Gospel of John (book of the Bible)

Gospel according to Saint John . Fourth book of the New Testament containing the story of the life of Jesus Christ .


[ hide ]

  • 1 Author
  • 2 Historical evidence
  • 3 Contents and outline
  • 4 Sources


The ecclesiastical tradition of the second half of the 2nd century held that it was written by Saint John the Evangelist before his death, and published towards the end of the 1st century, perhaps in the ancient Greek city of Ephesus .

Furthermore, tradition affirmed that it is the last of the Gospels , an opinion shared and founded by modern scholars. This is why it appears in the New Testament canon after the three Synoptic Gospels ( Matthew , Mark, and Luke ). These share a common point of view and central theme.

Historical evidence

If we first consult the historical testimonies of the past, we discover the universally admitted fact that, from the eighteenth century to at least the third century, the Apostle Saint John was accepted without question as the author of the Fourth Gospel. Therefore, by examining the evidences, we can start from the third century, and then go back to the time of the Apostles.

The oldest translations of the Gospel manuscripts constitute the first group of evidence. In the titles, tables of contents, signatures, which are usually added to the texts of the Gospels separately, John is always mentioned as the author of this Gospel without the slightest indication of doubt.

Although it is true that the oldest date of this extensive manuscript is from the middle of the fourth century, the perfect unanimity of all the codices proves all criticism that the prototypes of this manuscript, of a much older date, must have contained the same indication regarding the author. Similar is the testimony of the translations of the Gospel, of which the Syriac, Coptic and ancient Latin versions date back in their most ancient forms until the second century.

Content and outline

According to the traditional order, the Gospel of Saint John occupies the last place among the four Canonical Gospels . Although in many of the old copies this Gospel, taking into account the Apostolic dignity of its author, was located immediately after or even before the Gospel according to Matthew , the location it occupies today was from the beginning the most usual and the most accepted.

Regarding its content, the Gospel of Saint John is a narration of the life of Jesus from his Baptism to his Resurrection and his own manifestation in the midst of his disciples. The chronicle is naturally divided into four sections:

Prologue (1.1–18)

  1. Public ministry of Jesus, the Christ (1.19–12.50)
  2. John the Baptist (1.19–34) b. Jesus begins his ministry (1.35–3.36) c. Revelation of Jesus as the Christ and confrontation with the Jewish authorities (4.1–6.71) d. Revelation of Jesus as light and life for the world (7.1–12.50)
  3. Passion, death and resurrection (13.1–21.23)
  4. The Last Supper (13.1–17.26) Dinner. The new commandment. Farewell speeches (13.1–16.33) The priestly prayer (17.1–26) b. Arrest, trial, death and burial (18.1–19.42) c. The resurrection (20.1–21.23)

The empty tomb (20.1–10)

Jesus appears to Mary Magdalene (20.11–18)

Jesus appears to the disciples (20.19–21.23)

Epilogue (21.24–25)


Leave a Comment