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Religious Studies
Stephen Westerholm

Introduction  Introductory Information - John plays a central role in Christianity, most central and foundational book in the NT - Contributed to Christian art and theology eg. Raising of Lazarus, woman at the well - Explains the nature of Christ and God as the trinity - Deceptively simple text o simplest language of the NT (basic vocab and syntax ) o Profound and ambiguous though simply said, can be interpreted in several ways o If 2 or 3 meanings can be interpreted, likely the author meant all of them - Would miss more than any text if read just literally .. need to read more into it o Eg. Ch 2 – Jesus turns water to wine  Example of Jesus’ miraculous power  John makes a point of saying the jars were used of jewish rights if purification… suggests that beneath this level - wine that comes from the new wine in Christ surpasses old water of jewish tradition  New things of Christ surpasses the old traditions o Eg. Ch3 – Nicodemus comes to Jesus by night  Symbolic that he came at night time  Suggestion that he was afraid to come during the day  Suggestion that Nicodemus is in the dark, doesn’t understand the truth about Jesus o Eg. Ch 4 – woman at the well  She had 5 husbands – symbolic number 5 ?  At the end of the gospel.. 153 fish – symbolic number? o Eg. Ch 13 – Jesus Last Supper  Judas is present at that table, but then is dismissed and goes out to betray him  Jesus – “What you are doing, do quickly” ; other disciples didn’t understand  ‘Judas went out, and it was night’  significance that when he went out to betray him, it was night – signifies he was in the dark - Miracles of Jesus connected with a longer discourse o Jesus feeding the 5000 – extended discourse about Jesus as the bread of life o Jesus as the bread of life adds meaning to the supplication of bread to the people When John Was Written  - The earliest manuscript / copy of the NT ever found contains parts of John 18 ~ 125 AD/CE o Found in Egypt (must have been written earlier to have been found in Egypt by then) - Letters of Ignation in Antioch paraphrase john – if he is quoting or alluding to john, bringing the date back to latest : 90s of the first century Early church tradition : John was written after the 3 synoptics (John wanted to supplement them) o 3 synoptics gave thehuman perspective of jesus, but john wanted to add the divine perspective of Jesus o John was the theologian and wanted to write the divine - Matthew Mark and Luke were already written, John was supplementing them -
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