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The Gospel of John

Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!

but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ,

the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name

Part 1: Chapters 1-9

Bob Harding

Table of Contents


Introduction. ......3

1The Word Became Flesh; Behold, The Lamb Of God....24

2The First Miracle; Cleansing The Temple...77

3The New Birth..110

4The Samaritan Woman.....164

5The Third Sign And Conflict With The Jews...204

6Having The Right Motives In Following Jesus241

7The Feast Of Tabernacles (Booths) In Jerusalem....280

8Jesus As The Source Of Light And Truth311

9Lessons From A Blind Man.343


In the four accounts of the gospel of Jesus Christ: Matthew wrote particularly for the Jews, Mark for the Romans, Luke for the Greeks or Gentiles, and John wrote for everyone but especially the Christian. Matthew presents Jesus as the Messiah and the fulfillment of the Old Testament prophets. Mark presents Jesus as one with power and strength, while Luke presents Him as the Perfect Man.

John presents Jesus as the Son of God and the one in whom we are to place our faith. Yet, John is vastly different from the other three accounts (called Synoptic Gospels). Notice some things John does not include: the birth of Jesus, His baptism, His temptation, the healing of the demon possessed, the parables, the Last Supper, Gethsemane, and the Ascension. Then John gives the following which are not included in the Synoptic Gospels: the marriage feast at Cana, Nicodemus, the woman of Samaria, the raising of Lazarus, washing the disciples feet, and the coming of the Comforter. In this introduction, we wish to study the background material for a proper study of the gospel account of John.


According to the internal evidence furnished by the Gospel itself the author was:


1.He quotes from the Hebrew Old Testament, not the Septuagint (LXX).

1)See the following passages:

2:17 (Ps 69:9): His disciples remembered that it was written, Zeal for Your house will consume me.

10:34 (Ps 82:6): Jesus answered them, Has it not been written in your Law, I said, you are god? 35 If he called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken),

12:40 (Isa 6:10): He has blinded their eyes and He hardened their heart, so that they would not see with their eyes and perceive with their heart, and be converted and I heal them.

13:18 (Ps 41:9): I do not speak of all of you. I know the ones I have chosen; but it is that the Scripture may be fulfilled, He who eats My bread has lifted up his heel against Me.

17:12 (Ps 41:9): While I was with them, I was keeping them in Your name which You have given Me; and I guarded them and not one of them perished but the son of perdition, so that the Scripture would be fulfilled.

19:24 (Ex 28:32; Ps 22:18): So they said to one another, Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it, to decide whose it shall be; this was to fulfill the Scripture: They divided My outer garments among them, and for My clothing they cast lots.

19:28 (Ps 69:21): After this, Jesus, knowing that all things had already been accomplished, to fulfill the Scripture, said, I am thirsty.

19:36 ((Ex 12:46; Num 9:12; Ps 34:20): For these things came to pass to fulfill the Scripture, Not a bone of Him shall be broken.

19:37 (Zech 12:12; Rev 1:7): And again another Scripture says, They shall look on Him whom they pierced.

2.It is corroborated by his references to Jewish (and Samaritan) religious beliefs, particularly regarding the Messiah (John 1:41, 46, 49; 4:25; 6:15; 7:27, 42; 12:34).

1)He knew and understood the Jewish expectation of the coming Messiah (John 1:19-51).

3.Familiar with Jew feasts.

1)Passover (John 2:13, 23; 6:4; 13:1; 18:28).

2)Feast of Tabernacle (John 7:37).

3)Feast of Dedication (John 10:22).

4.Familiar with Jewish customs.

1)Marriage (John 2:1-10).

2)Purification (John 2:6; 3:25; 11:55).

3)Burial (John 11:38, 44); 19:40).

4)Position of women (John 4:27).

5)Derisive attitude of the Palestinian Jew toward the Jews of the Diaspora (Dispersion) (John 7:35).

6)Law forbidding the Jews to leave a dead body on the cross the day of the Sabbath (John 19:31).

7)Strong hatred of Jews and Samaritans (John 4:9, 20).

8)Superiority of the law of circumcision over the law of the Sabbath (John 7:22).

5.Comparison with 1 John shows they are written by the same person.

1)The style and language are the same; often the same words and phrases being used.

2)He expresses things both affirmatively and negatively (John 1:3, 20; 3:16-17; 1 John 1:5; 2:27).

