Understanding The Bible
BY THE AUTHOR
Dr. Clarence E. Mason, Jr.
Philadelphia College of Bible
THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO JOHN
The author is the Apostle John. The Gospel was written (20:31) that men "might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and "that believing they might have life through His name."
The date is late but before AD 100. Thus he writes it a full 60 to 70 years after our Lord's life, death, resurrection, and ascension. John is, and has been for some time, the last living apostle.
The three Gospels previously written, while recognizing Jesus' deity, have emphasized His humanity. (They are there called "the Synoptic (same-view) Gospels.") But in the meantime Gnosticism has arisen, one branch of which denied Christ's actual humanity, while another branch diluted His deity, making Him simply a created emanation from God. In his prologue (1:1-18) John absolutely explodes these false teachings, and sustains the position throughout the whole book, particularly emphasizing our Lord's full and real deity and the fact that He clothed Himself with flesh for the purpose of redeeming man.
Although naturally John repeats much that one or more of the Synoptic writers have already given us, yet out of the vast amount of events and discourses from which he could choose (21:25), he chose much material never before given. How much we would have missed if the Holy Spirit had not led him to write this book and to include the following portions, found only in John: 1:1-18; much of 1:19-34; 1:35-2:12; chapters 3-5; 6:22-66; chapters 7-11; 12:20-50; much of chapter 13; chapters 14-17; much of chapter 20; and all of chapter 21.
John writes to the Church, as Matthew has to the Jew, and Mark and Luke to the Gentile (Luke to the cultured Gentile and Mark to the man who could do things with his hands, if not his head). Thus, all groups of mankind (1 Cor. 10:32) are told the story of a Savior's redeeming love.
OUTLINE OF JOHN'S GOSPEL (Ironside's main divisions are followed.)
PROLOGUE: Deity revealed in humanity 1:1-18
because Day 6 (2:1)
is "the third day, " meaning "day after tomorrow, " i.e., the "third day"
from Day 4 (l:43)--Day 4 being the first day; Day 5, the second day; and Day
6, the third day.)
EPILOGUE: Peter restored 21
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