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The Gospel of John Bible Study

Roger Hahn

These resources are offered as a ministry of the Christian Resource Institute with no access charge or subscription fees.  (See Copyright and User Information Notice).  If you find these resources useful in your personal Faith journey or ministry,  we only ask that as you use the material you assist us by a contribution or monthly donation to enable us to continue making them available.  See How You Can Help!

We hope you find something here helpful and invigorating for your own spiritual journey as you read and reflect upon the Gospel of John.

The Course of Study

Introduction  (Lesson 1) John 9:1-41 (Lesson 12)
John 1:1-34 (Lesson 2) John 10:1-42 (Lesson 13)
John 1:35-2:25 (Lesson 3) John 11:1-44 (Lesson 14)
John 3:1-4:3 (Lesson 4) John 11:45-12:36 (Lesson 15)
John 4:4-42 (Lesson 5) John 12:37-13:30 (Lesson 16)
John 4:43-5:29 (Lesson 6) John 13:31-14:31 (Lesson 17)
John 5:30-6:25 (Lesson 7) John 15:1-16:15 (Lesson 18)
John 6:26-71 (Lesson 8) John 16:16-17:26 (Lesson 19)
John 7:1-36 (Lesson 9) John 18:1-19:16a (Lesson 20)
John 7:37-8:20 (Lesson 10) John 19:16b - 20:10 (Lesson 21)
John 8:21-59 (Lesson 11) John 20:11-21:25 (Lesson 22)

The studies themselves are not intended to be comprehensive or complete commentaries on the biblical passages, but rather a survey of the basic story line, a brief analysis on the features of the text that serve to communicate its message, and a summary of the theological communication of the passages as a basis for further reflection.  That means that there will be a lot of interesting details of the biblical narratives that will not be directly considered.

There are other articles that are available as background and additional reading for the Bible Study:

Outline of the Gospel of John

Guidelines for Interpreting Biblical Narrative

Three Triads of Biblical Interpretation (Graphic for "Guidelines")

Revelation and Inspiration of Scripture

Bibliography for the Study of John

Throughout this study various authors have been quoted. The bibliographical information and a brief comment are given for the main sources used in the preparation of these lessons.

Barclay, William. The Gospel of John, 2 vols. in The Daily Study Bible, 17 vols. Philadelphia: The Westminster Press, 1955. This is the easiest and probably the most profitable for a layman's resource and study. The commentary is on paragraphs, not on individual verses, so some questions will not be addressed.

Barrett, C. K. The Gospel According to St. John. 2nd ed. Philadelphia: The Westminster Press, 1955, 1978. This is an excellent commentary on the Greek text, but it is difficult to use without knowledge of Greek.

Beasley-Murray, George R. John, Vol 36 of the Word Biblical Commentary. Waco, Texas: Word Books Publisher, 1987. This commentary often has very useful insights. Its format is a bit complicated. Sometimes he uses Greek and Hebrew; he often is responding to other scholars; and some of his comment is verse by verse while other is by paragraph.

Brown, Raymond E. The Gospel According to John, 2 large vols. in The Anchor Bible. Garden City, New York: Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1966, 1970. This is usually considered the best scholarly commentary on John. The author is the most outstanding American Roman Catholic New Testament scholar. The format is complicated and a variety of critical positions are evaluated. It pays rich dividends, but is very difficult.

Brown, Raymond E.  An Introduction to the Gospel of John, edited by Francis J. Moloney. New York: Doubleday, 2003 (there are later editions). A thorough revision of Brown's The Anchor Bible commentary on John, published after his death. This revision includes more attention to literary aspects of the texts, as well as additional information on the formation of the Gospels and a section on Christology.

Dodd, C. H. The Interpretation of the Fourth Gospel. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1953. The first 60% of this work is complicated philosophical discussion of backgrounds for John. The last part of the book deals with John's structure and flow of argument. It often has useful material, but it is difficult to find.

Kysar, Robert. John's Story of Jesus. Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1984. This is a small paperback by a noted Lutheran scholar. It has some brilliant insights, but is very brief. Deals with chapters rather than with verses.

Lindars, Barnabas. The Gospel of John. Part of the New Century Bible Commentary. London: Marshall, Morgan and Scott, 1977. This is a solid verse-by-verse commentary based on the RSV by a British Catholic scholar. It is almost always helpful and usually easy to understand.

Michaels, J. Ramsey. John. A Good News Commentary. San Francisco: Harper & Row, Publishers, 1984. This is now being published as part of the New International Bible Commentary by Hendrickson Publishers. This is an excellent paperback commentary by an Evangelical scholar. It has paragraph commentaries followed by additional notes on each verse.

Morris, Leon. The Gospel According to John. Part of the New International Commentary on the New Testament. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1971. This is a large traditional commentary by a respected Evangelical scholar. He presents detailed comments on every verse and defends traditional orthodox theology.

Schnackenburg, Rudolf. The Gospel According to St. John. 3 large vols. New York: The Seabury Press, 1968, 1980, 1982. This is the translation of a huge German commentary by a noted German Roman Catholic scholar. It contains very detailed discussion of many theological and critical issues. It has a lot of information, but requires a lot of work to find applicable material.

Sloyan, Gerard. John. Part of Interpretation: A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching. Atlanta: John Knox Press, 1988. This commentary attempts to make technical scholarship applicable to preaching or teaching. It deals by paragraph and often has important insights.

-Roger Hahn, Copyright © 2013, Roger Hahn and CRI/Voice, Institute
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