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Gospel of John

Gospel of John

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Published by cpmacau
Christian Community Bible (NT) - 48th Ed (2009)
Christian Community Bible (NT) - 48th Ed (2009)

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Published by: cpmacau on Nov 27, 2009
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This fourth Gospel unfolds in a differ-ent setting than the other three. To start with,while Jesus’ activity in Galilee occupied amajor part of the Synoptics, the fourthGospel does not say much about it. It dealswith what Jesus did between his baptism byJohn and his return to Galilee (Jn 1-3) andafter that, almost everything takes place inJerusalem. There, within the framework of the pilgrimage feasts, our author observes themounting conflicts between Jesus and Jew-ish authorities. He seems to be at home,aware of what is going on behind the scenesof power, namely among the priests.The difference of tone is even more im-portant. Whether John is dealing with scenesor miracles of Jesus or with the discoursesthat accompany them, everything bears theseal of a personal eyewitness. This is espe-cially true for the discourses that the evan-gelist builds upon authentic words of Jesus,but thanks to John’s prophetic gift, he is ableto develop the intentions of Jesus and thedeep meaning of his words and gestures. Hedoes not hide his purpose from us:
These arerecorded so that you may believe that Jesusis the Christ, the Son of God 
(Jn 20:31). Hisdiscourses reaffirm the incredible promisesof Jesus to those who believe in him, prom-ises that for John became a reality.The Gospel of John proclaims the exis-tence of the Son of God
 from all eternity
, andthis light on the origin of Jesus immediatelyenlightens the scope of his work. Jesus, theeternal Son of God who became man, did notcome just to teach us to be better but he cameto transform creation.This gospel seems to have accompaniedJohn throughout his life. He reworked it sev-eral times. A small paragraph added at theend suggests that the gospel was publishedafter the death of its author, about the year 95.
 Is John the author of the gospel that bears his name?
John’s message is so clear that it sets uson fire. Telling us that the one who markedhim forever, the one he loved and who lovedhim, was the eternal Word of God…, is re-ally an astounding statement. Some wouldprefer someone else, not an eyewitness, to
have written the gospel. It could have been some theologian who might have more readilyidealized Jesus because from a distance, he would not have had all the evidence of his humanpresence, his way of looking, eating and the smell of his sweat…This explains, for the most part, the countless hypotheses that have been built up for acentury to attribute this Gospel to a theologian from the second generation after Jesus. Noneof these have gathered convincing proofs.However, we have to admit that there are many reasons to doubt that the author is Johnthe apostle. The main reason is the following: Could John, the Galilean fisherman, have writ-ten the theological and mystical discourses proper of this gospel? Naturally, it is not impos-sible.But, there is still more. The one who gave their final shape to the discourses, in the years70-80, probably near Ephesus where an ancient tradition asserts that John had retired, is notonly a theologian but he must also have been a priest (18:15).
The disciple whom Jesus loved 
We have always thought that the fourteen mentions (2x7) of the
disciple whom Jesusloved 
in the latter part of the Gospel referred to the author himself. Verse 21:24, added afterhis death, state it explicitly. This beloved disciple was identified with John the apostle, thebrother of James and the son of Zebedee and he was thought to be the youngest of the Twelve.But what was actually known about it?Zebedee the fisherman might have been a priest. However, the evangelist says nothingabout part of the ministry of Jesus in Galilee, about the transfiguration… and even in 21:2,he appears to have been one of the
two disciples
(as in 1:35) and therefore, not the son of Zebedee.It is only at the Last Supper that the author really enters into the gospel. We see him inthe seat of honor, the seat that rightfully belonged to the host. Could he have been the ownerwho welcomed Jesus and his disciples (Lk 22:12)? And from then on, he could have ac-companied Peter. He can venture to be at the foot of the cross while the Galilean groupthought only about escaping from reprisal. Jesus entrusted Mary to him and a few momentslater, he understood everything.The indications that would allow to attribute this gospel to another John, a priest fromJerusalem and different from Zebedee’s son are, then as numerous as the ones that give pref-erence to the latter one and it is difficult to give preference to one of them. However, it is avery interesting clue that leads to many discoveries. Specifically, in chapter 19:31-37, the au-thor of the gospel reports the precise event that so deeply moved him and gave him accessto the mystery of Jesus. He really was a priest.
