Fourth Gospel

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 tracts 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 subject explores the purpose, structure and content of John, along with its key themes, historical reliability and exegesis of key chapters. It will equip you to read John for all its worth.

Please visit the timetable by clicking here for current information on subject availability.

Subject Details

Mode On-campus  Online 
Workload One semester, 12 credit points One semester, 12 credit points
Status  Elective Elective
Unit code NT016 (English)
NT016 (English)
Prerequisites  NT001 NT001
Teacher   Brian Rosner  Brian Rosner


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).

Study Expectations
In this subject, 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 covered by the syllabus. For online students, these usually include watching videos, reading, completing set learning tasks and contributing to online seminars and interacting with your peers. Allow 10-12 hours of study time per week for this advanced subject.


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