a. Is there any difference in teaching between John's gospel and the synoptic gospels?
b. Jesus is described as the Messiah, the son of God, the son of man, and "logos". What are the meaning of these terms?
c. Eternal life is the purpose of Jesus' coming (Jn 10:10) and the main purpose of John's gospel (Jn 20:31). How is eternal life taught?
d. What are the teachings of the Holy Spirit in John?
e. Does John's gospel include teachings on the future?
f. What are the main themes in John's epistles?
1. What is the difference between John's gospel and the synoptic gospels?
a. Centres on several visits to Jerusalem: 3 passovers (2:13, 6:4, 13:1), possibly 4 (5:1)
b. Missing: birth, baptism, transfiguration, exorcism, Gethsemane, last supper, Olivet Discourse (Mt 24-25)
c. Not the parables and short, vivid sayings as in other gospels, but long discourses
d. Different themes: eternal life (present realized blessing), not repentance and Kingdom of God (eschatological blessing)
e. "I am" (not in synoptics):(1) "He" (Messiah) (4:26)f. Dualism (contrasts):
(2) bread of life (6:35)
(3) light of the world (8:12, 9:5)
(4) door (10:7)
(5) good shepherd (10:11)
(6) resurrection and the life (11:25)
(7) the way, the truth, and the life (14:6)
(8) true vine (15:1)(1) of this world, not of this world (8:23)g. Frequent words:
(2) light and darkness (1:5, 1Jn 1:5)
(3) flesh and spirit (3:6)
(4) earthly things, heavenly things (3:12)(1) in John: love, truth, true, genuine, know, work, world, judge, abide, send, witness, believe inh. However, there is no fundamental difference in teaching, only difference in emphasis (theological emphasis in John).
(2) in the Synoptics: righteous, power or miracle, feel mercy or pity, call, repent, parable, pray
2. How is Jesus described
in John's gospel?
a. Messiah (Heb. "Mashiach", Gr. "Christos"), "anointed":(1) Old Testament:(a) 'Anointed' in OT denotes offices of divine appointment, the king
(b) 2Sa 7:16 Ideal king, from David's line, who would deliver Israel and reign in righteousness forever.
(c) fulfiller of prophecies of Isaiah (Isa 29:18, 35:5, 61:1) bringing healing, life and good news to God's needy children
(d) recalls Zec 9:9 the servant, Ps 22 the righteous sufferer(2) Jesus claimed that He is the Messiah (Jn 4:26, Mk 8:29, Mk 14:62)b. Son of God:
(3) But in spiritual and eschatological terms (Jn 1:45), not in nationalist and political terms (people tried to force Jesus to be king but He refused, Jn 6:15)(1) Old Testament: applied to Israel (Ex 4:22), to kings (2Sa 7:14), to angels (Job 1:6)
(2) Synoptics: equivalent to the Messiah (Mt 16:16, Mk 14:61)
(3) Frequent in John (5:19, 10:15, 14:6, 16:15), emphasizing Jesus' Sonship and God's Fatherhood(4) Meaning in John:(a) unique sonship: one and only (Greek: "monogenes") son, 'begotten' meaning kind or sort, not 'beget'
(b) a special object of divine love (5:20, 10:17), shares this love with His disciples (15:9)
(c) equality with the Father: claim equal glory (5:23), and oneness (10:30)(5) Divinely commissioned, sent by the Father:c. Son of man:(a) Jesus' works are divine works (5:17-19), and came from the Father (10:32)
(b) Jesus' words are the words of God (8:26,28,40, 14:24)
(c) possess exclusive knowledge of the Father (6:47, 10:15)
(d) the Father has given all things into the Son's hand (3:35)
(1) Old Testament:(a) Prophet Ezekiel meaning 'a human being', man in his weakness as compared to the Almighty
(b) Ps 8:4 signifies frail and insignificant man, yet destined for authority second only to that of God
(c) Ps 80:17 stands for Israel made strong out of weakness
(d) Dan 7 one who represents 'the saints of the Most High' to whom God is about to entrust judgment and sovereignty(2) Gospels with 50 'Son of man' sayings, a name used only by Jesus for Himself(3) Meaning in the gospels:(a) an earthly figure, possessing authority, eating and drinking, having no place to lay His head (earthly son of man)(4) Use of the name by Jesus:
(b) sufferings and triumph (suffering son of man)
(c) will come in glory as judge (apocalyptic son of man)(a) Dan 7 echoed in Jesus' sayings (Mk 14:62, Lk 12:32)(b) Jesus chose this title to conceal (because of its mysterious and ambiguous meaning) and to reveal to those with ears to hear. It was a title of both majesty and humility.(5) Characteristics of Son of man:d. "Logos" (the Word):(a) death: shall be lifted up (3:14-15), death to draw all men unto Himself (12:32)
(b) life: bread of life (6:33-35), gives food that endures to eternal life (6:27); men must eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of man to experience this life (6:53)
(c) mediator: establish communication between heaven and earth (1:51); disciples will "see" (experience) in all Jesus' work the union with God
(d) judge: God has committed to Jesus as the Son of Man all authority to executive judgment (5:27); both realized (5:25), already under judgment (3:18); and futuristic (5:28-29), resurrection of judgment (6:29)(1) 1:1,14, 1Jn 1:1, Rev 19:13 Greek means eternal principle of order in the universe
(2) personal pre-existence of Jesus (8:58)
(3) deity of Jesus: the Word was deity but not fully identified with deity (1:1)
(4) agent of creation (1:3)
(5) incarnation (1:14): Word became flesh
(6) come in flesh as revealer to men: life (1:4), light (1:4-5), grace (1:14), truth (1:14), glory (1:14), and God Himself (1:18)