3)Use of Logos (Word) (John 1:1; 1 John 1:1).

4) Use of only begotten Son in reference to Jesus (only found in Johns writing) (John 3:16; 1 John 4:9).

5)Repeated use of life, light, love, darkness, death, world, fellowship, and truth.

6)Both books begin and end with same thought.

7)The purpose and scope is the same.

8)At least 35 passages where the thoughts are parallel.


1.It is supported by evidence which indicates that the author is acquainted with religious and political conditions in Palestine (John 4:9; 7:35; 11:49; 18:13, 28, 31, 39).

1) He was familiar with the countryside of Palestine (John 1:28 cf. 11:1; 2:1, 12; 3:23; 4:11, 20; 11:54; 12:21).

2.There is an exactness of the topography of Jerusalem and its immediate vicinity (5:2; 9:7; 11:18, 54; 18:1; 19:17); and the Temple (2:14, 20; 8:2, 20; 10:22-23; 18:1, 20).

1) He was aware of Galilee (1:44, 46; 2:1-2).

2) He was aware of the region of Samaria and that Jacob's well was located in Sychar (4:5-6), and that it was deep (4:11). Again, archaeologists have found this well.

3) He knew about the sacred mountain of Samaritan worship (4:20-21).

4) He knew the pool of Bethesda had five porches (5:2). {Archaeologists have unearthed the five porticoes of the pool of Bethesda by the Sheep Gate.

5) But further, he knew that Bethany was only fifteen furlongs away from Jerusalem (11:18). He knew that Ephraim was near the wilderness (11:54).

6) He knew that the Garden of Gethsemane was on the other side of the brook Kidron (18:1).

7) He knew that there was a paved area outside of the praetorium (19:13).

Among many scholars who were not asked to participate in the Jesus Seminar, there is a new consensus of confidence in John due to these recent discoveries. As recently as 1961 an inscription was discovered in Caesarea, providing for the first time extra-biblical corroboration of Pilate as Judea's prefect during the time of Christ.

Another interesting feature of John is that, when compared with the Synoptic Gospels, his Gospel consistently gives more references to chronology, geography, topography, and the like.


1.He was contemporary with the incidents he records and an eyewitness to many of them.

1)He remembers when the events occurred, sometimes the exact hour (1:29, 35, 39; 2:1; 3:24; 4:6, 40, 52-53; 6:22; 7:14; 11:6; 12:1; 13:1-2; 19:14, 31; 20:1, 19, 26).

2.He does not state his name, but there are traces of his own hand in the gospel.

1) We beheld his glory (1:14).

2) He knew the number of pots used at the wedding at Cana (2:6).

3) He knew that Jesus was weary when He sat down by the well (4:6).

4) He remembers the very words spoken by the neighbors of the man born blind (9:8-10).

5) He knew the value of the anointing perfume (12:5).

6) He knows by name the servant of the high priest whose right ear was cut off by Peter (18:10).

7) He was acquainted with the high priest (18:15).

8) He was at the crucifixion: He himself saw the blood and water issuing from the pierced side of Jesus (19:33-35).

9) He knew the distance from the shore of the apostles boat and the number of fish caught (21:8, 11).

10) This is the disciple who is testifying (bearing witness) to these things, and wrote these things, and we know that his testimony is true, (21:24).

3.So the writer was a Jew from Palestine, who was an eye-witness and he was a master of accuracy in chronology, geography and history.

1)He must have been an apostle of our Lord.


1.The fact that John partakes of the Supper with his Lord shows that he must be one of the twelve (John 13:5, 23-24).

1)Other passages where the reference us distinctly to the twelve (John 6:66-71; 20:24-29).

2)The writer (John) was one of the apostles appears also from his intimate knowledge of their actions, words, and feelings (John 2:17, 22; 4:27; 6:19; 13:22, 28; 21:22).

The author knows exactly what was said within that inner group. The conclusion is inescapable that John belongs to it.

3)John 1:35, 51: The unnamed disciple (John) is mentioned in connection with Andrew, Simon Peter, Philip, and Nathanael, all of whom belong to the twelve.

4)It is to be noted that the author, while mentioning other apostles by name, never indicating in that distinct manner either John or his brother James.

That very fact is by a process of elimination is not too difficult to arrive by necessary inference that the apostle John is the author of the book.