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The Gospel of John Bible Study Notes

The Gospel of John, written at the close of the First Century when John was an old man, was the last of the Gospels to be written.   It was written to the members of the Church, partly to provide information (such as the sermon about Jesus being the Good Shepherd) not contained in the other Gospels and to combat heresy (such as the Gnostic teaching that Jesus had come in the flesh, but not in the Spirit) that was starting to enter the Church.

Overview of The Gospel of John

John, the author of the Gospel of John, is sometimes also called John the Devine, John the Revelator, and John the Beloved. (He referees to himself as “the disciple whom Jesus loved.”) He was the youngest of the apostles and the last surviving member of the original quorum of the twelve.

John was born in Bethesda of Galilee. He was a fisherman and originally a disciple of John the Baptist. John and his brother James were the sons of Zebedee and Salome and know as the sons of thunder. (Some believe that Salome was a sister of Mary, the mother of Jesus and the sister of Mary named in John 19:25John 19:25
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

25 Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene. Cleophas: or, Clopas  

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Polycarp of Smyrna (69-155) was the bishop of Smyrna (now İzmir in Turkey) in the second century. He was as a disciple of John and the probibilitiy is that John ordained him a bishop. Irenaeus was a pupil of Polycarp who became the bishop of Lugdunum in Gaul, (now Lyon, France) and a notable early Christian apologist whose writings helped convert many. Irreaneaus wrote of John:

for sixty years after the Ascension [John] preached orally, till the end of Domitian’s reign; and, after the death of Domition and John’s return to Ephesus, he was induced to write [The Gospel of John] concerning the divinity of Christ, co-eternal with the Father; in which he refutes those heretics, Cerinthus and the Nicolaitans.

Prior to the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in A.D. 70 the Christians left Jerusalem. Ephesus, in modern Turkey, became the headquarters of the Church. Tradition says John took Mary, the mother of Jesus, with him to Ephesus where he cared for her.

The Synoptic Gospels were written before A.D. 64, while the Gospel of John was written around A.D. 98 after John had been freed from exile on the Isle of Patmos where he wrote the Book of Revelation. It was written shortly before the end of John’s mortality, at the request of many in the Church who wanted to know more about Jesus. Thus John omits many parts of Jesus’ life that were covered in the Synoptic Gospels, such as Christ’s parables. John records many events not found in the Synoptic Gospels such as the Discourses of Jesus (for example that of the Good Shepherd) and the early Judean ministry which was not recorded by Matthew, Mark, and Luke.

The Synoptic Gospels were written to convert the Jews, Romans, and Greeks to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In contrast, the Gospel of John was written for the Church, both to spiritually strengthen its members and to correct heretical ideas that were being taught in John’s final days.

To understand the Gospel of John it is therefore helpful to know some about the false teachings and teachers of John’s final days. The following is provided towards that end:

“Cerinthus (c 100) was an early Christian heresiarch (originator of a heretical sect). Contrary to proto-orthodox Christianity, Cerinthus’s school followed the Jewish law, denied that the Supreme God had made the physical world, and denied the divinity of Jesus. In Cerinthus’ interpretation, the Christ came to Jesus at baptism, guided him in his ministry, but left him at the crucifixion….His description of Christ as a bodiless spirit that dwelled temporarily in the man Jesus matches the Gnosticism of Valentius. Early Christian tradition describes Cerinthus as a contemporary to and opponent of John the Evangelist, who wrote the Gospel of John against him.”
–Cerinthus, Wikepdia, (, accessed June 24, 2007ne 24, 2007
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

Izbrano poglavje ne obstaja!

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A study of Nicolaitans, Gnosticism, Mandaeism, Simon Magus, Theudas (together with his disciple Valentinus), etc. is helpful in understanding both the false teachers and teachings of John’s last days.

The Gospel of John has been called “The Gospel for the Church” and “The Spiritual Gospel.” John makes clear his purpose for writing stating:

… these [words] are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name. (John 20:31John 20:31
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.  

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