3. What is eternal life?
a. Greek Zoe
b. Synoptics: life of the Age to Come (Mk 10:23), future eschatological blessing (Lk 10:25)
c. John: both eschatological (12:25, 3:36, 4:14, 6:27, 5:29) and present
d. Eternal life as a present experience:(1) The life of the Age to Come is already imparted to the believer. It is a life resident in Jesus (5:26, 11:25, 14:6). Since a believer already has this life through faith in Jesus, he will never die (11:25-26)e. Eternal life as a future enjoyment:
(2) He came to give life to the world (6:33), to satisfy the world's spiritual hunger and thirst (6:35) (living bread, 6:51, living water, 4:10,14)(1) a fountain of life that will issue in eschatological eternal life (4:14)f. Nature of eternal life: knowledge and vision of God (14:7), knowledge of truth (8:32) (to know God's saving purpose)
(2) resurrection in End times (6:40,54)
(3) live forever (6:51), never perish (10:28)
4. How is the Holy Spirit described?
a. Greek pneuma
b. Synoptics:(1) birth of Jesus attributed to the creative power of the Holy Spirit (Mt 1:18, Lk 1:35)c. Nature of the Holy Spirit in John:
(2) Jesus coming to baptize with the Holy Spirit (Mk 1:8)
(3) descent like a dove at Jesus' baptism
(4) power over evil spirits given by the Holy Spirit (Mt 12:28)
(5) give Holy Spirit to the disciples (Lk 11:13)
(6) disciples taught by the Holy Spirit (Lk 12:12, Mt 10:20)(1) Jesus filled with the Holy Spirit (3:34)d. Coming of the Holy Spirit:
(2) imparts the Holy Spirit to the disciples to equip them for ministry (which will involve the forgiveness of sins) and continue His mission (20:21-22)(1) Problem: Did Jesus impart the Holy Spirit at 20:21-22? The Spirit could not be given until Jesus' ascension (16:7); the Holy Spirit came at the Pentecost; 20:21 is an acted parable that was actually fulfilled at the Pentecoste. Work:
(2) Jesus was the source of living water, the Holy Spirit continues His ministry after ascension, (7:38-39), disciples become source of life for those who heard and believed
(3) realized eschatology (4:23): 'spirit' = Holy Spirit (Php 3:3). Man may worship God anywhere if they are motivated by the Holy Spirit; worship mediated through Jesus and inspired by the Holy Spirit, form and place of worship are irrelevant(1) Comforter, Helper (Gr. parakletos) (Jn 14:16): "advocate" (1Jn 2:1), a teacher to instruct and lead the disciples not an advocate to defend them
(2) Permanent indwelling of God's people (14:16-17)
(3) Glorify Christ, bear witness to Christ (16:14, 15:26). Work of the Spirit is Christ-centred (16:14): explaining meaning of Christ's person and saving works
(4) Spirit of truth (14:17, 15:26, 16:13, 1Jn 4:6, 5:7), lead men into revelation of redemptive truth
(5) Convicting power (16:8-11)
5. What is the main message in First John?
a. Main theme: traits of a true disciple or proofs of genuine Christianity (1Jn 5:1-2)
b. Elements:(1) True belief in Jesus (5:1)c. 2:3-27 First application--"know God" (2:3)
(2) Obedience to God (3:9)
(3) Love towards brothers and sisters (4:7)(1) 2:3-6 Obedience, the moral test: keep God's commandments and His Word and behave like Himd. 2:28-4:6 Second application--"born of God" (3:1)
(2) 2:7-11 Love, the social test: selfless sacrifice
(3) 2:18-27 Belief, the doctrinal test: founded on the Word and the Holy Spirit(1) 2:28-3:10 Obedience, elaboratione. 4:7-5:5 Third application--"has been born of God"(5:1)
(2) 3:11-18 Love, elaboration
(3) 4:1-6 Belief, elaboration(1) 4:7-12 Love, God is love (4:8,16)f. Problem:
(2) 4:13-21 Combination of love and belief
(3) 5:1-5 Combination of all three(1) 1:8 Man is sinful
(2) 3:6 "Whoever abides in Him does not sin" (NKJV)(a) Greek: settled habit(3) Christians will sin but not habitually.
(b) "keeps on sinning" (NIV)