Analysis of the Gospel of John Essay

This essay has a total of 1249 words and 5 pages.


Analysis of the Gospel of John




The Gospel of John, the last of the four gospels in the Bible, is a radical departure from
the simple style of the synoptic gospels. It is the only one that does not use parables
as a way of showing how Jesus taught, and is the only account of several events, including
the raising of Lazarus and Jesus turning water into wine. While essentially the gospel is
written anonymously, many scholars believe that it was written by the apostle John
sometime between the years 85 and 95 CE in Ephesus. The basic story is that of a
testimonial of one of the Apostles and his version of Jesus' ministry. It begins by
telling of the divine origins of the birth of Jesus, then goes on to prove that He is the
Son of God because of the miracles he performs and finally describes Jesus' death and
resurrection.

Of course the most prominent part of the Gospel are the miracles. A number of the
miracles that are described in John are not mentioned at all in the other three Gospels.
For example, the aforementioned raising of Lazarus. In this miracle, Jesus goes to the
tomb of one of his followers who was stoned to death. Once he sees that Lazarus has been
entombed for four days, he has the stone removed from the entrance to the cave and
commands "Lazarus, come out!" (John 11:43). This is one of the most famous miracles, but
it only appears in the one Gospel. Another example of a very well known miracle that is
only present in John is his ability to turn water into wine at the wedding at Cana. This
is a story that tells how Jesus was able to take not only water, but also inferior wine
and turn them into quality wine. This is also a very interesting passage because in it,
Jesus is promoting alcohol use and being intoxicated at a party.

Other major issues in the Gospel include a somewhat first hand account of Jesus' ministry.
With phrases like "We beheld His glory" (1:14) and knowing the number of pots at the
wedding at Cana (Malick, 1996), it is well supported that this is an eyewitness account of
the event, even though some scholars place the authorship of John as late as 270 BCE.
Most of the evidence that points to the "eyewitness account" theory are minor details that
would be left out had the author not actually been there. Such details include specific
numbers (six water jars [2:6], 100 miles [6:19], 153 fish [21:11] [Malick, 1996]) and
names that would normally have been forgotten such as Nicodemus, Lazarus (as can be noted
from the lack of his story in the synoptic gospels) and Beth-zatha.

It is also interesting to note that even though John makes it very clear that the author
is Jewish, the Gospel is written primarily for a Greek audience. Because of his knowledge
of the Old Testament, which he continually quotes, his understanding of Jewish ritual and
culture and he knew and understood the prophesy of the coming Messiah, there is no doubt
that either John was Jewish himself or he studied Judaism very well. However, the lack of
concern for proving the prophecies set down in the Book of Isaiah supports evidence that
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