The authorship of this Gospel is attributed to the Apostle John, son of Zebedee and one of Jesus’ twelve disciples. Interestingly, his own name is not explicit in the gospel he wrote, but he made references to himself as “the disciple whom Jesus loved” ( John 13:23 and John 21:20 ).
The Gospel of John is the fourth gospel in the Bible. It is also known as ‘the Gospel According to John’, ‘Fourth Gospel’ or just ‘John’. The writing in this gospel has the same style as the three letters of the Apostle and the revelation of the Apocalypse. The Apostle John is also known by the nickname João Evangelista and João de Patmos.
Know: Who was João Evangelista?
Whoever wrote the fourth gospel was from Jesus’ inner circle. Only three apostles belonged to this restricted group: John, James and Peter. James was martyred by Herod Agrippa I, around AD 44, before the book was written ( Acts 12: 1-2 ). Peter’s authorship of the book is also discarded, as it was mentioned a few times with the author ( John 21: 7 and John 21:20 ), leaving only John Evangelist.
Characteristics of the Gospel of John
The Gospel of John is not considered a Synoptic Gospel. The Gospel written by John contains very peculiar characteristics in relation to the other three gospels considered synoptic: Matthew, Mark and Luke.
See also: What are Synoptic Gospels?
In the Gospel of John there are other important testimonies of Jesus’ life that are not portrayed in the books of Matthew, Mark and Luke. Written after the synoptic books, the Gospel of John was written in a supplementary manner and with a clear purpose: to declare that Jesus is God ( John 20: 30-31 ).
The Gospel of John was structured in four parts. The Prologue , in which John begins by writing that: “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God”, pointing to Jesus as the Son of God and the only savior. Then, John the Baptist witnesses Jesus as the Lamb of God and the Christ ( John 1: 32-34 ).
See: John the Baptist or John the Evangelist? Characters with the same name.
The second part called the Book of Signs , where John discusses the beginning of Jesus’ ministry. This passage contains the seven miracles of Jesus:
- The miracle of marriage in Cana of Galilee (John 2: 1-12).
- Healing an officer’s son (John 4: 43-54).
- The healing of the paralytic in the pool of Bethesda (John 5: 1-15).
- The multiplication of the loaves (John 6: 1-15).
- Walking on water (John 6: 16-70).
- The healing of the blind from birth (John 9: 1-41).
- The resurrection of Lazarus (John 11: 1-54). According to John, this was what motivated the execution of Jesus by the authorities.
The third part is called the Book of Glory. It addresses the Passion of Christ, the Resurrection of Jesus and his resurrected appearances. John reports on the Last Supper from the moment Jesus washed the disciples ‘feet (John 13: 1-17), quotes about Judas’ betrayal (John 13: 18-30) and Peter’s denial (John 13 : 31-38).
The Epilogue is the last part of the Gospel of John and can be found in chapter 21. In it, John discusses the appearance of the risen Jesus, the miraculous fishing and the restoration of Peter. In this part, the author identifies himself as ‘the Beloved Disciple’.
Although we know that the “disciple Jesus loved” really was John the Evangelist, the author himself never directly says that he is that person. We can infer this information by reading this and other chapters of John like: John 13: 23-25 and John 19: 25-27 .
In the last verse ( John 21:25 ), John concludes by writing that Jesus did so many things that if each wonder were reported, there would not be enough space in the world for the books to be written.