Composition of the Gospel of John
There have been many attempts to determine the structure of the Gospel of John. Wepresent here a division in three great sessions. These all begin with the expression: thetime/hour that appears three times.It is also important to bear in mind the frequency of Jewish feasts. The Passover ap-pears three times, and then a “feast”, the Tents, the Dedication of the Temple.
The first week: 1:1–2:11.
First Part:
The presentation of God’s gift: 2:12–6:71.
Second Part:
Rejection of the world and homicidal attempts: 7:1—12:50.
Third Part:
Jesus completes his work bringing to perfection the love for his people:Chapters 13—20.
The author’s purpose: 20:30-31.
Until his return.
 JOHN 1532
The Word became a human
In the beginning was the Word.And the Word was with Godand the Word was God;
he was in the beginning with God.
All things were made through him,and without him nothing came to be.Whatever has come to be,
found lifein him;life, which for human beings, wasalso light,
light that shines in darkness,light that darkness could notovercome.
A man came, sent by God;his name was John.
He came to bear witness,as a witness to introduce the Light,so that all might believe through him.
He was not the Light,but a witness to introduce the Light;
for the Light was coming into theworld,the true Light that enlightenseveryone.
He was in the world,and through him the world was made,the very world that did not know him.
He came to his own,
yet his own people did not receive him;
but to all who received himhe empowers to become children of God,for they believe in his Name.
These are born, but not by seed,nor carnal desire, nor by the will of man: they are born of God.
And the Word was made fleshand dwelt among us;and we have seen his glory,the glory of the only Son of theFather:fullness of truth and loving-kindness.
John bore witness to him openly,saying,“This is the one who comes after me,but he is already ahead of me,for he was before me.”
From his fullness we have allreceived,favor upon favor.
For God had given us the Lawthrough Moses,but Truth and Loving-kindnesscame through Jesus Christ.
No one has ever seen God,but God-the-only-Son made himknown:the one, who is in and with the Father.
In the beginning was the Word.
The real beginning is not the creation of theuniverse. For this beginning of time, space,matter, existence explains nothing yet de-mands an explanation. The real beginning isbeyond time. John does not say that at this be-ginning “God was” because we know it. Hespeaks of
the Word.
We keep this traditionalterm
, although the term
that Johnuses says more than “word.” It is both“thought” and “word”, which is the word ex-pressing what one carries in oneself. We oughtperhaps translate with: The “Expression” ofGod. To speak of this
, or Expression ofthe Father, or to speak of his Son, is the samething. In other pages he will be called Splen-dor (Heb 1:1) and Image (Col 1:15) of the Fa-ther. The Son is not part of the Father, or an-other God since he has nothing that is ofhimself but all which is the Father’s is also his(Jn 16:15).John will remind us that
no one has everseen God
(v. 18). The Father from whom ex-istence comes and all that exists is without be-ginning and his springing forth is known onlyto himself. John tells us here that for him,“being,” is communicating himself, expressinghimself, giving himself. God expresses himselfin him who is at the same time his Word andhis Son and through this uncreated, uniqueWord, which fully expresses him; he creates auniverse that is yet another way of saying whatis in God.This is still not enough to satisfy the need ofGod to communicate himself. As several textsof the Old Testament have already said (Pro8:22 and 31, 2 S 7:2-30), God has enteredthrough his Word into the history of hu-
Gen 1:1-5;1Jn 1:1-2;Rev 19:13Phil 2:6Col 1:16;Heb 1:2;Wis 9:1;Pro 8:221Cor 8:6;1Jn 2:8;1Thes 5:41Jn 2:9Mt 3:13:19;8:12;12:4614:17;17:25Gal 3:26;1Jn 5:133:5;Jas 1:18;1Jn 5:18Rom 1:3;Gal 4:4;1Tim 3:16;Heb 2:14;1Jn 4:2;Rev 21:3;25:8;Dt 4:7;Bar 4:1;37:27;34:6;Ps 89:2;Hos 2:211:27;Mt 3:113:34;Col 2:931:18;Rom 6:14;Jn 7:19;10:45:37;6:46;33:20;1Tim 1:17;6:16;1Jn 4:12;Mt 11:27
1533JOHN 1

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