand: The Gospel of John and "the Jews". Anti-Judaism in the Fourth Gospel? In: ThGL 99, 2009, pp. 205–217 ( PDF; 312 kB ( Memento of the original from October 29, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link has been inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. Retrieved October 26, 2013).
40. So above all Klaus Wengst : Believed community and glorified Christ. An experiment on the Gospel of John.