The Gospel of St John

The Gospel of St John

The principal aim of the course will be to furnish an appreciation of Johannine literature as Good News, with particular reference to the theological perspective of the author. The course will further aim at providing a basic familiarity with, and a critical assessment of, contemporary critical thinking on the Johannine writings, particularly the Gospel of John.

Course code: THEN18

Professor: Adrian Judd

Course description

John's Gospel presents themes of light and life, truth and temple, lifting up and glory. These themes all introduce the hearer to Jesus Christ. This course assesses these themes within the Book of Signs and the Book of Glory in John's Gospel. Comparison with the other Gospels will help us understand the key aspects of John's Christology and an understanding of Jesus as the Word of God.

The course is designed to help you think for yourself and to work with the text of John's Gospel in translation to give you the skills needed to understand John's Gospel. Questions to think about form a key part of the course provoking critical thinking that will deepen your understanding of the Fourth Gospel and of Jesus Christ.


  1. To promote critical thinking through consideration of different interpretations of John's Gospel
  2. To compare John's Gospel with Mark's Gospel
  3. To evaluate the hypothesis that John used sources

Learning outcomes

  1. Evaluate theories of the development of John's Gospel
  2. Compare texts to evidence possible relationships between elements of the Gospel
  3. Evaluate the significance of John's Gospel for a proper understanding of Christology or the doctrine of the Trinity.

Assessment methods: 

A 10 question course quiz on Moodle plus a final assignment.

Course Outline:

Chapter 1: The Purpose and Formation of John's Gospel
Chapter 2: The Logos
Chapter 3: Christ the Temple
Chapter 4: I am the Bread of Life
Chapter 5:Christ the Life of the World
Chapter 6: Christ the Light of the World
Chapter 7: Metaphors for Life in Christ
Chapter 8: The Spirit or Paraclete
Chapter 9: John a Spiritual Gospel
Chapter 10: Witness and Rejection
Chapter 11: Transition scenes
Chapter 12: The Book of Glory
Chapter 13: Materials to Help with Assignments