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The theology and Christology 1 in John's gospel is considered to be much higher, or more complex, than that of the synoptic gospels.

To see the difference in theology and style, compare the beginning of John's gospel with the beginnings of the synoptic gospels. In John, Jesus is presented as the logos — pre-existent and divine, whereas the synoptic authors present him in an earthly context — with his birth Matthew and Luke or baptism Mark. The idea of Jesus as the Word appears in the first chapter of John's gospel, regarded as the prologue to the rest of the gospel. The prologue can be seen as John's gospel in miniature, in terms of the way in which John uses it to illustrate the divinity of Jesus and His place in the universe.

The prologue introduces many Christological ideas that are repeated throughout the gospel, for example: Jesus as the word verses 1 and 14 , Jesus as the son verses 14 and 18 , the Christ verses 17 and 21 , Jesus as the lamb of God verse 36 , Jesus as son of God verses 34 and 44 , Jesus as king of Israel verse 49 , Jesus as Son of Man verse For example Proverbs 8: Jesus is shown to have been with God from before the beginning of creation. The idea of Jesus as the Word is also seen by some scholars to relate back to the idea of God creating through words in chapter one of Genesis:.


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As well as this, God's word was also the means by which he communicated with his people, whether directly or through his prophets. The Jewish readers of John's gospel would perhaps have picked up on these ideas, which would have reinforced for them the idea of Jesus's divinity. John's use of the word logos 2 would have been deeply significant for both his Jewish and Greek audience.

The concept of logos was an important one in Greek thought and meant far more than just the idea of a 'word' as we would think of it in English:. Stoicism , a Graeco-Roman school of philosophy, saw God as the logos , the. One way in which John seeks to illustrate Jesus's divinity and the relationship that exists between Jesus and God is to use the idea of the glory of Jesus. Theologically, glory is regarded as being the outward expression of God's power. God is invisible, but his glory manifests itself on earth through such things as storms, fire and earthquakes. For example, God shows himself as a pillar of fire in Exodus Right at the beginning of the gospel, the idea of Jesus being the Word shows Jesus in full glory.

Book of Signs

He is with God, and the ideas of him being present at the start of creation and even being the 'reason' that orders creation show him to be glorious — as full of glory as John's Jewish audience would have believed God to be. Jesus himself refers to the glory that He has as the Word:.

This reference to his glory at this point in the gospel gives a good illustration of one way in which John's presentation of Jesus is different to that of the synoptic gospels. Unlike the synoptic gospels, Jesus' death is seen as something that glorifies him. Jesus refers to his coming death in glory in several other places in John's gospel:. The Hebrew word moshiach Messiah , meaning anointed, is translated into Greek as Christos Christ , meaning the anointed one.

In the Hebrew Bible, the term is most often used with reference to kings, who were anointed with oil as part of their coronation ceremonies see Judges 9: These kings were given the title 'the Lord's anointed' see for example 1 Samuel 2: Eventually, the term came to refer less to actual existing kings, and was applied primarily to.

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Jesus is seen as a kingly figure in John's gospel. He is crucified as an earthly leader — the so-called King of the Jews John In the synoptic gospels, Jesus's identity is kept a secret. Jesus does not want people to know who he is and his identity is only gradually revealed.

However, in John's gospel, the identity of Jesus as the Messiah is revealed fairly early on. Jesus actually says that he is the Christ in John 4: John states that he wrote the gospel so that people would believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah The idea of salvation through the Kingdom of God , which is used throughout the synoptic gospels, is not a major theme in John's gospel. The phrase 'kingdom of God' is only used twice in the gospel 3: John is more concerned about salvation through eternal life The eschatology present in John's gospel is realised.

Those who hear Jesus' words and believe in him have eternal life by doing so:. However, in other parts of John's gospel, even later in the same chapter of the gospel, the idea of future eschatology is the order of the day. Jesus is set to return to earth in the future and it is then that people will be judged:. This tension between these two different 'eschatologies', realised and future, can be relieved to some extent. Jesus still talks about raising the dead, judgement and giving life - ideas which would have been familiar to John's Jewish audience.

However, there is now more to the idea of life as contrasted to death. It could be argued that in talking about eternal life, Jesus is describing a new kind of life on earth, now, as opposed to a new life which is only given after death. In talking about death, Jesus is talking about a poor kind of life on earth.

In this way, the traditional ideas of judgement after death is not made invalid, but the old imagery is used to describe the difference between new life for those who believe in Jesus and life for those who do not. There are considered to be six events in John's gospel, known as the signs, which are used to show that God and Jesus are fundamentally linked. They will be presented here in tabular form.

According to John himself, the purpose of writing down the signs was so that people could believe and be saved Scholars see the signs as being connected to particular and significant 'sayings' of Jesus — Christological statements that he makes about himself — that are themselves contained in and explained by 'discourses' with other characters in the gospel. These discourses are used by John to bring out the true theological and Christological meaning of the sign and to help people believe. The table below shows the relationship between the signs, sayings and discourses, and gives a brief description of the meaning scholars believe can be attached to each group of related passages from the gospel.

The style, structure and content of John's gospel are used by the author to reinforce John's theology and most of all his Christology. John wants his readers to recognise Jesus for who he believes Jesus is -the Messiah of Jewish expectation but, even more, the bringer of eternal life, the divine saviour. John's gospel presents a picture, not only of Jesus as John saw him, but also of John as a man struggling to convey the magnitude of what the coming of Jesus means to mankind.

It is not enough for him to write the story of Jesus' life on earth, or even to tell of his miracles. John wants his readers to be perfectly clear about who Jesus is and does not shy away from using highly developed ideas in order to help them in their understanding. Not Panicking Ltd is not responsible for the content of external internet sites. It has been compiled and recompiled many times and under many different editorships. It contains contributions from countless numbers of travellers and researchers.

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Book of Signs - Wikipedia

Edited Entries Only Advanced Search. The Presentation of Jesus in John's Gospel Content from the guide to life, the universe and everything. Style The synoptic gospels were written as historical accounts of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The authors of the synoptic gospels wanted to show that Jesus was the Messiah of Jewish expectation and to show how He lived among people on earth.

He wants his audience to see Jesus as the Messiah of Jewish expectation, but he also wants them to see Jesus as having been an integral element in the created universe from the beginning.

John is clear about his aims, stating them towards the end of his gospel: Bullinger , have emphasized a sequence of eight signs, concluding with the miraculous catch of fish in John From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Apostle Beloved disciple Evangelist Patmos Presbyter. Apocryphon Acts Signs Gospel. The Cradle, the Cross, and the Crown: An Introduction to the New Testament.

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