STUDY QUESTION ON THE GOSPEL OF JOHN
Potential test question:
The Gospel of John is in some ways very different
from the synoptic gospels, so different that many have maintained that
the events and teachings described in it have little relationship to
the historical Christ. However, a close examination of this
gospel shows that picture of Jesus and his teachings given in this
gospel does not conflict with that of the synoptics but complements and
supplements it--sometimes in surprising ways.
1. Why does John begin his gospel where he does? How is
this beginning different from that of the synoptic gospels?
2. How is John's treatment of John the Baptist different from
that of the synoptic gospels? Why these differences?
3. Why does the Gospel of John include the calling of Philip and
Nathaniel--but not the calling of John? Why does this gospel
seemingly make so little reference to John? (But cf. 1:40)
4. John places the "cleansing of the temple" early in Jesus
ministry. The synoptics place it late. Is this a
contradiction? Why the seeming conflict?
5. John includes many episodes in the teaching of Jesus the
synoptics leave out, e.g. the conversation with Nicodemus, the story of
the woman at the well, the turning of water into wine, the healing of
the lame man at Bethesda, the healing of the man born blind, and the
raising of Lazarus. Why does John include these episodes?
Why do the synoptics leave them out?
6. Notice the questions put to Jesus in the Gospel of John and
the answers he gives. Is this consistent with the synoptic
picture of Jesus' technique in dealing with questions?
7. What about the miracles Jesus performs? Are the miracles
described in the Gospel of John consistent with the miracles of the
synoptics? (cf. John 7:21-23 and Matthew 12:9-14).
8. Is the christology of the Gospel of John consistent with the
christology of the other gospels, i.e. does John seem to have the same
view of who and what Jesus is as the synoptic writers?
9. In ch. 13-17 John includes many words of Jesus not found in
the other gospels. Are the teaching here consistent with the rest
of Jesus' teaching? How do you explain the fact that the other
gospels do not include any direct reference to these ideas?
10. How does John's treatment of the trial, crucifixion, and
resurrection of Jesus differ from that of the synoptics? How do
you explain these differences?