The Fourth Gospel

Unit Overview
The Gospel of John is like a mountain peak in the New Testament. It stands apart from the Synoptic Gospels and from its summit you can survey vast tracks of biblical revelation.  The Prologue to John puts the entire narrative in the context of the eternal, pre-existent Word who became flesh in Jesus and the Gospel focuses on Jesus and his messianic mission.  With seven signs and seven ‘I am’ sayings, teaching about eternal life, and abundant symbolism and irony, the Fourth Gospel has much that is both edifying and intriguing.  This unit explores the purpose, structure and content of John, along with its key themes, historical reliability and exegesis of key chapters. The unit will equip you to read John for all its worth.

Please visit the timetable by clicking here for the current dates on when this unit is offered.

Unit Details

Workload One semester, 12 credit points
Status  Elective
Subject code NT016 (English)
Prerequisites  NT001
Exclusions NT016
Teacher   Brian Rosner

Unit ontent

1. The critical issues in the Fourth Gospel, such as:

  • Authorship
  • Provenance and Date
  • Purpose
  • Structure
  • The Fourth Gospel as history
  • The Fourth Gospel as literature
  • Relationship of John to the Synoptic Gospels
  • Prologue–Themes and Relationship to the Rest of the Gospel

2. The theology of the Fourth Gospel, including such topics as:

  • Soteriology
  • Christology
  • “Signs” theology
  • Eschatology
  • Pneumatology
  • Ecclesiology

3. Exegesis covers John 1–3, 5, 7, 12, 16, 19 (with special attention to John 1:1-18; 3:31-36; 5:16-30; 7:25-44; 12:37-50; 15:26-16:16; 19:28-37).

Advance preparation is expected for both theology and exegesis lectures.

Candidates may not take any unit in which they repeat material completed in another unit.

  • The theology of the Fourth Gospel, including such topics as Christology; pneumatology; the church; eschatology; salvation/life/judgement; sacraments; faith and signs.
  •  The critical issues in the Fourth Gospel, such as: authorship; dating; provenance; formation of and historical background to the gospel; John and the synoptic gospels and the gospel tradition.
  •  Translation and exegesis of the Greek text of John 1–3, 5–6, 15–16 (or a comparable block of chapters).

Study Expectations
In this unit, you can expect to be guided through a variety of weekly learning activities which are designed to develop your understanding of and skills in the themes and passages related to this unit. For online students, these usually include watching videos, reading, completing set learning tasks and contributing to online seminars and interacting with your peers. Students are to allow 8-10 hours of study time per week for this introductory unit.


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